Literature / Whateley Universe

The Whateley Universe is a Web Original prose Shared Universe in a Superhero School scenario with elements of the Cthulhu Mythos comprising the main Myth Arc. It was inspired by an X-Men fanfic written by one of Whateley's many authors, and retains many similarities to the Marvel Universe, but a reasonably well-developed ficton was created before the first stories were released.

People in their early teens are manifesting mutant powers. They are widely hated and feared, but there is a place that will take them in, shelter them, and teach them how to control their powers: Whateley Academy in Dunwich, New Hampshire. Whateley is large (nearly 600 middle school through high school students in six grades); has support from superheroes, supervillains, and super-neutrals (so it is not being constantly attacked); does not have a high school aged superhero team flying around and fighting crime despite what Team Kimba seems to think; and puts heroes and villains together in everyday situations (just like a real high school). It also hosts demons, magical creatures, monsters, demigods, gods, and Jericho.

In one of many twists, between a sixth to a third of the students have a subconscious image of the form that their body ought to take, known as their Body Image Template (BIT). Mutants with a BIT generally gain either a physical or mental package of powers, frequently both. The physical package includes both beauty and brawn, the mental package includes major intelligence boosts as well as memory, etc. A BIT may change any aspect of a person's body, including their sex. In some cases the transformation may turn them into inhuman whatevers right out of a horror movie.

Most of the main characters are transgender in some way, shape, or form, so the school placed them all in Poe Cottage, an LGBTI dorm. All the main characters have their own origin story, in which their powers began to manifest, and there is a great deal of grief within their families about their gender change. Of course, there is almost always grief associated with simply being a mutant, but for those involuntarily transformed, the problems are all the greater. Not all transgender characters were involuntarily forced into their present form by their mutation. Some of them changed their own sex using their powers, and some were changed by outside forces.

Whateley Universe is not a pastiche or a direct parody, although it is often written in a tongue in cheek manner, putting superhero themes on common things. For example, Whateley Academy has the high school cliques any normal high school would have, the elitist Alphas, the Fashion Police, and the grungy losers (the Rat Patrol). However, they also have other cliques that only a Superhero School would have, such as the Masterminds, the Ninjas, the Robo-Jox, and of course, the Cape Squad (the 'Future Superheroes of America', who are very enthusiastic about being future superheroes). Ironically, school administration is quite insistent that Whateley is not a Superhero School, though they don't deny being an Academy of Adventure.

Here is a link to the stories. Until February 2012, when Diane took over updating the main site, the authors made their new stories available at the Authors Corner section of the forums. The front page also contains links to the forums and a fan-maintained Wiki. Be forewarned: the Whateley Universe now encompasses something like 14 Canon authors, 20 fanfic authors also hosted on the site, and something close to 150 novels, novelettes, and short stories (NOT counting all the fanfic). It is also somewhat NSFW, with rather frank discussions of sexuality in several of the stories.

Around 2014, the Canon Cabalnote  started developing plans for a second generation of Whateley stories, and recruited several fanfic authors for a new Cabal. The first of these stories were released in late 2015. While they take place at Whateley, they occur several years after the main cast would have graduated, with an all-new team and new plotlines. As of April 2016, the first story arc has ended, though the students have yet to reach Whateley, and two of the Superhero Origin stories have gotten underway.

Because of the sheer size of the series and the ever-growing list of detailed, named characters, most of the character descriptions have been moved to the (multiple) character sheets. Only the initial main characters of the two periods are summarized here.

The original six characters, Team Kimba, are:
  • Chaka (Toni Chandler), Genki Girl martial artist who controls Ki.
  • Fey (Nikki Reilly), elven Wizard of unusual power, possessed by an ancient elvish queen. Subconsciously makes people attracted to her.
  • Tennyo (Billie Wilson), flying blasting slicing regenerating Warper extraordinaire; looks rather like Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo! (intentionally, as a result of how she gained her superpowers)
  • Generator (Jade Sinclair), who 'generates' Jinn, psychokinetic copies of herself by animating inanimate objects for a limited time. When the effect wears off, Jinn's memories merge with Jade's. Note: The singular/plural confusion is canon.
    • Shroud (Jinn Sinclair), Jade's invented persona when Jinn takes human shape. Using props, she can appear as everything from an ordinary teenage girl, to a spooky eeriness and chains undead, to an empty black cloak. She pretends to be Jade's elder sister.
  • Phase (Ayla Goodkind), a density-changer who can become intangible or super-dense. Comes from a very rich family, but unfortunately that family is the Whateley Universe version of Fred Phelps's clan, and reacted very poorly to his mutation.
  • Lancer (Hank Declan), a twist on the classic super-strong invulnerable Flying Brick hero type, in that he actually uses a form of personal-ranged psychokinesis to enhance his physical abilities. Military Brat. The only Team Kimba character that's gender bending the other way, and also was the only Team Kimba character without his own series of stories. Now, he has Phoenix Spiritus as a writer.

The new characters for the 2nd Gen stories include:
  • Okami (Hikaru Myoujin) - Member of a cadet branch of Japan's Imperial family who was trained from birth to serve as a Shinto priestess, only to find herself the object of worship when she becomes the Paladin of Amaterasu.
  • Kenshin (Taka Ono) - A young man who manifested the martial arts skills of a shonen fighting anime protagonist (and unfortunately the attitude to match) sent off to America after causing too much trouble at home.
  • Dragonsfyre (Morgana Jones) - a formerly nerdy kid imbued with magical powers in a horrific experiment by a cult that wanted to create a living magical battery and who still bears the physical and mental scars.
  • Glyph (Bianca St. Claire) - Legacy Character whose Avatar mutation allowed him to inherit an Always Female role - but with the result that she became a Gender Bender as the power adapts her to the role.
  • Eisenmadel (Erica von Abendritter) - the Jewish product of Nazi Super Science who was imbued with powers in her grandparents' lifelong battle against Nazi deadenders seeking to establish a Fourth Reich.
  • Lapin (Lucretia "Tia" del Bosque) - The victim of a mutation ray that his Mad Scientist former girlfriend used on him in a fit of jealous rage, which gave her the Body Image Template of a well-known retired superheroine...which unfortunately included the appearance and proclivities of a Playboy bunny girl... ears, tail and all.
  • Invictus (Tanya Wright) another Legacy Character who is a bit disturbed to have manifested her deceased mother's exact appearance as well as her powers.
  • Cerulea (Laura Samuels) - Devisor and Gadgeteer, whose manifestation included bright blue skin and hair and broke up her parent's marriage.
  • Calliope (Fiorella "Cally" Persico): A receptive and projective empath who projects by singing, giving her a limited subset of siren powers.
  • Charger (Nicholas Brennan, Jr.) - second-generation member of a genetically-engineered race of Petting Zoo People, he is the oldest of the Horse Animen to be born that way, and the first to learn that their creator, Dr. DNA, had left an extra gift in their genome in the form of the Mutant Meta-Gene Complex.
  • Dragonblade (A.J. Blackstone) - Child of a superhero and a supervillainess, AJ was already receiving magical training when his mutation kicked in.

Tropes include:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Several. Some magical, others created by Devisors or Gadgeteers. Special mention to Destiny's Wave, Chou's magical talking sword. It's only absurdly sharp when Chou intends it to be; otherwise, it's dull.
  • Aborted Arc: Bound to happen in a shared universe this big, but even then very common. The biggest one is Feral: a story called Wild Times, which would have followed Feral as he became the avatar of Artemis/Diana, transformed into a girl, went to Whateley and joined up with the New Olympians, but never got released. There's a small teaser, but that's it- Feral's author dropped off the face of the earth and hasn't been heard from for years.
    • The entire universe demonstrates a classic problem with Transformation Fiction in general and Gender Bender fiction in specific: once the characters have finished their transformations the authors lose interest in them, which is probably why the authors have introduced Loads and Loads of Characters (each with a highly detailed backstory) while the main story arc has been stalled at the beginning of the second semester for years.
  • Abusive Parents: Part of the reason Jade was so eager to leave her old identity behind was because her previous life as Jared was little more than a long series of verbal and physical abuses from her father, especially in the three years after her mother died.
    • What Circuit Breaker's parents did to their children is beyond the pale even for child abusers.
  • Academy of Adventure: Superpowers, Magic, Mad Scientists, Eldritch Abominations, Teenagers. Need I say more? There are multiple student deaths each semester, and that's not counting the odd mutilation, possession, Baleful Polymorph or soul lost to demons. Parents still send their kids to Whateley because students there actually have a higher survival rate than mutant teenagers in the general population.
  • Acting Your Intellectual Age: Ayla is a self-acknowledged one, and Jobe is one who doesn't realize it. Ayla's reaction to realizing this is to try and bring his friends up to his level, so that they can at least understand why some things bug him so much. ("Why would I blow money on an expensive stereo system that's going to be outdated in three months' time, or on clothes that are going to be out of style in two weeks?")
  • Action Girl: Yeah. There's a lot of these.
  • Action Mom: Several of the students at Whateley are the children of superheroines/villains.
    • Tennyo's mother is a superpowered secret agent.
    • Becoming an "Action Mom" is Jade's express goal in life, though she is willing to be an action babysitter or action nanny first.
  • A-Cup Angst: Jade; technically, she doesn't even have A-cups, since she is still physically male. She'd give anything to be fully female, and one of the most common ways she expresses that desire is breast envy.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Every once in a while, a story is told from a minor character's point of view. One of the earliest examples is "It's Good to be the Don", following Don Sebastiano.
  • Adults Are Useless: Both averted and played straight. Many adults in the Whateleyverse are in fact quite competent when shown, at least within their areas of expertise; yet since the focus is generally on the (mis)adventures of mutant teenagers, it's just as common to see some adult or other left holding the Idiot Ball. (This is occasionally justified; at least one story has a house mother being unable to see the very real problems between two roommates due to magical manipulation and thus refusing to reassign them.) According to older characters, Adults used to not be useless when it came to the bullying situation in previous years. However Carson has admitted to have committed herself to a plan involving allowing bullies free rein. What exactly that plan entails, has not yet been revealed.
    • We know a bit more about the plan. Apparently, it involves making sure the Don stays at the school, as he has a part to play in a coming Apocalypse-level event.
    • Played straight later when the students band together against the ultimate enemy and decide to exclude all adults because they would either take too long to convince or take too much time to act.
  • A God Am I - Carmilla is the daughter of a human and a Great Old One, and the focus of a religion (the Cult of Kellith).
    • the New Olympians are the human (mutant) incarnations of the classic Greek Dodecatheon (the twelve highest gods and godesses of Olympus), though two of them (Neptune and Dionysius) are missing.
    • Nacht became a demigoddess thanks to the Telchines' Astrolabe. she deliberately lets go of this power, realizing she isn't ready for godhood.
  • A God I Am Not: While trapped on the planet Medhas, Tennyo is forced to undergo a God Test, and passes it - only to turn around and tell them that 'The Captain' (The Star Stalker) was never a god in the first place and that they should stop worshipping her.
  • A.I. is a Crapshoot
  • Ain't No Rule: As Jobe Wilkins, whose codename is also Jobe Wilkins, demonstrates, there ain't no rule saying you can't register your real name as your codename. It may help that keeping any sort of secret identity would be next to impossible in his case since his dad is the setting's expy of Doctor Doom, a major supervillain and emperor of his own nation.
    • Well, one of them. There's another one set up in Europe in a nation very similar to the one Doctor Doom actual owns, and with an Eastern European name to boot. Jobe's dad lives in the Carribean.
  • Alien Blood: Including examples that make the in-story scientists' heads hurt, like blood that has antimatter elements in it...but only sometimes.
  • Alien Catnip: Some mutant biology quirks can cause this. For example some exemplars, Like Toni, find chocolate intoxicating due to their hyperactive metabolism.
  • All-Cheering All the Time: The Whateley Academy Martial Arts Cheerleaders, always dress in cheer costumes of their own design, despite not having any sports teams to cheer for (though they do manage to show up for the martial-arts duels).
  • All Girls Like Ponies:
    • Superchick has a dozen and a half plush unicorns each with their own name and story.
    • As said in Boys of Summer: Part 2: Tansy "went through a really intense horse phase when [she] was ten."
    • Possibly Light Ling, who enchanted her horse into a Pegasus, and gave it other abilities.
  • All Hallows' Eve:
    • The Halloween parties of 2006 at Whateley Academy are only a part of a hellish night for the school, covered in two novels.
    • The Three Little Witches:
    Al-Feyez raised an imperious eyebrow. “And what about that insane ‘Halloween’ holiday of yours? How are you going to keep them apart during a night when the Malkuthean veils are so thin?”
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Some of the made up names for Team Kimba: "Negligee Nightingales", and "Bathrobe Babes" being two examples.
    • William Wilson was the original name of Tennyo.
    • There's also others, like Scrambler, a.k,a Joanne Jackie "Jay-Jay" Jendleschmidt.
    • Apparently, this was common in their equivalent of The Golden Age of Comic Books; at one point, an older supervillain lampshades this.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Crops up now and again, named characters are a lot more likely to be an exception than any given crowd. Lancer and Phase definitely are though.
  • All There in the Manual: Three manuals:
    • The "Whateley Academy Universe Bible" to which only canon authors have access.
    • The Whateley Forums, where the canon authors answer backstory questions.
    • The Whateley Wiki.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Elyzia Grimes is a powerful witch and a member of Whateley Academy's Magical Arts Department. She even looks like a witch, since she's described as looking uncomfortably like what Morticia Addams would look like in real life. Her familiar is a solid black cat named Merlin.
    “I look like this, I teach magic, and I have a black cat for a familiar. There are times, Miss Goodkind, when you either laugh with the joke, or set yourself up to be laughed at.”
  • Alpha Bitch: Two full cliques of them, actually. The Alphas (gender neutral, Exemplar focused) and the Martial Arts Cheerleaders. A male version is in the goth squad, who worship Great Old Ones. In particular, Tansy Walcutt, an Alpha, stands out; she tormented Ayla (then known as Trevor) at their old school, and carries on at Whateley after they both mutate. The Alphas have undergone something of a Heel–Face Turn, thanks to the bitchiest of them losing power. Tansy is still a bitch, though.
  • Always V Sexy: Vanessa, codename Vox. Girlfriend of Phase, and regarded as one of the hot freshman girls at Whateley. To top it off, she's a Siren.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: Nearly everyone (even Aquerna!) ends up have some sort of fight or incident over their first Winter Break. Don't even ask how it went for Ayla or Billie...
  • Ancient Conspiracy: They're all over the place, tripping over each others' feet and regularly causing a Gambit Pileup. The most important of them are:
    • The Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom, a lodge of infernalists and black magicians,
    • The Bloodline, an extended family of vampiric proto-mutants,
    • The Tong of the Dark Madonna, who made the mistake of attacking the families of several students and wound up getting wiped out,
    • The Thule Gemeinschaft, who used the Nazi Death Camps to experiment with necromancy,
    • The Red Brotherhood, who seek to use chaos and violence to 'awaken' humans to the mistakes they are making,
    • The White Brotherhood, the sworn enemies of the Red Brotherhood.
  • And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt: Mentioned in Merry Descent into Madness while Merry was looking for a shirt to wear.:
    I did manage to find a few jumpsuits, and a few shirts, mostly of the touristy T-shirt type. You know the kind; "My dad went to the Caribbean and all I got was this crummy t-shirt?"
  • And Then What?: Clover and co get a hold of some essence (magical power). They've been constantly questing for essence so they can do 'cool stuff' (read: they hate being in junior high and want to do everything the older kids do) but never work out a decent plan, so when they finally get the essence, they end up wasting it all accidentally without ever deciding what to do with it.
    • On the flip side of this, Mimeo asked this to himself early in his career - and answered it. Brilliantly.
  • And This Is For......: Done by Lady Astarte when she finally had the chance to pay back Freya for her crimes against the other students.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: In The Three Little Witches, Clover is rewarded a cookie by Palantir for helping with their mission:
    “Good work, Clover!” Pally said. “Have a cookie!”
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: invoked Canon example with Fey and Carmilla. The fact that they became "sisters" through a Blood Oath makes for Incest Subtext as well.
  • Angry Black Man:
    • Chaka's brother Vince tries to pull this off. The rest of the family doesn't like this, and Chaka calls him out regularly as a phoney.
    • N'Dizi, who founded an Afro-centric martial-arts clique, the Tigers, because of perceived racism from the existing martial arts group, the Dragons. He and many of the other Tigers tend to get in the face of any African or African-American students whom they see as insufficiently militant. Chaka calls him out as a hypocrite due to his possessive misogyny.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The voodoo-wolves. Most people can't even stand to be in their presence because their eldritch nature wreaks havoc on the mind.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Characters who have either changed into animal-like forms or are avatars of certain animals usually adopt traits and habits of said animal. Heyoka has to deal with several different avatars, causing her to seem nearly neurotic when he adopts their powers.
  • Anime Chinese Girl:
    • Laurel Hua (Silver Serpent), daughter of the Iron Dragon (the WU expy for Fu Manchu). She is one of the Bad Seeds (the children of supervillains) at Whateley Academy.
    • Chou Lee (Bladedancer), has had Chinese-ness forced upon her by her Upgrade Artifact, the magic sword Destiny's Wave. Not only was she physically transformed into a Chinese hottie, but also given a language imprint so deep that she now speaks English with a Chinese accent.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Some are a lot worse than merely annoying.
    • Chaka's little brother Matt, in particular, although Cindy and Vince see her as the annoying one.
    • Billie's little brother Thad dosed her with a chemical that triggered a deadly (possibly even fatal, from a certain point of view) burnout over a minor slight.
    • Completely averted by Paige's sister, Jo. She decides not to room with Paige, not because she was afraid of being turned into a were, but because she didn't want her sister to blame herself for it.
    • Loophole is mad because her younger brother Stronghold just won't stop embarrassing her.
  • Anonymous Ringer: Averted: Real life people are always brought up, including George W. Bush, who is President at the point in time that the stories take place.
  • Anti-Villain: Not surprisingly, there are several, including one who is a POV character:
    • Dr. Diabolik is a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Affably Evil, with an agenda that aims to make humanity a spacefaring race. However, his methods do tend to leave a lot of Collateral Damage, and have led to over 17,000 deaths to date.
    • The Brigand is a classic Byronic Hero, fighting to root out political and corporate corruption. However, given the setting, and his methods, this means that he's considered a supervillain.
    • The Imp is an artist and art collector. The fact that she has GSD and was driven out of her home as a teen left her with a lot of anger towards the world and a Trickster's view of the people she steals from.
  • Apologetic Attacker: In Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 9), Ayla apologizes for performing a Breast Attack on Chaka in their Martial Arts class:
    Chaka dropped her chain and stepped back. She moved in front of me and bowed politely. But as she did so, she muttered, “Dammit Phase, you stabbed me right in the boob!”
    “Sorry,” I whispered.
  • Applied Phlebotinum, Hand Wave, A Wizard Did It: Hat trick!
  • Apron Matron: Each of the dorm cottages at Whateley has an adult supervisor, usually a matronly woman who is more than she seems.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Unsurprisingly scientists have started to study mutants, and now have working hypotheses for many different powers. For some reason we're yet to see any scientific view on magic, and several top scientists (including the Mr Fantastic expy) insist that magic is just a mixture of psychic powers and self delusion, something even a simple experiment should prove otherwise. No explanation is given for why scientists are letting prejudice overcome scientific integrity.

      On the other hand, some of the ancient mystical beings have implied that psychic powers are just same thing as magic, but used by somebody who doesn't truly understand what they're doing. There are exactly two people who hold this view. One is in a flashback to the 60s, when nobody knew how anything related to mutants works. The other has been operating since childhood on the assumption that everything has a rational explanation (which magic most certainly does not), and spent most of that time fighting Mephisto, a supervillain who has based their entire career on using mundane processes and high intelligence to imitate magic, mutant powers, aliens, etc.
    • There's also a member of staff, Hakim Al-Feyez, who maintains a belief that Devisors are just alchemists who have yet to admit the mystical basis of their work.
  • Arc Words: As of The Real MCO and Silent Nacht, 'Zulu' appears to be this.
  • Argument of Contradictions: The Three Little Witches: A short one between Kate and Jadis:
    Believe me, when we went there, Kate here was scared snotless.”
    “Was not.”
    “Was too!”
    “Was not. I had a cold.”
    “Yes you were! You were ready to call for your mommy!”
  • Armored Closet Gay: Solange is terrified that she'll lose status if outed; outwardly, she hates and fears lesbians with a passion, and is determined to sleep with as many men as she can to prove she isn't one, no matter how much she hates it.
  • Arrested for Heroism:
    • This happens to Phase several times. In his first story, he fights a supervillain and ends up getting nearly arrested for vigilantism (he did destroy an entire street). He manages to convince the police that he never intended to fight the supervillain, he just wanted to save his sister, and the cops let him off with a warning that if he does it again without legal authorisation, he's screwed. In his sixth story, he fights a demon that takes down a team from the Mutant Commission Office, and they arrest him and interrogate him continually- despite the fact that he's in urgent need of medical attention- and he only gets out of it because of his family (although he had to physically stop the officers after they were brainwashed by the demon).
    • This also plays a role in Charge's Back Story: on two occassions she saves lives, but the French MCO spin it that she was the one who endangered those individuals in the first place.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    ''Jobe: [...] There's no way genetic engineering can stave off the scourges that are ignorance, poverty, bigotry or line dancing.
  • Artificial Limbs: Common in the setting, with all of the devisors and gadgeteers running around. Some are even necessitated by actual disability, illness or injury, others are just mad science run amok.
    • Omnicidal Maniac supervillain Deathlist is a full body replacement cyborg
    • When Jobe has been beaten and doesn't want to bring the authorities down onto the bully who did it, he claims that it's nothing and that he'd been more injured in a thumbwar, neglecting to mention that it was a thumbwar with his father, whose arm is cybernetic. Jobe, missing Mister Happy, creates an organic prosthetic. Jobe's father, missing his own Mister Happy, built a smart, detachable prosthetic that doubles as a dildo. This reportedly saved the world once. "Do you know how hard it is to declare nuclear war when your wife is doing that to you?"
  • Artistic License – Biology: Naturally part of the mutant factor, however, the vast majority of people have started puberty by 14 (and in fact many girls are actually done with it by that time), yet all the characters shown have only recently come into their puberty and powers. It's plausible that the mutant gene causes later puberty
    • It's (jokingly) suggested that there is an increasing number of MTF mutants because the mutant gene is trying to outbreed the baseline genes. Even a cursory knowledge of genetics makes this patently ridiculous as genes aren't intelligent. note .
      • It's also been suggested that, while the genes themselves aren't intelligent (duh), there are intelligent forces manipulating the situation both for and against the mutants, which is not entirely implausible in a universe where gods, Fair Folk, and Cthulhu Mythos entities are not only real, but awake, aware, and active.
      • The begged question of homosexual mutants may also be addressed by research such as that by Dr. Robin Baker that shows that, statistically, gay and bi people of both genders have a higher reproduction rate than the heterosexual population through chance encounters, exceptions to their preferred gender, and attempts to hide their lifestyle.
    • A fact occasionally tossed out is that the trans mutants have baseline hormone levels of members of the opposite gender and this somehow explains them developing secondary sex characteristics of that gender incredibly quick. For example Fey goes from male to having to pass as female within the span of a month due to have moderate sized breasts. In real life, secondary sex characteristics take years to develop. Justified to an extent however in that speed of change is apparently incredibly variable depending on the individual, and for some it is agonizingly slow while for others it is almost instantaneous.
  • Artistic License – Religion: The description Whateley gives for the Tao doesn't match up with the real-life Taoism. At all. To be fair, the Whateley universe also features a large variety of very real-in-setting mystical entities that real life (as far as we know) doesn't. In a world like that, that such religions as exist even have familiar names is already a case of Like Reality Unless Noted. (For another example, real-life Christians' notion of God isn't exactly "some less-than-all-powerful being once and possibly still named Nodens that's busy staging a carefully stalemated mock-war with 'Satan' so that the Eldritch Abominations that really run the show won't come in and wipe them both out", either.)
  • Artistic License – Physics
    • Ayla's stated ability to alter his inertia in flight through density warping (aka "Phase-Leap") is outright nonsensical in a relativistic universe. Even in a classical Newtonian universe there would be problems. The only place "Phase-Leaping" could possibly work as described is on a stationary earth in an Aristotelian universe, which the Whateley universe isn't.
  • Ascended Extra
  • A Shared Suffering: The members of Team Kimba bond together on their first day at Whateley Academy because of this: they're more than just mutants. They are all transgender in one way or another.
  • The Assimilator:
    Propaedeutic's 'learning machine' devise that over-learned and tried to take on the properties of every devise and gadget at the [Weapons Fair]. Including all the weapon arrays and a targeting system!
  • Ass Shove:
    • The most memorable part of Skybolt and Cavalier's revenge on Don Sebastiano seems to have been the insertion of a lamp base where a lamp base really shouldn't be able to fit. The fact that everyone - especially the other Alphas - found this hilarious rather than shocking just underscores how much he was hated even by his own allies.
    • Belphegor spent some time trying to trap Chaka so he could study her ki abilities scientifically. Apparently, this would have involved an anal probe. Do I need to mention who it was that got probed in the end?
  • Asteroid Miners: In "Tennyo's Easter", the first problem Tennyo hits in space is asteroid miners: an abandoned mine full of pirates trying to operate the equipment to steal more ore, while being attacked by a different gang of pirates.
  • The Atoner:
    • Erik Mahren, Elyzia Grimes is said to be this but its not come up much.
    • Also: the Green Witch, Mr. Garrity, and Mr. Donner.
    • Kodiak, mainly for everything he did as a part of Freya's group.
  • Atrocious Alias: Codenames are common for superheroes and supervillains alike, and are required for all students at Whateley after their first semester to provide anonymity (though Jobe and Jimmy T. simply used their personal names ''as'' their codenames). Several students (past and present) have chosen codenames which were either poorly thought out or had meanings they weren't aware of. This is a significant problem, as codenames have to be registered with the MCO, and while some allowance is made regarding final selection for minors, finding one which isn't in use is hard, and getting one changed is even harder. Thus, you have people stuck with names long after they decided to change them.
    • 'Power Pork' has been trying for years to get his codename changed. Fat chance.
    • Mega-Death, a (usually) mild-mannered Devisor, chose his name while in the throes of a Diedrick's Syndrome episode. He's regretted it ever since.
    • N'Dizi thought his codename sounds cool and Afro-centric. It turns out to mean 'cucumber'.note 
    • A vicious gossip with translating powers was dubbed 'Traduce' by one of the upperclassmen, and she thought it was a good choice for her codename. She didn't get the joke until it was too late.
    • Boom Job quickly found herself nicknamed 'Boob Job'. Shortening it to 'BJ' only added to the snickering.
    • A speedster tried the codename 'Quickie' in her freshman year, but after she figured out what everyone was laughing at, she went with the only slightly less embarrassing 'Go-Go'.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Standard for the genderbenders, except for those that also get physical mutations thrown in (and it's not unlikely that they won't be attractive in some fashion).
  • Author Appeal: Loads and loads. Aside from the obvious, there's Food Porn, Gun Porn, Supernatural Martial Arts... it is possible to ascribe specific stories and sections of multi-author stories solely by appeal.
  • Author Avatar: Subverted. The ones that most resemble the Canon Cabal are the Lit Chix, who are rather dysfunctional.
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: Diane Castle of the Whateley Universe trots out some new vocab in every Phase novel. Since when does a fourteen year old use the word 'propaedeutic' or 'fictile'? Since said fourteen year old has an eidetic memory, the best schooling his billionaire parents could buy, a need to appear mature and intelligent among businessmen and politicians, and a personal preference for sounding smarter than those he's talking to. Note that Ms. Castle only uses words like that when writing from Phase's perspective, dropping back to a more normal vocabulary when writing as Aquerna or other more normal teenagers. Also, "Propaedeutic" is a codename. Likely if you want a unique one, you go diving into a dictionary or thesaurus.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The one-shot character of OMAG, a duplicator, exemplifies this. While he has a good power, and some creative uses, he never thinks things through. So he's always one step behind.
  • Back Story: Hive gets a dream-sequence This Is Your Life exploring her past as a Navy SEAL and Mimeo has a full story covering his own life story. Also the core cast have stories - sometimes quite lengthy - of how they came to Whateley and the 'start' of their tales there.
  • Badass Gay:
    • Chou Lee (Bladedancer) is bisexual, who is in a relationship with Gateway, another girl, and Chain Lightning, a guy, and is a superbly-skilled martial artist who wields a magical sword and several other mystical artefacts, that boost her well beyond normal human abilities.
    • Fey, who is in a relationship with Bugs, another girl, and Stalwart, a guy, and is one of the most powerful Wizard-type mutants on earth, and she has the spirit of an ancient Faerie Queen to teach her spells.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Several members of Whateley Security would qualify.
    • Chief Delarose, definitely. A supervillain that was feared worldwide knew him by name.
    • As a non-mutant, Chou Lee is listed by Whateley, and registered by the DPA (see below), as a "baseline". The school has deliberately used this to teach at least one of its nastier pupils a painful lesson in What Measure Is a Non-Super?. However, she is a superbly-skilled martial artist who wields a magical sword and several other mystical artefacts, that really boost her well beyond normal human abilities.
    • Sensei Ito, Whateley's Martial Arts instructor, is a little old man with no powers. He routinely kicks his students' asses all over the dojo, many of whom could charitably be described as 'insanely overpowered'. He is a little old man though. One imagines he is typically grinning. Also, he routinely kicks one particular kind of insanely overpowered student around the dojo..... TK Bricks, who are immensely strong and invulnerable, have well-categorized weaknesses, and have spent most of their time since mutating in a "world of cardboard" scenario and are therefore instinctively holding back for fear of smashing anything they touch. Were Sensei Ito to try this stunt with a blaster, speedster, or any other of the more exotic powersets, he would likely end up wearing his own butt for a hat.
    • Erik Mahren, before he manifested, deserves special mention.
    • As well as the rest of the Dragon Slayers, who not only beat up Boston's Green Lantern expy with either no superpowers or mutations that might as well be useless, but are seen as the boogeymen of the mutant community.
    • Josie Gillman enters Whateley fully expecting to become a badass normal and quickly learns it's just high school, albeit with superpowers
  • Bad Boss: most but not all supervillains, the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom takes the cake.
  • Bag of Holding: these (or technological/magical methods for accomplishing the same effect) are becoming something of a staple of the setting. More than two thirds of Team Kimba have access to something like it: Chou has two, one specifically an invisible scabbard for Destiny's wave, the other a literal Bag of Holding, both given to her by the Taoist Immortals. Ayla has his Mobius-produced utility belt. Fey accomplishes similar effects using magic to store her armour and sword. Shroud has her locker, stored inside her body, where her costumes and things are kept. Jade was given a purse of holding by Thuban for Christmas. The only Kimbas currently lacking are Hank (who manages something similar by using paper swords he can store in his pockets), Tennyo (wo REALLY doesn't need anything) and Chaka. Other notables include Malachai, Loophole, Jericho and the Anti-Paladin, all of whom use gesture- or thought-controlled teleportation devices to pull their gear from nowhere; Thuban himself, who uses his size-warping powers to make bags, pockets, rooms, cars etc into TARDIS-like structures that are bigger on the inside (this is a big secret power of his); and the Spy Kidz Secret Squirrels Espionage Cadet Corps, whose size-warper is able to shrink things down to fit into regular pockets, hence his code-name, Holdout.
  • Batman Gambit: Ayla successfully pulls one off, putting the Masterminds in his pocket.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Sara goes through this in "Insanity Prerequisite".
  • Beautiful All Along: Discussed in The Big Idea with Delta Spike:
    Harlan had a brief flash of déjà vu, looking at Delta Spike. Then he realized that she was the picture of a Hollywood ‘Girl Scientist’, the one who’s supposed to be a drab little geek, but you know that the second that she takes off her glasses and lets her hair down, she’s absolutely gorgeous. Delta Spike had long glossy black hair that was tied up in a style that really didn’t suit her. She wore a pair of thick clunky-looking black frame glasses that couldn’t have done a better job of disguising her classic features if she’d designed them for just that task. Still, she smiled prettily enough.
  • The Beautiful Elite: A lot of mutants, due to the "exemplar" power set. It comes with a price, though: exemplars tend to top out the range of everything, including teenage angst and hormonal tumult, so they have roughly double the mortality, incarceration, pregnancy, and suicide rates of normal teenagers.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The Tao knows where you live. And what books your daddy has in his library halfway around the world.
  • Benevolent Boss: Phase/Ayla. Also, Jadis Diabolik gets into a rant about this during her and the Bad Seed's Christmas story, and how this management style made her father into one of the best supervillains around.
  • Berserk Button: Go on, hold Strega's kid hostage. She attacks the entire city of Paris and intended to take over Europe in retaliation, unless they returned her daughter.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: Jobe Wilkins is fairly honest: he's also a sociopathic genius with Literal Genie tendencies and a bent for biological tinkering with no scruples about experimenting on himself or others.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: All of the main characters really, but:
    • Jade Sinclair will nail you to a tree. With railroad spikes. Even if you're twice her size. Then she'll burn a message into your flesh.
    • Nikki Reilly will melt your face.
    • Billie Wilson will slice you in two with a lightsaber, blow you up with antimatter, or beat you to death with her bare hands. Or spit on you.
    • Chou Lee will simply kill you. Sorry, nothing personal, but the balance must be maintained.
    • Ayla Goodkind is nice enough...until you threaten someone he cares about. Then he will financially ruin you, your family, and your dog. Unless you apologize and agree to play nice. Well, he might if it wasn't against school rules, but he'll definitely fantasize about it.
    • Sara Waite will eat your soul.
    • Toni Chandler will throw playing cards into your legs. Ordinary playing cards.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Jade. A prank war between Jade and Beltane could conceivably end all life as we know it, but underneath her silliness Jade is a walking Mook Horror Show with a scarily high body count.
  • Big Applesauce: While most of the series is set in an out of the way corner of New Hampshire, and many of the trips out involve Boston rather than NYC, it is made clear that New York City is the main place for mutants and other supers on the East Coast in the few stories set there, with at least six major super teams located there and dozens or even hundreds of 'street heroes' and 'street villains' running around. At least four Villain Bars are mentioned by name, and one, Superbad, is a regular backdrop for meetings between characters and low-level street supers. Jadis even knows several dance clubs that allow underaged mutants in.
  • Big Eater: many mutants, especially energizers, TK supermen, and some shapeshifters, require massive quantities of food to provide the energy to use their powers.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: The flip side of the Most Common Superpower for male Exemplars, often to Gag Penis proportions. An in-world sex manual specifically warns male Exemplars not to be too agressive because of the risk of harming their partner due to this (the converse warning is made for female Exemplars with baseline male partners, as well, specifically discussing the possibility of of injuring them with their internal musculature).
  • Big "NO!": Phase does this in "Ayla and the Tests", upon learning something horrific about himself during powers testing. Specifically, when it appears that his bigoted views on mutants and transgender people were what caused his change in appearance when he manifested.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Especially in The Big Idea. This includes a DISCLAIMER in French!:
    Author’s Note: Je m'excuse abondamment à mon audience francophonic (vous deux). Les portions françaises de cette histoire ont été traduites par le traducteur libre de l'AOL et j'ai peur que j'aie reçu la qualité pour laquelle j'ai payé. Je comprends que le Français fait attention très mutilant de leur belle langue et je m'abats sur la mutilation inévitable de la grammaire et idiome.
  • Big Little Brother: Trevor was the older brother by 18 months, but was shorter than his younger brother David, as said in Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
    I was fourteen and six months. I tended to stress the extra months, since I was painfully small for my age. At my age, being 4’9” and a mere 80 pounds was just too small.
    I couldn’t help being small, but my younger brother David really liked to rub it in. He was only a year and a half younger than I was, and he was already as tall as Mother.
    Mother was around 5’6”.
  • Birthday Episode: Ayla and the Birthday Brawl, which involves the setup and execution of Ayla's birthday party, and the titular brawl that happens during the party.
  • Bite The Wax Tadpole: In-universe example, Trevor (about a year before becoming Ayla) noticed that the product of an upcoming major Homogenous Multinational Ad Campaign was being titled 'MAIRD' (which would be pronounced the same as the French word 'merde'). He pointed this out and got his father to change the name before it was too late.
  • Big "YES!": Silver Linings: Chapter 1: Part 5:
    Dr. Strega: “So, you still think [synthetic manifestation projections are] ‘jejune’?”
“As a matter of fact,” Tenebros shouted back, despite the fact that Stacy had him by the lapels, “YES!”[note]This is also underlined in the original text.[/note]
  • Black Cloak:
    • The supervillainess Hekate's 'Master', so horrific that even she is scared of him, in the Whateley Universe stories.
    • Jinn when going around on Campus as Shroud has one (and being a autonomous telekinetic construct possessing Objects she also technicaly IS the Cloak)
  • Black Magic: Kallysta Thessellarean (Hekate) practices the darkest of black arts.
  • Blessed with Suck: inevitable with all of the more powerful/less attractive mutations, but most prominently explored with non-mutant Chou. As the Handmaid of the Tao, she's required to preserve the balance at any cost, even if that requires her to assist evil or murder a saint. Knowing the Tao may require her to murder her own friends causes her much anguish and gives her nightmares.
    • Tennyo: Potentially the most powerful person in the entire universe, she lives in a world of cardboard and full use of her powers produces hard radiation so she has to limit herself to protect her friends.
    • Seraphim: Kerry can heal virtually any disease or injury, but each healing takes an enormous physical and emotional toll on her. Just choosing who to heal, knowing that she can't possibly help everyone who deserves it, is a difficult if not intolerable burden.
    • Screech's voice can rend steel and melt glass. Unfortunately, she can't make it do anything less than rend steel or melt glass, rendering her effectively mute and a constant danger to everyone around her.
  • Blinding Bangs: Here, with Slash:
    The boy's hair was too long, a shaggy dirty blonde that hung into his eyes so badly it was a wonder he could see; certainly no one knew what color his eyes were.
  • Blow You Away:
    • Winter. She's able to evoke cold wind with enough fine control to use it to fly
    • Also, Stormwolf, who is able to use wind to send an opponent flying or to fly himself, and is anything but a Fragile Speedster.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Most Class X entities, and anyone who spends any significant amount of time around them (e.g., Ecila Mason), will have a view of existence quite different from anything remotely human.
    • Jobe's distorted sense of morality makes him completely blind to how other people view his actions.
  • Blood Knight: Several, but the king of this has to be Counterpoint, aka Ares.
  • Bloody Murder: Some of the characters' blood have unusual qualities, such as Tennyo's, which has antimatter in it. Sometimes.
  • Boarding School: of the fancy, toney prep school variety, like Phillips Exeter with Mutants.
  • Body Horror: In A Single Fold, a number of students are infected with a bio-virus, and Jobe is implicated (though he was innocent). At the same time, the protagonist, Folder, is involuntarily placed under a spell that changes his gender. Jobe, outraged at the perp for doing so while completely disregarding Folder's own opinions on the subject and agreement to be so changed, proceeds to, in no uncertain terms, fuck his body up, like so:
    The right arm was lengthened to where it might drag behind the boy on the ground, if he could walk. The left arm was twisted and bent in so many angles that it seemed to be a knotted mess ‘just’ hanging from the shoulder. One collarbone jutted upwards while the other stuck out from the front of an oddly reformed chest. The legs and hips seemed to be similarly effected, though the toes on one foot were very nearly a foot long. Diaz’s mouth was disturbing in that the lower jaw appeared to have been pulled out half a foot, pinched and pulled downward and then twisted thirty or so degrees to the right.
    • Nope, it wasn't Jobe who did this, it was Folder. Jobe offered to fix the damage ... subject to some conditions.
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: The Three Little Witches:
    Palantir and Abra reached up and applied all their might into keeping the shelf from falling. Clover scrambled to her feet and pushed. Together, they shoved the tall bookshelf back-
    -so far back that the bookcase tipped over the other way, hitting the bookcase on the other side, tipping IT over, creating a domino effect. Fortunately, it only tipped over three more bookcases, but from where the Three Little Witches stood, it was a scene of horrific devastation.
  • Boring Invincible Hero:
    • Team Kimba have never lost as a group. Take that as you will. To be fair, they did get badly beaten up in the climax of Ayla and the Birthday Brawl, wherein nobody got killed, but none of the bad guys got beaten and the team as a whole were badly hurt.
    • Tennyo can look like this to those who don't know her better, but Chaka may be a better example. Tennyo is a walking Person of Mass Destruction and Made of Iron, but has serious psychological issues and has in fact 'lost' or come dangerously close to it a number of times; meanwhile, Chaka's do-anything ki mastery has so far let her merrily skip through life beating any challenges she encounters while making it look easy.
    • The unique personalities, however, may allow them to move to the level of Showy Invincible Hero, and they STILL have issues with personality. Individual members can, and will, be defeated big-time. Interestingly enough, they ARE getting this reputation around the school.
    • And now they've gotten their asses kicked in a simulation against baselines, created specifically by their instructors to make sure they aren't getting too confident in their abilities. 4 died in-sim, not including 2 others who would have bought it without their Healing Factor
    • Ayla's stories tend to focus a lot on aspects outside of combat, such as social networking and building up from scratch the economic empire that Ayla would have inherited if he had not been a mutant. But when it does come to combat, Ayla is so used to the level of his invincible teammates, and the equally powerful opponents he fights, that he is repeatedly shocked to realise how many people consider him a Boring Invincible Hero. That is, if they consider him a hero...
    • In Ayla and the Mad Scientist, the team minus Lancer and Phase are obliterated by the Grunts, courtesy of Bomber's opening move, in a sim they didn't know they would have. They went in blind and started by getting nuked, only Chaka and Shroud avoiding it. They got even in a later sim.
    • Ultimately most of them except Phase are explicitly excluded from the secret "Atlantean League" the students put together to fight the ultimate enemy because they are either too precious (Fey), too dangerous (Tennyo), too inscrutable (Bladedancer), or both too dangerous and inscrutable (Sara). No one even thinks to consider Jade.
  • Breakfast Club: Apart from Team Kimba, there's also the Outcast Corner, a group of inhuman looking ragers and a blind guy.
  • Breast Attack: Discussed in Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 9), Ayla manages to hit Chaka by accidentally hitting her in the boob by sticking his baton though his intangible body while Chaka was behind him.
    “Dammit Phase, you stabbed me right in the boob!”
  • Brick Joke: Quite a few, often occurring in Ayla's stories, along with standard Continuity nods.
    • Early in Bek D. Corbin's The Big Idea the Alphas decide to prank the protagonist by painting his room pink and more while he is indisposed elsewhere. Halfway through he's forced to switch rooms with a villain due to roommate problems. Said villain is shown wondering why the room is pink.
    • Example of Diane Castle's Brick Jokes? In Maggie Finson/Babs Yernukle's Christmas Elves, Jade receives a purse, big enough to put a floor lamp in. A few months later, in Ayla And The Great Shoulder Angel conspiracy, Jade is asked to empty out her purse. Sure enough, she pulls out a floor lamp (it's not the same one, though.)
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    Negator didn’t say anything, he just hid in the bushes and created yellow snow.
    “It’s Hellfire Sheba!” Clover blurted, wetting herself in fear.
  • British Teeth: The Second Book of Jobe (Part 1):
    Belphegor. The boy (you certainly can’t call him a man) is a classic product of the British dental system. Not only does he have rodent-worthy buck teeth, the rest of his teeth are either irregular, or repaired with obvious silver fillings.
  • Broken Aesop: Sara has a speech on how she doesn't understand why humans are so possessive of the people they love and uses branding as a metaphor, no one points out that she has branded people she loves with a demon mark; demon marks are irreversible marks of ownership, if you have one the demon owns your soul and can control you almost utterly any time they want.
  • Brother Chuck: Whatever happened to Feral? Also an example of Real Life Writes the Plot.
    • She's still there both as a member of Judicator's faction within the New Olympians and as a member of Sara's Pack. Except now she's almost entirely in the background since the author never had the chance to develop her.
    • Definitely fits this trope now that the New Olympians, and Judicator, are in major focus. Feral is just not mentioned, even as 'oh, she's over there'.
  • Butt Monkey: Greasy. In fact, he actually shifts to The Woobie, at times.
    • Josie Gilman. Fate conspires to humiliate her no matter what happens.
  • Bungling Inventor: Devisors and Gadgeteers. They're students after all, and sometimes things go "bang".
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Yama Dojo ninjas. Fey and the Necromancer have also done this when battling each other, and Chaka does this with her Chaka Chaka Bang Bang. It's noted that in magical duels calling your attacks is you can psych out your opponent by casting something called Murrigan's Wind or call the WRONG attack and throw off their defenses.
  • Cape Busters:
    • The Dragonslayers are a group which shot to fame when they put down a mutant rager who had killed dozens of people and done a whole lot of damage to the city of Darwin. The Dragonslayers had pretty much retired until they mixed it up with the Lamplighter when said super"hero" decided to pick on a bunch of teenagers.
    • They seem to have been replaced by the Knights of Purity, a bunch of baselines in powered armor who fight mutants. We have seen from various points of view that some seem to help mutants (one protected Chaka and offered medical assistance), while others seem to hate mutants (Knight Commander Vernon Swive not only hates mutants but has made it his personal mission to kill all the Loose Cannons before anyone can find out that he shot one of them in the back).
    • Making sure that mutants don't become a menace to baseline humanity is precisely what the much-maligned Mutant Commission Office is technically all about. In practice, they tend to fall into the 'covert black ops' category while doing their best to keep looking officially legitimate because they're an international organization that needs government permission in order to be able to legally operate in a given country at all. Thus far, they do have that permission in a lot of countries (with a couple of small nations ruled by supervillains as the main exceptions), and their presence in the US in particular is certainly felt.
  • Captain Ersatz: Hello, Ryoko Tennyo. It's very much acknowledged in the stories, and at least one clique considers her to obviously be the real deal, which may cause problems later.
  • Captain Superhero: Played with: School rules specifically forbid including ranks or titles like "Captain" and "Doctor" in your code name if you have not earned them in real life. There's some juvenile grousing about the unfairness of it all and some unofficial cheating at the margins but you can see why the faculty and staff who have actually earned those ranks, titles and degrees would find the whole idea of High School kids using them unacceptably pretentious.
  • Caps Lock: For the messages on Interface's devices in The Big Idea:
    Hiding his arm, he started tapping out a message on his console and shot an I-message to the others: [Reach: THIS IS 2 GUD 2 B TRU. REZ, I-M S-B & VERIFY]
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Quite literally in some cases.
  • The Casanova: Plenty of mid- and high-level Exemplars are perfectly willing to exploit their superhuman masculinity to get lots of nookie, with Don Sebastiano at the top of the list at Whateley currently. Outside the school, the most notorious of these is Captain Courage, who got dubbed 'Captain Condom' by the tabloids after the news broke that he was the subject of hundreds of paternity suits; he is rumored to have fled the country to escape from his crushing child-support payments.
  • Cast Herd: Most characters are part of a team, making it somewhat easier to sort out which character is which. The herds do have a habit of intermingling, though.
  • Casting a Shadow: There seem to be a number of these in the Whateley Universe right now. Nacht can manipulate shadows as a semi-solid substance, and move through shadows from one place to another, among other effects, and is a Deadpan Snarker with a Supervillain mother, but she seems (so far) to be neutral. Blacklight may be a villain in training with some "darkness powers". They don't all have the same weaknesses, and Canon has it that some of them got the powers from a magical source, so rules of physics need not apply.
  • Catch Phrase: Ayla, and the Goodkind family, have "Goodkinds don't complain. They fix things."
  • Cat Girl: Feral, Miyet, and Paige for starters...
  • Chainmail Bikini: but not as armor; see Wardrobe Malfunction, below.
    • At least one major superheroine, the speedster brick Beach Bunny, does wear a chainmail bikini in the usual manner, but it's mostly for show; when one of the students tries to emulate her, she discovers that it doesn't work out well for your typical Fragile Speedster, causing her serious chafing in places which don't chafe well.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Inverted with Nacht, who never imagined that the villainess who raised her wasn't her real mother. Given what an amoral monster that villainess was, she was actually thrilled to learn this.
  • Character Development: With hundreds of stories or chapters written in the series, Character Development is a given. While some, such as Chaka, don't deviate very far from their original personalities, other characters can be seen growing and changing in various ways.
  • Character Focus: There's around a dozen canon authors, all of whom write about different characters. Has generally mellowed out to focus on Ayla and through Ayla, Team Kimba, along with whatever Bek is working on.
  • "Character Name and the Noun" Phrase: All the Ayla stories are named like this.
    • "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind"
    • "Ayla and the Blackmailer"
    • "Ayla and the New School"
    • "Ayla and the Tests"
    • "Ayla and the Networks"
    • "Ayla and the Grinch"
    • "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy"
    • "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl"
    • "Ayla and the Mad Scientist"
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Ayla and the Test, Phase offhandedly considers the problems involved in setting up a mutant-focused webspider. In Ayla and the Networks, two stories later, he's able to use this to entrap Stopwatch after Stopwatch tries to steal data from his laptop.
  • Chekhov's Gunman
  • The Chew Toy: Merry. When she's split into Paige and Petra, Paige (as far as the readers know, because she only appears as a minor character since then) gets a reprieve. Petra, unfortunately, picks up Paige's slack.
  • Child Mage:
    • The Three Little Witches who are all Junior High students, and so, start being mages while pre-teenage.
    • Paige St. Claire from Written In Blood: Part 1, who has been learning magic all her life.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Ayla, definitely.
  • The Chosen One:
    • Chou Lee certainly qualifies, and is not happy with what the Tao requires.
    • Nikki Reilly too, but she's OK with her destiny.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Can result from 'Galahad Syndrome' in Exemplars; cf. With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, below.
    • Ayla's determination to solve the problems of everyone around him reaches epic proportions at times.
  • Church Militant: The Catholic Church, in the Whateley Universe, not only has the Inquisition (who has mellowed out somewhat since the Dark Ages), but another group called the Knights of the Church. The Knights are a bit of an odd duck, though: they, on occasion, include non Catholics and Pagans into their group, and their newest member is very close to a lust goddess. Oh, and she gets the fun position of official messenger to the Knights from Satan.
  • Clean Cut:
    • The magical empathic sword Destiny's Wave, in the hands of its rightful wielder, the Handmaid Of The Tao, it can cut through anything (even unstoppable superhuman bricks) if the Tao requires it. At other times, it is as blunt and harmless as you'd expect of a blade made of white jade.
    • The sword wielded by Tennyo, which is made of anti-matter.
  • Code Name: Every mutant (and thus, every pupil) is required to have one. Jobe Wilkins takes advantage of the fact that no rules say your codename can't simply be your actual name, and Jimmy T only made a token effort. Unfortunately an ill-chosen code name like Megadeath or Power Pork can either follow you for life or leave you open to insults like "Boob Job" for "Boom Job".
  • Combat Commentator: During the Combat Finals, Peeper and Greasy fulfill this, adding unnecessarily lustful and degrading comments about female participants (almost completely Peeper). At one point, Jericho and Razorback forcefully take over this position after they get a little too sexist about their teammate Diamondback.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Sensei Ito. He encourages this in all of his students.
  • Combat Tentacles: Sara Waite
  • Combo Platter Powers: Common, but there's a few characters that stand out, such as Tennyo, Jimmy T, and Merry/Paige/Petra. Power mimics like Counterpoint can create their own combo platters. Power mimic Mimeo combines the powers of Phase, Tennyo, Lancer, and Fey during the battle outside the Roxbury C Supermax Prison. After wiping up the floor with all comers and escaping, he then used those powers to hold up a nearly-impregnable diamond exchange.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Much of the humor in Jobe's viewpoint stories comes from his total failure to understand why most of the people he "helps" hate him so much.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Ayla, despite having just insisted that he has no intention of becoming a superhero, expounds this premise at length. Fubar calls him on the inconsistency, with the exact phrase even.
    "I don’t see it as playing superhero. I don’t want to be one of the spandex set. I just…” I had to think about it for a second. “...I need to help people. It’s my upbringing. Goodkinds are raised to think about how their actions affect others. We’re raised to.. well.. if we were royalty, it would be called noblesse oblige. We run a large portion of the planet, and we know that people depend on us. We have an obligation to help those people. Just because it’s inconvenient, or difficult, or something we’d rather avoid, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. I can’t look at something like those monsters and just say ‘oh let someone else get it’. That’s not how I was raised.”
    Louis smiled, “With great power comes great responsibility? That sounds like a superhero credo to me, Phase.”
    I sighed, “I’m not Peter Parker. Let’s re-phrase that as: ‘with great economic power comes great social responsibility’. Better?”
    He was still smirking.
  • Compassionate Critic
  • Compelling Voice: A Stock Superpower for Sirens, including Vox.
  • Compulsory School Age: Carmilla and Eldritch. Samantha, despite her apparent age, doesn't become a student. Vamp.
    • In Carmilla's defence, she isn't doing any of the normal high school classes. Just the ones that relate to her mutant power. Same applies to Eldritch.
    • Samantha's new body is 18 so it's not a subversion.
    • Now Ribbon has gotten into the act, too. Given that she went from fifty to eleven in a few days, and is expected to look like a pre-teen for several years to come, this is at least a plausible answer for her current problems, but is only a short-term solution.
  • Comic-Book Time: Subtly referenced and mocked with Headmistress Carson, who looked like a teenager well into her thirties, and is currently around eighty and looks to be in her late thirties. Carson has remarked at least once that this was not a pleasent experience for her.
  • Comic Trio
  • Conveniently Common Kink: Transgenderism, specifically male-to-female transgenderism, with bisexuality a close second.
    • While gender transformation is the main focus of the series, bisexuality is actually the more common of the two: current students either shown in series or said by Word of God to be bisexual include Chaka, Fey, Vox, Carmilla, Bladedancer, Gateway, Jobe (after being transformed, partly due to the Drow serum itself and partly through Carmilla's psychic manipulation), Belphoebe, Loophole, Michelangelo, Gabriel, Flux, Duplex, Macrobiotic (though this may be just a political stance to support Saladin's coming out), Imperious, Counterpoint (in so far as he's willing to rape anyone he beats when he can get away with it), Don Sebastiano (at least if he can cause enough suffering to someone through it), and Vamp.
  • Cool Loser
  • Cool Old Guy: Ito-sensei and Gunny Bardue. Headmistress Carson is of the female variety, despite looking middle aged.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Headmistress Carson is well known for her creative approach to school discipline, with work detentions tailored to the offending student being particularly common.
    • Phase is simply in love with this trope as a way of getting back for pranks. Often the 'punishment' is an unwanted gift of some kind (e.g., he sent Fey, a vegetarian, a magazine subscription on different ways of preparing meat, in retaliation for turning the 'special' shower settings on when he was washing up), or one with a boobytrap of some sort (e.g., giving Peeper a devise electronic tablet that isn't affected by his power, thus letting him browse Internet porn again - and then warning him that it would be shut off by remote if he didn't stop harassing the female students).
  • Cool Starship: Tennyo eventually finds one. It was parked on the moon for millenia, and she finds a memory crystal connected to it in the Whateley Library. It recognizes her as it's rightful captain, and and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: While not very many have been seen in story, it is a part of the background of The Verse that these types are largely the reason why many gadgeteers and devisors go rogue (though Diedrick's Syndrome is a common factor, too).
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Part of the mishmash setting, complete with Eldritch Abominations and Tomes of Eldritch Lore; Carmilla is descended from at least one, if not two of these. Seems to run on Derleth's good vs evil interpretation of Lovecraft's material as opposed to Lovecraft's more chaotic and amoral world. But we don't know for sure yet, and Word of God hasn't clarified it. The school has a special classification for cosmic horror students, "Class X Entities".
  • Cosmic Plaything: Josie Gilman, due to the attentions of both several Great Old Ones and the now-barely-human Ecila Mason.
    • Pejuta seems to draw some of this as well, due to the interference of her enemies among the Native American spirits.
    • Circuit Breaker actually describes her life as a 'cosmic comedy'.
  • Crime Fighting With Cash: Not uncommon, given the number of superheroes who use Power Armor and similar things. One of Phase's goals is to literally apply money to the problem of supervillainy, by providing lucrative deals to Devisors and Gadgeteers for their work, thus making them less likely to turn to crime in the first place. In the shorter term, he has a cadre of inventive students acting as weaponsmiths for him, providing him with everything from a utility belt that is larger on the inside to a collapsible tac baton made from Adamantium. He has spent literally millions on these gadgets and devises, mostly just to give him an edge against the many super-powered bullies at Whateley.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Side-effect of All Myths Are True (or possibly an alternate interpretation of the world; the pages are vague)
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jade's solution to the fact that the obviously powerful are the first to get targeted. In addition the entire Team Kimba team has a talisman that makes eavesdroppers think they are acting like 15 year old high school girls when they're talking combat strategy. A LOT of characters work out this way. Take Jobe, for instance. He's not a moron in the intelligence sense of the word, but he's an utterly unsympathetic character from the outside, and not a lot better from the inside. On the face of things, he looks like a typically squishy, physically clueless nerd. Until he reveals he's been trained in martial arts since his early days, and has damn good strategic intelligence on top of it, enough to thoroughly play a team of trainee covert ops kids in the Bad Seeds christmas story.
  • Crush Blush: Also a Luminescent Blush, after Ace and A-Plus's Love Confessions by proxy, they "blushed beet red".
  • Crystal Skull: Silent Nacht (Chapter 5): "a large, human-sized crystal skull" being "the crystal skull of the Gravewarden, a third-tier supervillain" that can
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Team Kimba hands out one in "The Turks or the Geek". Once the sonic emitters are taken out, the entire school gets into one of these on Halloween.
  • Cute Bruiser: There are plenty of them at Whateley Academy, since these are future superheroes (and supervillains and superpowered people trying not to be either). Of the main characters, Tennyo and Phase fit this trope. But the best match is probably Desidera, codenamed 'Diz Aster', an 11-year-old girl who's at Whateley because there's no other place safe to hold her. She is a PK supergirl who can apply 8 tons of force at a mere touch. And she can't turn it off. She does everything with 8 tons of force. Typing. Opening the door. Changing clothes. She can't leave her room without putting on a special power armor suit whose sole purpose is to 'use up' her PK force and keep her from destroying everything she touches.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Carmilla, Paige, Tennyo
  • Cute Monster Girl: Kaiju
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Ayla's solution to the problem of gadgeteers and devisors turning to crime after being screwed over by some Corrupt Corporate Executive is to ensure that they get a fair deal - from him - in the first place.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Tennyo's death blow, which disintegrates both body and soul of the victim, to the point that even the particles that constituted their body evaporate into nothingness. She has nightmares about the one time she had to use it deliberately.
    • Pejuta is once warned by her spirit guides that some of the legendary powers of the Ptesanwi are so dangerous that she should avoid even thinking about them, lest she invoke them by accident.
  • Dark is Not Evil: Carmilla & the Pack. Gothmog. The Dragonslayers. The Bad Seeds (some of the time). El Penitente. Thuban and Faction Three (maybe). See also Light is Not Good below.
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • Part of why Imp agrees to go to Whateley as an art teacher is to get away from Superhawk, whom she had developed a romantic interest in.
    • Vamp used this as a ploy to get sympathy from Skyhawk, who fell for it hook, line and sinker.
    • Dragonblade is the result of a liaison between the hero Shadowmage and cult leader The Witch Queen. The custody battle that occurred when Shadowmage found out about A.J. was apparently quite spectacular.
    • She-Beast suspects that her real mother is the superheroine White Witch, and when she was younger imagined that this was what happened. She's still not sure who her mother really was, but she's no longer quite so sanguine about the relationship.
  • Day in the Life
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Deconstruction: The series liberally mixes deconstructions with TakeThats and AffectionateParodies, until it is hard to say for sure which is which.
    • The entire concept of mutant powers, which is central to the series, is deconstructed with most of the Hawthorne Cottage residents.
    • Some aspects of the Champion serve to deconstruct Superman, especially Champion's (purely psychological) Kryptonite Factor and his imaginary Origin Story. This is seen most clearly in what Mephisto the Magician says about him.
    • The Cadet Crusaders deconstruct the concept of a 'teen sidekick team', specifically the Teen Titans. Two members of the CC also serve to deconstruct the 'team of Artificial Person superheroes' concept al la DNAgents.
  • Depending on the Writer: Being a multi-writer verse, it's inevitable.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells
  • Depraved Bisexual: More than a few, with Don Sebastiano (a sadist who gets his kicks humiliating both opponents and lovers alike, and was more than happy to use both Skybolt and Cavalier as sex slaves), Counterpoint (who will gleefully to rape vanquished enemies when he can get away with it, and doesn't much care about what sex they are - he is the physical incarnation Ares, after all, and he never showed much distinction in the past either), and Michelangelo (a brutally physical sadist who has managed to drive away almost every possible lover at Poe) standing out.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Fubar got this treatment at Halloween.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: But the headmistress points out that having been seen to near-single-handedly defeat The Dragon/Big Bad and his Mooks is not a good thing - because now it means that all the other villains are going to consider them serious threats.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Anybody who's received the attentions of Sara Waite.
  • Different for Girls
  • Dirt Forcefield: Part of some people's powers. It's why Pristine has her particular codename.
  • Disability Superpower: Inverted: Hawthorne is full of kids who are effectively disabled by their own powers because a lack adequate control or Required Secondary Powers make them a danger to themselves or others.
  • Discard and Draw: Potentially a result of burnout, as well as increasing or decreasing powers, however it is never considered a good thing as it can cause deformation and death.
  • Discriminate and Switch: In A Fistful of Chaka, Toni meets Koehnes, an Earth spirit serving Nikki as a maid. Koehnes tries to kick her out, and screams about how horrific it is that the Queen of the West has to share her room with a- and while Toni expects something racial, she instead gets 'With a mortal'. Toni's response, hilariously, is 'Ooh, she said it! She said the M word!'
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A very common problem, when you have a lot of emotionally-overcharged teens with superpowers in the area of a largish private school. Counterpoint is, not surprisingly, king of this trope.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: several, as well as some dogged nice girls. Harlan Sawyer is probably the best example.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Aries is now working as a spy on The Don for both Phase and Kodiak while pretending to be a spy on Kodiak for The Don. If that wasn't enough, he has also come clean to Chief Delarose, the results of that are yet to be seen. But seems to be spying for the police, too.
  • Dumb Blonde: Discussed, mentally, by Mrs. Carson in reference to a newsreader in Kayda 9.
    a bleach-blonde newsreader who probably had never heard of South Dakota before it was on the teleprompter. Mrs. Carson caught herself with that thought; it wasn't fair to the woman that she looked like an airhead blonde.
  • Dragged into Drag: The typical fate of anyone who resists the Third Law of Gender Bending, though at least one case of it happening to a physically male character occurs in the Halloween arc.
    • Phase hates that this keeps happening to him.
    • Josie's older sister pulls this on her to keep Josie from moping about her transformation.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Gunny Bardue and especially Erik Mahren, to the point that most students and security personnel knew him as "that asshole".
  • Drop the Hammer:
    • The superpowered mutant Sledge wields a big sledgehammer, and as fits the trope, is a Scary Black Man.
    • Donner is Swedish, has trouble with English, and wields a warhammer much like Thor, right down to the Marvel Comics trick of hurling it (well, using Energizer powers to move it through the air) and letting it pull him after.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: There have been occasional references to 'Quinzel-Osborn Syndrome', a form of bipolar disorder in which the 'manic' periods are characterized by a violent euphoria during which the subject literally appears to be intoxicated by violence and cruelty.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: The Transfer Students:
    "Desdemona is normally played by a blonde," he said with a sheepish grin. "Would you have any aversion to dyeing your hair for the production?"
    "I never have…" I told him hesitantly. "Couldn't I just wear a wig?"
  • Ear Ache: The Three Little Witches:
    Foxfire and the other Lit Chix dragged Palantir and Abracadabra over to the web. Foxfire had Palantir by her ear, and wasn’t letting go.
  • Eat the Dog: Sara/Carmilla sucks the souls from dogs and other animals with her tentacles, for most meals. Yes, she's one of the good guys, at least at the moment... But the way she eats cause her tons of grief, especially early on. She very blatantly had puppies in her box at least once. And a lot of times old, worn out dogs who suffered more by living, and seemed to want a release from it. Right from the local pound in Dunwich.
    • For that matter, the school cafeteria, having to deal with the dietary needs and occasionally odd tastes of hundreds of mutant teenagers, seems generally able to provide pretty much anything if given sufficient notice in advance. In one Heyoka story, one Jerk Jock is forced to literally eat dog (though not a live one) in front of all the other students in order to break a curse he's brought on himself.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: The nearby town is named after a town from a H.P. Lovecraft story and has a high school for mutants, heroes, and monsters. One doesn't ask too many questions.
  • Elaborate University High: Whateley Academy: Seven dorms, a physical education building with a large annex, three swimming pools, two full-sized indoor gymnasiums, a cafeteria that's inside a geodesic dome big enough to seat maybe six hundred, several large school buildings, an astronomy tower, a university-sized library that has really restricted sections, a church, a massive campus store, and miles and miles of underground areas, including: a power plant, three combat arenas and a holographic simulation center, dozens and dozens of public and private labs for the devisers and gadgeteers, you name it. It's so big it has its own building for the security teams.
  • Eldritch Abomination
  • Elemental Absorption:
    • Nacht of has magical darkness powers, and can absorb light-based attacks and make herself more powerful.
    • Blot just absorbs all energy radiating on him all the time, which is why he looks like a human-shaped black spot all the time.
  • Elemental Baggage: Played straight by stronger mutants, but averted by weaker ones.
  • Elemental Powers: Several of the superpowered teenagers at Whateley Academy have elemental powers.
    • Riptide has control over water. Fireball and Phoenixfire have fire-based powers. Imperious has the ability to cast lightning bolts, and super strength.
    • Imperious likely also has wind/air-based powers, due to being Zeus.
    • In at least one case, "reality" somewhat randomly chose to reassert itself: Frostbite technically has hydrokinesis (the power to move water at a distance), but doing so uses up the energy contained in the water in the form of heat...and she can explicitly not manipulate ice, leaving her somewhat blessed with suck.
  • Electric Black Guy: Jamal Castle, codenamed Jolt, a Electrical Energizer, meaning he has some electrical abilities, and is black as an episode of his Power Incontinence was described as "The black kid yelped and suddenly erupted in a crackling field of arcing electricity".
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Chaka, whose middle name is Marc, previously Mark.
  • Emotion Eater: Sara and El Penitente.
  • The Empath: Seraphim. Jinn, Sara/Carmilla and a few others have a variation, wherein they see people's emotions as colors (purple lust, green jealousy, red rage...) but don't experience the emotions themselves.
  • Emperor Scientist: Joe Wilkins, AKA Gizmatic, who conquered a minor Caribbean island and transformed it into the Empire of Karedonia, complete with tax-free offshore banking, robotic police, time-share supervillian lairs, and an artificial volcano that quintupled the size of the island and provided it a steady income from mining industries. The instability of this setup is itself part of the island's defenses: anyone who manages to beat Gizmatic would have to figure out how to keep the volcano stable, lest it collapse the entire island and swamp the whole region with a mega-tsunami.
  • Enemy Mine: In the last chapter of Birthday Brawl, Tennyo and a group of supervillains team up to dig out of Rox C after the Necromancer trapped them there.
  • Energy Absorption: Several students in can absorb energy in one way or another.
    • Buster can only absorb kinetic energy attacks.
    • Blot absorbs all E-M radiation, which is why he looks like a living blackness; the more radiation he absorbs, the stronger he gets.
    • Several characters, like Icer, absorb heat and can use that ability in an Iceman-like way.
    • A couple, like Negator, can absorb or block whatever energy or phlebotinum powers other mutants' superpowers.
    • And Lancer, a PK brick, can absorb energy attacks and fire them back at his opponents.
  • Entitled Bastard: Pretty common when inherited wealth meets with mutant powers. Jobe, several of the Alphas (naturally), most of the New Olympians (no surprise there), some of the Golden Kids (ditto), and at the very least Fantastico and Oiler of the Good Ol' Boyz all fit this trope to varying degrees..
  • Entry Pimp: Infamously, one fan added hundreds of web links throughout TV Tropes to Whateley without creating the actual Whateley Universe entry, requiring lots of cleanup and creating a lot of ill will.
  • Escaped from Hell: Jade escapes from Sara's personal hell dimension in Tennyo Goes To Hell, though an aspect of herself also gets left behind. Fortunately, that part of herself has achieved everything she ever wanted making it a somewhat confusing example.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Most of the main characters get them:
    • Chaka starts off as a young black teenage boy sharing a room with his unpleasant Gangsta Wannabe older brother, except he's not only becoming a mutant and having to go to a Superhero School but turning into a girl as well, because this setting is basically X-Men with the gay rights allegory promoted from subtext to an actual plot point... And she is absolutely goddamn stoked about it. She also loudly and angrily calls her brother out on his bullshit.
    • The headmistress, Dr. Elizabeth Carson, gives the welcome speech and immediately comes across as someone you'd better not cross. Then later on, at Halloween, we meet her other identity, Lady Astarte, and we find out she's really someone you shouldn't tick off.
    • Trevor James Goodkind is a Sheltered Aristocrat, heir to billions in a wealthy anti-mutant business family and being groomed to be one of the Goodkinds who takes over the reins of power. We first see him and his family at dinner, being waited on, having a staff of chefs, and Trevor is plotting about how, when he grows up, he's going to get his favorite chef to come with him when he moves out. The next morning, he manifests as a mutant and things rapidly go downhill from there, with a series of Break the Haughty scenes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's mentioned very explicitly that one of the few things you can do to get everyone with powers of some sort trying to kill you is to blackmail, threaten, or attack one of the student's families. Even supervillains have families and kids, after all — some of which are at Whateley. Specifically, it's said that the last group who tried to threaten a student's family was made the senior project of that year - and that, of the members of the group still living, every last damn one of them is on life support...and profusely grateful to be in jail.
    • Some of Reverend Goodhope's 'thugs' are dumb enough to do this, and they're dealt with. Very quickly. Very brutally.
    • As of the very end of part 4 of 'Five Elements Dancing', an evil cult tries to blackmail a student by threatening the families of her friends at school. Headmistress Carson calls the alumni association, and suddenly all of the superhero alumni are looking the other way while the supervillain alumni take action.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jobe Wilkins is a sick fuck, but he utterly despises people who disregard the free will of others. Though he's also shown to be a bit of hypocrite about this. He doesn't count things like overriding someones nervous system (you're not controlling their mind, they just can't do anything about it) or making sex with someone addictive (his Drow physiologically imprint on the first person they have sex with). And he's in serious denial about his mother being under mind control from his father.
    • Mephisto claims that the purpose of his 'Satanikos' scam - a purported 'Satanic Child Abuse Conspiracy' - was intended to undermine a very real plan by the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom to arrange fake 'adoptions' of children so they could sacrifice them to demons in exchange for power.
    Mephisto: Now, I’ll admit that the Brotherhood doesn’t play nice. Hell, by the standards that the vast majority of the populace subscribes to, we’re evil as hell. BUT, we have the long-term good of the human race at heart. Selling kids to the Pit does NOT serve the greater good in any way, shape or form. There is shit even WE don’t put up with, and the Grand Hall is a textbook example of what we don’t put up with.
    • Gen 2: The cult which kidnapped Dragonsfyre in order to make her a living power source managed to offend the sensibilities of two demons enough that they gave her advice on how to escape from them. Considering that they had just jacked up her BIT and made her a Gender Bender in the process says that whatever they were planning for her would have been much, much worse.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Variation; Even the Gays Want Her How bad is this? Even THE FOUR ELEMENTS WANT HER!
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: It's on the bloody curriculum. True, the introductory combat and survival classes aren't strictly speaking mandatory, but the twice-annual Combat Finals are. Only a handful of confirmed conscientious objectors get out of taking the martial arts courses, and most of those end up wishing they had.
    • At least one of the survival classes is purely escape and evasion techniques for students who aren't physically or mentally suited for combat. And students who figure out how to solve their combat finals without actual combat usually get better grades.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Well, not everyone, but (perhaps usurprisingly) a large percentage of the adult characters are Whately graduates, and some of the world's most powerful superheroes and supervillains are still fuming,fussing or feuding over high school slights, grudges or crushes.
  • Extranormal Institute: The Arkham Research Consortium (ARC).
  • Extra-ore-dinary:
    • The character Silver secretes mithril and can shape it into weapons.
    • Lodestone has some ferrokinetic abilty.
  • Eye Beams: There are a few:
    • Fantastico has some kind of Superman-like heat vision.
    • Silent Nacht (Chapter 5): The "power item of the Green Gorgon" is an "overbuilt headset with a massive visor" that "shoots out rays that blind people, or paralyze them, or-" some other things.
  • Eye Scream: It's All In The Timing:
    she attacked me and clawed out my eye
  • Facepalm: In Charge: le Snob Francais:
    Adalie face-palmed
  • Fascinating Eyebrow:
    Al-Feyez raised an imperious eyebrow. “And what about that insane ‘Halloween’ holiday of yours? How are you going to keep them apart during a night when the Malkuthean veils are so thin?”
    “Tanya Wright, or Invictus, which is Latin for 'unconquered.' It's nice to meet you.”
    The girl raised a quizzical eyebrow as she accepted the handshake[.]
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Do not screw with the BIT. It will not end well-for example, there was a man with a BIT that made him look like a crocodile. He had it changed to make him look like a handsome, completely normal man. Unfortunately, it gave him the mind of a crocodile and he went on a cannibalistic rampage. Which irritates Phase — physically female except for his genitals — to no end. It almost makes you wonder if a higher being is screwing with his life because they think it's funny.
  • Fainting Seer: Half-demons are not good for the health of precogs.
  • The Fair Folk: While the Faerie aren't quite so alien as the more extreme examples, they certainly have the arrogance, vengefulness, and caprice down pat. This seems to be somewhat moderated by their being reincarnated in (mutant) human form, making them more like modern ideas of Elves.
  • Fantastic Catholicism
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Sidhe, werebeasts, Lovecraftian horrors, they're all there. Along with avatars of ancient gods. Not delusional. Both Circe (THE Circe) and the Tao through Bladedancer acknowledge the fact that they are the ancient Greek gods stuffed into human bodies. Circe even calls one of them by name and says that it's good to see him again.
  • Fartillery: Miasma's powers. He did use it to good effect against Peeper, though.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Whateley Academy Academy actually encourages it. One of the teachers for the aikido classes is sensei Tolman, who is a Type 3: a black woman with superstrength and mental attack powers, who just prefers using aikido. And Aquerna is a Type 1: she has squirrel powers, so she is stronger and faster than a baseline human, which means she is considered a campus joke. She has been learning aikido, Le Parkour, and martial arts weapons.
  • First Law of Gender-Bending: A fundamental law within Whateley. Anyone who changes gender due to being an Exemplar cannot change back. Some shapeshifters and Reach (who flips between genders) are the exceptions. The current (possibly wrong) in universe theory as to why there are so many Gender Benders is that the spirit of evolution has decided to force mutants to out-breed humanity, and is helping that along by just making more female mutants — one way or another. Independent research would be impossible to obtain in order to test this theory...
  • First-Person Smartass: Phase.
  • Five-Man Band: Chaka is The Hero, Fey is The Lancer, Phase is The Smart Guy, Lancer and Tennyo are The Big Guys, and Generator is The Chick. Also in Ill Winds, the Grove assembles The Five: Fey as The Queen, Razorback as The Champion and Bard, Jericho as The Healer, Chaka as The Mistress of Chi and finally Chou as The Overseer of Balances.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Quite a few of the top scientists believe that magic is just psychic effects.
  • Flight: Every one of the listed ways of flight has been adopted by at least one of the characters. Of course, since it's at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy which has nearly 600 students plus a host of superpowered teachers, it's inevitable that a lot of people there can fly or have figured out how to fake it. One way not mentioned in the list at the top of the page: one girl with magical powers has given her horse wings so she can fly on the horse's back (her horse also magically communicates with her).
  • Flying Brick: Hank and many others; the term "brick" is often used in-universe.
  • Food Fight: When Tennyo gets a job as a cafeteria worker on-campus, some people who don't like her start one with her as the (first) target.
  • Food Porn: In Ayla's stories. In his first story, "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind", the contrast between gourmet fare and the stuff he can afford with a normal income is used to illustrate how widespread the major lifestyle changes he goes through are.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Subverted, Iron Star was actually going as Captain America, but using his powers wrecked the costume. Played straight too, since Tennyo went as Ryoko, and the rest of the team went as other Tenchi Muyo! characters. It's generally considered bad form to go to the Halloween party as "my super future self".
  • For Science!: A common excuse used by Mad Scientists in-universe, most notably Dr Macabre (who ironically isn't using science at all). Ironically, of all Devisors both at school and in the world as a whole, it is Jobe who seems to think of the consequences of his experiments more than anyone, though his unrestrained ego leads him to go ahead and perform them anyway.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Tansy Walcutt is an A-grade bitch, but considering what we know of her childhood and family life, one can't help but feel a little sorry for her.
    • Several of the Bad Seeds also fall into this category, Jobe and Nephandus in particular. In both cases, they were raised by particularly twisted parents who molded them into their own supervillainous mindsets. Nacht's mother seems to have tried to do the same, but somehow this got sidetracked into snarkiness and a chilling ability to frighten even the strongest opponents with just a glare.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Jobe is this to the rest of the Bad Seeds. Nephandus too.
    • Dr. Venus explains to Dr. Macabre not only why almost every other supervillain sees him this way, but also why he should care about what the people who have your back think of you.
  • Full Name Ultimatum:
    Anna grinned. “I know how that goes. When my mom gets mad at me, she calls me Anna Raquel Parsons. Real loud. Nobody ever uses my middle name except then.” She didn’t want to think about her mom never talking to her again.
    • Talked about in Written in Blood Part 1:
    The last thing I wanted was for my mom to realize that I’d been eavesdropping on her and then yell out with the dreaded, “Bryan Adam St. Claire.” Being called out by your full name was NEVER a good thing, and it NEVER led to anything good.
    • And then used:
    “Bryan Adam St. Claire,” Mom announced, using the dreaded full name. “You know we’re running late. You had better not make me wait on you when we leave…”
  • Functional Magic: runs the whole gamut, most prominently Wild Magic (Fey), Rule magic (mages) and Device magic (devisers)
  • Funetik Aksent: Some authors more than others.
  • Future Me Scares Me: In "It's All In The Timing", Toni and Nikki meet their evil alternate future selves who are trying to kill the current self of the other.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: A considerable part of the student body. Come in two main flavours:
    • Gadgeteers: Their power is a form of ESP that tells them exactly what tool, material, design etc. to use to build a machine, but their creations obey the normal laws of science. Once created, a gadgeteer's design can be patented, built in a factory by normal workers, and used by anyone.
    • Devisors: The real mad scientists. Their power allows them to impose their own personal reality, creating machines, drugs etc. that defy the laws of science. A devisor's creation is known as a "devise" (note the spelling). Devises can only be built by devisors, and often only work reliably for them, or at least in their presence.
    • Some rare individuals manifest both traits simultaneously, such as secondary character, and love-interest, Bunny "Bugs" Cormick. She cannot be certain whether she's breaking reality or not, until somebody else tries to build one of her inventions. Also, the closer to consensus reality a Devise is, the more reliable it tends to be, and the more like it is that a Gadgeteer can create a gadget that works similarly to it during a 'Devise test'.
  • Gag Boobs:
    • Jinn's breasts are turned into this in "Jade 7: Over the Top", as other students keep messing with her size settings.
    • Played seriously in "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", following a sabotaged attempt to return Phase to his former male self; Phase is pushed to the edge of a Heroic B.S.O.D. as his breasts keep growing almost to the point of immobility.
  • Gambit Pileup: Several, especially in the Phase and Silver Ghost stories.
    • In the second part of "Silver Ghost, Golden Angel", SPECTRUM try to deliberately cause one in order to smoke out Madcap/Golden Angel as well as two different Criminal Mastermind type supervillains - they need to draw "Golden Angel" (Madcap's 'superhero' persona) out in order to arrest her, so they arrange a press conference for Silver Ghost and SPECTRUM, but since both of the supervillains are trying to grab Madcap for their own reasons, they need to make sure that the two villains trip each other up long enough for the trap to be sprung. Throw in a bunch of political maneuvering by both pro- and anti-mutant groups, and anyone else who sees a profit for their own causes in showing up, and you have an epic mess.
  • The Gardener: (Mundane Gardeners): There are students, like Aquerna, who do groundskeeping, and the Academy has groundskeeping employees.
  • Gender Bender: Everyone in Team Kimba, and others besides. Jericho, Anna, and Jadis are the only major viewpoint characters not in this situation. Most of the support characters aren't either.
  • Genius Loci: The Grove, a powerful (and hostile) magical forest on the borders of the Academy, that only allows those it trusts in. It deeply trusts Fey (or more specifically, Aunghadhail), tolerates Totem and possibly Dr. Tanaka, and has a wary respect for Tennyo, but anyone else who enters uninvited is in for a terrifying ordeal - if they get out alive.
  • Ghostapo, Stupid Jetpack Hitler and Soviet Superscience: All the major combatants on both sides of WWII experimented heavily with both Super Soldiers and powerful magicks. This is speculated to have fueled the rise of the first large wave of mutants a generation later, and specifically is suggested to be why most of them appeared in the US, Europe and the USSR at first.
    • The Necromancer mentions in passing that he still thinks that the Holocaust would have succeeded in creating an unstoppable undead army if his work hadn't been cut short by the Allies.
  • Girl Posse: What, you were expecting something set in high school without at least one of these?
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Discussed in the Beautiful All Along example:
    the one who’s supposed to be a drab little geek, but you know that the second that she takes off her glasses and lets her hair down, she’s absolutely gorgeous.
  • Glowing Eyes: Steel Ribbon: Mystery Woman has "glowing green eyes".
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Phase has a pair of Cool Shades that convert all colors to black, white, and gray so she can talk to Jericho without heaving.
    • Side character Josie Gilman has to wear special nerd glasses that screen out the Eldritch Abominations clawing around the interstices of our reality thanks to an ancient family curse.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Yama Dojo ninjas definitely count as this. The Vindicators might come close, and a few others follow the general idea.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Non-story example: Doctor Bender created his Lit Chix avatar, Arachne, gave her spider powers as a nod to his own past… and in the process made his avatar unwriteable: he said in an interview that he has absolutely no interest in writing a spider-avatar, and that he isn't too keen on writing a female avatar of himself either. Arachne has appeared only as a minor character and probably won't be getting a story to herself unless she gets retconned.
  • Good Bad Girl: Several, but Sara stands out.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Most of the "good" characters are quite prepared to bully, threaten and intimidate anyone they regard (usually with good reason) as their enemy.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal:
    • Subversion, in that it's mentioned that the evidence for Tennyo actually having been in danger during the Training from Hell that she got put through by accident, would be more compelling if she didn't heal so fast.
    • Also subverted in that healing factors come with a host of problems, such as making certain kinds of surgery much more difficult, resistance to medicines (including anasthetics, see surgery), and making cancer more deadly, rather than less.
    • Petra finds out the hard way what happens when a regenerator does too many full body regenerations in a small time frame: brittle bones and a lot of physical therapy.
    • Recently played straight, with the fallout from the Alphas hiring a couple of geeks to take out the safeties in the sims.
    • In the combat final with Lancer and Hippolyta versus Eldritch, Hippolyta makes the mistake of pushing the uncooperative Eldritch too hard. She gets her neck snapped for her trouble.
    • Counterpoint used to be a regenerator. Then he went up against Jobe and Belphoebe. They both got beaten up pretty badly, but they regenerated. Unfortunately for Counterpoint, he pissed them off enough that Jobe got Belphoebe to inject him with a serum that has removed his power to regenerate- and he can't copy anyone else's regenerating power.
    • Horrifically subverted when, after Jade actually managed to become female, she reverts to male, now with high-level regeneration. Her response to this is pure Nightmare Fuel.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Mutant Control Commission Office (MCO) is nominally a world-wide private organization with mutant-control powers varying from country to country by treaty. Responsible for defining the international Mutant ID (MID) card standard that many countries have adopted.
  • The Greatest Style: It's called "Do", and is Discussed in Tea and Synergy:
    ‘Do’. The ‘Sun Source’ Martial Art, of which all other schools are fragments, or pale reflections. ... Do would be perfectly flexible in its application and perfectly suitable to the dynamics of the human form. And Do wouldn’t be limited to hand to hand combat ... or even combat. Do would apply to EVERYTHING!
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Imp's stories cast the villain/hero conflicts into this: on the one hand, supervillains do commit crimes, but on the other hand, some of them often show more regard for people than the so-called 'heroes' do, and a lot of heroes use bad tactics and unreasonable amounts of force when dealing with criminals.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Carson does this with Kodiak in 'The Secret Of Forger's List I'
  • Groin Attack: Carl, Jade, Ayla, and Jobe, as well as others, are subjected to this at one point or another. Carl's is seen as funny, because he can regenerate anyways, and he really deserved it, Jade's incident is treated humorously (and was self inflicted during practice), Ayla's (caused by Jade and Fey as a prank) not so much, and Jobe's... REALLY not funny.
    • Jade has a different event which would qualify, even though it is self-inflicted, which is both tragic and extremely disturbing: after having successfully transformed into a female, she gets transformed back to her older form, but now with a high level of regeneration. She takes this so poorly that she repeatedly hacked off her male genitals, until passing out from blood loss. This took several hours, during which she became more and more manic over it.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Animen, who are a genetically engineered, anthropomorphic race of human/animal hybrids.
  • Hammered into the Ground: During "Boston Brawl II", Tennyo is stomped on by Matterhorn. She's durable enough that this embeds her into the asphalt rather than crushing her.
  • Hand Blast:
    • Chaka has picked up one of these from watching a ninja use a Ki attack on her. She calls it the 'Chaka Chaka Bang Bang'.
    • Plenty of Energizers like Golden Girl can do it too.
  • Hand in the Hole: Tennyo's Easter (Chapter 3) has The Captain’s Chest, which generations of treasure seekers had tried to open. Tennyo could only open it because of her regeneration. She had to squeeze a handle to open it and when she reached the handle, her hand was disintegrated multiple times before she could squeeze. Presumably, anyone else trying would have lost their hand as well, just without being able to regenerate it.
  • Hard Light: Part of the Handwaving for the combat simulations; also a power available to some mutants.
  • Hat of Power: The psychic-amplifying tiara of Princess Arlon.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Olympian gods have come to Whateley, but they can't find Poseidon and Dionysus. Phase points out that it's possible that they don't want to be found, and there's no guarantee that they're even at Whateley.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: On so many levels.
  • Healing Factor: The Regen power, short for Regeneration, is super-human healing.
  • Healing Hands: several characters have healing powers, some of them being:
    • Nikky "Fey" Reilly can cure serious wounds with magic.
    • Chou "Bladedancer" Lee can use Taoist "chi" healing techniques through "laying on of hands".
    • Every time Kerry Ellison heals someone, she takes on their illness or injury. And all the illnesses and injuries she's ever healed before. At least the older healings manifest themselves to a lesser and lesser degree over time, but it's still pretty grisly when she heals a cancer victim, after healing a blind person and a person with crippling arthritis and... Even worse, near the end of her intro novel, she's being held captive and forced to do this. And she's only 14.
    • There's enough of them that that those with the power have been given a classification of Healer.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Jade is a past mistress of this. Aside for the many forms of Mundane Utility she works out, she turns what seems a pretty limited ability - the power to animate objects up to perhaps 180 lbs in weight as an independent aspect of herself - into an ever-growing arsenal of techniques, some of which are terrifyingly effective. And that's without even considering some of the things Ayla holds back from suggesting to her, such as casting herself into an enemy's clothes and then flying them straight up before dropping them to their deaths, or animating a blob of putty and choking someone with it by having it force itself down their throats.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Solange has started one, but it's likely going to be a slow process.
  • Hello, Nurse!: As a result of Most Common Superpower — some of the main characters are considered really attractive. Fey, in particular, often causes students of both sexes (regardless of sexual orientation) to walk into walls, trip over their own feet, and so on, due to the powerful Glamour she possesses.
    • Cytherea also gets this, being the physical incarnation of Aphrodite, but unlike Fey, she's perfectly willing to abuse it for all it's worth.
  • Hermaphrodite:
    • Several of the transgender characters change more slowly than others, retaining both sexual organs for a while (Lancer and Zenith, for instance). Paige and Petra are both completely and permamently hermaphrodites. Ayla isn't quite one: his body's female in form, including breasts, but his genitalia is male, and so is his mind. This leads to the majority of people thinking that he's female, which tends to annoy him quite a lot.
    • A more scientifically accurate example: It is revealed that prior to her initial transformation, Tennyo was actually intersexed and had a sealed off uterus and ovaries that, due to insurance issues, had secretly been removed during an appendectomy without her or her family's knowledge. This was what allowed the formerly male Bill to transform into a form with a female template without ever knowing that he was in any way other than male.
    • Wallflower was born with bot sets of genitals but her female genitals were more complete and her parents decided to have a daughter—causing her to worry she'll follow her mom's footsteps (in the other direction).
    • Vamp is a true bilateral hermaphrodite though it's not commonly knowlege as she always presents as female.
  • Heroes Unlimited: Team Kimba is only one team of 6 (give or take a few) students in a school of hundreds of superpowered people, many of which have become reoccurring characters or even had their own day in the limelight.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Several, usually with good reason.
    • Tennyo, after being confronted by (literal) ghosts of the Star Stalker's past.
    • Phase, more than once, most notably when it is revealed that his transformation was a result of his BIT rather than Gross Structural Dystrophy.
    • Fey, following the death of Aunghadhail).
    • Pejuta, when she is forced to confront the fact that she had been raped, the memories of which she had been repressing up to that point.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Certainly Jobe Wilkins (when he's not coming across as a Literal Genie) and arguably quite a few others. Jade, frighteningly enough, seems to be headed this way, with all of her Hello Kitty fury.
  • Heroic Build and Lantern Jaw of Justice: Common for Exemplars. Bravo, in particular, has both of these taken Up to Eleven, making him seem ridiculous rather than heroic.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Father John gets sucked into the dark side of church politics during Kerry's intro story. If this seems like a weak example, well, it's not. He ends up becoming an accomplice to keeping her parents from finding her, drugging her into docility, misusing her talents, and causing her grave injury. He really was a nice guy just trying to protect her to begin with, too. Aries started out as a bully hunter but got mind raped into being one of Freya's hit men. By the time he realised that he'd been screwed over, he was too deep to get out.
  • Hollywood Evolution: Frankly, seems to be lifted verbatim from X-Men. Word of God confirms this: the setting initially was based on X-Men: Evolution.
  • Hollywood Homely: In-universe. Girls like Aquerna, She-Beast and Nacht are actually quite attractive by normal standards, but simply cannot compare to supernatural beauties such as Fey or Poise.
  • Hollywood New England: Averted. Whateley is located in New Hampshire but it's a boarding school and the kids don't encounter many locals. They do mention the lovely NE fall foliage.
  • Horny Devils: Sara qualifies, even if she isn't a classic Succubus. She even discusses the subject in her book on mutant sexuality:
Summoning a Succubus, Incubus, or other sexual being for a bit of a tryst sounds like great fun. Until you remember that most Demons of the lower realms want to suck out your soul and leave you as a dry, withered husk. Yes, you can bargain with them, but do you really want to pay the price that they’re asking? And once they’ve got their hooks in you, you can be darn well sure that they aren’t letting go. What nobody ever seems to think of is summoning a sex Angel. They’re much more reasonable, loving, personable partners as long as you can stand all the sunshine and sweetness and pay their more reasonable prices. Beware tooth decay, confessions of eternal love and REALLY bad poetry.
  • Horny Scientist: Jobe Wilkins is working on a project to create his very own Drow wife. Recent stories reveal that he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. However, in a cruel or poetic twist of fate, depending on your opinion of Jobe, he has become his Drow wife. And, she is the semi-official mother of her own clone.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": In Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 2), when Bova was shooting a goon with a gun she just picked up:
    “Oh. Capture Gel,” I said. “But how did you know that it was that, and not a shotgun or a flame thrower or even a grenade launcher?”
    “I didn’t,”
  • Humiliation Conga: Quite a few, with Overclock and Make's comeuppance standing out in particular.
  • Human Popsicle: ARC Black Section is a prison full of Sealed Evil in a Can in the form of a cryogenic storage. Just how dangerous the inmates really are in order to deserve this is made abundantly clear when a rogue doctor set one of them free.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Commercially available from talented Devisors with the usual caveats on purchasing devices that break the laws of physics. Plus several kinds of warpers can do this for themselves and/or others. Like Thuban and Holdout.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • In the Whateley Universe, all the Phase stories have titles "Ayla and the...". Probably because Phase was/is a pompous rich kid with years of prep schooling, the novels have meaningful chapter titles as well. The first novel has five chapters named for the books of the Old Testament.
    • "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" had chapter titles taken from Spenser's "The Faerie Queene".
    • Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy has its chapters all named after angels: Ishim, Cherubim, Elohim, etc.
    • Ayla and the Tests has its chapters named after Herculean Labors: Chapter 1 - The Lernean Hydra, Chapter 2 - The Augean Stables, Chapter 3 - The Ceryneian Hind, etc.
    • Then there's Ayla and the Mad Scientist, with its French titles...
    • The Gateway stories all start with Summoning, Summoning Courage, Summoning Tactics, and Summoning Sweeties.
  • Idiot Ball: Several, some deliberate and in character. The worst would have to be Amanda Chulkris, supposedly a computent magician and teacher but asks a barely trained clairvoyant to demonstrate by reading Sara's palm. Scrying a great old one isn't a good idea and the clairvoyant loses ownership of her soul. So far no one has called Amanda out on this.
    • At that point, they didn't really know that Sara herself was a GOO. They knew that her FATHER was, but they didn't know SHE was.
    • It doesn't matter if they didn't know for sure, her father was a GOO, just having the distinct possibility should have been enough to put a stop to the clairvoyant testing... but it wasn't...
    • And in 5 Elements Dancing, Chou just handed Clover, an odds mangler with a perchant for trouble, a ball of essence (pure magical power). The authors have shown repeatedly that giving anyone in Clover's group essence generally results in bad things happening, of the unbelievably unlucky kind.
    • When Jobe realizes that his efforts to stop his transformation into a female drow aren't working, he turns to his archenemy, Carmilla, for help. Now, did he go to his friend Nephandus, an expert on demonic contracts, for help in dealing with the Demon Queen of Lust? No, he just looks the subject up on the Internet, trusting his own superior intelligence to see him through. It doesn't work out so well.
  • If It's You, It's Okay:
    • Molly. Before meeting Chou, had no interest in other girls and has no interest in other girls apart from Chou.
    • Fey also has this problem, even from openly gay men who don't even know her.
    • Subverted with Sizzle. Poor Darcy, all she wanted was some genetically-engineered Boobs of Steel, which Jobe had promised her if she helped the Crown Princess overcome some... ah, frustration. She had no idea that sex with Drow was addictive.
  • I Have No Son: Many parents who have mutant children disown them (Aquerna, Aqueous, Phase, Diamondback) but not all parents do so, and GSD cases aren't always disowned (Razorback, Deimos, Phobos, Jericho).
    • Gizmatic plays this card on Jobe after his/her Drow transformation. Eventually, Joe relents, after a fashion: in return for official status, Jobe will have to marry back into the family, and have children by one Gizmatic's blood relatives. And not through high-tech means, either.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Averted at near Author Tract levels. Proper gun handling and safety is given instructional levels of detail, and woe betide any student who messes about with ranged weapons, lethal or otherwise. It seems a couple of the authors are firearm enthusiasts and/or soldiers, and hot on safety.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The annoying Whateley Academy Martial Arts Cheerleaders.
  • I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Ayla and the Mad Scientist: CHAPTER 17 – L’Amour Medicin:
    All right, it was pretty hard to stop watching when Mindbird ran across campus [because her breasts bounced]. I’m a teenaged boy. I can’t help it.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Destiny's Wave can cut anything the Tao wants to be cut.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Any Poe girl who forgets to turn on the sound-dampening system before using the 'special features' of the Hydroflux showers is likely to get teased about it for a week.
  • Inside a Computer System: Technopaths do this; see Merry.
  • Instant A.I., Just Add Water: A common result of Devisors adding computer components to things. Jade's power lets her fake it.
  • Instant Expert: Loophole has a specific form of psychometry that allows her to know how to use any machine she touches automatically (along with getting a brief flash of how it was used in the past). She demonstrates this repeatedly with both weapons and vehicles.
    What are they reading over there in the Lit Chick meetings? How to be James Bond for Dummies? Where did Loophole learn to ride a bike like Jason Statham on crack? Who IS this chick and what did she do with our Rules Lawyer?
  • Insufferable Genius: Several, Jobe takes the cake, however.
  • Insult Backfire: When Jade has just proposed tormenting Nightbane (after Nightbane had a big run-in with Carmilla and her Combat Tentacles):
    Chaka: Jade, you're a sick, sick girl.
    Generator: Thanks, Toni!
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Carmilla and all her more-or-less human entourage, in the Whateley Universe. In fact, with a major-league lust demon for a father and a human/Deep One hybrid mother, Carmilla is also the result of one of those...and from what we've seen of her dad since he showed up in the stories, which basically paint him as a devilishly charming rake with some trouble keeping his tentacles to himself who honestly dotes on his only daughter, romance may well have actually figured into it.
    • Aside from the above, we've also seen hints at possible romance between one or two of the students and members of the local tribe of lycanthropes, and of course there are plenty of mutants whose mutations have forced them into more or less inhuman forms with little hope of reprieve. (The technical term is GSD, for 'gross structural dystrophy'.) While the latter may still be technically and legally human, speculations about their potential present or future love-life (such as the Fury Twins idly musing on their chances of finding a boyfriend) necessarily do invoke this trope.
  • Intangibility: In the Whateley Universe Phase (Ayla Goodkind) has the ability to become a number of variants of intangible, most notably fully intangible, nearly-intangible, or super-dense, so he's Nigh Invulnerable. This is supposed to be an extra-dimensional density-changing ability (though according to the school testing wonks, it's not, but the ensuing scientific babble is hard to understand). While intangible (or close to it), he can fly, and at his most dense, he is almost impervious to damage. But when he first manifested as a mutant and got his powers, he couldn't control them and had trouble NOT sinking through the floor, or going super-dense and smashing his bathroom to shards. Or, for that matter, not going intangible and leaving parts of his clothing behind.
    • He also has a fun/hilarious Required Secondary Power: if he becomes solid while phased through something, the other object disappears. Forever. This results in lasting Clothing Damage (and, y'know, other damage) if he phases in and out quickly, but turns a scary situation into lots of awesome when he has an I-beam stuck through his chest as part of his Test To Destruction experimentation by his family's anti-mutant science labs.
    • While intangibility in general is a fairly uncommon power in this setting, Phase has a form that is particularly rare: the only one other mutant is known to the same variant is Tinsnip, one of the deadliest assassins in the world. This has not helped Ayla's self-loathing at being a mutant or fear of becoming a danger to others at all.
    • There is the Wraith, who has the power to make things intangible, as said here:
    How are we going to get those twenty foot sections through a door that’s only six feet wide?”
    “We’ll get Wraith to make them intangible and just bring them in through the wall,” he snapped.
    “You trust Wraith to not mess this up?”
  • Intrepid Reporter: What Peeper tries to present himself as. In actuality, he is at best a paparazzo, and even that is being generous. He can be better described as a walking sexual harassment suit waiting to happen. Ayla's take on the matter was:
    "If he ever got his teenaged-boy urges under control, he might someday be a valued talent scout for a modelling agency, although I still thought it was more likely he would end up a pervy creep who was a valued scout for a pornographic webzine."
    • This was shortly before Peeper so lost control of himself at the sight of Ayla's Gag Boobs that he tried to grope them in public. It did not end well for Peeper.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting:
    • Exemplars dance between Involuntary Shapeshifting and Metamorphosis — Exemplars will end up looking like their idealized version of themselves, called a BIT. Unfortunately, BITs can be the wrong gender, the wrong species, etc etc. It's their own powers doing it to themselves, and they have limited if any control over it. (Typically using other powers causes the effect to accelerate.)
    • Playing the trope more straight are mutants that deal with spirits — If you're a mutant that deals with the spiritual and not strong enough to completely dominate the spirit, the spirit will make changes to your body to make itself more comfortable. Fey, Miyet, and Heyoka are all examples of this.
    • Fling transforms into the ideal lover of anyone who lusts after him/her; this affects his/her mind as well, so s/he's not happy when someone wants a bimbo.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • The team keeps getting yelled at for clogging up their comms in the sims with mindless chatter. While Gunny Bardue is right and this could have bad consequences, Phase is also right in that the chatter has helped them keep tabs on each other and quickly realise when someone's gone down- that, and outside of the sims, the comms are just a high-end IM service.
    • In "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", the Spy Kidz get pissed off at Phase for reducing Kew to tears after Kew stole things from Phase's utility belt. While screaming at Kew probably wasn't the best way to handle the situation, the fact still remains that Kew did steal Phase's weapons, Phase really needed them, and he had every right to be pissed off. Those weapons were really freaking expensive.
    • From "No Beast So Fierce":
    Bravo: Young lady, is this depraved queen forcing his loathsome attentions on you?
    Jobe: Excuse me? ‘Queen’? Let’s leave aside the issue of mere slander, and focus on the illogic of your question- if I’m forcing my attentions on her, then I’m not homosexual; if I’m a homosexual, then I’m the last person that she needs to be worried about.
  • Joker Immunity: In spades, with the most egregious examples coming from Even Murphy's Law Has Loopholes.
  • Just Ignore It: Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
    David was really excited about his birthday party, and about moving up so he was ‘only one year younger than Shrimpy’.
    “David!” Mother didn’t allow that sort of language in public, much less at the dinner table. “Apologize to your brother at once!”
    “Mother, it’s all right. I am a shrimp,” I calmly admitted. It wasn’t that I was trying to protect David. No, I was going to be quite happy to see him get in trouble in a few seconds. For several weeks, I had been trying a new strategy: if none of his insults appeared to bother me, he might eventually give up.
  • Karma Houdini: There are a few. Luckily, it appears to be averted eventually with most villains, but some Designated Heroes may qualify.
  • Karmic Rape: A peculiar case, as Solange had agreed to letting herself be possessed and used sexually by Montana as part of her deal with Thuban; she just never expected to have to go through with the deal, nor did she realize she would actually remember it afterwards. No matter how nasty Tansy was, she really didn't deserve what Thuban put her through.
  • Kavorka Man: Rack, who despite his diminutive size (he's a dwarf, who used his ability to mimic the gadgeteer trait to build an augmentation exoskeleton), is very popular with the girls. Apparently, his main ability is telepathy, and after accidentally 'listening in' on other people's thoughts when he first manifested, he realized that most people were too busy with their own problems to have the contempt for him he expected them to have. After he learned to control his powers better, he realized that all most people really want is someone to listen to their problems.
  • Ki Attacks: Chaka, though she can't do the flashier ones from anime. Yet.
  • Kid Sidekick: Specifically banned by law, though the school does have a clique of future sidekicks called The Robins. Headmistress Carson, a former kid sidekick herself, was instrumental in getting the anti-sidekick legislation enacted.
  • Knight Templar: Unpleasantly common, both for heroes and villains:
    • Rev. Darryl Englund put the entire student body and security force in jeopardy in an attempt to end the threat he sees in Carmilla. While he is never directly punished for this, he does lose his position as a one of the deans at Whateley for his role in the Halloween disaster.
    • Social Darwinist Crucible attempts to get people to appreciate life by causing disasters that kill and cripple thousands.
    • Sinsear began as a vigilante who used his flame powers to 'purge evil' (i.e., torture and kill criminals or anyone else who didn't live up to his warped standards) and may even toned things down a bit when he went full-out Ax-Crazy later, if only because he was too obsessed with Ginormous to bother with criminals any more.
    • The Lamplighter, who takes this to Lawful Stupid proportions.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Chaka's puns at the end of "Ayla and the Networks" and "It's All in the Timing" earn her a pillow-pummeling and a faceful of snow, respectively.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Quite a lot of this. People keep mentioning how odd that there are so many genderbent freshman in this particular class. There's even a story written for the purpose. It's called The Braeburn Report, and in it they explain that this increase in female gender-bending mutants is proof the everyone will be a mutant in about 50 years.
  • Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid: Stormwolf could be the poster child for Lawful Stupid in the Whateley Universe; his insistence on following the rules at all costs actually hampers Security's efforts to keep the peace at times. The Necromancer, on the other hand, is classic Stupid Evil, at least some of the time. Madcap is Chaotic Stupid done for laughs.
  • The Leader: Toni, Hank, and Ayla have all played leadership roles for Team Kimba at various times. Ayla is a type I/II (mastermind/levelheaded), Hank is a type II/IV (levelheaded/charismatic), and Toni is a type III/IV (headstrong/charismatic). (The first one listed for each is their primary type.)
  • Leet Lingo:
    • Amelia Hartford: Her codename, which she keeps hidden from the students but still uses professionally, is a pun on her last name ('Deer Cross' -> 'Hart Ford') written in 133t.
    • Plague wants to known as P 74 GU 3.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Sara is code named after the first one of these to get famous; not technically a vampire, however. (She's also slightly bisexual, not a lesbian.)
  • Legacy Character: Champion, whose successors inherit the Champion Force - essentially the Speed Force with Superman's powerset. Whateley has a designated Champion-successor and a jet primed and ready at all times, should the current Champion ever fall.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Team Wondercute is a whole team of these, founded of course by Jade. It's composed of a few young girls without any traditionally broken powers, was initially mostly intended to bug Jericho, and their mission statement is to be nauseatingly cute. And thanks to a combination of Confusion Fu, Power Synergy, and sheer Crazy Awesome, watching them in action reminds the sim operators of The Dragonslayers.
  • Ley Line: Nikki can tap them to increase her power. But there's a catch: after several major battles off-campus lead to a series of minor ecological disasters, Ayla realizes that the common factor is Fey - if she draws too much power from a ley line, the natural energy sources at the other end of the ley line are drained and damaged. They didn't notice it while on campus because the high magical energies there and the nearby Grove were enough to sustain her power demands. Fey suddenly finds herself scrambling to find less energy intensive spells to avoid word of this getting around.
  • Light is Not Good: The Alphas, the New Olympians, occasionally the Capes and the Betas, the Martial Arts Cheerleaders, the Knights of Purity, Lamplighter.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: That list up there barely scratches the surface. The Whateley Wiki's "Student" category, for example, includes almost 550 articles. The current estimated total is over 1200 named characters and counting.
  • Locked Room Mystery: The Big Idea, Reach's story.
  • Logical Weakness: PK bricks who can hear through their force fields are vulnerable to sonic attacks. Regenerators quickly build up immunities to toxins, but also to painkillers. They also face complications with surgery, painkiller-immunity being just one of them.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Averted by pre-story Ayla, whose family made a solid effort to eat dinner together and do things as a family.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Sara.
  • Love Confession: In The Big Idea by proxy:
    She took Ace and A-Plus’ hands and put them together. “Anne, you have harbored deep romantic feelings for Andy ever since you first laid eyes on him two years ago. He shares these feelings. Andy, you have longed for Anne almost as long. She wants you just as much as you want her.” She released their hands, which stayed together on their own. “There! Go, and have a wonderful life!”
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Lapin suffers from Nymphomania, which is actually a lack of impulse control instead of an addiction to sex itself. So far it's been controlled by medication, but she constantly worries she'll answer "sure, why not" to any irrational or indecent proposal if her meds ever stop working.
  • Lovecraft Country: Invoked, Whateley's first incarnation became a notorious Boarding School of Horrors due to the plethora of EldritchAbominations in the vicinity. It was reopened as a school for mutants because no one else wanted it and the staff necessary to keep the kids in line also keeps a lid on the unholy things in the neighborhood.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Sara. Her original self died, and she woke up in the morgue, vomiting up her internal organs in the process. She eats souls. Her favorite trick (both in and out of battle and bed) is to create random tentacles.
  • Love Is in the Air: A subconscious uncontrollable magical effect from at least one of the characters. And a controllable power for at least three (Aphrodite and two lust demons).
  • Luminescent Blush: After their Love Confession, "Ace and A-Plus blushed beet red".
  • Metaphor is My Middle Name: Chaka does it in Reflections In An Evil Eye:
    Hey, Danger is my middle name.” Toni blinked. “Actually, it’s ‘Marc’- I gotta look into changing that. Toni Danger Chandler; has a nice ring to it. ”
  • Meta Origin: All mutants seem to have a common genetic factor. The supernatural beings, however, are all over the map.
  • Made of Plasticine: on the rare occasions when death is allowed, and sometimes with regenerators. The "Voodoo-Wolves" are the most prominent example, apparently so fragile that they can be beheaded with a bare-handed strike from someone equivalent to a very well trained baseline.
  • Mad Scientist: The mutant power of Devisors allows them to create machines, drugs, etc. that defy the normal laws of science (cf. Gadgeteer Genius above). When combined with the effects of Diedrick's Syndrome (cf. Science-Related Memetic Disorder below), things get dangerous.
  • Magic A Is Magic A
  • Magical Native American: Heyoka; and, yes, that seems to be the entire basis for the character. Or, more specifically, a deconstruction of this. Spirits can be rather...annoying, and besides that her powers are weak. And her life is screwed up. He has very strong powers, but he has to be in the astral plane to use them.
    • Pejuta takes this even further: she is bound to two legendary Lakota spirits, and regularly communicates with the Great Spirit itself. Like with Fey, her appearance is supposed to mark a resurgence for her people. This hasn't help prevent her from becoming a total basket case, however, though not without reason.
    • Bluejay plays at the classic Trickster archetype, but secretly he is Totem's apprentice, and is studying to be the next Lore Keeper for the local were-folk tribe.
  • Magic Dance: Fey, to the Fire Elementals to create/summon them and get them on her side, during her Christmas story.
  • Magic-Powered Pseudoscience: Mutants with this as their power are known as devisors. Depending on the skill of the devisor, their creations (called 'devises') tend to be rather unreliable when used by people other than the creator.
    • Dr Macabre, a non-mutant Mad Scientist who has killed over 500 victims in his quest to unlock the secret of the classic supernatural monsters For Science!, eventually learns that his 'technology' is actually powered by a spirit that has been possessing him for decades.
  • Magic Staff: The Green Brujah has a staff "provided by Quetzalcoatl, and acts as a "lens" and "power regulator" to her power, allowing the Brujah to wield much more power than she should be able to without decades of practice."
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Chaka often uses a superpowered Kiai in battle, strong enough at least to knock people off balance.
    • Screech's voice can rend steel and melt glass.
  • Mars Wants Chocolate: While traveling to a distant star system, a fancy restaurant Tennyo eats at offers her Chocoba, purportedly an incredibly delicious and rare delicacy that has been illegally smuggled there at great cost. Despite spending a fortune for it, she isn't very surprised when it turns out to be a Hershey's chocolate bar.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Averted, for the most part. Most characters are too distressed by their changes to to fool with themselves.
    • In the case of Folder, she actively resists the idea, even when Dr. Bellows recommends that she get more familiar with her new body.
    • Reach, on the other hand, is surprised but enthusiastic when Zenith makes the same suggestion.
    • Of them all, it is Whisper who jumps in fastest, which is funny since Bree was almost as bothered with being female as Chou was up until that point. Even though she doesn't go all that far with anything, that long, hot shower really seems to convince Brianna that maybe being a girl isn't so bad after all...
  • Manipulative Bastard: Don Sebastiano, aided by his telepathic abilities.
  • All Periods Are PMS: Fey's first round of PMS was an event to remember.
  • Metamorphosis: The Exemplar superpower, crossed with Involuntary Shapeshifting (in the sense that it's their own powers doing it to them, and they have no control over the change).
  • Master Poisoner: Jobe's best defense is a well-deserved reputation for using poisons and bio-weapons at every opportunity. Even mentioning Jobe at the medical center is enough to trigger a full-scale lockdown and quarantine.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings:
    • Chaka's the middle child of five children. Her siblings from oldest to youngest: Cindy, Vincent, Lucy, and Matt.
    • Phase's the next youngest of six children, his siblings from oldest to youngest: Gracie, Paul, Heather, Connie, and David.
    • Palantir's "the next youngest of five children".
  • Mega Manning: Sara's hell dimension runs on this via Cannibalism Superpower. Eating something, or exposure to enough of it's genetic material, causes you to involuntarily mutate to assume it's powers. It's because Sara's hell is dedicated to evolution, also allowing Mix-and-Match Critters and forcing everything to breed at least once a day.
  • The Mole: by the dozen. Several (usually nefarious) student cliques have moles in other cliques and many members of the staff have their own agendas. Quite a few of the security force are actually moles for various military and criminal organizations. Chief Delarose tolerates this "payola platoon" because they come well-trained, are extra diligent (to avert suspicion) and can be manipulated as back channels to their secret employers.
    • Chou's expulsion from Team Kimba is actually a Xanatos Gambit intended to set her up as a Mole in the Knight Templar Goobers in order to protect her friend Carmilla.
    • The Kimbas are not thrilled when teen supervillainess and "Boston Brawl" opponent Vamp shows up at Whateley but she turns out to have been a mole for the Boston Police all along and is now in the witness protection program.
  • Most Common Super Power: Justified as an explicit superpower: mutants with the Exemplar power set have a Body Image Template based on what they would like to look like, and their powers transform them to fit. As a result, the most common superpower really is being very attractive. There are various levels of this, ranging from Exemplar 1, gradual shapeshifting but otherwise merely above the average human, to Exemplar 2s, equivalent to the limit of baseline human potential, all the way up to 7, in which is not only do they get incredible strength, endurance and (in some cases) intelligence, but become supernaturally attractive as well. For female Exemplars, this usually results in Boobs of Steel (or even Gag Boobs). The male version of this is common among male Exemplars as well, to the point that they are often warned not to be too aggressive with their 'endowment' lest they hurt their partner. Weres also get these despite not having the Exemplar trait, and Paige/Petra are endowed with both "gifts".
  • Most Writers Are Adults:
    • This is a common criticism, with characters in their mid-to-late teens acting like full-grown adults. The series would make a lot more sense if it was set in a college rather than a high school although, that might just be Ayla and Sara, the private school rich kid and the Fountain of Youth case.
    • And then you have the witches, three characters who are presently in middle school, who come up with childishly simpleminded schemes while spouting babytalk. Their odd, stylistically low maturity level can be very jarring when compared to the behavior of real middle-schoolers, although that may just be Clover, who acts deliberately cute at times and is said by the narration that she "all too often she acted like she was only six."
  • Mugging the Monster: The Alphas send some attackers, most notably a power nullifier, after Tennyo. Unfortunately, nullifying her powers ends up waking up the Star Stalker, and things go very badly for them. Also shows up in a lot of origin stories.
  • Mundane Utility: Shows up all over the place. Since most mutants aren't looking to become either heroes or villains, Whateley tries to either teach them or help them find mundane utilities for their powers. Phase earns a lot of good will with the "Workshop" by identifying mundane utilities for gadgets and then acting as an angel investor for their inventors. He even comes up with a list of mundane utilities for Tennyo's vast powers, including emergency repairs on satellites in orbit and nuclear power plants from the inside. Whateley even offers a Winter Term class called "Special Topics - Finding a Job Only YOU Can Do".
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Many Brick types' Nigh-Invulnerability extends to their clothing and weapons, which is explained by their invulnerability being due to psychokinetic forcefields. Loophole's super-armour, which epitomises super armour in general - almost all the devisors and gadgeteers have some level of this. In fact, a lot of the school uniforms have some level of armour - particularly if Cecilia Rogers made them.
    • Loophole invents a new fabric called Kevra that combines the characteristics of Kevlar and Lycra and can be used to make virtually any clothing bulletproof. Mega-girl's father is the first NYPD officer saved by a kevra uniform.
    • Inverted by Tennyo, who often comes out of battles virtually or fully naked because her body is far tougher than any conceivable suit could ever be. Unfortunately, she's also rather shy.
  • Mythology Gag: about as common as the BrickJokes, more so in the vignettes and side stories. For example Vamp's first POV story has her wondering why the Whateley kids are all so intimidated by the librarian (Tennyo).
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Fey (an ancient Sidhe) and Carmilla (descendant of Great Old Ones) have cursed in languages which have been dead for millennia.
    • Ayla and the Birthday Brawl (Chap 6): 'Hank unleashed several choice phrases that impugned the Monkey King’s ancestry, family heritage, sexual proclivities, and recreational interests. Obviously, Hannah Declan had learned more from her time on Army bases than how to shoot firearms.'
    • Odds and Ends (Part 1): In Jade and Mule's combat final, has the fanatic "calling [Jade] things that the sims team should probably get in trouble for putting in a scenario for freshman girls."
  • Nanomachines: See Samantha above, and Whisper, Compiler...
  • Nerf: In "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", it's discovered that Fey's powers have been killing entire ecosystems around the country with the energy she's always pulling from ley lines. Because of this, she can no longer use power willy-nilly and has to come up with energy-saving alternatives.
    • In addition, Aunghadhail dying during Whilst Any Speaks has nerfed Fey even more. According to Word of God, Nikki's arsenal has been greatly reduced in size as a result because a lot of her spells were ones that Aunghadhail prepared for her, not spells that Nikki actually knew herself, so with Aunghadhail gone...
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: There's a lot of flexibility in some characters' power sets. And some are just outright AssPulls. The character Tennyo (the Ryoko look-alike) is the foremost example of this.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In-universe example: Doctor Debt, a supervillain, steals millions of dollars and escapes without any weapons, property damage or civilian injuries. The Flying Bulldozer, his superhero nemesis, stops him by throwing cars at him, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage and dozens of civilian injuries.
  • The Nicknamer: Fantastico, a rather pointed stand-in for G.W. Bush, simply loves getting a rise out of people by using demeaning nicknames for them, including - no, especially - his teammates in the Good Ol' Boys.
    • Vamp provides some zingers for several of the more absurdly 'heroic' students, especially Pucelle ("Joan D'ork" and "The Maid of Oy Vey" standing out in particular). She also refers to Phase by such insults as "Goodthang" or "Goodwhine" whenever she can get away with it.
    • Imp does this to nearly everybody she meets when not in her Secret Identity. She can really get under people's skin with it, too, as shown by one (previously anonymous) minor supervillain she nicknamed 'Crash Test Dummy'. The name stuck, and he got pissed at her for it.
  • Ninja School: The Yama Dojo.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ayla spends tens of thousands of dollars getting the Poe dorm showers up to scratch. When he tries them out on their first operational morning, Fey uses them to punch him in the balls with a jet of water, because the girls were pissed off at his staring at them in the shower.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Yellow Queen's posse, the Whateley Academy Martial Arts Cheerleaders. They are indeed cheerleaders who know some martial arts, but Whateley Academy doesn't actually have any sports teams, so the 'cheerleaders' have nobody to cheer for.
    "Roxbury Prison hasn’t been in Roxbury since 1987, when they built the new prisons.”
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: justified, they're all Half Human Hybrids.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Invoked by name - and caused by Jade.
    • Just as evident is Chaka's combat final, which is never referred to in more than passing - supposedly it can't even be described in a way that can do it justice.
    • Parents' Day and Hallowe'en were noodle incidents for a long time. The current NI is the Outcasts' Christmas trip, which seems by the mentions in other stories, to have been suitably disastrous.
    • Lampshaded in Parent's Day.
    • Lancer's detention for the Birthday Brawl.
    • There's also the Isobel Anaelez case, in which a teenage mutant was supposedly disappeard by the MCO. Apparently she's become the poster child for mutant abductions for the purpose of experimentation. We don't know much more than that...
    • And, there's what happened when Vamp decided to learn what the Lovecraftian sorcerer's turn-ons were. It was bad.
    • We never learn just what, exactly, is so bad about the Hawthorne Cottage toilets - though apparently there's weapons involved.
    • Jade's notorious 'Radioactive Condor Girl' combat sim gambit. Just mentioning it causes Gunny Bardue's blood pressure to spike.
    • The 'poo-tonium' incident Jobe was responsible for as a kid.
  • No Periods, Period:
    • Played straight in Sara's origin story where it is mentioned she'll never have a period again and is always fertile.
    • Averted, as many characters who are becoming female at varying rates have to deal with getting a period for the first time.
    Toni: "Oh, so that's where it comes from--- Tell me, do you have any little tricks that help tide your wife over on these heavy periods? They might come in handy next time Nikki goes into PMS!"
    • Both Tennyo and Miyet panic the first time they have their periods; Billie gets a grip quickly enough, but Corey, who had been a macho bully until her transformation, seems to have been unaware of what a menstrual period was.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Reverend Englund becomes aware that there is a half-demon student at the school who he thinks will take over the world by enslaving people, killing others and using her mind slaves to breed demon spawn. While the Reverend has fought otherworldly invaders and all manner of creatures who did harm, in this case he's actually wrong: Sara/Kellith has actually decided that she's going to do good for the world and promote peace and love. So the Reverend gets the Syndicate (i.e. the organised bad guys) to help him kill her… and what would have been a controlled attempt to kill just one person gets hijacked by the Chessmaster, resulting in a large part of the school getting blown up, a number of security personnel and teachers getting maimed and/or killed and all the students being incredibly traumatised.
  • Older Than They Look, Younger Than They Look, Really 700 Years Old: Hat trick of deceptive age tropes.
    • Belphoebe looks and acts as if she around 16, but Really Was Born Yesterday, as she is a clone of Jobe's drow form imprinted with Belphegor's memories.
    • Some Exemplars age very slowly, or not at all. Generator and Timeless seem to be stuck at around eleven, and others seem to only age to their early 20s. Headmistress Carson, AKA Lady Astarte, ages at less than one-third the normal rate; she was born in 1929, but was still seen as a Kid Sidekick into the early 1960s, and in 2006 looks to be in her early thirties. She has mentioned that her oldest grandchild looks older than she does.
    • The members of the Mystic Six do not suffer from age-related issues despite being over 125 years old, and have near-total control over their apparent age.
    • Faerie-type mutants stop aging once they reach their late teens or early twenties, and can live indefinitely long.
    • Powerful wizards can slow or even stop their aging through magic. Circe, in particular, is thousands of years old, but appears vaguely middle-aged.
    • On the other end of things, some Exemplars (such as Crimson Comet!) seem to jump several years in appearance from their early teens to young adulthood, then usually stay there, especially those whose Body Image Templates code for a Heroic Build.
    • Ecila Mason seems to have aged about eight years since she started dimensional travelling at the age of 6, which was in the early 1920s.
    • Despite appearing like a young human (or rather, Isokist), the Scourge in its original form was a genuine Time Abyss, having existed for over eight billion years.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Played perhaps uncomfortably straight with the Tao, which ostensibly always knows just what is required to maintain 'the balance'. So far a few people have coughed but only Strawmen have actually debated against it. The omniscient-seeming Mrs. Potter may also count, though she seems to be more unambiguously on the side of the angels than many of the usual trope examples.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Some are, others... not so much. For example, Wallflower's parents Falcon and Tabby Cat have no problems with her dating a transgender boy because Tabby Cat is a Gender Bender herself.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While they don't yet seem to have seen a 'real' dragon, the universe has already featured a few variations on the theme. One student has a pet dragon (named Pern, of course) who's apparently a product of her manifestation power and can grow quite a bit in a hurry from his normally small-and-cute stature if bothered. At least two characters, one a student, are known to be hosts to dragon spirits, and then there's Tywyswyr...who, if readers can believe his tale, is actually 'just' a very dragon-looking alien who's nonetheless quite wealthy and apparently a not-so-minor political player living right in the US.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Discussed at length (by Ayla, of course), in order to dissuade Ceecee from staking Vamp. Apparently, there are a lot of different kinds around, and no one knows what all of them are like.
    • According to Robur, the Bloodline are often mistaken for vampires, but are actually the earliest family of mutants. The longevity and ability to drain others of their psychic energies shown by many members may have played a role in that confusion.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: There several types "weres" that draw from numerous different archetypes.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Nick Reilly, Bill Wilson, Tony Chandler... a lot of the kids who become mutants and then go to Whateley Academy.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket - Nacht's cameo necklace, which at a critical juncture comes apart, revealing the picture of her real mother underneath, thus freeing her from The Bell Witch's domination. Presumably there's some mystical reason (magical resonance, perhaps?) why there was a picture of her real mother in there in the first place.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: One of the popular nicknames for Team Kimba in-universe is the Negligee Nightingales, referring to their first fight with the Yama Dojo Ninjas.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Not of itself but other works, 'Grease, the Lolicon Version' and 'Ho School Musical' in regards to a bit character dressing oddly. These are probably just snotty comments by some of the snarkers rather than real movies.
  • Parental Abandonment: Common (Ayla, Jade, Chou etc.) but not universal (Toni, Nikki, Billie, Hank etc.) In some cases it's either half and half (Vamp, whose parents split over her mutation) or complicated (Reach, who is not totally estranged from his parents though his aunt has guardianship.)
    • In addition, there's the notorious Captain CondomCourage, a 'superhero' better known for the hundreds of children he fathered than for his mighty deeds.
  • Parental Favoritism: Paige St. Claire is the favorite of her mother:
    Paige was twelve years old, and where I took after Dad, she definitely took after Mom. It was no wonder that she was Mom’s pride and joy. I’d long since accepted the fact that Paige was my mom’s favorite, and I’d even come to appreciate the benefits. While Paige received our mom’s full parental attention, I usually received far less scrutiny.
    Mom would never listen to anything that might be considered as criticism of Paige, not when Paige was her pride and joy, and especially not from me.
  • Passing Notes in Class: From here:
    "There are other reasons also. Mr. Tyler! Will you please share that note you and Mr. Owens are passing around? I'm sure that it doesn't have much to do with what we need to study here."
    We all turned in our seats to watch the two young men in question who were unsuccessfully trying to hide a note that got away from them and sailed to Mr. Winslow's outstretched hand.
    "Let's see... 'That's one of them. I vote for Negligee Nightingales.' I believe this is your writing Mr. Owens? And the writing underneath. Oh yes! Definitely Mr. Tyler's excuse for handwriting. 'I like Bathrobe Babes.' This doesn't sound like anything that we will be discussing in this class does it?"
  • Le Parkour: Parkour Jam Hooligans is the best story for this, but this being a superhero 'verse, there's a reasonable amount of it elsewhere, too.
  • Parody Sue: Joanne Gunnarson, written by Joe Gunnarson.
    • In later stories, there's a girl who goes by the 'Crimson Comet', who seems to be a straight parody of poorly-written fanfic. She transitioned perfectly in three days, is a knockout almost on the level of Fey, is fairly powerful overall, and has all the intelligence and forward planning skills of an ice cream sandwich.
  • Parttime Hero: And part time villains, too. They hang out in a bar called Superbad.
  • Pegasus: Light Ling has given her horse wings via magic. She is possibly the mage said to do so in the Flight entry.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Tennyo. Even with only a fraction of the Star Stalker's full power, she has been estimated to be able to destroy vast swaths of land by accident if she were to lose control of her powers. In at least one simulation, killing her led to The End of the World as We Know It, wiping out the entire eastern half of North America and plunging the world into a three year nuclear winter.
  • Photographic Memory:
    • Carmilla (Sara Waite) has eidetic memory. This is because she's not human: she's mostly demon, and her cellular structure is closer to a living cancer than anything else modern medicine knows about. She knows how many grains of salt were spilled on the table that morning, etc.
    • It's a common ability of high-level Exemplars. Like Bubble, who can "read Ezra Pound's "Cantos" in a couple hours and then quote from it."
  • Physical God: there are several, of different types:
    • Avatars which sufficiently large hallows can become Paladins to gods or other powerful entities; rather than the Avatar serving as the spirit's hallow, the spirit empowers the Paladin with a part of its essence, in exchange for the Paladin serving the god's wishes. Examples: Miyet, Pejuta.
    • The New Olympians are similar to Avatars, in that they are the original Greek Gods who took over the bodies of newborn human children who had high potential for mutant powers, but they didn't specifically choose mutants with the Avatar ability and thus don't show up through tests meant to detect Avatars.
    • Carmilla is part human, part Eldritch Abomination, and is worshiped by the Cult of Kellith.
    • Some of the more human-like Class X Entities, such as Nyarlathotep and Gothmog, are willing to take human form when needed, though apparently it requires quite a few Human Sacrifices by their followers to translate them into this plane for even a short time.
    • Lucifer has managed to appear on Earth as well (in a church, no less), though it may be that he can only materialize in the presence of certain individuals such as the Scarlet Knight.
    • Some of the more powerful beings from the Fivefold Court era, whose spirits were shattered during the Sundering, have managed to reincarnate different parts of themselves over the ages until one of the reincarnations would happen to arise in someone with a mutant power that allowed them to gather the shards together and wholly re-create themselves. The most powerful of these, Aunghadhail, was indeed worshiped by the Werefolk, whom she created, though Fey prefers not to see herself as actually divine.
  • Plenty of Blondes: Justified, since they're mostly exemplars.
  • Plug 'n' Play Friends: Team Kimba
  • Power Copying:
    • Power Mimics, who get copies of other supers' powers somehow, like Mimeo, who can do it being in the super's presence, but works faster when in active combat with that super.
    • As said here: Temptresses of GEO (Good and Evil Online): "the Temptress did not earn experience for killing monsters and looting tombs, she could only become more powerful by luring another character and absorbing their abilities." -
  • Power Crystal: Power gems are a common source of superpowers for non-mutants, and can be used by wizards as a power focus. Devisors and wizards are sometimes able to create 'cultured' power gems, a more limited form of the real thing but still very useful.
  • Power Glows:
    • Tennyo's sword glows a brilliant blue, and can cut through pretty much anything since it's made of some sort of anti-matter. Tennyo herself does the glowy bit when she gets really amped up, complete with Red Eyes, Take Warning.
    • Several Energizers like Golden Girl also do the full-body glow when they kick in their powers.
  • Powered Armour: Rarely seen "onscreen", but present in the setting. Apparently, a lot of Devisors and Gadgeteers like to think ‘I can keep up with the Exemplars if I just engineer it right’ (as Lady Astarte puts it), and there is even a special course on 'Advanced Defensive Technologies' which teaches the details of building a suit.
    • Loophole manages to build a suit from drawing board to working prototype in three days, before the class even started.
    • Jericho, who is also in the ADT course, has been building a suit of Powered Armor for a different reason: his Rafael armor is designed to allow medics and other emergency workers to enter battlefields and other hostile environments for rescue work. His own version is armed, but the main intention is life-saving, not combat.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Bell Witch tries to enslave her own daughter as a living power battery. It doesn't end well for her.
  • Power Incontinence: A real problem for many of the students in Hawthorne, and generally throughout the setting. Many cases of power incontinence ultimately prove to be fatal to the mutant or bystanders. It's just one more reason why mutants are so feared and hated—they don't have to want to hurt you.
  • The Power of Acting: Most early supervillains, especially Mephisto the Mentalist, used a mixture of stage magic, hypnotic suggestion, Mad Science, and garish costuming to fake their superpowers, and would stage everything from a Zombie Apocalypse to an alien invasion in order to distract the superheroes from the real day-to-day crimes of their Mob associates.
  • Power Nullifier: A few mutants have this power, but no nullifier device exists. Special mention goes to the STAR League parents, who threaten their children with being forced into wearing fake "Power Nullifier Bracelets" until they're 18, or going to Whateley. The kids choose Whateley, only to find out that 1. The bracelets were fake and 2. Their parents had enrolled them in Whateley days before they asked them if they wanted to go.
    • Martial arts classes enforce "no powers" sparring using power recorders since nullifiers aren't possible.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The biggest example is Sara, but she's by no means the only one. However, some say that being a lust demon it is not perversion, rather that this was intentional. Fittingly, it is Sara who - literally - writes the definitive book on this subject in-universe, covering both the possibilities and the caveats of super-powered sex (and even quotes the Larry Niven essay Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex when discussing Exemplars)
    • Honestly, the person who uses this the most, outside of Sara, is Harlan/Harley from The Big Idea. Also, surprisingly, Jenny. They take GREAT advantage of this trope.
    • Solange (Tansy), who can use her powers to (a) make herself look and feel 'just that special' and (b) implant hypnotic suggestions, especially when her target's defenses are down - like they are during sex.
    • Chaka! She used her Ki powers to give her girlfriend a Ki-powered massage.
    • Glamours in general act as a mix of low level mind control / aphrodisiac.
    • Fling is entirely based on this; when someone lusts after him/her, if s/he's close enough to them, s/he changes into their ideal lover.
    • When discussing the question of whether men or women experience sex better, Sizzle comes down firmly on the side of women, claiming that - according to several telepaths she knew - male telepaths often get depressed if their female lovers don't let them 'listen in' during sex.
  • Precision F-Strike: In The Three Little Witches, Abra, a pre-teen, swears after a very humiliating failure in a long list of failures, but which also involved her best work:
    “It was a cluster fuck!” Abra snapped as she paced around the floor in Clover’s room.
    “Abra!” Clover gasped, “If Mrs. Nelson heard you, she’d wash your mouth out with soap!”
    “My best work, up in smoke, and we’re still not any closer to getting any essence!” Abra groused as she shifted yet a little more chalk dust out of an uncomfortable crevice. She plopped down on Clover’s bed, arms crossed, eyebrows beetled. “So, how’re we gonna fix this?”
  • Precursors: According to one theory put forth by some scientists in the universe, entire species and their evolution may be the playthings of an entity tentatively identified as Gaia. If true, it isn't clear how much this overlaps with 'natural' evolution (since by necessity 'untainted' data would be hard to come by) and what this entity's ultimate goals might be.
  • Pretty Boy:
    • Rosethorn (whose given name is, appropriately enough, Romeo) is a high-level Exemplar who is consistently described as 'beautiful' rather than 'handsome'. He tends to pick girlfriends who are winsome, shy, and naive, but have the potential to be real knockouts - who, after he's coaxed them out of their shell, then dump him because they get tired of him being the prettier one in the relationship.
    • His fellow Bad Seed, Nephandus, is not quite Romeo's equal in looks, but is far more vain. He's the evil version of the trope and isn't nearly as smooth with the ladies, either, despite being a legend in his own mind in this and many other regards.
  • Pretty in Mink: Solange, and Kodiak even imagines her Naked in Mink.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Phase is subjected to female pronouns a lot. Heyoka shifts forms and genders.
  • Psmith Psyndrome: Fey's name is often misspelled by others as F-A-Y. The reader can tell that a character doesn't know the proper spelling by looking at how it's written in their dialogue. For some reason, though, characters that are aware of the correct spelling seem to know instinctively when it's being misspelled, despite "Fay" and "Fey" sounding exactly the same when spoken. Averted hilariously in this exchange between female-drow Jobe (it's a long story) and Thunderbird:
    Jobe: You can call me... (thinks) ...anti-Fey.
    Thunderbird: Auntie Fay? If you say so.
  • Psychic Block Defense:
    • Eric Mahren (later Caitlin Bardue) in the has this, in a sense. Prod the wrong memory, and you get to relive the sensations of being shot, or worse. It's lampshaded by one of the doctors there: "It'd take a guy like Mahren to turn his own brain into a minefield."
    • Tennyo, Fey and Carmilla also have this. Tennyo's is just a absurdly powerful always-on mental shield, although she appears to be able to drop it partially if she chooses to. Fey and Carmilla both use permanent uses of their powers, a spell for Fey and a psychic construct for Carmilla. Anyone breaking those is also likely to break the effects containing the always-active Mind Rape level auras they have and find themselves incapacitated by lust or reverence. Carmilla also can duplicate Marhen's minefield trick by being an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Chaka can use her Ki powers to close her brow chakra, blocking psychic attacks.
  • Psychic Powers: At the Whateley Academy there are so many teenagers with psychic abilities of one kind or another that there is a Psychic Arts Department full of teachers who also have psychic abilities. In addition to every case mentioned on the trope page, there are also Package Deal Psychics who have multiple powers (which typically can only be used one at a time): most have ESP, Psionics, and some form of PK ability. Some can even use the PDP talent to simulate the Superman bit (the Flying Brick), levitating themselves for flight, using the PK to give themselves a super-strong field about their body, yada yada yada. Living near the academy is a sweet little old lady... who may be the most powerful precog on the planet.
    • Precognition is noted as one of the most hazardous powers, ever. Most active precogs are functionally insane, and Mrs. Potter is unique because she can actually handle all the information she's getting. When an incredibly dangerous power mimic copied Mrs. Potter's ability, he was mentally paralyzed for long enough to be thrown into prison.
  • Psycho Electro: The only group more prone to Deidrick's Syndrome than devisors are electrical Energizers, with Olympia being the current stock example. Of course, the fact that she is also schizophrenic doesn't help much.
    • While he doesn't have Deidrick's, Imperious counts. True, he may not be delusional - he really is the reincarnation of Zeus - but he is still pretty quick to toss those lightning bolts around at anyone who defies him.
  • Psychotic Smirk:
    Maybe we’d even hit them with all three runs, in succession, ending with the dreaded Radioactive Condor Girl, just to really mess with their heads. That would teach Everheart and Bardue a thing or two…
    “Ayla? Why are you smiling like that? You’re making me really nervous.”
  • Puberty Superpower: Every mutant. Gaining mutant powers after puberty is usually lethal. Non mutant supers are not restricted in this way. Some, such as Tennyo's brother, do develop their abilities during childhood. It seems most common with the Mad Scientist types but is relatively uncommon.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: On her first day in Poe, Chaka defends herself by using her Ki powers to sock Hippolyta in the guts. This is about as effective as punching The Hulk. Hank has to rescue her before she gets pummelled.
  • Punny Name: Here: An attorney named "F. Yew Baddeley" (F. U. Badly).
  • Purple Prose: Toni's narration slips into this when looking around the cave in "It's All in the Timing". It's implied that the cave itself is the cause of this.
    Feeling boo-koo nervous, I looked around, and my jaw almost hit the floor of the cave. Something was bubbling down from the roof of the cavern. No, now that it was clearer, it wasn’t bubbling, it WAS the bubbles. It was only a congeries of iridescent globes, yet stupendous in its malign suggestiveness.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Fey's magic tutor Sir Wallace Westmont, who is a Shout-Out to John Steed of The Avengers.
  • Rape as Backstory: Loophole, by one of Freya's minions.
    • Also appears in Vamp's origin story.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Writers REALLY like this trope. Numerous villains are rapists. Especially Freya and the Don. While not overused, it is a pattern.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Most of the early stories are set amongst the same group of people, with the same events happening, but with each story taking place from a different character's Point of View.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Feral disapppeared because her author had to go away, and Ayla underwent retcons and character changes when Diane Castle took over.
  • Real Name as an Alias:
    • Zoe Nesmith is Zenith.
    • Jobe Wilkins is literally applying the trope, with his codename being Jobe Wilkins.
    • Jimmy Trauger is making only a token effort, with his codename being JT.
  • Really Was Born Yesterday: Belphoebe, a cloned drow created by Belphegor using the cloning chamber he'd stolen from Jobe then accidentally imprinted the clone with a copy of his own memories. Hence while Belfy is chronologically 0, she looks 16 and is treated as such by the administration, staff and students.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: In Bladedancer's origin story, the Taoist Immortal Lan Caihe Ho offers Alex Farshine the choice: give up the magic sword and return to his mundane life, or keep it and become Handmaid Of The Tao, servant of powers of which she understands nothing.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Wallflower, because she can become invisible, logically couldn't see while invisible (because the light would pass through all of her without interacting, including her eyes). She never really thought about this before going to Whateley, when one of the scientists noted it. It then turns out that while invisible, she can see in the dark, apparently because she has an extra power that lets her sense her surroundings without light. In fact, almost all mutants require secondary powers. Investigating them, and the exact means by which the laws of physics are being bent, is most of what the Whateley scientists spend their time investigating. According to Sara it all comes down to Pattern Theory.
    • There are also plenty of examples of kids who are disabled because they lack required secondary powers. Like Frostbite, who freezes water but isn't immune to cold herself.
  • The Reveal: Silent Nacht reveals that the Bell Witch and Nacht aren't related at all. The Bell Witch stole Nacht from her actual mother and dipped her into the Erebos river, thinking that it would kill her, but when Nacht unexpectedly survived, Bell Witch decided to raise her as her own instead.
  • Rock Paper Switch: Chaka and Fey in "It's All in the Timing!". Instead of facing the future versions of each other, they swapped and tried to fight the future versions of themselves.
    “You think that it’s the old Justice League ‘Perfect Enemy for ONE character’ bit?”
    “Toni! That only happens in the comic books!”
    “eennhhh… yer right- it’s not like simple, everyday stuff like attacking ninjas, infectious werewolves, giant robots, and reincarnating Elven queens, now is it?”
    “Good point, good point…” she allowed. “And in the comics, the perfect solution for that is-”
    Nikki reached her hand out to me and I managed to grab onto it. As I pulled us together, the dopplegangers, somehow knowing that we were doing something, both screamed and charged. I swung us around so that we were each directly facing our alleged future selves.
  • Rotating Arcs: Each canon author has his or her own characters, and writes from their point of view. This does have the downside in that arcs involving all of the characters get told piecemeal and if you're following the order recommended outright spoiled in some instances.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Wilkins family, naturally. While Joe and Jobe are the only ones who are mutants, they are all weaselly, self-centered, Jerk Asses with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. On the other hand, each of them is remarkably talented in their chosen field, which means that when they do work together, they are almost unstoppable. Fortunately, most of them are so specialized in some professional or aesthetic field (e.g., couture, interior design, automobile detailing and restoration, medical administration) that they have to double in some black market operation to make a living, with Karedonian diplomatic immunity to shield them from prosecution. The main exception, aside from Jobe and Emperor Joseph himself, is their UN Ambassador, who has a thriving butcher's shop next to the embassy, and most of the diplomatic work actually gets done there.
  • Rubber Man: Several characters, including Jody Cooms (Plastic Girl) who has the 'Reed Richards' power set. She's more the friendly, helpful type rather than the fun-loving type. She's cute but not gorgeous and a little overweight, while she lives on a floor with a number of girls who would make Hollywood starlets binge in envy. Jody is Whateley's postergirl for the Mundane Utility of stretching powers, best demonstrated when Ayla Goodkind pays her to repaint his room.
    • Harlan "Reach" Sawyer is an especially interesting example: he has the Rubber Man power set, but doesn't have some of the Required Secondary Powers that would let him make really effective use of it; namely, while he can make his arm fifteen feet long, doing so stretches his muscles out so much that he can't do anything with his extra-long arm. Near the beginning of the story, however, a lab accident grants Reach the "exemplar" power set, which, among other things, includes Super Strength, so she (oh, yeah, that lab accident also turned him into a girl, though not permanently) is now much more effective. Harley is Whateley's poster girl for the Power Perversion Potential of this powerset as it it is explicitly mentioned that he/she can alter the size and shape of any body part for this purpose, something her girlfriend, who has a complimentary mutation involving nanomachines, greatly appreciates.
  • Rules Lawyer: Loophole. It's the source of her code name.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Part of the laws of magic. It's a recent convention though, according to Aunghadhail, only a few thousand years old.
    • Team Kimba visit Boston three times, and each time they end up battling the Children of the Night. The first two are "Boston Brawl" and "Boston Brawl II". The third is in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl".
  • Running Gag: During the shopping montage in "No Beast So Fierce", someone keeps asking: “Do you have anything that shows off a little more cleavage?”
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: A sort of example: Diedrick's Syndrome causes people to mimic typical mad scientist or supervillain behaviours, such as crazed rages, ranting monologues, revenge obsessions etc. Particularly common among Devisors (cf. Gadgeteer Genius, Mad Scientist above). Word of God explains that Diedrick's is a mental illness, not specifically evil, and seen among heroes as well as villains. However the villainous examples (such as Diedrick himself) are much better known. Whateley students refer to an acute attack as "dricking out". Megadeath, for instance, is an incredibly nice guy when on his meds. Another, Olympia, however, is stark raving mad even when NOT having an attack.
  • Screaming Plane Baby: Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
    Then, for the last half hour of our flight, as we descended into Chicago, we were serenaded by the screams of a baby whose mother didn’t seem to grasp fundamental concepts, like ‘air pressure differential’ or ‘Eustachian tube’. Poor little kid. I’ll say one thing. That kid had the lungs of a full-grown howler monkey. I wondered if the people sitting next to them would be deaf by the time the plane touched down.
  • Screw Destiny: Sara is determined to shape her own destiny as the Kellith to become the first Prohuman Transhuman Eldritch Abomination
  • Scry vs. Scry
  • Second Law of Gender Bending: Many of the changelings take to their new genders with aplomb. Others, notably Ayla Goodkind and Chou Lee, have much more of a problem with it. Mostly because the Exemplar, Avatar and Shifter traits ALL switch the gender of the brain to match the body. Chou's a baseline, Phase has a combination of male and female BITs (female ones being responsible for the whole intersexed thing). Hive... has no excuse.
  • Secret Identity: Many practicing superheroes have one. Keeping enemies away from the family is a good thing. Also used to justify the use of in-school "code names," especially during powers testing, since records are stolen, or otherwise "acquired", by corrupt government agencies and others. All Arena matches are inevitably filmed and sold to Mutant Deathmatch tv shows, especially the combat finals.
  • Self-Duplication: Troika can split into three identical people, while OMAG can split into at least six people but the duplicates don't seem to have the autonomy that Troika's dupes do.
  • Sex Sells: Discussed here when Tina is auditioning for being the band at the Halloween Dance:
    Mr. King turned to face the audience in a parody of her stance, muscles clenched tightly, gripping his mic with both hands, knuckles white, “I feel like I’ve been locked up tight, for a century of lonely nights… no wonder you’re locked up, you look constipated! You’re probably in hospital for a ruptured bowel. THIS IS A PERFORMANCE! MOVE! You’re a girl, for God’s sake, move that ass, baby!”
    Mr. King span and wiggled his ass at the audience for emphasis, “Strut that stuff, girl! If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Sex sells. If you think Christina got where she was on her voice alone, you are sadly mistaken.
  • Serial Romeo: Rosethorn; doubly ironic, as not only is his name Romeo, but he consistently is the one who gets dumped by his girlfriends.
  • Sewer Gator: Between the Eldritch Abominations lurking in the area and decades' worth of Devisor experiments getting dumped into the sewers, Stan and Morrie would probably find mere alligators a relief.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: At the beginning of Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 9), Ayla and Vox have sex, but all we get is screaming narration and Ayla glossing over it:
    Then she voiced me: “get out those brick condoms I know you have.”

    Oh God.

    I mean, oh God!

    OH GOD!!!

    Vanessa left a couple hours later. Man, that was unbelievable. It was just as erotic and exciting and amazing and perfect as I had always imagined it would be. And that’s all I’m saying about it. So there.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: It is eventually revealed that this is the reason Jade never aged past 11. The exact cause of the lock isn't known, but implied to be an extremely powerful curse. In Tennyo Goes To Hell, the lock is broken on a copy of her via exposure to Shoggoth genetic material. She becomes an Omnimorph on par with Jimmy T, and the ability to pull Me's a Crowd. Since she's literally in a hell at the time, she needs it.
  • Shared Universe
  • Ship Tease:
    • Hank and Nikki have a bit in the early stories. They show attraction to each other and hints of jealousy over potential rivals. This is dropped after Lily is introduced and starts dating Hank.
    • Ayla and Jadis have a bit, the most overt of it being some comments from their friends.
  • Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: Averted in Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 2), where the police were about to shoot Bova when she was holding a hair-dryer.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Anything by Diane Castle, which is parodied in Fractious, her Lit-Chick counterpart. Fractious cannot help doing this, to the point that a 20 page short story becomes a 600 page criminology textbook.
  • Slice of Life: Ayla stories have a strong tendency towards this, as do Aquerna's and some of Jade's.
  • Slippery Skid: Silent Nacht Chapter 2:
    the guard reached into a pocket and threw a handful of peas onto the floor in front of them. As they stepped on the ‘peas’, the tiny memory plastic balls popped into their full size, roughly that of ping-pong balls, causing the young men to slip, and they fell all over themselves.
  • Snark Knight: Nacht. She has reasons why she acts this way, though.
  • Snowball Fight: Happens in the November 3rd section of Ayla and the Tests: Chapter 7.
    • Whateley Academy is up in the Presidential Mountains of New Hampshire, so they get a lot of snow every winter. The big snowball fight around Poe cottage involves a lot of superpowers, including Quake using her powers to force some snow into a snow 'fort' and Phase using his powers to knock it down.
  • Soap Punishment: Mentioned after Abra swears in the Precision F-Strike entry:
    “Abra!” Clover gasped, “If Mrs. Nelson heard you, she’d wash your mouth out with soap!”
  • So Bad, It's Good: "Tales of the MCO" is seen as this in-universe.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jade, at least twice. Special mention is that both times this is specifically prophesied by Hekate, who nevertheless fails to take appropriate precautions. More specifically, the first time her prophesy says 'don't bother' and she believes it but Don Sebastiano doesn't listen. The second time she TRIES to take appropriate precautions and does a pretty good job. But how do you take precautions against someone who is dead using telekinesis to keep her heart pumping, removing a sacrifical dagger, murdering half your base, and telekinetically making them into a zombie army? All the while claiming to be a Vampire Princess?!
  • Speech Impediment: Eclia in Normalland : Chapter 2: Less Than Three, trying to say: “Hai, Sensei Ito!”
    “Less than Three, in this match, please do not use any of your devices.”
    “Hai, thenthei Ito!” she said so primly, though with an adorable lisp
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Reverend Englund. It doesn't help that half of the canon authors actually do spell it "England."
    • Some authors tend to spell "Hippolyta" as "Hippolyte". (Never mind that it'd be pronounced differently.)
  • Split Personality and Talking to Themself: Jade. Ayla and the others have made note of the fact that the J-Team needs their own set of pronouns. Jade's the only one shown so far able to have a conference with herself. However at the heart of it Jade and Jinn roughly are the same, and as time has gone on Jade has been acting more like Jinn. Their talking to each other is just a natural extension of her powers duplicating her mind. Whether using her ability to effectively parallel process with all her duplicates mind linked with her counts is debatable.
  • Squirrels in My Pants:
    • In the origin story of Fey, ordinary high school frosh Nick Reilly is slowly turning against his will into a hot redheaded babe who also happens to be a powerful mage. He gets confronted by a school bully who rips Nick's shirt off, stressing out Nick so much that he accidentally unleashes dozens of hobgoblins who happen to appear as psychedelic-colored squirrels. Two of them go straight up the bully's pants legs. Hilarity Ensues.
      "Ohhh nuts!"
    • And of course there's Aquerna's combat final. The girl's power and personality have made her friends with every squirrel on campus, so it was practically inevitable.
  • Squishy Wizard: Magic users, psychics, and gadget-using types generally fall into this category when their bags of tricks run out. Which is an important caveat. Averting this is one of the major tactical decisions TK takes early on- and very effective it is too. When she starts waving Malachim's Feather about, Fey is the equal of most decent close-in fighters.
  • Stock Superpowers: Damn near all of them. The school has standard testing to evaluate what kind of powers someone has, how strong they are, and which curriculum modules will develop them most effectively. Averted though, with Jade. Who has ever heard of her powers? Lampshaded partially by the police testing her and having difficulty classifying her powers.
  • Strawman Political: The Goodkinds. Fridge Logic raises the question why they are unassailable as well by the superpowered community. Brute force isn't going to work well because the Goodkinds are rich and famous. They believe in hiring competent help — including security, who will be highly trained, motivated, and equipped with the best that money can buy — and any open attacks on them are apt to result in major public backlash. Add to that that superpowered individuals in the setting are generally less than 'cosmically' powerful and their community is far from united (to the point where quite a few, upon learning of a pending attack, would do their own best to stop it), and it really starts to look like the Goodkinds are here to stay.
    • It was pointed out in a recent story that based on past family history this makes no sense whatsoever. The Goodkinds have been pro-life, anti-slavery, pro-revolutionary war, pro-civil rights, pro all kinds of things that would suggest they should be some of mutantkind's greatest supporters. Yet, somehow, they have become the opposite. Ayla doesn't even know how to explain it. It's implied the oddness of this had never yet been pointed out anyone in the family, either, though mention is made of secrets only 21 and old working members of the family are privy to. The question of why, exactly, the Goodkinds are so anti-mutant has been raised as a plot-point.
      • Another story implies that the Goodkinds have been Villains With Good Publicity all along, with the highly visible good deeds covering an ugly history of exploitation, strikebreaking, double-dealing and other similar skullduggery.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Averted. the series as a whole contains several good examples of ways to prevent ultra-powerful characters from breaking the story by giving them believable reasons to hold back.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Chou Lee's powers are given to her by the Tao, and it gives her as much power as it sees fit. Word of God says nothing can stand in her way if the Tao deems it necessary. But usually it doesn't.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Eisenmadel 1 Summer of my German Heritage (Part 1) has "Subliminals in the [Public Safety] seminar, video and audio.":
    • Video:
    when her eyes did the frame-by-frame trick, they were painfully visible — pictures of young blonde women, girls, being threatened, beaten, dragged away to be raped by shadowy thugs drawn from a broad caricature of non-Aryan examples. Only one frame in ten, at most, contained these violent graphics, but that was enough to make her uncomfortable. All around her, other girls were squirming in their seats, reacting to the pictures they were not consciously seeing.
    Subliminal imagery.
    • Audio:
    Open your mouth and close your eyes, and you will get a big surprise. The rhyme popped into Erica's head. In all the old cartoons Eric had watched with Opa, that had been the lead-in to a dirty trick of some sort. Erica expected no less now. So when the relaxing music began, she closed her eyes and focused on listening, in the hopes that her ears had picked up a trick or two as well. At first it didn't seem so, but then she caught just a bit of a word here and there. Fragments of sound came together to form phrases, like "obey the Lady" and "fear the black man." It took a lot more focus to keep up with the sounds, but knowing that they existed helped. She could separate the words from the music. Hopefully that would be enough.
    "She should not be giving us this much attitude now. Her resistance to the subliminals is outside the parameters.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: Team Kimba has subspace communicators, built by Bunny with mathematical help from Sara.
  • Suicide by Cop: Stygian has tried this more than once, by trying to provoke the most dangerous students on campus (e.g., Razorback, Tennyo) into blowing him away.
    • Inverted: An FBI agent goes out of sanction to try and kill Strega; when she (literally) stomps him into the ground, the FBI basically write it off as a suicide.
  • Summoning Ritual: Screwed up version when Bloodworm tries to sacrifice Sara Waite for a dark boon. He gets the wrong hell, calls up the wrong demon, and ends up getting knocked into that hell dimension for a literal fate worse than death.
  • Super Gender-Bender: A central premise but uncommon in the greater community.
  • Superhero: Duh!,
  • Super Hero Origin: Ditto duh!
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages: It starts off in the Late Stage, with kids manifesting their mutant powers and going off to a Superhero School of roughly 600 teenagers with dozens of powered teachers and staff. The backstory of Charlie Lodgeman is set starting in the late 1800's, and the universe was already Middle Stage at that point. He and five others form the superhero team the Mystic Six.
  • Superhero School: While this is what most people (including many of the students) assume Whateley Academy is, the School Administration, and particularly Headmistress Carson, are quite insistent that Whateley Academy is not a superhero school, though they will admit that it's an Academy of Adventure. Due to Whateley being funded by Superheroes, Supervillains, and Superneutrals, it doesn't push the "hero" thing.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Mutants are people who have manifested (usually around age 14) powers based on a 'meta-gene complex' in their DNA. For unknown reasons (since no one understands why some people with this complex become mutants and others do not), children of mutants are much more likely to also become mutants. At the Whateley Academy, there are currently kids who have powers utterly unrelated to their parents' powers. But there is one girl who looks just like her mother used to, and has an exact copy of her mother's powers, right down to the ability to manifest something that looks like a big ol' flaming sword. There are also two students who are the kids of one of the world's most notorious supervillains, and they have his trademark forelock horns (along with his unattractive facial features), but different powers.
  • Superpower Lottery: And guess who pulled the jackpot(s)? Everyone
  • Super Registration Act: Internationally administered by the MCO, in the US administered by the Department of Paranormal Affairs (DPA). DPA maintains records of all US citizens with abilities beyond the human baseline, and issues their mandatory Mutant ID (MID) cards. For international ease of travel, the DPA uses the MCO model for this card.
  • Super Soldier: Experimentation in augmented soldiers during WWII plays an important role in the series backstory.
    • Several supervillains have various types of genetically or cybernetically augmented foot soldiers, including the Chessmen, the Syndicate's Tiger Guard (especially the elite Sabertooths), Dr. Diabolik's Devil Dogs, and Lord Paramount's Catamount Troopers. The Animen were originally created by Dr. DNA with this in mind as well, being meant as breeding stock for future super-soldiers.
  • Super-Speed Reading: It's a part of the stock mental package of the Exemplar mutant power set, along with lightning computational skills and sometimes a danger sense or directional sense. The higher your Exemplar (mental) level, the faster you can read, the easier you can memorize anything you see, and the faster you can do basic algebra types of math. It doesn't make you smarter, but it does make you better able to get good grades. Also, plenty of Exemplars do not have the mental package that goes with their level of power.
  • Super Strength: Pretty common, ranging from Exemplars who are just really strong to 'flying bricks' like Lancer who has a PK field so he can lift that car without breaking it. (However, as a nod to "realism" and in line with the generally assumed slightly lower power level of the setting most characters' superstrength explicitly tops out in the "some single-digit number of tons" range. Thus, even a character who can lift a car can't necessarily do the same with an entire bus.)
  • Super Toughness: Plenty of supers, but Peril is a good example. He field-tested an inventor's jetpack. It exploded at two hundred feet up (so he took the blast and then the fall). He's fine now.
  • Supervillain: Lots. Many send their own children to Whateley. Part of why nobody with half a brain messes with a students family, or attacks the school.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: As per Word of God: Mr. Magic's son 'Artie' is actually 'Gwen'. Mr. Magic had an affair with a woman and when she got pregnant, she broke off the affair out of concern 'about raising a child in the unstable life Mr. Magic led', and when he saw his child, "for some reason, possibly involving Gwen's tomboyish appearance, he mistook her for a boy. Seeing how elated he was in having a son, Gwen decided to play along and—for some reason—her mother also went with the charade, both telling Mr. Magic that Gwen was a boy."
  • Symbol Swearing: In The Three Little Witches when the Three Little Witches are being chased by the Whitman girls:
    “Come BACK here, you little @&&#*!$!” rang about through the night, shattering the quiet around Whitman Cottage.
    “Slow down you little $#!*&@%$!” screeched the girl with the silver blaze in her black hair.
  • Taking You with Me: What the Star Stalker was created to do, on a universal scale.
  • Take a Third Option: The whole point of Faction Three. Thuban and co don't want to be forced onto the hero or villain parts, they want to do their own thing without being instantly judged for being GSD sufferers.
  • Talking in Your Sleep:
    Billie drifted off to sleep, to dream about her family. An hour later, Jinn and Jann looked over when they heard her giggling in her sleep, “Yeah Thad, you have to clean all the toilets in Hawthorne, or else…”
  • Tap on the Head:
    He walked into the bedroom… and walked right into a punch to the jaw. A cheerful female voice said, “Well fancy meeting you here!” Not that he answered. Vamp had punched him so hard he left a dent in the wallboard.
    Vamp glared down at Nightgaunt’s unconscious body.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Unusual eye-colour is a normal byproduct of a mutant's emergence, and a classic "give-away" even when their appearance is otherwise that of a baseline human. Known colors are anything under the sun, but purple and normal eye colors with bright tinges seems to be the most common.
  • Technopath: Several of these, most notably Merry, Dr. Palm, and Samantha Everheart.
  • Telefrag: Ayla is capable of something best described as this; upon going 'light', phasing into something, and then going back to regular density, whatever was in the way stops being in the way. The process is quite painful for Ayla, however, so he tries not to do it. In the earliest stories, it keeps wrecking his clothes when he phases out accidentally.
  • That Came Out Wrong: "Nikki keeps fondling my bling-bling!"
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: For some this is true, others just an excuse. The Bad Seeds are pretty much a whole clique of "then let me be evil" just waiting to happen. She Beast and Nacht seem to be resisting, but both lament how giving in would be so much easier, and Jobe doesn't really count because of his Blue and Orange Morality. Gloriana even warns her fellow Cape Squad members that they're going to trigger this trope if they don't cut the Bad Seeds a little slack.
    • This seems to play a role in Imp's backstory, as well, though she isn't evil so much as she is a Trickster with a love of fine art and a desire to get back at the world.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, so far three characters have been portrayed as competent therapists, two of whom are telepathic. Teen Drama is preserved because for various reasons characters often are less than cooperative with their therapist. When they work with their therapist they tend to get good help with even the oddest problems, and considering what the therapists see on a daily basis they probably would be believed, but when has an angsty teenager ever believed that anyone could understand their problems...
    • Even with a staff of four, and assistance from ARC's therapists and Fubar, the school is all too aware that it often still isn't enough, given the often unique nature of some of the problems, especially for cases where their powers directly cause behavioral changes (as is often the case for Avatars, due to the passenger that shares their head). In addition, you have trauma cases like Pejuta, kids who have been rjected by their friends and families, kids who have been attacked by other mutants or hunted by H1! and/or the MCO, kids who were subject to abuse due their mutation, kids who were victims of more mundane, by no less tragic, forms of mistreatment (such as Jade), and even cases of psychic, astral, or magical assaults (such as what Skybolt and Cavalier experienced). Just keeping them all going is a monumental undertaking.
  • The Fatalist: A major aspect of the Taoist religion, we've seen them accept murder because it was destined. Not happily mind, but…
  • The Weird Sisters: There are at least two trios of witches:
    • The Three Little Witches, Palantir, Abracadabra and Clover
    • The Trix of Dr. Macabre: Stormy, Icy, and Darcy.
  • Third Law of Gender Bending: Played straight, especially with clothing stereotypes:
    • The girls all end up in lingerie style sleepwear, just in time to get into a very public brawl against a bunch of student ninjas from a rival school.
    • The only ones who voice any objection to dressing or acting girly are Chou (who favours mandarin tops and yoga pants) and Ayla (who actually owns more silk lingerie than any of the girls, admitting he likes it too much to stop).
    • The girls even make use of the stereotype, using masking technology to make eavesdroppers think they're talking about vapid girly stuff, when in reality they're talking Serious Business.
    • Jade displays a tendency early on to adopt the stereotypical submissive behavior of her mother as a way of making herself feel more feminine. She also likes it when her boyfriend is macho and dominant - but only when it's about something she wants to do anyway.
    • During his Christmas story, Phase gets this shoved into his face, hard: fearing that the MCO is after him, his older sister Gracie decides that the best place to hide him is... a beauty pageant. Cue the Makeover Scene from Hell. Worst of all, after the wax treatment they gave him, his body hair and eyebrows never grew back, permanently giving him a more feminine appearance than ever.
    • Ribbon takes this trope and runs with it, on the premise that if she's going to have a chance at a whole new life after living fifty years as a man, then she'd better do it right. Her manifestation powers, which allow her to create a whole suit of clothing instantaneously, may have influenced this. It makes for some jarring interactions when her old habits do show through.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Chaka for Thunderbird. An interesting example, considering that he had no clue that the other girls were interested in him in that way.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted by many of the characters, heroic or villainous. Among Team Kimba, only Chaka and Phase have no confirmed kills (though Ayla did set one opponent on fire, an act of desperation that left him horrified with himself), and Jade in particular has a body count in the hundreds. Jobe has tested numerous serums on Karadonian prisoners with fatal effects, and thought nothing of infecting the DeVille Academy attackers with a deadly disease in order to get them to surrender in exchange for the vaccine/antidote. Several supervillains, including Well-Intentioned Extremist Dr. Diabolik, have been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.
    • Even the Big Good of the series is pushed to this: during her fight with Deathlist, headmistress Lady Astarte finally decides that he's too big a threat to let live, and tries in full earnest to kill him. While he managed to escape, it isn't known if he survived his injuries or not. It's also been mentioned that other villains have died fighting her, though apparently it was never intentional on her part (one gets the sense that somewhere along the way, at least by the mid-1970s, she'd decided that 'not killing' doesn't necessarily require her to save villains from their own mistakes).
    • Interestingly, it is a supervillain who is best known for this trope. Mimeo is known as 'the supervillain who doesn't kill'; personal ethics aside, he wants to keep his most powerful opponents alive and active, so he can keep copying their powers whenever he needs a power-up. The Necromancer almost pushed him to the point of killing during the fight at the Roxbury C Supermax Penitentary, but once he was convinced that Necromancer would spare Fey's life, he simply left the scene.
  • Tim Taylor Technology - Devisor gear frequently works this way, presumably because needing enough energy to work is one of the few laws of physics to which devisors pay attention. Knick-Knack is a big believer in this style of Devising.
  • Tinfoil Hat: A Devisor, Dr. Herbolt, used his powers to make tin foil hats that blocked psychic intrusion, but because they are powered by his power, they might not work for anyone else. There's no info on that latter point.
  • Title Drop: At the end of So I'm a Freak. Sue Me:
    Welcome to Whateley Academy. Hope you like stories, because we got a few doozies to tell sooner or later. I do so love it when panic and mayhem come together.
    Yeah yeah, I'm a Freak. Sue me.
  • Transformation Fiction: Standard for mutants whether BIT changes in sex, age, or gender, or GSD changes into monstrous forms.
  • Transgender: Everybody in Team Kimba and quite a number of other characters in their own stories. A uncommon (but apparently growing more common, see Lampshade Hanging above) side effect of the Exemplar power means you'll be changed whether you like it or not.
  • Transsexual: A number of Transgender characters (Chaka the most prominent example) felt as though they were the other gender to begin with before transforming. Jade is a more traditional example, being the only member of Team Kimba who has not physically transformed in any way and is searching for a way to become a "real" girl. Ayla is an inversion, he wasn't transgender until after his body changed when he manifested, and he firmly retains a male psyche.
  • Troperiffic: At some points in the story the characters themselves are referring to tropes.
  • Trouble Magnet Gambit: A man who is known to be rather friendly with the local weres is slipped a fungus that affects them like catnip does cats by a man who wants all the land he owns. And gets killed, as one might expect.
  • True Companions: Summarized in the last bit of "Away from Home".
  • Tunnel King: MoleAr, who can manipulate rock and similar materials by touch and directed a digout from a collapsed prison:
    He looked around. “The only way out is the rubble in the tunnel. We tunnel into the debris, dealing with the way the rubble will slide down toward us as we work. The magical spells in the tunnel ought to be as wrecked as the walls. So once we get far enough into the tunnel to get around the magical effects of the ceiling in here, we can go straight up. We just solidify the debris as we go. Then we tunnel upward a bit at a time, making sidesteps to deal with the problem we’ll have when we finally get through the bedrock.”
    The Black Tiger sneered, “Oh, and what makes you such a big expert on this shit?”
    Mole Ar mildly said, “This is what I do. I have a Masters and a Ph.D. in mining engineering from Texas A & M.”
    The Black Tiger didn’t say anything, but his face was sure red.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Jade Sinclair (Generator), because she's a petite, pretty teenager who looks like a ten year old Japanese girl. When she is attacked by Bloodwolf and Maggot and Killstench simultaneously, she knocks two out (breaking one's jaw) and takes out the unstoppable Bloodwolf (who can heal from any injury) by nailing him to a tree. With railroad spikes.
    • Silent Nacht Chapter 2: Sunburst is this from Nacht's perspective:
    "you take in her looks and her Malibu beach bunny persona, and you think that she’s an airhead. She’s NOT; it’s a ‘Lord Peter Wimsey’ act. Check this out: she takes in hundreds of thousands a year for endorsements, personal appearances and things like that, but she doesn’t OWN anything. She arranges it so that she lives in elegant housing, drives top-end cars, dines at the big name restaurants, and goes to all the A-list parties; but none of it costs her a CENT. She has no real secret identity, so there aren’t any handles on her. Yet, for all that, she isn’t regarded as a mooch. Everyone’s always glad to have her around.
    “On a tactical level, that skimpy little outfit she wears? It’s better armored and equipped than some SWAT power armor, with armor reinforcement, force field augmentation, flight and steering boosters, attack refinements, and tactical updates. And it’s all so sleek and compact that it just looks like a bathing suit! I’m reasonably certain that she has at least three power gems that she uses to boost her power, but she’s savvy enough to not display them. Besides Skyrider, she has tech-geeks at UCLA, Cal Tech and UC-Berkeley working on new refinements - FOR FREE. Hell, she’s getting Tax Breaks for assisting California’s institutions of higher education.
    She let drop that she’d a part of the Chicago Crusaders ‘expansion team’ that came to Los Angeles - that was in 1976! And she’d been a superheroine for at least fifteen years before that! She’s been a superheroine for at least forty years! Forty YEARS. In that time, she’s had dozens if not hundreds of dynamorph challenges; by this time, she’s probably got one of the most powerful dynamorphs in the world. And in all that time, she’s never been the acknowledged leader of the California Crusaders. BUT, she’s always the ‘elder statesman’, the one that everyone listens to, the one with the final say.
    Sunburst is DANGEROUS! The only reason that a woman like that would allow herself to be disregarded as a giddy bimbo is that that was exactly how she wanted to be seen! She is underestimated, which means that she can get away with murder when she wants to. During that first summer, I was constantly trying to get away, and I could never pull it off, yet it always, ALWAYS looked like a pure fluke, and I could never quite be sure whether it was just bad luck or not. Most of the chessplayers who could pull something off like that have an ego that needs to rub their sucker’s face in exactly how badly they’ve been played. Sunny doesn’t have that.”
  • Unfortunate Name: In addition to the many students and other supers who have chosen an Atrocious Alias over the years, there are a few folks saddled with personal names that are less than desirable, though often quite fitting:
    • Dr. Paine Deth, who not surprisingly grew up to be a Mad Scientist.
    • Techwolf, who is under a family curse that causes the men of the family to look like werewolves, has the real name of Harry Wolfe. His father, who was the first victim of the curse and has bright red fur, is named Red Wolfe. There's speculation that terribly punny names are part of the curse.
    • Tansy Walcutt's first name is the source of much humor for the other students. No wonder she prefers her codename.
  • Unpronounceable Alias: Akemi Hori, whose codename is said to be unpronounceable by Fubar, who is dressed up as God, in The Devil's Dance Part 1:
    I asked God, “Oh Omnipotent One, I can’t for the life of me recall what Akemi’s codename is, much less what she can do.”
    “I can’t pronounce it,” he shrugged thoughtfully[.]
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: In some of the school's training sessions, the student squads face off against each other in this sort of scenario. Its generally to stop them from thinking they're invulnerable and undefeatable.
  • Universe Bible: See All There in the Manual above.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Mr. Cool is used by a lot of people during "Have Yourself An EVIL Little Christmas". He still ends up profitting more than most of them, without even being aware of the whole deal. He even gets a girlfriend who likes the supervillain stuff!
  • Unstoppable Rage: Some mutants (called ragers) have this problem, where they can be provoked into a bloodthirsty or destructive state. While some of these ragers are villainous in nature, the ones that are seen and focused on are sympathetic and, unfortunately, ostracized for their condition. Merry and Eldritch are somewhat of a subversion, though: though they would be considered "ragers" in universe, they are much more focused and systematic in their rage, possibly making them even MORE dangerous than the berserk velociraptor that can move at speeds higher than 100 MPH.
  • Upgrade Artifact:
    • The sentient, talking, magic sword Destiny's Wave granted Alex Farshine qing gong powers, Taoist healing knowledge, peak physical fitness, superb martial-arts skills, Implausible Fencing Powers, and the ability to speak, read and write Chinese. And turned him into a hot Chinese girl.
    • The Pearl of Great Price, which turned Dr. Braeburn into a mutant psychic. With the body of a Playboy model - s/he even matches the parts that were airbrushed.
  • Useless Superpowers: Occasional side-effect of the Masquerade.
  • The Vamp: Vamp. Invoked.
  • Villain Bar: At least four have been mentioned: three in NYC (Moriarty's, the Black Mask, and Superbad), and one unnamed one in Pittsburgh. Superbad is notable for being mostly a hangout for part-time supervillains with day jobs, basically a workingman's bar with a tolerance for odd costumes.
    • Also mentioned is a villain hotel, the Mayfair, a 4-star exclusive hotel whose staff are willing to look the other way at odd costumes and behavior so long at no one causes trouble for the ordinary patrons, or commits any crimes inside the hotel itself. According to She-Beast, this actually makes it one of the safest hotels to stay at in Boston.
    • It has also been mentioned that henchmen also have their own bars, where they can go to pound down the brew - and each other - between missions.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: This describes Team Kimba's life in a nutshell, what with the Boston Brawls, the Voodoo Wolves, etc. Still, the emphasis is a bit more on "Go to School" then with other things.
  • Wall Crawl: There's more than one character who can do this.
    • Chaka has figured out how to use her Ki powers to run up and down sheer walls.
    • The supervillain Nex can do this using telekinesis.
    • The Aquerna can do this because she has captured the spirit of the squirrel. And so on...
    • In one scene, there's a wall-crawling conga line.
  • We All Die Someday: From Whilst Any Speaks: Chapter 4:
    Aunghadhail: All things end.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Some authors are more prone to this than others.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Tennyo in particular is prone to this to the point that she has ended up completely naked at the end of several battles because her body can withstand far more damage than any conceivable clothing. This is a real problem because she's actually quite shy even though she's too Hot-Blooded for Defeat by Modesty. Eventually, Ayla has Techwolf craft a Chainmail Bikini made of adamantium plates for her to wear under her costume to preserve her modesty.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: There are martial arts instructors, so they have experts helping them choose, if they don't already have a weapon. Bladedancer has a mystical jade jian, Fey now has a mithril scimitar, and Chaka is learning everything she can (right now she's a chain fighter and wields a meteor hammer). Lancer, because of his power set, has two swords made out of paper. Jinn is made of this.
  • Webcomic Time: Since the series started in 2004, they have managed to move forward way under a year of Whateley time.
  • Wham Episode: In universe, every so often students are shown a video of the Dragonslayers taking down a rager, dozens of people dying brutally in the process. It's designed to show them that not only are they not unkillable, but that mercy will not be forthcoming.
    • The Halloween attack. Hundreds of powerful people are ambushed and attacked on their own ground, completely unprepared. While the body count is very low, the injury count is huge, and leaves a lot of people very shaken.
    • Tennyo's Combat Final. Taking out an arena of attacking robots single-handedly made everyone want to leave her alone.
    • Whilst Any Speaks, Part Four. Aunghadhail dies. Kodiak subsumes his spirit, who was controlling Loophole. Freya gets taken out for good, and Skybolt and Cavalier are finally freed from their mental prison.
    • The first part of The Riddle Of Sappho ends with Heyoka being found dead.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Minor characters often have this.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Certain humans (The Goodkinds and Humanity First!) have this attitude towards mutants.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: Certain mutants (The villainous super-ninja Nex for example) have this attitude towards ordinary humans.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Whateley is located in the fictional town of Dunwich, New Hampshire which is somewhere near the real Presidential range and the real town of Berlin, However, all of the rest of the local geography (like the fictional Miskatonic river valley) is invented, and there's little or no mention of other prominent and unavoidable geographical features like the rest of the White Mountains, implying that the authors chose the location from a map and have no real familiarity with the area.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: While probability manipulation is a relatively uncommon power, it causes disproportionate problems for the school administration, as having two or more 'reality manglers' in close proximity to each other can cause extremely unpredictable results. They run into a serious problem when more probability manipulators show up in one year than there are cottages.
    • This plays a major role in the Halloween invasion, as three probability manipulators ended up close to each other during the fight, throwing off Chessmaster's ability to predict events accurately.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In addition to the rather common Deidrick's Syndrome and Quinzel-Osborn Syndrome, it has been stated canonically that all Exemplars suffer from some degree of both Galahad Syndrome (a tendency to fixate irrationally on finishing the task they have set themselves to at all costs, whether it be 'protecting the innocent' or 'conquering the world') and Hercules Syndrome (an inability to control their emotional extremes, leading them to vacillate between overly dramatic posturing and violent rages). This is, of course, even worse when they are still teenagers, which goes far in explaining why things happen they way they do at Whateley.
    • Part of Jade's increasing erratic behavior is due to the destabilizing effects of her power on her perspective. The events of 'Bottle a Jinn', 'The Christmas Crisis' and especially 'Christmas Elves' in particular involved uses or side effects of her powers that caused severe emotional disturbances for her.
  • Wizard Duel: Fey and the Necromancer in all three Boston brawls.
  • Wizarding School: It may not be Whateley's main purpose, but the Mystic Arts Department stands as one of the world's best Wizarding Schools all on its own.
  • Which Me?: Jade Sinclair (Generator) and her creations. Jade's creations aren't really inventions. They're objects populated by a psychic clone of herself, including the character Shroud, who is claiming to be her sister Jinn. Even Jade can't keep her pronouns straight when talking about her selves, to the point that it is a Running Gag. ...
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Gotterdamerung. Fortunately for him, his girlfriend, Sunshine, is understanding about it.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Eclia in Normalland : Chapter 2: When Josie is made to fight Less Than Three "an adorable little blonde kid in curls who was even shorter than I was, wearing a smart pair of goggles. She looked kind of like a Shirley Temple playing the part of Daniel-san in the Karate Kid movie.":
    Wait, I was supposed to hit this little kid? I can’t hit a girl!
  • Would Hit a Girl: Any other guy who fights girls in Martial Arts class or elsewhere.
    • Phase, who he has no qualms about hitting a girl if he needs to, because there are lots of girls who are far stronger than he is, including some of his team.
    • Counterpoint is a Blood Knight and is willing to fight anyone.
    • Mimeo has to fight anyone if he wants to get the powers of the person he's fighting in a quick manner.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Josie as expressed in the Wouldn't Hit a Girl entry.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Mafiosi in "Mimeographic" who were perfectly willing to kill a twelve-year-old boy unless the kid attempted to commit murder for them.
    • Also, Jared Reilley's father, who — once he decided for no rational reason that Jared might not be his son - tried to beat Jared to death with his bare hands. He only failed because Jared manifested as a mutant under the stress.
  • Wreathed in Flames:
    The flame roared out, wrapping around her, licking over her skin while she moved within. Far too soon for the mortal audience, the dance was over, and Fey stood there caressing her elemental love, as it flowed and licked over her limbs and hair.
    “Well, that was – interesting.” Jade managed keeping well away from a still flame-wreathed Nikki. “I know you’ve been told this before, but you’re really, really scary at times, you know?”
  • Writing Lines: In their eponymous story, The Three Little Witches have to copy out the Whateley Code of Mystic Ethics twenty times, and as the Code of Ethics is five pages long, it's a hundred pages.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Invoked by name. Also, that story goes through the Gambit Index.
  • X-Ray Vision: Peeper. And yes, he abuses it. Interestingly enough, he can't turn it OFF, explaining some of his issues. Not all, just some.
  • You Already Changed the Past: It's All In The Timing.
    “She didn’t hurt you,” she said simply, as though spelling it out for a little- and not very bright- kid, “YOU hurt ME. And all of this only happened because you both came back to this time and made it happen.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: Marcel, Robur's right-hand man is an Enemy Mime who kidnaps Envy and Daphne. He silences Envy to prevent her from using magic, and traps Daphne with an invisible box.