The Whateley Universe is a Web Original prose Shared Universe in a Superhero School scenario with elements of the Cthulhu Mythos added into it. It was inspired by an X-Men fanfic written by one of Whateley's many authors.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, andJericho.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 whateversright 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).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 fanart including semi-nudity on the stories page, as well as rather frank discussions of sexuality in several of the stories.Recently, the Canon Cabal (who don't exist) have started developing plans for a second generation of Whateley stories. While they would take place at Whateley, they would occur several years after the main cast would have graduated, with an all-new team and new plotlines.The original six characters, Team Kimba, are:
Chaka (Toni Chandler), Genki Girl martial artist who controls Ki.
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.
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 the only Team Kimba character without his own series of stories.
Bladedancer (Chou Lee), Handmaid of the Tao, superb martial artist, and wielder of the legendary sword Destiny's Wave. Not an original character, but still a member of Team Kimba, although currently in the process of drawing together an additional combat team.
Wallflower (Lily Turner), think Violet of The Incredibles, right down to the super hero parents.
Circuit Breaker (Chad/Chaddy/Merry/Mai... it's complicated), a cyberpath and electricity-wielding Energizer. Currently cloned into two people (Petra and Paige Donner), the latter of whom is a werepanther in Sara's Pack, while the other is a holy knight having her own adventures in Italy.
Hive (Samantha Everheart), Whateley Security officer, who happens to be merged with a hive-like system of nanites.
Jobe Wilkins, an (occasionally) Affably EvilMad Scientist who ran afoul of one of his own creations, and is shown to be, alternately, a villain and a well meaning yet arrogant bastard with Literal Genie tendencies who simply can't understand why everyone hates him after he tries to help them. A member of the Bad Seeds, a clique of students who are the children of supervillains.
She-Beast (Jadis Diabolik), de facto leader of the Bad Seeds, who occasionally takes it upon herself to wrangle the others. Something of a neutral force, despite what some people on campus would have you believe.
Outcast Corner, which includes four characters:
Razorback (Jack Carlyle, born Erin Carlyle), a dinosaur-like raptor.
Diamondback (Sandra Carter, born Ryan Carter, a Lamia (snake-woman).
Jericho (Joseph 'Joe' Turner), an inventor who is deliberately the world's worst fashion disaster.
Eldritch (Caitlin Bardue, born Erik Mahren), a meld of a human and an ancient super mage-smith.
Arachne (Simone Bender), an Avatar with a spider spirit.
Fractious (Dee Castle), a reality warper with incredibly severe OCD.
Lifeline (Margaret 'Maggie' Vincent), a healer mage and life-energy absorber.
Selkie (Heather O'Malley), a water manipulator who may or may not be a minor Fae mutant.
Reverb (Renae Greist), a probability warper who can amplify others' powers and mimic their voices.
Lupine (Stella Woolfe), a wolf-were who has connections to spirits, most notably Coyote.
The Three Little Witches, a group of junior high girls who go around trying to steal enough essence to do Cool Stuff.
Clover (Estelle ?), a probability warper who draws good luck to herself.
Palantir (Irene Durcell), a manifestor who can create a ball that allows her to scry, can carry her around and can even translate languages she's never heard of.
Abracadabra (Bethany Tarvetti), a mage who may be the smartest one of the witches.
Greasy (Adam Lambert), a Devisor who constantly excretes a substance similar to motor oil. Formerly one half of the Whateley Peeping Toms Club and punching bag of the one person he may love.
Seraphim (Kerry Ellison aka "The Angel of Hell's Kitchen") who is an empath and mystic focus with access to the highest reaches of mystical power, making her a much sought after "commodity" in the eyes of a great many of the powers both inside of and outside of Whateley.
Aquerna (Anna Parsons), one of the kids who didn't win the Superpower Lottery. She is a fairly low-powered avatar who gets her powers from the literal spirit of the squirrelnote The similarities to a certain Marvel character have been Lampshaded in-story, where Marvel Comics actually exist as well and have created and copyrighted many of the same characters as in real life, but she's very much her own person. and started out as something of a campus joke because of it, but is proving actually pretty competent with what powers she does have as she gets more story time.
Envy (Seraphina Sophia "Fina" Valocco, born Serafino Valocco), a Wizard/Psi combo whose mother is the supervillain Strega. She hasn't yet made it to Whateley.
Vamp (Alex O'Brien) former Boston street hustler and teen supervillainess sent to Whateley when she enters the witness protection program. Deliberately plays up the bad girl image that inspired her code name.
Evan Ramsey (no codename as yet) and his friends, a group of ordinary teenagers who were involuntarily used by their captors as living incubators for dynamorphs but escaped before the dynamorphs could be harvested. They're currently travelling across America in the hope of making it to Whateley.
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.
Action Mom: Several of the students at Whateley are the children of superheroines/villains, such as Tennyo's mother. Becoming an "Action Mom" is Jade's express goal in life, though she is willing to become 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 literally 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.
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. Of course, 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Angry Black Man: Chaka's brother Vince. The rest of the family doesn't like this.
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.
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.
''Jobe: [...] There's no way genetic engineering can stave off the scourges that are ignorance, poverty, bigotry or line dancing.
Artificial Limbs: 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 just about 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 And also begs the question why there would be homosexual mutants at all, given that it defeats said purpose.
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 of course, 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.)
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.
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.
Attractive Bent-Gender: Pretty much standard for the genderbenders, except for those that also get physical mutations thrown in (and even then, it's not unlikely that they won't be attractive in some fashion).
Author Avatar: Subverted. The ones that most resemble the Canon Cabal are the Lit Chix, who are rather dysfunctional.
Author Existence Failure: Bob Arnold, who hosted the website as well as being a valued member of the community, passed away in July 2011. His family shut off the servers after his passing, but his brother-in-law turned them back on after being contacted by the various communities he hosted. The character of Jennifer Stevens was "imported" from Arnold's series "Zapped!" and placed in Whateley as a former drama teacher as memorandum.
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.
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 even 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 descibed as 'insanely overpowered'. He is a littleold 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.
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 KidzSecret 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 basically 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.
Brick Joke: Quite a few, often occurring in Ayla's stories, along with standard Continuity nods.
One fun one from Bek D. Corbin's The Big Idea has the Alphas, in the first ten pages, decide to prank a character by painting his room pink and more when he returns to it. Halfway through, he's about to return, and suddenly switches with a villain, as he has a terrible roommate and can't return to his room. 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 the floor lamp.
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 literally 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.
She's still there both as a member of Judicator's faction within the New Olympians and as a member of Sara's Pride. 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'.
Character Development: With hundreds of stories or chapters written in the series, Character Development is pretty much 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.
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.
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.
Chou Lee certainly qualifies, and is not happy with what the Tao requires.
Nikki Reilly too, but she's OK with her destiny.
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.
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.
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.
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. Mimeo combines the powers of Phase, Tennyo, Lancer, and Fey in Birthday Brawl.
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.
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.
Comic Book Time: Averted, surprisingly. However, it is 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.
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".
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.
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.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: All of the "old school" supervillains seem to fall somewhere between this and Contractual Genre Blindness. Back when supervillains were only just hitting the scene, most of them were con men with fake powers who were there to keep superheroes occupied while the mob committed more mundane crimes without interference. They were also far more pragmatic than modern villains when the situation called for it.
Of the modern supervillains, Mimeo deserves special mention: while he is a Power Mimic, and quite powerful in his own right, what really makes him dangerous is that, when he attended Whateley Academy years before, he took every single class offered on combat, magic, psi, and powers theory the school offered, so he can actually use the powers he copies. Perhaps just as important, he kept his activities low-key, disguising himself with his own shapeshifting powers whenever he wasn't specifically pulling a heist, and never getting anyone up in arms about him enough to really hunt him down. He was good enough that, despite fights with several entire super-teams, he only got caught twice in fifty years.
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.
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.
Dirt Forcefield: Part of some people's powers. It's why Pristine has her particular codename.
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!'
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 pretty much seems to be spying for the police, too.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Gunny Bardue and especially Erik Mahren, to the point that most students and security personnel knew him as "that asshole".
Eat the Dog: Sara. Almost always in the main lunch hall at mealtime where it can be seen, as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Of course, independent research would be impossible to obtain in order to test this theory...
Flat Earth Atheist: Quite a few of the top scientists believe that magic is just psychic effects.
Flying Brick: Hank and many others; the term "brick" is often used in-universe.
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".
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.
Future Me Scares Me: In "It's All In The Timing", Toni and Nikki meet their evil alternate future selves.
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.
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, of course.
Genre Savvy: Ayla and Jadis both have this, along with a good few people. Others pretty much go through the index.
Girl Posse: What, you were expecting something set in high school without at least one of these?
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.
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 hell of 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.
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.
Hard Light: Part of the Handwaving for the combat simulations; also a power available to some mutants.
Have You Seen My God?: The Olympian gods have come to Whateley... but they can't find Poseidon, Dionysus, and Hestia. Phase points out that it's possible they don't want to be found... and we don't even know if they're at Whateley.
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 this, but 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.
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 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 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.
Humiliation Conga: Quite a few, with Overclock and Make's comeuppance standing out in particular.
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. Thuban and Holdout come to mind.
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.
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.
I Have No Son: Many parents who have mutant children disown them (Aquerna, Aqueous, Phase, Diamondback) but it should be noted that not all parents do so, and GSD cases aren't always disowned (Razorback, Deimos, Phobos, Jericho).
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.
Incredibly Lame Pun: Chaka at the end of "Ayla and the Networks" and "It's All in the Timing", which earns her a pillow-pummeling and a faceful of snow, respectively.
Insanity and Turning Into anEldritch AbominationIs 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.
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.
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 basically 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. Not to mention, 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.
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.
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 an entire 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.
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.)
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.
Ley Line: Nikki can tap them to increase her power.
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.
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. As part of waking up, she vomits up her internal organs. 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).
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.
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. http://www.crystalhall.org/heyoka.html He has very strong powers, but he has to be in the astral plane to use them .
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, during her Christmas story.
Make Me Wanna Shout: Chaka often uses a superpowered Kiai in battle, strong enough at least to knock people off balance.
Man, I Feel Like a Woman : Averted, for the most part. Most characters are too distressed by their changes to to fool with themselves.
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, many mutants 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. The male version of this Biggus Dickus — Weres also get this while not having the Exemplar trait, and Paige/Petra are endowed with both "gifts".
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 operating nuclear power plants.
My Suit Is Also Super: Many Brick types' Nigh-Invulnerability extends to their clothing and even weapons, which is explained by their invulnerability being due to psychokinetic forcefields. Not to mention 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 totally 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 scared of the librarian.
Narrative Profanity Filter: '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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
Circe plays with it by referencing incidents that haven't happened yet.
Grimes: Well, I hope that’s the end of all this madness.
Circe: Yes. Definitely. Whateley will never again be foolish or goofy or insane. Except for the popsicle-stick skyscraper. Or the giant magnifying glass. Or the exploding puddings. Or the escalator to nowhere. Or the...
Grimes: Oh Gods.
Although it should be noted that she's quoting from a famous episode of The Simpsonsnote Marge Versus The Monorail]], and thus may or may not be serious.
Lancer's detention for the Birthday Brawl.
There's also the Isobel Anaelez case, in which a mutant was supposedly kidnapped 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, but 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.).
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.
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.
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. (And then there's 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.)
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.
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.
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.
Pronoun Trouble: Phase is intersexed. Heyoka shifts forms and genders. And then there's Generator and the J-Team, who are several entities who all are really the same girl...
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:
Puberty Superpower: Just about 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.
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.
The Rashomon: 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.
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.
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.
Rule of Three: Part of the laws of magic. Its a recent convention though according to Augenhail, only a few thousand years old.
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). Note that 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.
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. Not to mention that 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.
Razzle Dazzle is possibly the best example. Including a Deconstruction of Doc Savage.
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.
Snark Knight: Nacht. She has reasons why she acts this way, though.
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?!
Spell My Name With A U: 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. Not to mention that 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.
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 the hell 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, famous, and at least moderately genre savvy. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 pretty much 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.
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 forvariousreasons 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...
The Fatalist: A major aspect of the Taoist religion, we've seen them accept murder because it was destined. Not happily mind, but…
The Reveal: The fifth chapter of Silent Nacht reveals that Mr Magic's son, Artie, isn't Artie the vampire, he got turned into Stormy the witch. Vampire!Artie and Witch!Artie used to look very similar, so much so that their names and their looks meant that they were going to be pulling the 'identical twin' stunt. However, while Vampire!Artie got put through the monster maker and came out as a vampire, Witch!Artie somehow got turned into a female witch. Given that Macabre's posse already had a witch who could do ice and another whose name was actually Darcy, Witch!Artie got yanked into the group to be their Stormy.
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.
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: 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.
Throw It In: In "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl", when everyone was introducing themselves on the jet, the author accidentally skipped Tennyo. When this was pointed out on the forums, her reaction was basically, "Oops. Just... uh, pretend she was having a shy-fit. Yeah." Later, when she was writing the scene from Aquerna's point of view for "Straight from the Squirrel's Mouth", she had Aquerna notice Tennyo slink back when her turn approached.
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.
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: Pretty much summarized in the last bit of "Away from Home".
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.
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 - literally; s/he even matches the parts that were airbrushed.
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.
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 - literally.
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.
Where The Hell Is Springfield?: Whateley is located in the fictional town of Dunwitch, 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.
Wizard Duel: Fey and the Necromancer in all three Boston brawls.
Writers Cannot Do Math: Hank's and Jade's acceleration and top speeds while flying. They are both repeatedly shown having top speeds significantly slower than a skydiver's terminal velocity, which ought to be the top flying speed of a telekinetic that can lift exactly twice their own weight. Hank can exert 5 tons of force. Jade can exert just over 300 pounds. Hank is reported to weigh 140 pounds. Jade is reported to weigh 83 pounds. The actual math reveals that Hank should be able to reach a top speed just over mach two. Likewise, Jade ought to be able to reach approximately 370 mph.
The implication is that with Hank, the faster he and most PK supermen go, the less control they have. While this does not mean Hank's top speed is or isn't Nach 2 or so, it might explain why he sticks to the speed he does, it is the speed where he had the greatest mix of control and speed.
That really isn't born out by the math either. Hank's 5 tons is about seventy times his body weight, meaning he can accelerate himself with seventy times the force of gravity. Unless he's weaving between obstacles faster than his reflexes can handle, there's no reason control would become an issue.