Series: Arrow

"My name is Oliver Queen. For five years I was stranded on an island with only one goal: survive. Now I will fulfill my father's dying wish: to use the list of names he left me and bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else; I must become something else."
Oliver Queen, a.k.a. "The Vigilante"/"The Hood"/"The Arrow", Season One intro

Arrow is a 2012 series from The CW based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. It stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Katie Cassidy as Dinah Laurel Lance, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and David Ramsey as John Diggle. The series also stars Paul Blackthorne, Willa Holland, Susannah Thompson, Colton Haynes and Manu Bennett. Arrow is a more realistic and grounded television adaptation of D.C.'s Green Arrow comics.

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as an arrogant, unfaithful playboy. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance, which is a complicated affair as he was cheating on her with her sister, Sara, who presumably died in the shipwreck of the Queen's Gambit.

As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of the Hood – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of the wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by John Diggle, his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, and using the expert skills of Felicity Smoak, a Queen Consolidated I.T specialist – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

The show follows the comics in Broad Strokes, playing the line between staying faithful to the source and keeping the audience surprised. Those unfamiliar with the comics will miss some Mythology Gags and references to important characters in the DCU, but the series enjoys employing Red Herrings to keep even the comics fans on their toes. The shows goal was to depict an evolving group of characters who may be closer or further from their comics origins, but through Character Development may eventually grow into the classical characters. Oliver started his mission as a ruthless vigilante killing enemies without hesitation, but has a change of heart when he sees the negative effect it has on the city, his allies, friends and family.

Despite some hesitation regarding the seriesnote , the show ended up highly acclaimed for the cinematic presentation and having a strong cast. It brought in high ratings for The CW and was such a success the creators introduced their version of The Flash with a two-episode appearance of Barry Allen, played by Grant Gustin, and showed the accident that gives him his powers at the very end of the episode. He was then given a spinoff for The Flash (2014) that premiered in October 2014. The universe would expand again with a show helmed by Vixen - however this one is a bit different, as it is an animated web series on CW Seed rather than a live-action show on the series proper. And as of late February 2015, yet another spinoff is in the works, a DC superhero teamup starring Brandon Routh (AKA the A.T.O.M.) and ... Caity Lotz?

Has a character sheet with the main characters, recurring characters, and the villains as well as a recap page.

This series provides examples of:

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     Tropes A-D 
  • Abandoned Warehouse: The Arrow's base of operations. It hugely averts the Never Recycle a Building trope first by using the Queen's former steel factory and then building a club above-ground with his Elaborate Underground Base underneath it so as to provide a cover to where he goes every night.
    • Joined by another one he planned to use in case the foundry was compromised. Until then he apparently went there when he needed alone time.
  • Absentee Actor: Stephen Amell and David Ramsey are the only actors to appear in every episode.
  • Action Girl:
    • Laurel can hold her own against your usual mooks.
    • Shado is as badass as Slade and considerably more so than Oliver.
    • Helena can just about keep up with the Vigilante.
    • McKenna Hall is a tough cop.
    • The Canary/Sara Lance, capable of matching Oliver in skill, and while she prefers a battle staff, she's no slacker with a bow either.
    • Nyssa al Ghul
    • Isabel Rochev, even before becoming the Ravager.
    • Thea Queen is quickly becoming this due to Malcolm's training.
  • Action Duo: Diggle and Oliver, before Felicity came along.
  • Action Survivor:
    • Oliver is forced to take a level in badass after the Queen's Gambit sinks. Oliver is trapped on an island full of mercenaries (amoung other nasty surprises). His time there leads to over 20% of his body being covered in scars and there is evidence of healed broken bones that were never properly set. And he's a captain in the Russian Bratva. Who knows what else happened in those five years?
    • Similarly, Sara is found by Dr. Ivo and a crew of pirates who are aboard The Amazo. Later she joins the League of Assassins. Unlike with Oliver, we may never know what happened during Sara's six years away from Starling.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Felicity Smoak has black hair in the comics, but is portrayed as a blonde in the TV series. Lampshaded in "Home Invasion", when she admits to dying her hair. Explained in the A Day in the Limelight episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak", in which it's revealed that her hair going from its natural black hair to dyed blonde is a Expository Hairstyle Change.
    • Oliver himself has dark hair, instead of his trademark blonde (though in some of the flashbacks his hair appears lighter, closer to its comic book roots).
    • The same goes for Roy Harper: from red-haired to brown.
    • Also Sara, who has golden hair under a platinum blonde wig. However, the original version of Sara, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, was a brunette, like Black Canary originally was in the comics.
    • Barry Allen has light blonde hair in the comics, but is portrayed with brown hair in the show.
    • Mia Dearden is blond, but Thea is a brunette.
  • Adaptation Expansion: A major aspect of the series.
    • Oliver's time on the island has expanded from a mere few weeks/months (during which he mastered archery in order to hunt game, and eventually busted some drug-dealers before getting home) to a 'five year nightmare', during which he, among a LOT of other things foils an attempt to cripple the Chinese economy and is involved in the origin of Deathstroke. As of Season 3, we've learned that he wasn't even on the island for the full five years, and spent some time in Hong Kong as an unwilling ARGUS agent. Basically, a simple origin story has been expanded into an on-going five season long flashback story-arc.
    • The show tends to do this with the origin stories of most characters. Roy Harper's transformation into Speedy/Arsenal became the subject of a season-long arc, and it looks to be the same with Laurel's transformation into Black Canary.
    • It has so far taken two seasons for the show to get to the classic status-quo that the Green Arrow comics started with - Green Arrow and Speedy (Arsenal on the show) fighting crime together as a team, and the Arrow being embraced as a hero by the citizens of Star(ling) City.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The name "Green Arrow" is never used (except once, derisively). This version of Oliver Queen and his alter ego are known as The Vigilante, the Hood, and now, The Arrow.
    • Mia Dearden becomes Thea Queen, though she uses her comic name as an alias in Season 3 and her comic surname is actually her and Oliver's mother's maiden name.
    • Detective Larry Lance in the comics becomes Detective Quentin Larry Lance, while his daughter Dinah Laurel Lance goes by her middle name, and it's her sister, Sara, who becomes Black Canary.
    • Star City is renamed Starling City (although Star City has been implied to be a nickname).
    • Arthur King/Merlyn the Archer becomes Malcolm Merlyn / the Dark Archer.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Amanda Waller in the comics is a heavy-set, middle aged woman. While her appearances in other live action media like Smallville (Pam Grier) and Green Lantern (Angela Bassett) typically have her as much slimmer, they still kept her as being older and weathered in experience. Waller in Arrow is played by a slim, very attractive actress in her 20's.
    • Merlyn in the comics is depicted as a middle-aged man with, Depending on the Artist, either a receding hairline or a "Wolverine like" hair. Malcolm Merlyn is portrayed as a Tall, Dark and Handsome of the same age but with good head hair that is always properly groomed.
  • Adaptational Badass: Thanks to the current lack of powers (or at least, limited number of them) or A-List characters, characters who're badass in the comics are bumped up significantly to fill the gaps as they're no longer Overshadowed by Awesome.
    • The classic interpretation of Oliver resolves primarily around his inhumanly accurate archery skills along with his Trick Arrows, and while he is a competent athlete and hand-to-hand fighter in general, he's easily outclassed by the likes of Batman or other prominent fighters. Without Batman, Oliver changes from a B-list Badass Normal to the most notable hero in the universe whose skills make him a target for the likes of Ra's Al Ghul, who'd usually harass Batman instead. This is also helped in part by the fact that, by toning down the amount of Trick Arrows he has to a more realistic amount, he's forced to take people down by hand more frequently, showing off his fighting skills more.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The show incorporates elements from across diverse eras of Green Arrow's comic-book history and mythos, as well as the larger DC Universe.
    • Season 1 borrowed the tone and realistic aesthetics of Mike Grell's landmark Green Arrow series, as well as other elemts (the hooded costume, Oliver's willingness to use lethal force, Oliver not being called 'Green Arrow' and focusing on tackling urban crime and corruption). 'The Undertaking' i.e. Malcolm's Merlyn's plot to level the Glades is based on a similar plot (which involved the SAME villain) from Judd Winick's mid-2000's run.
    • Word of God cited Andy Diggle's Green Arrow Year One miniseries as inspiration for the island flashbacks.
    • Oliver's feud with with Deathstroke in Season 2 borrows elements from their feud in Identity Crisis (specifically, Oliver stabbing Slade in the eye with an arrow).
    • Oliver losing his company and fortune at the end of Season 2 sets up a status quo similar to that in the comics of the 70's through till the early 2000's.
    • Roy Harper on the show is a perfect example of the trope. He combines the origin of the New 52 version a small-time felon who is given the chance by Green Arrow to become something more, with the Red Arrow costume he wore in the mid-2000's as a member of the Justice League; apparently goes by the name Arsenal but essentially plays a role similar to what he did in the comics as 'Speedy'. Also, the Season 2 sub-plot of Roy being injected by Mirakuru and losing control is reminiscent of the landmark comic-book story Snowbirds Don't Fly which dealt with Roy's heroin addiction.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Anatoli Kynazev, who in the comics is the Batman villain KGBeast.
    • Sebastian Blood gets a sort of Adaptational Anti Villainy. While the comics version is a total psychopath who does things For the Evulz, the Arrow incarnation is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who has a Heel Realization, and dies reiterating that everything he did was for his love of the city.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Malcolm Merlyn (based on the comicbook character, Merlyn) had the Queen family yacht sabotaged, shipwrecking Oliver and his girlfriend Sara Lance, inadvertently causing the events that would shape them into The Arrow and The Canary vigilantes. Also, Deathstroke trained Oliver and helped him survive on the island.
    • In "Uprising", it is revealed that Brick was the one who murdered Malcolm Merlyn's wife and was thus responsible for his Start of Darkness. This means that he is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the origins of the Dark Archer, Arrow, Canary and Deathstroke.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • Nyssa al Ghul is a lesbian.
    • Also, Black Canary is bisexual, whereas, in the comics, she is canonically straight, which is not to say that she hasn't had any homoerotic subtext.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the comics, Dodger is a Lovable Rogue Anti-Villain who dates Mia. In the series he's a ruthless Smug Snake who gives his hostages explosive collars.
    • In the comics, Helena Bertinelli/Huntress is a dark antihero, perhaps the darkest in the DCU. Here, she eventually becomes an out-and-out villainess, although without very much change in her basic personality. She is somewhat more ruthless in the show, being willing to kill innocent people and attack Oliver's loved ones in pursuit of her revenge. In the comics, she never killed innocent people, and would not deliberately attack people who did not get in her way. Also, in the comics, she eventually became best friends with Oliver's off-again on-again love-interest, Dinah Lance/Black Canary.
    • Fyers was morally ambiguous at worst in the comics, and slowly became one of Oliver's close allies. Here... not so much.
    • Moira Queen. In the comics, she was just a posthumous character (a Martha Wayne expy).
    • The Blackhawks were a heroic, if sexist (in a Fair for Its Day invoked kind of way) military airforce unit from WW2. Here, they're a corrupt Private Security firm who use their skills and equipment to rob banks.
    • The Movement has gone from an Occupy-type protest organisation to Bomb-Throwing Anarchists.
    • As revealed in "The Climb", Maseo. In the comics, he's just an ordinary man who's death leads to his wife becoming Katana. Here, he's a member of the League of Assassins. Granted, he might still end up as a sympathetic character.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The toned down 'no fantastical powers' results in this for some characters, by turning them into Badass Normal characters instead.
    • Harbinger/Lyla Michaels, in the comics, is a super-powered ally of the Monitor and joined the Amazons; in the series she's a former Afghan War vet-turned ARGUS agent and leader of the Suicide Squad, and Diggle's ex wife who he reunites with.
    • Shrapnel, in the comics, is a walking pile of scrap metal. In the series, he's a Mad Bomber.
    • Laurel, due to being the Black Canary in the comics, who was one of the best fighters in the DCU. Here, she's an OK fighter at best who can take on a thug or two, but is easily over powered by stronger fighters. As of Season 3, she's working on that last part.
    • Sara, who is the show's Canary, also lacks her trademark Canary Cry. Instead, she has a sonic-generating device that has the same effect.
    • Kate Spencer is Manhunter in the comics. In-series, she is Starling City's District Attorney. Well, was...
    • Count Vertigo, in the comics, is a super-villain who is well trained in combat and has the ability to disrupt and disorient opponents using the "Vertigo Effect" from which he takes his name. In the series he becomes The Count, an intelligent and influential but non-powered drug lord who manufactures and sells a narcotic called vertigo which induces a disorienting effect in users.
    • Slade Wilson/Deathstroke was a soldier experiment in the comics, giving him slightly enhanced abilities that gave him a chance against others with powers, namely the Teen Titans. When he appears in Arrow he is a skilled operative, but just a normal human. As the show continues he acquires some superhuman abilities because of Mirakuru, bringing him more in line with his comics version. With Mirakuru, he massively outclasses everyone and becomes the most terrifying person on the show at that point, besides Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Adorkable: Felicity. At times, even Oliver. And with Barry, adorkableness-squared when he's in the same room with Felicity.
  • An Aesop: Arrow tends to deliver a number of these, that take some of the characters singular episodes or sometimes even entire seasons to learn. Notable ones include:
    • "Once you go through a crucible, you emerge the stronger for it." Uttered by Helena Bertinelli early in Season One, subject to many a Call Back and often part of a character's story arc.
    • "Don't let your own guilt justify a vendetta." First crops up in "Broken Dolls", where both Quentin and Laurel have to learn this, and becomes all-too-relevant following the Face-Heel Turn of Slade.
    • Drugs Are Bad - see below.
    • No-one is irredeemable:
      Laurel: That word you said before - what was it?
      Sara: Taer al-Safar... it means the Canary.
      Laurel: If you're so far gone, and so irredeemable, then why would they know you by such a beautiful name?
    • Don't push people away - it is atttachments to people that make life worth living. First uttered by Oliver (again, in "Broken Dolls"), it ironically can refer to one of his major character flaws.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Malcolm Merlyn aka the Dark Archer, the Big Bad, is generally quite polite and calm, even charming (the fact that he's played by John Barrowman helps), yet he's also the first villain to thoroughly kick Oliver's ass, and the only one to do so without a dose of Mirakuru.
    • Ra's al Ghul. Like Malcolm, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who, as he puts it, replaces evil with death. (Basically, he and the league are what you'd expect for the guy Malcolm gets his way of thinking from.) So naturally, he's polite and calm and seldom gets worked up. When it's finally time for him and Ollie to come face to face, he hands Ollie a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle, and then compliments his abilities, and finally says a prayer for Ollie's peaceful entry into the afterlife, and seems very sincere about all of it. Then he tosses him off a cliff.
  • After Action Patch Up: In "League of Assassins," after Oliver and the Canary's battle against three Assassins, Oliver performs some stitching on her back. Its used not really as a romantic moment, but more to show how Bad Ass the Canary is, and Felicity points out that she's not even flinching.
    The Canary: Pain and I came to a little understanding a few years back.
  • The Alcatraz: Lian Yu, the island Oliver was stranded on, used to be a secret prison where the Chinese military kept its most dangerous prisoners. The end of Season 2 reveals that A.R.G.U.S. has since taken over and built actual underground cells.
  • All According to Plan: Turns out Oliver let himself be caught on camera. With Diggle's help, he's now able to have the Hood be spotted while he has the perfect alibi, thus deflecting the police's attention away from him and the fact that The Hood has shown up at the exact same time Oliver returned from the island. And Oliver was the first person he "saved".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Why Thea likes Roy. Also Laurel's Kryptonite Factor.
  • Always Someone Better: The Dark Archer gives Arrow a Curb-Stomp Battle. Twice.
    • Cyrus Gold, first survivor of Mirakuru basically tossed The Arrow around like a rag doll and kicked the crap out of him. That's not the worst part, however, Oliver ends up poisoned during the battle.
    • In "Time of Death", The Clock King is this to Felicity initially, before she deals with him with his own tricks.
    • In the same episode, Felicity feels that Sara is this to her, as she repeatedly gets shown up by her as well as Tockman. This changes when she defeats the Clock King and saves Sara's life.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The League of Assassins, in the episode of the same name, attacks Canary's clock tower base to try and kill her.
    • In "Time of Death", there's a cyber attack variant, as Tockman hacks the Arrow Cave's computers and makes them self-destruct.
    • "The Man Under The Hood" has Slade easily break into the Arrow Cave and wipe the floor with the team, all so that he can steal the Skeleton Key device. And since he probably could have done so without them ever realizing he was there, it seems likely he was also trying to send a message.
    • There's a literal example of this in "City of Blood", as Isabel's takeover of Queen Consolidated allows her to seize all of the Queen family's assets, including Verdant, and by extension, the Arrow lair beneath it. During the siege of the city, she and Slade use the QC offices as their base.
    • In "Unthinkable", the Deathstrokes raid the clock tower (which Team Arrow have taken over as a default base), and are revealed to have trashed the main Arrow lair.
  • Alternate Continuity: DC's Geoff Johns said Arrow and The Flash will not be part of Warner Bros.'s current DC movie franchise, which includes Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Anachronic Order: The show begins with Oliver being rescued from a deserted island, and splits its time with the modern story in Starling City with flashbacks to the events on the island. This is often used to explain how Oliver gained a particular skill he shows in the present day, or sometimes tell actual story elements that come back around. Towards the end of the first season Oliver acquires his first kill with a bow and arrow. Strictly speaking, both stories are chronological themselves, the first year on the island is covered over the course of the first year back in Starling City and the second season flashbacks covers the second year.
  • And I Must Scream: Deadshot's poison, curare, is real, and it does kill by paralysis. However, you don't need a blood transfusion to survive it, just artificial respiration (no chest compression, as it doesn't affect the heart) until it wears off. It's compared to locked-in syndrome on the other wiki, the real-life And I Must Scream condition.
  • And Starring: Depends on the season. It's rotated and shared by Susanna Thompson (Moira), Paul Blackthorne (Quentin) or/and John Barrowman (Malcolm). Colin Donnel (Tommy) also always gets "Special Guest Star" billing separated from the normal episode guests list everytime he appears post Season 1 (sans "Three Ghosts" where he was treated as a "Surprise Guest").
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. If you are hit by one of Oliver's arrows you are going down and are lucky if you live (or unlucky that the misery is not over).
    • Subverted with Oliver's duel with the Dark Archer. He takes three arrows in the back but is in good enough shape to get out of there and rips them out. However, doing so seems to be too much for him and Diggle needs to get him to the hospital when he collapses afterwords, and he takes a while to recover from this, as well as the beating he took from the Dark Archer.
    • Played straight with Mirakuru Soldiers, but justified as Mirakuru makes their muscle density strong enough that any arrow that hits them is stopped before it can do damage and have strong healing abilities, and they can similarly withstand bullets. This was actually a plot point as its what lead Oliver to realizing what he was dealing with.
  • The Anticipator: Some of the more Genre Savvy villains tend to take precautions against a visit from the Hood - these include posting a lot of mooks in order to deplete his arrows, or ambushing him in areas where he can't easily use his bow. Laurel does this as well when Oliver shows up in the Starling City Police Department's main office, having a contingent of Special Operations officers waiting to take him down.
    • One small time crook is smart enough, after surviving an encounter with the Hood, to bring a plexiglass riot shield with him next time.
  • Anti-Hero: Oliver starts out as an Unscrupulous Hero, but has moved to Pragmatic Anti-Hero.
    • Helena Bertinelli similarly is an Unscrupulous Heroine who looked like she was going to make the same move as Oliver because of him, but went right back to being Unscrupulous.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Malcolm Merlyn (Type III) would like you to believe he can solve all of Starling City’s problems by destroying the Glades and everyone in it with a man made earthquake. Heroic goal but horrific means.
    • William Tockman, the Clock King, is a Type II - he just wants to provide for his sister after he's gone!
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: After Moira holds a press conference to announce Malcolm's plan in "Sacrifice", the Glades dissolves into chaos.
  • Arc Number: 503, which is the number of people killed by Malcolm's plan. "52" starts cropping up a lot in Season 2 as well.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The strange symbol of Tempest which turned out to be a map of the Glades.
    • Drugs just keeps popping around as early as Season 1, Foreshadowing the introduction of Mirakuru as an important Plot Device in Season 2.
  • Arc Words:
    • People are always telling Oliver to "Survive".
    • On the bad guy side, there's "the Undertaking".
    • "You/I have failed this city". It's what Robert Queen says to Ollie before he died, it's what Oliver says to the people he takes down, and what Moira says to the press conference before outing herself and Malcolm.
    • 503 the number of people killed by Malcolm's plan seems to be turning into an arc number. "52" starts cropping up a lot in Season 2 as well.
    • Season 2 has Prochnost' /прочность, (Russian for "strength"), which ties into the storyline of the Mirakuru and its strength enhancing properties.
  • Armor Is Useless: The body armor worn by the US Marshals doesn't help much against Huntress' crossbows. Truth in Television: the way kevlar vests are engineered to stop bullets makes them vulnerable to stabbing and bladed weapons.
    • Averted with Slade's Deathstroke gear, as it shows the armoured plates are designed with arrows in mind, resulting in Oliver's anti-Mirakuru arrows just bouncing off.
  • Arrow Catch: Used as a shorthand on the show to illustrate that a character is badass.
    • In Season One:
      • In the pilot, Oliver catches a knockout dart ...and is promptly knocked out.
      • Wintergreen does this with one of Yao Fei's arrows during a flashback in "An Innocent Man".
      • Helena catches an arrow Oliver shoots at her in "The Huntress Returns", saying she practiced the move just in case.
      • Malcolm does this when Oliver shoots at him in "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
      • In "Sacrifice", Malcolm does this again in his fight with Oliver. Only this time, Oliver fired an explosive arrow that detonates right after Malcolm catches it.
    • Season Two, in keeping with its promise to knock things up a notch in terms of supers...
      • Bronze Tiger, in the second episode, can slice arrows out of the air with his claws. Over and over.
      • In the fifth episode, "League of Assassins", one of said assassins catches one coming at him from behind. Well, to the side, but also a little bit behind.
      • In "Seeing Red," Roy in a Mirakuru-induced rage catches one of Ollie's arrows in midair and kills a cop with it.
    • Season Three:
      • In "Sara," Oliver shoots his last arrow at Delacroix, who deflects it and returns fire. Oliver catches the arrow fired at him, nocks it, and shoots Delacroix with it, pinning him to the wall.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Tommy lists to Oliver all the things he's missed: the teams winning the Superbowl, a black president, "And LOST? They were all dead. I think."
  • Artistic Licence Biology: After Laurel is poisoned by the League of Assassins, she suffers what the doctors describe as a sub-conjunctival haemorrhage. As the name suggests, in real life, this would leave a blood-red patch in the white of her eye, but in the series it is shown as some pretty golden sparkles.
  • Artistic License – Economics: In season two, Isabel Rochev manipulates Oliver into making her acting CEO of Queen Consolidated so that she can impoverish his family by making all their stock in the company worthless. This would never work, for the simple reason that the Queens are the majority stockholders in the company, so Arthur can remove her as CEO at will. Also, the only way to render all the Queens' stock worthless would be to so badly manage the company that it became valueless, which she can't do without both getting removed as CEO very quickly and ruining her reputation in the business world, which at that time she still valued. On top of all of that, it is extremely unlikely that the Queens would have no other assets other than their stock in the company. At the very least, it is likely that they would own their palatial mansion outright.
    • Except that the early episodes of season 2 make it clear that Queen Consolidated is in trouble in the wake of the Undertaking and the Queen family has leveraged their personal assets to the hilt to keep the company afloat. This is what enables Isabel to buy out a parity position in the company in the first place. Only Walter's intervention as an investment banker allowed Ollie to keep control of the company and his sudden abdication as CEO probably swung the balance in controlling the company, assuming that he didn't outright sign his proxy over to Isabel when he appointed her CEO.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: In "The Brave and the Bold" Diggle's spare guns are shown to be kept loaded in an unlocked drawer of a cabinet. Despite the prevalence of people doing it in fiction or Real Life, guns should never be stored loaded, there's a small chance they can malfunction and go off.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: There's a very good reason why doctors give injections exactly the way they do: holding the syringe upside down and pushing the plunger until a bit of fluid comes out, then sticking the needle directly into bare skin. If any air gets injected into the patient's vein, it can cause a fatal embolism, and if the needle goes through clothing it can snag bits of fiber and push them into the bloodstream, which can be just as bad for you. The show screws up on both counts, more than once.
  • Artistic Licence Law:
    • In the Pilot the Corrupt Corporate Executive Adam Hunt gets the court case against him moved to the courtroom of a judge whose election campaign he funded in order to rig the outcome of the case. He's even shown at one point telling his subordinates to put "remind" the judge that "I put him on the bench, I can take him off." In real life, this would be a clear conflict of interest for the judge and he would have to recuse himself from the case. If he didn't recuse himself the plaintiffs would have excellent grounds for appeal.
    • Intentional version: In real life, the only wounds hospitals are required to report to the police are gunshot wounds. As Roy points out, when there's a vigilante archer running around putting arrows in criminals, an arrow wound is gonna get the police called just as easily as a bullet.
    • In the season 2 episode "Blind Spot" Laurel probably doesn't need to ask "a warrant, for what?" while handing it back to the corrupt cop. U.S. warrants have to state explicitly what is being searched for. As an assistant district attorney, she would certainly know this.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Some of the people in the Glades. Most were probably good people, however.
    • Sebastian Blood. After having him help Slade tear the city apart, and still think he'll be allowed to be its mayor, it's very satisfying to see Oliver's Death Glare as he leaves Blood's office. Zig-zagged when he's impaled by Isabel afterwards, though.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Cyrus Vanch certainly feels so.
    • Slade would agree.
    • Apart from those two, however, the series averts this. Most crime bosses offer no physical challenge to the Arrow themselves, and even Vanch is a pushover, relying on his men to handle the Arrow.
  • Back from the Dead: Given the more down-to-Earth nature of the show (hence its comparison to Batman Begins), this has already occurred once, and may occur again in the future. Exactly how a character cheated death (as of halfway through the second season) has yet to be revealed, but it appears to be tied to the League of Assassins. They also introduced Cyrus Gold (AKA Solomon Grundy, an undying monster) in the second season before disappearing him in a No One Could Survive That scenario.
    • An essential part of the Green Arrow mythos, Oliver Queen was assumed dead by the world for five years.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In the season 2 finale, the League of Assassins shows up to help Oliver fight Slade and his army of Mirakuru-enhanced criminals. They're the ones who kill Isabel when Oliver isn't willing to. Subverted in that Oliver really didn't want (or even need) her to die.
  • Bad Liar: Played with as Oliver can lie well enough to fool a police lie detector but he seemingly chooses not to most of the time. His family puts most of the lying and avoidance down to PTSD from his experiences on the island. A particular note to the terrible lies he tells Felicity - likely because he's testing her trustworthiness. Generally, he can lie when he needs to, but purposely makes bad lies as a way of testing people.
  • Badass: Oliver and Diggle in the main cast. Many of the supporting cast are as well: Yao Fei, Slade, Wintergreen, China White, Helena, Malcolm, Roy...
    • Hidden Badass: Malcolm Merlyn
    • Lady of War: China White, Shado, Sara, Laurel on occasion, and Nyssa al Ghul.
    • No Badass to His Valet/Scary Black Man/Submissive Badass: Diggle has so many layers of Badass. The last one is played with as he takes his cues from Oliver, but he doesn't let Oliver walk all over him and frequently calls him out on his B.S.
    • Overshadowed by Awesome: Quentin, Laurel and Diggle are fairly competent themselves, they just don't compare to Oliver.
    • Waif-Fu: Generally averted; most of the women who qualify as an Action Girl tend to fight with speed, agility, and brute force (the Canary in particular averts this, as her well-defined abs and biceps make her decidedly un-waifish). Played straight with Nyssa al Ghul, whose fighting style is very flamboyant - justified in her case since the League of Assassins typically employ theatrics in their fighting style. Isabel Rochev, being Summer Glau, also demonstrates this, though downplayed as she's also easily overpowered by men with similar fighting abilities and greater strength until she gets Mirakuru'd; then she's a One Woman Army.
  • Badass Army: The League of Assassins and the Blood Cult.
  • Badass Boast: Sara delivers a great one in League of Assassins when Diggle wouldn't let her leave without him.
    Sara: "Dig, you may be a 3rd-tier Special Forces veteran, but I was trained by the men who make the Special Forces look like a kindergarten class. So step aside, or get put down."
  • Badass Normal: Once Mirakuru gets introduced, the show starts featuring Oliver going against superpowered people. It's somewhat deconstructed, Oliver does very well against Mirakuru soldiers just by being better trained and using clever gadgets, but if he loses focus however briefly it goes badly for him. Every fight he has against one before they developed the Mirakuru cure he either loses or wins by the skin of his teeth.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: During the season one finale, Merlyn is defeated by Oliver in combat, but manages to destroy half the Glades anyway, though he kills his own son in the process.
  • Bash Brothers: Oliver and the Canary/Sara Lance in season 2, until they become a Battle Couple. Oliver and Diggle also play with this, and in Season 3 it appears Ollie and Roy will take this dynamic too.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In "Damaged", Oliver realized that eventually someone will put together the timing of his return home and the arrival of Arrow, purposely staged his bag of supplies in front of a security camera, suspecting that he would get arrested on 'mostly' circumstantial evidence. Then, after being arrested and forced to wear a security anklet he threw a large party (ensuring multiple witnesses) and had Diggle appear as Arrow on the other side of town.
    • The way Oliver finally turns the table on Slade in the S2 finale. He had previously discovered that the Queen mansion had been bugged, and that Slade would kill the person he thought Oliver loved most, so he staged a declaration of love for Felicity, and planted the Mirakuru cure on her, in the hope that he would kidnap her.
  • Bathroom Break-Out:
    • In "An Innocent Man", Oliver ditches his bodyguard by going to the washroom and never coming back.
    • Which is a call back to "Lone Gunmen" in which Diggle and Oliver discuss Oliver using the tactic on him.
      Diggle: I guess from now on I'll be watching you pee.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Oliver and the Huntress are very briefly this in episode eight.
    • Oliver and the Canary, as expected, develop into this.
    • It's implied that Sara and Nyssa were this before the former ran away. One of the reasons they failed was because Sara couldn't take the life of an assassin anymore.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Arrow puts his fist through the visor of Helena's helmet before violently tearing it off her head, all without smudging her makeup, much less damaging her face to even the slightest degree. Likewise, though she engages in multiple bouts of fierce hand-to-hand combat, she is never shown to suffer so much as a scrape or bruise (until shot in the shoulder).
    • Subverted with Oliver himself, who most definitely suffered a great deal of cosmetic damage and scarring during his time on the island (though played straight in that he somehow avoided any lasting damage to his face). Sara as well, who is also covered in scars on her body but her face remains spotless.
    • Essentially, if you're a recurring character, you're not likely to get your mug busted. Diggs does get cut once, in a small way, and Oliver gets bruised a few times, but nothing big.
    • Averted with Deathstroke and Deadshot, who both lose an eye fighting Oliver that they replace with an Eyepatch of Power.
    • When a bomb goes off mere feet away from Felicity in the season 3 opener, she is seen afterwards with blood and soot all over her. But after she has a chance to clean up, she doesn't have so much as a single bruise.
  • Because Walter Was Nice To Me: Felicity said she would only help Oliver with his vigilante activities until Walter is rescued. She eventually warms up to the job though.
  • Becoming the Mask: An oddly inverted version. Detective Lance initially really wanted to bring the Hood in. By the time he became the Arrow, Lance was just as determined not to. "I can't know who he is. That would make him human. He'd have a family. I need him to be the Arrow."
    • Played straight with Oliver in the Season 3 premier. Oliver fears that because of everything he went through in the five years he was away, and the choice he made to dedicate himself to the crusade, he has now completely become the 'Arrow' and cannot truly be 'Oliver Queen'. This will presumably be a significant sub-plot throughout the season.
  • Bi the Way: Sara, who was revealed to be Nyssa al Ghul's lover and gets with Oliver in the same episode. When she comes out to Quentin, there is a pregnant pause, but he later admits he's glad she at least wasn't entirely miserable for six years.
  • Big Bad: Two per season, separated by timeframe:
    • Season One: Malcolm Merlyn in the present, Edward Fyers in the flashbacks until the season finale reveals he's The Dragon to Amanda Waller (though it wasn't revealed he was working for her until season 3).
    • Season Two: Slade Wilson as The Man Behind the Man to Brother Blood in the present, Dr. Anthony Ivo in the flashbacks. In "The Promise", we see Slade's Face-Heel Turn occur in the flashbacks along with usurping Ivo's resources, making him the overall Big Bad of the whole season.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Oliver has this for Thea, as does Tommy, to a lesser extent. Oliver also has a Knight Templar Big Brother side, which is stated in that entry.
    • Sara is the same, despite being explicitly Laurel's younger sister: Hurt Laurel, you're not likely to live. She reacts similarly when Quentin, her father, is harmed, and when her surrogate little sister Sin is hurt, she's willing to put aside the theatrics and Just Shoot Him.
  • Big Brother Worship: Thea, for Oliver, before he disappeared. After his return, that worship transforms into an equally-powerful mass of bitterness and anger with him, because of how badly his apparent death hurt her. It's worth considering that a large part of the reason Thea became a parental disappointment, wild party girl and drug user, besides her stated reasons, is because that's how she remembered her brother, and she wanted very badly to grow up to be just like him.
    • Sin is the same with Sara, despite not being her actual sister.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Most heroic characters do this on multiple occasions, especially Oliver, Roy, and Sara; Yao Fei and Oliver often combine it with Twang Hello. A villainous example occurs in "Streets of Fire" with Malcolm Merlyn.
  • Bigger Bad: Season Two contains multiple mentions of Ra's Al Ghul, a figure every criminal is afraid of in the series.
  • Bilingual Dialogue
    • Oliver speaking Russian and Yao Fei understanding English when responding in Mandarin Chinese in "Lone Gunmen", although he can speak English as well in "An Innocent Man".
    • Season Two episode "Keep Your Enemies Closer" sees the team travel to Russia, with an abundance of subtitled Russian dialogue (and a bit of Mandarin in a flashback).
    • Sebsatian Blood and his mother, Maya Resik, alternate between English and Spanish. Somewhat justified in that Maya's English is not very good, and though Blood insists on speaking in English, he delivers lines he wants her to understand in Spanish, including his final Wham Line:
      Sebastian: Los dioses son muertos. (Your gods are dead.)
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The end of Season One has Tommy Killed Off for Real, half the Glades leveled with no indication about what happened to Thea or Roy and Moira taken to prison. Nobody really won since Merlyn only destroyed half while it was being evacuated (preventing a complete Downer Ending) and Oliver couldn't completely stop him.
    • The end of Season Two surpasses it. While he is able to defeat Slade and the Brother Blood Cult Army, Oliver is left without a job, his mom killed by Slade, and Thea having run off with her father after finding out she was Malcolm Merlyn's daughter. On the flipside, he and Team Arrow become more closer.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Invoked by Felicity in "Darkness On The Edge of Town."
    Felicity: Hacking is such an ugly word. No, um...yeah, I'm totally hacking.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Oliver uses this as a way of disarming his enemies; once he tones down on killing it becomes his go-to attack until he declares Thou Shalt Not Kill, in which case he switches to just using non-lethal trick arrows, or 'Baby Arrows' as they're derisively dubbed.
    • Used twice in “Honor Thy Father”. Once with a knife to disarm China White and once to disarm Detective Lance.
    • In “Dodger” he actually paralyses the titular villain to disarm him.
    • In "Draw Back Your Bow" he manages to knock another archer's bow out of their hands.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Oliver does this a lot. Sometimes as a way of testing to see if he can trust the person he's lying to, but often to protect the people he cares about.
    • Oliver lies to Diggle a lot at first, because he doesn't like having a bodyguard. Once Diggle is in on the secret, he has no problem calling Oliver out – but he never goes to the police.
    • During the first half of the first season, Oliver regularly brings pieces of evidence to Felicity for her to analyze. For example he asks her to find the source of a dangerous drug, claiming that it is a hangover cure. His lies are so bad that she's less surprised when she should be when he finally tells her the truth.
      Felicity: If it's an energy drink, why is it in a syringe?
      Oliver: I ran out of sports bottles.
    • His mother passes his lying off as PTSD but his sister and Laurel are generally less impressed. It is worth noting that the lies he tells the three of them (and Tommy) are not quite as blatant.
    • Oliver's ability to pass a lie detector test could call this into question, but those rely mostly on the subject's nervousness while being questioned, and Oliver is very good at staying calm under pressure.
    • Slade takes the biscuit in "Deathstroke":
      Slade: Don't press charges on my account. I'm not one to hold a grudge.
    • Oliver claiming that he was the one who killed Sara. While his lie isn't TOO terrible, nobody falls for it. Not even Ra's, the guy who never even met Oliver.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While Arrow never shied away from blood and violence, Season 2's wounds are being displayed more graphically. Examples include Slade visibly slicing off Ivo's hand, and staring at the camera with his empty eye socket in plain view.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Zig-zagged. Blood is shown sparingly, and usually to emphasize the cruelty or Combat Pragmatism of the person letting it. For instance, people injected with Mirakuru tend to bleed from the eyes, and when Slade kills four of Sebastian Blood's men in his Deathstroke gear, his sword ends up covered in the stuff. In contrast, many people arrowed by The Arrow aren't shown to bleed (one noteworthy exception is Roy Harper, and he recovers from it quickly thanks to Mirakuru), when Slade stabs Wintergreen there is no blood, and a poison described as causing an eye haemorrhage looks much less gory than it would in real life (see Artistic Licence Biology). In general, while the series does show blood, it tries not to show too much, likely to avoid incensing censors.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Subverted. During a flashback to his time on the island Oliver, impersonating one of Fyer's soldiers, is subjected to this with Fyers asking what boat he came in on, knowing that every soldier who comes to the island does so by airplane. Subverted in that Oliver manages to beat the bluff, but Fyers was actually already aware of who he was anyway.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Diggle's official job is Oliver's bodyguard, with the first few episodes had him increasingly aware that Oliver was much more capable than he wanted people to believe. Even after joining the team, Oliver's bodyguard and Queen family security is his cover. He does mention in later episodes his cover is Oliver's "black driver."
  • Bond One-Liner: "Time flies" by Felicity, after the Clock King says "Tempus fugit", just before blowing up his mobile phone.
  • Book Ends:
    • Season 2 starts and ends with Oliver, Diggle and Felicity on the island.
    • Also, at the start and end Felicity is kidnapped by a villain who holds a weapon to her throat (the Count and Deathstroke respectively.) In the first instance the Count dies because Felicity is defenseless and Oliver has no choice but to kill him. In the second, unbeknownst to Slade, Felicity is carrying the cure, and uses her position to inject him. Oliver manages to capture him without killing him.
    • Finally, the second season opens with Oliver taking up his vow of Thou Shalt Not Kill. The season ends with Felicity reminding him that he swore not to kill, that his current problems aren't because he didn't kill Slade when he had the chance, but because he didn't ''save' Slade when he had the chance.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Or Bottomless Quiver at any rate; Subverted in "Betrayal." Largely averted otherwise; he typically doesn't go up against enough people that he'd really need more than the two dozen arrows in his quiver. And a bow doesn't actually need reloading, when you think about it.
  • Break Them by Talking: Thea does not like it when Oliver treats her like a child and tries to send her home from a nightclub in the third episode, and she executes a vicious verbal attack on him via this trope. She informs Oliver that Tommy, his best friend, has been 'screwing' Laurel, his old flame, during his absence... and she does it with an immense amount of sleekly-smug satisfaction at the pain on their faces. The attack is mostly (though not completely) diffused by the fact that Oliver overheard the truth while on patrol and has somewhat come to terms with it already.
  • Break the Cutie: The series does this to quite a few characters.
    • Oliver: A rich party boy who’s stranded on an island named ‘purgatory’. And earns that name.
    • Thea: Her brother and father were killed in a boating accident which caused her mother to become emotionally distant for a while. Then when her brother does come back he’s suffering from PTSD.
    • Laurel: Her sister and boyfriend were killed while cheating on her. Her parents divorced because of her sister’s death and her father became an alcoholic.
    • McKenna Hall: A vice detective given the prime job of hunting down The Vigilante only to be injured and have to leave town.
    • Tommy: His mom was killed when he was eight then his father disappeared for two years. Then his best friend is killed in a boating ‘accident’. And then there’s what happens in season one.
    • Sara: Same as Oliver, though she left the island early and ended up running with the League of Assassins, and carrying out assassinations with them lead to her hating herself.
  • The Bro Code:
    • Tommy really doesn't want Oliver to find out that Tommy hooked up with Oliver's ex-girlfriend Laurel while Oliver was missing. Never mind that Oliver had been cheating on Laurel with her sister, or that Oliver was Legally Dead for five years.
      Tommy: Whether you were dead or, as it turns out, alive on a deserted island, you're my friend. And me being with Laurel violated that friendship in about fifty different ways.
    • Oliver’s observance of the same code is a little more fluid. He sleeps with Laurel while Tommy’s feelings for her are still up in the air and he’d told Tommy to try and work things out with her. However, Tommy had just shot down any idea of getting back with Laurel, and Oliver’s own feelings and readiness for a relationship play into it.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • For a while, this is how Thea sees her mom after The Undertaking.
    • And then later how Oliver sees his mother after finding out that Thea is Malcolm's daughter.
    • Tommy has this reaction to Oliver when he finds out he's the vigilante, and later to Malcolm upon finding out he's the Dark Archer after spending the last half of the series patching things up with him.
  • Bulletproof Vest: At least the torso section of Arrow's costume seems to include this as a feature. Either that or the mooks are just that bad at aiming. Moira manages to do quite a bit of damage at close range with a handgun. Likewise the Dark Archer gets a couple of arrows through into Oliver's back.
  • Bury Your Gays: After spending a season nearly being killed at different points, Sara, one of the only two LGBT characters in the show, takes three arrows to her gut in the Season 3 premiere.
  • The Bus Came Back: Joanna was Put on a Bus at some point but came back at some later point.
  • Byronic Hero: With the sole exception of Felicity, every major character. Oliver, Diggle, Quentin, Sara, Laurel, Roy, Thea, everyone is a highly flawed individual who are dedicated to what they believe in, but have a tendency to let their flaws get the better of them. They all get better through Character Development.
  • California Doubling: Somewhat. The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the stand-in for "Starling City". The license plates on cars are also thinly disguised modifications to standard-issue B.C. plates. In season two the plates have been changed a little bit: The motto now reads "Land of Mist".
  • Call Back:
    • Oliver has a tendency to look down on other vigilantes and it's especially hilarious in Season One, when he's killing people left and right. His reason? "Typically, they don't show my level of restraint." Dig uses the phrase at least once more when he's talking about the copycat Hoods, and trying to convince Oliver that the city needs him.
    • "Suicide Squad" has Sara reassure Oliver that she's "not that easy to kill", a phrase that Oliver had once told her when referring to Shado and Slade.
    • In "Streets of Fire" Merlyn takes out a bad guy with an arrow that explodes after a delay, just like Oliver used on him to take advantage of his arrow catching prowess.
    • In 'Unthinkable', Slade escapes from a battle the exact same way Oliver did in the pilot...by jumping out of a window and sliding down a line that had already been set up.
    • The pilot, and the second and third season premiers, all begin with a shot from Oliver's POV as he runs through some woods. In the first two instances, Oliver is actually on Lian Yu, while in the third season premiere he's in Starling City. Doubles as a Homage Shot.
    • In "The Calm", Oliver ends his speech at Queen Consolidated by saying "This company is my family...And as my mother used to say, there is nothing more important to me than family". He was likely referring to Moira's campaign speech in "Seeing Red", where she said "Starling City is my home, you are my family, and there is nothing more important to me than family".
    • In the crossover "Flash vs. Arrow", Det. Joe West reluctantly tells Oliver at the end that "I might not agree with your methods, but I can't argue with the results." Det. Lance also said the same thing to him after a rescue of Laurel, which was the start of Lance becoming The Commissioner Gordon for Ollie.
  • The Cameo: A blonde-haired A.R.G.U.S inmate with a thick Joisey accent is heard offering Dig and Lyla marriage counseling in "Suicide Squad". She's voiced by Tara Strong and is credited as "Deranged Squad Female"
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Tommy Merlyn, appearing in the zero issue of the New 52 Green Arrow series as Ollie's best friend before winding up on the island.
    • Diggle, as of issue 24 of the same series.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • In "The Odyssey", when Felicity finds Oliver as The Hood bleeding in the back of her car.
      Felicity: You're bleeding!
      Oliver: I don't need to be told that.
    • Later we get:
      Oliver: I guess I didn't die. Again. Cool.
  • Car Fu: How Felicity delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal! to the Ravager.
  • Cardboard Prison: Iron Heights is becoming this in Season Two. While the escapes are all somewhat justifiable (the prison endured some structural damage during the quake but they still have to use it to hold prisoners since it's all they got,) the fact that prison officials insist on trying to cover it up doesn't help their reputation. It's gotten so bad that Felicity just monitors their internal communication to find out who's gotten out next.
    Felicity: Iron Heights is better at keeping secrets than prisoners.
  • The Casanova: Tommy is stated to have quite a reputation as a ladies man, as did Oliver. Both quit it when they began dating Laurel (though Oliver wasn't ready to leave it behind until he was trapped on the island.)
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Huntress flatly reveals the vigilante's identity to the police, and they don't notice... because she dresses it up as screwing with Detective Hall, who was dating Oliver at the time. Also, he'd eliminated himself as a suspect (see Batman Gambit).
    • No-one will believe Laurel's insistence that Sebastian Blood is the man in the skull mask - almost everyone has written her off as mentally unstable and a drug addict. Made even worse when Blood substitutes Officer Daily for himself so that she ends up killing him and unmasking Daily instead of the real Brother Blood. As a result, even she won't believe her own truth.
  • The Cast Show Off: The show takes full advantage of the physical abilities of its cast members, in both martial arts and parkour. It is most evident in Stephen Amell as Oliver, but Caity Lotz as Black Canary also brings a lot to the table.
  • Catch Phrase: "[Person in Oliver's book], You have failed this city!"
    • This is used much less in Season Two as The Arrow is now fighting crime in general. It does, however, get a Call Back from Oliver at his lowest point in Season 2, when he declares, "I have failed this city."
    • Barton Mathis has "You have such lovely skin".
  • Celebrity Paradox: When Steve Aoki plays the opening of Verdant, Oliver mentions that he dated his sister. Although which sister was never said, but Aoki's sister Devon Aoki was cast as Katana for season 3 (though later replaced by Rika Fukushima).
  • Character Death: Tons. Robert Queen, Firefly, Billy Wintergreen/Deathstroke, stabbed slowly through his right eye by Slade, Yao Fei, shot in the head by Fyers, Fyers himself is killed by Oliver in the next episode, Tommy dies in "Sacrifice", Count Vertigo, Officer Daley, while wearing Sebastian Blood's skull mask, gets shot by Laurel five times, Alexi Leonov, Oliver's Bratva contact, killed by Slade with an arrow to the eye, Frank Bertinelli took a bullet meant for Oliver, Dr. Antony Ivo, mercy-killed by Oliver, Moira Queen was stabbed by Slade with a katana, Peter, who manned a torpedo to save Oliver, Anatoli, and Sara, the SCPD IT guy got his neck crushed by one of Slade's minions, District Attorney Kate Spencer had her neck snapped, again by one of Slade's minions, Sebastian Blood is stabbed twice by Isabel Rochev, and Isabel herself is killed by Nyssa al Ghul, via Neck Snap, Sara Lance takes three arrows to the chest from an unknown assassin and falls off a roof.
  • Character Development:
    • Oliver as the Arrow used to pretty much kill any mook in his way, as well as his target. After Tommy's death, he began to use more nonlethal means. Not only that, but he's also shown to be more open with his team and hold himself more accountable, treating Felicity and Diggle as equal partners instead of sidekicks.
    • Through flashbacks, we also get to see Oliver change from the sheltered, self-centered kid he was before he was shipwrecked to the brutally efficient vigilante who comes home five years later.
    • Season 2 has Laurel go through a serious amount of this as she loses herself to drugs, alcohol, and depression, lashes out at others, before starting to realize that this isn't healthy and starts taking people's advice, then builds herself back up.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: True to his comic book counterpart Oliver gains his expert archery skills while trapped on a deserted island for 5 years. Seems to extend to his other skills as well; somehow while on that island he became fluent in Russian and beating people up, not to mention wire fraud.
    • The flashbacks generally explain how he picked up a given skill, on a decidedly not deserted island.
  • Chick Magnet: Oliver. He was dating Laurel prior to the show's start, but was able to convince her sister to go out on his dad's yacht with him. Since returning to Starling City, Felicity has formed a crush on him, he's slept with Laurel, McKenna Hall, the Huntress, Isabel Rochev, and the Canary. Most of the women on the show show at least some interest in him - which is totally justified given his wealth, handsomeness, and charm.
  • The City Narrows: The Glades. It's apparently such a horrible place that people can bleed out in the middle of the street while people walk around them.
  • City of Adventure: Starling City
  • Clark Kenting:
    • Oliver wears the hood, smears the area around his eyes with paint and uses a voice modulator that deepens and distorts his natural voice. Especially when talking to someone he knows personally, he keeps his head down and avoids eye contact. However, it isn't impenetrable and the whole thing falls apart if the hood is removed. Among other things, this is why Oliver starts wearing an actual Domino Mask in the second season.
    • Sara's Black Canary outfit has her with a Domino Mask and a platinum wig covering sandy blonde hair, but at least has a different shape so it's functionally the same as Ollie's hood. She adopts similar tactics that Oliver does with a voice modulator and avoiding eye contact (but the actress has a rather distinctive chin, making it less convincing when talking to friends and family while in costume). She also has a rather exposed cleavage under the black leather, which distracts people from her face.
  • Clock King: The Trope Namer himself is the Villain of the Week in "Time of Death"
  • Cold Equation: Robert Queen figures that their life raft does not have enough food and water for three men to survive long enough to reach land so he kills the third survivor and then commits suicide, leaving Oliver alone with all the supplies.
  • Cold Sniper: Would we recognize Deadshot any other way?
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Lampshaded in episode 22, in reference to the differing colours of the arrows used by the Hood (green) and by the criminal known as the Copycat Archer (black).
      Detective Lance: The psychopaths are colour-coding themselves now, that's helpful!
    • Slade uses red and black arrows as his calling card in "Suicide Squad" - impaled in the right eye of his old mask and that of Alexi Leonov, Oliver's mafiya contact.
  • Combat Breakdown: Oliver vs. Slade in the second season finale has both of them exhausted, bleeding profusely and making clumsy swings, but they have just enough in them to keep it brutal.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Crosses over into Fridge Brilliance in that given Oliver's prowess with a bow, he could certainly kill every bad guy he comes across, but he intentionally leaves at least a few survivors to ensure the symbol of Arrow lives. Not that this necessarily helps his designated survivors: one poor mook survives because Oliver pins him to a crate... by his neck.
  • Combat Stilettos: Averted, most notably with China White. Either she's in combat boots or she takes off her heels before fighting.
    • Played straight with Helena, at least when undercover. Disguised as a stripper - wearing an outfit reminiscent of one of her comic book counterpart's uniform - she has no problem in subduing and then killing a man (and riding her motorcycle) while wearing platform stilettos, which impose even more of a handicap than the regular kind. Of course, she doesn't actually do much fighting in them so its a downplayed example.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: A television example, though it's not always the case.
    • Played straight in Season One as nobody ever calls Oliver "Green Arrow" or "the Arrow". It's even lampshaded in "Year's End" when "Green Arrow" is brought up and dismissed as being 'lame' by Oliver. Subverted in Season Two when Quentin and Laurel start calling him "the Arrow" and it's implied that Oliver prefers the name.
    • Zig-zagged by Deadshot — that's Interpol's codename for him, but Oliver calls him by his real name, Floyd Lawton. However, Diggle refers to him by both names, while ARGUS primarily uses the Deadshot codename once they get their hands on him.
    • The Royal Flush Gang are never mentioned by this title. At least directly. A news bulletin reports on their existence by this name.
    • Firefly is only mentioned as the group of firefighters he was part of, rather than his codename.
    • Count Vertigo is only called "The Count", with Vertigo being the name of his drug. Averted in Season Two by the man himself:
      The Count: I am Count Vertigo, and I approve this high!
    • Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress. In Season 2, this becomes her official codename that the police use for her.
      Detective Lance: You're quite the hunter, Miss Bertinelli... Well, I guess I should make that Huntress.
    • Subverted by Sara Lance, who uses the League of Shadows code name "Canary" (and dressing all in black).
    • And again with Malcolm Merlyn, who is mentioned offhand in Season 3 to use the codename "the Magician", referring to his status as The Chessmaster. In the comics, the character is called "Malcolm the Magician". Plus there's his status as the "Dark Archer".
    • Anatoli Knyazev isn't called KGBeast.
    • William Tockman is nicknamed "Clock King" by the Kent Brockman News — Felicity disapproves.
    • The name "Deathstroke" is not used in-show, even though Jeffrey Robinson (who plays Billy Wintergreen) is credited as Deathstroke. Finally subverted by Amanda Waller at the end of "Suicide Squad", referring to its rightful bearer, Slade Wilson.
  • Composite Character:
    • Ray Palmer in Season 3, combines elements of the comic-book Ray Palmer (genius scientist, research on white-dwarf stars, development of 'Atom' suit) with Ted Kord (ALSO a tech-whiz, billionaire industrialist, involved with the OMAC project). The reason is that the writers originally wanted to use Ted Kord, but WB refused to give them access to the character and suggested the use of Ray Palmer instead.
    • To a certain extent, Oliver as well. While he is an adaptation of the Green Arrow of the comics, he incorporates a number of elements of Batman as well - such as his dealings with Amanda Waller, his conflict with Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins ( the sword-fight between Oliver and Ra's in "The Climb" is a homage to an iconic sword-fight in the comics between Batman and Ra's) and his evolving role as The Cowl in this continuity (in contrast with the Flash who is The Cape).
    • Thea has elements of Mia Dearden in her, but her initial drug problems originally belong to Comic!Roy's.
    • Isabel Rochev is merged with Rose Wilson, the Ravager.
    • Sara Lance's Canary has elements of both the first (original wearer of the costume and Laurel's predecessor) and the second (daughter of Dinah Drake, said original wearer in the comics). Amusingly, this also makes her a Decomposite Character.
    • In the first season, Malcolm Merlyn merges his original rival character Merlyn the Dark Archer with Ras Al Ghul, an affluent Well-Intentioned Extremist (his grand plan mimics Ras' plan in Batman Begins).
  • Commuting on a Bus: Walter and Sara make the occasional appearance, but aren't regulars.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: In the lead-up to the second season finale, Thea ends up being rescued from the Deathstroke army her biological father, Malcolm Merlyn. Given that he's a villain responsible for hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars in destruction, she rather understandably doesn't want much to do with him, and ends up shooting him a few times.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu:
    • Appropriately enough, the League of Assassins is affected by this trope.
    • Slade's Mirakuru army is just slightly easier to take on than the few Mirakuru individuals seen previously. They're still scary, but they don't have Slade's ASIS training and the heroes start coming prepared with explosives, the only thing that can reliably incapacitate them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The number 52, a significant Arc Number in DC Comics, shows up a bunch of times.
      • In "Lone Gunmen" Deadshot stays at a hotel in room 52.
      • Continued in "Betrayal," in which Cyrus Vanch is stated to have been suspected in over 52 murders.
      • The Hood's official police kill count is 26, half of 52.
      • Detective Lance's call sign in 2x03 is Delta Charlie Fifty Two (DC-52).
    • Any time a character has a major injury, they get a visible scar in future episodes to match the injury. Often overlaps with foreshadowing.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In the episode Burned, we see several scenes where people are within arm's reach of an inferno, often for the length of an entire conversation, yet suffer no ill effects so long as they are not actually engulfed in flames themselves.
  • Cool Car:
    • Tommy's Mercedes SLR.
    • Slade drives a black Lamborghini.
    • Felicity can somehow afford a massive, black 4x4 on an IT girl's salary. It gets totalled in "Streets of Fire".
  • Cool Mask: As it's a superhero series, these abound. Examples include Huntress, both Deathstrokes, Brother Blood, and Oliver himself.
  • Cool Versus Awesome:
    • Arrow fighting Nyssa al Ghul is this, with both of them showcasing brilliant, lightning-speed archery and martial arts. It even starts with Nyssa doing a flying backflip to retrieve her bow to face Oliver.
    • The tunnel scene from "Unthinkable", in which the Green Arrow, the Red Arrow, the Black Canary, Nyssa al Ghul, and her coterie of Dark Archers face off against Deathstroke's minions.
    • Oliver's showdowns against Malcolm Merlyn and Deathstroke.
  • Counting Bullets: Or Counting Arrows as the case may be. Cyrus Vanch knows the Hood only had 24 arrows in his quiver, so he sends 25 henchmen.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive
    • Oliver's first target, Adam Hunt, is a corrupt businessman who swindled hundreds of people out of their life savings. Presumably most of the people on Oliver's list also fit into this category.
    • Second target? Guy who stole pensions via insider trading.
    • Oliver's father confessed to being one while they were on the life raft. He's tried to be honest and clean ever since he unintentionally killed a bribe-seeking city official.
    • Oliver's mother seems to be this as well. She also strives for honesty, having been coerced into Tempest by the Big Bad, under threat to her family. Her surviving family.
    • Called out early one that Oliver is exclusively going after these. Afterwards, his friends convince him to occasionally make exceptions, when it's needed.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Diggle thought HE was the bodyguard for Oliver, until Oliver saved him during a fight against an assassin by disarming them with a thrown knife... an unbalanced butter knife. Oliver tried shrugging it off as a lucky throw, but Diggle knew it was too deliberate to have been done by accident. This was the start of his path to become a true ally for Oliver instead of a nuisance.
  • The Cowl: Oliver gets this treatment.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Deadshot is known as the man that "never misses" and goes as far as to lace his bullets with poison so that even a graze will be fatal.
    • Malcolm Merlyn's penthouse is one big panic room that has electromagnetic locks, with the power set on a separate circuit and covered on all sides with bulletproof glass. It contains his Dark Archer gear. Deadshot opens fire with a grenade launcher, destroying enough windows to give him a clear shot.
    • In the season finale, even after Oliver escapes, Tommy finds out The Plan, Moira outs the plan to the press and police, the Glades are being evacuated, the police attack him, Lance successfully deactivates the earthquake device, Oliver AND Diggle attack him and successfully KILL him, the Undertaking still goes through because the device planted where his wife was killed seemed to only be there for symbolic value — Malcolm had a more secure one due to the one thing he learned as a businessman: Redundancy.
    • Quentin carries a backup sidearm when he's off-duty, which is Truth in Television since most officers do carry one to make sure they can defend themselves.
      League of Assassins Ninja: Guns are a coward's weapon. What are you without your sidearm?
      Quentin: [shoots ninja with revolver] A guy with a spare.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Inverted with Oliver himself; Malcolm Merlin has the Queen's Gambit sunk, and the resulting five years on an island drives Oliver into becoming the Arrow, with all the skills and knowledge needed to take Merlin down. For bonus points, Merlin's Evil Gloating gives Oliver the mental state he needs to learn his final lesson and save half the Glades.
    • Played tragically straight with Slade Wilson. First, Oliver injects him with Mirakuru in a desperate bid to save his life. Unfortunately, this joins with Oliver and Sara's decision to hide what happened to Shado from Slade to make Slade go nuts and turn on him. Then, when given the chance to cure Slade or try and kill him, Slade's deranged threats make Oliver stab him in the eye, completing Slade's turn to Deathstroke and unknowingly leaving him the superpowers to return to the mainland.
    • Zig-zagged with Huntress, Helena was already a dangerous sociopath before Oliver encountered her. After finding a kinship with each other and briefly dating, he took her under his wing in an attempt to give her direction and reign in her killing methods, but all this really did was give her a new look, a signature weapon with the crossbow and some better refined skills to do things her way. In addition to all of this, because she knows Oliver is the Hood and his own methods that makes her one of the more unpredictable enemies.
    • Played straight again with Carrie Cutter, who became the murderous Cupid only because of her obsession with the Arrow after he rescued her during the Siege of Starling City by the Mirakuru soldiers. Granted, she had a personality disorder long before that event, and had a tendency to become dangerously obsessed with people, but it was her obsession with Arrow that led her to the extremes of becoming a serial killer.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Guess who?
    Oliver: You know us billionaire vigilantes. We love our toys.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: In The Scientist, Oliver shoots Roy in the leg to prevent him from facing off against the Mirakuru enhanced Cyrus Gold.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In "Darkness on the Edge of Town" the Hood's confrontation with Malcolm Merlyn is short, brutal and almost entirely one-sided... unfortunately for Oliver.
    • Anyone unfortunate enough to fight the Mirakuru-infused Cyrus Gold loses badly. Until Oliver gets his Heroic Second Wind during their rematch.
    • Anyone with Mirakuru tends to do this to anyone they fight. The only person, seemingly, to kill someone with Mirakuru besides Oliver is Malcolm himself.
    • In "The Climb" when Oliver fights Ras Al'Ghul he starts with two swords while his opponent is unarmed, and ends up held at swordpoint after a couple minutes of entirely failing to hit him. He manages to get in a couple shots because he's assumed to be beaten, but the turnaround only lasts a couple seconds.
  • Damsel in Distress: Laurel and Felicity are often found in this situation. Subverted in the Season Two Finale when Felicity is deliberately left to be kidnapped by Slade so that she can get close enough to cure him.
  • Darker and Edgier: To the last TV show to air on The CW which was based on a DC Comics character. For a point of reference, it's commonly been compared to Batman Begins.
    • And to the original comics. No "Boxing Glove Arrow" here (until a Shout-Out improvised use of a glove-on-an-arrow in S3's "Guilty")! To be specific, Oliver starts out as a cold-blooded killer in the series; generally the show seems to take influence from Mike Grell's run, which itself was notable for its Darker and Edgier and no-spandex or superpowers approach to the DCU.
    • Also applies to other superheroes featured in the series. Black Canary, and in particular Huntress, both of whom are killers; Huntress, indeed, isn't a superhero in this version, but an outright villain. At best, the protagonists in this series qualify as examples of Anti-Hero.
    • Ollie is MUCH darker than his comics counterpart. For one, Comics!Ollie might be more than willing to hurt bad guys, but he doesn't break Thou Shalt Not Kill as blatantly as Arrow!Ollie does. Comics Ollie might have around maybe half a dozen kills in his entire existence as a character. By contrast, Arrow!Ollie might kill a dozen people an episode. Also, his idealism is less politically-motivated and more based on revenge for his father's murder (though he does soften up as the show goes along and graduates into heroism for its own sake on the side of his main mission).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Practically EVERY major character on the show.
    • Oliver, naturally. Watched his father commit suicide. Watched his girlfriend's sister die TWICE. Spent five years in hell, losing his humanity, and forced to become a ruthless killing machine in order to survive. And that's not even counting everything he's been through since he came home...
    • Moira Queen. Lost her husband. Believed her son to be dead for five years. Was coerced into becoming part of a terrorist conspiracy.
    • Laurel Lance lost her sister and her boyfriend. In her own words, she was unable to either grieve or be angry towards her sister because of the circumstances in which she died (having an affair with her boyfriend).
    • John Diggle lost his brother to an assassin. During the war in Afghanistan, he went through a harrowing experience where he killed a child-soldier in order to save the life of a terrorist.
    • Felicity too, as off Season 3. She was a 'hacktivist' who developed a 'super-virus' that her boyfriend used to attempt to wipe out student loan records. Her boyfriend went to prison, and apparently committed suicide.
    • Malcolm Merlyn's troubled past is in a sense the beginning of everything on this show. His wife were murdered, leading to him leaving his son behind and traveling to Nanda Parbat to turn himself into an assassin and terrorist.
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • Helena - even after he discovers that she's the mysterious assassin who injured his mother and is trying to instigate a bloody war among the city's criminal factions.
    • Later, Oliver starts a relationship with Detective McKenna Hall, who immediately after gets assigned to help catch the Hood. She doesn't know Oliver's the Hood, though.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Dig and Lyla name their daughter Sara.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Half the cast, but particular honor has to go to Detective Quentin Lance and Slade Wilson.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • If you happen to be injected with Mirakuru.
    • Oliver started the series presumed dead, and has been clinically dead (no pulse) at least twice.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Tommy is killed off just as Oliver and Laurel get back together in the season finale.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted with Oliver and Thea. Their father was part of the conspiracy and cheated on their mother. Invoked by Thea who resists the idea that her father wasn't a saint, but is quick to blame her mother. Played straight with Tommy, whose dead mother was an altruist and has a free clinic in her name, while his living father wants to tear the place down – among other things.
  • Decomposite Character
    • The comic character of Deathstroke, an Anti-Villain with occasional touches of Anti-Hero, has been decomposed into two characters in the island flashbacks. His name, Slade Wilson, and better fighting ability goes to an Anti-Hero mentor to Oliver. His mask and villainous nature, with slightly lesser fighting prowess, goes to Billy Wintergreen, Slade's butler in the comics and here his former partner. As of Season Two, this has been subverted by Slade's Face-Heel Turn.
    • The character of Black Canary from the comics has been split between Laurel, the brunette civilian who wants to help the downtrodden, and her sister Sara, the blonde martial artist and crimefighter. Interestingly, Sara is also this to her mother Dinah, whose namesake is the first original wearer of the costume and Laurel predecessor in the comics. Amusingly, this also makes her a Decomposite and Composite Character.
    • Isabel Rochev is also split into two; aspects of her character are merged with Moira in Season 1, while she herself appears in Season 2 proper and is merged with Ravager.
    • Thea's nickname of "Speedy" references Green Arrow's sidekick, with Roy Harper as a potential sidekick never being called by that (he later acquires the name "Arsenal," Speedy's superhero name once graduating from being Green Arrows sidekick).
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The series. The first season in particularly seemed to deconstruct the Green Arrow mythos and the very idea of a 'superhero'. Oliver's previously harmless island origin turned into a 'five year nightmare' which may have left him with some amount of PTSD. Instead of getting a cool superhero Code Name Oliver's hooded alter ego was simply referred to as the 'Hood' or 'Vigilante' and rather than being considered a 'hero', he was hunted by the police as a criminal. Oliver lacked the 'code against killing' superheroes conventionally have, and his crusade had less to do with fighting crime and more to do with unraveling the conspiracy that led to his father's death. The villains he fought were mostly mob bosses, corrupt businessmen and politicians, and hitmen. Starting with Season 2 however, the show has progressively come closer to its comic-book roots, with a number of elements from the Green Arrow mythos and the wider DCU being introduced, albeit in a manner consistent with the tone of the show. Superpowers were introduced to the show with the strength-enhancing 'Mirakuru' serum. Black Canary (or at least an early iteration of her) was introduced. Oliver now has a firm code against killing, and works alongside Quentin Lance, who has become his 'Commissioner Gordon'. He is increasingly considered a hero and now goes by the name 'Arrow'. His mission is now a general pledge to fight crime, like most comic-book heroes. And he has faced a lot of 'supervillains' from the comics in the last two seasons, including Deathstroke, Clock King, Count Vertigo, Komodo, Cupid and the League of Assassins.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Laurel goes from hating Oliver's guts to realizing that he's changed into a better person. Inverted in Season Two, as a combination of grief, substance abuse, and her career blowing up in her face causes her to effectively freeze up again. And then she thaws after reconciling with her sister, giving up the booze and pills, and helping save the city. Apparently her walk-in-freezer has a revolving door.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: In the first season finale, when Malcolm has him in a choke hold, Oliver stabs himself with an arrow, injuring himself and mortally wounding the other.
  • Deserted Island: Lian Yu at first is presented as this. It's eventually revealed to be not the case.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Archery is treated as such in this series. Yao Fei notes that it can take years to learn archery and Oliver's first attempts on the island are, while not bad for an nonathletic beginner, terrible. Those who have learned archery, however, are the biggest badasses in the series and can take out gun-wielding goons with bulletproof armor and use special arrows making them more versatile.
    • The Mirakuru process is introduced like this as well. Surviving being exposed to it is difficult, and most tend to die from it; those who survive, however...
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Slade wants to level Starling City because Oliver couldn't save his girlfriend. Granted, he is Ax-Crazy, but still.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Felicity is not shy about her enjoyment of Oliver's salmon ladder workout, even if it keeps her work from having her full attention.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Practically the first thing Oliver did after meeting Diggle, and quickly became a Running Gag for a few episodes thanks to the escalation of each of his escape attempts from the previous one. Diggle even lampshades this to Oliver's new bodyguard.
    Oliver: I'm going to the bathroom.
    [Oliver leaves and the bodyguard stands next to Diggle for about a minute]
    Diggle: Dude, he's long gone.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The dialogue between Ivo and Sara in "Blind Spot" sounds an awful lot like the two are in an abusive relationship.
  • Doing In the Wizard: In the first season, there are no superpowers, and Oliver/the Hood is the first costumed vigilante/superhero in the world, with Word of God noting that they are approaching the show as if it is the DC Universe without super-powered people. With The Flash/Barry Allen turning up in season two & with him, the advent of superpowers, Word of God has said that people in the show aren't necessarily going to believe that superpowered beings exist, even if one were to run right by them.
    • Cyrus Gold gets his powers from a Super Serum, unlike in the comic, where he is a supernatural zombie resurrected by the Parliament of Trees.
    • The Canary uses a variety of sonic-themed weaponry, rather than having a sonic scream.
  • Domino Mask:
    • Oliver has a painted-on version at first, and eventually gets a real one in "Three Ghosts", as a parting gift from Barry Allen.
    • Helena/The Huntress and Sara/Black Canary.
    • Roy gets his own in the finale of Season 2.
  • Don't Think. Feel: Shado encourages Oliver to do this while trying to teach him how to shoot a bow. Then, they make out.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Sara. Though she doesn't actually exist in the comics, a lot of fans accurately predicted her death since canonically, Laurel is supposed to be Black Canary. The fact that Word of God confirmed that Laurel would eventually become the Black Canary didn't help matters.
    • Oliver's relationship with any woman other than Laurel, since she is who he ends up with in the comics. Having said that, the writers aren't aiming for 100% fidelity to the source material, so none of this is set in stone.
  • Double Entendre: Helena gets one in when she says "Yes. I have a family engagement." She's looking to bump off her dad, who's cut a deal with the FBI.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Malcolm asks Moira to discover who the traitor is within the organization. He doesn't know it's Moira who ordered the hit on his life.
    • Tommy quits as Oliver's friend over Oliver's dishonesty and willingness to kill, seeking aid from his father, who has way more of both.
    • When Moira is told she'll receive the death penalty on conviction, Oliver assures her that he will not let anyone take her away from him.
  • Dramatic Unmask:
    • Dark Archer unmasking himself. Especially since it was implied that he was Yao Fei. The show really likes unmasking the Dark Archer.
    • Oliver unmasks himself to Tommy, to convince the latter to trust him to save his father's life in "Dead to Rights".
    • Oliver pulls off The Canary's mask (and wig) in "Crucible", revealing Sara Lance underneath.
    • Oliver does the same with Roy to prove that he actually cares about Thea like Roy does and to get him to calm the hell down.
    • The end of Sara has a kendo fighter take their helmet off to reveal themselves to be Thea.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Sara shows up in the third season premiere and is shot in the chest and thrown off a roof after less than five minutes of screen time. Yes, she was Doomed by Canon but she could have had a much more meaningful death.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Quentin Lance at the end of one episode.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The series in general often has Oliver come after various drug dealers, while also taking its time to explore exactly what substance abuse does to a person. This is especially the case with Laurel, whose addiction to painkillers is shown to be making her increasingly less mentally stable, and Katie Cassidy has lost a great deal of weight to show the toll it's taking on her body - costumes which used to be figure-hugging are literally hanging off her by "Blind Spot", when she is arrested for possession and fired.
  • Due to the Dead: The first thing Oliver does when he gets to the island is find a place to bury his father's body and cover it with stones so animals cannot get to it.

    Tropes E-G 
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Oliver's Private Eye Monologue mercifully disappeared after the first few episodes after Diggle joined him and he had someone to talk to about vigilante stuff.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Oliver operates out of a base beneath one of his father's old factories, although it isn't particularly elaborate. It has several computer monitors, training facilities, a workshop and storage for Oliver's costume and weaponry.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Despite his hatred of him, Detective Lance has asked for Arrow's help on several occasions. By the first season finale, Lance's feelings toward the Arrow have become more ambiguous; by Season 2, Lance becomes the Commissioner Gordon for The Arrow, once it becomes clear he's able to protect Laurel when her father cannot and hasn't led him astray in giving Lance vital information regarding looming threats against the city.
    • Oliver takes on Deathstroke with the help of none other than the League of Assassins, while Diggle and Lyla team up with the Suicide Squad to stop Waller from bombing Starling City in an attempt to stop Deathstroke's army.
    • In the Season 3 episode "Uprising" Oliver asks Malcolm Merlyn to train him to defeat Ra's al Ghul.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Arrow gets Somer to confess to murder, then hands the recording of it over to Detective Lance.
  • Engrish: Mirakuru is Engrish for 'Miracle.' As in, it's a miracle drug.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • The late Nick, assistant to the mafia, had a family. Huntress doesn't care.
    • Malcolm Merlyn is an amoral businessman and a Big Bad, but in his own twisted way he seems to genuinely love his son, and definitely his wife. He is also incredibly caring towards Thea, who is actually his daughter.
    • Sebastian's bodyguard remains defiant towards Dig and Felicity as they hack his bank account and forcibly donate 2 million dollars to charity. He only stops when Felicity threatens to do the same with his parents' retirement fund.
    • Deadshot has an account set up for his daughter, and considers it best he has no contact with her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Ra's Al Ghul leads the League of Assassins and is The Dreaded to all who know of him, but even he was disgusted with The Undertaking and now wants to kill Malcolm personally. A similar thing happens with Slade's war against Starling City, although they didn't step in until Sara negotiates a deal to come back to the League in exchange for help.
    • Sebastian Blood was perfectly fine with having Slade's goons terrorise the city and kill whoever they pleased, not realising that's how a city gets destroyed.
    • In "The Return", even Slade Wilson, a ruthless terrorist and mercenrary who among other things murdered Moira Queen in cold blood, is visibly shocked by Malcolm Merlyn's manipulation of his own daughter.
  • Everyone's Baby Sister: Despite Ollie having an actual sister, this role goes to Felicity instead. She's the only non-combatant on the team, and Ollie and Diggle go to great lengths to ensure her safety and keep her hands clean
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Oliver (as Arrow) and Felicity usually refer to Lance as 'Detective'...even when that's no longer his actual rank.
  • Every Scar Has A Story: Coming home from the island, Oliver is examined and the doctor determined most of his body is covered in scar tissue. We often see Oliver shirtless to prove it true, and some particular scars are told through the island flashbacks, including a torture scene for some on his chest. In the modern day, Oliver, Sara and Diggle are training in skimpy clothing and a discussion starts up from all the different scars they have. Humorously, Oliver notes that none of his scars came from a mortar, but "arrows, knives, lots of bullets..." Felicity was feelings left out, but later got a scar on her shoulder from Taking the Bullet for Sara.
  • Everything Is Online/Hollywood Hacking:
    • Felicity is able to access absurd amounts of information in short order with little visible effort. Even before she came along, Oliver was routinely gaining access to secure systems and records.
    • Subverted with "Blind Spot", where old records that are not included on any database have to be retrieved by hand, and her attempts to scramble the security footage are thwarted by the tech-savvy security guards.
  • Evil Counterpart: Oliver's got a few interesting variations. In order they appear:
    • Deadshot/Floyd Lawton, due to killing people, specifically bad people, using his incredibly flawless aim, but is motivated by financial gain rather than justice.
    • Helena Bertinelli/Huntress, due to her similar skill level, her tragic back story, her family connections, and the fact she hid her darker side behind the appearance of a content spoiled child. However, she's motivated by vengeance rather than justice, and is far more willing to take lives.
    • The Dark Archer/Malcolm Merlyn, being a rich one percenter who left the city some time ago, returned with the skills to fight, and is determined to clean the city. However, his idea is to separate the city between the rich and poor, then destroy the latter, using a complex conspiracy and his own archery skills. As such, he is motivated by disgust and hatred rather than justice.
    • Dodger: While he uses lethal means, he only kills if he feels he has to, and insists on only targeting the rich. Because of this, he believes he and the Hood are virtually the same. He's wrong. And for the most part, he's motivated by his own personal interests without any real regard for his pawns rather than justice.
    • The Savior, who is determined to 'save' the innocents stuck in the Glades by executing those who're at fault for its decline. However, he does so via brutal, cold blooded murder, without giving them a chance to change. His targets include a district attorney for not prosecuting enough criminals and a random street criminal. He's lashing out at everyone. He is motivated by anger and grief rather than justice.
    • The Clock King is this to Felicity, being just as good if not better with computers than her, and completely lacking her morals.
  • Evil Former Friend:
    • Subverted with Yao Fei in the flashbacks. He only allies with Fyers in order to save his daughter's and Oliver's lives.
    • Played straight with Slade's partner and friend Wintergreen (aka the Deathstroke working with Fyers), also in the flashbacks.
    • As of the middle of season two, Slade himself is this to Oliver.
    • Tommy comes to view Oliver as this after Oliver reveals that he's the Hood.
    • Seemingly, Maseo in Season 3, who in the present-day, is a member of the League of Assassins. Averted somewhat in that while loyal to the League, he helps save Oliver owing to their past friendship.
  • The Evil Genius: The Clock King. An efficient and precise criminal mastermind who uses his knowledge of computer science and viruses to give the Arrow Family a run for their money, and is also a very well-read and charismatic individual.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Robert Queen wanted his son to clean up his mistakes. Moira Queen is somewhat the same.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: After Huntress' murder of the Triad boss, and Frank Bertinelli's arrest, the leadership of Starling City's organized crime is up for grabs. When Cyrus Vanch gets out of prison, he tries to earn the respect to take over by killing Arrow.
  • Evolving Credits: At times, the title card gets customized depending on the episode's theme/plot. Likewise, when characters get killed, their respective actor(s)/actress(es) gets removed in the OBB.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At:
    • In "Pilot", Oliver shoots an arrow at Adam Hunt, missing him and embedding it in the wall behind his desk. Hunt says "You missed!" and Oliver responds "Did I?". At the end of the episode, the viewer discovers that the arrow that is still stuck in the wall is allowing Oliver to remote-hack Hunt's computer.
    • In "The Undertaking," Felicity is being held at gunpoint by the man who kidnapped Walter. Oliver shoots an arrow into the wall behind him (into the bullseye of a dartboard, no less).
      Bad Guy: I heard you never miss.
      The Hood: I don't. [explosive arrow explodes]
    • In "Keep Your Enemies Closer," Deadshot reveals to Diggle that Diggle's brother Andy wasn't collateral damage from a missed sniper shot, as Diggle believed, but the intended target.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Oliver doesn't like talking about what happened in the five years he was on the island, and the flashbacks show why. For starters, he was far from alone and had to deal with mercenaries and amoral scientists. To continue, he wasn't on the island the whole time.
  • Explosive Leash:
    • How the Dodger coerces his patsies.
    • Also how Amanda Waller keeps the members of Task Force X in line.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Thea sports an ear-length bob cut in Season 3 to reflect her newfound toughness and assassin training.
  • Expy: The entire series borrows liberally from Batman, which is actually appropriate considering Green Arrow from the beginning was a Batman-expy. The series in some aspects makes the connection even stronger, but takes advantage of the differing names to go in its own direction, some to great acclaim. Some cross series comics characters, like Deadshot, Deathstroke and Ras Al Ghul, end up having a similar relationship to the Arrow as they do in the comics to Batman. The series also adopts a lot of other characters from other comics series. Compare also Composite Character.
    • Tommy and Malcolm Merlyn for Harry and Norman Osborn, a billionaire family who is friends with the hero. Malcolms ploy to destroy the Glades is similar to Ras Al Ghul's plan in Batman Begins.
    • Laurel is an Assistant D.A. love interest, mimicking Rachel Dawes from The Dark Knight Trilogy. Later she also takes on some aspects of Batgirl.
    • Detective Quentin Lance starts off antagonistic towards the actions of the Vigilante, only to realize his value to the city and shows open support of him, just like The Commissioner Gordon.
    • Felicity takes on the Mission Control role that Oracle does.
    • Roy takes aspects of all the various Robins.
    • Helena Bartinelli and Oliver has a strong Dating Catwoman vibe.
    • Count Vertigo and Sebastian Blood adopt a lot of Scarecrow mannerisms. Blood also has some aspects of Two-Face in being friendly with the hero while dealing with political events.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: The final three episodes of Season 2, "City of Blood", "Streets of Fire", and "Unthinkable", take place over the course of about 18 hours. "City of Blood" begins with Moira's funeral and ends at night, with "Streets of Fire" picking up right afterwards with "Unthinkable" finishing the story and ending at dawn.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Deadshot gets an arrow through the eye, seemingly killing him. in episode 3. However, he returns, now blind in that eye, in "Dead to Rights".
    • Slade kills Wintergreen/Deathstroke by stabbing him in the right eye in "The Odyssey".
    • Anyone injected with Mirakuru, whether they survive it or not, bleeds from the eyes.
    • Slade lost his right eye back on the island, when Oliver stabbed him with an arrow.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Slade betrayed Oliver sometime on the island, eventually becoming the Big Bad in the present in Season Two.
  • The Faceless: Fyers’s mysterious employer. She is seen from behind and the audience only ever sees her legs.
  • Faceless Goons: Edward Fyers' mercenary mooks all wear balaclavas all the time. Fyers can still see straight through Oliver's attempt to disguise himself as a mook.
  • Failed a Spot Check: So a random criminal just turns himself into the police... and no-one bothers to frisk him? He had a large, bulky Deathstroke mask in his back pocket (or thereabouts)!
  • Fair Cop: Detective McKenna Hall
  • Fantastic Drug: Vertigo, which in high doses stimulates the thalamus region of the brain, causing the user extreme pain until their hearts give out.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Edward Fyers, the head of the mercenaries on the island, certainly acts polite to Oliver at first. But when Oliver refuses to hand over Yao Fei's location, Fyers turns him over to Deathstroke. He only gets crueler from there.
    • Mr. Blank is eerily polite when murdering his victims, even apologizing to the man he just killed for the mess he makes when making the hit look like a break-in, not to mention saying it's Nothing Personal to his employer upon giving him a fatal embolism.
    • Dr. Anthony Ivo, the Big Bad of Season Two's flashbacks. Like Fyers, he starts out polite to Oliver...then we see his manipulative and murderous nature, not to mention his inhumane experiments on countless prisoners and his many Kick the Dog moments.
  • Fist Pump: Oliver and Diggle are impatiently waiting for Felicity to hack a bad guy's computer. "Just for the record, I will pump my fist in the air and scream 'Yes!' if I get in." Later, when she finally succeeds, she does exactly that.
    Felicity: Wow. I really do do that.
  • Five-Man Band: The Arrow family.
    • The Hero: Oliver Queen, The Arrow.
    • The Lancer: Diggle, who often provides counterpoints to Oliver's plans and alternative methods, and has been Oliver's right-hand-man from early in his vigilante career.
    • The Big Guy: Roy Harper, the Red Arrow. Formerly able to punch through walls with his Mirakuru-enhanced strength, now apparently one of the most skilled archers on the show. Part of the Arrow family since "Tremors".
    • The Smart Guy: Felicity Smoak, the resident IT genius who provides intel for the team when they're out on missions. A part of the Arrow Family since "Odyssey".
    • The Chick: Sara Lance, the Canary. A jill-of-all-trades who can kick ass and analyse blood samples, but her loyal and protective nature, especially towards her family, is what brought her back to Starling City. Part of the Arrow Family since "Heir To The Demon", she has since passed on her role to her sister, Laurel.
  • Flashback:
    • Every episode divides its time between Oliver's activities in the present as the Hood and the events in his past (mostly on the island) that led up to him becoming a vigilante.
    • The episode "Odyssey" put most of its emphasis on events on the island.
    • The episode "The Undertaking" didn't use the island at all but did focus on events surrounding the sinking of the Queen's Gambit and Moira's involvement with Tempest.
    • "The Promise", like "Odyssey" focuses more on the island than on the present.
    • And in Season 3, these flashbacks focus on his hitherto undisclosed training with A.R.G.U.S. in Hong Kong.
  • Flashback Effects: Whereas Starling City in the present is shown in rich colors, Oliver's time in the island is relatively washed out, color-wise. Also, when light is shown, it tends to blow out the picture. Finally, the shutter speed on the camera is changed to emphasize and sharpen every detail (including that of the jitter-cam). Oh, and Oliver's got long hair.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: In Season Two, Sara Lance resurfaces with Caity Lotz replacing Jacqueline MacInnes Wood in the flashback set aboard the Gambit.
  • Foil: Multiple examples.
    • Oliver and Helena Bertinelli. Both became vigilantes as part of crusades sparked off by the deaths of loved ones. But while Oliver sought to bring his targets to justice and only killed when absolutely necessary, Helena basically set out to eliminate her targets. Also, Oliver started his crusade in order to right his father's wrongs, while Helena started out because her father had wronged her and she wished to kill him. Oliver ultimately works hard to stop killing altogether, while Helena slides further down the slippery slope and ultimately resorts to threatening the lives of innocents to achieve her goals.
    • Oliver and Sara Lance. Both went missing, presumed dead, when the Queen's Gambit went down. Both spent some time on Lian Yu. Both spent years away from everything they knew, enduring harsh circumstances and being transformed into Badass Normal killing machines. But while Oliver embarked on a crusade to right his father's wrongs, Sara became an assassin. Oliver eventually worked hard to avoid being a killer and eventually succeeded in becoming a 'hero' in the classic sense; Sara tried, but ultimately ended up returning to the League of Assassins. Also, during his years away, Oliver wanted nothing more than to return home to his family someday, while Sara didn't want to meet her family again because she didn't want them to see the killer she had become.
  • A Fool for a Client: Subverted. Oliver plans on representing himself, but Laurel shows up just in time to take his case.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • No matter what danger he finds himself facing on the island, Oliver obviously survives since he's running around Starling City in the present. On that same note, we know that no matter what happens in the flashbacks, Oliver will wind up alone on Lian Yu once again prior to his rescue.
    • Also applies to specific characters and plot-lines in the flashbacks.
      • Season 2 in particular, since the island story and the present-day story are closely intertwined. For instance, after "Crucible", we know that no matter what happens in the flashbacks in the end, Oliver will see Sara 'die' again. Following "Three Ghosts", we know that Slade will eventually turn on Oliver and Oliver will be forced to kill him by stabbing him with an arrow in the eye.
      • Season 3 as well. As off "The Climb", we know that something horrible happens in the Hong Kong flashbacks which leads to Maseo joining the League of Assassins.
    • The show also subverts it by using any comics knowledge you have against you (warning: incoming major spoilers, but almost all Season One):
      • Thea Queen's nickname is Speedy and we find out eventually that her middle name is Dearden. She's gonna be another archer! Nope. Enter Roy Harper.
      • One of the first things we see on the island is a Two-Faced, one-eyed mask. Oh, Crap, Slade is in the house! Yes, he is, but he's a decent guy. Deathstroke is actually a much younger Wintergreen. At least until "Three Ghosts", where we learn Slade's the Big Bad of Season Two.
      • Merlyn is one of the Green Arrow's oldest foes, and in the comics, he recently got a first name: Thomas. Sorry to break it to you, Oliver, but your best friend Tommy Merlyn isn't all he seems. Sure enough, enter the mysterious Dark Archer. Three guesses as to who's under his hood. You'll need 'em. Tommy's innocent. His father Malcolm, on the other hand...
      • Laurel Lance's full name: Dinah Laurel Lance. Just in case you missed that, her firm is named the City Necessary Resources Initiative (CNRI). Naturally, the we-won't-call-her-Black Canary in Season Two is her, right? Wrong. It's her "dead" sister, Sara.
    • Sara states the last time she saw Oliver's hood was on Shado and asked if he knew how Slade was doing, this happening before we see Slade reappear and Shado killed while she is still with them, making it obvious that they survive.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: As off "Midnight City", appears to be the case with Oliver and China White. The two first encountered each other in Hong Kong, roughly two and a half years before they first met on-screen in the Season 1 episode "Honor Thy Father". Neither showed any signs of recognizing the other in that early episode.
  • Foreshadowing
    • In the opening scenes of Seasons One and Two, Deathstroke's mask, with an arrow through the right eye, is seen hanging on a stick on the beach of Lian Yu.
    • Numerous ones to Slade's eventual assumption of the Deathstroke persona during the flashbacks; most notably, when Slade is injured by an explosion, the black healing ointments and bandages on the right side of his face makes it resemble the mask, and foreshadows the eventual loss of his eye.
    • "Three Ghosts" also includes the Slade hallucination, who shows him acting antagonistic and terrifyingly hostile towards Oliver. He and Ollie clearly came to blows on the island. The hallucination also snaps the arrow he caught in half with one hand, showing that Slade gained super strength from the Mirakuru, which we then see him awake from later.
    • Throughout the first half of Season Two, references are made to a particle accelerator due to be turned on in Central City Once an Episode. This comes to a head in "Three Ghosts" when it's finally turned on and leads to Barry Allen becoming The Flash.
    • The SCPD IT guy's quip about this "being a dead-end job anyway."
    • In "League of Assassins" Al-Owal is sent to retrieve Sara saying "the child of Ra's Al-Ghul awaits your return." He later even refers to Sara as "The Beloved". Both of which are references to Nyssa and her relationship with Sara.
    • In "Unthinkable", during the flashback battle between Oliver and Slade on the Amazo, when Oliver watches Sara 'die' again, Slade taunts him by saying "How many times are you going to watch her die?" . This can be considered foreshadowing of sorts after watching "The Calm", at the end of which Sara dies a third time, this time for real. Ironically, unlike the last two times, Oliver isn't present to witness it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In a 'blink or you'll miss it sequence', Cupid is seen in several background shots in Season 3's "Guilty", leading up to her actual appearance right at the end of the episode. Also counts as a Meaningful Background Event.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Rebecca Merlyn's death is her husband's Start of Darkness.
    • Similarly, Shado's death was this for Slade.
    • Brother Blood reveals that his abusive father was the inspiration behind his villainous persona, and that his skull mask was based on how he saw his father in his nightmares. It at least explains why he killed the bastard...
  • Friend on the Force: After his realization in the first season finale that the Hood's actions outside the law maybe are better for the city, Detective Lance becomes this for Team Arrow (and gets demoted for his trouble).
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The armoured car bandits in "Trust but Verify", although they are actually using tear gas as part of their heists.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Diggle, to an extent. He's very much aware of the constant lying Oliver does to his face and whenever Oliver does something to get away from him, the next time around he's prepared for it. Example 
    • Kyle Reston brings a riot shield with him to a bank robbery. It is great at deflecting Oliver's arrows and gives Kyle a serious advantage when he fights Oliver hand-to-hand.
    • Quentin Lance might be the savviest of all. He sees right through an attempt to frame Arrow for some homicides, immediately puts his daughter under police protection when a "businessman" threatens her life, and sets his daughter up as a cat's paw to track Oliver.
    • And Malcolm Merlyn, AKA The Dark Archer, who not only figures out that the vigilante is targeting his secret society faster than Moira did, but figures out which part of the story he plays and goes out to fulfill it as much as he can.
    • Helena knew to train herself to catch an arrow just in case Oliver came after her. Subsequently, when Oliver knew he was going to face the Dark Archer again & that he was able to pull the same trick, so brought explosive arrows.
    • Deadshot knew the second he saw Diggle, the brother of a former target of his, at the scene of a potential client meeting that it was a bust.
    • Felicity wasn’t completely fooled by Oliver’s Blatant Lies.
    • Mr. Robbins, one of the Queen Estate bodyguards, knew that the express letter deliveryman wasn't there to see Laurel in "Home Invasion" when he saw his hands were shaking. This, however, got him killed by Mister Blank in a literal home invasion.
    • Barry, the CSI from Central City. His guesses are amazingly close to the truth for all that he's never met the Hood or even knows Felicity is one of his silent partners.
    • Felicity is the only person who points out Sebastian Blood's sinister last name.
  • Genre Shift: With the exception of the Earthquake Machine towards the end, Season 1 mostly stayed away from science fiction elements. Season 2 introduced the Mirakuru Serum. It was also revealed that the upcoming Flash series would take place in the same universe.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Oliver has both of his middle fingers extended when getting his mug shot taken in "Damaged".
    • In "Time of Death", Laurel wears a ring with the word "Fuck" on it.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • In "Tremors", Laurel's alcoholism and drug addiction gets so bad (as a result of being disbarred), that Oliver has no choice but to call Sara in to help, at risk of attracting the League of Assassins' wrath.
    • The threat of Slade's Mirakuru-empowered army getting loose of Starling City is deemed great enough that Waller decides to bomb the city into a crater.
    • The same army is enough for Sara to call on the League of Assassins (and agree to come back to them).
  • Good Is Not Nice: Oliver doesn’t hesitate to kill or injure if he believes it is necessary. He's been holding back on the killing in Season Two, but being crippled by an arrow to the leg is still a far cry from nice.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: 20% of Oliver's body is covered in scar tissue over the course of five years on the island. Only a few of the scars are explained. So far.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The SCPD finally agrees to help Oliver thanks to Quentin's insistence to the chief. Oliver and the city thinks that the National Guard was called in by Blood, only for the latter to find out that the National Guard units on TV were just ARGUS agents with orders to level the city.
  • Gratuitous English: Rare Western version. The Super Serum from season 2 is called "Mirakuru," Japanese Engrish for "Miracle." Japanese has its own words that mean similar things, but it's not uncommon for them to use loanwords instead.
  • Great Detective: Quentin Lance is able to easily tell when a crime they come across is or isn't because of the Hood. He's also canny enough to trick the Hood into meeting Laurel and is the one who has come closest to catching him. Given that the Hood is considered an important case in-universe that he was assigned, it shows he's considered this there, as well. In "League of Assassins," from the fact that Sara is alive and wants to warn him that his life is in danger, Quentin deduces that she sent Felicity first with the same warning, she's been working with the Arrow, she's the mysterious blonde vigilante, and that she's already been in town for weeks.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Shows up a few times:
    • When Tommy has a problem with Laurel and Oliver.
    • Oliver's attitude towards Barry Allen's flirtation with Felicity, on which Diggle calls him out in "Blast Radius".
    • Felicity sends some green Oliver's way in response to his time with Isabel Rochev.
    • Nyssa threatens Sara's family to get her to return to the League, and to her halfway through the second season.
  • Guest Fighter: Thanks to the breakout popularity of the show, a DLC skin with the likeness and voice of Stephen Amell was added to Injustice: Gods Among Us, and the principal cast of heroes and villains also were added as DLC to LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, with an exclusive island level to boot.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: As in the comics, it is inverted with the Arrow and Canary, although they do a quick swap at one point to show it's their personal preference, rather than necessity.

     Tropes H-M 
  • Hair Today Gone Tomorrow: Pretty much everybody has different hair in the flashback scenes. Oliver's is longer, Slade's is shorter, Moira's is straighter, Sara has bangs, Dinah has Alex Kingston's signature curls whereas her hair is straight now, and Quentin's hair is darker. The few aversions include Laurel and Malcolm Merlyn. Felicity takes it Up to Eleven when it was revealed she was a dark-haired Goth in her flashbacks.
  • Half-Arc Season:
    • The first season manages to give us two half-arcs. Each episode is a standalone, but with flashbacks to the island for the half-arc taking place with Oliver's level in badass and bird-breaking, and occasional scenes with the Big Bad to advance the half-arc of The Undertaking in the present.
    • The second season continues the pattern. On the island, we have, the Amazo and the Mirakuru. In the present, we have Deathstroke, Brother Blood, and the Mirakuru.
  • Hammerspace: The Deathstrokes when they pull out their masks. One of them literally appears to be pulling his out of his ass.
    • Black Canary also has a habit of this with her staff, with it literally appearing in her hand in between shots before she and her dad battle the League of Assassins in the Clocktower in Season 2, Ep. 5.
  • Hands-On Approach: Sara towards Felicity when trying to correct her stance. The former is canonically bisexual and called her cute a few minutes prior, and the latter is wearing spandex at the time.
  • Has a Type: The Huntress lampshades to Black Canary that Ollie likes him some costumed girls, and Felicity blurts out "I have a type!" when she walks in on Ray Palmer doing a salmon ladder, getting her as easily flustered as she did all those times watching Oliver.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Sara betrays Oliver on the Amazo out of fear of Ivo, then her loyalty wins out. Then she somehow ends up with the League of Assassins, but ultimately defects.
  • Heroic BSOD: After nearly being killed by the Dark Archer, Oliver suffers from this, being too afraid of losing his family and friends to fight effectively. Diggle eventually snaps him out of it by telling him to use his loved ones as a source of strength instead. It doesn't hurt that the case he's working on happens to be one for Laurel, either.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Oliver's dad Robert shot himself and a fellow crew member on the lifeboat so that Oliver would have enough supplies to survive.
    • In the first season finale, Tommy runs in to save Laurel, and ends up getting killed when the building collapses on top of him.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Oliver, both as the Hood and, as of Season Two, in his public persona.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja:
    • The League of Assassins. They fight with exotic or hi-tech weapons, employ a great deal of theatrics, abseil with silk ribbons, and wear intimidating costumes when they are on a mission. This is especially the case with high-ranking members like Nyssa al Ghul, al-Owal, and Sara Lance, although even the uniform worn by lesser mooks such as Malcolm Merlyn, the Dark Archer and Big Bad of Season One is clearly supposed to give the wearer a frightening appearance.
    • The Arrow himself. His bright green costume stands out considerably, as well as his use of arrows (green arrows, natch) and ziplines as a means of transport; as a result, he immediately ensures people know he's paid them a visit. Although by then it's too late for most of his targets.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The Clock King develops a virus that makes computers explode including his mobile phone when Felicity gets her hands on it.
    • Slade Wilson bugged the Queen mansion in order to discover all the skeletons in Oliver's closet. As it turns out, Oliver discovered this when the manor was stripped to be sold and returned to stage a confession of love to Felicity he knew Slade would overhear, so that he'd kidnap Felicity and give her the opportunity to get close enough to cure him.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Sebastian shows complete and utter disdain towards Maya's religious devotion, even whispering "The gods are dead" to her in Spanish to scare her into a fatal heart attack.
  • Hollywood Law:
    • Quentin in real life wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Queen family considering his personal ties to them.
    • Laurel's career as a lawyer is practically made of this trope. It only gets worse when she's hired by the District Attorney's office in season two. Turns out it's because she's decent at blackmailing of all things.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Felicity Smoak.
  • Homage: The ending of "The Brave and the Bold," with Flash and Green Arrow squaring off to spar with no one watching, with the episode ending before the audience can see who wins, seems like a homage to "Grudge Match," the episode of Justice League Unlimited, which ends with Huntress and Black Canary squaring off to spar with no one watching, with the episode ending before the audience can see who wins.
  • Honor Before Reason: Another interpretation of Laurel going to CNRI in the finale. Risking her own life could be seen as stupid, until you realize the files and information she deals with can help her win court cases to save others from life in prison, being completely bankrupt, and other terrible fates.
  • Hopeless Suitor:
    • Felicity having a crush on Oliver was something fans suspected and the show teased at for a while, but it wasn't until Season Two that Felicity actually admitted it, albeit in a roundabout way.
    • Barry Allen to Felicity, because of the above.
    • Thea to Tommy in "Legacies", which is made thoroughly creepy by the revelation that the two are half-siblings.
    • Slade to Shado by Season Two
  • How We Got Here: An interesting half-arc example. It appears that Oliver's time on the island will span a multi-season plot in its own right.
  • Human Notepad: Deadshot tattoos the names of his victims on his body.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Season Two Episode Four, "Crucible":
    Laurel: Please don't ask me if I'm okay, because everyone has been asking me that.
    Oliver: I would never do that.
    Laurel: Thank you.
    Oliver: You okay?
    Laurel: [Death Glare]
  • Identity Impersonator: When Oliver is arrested for being the Hood, his bodyguard Diggle puts on the costume and beats up some bad guys. The police have to release Oliver and apologize to him.
    • Diggle impersonates the Arrow again twice; in "Darkness on the Edge of Town" (to coerce Moira into answering his questions by hurting Oliver) and in "Left Behind" (in Oliver's absence, to keep up the impression that Arrow is still protecting the city).
    • Laurel's initial motivation to assume the mantle of the Canary is this - with Sara, the original Canary, dead, and Oliver presumed dead, she reasons that by impersonating her sister, she will be able to inspire fear in Starling City's criminals. She also more explicitly impersonated Sara when she uses a voice-modifier to mimic Sara's voice and trick her father into believing that Sara is still alive.
  • Idiot Ball: Deadshot, one of the most dangerous snipers in the world, uses a laser sight, allowing an alert Detective Lance to spot the dot and save the target. Any competent sniper would know to use either no sight, or a sight that could only be seen by someone with a huge eye lens as part of his costume. Diggle also manages to spot the red flicker in a later episode. Though, both times, Deadshot may have done so deliberately to cause panic.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: When Felicity is at a crossroads with Oliver's resignation that the Arrow is all he will have in his life, she takes up Ray Palmer's offer to come work for her in a more normalized environment.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Crosses over into a bit of Black Comedy since Oliver has snapped someone's neck before and has gone berserk over someone hurting Laurel.
    Tommy: Laurel and I are going to dinner. As in a date.
    Oliver: That's great. Laurel deserves someone special. And so do you. Listen, I gotta run to this thing.
    Tommy: Catch you later.
    Oliver: Oh, and Tommy? If you hurt her, I'll snap your neck.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: The Bratva make Oliver kill an enemy in order to prove he's one of them. Oliver takes a third option by merely rendering the guy unconscious and carrying him away before he wakes up.
  • I Have a Family: When Moira Queen is cornered by the Hood in "Betrayal", she gets down on her knees and begs him not to take her from her children, whose picture is behind her desk. It works, doubly because she's Oliver's mom and the picture is of him and Thea. Even though she then takes the opportunity to try to shoot him, Oliver later points out that none of his other targets thought of their families.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Fyers is blackmailing Yao Fei by threatening his daughter.
    • Walter is kidnapped to keep a handle on Moira.
    • In episode 17 The Huntress compels Oliver by threatening Tommy and a room full of club-goers.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Every mook with a machine gun that goes up against The Hood seems to have graduated from here. Particularly notable in the Pilot, where a mook fails to even graze Oliver on 3 separate occasions while Oliver's about 6 feet away. In their defense, it's always dark.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • A trait shared by all the currently living members of the Queen family:
    • Given the premise of the show, Oliver's skill with the bow is to be expected. However, he is also a master knife thrower. When Oliver throws an unbalanced kitchen knife to successfully disarm China White, Diggle is amazed and does not buy Oliver's explanation that it was just luck.
      • In Season 3, he turns out to be just as good with a gun, despite not actually practicing onscreen for several years.
    • Moira is one of the very few people in the entire show who has actually managed to hit the Vigilante when shooting him with a gun.
    • Thea knocks a mook unconscious by hitting him on the back of the head with a bottle thrown from at least 20 feet away. She lampshades this trope.
      Roy: Where'd you learn to do that?
      Thea: I guess I have wicked aim.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Oliver regularly uses his bow as a bludgeon.
  • Improvised Armor: In "Trust but Verify", Oliver uses a garbage can lid as an improvised shield to block a tear gas grenade.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • Oliver’s party boy image. Even when he's trying to project an air of carefree uselessness and indifference, he's either frighteningly intense or inhumanly calm. Indifferent? Not so much. note 
    • We have to be told that Thea is a smoker, since actually showing a non-villain smoking is against the rules of television.
  • Informed Judaism: Felicity is Jewish, but she only mentions it during a throwaway line during each of the first two seasons' Christmas episodes. It wasn't until the third season when her faith came up in non-Christmas situations, notably her throwing dirt into a newly dug grave because it is a Jewish custom.
  • In Name Only: The series uses a lot of names from The DCU, most of them minor, but the majority of them don't resemble their original counterparts at all. For example, Anatoli Knyazev (KGBeast) was changed from a Soviet Super Soldier to the leader of a Russian organized criminal group, and Mark Scheffer (Shrapnel) was changed from a man transformed into living metal to a Bomb Throwing Anarchist.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Ivo claims that Oliver is responsible for him shooting Shado, even though Oliver did nothing to provoke the attack. A grief stricken Slade under the influence of mirakuru readily believes this.
  • Instant Expert: Oliver is an incredibly fast learner. He often screws up the first few times, but to date, he flawlessly practices a disarming flip and a neck snap after seeing them performed once, and later makes a killing shot with a bow and arrow after only one lesson.
  • Insistent Terminology: Despite living together, having a child together, having been married before, and sometimes working together; Diggle and Lyla are not married. Until she accepts his proposal in season 3.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • After 'The Hood' saves him, Roy has an epiphany, deciding that he needs to dedicate his life to helping the Hood. He ends up tracking him down and eventually becoming a member of Team Arrow, following the events of "Tremors".
    • Oliver could have simply left the island, but went back to save Yao Fei.
  • Irony: In Season One Laurel is the Hood's de-facto ally, while her father is actively trying to bring him to justice and both spend parts of the season trying to convince the other of their arguments. At the start of Season Two Detective Lance sees the Hood as the hero Starling City needs, while Laurel blames the Hood for Tommy's death and is trying to bring him in. Laurel's opinion changes pretty quickly after Broken Dolls, however, as it's really herself that she blames.
  • Island of Mystery: Oliver finds himself stranded on a seemingly deserted island in the South China Sea. Soon he runs into a mysterious Chinese man, a mysterious military organization, and more.
  • It Gets Easier: When he first arrived on the Island, he could barely bring himself to kill a bird. Over the flashbacks we see him become a man who snaps necks of mooks without a hint of hesitation.
    • His first human kill is a desperate accident but by the end of season one he's able to shot and kill the villain.
    • In season two he kills a man in rage, getting literal blood on his hands for the first time, sending him into shock. By the end when given the choice between curing Slade or killing him he stabs him in the eye with an arrow.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Thea, in classic teenager fashion. When Oliver first returns, she's actively trying to be like her brother was before he disappeared, which causes friction between the two of them as Oliver doesn't want Thea to go down the same path he did whilst Thea just sees her brother's disapproval as hypocritical and overbearing. As the season goes on, it emerges that the reason Thea acts like this is because after the Queen's Gambit sank, Moira was so grief stricken that she closed herself off from Thea, who was 12 years old & had just lost her father & brother, and Thea's actions were just a cry for attention. It takes Moira finally opening up to Thea, and both Queen siblings beginning to understand how the past 5 years had affected each other, for Thea to begin to grow out of it.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Oliver uses this (roughly) to explain to Felicity why he's willing to have a one-night stand but not a serious relationship.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Amanda Waller's response to 50 mildly superhuman criminals? Destroy Starling City and kill every one of its hundreds of thousands of civilians. And it wouldn't have worked anyway.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Tommy loves and understands Laurel so much... he breaks up with her because he believes she's still in love with both Oliver and the Hood. And should she ever find that out, she'd choose Oliver in a heartbeat. Tommy will always be second.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Routinely used by Oliver throughout the series, mainly by shooting targets with arrows in painful places. Unusually for a superhero application of this trope, it is explicitly referred to as 'torture' in the Flash/Arrow crossover episodes.
    • 'Deathstroke' actually Billy Wintergreen uses this on Oliver in the island flashback in "Damaged".
    • In a shocking moment in "Sara", Laurel resorts to this on a suspect withholding information while questioning him in his hospital room.
    • In the flashback in "Brave and the Bold", we begin to learn the origins of Oliver's use of this technique. He is forced by Amanda Waller to interrogate a suspect who knows the location of a bomb. When he fails to do so, and the bomb explodes, causing the loss of innocent lives, a guilt-stricken Oliver gains the 'conviction' to master the 'art' of torture.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Quentin is crusading against Arrow because the guy's killed or maimed dozens of people. His treatment of Oliver also makes sense when you consider Oliver is the guy who cheated on his one daughter with his other daughter and got said daughter killed. And then his wife left due to her guilt over Sara’s death.
    • Oliver uses this trope to avoid getting a job at Queen Consolidated, but he does make a valid point: He's not qualified to manage an international corporation.
    • Oliver’s speech to Tommy about how Laurel is a human being and doesn't need to be protected by Tommy and that he should actually treat her like an adult and talk to her.
    • Helena raises some good points about why Oliver's crusade for justice, where he has maimed and killed dozens of people, is any more valid than her own quest for revenge?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Quentin Lance maybe gruff and antagonistic but there’s no doubt he cares about his daughter and what’s her to be safe and happy.
    • Oliver often acts this way as well.
  • The Juggernaut: Cyrus Gold becomes this after being injected with Mirakuru, his muscle mass increasing to the point where he can punch down solid titanium doors, and any arrows Oliver shoots at him bend on impact.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Discussed. He's been accused of this but hotly denies it. In fact he's not actually in this to redistribute the wealth of his victims but to get their victims justice and prevent them from hurting more people.
  • Karma Houdini: Cupid is a Stalker with a Crush Serial Killer who sets a new record for just how Ax-Crazy you can get. She is helped to join the Suicide Squad instead of being sent to prison. Yeah, that'll end well.
  • Kick the Dog: Malcolm is good at doing this, particularly to Tommy.
    • One episode features Malcolm trying to mend fences with his son...until it turns out he just wants Tommy's signature to shut down a free clinic. Which was Tommy's dead mother's legacy .
    • In "Sacrifice", he kills three police SWAT team officers trying to stop him, and then brutally attacks Tommy when he tries to stop him. Later he threatens to kill Moira and Thea when he and Oliver are struggling, motivating Oliver to kill him.
    • If you were thinking that maybe, just maybe, Fyers wasn't a complete Jerk Ass... he shoots Yao Fei in the head in "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: The rationale given by Oliver in the first episode before snapping the neck of a mook who saw his face.
  • Knife Nut:
    • China White. Not only does she use a knife for everyday things like executing a witness who'd seen too much, but when she goes to kill Laurel in episode 2 she brings along gun-toting mooks... not to shoot the target, but for the express purpose of corralling Laurel (and Oliver) so that she can use her knives on them.
    • The way he suggests Oliver train with a sword as his main weapon implies that Slade Wilson is a Sword Nut.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother:
    • Oliver's sister does drugs and drives under the influence, causing her to crash. As a civilian, Oliver pulls all the favors he can to try and get Thea out of jail time. As the Hood, Oliver hunts down The Count and injects him with a concentrated dosage of Vertigo, causing The Count to suffer extreme pain and likely go insane. Don't even indirectly mess with Oliver's sister, or it's going to go down very badly for you.
    • When Roy is chasing after the Hood and bringing Thea with him, Oliver gets VERY angry at him, and not-so-subtly threatens him to keep her away from the Hood.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Laurel gets attacked at her apartment with such frequency, her father wonders aloud why she doesn't just move. Quentin also sarcastically remarks how helpful the vigilante and the Dark Archer are now Color-Coded for Your Convenience once the latter starts showing up.
  • Land Mine Goes Click:
    • In a flashback to the island in "The Odyssey", Oliver steps on a Japanese landmine left over from World War II, which goes click. Oliver is forced to stand immobile while Slade kills a group of patrolling soldiers around him. Slade frees Oliver by pushing the body of one of the soldiers on to the mine to take his place.
    • Gets a Call Back in the Season Two premiere when Diggle and Felicity come to the island to find the self-exiled Oliver and Felicity ends up stepping onto a mine. Diggle attempts to free her with a knife, but Oliver calls him off and swings down Tarzan-style to get her clear.
    • Likewise, Sara plans to blow up Slade by exploiting one of the island's landmines. Cue Anatoli's reminiscence about his KGB training.
      Anatoli: Aah, KGB, you teach me many things. Russian bomb, Japanese bomb, both... go... [click] Boom.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice:
    • Oliver. Though it takes awhile for your eyes to move from his chest — ahem, scars.
    • Ditto Roy.
    • Even Slade has one.
  • Large Ham:
    • The Count, with his very... enthusiastic manner.
    • Slade, following his Face-Heel Turn. Practically every line he utters is delivered with either chilling gravitas, or in a loud bark.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The Count is rendered insane by an overdose of Vertigo.
    • Frank Chen betrayed Robert Queen to Malcolm Merlyn, resulting in the sabotage of the Queen's Gambit. He is, in turn, betrayed by Moira to Malcolm, leading to his own death. For added Irony, there's no evidence that Moira knew that Frank was involved with Robert's death.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The show actively throws curveballs into the story, making it difficult to discuss current events without spoiling some major developments. This includes Malcolm Merlyn is the Dark Archer, Tommy's death in the season one, Sara survived the boat sinking and returns to Starling City with skills comparable to Oliver in season two, Sara is killed in the start of season three.
  • Legacy Character: Unlike most superhero adaptations, Arrow doesn't avert this trope. It has indeed become part of the show's DNA to introduce a character who serves as a 'pre-cursor' to the later, more iconic version of the character.
    • In the show's continuity, Yao Fei was the first 'Green Arrow' (though he doesn't go by the name). Oliver inherits the mantle (literally, with the green hood) and develops the 'Hood/Arrow' persona in honor of him.
    • Sara Lance was the original (Black) Canary, and she symbolically passed on the mantle to Laurel by giving her the Canary jacket. After Sara's death at the start of Season 3, Laurel starts down the path to becoming the new Canary, to honor her dead sister.
    • The original Count Vertigo, who appeared in the first two seasons, was a drug-dealing psychopath known simply as 'the Count' who was eventually Killed Off for Real by the Arrow. At the start of Season 3, he is replaced by a crime-boss named Werner Zytle (who is the one and only 'Count Vertigo' in the comics. This trope is specifically invoked when the new Vertigo tells Arrow "There will always be a Vertigo".
    • Slade Wilson explains the Deathstroke mask as being something used by ASIS soldiers when in deep cover missions, and his former friend Billy Wintergreen is the first on the show to be called Deathstroke. Slade uses the mask as part of his modern day costume and Amanda Waller says they had code named him Deathstroke, suggesting it goes back even further.
  • Legally Dead: Oliver is this during his five years on the island.
    • Post-Season 1, so is Malcolm Merlyn.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Oliver's is typically a variation of the theme used in the title sequence.
    • Malcolm Merlyn has a fanfare.
    • Deathstroke's can be described as a fearsome, two-note wail.
    • Barry Allen is introduced with a light piano theme, made all the more distinct by being stylistically very different from Arrow's background music.
    • Anyone with Mirakuru in them has a strange whooshing sound as the focus turns on them.
  • Let Them Die Happy: In the first season finale, Oliver lies to Tommy as the latter dies, saying he didn't kill Tommy's father Malcolm. Turns out not to be a lie in Season Two.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In the third season, Sara's death was a ploy by Malcolm, who drugged Thea and made her kill Sara in order to pit Oliver against the League of Assassins.
  • Lip-Lock Sun-Block: Oliver and Felicity's Big Damn Kiss in the Season 3 premiere.
  • Living with the Villain:
    • Oliver doesn't find out that his best friend Tommy's father is the one behind the List he's been crossing names off all season until the final few episodes.
    • Subverted with Moira Queen — the first episode reveals that she is complicit in Tempest alongside Malcolm Merlyn, but she's a reluctant participant.
    • Inverted with Detective Lance — he's actively trying to bring in the Hood, unaware it's Oliver.
    • In Season Two, Laurel's taken this role from her father.
    • Thea leaves town with Malcolm Merlyn at the end of Season 2.
  • The Lost Lenore: Shado. Her death haunts Oliver and prompts Slade's Face-Heel Turn and desire for revenge.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Given that Oliver sleeps with absolutely everyone, it's unsurprising that he gets entangled in a few of these.
    • In the first season, Olvier is the Veronica to Tommy's Betty, with Laurel.
    • In the second season:
      • In the island flashbacks, it's Oliver, Slade, and Shado. Also Oliver, Shado, and Sara.
      • In the present, Oliver, Sara, and Nyssa (and Felicity?)
    • In the third season:
      • In the present: Felicity, Oliver, and Ray.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: In a platonic sense. After being rescued by the Hood, Roy becomes dedicated to finding the Hood so he can become his partner/student/protegee and be just like him. Roy’s opinion of Oliver is much lower – calling him a wimp.
  • Loyalty Mission:
    • Subverted in the first-season episode "Home Invasion." Oliver fails one of these by prioritizing protecting Laurel from a hitman over helping Diggle take down Deadshot, the man who killed Diggle's brother, without so much as a "sorry, buddy, I can't be in two places at once" to give Dig the heads-up that he's on his own, causing Diggle to take a 10-Minute Retirement from the team.
    • Played straight in the second-season episode "Keep Your Enemies Closer." Here, Ollie drops everything to travel with Diggle to Russia and track down Deadshot. Diggle tells Ollie that he didn't ask for his help, and Ollie replies that he didn't need to. Diggle's look of gratitude says it all.
  • Made of Iron: The amount of injuries Oliver sustained while on the island would have probably crippled most people. Likewise, in the premier he cuts his way through Adam Hunt's cadre of bodyguards, defeats his The Dragon, leaps out of a skyscraper, ziplines to safety... and reappears at his party a scant three minutes later looking none the worse for wear.
  • MacGyvering: In the Season 3 episode "Corto Maltese", Oliver fashions bows and arrows for himself and Roy out of bed posts, blinds and other objects found in his hotel room.
  • The Man Behind the Man:
    • In the season finale, we learn that Fyers was working for some unknown woman, who's hidden behind shadows. With him now dead, she's likely responsible for what other problems Oliver and friends face on the island.
      • In Season 3, it is confirmed that the woman is Amanda Waller.
    • Slade is this to Brother Blood in Season Two.
  • The Mafiya: The third episode reveals that Oliver somehow has the rank of captain. As revealed in "Vertigo", he apparently saved the life of Anatoli Knyazev (who in the DCU is the KGBeast).
  • Magic Antidote:
    • Oliver has a herbal concoction he acquired on the island that seems able to cure any kind of poison, including curare.
    • The cure for Mirakuru, when it finally arrives, is an eerie glowing blue liquid.
      Felicity: Why does the secret formula always have to be colored? What happened to good old fashioned clear?
  • Magical Defibrillator: "The Odyssey".
  • Male Gaze: In "Dodger", when we see Felicity's party outfit, starting at her legs.
  • Man on Fire: "Burned" is about a presumed-dead firefighter taking revenge.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: See Oliver's skill with the mixed message.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Male example, with Oliver. He alternates between telling Laurel to stay away, and having ice cream with her. And he does this with everyone, so much so that in the Season 3 premiere, when Felicity and Oliver are about to squash their romance, she demands he stop "dangling 'maybes'."
  • Matzo Fever: It takes Oliver a while to realize it and admit it, but he has it bad for Felicity.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: How Malcolm Merlyn keeps defying death. He survives being shot due to a kevlar vest, but he apparently returned from the dead in Season 2 with no explanation. To compicate matters, he's a known member of the League of Assassins, who have a... casual relationship with death to say the least.
  • May-December Romance: If Isabel Rochev is to be believed, this was true of her and Robert Queen.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Helena with Oliver: "No one can know my secret."
    • Moira opens her press conference in the season finale with this line:
      Moira: My name is Moira Dearden Queen, I am the acting CEO of Queen Consolidated, and God forgive me, I have failed this city.
  • Meaningful Name: Oliver's nightclub 'Verdant': verdant is an adjective meaning to "be of a bright green colour." It also means, more figuratively, "full of life".
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender:
    • Most of the people killed on the show are men, but they're also criminals and there are more male criminals than female in the show's setting. The few women Oliver fights but doesn't kill survive less because they're women and more because they're just that Badass.
    • Lampshaded in "The Huntress Returns", when Oliver and Diggle are discussing what to do about Helena.
      Oliver: So what? I should kill her?
      Diggle: I think you would have by now if she looked like me and not the T-Mobile girl.
  • Mercy Kill: Dr. Antony Ivo. Suffering from gangrene, he asks Sara and Oliver to end his life in exchange for valuable information about Mirakuru's cure.
  • Method Acting: invokedWhen Diggle acts as the Arrow to convince Moira to reveal what she knows about the Undertaking. In doing so, he rather convincingly beats up Oliver to get her to talk.
    (an alarmed Felicity sees Diggle and a heavily bruised Oliver walk in)
    Felicity: You said you would pull your punches!
    Diggle: I did.
  • Midfight Weapon Exchange: The Hood and Canary briefly exchange their signature weapons (bow and collapsable staff) in a melee, and turn out to be just as competent.
  • Mid-Season Twist:
    • Episode Seven of Season One reveals the Big Bad is Tommy's father and Oliver starts a relationship with Helena, who knows he's the vigilante. Tommy isn't the adaptation of the comic villain Merlyn the Archer. His father is.
    • In Episode Seven of season Two, Oliver is forced to kill Count Vertigo to save Felicity (without regret). Malcolm Merlyn is revealed to be alive, arranges Moira's not-guilty verdict in her trial, and reveals Thea is his daughter by a tryst they had.
    • Two episodes later, Slade is revealed to be the true Big Bad and The Man Behind the Man to Brother Blood when all previous evidence suggested he died on the island.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In a twist, it's Thea who thinks her mother is having an affair with Malcolm Merlyn, Tommy's dad. The misunderstanding doesn't overly affect Moira, Malcolm, or Walter since they'd had Walter kidnapped and the covert meetings were to do with their mysterious organization, but it devastates Thea and drives her to increasingly reckless behavior.
  • Mission Control: Felicity becomes this after "The Odyssey".
  • The Mole: One of Brother Blood's disciples is an officer in Detective Lance's department and leaks information.
  • Moral Dissonance: Ollie preaches to the Huntress quite a bit about her blasé attitude toward killing, pointing out that he only kills when it's necessary and only after giving his target a chance to do the right thing. This is true when it comes to his high-profile targets, but he extends no such niceties to the mooks in their employ, dropping a half-dozen hired guards in a typical episode with seemingly little care whether they live or die from the grievous arrow wounds he inflicts.
  • Morality Chain: Diggle stated this is the main reason he joined Oliver, so to keep Oliver from going too far. Though as Oliver's characterization softens slightly, he settles in as more of a...
  • Morality Pet:
    • Diggle and Felicity keep Oliver from getting too myopic or ruthless in his vigilantism. They do this by calling him out when he goes too far and encouraging him to help people not related to his list.
    • Oliver is also shown to be concerned about how his actions affect the people he cares about.
    • Tommy is one for Malcolm Merlyn. While Malcolm treats his son pretty badly with his 'tough love' approach and general asshole behavior, he does not let anyone else do the same. Tommy is possible the only person he cares about.
  • Motif: Oliver frequently wears V-neck sweaters, which are reminiscent of an arrow. When he pairs one with a V-neck shirt, the two Vs overlap to create an even more overt arrow shape.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • Averted with Oliver who wears a variation of his costume from the comic in a darker shade of green.
    • The original Deathstroke gear worn by both Slade and Billy Wintergreen is replaced for black and grey combat gear with the classic mask, though with both eyes. His upgraded gear, however, while different from the comics, incorporates more orange as well as some dark blues, making it resemble his Arkhamverse and Injustice designs, and to some extent his design in the New Fifty Two, and like the classic design the mask only has one eye.
    • China White's costume is black rather than the white she wears in the comics.
    • Huntress wears mostly black with purple tones in her costume as a Shout-Out to her comic book incarnation.
    • Canary wears an outfit inspired by her classic gear, though with an added Domino Mask (which she only wore briefly in the comics) and replacing the fishnets with leather pants that have a cross-stitch design on the legs to evoke this image.
    • Deadshot tends towards whatever clothes he can get, some tactical gear, his eye piece and his wrist-mounted automatics. His mask is never worn and he doesn't wear any of his comic book costumes.
    • Bronze Tiger also just wears a leather jacket and some fancy claw-knuckles, never wearing his tiger-like mask of the comics.
    • Continuing with the rest of the Suicide Squad, Lyla/Harbringer never wears a costume when leading the team, and Shrapnel also just wore regular clothes instead of a costume; though, in the comics he didn't have a costume, being that he was basically sentient bomb shrapnel rather than an actual human being like he is here.
    • Roy Harper wears a similar costume to Oliver, but in dark red.
  • Mr. Fanservice
    • Oliver, if the main image didn't clue you in.
    • Diggle who has a similar physique to Oliver.
    • Teen Wolf alum Colton Haynes joins the cast as Roy Harper.
    • And don't forget Slade, who gets his own shirtless workout scene in episode 16.
    • A series of shirtless posters of all of the above were used to advertise the second season.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Thea in her revealing school uniform. She dips back into this in Season 3 once she Took a Level in Badass, with all of her outfits showing off her flawlessly toned stomach.
    • Laurel’s outfits – particularly her evening wear – tend to fall into this category. Less so in Season 2 as her drug habit takes its toll on her body.
    • Felicity’s dress in “Dodger” with the lingering shot of her legs. And throughout Season 2 her outfits become far more flattering, often incorporating a Cleavage Window. In "Time of Death", she wears spandex and is briefly shown in her underwear.
    • Helena’s outfits are often tight-fitting.
    • Sara Lance as Canary and her costume fit. Zigzagged - although she's had a few appearances in less clothing, which highlight her body and her especially athletic physique, there are instances where this is subverted by the very large and very visible scars on her back (see Topless From The Back, for example).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Arrow does this with a simple question:
    Arrow: WHAT. COLOUR. ARE. YOUR SHOES?
  • Mundane Wish: In the second episode, Oliver shows up at Laurel's apartment with a paper bag and tells her that there was one thing he thought about every day he was on the island - he even dreamed about it - and he promised himself that if he ever got the chance to do it again, he would do it with her: eat ice cream. Given his prior reputation and Laurel's facial expression, it's not too hard to imagine what she originally assumed he was talking about.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!:
    • Tommy gets a nonverbal version, over Oliver's teenage sister Thea.
      Tommy: Have you noticed how hot your little sister's gotten?
      Oliver: [Death Glare]
      Tommy: Because I have not!
    • Tommy just can't catch a break with this trope.
      Tommy: Girl's pretty cute.
      Diggle: She's my sister-in-law.
      Tommy: Who I will never speak to... or look at... ever.
    • Now pretty much becoming a Running Gag. Once more with feeling when Tommy visits Laurel and finds her father there. They're dating at the time, mind you.
      Tommy: Merry Christmas. How are you?
      Det. Lance: [in a low voice] Proficient with firearms.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • The death of Sara Lance on the Queen's Gambit is this for Oliver. Oliver blames himself for taking her on the ship in the first place, when he was in a committed relationship with her sister Laurel.
    • As of season 2, failing to stop the destruction of the Glades & the subsequent deaths of 503 innocents, including best friend Tommy, has also become this Oliver.
    • Dinah Lance also blames herself for not stopping Sara betraying Laurel, after seeing Sara packing to leave with Oliver on the yacht.
    • Laurel blames herself for Tommy's death.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.

     Tropes N-S 
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Did anyone really think a guy named Blood was gonna turn out to be benevolent?
  • Near-Rape Experience: When she's pulled out of a cage on the Amazo in the second season, it's strongly hinted that this is the fate intended for Sarah Lance before being interrupted by Ivo.
    Mook: If you struggle, it'll hurt more.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization
    • Tempest, the secret society to which Malcolm and Moira belong. They compiled the List, and manipulated the people on it first to try and improve the city, but now as part of the Undertaking.
    • And now in season 2, we get a dose of Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins, which trained Malcolm Merlyn during his mysterious year in the East.
  • Neck Snap: Oliver's preferred method of murdering people if arrows are unavailable.
    • How one mook in the first episode meets his end.
    • As of episode seven, another mook and the episode's Dragon have been added to the count by Helena no less, echoing Oliver's line of "No one must know my secret" upon killing The Dragon.
    • In Sacrifice, we see him practice it again to silence two of Malcolm's thugs (the third is shot by Diggle), as well as find out he learnt it from Shado.
    • Sara does this to prevent one of the League of Assassin ninjas from coming after either Oliver or Quentin in "League of Assassins".
    • Cyrus Gold can do this with one hand, as Barry Allen explains to Oliver.
      Barry: I don't suppose you've had much experience with snapping necks.
    • In "Unthinkable," this is how Isabel Rochev (by Nyssa) and the District Attorney (by a Mirakuru goon) both die.
    • In Season 3's "The Climb," we find out that Ray Palmer's fiancée Anna met this fate during the Mirakuru siege, as well.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Defied by Felicity at Moira Queen's funeral. She admits that she never liked her and calls her diabolical (her last interaction with Moira had the latter trying to emotionally manipulate Felicity), but is still in grief for Oliver's sake.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer for "Suicide Squad" would have you believe the Squad is formed to combat Deathstroke. Turns out their real intention is to locate stolen chemical weapons in Markovia, with Oliver's hunt for Deathstroke forming a side-plot in the spisode. Additionally, it shows cut footage for an even longer Harley Quinn cameo. In the actual episode this amounts to a single one-liner.
    • The trailer for "Seeing Red" would have you think it's all about Roy and how the Mirakuru has further corrupted his mind.
    • Justified somewhat with the Season promos, because they typically tend to include only footage from the first episode or two of the season (usually the only ones filmed at the time), and as a result are hardly reflective of the overall season arc. For instance, the Season 2 promo would have you believe that the Hood Copycats will be a major focus of the season, whereas in fact they are just the antagonists for the premiere and are seldom mentioned again thereafter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • An impressive combo from Oliver in "Dead to Rights" : He saves the life of Malcolm Merlyn, fixes the relationship between him and Tommy and betrays Tommy's trust by revealing himself as the Vigilante - and admitting he didn't want to.
    • Oliver Queen has a knack for saving people who secretly want him dead. In Season One, He saved Malcolm Merlyn, the architect of the Undertaking. In Season Two: He saves Alderman Blood, from a shoot out. Turns out, he's just as bad, injecting criminals with Mirakuru and killing most of them as a result. He also sent the Count to draw out Arrow and kill him
  • Ninja: The League of Assassins, per usual.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The series seems to love doing this to Quentin Lance. His reward for being the only competent cop in Starling and saving a fair chunk of the city? Getting busted down to beat cop.
  • No Kill Like Overkill:
    • The death of Count Vertigo has him shot several times and then thrown out of a skyscraper. Shouldn't have threatened Felicity.
    • Laurel shoots Officer Daily, who was disguised as Brother Blood, five times. Admittedly he only keels over after the fifth.
    • Amanda Waller decides to bomb Starling City into oblivion, along with its 500,000 inhabitants in order to deal with Slade’s Mirakuru-enhanced goons.
  • Nosmoking: Thea (and presumably Diggle) smokes, but we never see it.
  • Nominal Hero: What Malcolm becomes in Season 2; he saves Moira from the death penalty but only so he can blackmail her into letting him spend time with Thea, his daughter. Later he returns to help fight the Mirakuru-enhancd Blood Cult, but only so he can stop Thea being killed.
  • Non-Action Guy:
    • Tommy. Mostly stands out since all the other male characters are at least somewhat skilled, but Tommy only engages in one fight in the season, which he loses. Badly.
    • Walter tends to rely on his smarts and his resultant wealth more than anything else.
    • Sebastian Blood. Despite being the secondary antagonist in Season 2, he relies mainly on fear, mob rule, and the aid of Slade Wilson to get what he wants.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Oliver, is it really necessary to leave your arrows exposed and pointy end up in your warehouse? Anybody trips or isn't watching where they're going and they'll stab themselves.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Oliver, of course, but Walter Steel as well. When he suspects someone may be embezzling from Queen Consolidated, he personally investigates. Later, Moira Queen and Thea join the club.
  • Non-Powered Costumed Hero: Oliver never misses a shot, is an expert fighter, is fast and incredibly agile, and can beat the bad guys without breaking a sweat, but he is still a regular non-powered human being.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup:
    • Subverted. Detective Lance, with Felicity's help, deactivates the Markov device just in time... only for it to turn out Malcolm built two. The second proceeds to fulfill its purpose and level half the Glades in the first season finale. In season 2's "Blast Radius, this is further subverted by the fact that the Bronze Tiger was broken out of Iron Heights for the sole purpose of stealing the prototype of the Markov device from Merlyn's mansion.
    • Averted also with Oliver, who realised from the very beginning that he might need a new hideout if the Foundry was compromised.
  • No Sell: Oliver's reaction in "The Undertaking" when a man tries to stop his Roaring Rampage of Rescue through the underground casino by hitting him with a pool cue.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Oliver doesn't want baby Sara down in the secret lair.
    Diggle: Why not, Oliver? Who's she gonna tell?
    Oliver: I'm just not comfortable having her down there.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Deadshot gets an arrow through the eye and is seemingly killed, but returns later still very much alive (albeit half blind) in "Dead to Rights".
    • Malcolm is seemingly killed in the Season One finale, but returns in Season Two, having somehow survived.
    • Sara pulls this off twice. Oliver watched her pulled out of the Queen's Gambit and believed she drowned - only to find out she'd been picked up by pirates and Doctor Ivo. He later seems to have believed her killed off in some as yet unexplained incident - but she turns up in Starling City at the start of Season Two as the Canary.
    • Like with Sara, Oliver seems to believe that Slade is dead. However, as the audience is aware, Slade is alive and well as the big bad of Season Two.
  • Not So Different: Several bad guys try to pull this on Oliver but he disagrees.
    • Deadshot calls Oliver out, reminding him that he's taken lives. Oliver defends himself by stating that he did it for the greater good, while Deadshot is just out for money.
    • Helena Bertinelli says she and Oliver are the same, with somewhat more justification. Oliver insists that what he does is about justice not vengeance.
    • The Dodger tries this on Oliver by saying they both only steal from the rich. Oliver replies by knocking him out.
    • The Saviour has goals that are reasonably close to Oliver’s, but his targets are mostly ones who don’t deserve their fates.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Oliver's costume is essentially a dark green leather hoodie. In episode 2 it's expanded to basically a full-body leather outfit, with hood.
  • Offing the Offspring: In "Vendetta", Frank Bertinelli shoots at his own daughter for ruining his businesses and causing a war between his gang and the Triads. He would have done worse if he learned that Helena was the informant for the FBI.
    • Inverted when Helena comes back with a (extra helping of) vengeance to trying kill her father. Ironically, she's (even) more pissed off because he became an informant for the FBI and thus gets witness protection instead of life imprisonment.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Oliver, as the Hood/Arrow. Apparently he learned this on the island, as he is capable of doing this after having spent a year there.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Canary's sonic grenades are glorified air fresheners or portable speakers.
  • Oh, Crap: Brother Blood gets one toward the end of the second season when one of his men storms the Mayor's office, slaughtering his staff and the District attorney, saying "I don't take orders from you." Then it gets worse when he tracks down Slade, who tells him they didn't actually share a vision; Slade intends to raze the city.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Oliver has so far had a Shirtless Scene in every episode.
    • Oliver gets a speech about something every other scene.
  • One Degree of Separation:
    • Oliver happens to know TWO people who were trained by the League of Assassins - his partner/one-time girlfriend Sara Lance, and his best friend's father and arch-nemesis Malcolm Merlyn...both of whom became League members due to completely unrelated circumstances, decades apart. In season three, it's now three, as Oliver's handler while he was an ARGUS operative/captive in Hong Kong, Maseo, appeared as "The Phantom" in episode 9.
    • Diggle's ex-wife Lyla is an agent of ARGUS who works for Amanda Waller. Diggle's boss and friend Oliver Queen, unbeknownst to him, also served as an (unwilling) agent for Amanda Waller in Hong Kong.
    • In "Dead to Rights", Moira Queen hired China White to kill Malcolm Merlyn. China White in turn hires Deadshot. Not only has her son Oliver fought Deadshot and China White as the Arrow, but he has other connections to both of them (his bodyguard's brother was murdered by Deadshot, and he had some dealings with China White in Hong Kong during his years away.)
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Largely averted.
    • Oliver’s first fight with the Dark Archer leads to him being hospitalised.
    • Oliver takes a shot in the shoulder and it's presented as a life or death situation. Of course, by the end of the episode he's up and about and seemingly not even in any pain as his mother hugs him and rests her head on his injured shoulder.
    • Roy gets cut in a fight from a knife and the next scene is of them in a hospital getting stitches and antibiotics.
    • Oliver's leg is broken by Roy, and he spends the next two episodes limping.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The usual collection of minor slippages that come from Vancouver based productions are present.
    • Stephen Amell's Canadian accent occasionally makes an appearance.
    • Paul Blackthorne seems unable to maintain his American accent for more than a couple of sentences at a time.
    • Alex Kingston has trouble with certain words like "island" or "Sara". It also seems downright cruel to force two English actors to try and maintain American accents while talking to a character named "Laurel".
  • One Steve Limit: Played straight with many, more common, names in the show (even enforced in the case of Laurel), yet weirdly averted once with Oliver taking on two different guys called, of all names, Cyrus.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Played with in Home Invasion.
    Thea: ...do you have a police radio in your pocket?
    Roy: No, I'm just happy to see you.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Diggle is former military and an above average fighter in his own right, but easily outmatched by Oliver and most of the elite enemies they face against. On occasion he has put on Oliver's costume and is capable of emulating his style effectively enough.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: In Season 3: The episode ends with Ra's al Ghul defeating Oliver and running him through with a sword.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: In "Salvation", Moira, after Chen - whom she made the scapegoat for their failed attempt on Malcolm's life - is killed in front of her by Dark Archer, notices that she literally has his blood on her hands and quickly tries to scrub it off.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Oliver does this after he is trapped in a warehouse with a bomb by the rival archer in "Year's End".
  • Panacea:
    • While on the island, Oliver sustains a nasty arrow wound, and the treatment he receives consists of... a handful of grass, stuffed into his mouth? Flash forward to his return home to Starling City, and we find that he apparently brought a goodly supply of this miraculous plant back with him. Thus far, it has been shown to neutralize at least some poisons, and work effectively as a treatment for shock and blood loss.
    • In "Dodger" Oliver uses it to treat Slade's infection in an island flashback. He explicitly refers to it as "super herbs... that heal anything."
  • Parents as People: There is a lot of emphasis placed on relationships between parents and their children in the show. None of those relationships are perfect and none of the parents are portrayed as being wise or all-knowing but you never doubt they love their children.
  • Le Parkour:
    • Oliver tends to use free running more than true Parkour.
    • Roy is probably a better example.
  • Passing the Torch: When Sara leaves to return to Nanda Parbat, she presents Laurel with the leather jacket she wears as Black Canary. Laurel happily notes that it fits her. Lampshaded by Quentin.
    Detective Lance: Hey, about that jacket - don't get any ideas.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish:
    • Moira uses her late husband's name as a password.
    • And Oliver uses 141 as the entry code into his secret lair.
    • The secret casino run by Dominic Alonzo, has the password "snapdragon", which Oliver gets by spying on someone else going in ahead of Felicity.
  • The Plan: The Undertaking. Malcolm plans to save the city from its crime problem by leveling the Glades, which, as Moira points out, will kill thousands.
  • Please Wake Up: Oliver begging Tommy to open his eyes after he dies in "Sacrifice".
  • Police Are Useless: Oh so very much, but particularly in Season 2. As they seem to be more interest in catching the vigilante than the people stealing supplies from the hospital. Then show they rather not let the public know a serial killer is on the loose and arrest Lance for getting involved.
    • Arguably becomes worse in the middle of Season 3, where after only a few weeks of Oliver being absent, Central City's crime rate skyrockets and the city government withdraws the police from the Glades after being threatened.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Their many, many secrets and lies tore the Queen family apart in the second season. As of the third season, Oliver clearly hasn't learned the lesson.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Barry Allen appeared in the second season to set up a planned Flash TV series. He was set to appear in three episodes, but fan response was so great after the first two that the producers got the go-ahead for an actual pilot, which turned into a green light for the show itself. So Allen was replaced by some members of Star Labs to play the role he would have played.
  • Pop the Tires: Oliver does this to Dodger's car in "Dodger"; shooting the tire with an arrow and causing it to crash.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Diggle can be fond of them.
      Diggle: You forgot one thing: I'm the guy with the grenade launcher.
    • Oliver's "You have failed this city" also counts.
  • Present Day Past: Averted. Indeed, the show makes a point of emphasising everything that has changed since 2007 and is therefore new to Oliver.
  • Prison Riot: One is used as a cover for an attempted murder in "An Innocent Man".
  • Private Eye Monologue: Provided by Oliver during the first handful of episodes. In episode three, he accidentally turns this into a brief external monologue in front of Diggle for a sentence or two.
  • Product Placement: Microsoft Windows.
    • In Vertigo, Laurel is shown putting together a Windows 8 tablet and browsing on it, complete with clear shots of the logos.
    • Felicity Smoak is also shown using Windows 8 on her computers.
    • She also uses Internet Explorer and Bing, which detracts slightly from her tech-wizard persona.
    • Every screen has the Windows logo on the back. This is a bit weird, because Microsoft don't manufacture screens.
    • The Roy-and-Felicity-centric webisode miniseries "Blood Rush" is heavily focused on Bose speakers and headphones.
    • In "Suicide Squad", Deadshot hands Diggle a Windows tablet for their work... and doesn't bother opening the app, just in case viewers didn't know what the home screen looks like yet, somehow.
  • Protagonist Title: Yes, the title refers to Oliver (or rather, his vigilante identity), not his weapons.
  • Protect This House: In preparation for the incoming Al-Owal and the incoming members of the League of Assassins Sara sets up the Clock Tower she's living in as a booby trap heaven. The traps don't completely stop the League, but they do turn the tide to give an injured Sara, Quentin Lance, and The Arrow the advantage they need to win the battle.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Used by the Arrow to sound intimidating.
  • Put on a Bus: Played straight with McKenna who left for Coast City.
  • Race Lift: Sin in the comics is canonically Asian. In Arrow, she appears to be white.
    • Sandra Hawke, the mother of Oliver's child, is canonically of mixed African-American and Korean heritage. On the show, she is Caucasian. Naturally, this will extend to Connor Hawke as well, when he is introduced.
    • Walter Steele, in his one brief appearance in the comics, is a white, blond man. On the show, he is black.
    • Simon Lacroix/Komodo was white in the comics, and is black on the show.
    • Danny "Brick" Brickwell is a black metahuman in the comics, and a normal (if ridiculously bullet-resistant) white guy in the show.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: A Japanese submarine that's supposed to be from WWII is in far better shape than many real life museum pieces even though it's found unattended in the middle of a salt-water lagoon. The high saline content should've corroded the sub and damaged all the perishables in it decades ago.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Moira tells Walter that his investigation is angering dangerous people. Walter is kidnapped and spends months locked in a bare cell. Walter is rescued by the vigilante. Walter hands Moira divorce papers.
    • In Season One finale "Sacrifice", Det. Lance finally tells his superior that over the past several months he had been in-contact with the Hood and tries to explain that the Hood is trying to stop Malcolm's attack on the Glades. The chief don't buy it and suspends him, asking for his badge and gun. It doesn't seem to matter afterwards, although he is still demoted to beat cop for his trouble.
    • After Sara's attempted suicide fails and she recovers, she is reunited with her family. After she had an affair with her sister's fiance, nearly got them all killed, and caused them so much avoidable grief that it destroyed Quentin's and Dinah's marriage and turned Quentin into an alcoholic. And then, to put the cherry on the cake, Sara resumed her relationship with Oliver. Her parents might be more forgiving, but Laurel is understandably pissed.
    • Numerous characters take rather awful beatings from the Deathstrokes in Season 2, but they're mostly costumed vigilantes, who are likely prepared for when they get the stuffing kicked out of them. In the season finale, Quentin is hurled into a table by a goon, and he coughs up blood and passes out due to a collapsed lung.
    • Also in Season 2, Roy is dosed with Mirakuru and has difficulty controlling the insanity. The Arrow takes him on as his apprentice, and he manages to get Roy to snap out of it as a critical juncture by revealing his identity. This does not magically cure his rage issues; only the removal of the drug from his system does that.
    • In Season Three, Oliver has finally gotten the crime rate down. Problem is that after two massive terrorist attacks, the population is still dwindling as not that many people want to live in Starling City anymore.
    • Despite being the son of the former CEO and caring much more about the company, the board of Queen Consolidated are resistant to the idea of Oliver taking over the company given his detachment from it and his general inexperience. So as soon as Ray Palmer enters the scene, they gladly give the job to him instead. Oliver even acknowledges soon after that it was probably better for Palmer to become CEO and even thought it was selfish of him to try to get the company back after his behavior in the previous seasons.
    • Laurel's first outing as a vigilante goes like this. She ambushes a wife-beater with a baseball bat. After getting a couple of shots in, the guy takes the bat from her and beats her badly enough to put her in the hospital. Afterwards, Laurel seeks training.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • Despite the lethal nature of arrows, the fact that some of the mooks that Oliver hits survive is not unrealistic. It might help that he appears not to pull the arrows out, improving their chances of not bleeding to death from an open wound.
    • A submachine gun is difficult to aim with than any other weapon unless you use controlled bursts. Everyone Oliver comes up against is firing from the hip and shooting rapidly. In real life, their chances of hitting a fast moving target in the dark are as bad as they are here.
    • The reason Oliver's hood seems to magically stay on even during intense fights is because, according to Stephen Amell, the hood 'actually does stay on during all the fight scenes. He has more of a problem with it going too low than coming off. His haircut probably helps; if hair is cut short enough, it can somewhat "grip" the fabric of the hood not unlike Velcro.
    • While he's probably not capable of fighting as many people as he does, Stephen Amell actually is a highly skilled martial artist and free-runner, just like Oliver. He's not got his other skills though. Caity Lotz (Canary/Sara) is similar.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Oliver is delivered more than a few.
    • Laurel at the beginning as she is angry at him for Sara's death and his jerkass behaviour. She stops after finding out just how bad his time on the island was.
    • Diggle in his role as Morality Chain. Felicity, too.
    • Thea who struggled especially at first with the changes in her brother.
    • Tommy gives him one for not believing that he can change from being a party boy, even though Oliver himself was one and did.
    • Laurel also gives them to her father when he does something to deserve it.
    • Thea's given a couple to her mother and Roy.
    • Laurel to Sara, after she finds out Sara is alive.
    • Then Ollie gives Laurel one- a brutal one.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Employed by a number of villains, such as Brother Blood, Nyssa al Ghul, and both Deathstrokes (downplayed since the mask both of them wore is actually black and orange).
  • Red Herring:
    • Neither Laurel Lance nor Dinah Drake are the Black Canary - that designation goes to Sara.
      • In the third season, thanks to Sara's sudden death, it appears that the mantle is being taken by Laurel. And since Sara (blonde) was the Canary, Laurel (brunette)...
    • One of the Green Arrow's earliest enemies was Merlyn the Archer, whose first name was Thomas. Oliver's best friend in-series is Tommy Merlyn. Who is the Vigilante's nemesis in Season One? Not Tommy. It's his dad, Malcolm Merlyn. Tommy dies as a result of Malcolm's Undertaking.
    • Deathstroke's identity. There is, indeed, a mercenary who wears the Deathstroke mask and fights with swords, guns, and martial arts: however not once is he referred to as Deathstroke, his name is not Slade Wilson, and the mask shown in the pilot with an arrow in its eye can't be his - he was killed with a sword by the real Slade Wilson. Slade is henceforth shown as Oliver's friend and ally on the island, up until we learn of his Face-Heel Turn, and that Oliver put an arrow in his eye.
    • Thea Dearden (Queen), nicknamed "Speedy", has yet to show any indication that she will be a crimefighter like her brother. She may well be on her way here starting the second half of Season 3.
    • How Malcolm Merlyn survived getting shot by Thea. Because he's a former League of Assassins member, and he returned with a mysterious green amulet, we assume he survived thanks to Lazarus Pit mumbo-jumbo. Turns out it's called kevlar.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Yao Fei and Shado are not father and daughter in the comics. In fact, they had zero interactions in the source material.
    • While adopted, Mia is not related to the Queens by blood unlike Thea. This also extends to Malcolm Merlyn, who is her biological father in this version.
  • Retcon: Mild examples.
    • In "Honor Thy Father", the second episode of the series, Oliver visits Laurel's apartment for the first time since he returned from the island and makes comments to the effect that he's been there before. But in "The Undertaking", there is a flashback set just before the ill-fated yacht trip in which Oliver and Laurel were looking for apartments, and Laurel clearly didn't have a place of her own at the time.
    • In the aforementioned "The Undertaking" flashback, Laurel refers to "Ray and Jean" as peers of hers and Oliver's. At the time, this was clearly a Shout-Out to Ray Palmer and Jean Loring, from the comics. However, the two characters have subsequently been introduced and they certainly aren't peers of Oliver and Laurel's. Jean Loring was Moira's lawyer in Season 2, and seemingly a contemporary of Moira's; while Ray Palmer is introduced in Season 3 as someone Oliver is clearly meeting for the first time.
    • Early in Season 1, Oliver tells Diggle that Yao Fei trained him. But as the flashback storyline progresses, we learn that Yao Fei in fact never actually trained Oliver; his daughter Shado, and Slade Wilson did. Of course, this CAN be chalked up to Oliver's general reluctance to candidly discuss his island experiences with others, and perhaps his unwillingness to talk about Shado and Slade, given what happened to them, as we learn in the Season 2 flashbacks.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Oliver invokes this to hide his activities as the Arrow. Really comes into play in "Honor Thy Father" when he decides that in order to honor his father's wishes he has to dishonor his father's memory by acting like his old self. Ironically, it works not because he's really pulling off the playboy lifestyle, but because the people close to him think he's still suffering the trauma of the island and trying to pull off the lifestyle as a coping mechanism.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Thea assumes that her mother and Malcolm Merlyn have been having affair based on his constant presence after her father's death, when his presence is actually due to the Initiative Moira has reluctantly been made a part of. But her conclusion that they'd started an affair before Robert Queen's death turns out to be dead-on.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: In the climax of "Suicide Squad", Amanda Waller plans to destroy Gholem Kadir's mansion with a drone strike. In response to reports that he has chemical weapons, no less.
    Deadshot: Ugh, how contemporary.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Oliver doesn't seem picky about whether his targets live or die as long as they pay somehow for what they did.
    • Helena takes it Up to Eleven. She flat out doesn't care who gets in her way as long as her target ends up dead. Subverted when Frank gets killed by someone other than her, after which she realises how pointless her RROR truly was.
    • And then Oliver goes to rescue Walter in "The Undertaking".
  • Role Reversal: Twice between Laurel and her father, Quentin.
    • In Season 1, Laurel supported the Arrow and occasionally worked with him, while Quentin considered the Arrow a criminal and wanted to capture him. By the start of the next season, Quentin has basically become The Commissioner Gordon to the Arrow, while Laurel leads a manhunt against him. This only lasts a few episodes though, as Laurel eventually admits she was only targeting the Arrow because she unfairly blamed him for Tommy's death, and ends her involvement with the manhunt.
    • In Season 2, Quentin kept the fact that Sara was alive from Laurel. In Season 3, Laurel in turn, keeps the fact that Sara has been murdered from Quentin.
  • Rule of Three: Oliver fights the Dark Archer on three separate occasions. He only wins the third time.
  • Ruritania: Markovia has become the show’s go-to fictional country for miscellaneous shady dealings.
  • Sadistic Choice: Oliver has to make a number of difficult choices while on the island.
    • In "Dodger", Island!Oliver encounters what appears to be a tied up stranded student beat up by Fyer's men. He can either free the student despite the suspicious circumstances or leave him behind. In the first case, if it's not a trap, then Oliver then risks his and Slade's life due to someone who is even less prepared to survive than Oliver was. In the latter case, if it's not a trap, he condemns the student to death. In Darkness on the Edge of Town, it turns out that this particular instance really was a trap.
    • "Three Ghosts" has Oliver make a choice that sets the events of Season 2 in motion, as Ivo pulls a gun on Shado and Sara and forces him to choose which one he will shoot. Ollie picks Shado, prompting Slade's Face-Heel Turn and his decision to destroy everything Oliver holds dear.
    • Slade recreates the choice forcing Oliver to chose between his mother and his sister. This time, he refuses to move at all or chose either, begging Slade to kill him instead. Moia volunteers and Slade kills her.
  • San Dimas Time: A non time-travel example. Time passes in Oliver's flashback storyline at roughly the same rate it passes in the present-day storyline. For instance, the five-month Time Skips between seasons in the present-day story is complemented by similar Time Skips in the flashback story. As a result, 1 year/season in the present = 1 year of Oliver's time away (with the flashback storyline slated to end at the end of the fifth season).
  • Scars Are Forever: Oliver's scars from his time on the island are a major plot point. See the page illustration to see what we mean.
  • Scar Survey: In "Time of Death", Sara (sports bra), Oliver, and Diggle (both shirtless) compare scars after sparring.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • In one episode Oliver handles a longbow said to have "150 pounds of tension." After a few hours/days of pounding water he can draw it easily. In modern times 150 lbs of draw weight is usually only found in compound crossbows (which require special cocking devices). For those unfamiliar with what this means, pounds of tension (normally phrased as draw weight) is the amount of effort required to fully draw the bow’s string to the draw length which it was measured at. And for reference, 150 lbs is within the general estimates of historical English longbows.
    • 150 lbs is heavy even for an English longbow, and these were for archers who began training in childhood (actual saying: "start with his grandfather"). Modern archers call 60 lbs significant, while 70 is hard even on a compound bow with let-off, and in its 6 May 1957 issue, Sports Illustrated noted a $10,000 bet being won by killing an elephant with a Bear Archery recurve bow with a draw weight of 102 pounds[http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1132308/index.htm].
    • Made even worse when Felicity is able to pick up Oliver’s bow and draw it back significantly in “The Ultimate ‘Odyssey’”.
  • Scope Snipe: Oliver does this by accident against Deadshot, who wears a sniper scope over his eye in this continuity. Oliver takes cover behind a wall and Deadshot pins him down with gunfire. Oliver fires an arrow around the corner without aiming and the firing suddenly cuts off. He goes to see what happened and finds Deadshot lying on the ground - apparently dead - with an arrow sticking out of his aiming lens.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Played with. It is impled that the Queens (and possibly the Merlyns, given Tommy's past) have generally been able to worm their way out of trouble. Certainly Oliver seems to have suffered no ill effects from any of his arrests. However, when Thea came across a particularly hardline judge, her DUI charges nearly landed her with a trial.
  • Secret Identity:
    • Oliver used to maintain one ruthlessly. He's gotten slightly softer, but still threatens to put an arrow through Barry Allen after Felicity brings him to the arrow cave.
    • Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer takes this to its logical conclusion, as not even his own organization is aware they're the same person, allowing him to act as his own Dragon.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Oliver accurately predicted that Felicity (episode fourteen) and Diggle (episode four) would not go to the police before he let them in on his identity as the Vigilante.
    • In episode seven Helena Bertinelli worked it out on her own. She later reveals Oliver's identity to the police – but because of the way she phrased it they didn't notice.
    • In episode sixteen Oliver is forced to reveal his identity to Tommy. And while Tommy doesn't approve of the Vigilante's actions he doesn't go to the police.
    • Roy, as of "Tremors", when Oliver reveals his identity in order to get Roy to focus and use his Mirakuru-given strength to stop a prototype of the Markov device from detonating.
    • In Season Two, Quentin Lance becomes this for the Canary, his daughter Sara Lance.
  • Secret Secret Keeper: A.R.G.U.S knows damn well who Oliver is.
  • Self-Deprecation: From "Year's End"
    Oliver: I think the vigilante needs a better name than "the Hood guy".
    Malcolm: How about Green Arrow?
    Oliver: Lame.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • As of the end of the first season, both Malcolm Merlyn and his son are dead, an the Undertaking half-completed, but Oliver's backstory is only just warming up, and he's grown into a more well-rounded hero so we know he's not going to stop in the present. The interesting part is that the only real mystery left is technically already resolved in that it will be told in flashbacks to the island. In the present, it's just unknown what will happen next.
    • In "Darkness on the Edge of town", Fyers reveals that he was hired to cripple China's economy. We also see an assistant telling a mysterious woman of Fyers progress. Season Two will probably pick up on this.
    • In the season two finale, Oliver reveals he knows how to fly an airplane, making Diggle and Felicity wonder how he acquired that ability on the island. Cue flashback to Oliver waking up in Hong Kong and meeting Waller there.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • The Huntress/Oliver: She goes on a killing spree that makes the Vigilante look calm and reasoned.
    • McKenna/Oliver: She has to go and live in Coast City for a year so she can receive the best possible physical therapy for her injuries after being shot by The Huntress.
    • Sara/Oliver: She dies in the shipwreck. Only to survive and revive her relationship with Oliver. Then she's Killed Off for Real.
    • Laurel/Tommy: He died saving her life.
    • Laurel/Oliver: She feels guilty after Tommy's death and calls it off.
    • Tommy's death ended any chances for Tommy/Laurel and Tommy/Thea. Since season 2 reveals that Thea is actually Malcolm's daughter and Tommy's half-sister, there should be a sigh of relief for the latter ship sinking. The squick factor does not go unnoticed by Thea
    • Sara/Sin by "Time of Death", as it's revealed that Sin is only seventeen, and that they see each other as sisters.
  • Ship Tease: It doesn't take long for Felicity to grow some feelings for Oliver in season 1, and their continued working relationship in season 2 takes this even further to where she's practically Promoted to Love Interest and Everyone Can See It. It doesn't help she has a terrible knack for going down the Freudian Slippery Slope and saying things That Came Out Wrong around him. After a faked love confession in the S2 finale to trap Slade Wilson, they profess their real feelings before Oliver withdraws, feeling his double life will never allow him to be with anyone, so they tearfully call it off. For now.
  • Shipper on Deck: Several characters have observed the attraction between Oliver and Felicity and commented in some way about it, including Diggle, Barry, Moira, Slade, Isabel, and the entire staff of Queen Consolidated (according to Isabel, anyway).
  • Shirtless Scene: Oliver gets a lot of these, usually while training, which is a lot.
    • Diggle gets a few scenes while he's training too.
    • The Arrowcave/Foundry has pretty much become a shirt-free zone. Out of the five permanent/semi permanent members of Team Arrow, Felicity's the only one who's managed not to go topless.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Diggle first learned of the existence of the League of Assassins when he heard about them from an Afghan tribal leader when he was with the US Army, but wrote them off as an urban legend.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Laurel and Sara. Before the Gambit sank, Sara was a happy-go-lucky party girl who is implied to have often got herself into trouble, while Laurel was more straight-laced and determined to have a respectable career in law and a marriage with Oliver. Six years later, when the sisters finally reunite, Sara has had to do horrible things to survive, but has become a stronger and more loving person for it, while Laurel has stayed in Starling and lived a relatively normal life, but years of heartbreak and betrayal, as well as substance abuse, have turned her into a bitter and cynical person who's lost so many of the things she's cared about, including her family, her boyfriends, and her job.
  • Soft Glass: People routinely go through broken glass none the worse for wear. The season two opener is rather egregious in that the copycat vigilantes assault the Queen Industries board meeting, which takes place in a room with glass walls. Then Oliver and Felicity jump through a window, then swing on a chain through a second on a lower floor.
  • Sonic Stunner: The Canary uses one of these to save Oliver from the cops in “Broken Dolls”. The weapon has remained a part of her (and her successor's) arsenal.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The Dark Archer is sufficiently badass to be the Big Bad of season one, repeatedly defeating Oliver and leveling half of Starling City. In season two, we learn the Dark Archer was a relatively minor footsoldier in the League of Assassins.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Moira Queen is a Posthumous Character in the comics along with Robert. She dies near the end of Season 2 though.
  • Spiritual Successor: In some ways, Arrow is this for Smallville, as Arrow has claimed Smallville's former place as the flagship show for The CW, as well as the title of being the main DC Comics adaptation on the network. Also, Arrow shares some of the same writers and producers, shares some of the same actors who played small parts on both shows, and most famously reuses Smallville's Luthor mansion as the Queen family home.
    • Averted as far as the actual show goes, which is much darker and grittier than Smallville, and more focused on characters inner struggles than on relationships.
  • Spoiled Brat:
    • Thea developed into one during Oliver's absence, both because of parental neglect from her mother and the trauma of losing her father and beloved big brother. Said brattiness mainly manifests as angsting and acting-out at Oliver to punish him for abandoning her, and some truly magnificent (and adorable) displays of whining.
    • Oliver was this before his disappearance, and is trying to maintain the illusion that he still is.
  • The Starscream: Sebastian Blood. He starts off as a willing Dragon to Slade, but the latter's barely-disguised contempt for him, as well as the destruction he wreaks on the city Sebastian meant to govern, means that he eventually turns over the cure for Mirakuru to the Arrow and is murdered by the Ravager for his trouble.
  • Starter Villain: Adam Hunt, for Oliver in Season 1. In Season 2, the Copycat Archers are the first villains he takes on with his new approach towards crime-fighting.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: This incarnation of Green Arrow really, really loves this trope. Put on display when Oliver manages one out of a moving car.
  • Stealth Insult: Diggle gives a great one to Oliver in Episode 3, before really getting to know him. Ollie, of course, picks up on it right away and doesn't take offense.
    Oliver: "Wow. You don't think very highly of me, do you?"
    Diggle: "Actually sir, I have a very high regard for how perceptive you are."
  • Storming the Castle: The Arrow frequently breaks into bad guys' lairs/offices in his pursuit of them.
    • In "Sacrifice", Oliver and Diggle head to Malcolm's penthouse to confront him and stop him from leveling the Glades.
    • In "The Promise", Oliver, Slade, and Sara sneak onto the Amazo, releasing Ivo's prisoners and starting a riot, in order to take control and get off the island. Instead, Slade has his Face-Heel Turn and takes control of the ship for himself.
    • In "Unthinkable", Team Arrow and the League of Assassins assault the Queen Consolidated offices that Slade and Isabel have taken over and are using as a base.
  • Story Arc: The unexpected death of Sara Lance and whom killed her is the driving question and focal point since the start of Season 3.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge:
    • The main conflict of Season 2 is set into motion by Dr. Ivo killing Shado after forcing Oliver to choose between her and Sara.
    • Defied in "Seeing Red" Deathstroke is trying to Invoke this, making Oliver choose between Moira and Thea to make him suffer like he promised, and to parallel Shado's death. But Moira confidently stands up and says that her children are going to live, and her bravery makes Slade kill her, acknowledging her courage.
  • Superhero Monologue: Oliver really likes to inner monologue while in his headquarters. They got rid of this after a few episodes, coincidentally when he got a totally-not-a-sidekick in the person of Digg.
  • Suddenly Shouting: During his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Oliver (the normally unseasonably even-tempered and even-voiced Oliver) snaps and starts yelling. The sheer rarity of Oliver raising his voice leaves Laurel visibly shocked.
  • Superhero Origin: The Series.
    • The continuing flashback story-arc of Oliver's five years away (on the island and Hong Kong, among other places) is basically a five-season long origin story, detailing Oliver's gradual transformation into the skilled fighter and warrior who eventually becomes the 'Arrow'.
    • The first two seasons also serve as an 'origin' of sorts, as Oliver begins his crusade and gradually evolves from the ruthless vigilante known as the 'Hood' into the heroic figure known as 'the Arrow'. By the start of Season 3, Oliver is very close to being the classic Green Arrow character from the comics.
    • A major sub-plot of Season 2 was Roy Harper's increasing involvement with the Arrow's world, culminating in him formally becoming the Arrow's sidekick in the season finale. He's yet to decide on a Code Name though.
    • Season 3 looks to be one for Black Canary.
    • According to Word Of God, a part of the show's formula is having character's go through some grueling and traumatic experience (analogous to Oliver's years on the island) that makes them stronger and prepares them for their destiny as superheroes.
    • Season 3 even gives us the episode "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak".
  • Super Serum: Mirakuru ("Miracle"). Originally developed by a Japanese military program during WWII, and somehow found by Brother Blood, it alters body chemistry to give the receiver enhanced speed, strength, and durability. Assuming they survive the transformation.
  • Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss: Between Sara and Nyssa in "Heir to the Demon".
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Quentin Lance.
  • The Syndicate: Starling City seems to be run almost completely by Corrupt Corporate Executive types who are members of a secret society.
    • It later turns out only a handful, including Malcolm and Moira, are part of the society. The rest were being manipulated and coerced by them as part of their plan for the city.

     Tropes T-Z 
  • Take That:
    • In the pilot towards Twilight.
      Oliver: What's Twilight?
      Tommy: You're so better off not knowing.
    • Also to the famously confusing end of LOST
      Tommy: They were all dead... I think.
    • In "Honor Thy Father" Oliver makes a knock against the Kardashians, after seeing a news report about the vigilante on TV.
    • A subtle one; in the Huntress' second appearance, she wears her classic DC outfit for the opening scene... where she's undercover as a stripper.
  • Take Your Time: Averted. Oliver taking his time to get down from the rafters is what allowed Firefly to kill another firefighter.
  • Tempting Fate: Tommy suggests that he and Oliver go to a new night club but Oliver thinks this is a bad idea because Oliver once slept with the club owner's fiancée. Tommy brushes this off since the guy must have gotten over that by now. Turns out the club owner is still carrying a major grudge and has no problem sending his bodyguards to beat Tommy and Oliver up.
  • Technical Pacifist
    • Averted. In his first demonstration of his combat abilities since returning to Starling City in the pilot, Oliver not only kills the mooks who kidnapped him, he also murders one of them in cold blood in order to keep his fighting skills secret. Later, when going after various crime bosses, it's noted that he's shooting to stop and potentially kill their mooks (aiming for chests and stomachs) rather than shooting to wound.
    • In the second season Oliver has committed to avoiding killing but he doesn't really treat this decision as pacifism and he ends up killing Count Vertigo.
    • Deadshot serves as a way of point this out. Oliver's annoyed that Deadshot doesn't give the targets a fair shot, but he doesn't exactly lose sleep over Deadshot killing one of his targets either (crossing said target off his list).
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Oliver stops being the Hood for a couple months between "Year's End" and "Burned" while recovering from his fight with Dark Archer.
    • He also took a five month break after the Undertaking and Tommy's death.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Pretty much whenever Felicity opens her mouth in front of Oliver.
    • From "Dodger":
      Felicity: Speaking of, have you given any thought to what might happen if this doesn't work and the Dodger absconds with your family jewels?
      Oliver & Diggle: ...
      Felicity: I'm sorry, that came out very wrong.
    • From "The Undertaking":
      Oliver: I'll be with you the entire time.
      Felicity: Thanks. It feels really good having you inside me. And by you I mean your voice... and by me I mean my ear... I'm going to stop talking now.
      Oliver: That would be my preference.
    • From "Darkness On the Edge of Town":
      Felicity: No! The last time the vigilante paid your mom a visit, you got shot and I got to play doctor with you! Agh, my brain thinks of the worst way to say things...
    • In Season 2 it seems to be slipping into more Freudian Slip territory. In the first episode she mentions the reasons she kept the pull up bars was because she liked watching him work out on it, then in the next episode she comments how she likes spending her nights with him.
    • It's pretty much whenever Felicity opens her mouth. Mentions Australia - you get a very long spiel about how horrifying kangaroos are. Even when it doesn't come out wrong it still comes out wrong.
  • There Are No Therapists: No one seems to suggest sending Oliver to one after he gets home from the island, even though his behavior is clearly erratic and he's literally covered in scars. Also, no one thought to send Thea to one to deal with the fact that her beloved father and brother died. Also, after his wife died, Tommy's father literally vanished for two years, leaving Tommy completely alone.
    • Played with when The Arrow interrogates a therapist for the villain of the week in season 3, who remarks as he leaves that he could probably use some therapy himself, considering "the mask and Robin Hood costume". When he gets back to the Arrowcave, he snarks to Diggle that the interrogation reminded him why he doesn't have a therapist.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • In "Identity", China White is glad to see that the Hood didn't die in the earthquake, as it would have deprived her of the chance to kill him herself.
    • Slade enforces it. He warns Blood not to go after Arrow yet, so that when the time is right, he can be the one to finish him, after destroying everything he cares about.
    • Slade also does it in "The Promise," telling Oliver and Sara to leave Ivo alive for him.
  • The Reveal: Exploited by Oliver in "Tremors": he realises he can't tell Roy to control himself as the Arrow, so he reveals his secret identity to him in an attempt to focus his strength on disabling the earthquake device.
  • They Died Because of You:
    • The Lances initially blame Oliver for Sara's death. However, Laurel got over it and moved on while her dad is still pretty hostile towards Oliver. However, Laurel's mother Dinah admits that she was the last person to see Sara before she left for the Queen's Gambit. Dinah let her go, and now she blames herself for getting her killed.
    • Slade blames Oliver for the death of Shado because he chose Sara over her, even though it was Ivo who pulled the trigger.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: Most episodes feature a flashback to The Island, which is, of course, applicable to whatever is going on in the A and B plots. In season 3, this switches to post-island.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted at the start, but by Season 2 Oliver has picked this up. But, unlike Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man, or other typical versions, he knows that sometimes he has to go for the kill shot if it means saving lives. He also has no problem killing members of the League of Assassins, especially when he thinks its Malcolm or a follower of him, and those with Mirakuru he holds no qualms about killing, since there really isn't a way to pacify someone who's both mentally damaged and physically strong, at least until there's a cure. Generally speaking, he doesn't believe in taking lives if it not needed, but has no qualms offing those he sees as irredeemable. That said, he's become almost too merciful in-universe to the point where Diggle and even Felicity have asked him to kill an irredeemable person out of fear they'll use Oliver's humanity against him and more lives will be lost.
  • Thunder Equals Downpour: Done in "Home Invasion." In the pilot, Sara times the lightning/thunder to inform the audience that the storm is getting closer to the yacht.
  • Title Drop:
    • Subverted in season one. Detective Quentin Lance is told of a vigilante in a green hood who uses arrows, and says to put out an APB for this...Robin Hood. Then possibly played straight in "City of Heroes" when Oliver decides he needs a new name, other than the Hood given recent events. When asked what he wants to call himself, the camera zooms in on the arrow in his hand...which is green. Definitely played straight in subsequent episodes when Quentin and Laurel refer to him as 'The Arrow'.
    • This is also used in commercials for the show, with the subversion intact.
    • In the episode "Trust But Verify", Malcolm asks if Moira doesn't trust him, and she responds by asking if he heard of the phrase "Trust, but verify". He responds with "words to live by."
    • In Burned, Firefly responds to Oliver's offer for help that he's already, well, Burned.
    • "Unfinished Business": Oliver's final words of the episode.
    • The title of "Sacrifice" gets dropped multiple times throughout the episode. Two examples are Malcolm explaining that he is able to beat Oliver because he knows what he's willing to sacrifice, and then later Felicity tells Detective Lance that the vigilante is willing to sacrifice a lot to save innocent people.
  • Toplessness from the Back: The audience thinks they're going to be treated to this as Oliver stitches a wound on Sara's back... then the camera lingers over the many scars on that back.
  • Training Montage:
    • "The Promise" has a montage of Island!Oliver training as he prepares for the assault on the Amazo. It shows how muscular he has become and the beginning of his signature move-and-shoot combat style. Afterwards he lampshades the fact that it was just training against stationary targets that do not shoot back and he is going to much worse against live opponents in real combat.
  • Trash the Set: CRNI is destroyed in "Sacrifice" by Malcolm's earthquake.
    • In "Unthinkable", the Arrow lair is trashed by the Mirakuru soldiers, and in the flashbacks, the Amazo is sunk.
  • Trick Arrow
    • The explosive arrow, and the first shot fired in the series.
    • The bank account hacking arrow.
    • The line launcher arrow.
    • The audio recorder arrow.
    • Trick darts and flechettes too. Powerful enough to knock a gun out of a trained police officer's hand, pin it to a metal shipping container and play said audio recording. He even uses it to sever the Dodger's nerve at one point.
    • Season 2 sees a lot more of these with Oliver's new non-lethal policy. Most notably, bola-type arrows that can tie a target's hands or feet together when fired.
    • Oliver improvises a boxing glove arrow to non-lethally take down Wildcat.
  • Triple Shifter: Oliver becomes one in Season Two when he is still being a vigilante and now running the company as its CEO. As is Felicity, who is Technical Support and his E.A. Digg's job is moderately easier as the bodyguard/driver of someone who he also has to support during his off hours.
  • True Companions: Oliver starts out the series alone. By the end of Season One, he has Diggle and Felicity working with him. By mid-Season Two, Roy and Sara have provisionally joined Team Arrow.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: In a flashback to the island in "Identity", Oliver and Shado get it on in a lake.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • An Invoked Trope that is Played for Laughs twice by Diggle:
      • In one instance he goes undercover in an attempt to ambush drug dealers as a potential customer. They couldn't send Oliver since he's a figure in the public eye, and Oliver and Diggle refused Felicity's offer to go undercover. Wonderfully lampshaded upon Dig's return:
        Diggle: Okayyy, person of color has bought you drugs.
        Felicity: For the record: I offered.
      • Hilariously riffed on in a Season Two episode. Felicity chews Ollie out for her being "promoted" to his "personal assistant", to which Diggle replies:
        Diggle: Could be worse. My secret identity is his black driver.
  • Unit Confusion: Normally averted in this series, but most notably, Felicity inaccurately refers to a "teraflop" of information. A teraflop note  is a measure of processing speed; the proper unit in this case would be a "terabyte".
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Oliver and Felicity for the better part of two seasons now. The season two finale teases that the tension might actually get resolved, but then sets things back. It becomes briefly resolved in season 3, before their first date is interrupted by a rocket launcher, which causes Oliver to withdraw from her and place it back into unresolved, even after two legitimate love confessions (the second coming in the mid-season 3 finale "The Climb").
  • Up to Eleven: Since the season 1 finale, fans have always speculated how the writers would top themselves in the following season. By season 3, Starling City has been attacked on a grand scale twice in 2 years, and the city is suffering as a result of it. People are leaving out of fear of another terrorist attack. The 3rd season's premiere, "The Calm", manages to raise the stakes even higher than what the two previous finales have managed combined by virtue of killing Sara off at the end of the episode, with the murderer still at large and having used 3 black arrows to do it. And then in "The Climb" the killer is revealed to be a Brainwashed and Crazy Thea.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Its kinda notable that between the Lance sisters, they choose to kill off the one who's the show's most prominent Action Girl rather than the one who has a tendency to become a Distressed Damsel.
  • Vice City: Starling City, all the way. In the first season, the writers mine the heck out of the "wealthy bastard commits crime, bribes way out of accountability, the Hood must avenge!" plot.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: In "Trust but Verify", Thea tucks the capsules of Vertigo into her cleavage. Not that there was anywhere else to put it in that dress.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The only time Malcolm shows real anger is in the first season finale, when his plans are exposed publicly.
  • Villain over for Dinner: Slade pops in to have a little chat with Moira, which Oliver walks in on. Oliver is totally disarmed, as can be expected.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Malcolm, widely viewed as a philanthropist and humanitarian, is actually the Big Bad of Season 1, with a plan that will kill thousands.
    • Sebastian Blood is a popular man of the people, to the point of being able to viably run for mayor. He's also a Dark Messiah who wants to use Super Soldiers to wipe out the elite of the city.
  • Voodoo Shark: The in-universe explanation for why Oliver doesn't wear a mask under the hood is that it interferes with aim, but there are tactical masks and balaclavas with really large eyeholes used in real life and in the show itself that don't mess with aim, be it from gun or bow. His large hood, on the other hand, would get in the way (see the hood example under Reality Is Unrealistic). And despite said explanation, the mask he does eventually get has relatively small eyeholes.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Oliver's reaction to encountering his father's sunbaked corpse being devoured by seagulls, in addition to the original damage caused by the suicidal gunshot to the head. Mercifully, a Gory Discretion Shot spares viewers from the same sight.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: One of the flashbacks to the island where Oliver was stranded shows a similar training. In order to strengthen him enough to draw back the string of a bow, he is forced to keep slapping water in a bowl. This is based on an old apocryphal story about a boy who went to a monastery to learn martial arts, and spent a year slapping water into and out of a bowl at the edge of a river (unlike Ollie, the boy didn't know there was a point to what he was doing). Shado tells this story, which is actually older than the show.
  • Weapon Twirling: China White seemingly cannot use her knives on someone without twirling them first. This is the sole reason Diggle survives meeting her, as her twirling windup before ending him gives Oliver the time he needs to perform an amazing long-range disarm.
  • Weapons Understudies: Fyers owns a SAM system described as a Russian S-300. It doesn't look anything like one, considering S-300 missiles are larger than a telephone pole and come in quad packs on special 8-wheel flatbeds.
  • We Help the Helpless: Diggle tries to get Oliver to take up this trope and show him that there is more ways to help the city than just going after The Syndicate. Despite Oliver wanting to avoid this because small crimes happen all the time and going after that will not do much, he seems to slowly accept this.
    • And it also seems to help in the fact that the police aren't as gung ho to capture him anymore due to all the good publicity surrounding him while doing this.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • A flashback in "The Undertaking" reveals that Malcolm Merlyn considers himself one, complete with Freudian Excuse, and a little dash of A God Am I for seasoning. He feels that the crime-infested Glades are corrupting Starling City as a whole, and is planning to level the whole area, killing thousands in order to start fresh. "Let's slaughter thousands of have-nots to make life better for the haves" really stretches the definition of "Good Intentions".
    • The Savior.
    • Oliver himself is this. Season Two sees the start of his transition from vigilante to hero.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Home Invasion has Diggle quit, Roy and Thea trying to find the Hood, Tommy breaking up with Laurel, and Yao Fei betraying all the others in the flashback.
    • In "The Undertaking", we see what the Undertaking really is about, the events that led up to the sinking of the Queen's Gambit, Oliver learn that Malcolm Merlyn is the Big Bad and that his mother is involved, Oliver rescue Walter from his kidnappers, Oliver admit he still has feelings for Laurel, and Oliver and Dig reconcile.
    • In Darkness on the Edge of Town, Felicity has been found out hacking by the police, Tommy spots Oliver making love to Laurel, Malcolm Merlyn exposes himself as the Dark Archer and finds out Oliver is the Hood after he defeats him, Walter is divorcing Moira, and Yao Fei is killed in the flashback.
    • "Sacrifice" (Season One finale): Moira goes public with the Undertaking and is arrested for her part in it; Oliver kills Malcolm but is unable to stop the destruction of the Glades; Tommy manages to save Laurel from the collapsing CRNI building but is mortally wounded in the process; and in the island flashback, Oliver, Shado and Slade manage to stop Fyers' plan, destroying his base and killing him and his men.
    • "State v. Queen": Moira is acquitted, but then finds out Malcolm is alive (and is the one responsible for bringing about her impossible acquittal) and knows Thea is his daughter.
    • "The Scientist": Barry Allen (the man who will become The Flash) comes to Starling City and gets to meet his hero, the Arrow. He discovers that Felicity is working for him, and it will be his job to help save Oliver's life.
    • "Three Ghosts": Not only did Slade survive the island, he's the one orchestrating Sebastian Blood's campaign on Starling City (and he has a cool eyepatch now). Barry gets struck by lightning as the particle accelerator in Central City gets turned on, giving him superpowers. On the island, Slade is now superpowered by the serum from the submarine. Shado is shot and killed by Ivo, after he tries to make Oliver choose between her and Sara. Oh, and in the present day, Oliver now wears a nifty DominoMask.
    • "Tremors": Oliver reveals his identity to Roy and fully brings him onto Team Arrow, Amanda Waller recruits Bronze Tiger for a "squad", and Laurel's drug addiction gets so bad that Oliver has to bring Sara back to town to help her at the risk of bringing back the League of Assassins as well.
    • "Deathstroke": Thea finds out that Malcolm Merlyn is her father, Quentin is placed under arrest for helping the Arrow, Isabel Rochev is revealed to be working with Slade and takes Oliver's company from him, Roy quits Team Arrow and leaves the city, and Laurel finds out that Oliver is the Arrow.
    • "Seeing Red": If there was a crowner for wham episodes, it would be this. Roy's psychosis worsens to the point where he hallucinates Thea telling him to kill her; Sara leaves Team Arrow after realizing she's still too bloodthirsty when it comes to the people she cares about; it's revealed that Oliver sired an illegitimate child with an unknown woman seven years prior, who was then bribed by Moira to tell Oliver she miscarried before leaving for Central City; Moira is ready to drop out of the mayoral race to put more focus into repairing her relationship with Thea, and as Oliver convinces her to stay in the race, she reveals she knows Oliver is the Arrow after dismissing his claim that he broke his leg in another motorcycle accident; in the end, just as Moira is about to reveal something important about Malcolm Merlyn, Slade crashes into their limo, kidnaps them, and forces Oliver to make the same Sadistic Choice as with Sara and Shado, only for Moira to take the choice out of his hands and have Slade kill her instead.
    • Befitting its position as the second season finale, "Unthinkable" has a fairly high HSQ: Sara worked out a deal to get the League of Assassins to help take on Deathstroke's army — she'll be returning to Nanda Parbaht; Detective Lance collapses with blood pouring from his mouth thanks to injuries sustained fighting one of the Deathstrokes; we finally see how Oliver saw Sara die a second time, and how he put an arrow through Slade's eye; Diggle and Lilah free the Suicide Squad so they can confront A.R.G.U.S., and it turns out Lilah's pregnant; Oliver confesses his love to Felicity — but it was a ruse to get the mirakuru cure right up on Slade... Dammit; Slade has been depowered and re-imprisoned on Li An Yu; Roy has been cured and is officially a full member of Team Arrow; Thea has left Starling in the company of Malcolm Merlyn to "learn how to be strong"; and in the flashbacks, Oliver has been mysteriously transported to Hong Kong and is in the power of Amanda Waller.
    • "The Climb", Season 3's midseason finale: Malcolm drugged and manipulated Thea to kill Sara but she has no memory of it, Maseo now works for the League of Assassins, Ray is building an Atom suit, Oliver finally confesses his love to Felicity, and, most shocking of all, Oliver takes the blame for Sara's death in order to protect Thea and is killed in a trial by combat by Ra's al Ghul.
  • Wham Line
    • From "An Innocent Man":
      Quentin Lance: Oliver Queen! You are under arrest for vigilantism.
    • From "Betrayal": Oliver learning Moira having a hand in Robert's yacht being destroy which in-directly led to Sara's and Robert's death, and Oliver being stuck on the island. This revelation prompts him to speak to his mother again, this time as "the Hood". It leads to this:
      Oliver: Moira Queen! YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!
    • And from the same episode's Island flashback, after Oliver has just proven himself to the mysterious ASIS soldier also stuck with him, what forever changes Deathstroke's role in the series:
      ASIS Soldier: Name's Slade, Slade Wilson.
    • From "Dead to Rights": Malcolm has been shot by Deadshot, and the Hood is trying to convince Tommy to do a blood transfusion to save his dad.
      Tommy: Why should I trust you?
      The Hood: Because you always have.
    • Also at the end of the episode, when Laurel's mother shows up, and explains why she's there.
      Dinah: It's about your sister... I think she might be alive.
    • From the season finale:
      Malcolm: If I learned anything as a businessman, it's redundancy.
    • In "Identity"
      Laurel: Well this is your last day—as a free man. [pushes a button that signals SWAT to surround the Hood]
    • In "Broken Dolls"
      Assassin: [to Canary] Ra's al Ghul has ordered your return.
    • "State v. Queen"
      Malcolm: Imagine my joy when I learned that Thea is my daughter.
    • "Time of Death"
      Moira: Oliver, I'd like you to meet Slade Wilson.
    • "Deathstroke"
      Slade: [to Laurel] Because I know Oliver is...The Arrow.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Malcolm revealing himself to be alive at the end of "State v. Queen".
    • The Third Ghost in "Three Ghosts" revealing itself to be Tommy Merlyn. And Slade Wilson being revealed as The Man Behind the Man.
    • Laurel collapsing on the floor of her apartment, only to see her sister, Sara right before the episode cuts to credits in "Tremors".
    • "The Calm" is aptly titled, as a storm is definitely coming: at the very end of the episode Sara gets killed shortly after meeting up with Laurel, getting three arrows to the gut and thrown off of the roof by someone Sara recognized but the viewers don't see. And Laurel is still in the premises to have witnessed her sister fall to her death (if the arrows didn't already do it).
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: In full effect in at least the first two episodes, and somewhat more sporadically thereafter.
    • Defied by Detective Lance in the second episode; explicitly raising that the 'green hooded vigilante' is "a killer" and "hurt a bunch of people" taking down Martin Somers and consequently is determined to take him down because of it.
    • Elevated to a nearly absurd level in "Betrayal." Oliver shoots his way through throngs of Mooks with breathtaking speed and ease, and no one, not even Vanch, their employer, is disturbed in the slightest. At the end, it turns out that Vanch surrounded himself with this small army of Mooks, not because he thought they could or would stop the vigilante, but because he wanted Arrow to use up all his ammunition while killing them... which is exactly what happened. Even for a villain, that is cold.
    • Averted by the Canary/Sara Lance, who seems to beat mooks unconscious with her bo staff but kills ring leaders and other criminal bosses.
    • Show signs of incompetence around Slade? Well, don't worry, you'll be let off with a caution, Sebastian, but the four lackeys you brought with you won't be so lucky.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: In-Universe, Felicity has sometimes shown jealousy of what everyone else in "Team Arrow" can do physically, and her attempts to take combat training has gone very slow. No one questions her value to the team as Mission Control and The Smart Guy, but it is still a sore spot for her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: So far, everyone who's actually seen Arrow in action and/or found out that Oliver is him has given him this. But there's more than enough lectures to go around.
    • Diggle delivers several of these, but the most notable are during his 10-Minute Retirement in episode four and again in episode twenty.
    • Laurel gave the Vigilante one when he nearly beat a man to death in Ironheights Prison.
    • Detective Lance gives the Vigilante one of these nearly everytime they cross paths.
    • Felicity gives one to Oliver when she believes he's going to hurt a young father.
    • Tommy points out that his anger is not about Oliver hiding the truth but because he's a murderer.
    • Thea gives one to Moira after Walter's disappearance – telling to act like her mother instead of making Thea acting like Moira's.
    • Tommy gives one to Laurel when she blows him off to meet with the Vigilante about a case.
    • Laurel gives one to father when he uses her as bait to try and catch the Vigilante.
    • Felicity give another one to Oliver when he gets myopic about dealing with being the vigilante and being Oliver Queen. And again when he has the audacity to insinuate that her head isn't in the game.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?
    • Averted with his headquarters. He installs lights, computers, a workshop and a makeshift gym: all things someone would realistically be able to do alone, especially with Oliver's resources.
    • Played straight with the contents of his quiver. Though we're shown that he either crafts or modifies his own broad head arrowheads, at least some of the more high-tech arrows and throwing darts he uses are unlikely to be "off the shelf" equipment, or anything that he himself could create.
    • The audio-recorder/playback dart is perhaps at the limit of what a talented amateur could plausibly MacGyver together himself, starting from a store-bought MP3 player and some various bits and pieces of arrows and plastic casing.
    • The "Hacking Arrow" seems to be the most implausible bit of gear shown so far. Though, as Queen Consolidated seems to have some specialized computer division, what with having a computer analysis like Felicity on payroll, it could just be assumed its some technology they've worked on that he's stolen and repurposed.
    • The grappling arrow is probably the most realistic. In Real Life, the only real issue with grappling guns is that, to get the momentum needed and hold the weight, they would need to be quite big. With an arrow though, it would eliminate the sizing issue as arrows are meant to be the size of a man's arm. Not that hard to imagine.
    • Oliver also makes use of explosive arrows when needed. How does he get a hold of explosives? Well, he is a Captain in the Russian Mafia.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: In a clear example of this trope, the shows gives out mutually contradictory indications about the location of Starling City.
    • During the season 2 mayoral race, both candidates wear American flag pins and have American flags behind them during speeches. This combined with other implications (black President, for one) place the city in the United States.
    • The first concrete reference to where Starling City is situated comes in season 2, when Felicity mentions that it’s 1,000 miles from Las Vegas. This, coupled with Robert's plans to go to China by boat would place it somewhere on the West Coast of North America, with a few more hints borne out by the show's Vancouver filming location (the overcast appearance, the concession of giving the actors heavy coats anytime they film outside, etc.,) potentially narrowing it down to the Pacific Northwest.
    • However in the season 3 episode The Climb, a map of the Americas is shown on-screen and Starling City can be clearly seen in the Midwestern US, near the Great Lakes region. While this fits well with the assertion in The Flash (2014) that Starling is about 600 miles from that series' Central City, which itself is usually portrayed as somewhere in the Midwest; it would place Starling City too far away from Las Vegas and makes the Queen’s Gambit sailing route incredibly convoluted.
    • In The Return, one of the flashbacks clearly showed snow-capped mountains within view of downtown Starling City and of course everyone knows all about the majestic mountain ranges of the US Midwest.
  • While Rome Burns: Invoked by Slade as Starling burns. He claims to understand why Nero enjoyed it so much.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "The Odyssey" inverts the show's usual set-up by mostly being a flashback to the island, with only a few scenes in the present. Justified because Oliver is unconscious for most of it.
    • This set-up is used again in "The Promise" when Slade Wilson finally reveals himself to Oliver with the present mostly shot at the Queen mansion.
    • And again in "The Return", which actually inverts the standard premise of the dual narratives. Instead of Oliver being in Starling City in the present-day and on Lian Yu in the flashbacks, in this episode, Oliver is on Lian Yu in the present-day and in Starling City in the flashbacks.
  • Wicked Cultured:
    • William Tockman. In addition to his doctorate in Comp Sci, he will speak in Latin or quote War and Peace just before he brutally murders you.
    • Slade Wilson apparently knows his art history, and has displayed knowledge of Roman history as well.
  • William Telling:
    • In "Vendetta", Oliver demonstrates his marksmanship by shooting objects out of the air after Helena tosses them. When she picks up a tennis ball, he shoots it out of her hand while she is still holding it.
    • In "Vertigo", Oliver is suffering from the after-effects of being injected with the eponymous drug. Diggle holds a tennis ball next to his head and says that if Oliver can shoot it then he is fit to go out. Oliver nocks an arrow and sights on the ball before deciding his aim is too bad to risk the shot.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Diggle zigzags this. After an episode and a half of Oliver clowning him, Diggle takes out an entire squad of machine-gun-wielding thugs with a few well-placed shots. But then seconds later China White gets the better of him in a fight. A few episodes later he fills in effectively, as the Hood, for Oliver. But then when he and Oliver spar, Oliver is shown to be the more skilled.
    • Played straight with Oliver when his first fight against the Dark Archer goes very badly for him.
  • Wretched Hive: Starling City's reputation as well as its main problem.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy
    • Felicity Smoak deduces that Oliver is trying to get her involved in a Hamlet-like plot against his step-father. While Oliver's situation looks very much like Hamlet, they are actually in a superhero story and Oliver does not seem to hold a grudge against Walter for marrying his mother. On top of that, Walter really isn't the one she should be worried about.
    • Moira seems to believe the Arrow is a Robin Hood figure stealing from the rich to give to the poor. It has to be pretty much spoon-fed to her by someone else in the group that Arrow is going after the List of people they were pressuring to help the city.
    • Thea is convinced that her mother's suspicious behavior stems from an affair, which would put Thea in the middle of a family drama. She's technically right, kinda, but the affair happened years ago, and she was the result.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Dark Archer is perfectly willing to shoot Frank Chen's daughter to help reinforce the message he's trying to send
  • Would Hit a Girl: Oliver goes up against China White equally as hard as the male mooks he took out before her.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: It seems like anytime Merlyn compliments Moira, it has this effect on her.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Oliver was cheating on Laurel with her sister Sara.
    • Moira was cheating with Malcolm. Thea is actually his daughter.
    • In order to get Thea to break up with her, Roy begins making out with a co-worker from the Verdant bar where she can catch them at it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • This, combined with He Knows Too Much, is why Dark Archer kills all the scientists who built the device that will level the Glades.
    • Fyers kills Yao Fei as soon as he's done recording a message taking the blame for the plane Fyers is about to shoot down.
  • You Should Have Died Instead:
    • In the pilot, Laurel blames Oliver for her sister's death and tells him she wishes he had died instead. Even Oliver wished the same thing.
    • When Thea thinks that her mother is having an affair with Malcolm (and has been since before her father died), she tells her it should have been her on the boat.
    • Oliver does this to himself when Tommy dies]
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Helena to Oliver. He does...and then she catches it.