Lab Rats is a Science FictionKid Com that airs on Disney XD.When 14 year old Leo (Tyrel Jackson Williams) moves in with his new step dad, Donald Davenport (Hal Sparks), he snoops around Donald's mansion and discovers Adam (Spencer Boldman), Bree (Kelli Berglund), and Chase (Billy Unger) — three bionic siblings (each equipped with hi-tech apps) living in a lab beneath the house. An unlikely friendship develops as he sneaks them out to school for their first taste of freedom while they help him to become the most popular kid in school. But when their bionic glitches go off, things get chaotic very quickly!Ever since Lab Rats premiered, it has been Disney XD's top-rated live-action series.
Lab Rats exhibits these tropes:
Absentee Actor: While Leo and the titular trio have had perfect attendance so far, Mr. Davenport is absent from many episodes, such as Death Spiral Smackdown, Air Leo and Spike's Got Talent. However, he is sometimes mentioned in these episodes because of his inventions.
Abusive Parent: Donald shows this a bit "The Lab Rats Strike Back", But the real winner is his brother. Douglas attempted to turn his biological kids into weapons and didn't seem at all sad when he revealed that Marcus' life expectancy (as an android) is 16.
Donald was this to Adam, Bree and Chase before Leo met them, but unintentionally. He didn't exactly treat them badly, he just didn't let them go out because he was afraid (with a good reason) they wouldn't be able to control their powers or emotions. Also, as he puts it, he was so busy training their superhuman side he completely forgot their human side.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Surprisingly averted. Eddy is a pain in the butt but for the most part glitch-free (or is he, really?), while the AI in Davenport's car in Speed Trapped only went awry because of Marcus.
Robo Perry in "Perry 2.0", in her default mode, which is search and destroy.
Butt Monkey: Leo is the most frquent butt monkey in the franchise, but more recently, Chase is going through this. Pretty much everyone has their butt monkey moments; the only member of the main cast to avert this is Bree.
Last one is arguably averted since Davenport shutdown Eddie for awhile due to him messing around with Tasha on hers and Donald Anniversary.
Casual Danger Dialogue: Many in "Bionic Showdown", such as Adam speaking with "Jewish accent", and Bree's "YOLO", all while they were trapped in Douglas' house. Leo and Eddy count too, as they argue about things like the red cart Leo is using when they set off to rescue their family.
Cliff Hanger: Season 2 finale, "No Going Back", ends with the Lab Rats running away from home for fear, Leo and Donald stuck in the elevator, Donald without any money, and the lab completely destroyed.
Cloudcuckoolander: Adam. He keeps random strands of hair he uses to make fake mustaches in his locker.
Explosive Overclocking: in Bionic Showdown, Adam discovers the ability to absorb energy from the surrounding area and supercharge his plasma grenades into a single blast that turns him into a walking Wave Motion Gun with no ill effects.
Epic Fail: Eddy as a security system. He's either absolutely worthless (look at the way he's allowed Marcus to roam about inside the Davenport home, and there's no excuse for him not immediately informing Davenport about Marcus firing his eye lasers at Leo and threatening to expose them all) - or he's been working against Davenport all along.
... You do realize he was probably still shut down due to the events of last night when the eyebeams happened right?
Fake Guest Star: Angel Parker, Maile Flanagan and Will Forte are the most notable examples. Justified with the former two to keep Bree the only main girl in the cast and with the latter as he only provides a voice.
Flanderization: In terms of annoyance with Adam and Bree. They (specially Adam) start picking on Chase a lot more from later Season 2 on.
Foreshadowing: Coincidentally or not, Donald telling Rose that Adam, Bree and Chase are his brother's children that he adopted after their father fell in a volcano to hide that they are his bionic project is almost completely true, as evidenced in "Bionic Showdown".
Fun T-Shirt: Leo is always seen wearing these. Averted is season three, when Leo starts dressing more to impress (the girls).
Future Me Scares Me: Averted with Future!Leo and played with Future!Donald (Mostly there scared because Future!Donald REALLY let himself go in the weight department after the lab rats died in a averted future.)
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Most aren't particularly obvious, but they do slip in lines like Principal Perry's "Get your hands off my junk!!" from Hole in One. (She was talking about literal trash in the scene.)
There's also the less humorous fact that the protagonists are pretty young, but Marcus deliberately tries to kill Leo on more than one occasion.
Hoist by His Own Petard: When Leo ends up in a fix, it's usually by this method. Played horrifyingly straight in Speed Trapped, when Marcus tries to eliminate him because Leo takes his job as 'the enforcer' seriously.
Just Smile and Nod: In "Can I Borrow the Helicopter?", when Adam is talking about his horse, Donald tells Tasha he isn't getting it, but he smiles and nods till it's over.
Kent Brockman News: Tasha's job mostly consists of stories of babies that look like ex-presidents and stuff. The runaway train was her first real assignment according to her.
Killer Robot: Marcus sics one on Leo when he discover Marcus and Douglas evil lair, in Leo vs. Evil.
Knightof Cerebus: Like most Disney shows, the majority of the villains are reasonably harmless and normally portrayed as light hearted. Marcus on the other hand, once he drops his nice guy act, is presented as Sociopathic bully, that realistically tries to murder Leo.
It gets worse when they introduce his creator, Douglas Davenport. Although still seemingly light hearted, he is a coldblooded Mad Scientist who's committed a list of crimes over a mile long, including experimenting on Children, violating medical ethics, kidnapping, brainwashing and is also perfectly willing to commit outright murder when it suits him. When he appears the show takes a much darker tone.
Which then gets takes Up to Eleven when Douglas' benefactor Krane (who has also been given bionics) shows up, and demonstrates that he has zero consideration for the well-being or lives of anyone who gets in the way of his plans.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Bree and Adam make their own cheer routine in Air Leo, they explain the use of their abilities as "special effects".
Limited Wardrobe: Not to the extremes as seen in cartoons, but the characters are often seen wearing a signature article of clothing (Chase's plaid shirt, Bree's Dr. Martens boots, Donald's black jacket, etc.)
Luke, I Am Your Father: Douglas does this to the Rats in Bionic Showdown. Defied when the Rats tell Donald that they feel that way about him.
Mirror Universe: In the episode Parallel Universe. Things are very much opposite; to begin with, Leo in that world has the bionics of the Lab Rats along with abilities he's seen before, and Adam Bree and Chase are Muggles not related to Donald, but also Evil Counterparts in the sense that they are antagonistic to Leo after finding out he is bionic. Personality wise, Donald is an insecure, inventor-in-training, his mom is a Jerkass mogul who abuses Donald, Adam, Bree and Chase have opposite personalities, with Adam being philosophical, Bree being an even bigger brat than her main counterpart, and Chase being a Jerk Jock instead of a snarky nerd. In addition, Principal Perry is good, kind and altruistic, even helping Leo escape the government agents and the Lab Rats' alternate counterparts.
Mission Control: Leo's assigned position on the team as of Missin' The Mission.
Money Fetish: Chase seems to have develop this in "Chore Wars".
Muggles The entire population of Mission Creek besides the Davenports and Principal Perry, who used to be the most prominent example. Most notable examples are Caitlin, Trent and Grandma Rose.
While Donald and Leo are normal humans, they take part on missions. Tasha just knows their secret, like Perry.
Mundane Solution: In "Leo vs. Evil," Adam calls Tasha on her cell phone and tells her to get home by public transport instead of waiting for the dangerous and unstable teleporter.
Naked People Are Funny: In "The Haunting of Mission Creek High", school bully Trent steals Leo's clothes and leaves him in nothing but a towel. And then he eventually takes the towel, too (offscreen, of course). Instinctively everyone comes to see poor naked Leo.
Nested Story Reveal: "Principal from Another Planet", which at the end of the episode is revealed to be just a movie Leo made for a sci-fi film festival.
Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Appears to be a side-effect of boys' bionic powers in overdrive, as it happens when Chase becomes Spike and when Adam discovers his hidden bionic ability of a supercharged energy blast (in Bionic Showdown).
When Marcus is being evil (and using his powers,) he tends to do a deeper voice than when he's pretending to be a friend to the Lab Rats.
Spiritual Successor: The cast makes it sound like this for Wizards of Waverly Place. Not only do they share the same director and some crew, but both are about families with special abilities that need to keep a secret while attempting to live normal lives and going on adventures. Technically speaking, they both also rely heavily on special effects as well as occasional fight scenes.
Status Quo Is God: Usually, as much of the damage caused by Donald's inventions or troubles the Rats and Leo get into are solved at the end of their respective episodes. However, there are many averting examples:
As of season 2 "Trent Gets Schooled", Trent is the P.E. teacher in Mission Creek High.
As of season 2 finale "No Going Back", Principal Perry knows about the secret of Lab Rats.
As of season 3 "Mission: Mission Creek High", there is a new lab.
As of season 3 "Zip It", Chase and Bree work at Tech Town.
In "Three Minus Bree" from season 3, Bree destroys her chip so she is not bionic anymore. Only in the following episode, "Which Father Knows Best", she gets a new chip.
Leo's takedown of a berserk Eddy in Night of the Living Virus with a laser reflector. Note that he has no bionics and is a scrawny kid, against an A.I. that has helped to train the young bionic heroes.
Troubled Fetal Position: Trent in "The Haunting of Mission Creek High", after he is "haunted" by Leo and the lab rats.
Two Lines, No Waiting: Many episodes use this format: the most common being Adam/Bree/Chase and Leo/Donald; or alternatively a plot with Leo and one of the rats and the other plot featuring the other two rats.
Versus Title: Parodied with "Exoskeleton vs. Grandma", and played straight with "Leo vs. Evil".
Donald: So, if you're watching this, I must have gone to that big hard drive in the sky.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Leo's comment about how Eddy failed as a security system (he allowed Marcus to enter the lab, not to mention the spy camera that Eddy still hasn't detected, or Marcus' activities in Who Is Marcus?) hasn't been addressed by Davenport yet. This MIGHT be averted due to the reveal of who Marcus' dad is, afterall, who better to know where security leaks and how to hide stuff better than Davenport's brother. No excuse on the Who is Marcus? fiasco, though.
We haven't had any mention of Adam's plasma grenades or flame vision since "Air Leo", either. though the Plasma Grenade might be connected to Adam's new Kamehame Hadoken.
The flame vision may have just been an early version of his heat vision. Chase even calls it as such.
Nor have we seen Bree's ability to stick to the ceiling since "Mission Invisible."
Mission Space: Marcus is indeed a trouble-maker and is spying on the Davenports along with someone else.
Speed Trapped: Marcus is revealed to be a bionic. Leo finds this out but has to keep quiet lest Marcus attack his family.
Bionic Showdown: The appearance of Douglas Davenport, Donald's brother who reveals he's the real creator of Adam, Bree and Chase as well as Marcus. After a fight, Marcus is apparently crushed by debris but Douglas manages to escape.
Avalanche: Douglas reappears again and tries to sway Chase to his side. He fails and is frozen in an ice block and promptly sent to jail.
Season 2 finale No Going Back Perry finds out about the kids being bionic which prompts them to run away from home when they misunderstand an FBI agent investigating their home. He wasn't, he was looking into a case for Donald, whose bank account was hacked, leaving him with nothing. After Donald and Leo find out Adam, Bree and Chase are gone, they set out to find them. The two then realize that Douglas was behind the hacking, having been broken free from his ice prison by a mysterious bionic person. After Douglas reveals himself to be the mastermind, he blows up the lab, leaving Donald and Leo with no means to track the trio.
Season 3 opening, Sink or Swim We meet the masked man, Victor Crane, who is revealed to be Douglas's benefactor and a much more adult cybernetically enhance human who's shown to much more of a threat then Douglas and Marcus have been.
Taken Crane inevitably turns on Douglas and attempts to destroy Adam, Bree and Chase himself. Douglas ultimately has a change of heart and helps save them but has to go into hiding when Kane escapes after he's beaten.
Which Father Knows Best Douglas helps restore Bree's bionic chip and Donald offers him a second chance, allowing him to move in with the family.
You Posted What?! Adam, Bree and Chase are caught on camera using their cybernetics and exposed to the rest of the world. Government agents soon come to their house to take them away but they refuse. In the middle of this it's revealed that Crane was responsible for outing them and even has a bionic child of his own named S-1 who had filmed them. During an attack Leo's right arm is crushed but Douglas saves it by making it bionic. After the group manage to defeat Crane and S-1, the siblings announce to the world they're bionic superheroes. However Crane is shown that he has more bionic soldiers lying in wait.
Women Are Wiser: Tasha may not be more intelligent, but she is more down to earth than her husband.
Averted, in that although Bree is occasionally the voice of reason, she is normally portrayed as irresponsible and prone to overreacting to minor things. Still, most of the problems in the series are caused by Adam and/or Leo. Then again, she is still a teenager; a BIONIC teenager to be precise.