A live-action television incarnation of the Superman mythos, and one of the first superhero series aimed at women as much as men. The series is notable for its engaging cast, a few minor Post-modern aspirations, a fair amount of wit and the close focus on the romantic complication between the title characters. Airing from 1993 to 1997, Dean Cain portrayed Clark Kent/Superman while Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane. L&C continued the trend of Post Crisis Superman stories in identifying Clark as the "real" personality — with Superman as the role he puts on — and having the support of his still-living foster parents.After the lowish ratings of the first season, the show was overhauled; this included dropping gossip columnist Cat Grant (considered too scantily-clad and flirtatious for a family show) and a recasting of Jimmy Olsen with a younger-looking actor (the reason given was that Michael Landes resembled Cain too much).The show suffered, to an extent, from a known problem with live-action superhero shows: restraints on budget and their effect on the story (modern technological capabilities have reduced this somewhat, as can be seen on Smallville and Heroes). Superman rarely fought someone who was a physical match for him, with most villains either being secretive like Lex Luthor or — much like the earlier George Reeves series — resorting to kidnapping innocents. Making up for this are the fleshed-out characters of the Daily Planet staff, strong acting, and most of all, the phenomenal chemistry between Cain and Hatcher.Was simply known as The New Adventures of Superman in some countries outside the USA, due to executives believing non-American viewers wouldn't understand the pun on 19th century American explorers Lewis and Clark. Go figure.
Actor Allusion: Whenever Perry's around, allusions are made to Richard Nixon. (Perry doing the peace sign, or a Watergate headline hanging behind his head, etc). Lane Smith played the 37th President in the television movie The Final Days.
At one point, he even compared Lane and Kent to Woodward and Bernstein.
Jimmy Olson, traditionally redheaded, has brown hair.
Lex Luthor, when he has hair, is also usually a redhead, but has brown hair here.
Dean Cain has brown eyes, as opposed to Superman's trademark blue. Curiously, one episode has Lois describe his eyes as blue. Presumably the writer didn't realize that Cain's eyes differed from the comics.
Adventure Duo: Despite Clark's super powers, he's actually The Scully, with Lois being the one leaping to wild conclusions and charging headfirst into danger.
Aliens Speaking English: The survivors of New Krypton. Yet one of Kal-El's crimes is not having learned Kryptonian sufficiently to have understood all the archane instructions on his ship.
Bizarro Universe: Charlton Heston is President, and Jimmy is the owner of the Daily Planet (with Perry as his Smithers). It also seems that Elivis Presley served for a time as President of the US and evidently has lived into the 1990s.
Clark passes for this. Showrunner Deborah Joy Levine notes that Dean Cain, who is 1/4 Japanese, has an unplaceable 'look' to him that seems otherwordly. This does not apply to the vanilla-looking New Kryptonians.
There is a running gag in the S2 show "Chi of Steel" where Chen Chow (Chinese-American, played by a Japanese-American actor) looks and dresses almost exactly like Clark (even to the wild ties) and when Lois points this out he says "we have the same optometrist".
Amoral Attorney: several, although one of the worst apparently is a fake attorney. A few times attorney's who appear corrupt turn out to not be.
Analogy Backfire: Following Lex's buyout of the paper, Perry balks at his new "Senior" Editor-in-chief, a Yale pipsqueak named Chip. Lex reassuringly tells him to just think of it as a "honeymoon period".
Badass Armfold: Dean Cain's Superman does this often, Clark Kent so rarely it might be part of his disguise. Flanderized in later seasons to the point of Superman constantly strutting around with his arms folded.
Bald of Evil: Lex again. Explained by the reanimation process necessitated by his demise, so he can still blame Superman, albeit indirectly, for his hair loss.
Lex starts out with a full mop of curly hair, then is bald in Season 2, but his hair comes back and he has it from then onward, although he does not have as much of a role as early on. Presumably, John Shea didn't feel like shaving his head or wearing a bald cap all the time.
The actor justified it by saying that Lex is probably rich enough to regrow his hair.
Best Served Cold: The Prankster and Prof. Jefferson Cole both harbor ill will toward Lois for her role in imprisoning them. Baron Sunday holds a grudge against Clark Kent, though his excuse is definitely more valid.
Clark, apparently, as Lois notes after spying in his fridge how he eats like an eight year old and looks like Mr Hardbody. This recurrs at other points with Clark constantly snitching donuts, sometimes with superpowers. It seems he does not even have to eat.
And, in a S4 episode, Martha Kent is shown carrying a huge bag full of junk food and candy to stock up the larder with, because she's missing her boy and wants to welcome him home just right, with all of his favourite foods.
One episode opens with Clark fixing breakfast in the morning with eggs (cooked with heat vision, of course), coffee, and a big jug of milk, and another episode confirms that even after all that he goes into work and starts snacking on doughnuts.
Clark gets in on this too. Mostly because he was hanging around with Lois when she got them captured. This also means that he has to figure out a way of escaping that does not involve her figuring out what his true identity is, at least until she figures out his true identity.
Brainwashing: More commonly seen with Lois, but Superman is not immune. Jimmy also suffers from it once.
Brought Down to Normal: Kryptonite in this universe had a lingering effect on Superman, taking him some time to regain his strength even after being removed from the source. Red Krytonite can, if the plot calls for it, transfer all of Superman's power to another individual.
Call Back: Most of them involve the Villain of the Week picking up where a previous criminal left off, be it re-assembling their weapon or avenging their defeat.
Cardboard Prison: H.G. Wells repeatedly dumps Tempus in asylums so he wouldn't cause more trouble. It doesn't take. At times he is able to messup Clark's life just be revealing his secret in writing a journal, which of course will end up in the hands of some evil person at the most inconvenient time.
The Cast Show Off: Cain was a college football star until a shoulder injury. During the show's run he wanted to remind people that he was still a strong athlete by appearing on an American Gladiators celebrity edition.
Season 1's Jimmy Olsen tends to exclaim "Real smooth!" when impressed. The phrase was dropped along with the actor.
Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Parodied in an early episode, wherin Clark sprints into a bathroom stall to change into his costume only to smash his foot through the door as he struggles to put his boots on.
The Chanteuse: Lois goes undercover as one in the first season. Her amnesia-induced personality, Wanda Detroit, is this full-time.
Character Exaggeration: Cat's overriding personality trait seems to be her sex addiction. This was a prominent trait of the character in the comics, but here her promiscuity is amplified. In sharp contrast to the bland and modestly dressed Lois Lane, Cat Grant in the TV series looks like an escapee from Cirque du Soleil.
Lois: Couldn't you afford a whole dress?
Chick Magnet: Clark attracts an obscene amount of women throughout the show's run. Superman more so, but even when he is just plain Clark.
In the episode where Superman is arrested, the police take extra mugshots to give some hookers (who are avowed fans of Superman) a chance to pose with him.
Cigar Chomper: Lex Luthor is rich and badass, and therefore smokes cigars.
After sending Bill Church and his son to the slammer, the new chairman of Intergang — Mindy — is seen smoking a stogie.
Clark Kenting: Lois, a decorated investigative journalist, is unable to realize that her partner, Clark Kent, is just Superman with glasses. This was not helped by Dean Cain not really changing his voice, posture, or facial expression between the two personae, as Christopher Reeve famously did. Teri Hatcher's monologue on Saturday Night Live parodied this, demonstrating her general inability to recognize people with glasses.
In the pilot we have this exchange:
Lois: I think I've got you figured out. Clark : Really. Didn't take you long. Lois : It's my business looking beyond the external.
Spectacular Lampshade Hanging in any episodes with Tempus, who is just outraged that no one else sees through the disguise.
Tempus: Look (puts glasses on), I'm Clark Kent. (Takes glasses off) No, I'm Superman! (Puts glasses on) Mild-mannered reporter. (Takes glasses off) Superhero! Well, that was worth the whole trip, to actually meet the most galactically stupid woman who ever lived.
Although future generations considered it more a "blinded by love" than being stupid thing. H. G. Wells tells us so.
Lois dismisses her first statement about Clark and Superman looking alike, said while under the influence of an inhibition removing perfume, by saying that "every women thinks her man is Superman". Lois seems to be blindable by love, and to various extents Superman and Clark blind her discernment, Clark more so as time goes on.
At least early on Lois is so infatuated with Superman (insisting "He's mine!" by the third episode, which she unconvincingly backtracks into being her story) and so resentful of Clark, that it is at least somewhat believable that her emotions prevent her from discerning the truth.
In particular he took the exact opposite approach as Reeve, playing Clark as affable and easygoing because that's how he really is, while Superman is stiff, overly formal, basically artificial. and even a little smug. This was in keeping with the current interpretation of Superman's dual identity at the time, Clark was a regular guy and the "real" personality while Superman was an facade constructed entirely to protect his personal life and privacy.
The one possible exception is Perry White. Perry is a good editor who knows that secret sources are to be guarded, so he may suspect the connection but knows that if he tells Clark his suspicions, this will convince Clark the disguise has been blown and cause him to leave, destroying the source structure that Superman gives the paper. On the other hand, "Ultra Woman" show that he is equally incapable of recognizing Lois if she's wearing a cheap mask.
Clark's powers of deception extend even to himself. In "All Shook Up," when he gets amnesia and everyone is running around trying to find Superman — who has, for obvious reasons, gone missing — he somehow manages to avoid making the connection until his parents spell it out for him.
Clear My Name: Dear GOD, nearly EVERYONE had to do this at some point or another. Just about the only regulars who didn't end up caught in this trope were Jonathan and Martha.
Cool Old Lady: According to K Callan, she snagged the role of Martha Kent by appearing at the audition in a pink tracksuit (in stark contrast to the other actresses, all of whom wore Victorian dresses and bonnets). In keeping with the feminist theme, Ma Kent is a sculptor whose postmodernist pieces are taking over the whole house, to Jonathan's bemusement. She also poses nude for art classes.
Cover Blowing Superpower: Clark, all the time. It was basically a Running Gag of how he will find some way to justify mild uses of his power, from finding a weak link in his hand-cuffs to "the force of the explosion must have pushed us away."
Covered in Mud: In the Pilot Movie, Lois and Jimmy are captured by Lex Luthor's Dragon; Clark goes in to rescue her (as Clark, not as Superman). There's a bomb in the building and as it goes off Clark flies Lois & Jimmy a little bit, as if they're being pushed by the blast and they land in a pile of mud just far enough away that they're all safe.
Crawl: A news ticker is added to the Daily Planet set in Season 2.
As time went on and the LOISCLA-L fan email list increased in population and loudness, at least one member of the writing team joined as a lurking member. Abbreviations and codes used on the list turned up on the ticker, including WAFF (Warm and Fuzzy Feelings) and FoLC (Friends of Lois and Clark).
Veda Dooson in "Brutal Youth" has to resort to abducting pizza delivery men in order to test her Fountain of Youth machine, allegedly because she can't get a grant.
Alas, Lex eventually falls prey to this. He manufactures a flawless (if ditzy) clone of Lois Lane, but rather than try again for better results, he hatches a complicated plot to swap the clone for the real one.
Lois: You're not gonna get away with this. Tempus: Get away with what? You mean becoming mayor of Metropolis by murdering Perry White? Because somebody might stop me? Big, brawny, looks good in blue? Gee, if only I lived in a dimension with no Superman— Oh, wait! Duh! I do.
Dartboard of Hate: In ""Sex, Lies, and Videotape", Clark is unknowingly photographed while making out with Lois in the Superman costume, causing the public to think he's an adulterer. Later, Clark remarks that his disenchanted female co-workers are using Superman's image as a dartboard. Of course Clark has a desk full of goodies from people expressing solidarity with him in his time of crisis.
"Requiem for a Superhero" has Lex calmly talking on a phone as he throws darts. After he hangs up it's revealed that he was throwing the darts at a grinning, life-size cardboard cutout of Superman, and Lex is positively fuming.
Does Not Know His Own Strength: Clark is generally very careful, but a few times you see him underestimating the durability of items. Once when antsy, he crushed a pencil to dust. In another episode exposure to a Red Kryptonite beam causes him to lose control of his powers, thus when using Super Speed to catch a criminal half a block away he ended up "in the next county". In that condition he accidentally injured Lois just giving her a hug.
And then the time he gave Perry's hand a shake, and accidentally crushed his interviewer's fingers. Whoops.
While traveling through time, Clark is forced to wear this as part of his Robin Hood/Zorro ensemble.
Dramatic Thunder: Used shamelessly. In his first scene, Lex's entrance into the party he is hosting is accompanied by ominous thunder and flashes of lighting, as through his schemes tempt the wrath of God via a lightning bolt.
Empathic Environment: A variation occurs in Lex's subway haunt, when Clois spills Superman's identity. Cue the flickering electricity and rumbling trains. An identical scene happens between Mr. Smith and Leslie Luckabee in Season Four.
The Kents should qualify, since the cost of all that airline travel is conspicuously swept under the rug. On at least one occasion Clark does offer to personally fly them into town the next time they need to come.
Everything's Better with Spinning: As the series progresses, Clark no longer needs to duck into a room to change clothes, instead spinning furiously and coming to a stop in his Superman outfit.
Evil Brit: Lenny Stoke, Lord Nor and Nigel St. John.
Evil Lawyer Joke: "You are dirt! You are filth! You are pocket lint! You are pocket lint in the pockets of lawyers!"
When Lex dangles his lawyer over a pit of rodents ("The Phoenix"), Dr. Kelly muses over whether the rats will "eat their own."
Evil Is Petty: Randy Goode, a world-famous philanthropist, does not take it well when the Nobel Peace Prize committee snubs him in favor of Superman.
Garret Grady settles on West Virginia as a warm-up target for his Kill Sat, his reasoning being that the state should have picked "a more creative name".
Expy: Rachel Harris, the Smallville sheriff who at least wants Lois to think Clark and her were good "friends" growing up, is one for Lana Lang, as they couldn't get the rights to use her name at the time. An alternate universe Lana showed up later on.
Fake Defector: Clark pretends to resign from the floundering Daily Planet and join a rival paper, The Metropolis Star, in "The Rival".
In "Church of Metropolis", Mayson Drake goes along with an Intergang's lawyer who offers her a bribe, unaware that she's taping the whole thing.
Fake Guest Star: Kenneth Kimmins as Dr. Bernard Klein. His presence is increasingly ubiquitous in Seasons 3 & 4, but he never gets a credit promotion.
Faking the Dead: In "That Old Gang of Mine", Clark is left with no recourse but to play dead after being shot in public.
In the episodes "The Ides of Metropolis" and "Operation Blackout", the villain fake his death as part of a master plan.
Fanservice: And plenty to go around for both sides.
It is implied that H.G. Wells was going to go back to where Lois-A disappeared and then "rescue" her from going missing. Neat trick, except when you realize that is what causes her to go missing in the first place!! (temporal cause and effect)
Frameup / Miscarriage Of Justice: Lex blows up the Daily Planet, then pins the crime on Jack, the orphan whom Clark befriended and recently made a copy boy.
A lowly software developer gets blamed for his boss' murder in "The Ides of Metropolis".
In a Season 4 two-parter episode, Lois is made to seem to shoot her own informant. The Villain Of The Week uses a Hologram of Perry White, while using another hologram to make sure Superman is half-a-world away and not able to see through the disguise, to testify in court against Lois, and she is given the death penalty.
Hendrix, aka Baron Sunday.
This is Mindy Church's M.O., to nefarious acts, manipulate events, and then pin it all on some patsy. Nearly every episode she's in ends with some poor sap going to jail while she reaps all the benefits.
Jonathan Kent, though he's mellower than his other incarnations.
Green-Eyed Monster: Lois flips her wig after Clark wins a journalism award instead of her — despite winning the same award three times previously.
Anytime a woman shows interest in Clark\Superman, really.
Green Rocks: In this show it was Red Kryptonite, which had a different effect on Clark with each appearance. It ranged from eliminating his inhibitions, permanently transferring his powers, causing him to lose control of his powers, and others.
The Grinch: Lois hates hates, hates, hates, hates Christmas. With her family, you can't blame her.
Toymaker Winslow Schott, embittered by children rejecting his toys and being fired from his job, plots chemical warfare against Metropolis on Christmas Day.
"We're ruining Christmas, Ms. Duffy. It's a big job."
Mr. Mxyzptlk traps the city in a Groundhog Day Loop in which Christmas gets progressively more miserable. However, he's doing it to blackmail Superman into leaving town, not out of malice toward a holiday he knows nothing about.
Groin Attack: Lois delivers one to the Prankster, causing him to double over in agony.
And again to Col. Ambrose Cash, as payback for spraying Superman with kryptonite gas.
He Knows Too Much: The plastic surgeon responsible for the Lois Lane lookalike. Ariana Carlin compliments his brilliance by declaring that "The world will truly miss you.", then shoots him. Hard to believe it didn't work out with her and Luthor, they seem perfect for each other.
"Anonymous" does this in "Chip Off the Old Clark", as soon as the hapless goon relieves himself of babysitting their hostage.
Hacker: Good luck with the kid. He was starting to give me a headache. Anonymous: Really? Then by all means, take two of these. (BLAM BLAM)
Hero Insurance: Subverted a couple times: First, in "Man of Steel Bars", when Metropolis' citizens blame Superman's heroics for an abnormal heat wave. In the Season 2 premiere, we see the after-effects of Lex Luthor's suicide; apparently, killing the man who employed half the city's population is damaging to local interests.
D.A. Mayson Drake adores Clark, but views Superman as a vigilante menace.
In Season 4's Lethal Weapon, Superman loses restraint over his powers and starts damaging city property. In the ensuing panic, the Mayor orders a sniper team put in place to plug Superman with a kryptonite bullet.
Hello Attorney: Mayson Drake (Season 2) and Angela Winters ("The People Vs. Lois Lane").
History Repeats: In the pilot episode, Superman makes his debut by swallowing a time bomb ("*burp* Scuse me!") before it blows up a space shuttle. In Season 3 ("Tempus, Anyone?"), Lois convinces an Alternate Universe Clark to stop living in the shadows and embrace the Superman mantle. His first heroic act? Swallowing a time bomb before it blows up an auditorium.
Baron Tempos and Tempus Tex (Tempus' medieval and Wild West ancestors, respectively) deliver the exact same ultimatum in two separate time periods, causing Tex to get weirded out.
Horrible Judge of Character: Lois Lane for the win. Played for laughs in the scene following Lex's public disgrace and suicide, when Lois opines that she's "always been such a good judge of character!" As we'll see in later seasons, this is notevenclose to being true.
At one point Clark breaks up with Lois on the grounds that if they move forward this will just put her in more danger. She proptly gets drawn into a relationship with a man plotting to sacrifice her, causing Clark to realize that she attracts homicidal maniacs, and the only way to protect her is to have her close.
Hot Chick in a Badass Suit: Lampshaded in "Ultrawoman", when Lois she starts wearing a suit tie to disguise her superhero costume underneath (just like Clark does).
After Perry is (temporarily) Kicked Upstairs for the duration of "Stop the Presses", Lois is made Editor-In-Chief, inspiring her to wear this outfit again.
Human Popsicle: Lex Luthor is a postmortem example; his remains are frozen throughout Season 2 as his physician works on a "cure" for death.
In the season 2 finale, Superman is blackmailed into killing Lois Lane. To achieve the effect (but not the result), he uses his super-breath to temporarily freeze Lois, causing her to appear dead.
A Call Back to this episode occurs in Season 4, when Lex Luthor Jr. threatens to kill Lois if Superman refuses to do his bidding. Superman opts to Take A Third Option and freeze Lois, thereby tricking Junior into believing his leverage is gone.
Interestingly, Superman addresses the unrealistic nature of Harmless Freezing by warning of possible arterial ruptures, brain damage or even death. Fortunately (as if the audience would expect any differently), Lois survives unscathed.
Larry Smiley plans to flood the Earth using his Weather Control Machine, with those he chose (largely against their will) safety tucked away in cryo-pods.
The Aryan 'supermen' in "Super Mann".
Hurl It into the Sun: Once he realizes he will soon die from Clone Degeneration, Bizarro Superman asks the real Superman to destroy both him and the lock of hair from which he was cloned from. We see them flying toward the sun.
In a variant of this trope, Superman's skin is contaminated with a mass of microscopic radioactive particles that forces him to be in radiation proof containment on Earth. Here, the solution is to fly towards the sun, not to enter it, but just to enter its gravitational field to allow it to pull all the particles at once.
Hypocritical Humor: Clark receives a dressing-down by Perry White during their first scene together. Apparently he lacks real reporter credentials.
Perry: Son, this is the Daily Planet. We're the greatest newspaper in the whole world. We routinely handle events of international significance. Jimmy:Fixed the horn on your golf cart, Chief! Perry:Jimmy, not now. Jimmy: The sound's a little off, but— Perry:JIMMY, NOT NOW!!
Lois spends the bulk of "I'm Looking Through You" complaining that Superman has sold out and gone commercial, although even at this point she admits her main worry is that Superman will forget about her. When Clark later greets Lois in her apartment, she's wearing a Superman t-shirt under her pajamas. It is pretty clear though that Lois is mad that Superman is not paying as much attention to her but instead having his attentions taken up by lots of other people making demands on him.
This is literally half of Lois' personality. Most of the jokes in the first two seasons surrounding her involve her being cynical or critical about something while partaking in it or something similar to it herself.
Joey Bermuda: No, Cheryl Marie, you can not stay up past 9:00. Yes honey, you can watch TV, just none of that gratuitous violence, okay? [shoots hole through a cut-out of Superman] I'll see you tonight.
Garret Grady's plan for world peace ("AKA Superman"):
I Do Not Drink Wine: Superman once tells Lois that he doesn't need to eat, but he likes to. Which is fairly evident since his pantry is stocked with almost nothing but junk food. He also never misses the morning donuts at the office. This ties in to the OTHER DC comics TV adaptation on the air at the time, the much overlooked and quite excellent Flash which also portrayed Barry Allen this way.
I Have Your Wife: This happens a LOT, actually. One time it even didn't happen to Clark.
Garret Grady's henchman lampshades this practice, calling it "a time honored tradition".
I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Lex hints that this is the case between him and Lois, though he later decides she's "a little too independent", then gloats to Superman that he'll soon fix that.
I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Invoked in almost every episode, with Clark giving increasingly-lame excuses for leaving so he can change into the Superman outfit. They do not improve much when Lois is in on the secret and is giving them, although it is more believable that they work because no one is less willing to accept statements at face value than Lois.
Iconic Item: Clark dresses like an exotic tie salesman. This is never commented on.
And again after being struck by a car, hitting her head on a fire hydrant. She loses her memory of who she really is, and believes she is "Wanda Detroit," the lounge singer character from the crappy novel she had been pounding a couple years ago.
This is followed by yet another 'do in Season 4, after Lois clears her name. The Wanted Posters of her face spread all over town convinced her that it was time for a change.
Gene Newtrich discovers red kryptonite in the Season 2 episode "Individual Responsibility". In Season 3's "Ultrawoman", his nefarious sisters pick up where he left off by building a red kryptonite laser, which has totally different effects.
If Baron Tempos and Tempus Tex are any indication, being evil runs deep in Tempus' gene pool.
H.G. Wells: You are a fiend beyond comprehension! Tempus:And a good dancer, but enough small talk.
From "Voice From the Past":
Superman: Well, wouldn't your father be proud? His son turned out to be as sick and deranged as he was. Lex Jr.: Heh heh. Thank you.
Intrepid Reporter: Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Lois seems to have taken this to a new level. At one point Clark pulls out a multi-sheet, multi-column single-spaced printout of the people who Lois' has been responsible for putting into jail through her reporting, and from what he says this is limited to only the scientists whose nefarious actions she has exposed. There is mention that 200 people have threatened to kill Lois because she has exposed their actions leading them to jail.
Lady Macbeth: Mindy, the trophy wife of Bill Church, juggles this with Ugly Guy, Hot Wife and The Starscream. She's later revealed to be conniving than she looks, as she arranges for the downfall of both Church and Church Jr. before The Starscream taking control of Intergang for herself. Feminism in action, even in the underworld.
Lampshade Hanging: In "I'm Looking Through You" we have the following lovely exchange after Superman finds he's inadvertently become a franchise:
Lois: The person who could really help, Superman, is probably off signing a deal to start his own television series by now.
Jimmy: Chief? Perry: Yeah? Jimmy: Instead of always standing around, watching Lois and Clark, wondering what they're doing... What if we, uh... Got lives of our own that were a little more interesting. Perry: Now son, you've just hit the bulls-eye. It's like we're supporting characters in some TV show that's only about them. Jimmy: Yeah, it's like all we do is advance their plots! Perry: To tell you the truth I'm sick of it. Jimmy: Yeah, me too. And the scene promptly switches to Lois and Clark in the park.
In "Tempus, Anyone":
Tempus: Only thing that would ruin this would be a commercial. [cut to commercial break]
Lie Detector: In "Strange Visitor", fake government agents hook up Clark to a lie detector as part of their investigations into Superman. Clark's 'baseline' questions are 'Is your name Clark Kent?' and 'Are you Superman?'; he's supposed to say yes to both and get a 'lie' response on the second. However, when he gets a no-lie flatline on both questions, Clark is forced to use his super-breath to push the needle.
Amusingly, the agents think that Clark might just be that mild mannered that even the lie detector can't pick up his obvious "lies".
Jack Olsen wears a wrist-mounted lie detector which is disguised to look like a watch. It glows blue whenever Clark and Lois tell the truth (i.e. not often), and red when they are lying. Later in the episode, Jack glances at the watch after Jimmy says he loves him (it turns blue).
Like A Son To Me: Not in so many words (at least not to Jimmy himself, though he does say so to Lois and Clark and tell them not to hell him), but Perry White has a out-of-focus but still close and subtly fatherly relationship with Jimmy Olsen, which becomes clearer when you note that Perry is estranged from his sons and Jimmy from his father. Perry is noticeably very incensed and disdainful when Jimmy's absentee father comes by.
Locked in a Freezer: Happens often with Lois. In the "Ides of Metropolis", Lois and Inspector Reed are thrown into a trash compactor. That same season, Lois and her college rival Linda King are roped together inside a literal freezer. Lastly, "Operation Blackout" finds Lois and her ex-friend Molly trapped on a military base with a Kill Sat aimed directly at them.
Lois Can Breathe In Space: There's a couple of scenes where Lois is either in space, or darn near enough where she would need oxygen.
Even if you factor Superman's "protective aura", Lois could not have been enveloped in Superman's forcefield when falling so far from him. She should also have gotten severe frostbite, unless he was using his heat vision from far away to radiate warmth, and — nevermind.
In "Bob and Carol and Los and Clark", Grant Gendell is presented as a proxy of Howard Hughes, a hyper-paranoid billionaire who lives in a hermetically-sealed apartment. When confronted by Deathstroke — who seeks to Kill and Replace the old man — Gendell finds the notion of anyone wanting to be him unthinkable: "I live in a cube!"
Love Floats: Lois and Superman floated several times together. Once while making love(!), and at least twice while in a vertical embrace.
In the pilot, Clark is shown absent-mindedly floating a few inches off the floor while attending Lex's charity ball, when he spots Lois across the room in all her evening gown splendour.
Loves My Alter Ego: Lois also starts off this way, not caring about Clark and loving Superman, but she gets over it as the series goes on. When Clark finally proposes at the end of season two, he deliberately waits to tell her his secret so that he knows she's marrying him for Clark, and not because he's Superman. Unfortunately she's already figured it out. Yet Clark had been ready to tell her the secret two days earlier, with no clear plan of proposing first.
The reverse is true for Mayson Drake. She loves Clark and vehemently dislikes Superman. She dies learning Clark is Superman.
Master of Delusion: Lampshaded by Lois in the episode where she was under the effects of a Love Potion. She takes off Clark's glasses and remarks how similar he looks to Superman. Fortunately (or unfortunately), she brushes it off as just seeing Clark as Superman after the drug wears off.
Still the fact that none of his other co-workers are any closer to knowing the truth, so Lois Lane is not alone in being fooled. After Superman leaves Earth for New Krypton, it suddenly hits Jimmy that Clark's gone missing at the same time as Superman. But he can't....quite....connect....the dots.
As far as we know Lois is the only person in Metropolis who has seen Clark half naked, so unlike everyone else she cannot be said to be fooled by how Clark's suits conceal his true build.
Subverted and lampshaded in "Tempus, Anyone?" in which Lois has to convince an alternate universe Clark to take up a life of superheroics. Clark-A is very skeptical on whether just taking off the glasses will be an effective disguise, and she assures him it'll be fine. Everyone recognizes him immediately.
Ultimately subverted when at the beginning of the third season: Lois countered Clark's marriage proposal by revealing she had deduced his identity (Clark and Superman gave her an identical cheek stroke in the previous episode).
Clark's first reaction to her figuring out is "the new glasses do not work as good as the old ones" or something to that effect.
Meet the New Boss: Lex Luthor's old slot is filled by Bill Church, who is himself an expy of Morgan Edge from DC Comics. Like Luthor, Church hides behind a sunny image and legitimate business to distract from his underworld dealings. He's even undone by his passion for a woman!
Lex Junior's plot to marry Lois and blow up the Daily Planet building.
Mega Corp: Lexcorp. Everything from the air conditioners to the payphones bear his name.
Modesty Cape: Real Life example: the show made quite a splash with a promotional photo of Teri Hatcher wearing Superman's cape — and nothing else. This has become something of a Superman staple; Margot Kidder originated the pose, followed by Hatcher and Erica Durance. In the case of Hatcher, the image almost broke the internet.
Momma's Boy: Superman is an unrepentant momma's boy and proudly proclaims to anyone who asks (and some who don't) that his mother made his costume for him.
When an enemy blows up his secret closet where he keeps his Superman suits and they're all ruined, the first thing he says is "Mom's gonna kill me."
Muggle Foster Parents: Ma and Pa Kent, the best parents a Kryptonian orphan turned superhero could have and always around on the phone when Clark needs some parental advice
Mundane Utility: Lois and Clark is in love with this trope. Super-speed was commonly used to remove trash or remodel the apartment, heat vision is for heating coffee (or shaving) and ice breath chills champagne. At one point he even plays Pingpong with himself where he smashes the ball through a window.
Mythology Gag: Lots of them. (e.g., Kal-El's rocket landing in Shuster's Field, named for Supeman creator Joe Shuster; also various references to the phrase "Faster than a speeding bullet", actors from the 1950s Superman television series appearing in various episodes, and at least one nod to the cliche of Superman changing in a phone booth).
Lois' first guess as to the Prankster's identity is a diminutive nerd with the surname "Loomis", like his comic counterpart. In the show, however, Loomis is revealed to be just a Red Herring.
There's an early Shout Out to the "Can You Read My Mind?" flight sequence from Superman The Movie: When Superman flies with Lois early on, he responds to something she'd been quietly wondering, and she gasps "So you really CAN read minds!" to which Superman cheerfully replies "Nope. I've got really good hearing though!"
In "Double Jeopardy", Lois (under control of her split-personality, Wanda Detroit) works at a lounge singer at Bibbo's Ace of Clubs. Bibbo himself is played by longstanding Hey, It's That Guy! Troy Evans.
While serving as ruler of New Krypton, Clarks trades in his costume for a black spandex suit. It's visually identical to Superman's attire at the end of The Death of Superman series, except that his "S" emblem is now a deep blue.
In "Tempus Anyone," Tempus refers to Clark as a "mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper," the exact wording used in the intro to the Fleischer animated shorts.
Leslie Luckabee (aka "Lex Luthor Jr., well actually just a front man for such") claims he's been living in Australia since he was child, thus explaining his sudden reemergence. During the 90s, the comic book Lex Luthor had his brain transplanted into a younger-looking clone of himself. He then masqueraded as his own hitherto-unknown son, Lex Luthor II, complete with a false backstory about having been bred in Australia.
"Pilot" has several, especially from Superman: The Movie. A spectator shouting "What the hell is that?", Superman answers "A friend", and Superman claiming to be a hoax.
Also, Superman saves the space shuttle, much like in The Man of Steel where he saves a "space-plane".
Cat Grant: I don't believe it. Co-worker: What? That a man can fly?
In "We Have a Lot to Talk About", Clark mentions Gotham City.
In "Church of Metropolis", an evil lawyer contacted Superman in the same way as Lex in the 1987 Superman movie. Only he mentions bats instead of dogs would hear the frequency.
In "Home Is Where the Hurt Is", Superman is infected with a rare virus from Krypton, similar to Virus X from Superman #156 "The Last Days of Superman" published in July/August 1950. Only in the comic, he was actually affected by a piece of kryptonite in Jimmy Olsen's camera.
Napoleon Delusion: An informant (played by Frank Burns) contacts Lois with "information" about Superman, claiming he's the first wave of an alien invasion. The man's credibility suffers a bit when he claims to be Grover Cleveland.
A woman claming to be Mary Todd Lincoln witnesses Clark using his powers, but the situation is defused when she decides he must be General Grant reincarnated.
Tempus' cellmate in the asylum believes himself to be Superman, which is why Tempus makes no effort to disguise his manner of escape.
Clark's landlady drops by his apartment just as he's grappling with Tez. When the door flings open, Tez has morphed into a blonde bombshell, and Clark is standing with his shirt torn open.
Perry embracing Lois — who is disguised as a man — in the middle of a bustling street. Oops.
Obligatory Joke: A captured Lois summons Superman by ringing church bells. Superman flies in with an obligatory, "You rang?"
Lord Nor sets the ground rules in Smallville:
Jonathan Kent: We don't do much bowing here in Kansas. Lord Nor: You know, I have a feeling we're Not In Kansas Anymore.
Obviously Evil: Lex Luthor, which works against the character somewhat as he shows that he can be genuinely decent, or pretend to be, but the show went all out to paint him as a crook, gangster, psychopath, murderer and all of the above.
Dave Nemeth, then-reporter for Extra, turns up to report on Superman's alleged "love child".
Old Media Are Evil: Whether it be a Rupert Murdochproxy, or a Professional Killer posing as a TV anchorwoman, they're usually evil and out to blacken the name of the Daily Planet. Also played with in "The House of Luthor", when Lex tries wooing Lois over to his eponymous TV network.
Older Than They Look: Lex, since he somehow has adult children despite looking at old as Superman. Hand Waved by Clark, who insists that Luthor is "a master of deception."
Omnicidal Maniac: Professor Jefferson Cole develops a new strain of Kryptonite which is deadly to ordinary humans. He then tunes his Weather Control Machine to rain the deadly substance on Metropolis.
Tempus' Plan B is to provoke a nuclear war and jump safety into another dimension, leaving Superman stranded on a dead planet.
The Other Darrin: The notable changeover from Michael Landis to Justin Whalin (as Jimmy Olsen). The main issue behind Landis' removal was that he looked too old to be a believable Jimmy. And though he played the comedy well, he was a bit too cool to be Clark's sidekick.
Lois' family is completely overhauled from Season 2 onward. Harve Presnell and Beverly Garland take over the roles of Sam and Ellen Lane, respectively (it helps that Garland looks a lot like Teri Hatcher). Lois' sister Lucy is played by two women before dropping off the map altogether.
Terry Kiser plays H.G. Wells in two episodes out of four, with Hamilton Camp standing in for him as an older incarnation.
Jor-El is played by two actors (three if you count his silhouette in "Never on Sunday").
Inspector (Or Detective; the show can't decide) Henderson is first played by Brent Jennings, before undergoing a Race Lift with Richard Belzer. In the fourth season, he reverts to black again, this time played by Mel Winkler.
In a strange case of The Other Darrin and Name's the Same, there are two version of the Toyman in this series. The first, Winslow Schott, is named after the comic book Toyman's real name and is played by Sherman Hemsley. A second villain (this time explicitly referred to as "Toyman") appears in Season Four.
Jon Tenny, the original actor for Ching, was unable to return for the fourth season. He is replaced by Mark Kieley in the premiere episode.
In "Sex, Lies and Videotape", Lois gets swarmed by paparazzi after being accused of carrying on an affair with Superman.
Pass the Popcorn: Tempus munches on popcorn while watching a live feed of Lois dangling from a ledge. A callback to this occurs in Season Four, when he casually eats a banana during a nuclear launch countdown.
Power Perversion Potential: Clark nearly uses his x-ray vision to cheat at poker, but Lois' admiration of Superman convinces him to do otherwise. Lois doesn't share his moral fibre; as Ultrawoman, she uses her x-ray vision to see Clark naked.
In "Resplendant Man", a regular Joe is granted Superman's powers. When he tracks the guy down, he finds him sitting on a building using his ex-ray vision to look through the building across the way... and into a women's locker room. Superman is not amused.
Cat Grant, who was first established as The Rival. Justified in that The Daily Planet was closed towards the end of the first season and then reopened under new ownership and a promised overhaul of content. This would explain the absence of Jack, the orphan whom Clark recruited as a copy boy.
Rapid-Fire Typing: Clark's magic fingers can crack any password. By the time he's finished, the keyboard is usually smoking hot.
Real Estate Scam: It wouldn't be Superman without a Luthor real estate swindle. Lex is revealed to be bankrolling a gang of arsonists in order to drive down the value of Metropolis' port. ("I've Got a Crush On You")
Lois' uncle runs afoul of Bill Church when he refuses to sell his café to Costmart.
In "Ghosts" in season four, Lois and Clark are being subject to a very aggressive buyer involved in one of these.
Reluctant Retiree: Invoked twice with Perry; First, when faced with the closure of the paper, and later when promoted to an executive. Both times, Perry is despondent at having nothing to do.
Remake Cameo: Nods to previous Superman continuity include casting Phyllis Coates as Lois's mother in "The House of Luthor", and Jack Larson as an old Jimmy Olsen in the episode "Brutal Youth". Coates played Lois Lane for the first season of The Adventures of Superman, while Larson played Jimmy throughout the series' run.
Leslie Luckabee is played by Patrick Cassidy. His father, Jack Cassidy, played the sleazy Max Menken in the 1966 Broadway musical, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! (In the 2010 revival, Patrick played his father's old role).
Required Secondary Powers: Superman's Nigh Invulnerability extending to his clothing was described in one episode using the centimeter high "invulnerability field" from the comics. His powers were actually well explained because he voluntarily had Star Labs examine him.
Ret Canon: During the time when Lois and Clark ran on television, the comic-book Perry White shared his TV counterpart's passion for Elvis Presley, even quoting his catchphrase.
Retro Universe: Metropolis is intentionally designed with this is mind.
"I've Got a Crush On You" goes particularly nutty with this trope. The Metro Club is swarming with mobsters and molls, all of whom speak in forties lingo, and showgirls singing WWI-era tunes.
Ripple Effect Indicator: When Tempus goes back in time to kill Clark's infant self with kryptonite, the adult Clark begins to fade away.
After Superman is trapped inside Tempus' time portal, the utopian future ceases to be. This causes Andrus to vanish from existence.
Screwed by the Network: The series was actually a lock to return for a fifth season early on in the fourth, but the network wanted out (likely due to declining ratings). The series wound up being put on hiatus for a time, but when it came back, there was no promotion and ratings fell even further. Even worse, by the time cancellation was definite, the series was stuck with one heck of a loose end.
In a reference to The Mask, Clark simply spins at superspeed to change into them to Cuban music and once satisfied, he notes "Smokin'!" before he darts off.
In "Metallo", John Corben compares himself to The Six Million Dollar Man. And with Kryptonite, he'll never run out of power "like the Bunny".
Show Within a Show: Assorted talk/news programs throughout the series, which are semi-frequently shown.
Shut Up, Kirk!: Pretty much the gist of Tempus and H.G. Wells' repartee.
Tempus: Herb, did your books actually sell? Because you're kind of a bore.
Similar Squad: Chen Chou, a reporter at the Chinatown press who looks identical to Clark. They even wear similarly tacky ties.
Deathstroke and his wife Carol manage to befriend Lois & Clark by posing as a suburban couple that looks, dresses, and acts exactly like them. In reality, they are more like Evil Counterparts, but the gag is repeated throughout the episode: Deathstroke lampshades the absurdity of nobody recognizing him when he wears glasses, and the couple have a revolving bookcase in their apartment which conceals their lair.
Roweena Johnson (Bad Brain's mother) makes her first terrifying entrance as this.
Sinister Subway: Lex's hideaway in Season 3 (possibly a Shout Out to the 1978 Superman film). In Season 4, his son has an abandoned subway lair of his own, and is busy excavating Lex's collapsed hideout.
Spared by the Adaptation: Jonathan Kent. The show allowed him to live while other previous television shows and movies allowed him to die.
Stock Footage: "Chip Off the Old Clark" has footage of a missile launch.
In "Super Mann", Those Wacky Nazis awaken from their slumber just in time to see Superman catch a falling billboard. Since it's a Flashback, the footage is ripped straight from the pilot episode (when Dean Cain had longer hair).
Super Dickery: Superman getting dosed with Red Kryptonite in "Individual Responsibility." He stops seeing the point in nabbing criminals, ignores kidnappers, chats up attractive ladies, and eats all the office donuts.
The Teaser: Sometimes they had an opening gag with Clark doing something and mildly showing his powers. One in particular had him accidentally coming across Bo Jackson and playing basketball with him. Jackson was completely dominating him until Clark decided to do a slam dunk from half-way across the court.
They Would Cut You Up: Jonathan Kent admits he once had these fear about Clark, but overcomes them. The Alternate Universe Clark isn't so lucky, as his fiancé Lana Lang is constantly reminding him of this as a bullying tactic.
Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Superman is seen flying to places like Japan and Switzerland to fetch food for Lois, arriving back in Metropolis a few seconds later. In "Chip Off the Old Clark", however, he has 15 seconds to get to Eastern Europe to intercept a nuclear missile, but announces he won't get there in time. Instead, he tunnels directly through the Earth because it's quicker...?
Trigger Phrase: Used a few times. In "Illusion of Grandeur", a stage magician hypnotizes Perry into exclaiming "That's brilliant" whenever Jimmy says anything. In the same episode, the Villain Of The Week uses the trigger phrase "The moon and the stars" to manipulate others, including Superman.
In "Target: Jimmy Olsen", the titular character is programmed into a Manchurian Agent who tries to kill Lois.
Trophy Wife: Subverted when the seeming trophy wife of Intergang's boss swiftly takes over and proves to be her husband's equal in brains and ruthlessness after he is imprisoned.
True Meaning Of Christmas: Dean Cain played Clark as a big kid who is completely gaga about Christmas, in contrast to Lois who sees only commercialism.
Trust Password: In his first appearance, H.G. Wells proves his identity by whispering "I know you're Superman, and I need your help."
Clark later proves he's the "real" Superman to Lois by nameing his favorite film, which is (what else?) To Kill A Mockingbird.
Two-Person Love Triangle: Lois, Clark, and Superman start off this way (one of the show's original taglines/descriptions was "A Love Triangle for Two"), but when Lois finally figures out Clark is Superman, it solves that problem. It later comes back to bite them when someone gets pictures of Superman and Lois together in bed, and this trope is in play again as everyone assumes Lois is cheating on her husband.
The Unseen: Alice, Perry's oft-referenced wife. Her face is constantly hidden via camera angles, objects and/or smoke, other people's heads, etc. That is until the penultimate episode of the whole series ("Toy Story"), when she is finally seen.
Villains Blend In Better: Alternate-Earth's Metropolis goes to hell after the arrival of Tempus, who gets himself elected Mayor and removes all gun regulations. Cue the chaos. Conversely, Lois and Clark have trouble just ordering a drink in 1866.
Waving Signs Around: A crowd of protesters gather to hold up signs, chant slogans and basically show public disapproval for Superman after he fails to save Luthor from dying. They crash one of Superman's numerous prize ceremonies to chant "Superman must go!".
The public does not look fondly on a super-hero father a "love child" and (making matters worse) failing to provide financial support. The crowd chants "Super-Hero. Super-Zero!" They hold up handmade signs with slogans such as:
"Super Stud is a Dud" "Be a MAN Superman" "Super Kids Need Super Dads" "Superman Can't Fly Above the LAW"
Written By Cast Member: Dean Cain wrote "Season's Greedings" and "Virtually Destroyed" (from a story by himself and Sean Brennan); Teri Hatcher co-wrote the notably Lois-centric "It's A Small World After All."
He's not the only one. A number of character actors turned up in different roles throughout the series. Lois' mafioso friend in "Foundling" ('I know guys who know guys') turned up a few episodes later as a harried gunshop owner.
You're Insane!: In "Double Jeopardy", Lex proclaims the love he has for Lois Lane by tying her to a chair — bound and gagged — while brandishing a hyperdermic needle, presumably filled with some type of drug which he can use to make good on his odes.
Lex: Let's hear that lilting voice. Lois: You sick, twisted, disgusting sociopath. Lex: Oh, you finishing school girls.
Jefferson Cole adds Dr. Klein to his revenge list for his "unhinged and insane" remark.
New Krypton's head elder goes from insisting that "Lord Nor has been judged too harshly" to He's mad, I tell you! Mad!
Absolute Xenophobe: Jason Trask of Bureau 39, who sees Superman as the vanguard to invasion. Naturally his superiors and a former colleague find him crazy, as a result he goes rogue.
Adults Are Useless: Lampshaded throughout "Smart Kids". Lois takes one of the high-IQ orphans under her custody, hoping to pump her for information ("The day I can't outsmart an 11-year-old is the day I hang up my press pass!"). A scene later, Lois is helplessly tied up with rope.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: In "Smart Kids", Lois' influence rubs off on Clark, who swipes incriminating evidence out from under a suspect's nose. Lois squees when she finds out. Really.
Amnesia Danger / How Do I Shot Web?: In trying to intercept an asteroid, Superman is slammed back to Earth — with amnesia. When Clark is wandering around, his parents find him and try to get him to remember he is Superman. Of course, Jonathan Kent can't really explain how he can uses his flying ability ("You just... will it to happen?")
Antagonist In Mourning: As Lex takes his leave of Superman, leaving him to die in a kryptonite cage, Lex seems to have second thoughts.
"But am I making a mistake? Will the pain of losing the challenge that you represent be worse than the pain of constantly losing to you? [beat] Nah.
The Ark: Lex unveils a giant Fallout-esque vault to survive the coming asteroid. One of the rooms is an exact replica of Lois' apartment, in an effort to woo her to join him.
Larry Smiley insists that couples in his retreat adopt animal names, symbolic of the primal urge to mate and further the species." Larry wants two of every kind.
Arrested for Heroism: Superman is subpenoed by the city to attend a hearing to discuss whether there should be an injunction enjoining him from using his powers, pending further scientific study on the cause of the unseasonal heat wave. Superman agrees to try to refrain from using of his superpowers. Naturally, he ends up stopping a crime before he even leaves the building. Everybody cheers - except the judge, who has him arrested. D'oh.
Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Clark, when asked about his date to Luthor's charity ball. He rails on about Lois being "complicated, domineering, uncompromising, pig headed, ...brilliant."
Lois later refers to what she sees here as "ritual crop worship."
This was later referenced on Smallville; before Kal-El's arrival via spaceship, the town proudly calls itself the "creamed corn capital of the World!" In the ensuing years, this was altered to "meteor capitol of the world."
Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Lois is forced to wear a sexy(?) chicken outfit while working undercover at the Metro Club. The other dancers' outfits are no improvement, with each representing a farm animal while a showgirl sings "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm."
Bachelor Auction: "I'm Looking Through You" features one of these, with both Lex and Superman being bid on for dates. Cat Grant and Lois make dueling bids on Superman, before a third woman bids $5,000. This is five times what Lex was bought for, much to his resentment.
Belly Dancer: In "Pheromone, My Lovely", Clark repeatedly turns down Lois' sexual advances (including doing the Dance of the Seven Veils) on the grounds that she's under the influence of a powerful pheromone. Finally, he cracks. By this time, however, Lois has regained her senses.
Lois: Clark! Have you lost your mind?! (glances down at self) ..Or have I lost mine?
A Bloody Mess: In "Smart Kids", Clark outwits a bunch of child prodigies who blackmail him with the knowledge that he's Superman. He fools them by pretending to cut his finger while eating, using a ketchup packet to simulate blood.
Book Ends: Season One begins with Lex boasting about his building being the tallest in Metropolis, and how everyone must gaze up to see him. He ends up leaping from the roof in the season finale.
Ironic Echo: During Clark's first meeting with Lex as "Superman", he tells him that "If you want to find me, all you have to do is look up." Earlier, Lex had expressed pride in the size of his skyscraper, boasting that everyone in the city must gaze up in order to see him.
The Boxing Episode: In "Requiem for a Superhero", Luthor creates a cyborg prizefighter who he believes can take on Superman. The boxer delivers a punch that staggers Superman. For a moment it looks like Superman is actually on the ropes, but then he simply flicks the boxer in the forehead and knocks him out.
Boxing Lessons for Superman: Superman takes a crash course in kung fu to face off against a martial artist who stole a mystical artifact which multiplied his strength.
Brawn Hilda: Played for laughs in "Smart Kids" when the four child prodigies drain Lex's giant bank account. When payment comes due, Lex's German masseuse angrily crushes his credit card in her hand. Eek.
Bridal Carry: While posing as newlyweds, Clark nearly (and repeatedly) drops Lois to the floor while trying to conceal his strength.
Cloning Blues: Superman's clone suffers from a short lifespan, and dies shortly after his Heel Face Turn. A similar fate befalls Lois's clone.
Creative Differences: Deborah Joy LeVine, developer of the series, didn't want Clark and Lois to get married until the Series Finale; ABC felt otherwise, resulting in her being kicked off the show at the end of season 1.
Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Lex, in colorful terms, explains why his clone Superman can beat the real thing: "Because if it means the difference between winning and losing, he'll pick up a passenger train filled with people and use it to bash Superman's skull in."
Hypocritical Humor: Lois spends the bulk of "I'm Looking Through You" complaining that Superman has sold out and gone commercial. When Clark later surprises Lois in her apartment, she's wearing a Superman t-shirt under her jammies.
Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: In "Fly Hard," a group of terrorists storm the Daily Planet after hours, taking Lois, Clark, Lex, and Jack (another Daily Planet coworker) hostage. Clark has to figure out how to overpower the terrorists without revealing his secret identity.
Casting Gag: Metropolis' Mayor is played by Sonny Bono, quoting his songs and all, who was the Mayor of Palm Springs at the time (later to become a Congressman).
The Cavalry: Moments before Clark (weakened by Kryptonite) is killed, Smallville's Sheriff rolls in and fatally shoots Trask.
Sheriff Rachael is hinted to have an unrequited schoolgirl crush on Clark, so threatening him was probably a bad idea.
More than hinted, especially as Rachael Harris is the show's equivalent of Lana Lang, after they were unable to gain permission to use that name/character.(Although, they were able to use a version of Lana in a later season.)
Contagious Powers: Superman accidentally swaps his powers with regular people on several occasions, usually as the result of Lightning Can Do Anything. In Season 3, red kryptonite has this (unintended) effect on Lois, turning her into Ultrawoman.
Challenging the Chief: Toni Taylor ejects her brother, leader of the Metro Gang, after he proves too stubborn to adapt to legitimate business. This turns out to have been a tad hypocritical, as Toni was working with Luthor all burn down Metropolis' waterfront properties.
Dirty Harriet: Lois infiltrates the Metro Club as a scantily-clad waitress, then gradually works her way up to showgirl.
Double Standard Rape Female On Male: In the early episodes, Cat continually ramps up her efforts to seduce Clark, changing into a phony "all-American girl" outfit, calling him "hotcakes" and even kissing him squarely on the lips without an invite. Despite Clark politely asking her to "put a stop to this."
More iffy was her attempt to seduce an amnesiac Clark, pretending that they used to be an item.
Early Installment Weirdness: In the Pilot, Superman wears his hair exactly the same way as Clark Kent. This was perhaps taking things too far.
The End Is Nigh: In "All Shook Up", an asteroid is headed for Earth. A bunch of people march around carrying signs that read "THE END IS NEAR"
Living in Metropolis, though, you'd think we'd see those signs more often.
Et Tu, Brute?: After fending off marketers throughout the episode, Clark knocks on Lois' apartment door... only to be greeted by Lois wearing a Superman T-shirt beneath her bathrobe.
This was Clark and Perry's gambit during "The Rival." Clark pretends to ditch the ailing Planet to go work for their competitor. Just to be on the safe side, Lois "Loose Cannon" Lane is kept out of the loop, as is Jimmy.
Jimmy: Boy, you think you know someone. .....Did he mention what kind of medical plan they have over th— (Perry glares at him)
Evil Is Not Well Lit: Especially prevalent in the early episodes; Luthor is seemingly allergic to light of any sort. In "Neverending Battle", Lex and his cronies sit in a darkened war room plotting Superman's demise, with the phrase "KNOW THY ENEMY" spelled out on an LED sign.
Facial Composite Failure: Lampshaded in "Neverending Battle" with a Daily Planet sketch artist, whose rendering of Superman looks exactly like his square-jawed DC Comics counterpart (rather than, say, Dean Cain). Lois continues haranguing the artist about the "eyes" until he gives up in disgust.
Failing A Taxi: An opportunity for Clark to use his powers in a stealthy manner.
Fake-Out Make-Out: In "Honeymoon in Metropolis", Clark and Lois are spying on a couple bad guys across from their hotel when Clark sees the cleaning lady coming in with towels through the door. He then tosses Lois on the bed and this trope ensues. A short Post-Kiss Catatonia occurs for Lois afterwards.
Lex: Superman has morals. He has ethics. He is unrelentingly good. Because of that, I will win.
Gas Leak Coverup: When Clark inquires into the whereabouts of Pa Kent's friend, who mysteriously vanished after discovering a green rock he instead finds the EPA digging up his property for "ground water contamination".
Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Luthor's accomplice in "Smart Kids" starts having a panic attack at the thought of being exposed, Luthor smacks him a good one. He seems to enjoy it just the tiniest bit, too.
Gravity Screw: A bored Clark taking a stroll on the ceiling, straightening lightbulbs. ("Pilot")
Gretzky Has the Ball: While convering a story at a sports gym, Clark tries to impress Lois by listing a string of boxing statistics — all of which Lois casually shoots down, like she's The Rainman of sports trivia. This is a segue to revealing that Dr. Sam Lane, a renowned figure in sports medicine, is Lois' father ("Requiem for a Superhero").
Groupie Brigade: Superman freaks out and runs away when a mob of fangirls chase him into a dead-end alley ("I'm Looking Though You").
The Infiltration: Clark pretends to defect to the Daily Planet's competitor, the Star, after the latter begins instigating disasters to increase circulation ("The Rival").
Just Think of the Potential: Luthor isn't really concerned with sick children who he says his space station's research will help cure. He wants to sabotage NASA's colony so that he himself can control the research patents.
Sam Lane's cybernetic limbs were originally intended for handicapped people, the good of mankind yada yada etc. But unstoppable armies of killing machines are good, too.
Kick the Dog: It is clear that Lex Luthor is not a member of PETA and probably not in any way an "animal rights" believer. In "Neverending Battle", he's shown playing with pet hawk, Faust, while ordering him to go kill pigeons.
Following the awards ceremony for Superman in "I'm Looking Through You", Lex decides the best way to cheer himself up is to go hunt alligators in the Everglades; he later returns wearing alligator skin boots.
Lastly, in "Man of Steel Bars", Lex readies his power plant to empty boiling-hot water into Metropolis Bay. Even his butler, Nigel, thinks this is a bit extreme given that it would cause an ecological disaster; Lex shrugs this off, since there's "Plenty of fish in the sea, Nigel." Oh that Lex, he's incorrigible.
Lotus Position: Jimmy walks in on Perry like this in one episode, listening to rainforest noises on the stereo. ("There are no animals with high blood pressure.")
Love Is in the Air: In "Pheromone, My Lovely", a Woman Scorned sprays the Daily Planet's offices with this. When this fails to get desired results, she hijacks a crop dusting aircraft and nearly pollutes the whole city with it.
Lying Finger Cross: In the season finale, Clark does this while telling Lois that when he said that he loved her (in the penultimate episode) he didn't mean it, he was lying to get her to not marry Lex.
Man Child: Clark gets like this during the holidays. Dean Cain felt that Superman, being not of this world, would have a childlike infatuation with the concept of Christmas.
Meet Cute: Lois and Clark don't actually hit it off at first. Partly because he got hired by reporting on a story which she refused to cover.
Mrs. Hypothetical: On the eve of Lois' wedding to Lex, she stands in front a mirror in her wedding dress, reciting her new surname. None of the name variations sound very apealling. Finally, she settles on, "Lois Lane...Kent."
Ms. Fanservice: There is hardly a scene where Cat is not trying to seduce somebody, holding a phallic symbol, wearing revealing clothes, or saying lines dripping with sexual innuendo.
Newspaper Thin Disguise: Lois hides behind a magzine while eavesdropping on Linda King's flirtations with Clark. It fails.
Noir Episode: "Fly Hard" splits the action between the Daily Planet (where Clark and the others are held hostage) and a Roaring Twenties flashback which holds clues to the villain's motives. Lex Luthor stands in for the mob boss Dragonetti, Clark is the witless patsy, Lois is the Femme Fatale, and Perry is a Dirty Cop.
Not A Date: In the Pilot, Lois needs an escort to avoid going to Luthor's party alone. After exhausting all of her other alternatives, she picks Clark.
Clark: So, this would be like a date? Lois: A date? Oh, you mean like in Smallville, where you meet my parents and try to give me a hickey behind the dairy freeze. No, this is not a date.
Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Lois is distracted on the way home after an evening out with Lex Luthor. When she doesn't respond to his comments about the production of Othello they just saw, Lex says, "Did you know that Shakespeare didn't write Othello, it was actually written by Dr Seuss?" Lois just nods and says "Mm-hm".
Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Clark glowingly describes Smallville in these terms, right before a black ops team rolls in with their humvees and meteor rocks. D'oh!
Artistic License - Nuclear Physics: In "Man of Steel Bars", Superman races to stop Luthor's newly-inaugurated power plant from going online, knowing that it's rigged to melt down. He alerts the authorities to shut it off, but it can't be done. Lex claims that not being able to shut down the reactor once it began its start up sequence was a 'safety feature'.
Of Corpse He's Alive: Lex cracking jokes with a prone mook in "Smart Kids". The shot pans over to the mook, revealing a funnel has been strapped to his mouth, and a vegetative state-inducing chemical poured into it. Lex reaches over and turns the funnel upside down, making it resemble a clown hat.
Open Heart Dentistry: Lex is shot in the shoulder by one of the armed hostage-takers. Unable to reveal his identity to his co-workers, Clark is forced to cauterize the wound with an "herbal remedy" utilizing random crap lying around the office, such as tea bags, orange juice, and chewing gum.
Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Lois scoffs at Clark's assertion that the folks of Smallville are all "normal", pointing out that the fat guy running the barbecue (Howdy, Pa Kent!) is probably a crossdresser.
Then when they go to Clark's home Lois makes a comment about needing to send a fax, going into a condescending dialogue on what a fax is, until Martha shows Lois the fax machine.
Overused Running Gag: Clark and Lois lobbing sports metaphors at each other, beginning with Lois' quip that she's in a better position to "score". i.e. take credit for a story. At the end, they blessedly lampshade the repetitiveness of this.
Lois: You know, I'm getting really tired of fumbling around with these sports metaphors. Clark: Me, too. I pass.
In "Foundling", Perry sits down next to a troubled Lois, who tells him to "lay it on me." But the sage Editor-in-chief is oddly reticent.
Perry: Oh. I suppose you expect me to pry into your life to try and find out what's bothering you and then relate it to some obscure event in the life of Elvis Presley. Well I— I'm just not gonna do that. Lois: Why not? Perry: Well, for one thing, any connection I made would probably be vague and not particularly useful. And for another, if I did that, it would seem like I cared more about telling my story than helping you with your problem.
Paranoia Gambit: In retaliation for Lois stealing his story and submitting it under her name, Clark scribbles a phony map to Superman's "spaceship" and leaves it on his desk for Lois to find. Later, Lois returns from her little expedition, covered in mud and carrying the broken heel of her shoe. The only thing Lois found down there was the "Metropolis Sewer Reclamation Facility", and a Godzilla doll dressed up like Superman. (Earlier, Jimmy had said that Godzilla was the only one who could teach Lois a lesson.)
Parody Names: One of the Smart Kids' pranks involves hacking every ATM in the city, making them dispense candy-colored "Metropoly" money.
Password Slot Machine: Superman did it at least twice - once with Citizen Kane (the bad guy's favorite film), and another time with a word he knew was related to Norse mythology.
Pyromaniac: The "Toasters" consists of a whole gang of these.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Lex Luthor was demoted from being a regular character after John Shea got tired of commuting between New York and L.A. for shooting.
Reassigned to Antarctica: In "Requiem for a Super Hero", Lois and Clark hesitate to publish what they know, out of fear that Sam Lane will be targeted. Perry isn't amused; he assigns Lois to cover the Metropolis Auto Show. As for Clark...
Clark: Police Academy graduation. Lois: Nice.
Recycled Set: "Smallville" is pretty obviously a redressed Metropolis set.
Clark: Try again. Lois: Are you challenging me?! Clark: You bet your sweet little chumpy I am.
A Shared Suffering: Clark suggests that "Superman" is sad that Bizarro Superman is gone, because it might have been nice for Superman to have a brother.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Inverted. After being dragged (kicking and screaming) to the Smallville corn festival and mixing with the locals, Lois resurfaces wearing a purple prairie dress. The expression on Clark's face goes, "Yowza."
Showgirl Skirt: Subverted in "I've Got A Crush On You" - Lois' big number involves feathers and a rooster hat.
So Was X: Inverted - Clark tries to appeal to Perry White's "higher authority" to persuade the pheromone-addled editor not to poke his cleaning lady.
Clark: Elvis never cheated on Priscilla!
Perry: He never met Rehalia!
Soap Within a Show: Lois' apparent guilty pleasure, The Ivory Tower. "Tonight my body is yours. But my heart... my heart beats only for one man!"
Something Else Also Rises: Played with a few times with Clark while he's staring at Lois. In the Pilot, Clark starts to levitate in mid-air when Lois appears in a dress. A season later, the cork on his champagne blows off while viewing her Sexy Silhouette. Subtle.
Spinning Paper: A whole slew of them in the wake finale. The first set of headlines announce the collapse of Luthor's empire. The pilot did the same thing after Superman first appears.
Trash the Set: The Daily Planet building gets dynamited at the end of Season 1, then rebuilt with an expanded newsroom set.
Twice Told Tale: "All Shook Up" has basically the same plot as the episode "Panic In The Sky" from the 1950s series The Adventures of Superman. In both episodes Superman loses his memory while trying to stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth. Lois, Jimmy, and Perry find Clark and try to help him regain his memory. Meanwhile, the asteroid is still out there and still a threat to life on Earth, so Superman must regain his memory quickly in order to stop it once and for all.
Wakeup Makeup: Used as a story point in the episode where Lois and Clark are undercover as newly weds: the gorgeous Teri Hatcher and clean-shaven Adonis Dean Cain complimenting each other on how "decent" they look in the morning. Grumble...
What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: "Project Prometheus" ends about the way you'd expect. Luthor and his partner in villainy, project chief Dr. Baines, arranged for the sabotage of the space shuttle launch, killing the astronauts onboard and destroying the shuttle (bringing to mind the Columbia disaster).
Van in Black: The "EPA cleanup" operation in Smallville is just a front. It's actually Bureau 39, digging up the entire town in search of Kryptonite.
Victory Is Boring: Lex is so bored with his wealth and prestige, he has servants attacking him with snakes. The original script also had Lex escaping from shark tanks and the like.
Viking Funeral: Superman following through with Bizzaro's request to be cremated — in the sun.
We Have Those Too: Lois puts her foot in her mouth when she starts explaining to Martha Kent was a fax machine is.
We Want Our Jerk Back: In "The Man of Steel Bars," Superman has fled Metropolis and Clark Kent has "resigned" from the Planet. Cat compassionately puts her hand on Lois' shoulder, which only makes Lois more despondent.
Cat: All I said was hello. Lois''': Exactly! No little dig, no rude remark. It's not normal.
Worst News Judgement Ever: Perry lampshades this in "The Rival", when presented with a mundane headline announcing a water shortage.
Would Hurt a Child: After using orphans as lab rats for his IQ-boosting serum, Luthor orders that the children be rounded up to test the absorption rates. His neurologist toady reminds him that such a test would require vivisection. Awesome. Lex is OK with that. "You can't make chicken soup without plucking a few chickens."
Superbly done in "I've Got a Crush On You". Luthor's business partner is now in jail, but that's one less cut of the profits. Metropolis harbor is all his. As an added bonus, Lex plans to reverse-engineer the Toasters' flame guns for later use.
Zorro Mark: The Toasters leave their mark on the Metro Club in "I've Got A Crush On You".
All Psychology Is Freudian: Clark is confused by a Lois double who dencounces him at an Anti-Superman rally. He is later skimming a psychology textbook in an effort to try to understand Lois' behavor (Freud is on the cover).
Brainless Beauty: While on the rebound from Lois, Clark gets roped into dating Veronica, a dim museum attendant.
Brawn Hilda/Dumb Muscle: Lois's impression of the duo of Amazonian bouncers for Lenny Stoke's Stoke Club in the episode "Wall of Sound," given her scathing choice of words when egging them on.
Lois (paraphrased): "You see, he [Lenny] likes his women... smaller than the average cow. So either you lose some poundage or go grazing somewhere else." (beat) "Should I be using smaller words?"
Briefcase Full of Money: In "Chi of Steel", Perry's financial advisor is explaining how his life savings have been converted to bearer bonds, stored in a safe in a room they are in, preparatory to a hooded ninja immediately breaking into the gentleman's club and stealing it.
Broke Episode: During a citywide blackout, Perry orders everybody to prepare tomorrow's edition using old-school printing presses. It pays off, and the Planet is the only paper with a new issue that following morning.
Cat Fight/Mirror Match: Lois and her doppelgänger in "Madame Ex". The encounter starts out polite enough, but quickly escalates when the impostor insults Lois' fashion sense. Let the hair-pulling commence.
Cement Shoes: Al Capone prefers doing things the old-fashioned way.
Changed My Jumper: Lois' business attire doesn't fly in 1866, where she's referred to as "the naked lady".
Lois: I'm not naked. These are just new fashions from... France.
Chekhov's Exhibit: A collection of armor belonging to the Roman Emperor Claudius. The emeralds are spolia taken from one of Claudius' campaigns; the villain needs them to reassemble an evil Irish artifact.
Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: The premise of "Whine, Whine, Whine" is that Superman saves a musician from being crushed by a falling amplifier... only to have the resucee sue him for "spraining" his arm. The rest of the episode features a lot of Ambulance Chasers trying to cash in. At the trial, the court room is rigged with a C12 bomb, and Superman bursts through the ceiling to fly off with it, saving everyone... and the musician claims to have gone blind from getting plaster dust in his eyes. Finally his wife gets fed up, reveals that he's just pretending to be injured, and dumps him in front of the entire court.
Cool Guns: Tempus is anxious to try out the various forms of crime in the 90s. He makes a beeline straight for a gun store to pick up a Desert Eagle and Beretta.
Dead Person Impersonation: In "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape", Bad Brain Johnson is broken out of prison by Tim and Amber Lake, only to be killed off. The couple then uses his gadgets along with Latex Perfection to convince Superman that the slain villain is responsible for their own robberies
Defensive Feint Trap: Lois needs to get inside the Stoke Club, but two burly ladies are guarding the door.
Lois: Hi! I just thought I'd give you girls a tip. Lenny told me he really likes his women to be...well... how should I put this? 'Smaller than your average milk cow? [...] Should I be using smaller words? [run away]
Delivery Guy: Superman, prompting the father to exclaim, "I've just thought of the perfect name."
Directed by Cast Member: "Season's Greedings",was directed by Dean Cain. His real-life mother, actress Sharon Thomas, has a brief cameo as the customer who gets into a fistfight with Lois over a toy doll.
Frank James: Jesse, it happens to every man once in awhile. Jesse James: Not to me! Frank James: Look, it's not your fault. His was just plain bigger. Jesse James: Size never made no difference before. Frank James: You gotta get your mind off this Jesse, or it could affect your future performance.
It's All Junk: Clark surprises Lois with a batch yellow flowers ( "yellow is for friendship". This after the Prankster had been sending her using romantic gifts as Trojan Horses for his crimes, and to make her miserable. Lois assumes the flowers are another trap, and bins them immediately.
Literal Surveillance Bug: A robotic beetle used by Intergang to eavesdrop on nosy reporters. As well as attract heat-seeking missiles.
Locked Away in a Monastery: Exhibiting peculiar ideas about the nature of love, Lex Luthor believes that he can get Lois Lane to love him by sealing her off from civilization.
Lex: My Lois has turned cruel? Well, see, life in this ugly city wil do that. You'll be more chipper in the Alps. Lois: The Alps? Lex: Yes, I have a wondrous fortress in the mountains. You can scream "Superman" all day long... but it'll get boring.
Mirror Scare: In "The Source", a whistleblower has tried to dodge Lois by faking his death. He's brushing his teeth in front of the bathroom mirror, opens it to get mouthwash, closes it and sees in the reflection something truly terrifying: A very pissed off Lois. Interestingly, this is also a reference to Lois figuring out he faked his death by the fact that he took his toothbrush.
My God, You Are Serious: Bill Church's Jr.'s reaction to his father announcing that he wants to dismantle Intergang. That's a good one!
Never Be a Hero: A diminutive loser gains Clark's superpowers and decides to adopt the moniker of "Resplendent Man" and save people... for money. Usually haggling over the price with the victim while they were still in danger, and seeing nothing wrong with this because, hey, your own life's gotta be worth a lot, right? When Superman shows up and rescues the victim, Resplendent Man berates him for "horning in on his territory". In the end he loses his powers again and status quo is reasserted with an aesop: it takes more than superpowers to make a hero.
Opposites Attract Revenge: Lois, fed up with Clark's frequent 'disappearances', rebounds by dating Dan Scardino. Clark is left free to be pursued by the screechy Veronica Kipling; he definitely got the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
Remember the New Guy: "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape" introduces Bad Brain Johnson, an escaped criminal who blames Lois and Clark for his conviction — which was never shown. Yet the episode treats Bad Brain as a returning villain.
In fact, viewers can be forgiven for assuming they either missed that episode or completely forgot about him.
Reset Button: Lois briefly learns Clark's secret identity in "Tempus Fugutive", before an end-of-episode memory wipe.
Ripped From The Phonebook: Clark complains about people who do this in "Madame Ex." Lois, who isn't listening, immediately rips out the page they need.
Lex: That's good. You grovel with style, and that's important. Because I'm going to tell every criminal in the world who you are, and I'm going to give them the design of this weapon, your parents' address, and you're going to spend the rest of your life running...or hiding! And believe me, they're both equally humiliating.
Alien Abduction: Subverted. Lois thinks she's been abducted by aliens, but those memories are implanted by an evil Bill Gates proxy.
Zara: And are the intimate habits of men and women on Earth so difference from ours? This fact never appeared in my briefing manual. Clark: That's not what I meant. Zara: There are techniques to help couples. Your "cable television shows" are most informative.
The Baby Trap: A woman from the Deep South announces to the world that Superman fathered her son — which is hard to refute, since the kid is bench-pressing sofas. It turns out he was a passenger on a plane which was rescued by Superman. Lightning struck the wing, temporarily infusing the boy with Superman's powers.
Perry: Oh, look, I know I've been uptight and irritable lately, quick to judge, quick to condemn, sometimes I've been downright mean. What I'm trying to say is that you...you...well— you can expect more of the same.
This has little to do with irony though, It has more to do with the fact that Clark is a country boy and enjoys things like camping.
Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend: Parodied in the show itself. In Lois' torch novel, "Kent" is the forbidden love interest, while Clark is depicted as a complete tool. Lex exploits this by posing as Kent, leading Lois (under the delusion that she's Wanda Detroit) to be instinctively repelled by Clark.
Body Surf: Lex's plan to transfer his and Lois' minds into clone bodies.
Break Up to Make Up: The Season 3 opener smacked heavily of this, as no sooner does Clark propose marriage to Lois, he immediately retracts it on the grounds that being Superman puts her in danger. What, all of a sudden? This is Lois Lane. She was almost getting murdered three times a week long before he came along.
Brainless Beauty: Mindy, Bill Church Sr.'s wife. She is beautiful, but definitely not brainless.
Celebrity Paradox: Subverted in "Super Mann". A Nazi is shown watching an episode of Perfect Strangers and mimicking Balki. This despite Bronson Pinchot previously guest-starring as The Prankster twice.
Cloning Blues: Clois has the mentality of a valley girl, exploits Superman to get rich, and eventually trying to bump off the real Lois so she's can't interfere. Oh yeah, she shoots Lex, too. You really start to feel for Lex after a while.
Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: In "Twas the Night Before Mxymas", Superman repeatedly saves an elderly man from plummeting to his death. At first the man is grateful, but as the time loop wears on, he verbally castigates Superman for saving him. Justified in the second case as the entire world is becoming more depressed and negative with each cycle.
Cool Clear Water: Averted in "Ordinary People", when Clark and Lois end up stranded on a deserted island, and Lois is about to drink from a spring that has been poisoned by the villain. Clark uses his telescopic vision on the water and sees that its swimming with bacteria. He suggests that Lois drink from somewhere else.
Date My Avatar: Xavier imprisons Lois Lane in a VR Metropolis, just so he can approach her in a pro wrestler's body.
Day Of The Jackboot: "Super Mann". The Nazis seemed surprisingly ready, with all the swastika banners and uniforms in place. Lois is stunned to learn that the geek who writes the Daily Planet's classifieds suddenly has an S.S. rank.
The Ditz: Ralph. The smarmy drudge reporter who pesters Clark throughout Season 4.
Do I Really Sound Like That?: In "Virtually Destroyed", Clark is bemused by the VR Superman's style of speech, which uses cheesy terms like "Good Day Citizens!", and asks Lois if he really talks like that.
Dumb Blonde: Mindy, but she wasn't as dumb as she seemed.
Fake Nationality: Patrick Sullivan is played by an English actor, hence the unconvincing brogue.
Fake Russian: A pair of fake Ukrainians in "Lucky Leon". (Including "Hey It's That Guy" Mark Rolston).
Family Values Villain: Joey "The Handyman" Bermuda turns down Mindy's sexual advances, citing his marriage, hers and belief in "the sanctity of the home." Now if you'll excuse him, he has a school play to attend.
Lois: Call the cops and see... Clark: ...if there was another robbery yesterday... Lois: ...at exactly 3:00, particularly at a... Clark: ...a high tech firm. Ask for everything... Lois: ...they've got! Jimmy:(beat) Did you guys practice that? Lois and Clark: GO!
Florence Nightingale Effect: During her amnesia stint, Lois develops this toward her psychiatrist, Dr. Deter. In a rather extreme version of this trope, rather than help her recover her memories, he actively sabatoges her attempts to regain her memory (and her relationship with fiance-Clark) and instead hypnotizes her to fall in love with him.
Heel Face Door Slam: Bill Church really did seem reformed following his Literal Change of Heart, even if his "new" methods were a bit strange. Nonetheless, he ends up back in prison thanks to his wife's manipulation. It almost seems a little tragic, considering that his reformation was triggered by his feelings for his gold-digger wife.
Actually, Bill Church Sr.'s dramatic turnaround had two catalysts. It wasn't stated exactly what happened to him, but the implication was he suffered a massive heart attack and nearly died. That kind of traumatic experience can lead to re-examining one's life and realizing the changes that need to be made. His relationship with Mindy was a secondary catalyst; the truly tragic thing is, she knew exactly who and what he was, and latched onto him and encouraged his rehabilitation just so she could take over Intergang.
Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: Lois is perpetually writing a romance novel. In the third season, Jimmy cracks her password ("Superman", naturally) and discovers that the main character, Linda Detroit, has two love interests: "Clark" and "Kent". One is reliable and strong (her relationship with Superman), while the other is kind but flaky (her relationship with Clark).
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Clark gets particularly wagsty at the start of Season 3, proposing to/breaking up with Lois in the same episode. This despite Lois constantly being in peril, regardless of whether they're dating or not.
Perry:WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU LITTLE BRAINSUCKER?!
Literally Shattered Lives: Superman uses his super-breath to blow liquid nitrogen onto Spencer Spencer, temporarily freezing him. It turns out to be less-than-temporary when the guards spray Superman with gunfire, deflecting their bullets and shattering the ice.
Moral Dilemma: In "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", Superman is photographed kissing Lois (now married to his alter-ego), causing a scandal. After Malicious Slander threatens to derail Superman's peace talks between two nations, Clark comes pretty close to divulging his secret identity.
Not So Small Role: "Through A Glass, Darkly" introduces Sarah, a lowly researcher at the Daily Planet who is played by Mallory from Family Ties. ..Yeah, pretty sure she's not all she seems.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Lois learning Clark's secret. Instead of Clark having to constantly dodge her and hide the fact he's Superman, Lois starts to assist in his heroics, even helping Clark out with his alibis.
Offered The Crown: The survivors of New Krypton offer their throne to Superman, on the condition that he marry Zara.
Parody Names: When Ching first approaches Lois and Clark, he's disguised as a "Century 22" real estate agent. This is a parody of the actual Century 21 Real Estate.
"And remember, at Century 22 we bring the future to you!"
Phlebotinum Battery: A villain has a disintegration weapon that's capable of hurting Superman but they aren't positive they can kill him while using it. To ensure Superman is weakened, they make a catastrophe in an underground missile silo so that while using his powers he doesn't have a backup charge. Superman wins when Lois shorts out the silo door controls, opening them so he could recharge.
Later, Lex uses the same weapon, but simply attacks at night, using Supes' parents as hostages so he won't escape to a part of the word where it's day.
Sadistic Choice: Ching kidnaps Jimmy/Perry and ties them to a bomb in an undisclosed location, while doing the same with Clark's parents in another location. The bombs are set to go off a the same time. They give Superman a choice of saving his friend or his parents, as he only has enough time to find and disarm one bomb. Supes decides to Take A Third Option and uses a beam splitter to fry both bombs with his laser vision from the sky.
So Happy Together: Clark Kent has married Lois Lane after battling the evil frog-eating clones created by Lex Luthor. They have a sweet scene together, and Clark goes to the bedroom to await his bride. And then we watch Lois eating a frog, heralding how exactly how the rest of this is gonna go....
Superhero Episode: While this is technically a superhero TV series, Lois Lane is not one of the superheroes ... except in the episode "Ultrawoman", where she gets Superman's powers and her own costume. (And, eventually, discovers the downside to being able to hear trouble in every corner of the globe while she can only be in one place at a time.)
Take That: Lois judges a grainy photo handed to her by Clark.
Look! There's Elvis...and Jimmy Hoffa...and the plot to Showgirls!
Timmy in a Well: Subverted in "Ultrawoman". The "baby" in question is just toy doll planted by the villains to lure Superman to them.
Thrown from the Zeppelin: In "Home Is Where The Hurt Is", Mindy holds a mob conference to re-establish Intergang. The male gangsters don't express much enthusiasm about being bossed by a woman, so Mindy gasses them.
The Un Favourite: "Lame Brain", the brother of a deceased criminal known as "Bad Brain Johnson". To try and win his sadistic mother's affection, he builds a fully functional mind control machine, to offer her the whole world as a gift. Not only was he met with equal disdain (as usual), but not even the machine a full power could force her to tell her son she loved him.
Almost Kiss: Lois and Other!Clark in "Lois and Clarks".
Angel Unaware: Ultimately the only way Clark can successfully get Lois to the altar. Doubles as a Fandom Nod, as the character in question is very apologetic and makes veiled references to a frustrated audience.
Can't Have Sex, Ever: During Lois and Clark's honeymoon, H.G. Wells crashes the party to warn that if they have sex, they will die. And no, not because of Mallrats's Superman ejaculation theory, but because Tempus has placed some curse on them.
Cassette Craze: A tape recording of Lex Luthor exposing Superman's secret identity.
Chair Reveal: How Leslie Luckabee is unmasked as Lex Luthor Jr. Or is he?
Cool Bike: In "Faster Than a Speeding Vixen", Dr. Klein is revealed to ride a Harley Davidson to work.
Continuity Nod: A nice bit of continuity appears in "Dead Lois Walking", when Lois is convicted of murder. The subtitle of her tabloid headline reads, "NUNK SMILES FROM THE GRAVE!" (See "Paparazzi", below.)
Create Your Own Villain: Clark Kent, overzealous in his duties as a cub reporter, accidentally created Baron Sunday.
Creepy Cathedral: The belltower where Jefferson Cole plans to release a toxin rain onto Metropolis.
Decoy Leader: Leslie Luckabee is presented as Lex Luthor's illegitimate son, with the deformed "Mr. Smith" as his valet. Actually, it's the other way around.
Depraved Kids Show Host: Mr. Gadget used to be one, until he was sentenced to prison. His name is a spoof on the real-life Mr. Wizard.
Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: After Superman is trapped in Tempus' time warp, H.G. Wells enlists his Alternate Universe counterpart for help. Things get a little awkward between him and Lois, particularly since the Lois Lane of alt-Superman's world has been missing for years and is presumed dead.
Evil Costume Switch: In "I've Got You Under My Skin", in which Clark suffers Grand Theft Me, his hijacker dresses him in leather pants and a black lycra shirt. Quoth Lois: "Change out of that stupid outfit, honey."
Evil Detecting Dog: The teaser to "The Night Before Mxymas" shows a dog barking angrily at Mr. Mxyzptlk, who retaliates by turning it into a toy.
Expecting Someone Taller: Penny makes this observation of Jimmy in "AKA Superman". Then again, she's under the impression that he is Superman.
Expendable Clone: Tempus' Body Double, planted by Andrus so nobody would notice him missing from the asylum. Later, Tempus tricks Superman into capturing the fake Tempus.
Food Slap: In preparation for her Shotgun Wedding to Leslie Luckabee, Lois is forced to share dinner with him... which ends with Lois hurling a plate of food at his head.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: During their married time (and sex was abundant nearly every episode anyway) they were snuggling under a blanket and Lois mentioned that her feet were cold. Clark put his head under the blanket and used a low-dose of his heat vision. Lois giggled and said "That wasn't my feet."
Good Is Dumb: It apparently wasn't hard for Tempus to convince Wells to take him on a time travel tour.
Andrus, a time-traveling "Peacekeeper" who frees Tempus from an asylum (where he was rendered harmless) so he can face trial in the future. Unfortunately, since no one in the future has any perception of violence, Andrus is about the least-competent warden ever.
Groundhog Day Loop: Myxy puts a different spin on it - he, Supes and, eventually Lois are the only ones fully aware of the loop, but everyone is subconsciously aware of it, causing them to become increasingly fatalistic. After enough loops, World War 3 is on the horizon.
Identity Impersonator: In Season 4, Tempus attempts to unmask Superman in front of the world, but is thwarted when a second Clark Kent is seen walking hand-in-hand with Lois. (It helps that one of the Clarks is from an Alternate Universe).
Immortality Immorality: Connor Schenk, an elderly convict, enlists the help of a scientist to steal Jimmy's life force via a machine, thereby transforming himself into a young man while Jimmy rapidly ages.
It Works Better with Bullets: Bad guy Ethan Press holds his brother Eric hostage and forces him to help kill Superman. At one point Eric fights back and grabs the disintegrator gun they stole from the Pentagon, then points it in Ethan's face. Ethan tells Eric he's not "man enough" to do it. Eric pulls the trigger and, as in the description, nothing happens. Ethan gloats, "I disarmed it!" and shows Eric the part he removed.
Kangaroo Court: Lord Nor puts Kal-El on trial for his phony marriage to Zara, using footage of Clark and Lois snogging as evidence.
Kill and Replace: Deathstroke and his wife target a reclusive billionaire by killing off the small handful of people who know what he looks like, with the intention of assuming his identity.
Kill the Poor: The homeless are shown to be immune to President Tempus' telephone-linked subliminal messaging, by virtue that none of them own a phone. In response, Tempus passes legislation making it illegal not to use the phone, then lines the hobos up before a firing squad.
Licked by the Dog: Woody Samms makes a Heroic Sacrifice by bodysurfing back into his own body, thereby reverting Clark to his old self. Now vulnerable again, Samms is fatally shot by Little Tony, but survives when the mobster's puppy wanders over to his bullet-riddled body and licks the body-swapping crystal in his hand. ...Yep, Samms is now a quadruped.
The Maiden Name Debate: Perry gives Lois a new nameplate for her desk that says "Lois Kent." She is later seen sliding her previous plate and new one together to see how she likes "Lois Lane Kent". In the end she's still not sure.
Mayfly December Romance: "Brutal Youth" focuses on Lois' discover that Clark does not age as fast as a normal human being — if he aged at all. It is (possibly) resolved when Superman gives up some of his youth to rescue Jimmy from Rapid Aging, and also to de-age the villain of the week into a baby. Clark later suggests he has given up enough of his youth for it to no longer be an issue.
My Own Private "I Do": Plan first, elope later. Much later. Long story short, every criminal and his brother finds the notion of crashing the Kent-Lane wedding irrepressible. Finally, a guardian angel spirits the couple away to a hilltop wedding. Also in attendance are Jonathan, Martha, Jimmy, and Perry, who were also summoned.
Name's the Same: "Deathstroke" has no connection to Marv Wolfman's DC Comics supervillain — as if it weren't obvious enough by the fact he has magnetic powers, a different surname, and he's not missing an eye.
New Era Speech: Leslie Luckabee announcing the relaunch of our friendly neighborhood LexCorp.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Preseident-elect Tempus sics about a hundred of them on Superman, penalizing him for his lack of a flying license, not reading crooks their Miranda rights, and failure to pay taxes.
Phantom Zone: Not the Phantom Zone, but pretty close. In "Meet John Doe", Tempus imprisons Superman within a single nanosecond of time, which resembles a giant...spinny, glass cube-thing.
Power Incontinence: Upon being exposed to red kryptonite in "Lethal Weapon", Clark loses control over his powers. Before long, he can't even sneeze without turning his whole house upside-down.
Psychic Dreams for Everyone: In "Meet John Doe", Clark has a recurring nightmare of Lois being dragged away from him. At the episode's conclusion, Superman gets sucked into Tempus' time portal, revealing it was he who was being dragged away.
Right Through His Pants: Seeing as this is Superman we're talking about, this trope gets dialed Up to Eleven. A post-coital Clark and Lois are shown splayed out on their kitchen floor, fully-clothed and ready for work (Clark hasn't even undone his tie or removed his glasses); And yet, both were evidentially so overcome by passion that they forgot to use protection.
Rim Shot: Accompanies each of Reverend Bob's horrific jokes.
Robotic Reveal: Vixen's suit is damaged during her final bout with Superman, revealing her mechanical innards.
Runaway Groom: Responsible for creating The Wedding Destroy. Yep. The Wedding Destroyer. If you haven't figured it out yet, she is basically a psycho who goes around destroying people's weddings.
Save Both Worlds: No sooner does Clark leave for New Krypton to prevent a civil war, than Lord Nor lands on Earth and takes it over.
She Who Must Not Be Heard: Brenda, Jimmy's newest girlfriend in "The Night Before Mxymas". Though she never actually speaks, we are treated to sight gags of Brenda going from a Rhodes scholar to scantily-clad streetwalker (via Mxyzptlk's influence) over the course of the time loop.
So Proud of You: Ethan Press, the villain in "Stop the Presses", considers Lex his personal idol.
"Amazing, isn't it? Out of all of the villians who've wanted you dead, I am going to be the one to pull it off; a spoiled dilettante with too much time on his hands. [chokes up] Lex would be so proud."
Spit Take: In "Chip Off The Old Clark", Lois interviews Leanne at her home and Leanne gives her some water. Leanne says, "Please, I beg you, don't ask about our intimate relations. Suffice it to say... they don't call him Superman for nothing." Lois immediately spews out a mouthful of water.
Stopped Clock: At the end of the multi-part episode that involves Clark being lost in time, the exact time of his departure is needed to save him. Good thing said departure involved an explosion that damaged the Big Bad's watch.
That Poor Plant: Mr. Mxyzptlk causes a loop in time, forcing Clark to relive a day again and again during which everyone becomes more depressed and pessimistic. Each time it happens, the Christmas tree in the Daily Planet office dwindles until it's just a stalk with a bauble on it.
The Talk: Lampshaded when Superman comes to Dr. Klein for help in determining if he can father children with a human. Klein thinks at first Superman needs The Talk, and starts spinning a colorful metaphor involving flowers until Superman corrects him.
Throw It In: Right before the Closing Credits in "Ghosts" Teri Hatcher waves a spatula around and splatters (an offscreen) Dean Cain with egg goop. Her reaction was so funny that they evidentially chose to leave it in.
We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: A tabloid reporter snaps a picture of Superman kissing Lois, but it's a fake: Jimmy reveals the image was made using 3D models of Lois and Superman and digitally posing them in a lying-down position.
"I call the shots, I ask the questions. You are low man, I am top banana, and that's the way I like it, comprende?