Series: The Flash (2014)

"My name is Barry Allen. And I am the fastest man alive. When I was a child I saw my mother killed by something impossible. My father went to prison for her murder. Then an accident made me the impossible. To the outside world I am an ordinary forensic scientist, but secretly I use my speed to fight crime and find others like me. And one day, I'll find who killed my mother and get justice for my father. I am the Flash."
Barry Allen, a.k.a. "The Flash"

The Flash is a 2014 series from The CW based on the DC Comics superhero The Flash and a Spin-Off of Arrow. It stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash with DC's Geoff Johns as executive producer.

Barry Allen, a young forensic investigator in Central City, is struck by lightning in a storm moments after the new S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator explodes and releases unknown energies into the area. Waking up from a coma nine months later, Barry discovers he now has the ability to move at superhuman speeds. Aided by the remaining S.T.A.R. Labs crew, Barry dons a costume and uses his power for good, but the Particle Accelerator accident has created other "metahumans" who may not share his morals.

As the Flash, Barry is monitored by Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and his team. Barry balances his secret life with his day job for the police, where his foster father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) is a detective. He also harbors unrequited love for Joe's daughter, his childhood friend Iris (Candice Patton), who is dating Joe's partner Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett). Barry also seeks to solve the mystery of his mother's death when he was a child, for which his father was unjustly jailed, as they witnessed a yellow blur of a man do the deed - a man who might have the same power as him.

Barry debuted in the Arrow universe, prior to getting superpowers, in two episodes of its second season which aired in December 2013. Barry's other S.T.A.R. Labs teammates Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) were also introduced in another episode of Arrow which aired in April 2014. The Flash series proper was officially greenlit for the 2014/2015 season on May 8th 2014 and began airing on October 7th, though the first episode was leaked months earlier. On January 11, 2015, it was renewed for a second season. It and its parent show will also share continuity with the upcoming Vixen animated web series on CW Seed.

It is one of three live-action DC Comics shows to premiere in 2014, along with Fox's Gotham and NBC's Constantine, though being on different networks makes crossovers unlikely. It is also the second live-action show based on the Flash, after a 1990 series - and the previous actor to play Barry, John Wesley Shipp, plays Barry's father in this one.

See here for a recap page that Needs Wiki Magic Love.


The Flash contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Incorporates plot elements and characters from various eras of The Flash mythos. The Season 1 story-arc is primarily inspired by The Flash: Rebirth mini-series by Geoff Jones with the backstory of Nora Allen being murdered by an Evil Counterpart (the "Reverse-Flash") and Henry being framed for the murder. Many of Flash's foes are actual metahumans, rather than criminals with advanced technology, as in the New 52 Flash series. The idea of the Flash disappearing during a Crisis with 'Red Skies' in the future is borrowed from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Also, Barry on the show is generally more youthful and impulsive than he's traditionally been depicted as in the comics, which are attributes generally associated with Wally West.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Barry is blonde in the comics, but retains Grant Gustin's natural dark brown hair color.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The canonical founder of S.T.A.R. Labs is either named Dr. Robert Meersman (Silver Age) or Dr. Garrison Slate (New Earth). Here, it's Dr. Harrison Wells.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Several characters whose origins in the comics had nothing to do with the Flash in general or Barry in particular have their origins changed to link them to S.T.A.R. Labs and the particle accelerator explosion:
    • Gorilla Grodd’s connection to Gorilla City is replaced by a backstory as a test animal in S.T.A.R. Labs.
    • Firestorm’s origin is now a result of the particle accelerator explosion instead of a random nuclear incident.
    • Girder is Barry Allen's former childhood bully. This is in sharp contrast to the comics, where the two not only have no connection, but where Girder was instead an enemy of Wally West, Barry's successor (Barry having been dead at the time Girder was created).
  • Adaptational Villainy: A number of the Flash's antagonists in this show are portrayed less sympathetically than they were in the comics, at the very least being more ruthless and willing to kill; likely because if they were too sympathetic, the episodes they feature in would not have high stakes. Most notable with the Rogues: in the comics they are rather blue collar and generally only interested in petty crimes like bank robbing, with a policy of trying to avoid killing (especially bystanders); in the show the group's founder, Captain Cold is deliberately out to defeat the Flash and while he's not out to kill in general, he's more pragmatic than empathetic. Making a viable threat of recurring villains with a no-kill policy would be much harder to take seriously in live-action as opposed to a comics format, of course. As of "Rogue Time", as part of Cold and Barry's Cooperation Gambit, the Rogues will now be undertaking a Thou Shall Not Kill policy (as a challenge to how good they are), thus bringing them more in line with their comic counterparts.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: When Barry recalls meeting Professor Stein on the train from Starling City prior to the explosion, Stein compliments Wells on making his particle accelerator look so cool.
  • A God Am I: Clyde Mardon starts getting a God complex after gaining his powers.
  • Alternate Continuity: Geoff Johns said the show and Arrow will not be part of Warner Bros.'s current DC movie franchise including Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Alternate Timeline:
    • "Out of Time" and "Rogue Time" take place in two different timelines which diverge when Barry time-travels by accident at the end of the former.
    • In "Tricksters", it's revealed that the entire series (and by extension, Arrow) was already set in one, caused by the arrival of "the man in yellow" from the future. He murdered Nora Allen and framed her husband for the crime, significantly altering Barry's life and relationships. He also murdered and stole the identity of Harrison Wells, the man who created the particle accelerator in the original timeline, and ensures that the particle accelerator is created seven years earlier, so that Barry gains his powers and becomes the Flash earlier, as well as all the metahumans in his Rogues Gallery.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Barry finally comes clean to Iris about his feelings for her in "The Man in the Yellow Suit," just as she's about to move in with Eddie. He doesn't expect her to change her life, he just needs her to know.
    • Iris returns the favor in Out Of Time, when she thinks they might die due to a tsunami tidal wave that's about to sweep over the city. Unfortunately, her confession (and the high-powered emotions that prompted it) are erased by Barry accidentally running back in time.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Lampshaded when Wells is telling Barry about the antimatter, dark energy, X elements, etc. that fell into our world due to the accident.
    Barry: Those are all theoretical.
    Wells: And how theoretical are you?
  • Arc Words:
    • "The impossible": As a catch all term for super powers.
    • "Run Barry, run!": Said by Barry's father as a warning and later used by Wells as encouragement.
    • "Centuries": Due to being from four hundred years in the future, Harrison Wells - actually "the man in yellow" after having hijacked the real Harrison's DNA and identity fifteen years prior to the show's 'present day' - makes this verbal slip on multiple occasions, such as remarking that Cisco Ramon and Tess Morgan have been "dead for centuries" and, before the activation of the STAR Labs particle accelerator, saying that he felt he'd been "waiting centuries" for the event to take place.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: in the Flash episode of the Flash-Arrow crossover, Felicity says that the boomerang had high concentrations of iron oxide, and they came to Central City because the area had a lot of it. Iron oxide is... rust.
  • Artistic License – Physics
    • At one point, shortly before getting his frictionless suit, Barry has already spent several scenes running at his super-sonic speeds while in his street clothes. The last time, tiny sparks fly from his shirt tail. This is as close as the series comes to acknowledging that friction exists. In real life, his clothes would be fully on fire after just a few seconds of running like that. In a later episode his shoes are smoking and he comments that they do that sometimes, in reality they would most likely be completely destroyednote .
    • In "The Flash is Born," Cisco runs some numbers on Girder to see how fast Barry has to punch him, citing "tensile strength" (how a material responds to be stretched) as an important variable. The more relevant material property would be compression strength, or how a material responds to being pressed/punched.
    • Also in "The Flash is Born," Barry has to run faster than the speed of sound to hit Tony hard enough to damage him. In doing so, Barry is shown generating an impressive sonic boom shock wave in his wake. Yet Tony somehow hears the sonic boom before Barry arrives.
    • Then there are instances of the Flash suddenly snatching people from a standing or falling position while at speed and sometimes running while carrying them a distance. The G forces that would subject normal people to should range from injurious to lethal. In the comics, and presumably later in the show, this is averted due to properties in the Speed Force which extends a protective field around the Flash and the objects he interacts with.
    • Heat Wave's weapon supposedly heats things to "maximum hot" — the Planck Temperature. The Planck Temperature for most matter is around 100 nonillion degrees, would require astronomical amounts of energy to achieve and totally disintegrates matter. Captain Cold's weapon is also stated to cool things down to "as close to absolute zero as possible," which is basically impossible. If Cisco had actually managed to create a device that could create absolute zero temperatures he would be up for a Nobel prize.
    • Barry, at one point, uses his speed to mimic the effects of a broken centrifuge by shaking a test tube back and forth. A centrifuge works by applying a constant force relative to the contents of the test tube. By shaking the tube back and forth, the contents would be shifted back and forth between the sides of the tube, further mixing the fluids instead of separating them.
  • Ascended Extra: STAR Labs have always been a big part of the DC mythos and adaptations, but they have never been that important to the plot until now.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Barry went from excitedly investigating the paranormal, superheroes, and new scientific miracles, to becoming a superhero and a scientific miracle. Even the Arrow thinks he's cool.
  • Bad Future: Time-travel looks to be a recurring element, and the audience sees a newspaper from April 25, 2024. Alternative futures are seen through that plot device.
    • It seems that at some point in the future, Flash will disappear (possibly die) battling a mysterious force powerful enough to turn the skies red. Dr. Wells is either from this future or somehow knows about it and seems to be manipulating Barry to bring it about.
    • During "Power Outage", the current future is changed to a worse one, where the Crisis is continuing because of the Flash's absence. Fortunately, the original future is restored after Barry gets back his powers in the present.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: To protect Barry's identity, Wells kills Simon Stagg, and later abducts General Eiling and delivers him to Grodd.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Plastique doesn't want to hurt people, but her powers are only good at turning things to bombs. Not a lot of use outside of combat there.
  • Bat Deduction: Barry makes a leap from Caitlin's fiancee taking her SCUBA diving to "maybe 'Firestorm' is an acronym!"
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In "The Sound and the Fury", Caitlin is slapped across the face hard enough to put her out of commission while the episode's Big Bad hacks the computer, but never shows any bruises or damage when seen next.
  • Bigger Bad: The Reverse-Flash killed Barry's mom, and Barry wants to hunt him down, but just exactly what or who he is isn't clear right now. And then there's whatever will cause the "Red Sky Crisis" in 2024.
  • Breakout Villain: Captain Cold. He's one of the few non meta-human threats (as well as being a recurring character), and he's by far one of the most dangerous because of his tendency for being Crazy-Prepared. Even when the police confiscate his freeze gun, it doesn't faze him at all.
    • Considering the fact that Captain Cold is very seriously being considered to star in an, as of yet, unnamed third Arrow spinoff with other Ensemble Darkhorses from the verse it seems that this trope is very much true.
  • Bullet Time: The series uses this for the audience to get a feel for Barry's speed and perception of the world.
  • Buffy Speak: "This is the part where I'm supposed to do the whole intro thingy".
  • Call Back: The Arrow advises Barry to take his own advice and wear a mask. Barry had previously advised Oliver to do that in "Three Ghosts".
    • When Cisco wakes up after the Pied Piper's explosion knocks him out, Barry greets him with "Welcome back, Mr. Ramon" mirroring how Wells greeted Barry when he awoke from his coma.
    • Cisco tried to take a picture of Barry and Oliver without masks in the Arrow crossover episode. In "The Sound and the Fury" he gets his picture with Barry and the rest of Team Flash.
  • The Cast Showoff: Barry sings a few bars of "Summer Lovin'" in "Crazy For You" after a drunken Caitlin forces him into Karaoke. Grant Gustin sings in real life, starting with a brief stint in a touring production of West Side Story and getting his big break on Glee.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mark Mardon can be seen escaping with his brother in the first episode and is believed to have died in their plane crash caused by the particle accelerator explosion despite his body never being found. Sure enough, he reappears about halfway through season 1, now with powers of his own as the Weather Wizard.
  • Civvie Spandex: Captain Cold is the first villain who has a themed outfit resembling his comics self - a blue parka with a thick fur-lined hood and goggles, on account of throwing around, y'know, cold. The previous ones all just looked like regular civilians or wore tactical black gear.
  • Clark Kenting: Like Arrow, Barry tries to stick to the shadows and change his voice when dealing with people who know him as a civilian. Unlike Oliver needing a voice modulator, Barry can just vibrate his vocal chords to superspeed in order to distort it. He can also shake his face back and forth to blur it to people who know him. The Man in the Yellow Suit goes one step further and vibrates his entire body, so it's hard to make out any detail, and distorts the voice even more, also somehow adding Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • C-List Fodder: Before the members of the Flash's Rogues Gallery appeared in the second half of the season, most of the villains used in the show are very minor in the comics. Initially, they tended to end up dead by the end of the episode where they were introduced, usually in spite of Barry's best efforts. Later, the crew at the S.T.A.R. Labs come up with a containment system for them. Even then, Wells finds a way to deal with a metahuman who learns Barry's identity.
  • Close Enough Timeline: Eobard Thawne's goal throughout the first season. The timeline was disrupted by Thawne's murder of Nora Allen when Barry was a child. So Eobard's goal is to ensure that Barry still becomes the Flash and becomes powerful enough for him to be able to siphon off Speed Force energy from him and return to his own time. To this end, he impersonates Harrison Wells, and ensures that the particle accelerator accident occurs as it did in the original timeline (albeit several years earlier) and mentors Barry Allen as he begins his career as a superhero, guiding him in the use of his new abilities.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Averted for Barry, who starts using the name the Flash. The villains tend to play it straight themselves, but Cisco comes up with names for them.
    • When Cisco addresses Leonard Snart as "Captain Cold" it seems to amuse him, so he'll probably wind up adopting the alias as well.
      • Cisco tries to do this for Blackout, only for Wells to remind him that He Had a Name.
    • Averted with Ronnie, who explicitly refers to himself as "Firestorm", possibly due to Sanity Slippage. Double Subverted in that he's trying to tell people what is going on with him through the acronym F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. Ultimately played with, as he is consistently referred to as "Firestorm" by Eiling. Although Eiling is talking about the matrix that resulted from the project, it having been fused with Ronnie and Professor Stein means there's no functional difference between them.
  • Composite Character: The Reverse Flash is the original Silver Age version, but sports black accents and detailing on his costume like Daniel West, the New 52 Reverse Flash.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • S.T.A.R. Labs conduct their tests on Barry at an abandoned Ferris Air airfield. The organisation was previously established in Arrow.
    • The Big Belly Burger restaurant chain is also referenced, after appearing in Arrow.
    • Iris provides the opening and closing narration in episode 6. Several lines of hers mirror Barry's narration in the pilot, including "a friend" giving him/her "an idea for a new name" - referring to Oliver Queen and Barry himself talking about moving "in a flash".
    • In the first episode, Oliver Queen tells Barry to take his own advice (which he gave in Arrow) and wear a mask. In "Flash vs. Arrow", the first thing Oliver says to Barry is "Nice mask".
  • Crossover:
    • After Oliver Queen's cameo in the pilot episode, Felicity Smoak had a bigger guest appearance in the fourth one, "Going Rogue".
    • The episode "Flash vs. Arrow" and the Arrow episode "The Brave and the Bold" which aired in the same week involved each hero and some supporting cast visiting the other's city.
    • The episode "All Star Team Up" had Felicity coming back, this time joined by Ray Palmer.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Inverted with Eobard Thawne. He must pose as the kindly scientist Harrison Wells, and engineer the origin of his arch-nemesis, the Flash, in the new alternate timeline he's trapped in, so that he can somehow steal the Flash's speed and use it to return to his own future timeline.
  • Cross Referenced Titles: Each episode where Captain Cold plays a major role has the word "rogue" in the title, referencing his position as head of the Rogues: "Going Rogue", "Revenge of the Rogues", "Rogue Time".
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Captain Cold is this. So far, he's been the only villain to escape the Flash AND accomplish his goals. He does so by exploiting Barry's Chronic Hero Syndrome, noting that Barry will go after the citizens first, ensuring that Captain Cold gets a much needed head-start. Even without the Cold Gun, he's been shown as calculating and very intelligent. Even when he gets caught later on, it was planned and he's promptly broken out of a prison transport.
  • Deadly Dodging: In "Fastest Man Alive" Barry sidesteps Danton's attempted lunge at him. Danton Black falls through a window and eventually to his death.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The real Harrison Wells has been dead for 15 years. Eobard Thawne killed him and copied his DNA in order to replace him, in order to speed up creation of the particle accelerator, so he can use it as part of his plan to return home.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Detective Chyre, an ally of Wally West in the comics, dies even before Barry Allen gets his powers.
    • Mark Mardon, known as Weather Wizard in the comics, didn't survive the Mass Super-Empowering Event (according to his brother Clyde, who becomes the Weather Wizard analogue and he dies too). Though, because Mark's body isn't shown, he may return. Which he does in "Out of Time".
  • Decomposite Character: Both Harrison Wells and Eddie Thawne have personality traits closely aligning to the Reverse-Flashes of the comics. Unusually for this trope, they appear to be both taking characterizations from multiple Reverse-Flashes, with Eddie having Zolomon's police background but his namesake's attraction to Iris, while Wells has Zolomon's wheelchair and apparent motivation but Thawne's use of time travel and obsession with Barry's place in history. Subverted somewhat, ultimately. Harrison Wells is clearly the Eobard Thawne version of the Reverse-Flash, and his sole motivation in helping Barry seems to be in ensuring his own access to Speed Force energy in order to return to his own time-period.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The show uses the term "metahuman" from the comics for people with superpowers.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 15 ends on a terrible note, with Cisco dead after Wells reveals himself to be Eobard Thawne, while Mark Mardon is about to wipe out the city with a tsunami as the badly-injured Joe watches on in horror. The Flash's effort to counter the wave causes him to travel back through time in the end, with him Setting Right What Once Went Wrong in the next episode, but he so far has no idea of Wells' true identity and thus can't do anything to change it.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Captain Cold makes his debut in a special prequel comic published in TV Guide.
  • Elemental Powers: For some reason, The Flash has a Rogues Gallery full of villains with elemental and weather related powers.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: At first Barry's alter-ego is called the Streak, much to his annoyance. After episode 6, he gets Iris to call him "the Flash".
  • Evil Counterpart: The Reverse-Flash, as in the comics.
  • Evil Mentor: It is revealed that Harrison Wells is also the man in yellow, i.e., the Reverse Flash.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Harrison Wells can walk and knows Barry's future.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne/Harrison Wells. He became trapped in the past when he travelled back in time to try and kill the Flash before he could get his powers. Now he's trying to return to his own time, but his connection to the Speedforce has been damaged, so he's trying to find a way to steal Barry's speed.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Whilst Harrison Wells is showing Barry around S.T.A.R. Labs, they walk past an animal's cage which has clearly been broken out of, with a sign reading "Grodd".
    • One that might be Faux Shadowing: "Things You Can't Outrun" has a flashback to the night of the particle-accelerator explosion from the STAR Labs team's POV. Just before the accelerator is turned on, Harrison Wells says "It feels like I've been waiting centuries for this". From the perspective of the audience (who know about his knowledge of the future), that clearly sounds like foreshadowing something, or it could just be a genuine figure of speech with no further meaning behind it.
    • In "Plastique", one of the items used to test her powers is a boomerang. Later, the boomerang-using villain Digger Harkness debuts on Arrow, and during a crossover Cisco dubs him "Captain Boomerang".
    • In "The Flash is Born", Iris mentions that her blog has been getting reports of other metahumans, including a man who's on fire but doesn't burn. Considering Ronnie Raymond has made an appearance already, it might be hinting at a future appearance of Firestorm. Which is confirmed at the end of "Flash vs. Arrow".
    • In "Power Outage", Harrison Wells mentions the names of several individuals who were seemingly killed in the particle accelerator explosion, including Ralph Dibny, Al Rothstein, Grant Emerson, Beatriz Decosta and (again) Ronnie Raymond. All of these are characters from the comics who end up becoming superheroes. The mention of their names in this context thus foreshadows the potential appearance of the Elongated Man, Atom Smasher, Damage, Fire and Firestorm on this show at some point in the future.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The audience knows Barry's future... Harrison just has to ensure it... However, "Power Outage" indicates the future can be rewritten.
  • Forgiveness: Both Barry and Henry Allen easily forgive a distraught Joe West for putting Henry in prison for 15 years for a crime he didn't commit. Henry takes it so far, that he doesn't even care about being proven innocent so long as Barry can move on with his life and is even grateful to Joe for taking care of Barry.
  • Freak Lab Accident: How the Flash gets his powers. In a twist on the comics, the freak accident in his lab (lightning + chemicals) is directly caused by another freak accident at S.T.A.R. Labs (particle accelerator-induced explosion + storm), though the electrified chemicals have been downplayed in favor of the particle accelerator's effects and the Speed Force. A flashback in "Things You Can't Outrun" reveals that Wells orchestrated the whole thing to turn Barry into the Flash and even had a camera set up in Barry's lab to make sure he was there.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the pilot's Wham Shot, an article about a Wayne Tech/Queen Inc merger can be seen on the newspaper from 2024.
    • In Barry and Mardon's first confrontation, a wisp of fog is seen exiting the shattered passenger-side window before it flips over and crashes. A blink-and-you'll-miss it, as it's meant to explain how Mardon escaped the car before it got totaled (with Barry having to climb out of the shattered windshield)
    • In the double date in "Going Rogue", a scene already meant for Ship Tease just had to have a picture of Rene Descartes on the Trivia Night scoreboard. Rene Descartes is better known in present time as the "Give Her The Dick" guy.
  • Gargle Blaster: In "Plastique", Barry discovers he Never Gets Drunk, so at the end of the episode Catilin makes him a shot of 500 proof alcohol. The buzz lasts about five seconds.
    • Since the proof system is twice the percentage of alcohol, with 200% proof equaling PURE ethanol alcohol, 500% proof would be 250% pure alcohol. Let's call it artistic licences.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In "The Sound and the Fury," Hartley Rathaway and Cisco exchange taunts in Spanish, he insults Caitlin in French, and converse in Latin with Wells, all in under a minute while Barry watches in confusion on the monitors.
    Barry: God, I wish I'd taken a language in high school.
  • Gender Flip: Brie Larvan, the villain in the episode "All-Star Team Up" is a version of The Atom's enemy Bertam Larvan, the Bug-Eyed Bandit.
  • Healing Factor: Barry heals from a fracture in three hours. In a later episode, Oliver shoots Barry with a few arrows to prove a point; when Barry complains, Oliver replies that he knows Barry heals fast, so it's okay. He doesn't seem to care that it probably hurts like a son-of-a-bitch. Or maybe he just knows that pain is an excellent teacher.
    • After trapping the Man in the Yellow Suit in a force field, Wells tells him that only someone like the Flash could survive the damage that the force field is doing to his body.
  • He Had a Name: Invoked twice by Harrison Wells: once when listing off the names of the explosion's victims, and next when Cisco calls Farooq "Blackout" after his death.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Felicity Smoak gets this reaction in "Going Rogue" when she comes to a trivia contest wearing a Little Black Dress. Eddie Thawne’s jaw practically hits the floor.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Felicity hacks into Central City's municipal data network in less than a minute on her first attempt.
  • How We Got Here: The pilot opens with Barry is running through the city, explains he's the fastest man alive, then (in a flashback) shows how he got his powers. He's actually telling the story to the Arrow.
  • Ice Queen: Caitlin. She's a Perpetual Frowner and generally aloof and distant. And her last name is Snow. To top it off, her comic-book counterpart is the supervillain Killer Frost.
  • Identity Impersonator: In "Tricksters", we learn that Eobard Thawne murdered the real Harrison Wells 15 years ago and stole his identity via DNA transfer.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Barry occasionally grabs this during his fight scenes, so his opponents have a viable chance of beating him. This means getting hit by things that he'd normally be able to dodge. Also, if you hit a man of steel with a pole and he instead uses that pole to flail you around, you should probably let go.
    • Cisco keeps his lethal cold gun in a compound with very little security. Even after he found out that Barry wasn't as dangerous as he initially suspected.
    • Sort of lampshaded by Oliver Queen: he points out that Barry is a bit overconfident relying purely on his superhuman speed powers, which leads to him rushing into situations (literally) without developing a strategy - thus allowing Badass Normal Oliver to get the drop on him by planning out feints and hidden arrow traps.
    • Everything about the episode featuring Every Man. The only person who didn't have the Idiot Ball at any point during the episode was Wells. Except for his total lack of security at the very end. The crowning achievement? Iris deciding to take the (handcuffed) metahuman to the precinct in the back seat of her car, through regular city traffic, instead of letting S.T.A.R. handle it or even calling the police to pick him up.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights: Barry and his associates modifying the particle accelerator as a Tailor-Made Prison for metahumans implies several legal issues, being an unauthorized jail where they're gonna keep live humans without any legal back-up or a previous trial, all of which are very serious crimes. Partially justified because any normal jail would be a Cardboard Prison for the metahuman criminals and, as the heroes pointed out, they can't just kill every metahuman they battle (the first one was shot by a cop, and the second preferred suicide to imprisonment). A few of Barry's police associates are aware of their metahuman prison but haven't objected, apparently also accepting the above rational that it's the only means they have of containing these superpowered villains.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: The casting seems to do this from time to time. At the end of "Going Rogue", Snart goes to Mick Roy, a Pyromaniac, for help against the Flash. Both actors, Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell respectively, were both on Prison Break as brothers. Similarly, Mark Hamill, who appeared on the 90s show as the Trickster, will appear as the Trickster yet again, but as an inmate for Iron Heights, where Barry's father, John Wesley Shipp who was the Flash from the 90s show, is also an inmate of Iron Heights.
  • Just Friends: During the Not What It Looks Like moment with a shirtless Felicity in S.T.A.R. Labs, her insistence on Barry and her deciding to just be friends gets to be a little too insistent for Barry.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade/Death by Secret Identity:
    • "Power Outage" takes care of both Tony and Blackout; Barry revealed his identity to the former in the previous episode, and is released by Wells to stop Blackout - which conveniently kills him - and the latter is overwhelmed by the Speed force when he tries to drain Barry again.
    • "Fallout": General Eiling smugly reveals to Wells that he knows Barry is the Flash. So Wells abducts him (revealing himself as the Reverse-Flash in the process) and hands him over to a vengeful Grodd.
    • In "Out of Time", Wells kills Cisco after the latter realizes that the former is the Reverse-Flash. However, Barry's use of time travel at the end of the episode undoes this.
  • Kill It with Ice: Leonard Snart has no compunction about using his Cold Gun to do this.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The series is usually fairly light, particularly when compared to its counterpart show. But whenever the yellow speedster is involved, the show's tone becomes a lot darker.
  • Kryptonite Ring:
    • Cisco created the Cold Gun specifically to stop The Flash before he got to know Barry well. He didn't tell anyone and when it gets stolen he gets a What the Hell, Hero? for it.
    • However, when Barry is Brainwashed and Crazy in "Arrow vs. Flash" Cisco is quick to point out how useful the weapon would be for its intended purposes.
  • Legacy Character: The Trickster. The original Trickster, James Jesse, was a psychopathic terrorist who was imprisoned in the 1990's. The second Trickster, Axel Walker, was an admirer of his who was inspired by him to commit similar acts of anarchy. It is later revealed that Axel is Jesse's son, which is why Jesse reached out to him and encouraged him to be his successor.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Arrow, this series seems to focus more on the fun of super heroics as opposed to the angst. There are a few dark moments here and there, but less so than Arrow. The Arrow himself even Lampshades it, noting that Barry can be far more of an inspirational hero than him.
    • Best shown in the crossover where Barry and Oliver clash over their different approaches to heroics.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including giving you abs. Justified in the sense that this is lightning as a result from an exploding particle accelerator leaking out exotic matter and extradimensional energy so who knows what the hell it can and can't do.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • Averted. While they lived in the same house as teenagers, it is mentioned several times that Barry had romantic feelings for Iris before he even moved in. Iris says this in the pilot, but Out Of Time and Rogue Time reveal that she doesn't see him as a brother, either, as she confesses she can't stop thinking about him and they kiss.
  • Logging Onto The Fourth Wall: Cisco has a Tumblr account called "The Chronicles of Cisco" where he shares humorous stories about administrating the metahuman prison that they set up under S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Magical Computer: A mild example. The Flash asks to borrow Iris' laptop (that's currently turned off in her bag) to see a live webcast, and as soon as she agrees he whooshes and is instantly watching it. While he certainly could extract the computer set it up and sit in front of it to watch it, realistically he would still have to wait for the OS to boot, the browser to open and the feed to load.
  • Married to the Job: On his first date with Linda, Barry's able to save someone and get back before she notices he's gone. It's a bigger problem on their second date. Then when he tries to apologize...
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The particle accelerator explosion gives people throughout the city, and possibly all over the world, powers. And animals, since it's apparently given Gorilla Grodd his powers as well.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Joe gives one when asked about the Flash's identity.
    Eddie Thawne: And the Flash. Do you know who he is?
    Detective Joe West: Yeah, I do. He's the guy that saved both of our lives tonight.
  • Meaningful Echo: Iris does the opening and closing narrations for "The Flash is Born", which are nearly identical to the ones Barry did in the Pilot - the difference being that she's talking about The Flash and is writing a blog post.
    • When Caitlin's fiancé Ronnie runs off to try to shut down the particle accelerator, she stops him, but he tells her "Caitlin, I have to go." Later in the same episode when Barry runs off to face off against the Mist despite not knowing how to defeat him yet, Caitlin stops him, and he tells her the exact same thing that Ronnie said to her, word for word.
  • Me's a Crowd: The second episode features Danton Black (Multiplex in the comics), who can create duplicates of himself.
  • Meta Origin: The particle accelerator explosion results in the origins of the Flash and most of his Rogues, either giving them powers or motivating them into action.
  • Mood Motif: There is a short but recognizable theme that plays whenever something wacky happens.
    • The Flash himself has a strings of speed motif that plays when he's in motion without necessarily having plot happening at the same time.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Who is Harrison Wells?" opens with Barry giving a grim monologue about how he no longer knows who he can and cannot trust as we see him flash across Coast City. The setup and grim music makes it feel like he's searching for something or doing some manner of recon. Nope! He was just grabbing pizza for himself and his friends, since apparently Coast City has the best pizza in the West.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In Flash vs. Arrow, Barry gives Felicity a lift to S.T.A.R. Labs but their close proximity and his speed winds up burning her shirt off, right as Caitlin and Cisco walk in. At the end of The Brave and the Bold the next night, Barry is able to carry five people to five different locations across Starling City in under a minute; no one's shirt burns off.
  • Mugging the Monster: A guy tries to mug Barry outside of a coffee shop. Barry gets excited about how badly the guy screwed himself over before stripping the mugger to his underwear and bringing a cop to him at super speed.
  • Mundane Utility: Barry uses his super speed to duplicate the effect of a centrifuge when it breaks down, sleep in and get ready in seconds, and pick up pizza from Coast City. Not that this helps him ever be on time anywhere. It simply allows him to procrastinate better than non-metahumans.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen in the 1990 series, plays Barry's father Henry.
    • Edward "Eddie" Thawne is a reference to Barry's Arch-Enemy Eobard Thawne, known as Professor Zoom/the Reverse-Flash. Later episodes confirm the Reverse-Flash is Eobard Thawne, a relative and probable descendant from the future.
    • In the first episode, Iris calls the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator an "Atom Smasher", a character from the comics and long-time member of the JSA.
    • In the first episode, the villain Clyde Mardon stands in for the Weather Wizard, who is his brother Mark Mardon in the comics. Clyde was originally the one who created the technology that allowed Mark to become the Weather Wizard. Later episodes show Mark as the (properly-dubbed) Weather Wizard.
    • While at the hospital, Barry's heart beats so fast that it sometimes looks like he's flatlining. In Justice League, Flash deliberately speeds up his heart to look like he's flatlining.
    • Oliver says the lightning bolt that struck Barry wasn't random, it may have chosen him. Before the New 52 reboot, one story showed that at the moment of his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry became one with the Speed Force, went back in time, and became the lightning bolt himself. Post New 52, it's also hinted that the Speed Force is a semi-mythical power that has chosen multiple champions throughout history.
    • Joe takes a jab at Clyde Mardon using his "god-like" powers to rob banks. The Rogues of the comics have long been ridiculed for being content to commit petty crimes in spite of their powers and/or high-tech weaponry.
    • Amanda Pays, who portrayed Barry's potential love interest Dr. Tina McGee in the 1990 series, is returning to play a rebooted version of the same character. In the comics, the character was originally associated with Wally West.
    • Barry running fast on a treadmill and static electricity forming around him, is a visual reference to the Cosmic Treadmill from the comics and a nod to the older Flash show.
    • The future newspaper seen at the end of the pilot mentions a "Crisis" involving red skies. Another article on the same page mentions a merger between Queen Inc and Wayne Tech.
      • The future Flash seen in the photograph wears an altered costume that looks very close to the classic Flash suit from the comics, right down to the color scheme and chest emblem.
    • A TV news reporter named Linda Park is seen briefly - in the comics, Linda was the girlfriend (and later wife) of Wally West, Barry's sidekick-turned-successor in the comics. A different actress was later cast as Linda, who will have a larger role as she befriends Iris and Barry.
    • Before Barry gets the name "the Flash", Iris and other Central City citizens dub him "the Streak". The Streak was the name given to an Expy of the Golden Age Flash in an episode of Justice League. He's also referred to as the "Blur" by Captain Cold. In Smallville, Clark Kent went by "The Blur" before he was Superman when all he did was super speed much like the Flash.
    • Episode 2 briefly introduces Simon Stagg, a villain opposed to Metamorpho in the comics. Cisco calls Danton Black "Captain Clone" before eventually settling on his actual alias from the comics, Multiplex.
    • Episode 3 :
      • opens with Barry and Iris leaving a theater that mentions a Blue Devil movie on the marquee.
      • The marquee also mentions The Rita Farr Story; Rita Farr was Elasti-Girl in the original Doom Patrol.
      • Caitlin comments that Ronnie Raymond used to say their relationship was like fire and ice, referencing their comic alter egos Firestorm and Killer Frost.
      • Barry tells Joe how he doesn't want Central City to build a museum for him...
      • Leonard Snart briefly wears a blue parka as a disguise.
      • During the trivia contest in "Going Rogue" one of the scientists mentioned is named Erdel. Saul Erdel is the scientist responsible for teleporting J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter to Earth.
      • In the same episode, Felicity asks if Barry would age into dust and disappear if he ran too fast. That's how Barry famously died in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
      • She also asks if he ages faster when he speeds up. The same question is brought up in the 1990 show by Barry and, again, never answered.
    • Episode 4 :
      • The attempted theft of the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond.
      • Said museum's curator is named Dexter Myles, better known as the curator of the Flash Museum.
    • The Central City Police Department has a giant mural depicting Greco-Roman gods from Classical Mythology, along with the words "Truth - Liberty - Justice". They can be likened to DC superheroes, as writers like Grant Morrison have done in the past, and just might foreshadow plans of a full-blown Justice League for this universe. They are: Hephaestus/Vulcan, Hermes/Mercury, Hera/Juno, Zeus/Jupiter, Hades/Pluto, Apollo, and Poseidon/Neptune. Obviously, Hermes = the Flash and Apollo (the archer) = the Arrow...
    • In "Plastique", Plastique originated as a Firestorm villain but eventually wound up marrying Captain Atom. Her emergency contact is "Cameron Scott" which was an alias used in the comics by Nathaniel Adam (aka Captain Atom). Wade Eiling was also originally a Captain Atom supporting character/antagonist and was responsible for the project which empowered Captain Atom and his nemesis Major Force.
    • In "The Flash Is Born", Barry tells Dr. Wells about a "big bad man" who can turn his skin into metal. Dr. Wells muses: "A man of steel..."
    • In "Flash vs. Arrow", one of the thugs who tries to mug Ronnie is wearing a British flag t shirt and a trench coat.
    • One to it's sister show: in "The Sound and The Fury", when Wells is commenting on how his ignorance lead to the reactor explosion, he states that "he had failed this city". The same Catch Phrase used by The Arrow to those who terrorize Starling.
    • In "The Nuclear Man", it's mentioned that Martin Stein won a prestigious scientific accolade called The Conway Award, named for Gerry Conway, the writer who created Firestorm.
    • The same episode has a reference to a jazz musician named Mal Duncan.
    • And Cisco briefly refers to the corner of Waid Street, after 90s Flash writer Mark Waid.
    • General Eiling's eventual fate in the episode "Fallout" where he's snatched away by an angry Gorilla Grodd after having experimented on him is certainly going to bring back memories to those who know what happened to Grodd in Justice League Unlimited at the hands of a character played by Clancy Brown.
      • And in the same episode, Eiling exclaims "Dear God!" when he hears Grodd's voice in his head, and gets the reply "Not God...Grodd." - which hearkens back to one of the best-known scenes from Superman II, specifically the exchange "Oh God!" "Zod."
    • In "Rogue Time," Cisco's brother Dante makes a disparaging comment comparing Cisco to a dog, primarily for his loyalty. In the comics, Dante dons a suit of armor for the military and becomes known as "The Dog Soldier."
    • In "Tricksters", Mark Hamill reprises his role as Jesse James AKA Trickster from the 90's series. Still of the Trickster from that series appear as file photos of the Trickster during his heyday. Likewise, his Leitmotif from that episode returns as his main theme in the episode, and at one point they even recreate the set for Trickster's lair from the old show.Even Joe's description of him as "James Jesse...like Jesse James, only twisted" is almost identical to Megan Lockhart's description of him in the original series - "James Jesse...like Jesse James, only its backwards. Twisted".
  • Never Gets Drunk: Because he metabolizes alcohol quickly he can't get drunk. Even a 500-proof dose only gives him a slight buzz. This also happens when Oliver shoots the whammied Barry with an arrow that injects him with a huge doze of horse tranquilizer. Barry simply shakes at superspeed for a bit, causing the drug to evaporate through his sweat glands.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Despite his God complex, Clyde Mardon is perfectly happy using his powers to rob banks until Detective West's sarcastic comment about why a God would need to rob banks prompts him to think bigger.
  • Not Blood Siblings: They lived together as teenagers after the death of Barry's mom, but they consider themselves best friends first and don't see themselves as siblings. Justified by the fact the two were around 11 when they began living together (thus, too old for the Westermarck Effect to put him off dating her) and the fact Barry already had a crush on her before they began living together.
  • Not Wearing Tights:
    • Thus far, Barry and the Reverse-Flash are the only ones who have anything resembling a superhero costume, as the main villains have been wearing typical civilian gear, or tactical black. Captain Cold has a themed outfit, but it still falls under Civvie Spandex.
    • The Pied Piper wears a black, hooded outfit that seems to have a Sith inspiration to it.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Caitlin and Cisco walking in on Barry and a shirtless Felicity in S.T.A.R. Labs (his speed burned her top).
  • Obligatory Joke: What's the point of making the future Killer Frost and Firestorm a couple if you can't make "fire and ice" jokes?
  • Oddly Small Organization: S.T.A.R. Labs seems to have only three employees: Wells, Cisco, and Caitlin. Though it can be presumed that many others quit to save what was left of their thrashed careers, three is still a very small force to maintain and clean an entire particle accelerator and facilities, including a makeshift prison (though having Barry around probably makes the job much easier).
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Arrow and Flash teaming up to take down Roy G Bivolo in Flash vs. Arrow.
  • Oh, Crap: Perhaps not surprisingly, liquids floating out from glass containers seem to warrant these.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Notably averted, Caitlin, Cisco and Wells remain in their areas of expertise (Medicine, engineering and physics, respectively) in a more or less realistic way, at least for the context, with Cisco showing some IT prowess believable of a Gadgeteer Genius but not getting even close to the levels of Felicity, so they throw her name around when they need to handwave their access to protected info. This is useful as the characters may indulge in some exposition by explaining things to the audience via their colleagues and Barry who, while being an outstanding forensics investigator, has no more knowledge in the other areas than it would be expected of your average curious geek.
  • Opening Narration:
    • Done by Barry every episode starting with the pilot, always starting with or working in the lines, "My name is Barry Allen, and I am the fastest man alive." Starting with episode 3, there's a standard intro, followed and book-ended by unique narration about the episode.
    • In episode 6, Iris gives the opening and closing narration, as she is saying aloud what she's writing.
  • Outrun the Fireball: He's the Flash. Kinda obvious.
    • In "Plastique", Barry hits a new top speed outrunning the title villain's final act of destruction.
    • Averted in "Flash vs Arrow", when Oliver surprises Barry with a pair of exploding arrows — the arrows miss, the blast doesn't.
  • Parental Abandonment: Barry's mother was murdered when he was a child and his father was arrested for the murder.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Caitlin apparently never smiled for nine months after the S.T.A.R. Labs accident which cost her her career and killed her fiancé. Barry fleetingly changes that by saving the city from Mardon's tornado.
  • Police Are Useless: Surprisingly averted most of the time. West and the rest of the police are outgunned by meta-human villains, but they're usually competent and rationally follow clues. After a few episodes, they've also come fully around to accepting that meta-humans, you know, exist, so they don't doubt it out of hand when Barry suggests things like "it was a man who can transform into gas to get through air vents". Even West comes around to believing Barry's story about the "man in yellow" who killed his mother, and the police help prove that the Reverse-Flash indeed exists.
    • Particularly, it is the police and not Barry who start to become suspicious about Dr. Wells. This slightly shifty behavior adds up over time, and what really tips them off is when he says that the Pied Piper shattered all the windows above him in his home - and for a man confined to a wheelchair, he curiously doesn't have any scratches on him (because he actually ran for cover, and isn't handicapped). The roles are reversed so it's actually the Flash who needs to be convinced by the police.
    • However, the scene with Captain Cold and Heatwave terrorizing a city block with the police pretty much content to block off the area and let the Flash do all the work, with only Eddie being willing to put his ass on the line to help the hero. Thing is, neither Cold nor Heatwave are meta-humans. They're just regular people with high-tech guns. Don't Central City cops have sharpshooters? Or tear gas? The bad guys aren't even wearing any body armor, just a parka (Cold) and an overcoat (Heatwave).
      • That is nothing compared to a previous episode where the entire police station was taken hostage by a handcuffed Clock King.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The show combines material from decades of the Flash's comics history with new twists. Among other elements, the costume is influenced by the Flash's current New 52 look, and the subplot of Barry's mother is from Geoff Johns's The Flash: Rebirth story. The latter is a relatively new development - for most of comics history his parents had mundane lives and Barry lacked a motivating tragedy until Johns rewrote Barry's backstory.
  • Protagonist Title: The title refers to Barry's superhero identity.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Linda Park for Barry, as of "Crazy for You".
  • Race Lift: Iris West and her family are Caucasian in the comics, but African-American here (although in the New 52, her nephew Wally was made biracial - his father being Iris' white brother, and his mother being black).
  • Reality Ensues:
    • In the crossover episode "Flash vs. Arrow"; despite the SCPD no longer hunting the Arrow and being 'cool' with him, Joe still considers him a fugitive criminal and murderer, reasoning that his no longer being a killer doesn't make all the past murders he's committed simply vanish. By the end of the episode though, he does develop a grudging respect for the Arrow.
    • Eventually all of the people Wells kills come back to haunt him as people start to notice the disappearances surrounding him. He kills a Genre Savvy reporter that was trying to connect him to Simon Stagg's death, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Red Herring: The most popular candidates for the identity of the Reverse-Flash are Eddie and Dr. Wells.
  • Required Spin Off Crossover: Arrow appears in the pilot. Felicity guest stars in "Going Rogue".
    • And then there's "Arrow vs. Flash" and "The Brave and the Bold" episodes of Flash and Arrow (respectively) which aired on back-to-back nights as a huge promotional stunt.
  • Reset Button Ending: "Out of Time", a Wham Episode which includes, among other things, Cisco discovering Harrison Wells' true identity and being killed by the latter, Iris and Barry confessing their mutual love and Iris discovering that Barry is the Flash, ends with most of the aforementioned events being erased by virtue of Barry traveling back in time to the start of the episode.
  • Ret Canon: Wally West did have a Race Lift of his own in the New 52 universe. In fact it was inspired by this show which was in production at the time.
  • The Reveal:
    • "The Man in the Yellow Suit" reveals that Harrison Wells is the Reverse-Flash (or at least appears to be and that there was a second speedster, in red, (presumably a future Barry) present the night of Nora Allen's murder.
    • "The Sound and the Fury" outright shows Wells moving at super-speed, complete with a trail of red lightning, to avoid an attack. Later in the episode, however, it's shown that this can't be maintained for more than a few seconds, as Wells super-speeds out of his hidden room, but collapses in the hallway, his legs visibly vibrating out of sync with the rest of his body. Later still, it's revealed that Wells seems to be absorbing—or maintaining his connection to—the Speed Force artificially, with what he calls a "tachyonic device". If he always had the power of the Reverse Flash, it suggests that he somehow lost it and is using technology as a stopgap measure for his "bigger plan". And this from the man who advised Barry that Rathaway is the one who tends to hide their true endgame.
    • "The Nuclear Man" has Joe asking Cisco for help looking into Nora Allen's murder, and they discover blood stains left behind that night. When they test them, they get a match: Barry, but with protein markers that indicate he was there as an adult.
    • The end of "Fallout" not only fully confirms Wells is the Reverse-Flash (as he's in costume at the time), but also shows that he and Grodd appear to be working together.
    • "Out of Time" reveals that Harrison Wells is really Eobard Thawne, and the night he killed Nora Allen, he was actually there to kill Barry. And he's been stuck in the past ever since; his mentoring and training of Barry is all in effort of regaining his own powers and returning to his time.
    • "Tricksters" reveals that Harrison Wells and Eobard Thawne are not actually the same person. Thawne killed the real Wells years ago, and has been impersonating him ever since as part of his plans.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: Harrison Wells's computer, which allows him to access news and other data from the future. In "Power Outage", when Barry briefly loses his powers, he accesses the computer only to find no records of the Flash in the future. By the end of the episode, when Barry gets his powers back, the future newspaper article about the Flash is restored to the database.
  • Retcon: The Arrow episode "Three Ghosts" depicted Barry's lab accident happening on the night he returned from Starling City, and showed Barry to be on the phone to Felicity Smoak immediately before it, with Barry telling her that he missed the cut-off in the line at S.T.A.R. Labs. The Pilot instead depicts Barry as being back in Central City the morning before the accident, removes the phone call, and has Barry and Iris at S.T.A.R. Labs before leaving to file a police report after Iris is robbed, with Barry heading to his lab from there. Although Wells being a time traveler may have led to that occurring...
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant:
    • The Mist is traditionally the Arch-Enemy of Starman in the comics. Multiplex is a Firestorm villain.
    • Simon Stagg is also more associated with Metamorpho than Flash.
    • Plastique started out as a Firestorm villain before moving on to Captain Atom.
    • Wade Eiling was a sometimes supporting character and sometimes antagonist for Captain Atom as well.
    • It works the other way, too. The character known elsewhere as Captain Boomerang first appears on Arrow.
    • In universe, both Clock King and the Royal Flush Gang appear here after their stints on Arrow.
  • Rule of Cool: Why is the Flash insignia a lightning bolt? According to Cisco Ramon, so it's "not boring".
  • Running Gag: Barry's youthful appearance is mocked once again in the pilot, as it was when he first appeared in Arrow. One of the cops at the precinct affectionately calls him "Baby Face" after Barry returns from his nine-month coma.
    Cop: That was quite the nap you took there, Baby Face, but you still look like twelve.
    • In his showdown with Captain Cold, Cold says "I didn't see you before. Your mom know you're out past your bedtime?"
    • The fastest man alive is also the tardiest man alive.
    • Joe pushing mugs (among other things) over for Barry to catch. Except for when he loses his powers and Joe accidentally breaks his favorite mug from Iris.
    • As online commentators have pointed out, it seems you simply can not transfer money by armored truck in Central City without it being robbed.
    • Barry's Healing Factor seems to be getting taken for granted.
    I heard you heal fast.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Gender-flipped with Cisco and Caitlin. Cisco is constantly brimming with energy and smiling broadly, while Caitlin is calmer and less cheerful and the generally more level-headed person in the duo.
  • Science Hero: The S.T.A.R. Labs team as Barry's support. Barry himself, of course, has superpowers.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon, and Harrison Wells become this to Barry, helping him figure out what happened to him.
    • Detective West also finds out Barry's secret after seeing him stop Mardon's tornado.
    • Oliver Queen/The Arrow; Barry also serves as one to him, from his initial appearances in Arrow.
    • Caitlin, Cisco, Joe and Wells also serve as this to the Arrow.
    • After Barry and the gang brought him/them back, both Ronnie and Prof. Stein became this to Barry. Stein's wife may either be this or at least aware that Barry has Super Speed.
  • Sherlock Scan:
    • Barry does this during crime scene investigation, determining who or what was ther by simply looking at the scene, complete with Sherlock-style onscreen overlaid graphics describing exactly what his Sherlock Scan is revealing to him with graphs and measurements.
    • Later averted, when Ollie accuses Barry of not paying attention to his surroundings.
    • He also fakes them, pointing out things that could not have been obtained by simple observation, since he was, in fact, there where the crime took place.
  • Secret Relationship: Iris and Eddie at first firmly keep their relation hidden from Joe, fearing he won't approve of it on grounds that he and Eddie are partners. They confess in "Things You Can't Outrun".
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • The second episode involves Barry protecting Mr. Stagg from being murdered by Multiplex. Eventually he defeats Multiplex. In the end Wells murders Mr. Stagg, making defeating Multiplex pointless.
    • The fifth episode involves Barry trying to help Plastique escape the attentions of General Eiling. In the end General Eiling shoots Plastique and her body is consumed by her own explosive powers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Also from the pilot, Cisco wears a shirt with the catchphrase "Bazinga!" from The Big Bang Theory. The catchphrase is a mannerism of Sheldon Cooper, who is a fan of the Flash and wears a Flash shirt. There's a bit of Celebrity Paradox in play.
    • In episode 2, Multiplex's doubles brings to mind Agent Smith's doubles fighting Neo.
    • Also from episode 2, Cisco's blunt remark of "You got blood on my suit."
    • In the flashback in Episode 3, Caitlin suggests that she and Ronnie watch Orange Is The New Black to kill time on their flight to Tahiti.
    • In "Going Rogue" Barry names their trivia team "E=MC Hammer".
    • An opposing trivia team answers a Star Wars question and is named "Pride and Padawans".
    • "The Flash Is Born"; Iris describes Tony Woodward as having an "Iron Fist".
    • In "Power Outage", the metahuman's line "I have to feed", its tone, and his reaction upon sapping Barry's powers are very similar to Parasite.
    • "Flash vs. Arrow", Wells mentions Bivolo's power of inducing "anger, hate, aggression", and Cisco responds with "A Jedi craves not these things", complete with Yoda voice.
    • In "Revenge of the Rogues," the tactic of making Heat Wave and Captain Cold cross streams comes up, complete with Ghostbusters reference.
    • In "The Sound and the Fury", Cisco is seen wearing a "Keep Calm And Han Shot First" T-shirt during a flashback.
    • Just before the battle with Firestorm in "The Nuclear Man", Barry tries to calm him down and asks him not to "Flame on".
    • Cisco uses Terminator and Back to the Future to explain time travel theories to Joe. Moments later in the same episode, the Dothraki language from Game of Thrones gets a brief mention.
    • The first thing out of Barry's mouth after time travel? "Oh boy"
    • Speaking of time travel, it's interesting that a time traveler stole the identity of someone who happened to be named H. Wells.
    • In "Tricksters", James Jesse mentions masterpieces, including Season 5 of Breaking Bad.
      • Also in that episode, Eobard Thawne steals the real Harrison Wells' face using a device a lot like the ones used by the dopplegangers on Fringe.
    • In "All Star Team Up", A.T.O.M.'s arrival to Central City is pre-empted by Caitlin and Cisco wondering if it's a bird or a plane. Of course, A.T.O.M. (AKA Ray Palmer) is played by Brandon Routh of Superman Returns fame.
    • In "Who is Harrison Wells" There's a roundabout one to The Princess Bride. Eddie Thawne is not left-handed. Barry Allen is not left-handed either. And that's the giveaway when the shapeshifter is borrowing someone else.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The Flash whisks Iris up onto the rooftop for late night conversations, because it's more romantic up there or something.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: The Flash costume looks like a mix of all three, described in-universe as "reinforced tri-polymer, heat and abrasion-resistant material" originally being developed for firefighters. It's also a darker shade of red (specifically, maroon) than usual. Likely, this is because bright red is difficult to film under varying lighting conditions in real life.
  • Spin-Off: Of Arrow.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Being a sister show to the Batman-like Arrow, one of the stated goals of the series was to create a more lighthearted, fun counterpart to that show, with Barry acting as a symbol of hope rather than fear like Oliver is.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Smallville.
  • Stealth Pun: Barry gets his suit destroyed in "Plastique" and had to run back to STAR labs in his underwear. He literally was "The Streak".
  • The Stinger: The episodes in Season One have all ended with stingers.
    • "Pilot": The big one, where we see Wells walk, enter a secret room and look at some sort of historical record - from the future.
    • "Fastest Man Alive": Simon Stagg tells Wells about what they could learn from the Flash, how they could change what it means to be human. Wells remarks that the Flash needs to be protected, so he kills Stagg with a knife.
    • "Things You Can't Outrun": This one doubles as a flashback, where we see Wells may have known the particle accelerator would have exploded, and may have even planned it, since he was watching Barry get hit by the lightning.
    • "Going Rogue": After being temporarily driven off by Barry and his team, Captain Cold is seen talking to an old associate, a man named Mick. He mentions their rough past, and how he needs to change to keep pulling jobs in Central City. Cold offers Mick an experimental flamethrower he stole earlier in the episode and asks if he still likes playing with fire. Mick eagerly accepts, foreshadowing Heat Wave's appearance and the formation of The Rogues.
    • "Plastique": Another flashback, this time to five years previous, when Wells broke off his working relationship with General Eiling over the latter's inhumane treatment of their test subject, a gorilla named Grodd.
    • "The Flash Is Born": Joe is going over Nora Allen's case file again when the Reverse-Flash appears and steals it, leaving behind a threat on Iris' life to warn Joe to stop investigating.
    • "Power Outage" Harrison Wells is in the pipeline where he takes a sample of Blackout's blood, intent on learning how he stole the Flash's power.
    • "Flash vs. Arrow": Caitlin is shown looking at a picture of her and Ronnie. Two men are then shown trying to mug a man in a freeway. Said "victim" turns out to be Ronnie, who uses his power to set himself on fire.
    • "The Man in the Yellow Suit": Harrison Wells enters his secret room, pulls out a Flash ring, and uses it to unlock a hidden closet that contains the Reverse-Flash costume. He attaches the tachyon device from earlier in the episode to it, then says "Merry Christmas" in the Reverse-Flash's distorted voice as the wounds he suffered earlier visibly heal.
    • "Revenge of the Rogues": Cold and Heat Wave are on their way to prison, when they're rescued by Cold's sister (the future Golden Glider).
    • "The Sound and the Fury": Wells is using the tachyon device to stabilize his own Speed Force powers, while hinting that it's just a temporary measure while he works on a larger plan.
    • "Crazy For You": Two sanitation workers investigate a section of the sewers displaying unusual activity and are attacked by a gorilla after finding "Grodd" written all over the walls.
    • "The Nuclear Man" has a briefer one than usual: the military detects Firestorm's detonation, and Eiling orders him brought in.
    • "Fallout": Wells kidnaps Eiling from the middle of his base and carries him to Grodd's section of the sewers, whereupon the simian villain goes apeshit on his erstwhile tormenter.
    • "Out of Time" noticeably lacks a stinger, being the first episode to do so.
    • "Rogue Time": Barry tells Joe that he was right about Wells.
    • "Tricksters": The final flashback of the episode shows Eobard Thawne finalizing his impersonation of the real Harrison Wells.
    • "Who Is Harrison Wells?" Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco find Wells' secret room where they find the Reverse-Flash suit and the newspaper page from the future detailing Barry's disapperance.
  • Straight Gay: In "Flash vs. Arrow", Singh offhandedly mentions his boyfriend. "Out of Time" has him just as casually revealing that they're engaged now.
  • String Theory: Barry has one of these devoted to his mother's murder.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Plastique's power makes it so anything she touches becomes a bomb.
  • Super Speed: Only a few days after waking up from his coma, Barry clocks in at around 700 mph, just under the sound barrier.
  • Super Weapon, Average Joe: A necessary trait for any non-metahuman villain to be taken seriously. Leonard "Captain Cold" Snart and Mick "Heatwave" Rory particularly fit the bill, as they didn't create their signature weapons themselves.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Flash is the Fastest Man Alive and the Scarlet Speedster. In-universe, the former was coined by Iris on her Flash blog and the latter was used by Captain Cold.
  • Taking the Bullet: In "All Star Team Up", Cisco lets a robotic bee sting him with a deadly venom instead of Ray Palmer. This is despite the fact that Cisco is terrified of regular bees, not even mentioning the robotic killing kind. After being revived by Barry, Ray thanks Cisco for "[taking] the bee" for him.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Barry tends to be courteous enough to let his enemies monologue.
  • Tap on the Head: Used on Barry and oddly enough takes the quick-healer out for several hours until awakened on discovery in "Who is Harrison Wells?"
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Mardon mockingly asks Joe West: "You think your guns can stop God?" Turns out they can.
    • Minor Example - Barry "Wanna see how fast I can run *backwards*?", followed by an off-screen crash noise.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: There have so far been two different depictions of how time travel works on this show. In "Out of Time", Barry travels back in time a day and appears to merge with his past self, implying that some form of Mental Time Travel is in play. And yet, as revealed in "Fallout" and other episodes, a future version of Barry was present at the Allen house on the night of Nora Allen's murder and existed as a distinct physical entity from the 11 year old Barry also present there.
  • Title Drop: The Opening Narration by Barry ends with "I am the Flash", but in the episodes themselves, it takes a while before that alias is officially bestowed or adopted. Oliver Queen comes close in the pilot, as does Barry in a later episode, with the phrase "in a flash". Wells privately says Barry will be called the Flash, but he has knowledge of the future. Barry almost says it in a conversation with Joe about his superhero name, but is interrupted. It's only until episode 7, "Power Outage", that Iris uses "the Flash" in dialogue.
  • Tornado Move: Clyde Mardon pulls one off when he starts thinking big.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The promo for the 10th episode immediately spoils The Stinger of episode 9, "The Man in the Yellow Suit".
    • The promo for the second-half of the season spoiled things from its parent series, Arrow, that hadn't happened yet.
  • Trapped in the Past: In "Out of Time" we learn that Harrison Wells AKA Eobard Thawne, was stranded in the 21st century after a failed attempt to kill Barry as a child 15 years ago.
  • The Unfettered: Wells has no compunctions about manipulating or killing others to protect Barry Allen. Including convincing Plastique to kill the General hounding her since he'll come after other metahumans.
  • Urban Fantasy: After its parent show was about as realistic as a superhero comic adaptation can be, The Flash settles firmly in this area with the Particle Accelerator explosion having numerous weird effects throughout Central City.
  • Voice of the Legion: Barry can vibrate his vocal cords to disguise his voice. He and Detective West both find it hilarious.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Caitlin comes in for this in "Crazy for You".
  • Walk on Water: Being a speedster, Barry can pull off the running variation.
  • What Could Have Been: In-Universe, Dr. Wells' Particle Accelator was suppose to be built in 2020, and Barry would've received his powers in that year too. But Eobard Thawne killed Dr. Wells and took his place so he he could get back to his own time a little earlier.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The Man in the Yellow Suit": Ronnie reveals himself to Caitlin as Firestorm. Barry finally encounters Reverse-Flash and reveals his feelings for Iris, just as she's about to move in with Eddie. Joe tells Eddie about metahumans. Wells is shown empowering the Reverse-Flash suit with tachyons and is strongly implied to be Reverse-Flash.
    • "Revenge of the Rogues": The Flash is revealed to the public when he shows up to fight Captain Cold and Heat Wave. The two villains are later freed on their way to prison by Snart's sister. Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Caitlin discovers that "Firestorm" (the last thing Ronnie said to her) refers to an experiment whose head disappeared right before the military confiscated all the research.
    • "The Nuclear Man", as a culmination of the Story Arc revolving around Firestorm that started back in "Flash vs. Arrow". Not to mention the revelation that an adult Barry Allen was present at the Allen house the night the Reverse-Flash killed Nora Allen.
    • "Out of Time" has Harrison Wells killing Cisco while confirming his identity as the Reverse Flash (and his true name, Eobard Thawne), Iris finding out about Barry, Clyde Mardon getting ready to destroy Central City with a tidal wave, and Barry traveling back in time.
    • "Tricksters", in addition to a Role Reprisal from Mark Hamill as James Jesse/Trickster, the real Harrison Wells is revealed to have been dead for 15 years with Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash masquerading as him all this time, Eddie learns Flash's secret identity and joins Barry and Joe in their investigation of Wells.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The pilot ends on the reveal that Harrison Wells is from the future, and that in 2024 the Flash will vanish in the midst of a crisis involving the sky turning red.
    • At the end of "The Flash Is Born", Joe is visited by the man in yellow, who steals all the evidence in Nora's murder and leaves a picture of Iris with a knife stabbing it in the wall with a message carved above saying "Stop or else".
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Barry gives one to the S.T.A.R. Labs team when he points out that more metahumans exist in Central City, and they haven't done anything about it or even told the police.
    • Wells gives one to Barry in reaction to the above. He firmly tells him off for putting his life in danger when he could be using his powers to make massive breakthroughs in modern medicine, and implying that with his fake permanent disability, seeing Barry recover from grievous injuries in a matter of hours is hard for him.
    • Wells and Barry both give Cisco one for making a weapon specifically meant to stop him without telling anyone until after it gets stolen.
    • Joe calls Iris out on dating his partner, since it screws up his concentration and focus on the job.
    • Barry gives one to Wells after the latter's actions result in the death of Girder. He accuses Wells of not caring about people and seeking only to manipulate them as pawns in his game.
    • Barry gives one to Joe after Joe tosses his favorite mug, expecting him to catch it. He does not.
    • Oliver chastises Barry for relying on his speed almost exclusively, ignoring his surroundings. He reminds Barry about the train crash he indirectly caused by chasing a bad guy without ensuring the bad guy couldn't use other people as human shields. Sure, Barry saved everyone, but the material damage was still high, and it could be worse next time. This is especially bad since Barry is supposed to be a crime scene tech and is pretty good at noticing things.
    • Cisco gets one after Hartley tricks him into letting him out of S.T.A.R. Labs.
    • Averted when Cisco again gives Captain Cold an advantage when Cold threatens to kill his brother unless he reveals The Flash's identity. He feels he's betrayed Barry, but Barry think it's his own fault; that Cisco's association with him is what made him a target in the first place.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?:
    • Even though in the comics Central City is traditionally located in the Midwest, the only known fact about its location on the show is that it’s 600 miles from Starling City. While seasons 1 and 2 of Arrow implied that Starling City was somewhere on the Pacific coast of North America, in the season 3 episode The Climb, a map of the Americas is shown on-screen and Starling City can be clearly seen in the Midwestern US, near the Great Lakes region, thereby placing Central City near its traditional location.
    • "Plastique" indicates it's on the shore of a very large lake. The only really big lake within 600 miles of the American Pacific Coast is Great Salt Lake, but Central City doesn't really look like it's in Utah. And the placement of Starling near the Great Lakes only opens up the number of possibilities even further.
    • In "The Man in the Yellow Suit," Flash and Reverse Flash take their fight to a domed stadium set up for football. Look closely. The goal posts are at the front of the end zone and in another shot, two 50-yard lines can be seen with a line marked with a "C" in between. This is a Canadian football field, meaning that either Central City is in Canada or that the speedsters have run so far that the fight ends at BC Place in Vancouver (the city, of course, being a good stand-in city for television shows). However, if Central City was actually in Canada, Starling City would have to be in Oregon.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Barry had this moment when Plastique touched his outfit before he managed to slip out of it. After her death her body turned into a bomb.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • In "Fallout", when presented with evidence that he had/will traveled/travel back in time to the night of his mother's murder, Barry assumes that he's destined to fail, since despite his future self's intervention, the Reverse-Flash did kill his mother. However, Dr. Stein believes it might be possible for him to change the past, which motivates Barry to try.
    • The show itself has demonstrated that the future can be changed, as when Barry lost his powers, the future newspaper that Wells had changed to reflect the absence of The Flash.
    • Invoked by Wells in "Rogue Time". He tells Barry that if he prevents one tragedy, the time-continuum will simply ensure he has to face another possibly worse one. Its ultimately played with in the rest of the episode. Barry does manage to prevent a tidal wave from destroying Central City, as well as a host of other tragedies including (unknown to him) Cisco's death; however this results in a new timeline where Captain Cold is at large and aware of his true identity, the reporter investigating Wells ends up getting killed, and Iris is no longer conscious of her lingering feelings for Barry that she confessed to in the previous timeline.
  • You're Not My Father: Barry to Joe West. Given an Ironic Echo at end of the episode.
    Barry: You're not my father. But you are the one who kept me fed. Put clothes on my back. You dropped me off at college. That's the definition of a dad.
    Joe West: *moment of choked up Silence, grabs pizza, shoves into mouth*