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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 and sent crashing into a rack of chemicals because of a freak accident during the activation of a S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator. 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 mentor 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 unaware of his feelings and 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. It began airing on October 7th, though the first episode was leaked months earlier.

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 Dye-Job: Barry is blonde in the comics, but retains Grant Gustin's natural dark brown hair color.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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"
  • 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 destroyed.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 is Crisis continuing because of the Flash's absence. Fortunately, the original future is restored after Barry gets back his powers in the present.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • C-List Fodder: Most 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.
  • 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.
    • Averted with Ronnie, who explicitly refers to himself as "Firestorm", possibly due to Sanity Slippage.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The show uses the term "metahuman" from the comics for people with superpowers.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Captain Cold makes his debut in a special prequel comic published in TV Guide.
  • 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 Mentor: It is revealed that Harrison Wells is apparently also the man in yellow, i.e., the Reverse Flash.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Harrison Wells can walk and knows Barry's future.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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). 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)
  • 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
  • Healing Factor: Barry heals from a fracture in three hours.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini: Leonard Snart gets away scot-free with the Cold Gun and the diamond.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Iris feels this way about Barry. He feels differently. Justified Trope, because after Barry's mother was murdered and his father went to prison for it, he became the ward of Iris's father (at grade school age) and they actually did grow up together Like Brother and Sister.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The particle accelerator explosion gives people throughout the city, possibly all over the world, powers. And animals too, 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 Kaitlin's fiancé Ronnie runs off to try to shut down the particle accelerator, she stops him, but he tells her "Kaitlin, 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, Kaitlin 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: For Flash and most of his Rogues.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Barry also uses his super speed to sleep in and get ready in seconds.
  • 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. Time will tell his exact relation to the Reverse-Flash, who has been indirectly shown already.
    • 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.
    • The show's incarnation of the Weather Wizard is Clyde Mardon, rather than Mark Mardon, his brother and partner in crime. In the comics, Clyde is the one who creates the technology that allows Mark to become the 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.
    • 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..."
  • Never Gets Drunk: Because he metabolizes alcohol quickly he can't get drunk. Even a 500-proof dose only gives him a slight buzz.
  • 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: Iris and Barry were raised by the same man in the same house, but Barry still considers it OK to be romantically in love with her (as does everyone else; the only problem brought up is how he's handling his attraction to her). Justified by the fact the two were around 11 when they began living together (thus, too old for the Westermack 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 with a themed outfit, but it still falls under Civvie Spandex.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Race Lift: Iris West and her family are Caucasian in the comics, but African-American here.
  • 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.
  • Red Herring: The most popular candidates for the idenity 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 intelligent 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • In the pilot Iris refers to the particle accelerator as an Atom Smasher, the name of another DC hero.
    • 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"; Wells refers to Tony's ability to cover himself in metal as making him a "Man of Steel". Later on, Iris describes him as having an "Iron Fist", which isn't even the same comic universe.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 he 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.
  • Straight Gay: In "Flash vs. Arrow", Singh offhandedly mentions his boyfriend.
  • 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.
  • Tempting Fate: Mardon mockingly asks Joe West: "You think your guns can stop God?" Turns out they can.
  • 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 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.
  • Walk on Water: Being a speedster, Barry can pull off the running variation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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'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*

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