Series / The Flash (2014)

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"My name is Barry Allen. And I am the fastest man alive. To the outside world, I'm an ordinary forensic scientist, but secretly, with the help of my friends at S.T.A.R. Labs, I fight crime and find other meta-humans like me. I hunted down the man who killed my mother, but in doing so, I opened up our world to new threats. And I am the only one fast enough to stop them. I am...The Flash!"
Barry Allen, a.k.a. "The Flash" (season 2 opening)

The Flash is a 2014 series from The CW based on the DC Comics superhero The Flash and a Spin-Off of Arrow, and the second show in the "Arrowverse". 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 two season two episodes of Arrow ("The Scientist" and "Three Ghosts") as a visiting CSI tech, showing the event that gave him his powers following his return to Central City. Being well received, The Flash was given the go-ahead as a series. Barry's other S.T.A.R. Labs teammates Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) were introduced in a later season two episode of Arrow ("The Man Under The Hood") as a lead-in the pilot episode. It and its parent show also share continuity with the Vixen 2015 animated web series on CW Seed, Legends of Tomorrow, which started airing in 2016, and Supergirl, which shares the same production company, although it is set in an Alternate Universe.

It is one of three live-action DC Comics shows to premiere in 2014, along with Fox's Gotham and NBC's Constantine; being on different networks, they are all independent of each other (though Constantine was absorbed into the Arrowverse, played by the same actor, after his show wasn't renewed). 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; eventually, as with Supergirl, the 1990 series was revealed to take place in an alternate universe.

See here for a recap page.


The Flash contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • In The Stinger of "Power Outage", Thawne takes a blood sample from the dead body of Blackout, musing that his ability to drain The Flash's powers will come in handy. However, this is never brought up again for the rest of the season.
    • Captain Cold slowly forming the Rogues has met an abrupt end since he's been transplanted to Legends of Tomorrow. And now, with his death, it seems this arc will never be completed.
  • Absent Aliens: With Superman not being a part of this 'verse, no other aliens make an appearance. However, Barry does meet Supergirl in a crossover episode and is amazed to discover that aliens are real on her Earth. The Legends of Tomorrow spin-off puts an end to this with the revelation that Thanagarians are set to invade Earth in the distant future and that the meteorite that mutated Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Savage had been sent by them.
  • Action Girl: Iris, as the Badass Adorable, Intrepid Reporter, Damsel out of Distress, often finds herself in this role when assisting Barry in her own way.
    • Caitlin, despite primarily being The Medic, also gets a time or two in the lime light, usually alongside Cisco or Iris.
    • Patty is a cop who scored the highest ranks in her training class, so she naturally falls into this category, however she gets extra points for going up against many Meta-Humans without any hesitation.
  • Achilles' Heel: Unsurprisingly, running at high speeds requires a lot of focus and energy. When distracted or injured in any way, Barry's top speed slows down significantly, letting him be countered even by normal people. Captain Cold's freeze gun was originally designed by Cisco as the Logical Weakness of the Flash, as molecules at cooler temperatures move at slower speeds.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Joe West is generally a serious character, but has been known to make some quips. Barry tells him he confronted Iris in his Flash costume and hid his identity by distorting his voice with his vibration powers. Joe has a genuine giggle fit for a few seconds.
  • Adapted Out: Usually the Flash uses the Cosmic Treadmill to time travel. In the show, speedsters use their natural speed (Barry runs around the particle accelerator to build up speed).
  • 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.
    • 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. That he's younger becomes a significant plot point halfway in the first season (he wasn't supposed to become the Flash until about 2020; it was the intervention of the Reverse-Flash from the future, who wanted to speed up the events to allow himself to return to his own time).
    • The Rogues are straight up villains like they were in the Silver Age, unlike the Anti-Villains they became under the Wally West Era.
  • 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. Then in Season 2, he's transported to Gorilla City on Earth-Two.
    • Firestorm's origin is now a result of the particle accelerator explosion instead of a random nuclear incident. And Jason Rusch, previously unrelated to Ronnie Raymond and Professor Stein, is now a grad student of the latter that helped with the project.
    • 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).
    • The Flash and (Green) Arrow, in this universe, arguably. In the comics, Barry and Oliver didn't even know each other until they were both established heroes and Justice League members. Whereas in this continuity, they had a pre-existing relationship based on a past meeting prior to Barry gaining his powers. It is Oliver who most directly inspires Barry to become a masked superhero, and he even provides the inspiration for the name 'Flash'.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Plastique is a well entrenched villain in the comics, a Mad Bomber sometimes associated with the Suicide Squad, a Boxed Crook team made up of some of the worst DC villains. In the show she is a former bomb technician for the military, the accelerator explosion gave her the power to create explosives from any object by touching them. She has no ill will towards anyone, her Power Incontinence made her dangerous to herself as much as anyone else. Barry even suggests she join the Star Labs team out of sympathy for her struggle, and is quite distraught after General Eiling shoots her. The team share a drink in her memory at the end of the episode.
    • In the comics, Caitlin Snow is the villainous and usually Ax-Crazy Killer Frost. Here, she's one of the main protagonists and does not have any powers. However, the Earth-2 version of her showed up in Season 2 as Killer Frost.
  • 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. "Rogue Air", however, abruptly reminds both Barry and the audience that despite that, Cold is not a good guy and most definitely not to be trusted. As he puts himself, "I'm the bad guy", something he's perfectly okay with.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • In this version, despite his power, Barry seems totally unable to beat an opponent without the support of his team (the majority of the time). Justified since not only is Barry still relatively inexperienced, he has a bad habit of rushing in without thinking as well as over relying on his Super Speed (something Oliver chastises him about In-Universe), otherwise he'd function as a Story-Breaker Power.
      • This is somewhat rectified in Season Two, where he's fighting more battles and stopping more criminals while being guided through step by step less often, along with learning and using even the more difficult new powers like throwing lightning and making Speed Mirages more effectively and in a short amount of time, along with honing his known moves thanks to about a year of experience. Hell, he's starting to take Oliver's advice about using precision, analyzing the situation and his surroundings to his advantage more to heart, as seen with Dr. Light and even Zoom. A true testament is his victory over the Reverse-Flash and eventually Zoom himself, using both his speed and brains without any outside help.
    • Firestorm in the comic has to ability to manipulate the materia, but here is simply a sort of Human Torch.
      • Amell said that a scene introducing Firestorm's ability to manipulate matter was filmed for the finale of first season, but was ultimately cut due to time constraints.
      • Firestorm finally learned to transmute matter in the first season finalé of Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Adorkable: The entire S.T.A.R. Labs team. Even Dr. Wells has his moments.
  • Adult Fear: Joe would love nothing more than to make sure Iris and Barry are safe and out of harm's way. But due to the nature of his job and circumstances, it doesn't always work out that way.
    • His adopted son was struck by lightning and went into a coma. During the nine months, none of the doctors could explain why Barry kept flat-lining and going into seizures.
    • The Reverse-Flash terrorizes Joe and leaves him a threat to stop his investigation or else Iris will be killed.
    • Joe was completely helpless when the Clock King dragged off his daughter.
    • He arrives at the scene of a crime, only to see Barry collapsed and going into cardiac arrest from a bee attack.
    • Years earlier, Joe returns home to find his wife passed out from an overdose again and little Iris was next to an open flame on the stove after she called 911 (and it's heavily implied it's not the first time this has happened.)
  • Alliterative Name: Barry and Jay discuss their nicknames on both worlds ("Scarlet Speedster" for Barry and "Crimson Comet" for Jay) and wonder why people like to assign alliterative nicknames involving shades of red.
  • An Aesop: Much like Arrow does, the show gives a lot of focus on how bad an idea keeping secrets from people close to you is, and how ultimately it will do more harm then good.
  • 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.
  • Age Lift: Ashley Zolomon goes from being the ex-wife of Hunter Zolomon to his mother, also making her two generations older than Barry when in the comics, she's about he same age as Wally West.
  • 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.
    • This happens again in the "Legends of Today"(The Flash)/"Legends of Yesterday"(Arrow) crossover. This time, Barry knows enough to anticipate this happening, but it still happens mostly by accident after Vandal Savage destroys Central City and kills most major Flash and Arrow characters. The second run-through goes much better.
    • In "Flash Back" Barry decides to travel back in time to learn from Thawne/Wells how to increase his speed. Despite every character warning him about damaging the timeline, he deliberately takes actions which lead to the off-screen reformation of Harley Rathaway, AKA Pied Piper.
    • In the Season Two finale, "The Race of His Life", Barry, having reached his Despair Event Horizon over the death of his father, went back to the moment Eobard Thawne killed his mother, saving her life but altering the timeline so that he's trapped in the year 2000, the events of the first two seasons being erased.
  • 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.
    • Iris confesses again in "Rupture", because Barry is planning to recreate the particle accelerator explosion that gave him his powers. She wants him to know that her feelings for him won't change whether he's the Flash or not. Unfortunately, she has to watch him disintegrate immediately afterwards.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Lampshaded when Thawne 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.
    Thawne: And how theoretical are you?
  • Arc Number:
    • "52", though it applies for the entirety of the Arrowverse.
    • Appropriately enough, the second season deals with duality (the number "2") a lot.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • Circles or/and round objects frequently pops up. S.T.A.R. Labs itself has a torus design, same goes for its Particle Accelerator and the Pipeline in it. A lot of focus is also given on the wheels of Dr. Harrison Wells' wheelchair. Several characters (including the Barry's) have circle shaped Chest Insignias. Going back in time is also a Central Theme. They are all connected after The Reveal that "Dr. Wells" is not actually the real Dr. Wells. He's actually Barry's Arch-Enemy from the future who traveled back in time to kill the former as a child but failed so he killed his mother instead. In doing so he lost his powers, so he looks for the real Dr. Wells (who will be responsible for giving Barry his Super Speed in the future since the speed is necessary for Time Travel), killed and replaced him, built S.T.A.R. Labs himself, then construct the Particle Accelerator so The Flash will become The Flash much earlier. He then starts Obfuscating Disability so he can recharge his powers, and said "charger" is also round. In short, he literally had everyone running around for him. Oh, and the ultimate threat in the Season Finale is a wormhole connecting to the Multiverse.
    • Cages also frequently pops up in the first season. It's mainly because Barry puts his enemies on a special cage in the accelerator's Pipeline and his main goal is to give justice to his father who was framed for the murder of his mother. At the same time, it also signifies how he still hasn't moved on since the fateful night his mother was killed. When he finally accepted what happened to his mother at the Season 1 finale and his father finally being freed in Season 2, he returns to the same prison his father was put into to visit the now captured Snart and tells him how he's finally free from the past.
  • Arc Words:
    • General:
      • "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 Thawne as encouragement. It also obviously points out to Barry's super-power. Also spoken by Zoom in the Season 2 finale.
    • Season 1:
      • "Centuries": Due to being from four hundred years in the future, Eobard Thawne - actually "the man in yellow" after having hijacked Harrison Wells'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 S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, saying that he felt he'd been "waiting centuries" for the event to take place.
    • Season 2
      • "Fishing" and "Bait(ing)" is frequently included in characters' dialogues. What kind of person fishes and uses baits in general? A hunter. This also foreshadows the method of his defeat.
      • "Doppelgänger": Due to the appearances of several alternate selves of several characters showing up due to the introduction of The Multiverse. Many of said counterparts, including the season's Big Bad's, play key roles throughout the season.
  • 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.
    • This is made even worse by the fact that the corresponding Arrow episode made no mention of this. Felicity just mentions that S.T.A.R. Labs found a residue on the boomerang that assisted their investigation.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The science in the show is decidedly Silver Age.
    • 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.
    • Zoom is apparently able to grab a bolt of lightning as if it's solid matter.
    • Captain Cold gets past an array of laser tripwires by freezing the laser beams and then breaking them.
    • In the same episode Cisco declares that Captain Cold's weapons won't show up on infrared heat signatures so they have to scan for ultraviolet cold signatures. Leaving aside that cooling does show up on heat sensors ultraviolet light is higher energy than infrared light.
  • Ascended Extra: S.T.A.R. 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.
  • Atlantis: Caitlin is surprised to learn that it exists in Earth-Two. Hunter Zolomon mentions that a good friend of his is from there. In "Welcome to Earth 2", Barry learns that his double recently gave his parents (who are both alive and well) tickets for a trip to Atlantis. It's implied to be a resort location. At the end of "Escape from Earth 2", Earth 2's Barry and Iris flee to Atlantis to escape Zoom's wrath.
  • Audience Surrogate: Cisco loves being involved with the world of The Flash and other metahumans. When Barry successfully pulls off the supersonic punch, Cisco fist pumps like he's at a sporting event. There's also how gleeful his smile is in the picture he took with Black Canary.
  • Badass Normal: Oliver Queen shows up in "Flash vs. Arrow", and a metahuman with Brainwashed and Crazy powers drives Barry into a rage and only Oliver stood a chance at stopping him. They have a protracted fight scene where Oliver holds his own against Barry by exploiting his lack of situational awareness, laying down TrickArrows and secondary traps until they figure a way to burn out the brainwashing.
    • Captain Cold is one of Barry's most difficult enemies, and is a normal human with fancy gun. A lot of it is a combination of being Crazy-Prepared and them developing a Worthy Opponent degree of respect for one another.
  • Bad Bad Acting: Barry and Linda are...not good at pretending the Flash and Doctor Light are fighting.
  • 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. Thawne 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, Thawne kills Simon Stagg, and later abducts General Eiling and delivers him to Grodd.
    • He later releases Girder from his cell to try and fight Blackout.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: The "vibrating hand" technique is used by evil speedsters like The Reverse-Flash and Zoom to execute individuals. While Barry could use this as well if he wanted to, he's not the kind of person to kill someone in cold blood like that.
  • 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.
  • Badass in Distress: Many members of S.T.A.R Labs/ Team Flash find themselves in this position once in a while.
    • Iris often gets into this situation, but usually is able to get herself out
    • Caitlin does as well, being taken by Grodd, because he thought of her as family.
      • The Snarts also capture her and leave her alongside a bomb.
    • Barry gets captured by Zoom on Earth 2, and Cisco, Harry, and Earth 2's Barry and Iris must team up with Earth 2's Catlin aka Killer Frost to save him.
    • Joe is captured and mentally tortured by Grodd.
      • And in an alternate time-line he was captured by Mardon.
    • Patty is taken by the Psychotic Serial-Killer Meta-Human the Turtle.
    • Eddie is taken hostage by The Reverse Flash.
    • The man in the iron mask in Zoom's dungeon turns out to be the Flash of Earth 3, the real Jay Garrick, who also happens to be Henry Allen's double.
  • Badass Gay: Hartley Rathaway aka The Pied Piper.
    • Captain Singh counts for the good guys.
  • Ballistic Discount: In "Going Rogue", Snart uses the cold gun to kill the the supplier who is attempting to sell it to him.
  • Bat Deduction: Barry makes a leap from Caitlin's fiancee taking her SCUBA diving to "maybe 'Firestorm' is an acronym!"
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Upon realizing that he needs Barry Allen to generate the Speed Force in the past for his own powers to function in the future; Eobard Thawne kills Harrison Wells and steals his identity to build his particle accelerator six years earlier than it originally happened. Thawne sabotages the particle accelerator to malfunction so that it would blow up and create The Flash. He then serves as Barry's mentor, teaching to harness his super-speed until he creates the Speed Force so that his own powers return and he can return to the future.
    • Captain Cold runs one every time he shows up. He always seems to accomplish his stated objective, and the one time he's arrested, he planned to be and had an escape plan ready.
    • One in particular is in "The Man in the Yellow Suit". The Reverse Flash attacks Mercury Labs looking for something and is seen by a witness. Investigating further, the Star Labs team deduces that he was likely after an experimental tachyon generator. They convince Mercury Labs to loan them the generator as bait to trap the Reverse Flash. They capture a speed mirage, it beats up Thawne and escapes with the generator, the entire situation orchestrated to get the generator while appearing to be helpful.
  • 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 Monster of the Week hacks the computer, but never shows any bruises or damage when seen next.
  • Bi the Way: Wentworth Miller has declared that Leonard Snart is pansexual.
  • Big Bad:
    • The Reverse-Flash is the main antagonist of Season 1. He killed Barry's mom, and Barry wants to hunt him down. He is behind all the bad things that happened in Season 1.
    • In Season 2, this role appears to be taken up by Zoom, a different character in this version.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Barry stands ready to face The Reverse Flash, who's kicked his ass every time they've fought. Just as the villain lampshades this, The Arrow and Firestorm drop in on Barry's side.
  • Big Eater: As per tradition, Barry learns in "Fastest Man Alive" that he needs to eat a lot more than normal. He suffered from dizzy spells when flexing his super speed until he started a new diet. Cisco even made high calorie bars to streamline the process. (Doubles as a Mythology Gag to the Wally West Flash endorsing Light Speed candy bars in exchange for an unlimited supply. The high sugar content of the bars helps keep his blood glucose levels up in the comics.)
  • Big Good: The Speed Force appears to be this to Barry—having given him his powers so he can be a hero.
  • Book Ends: "Fast Enough", the Season 1 finale, shares several elements with the pilot episode. Barry witnesses his mom's death, Thawne encourages Barry to run faster, and Barry has to run against the rotation of a vortex in order to save the city. Barry even lampshades the last one.
    Barry: It's just like the tornado, upside-down. And bigger. And scarier.
  • Bound and Gagged: Snart and Rory leave Caitlin bound and gagged and Strapped to a Bomb in "Revenge of the Rogues".
  • Bowties Are Cool: Barry's double from Earth 2 wears bowties. Also a Mythology Gag to the earliest comics appearances of Barry Allen, who, as drawn by original artist Carmine Infantino, had a penchant for wearing bowties (which was somewhat anachronistic for men's business attire even in the late 1950s of his debut, and a stylistic choice to indicate that Barry was something of a nerd by social standards of the day).
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Barry's abilities are focused largely on his speed, he has the necessary Required Secondary Powers and has good reaction times but is still not a trained fighter or have natural Super Strength. Up against Girder, a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up with Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, Barry got his ass handed to him and took the time to train. He also furthered understanding his own powers in how to apply his speed in personal combat. Barry does seem to struggle the most against enemies with Super Strength like Girder, Grodd and Atom Smasher. He also has trouble against other speedsters, who nullify his speed advantage and have more hand-to-hand combat training (Eobard Thawne is a good enough combatant to fight Oliver to a near-draw even without his speed).
  • Brandishment Bluff: In "Going Rogue", Cisco forces Captain Cold to back down by pointing something at him that he claims is a prototype cold gun. It is actually the STAR Labs vacuum cleaner with a bunch of LEDs stuck on it.
  • 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, and later in Season 1 he and Heat Wave take down the local Mafia don and his enforcers with only their bare hands.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Barry temporarily loses his powers, after Farooq Gibran (AKA Blackout) drains his Speed Force. However, Barry manages to not only get his speed back when his friends are in danger, but he also becomes faster than before.
    • An episode in season 2 is actually titled "Back to Normal". Guess what happens.
  • Broken Pedestal: "Dr. Harrison Wells" had the admiration of nearly every promising scientific mind in the verse: Barry, Felicity, and Ray. Additionally he is a father figure to his employees Cisco and Caitlin. They were crushed when they found out he was a) a villain and b) not really Wells at all.
    • Hunter Zolomon manages to top Thawne in this trope by shattering the pedestal in a spectacular way. Not only he pretended to be a helpful Flash from Earth-2 (by actually discrediting E2-Wells at every step), but also helped Barry to go faster and teach him some cool moves. Even his time remnant's death was meant to trap Team Flash in his objectives. It is later revealed he was this to Earth-2 as whole. As his true face is revealed to the Team, he tortures nearly every single member psychologically, most notably Caitlin and Barry, who trusted him the most. Thawne was at least decent enough to anyone not named Barry.
  • 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".
    • In "Flash vs. Arrow", Arrow tells Barry, "Nice mask.", harkening back to the previous conversation, as well as his first words to The Canary in Broken Dolls.
    • When Cisco wakes up after the Pied Piper's explosion knocks him out, Barry greets him with "Welcome back, Mr. Ramon" mirroring how Thawne 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. He later gets a picture with the Black Canary in exchange for making her Canary Cry.
    • In "Back to Normal" Barry and Iris recall the first time Barry ever used his powers to save the both of them in "The Pilot".
    • After Wally is hit by a particle accelerator wave, Joe decides to test him by dropping his cup, exactly the same way he tested Barry, after Blackout drained him. Both times, the cups fall and shatter. And both times, those cups were gifts from Iris.
  • The Cameo:
    • At crossroads when getting accustomed to his powers in the pilot, Barry runs to Starling City to talk with Oliver (Stephen Amell), who is the only person he knows who can relate to this sort of life-changing experience. Oliver offers him advice on being The Cape, and Barry runs back to Central City with new enthusiasm.
    • In "Welcome to Earth-2" while Barry, Wells and Cisco are traversing the portal to Earth-2 Supergirl makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance, confirming a shared universe between the two shows (or shared multiverse anyway).
  • Canon Welding: Besides the Supergirl appearance, there's also a glimpse of Barry Allen from the 1990s show.
  • Cast as a Mask:
    • The Reverse Flash Eobard Thawne killed Harrison Wells, stole his appearance and entire identity, advancing what the real Wells did in the previous timeline. Matt Letscher plays Eobard and The Reverse Flash in any point in time where he is not impersonating Wells.
    • Jay Garrick appears in season two played by Teddy Sears, who is Earth-2 version of Flash, and ended up in Earth-1 after getting his speed stolen by Zoom. It's revealed much later in the season that Jay Garrick was a time remnant (a duplicate caused by time travel) of Hunter Zolomon, revealed to be the identity of Zoom, also played by Teddy Sears. In the season finale, a masked man kept prisoner by Zoom throughout the season is revealed to be the REAL Jay Garrick. Zoom had traveled to what they call Earth-3, took him prisoner and had the time remnant adopt his name to be the false hero of Earth-2. Once unmasked, the real Jay Garrick is revealed to be the Earth-3 doppelganger of Henry Allen, Barry's father (hinted earlier when Henry noted that "Garrick" is his mother's maiden name).
  • Catch and Return: While training his speed in preparation for his second showdown with the Reverse-Flash, Barry catches one of the missiles launched by Cisco's drone and throws it right back at it. Taken Up to Eleven in Season 2, where Zoom catches a lightning bolt thrown by Barry and hurls it back at him. This is used to show just how much faster the evil speedster is.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Mark Mardon can be seen escaping with his brother in the pilot 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.
    • In "Revenge of the Rogues", Rachel and Osgood Rathaway are asked about their son, to which they insist they have no son. The very next episode features Hartley Rathaway, the Pied Piper, part of whose backstory is that he came out as gay to his old-fashioned old money parents and they disowned him.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • A specialty of Captain Cold's. His heists are said to be unerringly precise and efficient. Every time he appears on the show, he seems to get exactly what he wanted.
      • In "Going Rogue", he gets the diamond he was after.
      • In "Revenge of the Rogues", he recruits Heatwave and exposes The Flash's existence to the public.
      • In "Rogue Time", he discovers The Flash's identity, gets Cisco to rebuild his gun, Heatwave's gun and design a gun for his sister, Lisa. However his heist actually is not successful, but two out of three ain't bad.
      • In "Rogue Air", he frees all of the captive villains, and plants the seeds for the future Rogues, namely meeting Weather Wizard. He also gets Barry to completely erase and destroy any and all evidence anyone has on the criminal careers for himself and his sister.
    • Hartley Rathaway as well, in fact his debut scene features him playing chess with Eobard Thawne, and their final battle evokes chess motifs. There's also the way he escapes, plying Cisco with information about Ronnie until the time is right for him to spring his trap and leave.
    • Speaking of Thawne, he certainly qualifies.
  • City of Adventure: Central City, but averted with neighboring Keystone City which so far seems to have been spared the influx of super villain havoc.
  • 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.
  • Cliffhanger: The final shot of the first Season Finale ends with Barry jumping into a black hole.
    • Starting Season Two, each episode had ended in a cliffhanger moment of sorts, culminating in what could be the beginning of Flashpoint.
  • C-List Fodder: Before the members of the Flash's Rogues' Gallery appeared in the second half of Season 1, most of the villains used in the show are very minor in the comics (save Captain Cold). 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, Thawne finds a way to deal with a metahuman who learns Barry's identity.
  • Clock Roaches: The Time Wraiths, ragged, skeletal beings of the Speedforce who appear to punish those who fiddle with time in the wrong ways.
  • 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.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Barry accidentally burns off Felicity's shirt, then clumsily touches her to put it out, resulting in a Not What It Looks Like moment.
      • Which recurs in the Supergirl crossover episode when Barry accidentally causes Kara's sweater to ignite.
    • Plastique accidentally blows up Barry's suit in their first meeting.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Every speedster gives off a distinctive trail of colored lightning when they run:
    • The Flashes (Barry and Jay) give off yellow lightning.
    • The Reverse-Flash gives off red lightning.
    • Zoom gives off blue lighting.
    • Trajectory also gives off a yellow-colored lightning, which turns to blue shortly before she runs too fast and disintegrates herself. This provides a clue as to both the source of her abilities and the identity of Zoom.
    • Evil doppelgangers from Earth 2 dress mostly in black.
  • 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 Martin Stein means there's no functional difference between them.
  • Composite Character: The Reverse Flash is a name taken up by several characters, each primarily an Evil Counterpart to The Flash. The show reserves the name of Reverse Flash for Eobard Thawne, with the basic story the original Silver Age version, but sports black accents and detailing on his costume like the New 52 Reverse Flash. But this leads to the "Professor Zoom" version of the character being completely unrelated, see Decomposite Character.
    • Wally West is changed from Iris' nephew to her brother, making him a composite of Wally and her two Adapted Out brothers Rudy and Daniel.
  • 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. Ferris Air is stated to have been shut down after one of its test pilots disappeared, implying the existence (and possible future appearance) of Green Lantern in the Arrowverse.
    • The Big Belly Burger restaurant chain is also referenced, after appearing in Arrow.
    • Iris provides the opening and closing narration in "The Flash is Born". 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 pilot, 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."
    • After Oliver Queen's cameo in the pilot, Felicity Smoak had a bigger guest appearance in "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.
    • In "Fast Enough", just before Thawne is about to leave through the wormhole; the helmet worn by the father of next season's Big Bad comes flying out.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Firestorm typically manifests his powers with very impressive fountains of fire coming from his hands and head. Nothing ever seems to burn unless he actively attacks something, not people, environment or his own clothes.
  • Cool Shades: Harry tries to help Cisco/Vibe develop his powers, so he makes him cool-looking glasses that glow green and stimulate his abilities. After traveling to Earth-2, Cisco meets his double, who calls himself Reverb. Reverb has already mastered his powers, identical to Vibe's, and has nearly identical glasses that glow blue. After Reverb's death, Cisco takes his glasses and uses them instead.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Barry's usually fast enough to perform complex actions too fast for regular people to perceive, which gives him an advantage when stuck being Barry Allen in a dangerous situation. Once when shot at from a close range he was able to catch the bullet and feign actually being hit and flop to the ground. Another time he was with Eddie investigating the co-workers of "Girder," when one ran off Barry ran ahead and let the guy punch him in the face to give Eddie time to catch up and apprehend him, claiming he found a shortcut.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Earth 2 seems like a fun, idyllic place. It has Gorilla City, Atlantis and S.T.A.R Labs that actually makes things the general population can use. Also Wells notes that serial killing is very rare on Earth 2, which makes Zoom such an anomaly. However, the veneer starts coming off when it shows that they treat sociopathy with electroshock therapy, that the USA was in a war in the Americas, the Arrow has been unmasked (and likely to have been defeated), and the only protection against criminal metahumans is a fake hero who's Evil All Along.
  • 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.
  • Crossover: Barry appeared in a March 2016 episode of Supergirl. It is one-way since Supergirl in her show has not yet discovered how to go to Alternate Universes while Barry has.
  • 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".
    • "Legends of Today" references "Legends of Yesterday" and Legends of Tomorrow.
    • "Welcome to Earth-2" and "Escape from Earth-2".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Even when he isn't using his psychic abilities, Grodd handily defeats Barry every time they go up against him - at one point knocking him out with one blow and catching his supersonic punch. Even worse, Grodd's psychic attacks prevent Barry from escaping when in over his head like most other times.
    • In "Flash vs. Arrow", mind-controlling villain Prism forces the heroes to fight each other. By the time they break the mind-control, both heroes are wounded and exhausted—and they still have to find and fight Prism. Smash Cut to Prism, defeated and in the S.T.A.R. labs prison.
    • In "Enter Zoom", Zoom redirects the unstoppable lightning attack Barry had recently learned and was unfazed by Barry's attempts to balance the odds via a free fall fight. He then quickly beat Barry to a pulp, including a spine-breaking punch, and took him around key Central City locations as proof the Flash was defeated. Barry was left (temporarily) paralyzed from the encounter.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2, with Zoom, the death of Barry's father, and finally Barry erasing the events of the first two seasons.
  • 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.
    • Turned around in Season 2, where Harrison Wells from Earth-2 puts on Thawne's suit in order to convince Grodd to let Caitlin go. It works for a while, until Wells says "please", tipping off Grodd that something is wrong, as Thawne never used the word with him.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Clyde Mardon becomes the first Weather Wizard in this adaptation, and is shot by Joe in the pilot. In the comics he invents Weather Wizard's wand, but dies of a heart attack, after which he brother finds the device and becomes Weather Wizard.
    • Detective Chyre, an ally of Wally West in the comics, dies even before Barry Allen gets his powers.
    • Thawne kills Simon Stagg when the former determines that the latter poses a threat to the Flash.
  • Decomposite Character: Harrison Wells and Eddie Thawne at first seemed to be a divided character to the Reverse-Flashes of the comics. Eddie had Zolomon's police background but Eobard Thawne's last name and attraction to Iris, while Wells has Zolomon's wheelchair but Thawne's motivation, use of time travel and obsession with Barry's place in history. In the end it's revealed that Harrison Wells is actually Eobard Thawne, who came from the future and stole the identity of the real Wells, and Eddie is his distant ancestor. Additionally, the name "Reverse Flash" was taken up by multiple characters, with many specific traits rolled into the singular character in the show. Season 2 introduces Zoom, an alternate name for the Zolomon version of the Reverse Flash, as his own unique character and costume design.
  • Diesel Punk: Earth-2 seems to be built around this aesthetic, specifically the Decopunk variation. Ironically, it's actually more advanced than Earth-1.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: When up against both Captain Cold and Heat Wave and their respective guns, Barry's told that being the antithesis to each other would cause a destructive feedback if they cross paths. Try as much as he could, the two wouldn't cross paths because they were always shooting at him while side by side. So instead of trying to outrun them, he slowed to a jog and went between them, allowing himself to get hit by the two guns but causing the feedback. He's hurt afterward and his suit is sufficiently charred but, of course, he heals fast.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: General Eiling reveals that after his first encounter with the Flash they developed some new weapons designed to counter him. First off was a spike grenade attracted to kinetic energy, leaving Barry as a pin cushion. Another one was a phosphorous missile that had a proximity sensor, it wouldn't stop burning until Barry created a vacuum.
  • Depending on the Writer: The writers do not have a consensus on how they want time travel to work; depending on the episode time can either be rewritten or it's already destined to happen via Stable Time Loop that you can't divert from without causing the timeline to explode.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Eobard Thawne's plan to kill Barry as a 10 year old if he had been successful at he would've lost his connenction to the Speed Force. He satisfied himself with killing Nora, since the tragedy would prevent him from becoming the Flash - however Thawne lost his connection to the Speed Force, regardless. So in a bit of irony Thawne was forced to manipulate events so that Barry would become the Flash regardless in order to ensure he would get his powers back.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The show uses the term "metahuman" from the comics for people with superpowers.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Barry's relationship with Linda Park who, in the comics, is the girlfriend and later wife of Barry's successor, Wally West (although the fact that she's about Barry's age in the show could suggest an inversion of Promoted to Love Interest for Wally).
    • Iris' relationship with Eddie Thawne as well. Practically invoked in-universe with the reveal in "The Trap" that in the original timeline (at least), Iris was married to Barry.
    • Any relationship that Barry has with any woman other than Iris. In the comics, Barry and Iris's relationship is an iconic romance in DC Comics, second only to Lois and Clark's. So it is only logical that any woman Barry dates, he will eventually break up with in the end.
  • Downer Ending: "Out of Time" ends on a terrible note, with Cisco dead after Eobard Thawne catches him in his hidden chamber, 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 as a result he doesn't learn Thawne's true nature for several more episodes. To top it all off, the trauma from the tsunami causes Iris to profess her love for Barry, but when Barry tries to do the same after going back, she is repulsed and Eddie gets pissed at him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The first episode gave Barry a kind of Sherlock Scan when viewing a crime scene, but this was quickly abandoned as most of the crime scenes have extraordinary origins.
    • Captain Singh starts off as the stereotypical Da Chief, but mellows into a Reasonable Authority Figure fairly quickly.
    • The first season had quite a few episodes that followed Arrow's episode structure, with the subplot taking place in flashbacks. The second season has only one episode that does this - all the other flashbacks are short enough to only need one or two scenes.
  • 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 "The Flash is Born", he gets Iris to call him "the Flash".
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Averted and played straight at the same time with Leonard Snart. Leonard and Lisa's father Lewis, much more evil than either, places a bomb on Lisa to force him to cooperate. Flash and his team help Snart and defuse the bomb — and then Snart kills his father.
    Leonard Snart: He broke my sister's heart. It was only fair that I'd break his.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Thawne to the point of bordering on Affably Evil at times.
    • He finds General Eiling's treatment of Grodd distasteful and stands up to Eiling over it. Later he remands Eiling to Grodd's custody for revenge.
    • Later he finds Eiling's experiments on Plastique equally abhorrent.
    • He regrets killing Nora Allen, and had never intended to in the first place. In fact, he leaves a video-recording with a confession to the murder in case of his untimely death, knowing that, if he's dead, he might as well leave Barry a gift, his father's freedom.
    • He takes no pleasure in killing Cisco in the erased timeline. In fact, when Cisco tells him about it in "Fast Enough", he's genuinely shocked to find out it happened.
  • Everyone Can See It: Every single character sees it between Barry and Iris, including Iris' boyfriend. Justified Trope - until "The Man in the Yellow Suit", Iris is unaware of Barry's feelings for her, and for most of Season 1 she is unaware of her feelings for Barry.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: While Barry and Jesse are trapped in Zoom's hideout, they see another man in a glass cage, tapping something on the wall. They initially assume it's Morse, but then they realize it's the POW tap code. The prisoner then taps out J-A-Y, and Barry assumes he's talking about this world's Flash, who's currently on Earth 1. It's later confirmed that this prisoner is the real Jay.
  • Evil Counterpart: The first two seasons' Big Bads are both this to Barry.
    • The Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne, as in the comics.
    • The "speed demon" known as Zoom, Hunter Zolomon, is this to Wally West in the comics but here he's Barry's second evil counterpart.
    • A smaller example with female speedster Trajectory later in Season 2, who commits crimes in a crimson speed suit and leaves behind a yellow streak similar to the Flash, briefly making people think that it's the Flash doing it.
    • A number of characters appear to have villainous (sometimes metahuman) doppelgangers on Earth 2. This includes Cisco (Reverb), his brother Dante (Rupture), Caitlin (Killer Frost), Ronnie (Deathstorm), and Laurel Lance (Black Siren). Inverted with Deadshot (he's a detective on Earth 2 with a terrible aim) and presumably Mayor Snart (though it's unclear which Snart this applies to).
  • Evil Is Petty: Eobard Thawne spends the latter part of Season 1 acting like he hates Barry because his future self did something "unforgivable". Come Season 2, we find out that his grudge against him comes down to little more than envy.
  • Evil Mentor: Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon both apply here.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Deconstructed in Season 2 as it shows how horrible it would be to be on the receiving end. The Earth-Two villains have no scruples about killing people in the main universe, sometimes including their alternate counterparts, all to get home.
    • Also averted after the protagonists return to Earth 1 and close the breaches to Earth 2. Barry is tormented by the thought that he has left Earth 2 at the mercy of Zoom's reign of terror and resolves to put a stop to it.
  • Expy: Much like how Arrow exaggerates the Green Arrow similarities to Batman, The Flash exaggerates the similarities to Superman. It's most notable when it comes to his interactions with Arrow, they typically don't have the same "The Cape vs. The Cowl" dynamic that Batman and Superman have.
  • Family Theme Naming: From what we're shown, the Thawne clan seems to have an affinity for having names starting with "E", ending with "D" and an "R" in between.
  • Fingerprinting Air: A rather amazing example, Hand Waved as using advanced Star Labs tech. When convinced there had to be two speedsters on the night of Nora Allen's death, Joe and Cisco examine the original house. They find an old mirror that was in that room that night and used silver nitrate, the same stuff used in photographs and film stock. From that, and knowing speedsters cause a lot of sharp lighting when they move, Cisco was able to gather ten blurry pictures of that night (and recreate it in the original 3-D space just for fun). From this they were also able to find a hidden 14 year-old blood splatter still on the wall which belongs to an adult (not child) Barry, giving them the first inklings that Barry's powers could be used for Time Travel.
  • First Episode Spoiler: "Harrison Wells" can walk and knows Barry's future.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: The Reverse-Flash. 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 Eobard Thawne 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, Eobard Thawne says "It feels like I've been waiting centuries for this."
    • 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 hinted at a future appearance of Firestorm, confirmed at the end of "Flash vs. Arrow".
    • In "Power Outage", Thawne 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.
    • In "Who Is Harrison Wells?", Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin find Thawne's secret lair and his futuristic computer, Gideon. In the midst of a bit of exposition, an inattentive Barry interrupts as the latter is calling Barry the, "Founding member of..."
    • Caitlin mentions in an early episode that she and her fiance were "like fire and ice", hinting at them turning into Firestorm and Killer Frost. As of the end of season 1 she is yet to recieve her powers. There is also a shot of her as Killer Frost when Barry sees his timeline through the Speed Force.
    • In "The Man Who Saved Central City", this combines with a sad Stealth Pun to give us a hint of Ronnie's fate.
    Firestorm: I'm late, aren't I?
    • An interested cross-series one connecting a thread started in Arrow Season 2. While visiting Barry in Central City, Oliver runs into an old girlfriend from before his shipwreck. They have an awkward "nice to see you" moment and after he leaves she mentions having a son note .
    • In Season 2, Both Hunter Zolomon and his time remnant prominently wear what looks like leather in their costumes.
  • Flash Step: No, not by Barry. Because the Turtle's ability to slow people down only works in pulses this is how people see him moving.
  • For the Evulz: Zoom's reason for pretending to be the Flash on Earth 2. As the hero, he gives people hope. As Zoom, he rips that hope away.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • The audience knows Barry's future... Thawne just has to ensure it... However, "Power Outage" indicates the future can be rewritten.
    • Barry and Iris will become a romantic couple. In the comics, their relationship is the most iconic relationship in DC Comics after Lois and Clark so it is obvious that the writers are not passing up their romance at all on the TV show.
    • Eobard Thawne gets Retgone'd at the end of Season 1 after having been Trapped in the Past for 15 years and spending most of that time masquerading as Harrison Wells. In Season 2 Team Flash encounters a younger Eobard Thawne that hasn't yet gotten stuck in the past, so it's a given that any encounter with him will ultimately end with his escape. This is flat out discussed by the characters when they manage to capture Thawne and realize that refusing to let him go will create a Temporal Paradox.
  • Forgot I Could Fly: If Barry was capable of using his powers perfectly at all times, he would have little trouble fighting any bad guy. But the show makes it clear that Barry still has physical limitations and can be harmed or caught off guard by unexpected events. A good portion of Season 1 is him exploring the limits of his powers. He also tries to rely exclusively on his speed, and this is pointed out and used by Oliver. Later, Barry claims that he has started paying more attention to his surroundings, as per Oliver's advice.
  • 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.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Speed Force takes the form of Joe, Iris, Henry, and Barry's mother in order to put Barry at ease while he's being held in limbo. Averted somewhat in that Barry is weirded out by the entire experience.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine (extroverted, emotional, and people-oriented): Cisco — Enjoys helping people, very expressive in his emotions, has many friends, and thinks up clever, catchy names for the villains.
    • Choleric (extroverted, unemotional, and task-oriented): Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm and Eobard Thawne — Though the latter pretends to takes up Barry's cause to help people, he tries to remain detached and provide a calming and rational presence to prevent Barry from acting rashly. The choleric temperament is just obscured by the eclectic temperament persona that Eobard Thawne looted off the real Harrison Wells.
    • Melancholic (Introverted, emotional, and task-oriented): Eddie and Caitlin — both practical, conservative and analytical, and Caitlin's special attention to details.
    • Phlegmatic (Introverted, unemotional, and people-oriented): Iris — She's always calm and dependable, and is very thoughtful and patient.
    • Eclectic: Barry and Joe — combining several traits from among them and providing a stable center. Harrison Wells too, but real Wells, not his imposter.
  • 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 Thawne 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. This is also how Hunter Zolomon, a serial killer, became Zoom. On Earth 2, Wells attempted to channel the explosion underground, hoping to minimize the damage. Unfortunately, Hunter ended up getting exposed in the middle of electroshock therapy, imbuing him with superspeed.
  • 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.
    • Two in the Cold Open of "Flash vs. Arrow": Barry speeds past a homeless shelter, which a sign only in frame for a couple of seconds shows is being funded by Palmer Technologies. Also, he speeds past a street sign with "Queen" written on it, which is appropriate, given who guest stars in this episode.
  • Freudian Excuse: Zoom's psychopathic tendencies are rooted in him witnessing his mother's murder by his father at roughly the same age when Barry lost his mother and then growing up in the foster system.
  • 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 licenses.
  • 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.
  • Gone Horribly Right: An Implied Trope: Eobard Thawne hoped that killing Nora would traumatize Barry and prevent him from becoming The Flash in the future. Eobard's subsequent loss of his own super-speed suggests that it worked (without Barry becoming The Flash, no one discovered the existence of the Speed Force and learned how to tap into it, so Eobard never gained super-speed). However, this meant that he was Trapped in the Past and now needed the Flash to go home.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: In "Flash vs. Arrow", Oliver teaches Barry to pay more attention to his surroundings by firing multiple hidden arrows at Barry. When Barry objects, Oliver says "I heard you heal fast" and rips the arrows out.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Played with in the Season 1 finale. Eddie chooses to shoot himself in order to thwart Eobard's plans, causing Eobard to cease to exist. This opens up a Negative Space Wedgie over Central City which Barry has to try to close as a Cliffhanger.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In "The Sound and the Fury", Hartley Rathaway and Cisco exchange taunts in Spanish, he insults Caitlin in French, and converses in Latin with Thawne, 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.
  • Hack the Traffic Lights: In "The Sound and the Fury", Cisco does this to slow down the Royal Flush Gang by turning the lights red during their getaway.
  • Hand or Object Underwear: In "Flash vs. Arrow", Felicity's blouse catches fire after Barry races her at superspeed to S.T.A.R. Labs. She pulls off the blouse just as Kaitlyn and Cisco enters, and hurriedly holds her handbag up to cover her chest.
  • Handy Cuffs: In "Crazy For You", Cisco lets Hartley out of the Pipeline with his hands cuffed in front of him. Hartley clobbers Cisco and attempts to escape, although Cisco stops him.
  • 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 his speed mirage in a force field, Thawne tells him that only someone like the Flash could survive the damage that the force field is doing to his body. This is later subverted, when Cisco is able to stand in the same force field without problems. This might indicate that the field only harms speedsters.
  • He Had a Name: Invoked twice by Eobard Thawne: 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.
  • Hero Ball: After the Reverse-Flash reactivates the accelerator, endangering the lives of all the inmates in the Pipeline, Barry is so determined to save the inmates' lives while keeping them safely away from the populace that he cuts a deal with Captain Cold to smuggle them out of town. Lampshaded every step of the way as a bad idea, and it goes as badly as it could.
  • Heroic Build: While Barry is still fairly slender, the pilot had the memorable exchange "You were struck by lightning!" (Barry sees a live video feed of himself) "Lightning gave me abs?" It's explained that a natural result of his powers keep his body trim, his muscles don't atrophy at all.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Barry's time remnant in the Season 2 finale. While Barry is busy fighting Zoom, on a more even footing for a change, the time remnant tries to generate an interference pulse to stop Zoom's Multiverse-destroying machine by running around it at speeds to prove too much for his body. The time remnant disintegrates (while screaming), and that energy proves to be enough to stop the device. The Expendable Clone trope is averted, though, as Barry and the others later treat the time remnant as a hero.
  • Hero Killer: In Season 2, Zoom is treated as this. Everyone who crosses over from Earth-Two is terrified of him, and Jay Garrick was almost killed. "Enter Zoom" ended up as a loose approximation of Knightfall, where Barry was brutally beaten by Zoom and left paralyzed at the end (his Healing Factor took several weeks to recover from it).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: :Zoom's plan to destroy The Multiverse is foiled by Barry using the technique that Zoom showed him previously to create a time remnant. Zoom explains that it only works if the speedster is okay with killing himself (which he is). Barry generates a time remnant, which then performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Zoom's device, while Zoom is busy fighting the original Barry. Naturally, Zoom is not pleased by his own trick being turned against him, but, by that point, Barry is at least as strong as him. Also, when needing to get faster, Barry travels back in time and convinces Eobard Thawne to give him the formula for a booster device, allowing Barry to match Zoom in speed. However, Barry then travels back to the day of his mother's death and stops that version of Thawne, who can't fight Barry, as Barry is now much faster than him.
  • Hollywood Density: In the episode "Grodd Lives" the police move several hundred million dollars worth of gold bars through the city in an ice cream truck, which is less conspicuous than an armored convoy. We do get a brief glimpse of the actual number of gold bars. There's so many that the ice cream truck would have never even been able to move, much less even carry that much weight. The suspension would have collapsed, the tires exploded, and the floor of the truck given way.
  • Hollywood Hacking:
    • Felicity hacks into Central City's municipal data network in less than a minute on her first attempt.
    • Later, Barry uses a virus to erase every mention of Leonard Snart/Captain Cold from the Internet, despite not being a computer expert.
  • Hollywood Law: In "Plastique", the army, under Gen. Wade Eiling, shows up early on to take over the investigation from the Central City police. This is of course a blatant violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the use of the US Army to enforce the laws of the states (unless authorized to do so for a specific situation by an Executive Order or act of Congress).
    • Numerous criminal metahumans are imprisoned at Star Labs over the course of Season 1. However, they lack any authority to do that, therefore this is illegal imprisonment for which they could be prosecuted and sued. Even when it's revealed, there are no legal consequences.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Caitlin doing karaoke in "Crazy for You", although she was admittedly drunk. It also provided a huge contrast for when Barry breaks out his singing voice.
  • Hope Spot: At the end of "Escape from Earth 2", Barry, Cisco, Wells, and Jesse make it back to Earth-1, and Zoom's time remnant throws the dimensional grenade at the final breach. Everyone is glad that Zoom will finally be trapped on Earth 2... then, completing the remnant's role in his plan, Zoom's impales him, and the remnant's corpse is pulled into the breach moments before it closes.
  • 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.
  • Humiliation Conga: In "Enter Zoom", Zoom beats up Barry, then drags his near-dead body all over Central City telling everyone how worthless their hero was and how he's failed them.
  • 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 (and Earth-2) 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.
    • The standard MO of the shapeshifting metahuman Hannibal Bates/Everyman.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode that has Captain Cold as one of that week's villains has "Rogue" in the title, in reference to how in the comics, Cold helps organize the Flash's Rogues Gallery into a team that's actually called the Rogues.
  • 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.
    • Twice Barry has gotten the drop on an enemy whose powers are predicated on their ability to see, both times Barry is aware of this, and both times he does nothing with this information when he could easily put a bag over their head at superspeed and render them helpless.
    • 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 Everyman. The only person who didn't have the Idiot Ball at any point during the episode was Thawne. 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.
  • I Lied: After the Flash enlists Captain Cold's help, and gets double-crossed:
    Flash: You gave me your word!
    Captain Cold: It's true I did, but here's the thing: I'm a criminal and a liar and I hurt people and I rob them.
    • Additionally, "Jay Garrick" lied about Zoom stealing his speed. It was his own experiments with Velocity 6 that robbed him of it and the reason he's dying. To double up on this, he lied about being Jay Garrick at all.
    • The opener of one episode has a minor criminal hold another thug over an open tank of boiling tar with a Mook. He promises not to drop the thug into the tank, if the thug tells him where he hid the money. The thug tells him. The criminal promptly drops him into the tank. When the mook tells him that he promised he wouldn't, the guy looks at him in annoyance and tells him that he says a lot of things.
  • 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 rationale that it's the only means they have of containing these superpowered villains.
    • Additionally, none of the basic human needs seem to be provided for. There's no explanation of how they get food and water. They're in the same clothes in which they were captured, with no known laundry facility. The cells have no beds, sinks or toilets. They're just glass boxes. Plus, it's been shown that prolonged solitary confinement causes severe psychological problems, even driving prisoners to suicide or self-mutilation.
    • Reality Ensues when Eobard Thawne arranges to restart the collider forcing them to evacuate the prisoners. Unsurprisingly, they have a hard time finding help in illegally transporting unlawfully detained people. Although they do manage to convince A.R.G.U.S. to let them move the prisoners to Lian Yu, they have to recruit the Snarts to help move the prisoners through the city. Naturally, the Snarts double-cross them and sabotage the transfer, resulting in the loss of all the prisoners.
    • This is addressed by the authorities in Season 2, as the broken masquerade surrounding the existence of superpowered criminals has led them to set up a special wing for metahumans in Iron Heights prison. It doesn't stop them from throwing Dr. Hewitt into the pipeline to keep him quiet about everything he's seen.
  • Insecurity System: There are sometimes alerts given to the characters letting them know someone is in the building, but on more than a few occasions normal people just walk in to the main control center and surprise everyone. Could be justified when it's someone like Snart with some skill in espionage, but Iris also just walked in rather casually.
  • Irony: Eobard Thawne traveled back in time to try and murder Barry as a child, thereby preventing the Flash from ever existing. After he was thwarted by the future Flash, Thawne lost his powers. In order to return to his own time, Thawne was forced to create the Flash, so he could harness his speed instead.
  • 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 Rory, 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, played 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:
    • "Power Outage" takes care of both Tony and Blackout; Barry revealed his identity to the former in the previous episode, and is released by Thawne 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 Thawne that he knows Barry is the Flash. So Thawne abducts him (revealing himself as the Reverse-Flash in the process) and hands him over to a vengeful Grodd. Although "Grodd Lives" reveals that he's still alive, albeit under Grodd's thrall. Subverted later, when Eiling comes out from under Grodd's control, and Barry lets him go, pointing out that their prison is only for metahumans. Eiling points out that, like it or not, they're allies against "Wells". Besides, he has a gorilla to catch.
    • In "Out of Time", Thawne 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. Shortly after that, Cisco's meta-human powers start manifesting, and he gets visions of the alternate timeline.
  • 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 Reverse-Flash or Zoom is involved, the show's tone becomes a lot darker.
    • Almost all of the humour on the show vanishes when Grodd shows up. He is to date the only villain that has reduced Joe West to a sobbing wreck on the show, something that even Mark Mardon was unable to do. He's not as intimidating as the Reverse-Flash, but he still counts.
      • Both of the above examples pale in comparison to Zoom. Before he shows, his own time remnant talks about how much of a threat he is. When he actually shows, he brutally curbstomps Barry to the point that he breaks Barry's back, shows off his broken body to the people at CCPN and the police, leaving everyone in shock.
  • 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.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The show airs on Tuesdays. In "Plastique," Detective West comments:
    Joe West: So, human bomb. Must be Tuesday in Central City.
    • Cisco Ramon has made multiple references to weeks that episodes have aired. In "Out of Time", he said he'd wanted to assign the name Weather Wizard since week 1 (the pilot). In "The Nuclear Man", he mentions that Star Labs has been holding Mist prisoner since week 3 ("Things You Can't Outrun").
  • 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. Oliver himself notes this in the pilot, that Barry can be far more of an inspirational hero than him. When Felicity visits at a time when all the characters are in a bad mood she comments that Central City is "supposed to be the fun one". This dichotomy is ever present whenever there is a crossover with Arrow, Barry and Oliver clash over their different approaches to heroics. In "Brave and the Bold" on Arrow, Cisco and Caitlyn admit that calling their superpowered enemies metahumans helps them keep things impersonal, when dealing with the bad guys in Starling City they recognize how real and brutal it is in comparison.
  • 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 since they were preteens, 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.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Sand Demon is defeated by Barry learning to throw lightning bolts, turning him into glass. Then he falls on the floor with predictable results.
    • Later, Barry throws a special bomb made by Cisco at Tar Pit, causing him to shatter as well. However, this time, it's only the villain's outer shell. The meta-human himself is fine.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Iris is a deconstruction, as it becomes increasingly obvious there's no reason not to tell her that Barry is the Flash and it's destroying everyone's relationship with her. Once she finds out, she points out how wrong it is to keep her in the dark about secrets that everyone else in her inner circle knows, and that if anything not knowing put her in even more danger.
  • 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.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Pied Piper's gauntlets analyze a target's natural frequency and emit a modulated sonic wave that causes the target to resonate and rip itself apart.
    • Hunter Zolomon's time remnant learned to use his helmet as a sonic weapon by rapidly tapping on the top, while pointing the bottom at the target.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: Discussed when Barry starts dating Linda, leading to several connotations of the phrase "Aren't you going a little fast?" They point out Barry cannot fully commit to the act because of needing to control his powers (suggesting he would have to think of a lot of dead puppies). Later when in an intimate moment Barry unconsciously does a vibration effect and Linda, unaware of what happened, though it was a kinky new way to kiss.
  • Married in the Future: Barry and Iris, in the 2024 of the original timeline.
  • 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.
    • Grodd gives one later on when asked about his "father."
      Detective Joe West: Where is he?
      Grodd: Not here.
  • 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.
  • Men Don't Cry: Thoroughly averted. Pretty much every male character cries at some point, and no one is ever thought of as any less because of it.
  • Me's a Crowd: "Fastest Man Alive" features Danton Black/Multiplex, 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. Many of them have abilities tied to events they were doing at the time of the explosion, but there are hints that Barry was "chosen" in some way. Eventually they start talking about the Speed Force and recognizing it as something separate from the accelerator explosion. When they find metahumans that were not in Central City at the time of the explosion, they are not sure what to make of it.
    • Star Labs is also responsible for a lot of other technology that makes its way into villains hands, such as Captain Cold's freeze ray. If not them, then their rivals Mercury Labs.
    • Season 2 features the wormhole of the Season 1 finale leaving behind pockets of exotic matter that allow superpowered individuals from Earth-2 and possibly other worlds in the Multiverse to cross over.
    • On Earth 2, Harrison Wells attempted to channel the explosion underground, hoping to minimize the effect. Ultimately, it still resulted in the creation of metahumans, including Zoom, but Wells was able to maintain plausible deniability and retained his reputation.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: A solid 3 on the scale.
  • 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.
  • Morality Pet: Played with. Eobard Thawne admits that he grew fond of the team, including Barry, through their adventures. He even told Cisco he considered him to be a son. But in The Stinger of "The Trap", he makes it very clear that his vendetta against the Flash remains no matter how close they have become.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In "Plastique", the titular character touches Barry's suit, necessitating its removal, prompting Barry to speed strip to his underwear before his suit detonates.
  • 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.
    • The comics once had Wally explain that Barry insisted on always being late as a way to protect his identity - who'd expect a speedster to be late all the time?
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The creators have previously stated their love for the 1990's Flash series and they've added occasional references to the old show.
      • John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen in the 1990 series, plays Barry's father Henry Allen. He also plays the real Jay Garrick, the Flash from Earth 3, and that's after Shipp expressed his wish in an interview to never wear the Flash suit again.
      • Barry in both shows cheat when they need a centrifuge and manually speed-shake a test tube instead.
      • On both shows, the main Star Labs character (Tina in 1990, Harrison in 2014) both turned evil, unnerving Barry because Mission Control Is Off Its Meds. Fortunately, Tina got better and was only a villain of a week (her turn to evil was because of a Freak Lab Accident), but Harrison became the Big Bad.
      • Amanda Pays, who portrayed Barry's potential love interest Dr. Tina McGee in the 1990 series, plays a rebooted version of the same character. In the comics, the character was originally associated with Wally West.
      • In "Tricksters", Mark Hamill reprises his role as James Jesse/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."
      • Mayor Anthony Bellows, played by Vito D'Ambrosio in the same episode, is a sort-of reprise of Tony Bellows, a cop from the 1990 series.
    • 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.
    • Also in the pilot, 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.
    • 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 has 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. Cat Grant in the Supergirl crossover also prefers the "Blur" to the "Flash", much to Barry's chagrin. In Smallville, Clark Kent went by "The Blur" before he was Superman when all he did was super speed much like the Flash.
    • "Fastest Man Alive" 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.
    • "Things You Can't Outrun" 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...
    • "Going Rogue":
      • Leonard Snart briefly wears a blue parka as a disguise.
      • During the trivia contest, 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • 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 Thawne about a "big bad man" who can turn his skin into metal. Thawne muses: "A man of steel..."
    • "Revenge of the Rogues":
      • In a similar vein, Barry says that he's "faster than a speeding bullet."
      • When Iris was a girl, she had a stuffed animal called McSnurtle the Turtle. This was the secret identity of The Terrific Whatzit, a Golden Age DC Funny Animal character based on the original Flash.
    • 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, Arrow: in "The Sound and The Fury," when Thawne 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.
    • "The Nuclear Man":
      • 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 "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 "The Trap", Gideon tells Barry that he was "a founding member of..." before getting cut-off. Don't think too hard about what she was talking about.
    • "Grodd Lives":
      • Eobard actually manages to turn a Kick the Dog moment into one of these. Not only does he reveal to Eddie that Iris eventually marries Barry in the future, but that Eddie is the only member of the Thawne lineage whose accomplishments were considered so unimportant that in Thawne's timeline everyone barely remembers he even existed at all. In the comics, there is no character named Eddie Thawne.
      • Cisco offers Grodd a banana, but "Grodd hate banana". Minus the Hulk Speak, this was the same reaction Grodd had to being offered a banana by Wally West in the Justice League episode "The Brave and the Bold."
    • In "Rogue Air" Barry mentions Ferris Air got shut down after one of their test pilots disappeared, seemingly all but confirming Hal Jordan's origin story occurring in this universe.
    • "Fast Enough" is loaded with these.
      • The helmet of Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash, falls out of a wormhole. Also doubles as Foreshadowing.
      • One of the visions Barry sees of his possible future is one where he is in handcuffs and in prison, a reference to The Trial of the Flash, a famous Flash story-arc from the comics (which, like this episode, also included the death of the Reverse-Flash) and was in fact the last solo Barry Allen story before his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
      • A lot of story elements used in this episode are borrowed from the Flashpoint story-arc, such as the notion that Barry changing the past by saving his mother could have disastrous consequences, and an older iteration of Barry preventing his younger self from saving his mother.
      • The final scene, Barry running towards a "singularity" that is about to destroy the earth, intent on stopping it by running around it, is reminiscent of the iconic sequence in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where Barry uses a similar method to prevent the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter cannon from destroying the earth...an act which in the comic story resulted in his death.
    • "Enter Zoom" reveals that in Earth-2's timeline, Oliver Queen died went their boat sank, whilst his father Robert went on to eventually become The Arrow instead. This is similar to Flashpoint, where Thomas Wayne became Batman instead of Bruce, when their deaths switched places in that timeline.
      • Judging by Zoom's thrashing of Barry, including breaking his back and paralyzing his spine it seems he's fond of some of Bane's methods.
    • Kendra performing a leap of faith in order to get her wings is a reference to the Justice Society of America issue wherein Kendra debuts. Her first appearance consists of her jumping off a cliff before using her wings.
    • The Earth-2 version of Cisco is a villain named Reverb. In the comics, one of Cisco's brothers becomes a superhero named Reverb after Cisco's death during Legends.
    • The Earth-2 version of Ronnie Raymond is a villain called Deathstorm. This is the identity taken by Earth-3 Martin Stein in Forever Evil.
    • On Earth-2, the motto of the CCPD is "A Fair and Just Society", with "Society" in bigger letters. This is a reference to the original Earth-Two Justice Society of America, and the New 52's Earth 2: Society book.
    • In "Flash Back", the equation we see Barry write on the board is 3 x 2 (9YZ)4A. That's the Speed Force Mantra that Johnny and Jesse Quick use to access the Speed Force in the comics.
    • In "Invincible" Henry Allen and Christina McGee finally meet and there seems to be some attraction between them. In The Flash (1990), Dr McGee was the love interest of John Wesley Shipp's Barry Allen.
    • The plot of the season two finale is the villain wants Flash to power his multiverse-destroying machine, and in the end, (a temporal duplicate of) Flash deactivates it by pushing himself so far he crumbles into dust. Apart from the identity of the villain and the fact it was the real Barry Allen who died, this is #8 of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Neck Snap: This is Zoom's second preferred method of killing people, the first being the vibrating hand. In "Rupture", he kills two dozen Central City cops this way in under a second, all of them suddenly collapsing (from the viewpoint of everyone else).
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: "Enter Zoom". Barry has a way to stop Zoom for good, so they lure him into a climactic battle. Zoom and Barry trade Pre-Asskicking One-Liners:
    Zoom: "Heroes die."
    Flash: "Only if you can catch them first."
    • End result? Barry gets his ass kicked up and down Central City and his back broken, surviving only thanks to timely intervention from Cisco.
  • 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.
    • Barry has a terrible habit of being emotionally provoked, intentionally or otherwise, into causing potential extinction level events.
      • In the season 1 finale, Eobard Thawne proposes a plan — using Cisco's Rip Hunter-esque time machine, Barry goes back in time and saves his mom and in turn Eobard returns to his own time, the entire story between them retconned from time. Barry agrees, travels back to the past, then backs out of saving Nora at the last minute when another future Barry warns him off, returns to the present and stops Thawne from going home. This leads to a fight in which Eobard has Barry on the ropes until Eddie shoots himself to retcon Eobard's "current" existence. Thawne then disappears…and a black hole forms over the city. Barry tries to stop it with his speed but can only slow it down at best, so Ronnie has to sacrifice himself to stop it by defusing Firestorm within the hole's center. As Nice Jobs go, this is a particular crown jewel.
      • When Zoom murders Henry before his eyes right before the season 2 finale, Barry is angered into agreeing to a race with Zoom…which will generate enough energy into a stolen pulsar device to destroy every other universe. It takes the rest of the team figuring this out, holding him back, going through a failed alternate plan, and voicing their concerns for him to regain sound enough mind to figure out how to actually beat Zoom and avert the disaster.
      • Right after the above situation was cleared up, Barry is so thoroughly broken at this point that he goes back in time and follows through on saving his mom from Thawne. This AFTER it's been explained dozens of times (and demonstrated a few, for those who watch Legends of Tomorrow) how messing too far with time is a terrible idea, and AFTER the Speed Force outright told Barry that his mother's death and his becoming the Flash led to his saving countless innocents. Even those who don't know the comic book version of what happens when he does this can figure out this won't end well.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ironically, Eobard Thawne's attempt to destroy The Flash only lead to him requiring The Flash's speed in an attempt to return home.
  • Nobody Poops: The prison cells are just empty rooms furnished without beds or toilets. Discussed in "Rupture", when Jesse's complaint to her and Wally being stuck in the Time Vault is that there's no bathroom.
  • Noodle Incident: There's a reason why the Reverse-Flash hates Barry so much....but he refuses to elaborate on it. He just considers it "unforgivable". Subverted in that he later reveals the truth: he was a huge fan of the Flash, so much that he managed to re-create his accident and become a speedster himself. After traveling back in time, he found out that his destiny was to become the Flash's enemy. Unable to reconcile this, he vowed to destroy the Flash.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Barry and Iris. 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).
  • Not His Sled: Many viewers expecting Flashpoint to happen were surprised by the Season 1 finale.
  • Not So Different: After being unmasked, Zoom tells Barry that their origins aren't that different and that Barry could have easily ended up evil. Both witnessed their mothers' murders and had their fathers go to jail. However, in Zoom's case, his father really was the murderer. Also, Zoom ended up in an orphanage, while Barry was taken in by a friend of his father's and raised as his own son.
  • 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).
  • Numerological Motif: Appropriately enough, Season 2 deals with duality a lot. It introduces the Multiverse, with Earth-Two being the most prominent. Because of this, Doppelgangers and Evil Twins of certain characters regularly pop up. Even outside of that, events in the characters' lives also tackle it, namely; Martin Stein getting a second partner after Ronnie's apparent demise, both Barry and Caitlin apparently getting Second Loves in Patty Spivot and Hunter Zolomon's time remnant respectively]] and the West family reconnecting with two Long Lost Relatives.
  • 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. An early episode mentions that there is a janitorial staff, three is still a very small number of scientists at a lab to maintain an entire particle accelerator and facilities, including a secret makeshift prison. In addition, even if they weren't sued into oblivion for causing an accident that definitively killed people they would still have to be working on other projects to keep their funding. With Season 2, the public awareness of metahumans at least shows them assisting Central City with the police metahuman task force and Iron Heights metahuman wing. An offhanded comment in Legends of Tomorrow mentions that S.T.A.R. Labs takes over the administration of Central City at some point in the future, implying that the organization grows substantially.
  • Official Couple: As of The Runaway Dinosaur Barry and Iris.
    Barry: The truth is I don't know what this is between us or where we go from here. All I know is you're everything to me, and you always have been, and the sound of your voice will always bring me home!
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Arrow and Flash teaming up to take down Roy G Bivolo/Prism in "Flash vs. Arrow".
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Lampshaded by Cisco after using the "prototype freeze gun" to threaten Captain Cold.
    Cisco: "Couldn't kill him if I wanted to. It's the Star Labs vacuum cleaner... with a lot of LED's."
  • 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.
    • Barry can become this by speed reading textbooks...as long as his short term memory lasts.
  • Once an Episode: Barry's speed blowing some papers off a table. You'd think people would start using paperweights.
  • 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.
  • The Paragon: Barry is an unabashed good guy and always trying to do the right thing, whether or not he is in costume. This is a major contrast with Oliver, who admits as The Arrow is certainly not a role model but is hiding his own demons. Joe brings up that he is inspired by Barry because other people would take something like their mom being killed as an excuse for anger, he instead rose above it and always retained his good heart.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Barry's mother was murdered when he was a child and his father was arrested for the murder.
    • Hunter Zolomon's story is similar, except his father actually did murder his mother right in front of Hunter. Unlike Barry, Hunter was placed in foster care and grew up to be a serial killer, eventually gaining Super Speed powers and becoming Zoom.
  • 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.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Cisco is understandably freaked out when he realizes that Zoom can sense him spying on him using his Vibe powers. It's not specified how the Speed Force allows Zoom to sense what should really be a one-way connection. Cisco later uses it to deliver a message to Zoom that Barry is ready to trade his speed for Wally's life.
  • 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 Joe 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 Thawne. 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).
    • In Season 2, Zoom is too fast for either Earth 1's Central City Police Department or Earth 2's Central City Police Department to handle on their own. In both cases, Zoom slaughters a roomful of trained cops in less than a second as a demonstration.
  • Power at a Price:
    • The Velocity drug; it will enhance/give you super speed but it will also kill you as a result too.
    • Griffin Grey has superstrength, but he ages every time he uses it.
  • 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.
    • Weather Wizard is a metahuman with direct control over the weather, instead of using his traditional Weather Rod (though the rod makes an appearance as a device to dampen his powers).
    • Subverted with Captain Cold who was made into a metahuman with ice powers in the New 52 comics around the time the show debuted, but is given his classic cold gun in the show.
  • Protagonist Title: The title refers to Barry's superhero identity.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Linda Park for Barry, as of "Crazy for You".
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Grodd threatens Joe with this in "Grodd Lives", forcing him to point his gun at himself before tossing it away using telekinesis.
  • 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 Flash/Arrow 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. Joe's dialogues are foreshadowing to the eventual fate of Arrow in Season 3, as all of his past records are vehemently used against him.
    • Eventually all of the people Thawne kills come back to haunt him as people start to notice the disappearances surrounding him. He kills an intelligent reporter that was trying to connect him to Simon Stagg's death, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, and it alerts Barry to his identity.
    • Illegally detaining people without due process in your own personal prison is all well and good until things go wrong. See Inhumanable Alien Rights above.
    • When Barry runs into two issues when using his powers with Felicity. Destroying his regular non-friction resistant shoes by demonstrating his powers while wearing them. Later he carries her across the city at super speed, making her sick.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain Singh starts off in the mold of Da Chief, but really sort of mellows into quite a reasonable man as Season 1 progresses on. He doesn't bellow at his men unnecessarily, he listens to their council and takes their advice when deciding on an action. The only time he gets upset at a subordinate is when Barry, (under the influence of Rainbow Raider), bitches him out. Even then, Singh's response (as a captain who was just dressed down by a CSI) is understandable. Barry's lucky Singh didn't fire him.
    • He also gets upset when Barry makes him spill coffee on a coat his fiancee had given him as a gift, but not unreasonably so.
  • Reconstruction: After decades of superheroes becoming "serious" Darker and Edgier Anti-Heroes who are full of angst over having powers and are somewhat grounded in reality, the Flash rebuilds the traditional superhero who functions on Good Feels Good basis and is a hero despite his tragic backstory not because of it, who lives in a fantastical setting and isn't afraid to get a little silly along the way. The Silver Age Friendly Enemy relationship with his Rogues Gallery also shows up, mostly with Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, and made more plausible in that The Flash recognizes a lot of them as having redeeming qualities and is trying to protect them from themselves. At the same time, it doesn't shy away from the fact that some of the villains (such as Reverse-Flash and (especially) Zoom) are brutal monsters who can kill dozens of people with no issues.
  • Red Herring: The most popular candidates for the identity of the Reverse-Flash were Eddie Thawne and "Dr. Wells".
  • Reincarnation Romance: Hawkman and Hawkgirl were an Ancient Egyptian prince and priestess, respectively, who were secret lovers. They were discovered by a High Priest named Hath-Set, who killed them and absorbed their life force, just before the city was destroyed by Nth metal meteorites. Since then, the lovers have been reincarnating for 4000 years only to be tracked down and killed by the priest (now calling himself Vandal Savage) each time, who maintained his Immortality by absorbing their life force. He has already killed them 206 times, and their 207th incarnations (Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders) look like they might soon follow. Savage succeeds in one timeline and proceeds to use the Staff of Horus to destroy Central City, as well as killing most major Flash and Arrow characters, but Barry uses Time Travel to re-do the events of that day and destroys Savage.
  • Required Secondary Powers: What Barry does brings up a large number of questions regarding physics and other mandated abilities to accommodate Super Speed. It's nothing new to the comics, either, typically hand waved as an included feature of the Speed Force. The show does wink at a few of those things, as his suit is designed for high friction and when wearing civilian clothing they tend to burn or even catch fire. He's also more durable than the average person, but can hurt himself by misjudging the tensile strength of an object before hitting it.
  • Required Spin Off Crossover: So far there has been some crossovers between the two shows.
    • Oliver Queen/The Arrow appears in the pilot.
    • Felicity guest stars in "Going Rogue."
    • "Flash vs. Arrow" (The Flash) and "The Brave and the Bold" (Arrow) aired on back-to-back nights as a huge promotional stunt, featuring an interconnected but still standalone story between the two.
    • John Diggle and Lyla Michaels appear in "King Shark".
  • Reset Button Ending: "Out of Time", a Wham Episode which includes, among other things, Cisco discovering Eobard Thawne's 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 travelling back in time to the start of the episode. Later in Season 2 finale, Barry literally erases the entire series by travelling in the past and saving his mother.
  • Restraining Bolt: The iron mask that Jay Garrick was forced to wear turns out to dampen his Super Speed abilities. Otherwise, he'd able to phase through the walls of his cell and escape.
  • 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.
  • 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 Thawne being a time traveler may have led to that occurring...
  • Ret Gone: The final fate of Eobard Thawne in the Season 1 finale after his ancestor Eddie Thawne commits suicide, thus erasing him from existence.
    • Also applies to the first two seasons due to Barry saving Nora in the Season 2 finale.
  • The Reveal:
    • "The Man in the Yellow Suit" reveals Eobard Thawne as the Reverse-Flash and that there was a future Barry present the night of Nora Allen's murder.
    • "The Sound and the Fury" outright shows Thawne 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 Thawne 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 Thawne 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 Thawne 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 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 Eobard killed the real Harrison Wells years ago, and has been impersonating him ever since as part of his plans.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: The Snarts are criminal mastermind in Earth 1. However, one of their Earth 2 counterparts is the mayor of Central City.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: Thawne'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.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Cisco proves to have the ability to see changes in time and dimension. This is the first evidence that he is also a metahuman, with gradually increasing strength and control.
  • Rogues Gallery: Given The Flash is the Trope Namer, the term has come up. Amusingly, Barry himself is the one to coin the term, which Captain Cold found amusing. Currently, all episodes involving Captain Cold have "Rogue" in the title: "Going Rogue", "Rogue Time", "Revenge of the Rogues", "Rogue Air", and "Family of Rogues".
  • 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, Clock King, the Royal Flush Gang and Deathbolt appear here after their stints on Arrow.
  • Romantic False Lead: Barry tries to move on from Iris and began dating Linda Park, who happens to be Iris' co-worker. They get along really well, but his superhero life infringes on that. When Weather Wizard threatens the city with a tidal wave, Iris confesses her love to Barry, who reveals his secret as the Flash and runs at such high speeds he ends up going back in time. Having Iris's confession in the previous timeline, he and Linda break up because he believes Iris is ready for a new relationship. She rejects him because the circumstances are different this time around.
  • 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.
      Oliver: "I heard you heal fast." [rips arrows out of Barry's back]
    • Cisco is really interested in knowing how Thawne manages to fit his Reverse Flash suit in his ring. He's had no luck so far getting him to explain it.
  • Saved for the Sequel: There's a lot of teasing throughout Season 2 about Wally and Jesse developing Super Speed (like they have in the comics), culminating with them getting caught in the blast when the team recreates the accident that gave Barry his powers. That said, despite the Genre Savvy characters thinking otherwise (and Jesse even getting a medical test), by the end of Season 2 there's no indication at all that either of them have any powers.
  • 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: Barry was a CSI tech long before getting his superpowers. He's not quite as smart as the S.T.A.R. Labs team, but isn't completely lost in their technical jargon. A combination of creative use of his powers and them as support they come up with a scientific method of confronting the new metahuman, sometimes with Cisco creating a new device as a Power Nullifier.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon become this to Barry, helping him figure out what happened to him.
    • Detective Joe West also finds out Barry's secret after seeing him stop Clyde Mardon's tornado.
    • Barry tells Felicity Smoak his secret when she first visited Central City on-screen.
    • 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 Martin Stein became this to Barry. Stein's wife, Clarissa, was also let in on the secret.
    • Captain Cold tortured Cisco's brother to tell him The Flash's identity, prompting Cisco to comply. Barry then makes a deal with Cold that he shouldn't kill or else he won't hold back next time they meet. For the matter, it is heavily implied that due to the above torture, Cisco's brother may also have known about The Flash's identity unless Cisco whispered it to Cold or told him someplace else.
    • Although Henry Allen was heavily implied to be a Secret Secret-Keeper for his son's superhero identity, Barry eventually makes it official after he rescued his father from The Tricksters.
    • Barry reveals his identity to Eddie in order to get his help in keeping Iris from finding out, but she figures it out a few episodes later anyway.
    • Felicity tells her then-boyfriend Ray Palmer on Barry's secret.
    • Barry removes his mask in front of Linda Park as a gesture of trust, as he's asking her to put her life on the line for him. Her first reaction?
      Linda: "Holy crap. I've made out with the Flash."
    • Cisco accidentally outs Barry to Kendra Saunders, after Barry saves them from Vandal Savage. Then again, given that Kendra turns out to be Hawkgirl, it would've happened anyway. In the same crossover two-parter, many other characters learn the Flash's identity, including Carter Hall (Hawkman) and Thea Queen (Speedy). Both Laurel Lance (Black Canary) and Malcolm Merlyn (Dark Archer, the new Ra's al Ghul) already knew it from previous (different) crossovers.
    • Patty Spivot finally figures it out based on Barry's forensics reports (it helps to be both a detective and a wannabe CSI), which include information that couldn't possibly have been gleamed based on forensics evidence alone. Unfortunately, Barry heeds Harry's advice and keeps the truth from her to keep Zoom from using her against him, despite the fact that it's plainly obvious that he's lying. Patty leaves Central City but makes a false alarm call while on the train to get the Flash to appear. Barry stops blurring his face in front of her and speaks in his normal voice before running away. She seems to be okay with this.
    • Dr. Tina McGee eventually figures it out. After Barry saves her from the collapsing Mercury Labs, she tells him "Thank you, Mr. Allen." When he looks at her in shock, she simply says that she's not stupid.
    • Earlier on, it was revealed that General Eiling was a Secret Secret-Keeper and had figured out some time ago that Barry was The Flash. He's content to keep it a secret...for now, since Barry helps keep more dangerous metahumans under control.
    • Hartley Rathaway (ie. Pied Piper) got retconned into having made a Heel–Face Turn and as a result knows Barry's identity.
    • Wally finds out late in Season 2 after Zoom kidnaps Henry Allen in front of him, leading Barry to chase after him.
    • And none of this even counts the visitors from Earth-2 (Wells, Jesse, Zoom, other villains, etc.) that know. Barry's identity borders on being an Open Secret by the end of Season 2. It's to the point where the reveal of a possible plotline in Season 3 with Barry's Secret Identity being jeopardized immediately led to a bunch of "What Secret Identity?" comments.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:
    • Caitlin dresses fairly conservatively and generally tends to be a typical "good girl". Her Earth 2 metahuman counterpart, Killer Frost, wears skin-tight leather clothing and reveals her cleavage. When they meet, Frost asks why Caitlin feels the need to hide "the girls", causing Caitlin to look at her breasts in embarrassment.
    • Black Siren (Black Canary's Earth 2 counterpart) also wears slightly more revealing clothing than Earth 1's Laurel.
  • Sherlock Scan:
    • Barry does this during crime scene investigation in the pilot, determining who or what was there 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".
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Thawne tells Eddie he'll never be married to Iris. As a result, he decides to not even try proposing to her. He changes his mind after Martin Stein tells him that he's free to write his own destiny, but, in the end, he does this again by shooting himself in order to keep his descendant from killing her.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Discussed when it comes to Barry discovering his ability to Time Travel. Barry immediately sets out to capture Weather Wizard before any of the problems of the previous episode come about, but it causes a ripple effect with Captain Cold's schemes that has a similarly adverse effect on the characters.
    • Works much better after the plan to take out Vandal Savage goes horribly wrong, resulting in the death of most major Flash and Arrow characters, plus everyone else in Central City, except for Barry. Bonus points for Barry already knowing that he will have to go back in time at some point after seeing his "speed ghost". He manages to convince Oliver, who, in turn, reworks the entire plan, resulting in Savage's defeat.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: A good chunk of the Season 1 finale is dedicated to creating a time machine so Eobard Thawne can travel through a wormhole and return to his time period, as well as perfectly planning his departure. When Barry later returns through the wormhole from the past, he crashes into it just before Thawne would have left, destroying it. Thawne is not happy.
  • Shock and Awe: Farooq Gibran/Blackout can shoot lightning bolts out of his hands. In Season 2, Jay Garrick teaches Barry to do the same by using the electricity built up when he's running.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • "Fastest Man Alive" involves Barry protecting Simon Stagg from being murdered by Multiplex. Eventually he defeats Multiplex. In the end Thawne murders Mr. Stagg, making defeating Multiplex pointless.
    • Barry tries to help Bette Sans Souci/Plastique escape the attentions of General Eiling. In the end General Eiling shoots Plastique and her body is consumed by her own explosive powers.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The Flash whisks Iris up onto the rooftop for late night conversations.
  • So Last Season: The first real speed-based attack Barry learns is the supersonic punch, an attack made at Mach 1.1 (and he needed a 5 mile running start) in order to defeat Girder. That same attack was attempted against Grodd, who caught the punch and tossed him aside. In Season 2, Barry learns an attack from Zoom's time remnant where he generates his lightning streaks by running in a circle and throwing it to defeat Sand Demon. He attempts the attack again at Zoom, who catches the lightning bolt and throws it back at him. Notably, Barry doesn't stop using those attacks (Barry later landed the supersonic punch on Grodd while he was distracted, and throwing lightning worked against Carter Hall and King Shark), but it's just made clear they are not unstoppable game winners.
  • 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.
    • The Reverse Flash's suit is made almost entirely of leather, and is a bit bulkier and less formfitting than Barry's as a result.
  • 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/The Arrow is.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Smallville.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Played for Laughs in "The Trap". Upon seeing the future version of the Flash suit in the newspaper article from 2024, Cisco wonders if he will redesign Barry's suit only because he's now seen what its supposed to look like in the future, which would mean they're all part of a "causal nexus".
    • Receives a callback in Season 2's "Flash Back" when Future Barry switches Flash logos with Past Barry, prompting Cisco to wonder if he makes the change only because he sees the white logo.
    • In Season 2, Team Flash encounters the Reverse-Flash again, except it's his first time in this time period (he still looks like his own self). From his viewpoint, he hasn't yet gone back in time to kill Barry's mom. Barry manages to capture him, but the resulting paradox nearly kills Cisco, so Barry is forced to cooperate with Thawne and send him back to the future. They realize that this is when Thawne first learned of Caitlin, Cisco, and Wells (he doesn't know that Harry isn't from this world).
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Barry and Felicity had loads of Ship Tease when he first appeared on Arrow and that chemistry continued in her first appearance here. They even acknowledge their attraction to each other outright, but Barry's hung up on Iris and Felicity with Oliver. They share a kiss but admit there is too much between them at that point.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Barry gets really annoyed at Malcolm Merlyn and the other assassins doing that. And he's supposed to be the super-fast one. When he tries to complain to Oliver, the latter just gives him a knowing "yeah, I know" wave.
  • 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:
    • Most of the episodes of Season 1 have ended with stingers.
      • "Pilot": The big one, where we see Thawne walk, enter a secret room and look at some sort of historical record - from the future.
      • "Fastest Man Alive": Simon Stagg tells Thawne about what they could learn from the Flash, how they could change what it means to be human. Thawne remarks that the Flash needs to be protected, so he kills Stagg.
      • "Things You Can't Outrun": This one doubles as a flashback, where we see Thawne 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": Eobard Thawne 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": Eobard Thawne 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. This receives a callback in Season 2, where Zoom is holding Harrison Wells from Earth 2 and tells him the same thing, also in a distorted voice.
      • "Revenge of the Rogues": Cold and Heat Wave are on their way to prison, when they're rescued by Cold's sister, Lisa/Golden Glider.
      • "The Sound and the Fury": Thawne 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": Thawne 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.
      • "All-Star Team Up": Barry brings Caitlin and Cisco into his and Joe's investigation of Thawne, and Cisco remembers Thawne killing him in the other timeline.
      • "Who Is Harrison Wells?" Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco find Thawne's secret room where they find the Reverse-Flash suit and the newspaper page from the future detailing Barry's disappearance.
      • "The Trap": The Reverse-Flash abducts Eddie and brings him to his underground lair, while in a flashback, Thawne promises a comatose Barry that he will kill him for some unspecified thing Barry did to him in the future.
      • "Grodd Lives": Eobard's hideout is directly beneath the particle accelerator, which he's turned into a giant Cosmic Treadmill.
      • "Rogue Air" is the second episode to lack a stinger, in favor of the battle between the Reverse-Flash and Flash, Arrow, and Firestorm, resulting in the heroes incapacitating Eobard.
    • Although, with the beginning of Season 2, the tradition of slipping stingers into the end of an episode is back in full force.
      • "The Man Who Saved Central City: right after Caitlin comments about STAR Labs' increased security, Hunter Zolomon's time remnant walks into the room.
      • "Flash Of Two Worlds": in addition to Martin Stein collapsing mid-explanation, the scene cuts to an alternate version of S.T.A.R. Labs in which a tour guide is leading a party of school children. In the middle of explaining how S.T.A.R. Labs specialises in AI and genetics, she spots the founder leaving an elevator and introduces him to the amazed crowd.
      Dr. Harrison Wells: "Hello, kids."
      • "Potential Energy" ends with a wide shot of a residential area of Central City at night. A streak of red lightning hurtles along the road. When its owner slows to a halt, we see a familiar yellow suit. When the wearer unmasks, we see a confused-looking Eobard Thawne from before he went back in time. Upturning his hand, he asks a single question: "Gideon? Where the hell are we?"
  • 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.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: In "Revenge of the Rogues", Snart and Rory kidnap Caitlin and leave her Bound and Gagged to chair above a bomb in a warehouse. The bomb is rigged with a tripwire to start a timer if anyone enters to rescue her.
  • 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. Also, in addition to his tricks, the Trickster just seems to love making bombs.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: The murder of Barry's mother Nora, right in front of his eyes, still continues to traumatize him and his father.
  • Super Serum: The Velocity series of serums are designed to boost a speedster's speed. In Zoom's case, it also temporarily returns his speed to him. He also reveals that his previous experiments with the serum have resulted in his speed loss and the reason why he's dying. Caitlin works on improving the drug and goes through several versions, with Velocity 9 being the most promising. When using Velocity 9, Zoom is able to sustain his speed for many minutes and his cells start to gradually regain their Healing Factor, which may help cure his condition.
  • Super Speed:
    • Only a few days after waking up from his coma, Barry clocks in at around 700 mph, just under the sound barrier.
    • The Reverse-Flash can move much faster, thanks to the battery in Eobard Thawne's wheelchair pumping him up in lieu of a Speed Force connection.
    • Season 2 introduces Wally West. Barry's main enemy in the season is Zoom, an evil speedster from Earth-Two, whose speed is far greater than even that of Barry or the Reverse-Flash.
    • In "Legends of Today", Caitlin and Earth-2 Harrison Wells determine that Barry seems to have maxed out at just over Mach 2 and are working on a serum to temporarily boost his speed. Zoom's time remnant reluctantly agreed to test the serum to save Harry, after he's been accidentally shot by Patty. He manages to get enough of his speed back to phase his hand through Harry's chest to pull out the bullet.
  • Super Strength: Several metahumans have this as a result of their power. These include Girder, Grodd, Atom Smasher, and Killer Shark. Even with his speed, Barry has trouble beating them and has to resort to tricks. Additionally, any speedster is able to use his speed to amplify his punches, since speed = kinetic energy.
  • 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. Ditto for Snart's sister Lisa "Golden Glider" Snart.
  • 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. When Zoom's time remnant is introduced in Season 2, he reveals that his sobriquet was the Crimson Comet.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: STAR Labs, especially later on in Season 2. People just stroll in whenever the plot requires it with no explanation as to how they got into it. Lampshaded in the Season 2 premiere, where they note this happening and start beefing up security - cue Hunter Zolomon just strolling in with no explanation as to how he got in. This is lampshaded later by Team Arrow, who call STAR Labs security a "revolving door". Cisco counters by pointing out that two Team Arrow headquarters have been discovered and attacked.
  • 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. They, on the other hand, are not.
  • Tap on the Head: Used on Barry in "Who is Harrison Wells?" Oddly enough, it takes him out for several hours despite his quick-healing until Caitlin wakes him up.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Season 2, Hunter Zolomon and Harrison Wells from Earth-Two don't like one another and can barely stand being in the same room together. Zoom blames Wells for the creation of meta-humans on Earth 2 (specifically, himself), while "Harry" thinks that Hunter is a coward, who only serves to slow Barry's progress down. It doesn't help that Harry is willing to sell Barry out in exchange for the return of his daughter.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Mardon mockingly asks Joe West: "You think your guns can stop God?" Turns out they can.
    • In a minor example:
    Barry: "Wanna see how fast I can run backwards?" off-screen crash noise
  • Time Stands Still: In "Potential Energy", the episode's villain - Russell Glosson/Turtle - has the ability to slow down time to nearly zero. Specifically, he drains the kinetic energy out of his surroundings and uses it to vastly augment his own speed; even to the point where he can outpace and get the better of The Flash when they first meet.
  • 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.
    • This gets even more inconsistent in Season 2. It's suggested that Eobard Thawne killing Barry's mom was part of a Stable Time Loop that allows him to still exist despite being Retgone'd in the Season 1 finale, since the events leading up to him being erased from existence still have to happen and haven't yet from his point of view.
    • "Jay Garrick" and Zoom are the same person, yet both are able to exist because "Jay" is Zoom's "time remnant" in a similar fashion as Eobard Thawne's continued existence. Legends of Tomorrow occurs in the same universe yet its time-travel rules seem far more stringent about effects on the timeline from altering the past, so this implies that when speedsters travel through time using their powers, the Speed Force itself integrates into the natural flow of time and these "time remnants" are the result.
  • 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". Thawne 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 "Power Outage" that Iris uses "the Flash" in dialogue.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth
    • Blackout attempts to feed on Barry a second time, except Barry has just tapped more into the Speed Force. This results in Blackout absorbing more than he can handle.
    • Atom Smasher absorbs various forms of energy (including kinetic and radioactive) and grows stronger (and bigger) as a result. Barry ends up luring him into a nuclear reactor, causing the metahuman to absorb lethal levels of radiation even for him.
  • Tornado Move: Clyde Mardon pulls one off when he starts thinking big. Barry counters him by running in the opposite direction of the spin, basically doing the same thing as Mardon, resulting in the twister collapsing in on itself. Speedsters can create small directed twisters by rapidly spinning their arms. This has been done to put out a fire (by sucking all the oxygen out of the immediate area), attack flying enemies with gusts of air (Firestorm and Hawkman), and fly (temporarily, by directing the force downwards).
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
  • Trapped in the Past: In "Out of Time" we learn that Eobard Thawne was stranded in the 21st century after a failed attempt to kill Barry as a child 15 years ago.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Captain Singh is of Indian descent and also gay.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: In the aptly named "Flash vs. Arrow", Barry has actual superpowers that make him almost impossible to catch, but Oliver has years of training, experience and strategic planning behind him. They end up having a protracted fight because of a metahuman messing with Barry's head. Cisco and Caitlyn end up debating with Diggle over who would win, and Felicity interrupts them asking if they were actually doing this. Funny enough, once Oliver and Barry clear that up they were able to apprehend the metahuman offscreen with little issue.
  • The Unfettered: Thawne 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.
  • Uniqueness Decay: "My name is Barry Allen. And I am the fastest man alive." Well... It wasn't long before a second speedster, the Reverse Flash, shows up. Season 2 introduces two others: Jay Garrick, the Flash from another dimension and Zoom. Also Trajectory but she lasts one episode.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Played with. The Flash suit is a prototype intended for firefighter use in extreme conditions, designed by Cisco and converted to be Barry's costume. An early episode the suit gets destroyed because of Plastique's powers, Cisco mentioned that he only had a couple of spares. Throughout the series the suit is frequently damaged, sometimes beyond repair, and Barry always has a new one later in the episode. Given that Cisco created the original suit, it's perfectly reasonable he has built additional spares but it's time consuming and he always complains about Barry not taking care of them.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: In the Season 1 finale, Eddie's Heroic Sacrifice erases Thawne from existence, but also somehow creates the singularity they hoped to avoid by having Barry come back before time ran out. A black hole created from a microscopic particle (in this case a proton) would still have the mass of a proton, and would be ridiculously tiny. Then it would evaporate via Hawking Radiation incredibly rapidly. If it somehow, thanks to Timey-Wimey Ball was the proton plus Barry Allen, then it would have the mass of Barry Allen and would still evaporate really fast. It would no more be capable of sucking up a city than would Barry Allen. Also, how/why did it move from the particle accelerator to its location hovering menacingly above the city? All in all, it appears to be less a black hole and more a Plot Hole. Surprisingly, it may even be a justified plot hole, seeing as it was caused by a paradox.
  • 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.
  • Vapor Trail: In "Crazy For You", sparks from a fallen power line ignite a trail of gasoline leaking from a crashed car.
  • Villain Episode: "Tricksters" is partially this, as concurrent with the main plot, it has a series of flashbacks showing how the Reverse-Flash got stuck in the past ("his past") and set himself up to cause the events of the whole series.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Barry frequently lets enemies run away, usually because an innocent bystander is nearby and needs to be taken to hospital. It is particularly glaring in the episode featuring Weather Wizard where Barry stops his powers from working, he runs out the door, and Barry just stands there watching him go.
  • Villain Team-Up: In "Running to Stand Still", Mark Mardon/Weather Wizard breaks the original Trickster and Captain Cold out of Iron Heights. He wants the three of them to team up and kill the Flash. The Trickster is all for it, but Cold refuses and even warns Barry about the other two, as Barry's friends previously saved his sister. However, even without Cold's planning skills, they nearly succeed in killing Barry in a very public and painful manner.
  • 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.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: After Harry betrays Barry by draining some of his speed for Zoom, he feels guilty and admits everything, resulting in Joe throwing him in a cell in the particle accelerator. Barry then convinces everyone that Zoom didn't leave Harry much choice and that Harry obviously felt guilty enough to admit the truth, even though he could've easily gotten away with it. Barry lets Harry out and offers to help him rescue his daughter.
  • 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. Thawne is shown empowering the Reverse-Flash suit with tachyons.
    • "Revenge of the Rogues": The Flash is revealed to the public when he shows up to fight Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Caitlin discovers that "Firestorm" (the last thing Ronnie said to her) refers to an experiment whose head scientist disappeared right before the military confiscated all the research.
    • "The Nuclear Man" and "Fallout" culminate the Story Arc revolving around Firestorm that started back in "Flash vs. Arrow", with Firestorm separating into Ronnie and aforementioned scientist Dr. Martin Stein, then fusing again and learning to control their powers. The former episode also reveals that an adult Barry Allen was present at the Allen house the night the Reverse-Flash killed Nora Allen, and the latter episode also shows the Reverse-Flash unmasking, confirming that he looks like Harrison Wells.
    • "Out of Time" has Eobard Thawne killing Cisco, Iris finding out about Barry, and Barry accidentally traveling back in time while trying to save Central City from a tidal wave, placing the show in an alternate timeline from now on.
    • "Tricksters" shows that the real Harrison Wells has been dead for 15 years with Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash masquerading as him all this time, the series was already in an alternate timeline since it began thanks to Thawne's actions, Barry finally begins to suspect "Wells" is the Reverse-Flash, and Eddie learns Flash's secret identity and joins Barry and Joe in their investigation]].
    • "Who is Harrison Wells?" shows Joe and Cisco finding the remains of the real Harrison Wells, and later Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin finding Thawne's secret room with future tech, future news, and the Reverse-Flash suit.
    • "The Trap": Barry and friends confront Eobard Thawne, abandoning STAR Labs. But he planned for this to happen. Oh, and Iris finds out that Barry is the Flash.
    • "Enter Zoom" introduces Zoom, who wins out over Barry, and at the end, Barry realizes he's been paralyzed.
    • "Race of His Life": Zoom is defeated and carted off by the Time Wrathes, and his face becomes demonic, hinting at the Black Flash. The man in the iron mask is revealed to be Earth-3's Jay Garrick, the doppleganger of Henry Allen. Barry, having been broken by his father's death, goes back to the night Eobard Thawne killed his mother, and saved her, erasing the first two seasons from existence.
  • Wham Line:
    • "My name is Eobard Thawne." He's said the line several times, and it never loses its gravitas.
    • From the Season 2 Comic-Con 2015 trailer (it's dramatic knowing who says it):
      Eobard Thawne I'm going to give you the thing you want most, Barry. But it won't matter. Because you'll never truly be happy. Trust me, I know you. And I'm always right. I still win.
    • The rest of his speech, when shown in the premiere episode, is just as shocking.
    • In "Enter Zoom", we learn Earth-2-Harrison's daughter's name.
      Earth-2 Harrison Wells: You're my joy, Jesse Quick.
  • 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."
    • "The Man in the Yellow Suit" ends with the first full shot of The Reverse-Flash Suit.
    • "The Trap": Thawne knew what Barry and co. were planning all along and was using Hannibal Bates as a decoy.
    • "Flash of Two Worlds" reveals that an alternate Harrison Wells is running S.T.A.R. Labs on Earth-2 in a world built along the lines of 1950s retrofuturism.
    • At the end of "Legends of Today" Oliver is in Jitters with Barry and sees the woman he had been told had miscarried his child with their very much alive son. His mother Moira had paid her to discreetly go away since she was a one-night stand from Oliver's pre-island party-boy days.
    • At the end of "Potential Energy", we see a regular city street, complete with kids playing. Then the Reverse-Flash zooms in, questioning Gideon "where the hell" he was.
    • At the end of "King Shark", we see Zooms real face: Hunter Zolomon.
  • 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.
    • Thawne 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.
    • Thawne 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 Thawne after the latter's actions result in the death of Girder. He accuses Thawne 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 doesn't.
    • 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.
    • After Iris finds out that Barry is the Flash, she finally lets loose on Joe and Barry for every lie they've told her over the past year.
  • 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.
    • Then there's trying to figure out where Keystone City fits in to all of this.
    • "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.
    • The location of both cities is muddied even more by repeated mentions in Season 4 of Arrow which place the newly renamed Star City in the West Coast.
  • 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.
  • Winged Humanoid: Kendra Saunders appears in Season 2. Her Hawkgirl identity is revealed when Cisco/Vibe gets a vision of her in full gear during a kiss. At that time, she is just a barista working at Jitters. A trailer for the Flash/Arrow crossover implies a Traumatic Superpower Awakening, as she's falling from a highrise.
  • Worf Barrage:
    • Grodd casually catches Barry's vaunted supersonic punch in their first physical confrontation to establish how dangerous he is.
    • Zoom catches Barry's lightning bolt and throws it back at him in their first fight.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lampshaded in "All-Star Team Up", when Felicity engages in a Hacker Duel with the Brie Larvan/Bug-Eyed Bandit.
    Felicity: "She's good. She's like my nemesis. I've never had a nemesis before. I kinda like it."
  • Xanatos Gambit: In the season 1 finale, Thawne attempts to return to the future, whilst proposing that Barry use the wormhole they will create to return to the past so that he can save his mother. If Barry does this, then he never becomes The Flash, effectively allowing Thawne to complete his original goal of killing Barry. If he doesn't, Thawne could still return to the future. If Barry didn't collide with a hydrogen particle at the right speed, Barry dies, allowing Thawne to kill Barry in the past. The only way he lost was because Eddie committed a Grandfather Paradox of massive proportions. Unfortunately, the impact of this causes a black hole to open up, leading to a massive case of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • 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 Thawne had changed to reflect the absence of The Flash.
    • Invoked by Thawne 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. It's 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 Thawne ends up getting killed, and Iris is no longer conscious of her lingering feelings for Barry that she confessed to in the previous timeline.
  • Your Door Was Open: Anyone could just stroll into Star Labs in season 1. Lampshaded by Cisco in season 2.
  • You Have Failed Me: Zoom really doesn't like his subordinates ignoring his orders. Deathstorm and Reverb learn that the hard way.
  • 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]
  • Zeerust: Earth-2 is shown to favor this aesthetic. S.T.A.R. Labs still looks the same, though. Despite this, Earth-2 is actually more advanced in many ways with everyone wearing smart watches, capable of detecting meta-humans, and quantum theory being understood in a much greater depth.

Season subpages:


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/TheFlash2014