Trivia: Heroes

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Christopher Eccleston got to say "fantastic!", his Catch Phrase as the Doctor.
    • One of Nathan's campaign ads in the pilot states that he served tours in Bosnia, Serbia, and Rwanda, and he mentioned his days in the Naval Academy in passing to Claire. Adrian Pasdar played a Navy pilot in Top Gun.
    • In the episode Run!, Hope (insultingly) refers to Hiro as "Sulu." Hiro's father is played by George Takei, who played Sulu in Star Trek
    • In the episode An Invisible Thread, Claire mentions that she thought Nathan was right-handed after he signs a paper with his left hand. Nathan is actually Sylar in shapeshift mode and Zachary Quinto is left-handed.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Micah is a talented piano player, as is Noah Gray-Cabey, who has been playing since he was nine.
  • Billing Displacement: Averted. Not only are the main cast members always billed in strictly alphabetical order, Heroes (along with Charmed and Eastwick) is one of the few non-soaps to credit just the actors who appear in each episode, instead of running a standard cast list.
  • Fandom Nod: Sylar explains that he, in fact, does NOT eat brains.
    • Also in one GN when meeting a trio of evolved humans who think of him as an inspiration, Sylar notes with some surprise "I have... fans!?" most likely a nod to the Sylar fandom.
  • Cast Incest: Heroes co-stars Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet) and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli) dated while playing an onscreen uncle and niece.
  • Fake Brit: Adam may be British, but David Anders is American.
  • Fake Nationality: James Kyson is Korean-American, and doesn't speak any Japanese. He had to rely on Masi Oka and a dialect coach to help him speak the language correctly.
    • Samuel and Ricky are played by Americans Robert Knepper and Holt McCallany. Will and Caitlin are played by Brits Dominic Keating and Katie Carr.
    • While Mohinder is from India, Sendhil Ramamurthy was born in Chicago and grew up in Texas. Lampshaded by Ando who says (of white people, though): "They all look alike."
  • Franchise Killer: Season 4/Volume 5 ended up being the final season of Heroes, despite leaving a Cliff Hanger. Opinion is divided over whether or not it was due to Volume 5 itself, or just karma from arguably inferior previous seasons catching up. Actually, not only was the show cancelled, but they also ended up abruptly ending the graphic novels, and original plans for an end-of-series movie was also scrapped as well.
  • Fan Nickname: There are several, but highlights include:
    • Mystery Sock for Isaac
    • Fryingmon for Nathan (based on Hiro's pronunciation of "Mister I-saac" and "Flying Man")
    • Momo, "Moe" (as in the Stooge), or Pretty-But-Stupid for Mohinder and/or Peter.
    • Mohindrance and D'ohhinder, for the many, many times Mohinder steals the Idiot Ball.
    • Rafiki for Usutu, the man Matt meets in the African plains.
    • Pac-Man for Matt (based on Usutu's pronunciation of Parkman).
    • HRG for Mr. Bennet (because of the glasses).
      • This was a canon nickname at least amongst the cast as Coleman referred to his character as such a couple times
    • Senator Bambi for Nathan Petrelli. (It's the eyes.)
    • President Worf or Worfbama for the President, because he's played by Michael Dorn and he's kinda sorta an Expy of Obama
    • Pasbeard for the infamous, butt-ugly Beard of Sorrow sported by Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) in the beginning of Season 2.
    • Nuke, for Luke the microwave boy.
    • Hiro ando Ando (bilingual pun)
    • Sythan for Nathan!Sylar.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • I Knew It: Rebel's identity... if you weren't betting on it being Hana (though she died in the comics).
  • Jossed: "Are you going to eat it?" "Claire, that's disgusting."
  • McLeaned: We'll never learn the real reason, but it would certainly explain the rather quick way Adam was killed off and possibly the real reason for killing off Nathan.
  • Name's the Same: Claire shares the name of a character in Tales of Rebirth, of all things.
  • Real-Life Relative: The actors that play Ted Sprague and Sandra Bennet are married in real life.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Or... doesn't. Due to the writers' strike.
    • Sylar gaining shapeshifting powers was a pretty obvious attempt to keep the character around despite Zachary Quinto being absent for long periods of time due to being the new Spock.
    • Tracy disappearing halfway through season 4 was due to Ali Larter filming Resident Evil: Afterlife.
  • Scully Box: Hayden Panettiere and Kristen Bell are very petite women, only coming up to 5'1" at best. They either needed the Scully boxes or wore heels in order to fit into scenes against Zachary Quinto (6'3) and Jack Coleman (6'2").
  • Star-Making Role: Hayden Panettiere wasn't exactly unknown before, but the show pretty much made her and Zachary Quinto household names. It also hasn't done Masi Oka or Milo Ventimiglia any harm.
  • Trope Namer: This series has named the following tropes:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The obvious example is how volume 2 was cut short, with plot threads obvious to be related to the main story ending up going nowhere. A bigger example would be the entire style of the series: The original intent was to have a revolving cast, with most characters not returning in future seasons. What could have been, indeed, if after season 2 we didn't have to deal with most of the extended Petrelli family?
    • The Aborted Arcs caused by the writer's strike, which led to the Seasonal Rot which the series never fully recovered from. According to Sendhil Ramamurthy, the strike had NBC force the show to expand season 3 to 25 episodes, which apparently tested everyone's limits during filming.
    • The Season 2 DVD had an Alternate Ending in which Peter failed to catch the virus vial that Adam had dropped. It was planned that the virus would have been unleashed, and the latter half of the season would have been dedicated to finding a cure with Maya performing a Heroic Sacrifice by using her plague power to absorb the virus, killing her in the process.
    • The writers were originally going to have a Kill 'em All ending at the end of season 1 and have a rotating cast each season. They didn't anticipate the characters becoming popular and developing a fanbase or Executive Meddling and it became increasingly difficult to properly use the Super Power Lottery winners like Peter and Hiro again.
    • The writers were also originally going to have a gay character in the original script for season 1 but the executives said no so in retaliation the writers filled the script to the brim with Subtext for all of them...
    • Elle was supposed to show up in the "I Am Become Death" future as the mother of the little boy, but conflicts with Kristen Bell's filming schedule forced the writers to cut the Sylar/Elle arc short and kill her off.
      • She also was apparently going to be Claire's sister, but this was dropped (not necessarily a Petrelli though - the blonde hair indicates that they shared the same mother, Meredith, so they might have been half-siblings and Bob still her biological father).
    • Even after Season 2 was cut short and its original plot (the Shanti Virus) halted, Bob Bishop was going to play a larger role in Season 3, probably getting to use his power more and get some development (which, let's be honest, he desperately needed). Unfortunately, Stephen Tobolowsky had a terrible riding accident in the months leading up to production, one which nearly paralysed him and put his neck on the mend for months... so they Dropped a Bridge on Him with Sylar killing him offscreen for his ability, and he did little in his few scenes until this happened. To add insult to injury, Sylar never even used said power, and Bob's daughter Elle was killed off anticlimactically (as noted above).
    • Peter and Nathan were actually written to be twins, but since they had trouble casting the roles, they just aged up Nathan instead. Peter was also originally named Ethan when Milo Ventimiglia read for the role.
    • Sylar was not originally intended to be a watchmaker, but a middle-aged priest. The character was altered accordingly after Jeph Loeb expressed concern that the part was too limiting storywise after a test screening of the original pilot. The character was altered again after Zachary Quinto had read for the part, which explains why the character was faceless until "Homecoming".
    • An alternate version of the pilot showed that Ted Sprague's power originally belonged to another character named Amid Halebi. The character was going to be involved with a terrorist plot and had a history with Matt Parkman, but Tim Kring felt the storyline was far too controversial and cut it out of the final pilot. Halebi's ability was then reworked into Ted's story.
      • In the same original pilot, it was shown that Isaac had gotten to the drugs in order to paint, despite having handcuffed himself, because he used a say to cut off his hand - further explaining why he was in such terrible condition when Simone and Peter found him. The footage was cut and spliced to remove this element. Kring admitted on the DVD Commentary that the reason for this was that original outline had Season 1 lasting months if not a whole year (as opposed to imitating Lost), during which Isaac was to relearn how to use his hand after it was reattached, in addition to learning to see the future without his drugs; this became impractical when the narrative was condensed into (roughly) six weeks and so was cut from the final product.
    • Zack in the earliest plans was a geeky girl named Zoe who was to be(come) Heterosexual Life-Partners with Claire, before being rewritten as her Ambiguously Gay male friend. He was also meant to come out to her in "Homecoming" but Thomas Dekker's agent vetoed this due to a belief he'd be typecast in gay roles; she was also the one who pulled him out of the show partway through the back half (he would star as John Connor later that year), leading to Zack's sudden Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
  • Tim Sale is the artist behind most of the art featured on the show, except for Sylar's art, which was done by Alex Maleev, Peter's first stick figure doodle (done by Jeph Loeb), and Molly's doodles, which the actress did herself. Sale and Jeph Loeb are frequent comics collaborators, which strengthened the show's ties to comics.
  • The vignettes that aired promoting new characters that would debut in the following season is a technique that originated in Professional Wrestling, specifically in Memphis, TN with The Fabulous Ones in the early 1980s and is still used today.