- Base Breaker: Monica. Some fans hated her, while others thought she had an awesome super power. The main problem with Monica was that she was involved in a Trapped by Mountain Lions plot, so all her powers were a waste.
- Best Known for the Fanservice: Particularly that provided by an adopted cheerleader, an idealistic nurse, and a watch repairer with serious parental issues.
- Better on DVD? Though some say watching it on DVD makes you much more aware of the myriad of plot holes and aborted arcs and inconsistencies that watching it slowly one week at a time would eliminate.
- Broken Base: The Nathan and Sylar fans exited in droves and were baying for blood after the volume 4 finale. Those who weren't hopelessly confused, that is. And really, anything related to Sylar has this effect. That's because he's a Creator's Pet to half the fanbase and the best thing on the show to the other half.
- Another case comes in those who wish it had ended after Season 1, those who wish it had after the second, etc.
- Crazy Awesome: Sylar and Hiro.
- Creator's Pet: Niki. Initially fairly warmly received by fans, she quickly wore out her welcome with her multiple personality subplot and causing the death of fan-favourite DL. Fans rejoiced that she died, only for yet another identical twin to come back because the writers felt that the show apparently couldn't go on without Ali Larter.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Sylar. Oh so much. The writers finally realized this, and tried to avert it in volume 4 by upping his villainness to eleven. At least Villain Sue Sylar was a Magnificent Bastard. Now he just kept kicking the damn dog. And that ended up shooting them in the foot once Sylar made a solid Heel Face Turn in volume 5.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Claude, Ando, Elle, and even Mr. Muggles have fanbases. In the first half of the first Volume, Hiro was like this too — then the producers listened and gave him an increasingly larger role. Minor characters from the graphic novels such as Linda Tavara (Who only had three appearances, total) have sizeable fanbases. The most extreme example is Sparrow Redhouse who, despite only appearing in 3 panels until recently, was a character many wanted to see on the show.
- Evil Is Cool: Sylar.
- Evil Is Sexy: Possible explanation for why occasionally-repentant Sylar is a major fan favorite. Plus, he goes shirtless and gets nookie with Elle. Evil sex!
- Fixer Sue: Matt Parkman Jr. seems to have solely been created for the purpose of giving Hiro his powers back and getting Matt back with Janice (even though the latter was universally hated)
- Foe Yay: Where to begin... Mohinder/Sylar, Sylar/Peter, even, in a disturbing way, Sylar and Claire in the Fourth Volume finale (and in the later episodes of Volume Five). Sylar's just sort of a Foe Yay whore.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In-Universe: In "The Fix", Claire is looking for her biological family, and Zach suggests hopefully that she might have a rich, eccentric uncle. "Great," quips Claire, "an uncle."
- Also Zach was supposed to be gay but this was not made known to Thomas Dekker. He would later go onto play a gay character in Kaboom!.
- "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" itself because Claire ended being the key driving force in saving the world from Samuel in Season 4.
- All the Sylar-related Ho Yay became this after Zachary Quinto came out.
- Nathan and his ability to fly, after it's revealed that Adrian Pasdar is now the voice of Iron Man, a hero who can fly.
- Hiro passes Sylar off as a doctor in "Once Upon A Time in Texas". Zachary Quinto does play a doctor on American Horror Story: Asylum. Said doctor is also a serial killer with issues even worse than Sylar's.
- In 2006-2007, Zachary Quinto and Robert Knepper appeared in a photo shoot◊ together about villains for Entertainment Weekly magazine. Two years later, Knepper would play Samuel, the main villain of Season 4.
- In a first season episode, Claire's brother steals the tape Zach made of Claire surviving a fall and healing instantly. He threatens to "put the tape on YouTube and make a million dollars''. Zach tells him "YouTube is free, you idiot!" Years later, it became possible for YouTubers to monetize their videos and make money that way, so he was probably on the right track.
- Idiot Plot: Although it had been passed around freely between the characters in Volume One, by the time of Volume Two, the writers appear to have grasped the Idiot Ball firmly, with the result that the premature conclusion to that arc almost feels like a mercy killing. Volume Three was even worse, with a promising plot involving twelve escaped villains and the return of Adam Monroe scuttled in favor of the introduction of Voldemort-wannabe Arthur Petrelli and a series of nonsensical subplots best not mentioned.
- The finale of the show had the Evolved Humans be outed by Claire on National Television. Claire, you've seen several dark futures and seen what people do when they find out about your abilities... what made you think this is going to end WELL?
- In fairness, present-day Claire doesn't know about these dark futures as she's never traveled through time to the futurenote , nor does she have any Isaac Mendez-type foreseeing ability.
- Except that she has been present and has knowledge that The Company abducted and imprisoned those with powers, as did Pinehearst, not to mention that Nathan had conspired with the President to lock up evolved humans. It's obvious which way this would inevitably go...
- Well, it was kind of inevitable that the outing would happen (like Sylar said, it's a brave new world). At least we were spared a fifth season finale with Hiro travelling back in time and heading Claire off at the pass.
- Incest Yay Shipping / Incest Subtext: The Petrelli brothers are unusually close despite their roughly 13-year age gap, and then when factoring in Claire, who is Nathan's illegitimate daughter, there's a lot of subtext. Didn't stop Milo (Peter) and Hayden (Claire) from briefly dating, though.
- Large Ham: Linderman, Hiro, Sylar.
- Like You Would Really Do It: At the end of one episode, Ando is stabbed by Hiro in a case of If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten. Some fans realized that with his powers, it would be easy for Hiro to fake something like this. However, Heroes' reputation as a show where Anyone Can Die coupled with poor writing that contained several Heel Face Turns made many fans think the character was actually dead.
- Logo Joke: When the series was shown on BBC Two in the UK, it was preceded by a special Station Ident in which the '2' symbol eclipsed the Sun, though it isn't part of the actual show.
- Magnificent Bastard: And in this corner, the fight is between Bennet and Nathan Petrelli. Odds favorite is currently Nathan, as he manages to be a Magnificent Bastard even when the people know it. With the introduction of Mr. Linderman - who calmly managed to talk Nathan down - a new contender was on the field. And just when we thought Bennet was out of the race, he cranks it up to 11 and shows he's a bigger bastard than even we dreamed. And then there's Bob, and don't discount Adam Monroe yet... it's a veritable bastard battle royale! And don't forget Magnificent Bitch Angela Petrelli.
- Samuel Sullivan is definitely one. If he wasn't one before, he became one the moment he pretended that he was about to surrender to Noah to atone for his crimes, only to have his flunky open fire from the shadows, wounding Samuel and killing at least one member of the Carnival (who had been about to turn on Samuel), leading everyone to believe that Noah had tried to kill Samuel even when he was prepared to surrender... and therefore making them a lot more willing to forget their doubts about Samuel and go along with his anti-Muggle agenda. Now, if that ain't Magnificent Bastardy, I don't know what is.
- Don't forget Sylar either. His ability to manipulate his way out of every situation, play those around him and adjust to anything thrown at him is practically another superpower. Examples include impersonating a hero to get close to Mohinder, turning Matt Parkman's power against him, manipulating Danko into letting him kill and take powers, and tricking Maya and Alejandro to bring him to Mohinder.
- Memetic Badass: Mr. Muggles was behind everything. EVERYTHING!
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Samuel has a killer one in "Once Upon a Time in Texas" - after spending the episode doing his utmost to save Charlie from Sylar, three years in the past, Hiro walks out to discover that she's been taken by Arnold, Samuel's time-traveling carnival member, at the behest of Samuel. Samuel reveals the entirety of the episode, including his previous attempts at goading Hiro into changing the past, have all been a manipulation to force Hiro to work for him, and to possibly prevent the death of Mohinder. Needless to say, Hiro is less than amused.
- He hits a new watermark in "Pass/Fail," when he wipes a town off the map after getting dumped. He doesn't even have an excuse so much as he's just pissed.
- From Bad to Worse: After the entire carnival loses respect for him, he wins it back by murdering Lydia and blaming Noah for it.
- MST3K Mantra: It's often easier to enjoy the show for the lulz than taking it seriously.
- Nightmare Fuel: "MY NAME IS SYLAR!!"
- The opening of "Collision" treats us to a scene of Claire, supposedly dead after the events of the previous episode, having an autopsy performed on her. It's exactly as graphic as you'd expect: She's cut open, there's blood and a pretty nasty view of her internal organs. All that is horrifying enough, but then her Healing Factor kicks in, meaning that she wakes up with full awareness of the fact that her chest has been cut open.
- One-Scene Wonder: John Glover as Samson Gray, Sylar's biological father
- Pandering to the Base: And HOW.
- Replacement Scrappy: Tracy Strauss for Niki Sanders. It really didn't help that she was played by the same actress and that her character replaced someone who was already a Base Breaker. Also since the producers put her with Nathan, she's also a scrappy for anyone who liked Heidi.
- The entire character is seen as an insult to the fanbase, especially anyone who actually liked Niki.
- Janice was seen as a replacement scrappy for Daphne, despite the fact that she was with Matt first. It doesn't help that she was a scrappy before she came back.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Volume Five is trying its hardest to do this for everyone. (And it seems to be succeeding for several characters so far.)
- Superspeed knife fight! Okay, Peter, you're cool again.
- Shooting Sylar in the balls with a nail gun also helped.
- Retroactive Recognition: Luke Campbell is Travis Cobb.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: West and Claire in Volume 2.
- Rooting for the Empire: The villains / morally grey characters in this show tend to be the most popular because the heroes are complete morons.
- The Scrappy: Loads.
- Niki, definitely. Let's be honest, everyone secretly was rooting for Jessica to permanently take control.
- Virtually every new character introduced in Season 2, except for Adam and Elle. Maya gets special recognition though.
- Arthur Petrelli. He's the Big Bad in Volume 3...yet he does nothing of importance. Killing Adam Monroe just made things worse.
- Mohinder after Volume 1, mainly because he Took a Level in Dumbass.
- West. Wait, the guy hovering outside Claire's window in the middle of the night isn't the deranged serial-killer who's been stalking her? He's supposed to be the love interest?!
- Janice: whether it's for replacing Daphne in Season 3/4 or being a huge bitch to Matt in Season 1.
- Seasonal Rot: And how. This show is an often-cited example of this trope in time lapse. The first season was widely regarded as one of the best, freshest pieces of television in years. Then it went downhill faster than Daphne can run...
- Snark Bait: There are entire LJ communities in which getting together every Monday night to watch Heroes - for the sole purpose of giving it the MST3K treatment - has become a ritual and a bonding experience. Wet Sylar, Carniawarts, Clairiett Tubman, Sylar Durden, Rainbow Brite Girl, Gretchward Cullen - we salute you.
- So Bad, It's Good: The third season is like watching multiple train wrecks in superspeed. While on acid. Quite literally too, in the case of the ending of episode 3.16 ("Building 26").
- Strangled by the Red String: Matt Parkman and Daphne Millbrook in Volume Three. Exactly what do these two characters have in common again?
- Which she just acknowledged herself.
- Actually, she didn't. She repeated the erroneous statement that Matt's vision was only a "dream." Not only did Angela see the same future, but Peter was actually *in* it. What she said was either 1) wrong or 2) a retcon.
- The thing about this is it was actually well done and well-received.
- Toy Ship: Micah and Molly.
- The Woobie: Multiple characters get this treatment notably Hiro, Peter, Adam, Elle, Noah and Sylar.
- Also attempted with Nathan Petrelli at the beginning of Season 2 (mostly by making him grow a truly horrific Beard of Sorrow) - a decision which pretty much led to a fandom revolt and was never referenced again.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The cockroach. Also the eclipses. And the single helix, er, symbol.
- The end of the The Fifth Stage has Nathan committing suicide to end the threat of Sylar. His body falls in the shape of a cross and church bells can he heard right after he hits the ground. Nothing symbolic there, no sirree.
- What an Idiot: Eden. Did it not occur to her that if she could use her power on Sylar, he could use his powers, too?
Assorted character YMMVs
- Ho Yay: With Peter, though YMMV due to the squicky implications.
- Magnificent Bastard: Most impressive in Season 1. He certainly tries in Volume 3 & 4, but it almost gets him killed. Repeatedly.
- Foe Yay: With Sylar and Elle (though more the latter than the former - she may have had a Cat Fight with Elle but it was Sylar who she stabbed in the stomachnote , jabbed in the skull with glass and plugged in the eye with a pencil).
- Incest Yay Shipping: There was a huge surge in shipping her with Peter after the dramatic rescue at Homecoming, her being so happy to meet someone else with powers, and calling him her hero. This got hit with the power of hindsight later when it turned out that he was her uncle - which neither of them knew at the time.
- Iron Woobie: Aided in no small part by her powers, Claire never gave up despite all the pain and suffering the world heaped on her.
- Wangst: Boy, she was bad about this for a long time during Volume One. Taken to ridiculous extremes in Volume Three, when her power mutates so she no longer feels pain and she spends so much time whining about not feeling human any more. Um, yeah, not feeling pain is a problem for normal people, since pain is the body's way of telling you that something is going to cause permanent harm if you don't stop it right now. But for a person with a nigh-unstoppable Healing Factor? Pain is just an inconvenience. Not feeling pain and instantly healing is a Game Breaker of a combo. Stop complaining about it.
- Creepy Awesome
- Draco in Leather Pants: Cause Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy.
- Evil Is Cool
- Evil Is Sexy
- Foe Yay: Everyone, but especially Peter, Mohinder, Claire, Noah, and Angela. Elle is canon Foe Yay.
- Ho Yay: Mohinder and Peter.
- Jerkass Woobie
- Magnificent Bastard
- Memetic Molester: Whether they want to or not, Sylar has sexual tension with everyone. Everyone.
- Neutral Evil: Anything he does is for his own gain and validation. He doesn't care about the special round up, making a better world, or the plot to blow up New York, he just wants to cause mayhem and be the most special person on the planet. Just don't try to exploit his validation and parental issues. He basically considers lying to him the most heinous crime.
- Villain Sue: Became an unstoppable, unflappable and unbeatable writer's pet around the time of Volume 2. This becomes annoyingly egregious around Volumes 4 and especially 5.
- To be fair to the writers, he only turned out as such because fans loved him so much that they preserved him long after he was needed or wanted.
- Better Than Canon: In a less outward way because he explicitly shipped Elle/Sylar by locking them in a room together where she could torture him to his pleasure. Then grounds Peter so that he needs to stop playing with the Idiot Ball, takes the resident Mad Scientist and gives him other people to experiment on... gave to good reason to get rid of Maya and her anthrax tears.
- Memetic Molester
- Replacement Scrappy: for Adam Monroe
- Villain Sue
- Crazy Awesome
- The Scrappy: Perhaps the least liked villain on the show. Has the highest ratio of episodes/lack of interest.
- Not a chance. Arthur Petrelli is definitely the show's Scrappy villain, as boring as Samuel's plotline got.
Alejandro and Maya Herrera
- Ensemble Darkhorse: seen in only a couple of scenes on the show but has a couple of storylines in the Graphic Novels.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Before she became a major part of the Graphic Novels Rebel story arc she'd only had one brief appearance yet she was still a character fans wanted to see more of.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Surprising popular with the fans.
- Ship Tease: With Peter. The actress even mentioned that had the show been renewed, the producers would have explored the potential relationship.