YMMV / Lois Lane

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Lois Lane, plucky heroic female ahead of her time or a ditz who can't stop looking for trouble?
    • Is Lois in love with Superman, or Clark Kent without even realizing it?
  • Base Breaker: Depending on who you ask she's either an awesome character or a Designated Love Interest.
  • Damsel Scrappy: This is the characteristic once strongly associated with her. Ironically, it can be argued that Lois' role as a Damsel in Distress was far more important to the Superman plot than her role as a love interest, Depending on the Writer. In the 1940's, she did need to be rescued a lot (usually while pursuing a news story), but was fairly intelligent and could sometimes get herself out of scrapes by kicking ass and taking names. Once the 50's, 60's and early 70's came around though... Yeesh. She was an empty headed twerp who was constantly putting herself in danger for no reason, and whose sole goal in life was to trick Superman into marrying her. She took Too Dumb to Live to uncharted levels. In recent comics and other media she's a much more well rounded and developed character, who is extremely competent and able to take care of herself. She still needs to be rescued sometimes, and the trope may pop up occasionally, but for the most part she's a very independent, intrepid and intelligent reporter who just needs a little help against super powered aggressors from time to time.
    • The sixties-era book Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane seemed dedicated to making sure every single reader hated poor Lois. If you Google around, you'll find scans of multiple letters columns where readers asked for Superman to spank Lois (which would in fact occur, though in the context of Super Dickery). A few may have had other motives than scrappyhood, though, considering this was the highly misogynist era of The Fifties
    • Even when there's neither any Super Villain's ill will nor a big scoop one jump away from her window, she can be trusted to find something dangerous. Letters on the label are bigger than her eyes, so... they just don't fit in, right?
    • Starting late in The '70s comics, Lois was written to be more assertive to avert this trope, and needed rescuing much less often, including in her solo stories in The Superman Family. This included Lois having mastered a Kryptonian form of martial arts named "klurkor."
    • Being associated with this trope is probably what spurred John Byrne, in his Post-Crisis retelling of Superman's origin, to make it very, very obvious that Lois was now an Action Girl. This eventually led to an Inversion immediately after her wedding to Clark when he was kidnapped after temporarily losing his powers. Lois took her Army brat background to extremes, becoming a G. I. Jane in order to come to the rescue.
  • Fair for Its Day: The "I Am Curious (Black)!" story was actually widely praised for being a sensitive look at racial relations... when it was first published. Similarly, there was at least one story where Lois was rendered temporarily blind, and it dealt with the subject in a non-patronising manner... by the standards of the Silver Age.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: On the letters page of Lois Lane #83, a Ms. Marilyn Marsh wrote in to complain about boys' fashion getting more feminine. The editor responded by saying that Superman definitely wouldn't have "shoulder-length locks". Some 25 years or so later, and The Last Son of Krypton came back from the dead with The Super-Mullet...
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The Fifties comics and Took a Level in Dumbass version continues to hamper her reputation rather than the far more interesting Golden Age character. This despite the fact that the censorship standards of that decade and overall comics were highly sexist in nature, as pointed out by Alan Moore and not at all a fair representation. Her bad reputation for being a Stalker with a Crush who fails to see that godly superhero she adores is the same guy she works with.
    • This seems to be the case for the Superman: Truth storyline, when Lois discovers Superman's secret identity and blows it to the entire world like some tabloid sleeze!, though most fans see the development as Dork Age since that is something no version of Lois in any adaptation would ever do.
  • Older Than They Think: The Xenafication Lois received with the John Byrne Post-Crisis 1986 reboot didn't actually invent the idea of her being a Badass and Damsel out of Distress, it was actually returning her to her Golden Age roots—where she really was quite the badass—and undoing the wimpification that the Silver Age had inflicted on her (this is very similar to how the 1970's also saw Batman shed his goofy Silver Age persona and return to his gritty roots). Indeed the only part of her badassery that was actually new was the part about her coming from a military family, as this provided a backstory for how she achieved her toughness.
  • One True Pairing: Other pairs in Superman verse do have support, but after a more than 70 years romance, Lois and Superman do count as one. Even when comics tell otherwise, (and in that very case they still have their fair amount of Ship Tease), Lois was nearly always paired with Superman in adaptations or parodies (and it certainly helps).
  • Romantic Plot Tumor/Strangled by the Red String: Her relationship with Clark/Superman comes off as this in some incarnations.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While many comics fans reading older issues of the 50s see Lois as a Damsel Scrappy for pestering Superman, it must be noted that Lois Lane's comics in the 50s were best-sellers and despite being a non-powered supporting character, she was one of the most popular women comics at the time. Likewise her Golden Age version of Lois, as pointed out by Alan Moore, a strong independent news journalist was a good deal more modern than Love Interest in other stories from that era or afterwards.
    Alan Moore: She is a newspaper reporter, and had been so since the days when women newspaper reporters were very few and far between. Not only that, she is a star reporter whose byline is known and respected throughout Metropolis, if not the free world in its entirety. Now, if you think about a character like that realistically, you'd imagine that for a woman to have come so far she'd have to be capable, determined, tough and extremely resilient, wouldn't you? As opposed to being dopey, vain, gossipy, lovesick and accident prone? Sure you would. But the people at DC at the time obviously felt otherwise.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Between fans who prefer Superman with Lois and fans who prefer Superman with Wonder Woman (which comes up quite a bit in Elseworld stories and more recently in the New 52).
  • Super Couple: Pun aside, Lois and Superman, also nicknamed "The Power Couple", have pretty much achieved a mythical couple status since the 1930's. Actually, no other super-hero and his love interest, to this day, had a TV show solely devoted to their relationship.
  • What an Idiot: In one story, Lois gets an interview with Superman... by jumping out of a window, completely certain that he would show up to rescue her. (He does, but what if he'd been in outer space?)
    • Amusingly referenced much later, when a powerless Clark does the same thing to get an interview with the new hero Supernova, and Lois berates him for taking such a stupid risk.
    • She repeats this stunt in Superman II, as an attempt to force Clark into revealing himself as Superman to her, with humiliating results.
    • Hitting on your boyfriend's father, thus almost causing him to never come to exist, isn't very smart either.
    • Yeah, Lois, the world's most noble hero, not to mention your loving boyfriend, is going to reject you just because you've suddenly turned dark-skinned.
    • And of course, the simple fact that in most incarnations she can't see that Superman is Clark Kent and vice versa. Though neither can any other human being for that matter.