YMMV: The Adventures of Superman

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In one episode a gangster and his moll discover that Clark Kent is Superman. Superman's solution? He leaves them stranded on a snowy mountain until he can figure out what to do with them... and then they fall to their deaths while arguing. Did Superman do that on purpose, hoping they would kill each other while fighting, thus preserving his secret?
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Superman actor George Reeves died less then two months after the series' last episode aired. At the time, almost all his career options involved playing Superman, a role he had come to tire of (he reportedly never liked the job to begin with, seeing as it was the 1950s and neither TV nor comic book superheroes were seen as the potential money makers and career franchise builders they are now). Thus, the exchange between Jimmy and Superman in the show was chillingly prophetic:
    Jimmy: Golly, Mr. Kent, you'll never know what it's like to be like Superman.
    Superman: No, Jimmy, I guess I never will.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome:
    • In the above mentioned episode about the gangster and his moll, Clark Kent, not Superman, is shown using his super powers in his civilian guise - breaking down doors, roughing up bad guys, and grinning as bullets bounce off him as Clark.
    • The radio series had a meta crowning moment with the Clan of the Fiery Cross arc, where Superman took on the KKK: armed with real KKK secrets obtained from Stetson Kennedy, it did so much to strip the mystique and perceived "respectability" from the Klan that it managed to seriously reduce the organization's recruitment and derail its' then-current rise in popularity.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: An episode is spent trying to prevent crooks from misusing a scientist's new supercomputer (an "electronic brain" in those days) to deduce Superman's secret identity. After they've been stopped, the scientist (played by Sterling Holloway) is alone with the machine and realizes he wants to know the answer himself, so he asks it. Its answer is a strip of ticker tape that says, "Wouldn't you like to know!"
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Reeves was trying desperately to avoid this trope, but sadly even his death cemented it.
    • To a lesser degree, Jack Larson tried to avoid being known too much as Jimmy Olsen, but it didn't work.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Two villains get caught by Superman. One tries to shoot him, to no effect. Superman demands to know, "What have you done with Jim Olsen?"
      You'd Expect: The two cooperate, hoping that this scary invulnerable guy recommends this as grounds for leniency during sentencing.
      Instead: One tells the other to "give [Jim] the current".
    • Two crooks who have captured Perry and Lois (and who have previously said that they are going to kill all four members of the Planet staff) ask Perry how he'd describe the route if he were telling Jimmy how to get to that house.
      You'd Expect: Perry realizes that the only reason they'd ask this is to record his voice for a trick phone call to Jimmy.
      Instead: He describes the route. Jimmy is almost killed when his acid-eaten brakes give out.