YMMV: The Flash (2014)

  • Accidental Innuendo: "The Trap" reveals that Wells has spy cameras in everyone's homes, including one in Eddie and Iris' bedroom...
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Does Wells really care for Cisco, Caitlin and Barry? Or is he just faking it all to move them like pawns? In "Out of Time," Wells himself admits that it's some of both. At least that's how he feels about Cisco and Caitlin. He's the Reverse-Flash so his feelings for Barry are a little more...complicated.
      • The reveal that Thawne did a Kill and Replace on Dr. Wells puts a whole new spin on the above. Did someone like Thawne actually develop affection for them, or is that some bit of Wells he picked up when he stole his DNA coming out? When he says "forgive me" to those he's about to murder is that Thawne talking, or Wells?
      • In light of the season 1 finale, would he have finally left Barry alone after he got back to his time, or would he have continued to plague him?
    • When Captain Cold spared the Flash's life in "Going Rogue", was he really tricked by Cisco's fake cold gun? Did he suspect that Cisco was bluffing but felt like he couldn't take the risk? Or did he want the Flash to live so he would continue to have a Worthy Opponent? Continued when he doesn't kill a helpless Barry again in "Rogue Air," where he claims it's just so Barry will owe him a favor, but also could come off as realizing his crime spree is no fun without someone who might be able to beat him.
    • In respect to talking to (and flirting with) Iris as the Flash, is Barry taking the step he never took and is becoming more romantic and confident? Or is he a pathetic creep who's pining after a woman who already has a boyfriend and encouraging (instead of discouraging) Iris to continue writing about him?
    • Speaking of Iris, what about her dad and Barry's foster dad, Joe West? The show makes him out to be The Paragon but with keeping his daughter out of the loop and constantly putting down Eddie, you can't help but think he is a manipulative jerk who comes off as more of a Designated Hero.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Deliberately invoked twice.
    • Prism/Roy G. Bivolo: After Barry was cured from the Hate Plague he caused, the Flash and the Arrow handle him entirely offscreen.
    • Weather Wizard/Mark Mardon: After accidentally traveling back in time roughly a day whilst trying to stop a tsunami Mardon was sending to Central City, Barry uses his knowledge of what was going to happen to apprehend him before Mardon could do anything he did in the first timeline.
  • Arc Fatigue: Everyone's insistence on keeping Iris Locked Out of the Loop gets pretty tiresome as Barry becomes more and more casual about his secret, especially in light of the increasing number of people in the know. Especially considering she is literally the only main character to not know at this point, barring the Cosmic Retcon. In-universe as well. Joe West tells Eddie Thawne, now in on the secret, that keeping it all secret is for Iris's own good. To Eddie's credit, he wants to tell her and disagrees with Joe's sentiment. And considering the main person they're trying to protect Iris from already knows about her through Barry, some agree with Eddie and find keeping her in the dark to be ultimately pointless. "All Star Team-Up" even throws a lampshade on how she's getting close to being the only character in the show (plus some from Arrow) who still doesn't know. She finally finds out at the end of the episode "The Trap", then calls Joe and Barry out on the issue in "Grodd Lives".
  • Ass Pull: Boy, Oliver, it sure is convenient that Ray, who knows next to nothing about how Barry's powers work and absolutely nothing about the Speed Force, was able to make power-be-gone arrows to cancel out Reverse Flash's speed so you could contribute and actually do the most damage in the fight against Reverse Flash. It would've been a lot harder for you guys otherwise.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Iris West is changed from a journalist to a criminal psychologist, likely to avoid Lois Lane comparisons. However, in the second episode, we learn she's taking a journalism class for an elective, and she's soon doing articles about the Flash, ultimately being offered a job as a reporter.
    • In "Rogue Time" after learning Barry's Secret Identity, Captain Cold makes a deal with Flash. He gets to be a super-villain like he wanted, and doesn't tell Barry's secret, but he won't kill anyone anymore.
    • For those who think Barry is depicted as too young compared to the comics (see Older Than They Think below) "Tricksters" reveals the in-universe justification for this, as Wells/Thawne completed the Particle Accelerator — and caused Barry to become the Flash - at least 7 years earlier (2013) than the real Wells did in his original timeline (2020).
    • After Iris finally finds out the big secret, she unloads on Barry and Joe with everything the fans had been saying for months about how silly and counter-intuitive their insistence on keeping her in the dark had gotten, for which we're clearly supposed to be on her side.
    • After fans had debated on the legal and moral ramifications of the Pipeline, "Rogue Air" has Joe claim he's not been comfortable with it since the beginning, and when the DA hears of it (as a 'hypothetical' situation, mind), she reacts with realistic concern and disgust at the idea.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Iris. Either she's a well-rounded female lead who is the heroine of her own storyline and cares for Barry in a heartwarming way, or she is an annoying character who's nothing but a love interest.
    • Cisco. Either an Adorkable nerd who loves his job and good comic relief, or someone not annoying enough to be The Scrappy, but still annoying enough to let the show down. This largely went away as the series went on and he was given more things to do beyond being the comic relief.
    • Eddie. Either he's one of the most likeable characters on the show or he's a scumbag who's probably going to turn out to be Evil All Along. The many obvious similarities to Tommy Merlyn also make a lot of his story arc predictable, adding to some fuel.
    • Caitlin, largely due to her rather quick rush to abandon Ronnie, even wishing he was dead, after finding out he became Firestorm, which irked many of the fans, while others consider her a much better female lead than Iris and should replace her in the role, similar to Tina McGee in the 90s series or even Felicity in Arrow.
    • Pied Piper. Either he's a badass Chessmaster who should replace Cisco as the Flash's gadget guy (his common role in the comics), or an annoying little Smug Snake; it largely comes down to if you think he's as smart as he thinks he is. There's also the numerous changes from his comic book self which has irked some people.
    • Captain Cold. This is largely due to the Adaptational Villainy (similar to Piper above) irking some fans, but there's also the split on if he's really a competent Chessmaster or everyone else just becomes an idiot around him while he gets off scott-free, then gets rewarded for it by becoming a hero in the spinoff.
  • Broken Base:
    • The identity of the Reverse-Flash: Harrison Wells. He was a very popular candidate, some fans having guessed it long ago. But some were hoping he'd just be a Red Herring, given the complexity of the character before the reveal.
    • Anyone familiar with the comics knows that Cisco and Caitlin are alternate versions of Vibe and Killer Frost, before they become metahumans. However, the fandom is divided on whether or not the two become who they were in the DC Universe because some people like the two as who they are now while others feel that them gaining superpowers is what would make them better.
    • Borders on Ship-to-Ship Combat, but the Ship Tease between Barry and Caitlin has both fans and detractors, some adoring the idea of them as a couple and finding their moments together far more enjoyable than Barry and Iris, others finding it an unfortunate reminder to how much influence the Olicity ship had on Arrow (which has caused a lot of grief for those who didn't ship the pair), or just generally finding it awkwardly written and rather annoyingly cliché for the hero's female friend to develop feelings for him rather than remain platonic.
    • For comic fans, how much the show takes from Geoff Johns' Flash work and the New 52 Flash run. Johns is heavily involved in the show's writing and production, and a number of his additions to the franchise are very apparent (particularly Barry's mom's death and the situation with his father). However, Johns' contributions are highly controversial due to how it handled Barry's character (who became a Creator's Pet for Johns) at the expense of Wally West, so the fact these aspects are present in the show burns some fans while others enjoy the show all the same due to how well they handle the contributions.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The stinger at the end of "Flash vs. Arrow" — Ronnie being alive as a fire-wielding metahuman — was not a surprise at all, even for those who don't read comic books, as Genre Savvy fans figured out the twist given that they Never Found the Body.
    • The stinger that reveals who is "The Man In the Yellow Suit": Harrison Wells. The guy we've known was evil from the very first episode turns out to be evil? What a twist! Subverted in that the real twist was that he was really Eobard Thawne and had killed the real Wells to take his place.
    • The revelation that one of the speedsters from the night Nora died was a time-traveling Barry. Given that time travel was established back in the pilot, most viewers had already guessed that even without being familiar with Flashpoint.
    • The season 1 finale tells the audience that Cisco is a metahuman and Caitlin will eventually be one too because of their exposure to the particle accelerator. However, anybody who has read the comics or even read their characters on the internet was aware of where their characters would be heading the whole time.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Cisco is way too attached to Barry's suit.
    • Captain Cold is "intimately familiar" with his gun.
  • Catharsis Factor: In "Fast Enough", Barry refusing to let Eobard Thawne escape scot-free to the future, and then Eobard's death moments later by his ancestor's Heroic Suicide. Especially since this comes right after both Barry and the viewer have to heartbreakingly relive the murder of Nora Allen.
  • Complete Monster: The Reverse Flash, see here.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • The depiction of Barry Allen as a geeky young man with relationship issues has reminded many of Peter Parker, more than (at least in older comics) his comics self who was more of a typical square-jawed hero in the Superman mold. Grant Gustin also looks somewhat like Andrew Garfield from The Amazing Spider-Man.
    • Caitlin has been compared to Simmons from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as both have similar roles.
    • The show's version of Girder (Tony Woodward) looks more like Colossus than comics Girder, who looks like a man made of rusty scrap metal.
    • The Pied Piper's weapon is changed to sonic blasting gloves, which together with his deafness makes him quite similar to Shriek from Batman Beyond.
    • The Trickster is pretty much the Joker here. Helps that the older one is played by Mark Hamill. For that matter, the character originated in the comics as a Joker Expy, anyway.
    • The show's version of Grodd has many parallels to Koba from the Planet of the Apes reboot films due to both of them being experimental apes who eventually revolts against humans (sans Wells, for now).
    • Plastique's power allows her to overcharge inanimate object to the point of explosion with a glowing purple energy, giving her a lot of aesthetic similarities to Gambit of the X-Men.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • The Reverse-Flash.
    • The Trickster, with a dash of Crazy Awesome as well.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Hartley Rathaway. That he was disowned by his parents for being gay and was betrayed by his surrogate father figure Dr. Wells is enough for some viewers to look the other way at his evil doings. It helps that he started out as a Well-Intentioned Extremist (trying to expose and punish Wells for deliberately endangering the city) and that he did go through a Heel-Face Turn in the comics (and subsequently became a major figure in the Flash mythos, making it all the more likely he'll do so here as well). The producers have indicated that they want to redeem the character on the show.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Linda Park has become one before she even appeared, simply because it was announced she was being played by Malese Jow. Technically she's The Other Darrin because Linda has had a brief cameo played by another actress, but still.
    • Gorilla Grodd. His first appearance was one of the best scenes in the series up to that point. The buildup to a full appearance by Grodd has been driving the fandom absolutely crazy.
    • Likewise, the Trickster. Mark Hamill reprises the role after playing it twice before and completely steals the show with his hammery.
    • Add Pied Piper to the list of villains with a large following before they even appeared on the show.
    • Jay Garrick the Golden Age Flash, The brief shot of his helmet in the finale was enough to for the fans to get pumped for his arrival.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Captain Cold, (no pun intended) just like in the comics.
    • Grodd gets the fans cheering every time he appears. In fact, the scene of him attacking two innocent sewer workers seems to have been thrown in specifically so we'll understand he's one of the bad guys.
    • The Reverse-Flash mainly due to being a Badass Magnificent Bastard.
    • Pied Piper, who also crosses into Evil Is Sexy for fans who swing that way, but damn is the little bastard smart.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Lisa Snart. So much that both Cisco and Barry find her very attractive.
    • And even though we see a brief glimpse of her, Future!Caitlin/Killer Frost is at least trying to invoke this trope with her new black costume and dye-job.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • It depends on what social media you frequent. Facebook and Instagram might seem more pro-Barry and Caitlin (Snowbarry).
    • From when it was first advertised, Cisco and Laurel (Blackvibe) has gained some supporters, largely due to the fact Cisco has no current love interest and Laurel and Oliver's relationship is so despised, fans are happy to have her with anyone else. It helps that their scenes together are cute.
    • Killer Vibe (Cisco/Caitlin) has fans too, given their close friendship and evidence that Cisco has a crush on Caitlin.
    • And then there's SnoWells/ReverseFrost (Harrison/Caitlin). It even has it's own FYeah blog on Tumblr!
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Foe Yay:
    • "Revenge of the Rogues" can be summed up as Captain Cold and Reverse-Flash competing for Barry's attention.
    • Nearly every confrontation between Pied Piper and Flash. Definitely one-sided though.
    • Lisa Snart seems to be intentionally doing this to Cisco in Rogue Air from flirting with him, asking for a cool nickname, and calling him sexy a few times. Although weather she's genuinely attracted to him or trolling him after what happened the last time they meet remains to be seen. For his part though Cisco certainly looks like his trying very hard not to enjoy it.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Oliver's speech to Barry becomes just a little less inspiring when you know that Sara Lance was being murdered at the time.
    • At the end of "Flash vs. Arrow", Felicity mentions that Oliver hopes to team up again, just one (or so) episode short of Oliver getting possibly killed in "The Climb."
    • In the same episode, it is said a few times that Ollie is a better superhero than Barry because despite not having powers, he has much more experience. In the next episode Ra's al Ghul, a guy with hundreds of years of experience, '"kills''' Oliver.
    • Seeing "Caitlin" (actually Everyman) fight Barry, and later at the Pipeline trying guilt Team Flash into releasing "her", would be a little more poignant when you consider Caitlin might potentially go down the route of a supervillain, as per her comic book counterpart Killer Frost.
    • In the pilot, Oliver gives Barry an uplifting speech about how "the lightning didn't strike him. It chose him." We later find out that Oliver is indeed correct, but there are much more sinister reasons behind it.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • While many praised the show from the start for being Lighter and Softer (or rather, balancing levity and seriousness better) than recent DC live-action fare, it was also criticized early on for having a Monster of the Week setup with mostly lackluster main villains, some of whom weren't even linked with the Flash in the comics. But this lessened once major enemies like the Reverse-Flash (the overall Big Bad), Captain Cold, and Gorilla Grodd, not to mention the hero Firestorm, started showing up or having more time devoted to them, showing a stronger sense of plot.
    • The crossover with Arrow also helped reinforce that there is a shared live-action DC Universe for the first time, beating the DC movies to it. On a similar note, the character-building involved with Firestorm has been speculated as possibly being a backdoor pilot due to how strong it was. Indeed, the character is one of several appearing in the next spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everything about Wells' relationship with the team becomes this once we find out that he's the Reverse-Flash, and is just using Barry as a means of regaining his own powers. It gets worse when we find out the real Wells died ages ago, Thawne killed him and took his place.
    • In the pilot, Oliver gives an unsure Barry a Rousing Speech, telling his friend that Barry can inspire people in a way Oliver never could. All throughout Arrow's third season, Ra's al Ghul has been orchestrating a city-wide smear campaign against the Arrow to force Oliver to become his successor in the League of Assassins. Come "The Fallen," Ra's now has Ollie in his clutches and is taking steps to snuff out any signs of empathy or humanity within him, making him renounce his old life and take up the title Al Sah-him, the heir to the Demon.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Plastique/Bette, due to Never Found the Body (albeit, given what happened to it, of course they didn't), and while we see their death, being a metahuman, coming back from something which should be fatal isn't that much of a stretch. There's also the character's noted history with the Suicide Squad (see below on that) leading to some thinking that they might turn up alive later.
    • General Eiling, last seen dragged away by Grodd after just a couple appearances despite being set up as the show's equivalent to Amanda Waller. It helps that Grodd would likely want to do far more than just kill him. Confirmed, as of Grodd Lives
    • No one actually believes that Eobard Thawne is truly gone. Not only are there some loose threads about his character (how he got his powers, why he hates Barry, and how he discovered his identity) but he's just too iconic to truly be gone. It also helps that one of his actors has confirmed that's he'll continue to be a regular character in Season 2.
    • Eddie could return since his body was swept into the timestream.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Right around the time the pilot leaked online, a video on the Nerdist website claimed to have obtained a clip... then pulled a Bait and Switch by showing a clip of the 1990 Flash fighting the Trickster, joking they were impressed the show was able to get Mark Hamill since he was likely really busy with the new Star Wars movie. A few weeks later, they revealed they really did get Hamill back to play the Trickster.
    • Oliver Queen, the Trope Namer for The Cape, advises Barry to become one.
    • "The Flash is Born" had a flashback with a kid Barry practicing boxing with Joe; the Gotham episode that aired the day before ("Harvey Dent") had a similar scene with kid Bruce and Alfred.
    • The "Did Flash run backwards twice?" meme becomes this in "Going Rogue", when Barry does try to run backwards on the treadmill and is promptly thrown into the wall.
    • In the first Flash series, Barry Allen gets Ship Tease with Tina McGee, one of Wally West's love interests (at the time). In this series, starting with "Crazy for You," Barry does it "again", when he starts going out with Linda Park...Wally's wife.
    • In Glee, Grant Gustin's character has a knack of throwing red slushies really fast.
    • In the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, Lex Luthor, voiced by Clancy Brown, ultimately ended up killing Gorilla Grodd, whose last words were that he'd have his revenge. Here we have Clancy Brown playing General Eiling, who first experiments on Grodd and is later taken to the now very powered and very intelligent (and also very angry) Grodd by Harrison Wells/Reverse Flash, thus technically giving Grodd a chance at revenge in two ways.
    • Danielle Panabaker's stint in Sky High, namely;
      • Her character decided to date a pyrokinetic guy to make The Hero of said film (whom her character is in love with) jealous. And when her character finally ends up with The Hero, the pyrokinetic guy ends up with a female character with ice-based powers. Here, her character is in a relationship with Firestorm and her character is Killer Frost.
      • One of her enemies in that film has Super Speed. Here she's an ally of the Flash.
      • Her Sky High character is a heroic Captain Ersatz of a well known female DC villain, whereas here she's playing an actual DC villain, but is also portrayed heroically. For now.
      • The fact that the aforementioned pyrokinetic guy having an almost exact built as Ronnie and the exact same hairstyle as Cisco.
    • Mark Mardon, the Weather Wizard, is set to be played by Liam McIntyre. McIntyre played the titular Spartacus whose Red Baron is "The Bringer of Rain" (though it may be intentional).
    • James Jesse (Mark Hamill) references Breaking Bad in "Tricksters". In a script reading for The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker (originated by Hamill himself) was played by Aaron Paul.
    • In The Mask of Zorro, Matt Letscher plays Harrison Love, a Historical-Domain Character who was given Historical Villain Upgrade. Here, he plays a character who came from the future who killed and replaced a character from the past also named Harrison and deliberately portrayed him much amoral than what the person was supposed to be. Additinally, Zorro Marked him twice; once with "Z" and the last one with "M". Letscher's character here is Eobard Thawne aka Professor Zoom.
    • Back when she was still on The Walking Dead, Emily Kinney's (Brie Larvan/The Bug-Eyed Bandit) character briefly dates a character played by Kyle Gallner, the actor who played Smallville's version of The Flash.
    • Katie Cassidy's (Laurel Lance/Black Canary) real life father, David Cassidy, played the Mirror Master in the 90s Flash series.
    • Back when his true identity is still a secret, some fans have speculated Wells to be Vandal Savage. They were eventually disproven (of course) but Savage is later billed to be the main villain of Legends of Tomorrow.
    • Speaking of which, Tom Cavanagh's stint as the titular Ed becomes a lot funnier if you re-watch it after watching this show. Specifically;
      • The fact that the name "Ed" can basically pass as a shortened version of "Eobard".
      • It was shown in the year 2000, the same year Eobard Thawne killed and replaced him.
      • The title character lives in Stuckeyville. Eobard Thawne is Trapped in the Past.
      • An episode in its second season, ironically and prophetically titled "Nice Guys Finish Last", has him helping a man named Barry and repeatedly encourages him by saying things like, "That guy is playin' you Barry, that guy is playing you!"
      • One of his first cases as Stuckeyville's "pro lane lawyer" is against a young man named Howard Pissle running around exposing the secrets behind the tricks of a locally famous magician. This exchange takes place when he has the kid on the stand in response to him questioning his integrity:
      Pissle: "No, sir, I do not think there is anything wrong with what I'm doing."
      Ed: "Nothing at all?"
      Pissle: "Nothing at all."
      Ed: "I see. Then why in the world do you wear a mask?"
      • In retrospect, Cisco is essentially a more endearing, less comically annoying version of Ed's second-in-command at his bowling alley, Phil Stubbs.
    • In the season 1 finale Dr. Stein is revealed to be an ordained rabbi. Victor Garber's first big movie role was Jesus in Godspell.
    • In the pilot, Oliver Queen advises Barry that he could be better than the Arrow. An oddly prophetic line, in light of the first season of The Flash being much better received by both fans & critics than the third season of Arrow which it aired alongside.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Eddie's reaction to the Flash getting beat up by Captain Cold and Heatwave definitely seemed to be more than cop instinct.
    • Not to mention that Barry got flowers for Eddie when he wound up at the hospital.
    • Eddie enthusiastically hugs Barry after he's told that Barry is suffering some mental conditions that made him so forward from Iris (and caused Eddie to punch Barry).
    • In "The Trap", Eddie pulls Barry aside and shows him an engagement ring. It's meant to be for Iris, but out of context it looks like Eddie proposing to Barry.
    • In "Grodd Lives", Eobard taunts Eddie with the knowledge that Iris and Barry end up together. Amusingly, the way he phrases it is "Barry marries Iris...and not you."
    • Grant and Rick have certainly been fueling things.
    • The relationship between Hartley Rathaway and Harrison Wells comes off as less paternal and more as a romantic relationship, making the present day Hartley Rathaway/Pied Piper come off a spurned lover towards Dr. Wells. The fact that Hartley is openly gay certainly adds fuel to this...
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • The end of the first episode, with The Reveal that Dr. Wells is not only not crippled, but also from the future.
    • Dr. Wells' reveal as the Reverse-Flash. Especially as there was a scene where the Reverse Flash was beating Wells to a pulp.
    • Dr. Wells using the Tachyon device because his connection to the Speed Force isn't strong enough.
    • Bloodstains are found in Barry's house from the night of Nora's murder and neither of them belongs to Dr. Wells. But one of them is a match for an adult Barry.
    • The Reveal in "Fallout" that Gorilla Grodd and the Reverse-Flash are actually working together.
    • The entirety of "Out of Time," Barry reveals himself to Iris after they declare their love for each other, and Wells reveals to Cisco (and by extension Caitlin as well) that he is indeed Eobard Thawne and from the future (and that Eddie is a "distant relative"); he's been stuck in the past for 15 years, and Barry's speed is the only thing that can send him back to his own time. He was there the night of Nora's murder but he didn't meant to kill her, he was after Barry instead. Then he speeds up his arm fast enough to go inside Cisco's body and right to his heart. Topped off with Barry unintentionally time traveling at the end of the episode.
    • In "Tricksters," we learn that Eobard Thawne is really blonde and built like Eddie. But as soon as he left the Allen House his speed ran out. Desperate to return to his own time, he stalked Harrison Wells and his wife Tess. He was the one who caused the car crash that killed Tess, so he could get Wells alone and use some device to make himself look like Wells so he could build the Particle Accelerator early (it was supposed to be built by Wells and Tess in 2020). So who knows how Thawne screwed the Timeline up by doing that.
    • "The Trap" had a few. It starts off with Barry meeting Gideon and finding out not only does he disappear in the future, he's the director of the CSI division of the PD as well as married to Iris and Gideon's creator. Later on it's revealed that Harrison Wells had been spying on everyone the whole show (and earlier, as he had watched Barry grow up), with cameras placed around the city. Wells then abducts Eddie, reveals his identity as Eobard Thawne and mentions that they're related. Finally, Iris finds out Barry is The Flash after brushing hands reminded her of something that had happened while he was in a coma. Hoo boy.
    • And of course, "Fast Enough:" Thawne convinces Barry to try and turn back time in exchange for letting him get home as well. On the way backwards, Barry sees the Flash Museum, the Legends of Tomorrow, and Killer Frost. But when Barry goes back, the future version of himself sees him, and waves him off, so Barry ends up only saying good-bye to his mother. Meanwhile, in the present, Wells sees a metal helmet with wings like Jay Garrick's come out of the time portal, and takes that as a sign to leave. Barry comes through the portal and superspeed punches Thawne and his machine, trapping Thawne in the present. Thawne proceeds to hand Barry a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, starts making with the threats towards the rest of the cast ...and then Eddie shoots himself to erase Thawne from existance. Oh, and now there's a Black Hole that Barry has to run into to try and stop.
  • Idiot Plot: The A plot of "Who Is Harrison Wells?" features a shape-shifting meta-human named Hannibal who can turn into anyone he's touched, leading to two big Idiot Ball moments to keep the plot going. First, Hannibal frames Eddie by turning into him, and yet Barry fully accepts Eddie abruptly showing up at his door with a half-baked story about the judge just deciding to let him go. Then he turns into Barry and gets to Star Labs, where Caitlin's suspicions are just barely piqued by his increasingly odd behavior which ultimately includes making out with her.
    • An even stupider plot occurs in "Rogue Air". With the particle accelerator in danger, Barry somehow can't reach Firestorm and the Arrow...even though they show up not three hours after the attempt to remove the Pipeline prisoners. So, who do they reach out to? Captain Cold and Lisa Snart. You can guess how well that goes.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Henry Allen. Was sentenced to life being wrongfully convicted of killing his wife, separating him from his son. He takes it all in stride and is happy to just remain in prison while Barry lives his life. Caitlin rightfully offered to give him a hug during his brief visit at S.T.A.R. labs.
    • His son Barry also qualifies — he took a moment of tragedy in his childhood, and it became a defining moment that motivated him to become a forensic scientist in pursuit of justice, largely because he wants to free his father. His response to getting superpowers is not to angst and feel isolated from other people, but to genuinely appreciate life all the more and use those powers to help other people. Furthermore, despite his own flaws and internal insecurities, he strives to be a genuinely upbeat and kind-hearted young man and isn't unwilling to learn from past mistakes or admit fault when it's due.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks:
    • Being a Spiritual Successor of the divisive Smallville, several elements that some feel are too similar have came under fire, such as red kryptonite and Bivolo's rage-inducing ability.
    • There's also some fans who feel the show follows the formula of Arrow too much; from the Fish Out of Temporal Water-style origin, the Power Trio format for the hero, the love interest who helps the hero without knowing that their secret identity is a close friend in love with them, a love rival who they get along with but shares the name with a comic-book villain and in both cases, serve as a Red Herring, a mysterious older figure who's got the same skills as the hero only better and is responsible for the death of their parent, and the revelation of their identity in the Christmas mid-season finale, among other similarities. This has led to the show being a bit predictable for some.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Blackout, who's only evil because his powers killed his friends, disfigured him, and wrecked his mental state. Not only that, but he constantly has to feed on energy and feels perpetual hunger.
    • Tony Woodward in Episode 7. He may be a huge bully and jerkass, but he didn't deserve to get manipulated by Wells and then murdered by Blackout like that.
    • Hartley Rathaway. Child prodigy who was rejected by his parents when he came out as gay, was betrayed by Harrison Wells when he tried to warn him about the dangers of the Particle Accelerator, and was left suffering from constant, chronic pain and deafness as a result of the explosion. He was fairly antisocial beforehand, but its easy to sympathise with the guy.
    • Shawna Baez has shades of this. In her first episodes, she tries to broke her boyfriend out of jail who ends up abandonning her. Even after that she can't stop loving him. In "Rogue Air", the captivity appears to have an impact on her sanity.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Anyone noticed how many times Caitlin's name was listed on every Shipping tropes in this page?
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Cisco's death. Less because fans think the writers wouldn't kill him, but because the same episode has Flash accidentally travel back in time and getting stuck several hours before Cisco's death. Not to mention that the trailers for the following episodes show Cisco being threatened by Leonard Snart and interacting with Laurel Lance.
  • Love to Hate: Pretty much every villain, but the takers are The Reverse-Flash, The Rogues (Captain Cold especially), Gen. Eilling, Hartley Rathaway, and James Jesse.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Captain Cold, a Badass Normal full of Crazy-Prepared plans, who ascends to a worthy superhero foe when he gets his hands on Star Labs technology. He's also the one who comes up with the idea of the various bad guys in Central City teaming up to take on the Flash. Also, despite his team-up of him and Heat Wave failing, he had a backup plan, His main goal of Flash being forced into the open is accomplished. His sister breaks them out of prison. The Glider appears, the Rogues are on there way to being formed.
    • Harrison Wells. From the beginning everything he has plotted has gone according to plan. He is the Reverse Flash aka Eobard Thawne and he stole the identity of the real Harrison Wells in order to build his accelerator to return to his future sooner. And when the lab was built, he managed to get it to explode and give Barry his powers with everyone involved completely unaware. He has since continued conducting his covert experiments with Team Flash none the wiser despite working with him. The closest anyone had come to discovering his plans while secrecy was still paramount was Rathaway discovering that there was "a chance" of the collider exploding, and when he leaked this out to the public, Wells just turns it around and makes it so that little damage is done. In fact he gradually tipped the hand of his own secret while both preparing his own clean getaway and mentoring the Flash's link to the Speed Force to the point of accessing time travel, all the while making use of his own secret link to every CCTV camera in the city to monitor and manipulate events.
    • Hartley Rathaway, AKA Pied Piper, sure tries to be this. Like Cold, he's got plans-after-plans, takes advantage of his Glass Cannon status to lure Barry into traps, and was Crazy-Prepared enough to hide explosives in his hearing aides; however, he's too arrogant to be more than a high-functioning Smug Snake.
    • James Jesse, aka the Trickster. The man's bonkers but he's able to use that to his advantage by running rings around the police by having an accomplice pose as a copycat Trickster, so the police will go to him for help and he can pretend to be outraged that somebody stole his gig, when in truth it's all one big distraction so he can be broken out of Iron Heights. He then holds an entire gala hostage using poisoned champagne, and when the Flash shows up he pulls out a kinetic bomb. The only thing that ruins his plans is he doesn't realize there's more to the Flash's powers than just running fast.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Lightning gave me abs?", from the scene where Barry wakes up from his coma and discovers his powers have made him more physically fit.
    • "Did Flash run backwards twice?", from the posters showing him running with a lightning bolt shaped speed trail, suggesting he just randomly decided to run backwards twice for some reason.
    • "Every episode of The Flash should end with Harrison getting up from his wheelchair and doing/revealing something unexpected", from the episodes where Harrison would stand up from his wheelchair and perform some sort of plot twisting-reveal while smirking menacingly.
    • The answer to absolutely anything? "Speed Force."
    • "IT WAS ME, BARRY!" Explanation 
    • "X is not like Y at all. Some would say it's the reverse."
    • "Not God, GRODD."
    • "Barry is so fast he ran himself back into the friend zone," after Barry time traveled back a day and negated Iris' Love Epiphany and their Big Damn Kiss.
    • Immediately after "Tricksters" aired, clips of the opening scene of said episode (the one where Future!Flash and Reverse-Flash are having a slug fest) were uploaded in YouTube and commented on by various users with the "My name is Eobard Thawne" Opening Narration similar to that of this show and Arrow.
    • "X has been Y for centuries."
    • "Hi, I'm Ray!"
    • While everyone agrees Eddie's death was completely heartbreaking to watch, many fans are now joking on how this could have all been fixed if he just got a vasectomy.
  • Mondegreen: In "Flash vs. Arrow," Wells pronounces "that man" (referring to the Arrow) in such a way that some fans thought he was namedropping Batman.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Reverse-Flash passed this long ago. First, he traveled back in time to kill a young Barry Allen, but failed thanks to interference from the Flash. Instead, he settles on killing Barry's mother then leave. However, he discovers that he's Trapped in the Past. He knows exactly what happens in history so he kills Wells' wife for no reason, takes the genetic code of the real Dr. Wells, and creates all the events of Central City on purpose, with complete disregard for all the lives of others. All so he can get revenge on Barry and steal his speed for himself.
  • More Popular Spin-off: In its first season alone, this show surpassed Arrow's record for being the most watched CW show in a while, and many critics and casual viewers consider it to be a better show than its older sister, a lot of which has to do with its more balanced tone between lighthearted and dark.
  • Narm:
    • When Multiplex gives a group beatdown to Barry, you don't even have to be paying attention to notice that at least one of his clones was literally punching thin air. Not even punching, more like slowly swinging his forearm.
    • The Kid!Barry flashbacks can cross into this, largely due to the weak dialogue the kid actors are given and how the scenes play out.
    • "Flash vs. Arrow" has an interesting splitting the difference with Roy G. Bivolo. He keeps that cringe-inducing name, but they draw the line at calling him the Rainbow Raider, turning it into Caitlin's pitiful attempt at giving him a supervillain name.
    • Dr. Stein transmitting a Morse code message via Ronnie in "Fallout." To clarify: Dr. Stein has been captured by Eiling and uses Morse code to reveal his location to Ronnie through their Psychic Link. Ronnie then says, in a completely serious voice, "Tap, tap. Tap, tap. Tap..." and so on. It's as narmy as it sounds.
      • That scene has multiple levels of narm. It starts with Ronnie asking Stein his location by breaking a glass and carving "WHERE" into his own arm. Then Stein responds with Morse code, making Ronnie look like a complete idiot for going the self-mutilation route.
    • The show generally does a good job at giving little nudges and such to the counterparts some characters have in the comics (and may turn out like in the future). But Caitlin saying that Ronnie thought they were so different that they were "like fire and ice" is just a little too narmy to hear.
    • Eddie's shouting Joe's name when Mardon pulls Joe out of a window by controlling the wind in "Out of Time." It lasts too long and his weird pronunciation make it impossible to take seriously.
    • By just the end of the first season, the idea that the Flash is Barry's secret identity is a complete joke, with an exponentially increasing number of people learning about it until Joe is literally calling him "Barry" in front of criminals they just took down. And yet they still insist that Iris is apparently the one person in the entire world who can't possibly know, acting like it would kill her on the spot.
    • The ending scene of the episode "Who is Harrison Wells?" loses its drama when, upon seeing the future newspaper feed, Cisco mutters, "What the frack?"
    • Iris asking the meaning of the radar dots representing Barry and Grodd probably worked on paper. Unfortunately, the effects guys decided to make the dots clearly labeled on the screen, giving the impression that she can't read.
    • The much-advertised return of Firestorm and Arrow to help Barry against the Reverse-Flash in "Rogue Air" becomes this. Largely because their intervention wasn't set up or foreshadowed at all in the episode, and then after the fight they just...leave. Literally just walk off and leave, barely saying goodbye, as if they never showed up (and really not helped by Ronnie's skip to catch up to Oliver, looking like the Amell boys were splitting a cab or something). It feels like a Deus ex Machina or an Ass Pull, only far more silly because this was the one moment they advertised the episode by the most.
      • Plus, it feels like the episode was knocked off its expected air date a bit, resulting in Oliver apparently running out on his wedding, and leaving all his friends to die from Alpha Omega, the second Barry calls.
    • The finale of Season 1 features the inexplicable use of Caitlin as The Watson to explain what singularities are, instead of non-scientists like Iris or Joe. And that's assuming they even needed one at all, given the kind of people who'd be watching a show like this in the first place.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Oliver's line in the pilot about the lightning bolt "choosing" Barry. Even if electricity isn't sentient, the whole scene is momentous enough with Oliver then telling Barry how he can be a different kind of hero from him and making the first ever Title Drop in the show, that it just works in context.
    • Barry's speech in Episode Two to the STAR Labs gang about how "they all got struck by that lightning" can be a little cringe-worthy to viewers, but Grant Gustin sounds earnest enough (and Barry is enough of a dork) to make it heartwarming enough to work.
    • The titular battle in "Flash vs. Arrow" is both cheesy and awesome, what with Oliver having to duck under Barry's super-fast punches.
    • James Jesse telling the new Trickster that he is his father. It comes right out of nowhere, serves little to no bearing on the plot and is never mentioned again. However, since it's Mark Hamill saying "I am your father" in a tone that makes it clear he's wanted to say that line for years, the end result is gloriously cheesy.
    • Grodd speaking through General Eiling seems like it ought to be funny - after all, it's a middle-aged man talking like a gorilla and saying things like "Caitlin... good" and "Eiling... bad". As it turns out, though, Clancy Brown is such a seasoned voice actor that he actually manages to pull it off.
    • The lines "why'd you kill my mother" being replied with "because I hate you" would seem absolutely childish if said by someone else but Tom Cavanagh manages to deliver it with sounding completely genuine.
  • Nightmare Retardant: "Grodd...hates...bananas!"
  • Older Than They Think: Many feel that Barry seems somewhat younger than the Barry of the comics when he becomes the Flash. He is usually drawn to look older, like early to mid-30s, and in the fifth episode, he is stated to be 25 years old. Though the passage of time in the Silver Age comics was always wonky, modern stories such as"The Flash: Rebirth" establish the fact that Barry was a rookie CSI tech when he became the Flash, and so was in the early-to-mid 20s range at the time.
    • Later episodes reveal that, thanks to Reverse-Flash messing with the timeline, Barry has indeed become the Flash at a younger age than was originally the case.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Much like The Originals, the show has quite a talent for doing this with characters from its parent show. Ray and Laurel's guest spots were both better received than just about anything they've gotten up to on Arrow, as has Felicity's (who many fans had turned on due to the way her character developed).
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Cisco realizes that when the Flash and the Reverse-Flash fight each other, they produce red and yellow lightning. He recalls that there was red and yellow lightning the night Barry's mother died, which means that there were two speedsters that night. Rewatch the pilot and you can see it for yourself.
    • Even more of a bonus. The lightning that the Flash produces is yellow (even though he wears red) and the Reverse-Flash produces red lightning (even though he wears yellow). If you rewatch the pilot, when Barry is wisked away from home, he's covered in yellow lightning. This seems to imply that whatever speedster was with the Reverse-Flash was the one who teleported Barry away. It seems that Wells/Reverse-Flash does have access to time travel given his knowledge of the future. And there's also that news article "Flash Missing, Vanishes in Crisis."
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Like Arrow, fans are divided on the lead female and designated love interest. While the romance is popular, some fans would rather focus on action while others would rather Barry romance some other female.
  • Ship Sinking: Every Caitlin ship has been thoroughly sunk after becoming Happily Married with Ronnie in the season 1 finale. However, since she is foreshadowed to become Killer Frost time will tell how long they will still be together.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Many fans of the original Flash series pair Henry Allen and Dr. Tina McGee.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • The battle between the Westallen and Snowbarry shippers started before the series has even begun.
    • There's also the previously established Baricity from Barry's initial appearances on Arrow.
    • Throw in SnowStorm (Caitlin and Ronnie) in the mix.
  • Special Effects Failure: Though it is understandable that the series doesn't have a Hollywood movie budget, the fact that Grodd is an obvious CGI character is just... both unsettling and ridiculous at the same time.
  • Squick:
    • Depending on how you see Barry and Iris' relationship, but at least some viewers are squicked by Barry having a crush on someone who can be seen as his (foster) sister. Flipping the characters around doesn't help matters, as while viewers could buy Barry already having feelings for Iris before the West family took him in, it's creepy for some fans to see Iris go from seeing Barry as a brother since they were kids to suddenly showing hints of maybe having romantic feelings for him.
    • Eiling's Kryptonite Ring for the Flash, in which a grenade fires hundreds of sharp needles, piercing him all at the same time. And Wells mentions that they should pull them all out, before Barry's healing would kick in. Who wouldn't wince at a situation like that? It gets worse: Comments indicate that the fragments have tiny splinters inside to lock them in place once they break the skin, which would be even more painful, and more messy to remove. In a bit of a Mood Whiplash, Cisco decides to mention an incident about having stepped on a sea urchin before, and Barry not wanting Cisco to urinate on him; Cisco thankfully says that "cure" is just an urban legend.
    • The Reverse-Flash's preferred method of killing people involves impaling people with his arm. It raises the Nightmare Fuel of the show to a whole new level.
    • Eobard Thawne "absorbing" Harrison Wells, especially the end result for the latter.
    • The brief moment in "Tricksters", where James Jesse comes on to Iris, a girl easily young enough to be his daughter. Eww.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The changes made to the Flash's costume from the comics have received some criticisms — namely the Chest Insignia lacking the white centrepiece; and that the character nicknamed the Scarlet Speedster isn't actually wearing his distinctive scarlet/bright red, but rather a darker maroon or burgundy. However, the final shot in the pilot reveals that in the future the Flash will have a costume that has these alterations.
    • The portrayal of Captain Cold as being more of a straight villain has received some criticism from those who prefer his Anti-Villain portrayal from the comics canon. However, it should be noted that Cold mainly became an Anti-Villain when Wally West was the Flash, not while fighting Barry. Furthermore, in "Rogue Time" he gets his first nudge towards it: Barry challenges his pride by telling him if he was really as good a supervillain as he claimed then he could perform his heists without killing anyone, and Cold accepts the challenge.
    • As to be expected, there was some people who were bugged, or at least befuddled, by the show giving a Race Lift to Iris and the West Family. Less so because she was no longer white, but more so because it meant that, should he appear, Wally West, Iris' nephew and the next person to become The Flash after Barry, who has historically appeared as a red-headed Caucasian, would have a Race Lift too. The fact that this lead to DC reintroducing Wally in the New 52 with a similar Race Lift (despite the rest of the West family so far not having one, among other differences) probably helps with that. Further on that, the West family was already white in the New 52 (well before the show started), and so in the comics it's established that Wally — now biracial — gets his non-Caucasian from his non-West parent (as opposed to a theoretical TV-verse Wally), which makes one wonder why they're bothering (i.e: if the West family is different in both continuities, why can't Wally be white in one, non-white in the other?) The timing of both the show's pre-production stages also align with Wally's (re-)introduction, made people wonder which continuity pushed the other into causing the Race Lift in the first place. Eventually, Andrew Kriesberg revealed that, yes, the show caused the comics to do the Race Lift.
    • Pied Piper's Weapon of Choice being sonic frequency-producing gloves rather than a pipe with sonics and hypnotic technology. It raises the question as to why he'd go by the name 'Pied Piper', if he doesn't even use a pipe. There's also his lack of any Socialist leanings, which were a big part of his character in the comics but that might just be due to only appearing twice so far. The removal of his status as the Rogues' Token Good Teammate by making him just as villainous as the rest of them is also a point of contention with the character's fandom.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Many weren't expecting Plastique to be written out so quickly because of the character's history with the Suicide Squad aka Task Force X, which already exists in Arrow. It becomes even worse since the character was built up as a very interesting meta-human and potential ally of Barry before dying.
    • Roy Bivolo suffers from this, probably due to being caught in the same episode as the crossover with Arrow. In fact, he's so under-utilized that his nickname, "Prism" (or Caitlin's suggestion of "Rainbow Raider"), ends up making no sense—all he does is induce rage with his red-glowing eyes, never demonstrating any of the other color-based emotional manipulation possessed by his comics counterpart. It seems like he's just there as an excuse to put Barry and Oliver into a Let's You and Him Fight situation. At least, unlike Plastique, he is still alive.
    • The fans unhappy about Barry and Linda's relationship seem to fear this happening to Linda. Linda is Wally West's wife in the comics, and with that, a major part of the Flash mythos, and with him one of the most popular and developed superhero couples in DC. Because she's being used as a pretty obvious Romantic False Lead to keep Barry and Iris apart, people feel that it makes it unlikely her and Wally's relationship will be kept should Wally eventually appear, unless she becomes an Ascended Extra in the show.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Remember that episode where Flash was infected with a Hate Plague that led to not only Eddie starting a manhunt on Flash but also Flash losing Iris's trust? Neither does anyone else.
    • Fans initially assumed that with Firestorm and Arrow returning at the same episode that the Pipeline's inmates are going to run loose, there will be a battle royale of heroes vs. villains. Nothing of the sort actually happens in the episode in question.
    • The last episode of the season. They build up everything and leave us wondering how the future is going to be after he changes it, but then Barry decides not to, leaving things worse than if he hadn't done it in the beginning. Eddie kills himself to stop the Reverse-Flash, Nora is still dead, and a black hole is consuming the city. Where they end it on a cliffhanger.
  • Uncanny Valley: Some of Multiplex's clones move in a shuffling and unnatural way after he spawns an entire army of them to deal with Barry. The show justifies this by noting that the more he spawns, the weaker the original becomes and his control over them gets spotty. The result is easy-to-miss, but rather spooky when noticed.
  • Villain Sue: There are some accusations of this being directed at Captain Cold, who is some feel is a Karma Houdini. After 4 appearances, he (in order) makes off with a priceless diamond, steals and then destroys a priceless painting, gets taken to jail only to be broken out by his sister, finds out the Flash's secret identity, and then breaks all the prisoners out of the Pipeline after the Flash agrees to erase his criminal records. And the closest thing he gets to retribution is Flash leaving him in the woods.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This show's special effects are extremely well-done for a weekly TV show and are arguably movie quality.
  • What an Idiot: Really Barry? You're chasing after a shapeshifter, after he just framed Eddie for murder, and you don't think it's a little suspicious that he turns up on your doorstep after just giving you a lecture about clearing his name through legal means?
    • In the very same episode, Caitlin heads off to confront Wells about Barry's allegations, which she admittedly doubts but would have gotten her killed if she'd managed to get through with it.
    • The plot of "Rogue Air". Sure, trust a murderous criminal to help you, what could possibly go wrong? Everyone, even Captain Cold, calls him out on it.
  • The Woobie:
    • Plastique. She can barely touch anyone or anything without making it explode and has Eiling hounding her to try and exploit her powers.
    • Ronnie Raymond + Martin Stein = Firestorm. The two are clearly disturbed and hurt by their fusion and both are desperate to reunite with their fiancé and wife respectively.
    • The real Harrison Wells. He was happily living with his wife only to be killed by Eobard Thawne and have his identity taken by him. His good name and life's work is then ruined by Thawne as part of the latter's plans. By extension, Tess as well, who was killed by Thawne and had her significance to history swept under the rug, when originally she was evidently an equal part in STAR Labs' success.