Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Young Justice
  • Complete Monster: William "Billy" Hayes, better known as Harm from this initially light-hearted comic series, was a teenage supervillain who was also a complete Sociopath. Adopted by loving parents, Harm initially terrified his adoptive younger sister Greta and her fears were proven right when Harm murdered her in her bathtub to seal a demonic pact and give himself super powers. His goal was to become the world's greatest murderer and he decided to hunt down and destroy all the kid heroes before moving on to the big leagues. He captured Red Tornado and reprogrammed him as a suicide bomber against Pope John Paul II to make a name for himself in the supervillain community. When his father, realizing what he was, killed Harm with a gunshot to the back, Harm's spirit later returned. He possessed his father and used his body to enact more evil deeds, none more enjoyable to him than screwing with Greta, now the ghostly heroine Secret, by making her think her father never truly loved her. When defeated, Harm, for sheer spite, forced his father to throw himself into one of the fire-pits of Apokolips while Harm possessed him to kill them both.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Impulse.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Only one time, and nothing sexual, but when Arrowette and Wonder Girl's moms found out they went on a co-ed camping trip with the boys, they flipped their lids and went to give the girls what-for... only to find them asleep in their own tent, holding hands, with Secret in mist form hovering asleep around them.
    • Tim Drake and Conner Kent/Kon-El. Full stop.
  • My Real Daddy: Peter David is this for Cassie Sandsmark, Wonder Girl. Prior to YJ, she'd been regarded as something of a Scrappy. After YJ ended, and she joined Teen Titans, she became a Creator's Pet. But during David's YJ, she gained enough demonstrable popularity, that when David staged a readers' poll to elect the next YJ leader, Cassie won, despite being the only candidate who'd never had her own solo series.
  • The Scrappy: Slobo/Lil' Lobo was a polarizing figure among fans and writers. The final issue of the series saw him transformed turned into a living statue and he has not been seen or mentioned since. DC editor-in-chief Dan DiDio reportedly despised the character, and claimed that he nearly ruined the original Lobo.

    The Animated Series 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Some think that Kid Flash has trust issues and is actually rather insecure and that his cheerful attitude we've seen so far is really just him being a Stepford Smiler. Post- Time Skip, he's much more calm and serious and while he does make jokes he doesn't feel the need to crack wise or flirt with someone every time he opens his mouth.
    • Are Wally's and Artemis's interactions with each other a case of Unresolved Sexual Tension or a poorly handled attempt at establishing mutual attraction that heavily depends on recognition of familiar tropes and elements that aren't shown on camera?
    • The League. One can only wonder what happens behind closed doors, given how little the show focuses on them. One could see them as a very loosely connected group of professionals who don't really interact with one another, or a group whose heroics dive into Informed Attribute, for all the supposed good they do that we don't see.
    • It is possible that Superman and Wonder Woman could to be a couple in this series?
    • Could Wally's death be Artemis's Start of Darkness?
    • Vandal Savage - really a Well-Intentioned Extremist who thinks he's doing what's best for Earth's evolution, or just another power mad tyrant working a take over the world scheme? Do any of his Light followers even really believe in their cause, or are they just out for themselves?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Justified, but it's there. Jaime spends the most of his arc terrified of being a weapon for the Reach, and then it finally happens. By the time we get a look inside his head though, it's been a few months and he's developed a coping mechanism: snarking at the Ambassador. A bit of what we'd expect is demonstrated when the Ambassador orders the Scarab to kill Impulse and Batgirl and he freaks out, but otherwise it's pretty angst free.
  • Arc Fatigue: For some fans, the unresolved continuing grand scheme of the Light has become this by the end of the series.
  • Awesome Art: The show won an Emmy for Phil Bourassa's art in the pilot.
  • Badass Decay: Superboy. When he first appears, he's shown to clearly be the overall strongest of the main characters, but as the went on, he kept getting subject to The Worf Effect. It especially bad in the second season when he's largely Demoted to Extra and can barely win a single fight, even losing against Aqualad despite easily defeating him in the pilot.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Miss Martian. Horrible abomination of a character, or delightful breath of fresh air in a team full of jerks? Her Catch Phrase ("Hello, Megan!") isn't helping matters. Though these turned out to be Arc Words as well, directly connected to her character issues (and indirectly, Beast Boy.) As of "Earthlings", we have whether or not her mind raping a Krolotean leader to get information was unnecessary and overkilling it or whether she did what she had to do.
    • Artemis has her share of haters as well. An intriguing character (Dark and Troubled Past, Broken Bird, Badass Family That Slays Together) or just a snotty bitch? You decide!
      • In Season 2, the new base-breaking question regarding her is whether or not she's the Creator's Pet.
    • The Light are either Magnificent Bastards or Villain Sues, depending on who you ask.
    • The Joker also suffers from this: some are criticizing how the show handled him, others defending the show's take. Some are also annoyed he isn't voiced by John DiMaggio (Batman: Under the Red Hood) or Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series et cetera).
    • Klarion the Witch Boy. It's not so much his personality as his role in being a member of the Light. Even then, you have people saying he's a funny Faux Affably Evil villain, and people who find him annoying.
    • Aqualad is either viewed as being an awesome stoic leader, or a Flat Character who never expresses any emotion. There's also those who say Greg Weisman is making him a Marty Stu at the expense of Dick (by making him leader instead of Dick, though this was remedied as of Season 2Until it The Reveal and finale arc) and Garth (by not having Garth becoming Aqualad before Kaldur). And then in Season 2 there's his off-screen Face-Heel Turn. And then this turns out to be fake.and then there are those who feel he doesn't get enough of screen time compare to the other characters.
    • Kid Flash is either viewed as a childish Jerkass (especially compared to previous incarnations), or being one of the funnier and more genuinely likeable characters on the show. However, some see the episode "Coldhearted", late in Season 1, as the point where he gets some much-needed maturity.
    • Lagoon Boy: Is he an obnoxious, brash jerk towards Superboy or is his behavior justified because Conner not-so-subtly belittles and picks on him because of his lingering feelings for Ms. Martian?
    • Nightwing's actions. Was he right to keep the team out of the loop? Was his plan too risky? Was he wrong for kicking Arsenal off the team?
    • Arsenal. Does he endanger the Team too much to settle his own agenda, or is he a Shell-Shocked Veteran who didn't get proper treatment for his obvious PTSD?
    • Superman's refusal to help Superboy or spend any time with him at all during the first season rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and brought up some serious questions about this particular Man of Steel's morality and compassion. Also a Base Breaker for whether or not Superman was actually justified in feeling uncomfortable around Superboy, a clone made without his knowledge or permission for shady reasons, and wanting distance when Superboy did nothing to really merit such treatment.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Captain Cold's appearance in "Satisfaction" served no purpose whatsoever and when confronted by the girls he gave up without bothering to put up a fight, with no explanation being given for what that had to do with anything.
  • Broken Aesop: You can never be worthy of your most famous family member until you save his life. (This is how Superboy ultimately gets Superman to spend time with him, by saving his life in the season one finale. So much for Character Development...
  • Broken Base:
    • Some fans of the Young Justice comics give this show flak for using the name while being closer in sensibility to the more serious Teen Titans comics. In the same way, the Teen Titans cartoon is closer to the less serious Young Justice comics, and caught some flak of its own for that. Still, roster additions in season 2 have increased the number of Young Justice comics characters.
    • The Season 2 Time Skip has divided fans over the new characters replacing most of the old team, as well by as its very nature. It's either a hackneyed plot device which only leaves them wanting more of the old team as they were, or an awesome way to hit the ground running plot-wise and introduce more DC characters who wouldn't be the right age in season 1.
    • There are fans that hate the amount of Ship Tease in the show, and feel that it steals from the more interesting plots.
  • Crazy Awesome: Adam Strange quoting Alice in Wonderland and "Jabberwocky" to escape the space gestapo.
    • Joker attacking Mount Justice with an army of green, bomb-throwing monkeys!
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Given that more often than not, nothing the heroes do seems to matter, it's entirely possible to just plain stop caring about what happens at certain points since it very much seems that Failure Is the Only Option for them unless it's the season finale. And read below on the entry for Villain Sue for more info on why this hits hard.
  • Die for Our Ship: Lagoon Boy, and it only took a single episode.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • While people are divided about the characterization of most of the cast, particularly Superman and The Joker, there's one character nobody dislikes: Captain Marvel. He's the most fun character in the cast and seems to be be as popular with the fans—and even non-fans—as AQUAMAN was.
    • Roy Harper (Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal). He has an unprecedented prominent role in the show (much larger than in Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited), despite not being part of the main team until late in season 1 - and even that was temporary.
    • The runaways who were experimented on by the Reach (Eduardo Dorado, Jr., Tye Longshadow, Asami Koizumi, and Virgil Hawkins) achieved this after "Runaways". Virgil already had a built-in fanbase, being one of the most hoped-for characters since the show premiered. But Eduardo, Tye, and Asami, derived from Superfriends, have already garnered plenty of fans on their own. That they're all True Companions already helps.
    • Stephanie Brown may only get a brief cameo, but in the comics she's better known as Spoiler, the fourth Batgirl and the only (to date) female Robin. Even if her appearance was only confirmed by the credits, she still got a lot of love.
    • [Black Manta. His storyline with Aqualad was one of the most well received elements of Season 2.
    • "Coffee Pot Guy", the unmasked manta trooper who offers Tigress a fresh pot of coffee in "Complications".
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: To get the League found innocent the Kangaroo Court demands a bribe. Miss Martian instead convinces the them that a fair ruling here will bring more trials to them, and more opportunities for even bigger bribes. Essentially saying don't fight a corrupt system, use it to your advantage. The scene teaches to keep one's priorities in mind, a moral grandstanding would not have gotten them anywhere in this case.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: A lot of this. For instance, there's a lot of preference for Artemis/Robin, as well as some Kid Flash/Robin.
  • Foe Yay: Between Roy and Cheshire, especially on her part. During the Time Skip, they get married and have a child.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Try reading these lines of dialogue after Wally dies in the season two finale.
    Robin: (referring to Wally being in school)' A moment of silence for our absent comrade.
    M'gann: Poor Wally.....
    • Beast Boy telling Nightwing "No faking anyone's death for at least a year!" in "Summit"? Hilarious. After the next episode, where Kid Flash dies? Not so much.
    • In addition: in the debut episode of Impulse, much fun is made of the fact that KF Can't Catch Up to Impulse and The Flash when it comes to speed. In "Endgame", that inability to catch up results in his death.
  • Genius Bonus: "Whelm" is, in fact, a real word all by its lonesome. It basically means the same as the colloquial meaning of overwhelm. (i.e., Overwhelm should mean whelm, but taken Up to Eleven.)
  • God-Mode Sue: Dr. Fate. While he is kept out of most episodes because of how much of Deus ex Machina he is, even compared to the senior Justice League members, he's so powerful that he effectively renders the rest of the cast pointless most of the time he appears. To a lesser extent, Blue Beetle. While he's nowhere nearly as powerful as Dr. Fate, he's still FAR beyond the rest of the team, defeating Red Volcano and Black Beetle single-handily when the rest of the team working together couldn't even scratch them.
  • Growing the Beard: Some possible points:
    • Around or after the middle stretch of the first season, especially Episode 19, "Misplaced", and after, when the show finally stopped suffering from Cartoon Network Schedule Slip and the plot development seemingly picks up the pace in time for the season 1 finale.
    • The second season, where the original team members are now more mature and competent due to a Time Skip, more mature themes are explored, and more stuff from the DCU is introduced. In particular the shipping, catchphrases and wangst are much reduced.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Downtime" (aired March 4, 2011) Superman tells Aquaman that "The Justice League have a problem in Tokyo". A week later, Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake.
    • In-universe:
      • Most of Red Arrow's bits about how he can't trust [certain team member] because anyone might be The Mole becomes this by the end of "Usual Suspects" since it's him, and his tone of voice as he realizes this implies that he realizes that he was programmed to put suspicion on the new heroes, to turn suspicion away from himself.
      • In "Infiltrator", Artemis says to Red Arrow, "Step into the light!" Oh Artemis, you have no idea...
      • In "Disordered", Dick Grayson expresses trauma over thinking like Batman and making huge risks/sacrifices, explicitly stating "that's not me." By "Darkest", he's pulling off gambits so unstable that the one person in the loop gives him a What the Hell, Hero? speech.
      • In "Darkest", Wally starts doubting whether or not Aqualad really is a Fake Defector as they think he is. Come "Before The Dawn", it's revealed that he is, and always has been, on their side via Mind Rape, courtesy of Miss Martian.
      • In "Welcome to Happy Harbor", M'gann is hesitant to use her telepathic powers on Mr. Twister after using them on the other Team members. Dick/Robin tells her "It's okay to use it on the bad guys!" and she runs with it. By Season 2, she may have taken this a little too far...
      • Wally not being as fast as the Flash or Impulse. In Endgame, it kills him.
      • Also, Wally tells Bart in "Summit" that he's gonna retire after all this is over. He retires, all right. Permanently.
      • Also relating to "Endgame", the hashtag for the Twitter storm for that week was "#HeroesNeverDie".
  • He Really Can Act: Jesse Mc Cartney as Robin/Nightwing, pulling off some epic confidence, authority, deadpan snark, and inner turmoil.
  • He's Just Hiding: Wally's death in "Endgame" earned this reaction from many fans. It helps that Wordof God describes a clarification of his fate as a spoiler.
  • Heartwarming In Hindsight: When the Scarab controlling Blue Beetle fights Impulse and Batgirl, he uses the Nail 'Em attack to pin them against the wall relatively uninjured. At the beginning of the season, the Scarab would advise Jaime to shoot through bone—it seems to have learned some compassion from Jaime since then.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In a funny coincidence, this version of Superboy was introduced at the same time that Smallville was doing its own Superboy storyline, and the reactions of the respective Supermen to the existence of Superboy could not be more opposite.
    • In "Bereft," Robin wakes up without his memories of the last six months, and yells "In September?! What happened to March?" "Bereft" was the last episode aired before the six month hiatus... in March. "Targets" didn't officially premiere until... September.
    • Miss Martian tells Superboy to "Stop behaving like a character in a 70s Sitcom" during "Alpha Male", then several episodes pass, and during "Image", this is shown to be Hypocritical Humor as we learn that her entire personality and appearance is based around that of a 70s Sitcom character.
      • Not to mention that Conner's name—which she suggested—is the name of her character's boyfriend from the same show.
    • Robin's retort that "The Batcave is crowded enough already" to the offer of being cloned in Season 1, only for the Time Skip between the two seasons to introduce Batgirl & a new Robin.
    • A preceding Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) is famous for his very close friendship with time traveler Booster Gold. Come Young Justice and the current Blue Beetle has a developing bromance with another time traveler, Impulse.
    • The episode "War" starts off with Superman not understanding the Rimbor judge's alien language. The Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode that aired alongside this, "Babel", focused on Hal not understanding Kilowog and Razer's alien languages for nearly the entire episode.
  • Ho Yay: Has a page for it.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Word of God says "Young Justice" is just the name of the show while the team is just "the team". Thus they have yet to be called "Young Justice" on-screen. In-universe, since the team isn't public like the Justice League, it doesn't get to have a "fancy name." This also further differentiates the team from the original Young Justice of the comics.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Spitfire (Wally/Artemis), Chalant (Dick/Zatanna), Freshness or Birdflash(Dick/Wally), Traught (Dick/Artemis), and Christmas Arrow/Longshot (Roy/Artemis), to name a few.
    • Season two has given us Neverland (Superboy/Wendy) among others that are springing to life. Somewhat Ascended Fanon since the two actually dated at least once.
  • Idiot Plot: Despite all its Darker and Edgier cleverness a common criticism of the series is that the Light wouldn't be half as successful if the heroes weren't a bunch of idiots.
  • Internet Back Draft:
    • Mainly revolves around the show's line-up: 1) Robin and Kid Flash being Dick Grayson and Wally West, respectively, as opposed to Tim Drake and Bart Allen, and 2) the fact that Aqualad is a new person to hold the title of Aqualad, who happens to be black. In addition, fandom has divided itself into mainly two camps—one defending the appropriateness of the title in spite of it not being an adaptation and the other criticizing it—to the extent that the creator stepped in to clear up the issue.
    • Complaints about the marketing being sexist for focusing more or less exclusively on the male characters have also been common, and lead to many an argument online.
    • Season 2's five year Time Skip is a major source of controversy, considering the League seems to have avoided going out of their way to find out what the Light was planning until the first ten seconds of season 2. Although, the first ten seconds of season 2 actually take place before the Time Skip.
    • The shipping, and the amount of Pandering to the Base it inspired. Half the fandom loves it because they feel it makes sense, given the character's age. The other half (primarily the older fans) dislike it because they feel it distracts from the rest of the plot. Not helped by the fact that a lot of the couples have nothing in common with the comic book (Superboy and Miss Martian hardly even met in the comic, and Artemis was a villain with no relation to Kid Flash)
    • The debate on if The Light is either competent villains or just a group of villain sues has been the spark of some heated conversations.
    • And with the news of Young Justice and Green Lantern being cancelled, all hell broke loose.
      • Made much worse with both shows ending on massive cliffhangers.
    • The death of Wally in the series finale has not been well received by fans of the character, who see it as yet another instance of DC Comics spitting in their face thanks to Wally's continued abscence from the DC Universe following the 2011 reboot.
      • Of course, whether or not Wally would have actually stayed dead or returned miraculously in the abandoned season 3 is unknown - and most likely will remain that way.
    • Superman's mistreatment of Superboy gets some of this as well.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Superboy, very quickly. Superboy/Aqualad, Superboy/Miss Martian, Superboy/Artemis, Superboy/Black Canary, Superboy/Wonder Girl.
    • Robin. Yes, the 13-year-old one. Maybe it helps that his other canon counterparts in the comics and other media are the same way. Up to Eleven when he becomes Nightwing.
      • And after seeing what happens in the Player arc in the Young Justice tie-in comic it becomes canon. Kisses from Zatanna and Rocket. Sleeping with Bette Kane the night before his birthday. Implied to sleep with Batgirl the night of his Birthday. Four at least kisses in a ~24 hour period
    • Artemis and Kid Flash get their fair share as well. They've been paired with each other, Robin, Aqualad, Superboy, Miss Martian, Zatanna, Red Arrow, and their respective main-stream comic love interests. And that's not even getting into threesomes, mentor-shipping, or crossover shipping.
    • Heck, anyone in this show basically plays this trope straight. Aqualad and Miss Martian aren't entirely spared.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • One of the problems with "Failsafe". In the opening thirty seconds, Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart are vaporized without warning. That would be pretty unbelievable in itself, but then in the next thirty seconds so are Captain Atom, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Batman.
    • In "Depths", Artemis dies in the opening. The episode covers the events leading up to this moment and the aftermath and it's revealed that her death was a ruse.
    • In "Darkest", Aqualad's threatens to set off a pseudo-nuke and destroy Mount Justice, and kill Nightwing, Superboy, Wolf, and sphere, which turns out to be a bluff. Then Aqualad has Artemis use the real trigger, and Mount Justice is totally annihilated, though they survive..
    • Many fans predicted that Barry Allen/Flash was going to die by the end of Invasion. Come "Endgame", Barry doesn't die. However, Wally does.
      • Greg Weisman qualified a lot of his statements with little phrases like "assuming everyone survives" and "if they survive," when talking about characters. A tumblr user once reblogged one of these statements adding, "And you're assuming we're stupid enough to believe you'd kill one of your characters off." Well...
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Light may be this to some, but the one with the most awesome moment so far may be Vandal Savage. You know, the guy who brainwashed the entire Justice League and got them to bow down to him. While using the same kid who was looking out for potential moles as the mole to do it.
    • Among The Light, Lex Luthor in particular stands out. This guys is so funny, cool, and smart that it's incredibly hard not to root for him most of the time.
    • As of "Depths", Nightwing, and, to a lesser extent, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Artemis qualify, having pulled off a truly awesome long con on the villains and their fellow heroes. Nightwing even acknowledges that their friends may never forgive them for their manipulations.
      • The Reach. The Ambassador, more specifically.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The words Robin creates by removing prefixes (such as "whelmed" and "aster" from the words overwhelmed and disaster).
    • Superman will take his pie to go. *dramatic background music*
    • Robin hacked the motion sensors.
    • Aqualad is the son of The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.
    • "X is a sport."
    • It's hard to pin just one down, but there was a flurry of angry memes when the hiatus until January 2013 was revealed.
    • "Now THAT'S a rutabaga!"
    • Judging by pure gif saturation, Blue Beetle whacking his Heterosexual Life Partner in the head with a rock.
    • Wally was a fan-favorite character in season who was Demoted to Extra in season two, which resulted in a lot of "WHERE'S WALLY?" posts on Tumblr after each episode would air with no sign of him. This was eventually mashed up with Where's Waldo?, who is called "Wally" in every country but Canada and the U.S. Then, after Wally's death in "Endgame," Artemis' first words are "Where's Wally?" Which is now getting added to the meme.
  • Memetic Sex God: Roy. It helps that he's voiced by Crispin Freeman.
    • Nightwing is this by default. Particularly after showcasing his flexibility during his infamous fight against Tigress. Even more particularly after the "Players" arc of the tie-in comic shows him getting action from four different women within one approx. 24 hour period.
      • Even as Robin he qualified. His workout in "Downtime" did not go unnoticed by fangirls.
  • Moe: The fans' opinion of Asami "Sam" Koizumi.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Light technically crossed it before the series even began. The finale reveals that they kidnapped Speedy and cloned him more than three years ago. The Roy Harper we've been following in the series was a clone and part of their plan, which even he didn't know. Not only that, the real Roy somehow lost an arm (either lost in battle when they caught him, or by amputation after, which would be even worse). They then take the original Roy with them alongside Match when covering their tracks from Cadmus following the events of the episode.
    • Queen Bee is revealed to have killed Garfield Logan's mother purely out of spite, if the Light's overall moment isn't enough to push her over the line. Seeing Beast Boy so broken shows how horrible she truly was.
    • In the eyes of Superboy, Miss Martian's increase of mind raping criminals. But the biggest would be her trying to wipe his mind of their fight.
    • Invoked in-universe in "Depths". Aqualad "kills" Artemis as part of the plan to ingratiate himself further with Black Manta and to convince the rest of the heroes that he truly has become a villain. This also allows Artemis to infiltrate Black Manta's organization alongside him with a magical disguise.
    • The Reach crosses their by abducting and torturing children in their attempts to weaponize the meta-gene. In "Cornered" it's confirmed that not all of the abductees survived.
  • Narm: The round the clock kissing/hook ups at the end of the season one finale may count.
    • From the same finale Superman's "good job kid" moment to Superboy may also be this, given the lack of characterization on the former's part causing the scene to fall flat and feel like an empty gesture.
    • Superman trying to corral the ugly little alien invaders into their ship so he could fly them away from the exploding island in Alienated feels too forced (and comes too late in the series) to be genuinely convincing as an act of selfless compassion on his part. Superboy saying that Superman will be more upset to learn he couldn't save the ugly little alien invaders just makes it even more of an Informed Attribute.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Cameos abound in this show.
  • One True Threesome: There a couple of prominent ones. Sometimes, they get folded together into OT 4/5.
  • Pandering to the Base: The show's target audience is teenagers. Episode six contains a beach scene and the beginnings of a Love Dodecahedron.
  • Periphery Demographic: The target audience may be children 6-14, but the show, particularly the second season, has managed to attract many older viewers due to its tight plotting, serialized plot arcs, and willingness to touch on and openly refer to themes one might expect to find on a pay cable drama.
    • And since the Cerebus Syndrome of the second season, it's much more justified now.
  • Replacement Scrappy/Contested Sequel: Not literally the latter, because of alternate continuities, but the principle applies:
    • The series as a whole, particularly the first season, is viewed as such by some Teen Titans fans since it covers similar ground but is generally Darker and Edgier and "less fun", depending on how "fun" is defined. However, that Lighter and Softer series ended in 2006, long before it was "replaced".
    • It's also been viewed as such for Justice League (Unlimited) by those who prefer to see the grown-ups over the young 'uns. However, like Teen Titans, that series already ended way back in 2006.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Many characters are quickly labeled by fans as The Scrappy due to actions that typically have payoffs a few episodes later; which either explain why said character acted that way or they get their comeuppance for it.
    • Superman in season two with respect with his relationship with Superboy and his questionable behavior towards him in the first season - if you can get by the lack of actual on screen character development.
    • Bizarrely, Aqualad's Face-Heel Turn and Miss Martian's new penchant for Mind Rape are appreciated by some fans as finally giving them some character depth.
    • Freakin' Lagoon Boy got some much-needed depth in issue #23 of the tie-in comic. He expresses a lot of the same desires M'gann had over coming to Earth— but, unlike her, La'gaan isn't a shapeshifter. So he's still isolated from general society despite living his dream of seeing the surface world.
      • The episode "The Fix" provides him with depth as well, or at least some Woobie points.
      • Issue #25 also gives him a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Arsenal establishing himself as The Strategist and as a Shell-Shocked Veteran in "The Hunt" is probably the only reason Nightwing kicking him off the team was controversial.
    • This incarnation of Cassie Sandsmark/Wonder Girl is this for people who labeled her as a Scrappy in the comics. No doubt she gets better characterization than her comic incarnation.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The Superboy/Miss Martian relationship for some.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Some fans seem to give Superman more grief than he really deserves for his reaction to Superboy - though for some it wasn't so much his reaction but rather the lack of character development that went with it that bothers them.
    • Lagoon Boy for being Miss Martian's rebound guy. Noticing a trend?
  • The Scrappy:
    • Lagoon Boy. First off he's a Replacement Scrappy for Face-Heel Turn Aqualad. Secondly, he's Megan's new boyfriend. Third, he's incredibly annoying and an incredibly Flat Character. Fourth, his powers suck. About the best that can be said is that we're probably supposed to dislike him, given how the rest of the cast reacts when he's around.
    • Miss Martian received this reception in season 1 for her ditziness and annoying catchphrase ("Hello, Megan!"), while in season 2 she was seen as a Scrappy for her Darker and Edgier personality and her willingness to abuse her mind-probing powers.
    • Aquagirl is hated by some fans who believe her to have strung Kaldur's feelings along, when she rejected him and started dating Garth instead. It doesn't help that any more possible character development occurred offscreen before her death (during the timeskip between seasons).
    • Arsenal. Attacking what as far as the public knew was a lab trying to fight world hunger? And then not even apologizing when called out on it by Robin? Yeah...really earned you points here.
  • Shipping Goggles: A small sect of fans seem to believe Superman and Wonder Woman may be a couple in this show's universe, despite a lack of screen time, characterization and interaction. Must be the fact that Lois Lane is nowhere to be seen...
  • Ships That Pass In The Night: WonderBeetle gathered a bit of the fandom despite them never interacting on screen.
    • Then the tie-in comic reveals that Nightwing chose Wonder Girl to help him recruit Blue Beetle.
    • Red Arrow and Cheshire, unless one counts the two times in season one where she flirts with him (and both were for deception). Come season 2, and they're married with a daughter, although Red Arrow is questionable father material at best (he's consumed with searching for the real Roy Harper). Kind of strange when you realize that Chesire antagonized Red Arrow and the rest of the team, and he acted harshly towards Cheshire's younger sister, Artemis.
  • Spiritual Licensee: The show is really more like the Teen Titans comics, thanks to its heavy focus on plot and character drama, than its namesake.
  • Squick:
    • Miss Martian and Superboy making out while still disguised as brother and sister. Would it have been so hard for Conner to give Megan some sort of warning so she could drop the disguise before she and Superboy played tonsil hockey? Icicle Jr. has this exact reaction in-universe.
    • In "Image", a recording shows Superboy losing in a sparring match against Black Canary and then as a reward for almost winning she kisses him and they start making out. Sure, it's M'gann in disguise but...
    • Queen Bee creepily splayed out on the bed next to Garfield in the same episode. Knowing that she had him in her thrall certainly didn't help.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Robin & Wonder Girl hooking up in the series finale, mostly because they're never seen interacting with one another before hand.
    • Miss Martian and Lagoon Boy is at least justified by the Time Skip, but from the audience's perspective we go from "Miss Martian and Superboy in a successful relationship" to "Miss Martian locking lips with someone we've never seen before".
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • In spite of the fact that the series itself is not an adaptation of the Young Justice comics, quite a few fans of the comics aren't happy with the creative team's decision to alter the identities of characters from the comics of the same name. (Weisman's take on the issue.)
    • Some fans' complaints are incredibly petty, such as people complaining that Superboy is wearing cargo pants instead of jeans.
    • Brent Spiner voicing The Joker is taking hits for generally not being very good, for not being Mark Hamill, for not being John DiMaggio, etc.
    • In the first season, Superman's characterization and behavior regarding Superboy was a sticking point for many viewers.
    • The Season 2 Time Skip gets a lot of this for changing almost everything. While it explores more mature themes, the second season also put many of the older members of The Team out of focus for a long time while introducing characters that hardly have any personalities aside from a few aspects.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The tie-in comics had one panel Bio's for many of the characters on the show. The Bios used events and teams from comics, to broaden the readers perceptions. Some are pretty inaccurate, like Bane's. It says that he's associated with the Suicide Squad, but the picture shows the line-up from The New 52, which he isn't part of. Even worse is that the other team it shows him associated with is the Secret Six, but the picture is of The Legion of Doom from Justice League: Doom.
    • Regarding which of DC's 52 Earths YJ is set on, Vietti and Weisman originally asked for an empty Earth and were assigned Earth-16. Earth-16 had already been described as the reality of the "Super-Sons," and has since been described in the solicits for "Multiversity" as "Earth-Me," where superheroes are tabloid celebrities.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: In general, the show has so many characters that many appear briefly only to be Put on a Bus or fall victim to What Happened to the Mouse?. Other characters appear frequently but don't get the amount of screen time or lines others do. Some specific examples:
    • Ocean-Master. He was the least featured member out of of the original seven members of "The Light", and whilst it is known that he is actually Aquaman's brother Prince Orm by DC fans and from reading the tie-in comic, those who are only following the show will have no idea that Orm and Ocean-Master are one and the same. In between seasons 1 and 2, he has been "disgraced" and replaced by Black Manta, who was already featured in an episode.
    • Black Adam and the Ultra-Humanite both got this treatment in their first and only appearances (not counting the tie-in comics). In the show, they were both reduced to The Voiceless Dumb Muscle to Count Vertigo of all people (an Adaptational Badass, but partly just because he's bossing around guys like these two), and are defeated relatively easily. In the comics, both are A-list Genius Bruisers and Visionary Villains who can challenge entire teams of heroes by themselves, and neither would look out-of-place amongst the leaders of the Light.
    • Ra's al Ghul is also under-utilized, compared to most of his fellow Light members; he and Ocean-Master never actually get episodes to themselves as the focus villain. Gets an extremely minor boost in the penultimate one where he finally blows Artemis' cover, what little good it did.
    • Robin III (Tim Drake) has gotten this reaction from some because despite having quite a few appearances, he's rarely given any depth and characterization besides being yet another Robin leading a squad. Most of the time he doesn't even speak unlike Robin I/Nightwing who has plenty of lines; Batgirl also has more lines. Young Justice is also only the third time Tim has appeared in a DC cartoon after The New Batman Adventures and the Batman Beyond movie, unlike Dick who's featured in many more shows - thus all the more disappointing for some. Also consider that Tim was the Robin of the Young Justice comic, not Dick.
    • For those who didn't expect a Time Skip, Robin II (Jason Todd) could apply since he started being a superhero and died between seasons. Also, the show doesn't include him in his popular resurrected adult identity as the Red Hood.
    • The Runaways. They were set up as a potential anti-heroic rival for the Team, only for Static to join the Team and the others besides Arsenal to quit. (Their quitting isn't even shown on screen.)
    • Red Arrow was well used in Season 1 and the early part of Season 2. That said, after he finds the original Roy Harper, he just goes missing, not even appearing in Cheshire's story arc in which she and Sportsmaster try taking revenge on Black Manta. It's possible he's just taking care of his daughter, but no explanation is even given.
    • Klarion the Witch Boy. In previous incarnations, Klarion is just a normal magic user that could be defeated with a bit of elbow grease and a bit of help from a friendly mage of your own. Batman did it. For Young Justice he's elevated all the way to a Lord of Chaos and consequently he is essentially reduced to a background character because otherwise there's no way the good guys would win. So what was the point of making him a Lord of Chaos to begin with?
    • Miss Martian, or more accurately her being a White Martian in disguise. In the comics, this played a big part in making her an interesting character and a fan-favourite. In this series, it's only used toward the end of season 1 as a minor subplot to make her angst about how her friends would react to her real appearance, and take a backseat to her rather cliché romance with Superboy.
    • Bane. He's shown to be every bit as smart as members of The Light, but the episode he appears in has already suffering from an Eviler Than Thou at the hands of Lord Kobra, and the next he appears, he's just relegated to the role of a generic thug.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Not taking the time to explore the subplot of Superman and Superboy finally developing an actual relationship (season two expects the viewer to just accept that they now see each other as brothers) may count.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: After all the whining and bitching he did throughout the show not everyone wanted to comfort Roy "Speedy/Red Arrow" Harper when the Jerkass finally learned he was a clone and came to doubt the validity of his existence.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The little G-gnomes fall under this.
    • Megan's true form falls under this. Despite being a 'hideous' White Martian? You still want to hug and comfort her due to her genuine sweet personality. Doesn't hurt that she's a full on Woobie.
  • The Untwist:
    • Practically any ending revealing that the Light had been behind the episode's villain or has taken advantage on the situation. This happens so often that it now is a surprise when you don't get that kind of ending.
    • Green Beetle being evil. Seriously, he's an original character that comes out of nowhere to provide an easy solution to one of the main conflicts of the season. Fans were calling him too good to be true well before the reveal.
  • Villain Sue: The Light as a whole: almost all episodes end with a "twist" revealing that 1) the villain from this episode (even if he appeared to be an independent villain at first) was working for them, and 2) The apparent defeat the protagonists inflicted them end up at best retarding them a little, at worst went as they planned and allows them to go further in their grand scheme. Even when the heroes undid the damage the Light dealt in the season 1 finale (which had been brewing for all of season 1, and actually had been pulled off), they just went ahead to "Phase 2", and they still have yet to be completely defeated. The worst are Vandal and Klarion—these two escape easily as soon as things go south. Klarion's powers make him a borderline instant win button for The Light, and the defeat in "Summit" didn't stop Vandal from Curb Stomping three powerful Justice Leaguers in under four in-universe minutes to activate the War World. Yeah, Vandal's a badass, but how he could possibly beat Black Canary, Shazam and Black Lightning in mere minutes is so unbelievable it couldn't be shown on screen.
    • There's also the fact that they are never defeated. The show and possibly the entire franchise end with their plans going smoothly. And with all the sacrifices, it feels almost like Shoot the Shaggy Dog. The chances of Vandal Savage eventually getting his ass handed to him by some higher power and his Light followers finally being outsmarted in the abandoned third season are pretty slim, but would have been a welcome change from the rather banal twist of everything working out for them.
  • Wangst: Some of Superboy's angry overreactions.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Arsenal randomly decides to go against orders, and ruins their cover with an explosion that did little to no actual damage, just to spite Luthor.
    • Nightwing for thinking that putting him on that team was a smart idea to begin with despite Arsenal's clear mental instability.
      • Especially since blowing things up very loudly is basically all he's done since waking up! Seriously, in a stealth situation, what could he do that Robin wouldn't have done better (being, you know, a member of the Batfamily and all?)? Hell, if someone asked him to take his damn hand out of his pocket (which they really should've, since obviously some people weren't happy about the Reach), they would've been royally screwed.
      • Later, in "The Hunt", he decides that the perfect time to kick Arsenal off the team is right after he saved them all from the Reach, right in front of the Runaways. Honestly, he deserved to lose him and four potential members of the team. He also chooses to make this declaration while still behind enemy lines, which even he admits isn't the right place for a discussion on the matter.
    • Nightwing faking Artemis' death and not telling the team. While it may have been necessary on some level to ensure Aqualad's cover, not telling M'gann in particular was utter insanity, as she's a telepath who has been getting way too Mind Rape-y with her powers of late. Best case scenario, she finds out by reading Aqualad's mind. Worst case, she psy-blasts him and turns him into a vegetable. Which is exactly what happened.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show is rife with Getting Crap Past the Radar, including implications of Twincest, many references to and depictions of murder, and doesn't shy away from the severe mental strain that is put on Child Soldiers.
    • The subplot in "Beneath" heavily implies that the mother of one of Jaime Reyes' friends is being physically abused by her boyfriend. The same episode also reveals that Queen Bee is essentially running a child-trafficking ring, where innocent teenagers are kidnapped and sold to aliens who use them for experimentation.
    • One of the protagonists' favorite tactic is Mind Rape. And it is played out for maximum shock value.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Invoked by Phil LaMarr in an interview with Rob Paulsen. He lets it slip that Virgil Hawkins (aka Static, who Phil previously voiced) is due to make an appearance on the show and wonders why they didn't let him audition.
    • Brent Spiner as Joker was not received very well by fans, even if the casting was trying something different, Brent Spiner does not portray the general craziness that is Joker very well.
    • Surprisingly averted with the casting of Bruce Greenwood as Batman. Though one might expect casting somebody else other than Kevin Conroy as the Dark Knight to provoke They Changed It, Now It Sucks, or the like, Bruce has prior experience voicing Batman, and his performance was well received.
    • Many felt this way when Clancy Brown was cast in the show (as Agent King Faraday), but not as Lex Luthor, his most well known role in the DC Universe.
    • Not everyone cared for Nolan North, Deadpool himself, playing Superman. Granted, he rarely ever spoke in the role.
    • Phil LaMarr as Aquaman is such an epic miscast - almost as epic a miscast as Nolan North as Superman - it's not even funny (see Narm).
    • To make a very long list short, any characters whom previously appeared in the DCAU or other popular DC media that are not reprised by the original voice actors (such as the aforementioned Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Phil LaMarr, and Clancy Brown) can incite this reaction. It happens often, as the show appears to have a specific policy of not casting any character with their DCAU voice actor, to reflect how they're trying something a little different with the characters.
  • The Woobie:
    • Miss Martian in "Welcome to Happy Harbor" and even more so in "Failsafe". Up to Eleven in Image.
    • Artemis in "Homefront".
    • "Disordered" gives nearly all the kids Woobie moments during their therapy sessions.
    • Zatanna in the end of "Misplaced".
    • Jerkass Woobie: Superboy.
    • Robin in "Performance"
      • Icicle Jr. is surprisingly sympathetic in "Terrors". Despite being a Card-Carrying Villain, he clearly has severe daddy issues, and strikes up a camaraderie with a disguised Superboy, trusting him enough to be easily manipulated into thwarting the main plot of the villains.
      • As of season 2, Aqualad. His Face-Heel Turn makes him this. He may have betrayed the team, but it was only after his first love was killed after joining and the king he believed in and trusted turned out to be lying to him about his father's true identity... which is then turned on its head in "Depths," because he's a double agent whose friends all hate him now. Woobie for entirely different reasons.
    • Stoic Woobie: Aqualad in "Alpha Male". Seriously.
      • Hell, Aqualad all the time. His life suuuuuckssss.
    • Wheelchair Woobie: Paula Crock, because of her Dark and Troubled Past and the fact that she genuinely cares about Artemis.
    • As of the final two episodes of season one, Red Arrow. First he finds out he's the mole, then it's revealed that he's actually a clone of the original Roy Harper who was captured years earlier by The Light. The real Roy? He's currently in a hibernation pod and missing most of his right arm.
    • Aqualad's friend Topo in the tie-in comics, who was branded "impure" by the Purists.
    • Beast Boy, when you discover that Queen Bee killed his mother.
    • Iron Woobie: Bart Allen/Impulse is from a Bad Future and goes back to the past on a one-way trip to save the Earth. To prevent even more damage done to the future, he has to put on a chipper Motor Mouth mask, but that doesn't hide the fact that he needs a hug.
    • When you think about it, Kid Flash as of season 2. Something clearly must have happened between the time skip to drive him into retiring from heroics. A decision in which it is implied that not everyone was happy with (Particularly Red Arrow, who seems to outright resent him for it. note ) The Tie-In comics revealed that he fears that he's not fast enough to be the Flash's sidekick, let alone be the Flash one day. Fears that were more or less enforced in "Bloodlines" with Impulse's arrival. things get even worse in "Endgame" where he dies while saving the world with Flash and Impulse. The worst part about it is that the reason he died was because he wasn't fast enough.
    • Also, Green Arrow. The poor man gets a sidekick, and he turns on him and starts resenting him. And this is only the beginning (warning, massive spoiler ahead):It turns out that Red Arrow is not the original Speedy, but was replaced by a clone months after he became Green Arrow's sidekick. And then that clone descends into depression. And then Artemis, his other sidekick, dies. And then, less than a week later, the real Speedy turns up again, and hates Ollie for giving up on him. He needed that You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech from Red Arrow, badly.
    • One could say that of the Season 2 Finale Artemis has gained this status after Wally's death. Not only does she burst into tears upon being told of his death, but later on she throws away her identity as "Artemis" to more permanently don the mask of "Tigress," the identity she had resented for much of the season, because "Artemis was Wally's partner" and she "needed some distance." Some fans are also expressing concern that she may or may not be leaning towards becoming something of an anti-hero if not an outright villain due to her talk with Bart.
      Artemis: Let's see how Tigress does.
      Bart: As a hero?
      Artemis: As a blonde.

    • And on the villain's side, we have Black Manta a.k.a. Aqualad's father. Early on we see him as a tough but fair albeit evil parent and mentor who wants to make sure his son is a worthy heir to the throne, even going so far to engineer missions to test his son's honesty (ironically) and integrity. When M'gann placed a Mind Rape on Aqualad and Black Manta is feeling upset since his son has been attacked by that "Martian witch". In "The Fix", once M'gann slowly starts repairing Aqualad's mind, the first word Aqualad actually says is "Father"; Black Manta is immediately at his son's side to reassure him. You almost forget that Black Manta's part of The Light when seeing it.
      • Black Manta is seriously in the contending and who most people consider the best father on the show due to stuff like this happening constantly. Every time he interacts with Kaldur you can see how much he cares for his son... and then his son betrays him, revealing he was a spy for the heroes all along. Even though Black Manta was a villain you can't help feeling a little sorry for him. One can only imagine what the repercussions of this would have been in season 3 had season 3 not been abandoned.
    • Lagoon Boy later in season 2. He gets kidnapped by the Light, held prisoner by his idol Kaldur'amh, and was presumably tortured/experimented on. After that his girlfriend becomes distant and he's afraid of losing her to her ex. Then she gets kidnapped and there's nothing he can do about it. And then he learns that his hatred towards Aqualad and his mourning of Artemis were misplaced due to both being Reverse Moles. Not to mention the tie-in comic reveal that he was a victim of racism in Atlantis and is insecure about his looks.
    • Blue Beetle. From his out of control and painful empowerment via Scarab, to being told that he, in a Bad Future, is responsible for the end of the world thanks to things out of his control. Jaime then decides that in order to protect the world he’s willing to dieif it came to that in order to extract the Scarab and save the those he cares about. When that doesn’t work Green Beetle takes advantage of Jaime’s desire to stop this Bad Future and fools Jaime into believing he’s helping him seal the Scarab while instead he places Jaime “On Mode” , which allows them to control Jaime. “ Intervention” puts even more Woobie points on him when its revealed that while “ In Mode” Jaime was conscious and aware of everything the Reach Ambassador did with his controlled body (including trying to kill his friends more than once while he could do nothing but be horrified) and he could do nothing to stop it (snarking at him aside). Its no wonder the first thing Jaime did when he was finally released from the Reach control was hug Zatanna in gratitude. The boy needed that hug.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy