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Professor Eobard Thawne / The Reverse-Flash

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thawne.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reverseflash.jpg
"Oh, I'm not like The Flash at all. Some would say I'm the reverse..."
Click here to see him as "Harrison Wells" 
Click here to see him in his New Reichsmen costume 
Click here to see him in 2049 

Species: Enhanced human

Known Aliases: The Reverse-Flash, The Man in Yellow, "The Man in the Ball of Lightning", "Harrison Wells", "Martin Stein", "Jack Swigert", Dark Flash

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Affiliations: Team Flash, The Legion of Doom, The New Reichsmen

Played By: Matt Letscher; Tom Cavanagh (as "Harrison Wells"); Victor Garber (as "Martin Stein"); Sean MacLean (as "Jack Swigert")

Voiced By: Mario Castañeda (Latin American Spanish, as "Harrison Wells"); Victor Hugo Aguilar and Diego Estrada (Latin American Spanish, original body)

Appearances: The Flash | Legends of Tomorrow | Crisis on Earth-X note  | Freedom Fighters: The Ray | Elseworlds

"We've been at this a long time, you and I, but I'm always one step ahead."

The Fastest Maniac Alive.

A scientist from the future who idolized Barry Allen to the point of obsession, wanting to be the Flash. Successfully recreating the accident in which Barry got his powers, he developed the ability to travel through time, only to learn the truth: his destiny was not to be the Flash, but his enemy. This caused Thawne to Go Mad from the Revelation, deciding if he was to be the Flash's enemy, he would be the greatest enemy he ever had. Eventually, he discovered Barry's real identity and travelled back to the year 2000 to murder him as a child. Barry got away, so Thawne murdered Nora Allen instead, framing her husband Henry for it. Unfortunately for him, in doing so, he caused a chain of events that stripped him of his powers and trapped him in the past. Murdering the founder of STAR Labs and assuming his identity, he built the Particle Accelerator that gave Barry his powers years ahead of schedule and supposedly lost the use of his legs in the explosion when it malfunctioned.

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After Barry got his powers, he and Joe reopened Nora's case, hoping to bring her killer to justice and free Henry. But unknown to Barry, he's still in Central City and keeping a close eye on Barry's loved ones, specifically as a scientist searching for metahumans who helps Barry understand his powers. Training Barry to get faster and use his powers, the Flash had no idea that the monster who killed his mother was hidden in plain sight...


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     A-C 
  • 0% Approval Rating: After his Harrison Wells cover is blown, it becomes clear that nobody likes Eobard Thawne, hero or villain.
    • During his time on Legends of Tomorrow as a member of the Legion of Doom, he tries to cozy up to Darhk and Merlyn, however his unlikable qualities eventually make the two of them fed up of him. By the time of "Doomworld" all of his Legion comrades have turned on him and hate him just as much as the Legends do.
    • In Crisis on Earth-X, he's one of the New Reich's enforcers, but it's clear they only tolerate him because they need him and not because they like him. He's constantly at odds with Earth-X Oliver and Kara who seem like they'd be happy to kill him should he step out-of-line or outlive his usefulness. The feeling is mutual, with Thawne bailing the scene as soon as it becomes obvious the Nazis have no chance of winning.
  • Abusive Parents: After Thawne's death, Grodd recalls that "Father never ask; Father take", implying that, for all his kindness to Grodd, Thawne was still far from the kindliest of father figures.
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • Ray Palmer's nanite-laced arrows. They only temporarily remove his powers, but it's enough for The Arrow to subdue him.
    • For unexplained reasons, his speed doesn't work in zero gravity.
    • Like most meta-humans, Thawne's powers are dampened in a carbine cell which allowed the Flash to imprison him for 3 months during the Flashpoint timeline.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the comics, Eobard never particularly cared about getting back to his original timeline, as he'd much rather just screw over the Flash and his life and loved ones. Here, he's marooned in an age he considers "barbaric" and desperately wants to get home.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: This version of Thawne is given a great deal more redeeming qualities, in stark contrast with his comic incarnation who is incapable of feeling any kind of affection towards anybody but himself. Here, he genuinely grows fond of Team Flash (especially Cisco) and even comes to enjoy helping them to fight rogues, despite still having no qualms about killing them if he needs to.
    • Aside from his affection upgrade, his intention as "Harrison Wells" is simply to return home rather than going out of his way to screw with Barry's life.
    • In the original Flashpoint, Thawne is happy to let the whole world go to hell if it means Barry is suffering. Here however he encourages him to fix it, albeit because he wants to kill his mother and get home, but he does leave Barry alive after partially getting them back to the proper timeline. Therefore, while he is somewhat more heroic, it's entirely because he doesn't want Barry's screw-up to have a negative impact on him.
    • His tenure on Legends of Tomorrow and Crisis on Earth-X, while still milder than original Thawne, brings him a lot closer to his comics counterpart's (lack of) morality, caring about no one but himself, serving as a Bad Boss that even the villains don't like, and boasting a long string of Kick the Dog moments.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the comics, the Dark Flash is the Anti-Hero doppelgänger of Wally West, who takes his main counterpart's place out of guilt for seemingly getting him killed. This version is Eobard Thawne, a straight-up villain, and a Nazi at that.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the comics, the name of S.T.A.R. Labs' founder is either Robert Meersman (Silver Age) or Garrison Slate (New Earth). Again, his actual counterpart is Eobard Thawne, not the founder of S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Adorkable: He has his moments. They're usually a result of hanging out with Cisco and making movie references together, but he's also got a tendency to geek out over interesting scientific puzzles and has some priceless facial expressions that he pulls in reaction to the team and their shenanigans.
  • Aerith and Bob: "Eobard" is a word uniquely developed as the character's name by creators Carmine Infantino and John Broome, for when he originally debuted in 1963. This carries over to the Arrowverse. Most likely the In-Universe explanation is that he's from centuries in the future, when it might be a common name.
  • Almost Dead Guy: In the first season finale of The Flash, after Eddie shoots himself, putting an end to the Thawne lineage, Eobard lasts long enough before having never existed to ask Barry what he'll do without Thawne around to motivate him.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Good luck trying to figure out where in the timeline Thawne found the time to go to Earth-X. Given the way he talks, it may not have even happened yet from Barry's perspective.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Gives off this vibe (to the viewers while most characters don't suspect anything) until his true identity is revealed and it stops being ambiguous. The pilot alone shows he is faking being paraplegic and has hidden knowledge and technology from the future which he uses to monitor the Flash. In the second episode he straight up kills a guy to keep the Flash safe. In later episodes he manipulates certain metahumans into meeting their ends, for his own purposes.
  • Ambiguously Human: Gives off this vibe. He certainly looks like a man, but he's also constantly vibrating in an unstable manner, has glowing red eyes, claims to have goals beyond the understanding of normal humans, and in general gives off a feeling of unnaturalness. Likely an Invoked Trope on his part to terrify people.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Thawne uses tachyons to artificially increase his speed to give him an edge over Barry.
  • And Starring: Tom Cavanagh is given this citation in the The Flash's OBB. Matt Letscher is promoted to this citation in the Guest Stars lineup starting the second season.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Promises this to Barry, after the latter stops him from returning to the future.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Or descendant anyway. To Eddie.
  • Apologetic Attacker: One of the last things he tends to say to people he kills is "forgive me". Whether or not he really means it is up to interpretation.
  • Arch-Enemy: By far Barry's most personal and despised enemy. Barry hates Thawne for killing his mother and endlessly messing with his life, while Thawne hates Barry for forever being better than him and thwarting his plans. Both are responsible in each other's creations and have their histories forever entwined with each other, yet neither can kill the other off for what damage it would do to the timeline. No matter how hard Barry tries, he will never be fully rid of Eobard Thawne — they will always be a part of each other.
    Thawne: We're enemies, rivals, opposites, reverses of one another.
    • To a lesser extent he's this for Team Flash as whole. After the Particle Accelerator exploded, Caitlin and Cisco stood by "Dr. Wells" even when every other S.T.A.R. Labs left to try and salvage their careers — knowing that such a move could severely limit their career options. Cisco in particular regarded "Wells" as a Parental Substitute so they were crushed then the truth came out. Joe and Iris hate him for messing with Barry and everyone's lives for his own gain.
  • Artifact Alias: Even after his true identity of Eobard Thawne is revealed, everyone still keep calling him "Harrison Wells". They start to catch on to this after they have dealings with the Harrison Wells of Earth-2 (who, for obvious reasons, takes issue with hearing his name used to refer to Thawne). Despite this, they continue to refer to Thawne-as-Wells as either "Dr. Wells" or "Evil Wells" well into Season Three. Even H.R., another Harrison Wells, refers to Thawne as "the other [Wells]" at one point. However, post Season One, Barry does refer to him as "Thawne" when speaking directly to him, even when he's in his Wells disguise (on the rare times he shows up).
  • Ascended Extra: In the comics, the founder of S.T.A.R. Labs was never a big character and isn't integral to any Story Arc. Here, he's vital to the plot. Revealed to be subverted, as his actual counterpart is not the founder of S.T.A.R. Labs but Eobard Thawne, therefore a vital character.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In a backstory lifted right off the pages of The Return of Barry Allen, Thawne was the Flash's biggest fan in the future and replicated the accident to gain super speed himself. Of course, things took a turn for the worse when he traveled to the past and discovered the identity of the Flash's archenemy was himself... He also was fan of how DeVoe screwed with Barry and got to be an important arch-enemy.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: While The Legion of Doom are, ostensibly, equal partners, Thawne frequently uses his power as a speedster, which no one else there can match, to assert his authority.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Not really the case for Tom Cavanagh, but Matt Letscher looks EXACTLY like Eobard Thawne from the comics, just look!
  • The Atoner: Surprisingly enough, in Season 5, he claims to regret his past monstrous deeds and wants to make up for them by helping reunite Nora with her father she never knew. It's all an act — one big elaborate Batman Gambit to avoid his execution.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The only metahuman member of The Legion of Doom and the one in-charge.
  • Back from the Dead: He somehow managed to wriggle out of being erased from existence twice. The first was thanks to Barry's meddling in time that resulted to an earlier incarnation of Thawne being brought to the main timeline. It's unknown how he managed it the second time, and when Barry demands to know how, Thawne just hand waves it.
    Barry: I watched you die!
  • Bad Boss:
    • He fired his protege Hartley when he tried to warn him of the potential dangers of the Particle Accelerator. Though of course it turns out this was because he was actually a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and needed the Particle Accelerator to happen as part of his Evil Plan.
    • As the head of the Legion of Doom, which eventually backfires when the other three members try to turn on him for his mistreatment of them.
  • Badass Boast: He delivers one without even raising his voice, giving a chilling tone to his words.
    Thawne: Threaten me again, and I will end you. And I am not talking about your career.
    • Also, when facing down the Flash, Firestorm, and The Arrow, he makes it very clear what he thinks of them.
    Flash: I don't care how fast you are; you can't fight all three of us at the same time!
    Thawne: *thoroughly amused* Oh, I can't?
    Ray: He doesn't have super speed without gravity.
    Thawne: Newsflash, Raymond: I don't need super speed to kick your ass! [pulls a knife]
  • Badass Bookworm: Being a world-class intellect in the 22nd Century, he's essentially unparalleled in 2015. In addition to building S.T.A.R. Labs and the particle accelerator, he has often provided the key scientific aptitude which has allowed Barry to defeat most of his foes.
  • Badass Longcoat: He's wearing one when he killed and replaced the real Harrison Wells.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In "The Man in the Yellow Suit", the Reverse-Flash manages to steal the Tachyon Device and brutally beat up Barry before he leaves.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: It's almost as if he personally chose to be Ambiguously Evil as a way to protect Barry by killing anyone who could be a true threat.
  • Bait the Dog:
    • He's normally polite to and appreciative of his staff at S.T.A.R Labs, but he fired Hartley for almost exposing his plan for the Particle Accelerator and, in an alternate timeline, he killed Cisco for finding out his secret identity. It's made clear that however close he gets to the members of Team Flash, he'll always put himself and his plans first.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, he opens up to Ray a little and explains his aspirations and perceptions. When he meets Ray's "Doomworld" self, he rips out his heart without blinking.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In Season Three, he's shown with a stubble as a result of being imprisoned by the Flash.
  • Because Destiny Says So:
    • During his first fight with Barry, he taunts the poor guy with lines like this, claiming that Barry is destined to lose and that Nora was destined to die by his hand. It's unknown if he actually believes this or if he was just using the idea to Kick the Dog.
    • The reason he becomes the Reverse-Flash in the first place is because he went back in time and learned he was the Reverse-Flash, prompting him to say Then Let Me Be Evil. It never occurred to him that he could've averted that destiny by deciding to reject it.
  • Becoming the Mask: Eobard Thawne killed Harrison Wells by using a device to transfer Wells' DNA and genetic material to him, in order to assume his identity and build the Particle Accelerator roughly 7 years ahead of schedule. But during that time he developed some affection towards Caitlin and Cisco; it's unclear if it's Thawne or some remnant of Wells coming out. It's also worth noting that he didn't start apologizing to people he kills until after he did his Kill and Replace on Wells, suggesting that some bit of Wells still exists or their two personalities acclimated, with Thawne's personality still being the more dominant; a Deleted Scene from the Season One finale confirms this. He admits that not only did he actually enjoy helping with Barry's heroics, he also grew to like him despite being bitter enemies with him in another timeline. This becomes more pronounced when Thawne is himself and his natural repugnant personality shines through undiluted. Eventually, Thawne finds a way to disguise himself as other people without having their DNA or personality overriding his. In Crisis on Earth-X, he uses this method to wear Wells' face just to screw with Barry, and he shows none of the benevolence he had in Season One. He flat-out tells Kara that he hated his time at S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Been There, Shaped History: posing as Harrison Wells, Eobard has ingrained himself in various parts of what should be "history" for him: he had dealings with Eiling and Simon Stagg, knew Oliver Queen's father, founded STAR Labs, and became the cause for the rise of most superhumans in the series.
  • Benevolent Boss: He was a stern but fair boss to his employees at S.T.A.R. Labs (he saw nothing wrong with Cisco wearing T-shirts to work)...as long as they didn't threaten his plans to make Barry the Flash - and therefore return to his own time. When Ratheway tried warn people that the Particle Accelerator might malfunction Thawne sent him packing.
  • Berserk Button: If "The Reverse-Flash Returns" is any indication, being called out on why he hates the Flash is a very sore spot.
    Barry: That is why you killed my mother? That's why you ruined my life? Because you couldn't be me?
    Eobard: I BECAME BETTER THAN YOU! I am the one thing you cannot stop, Flash!
  • Big Bad:
    • Of The Flash Season One. He killed Barry's mother, which kick-started the events of the entire series, and is the true villain behind everything in the first season. He killed the real Harrison Wells and took his place to build the Particle Accelerator and cause the explosion because the only thing that can help him to return to the future is Barry's speed. Also of The Flash Season Five, as he aims to escape his execution through a massive Batman Gambit that spans the entire season.
    • As the leader of the Legion and its most powerful member, Thawne stands out as the overall Big Bad of Legends of Tomorrow Season Two. He fully cements this position in "Doomworld", destroying the Spear of Destiny and making it clear that, Legion and Legend alike, none of the rest of the cast is an equal to him.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: In Legends of Tomorrow Season Two he forms the Legion of Doom with Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk but with him leading the group.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: While Cicada is the main villain of The Flash Season 5, Thawne is revealed to have sent Nora back to the past, manipulating her for reasons that have yet to be revealed. Ultimately it is a Subverted Trope, as he is the sole Big Bad, having manipulated Cicada II in the first place in order to have the means to escape his execution.
  • Big Bad Friend: He's Barry's mentor and Mission Control, and he's been doing a magnificent job keeping this under wraps.
  • Big Fancy House: He owns a luxurious pad, much to Team Flash's surprise.
  • Blood Knight: Played with. While a man of science, and patient and methodical enough to put a plan into motion that will take over a decade to come to fruition, he nevertheless loves a good fight. He's delighted when Barry brings the Arrow and Firestorm to their showdown, and his grin is absolutely demonic when Oliver steals his speed powers and they start fighting hand-to-hand.
    Flash: I don't care how fast you are. You can't fight all three of us at the same time.
    Thawne: Oh, I can't? Trust me. This is going to be fun.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Implied. He says he loves Cisco like a son, but he'll kill him without second thoughts if he becomes a threat to his plans. He probably thinks that being from the future gives him an Omniscient Morality License.
  • Body Horror: His identity theft against Wells involved taking his DNA and grafting it onto his own, leaving the real Wells a husk.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: After finally gaining the power of the Spear of Destiny, he chooses to toy with the Legends by either making them work for him or lead awful lives, rather than simply erasing them from existence. He falls into this again at the end of "Doomworld", allowing the Legends and the traitorous Legion to live after destroying the Spear, believing that he has won, and that there is nothing any of them can do to stop him (which is, of course, proven wrong).
  • Break the Haughty: Being imprisoned by Barry in "Flashpoint" really bruised his ego.
  • Breakout Character: While everyone's performances are generally well-received, it is universally acknowledged that it was Tom Cavanagh's performance as this character that really drove most of the first season of The Flash.
  • Breakout Villain:
    • The immensely popular Tom Cavanagh Reverse-Flash got brought back for Crisis on Earth-X, rather than having Matt Letscher reprise the role or Grant Gustin play another evil Barry. But on the other hand, Letscher's significantly shorter tenure on the Flash still received enough praise and fan love that he was brought back as the Big Bad for the second season of Legends of Tomorrow.
    • When Thawne makes his return in the series proper as of Season 5, it seems that he has taken Wells' likeness even in Nora's future.
  • Breaking Speech:
    • He gives a completely vicious one to Eddie in Grodd Lives, telling him that hardly anyone remembers him in the future, that he's a nobody compared to the rest of his family, and that he'll one day lose his girlfriend to Barry, too. Eddie is left almost catatonic by this.
    • He gives another one to both the Legends and the Legion of Doom in Doomworld, telling them that they will never be able to use the power of the Spear of Destiny now that he's destroyed it, that he'll kill any one of them if need be, and that he's only sparing them at the moment on a whim. They leave without further comment.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of "The Man in the Yellow Suit", Thawne is inside the Time Vault and takes the stolen Tachyon prototype and puts it onto his Reverse-Flash suit. He then looks directly at the camera and says "Merry Christmas" in Reverse-Flash's voice. Now is he saying that to his suit or the audience?
  • Bright Is Not Good: Wears a bright yellow suit and is generally an unpleasant person.
  • Broken Pedestal: It's revealed that Barry is this to him. Or rather, Barry's history.
  • Broken Masquerade:
    • After he kills Mason Bridge, Barry finally realizes he's evil. Then he ousts his cover when he coaches Barry how to phase through solid objects which tips Barry off that he's the Reverse-Flash since only a speedster could have such intimate knowledge like that.
    • The masquerade is pretty much shattered completely after "Who is Harrison Wells?" Not only do Cisco and Joe find Wells' body, Caitlin, Barry and Cisco find Thawne's secret room in S.T.A.R Labs, housing both the Reverse-Flash suit and the newspaper article from the future.
    • It's shattered in "The Trap" so thoroughly that he doesn't even bother to hide it anymore and abandons it completely.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • Murdering Nora Allen took a toll in his powers; he was powerless for a while and after launching the particle accelerator his powers were unstable, but Team Flash is unable to defeat him until Eddie's heroic suicide.
    • Even after Oliver hits Thawne with an arrow that nullifies his speed for a short time, he still manages to hold his own against Oliver until his speed returns, despite this Oliver having recently been trained by the League of Assassins.
    • He also fights evenly with Ray when he is naturally deprived of his powers in space.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Thawne is very good at screwing with time but in such a way that it doesn't effect him ... until he made the fatal mistake of going back in time to kill a ten year old Barry and then settled for Nora when the Flash intervened which resulted in him loosing his connection to the Speed Force and being stuck in the past because if Barry never became the Flash, Thawne would've never inspired to become the Reverse-Flash. Thawne did spent decades doing damage control to ensure Barry did become the Flash so Thawne would get his speed back.
  • Canon Character All Along: Though "Harrison Wells" was revealed to be the Reverse-Flash about halfway through Season One of The Flash, only in "Out of Time" does he reveal his true name of Eobard Thawne, and two episodes later, we see that he originally looked like his comics counterpart after all.
  • Cast as a Mask: He spends most of the first season of The Flash impersonating the real Harrison Wells, with Tom Cavanagh playing the role; his real form only appears twice in the first season. Averted in Season Two of The Flash, when a younger Eobard Thawne travels to this time from the future. This version of him had not yet traveled back in time to kill Nora Allen, protecting him from the Ret Gone he suffered at the end of Season One.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Cisco mentions Friends in Season One of The Flash. Matt Letscher was a Recurring Character on its Spin-Off, Joey.
  • Character Death:
    • He finally gets what's coming to him in the Season One finale of The Flash, when Eddie kills himself to prevent Eobard from ever being born. But in Season Three, he returns from being erased from existence thanks to Flashpoint.
    • In the Season Two finale of ''Legends of Tomorrow, Thawne is seemingly killed once and for all by the Black Flash. It doesn't last, much to the other characters' bewilderment and frustration.
  • Character Development:
    • As his bond and affection for Team Flash grows he becomes less ruthless. Despite this, he doesn't care about them enough to let them stop him. He won't hesitate to kill anyone who could possibly ruin his plans — and that includes anyone who could expose his secret identity like a certain reporter, or Cisco as shown in another timeline. This is especially pronounced when we see more of him before he disguised himself; he doesn't care for anyone and is more quick-tempered.
    • His attitude towards Barry changes over time; younger Thawne hates Barry with a passion for the pettiest of reasons. But during his time as Wells he actually develops affection for Barry much to his chagrin, and if his Video Will is anything to go by seems to have realized how petty he's been (assuming he isn't lying of course). He seems to be sincere about since in Season 5, he's working with Barry's daughter Nora to stop the notorious Serial Killer Cicada as way to atone before he's executed; interestingly while Thawne's hatred of Barry diminishes over time, Barry has the opposite trajectory his hatred of Thawne only gets more intense as the years go bye. As poor Nora learned the hard way.
  • Characterization Marches On: The post-Flashpoint Eobard Thawne's personality is a fair bit different to that of his younger self. Rather than being obsessed with being better than Barry and making his life a living hell, he instead causes havoc throughout history and creating numerous time aberrations. Granted, this is all part of his plan to survive, as his end goal is to acquire the Spear of Destiny, and without it he will be caught by the Black Flash and erased from existence.
  • Character Tic:
    • When prodding Barry about his past, or giving him pointers about his speed, he has a habit of taking off his glasses. Word of God says Tom Cavangh improvised this.
    • He also tends to hint that he's from the future, and he's the Reverse-Flash in ways that only the audience can pick up.
    • He spends a lot of time holding random objects (a flask, pens, other stuff he briefly picks up) and fidgeting with them, especially when he's thinking or engaged in conversation.
  • The Chessmaster: Barry compares him to one, accusing him of using people as pawns. Later episodes show him playing chess. Hartley even compares the battle between him and Thawne's crew to a chess game.
  • Chest Insignia: He wears a backwards version of Barry's, with a black circle instead of white or red and a dark red lightning bolt instead of a gold one.
  • Clark Kenting: Averted big-time; he vibrates his face and vocal chords just like Barry, and the blazing red eyes don't hurt, either.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Zig-zagged. He is referred to as "The Man in Yellow" for much of Season One. While he embraces the moniker of the Reverse-Flash, not once is he ever called Professor Zoom. The closest thing was when he was referred to as "Professor Thawne" by Gideon during Season Two of The Flash.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Post-Season One, Thawne continues having a scattering of on-off appearances either as his original self or in his Harrison Wells guise, save for Legends of Tomorrow Season Two where he was also a series regular.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: In Season One, he publicly admits to ignoring warnings that the particle accelerator would blow, but not that he designed it to do so on purpose.
  • The Corrupter: He convinces Plastique to kill General Eiling, since he'll never stop hunting her or others like her to use them as weapons. He also made Grodd quite a manipulative gorilla.
  • Composite Character:
    • While impersonating Harrison Wells, he's a combination of the Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon Reverse-Flashes. Being Thawne, he comes from the future and thus has the requisite historical and scientific knowledge, but also shares traits of Zolomon during the Wells gimmick, such as the use of a wheelchair (though Zolomon really was crippled), being introduced as a friend who the Flash works with, and being clearly faster than him. Both had obsessions with the Flash; Thawne was a fanboy obsessed with making Barry go faster, while Zolomon was obsessed with "making The Flash a better hero." The Zolomon traits are absent in his true form (played by Matt Letscher), who hews much closer to his comics counterpart.
    • His Harrison Wells disguise serves as this to the S.T.A.R. Labs founder, as well as to a character named Dr. Wells who appeared in the tie-in novel for The Flash (1990) who was also a wheelchair-bound villain wearing a yellow-red-black suit. He might also be one to another Dr. Wells from Super Friends, who was also associated with time travel.
    • His tenure on Legends of Tomorrow integrates elements from Lex Luthor, being the founder of the Legion of Doom. In "Doomworld", he's even hailed as the World's Smartest Man, a status usually held by Superman's Arch-Enemy.
    • On Earth-X, he uses the Dark Flash's name, Blitzen's role as the New Reichsmen's speedster, and Nazi Flash's Reverse-Flash costume. It's later revealed that another character, going by the name Blitzkrieg, preceded Thawne as the resident Earth-X speedster.
  • Color Character: In Season One of The Flash, he's sometimes called the Man in Yellow, though this name is later permanently dropped in favor of the Reverse-Flash.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He stole the real Harrison Wells’ position as the CEO of S.T.A.R Labs, and then intentionally designed the Particle Accelator to explode while also firing and ejecting Hartley before he could stop it. He plays with the trope after taking back S.T.A.R Labs in ‘’Doomworld’’; his business and projects are completely legitimate, but he’s not afraid to covertly murder anyone who could oppose him.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Justified since he's a time traveler. He was well aware that Team Flash would begin to suspect him a being the Big Bad, so he has been monitoring them all since day one. When he finds out that they made a trap for him, he outsmarted them and escaped.
  • Create Your Own Hero: He travels to the past (2000), trying to kill Barry as a child. When The Flash gets his younger self out of the way, Thawne kills Nora, Barry's mother, instead. This potentially creates a future in which Barry never becomes The Flash. Since Thawne only got his powers as a result of obsessing over The Flash, this negates his own powers, preventing him from travelling back to his own time. So in order for him to get home, he tracks down the man responsible for giving the Flash his powers, kills and replaces him, creates the device that will give the Flash said powers much sooner, and finally, trains him personally until he's fast enough to get him home. Once it's done, he'll presumably just kill him.
  • Cruel Mercy: In "Doomworld", after managing to destroy the Spear of Destiny, thus one-upping both the Legends and the Legion, Thawne decides not to kill all of them — he wants the Legends to suffer knowing that they couldn't save the world and that nobody will believe them if they tell their stories, as well as a reminder to the Legion members to never cross him again because he can easily kill them all.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Both of his first two fights with the Flash go very heavily in his own favor and leave Barry badly shaken. The next episode, the opener has Barry say: "I'm not the fastest man alive, he is..."
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  • Dark Is Evil: He wears an all-black outfit in his everyday life and is usually seen lurking from the shadows. As "Wells", the frames of his specs are also black. Even his yellow suit has black highlights and leggings.
  • Deader Than Dead: Averted. Even though his ancestor Eddie kills himself, erasing Eobard from all existence, he still manages to return in Season Two of The Flash. He has become a time remnant that's preserved by the Speed Force, where a younger version of Thawne (portrayed by Matt Lettscher) arrives from travelling back in time. He outright defies it in "Flashpoint" and Legends of Tomorrow Season Two, where his endgame is to avoid his non-existence, though supposedly played straight by the end of that season when the Black Flash eliminates him for good. Averted yet again in Crisis on Earth-X, where he shows up on Earth-X as part of the New Reichsmen, and with Wells' face to boot.
  • Dead Man Writing: He leaves a recorded video message for Barry in the event of his death, during which he gives Barry what he wants and confesses to murdering Nora Allen. It's also possible that he pulled a Thanatos Gambit in telling Barry that he'd never be happy even with this, which pushes Barry to go back to the night his mother was murdered, stop Thawne from killing him, and hence restoring Thawne to the timeline.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He occasionally throws in a snide remark. "Spoken like a true philanthropist. Or is it humanitarian? Oh, I'm sorry. I can never remember which one you're pretending to be, Simon." He can be sarcastic even about himself, as in:
    Barry: "Dr. Wells, I doubt restraint is how you got to be the man you are today."
    Thawne: "In a wheelchair and a pariah? Lack of restraint is what made me these things."
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Right down to a genetic level of the real, long-deceased (by his hands) Harrison Wells.
  • Decomposite Character: In Season One of The Flash, his attraction to Iris is taken up by Eddie Thawne. After his first Ret Gone, several elements of his comic book self were transferred to other characters.
    • Due to being imprisoned by Barry at the time, his role as the main speedster antagonist of the "Flashpoint" arc is given to Edward Clariss/The Rival, who notably stabs Wally with rebar much as Thawne did to Barry in the comics. Clariss even dies in roughly the same way Thawne did in the comics; getting struck fatally from behind by one of the Flash's allies.
    • His murder of Iris in a possible future is given to Savitar.
    • In The Trial of the Flash, Barry accidentally snaps Thawne's neck and is put on trial. In the show, the trial comes about because Barry is framed for the death of Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker, who actually transferred himself into another body.
  • Defiant to the End: Mocks Barry before he completely disintegrates. Averted the second time.
  • Demoted to Dragon: He was the Big Bad of The Flash Season One and Legends of Tomorrow Season Two, but works under Dark Arrow to fix Overgirl's heart condition the last time he is seen on-screen. He is clearly working for the New Reichsmen for his own gain, however, and abandons them when they begin losing the final battle.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Much to his chagrin, he actually developed affection towards Cisco and Caitlin as well as Barry, to an extent.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He wanted to go back to the future so he essentially rewrote the timeline by making Barry the Flash roughly seven years earlier. It doesn't occur to him that by doing so the future he left, may not be the same if he ever gets back there. He doesn't really care. His plan was for Barry to save his mom which would've restored the timeline.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Make no mistake, he revels in beating down the Flash whenever he can. He's also petrified by the prospect of being caught by Time Wraiths, and he is quick to flee whenever the Black Flash comes too close. In the Season One finale, the sight of the helmet that belonged to Hunter Zolomon (coincidentally the Black Flash's old human form) is enough to make him try to escape into the future.
    • He manipulates almost every event in Season 5 to avoid being executed for his crimes, even though he knows full well that the Timey-Wimey Ball of his existence would make it impossible to keep him down for good anyway.
  • Disabled Snarker: He makes sarcastic jabs at being his own condition of being wheelchair bound, though it's downplayed given that he was pretending he was crippled but his speed is damaged.
  • Disappears into Light: Both of his deaths.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Through no fault of Barry's, Thawne learned that he was supposedly destined to be the Flash's worst enemy. Thawne's response was to hound Barry throughout history, repeatedly try to kill him, going so far as to travel back in time to try to kill Barry as a child and murder his mother when he fails to kill Barry.
  • Disappointed in You: Thawne is absolutely disdainful of Eddie for not being as successful or influential as the other members of their family.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Notice how eerily calm he is during Barry's first test run; while Cisco and Caitlin are astonished, Thawne is simply cool and collected.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Played with. He insists that STAR Labs not make weapons and refuses to work with General Eiling, with Grodd also growing to dislike them because "father hate gun". It turns out, however, that he has a sort of Godzilla Threshold in this respect- he has a modern semi-auto handgun that he, somewhat reluctantly, keeps in his hidey-hole. He was planning on using it to kill Firestorm, before Ronnie goes nuclear and blows up in nuclear reaction, until he decides to Pet the Dog and use the tachyon device to whip up a quantum fissure instead.
  • Dramatic Irony: Despite being Barry's most personal enemy he's ultimately defeated by those he considered unimportant — his ancestor Eddie the first time and the Legends during the second time.
  • Driven by Envy: Thawne's biblical vendetta against the Flash boils down to him not being able to become a beloved hero like him.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: When he's out of the suit he's calm and collected, but as soon as he put it he becomes a completely different person.
  • Due to the Dead: He's able to recall the name of everyone who died because of the Particle Accelerator explosion.
  • Easily Forgiven: Although they call him out on it, the rest of Team Flash are pretty quick to forgive him for using Girder as bait against Blackout and for letting the Particle Accelerator go online despite knowing it might fail. Subverted when they realize he's the Reverse-Flash and they stop being so forgiving.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Subverted. He does genuinely care about Cisco (and presumably the rest of Team Flash) but he's still willing to kill them if it supports his goals. Played straight as there are people in the future he cares about which is why he's so desperate to get back.
    • His affection for Nora appears to be genuine, as he affectionately calls her "Little Runner". Confirmed later, in that his interactions with Iris, she is able to intuit that he does care about Nora. After she is corrupted by her hatred and anger at Barry, he is absolutely horrified making it clear he never wanted her to follow in his footsteps, and that only Barry and Iris together can save their daughter. Only to be cruelly subverted in "Legacy" where it's revealed that Thawne knew she'd erased herself from existence if Cicada was stopped and Thawne while half-heartedly suggesting she take refuge in the Negative Speed Force to save herself isn't torn up about it.
    Iris: (to Barry) The way Thawne looks when he talks about Nora, I've only seen one other person give that look. You!
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He appears to be genuinely interested in making sure that the Flash stops whatever "crisis" happens in 2024. He freaks out when Barry's powers go away in "Power Outage" and his records of the future change to show that the crisis is still going on and there's no mention of The Flash anywhere. Clearly, whatever this is something so bad that even he doesn't want it to happen. Given the reveal that Thawne wants to use Barry's speed to return home, it may mean he was worried about being stuck in the past forever.
    • Whatever his plans may be, he considers saving Central City from an impending nuclear explosion more important...if only because he'd be killed along with everyone else.
    • When he reveals to Plastique that they can't cure her condition and she's doomed to always be a walking bomb, he at least seems regretful and sympathetic for her. Even though he uses her later against Eiling, you get the feeling that if he could cure her, he'd do it.
    • He's disgusted with the things General Eiling has done — especially his treatment of Grodd. However, given his own manipulation and poor treatment of the gorilla, this may be a case of Moral Myopia.
    • In Season Two of Legends of Tomorrow, Thawne tells Ray that there were many monsters in history that were far worse than he was. It falls very flat, especially after he willingly joins the ranks of literal Nazis during the Crisis on Earth-X storyline.
    Thawne: I've met some of history's monsters, Raymond. Believe me, I'm not one of them.
    • All but subverted in What's Past is Prologue. He claims that Savitar was "a much bigger jerk than [he] ever was," but it's clear he only brought him up to make sure XS keeps giving him the benefit of the doubt and to make a dig at Barry.
    • He knew that Barry would never react well when he found out he was Nora's mentor, but even he's taken aback how Barry is more mad at Nora than him.
  • Evil All Along: After his identity is revealed. Prior to that, he's disguising himself as Harrison Wells, a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Evil Costume Switch: He wears his trademark Reverse-Flash costume that's an inverse of the Flash's suit, but modifies it with a double lightning bolt symbol and a black mask to match the other New Reichsmen during the time he joins them.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Barry Allen. Having identical powers of Super Speed. But while Barry uses his power to help others and save lives, the Reverse-Flash uses his powers to terrorize people and kill them. They've both willingly changed the timeline on many occasions, but Barry usually does so to avert a crisis, while Thawne does so for his own selfish ends. Even in their civilian identities: Barry is a Science Hero who uses his forensic knowledge to help people, while Thawne is a Mad Scientist who has killed or rubbed the lives of many through his Particle Accelerator explosion. Also, both created each other in a sense, given how heavily their histories are entwined with one another.
    Thawne: ...Your powers are almost exactly like those of the Flash!
    Reverse-Flash (actually a hologram of Thawne): Oh, I'm not like the Flash at all. Some would say I'm the reverse.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, he ends up becoming one to Ray Palmer. He invokes this himself in a Not So Different speech, pointing out they were both scientists who dedicated their lives to mastering the impossible; however, Ray Palmer sought to do good and be a hero with his technology, while Thawne cares only for serving his own interests and killing anyone who's remotely in the way.
    • Like The Ray II, he is a denizen of Earth-1 that joined the battles of Earth-X. But while Ray is genuinely loyal to his fellow Freedom Fighters and seeks to overthrow the Nazis, Thawne has joined said Nazis For the Evulz and would gladly throw his comrades under the bus to save himself.
  • Evil Genius: He is the resident Mad Scientist of the Arrowverse. Atom even calls him "Mengele" when he tries to carve up Supergirl during the fourth Crossover.
  • Evil Is Hammy: After he reveals his true identity to Team Flash, he becomes distinctly more animated. He smiles more, makes wide gestures with his arms, and becomes more emotive in what he's saying, although he still retains his tendency to use Spock Speak. This carries over to his time on Legends.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • When the Flash stopped him from assassinating ten year-old Barry, Thawne murdered Nora Allen out of raw spite.
    • Why does he hate Barry so much? Because he can't be a hero like Barry. In Thawne's mind, this is an offense worth swearing eternal hatred for the Flash and trying over and over to kill him.
    • In "Doomworld", he used the Spear of Destiny to make most of the Legends his underlings, made Nate Heywood a Basement-Dweller, and trapped Rip Hunter in a miniaturized Waverider.
    • Rather than use the Spear of Destiny to erase the Black Flash from existence or do anything to make it stop chasing him, Thawne just locked it in a cage for taunting purposes. This ended badly for Thawne in the long run.
    • He even joins the Nazis on Earth-X as Dark Flash and helps Dark Arrow and Overgirl's plot to take over the multiverse, not because he shares or endorses their ideology, but simply to continue being a dick to Barry Allen.
  • Evil Mentor:
    • As "Wells", he was guiding Team Flash not to help Barry be a better hero, but to help him get faster.
    • He's also this to Grodd, as Grodd mentions he got his chessmaster tendencies from his "father".
    • To make Nora West-Allen his pawn, he exploited the lousy relationship between her and her mother Iris.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He vibrates his vocal cords in order to distort his true voice, just like Barry. Unlike Barry, however, he sounds like a demon straight out of Hell when speaking.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: His voice sounds raspier and darker during his stint on Earth-X than it did in The Flash Season One, perhaps reflecting how he has completely abandoned whatever fondness he once had for Barry's team and now only cares about his old, petty, and selfish vendetta against the Flash.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: When Firestorm is at risk of going nuclear, he converts his tachyon prototype into a quantum splicer to separate Ronnie and Martin Stein. When Gideon warns him changing the tachyon prototype would setback his schedule, he says "there won't be a schedule if Central City goes up in a mushroom cloud."
  • Evil Wears Black: In his civilian identity, he wears an all black outfit (all the time).
  • Evil Plan: He wants to get back to his own time, but his powers just aren't fast or stable enough, so he plans to use Barry's speed instead.
  • Exact Words: In the pilot, Barry recounts the night his mother died to Thawne, and says that he thinks the person who killed his mom was another speedster. Thawne assures Barry that he is, unequivocally, "one of a kind." Barry is one of a kind...for now. And besides, isn't everyone one of a kind?
  • Failed a Spot Check: When the Pied Piper breaks all of the glass in his house, he makes the mistake of saying he was in the middle of it, and there's not a scratch on him. Joe and Eddie then launch their own private investigation into him.
  • False Friend: Played with in regards to Barry. While Thawne is genuinely fond of Cisco and Caitlin (although he wouldn't hesitate to kill them if they found out his secret) he wants to kill Barry. Becoming his mentor was just so he could train Barry to become fast enough that he could achieve time travel (something Thawne is incapable of doing) and take Thawne back to the future, then he can kill Barry. That being said, the Barry he wants to kill is the original timeline Barry who he fought fifteen years prior. The Barry he manipulated the life of and helped train is someone he has come to be fond of, in a twisted, fatherly way (not unlike Malcolm Merlyn's affection for his daughter Thea).
  • Fantastic Racism: Because he is from the future, he considers all people from his distant past to be already dead, meaning that their lives have no value to him — even if he has affection for them.
  • The Fatalist: When he found out he was destined to be Barry's Arch-Enemy he decided to go with it, never even considering he could changed his future and be the hero he claimed he wanted to be; this is in direct contrast to Barry and the rest of Team Flash who when confronted with news of a Bad Future decide to Screw Destiny to prevent it.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Pride. He is utterly convinced of his own superiority, causing him to underestimate both his enemies and his allies. This allows the Legends to steal the Legion's fragments of the Spear of Destiny from right under his nose, since he believes they're "not smart enough" to do so. He even allows the defeated Legends to live in "Doomworld", completely convinced that there is nothing they can do to undo his victory. Suffice to say, he's wrong. This isn't the first time he's suffered for his hubris; in Season One of The Flash, he regarded Eddie as nothing more than a footnote in his family history, never once considering that Eddie could do anything to threaten him. He was very wrong.
    • Rage. When he couldn't get ten year old Barry, he killed Nora instead, and he lost his powers as a result. In the Season One finale, he was quite prepared to kill everyone in Team Flash (Barry included) since Barry stopped him from going back to the future, even though killing Barry would've meant him losing his powers for good.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can be a pretty chummy guy who seems to be willing to give his life for his staff and Barry. It's all an act; from "Out of Time" onward, Thawne is shown to be, deep down, one sadistic, self-righteous creep who is willing to kill even someone he's genuinely fond of to uphold his secret of being the Reverse-Flash. This becomes his default mode once his secret is out.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: He's from the future, and got trapped in our time after failing to kill Barry as a child.
  • Foil: As expected from the reverse of Barry Allen, it's especially pronounced when they each find out about their own Bad Futures; when Thawne learns he's destined to be Barry's greatest enemy he goes for it and decides to be the most heinous villain he can be; when Barry learns that Iris will be killed by Savitar in the future he decides to Screw Destiny and enlists his friends to stop it.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • His favorite film is Back to the Future. Three hard guesses on what his main goal is.
    • Hardly a Season One episode passed in which there were no clues about his true identity.
    • His Season Two appearance revealed that he was a huge Flash fanboy before he became Barry's Arch-Enemy, hence why he knows more about Barry and his future than Barry himself does. Thus, his decision to leave immediately once he saw a certain winged helmet in the Season One finale is this — he knew exactly who was coming and wanted no part of that.
    • There is a reason he is wearing a chestpiece as a prisoner in 2049.
  • For Science!: He claims his protectiveness for Barry and devotion to his cause are due to the unlimited potential for scientific advancement, especially in the field of medicine, that would come from studying him and his condition. When pressed, however, he admits that it's more due to the guilt he feels over the destruction his failures wrought, and that he aids Barry to make up for what he's done. These are all lies: he's trying to push Barry's powers to the limit in order to use them for his own selfish ends.
  • For the Evulz: The implied reason why he's on Earth-X and working with the New Reichsmen to conquer Earth-1.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: As "Wells", a classic bespectacled villain, except that the glasses are shown to be fake, much like his "disability" — whenever he's by himself (or later in the season when his secret is out in the open), he doesn't wear them.
  • Freudian Excuse: Averted. His reasons for hating Barry are entirely petty and self-centered. He's got no tragedy that drove him to villainy other than simply being jealous of Barry's heroism.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: He had a poor dynamic with both the Legion of Doom and the New Reichsman, acting like a huge asshole to his supposed allies.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Evil sociopath that he is, he seemingly has a soft spot for animals, especially Grodd. Then again, given his role in turning Grodd into a monster, this is likely a subversion.
  • Genius Cripple: Double Subverted. He's a brilliant scientist who wears glasses in a wheelchair. And then it's revealed that he's not really crippled and doesn't need his glasses. And then he later reveals that his Super Speed is damaged and only comes out in spurts, so in a way, he's a cripple in a different philosophical way.
  • Giggling Villain: Not so much with Tom Cavanagh's version, who has a pretty normal chuckle on the few occasions that he laughs, but Matt Letscher's Eobard Thawne has a truly spectacular high-pitched, wheezy, giggling laugh when he's genuinely amused.
  • Given Name Reveal: The Eobard Thawne.
  • Glamour Failure: The version of him that serves as XS' mentor, despite still having Wells' appearance, is starting to regain his natural hair color.
  • Glory Hound: "Doomworld" shows that his greatest desire, outside of making Barry's life miserable, is getting recognition for his esteemed intelligence. His ideal reality has him solving many of the world's problems like global warming and world hunger, while being hailed as the world's smartest man.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Those eyes are scary. And they're not just part of the costume, either.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: As an Ascended Fanboy he went back in time and discovered that the name of the Flash's most hated enemy, the Reverse-Flash, was Eobard Thawne. He snapped and decided that if he was fated to be the a villain, he'd be the best damn villain there ever was.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • He generally hates guns, considering them barbaric weapons, but he does own one and seriously contemplate using it when it appears Firestorm might be going nuclear.
    • He hates The Flash with a passion, and the only reason he's in the past in the first place is because he tried to kill The Flash as a young child. Unfortunately for him, The Flash is his only way home, so he has no choice but to put his passionate hatred aside in order to do so.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: His suit is literally an inverse of the Flash costume, and he leaves a trail of red lightning rather than gold when he super-speeds.
  • Good Feels Good: Subverted, Eobard admits that much to his surprise that he found he actually liked helping Barry be a hero, but it didn't stop him from being a villain.
  • Graceful Loser: He made a certain arrangement in the event that he died before fulfilling his plan to return home: a recorded confession of the murder of Nora Allen, which was sufficient to free Henry Allen from prison. However, that didn't stop him from some Evil Gloating due to the fact he still killed Nora.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Takes good care of not hurting Eddie, given that he's his great-great-great-grandfather. Of course, this is what ends up defeating him when Eddie kills himself in order to stop him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's this for the Arrowverse as a whole. His time traveling escapades changes not only the events of the Flash, but by extension Arrow due to both being set in the same world. Who knows how different the Flash's parent show could have been if Eobard hadn't decided to visit the Allen home that one fateful night.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Not only is he jealous of people who are smarter than him (a very short list consisting of pretty much just Martin Stein, and even that may be Obfuscating Stupidity to hide his knowledge of time travel), but he's also jealous of Barry's speed because he can't time travel and return home while Barry's speed is unlimited.

     H-L 
  • Hates Being Touched: When Cisco rests his arm on Thawne's shoulder when they're taking the team photo, he initially looks uncomfortable about it. He has a similar reaction when Felicity taps him on the shoulder, briefly frowning at the point of contact. This makes the few occasions where he chooses to put his hand on someone's arm (while telling Cisco to never make something like the Cold Gun ever again, and when promising Caitlin that he will help her save Ronnie) quite significant.
  • Hate Sink: When disguised as Wells in The Flash Season One, Thawne seems more likable, but his true form plays this straight; he has a default facial expression of smug entitlement, makes himself out to be a victim of circumstance when he's just killed three people, has a complete Lack of Empathy, is extremely petty, obnoxious, condescending, narcissistic, and earns nothing but disdain from everyone he meets. Even other villains can't stand him due to how insufferable he is. Then he allies with the Nazis of a parallel Earth to help them invade his native Earth, for no apparent reason other than For the Evulz, and despite wearing Wells' face, he is as smug, cruel, and petty as ever, if not worse.
  • Have We Met Yet?: As a time traveler, any encounter that Barry has with Thawne can be a version from potentially anywhere in Thawne's timeline. It could be a Thawne who had lived out the 14 years Trapped in the Past at STAR Labs or it could be a younger Thawne who had yet to kill Barry's mother.
  • Heel–Face Mole: His mentorship to Nora West-Allen and his guidance to defeat Cicada were not done out of goodness or desires to make amends.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: On Legends of Tomorrow, he wears a black motorcycle jacket whenever he's out of costume.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Several times, he's sounded off a bloodcurdling howl when present.
  • Hero Killer:
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, he murders Hourman. In the Season Two finale, he brutally kills Doomworld!Ray and Doomworld!Rip.
    • In Crisis on Earth-X, he reveals to Kara that he fought her cousin in a possible future and implies he killed him.
  • Hero with an F in Good: In "Doomworld," his ideal world shows him fixing the various problems of the world with his scientific intellect, while still remaining a Bad Boss and a Jerkass. Justified, as these accomplishments were meant to bolster Thawne's ego rather than to do any actual good.
  • Hero's Evil Predecessor: Played with. He's from the future and actually became a speedster by replicating the accident that gave Barry his powers. However, since he time traveled to Barry's younger inexperienced days, he has far more experience and knowledge than Barry did at that point. He even serves as an Evil Mentor to teach Barry to become faster.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Ever since his first appearance, Barry is completely determined to find the man who killed his mom, and it turns out that said man has been working alongside Barry the whole time, as the head of S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Hidden Depths: It seems Eobard was very bitter about the fact that his fate is so heavily intertwined with that of his greatest enemy even before he was jaded by the fifteen years he spent impersonating Harrison Wells. He hates the Flash, and yet, without the Flash, he wouldn't be the powerful and dangerous man he is today.
    Barry: I hate you.
    Eobard: And I hate you. And I sometimes wonder which of us is right.
  • Hidden Villain: For most of The Flash Season One, nobody knows who he is or what he's truly up to, and he wants it to stay that way. When he finds out that Joe is reinvestigating Nora's murder and is actively looking for him, he wrecks his living room like he did the night of Nora's murder, steals the case file and puts a knife through a picture of Iris as a warning to drop the case. When he finally shows up in the flesh, he keeps not just his face, but his whole body blurred and disguises his voice to prevent anyone from deducing his true identity.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • He is initially the one who suggests adapting the Pipeline for use as as metahuman prison. In the season finale, he himself becomes a prisoner of it.
    • In addition to his particle accelerator explosion originally "giving birth" to Firestorm, he later invents a quantum splicer that allows Ronnie and Martin to merge back into the superhero. Firestorm later helps to defeat Thawne in the three-on-one battle.
    • Later in Legends of Tomorrow, his gamebreaking gambit of summoning an entire army of himself from different time periods to the Somme in 1916 to beat the Legends blows up in his face as the Black Flash (who'd been hunting him all across time by tracking his use of the Speed Force) instantly appears and kills him — thanks to there being about 50 of him all in the same place and all using the Speed Force.
  • Humanoid Abomination: His powers, though similar to Barry's, seem to have a number of freakish differences. His voice distortion makes him sound like a monster, he can make his eyes glow bright red, and even when he can't use his super-speed, he can still vibrate his hand to kill people, and tends to vibrate his whole body this way by just sheer instinct. In short, he looks human, but his powers make him some kind of monstrous being with a nightmarish version of Barry's abilities. And that's without getting into the nightmarish way he looks when he kills Barry's mom.
  • Humble Hero: He will often speak self-deprecatingly about his failures (particularly with regards to the particle accelerator explosion), as a way to warn others not to follow his example. Subverted, as he's certainly not a hero, and he's anything but humble.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Gives Barry stern warnings about the dangers of messing with the timeline. This is ironic considering Thawne has probably altered the timeline more than any other character seen in the series so far, and for petty reasons at that. It's especially prominent in "Flashpoint" where Thawne accuses Barry of being a villain for creating the new timeline, failing to consider the fact that Barry was only trying to change the timeline back after Thawne messed it up to begin with by killing Barry's mother. This comes into full effect when he forms the Legion of Doom in Legends of Tomorrow, a villain team dedicated to messing with time. His hypocrisy doesn't escape Barry either.
    Barry (after Thawne complains about him changing the timeline): Wow. Wow. You know, you've got some nerve, I'll give you that.
    • Back in Legends of Tomorrow, he told Ray that he had met many of histories monsters and that he wasn't one of them. In Crisis on Earth-X, he's joined the ranks of literal NAZIs from a parallel Earth. You can't really get more monstrous than Aryan supremacists who caused the Holocaust.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point:
    • He is accurate in saying that Barry is far less knowledgeable in time travel than himself, and may cause irreparable damage to the timeline. The Time Wraiths are just one consequence of changing history, and Thawne is careful enough to not get their attention.
    • Even if he is infamous for changing the timeline, he is right when he says that Barry behaved in a very irresponsible way by creating Flashpoint.
    • He is completely correct in calling out Barry as over-emotional when he banishes Nora. It's too bad that almost all of his own actions are carried out on petty whims, and that he only has his powers to begin with by channeling the Negative Speed Force through rage.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: While he's been in The Flash (2014) since the very beginning, he's not introduced to the Arrowverse until its third year.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for using Tony as a distraction to Farooq. Later used again when confronted by Barry at the end of "Rogue Air", but by this point, Barry isn't buying his excuses.
  • I Have Many Names: Eobard Thawne, Harrison Wells, The Man in Yellow, the Reverse-Flash...
  • I Just Want to Be You: He grew up idolizing Barry, to the point where he found a way to duplicate his powers. Then he travelled back in time to meet his hero, and discovered they were apparently predestined to be mortal enemies.
  • I Work Alone: As part of being an Evil Counterpart to Barry. Barry has always valued his allies and having friends, while until he had to disguise himself as Wells, Thawne always worked alone (not counting Gideon). This is more pronounced when he founds the Legion of Doom. While it seems like a Villainous Friendship at first, it quickly becomes apparent he sees his teammates as pawns and is quick to cast them off as soon as the Legion completes its goal. Burning his bridges with them helps play a part in his defeat in the finale.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Thawne didn't know of Wells' friendship with Dr. McGee and indirectly caused her to suspect that he was not the same friend he was before the accident. She tells this to Barry, who needed more information on him for his secret investigation.
  • In Name Only: Only in regards to his "Dark Flash" persona in Crisis on Earth-X. In the comics, Dark Flash was a hardened and more vicious Alternate Self of Wally West that wore a dark red suit. Thawne has nothing in common with that character other than the moniker.
  • Insane Troll Logic: His grudge against Barry is basically this. He went back in time and discovered that he was destined to become a supervillain, and somehow comes to the conclusion that it's Barry's fault and thus Barry is worthy of his eternal hatred. For all his genius intellect, it never enters his mind that it was a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy/Stable Time Loop fueled by his Irrational Hatred that caused him to become a supervillain in the first place.
  • Instant Costume Change: In "Rogue Air", he produces a ring into which his costume is packed and is able to don it in an instant with his super-speed, a nod to the comics Flash.
  • Insufferable Genius: Hartley warned him there was a chance the Particle Accelerator could blow up, but he chose to ignore it. Of course, he already knew it would.
  • Irony:
    • He ends up being a mentor to Barry, although he's just doing it until Barry gets fast enough to achieve Time Travel.
    • In "Rogue Time", he gets pissed at Barry after he uses the knowledge gained from time travel to undo the events of the previous episode; however, Barry doing so allowed Thawne to keep his identity secret and prevented him from murdering Cisco.
  • Irrational Hatred: Thawne's hatred for Barry actually has nothing at all to do with anything Barry himself did. Thawne traveled back in time, learned that he was destined to become Barry's hated Arch-Enemy, and took it very personally. Thawne even admits, after getting to know Barry personally, that Barry is someone he might otherwise like, but he still refuses to abandon his pointless hatred for the Flash.
  • It's All About Me: He claims to want to study Barry's powers to help people, but it turns out he is doing it all solely for himself, something Barry is quick to call him out on. He wants to use Barry's speed to return to his home in the future and doesn't care about what happens to anyone else.
    • Even after his secret is out, he never forgets to remind the team — whose trust he betrayed — of how much he has done for them.
    • The whole reason that Thawne hates the Flash in the first place is because he found out that, rather than becoming a hero, he was destined to be Barry's enemy. Thawne took it as a personal affront from Barry, worthy of Thawne's undying, homicidal hatred.
    • After getting his hands on the Spear of Destiny, he rewrites reality so that he is a celebrated scientist, responsible for solving most of the world's ills, and receiving medals from the president. He even has the Spear destroyed so neither the Legends nor the rest of the Legion can change the perfect world he made for himself.
    • Even after he grew to love Nora West-Allen like his own daughter he still willingly sacrificed her to save himself from execution.
  • It's Personal: We get some insight into his motivation during a monologue to Eddie at the beginning of "Rogue Air."
    "I want you to take a moment and think about all the things that define your life. All the people you love. Your job. Your co-workers. Your home. And now imagine if one day, in a flash, all of that vanished. Do you simply accept your new life, continue on, or would you do whatever it takes to get back what was taken from you? Because I can assure you, I will get everything that was taken from me!"
  • Jerkass: While he might not be the most evil villain of the verse, he sure as hell is the most insufferable one. When not putting up an act, Thawne is a colossal dick towards both enemies and (supposed) allies.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Thawne is insistent that Dark Arrow's romantic attachment to Overgirl will make him choose saving her over conquering Earth-1. To his credit, Earth-1 Oliver holding Overgirl hostage does indeed make him hesitate, Oliver-X tries to propose a deal where he will call off the invasion if Earth-1 turns Kara over to them, and Overgirl's later death distracts him enough that Earth-1 Oliver is able to kill him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Season 5 hinted that he genuinely became fond of Nora-West Allen, only to reveal that he was willing to make her choose between succumbing to the Negative Speed Force or accepting being erased.
  • Joker Immunity: One of the most impressive examples in all of fiction, given that he can cheat getting erased from existence. Multiple times.
    • It's revealed in Season Two that despite being RetGoned in the Season One finale, him killing Nora Allen has become a part of a Stable Time Loop thanks to a Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • Thanks to Barry creating, then undoing, the Flashpoint timeline, Thawne escapes the Ret Gone. However, Legends reveals that he is a time remnant actively running away from the Black Flash, the speedster equivalent of Death itself, knowing the moment it catches up with him, Thawne would be Ret Gone again. That's exactly what happened.
    • Then he comes back in Crisis on Earth-X working with the New Reichsmen. He doesn't even bother to explain how he came back, just taunting Barry about time travel being involved.
    • He's back again in Season 5, this time a very old Thawne once again wearing the face of Wells, apparently in the future and due for his execution. "Legacy" eventually reveals that the Negative Speed Force makes him immune to timeline changes.
  • Karmic Death: For someone who loves screwing up the timeline and telling Barry not to do the same, he gets "killed" when the timeline is altered so he never existed. Speaking of which, that is exactly what he was planning to do to Future Barry in the first place.
  • Karma Houdini: Because of the events of the first episode of the third season, Thawne successfully managed to evade his Karmic Death, not only killing Nora Allen but leaving Barry in a worse timeline than before, as well as giving him the Joker Immunity needed for him to become a member of the Legion of Doom in Legends of Tomorrow. However, he was on thin ice with knowing the Black Flash could find him at given moment and claim him and have him be Ret Gone, which of course happened. Not for long, of course.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty:
    • The Black Flash gets him in the end of "Legends" Season Two. However, since his first Ret Gone didn't stick, it's an open question if his second death will actually stick. To no one in the audience's surprise, it doesn't, as he's back in full force in Crisis on Earth-X.
    • His luck seems to have finally run out in Season Five. In 2049, he's locked up in Iron Heights with literally less than an hour to live. He's helping Nora defeat Cicada to finally do some good with his life. Of course the sincerity of this claim should be taken with a grain of salt; his entire relationship with Nora was a Batman Gambit to avoid his execution.
  • Kick the Dog: As if his petty murder of Nora Allen wasn't enough, he murdered Wells and his wife just to take his identity. And those are just the first of many such acts he commits over his tenure in the Arrowverse...
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Leaving Eiling at the mercy of Grodd. Cruel and sadistic, yes, but this is one act few if any will condemn him for.
  • Kid from the Future: He is Eddie Thawne's future relative.
  • Kill and Replace: Eobard Thawne killed Harrison Wells and his wife 15 years ago to take his place and expedite his plans for the Particle Accelerator. He later does the non-fatal version with Martin Stein, then with an astronaut.
  • Kill the Cutie: As if all the above wasn't enough, he had to go and kill Cisco (in a previous timeline).
  • Knife Nut: He murdered Nora Allen with a knife to her heart, and puts one through a picture of Iris as a threat to Joe to drop the case. Later, when robbed of his super speed in zero gravity, he resorts to using a knife to fend off Ray.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Flash is generally a show with a light tone. However, things get darker when the Reverse-Flash shows up.
  • Knight Templar: It appears (as of the fourth episode), that he is absolutely determined to keep Barry Allen safe, and has no qualms about how he does so.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After already getting what he came to steal, he has no problem staying to kick the Flash's ass, but as soon as Firestorm shows up, he bails out at full speed. History repeats in Crisis on Earth-X; as soon as Barry has him at vibrating hand-point, he knows Barry won't kill him, and since he has no real loyalty to the New Reichmen, he hauls ass.
  • Lack of Empathy:
    • Openly admits that he doesn't care for others after Barry accuses him of this. Iris's mentor even calls him "a sociopath." As far as he's concerned, everyone around him is already centuries dead. The fact that he's living amongst them doesn't seem to change this. That said he is capable of feeling empathy and affection towards others...it just doesn't stop him from doing morally grey things.
    • By the start of Flash Season Two, it seems his Lack of Empathy is mainly due to thinking he has an Omniscient Morality License because everyone is already dead in the timeline he's from; he treats Barry, a fellow time traveler, differently. He did seem to have some affection for the new Barry in spite of their feud, leaving behind a taped confession of his murder of Barry's mom, but he brushes aside the revelation that he killed Cisco in an alternate timeline since he's sure he had "a good reason for it."
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After he killed Nora, he lost his connection to Speed Force.
    • In the Flash he was basically stalking Barry. On Legends of Tomorrow he's being stalked by The Black Flash.
  • Last-Name Basis: The members of Team Flash refer to him by his surname Thawne, or "evil Wells" after all his impersonation.
  • Laughably Evil:
    • He's a villain, but he also gets some pretty funny lines. A good example from "All-Star Team Up":
    Tina McGee: "Have you finally found my tachyon device or are you here to steal another one?"
    Thawne: (beat) "Do you have another one?"
  • Legacy Character: He is at least the second Dark Flash of Earth-X. Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which is set before the crossover, has Blitzkreig, a different speedster wearing a mostly black version of the Flash outfit.
  • Leitmotif: In addition to a tune that sounds like a minor, more ominous version of the Flash's own theme, he is often accompanied by a sound similar to that of helicopter blades and reminiscent of the vibration element of his powers.
  • Light Is Not Good: As is tradition with the character, he wears a yellow suit (though with more black on it than the comic book version) and is the Flash's archenemy.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Puns aside, he is faster and notably a lot stronger than Barry. Barry himself even mentions this after his first fight with him.
    Barry: I'm not the fastest man alive anymore, he is!
  • Like a Son to Me:
    • Considers Cisco this, and even tells him so, right before telefragging him. Also, as per his own admittance, he feels something of this in regards to Barry, comparing it to the same kind of fatherly pride that Joe and Henry feel, which is even more twisted considering Eobard's deep and utter hatred of Barry's future self.
    • Apparently, he grows genuinely fond of Nora West-Allen.
  • Limited Wardrobe: As "Wells", he wears a black sweatshirt, pants and sneakers every single episode.
  • Little "No": He can only mutter "no" once he realizes that the Spear of Destiny has been depowered and that the Black Flash has found him.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: When Eddie kills himself to prevent Eobard from ever being born, the resulting time paradox opens a wormhole that threatens to engulf Central City and possibly the whole universe.
  • Long Game: After Thawne lost his connection to the Speed Force upon murdering Nora, he then pulled a Kill and Replace on the real Dr. Wells, all so he could build the Particle Accelerator seven years ahead of schedule and have it intentionally fail so it would give Barry his super speed (it's unknown if it would've failed in the original timeline), and then mentor him to point where Barry would become fast enough to achieve time travel.
  • Love Is a Weakness:
    • Initially believes that Barry's attachment to people hold him back but then realizes, it's the opposite.
    • He does have affection for the STAR Labs Team, but he'll put aside if any of them may become a threat to his plans. The same can be said about Nora West-Allen.
    • He is suspicious of Oliver-X and Kara-X's relationship, or at least how Oliver-X would prioritize saving Kara-X over the invasion.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: In "The Trap" he tells Eddie Thawne that he is a relative from the distant future. He calls the latter his "insurance", probably implying direct ancestry.

     M-O 
  • Made of Iron: In the fight against the Flash, Arrow and Firestorm, he takes a flame blast directly in the back that sends him plunging several stories into a car. He still manages to get back up (and that's after he had taken a nanite arrow and some thumping from the Arrow).
  • Mad Scientist: Implied, as Gideon addresses him as "Professor" Thawne. Most evident before he steals Wells' identity. He speaks to others in a very clinical, detached way, heavily using scientific terms. And he views other things with a deep curiosity, as if they are things to to be studied. As for the mad thing, well, he is prone to using violence early.
  • Manipulative Bastard: As Barry points out, Thawne has no problem with controlling people and very carefully phrases everything to get the responses he desires from others. It's an indicator of just how good he is at it that, even when Barry knows that he's being manipulative, he's still able to push all the right buttons and get Barry to do what he wants anyway. Incidentally, Barry also read his book — twice.
  • Master of Disguise: He can use a futuristic device to download a person's genetic material onto himself, mimicking their appearance and voice while retaining his Super Speed. It comes in two flavors: permanent, and it kills the original, and temporary (in which case the original is left alive).
  • Meaningful Name: Aside from being his Evil Counterpart, his costume is an inverse of Barry's Flash costume.
  • Me's a Crowd: In "Aruba", he brings an entire army of himself from various points across history (and some time remnants to boot) to confront the Legends.
  • Messy Hair: His hair, which he apparently kept reasonably neat before the accident, gets progressively longer and more rumpled as Season One continues, and remains decidedly untidy once his true identity is revealed.
  • Morality Pet: Varies considerably depending on the situation. On the one hand, he does legitimately care about his S.T.A.R. Labs crew, especially Cisco, and their influence has encouraged him to act virtuously for the sake of others where he would otherwise be more ruthless and calculating. On the other hand, while he's willing to delay on their behalf to an extent, he ultimately doesn't care about them enough to let them seriously jeopardize his plans, and once Cisco discovers who he really is he murders him in cold blood.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: When he's known as "Dr. Wells" at any rate. And he's pretty shifty from the get-go. Under his real name, he has the title of "Professor", implying that he has some kind of legitimate degree outside of his stolen identity.
  • Moral Myopia: In spite of all the horrible things he's done, he doesn't see himself as a villain. He tells Barry that everything he does, all the lives he's taken, was done purely out of necessity. He even claimed to Ray Palmer that he wasn't a monster, despite Ray pointing out that he killed Nora Allen.
  • Motivated By Fear:
    • Post-Flashpoint when he's being hunted down by the Black Flash - he's determined to find the Spear of Destiny because he's terrified of the former Zoom erasing him from existence fully. In a rare candid conversation with Ray Palmer, he admits that his motivation is simply wanting to live.
    • One can postulate that his desire to leave the present time as soon as possible was also partially motivated by this. The very moment he saw Hunter Zolomon's helmet, he decided it was time to skedaddle, insinuating that he knew Zoom was coming, what Zoom was capable of, and that he wanted no part of him. Which makes sense, considering that Eobard Thawne was a huge Flash fanboy before he became the Reverse-Flash — it'd only make sense that he'd know of the Flash's other Arch-Enemy as well.
      • Maybe he realized, when he saw the helmet, that if he stayed there longer, he would muddy the timeline and bring about a reality paradox far worse than what was seen in the Season One Finale, so he tried to leave quickly to prevent it.
  • Motive Decay: Despite acquiring the Spear of Destiny, he doesn't do anything about his goals in Season One which was to return to the future. He seems content with remaining in the present of the Doomworld reality, soaking up his newfound glory and fame, while screwing with the Legends. This might be a side effect of the Timey-Wimey Ball in play as it pertains to his existence post-Flashpoint, who wasn't Trapped in the Past like he was during his 'Harrison Wells' phase.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Downplayed; his costume is predominantly yellow, but there is more black in his suit than in the comics.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: His solution to any problem is always to kill. It backfires when he kills the wrong person—the reporter Mason Bridge, who'd been doing a story about how Thawne killed Simon Stagg. By doing so Thawne inadvertently clued Barry in to his true nature. Then again, considering how far he plans ahead, even this might have been at least partially on purpose.
  • Mysterious Past: During a monolouge when Barry was in his coma he reveals that he wants a "reckoning" for something the Flash did but we have no idea what it is. His motives are later revealed to be quite petty: he wanted to be a hero like the Flash, but, after travelling back in time, learned that he was destined to be the Flash's Archenemy. Thawne blamed Barry and swore his undying hatred for the Flash.
  • Narcissist: It's clear that, beneath any claims of good intentions, Thawne is, at heart, a massive egotist who thinks he's better than just about everyone and deeply offended by the fact that the Flash is a renowned hero while he's doomed to be remembered as a villain. This trait is emphasised in "Doomworld": Thawne's ideal world is one where he has greatly improved the world and is renowned as a hero and the smartest man in the world, while the Flash is dead. He also quite evidently enjoys the appraisal and listing of his achievements that this reality's Nate gives to him.
  • Necessarily Evil: What he claims about himself. It's mostly, if not entirely, a load of crap. His actions are born only out of his selfish desires and his Irrational Hatred of Barry.
    Thawne: You see me as the villain. But Barry, if you were to look back. Look back carefully, at everything I've done, every wheel I've set in motion, you would realize I have only done what I had to do. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Neck Snap: His introduction on Legends of Tomorrow, taking out an entire submarine crew.
  • Nerd Glasses: As "Wells". They suit him very well, but there's no denying the fact that glasses with thick black plastic frames are a classic indicator of nerdiness. And as a genius scientist with a fondness for sci-fi movies, he definitely counts as a nerd.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The Freedom Fighters: The Ray trailer made it look like the Dark Flash would be an Alternate Self of Barry. So it came as a big surprise that this Dark Flash was in fact Eobard Thawne from Earth-1 in his "Harrison Wells" guise (played by Tom Cavanagh). Turns out there is a different speedster who was around on Earth-X before Thawne showed up.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • He murders Mason Bridge in order to keep his identity and motives secret...which only succeeds in making Barry suspicious of him and eventually leads to the entirety of Team Flash discovering the truth.
    • He later tells Eddie of the relationship between the two, which gives Eddie the knowledge of how to defeat him. Of course, Eobard probably did not anticipate that. In fact, Eddie would've never been at that place, at that exact time, with the right motivation to commit a Heroic Suicide, if Eobard had not spawned the sequence of events that caused that to happen by killing Nora Allen and then killing and impersonating Harrison Wells just so he could get home earlier, eventually leading to Eddie getting involved with Team Flash. There were two reasons why Eddie was involved with Team Flash in this timeline — Joe, his partner, and Iris, his girlfriend/fiancee, two people he did not have significant connections with in the previous timeline (it's not even clear if Eddie had even met the Wests in that timeline) had it not been for Eobard's meddling. Eddie himself believed that this was not a coincidence, implying that the real reason why the Speed Force never punished Eobard for further messing with the timeline was because it knew this was going to happen.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe, he's this for Barry. With good reason, as he killed Barry's mom. To add to this, he's an unrepentant murderer who can move at the speed of sound. As Barry pointed out, he could kill everyone in the police station in seconds. He also knows who Barry is and who his loved ones are.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The future Flash did something that caused Thawne to hate him so intensely that he decided do go back in time and kill him as a child, thus kicking off the show's plot. Except not; Thawne was just Driven by Envy the whole time.
    • How he got his powers. He states he replicated the lab accident that gave Barry his speed, but it doesn't explain the red lightning or glowing red eyes.
    • A few comments from Thawne imply that he has a history with Rip Hunter, and during Legends of Tomorrow's second season, they address each other familiarly, but nothing's been elaborated on as of yet.
    • Years after the end of Crisis on Earth-X (2017), he is captured and imprisoned in 2034, with a scheduled execution to take place fifteen years later in 2049. How he was captured to begin with, particularly with Barry having gone missing for years due to the Red Skies Crisis, is never fully explained.
  • Nothing Personal: Says this when he murders Simon Stagg to protect Barry, and even asks Stagg to forgive him. Takes this a step further with Cisco, saying that he was like a son to him and again asking his victim to forgive him.
  • Not Quite Dead: He re-appears in the mid-Season Two premiere after apparently being Ret Goned in the Season One finale. Turns out it is the same Eobard Thawne, but earlier in his timeline. From his point of view, he hasn't killed Barry's mother or gotten trapped in the past yet. Even when Team Flash successfully captures him, they are forced to let him go to avoid creating a Temporal Paradox that would kill Cisco.
  • Not So Above It All: A world famous scientist who eats at the Big Belly Burger at the local mall, and engages in a friendly chess game to test Barry's mind and having great fun at it. He's also a Ghostbusters fan and quotes Back to the Future.
  • Not So Different: He invokes this to Ray when they were trapped in the Lunar Landing Module and were forced to work together.
    Thawne: We're both scientists, we're both obsessed with achieving the impossible. You dedicated your life learning how to shrink yourself down to the size of an atom and I spent mine learning the secrets of the Speed Force.
  • Not So Stoic: Keeps a cool demeanor even when ranting but a few select phrases have a lot more emotional emphasis on them foreshadowing his true motives.
  • Never My Fault: Insists everything he does is Barry's fault for.... reasons.
  • Obfuscating Disability:
    • The end of the pilot shows that he lied about not being able to walk; even his glasses appear to be unnecessary.
    • Interestingly enough, Thawne himself never gives a clear in-universe explanation of why he decided to feign disability. Besides being a Character Tic to let the viewer know when he's no longer in "kindly professor" mode, it makes him seem less threatening and gives him somewhere to stash his power-boosting battery.
  • Obviously Evil: Between his glowing red eyes and his demonic voice, there's no doubt about where this guy lies on the moral spectrum.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: He has a bizarre villainous version with his Famous Last Words.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When he realizes that Barry has discovered time travel too.
    • He first had this reaction before he killed Harrison Wells—namely, when his Speed Force was depleted after his original trip back in time and attempt to kill young!Barry backfired thanks to future!Barry's intervention.
    • He has one when Barry loses his powers thanks to Blackout, he becomes infuriated and repeatedly tells Gideon to scan the future for traces of the Flash only to be told there weren't any.
    • He has two of these in the season finale firstly when Barry returns from the wormhole and destroys the time sphere he was going to use to return home and a second after Eddie kills himself so that Thawne gets erased from existence.
    • He also seems to display a very minor case of this when he's getting ready to depart through the wormhole, and the helmet of the next season's Big Bad comes spinning out of the wormhole and lands at their feet. He says that's his cue to leave, and immediately gets into his time machine and prepares to depart. This would seem to imply that he knows who that helmet belongs to, what that person is capable of, that person might be coming through next, and he doesn't want to be there when that happens.
    • Time Wraiths scare the hell out of him. When they first appear, it's plain that he is very close to losing it and it's taking everything he's got to keep it together.
    • When Darhk and Merlyn trap him in a vault in order to find out why he needs the Spear, he's terrified as he knows the Black Flash will undoubtedly find him now.
    • Thawne is absolutely terrified when he realises that the Black Flash has finally caught up with him and, with the Spear of Destiny depowered, he has no hope of escape.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: In terms of knowledge, he's at least nearly as good as Caitlin and Cisco in their particular fields. He even tells Caitlin the optimal brainwave frequency for inducing a lucid dream. When Eddie tries to get at Thawne by saying that he's not that smart, Eobard calmly counters by saying that he's a genius by the standards of his own time period, let alone people in this time.
  • One-Man Army: He's responsible for the creation of all of the events of the series, including the vast majority of the villains. He's also personally killed dozens of people as The Reverse-Flash, and his actions in the season finale seem to threaten the destruction of the entire universe.
    • He's also a literal One-Man Army. As a time-traveling speedster, it's not beyond him to run all throughout his own history to recruit hundreds of versions of himself - in addition to creating a few dozen time remnants. Which is exactly what he does against the Legends.
  • One Steve Limit: In the comics, he's also known as Professor Zoom, but he's never referred to as such in the show; presumably this was done to avoid confusion when Zoom (another evil counterpart to Barry) was introduced in Season Two.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Thawne's most defining trait is his dedication to make Barry Allen utterly miserable, so when he leaves Central City to tangle with the Legends instead, it's quite jarring. It's because he's being hunted by the Black Flash for being a time remnant (and thus a walking paradox), and unlike Time Wraiths — there's no way to stop it; the only place Thawne is safe is the old Time Master base in the Vanishing Point. So he dedicates his time and energy to find the Spear of Destiny and solidify his own existence and escape his impending death.
  • Orcus on His Throne: He stays out of the action for most of Season One. At least he has an excuse, since he is Obfuscating Disability, so he's literally on a throne, somewhat.
  • Overarching Villain: As Malcolm Merlyn is to Arrow, Thawne is the villain who's always around in The Flash. He is the Big Bad in Season One, where he poses as Dr. Harrison Wells and is ultimately supposed to be Ret Goneed from existence, only for him to show up again in Season Two (thanks to some serious Timey-Wimey Ball shenanigans); Team Flash encounters a younger version of him from the future, then Barry runs into him twice when he time travels to the past. He's back yet again in Season Three due to the events of the Flashpoint timeline, where he tells Barry the consequences of screwing with the timeline and helps Barry restore it with some changes. Then he goes on to form the Legion of Doom so that the Legends have to deal with him in Legends of Tomorrow Season Two. He's seemingly erased permanently in "Aruba" at the hands of the Black Flash only to show up again in the 2017 crossover event, Crisis on Earth-X, as a member of the New Reichsmen, giving away no clues yet as to how he cheated death this time. He returns yet again in Season Five, this time having been manipulating events from behind the scenes with Nora having struck up a deal with him. She thinks he's atoning for his life of villainy by stopping Cicada --- but he's actually using her to stop his execution..
  • Outside-Context Problem: He's from the far future, so poor Barry hasn't got a clue why the Reverse-Flash hates him so much.

     P-S 
  • Painful Transformation: He and Wells are screaming the whole time as Thawne downloads his genetic code.
  • Palette Swap: Just like in the comics, he wears a yellow suit with red highlights, while the Flash wears a red suit with yellow highlights.
  • Paradox Person: As of Season Three of The Flash, he is still alive and active following the event that would deprive him of his consistent connection to the Speed Force, but another version of him has been erased from history by Eddie Thawne's Heroic Suicide, meaning that the Time Masters have no records of his existence whatsoever. Apparently, even the Stable Time Loop of his existence before going back to attempt to kill Barry as a child is not enough to cover this new form of Joker Immunity, and the Black Flash is attempting to correct this situation by finding him across time.
  • Person as Verb: He often kills his victims by vibrating his hand and striking them with it. Later on, Team Flash refers to this technique as a "Reverse-Flash."
  • Pet the Dog:
    • For all his faults, he does seem to be genuinely fond of Caitlin, Cisco, and Barry. But that won't stop him from killing any of them if they stumble on to his secret.
    • In "The Nuclear Man" he willingly delays his own timetable in order to save Ronnie's life. This could be Pragmatic Villainy though, as Ronnie going nuclear runs a huge chance of wiping out Central City and permanently altering the history he's familiar with.
    • He genuinely does seem to be fond of Grodd and orders Eiling not to torture him further in flashbacks. Grodd comes to refer to him as "father."
    • Left a video confessing to Nora Allen's murder, thereby exonerating Henry and releasing him from jail. It is not that pure, though, as he still mocks Barry by telling him that he would never be happy and the "confession" counts as slandering Harrison Wells.
  • Plot Armor: The younger Eobard Thawne (who hasn't yet killed Barry's mom or gotten Trapped in the Past) that appears in Season Two pretty much has this canonically. He can't be killed or permanently imprisoned since that happening before he plays out his history would result in a Temporal Paradox. Even when Team Flash catches him, they realize they have to let him go back to the future.
  • Poisonous Friend: He's willing to kill Simon Stagg to keep Barry safe. Up to Eleven, in fact, as he's been violently preserving the Flash's future from when he was just a little kid.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: While trapped in the 21st century, Thawne becomes something of a movie buff, showing a liking for Ghostbusters and Back to the Future.
  • Power Incontinence: His powers have been in a constant state of flux ever since he killed Nora Allen. The reason he stole the Tachyon Device was to stabilize them, and even then he knew it would only be a temporary fix.
  • The Power of Hate: It's eventually revealed that he draws power from the Negative Speed Force, which requires negative emotions, especially rage, to be used — it's also the source of his trademark red Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Virtually every Pet the Dog moment from him could be construed this way. He needs The Flash to get fast enough to power his time machine back to his own time, and to do this, he needs to gain the trust of everyone around him, in any way possible. He also needs The Flash to, you know, not die (at least not until he can go home again).
    • Also shows shades of this in "Flash Back". He has no real desire to help future Barry get any faster (and his first inclination is just to kill him), but Future Barry has a Time Wraith chasing him and the longer Barry stays in the past, the greater the chance that it'll decide to come after Thawne. So he relents and gives Barry what he wants just so that he'll leave (and take the Time Wraith with him).
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: He doesn't actually need the glasses he wears, as seen when his true identity is revealed and he ditches them permanently. However, the original Wells was known for being bespectacled, and the glasses helped to sell the disguise since Smart People Wear Glasses.
  • The Quisling: He's from Earth-1, but has no problem helping the Earth-X Nazis to conquer his home universe. Unlike most examples of this trope, it's implied not to be out of self-preservation; indeed, no conclusive motivation is given for his actions other than to screw with Barry.
  • Recurring Boss: He's the most recurring (and persistent!) Big Bad in the entire Arrowverse. Following his first "death" from Eddie's sacrifice, to date he's appeared as follows:
    • Barry encounters a past version of him from before he killed his mother.
    • When an emotionally broken Barry creates Flashpoint, he inadvertently resurrects Eobard and is forced to let him go. The Flashpoint version of Eobard is also the Big Bad for Season Two of Legends of Tomorrow.
    • With no explanation whatsoever, Eobard avoids being wiped from existence again, this time joining up with the New Reichsmen as their resident scientist on Crisis on Earth-X. Barry willingly lets this version escape, guaranteeing that he'll eventually show up again to antagonize one group of heroes or another.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His primarily yellow suit has black leggings and gloves, and his Super Speed turns his eyes red and causes his body to produce red lightning. In Legends of Tomorrow, he takes to wearing black leather clothes when not in costume, while retaining his red lightning.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: They even glow just to show how dangerous he is. And they're not part of the costume!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: As an Evil Mentor he was more serious and less passionate than Barry.
  • Ret Gone: How he is ultimately defeated. His goal in Legends is to use the Spear of Destiny to re-write reality itself so that he is no longer considered a time aberration, thereby fully undoing his Ret Gone status. Unfortunately for him, the Black Flash gets to him in the end.
  • The Reveal: In The Flash 1x17, "Tricksters", the full truth about his identity is revealed. After his Super Speed ran out, he killed and assumed the identity of Dr. Wells so he could build the particle accelerator seven years ahead of schedule.
    • "The Nuclear Man" confirmed there were two speedsters at Nora's murder. Additionally, they found blood spatter from both of them and thanks to DNA typing: One was an adult Barry. The other was unidentified, but since Cisco specifically checked against known samples, it was initially believed to not be Thawne's, but...
    • "Out of Time" is a real Wham Episode. His true identity is revealed (he describes Eddie as a distant relative). Thawne really was at Barry's house that night, except that he wasn't there to kill Nora, he was there to kill Barry. Reverse-Flash beating himself up? A speed mirage to keep his cover.
    • "Tricksters" becomes this through its flashbacks, as it reveals the reason Cisco's blood typing results didn't pick him up: because he didn't kill Wells until after his attack on the Allens. Furthermore, Wells was a genuine Nice Guy and brilliant scientist whom Thawne murdered for his genetic code so he could make his plans go quicker.
  • Right Under Their Noses: After Team Flash finds out who he really is, he hides out underneath the Accelerator, where he also keeps Eddie.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: He is able to recollect the life he had before the two previous times he was Ret Goned.
  • Sadist: Not quite to the extent of Zoom, but it's clear that Thawne enjoys the suffering of others, especially the Flash. In Legends of Tomorrow, he even fashions individual personal hells for each of the Legends after finally getting the Spear of Destiny, even saying that watching them be trapped in such lives is much more satisfying than just killing them.
  • Saved by Canon: Although he was Ret Goned out of existence at the end of Season One, a younger version of himself (that hasn't yet tried to go back in time and kill Barry) appears later on. Since it's canon that he'll eventually kill Nora and get Trapped in the Past, any encounter that Thawne has with Flash prior to having done that (from his perspective) has to end with him escaping. Becomes an Enforced Trope when Team Flash manage to capture him and realize they have no choice but to let him go to avoid a Time Paradox.
  • Saying Too Much: In "Tricksters", he gets far too explicit in his instructions while training Barry to phase through solid objects. Barry realizes that the only way Thawne could know how to use super speed in such detail is if he possessed it himself.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!:
    • Being held prisoner by Barry in "Flashpoint" for three months, clearly did a number on him. After the timeline is restored, the newly created time remnant of Thawne decides he's had enough of Barry and decides to stay the hell away from his arch-nemesis, despite his immense hatred of him. Mainly because his fear of being erased by existence from the Black Flash is enough to trump his hatred of Barry.
    • He really doesn't give a damn about Earth-X, largely working for them for his own amusement. When things go south for the New Reichsmen during the final battle, he promptly leaves.
  • Secret Keeper: Even after being unmasked, Thawne keeps Barry's identity a secret.
  • Showing Off the New Body: Downplayed, one of the reasons he stole Harrison Wells' likeness is because Wells is handsome.
  • Signature Move: He really loves to use the vibrating hand and takes any opportunity to use it. Starting with "Attack on Gorilla City", Team Flash starts referring to the maneuver as "a Reverse-Flash."
  • Sinister Surveillance: He has cameras everywhere in Central City so he can always be one step ahead of Team Flash.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • When he stops bothering with his Faux Affably Evil demeanor, he adopts one of these, most notably when he kills Cisco (in an alternate timeline) and when he prepares to fight the Flash, the Arrow, and Firestorm.
    • He spots a more subtle one in a flashback in "Therefore I Am", when the DeVoes show up at the Particle Accelerator opening; he knows exactly who they are and what havoc they will cause Barry in the future.
  • Smart People Know Latin: He and Hartley Rathaway exchange Latin proverbs.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: As "Wells", the only one in STAR Labs with a pair, though they're all scientists or engineers.
  • Smug Super:
    • When he's not in disguise, Thawne is shamelessly smug when dealing with the Flash. More often than not, he can back up this attitude. He leans closer to Smug Snake in "The Reverse-Flash Returns", where the younger Thawne is beaten by Barry, yet still maintains his confident attitude.
    • He spends his arc in Legends completely dismissive of the team, often referring to them as the legendary idiots — which makes it that much more satisfying when they steal The Spear of Destiny right under his nose and when Sara depowers the Spear.
      • It eventually leads to Bond Villain Stupidity when he gets the Spear and doesn't use it to eliminate the Legends or the Black Flash, which comes back to bite him in the ass.
  • The Sociopath: Although somewhat toned down from his comic counterpart, he's still one of the most clear-cut examples in the series alongside Zoom. He has no lasting regret for his many atrocities, lies at the drop of a hat, and never misses a chance to show off his intellect and power. His motivation for villainy is essentially that he could never be the Flash when he felt he was entitled to be. Finally, he never makes a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with anyone, and is seemingly incapable of not treating people he supposedly cares about like pawns.
  • Sole Survivor: To date, he is the only member of the Legion of Doom that's still alive in the present day.
  • Spock Speak: As "Wells", he has a tendency to use quite technical language and speak in a clipped and precise way without undue emotion. After Team Flash learns his true identity, he becomes a lot more emotive, but never quite loses his slightly unusual speech pattern, which is probably a hold-over from him being from the future.
  • Stable Time Loop: He's from the future and has a newspaper article from April of 2024 where the Flash disappears. So he makes sure Barry gets his powers after engineering his entire life so that he would be in a position to get them in the first place.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: He's obsessed with Barry, and has been since before they even met.
  • Story-Breaker Power: In Legends of Tomorrow, Thawne's mere presence will completely turn the tides of the battle.
  • Strong and Skilled:
    • Due to his years worth of experience as a speedster over Barry Allen, Thawne would always have an edge over his nemesis in battle. Thawne had dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Speed Force, while also finding means of amping up his speed such as with the Tachyon Prototype. Even when Thawne was temporarily Brought Down to Badass by a Power Nullifier Trick Arrow, he was still able to fight evenly with Oliver Queen (who at that stage was the World's Best Warrior) using hand-to-hand skill alone.
    • The more experienced (and more powerful) Barry of later seasons can fight him on a more even footing, but even that still qualifies Thawne for his trope. He's even fought Superman at some point and walked away.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!:
    • Often. He basically has two volumes; soft-spoken and shouting, and switches between them rapidly and without warning.
    • One notable occasion is when Flash ruins his attempt to return to his original time. He snaps.
  • Super Speed: Naturally, since he's an Evil Counterpart to the Flash.
  • Supporting Leader: He is the founder of S.T.A.R. Labs and the group's mentor. However, he mostly serves as Mission Control with Barry serving as The Hero of both the show and The Team.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He's exasperated by the New Reichsmen's failed attempt to preemptively attack Earth-1, and is sure that Dark Arrow and Overgirl's connection will compromise the mission. He winds up proven right.

     T-Z 
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: You wouldn't notice it due to the wheelchair, but as "Wells" he stands 6 feet tall. His snarkiness is unparalleled. When he's outed, he becomes hammier but remains delightfully snarky.
  • Tele-Frag: His preferred form of execution, by way of Vibro Weapon.
  • Tempting Fate: One of the last things he says is "I always win, Flash!" Eddie proves him wrong, as does the Black Flash.
  • Thanatos Gambit: His confession to Nora's murder is possibly this. He said he was giving Barry what he wanted because he knew he'd never be happy. The words stayed in Barry's head all season as the events of Season Two broke him so bad, that he went back in time to save Nora - which meant that Eobard was also saved.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: He cites this as his motive for becoming the Reverse-Flash. In his time he was essentially an Ascended Fanboy that managed to give himself the Flash's powers and the ability to time travel. After going back in time he discovered that he was destined to become the Flash's greatest enemy. So he decides that if it's his destiny to become a villain, then he'll be the greatest of them.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The conflict between him and the Flash of the original timeline. Whatever happened between them, it was enough for Thawne to still hold a grudge against the current Barry, who is essentially a different person entirely thanks to all the changes made to the timeline. He says as much to a comatose Barry, remarking that "nothing is forgiven" and that he would one day kill Barry for everything that's happened.
  • Team Dad: In addition to being the stern and authoritative leader of the team, he talks to Cisco about his problems with his family, helps Caitlin to deal with the loss of her fiance, and guides Barry through the emotional ups and downs of being the Flash. Cisco in particular is like a son to him, and he tells him as much when talking him out of quitting the team after he was forced to tell Captain Cold Barry's secret identity.
  • There Are No Coincidences: It's been heavily implied that the reason the Speed Force didn't bother to punish Eobard further after he continued to mess with the timeline was because it knew his actions would spawn a timeline where Eddie would kill himself, preventing Eobard's own existence. At the very least, Eddie seemed to believe this was the case on his deathbed.
  • This Was His True Form: The "Harrison Wells" disguise disintegrates moments before he dies.
  • Time Travel: He's capable of time travel and EXTREMELY irresponsible with it. This makes him more than just an enemy of the Flash, he's also become a major threat to the Legends of Tomorrow team.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: His season two appearance, where he's from a point in his own timeline where he hasn't met the younger Barry, Cisco, Caitlin or Harrison Wells yet, and, after being imprisoned by Team Flash, they have to let him go in order to ensure the events leading to the current timeline happen.
    • Gets taken Up to Eleven in Legends Season Two, as he's revealed to be a time remnant, ala Hunter Zolomon's remnant in The Flash Season Two, created due to the events of Flashpoint; specifically, when he drags Barry back to set the timeline right by killing Nora Allen again, leaving behind the "true" Thawne to play out Flash Season 1. The remnant was able to remember events from the pre-Flashpoint timeline (including his enjoying working with Cisco and Caitlin, as well as getting erased from existence by his ancestor) AND Flashpoint itself (being held prisoner by Barry for months, and killing Nora a second time). This version of Eobard has different motivations throughout the season: Barry Allen isn't a priority anymore (as Eobard had killed Nora Allen twice), but surviving is, hence his wanting the Spear of Destiny in order to secure his existance.
  • Token Super: Currently provides the trope image. On the Legion of Doom, Eobard Thawne is the only one with superpowers, possessing Super Speed.
  • Token Evil Teammate: For Team Flash, Thawne tends to be the one who performs, or is in support of performing, the most morally dubious actions in order to stop the super villain of the week (such as murdering Simon Stagg in order to protect Barry's secret or telling Team Flash to kill Ronnie to prevent a nuclear meltdown) which he gets called out on a lot. Oh yeah, he's also the Reverse-Flash.
  • Token Non-Human: The only metahuman member of The Legion of Doom.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite being a certifiable genius, Thawne makes one monumentally stupid mistake in Season Two of Legends of Tomorrow: once he has the Spear of Destiny, he doesn't use it to bring his ancestor Eddie back from the dead, which would avert Thawne's status as a Paradox Person and make the Black Flash stop pursuing him. Then he decides to create multiple time remnants despite being risky, especially being a time aberration, which leads to Thawne being killed by the Black Flash when the Spear of Destiny is depowered.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: As much as he can. Being trapped in the past for more than a decade forced him to form relationships and mellow out from his more detached Mad Scientist nature. Also, while still pretty murderous, he's a least a bit more apologetic about killing people after being Trapped in the Past for 15 years, as the younger Thawne shown later on isn't even slightly hesitant about killing people for trivial reasons.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Thawne keeps getting nastier everytime he comes back from being Ret Goned.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Sometimes he'll encourage Barry to "prioritize" and focus on enhancing his speed instead of heroics, something which Joe is highly suspicious of.
  • Tragic Villain: From his own perspective at least, he's one; he idolized the Flash and wanted nothing more than to be hero...but history said he had to be a villain, and he went with it. When he and Ray were trapped on the moon and were comparing their convictions Eobard even pauses for a second in his justifications, indicating that despite his gleeful villainy a part of him regrets the direction his life has taken. He even admits that he misses having genuine friends like Caitlin and Cisco around. But it's not like any of this is enough to deter him, or even prevent him from joining the Nazis just to taunt Barry.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He really likes Big Belly Burger. Turns out there are no more cows in the future.
  • Transplant: From Big Bad of The Flash Season One to part of the Big Bad Quartet of Legends of Tomorrow Season Two, to...part of yet another Big Bad Trio in Crisis on Earth-X.
  • Tranquil Fury: Can be quite terrifying when he is in this state, though he exhibited this trait more while disguised as Wells.
  • Trapped in the Past: He's willing to do anything to get home.
  • Uncertain Doom: In "Aruba", he finally gets caught by the Black Flash and gets erased from existence, but considering that's already happened to him before and he still managed to survive, it's not really clear if he's truly gone for good. He comes back with a vengeance in Crisis on Earth-X, working with the New Reichsmen and wearing Wells' face just to screw with Barry.
  • Undignified Death: In "Aruba", he is easily overpowered by the Black Flash and is left screaming as he fades from existence.
  • Unexplained Recovery: He somehow comes back from being Retgonned again in Crisis on Earth-X, now working on the New Reichsmen. He refuses to give Barry an explanation on how he's back.
  • Using You All Along: Nora West-Allen trusted him to get to know her father, to help him defeat Cicada and to overturn his disappearance at the Crisis. The problem is that Thawne knowingly let her go with the plan even though Barry's disappearance is destined to happen no matter what and it would cost her her life.
  • The Unfettered: He will do anything to keep Barry safe, anything. He'll also do anything to keep his identity as the Reverse-Flash a secret including producing a speed mirage solely to almost beat himself to death.
  • Vibro Weapon: He can vibrate his arm through people in order to kill them. He offs Cisco in a previous timeline and Mason Bridge in the current one this way.
  • Villain Ball: Grabbed it in the second season of Legends of Tomorrow, when he got the Spear of Destiny and its reality altering powers and... left the Legends alive as his playthings. He learned from that mistake, though, and started killing them.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He undergoes at least two of these as shown in the first season of the Flash. The first, was when he time traveled in an attempt to murder Barry as a child, only for Barry's future self to follow him and stop him. In retaliation, he murders Nora instead, hoping the trauma would be enough to change history so the Flash would never exist. Only then to discover he was trapped in the past, leading him to mess with the timeline even more in a desperate attempt to get home. The second, is when Barry accomplishes time travel in the present, but does not save his mother and risk altering the timeline even further, deciding to stop Thawne escaping justice by returning to his own time. With his chance deprived of him, Eobard decides to just kill Barry and everyone else right then and there.
    • He has another one in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Fellowship of the Spear" when the Legends manage to infiltrate the Legion's base of operations and steal their Spear fragments.
      • And a third one in the LoT S2 finale, when he realizes Sara depowered the Spear of Destiny and thus the Black Flash is near.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Damian Darhk of all people. Eventually subverted as Thawne begins to treat Darhk more and more like a henchmen. And by the finale it's made quite clear he doesn't see the rest of the Legion as his friends at all.
  • Villainous Legacy: Although he is killed in the Season One finale, the actions he committed prior to his death are still felt in Season Two, particularly as more metahumans created as a result of the particle accelerator explosion begin to emerge (and old ones like Weather Wizard and Grodd return), with an especially tragic/horrific example being Griffin Grey from "Back To Normal". Additionally, his final words to Barry that "you'll never truly be happy" resonate with him throughout the season and beyond.
  • Villainous Rescue: Has saved Barry's life on multiple occasions, or almost attempted to at the risk of blowing his secret, despite being his greatest enemy.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Killed and replaced a genuinely good man and sped up the time scale on a project which turned said good man into a scientific celebrity. Subverted when he intentionally had the project fail epically in order to create the Flash, as this turned the man into something of a pariah—albeit one who still held enough credibility to be able to call city-wide press conferences.
  • Voice of the Legion: Like most speedsters, he can use his vibration abilities to put on this effect while wearing his suit. He sometimes just does it while in his civilian persona to be more intimidating.
  • Walking Spoiler:
    • As the season progresses the more that is revealed about himself the harder it becomes to talk about him without spoiling some pretty big plot twists.
    • Crisis on Earth-X reveals the third SS general and speedster for the New Reichsmen is not a doppelgänger of Barry Allen, but in fact Eobard Thawne from Earth-1, wearing the face of Harrison Wells.
  • Walking Techbane: A subtler tendency of the Reverse-Flash's presence is for lights and electrical appliances to short out. The lights go out in the Allens' house right before his attempted murder of Barry-as-a-child, the lights go out in the Wests' house just before he steals Joe's evidence, the lights in the military base flicker right before he nabs General Eiling, Mason Bridge's lamp flickers right before Reverse-Flash pops in...
  • Was It All a Lie?: Played with. He does show some affection for Caitlin and Cisco, but he wouldn't hesitate to kill any one of them if they became a threat to his plans. With Barry, it's all a lie; as far as he's concerned, he's just a means to an end so he can return back to the future, not to mention the person he ultimately wants to kill in the end. Subverted to an extent; while Thawne hates the future Barry, he actually has some affection for the Barry he helped mentor into the Flash. However, it's double subverted in Crisis on Earth-X, when Thawne freely admits that he hated every moment of his time at STAR Labs.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He sees himself this way, though it's increasingly apparent that he's lying to himself. He is trying to harness Barry's speed so he can go home to his time; however, Word of God has stated that Thawne is not an "evil man," and that he even has reason to see "himself as a hero." We later learn he shows disdain for Barry's time travel abilities in part because he's concerned how the time line could change if Barry insists from deviating from established events. As the first episode of Season Three of The Flash revealed, he was right to be concerned. Considering his own actions in the past, though, this comes off as very hypocritical.
  • We Used to Be Friends: It is later revealed that Wells and Dr. McGee used to be very close. Sadly, something bad happened and it strained their relationship. Of course, all Thawne cares about is to make The Flash faster so he can go home. And to do that, he needs Harrison Wells' identity and work, so screw everything else about the poor man's life.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Flashpoint", he briefly calls out Barry for allowing Wally to take on the dangerous role of the Flash in his stead.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • In the "Doomworld" he used the Spear of Destiny to set himself up not a superhero but as the head of S.T.A.R. Labs where is acclaimed throughout the world for using his scientific genius to solve global problems like saving the polar bears from extinction, stopping global warming, and making desalination sustainable. However it becomes apparent that these acts were not out of altruism but merely to stoke his own ego. He's also a Bad Boss to Jax and neither Caitlin or Cisco are nowhere to be found despite his professed affection for them.
    • The little smiles of pride he gives, while coaching Nora through his earpiece, makes it clear she is slowly growing on him.
  • Wicked Cultured: In "The Sound and the Fury", he walks into his gorgeous and gorgeously appointed home, turns on some opera, pours himself a glass of wine.
  • Wild Card: On the one hand, he's done incredibly dodgy things all in the name of protecting Barry, even though he's the Reverse-Flash. On the other hand, he seems to be genuinely fond of Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin and he's able to remember every name of all the people who died because of the Particle Accelerator and when Barry temporarily loses his powers and there are no future records of the Flash, he seriously freaks out. He's also willing to drop his wheelchair masquerade to save Barry (during a training exercise with drones it looked as Barry was about to be hit). At this point it's hard to say, what his goals are. We later learn his speed powers are in flux, and he's trying to stabilize them. He's also in some sort of alliance with Grodd. We then learn he wants to go back to the future and that Barry's speed is the key to returning.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In Season One, he can use his super speed if he needs to, but it's in a state of flux. He uses the tachyon device stolen from Mercury Labs to fix it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He fatally stabs Nora Allen. He also threatens Joe that he will kill Iris if he keeps on nosing around Nora's murder.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Why was he at the Allen house that night? He was there to kill eight-year-old Barry; Nora was just a consolation prize.
  • Write Back to the Future: An inversion, where Gideon sends Thawne a newsfeed from the future. A feed that has been changed, so far, at least once in Season One, then twice in Season Three.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: He's actually quite adept at using his genius to help Barry with his heroics - such as when he's coaching Barry on how to create a vacuum to save people from a fire. Hell, the man himself admits he actually enjoyed helping Barry with his heroics.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It is heavily implied that once Barry gets him back to his timeline, he'll kill him.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: In 2049, he's imprisoned in Iron Heights with only minutes to live — once the counter goes to zero, he's to be executed. This is the reason he gives for mentoring Nora to save Barry, a way to atone for his villainous legacy. In truth it's an elaborate Batman Gambit to avoid his execution.
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