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Kara Zor-El / Kara Danvers / Supergirl

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/supergirl_supergirl.png
"For the last twelve years, I hid who I was. I don't have to anymore, and I don't want to waste a minute of it!"

Species: Kryptonian

Known Aliases: Supergirl, Kara Danvers, The Girl of Steel, The Maiden of Might

Portrayed By: Melissa Benoist / Malina Weissman (teenager, season 1-2) / Izabela Vidovic (teenager, season 3) / Erica Durance

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Voiced by: Jessica Ángeles (Latin-American Spanish dub, season 1-2), Martha Martínez (Latin-American Spanish dub, season 2-present), Mikako Komatsu (Japanese dub)

Appearances: Supergirl | The Flash | Arrow | Legends of Tomorrow | Crisis on Earth-Xnote  | Elseworlds note 

The cousin of Superman, she survived the destruction of her home planet of Krypton and has lived on Earth with the Danvers family for twelve years. She now tries to make her name as a superheroine in her own right.

see Arrowverse: Earth-X page to see her Earth-X counterpart, Overgirl

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     A-C 
  • Action Girl: A major aspect of the show is Supergirl stepping outside her cousin's shadow as a hero in her own right.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Her costume in this incarnation covers a lot. In-universe, Kara was not comfortable with a Bare Your Midriff costume. Also, Word of God says that the Stocking Filler was added so that her Dangerously Short Skirt will not make any Panty Shots. That being said, she did try her canonical costumes as a Mythology Gag during her costume fine tuning.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Supergirl is traditionally depicted as having light blond hair. Here, it's more dark blond.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The original version of Kara took the name "Linda Lee," and later "Linda Lee Danvers," when she was adopted by the Danvers couple. Later versions of Kara have used "Claire Connors," "Linda Lang," or "Kara Kent." In the show she retains "Kara" on Earth since it's not an uncommon name now compared to when she was created. This also averts the comics cliché of Alliterative Names (as you might have noticed). However DC Rebirth has adopted her TV name for the comics.
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: Kara adjusts her glasses by holding one lens between the thumb and forefinger, particularly when she's nervous.
  • Adored by the Network: In-Universe example. CatCo really loves her, and its founder even hypes her as their city's muse. They're also the first ones outside of the DEO to forgive her after her Red Kryptonite rampage.
  • Adorkable: Kara is this in spades. It's not even an act, much like Clark. This can be seen when Winn asks her if she's sure she's bulletproof, and Kara gives a nervous grin. Kara does not lose this when she becomes Supergirl, either. Actually described with this term on the episode "Livewire".
  • Aerith and Bob: Despite originating from Krypton, her name doesn't sound out of place on Earth.
  • Age Lift: Traditionally, the character is in her teens when she adopts the Supergirl identity (about 15/16 or so). Here, she's already in her 20s by the time she becomes Supergirl. She was also younger than Superman, while here she is chronological older than him but had her youth stalled by being trapped in the Phantom Zone (this reflects more recent comic book reimaginings of the character that also have her older than Kal-El, as well as how Kara was depicted in Smallville).
  • All-Loving Hero: She is very optimistic and always tries to see the best in everyone, even the people she fights against.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Her and Batwoman flirt and Kara somehow knows about Batwoman's tatoos.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Though she had admitted to others, such as Cat, that she loved Mon-El, she finally admitted to him during his final minutes on Earth before the two were forcibly separated by circumstance.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The media led by CatCo dubs her "Supergirl." She'd have preferred "Superwoman," but goes along with it since her public identity wouldn't have grounds to argue it—and when she tries to anyway, she nearly gets fired because Cat likes it.
  • Arch-Enemy: Several, though admittedly Kara doesn't have the kind of personal hatred for her most dangerous enemies that Oliver and Barry have for theirs, mainly because the tone of her show is much lighter and Kara herself, despite the tragedies she went through, has nowhere near the amount of inner darkness they have.
    • Non, her Evil Uncle, who married into her family. Subverted with Non's wife and Kara's maternal aunt General Astra — they tried to be this but it was obvious that they still loved each other as family.
    • Indigo, a Coluan of the Braniac clan and Non's lover.
    • Lillian Luthor, the head of Cadmus and Lena and Lex's mother.
    • Rhea, mother of Mon-El, who blames Kara for her son's refusal to return to Daxam and rejection of his people's beliefs.
  • Badass Adorable: Her cute appearance and adorkable behavior belies her ability to beat up bad guys.
  • Badass Cape: Her costume includes a long red cape, however the trope starts being taken literally in Season 3 once Mon-El teaches her cape-fu techniques that allow her to use it as an actual weapon.
  • Badass Family: Her adoptive sister works with the DEO and her biological cousin is one of Earth's celebrated superheroes (and possibly the only one) until Kara herself becomes one.
  • Bad Liar: Oh, so much. Not only does she find it difficult to keep secrets, whenever anyone confronts her about a lie, her attempts at denial are made transparent by her nervous laughter. One exception is her secret identity, due to how important it is to keep it secured.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted - not only can she not handle vacuum, she can't even fly there, as her powers require an atmosphere for thrust. The same is implied to be true of her cousin.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Lampshaded by Alex who mentions that on top of her overall beauty, due to her Kryptonian DNA, Kara doesn't get pimples. Or weight problems.
  • Betty and Veronica: While she is the Archie in the Winn-Kara-James triangle, when it comes to the Kara-James-Lucy triangle she is clearly the Betty.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kara is one of the nicest, friendliest people you will ever meet. But piss her off just enough and she will end you (or at least give you a very bad day).
  • Big Bra to Fill: She's modestly endowed, whereas the canonical Supergirl has the "average" bust size of the standard comicbook female character.
  • Big Brother Worship: Well big/younger cousin worship, as a teenager Kara idolized Clark/Superman and openly wished she could have lived with him instead of the Danvers, at least initially.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Upon his defeat at her hands, Clark labels her "The Champion of Earth," and affirms she must be the one to face off with Rhea.
  • Big Eater: She loves to eat, which is good, because she kinda has to. It provides a bonding moment when Barry, another Big Eater, shows up.
  • Big Little Sister:
    • She's 5'8 compared to Alex's 5'6. Alex was taller in their teenage years, though.
    • Interestingly, her younger cousin ultimately ended up One Head Taller than her even if you don't factor her being stuck in the Phantom Zone.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Barry Allen, as they're both Adorkable, super-excitable superheroes who absolutely love saving people and having adventures.
  • Blue Is Heroic: She's The Hero and wears a blue top for her costume.
  • Brain Bleach: When she uses Super Hearing to hear Mon-El and Eve having foreplay, she does not react well at all. She doesn't learn her lesson, of course, and walks in on Mon-El and Eve.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Dominators' device turns her against her teammates during her teamup with the Arrowverse heroes.
  • Bound and Gagged: In Ace Reporter, she's pinned against a cross-like metallic rig. and rapidly covered by nanobots after failing to freeze them a second time, until they reach her mouth. silencing Kara, the trope is used in an unusual fatal way. unlike the more traditional Fanservice-y use of the trope.
  • Broken Pedestal: Has to deal with both of her parents not quite being the people she thought they were. Her mother was a judge, but her moral code forced her to condemn her own sister and brother-in-law to life imprisonment for warning people of the planet's oncoming destruction. Meanwhile, her engineer father worked to save lives: Kryptonian lives, by making a deadly virus that would kill any non-Kryptonian life form to be deployed in case of invasion.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • In the episode "Human For a Day," she loses her powers temporarily after using all her power to blast Red Tornado. She even breaks her arm at one point.
    • On a daily basis, her glasses, which are made from Kryptonian glass, help keep her from accidentally revealing her powers. She removes them when she needs to use her heat-vision and such. Her glasses also symbolize her desire to live a normal life outside the costume, as evidenced by the fact she continues to wear the glasses even in situations where they aren't necessary to protect her identity or powers, such as when she visits Earth 1 or is at the DEO.
    • "Supergirl Lives" has Kara teleported to a world with a red sun, which like comic Supergirl robs her of her powers.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The tiniest mistakes or collateral damages from her heroics get blown out of proportion in the media.
  • The Cape: Literally. She wants to use her powers to do good. In the premiere, she stated it was because she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her cousin, The Cape.
  • Car Fu: Throws a car at Metallo.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • She is a fan of Homeland despite the fact that her actress was on the second and third episodes of that series (and her DEO superior's actress was a co-star).
    • Netflix was mentioned a lot during Season 1. Her younger Time-Shifted Actor is one of the leads of A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017), which is part of the service's produced shows.
    • The Law & Order franchise exist on Earth-1. While the franchise is yet to be confirmed to exist in this universe, Kara has visited Earth-1. Her actress was on Law & Order: SVUnote .
  • Chest Insignia: It's the El family crest, and it translates to "stronger together."
  • Clark Kenting: Wears glasses without needing them, but otherwise reversed; her civilian persona is how she really is instead of a disguise, as she doesn't become Supergirl until later. Lampshaded by James in "Stronger Together", who notes that Cat Grant would not be able to recognize Supergirl as Kara during an interview because she looks right past Kara anyways. This proves to be true when during their interview, she goes to some trouble to keep Cat from getting a good look at her face at first, but when she finally slips there's no recognition.
    • This even proves true when Cat figures it out, as even after putting together half a season's worth of clues, she still needs to see Kara without her glasses before she's sure. The best part? Even though Kara is Supergirl, Kara looks nothing like Supergirl with her glasses off, so much so that the audience will think Cat is an idiot for thinking the two are the same even though they are. J'onn J'onzz shapeshifting as Supergirl convinces Cat they're two different people, and she mutters, "And by the way, you were right. You look nothing like Supergirl!" Though there is an implication, and later confirmation, that Cat wasn't actually fooled, but decided to act dumb to keep Kara's identity secret.
    • Played straight when Kara reveals her secret identity to Lucy Lane. Lucy clearly has no clue that Kara is Supergirl until Kara removes her glasses and reveals her Supergirl costume. There is no indication previously of Lucy putting two and two together at all.
    • Lampshaded in "Supergirl Lives", when Maggie Sawyer tells Alex that she knew Kara was Supergirl because of the way Alex worried about her when Supergirl turned up missing during a mission. Maggie adds that "the glasses don't help", and Alex admits that they are "kinda ridiculous".
    • In Season 3 the trope is turned Up to Eleven by having Kara and Supergirl maintain separate friendships with Lena, depicted as one of the smartest women on the planet otherwise. Lena appears totally oblivious to the Kara and Supergirl being the same person, even after Lena's friendship with Supergirl breaks down and in "Not Kansas" when she throws Kara a "going away party" that coincidentally happens around the same time Supergirl prepares to take a sabbatical on Argo City.
  • Comfort Food: When upset or stressed, Kara often turns to donuts and pizza for comfort. As Alex jokes during the Earth-X crossover episode, Kara doesn't have to worry about gaining a pound.
  • Composite Character: A lot of her plots were taken from her cousin, such as "For the Girl Who Has Everything" originally being a Superman story. In addition, her Age Liftnote  and generally more mature outlook (especially starting from Season Three) evoke elements of Power Girl.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: A meta-example. The previous live-action incarnation of Supergirl, while still also a Cute Bruiser, emphasized the character's Ms. Fanservice traits more. This version leans more on the cute aspect and downplays her sex appeal despite having a number of men being attracted to her.
  • Cuddle Bug: Kara is demonstrably affectionate to her friends and family. Notable example: toward the end of "Alex", despite butting heads with Supergirl while the two worked together to rescue Alex from a kidnapper, Maggie admits to Kara that they made a good team. When she holds out her hand for Kara to shake, Kara says, "What? No! Get in here!" and hugs her.
  • The Cutie: Kara is optimistic, cheerful, and bubbly, and easily endears most people to her.
  • Cute Bruiser: Much like any other incarnation, she's sweet, lovely, and capable of kicking ass.

     D-I 
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The "Solar Flare", as Superman calls it, is an extremely intense version of her heat vision, but burns out her powers for a few days. That is why she rarely uses this technique after having experienced it for the first time with Red Tornado.
  • Determinator: Interestingly enough, as Kara, not Supergirl. She had to win over Cat Grant, and now she's determined to win over Snapper Carr, and superpowers can't help there. With Snapper, she refuses to use Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played for Laughs. Kara dreams she could throw Siobhan into space for being snotty to her.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Superman, of course. Her civilian identity also seems to have been designed to evoke a female Clark Kent.
  • Dork Knight: She's a badass superheroine who is also endearingly awkward and adorkable.
  • Dude Magnet: Just ask James, Winn, Carter, Adam, Mon-El, and Mr. Mxyzptlk. Averted with Barry Allen.
  • Easily Forgiven: She nearly kills her boss while under the influence of Red Kryptonite. After being cured at the end of the episode, Kara apologizes and asks for Cat's forgiveness; Cat replies that it's not her faith that Kara needs to restore, suggesting she understands Kara wasn't herself, but the general public's.
  • Emotional Bruiser: Due to her Kryptonian Super Strength and invulnerability, Kara is one hell of a tank in battle. But she is also very emotionally expressive and also highly empathetic. In fact, her ability to emotionally connect with people may be an even greater strength than her superpowers.
  • Eye Beams: Like Superman's, but blue for some reason. (Except when she gets really angry an they go to red.)
  • Failure Hero: Throughout the majority of Season 4, she basically accomplishes nothing whatsoever due to her moral restrains, while her foes run circles around her.
  • Family Theme Naming: With her cousin Kal aka Clark aka Superman.
  • Fantastic Racism: Welcome to Earth establishes that she is this towards Daxamites and Star Crossed proves that despite dating one (Mon-El), she remains one.
  • Fatal Flaw: Stubbornness and Pride; Kara can really be her own worst enemy when she decides that she knows what's best. It is implied that this vice was widespread on Krypton, since its citizens were a Proud Race of Scholars.
    • According to Eliza, denial, in that when facing tragedy she forces herself to put on a brave face instead of rely and lean on her loved ones for comfort.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Oliver Queen. She's initially turned off by his stern, no-nonsense demeanor and her getting brainwashed by the Dominators to fight him and Barry doesn't help matters. He later benches her and flat out admits to Kara that when he deals with something new (metahumans, now an Alien Invasion and The Multiverse) he has a tendency to push back and "claw back a sense of normalcy". Their relationship warms considerably after fighting side by side, Oliver even apologizing for his earlier behavior and she in turn reassures him that his enduring through so many hardshipsis why people look towards him as "their rock."
  • First Love: Mon-El. While she had a crush on James first, even kissing him, Mon-El is the first man Kara has ever truly fallen in love with. Which makes their forced separation in the Season Two finale (and later when he returns finding out he has married another woman in the interim) all the more heartbreaking.
  • Flying Brick: As a Kryptonian, her abilities include Flight, Super Strength, and Super Toughness.
  • Friend to All Children: Like her cousin, she will take the time out of her day to stand up for a child who's being bullied.
  • Gamer Chick: In tie-in comic-book The Adventures of Supergirl, Kara reveals she loves games.
    Supergirl: Belinda-the-Bully's surprise uppercut. She'd always use it to beat me on Street Kombat Six. She'd score a T.K.O. every time. I loved that game.
  • Girly Bruiser: She's one of the more feminine female characters in the cast as she adores cute animals and cat videos, was a fan of boy bands like NSync as a teenager, and enjoys romantic comedies. She's also very cheerful and outgoing, and is very much a Cuddle Bug. Her wardrobe also frequently includes a lot of pastel colors. And of course, being Kryptonian, she is basically the strongest person on Earth and can pack quite the punch in fights.
  • Genius Bruiser: She can lift a 5-ton space prison with ease and also learned calculus when she was four years old. Her mind is clearly just as formidable as her physical prowess in combat.
  • Girl Friday: For Cat and later Jimmy. It's her day job.
  • The Glasses Come Off: She takes off her glasses when she fights as Supergirl. Justified, since her glasses are a part of her civilian disguise, plus they suppress her enhanced vision and hearing. (Also a practical consideration given she'd probably melt them the first time she used her heat vision even if they didn't suppress it.)
  • A God I Am Not: Vehemently denies being a god. When humans that she saved start to worship her in the style of Rao's teachings and intentionally get in danger so Supergirl can rescue them, she gets pissed. She also reacts with disgust when her Evil Counterpart, Overgirl, taunts Kara and calls her stupid for not ruling over Earth with her abilities, like she does.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Kara's glasses suppress her hearing and vision. When she first arrived on Earth, she struggled with her enhanced vision and hearing, so her foster father gave her glasses lined with lead to help her control these abilities.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Blonde, and probably one of the nicest characters of the entire Arrowverse.
  • Happily Adopted: To the Danvers since coming to Earth.
  • Healing Factor: She can be wounded with the right material or with enough force, but in a departure from the classic Kryptonian powerset, most injuries heal in moments. Reduced to humanlike levels in one episode where she temporarily loses her powers and as such has to contend with a broken arm for most of the episode; the second her powers return, however, the arm is healed.
  • The Heart: The series makes this one of her unofficial superpowers, as she has a Wonder Woman-esque ability to inspire hope.
  • Heroic RRoD: After pouring her pent-up anger into an especially strong heat beam, she finds that her powers are gone.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Both she and Mon-El choose the world over each other, as after Rhea backs them into a wall, Mon-El urges her to activate Lena's lead bomb, making Earth uninhabitable for him. Even Clark admits if he and Lois had been in the same situation, he might have chosen Lois.
  • Hope Bringer: Cat repeatedly points to her as a symbol of hope for the people. She defeats the Myriad Wave's control over the population by taking full advantage of this, and restoring their hope.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Since her cousin wasn't around to be her mentor, Kara had to learn to control her powers on her own. She hadn't flown for many years until she needed to save her sister's plane, and she wasn't 100% sure she was bulletproof until bank robbers unloaded assault rifles at her to no avail. J'onn does eventually teach her the finer points of flying, however, after she learns his identity.
  • Human Aliens: Kara may be a Kryptonian, but she doesn't look different from any human. This is actually very relevant to the plot, as J'onn notes in season 4 that Kara is accepted more easily by humanity and isn't met with as much Fantastic Racism as other aliens, because she looks human.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In "Stronger Together" Kara says that Kryptonians are proud on asking for help. In the next episode she refuses to ask Superman to help her.
    • She is disapproving of Guardian: she called him a vigilante, accuses him of suspicious because he covers his head and self-righteously claims that she doesn't use masks. Kara herself counts as a vigilante and she uses her glasses to conceal her identity.
    • In We Can Be Heroes Kara bases her argument of why James and Winn should give up being Team Guardian on the fact that they have no powers. Even though in the previous episode, Kara was transported to a world with a Red Sun, meaning she was just as squishy and prone to death as them, and was still adamant about storming 'Murder Castle' with the equally de-powered Mon-El, on the basis that they should be willing to take the risks even without powers—the same argument James makes to her, to no avail.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: While she's naturally been there at the very beginning of her show, she doesn't show-up in the Arrowverse until its fourth year and isn't properly integrated until its fifth.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Hid her abilities to live a normal life, but eventually chose to use them to help people and fulfill her true potential. However, she seems to value her non-superpowered accomplishments even more than her heroic ones. For example, getting on Snapper's good side makes her as happy as any other accomplishment in the show. In fact, her happiest superheroing moment is getting to team up with her cousin, regardless of the task at hand.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: When facing Psi, her greatest fear is revealed to be the belief that she sent Mon-El off to his death in the escape pod, explaining why he hasn't contacted her to let her know he's okay. Alex tries to convince her to the contrary, and for the most part succeeds.
  • The Immune: As normal for Kryptonians with their powers (or anyone with a Healing Factor, really), Kara doesn't get sick. Until she's temporarily De Powered, of course.
    Cat: Kiera? You never get sick! It's the best thing about you!
    Kara: ... That's the best thing?
  • Immune to Bullets: Per the norm. Deconstructed a bit in the second episode, where it reveals that they still ricochet off of her and can still cause harm to whoever or whatever is nearby, resulting in her preferred tactic of simply cupping her hand over a discharging firearm's muzzle (or occasionally catching them in her hand).
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: Cisco Ramon gave her one as a gift for helping them save Earth-1 from an Alien Invasion. It can open a small breach to Earth-1 (and back to her own Earth-38) in case she needs to go there.
  • Interspecies Romance: All of her potential love interests in Season 1 are humans. Justified since the only male Kryptonians left are her cousin, her Evil Uncle (by marriage), and the latter's Mooks. In Season 2, she gains a Daxamite (resident of Krypton's "sister planet") love interest.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Kara exclaims meeting the other CW heroes in their fight versus the Dominators: "Best team up, ever!"

     J-P 
  • Jerkass Ball: Red Kryptonite is... not a good look on her. She goes full-on Supervillain before getting better.
  • The Juggernaut: While downplayed in her own show thanks to how powerful the villains are, her appearance in the 2016 crossover special shows that she's absurdly overpowered compared with Earth-1's heroes, with their training consisting of Kara hovering in one spot while easily countering any attempt to so much as touch her. It's telling that The Flash wasn't involved in the training, and when she became Brainwashed and Crazy, he used her being a Juggernaut to his advantage by virtue of being fast and tricking her into destroying the Mind-Control Device.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": As part of her Adorkable personality, and her hero worship of her cousin, Kara tends to get excited around other superheroes, even ones foreign to her dimension. This is evident in the "Invasion" crossover when she takes great glee in being able to remember the names and secret identities of the heroes on The Flash's Earth.
  • The Lost Lenore: Kara is so heartbroken by the loss of Mon-El, she almost abandons her civilian identity entirely.
  • Magic Skirt: Averted, at least depending on the episode. It's apparent there's a leotard built into the suit, however, so it's not technically a Panty Shot, and she has tights over anyway providing more protection.
  • May–December Romance: She is more or less two decades older than James, but her being stuck in the Phantom Zone stalled her youth. The inversion happens with Mon-El, who is chronologically older than Kara by at least fifteen years, but was also stuck in the Phantom Zone and only landed on Earth during the Season 1 finale.
  • Meganekko: A cute girl who wears a pair of large specs in her civilian guise. The specs were actually made for her by her adopted human father as a Power Limiter as she's prone to Sensory Overload when she first arrived on Earth.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: After rejecting the crop top and hot pants outfit, she tries on a mini-dress that would become part of the final outfit.
  • Mistaken for Gay: When she tells Winn about embracing a part of herself that she had been hiding her entire life, he thinks she's a lesbian.
    Winn: That's why you never went out with me!
    Kara: No, that's not—
    Winn: This is so great! Load off my mind—
    Kara: I'm not gay! I'm her! I'm Supergirl!
    [beat]
    Winn: No, seriously.
    Kara: [throws herself off the roof and then flies back up]
  • Nerd Glasses: Kara wears large framed glasses in her civilian disguise. They were made for her by her adopted father when she first arrived on Earth, and contain lead so she wouldn't be overwhelmed by her developing X-Ray Vision.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Human alcohol does basically nothing to Kryptonians. Aldebaran rum, on the other hand...
  • Nice Girl: She's friendly and cheerful by default, and her kindness and desire to help others drive her entire superhero career. Must run in the family.
  • Not Herself: In "Falling", a prerequisite red kryptonite episode, she starts acting like a huge Jerkass thanks to red kryptonite messing with her head.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Welcome to Earth," Kara is appalled at how Lena Luthor plans to have scanners to look for aliens and writes about this being an incredible bias. The moment she learns Mon-El is from Daxaam, however, Kara instantly believes he's a bad guy because of the stories she grew up with believing Daxaamites are garbage. Kara eventually realizes she's just as bigoted as the anti-alien forces and has to accept Mon-El.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Being from a planet as scientifically advanced as Krypton, Kara is highly intelligent, having learned calculus at the age of 4 and being leaps and bounds ahead of humans in math and science knowledge. However, especially in her civilian identity, she downplays her smartness, acting like she's of average intellect in order to blend in with everyone else and not attract unwanted attention.
  • Odd Friendship: Quickly becomes best friends with Lena Luthor and not just as Kara, but as Supergirl as well.
  • Older Than They Look: She's actually thirteen years older than her cousin, and was meant to be his guardian. Then she accidentally spent twenty-four years in the Phantom Zone and arrived on Earth to discover him already well-established as Superman while she was still the same age.
  • Only Friend: Back in high-school she was friendless outside of Kenny Li, which made his murder all the more painful to her.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Examined when comparing Kara with Kal. Kal has no memory of Krypton, so he's unburdened by the loss of his parents and world. Kara was a 13 year old girl when she lost her parents and planet, and that dynamic affected her her whole life, not only for herself, but the people who raised her.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: The season 1 finale reveals that Kara — and, it is implied, Superman — cannot actually survive in space due to the lack of oxygen and she can't even fly due to the inability to generate thrust. This is a marked contrast to the comics in which Superman and Supergirl, even when having to wear oxygen masks, have no problem flying in space.
  • Power Limiter: Her glasses are lined with lead to suppress her enhanced vision and hearing.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
  • Primary-Color Champion: Her suit is colored largely blue and red (and no yellow on the S-shield this time), along with a gold belt.

     R-Z 
  • Red Baron: "The Maiden of Might", and less commonly "The Girl of Steel".
  • Red Is Heroic: She's The Hero of her story and she wears red Chest Insignia, Badass Cape, Minidress of Power, stockings, and boots.
  • Related in the Adaptation: The show's version of Non becomes her uncle by his marriage to her maternal aunt.
  • Ret-Canon: DC Rebirth has adopted TV Supergirl's name "Kara Danvers" as well as her outfit.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In "Changing," Kara chews out Mon-El for taking a job as hired muscle for alien criminals. However, she is not angry because of the work he chose in question, but because he is using his powers for something other than being a superhero. Even though, as Mon-El points out, he needs to earn a living, and he truly has no obligation to take on Earth and mankind's problems.
  • Screaming Warrior: Twice when using heat vision in the first season, she completely lets herself go and plays the trope super-straight, bordering on Nightmare Face.
  • Secret Keeper: Besides her own secret, she was at one point one of the few to knows Hank's true identity.
  • Sexy Secretary: Downplayed. She's very attractive, works as Cat Grant's secretary and two of her co-workers (Winn and Jimmy) are clearly attracted to her. However, the sultriness usually associated with this trope is not present with her.
    • Played straight when Kara is affected by synthesised red kryptonite - she starts to wear far more provocative outfits to work, and later tries to seduce James.
  • She's Got Legs: The magnificence of her legs and the fact that her costume shows them off is commented upon by the other characters. Ironically, as Supergirl her legs are always covered by dark tights (except in the pilot where she tries a few costumes), whereas she tends to wear far more leg-revealing outfits in her day to day Kara identity.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • She looks ecstatic when she notices the Ship Tease between J'onn and Sen. Crane.
    • She attempts half-heartedly to support the James and Lucy ship. It doesn't end well for James and Lucy.
    • She's supportive of Clark's relationship with Lois Lane.
    • She gets all giddy when she hears of any relationship development between her sister and Maggie.
  • Shipping Torpedo:
    • She does not support Winn and Siobhan together, mainly because the latter is her professional rival, and a nasty one at that.
    • She does not approve of Maxima pining for her cousin.
    • She also does not approve of both Alex and Cat respectively ogling and blatantly hitting on Clark. This justified since Clark is already in a long term relationship with Lois Lane.
  • Sins Of The Father: As the daughter of Krypton's top judge, a lot of Fort Rozz's inmates hold a grudge against her for her mother's actions.
  • Sixth Ranger: She's the DEO's main external ally.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Initially subverted with Mon-El, a palace guard from Daxam. While they are from sister planets who hated each other, said sister planets are long gone, with Krypton having exploded and Daxam rendered uninhabitable by the former's debris. Nothing is really keeping them apart except for their own prejudices; once they move past them, they become friends and then more. Then it turns out the Daxamite people are not as dead as they thought and that Mon-El isn't actually a lowly palace guard but the Crown Prince. That's when their relationship plays this straight, as Rhea's hatred of Kryptonians and attempts to keep them apart, culminating in an invasion of Earth, forces Kara to infuse the Earth's atmosphere with lead and force all Daxamites off-planet, never to return — including Mon-El.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's 5'8" and often noted to be quite pretty, on top of wearing a Minidress of Power.
  • Stepford Smiler: Beneath her bubbly personality, there is an enormous amount of anger and pain.
  • Stocking Filler: Wears a red one as part of her costume.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The show averts this as much as possible by putting limits on Kara's powers. For example, several episodes have shown that ultrasonic frequencies (such as super-loud screams) can incapacitate her, and it's stated outright that she cannot survive in the vacuum of space. This is in keeping with how the Kryptonian heroes have been handled in the comics since the late 1980s when Superman's powers were scaled way back after he'd reached the point of having near god-like abilities, which made it hard to create jeopardy.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She is similar to her cousin in her cheeks.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: The show actually justifies this, since her flight is improved by the aerodynamics. Although her first few capes get shot full of holes. In season 3, Mon-El also teaches her a form of "cape-fu" which renders her cape a weapon.
  • Super Senses: The same lot that Superman has. She uses them to know when her boss is arriving before anyone else does.
  • Super Strength: Well, yeah. Kryptonian and all. But for a specific example, she effortlessly lifts the key to Superman's Fortress of Solitude as well as the Fort Rozz prison, which are both stated to weigh a million tons. Despite this, she is sometimes shown struggling with oil tankers and airplanes, which would logically be lighter. Justified, however, in that while they're lighter, they're also more fragile, and she learned a harsh lesson when pulling an oil supertanker away from the dock ended up tearing its hull to cause an ecological disaster.
  • Super Toughness: In case the Immune to Bullets didn't tip you off, she can take hits from beings just as strong or even stronger than her with little issue. Except when the plot demands she be knocked senseless.
  • Super Speed: Jimmy notes that she is a faster flyer than her cousin, although her technique is comparatively unpolished. In any case, she is a lot less restrained. She also engages the Flash in a footrace.
  • Sweet Tooth: Loves donuts and really loves ice cream. (the producers often post images of Melissa Benoist and her co-stars chowing down on donuts.)
  • Technicolor Fire: Her heat vision is blue. Scientifically speaking, fire can change colors at the right temperature. Blue fire usually means it's gets more oxygen, meaning it's hotter than red fire.
  • The Tell: Mike aka Mon-El tells Kara she crinkles her forehead when she's lying.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Has stated on a few occasions that she does not kill. Toyed with in that Alex has on occasion warned that Kara might need to use deadly force at some point, such as against fellow Kryptonians and in one episode tries to get Kara mentally prepared for the possibility of killing Astra. Zigzagged in the case of Red Tornado, who became sentient moments before Kara destroyed it/him, but it is strongly implied that Kara was not aware of this and assumed she was destroying a rogue android.
    • Although she accepts that the DEO has to occasionally use deadly force, she still objects when the government tries to kill Toyman, and later is extremely upset over the killing of Astra to the point that Alex (who did the deed) becomes afraid of it jeopardizing her relationship with her sister.
    • Inconsistently applied as the series has progressed. Although the series hasn't been explicit about it, there have been a few fights where it's left ambiguous as to whether or not Kara actually killed someone (such as during the Crisis on Earth-X crossover). And at the climax of "Far from the Tree", Kara directly kills a number of White Martians without any hint of regret. Yet not many episodes later, in "Of Two Minds", Kara places the future in jeopardy by refusing to allow the killing of Pestilence.
  • Token Non-Human: To both the Danvers family and CatCo, initially. This gets subverted when Jeremiah returns as a Cyborg and both Leslie and Siobhan became metahumans, plus Mon-El briefly working at CatCo. And when knowledge of alien life becomes common knowledge, Supergirl is no longer seen as unique in that way.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After Mon-El's departure, to the point of borderline Kick the Dog moments, like when she tells Alex that she can't possibly understand how she feels because she is just a human.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Potstickers and pizza. She also loves donuts (specifically crawlers).
  • True Companions: With Barry, when he tells her of a crisis on Earth-1 she doesn't flinch at dropping everything, offering her assistance and traveling to a foreign dimension to help him.
    Barry: Remember last year when I helped you out and you promised to do the same for me...?
    Kara: (cutting him off) What are we up against?
  • Turn in Your Badge: Happens after the events of the "Bunker Hill" when Agent Liberty is exposed. He gleefully exploits that Supergirl doesn't wear a mask and has her own Secret Identity. The President, closing to bend to public pressure than do the right thing asks her to resign from the DEO, after she refuses to give hers up.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: She mainly relies on her Super Strength. Alex lectures her on this and gave her a much needed combat training.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Kara has secretly been building up a lot of anger over never fitting in on Earth and not getting a chance to be normal by Kryptonian standards. It comes to a boil in "Red-Faced" and she channels it to quite literally unleash the fury on Red Tornado in the final act with such force it literally depletes her superpowers for some time after.
    • It starts building up again and in "Falling", exposure to red kryptonite causes her negative feelings to come to the forefront, making her sullen and violent (though not to the same degree as she was with Red Tornado).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "The Last Children of Krypton" Alex gives Supergirl a major one of these when she considers moving to Metropolis to live nearer to Clark.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Alex is openly jealous of the fact that Kara's Kryptonian metabolism means she is incapable of gaining weight regardless of how much she eats.
  • The Worf Effect: In the "Invasion!" crossover, Kara is portrayed as nigh-unstoppable. During the team's training session against her, she outright curb-stomps them with unnatural ease. When she's brainwashed by the Dominators, it causes a Mass "Oh, Crap!". The only one that can take her on is Barry (who is unarguably the most powerful superhero in all of Earth-1), and even then all he can really do is run circles around her and make her angry enough to destroy the signaling device. The one attack he did use against her, the lightning throw, barely fazed her — for perspective, that same attack took out both a brainwashed Atom and Firestorm in quick succession.
    • Happens to her when facing Reign. She shrugs off everything Kara throws at her and then to proceeds to beat her bloody. It is the first time that Supergirl is ever hurt that badly... at full power, no less.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Her boots are between Grades B and C - it's high but its length is not over the knee. The effect is lessened slightly due to Kara wearing coloured tights.


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Alternative Title(s): Supergirl 2015 The Character

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