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Clara Oswald (Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

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"Run you clever boy, and remember me".
Debut: "Asylum of the Daleks" (2012)
Joins TARDIS Crew: "The Bells of Saint John" (2013)
Departure Story: "Hell Bent" (2015)
Final Appearance: "Twice Upon a Time" (2017)

Played by: Jenna Coleman (2012–2015, 2017), Sophie Downham (young Clara, 2013)

"I don't know where I am. It's like I'm breaking into a million different pieces and there's only one thing I remember. I have to save The Doctor. He always looks different. Sometimes, I think I'm everywhere at once, running every second, just to save him. Doctor? But he never hears me. Almost never. Having blown into this world on a leaf, I'm still blowing. I don't think I'll ever learn. I'm Clara Oswald. I'm the Impossible Girl. I was born to save the Doctor."
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The Impossible Girl

A nanny-cum-schoolteacher who wound up becoming arguably the most important companion the Doctor ever had.

Oswin Oswald was first introduced in the series 7 premiere, "Asylum of the Daleks" as a young hacker and survivor of a spaceship crash in the far future. Oswin then learns from the Eleventh Doctor that she has been converted from human into a Dalek and has coped by retreating into a fantasy; she maintained enough of her humanity to save the Doctor's life, at the cost of her own. Her surprise appearance in the episode (successfully kept secret) genuinely shocked many fans. She later returned as a young barmaid and governess named Clara Oswin Oswald who the Doctor met in 1892, in "The Snowmen", and convinced him to investigate the threat of the Great Intelligence, bringing him out of his self-imposed isolation after he lost Amy and Rory. He was just about to make her a companion when she was mortally wounded. On her deathbed she told him something he'd heard once before, from Oswin: "Run, you clever boy. And remember me." Making the connection, the Doctor is intrigued by the mystery of a woman who has lived and died twice in different eras, and he begins searching across time for another Clara.

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From here, in the mid-2010s the Doctor met a young London nanny named just Clara Oswald. She first appeared in the ending of "The Snowmen" and her first full episode was "The Bells of Saint John" (he also met, without realizing it, her childhood self in a short that bridged the two episodes). She didn't know the first thing about hacking or time travel, had only contacted the Doctor on the recommendation of "the lady in the shop" she'd called for tech support, and initially thought the Doctor just wanted to trick her into entering his "snog box". Despite these misgivings, the Doctor convinced this Clara to become his companion, and set out to discover how "The Impossible Girl" could have lived three completely different lives...

Eventually, the Doctor discovered Clara's presence in his life was much more important than he had thought. Thanks to the Great Intelligence abducting his friends and taking them to the sight of his supposed permanent death, the Doctor and Clara were forced to watch the Great Intelligence enter the Doctor's personal timestream, undoing all the good he had ever done. Clara followed afterwards, scattering herself into thousands of "echoes", all throughout the Doctor's lifespan, going all the way back to when he and who we know as "Susan Foreman" stole a TARDIS and ran away.

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Later, after the mystery had been solved, and after an apparent time jump in the series, Clara became a schoolteacher at Coal Hill School, eventually becoming the companion most influential on the Doctor's life. While on an adventure with the Doctor, she meets a couple of the Doctor's past selves and manages to profoundly impact the Doctor's fateful decision that ended the Time War, and eventually witnesses the Eleventh Doctor's regeneration into the Twelfth. Clara spends some time grappling with losing the Doctor she knew and fell in love with throughout the events of "Deep Breath", until a call from the Eleventh Doctor prior to his regeneration convinces her to stay by his side and help him adjust to his new persona. Clara and fellow teacher Danny Pink enter into a romantic relationship, and for a while, she keeps secrets between the Doctor and Danny due to their misgivings about each other, and experiences turbulence in her relationship with the Doctor, particularly in "Kill the Moon", when he temporally abandons her to face a traumatic decision on her own. In "Dark Water", Danny dies while crossing the road, and after attempting to blackmail the Doctor into changing history to avert his death, which is impossible, Clara and the Doctor decide to pursue contacting him from beyond the grave, which makes them end up discovering that Missy — aka the Master — has stored the consciousnesses of Earth's dead as part of a plot to convert all of the deceased into an army of Cybermen. In "Death in Heaven", Missy reveals that she was the aforementioned woman who gave Clara the TARDIS telephone number and had also been secretly keeping the two together after their first meeting as part of her plan to make the Doctor miserable by teaming him with a Control Freak. Clearly this backfired, due to the Eleventh Doctor developing feelings for Clara that were retained by the Twelfth Doctor (who confessed in "Deep Breath" to having thought of himself as her boyfriend, and later showing open jealousy towards Danny). After Danny is brought back as a Cyberman, he resists his programming in order to destroy Missy's Cyberman army and avert her plans, and sacrifices an opportunity he had to return from the dead to save the life of a child he killed in the war.

After being briefly separated by the ordeal, the Doctor and Clara later reunite after experiencing a shared dream in which they thought they had sacrificed the chance to spend decades together. Now an experienced companion, Clara shows greater confidence when dealing with alien races and volatile humans, all while her and the Doctor, who had feelings for her going back to when they first properly met, fall deeper in love, to the point where Clara could arguably be the one woman in the entire galaxy who could truly be his soulmate; both, however, are unable to properly articulate this due in part to both applying various degrees of The "I Love You" Stigma.

But as the Doctor knows all too well, nothing lasts forever. His concerns with her reckless streak eventually leads to tragedy: In "Face the Raven", she attempts to outsmart an adversary of the Doctor and save an innocent friend by taking on a death sentence, but later learns that it cannot be revoked, even by the Doctor. She cautions him not to give in to his darker nature in response to her passing, and faces death with bravery. Alas, Cold-Blooded Torture on top of losing his love renders him a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who manages to return to Gallifrey at last (for his captor/betrayer was none other than a resurrected Rassilon, leader of the Time Lords), ready to use Time Lord technology to bring her back from the grave and give her an ordinary life in which she won't remember him. But as with her own desperate gambit to save Danny Pink, this is impossible: Her death is a fixed moment and Time will not hold if he succeeds.

Clara comes to realize the futility of the Doctor's scheme and what he intends to do to her memories. Wanting to keep what is rightfully hers, she tampers with the neural block so that it will wipe the Doctor's memories of her instead, and her demands move his hearts. With the Doctor expressing doubt that she could actually change the programming, they agree to activate the device together, knowing one of them must lose their memories so they can part. Ultimately, the Doctor is the one affected — only able to remember her name and the adventures they had, not details of what she was like, how she talked, etc. Thus freed of his ultimately-obsessive codependency upon her, he is his best self again. She leaves the Doctor on Earth with his TARDIS to start his adventures anew, and begins traveling with a companion of her own... in another stolen TARDIS... with the intention of one day returning to Gallifrey to meet her end.

"Twice Upon a Time", the Twelfth Doctor's final adventure, confirms that she does go back at some point, for her memories are uploaded to the Testimony — a benevolent New Earth construct that copies and stores the memories of all humans, which are taken right before the moment of their deaths. A Testimony-created Glass Woman avatar of this Doctor's final companion, Bill Potts, decides to give him a gift to remind him of the importance of memory. Having "met" Clara after a fashion and realized her connection to the Doctor, the Glass Woman temporarily takes her form and undoes the neural block. Although "The Doctor Falls" reveals the Doctor already has some memories of Clara as he recalls a moment from "Last Christmas" before an aborted regeneration, the "Twice" novelization explains that he deliberately forgets her then — because he's certain he has to — but with this act he is able to go on to his regeneration with all of his memories restored. Though this only yields him a glimpse of her amazing final fate, more than ever her last words to him in life, written on his chalkboard, will endure:

"Run you clever boy... and be a Doctor."

Although Clara Oswald only appears for two-and-a-half seasons plus change, she has met more incarnations of the Doctor than any other character before her; as a result of her actions and presence:

  • The Doctor learns as a child about the importance of embracing fear and never being cruel or cowardly. ("Listen")
  • The Doctor steals the correct TARDIS when he flees Gallifrey. ("The Name of the Doctor")
  • An untold number of Clara Oswald "echoes", splinters of herself that result from her decision to travel into the Doctor's timeline to save him from the Great Intelligence's final gambit, protect his many incarnations throughout history. ("Asylum of the Daleks"; "The Snowmen"; "The Name of the Doctor"; the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip "Blood & Ice"; many others implied or shown in comics and literature)
  • One of these echoes inspires the Doctor to come out of retirement upon the loss of his previous companions. ("The Snowmen")
  • Another temporarily manages to erase all records of the Doctor's existence from the Dalek mainframe. ("Asylum of the Daleks")
  • The Doctor is inspired to Take a Third Option when it comes to ending the Time War, relieving him of centuries of guilt. ("The Day of the Doctor")
  • The Doctor receives a new regeneration cycle from the Time Lords, meaning every incarnation from Twelve onwards will exist because of Clara. ("The Time of the Doctor")
  • The Doctor finally returns to Gallifrey and (at least briefly) is reinstated as Lord President. ("Heaven Sent"; "Hell Bent")
  • The Doctor and Clara Oswald become "The Hybrid" of an ancient Gallifreyan prophecy, said to "stand in the ruins of Gallifrey, and destroy a billion hearts to heal his own". Thought to be a single being created of two warrior races who would stand in Gallifrey's ruins, it's actually two people (Time Lord and human) with personalities so similar, and love so strong, that they ultimately push each other to extremes that hurt not only themselves but others when the Doctor is willing to give up his identity and risk all of space and time to save her from her final death. Missy may well have brought them together in hopes of such a tragedy, and it can't be argued that the Time Lords' desperation to figure out the prophecy truly fulfills it. ("Face the Raven"; "Heaven Sent"; "Hell Bent". While "Hell Bent" only presents this interpretation of the prophecy as theory, Steven Moffat has since confirmed it is correct.)
  • Due to the lesson learned with how he poorly handles Clara's loss, the Doctor works up the courage to finally let River Song go to her own death. ("The Husbands of River Song")
  • The Doctor decides to allow Bill Potts to retain her own memories of the Doctor, thereby resulting in her becoming a companion, due to a fragment of memory related to Clara inspiring him. ("The Pilot")
  • One final contribution occurs in "Twice Upon a Time", in which it's implied that the restoration of the Doctor's memories of Clara contributes to his willingly succumbing to regeneration, and may have influenced the fact he undergoes a Gender Bender in the process.


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    Tropes A to E 
  • Action Fashionista: Often wears stylish outfits during her adventures with the Doctor, particularly in Series 7 and 8, with the Doctor calling her out on her choice of footwear in "Time Heist". Less evident in Series 9 when the now-seasoned-adventurer Clara tends to wear more practical outfits, though she does don a rather fashionable leather jacket ensemble for the two-part Zygon storyline (albeit her imposter, Bonnie, wears it for most of the story).
  • Action Girl: Increasingly during the Twelfth Doctor era, to the point where it actually starts to concern him in Series 9. Examples include "Nightmare in Silver" when she actually leads a group into battle against Cybermen; "Robot of Sherwood", where she attempts to use her recently learned Tae Kwon Do skills in a fight; and "The Girl Who Died" when it's revealed that in an unchronicled adventure she once used a sword in battle.
  • Adorkable:
    • Present day Clara has her moments, and could give Rory a run for his money with them. While she doesn't understand much of the Doctor's tech, she's perceptive enough to want to learn how the stuff works (after the arrival of the Twelfth Doctor, however, she becomes very well-versed in the tech, from being able to use a sonic screwdriver to on one occasion even piloting the TARDIS by herself). She's also rather bookish, not averse to MacGyvering when the situation calls for it and loves spouting the occasional pop-cultural reference in a snarky way.
    • Once the Doctor introduces the TARDIS to the Victorian version of Clara, she starts eagerly running around the interior, looking all around the control room while giggling like a happy little girl amazed by a new toy. Then she bombards the Doctor with a string of childishly inquisitive questions about the TARDIS.
      Victorian Clara: Is it magic? Is it a machine?
      The Doctor: It's a ship.
      Victorian Clara: [snooping around curiously, giggling] A ship?!
      The Doctor: Best ship in the universe.
      Victorian Clara: [runs around some more, observing stuff, turns to the Doctor] Is there a kitchen?
    • Wearing a Christmas paper crown during her frantic preparations for Christmas dinner.
    • Lampshaded amusingly by the Twelfth Doctor to the antagonists of his introductory episode, when he comes to help her escape them.
    • Pretty much any time she's in schoolteacher mode.
    • After her failed date with Danny Pink in "Listen".
    • Apparently was this way as a teenager; when she was 15 the only pin-up she had on her wall was of Roman philosopher/emperor Marcus Aurelius.
  • Adventure Duo: With the Doctor. Said character is probably the quirkier one in their duo — though with the likes of Clara, it can be hard to tell at times...
  • Adult Fear: Can get very worried when children are under threat and is uncomfortable with people dying or the thought of her own death, with that last part taking on an ironic tone later.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In Series 9, one of her ways of expressing affection to the Doctor is by tenderly stroking his cheek. This is likely an intentional contrast to Series 8 when she was shown slapping and Gibbs-ing the Doctor on a few occasions.
  • Allergic to Routine: Not originally, as she made great effort to still carry on her normal life while still having adventures with the Doctor. But by Series 9, perhaps as a consequence of Danny's death, she's spending much more time adventuring than she used to.
  • Alliterative Name: As Oswin Oswald.
  • Alternate Self: The mysterious doppelgängers of Clara that the Doctor keeps meeting throughout time and space. They become the ultimate mystery in the present day Clara's personal backstory.
  • Anchored Ship: Develops feelings for the Doctor from the get-go, but spends 1 1/2 seasons trying to ignore or suppress them with varying degrees of success. "The Day of the Doctor" starts with Clara and the Eleventh Doctor discussing going on what is basically a date and ends with her kissing his cheek. However, the arrival of the older-looking Twelfth Doctor resulted in the ship apparently being anchored, and Clara is soon romancing a fellow teacher — but midway though the season this evolves into a Love Triangle as the Doctor begins showing jealousy and Clara tries to keep relationships going with both men. In "Last Christmas", she finally revealed that the Doctor is the only person (except Danny) she would have married. Word of Saint Paul (actress Jenna Coleman) is that Clara has always been in love with the Doctor and the regeneration never changed things. Further Word of Saint Paul (actor Peter Capaldi) is that the two's relationship constitutes an "old-fashioned romance". Much of Series 9 background arc focused on their relationship, with emphasis on the "anchor" part at the end, though it was pretty clear by that point the Doctor returned her romantic affections.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Her departure has her off on new adventures with Ashildr.
  • Animal Motifs: Ravens. She wears a necklace with a raven-shaped pendant in "The Bells of Saint John" and "The Woman Who Lived", and her mother's maiden name was Ravenwood. This turns out to presage her death by a quantum shade that takes the form of a raven. This motif even appears in the Expanded Universe; the Titan Comics story "Clara Oswald and the School of Death" takes place at a Boarding School of Horrors known as Ravenscaur (with the lead time required for comics, given this story began to be published only a month after "Face the Raven" this may be a coincidence).
  • Anywhere but Their Lips:
    • With the Eleventh Doctor, quite frequently as part of their stuck-in-Better as Friends dynamic. He usually to gives her a friendly smooch on the forehead. In a few particularly tender moments (mainly in "The Time of the Doctor"), he's also kissed her gently on the hands and her hair. Present day Clara herself has reciprocated her friendly feelings by occasionally kissing the Doctor on the face or giving him a tight hug (these usually develop into either one of both possessively calling the other my Clara/Doctor). In "The Day of the Doctor", the Tenth Doctor gives her a gentlemanly kiss on her hand before leaving. In the same episode Clara almost kisses the Eleventh on the lips, but the cheek kiss, Held Gaze and face stroke feels a lot more intimate. ("The Snowmen", in which the Clara Oswin echo gives the Doctor a full-out snog, stands as the only time the Doctor has ever been shown fully kissing some aspect of Clara, averting the trope.)
    • Twelve was adamant about following this trope (to the point of avoiding kissing altogether), though he was generally willing to bear an awkward hug from his pal. By Series 9, however, he's back to instigating hugs himself.
    • To commemorate their reunion in "Last Christmas", Clara gives Twelve a kiss on the cheek, much like the ones she used to give to Eleven. They then depart hand in hand for further adventuring.
    • In "The Girl Who Died", Clara tenderly strokes the Doctor's face.
    • Later, in "The Woman Who Lived", she gives the Doctor a spontaneous hug from behind, which the Twelfth Doctor — in a sign of his deepening warmth towards her — clearly enjoys.
    • In "Face the Raven", Clara hugs the Doctor one last time, and again strokes his face. The Doctor then takes her hand and kisses it before she goes to her death. Later, in "Heaven Sent", the version of Clara recreated in the Doctor's mind again strokes his face.
    • In "Twice Upon a Time", after kissing the Doctor on the cheek, the recreated version of Bill transforms into Clara. Steven Moffat's novelization of the episode confirms that the kiss actually came from Clara.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • She has fought the Great Intelligence throughout time and space, at every moment of the Doctor's life.
    • Considers Missy this, at one point intending to cold-bloodedly kill her, though she's still willing to work with her to rescue the Doctor.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Delivers a surprising (and, to some fans, uncalled for) one to the Doctor in "Into the Dalek". She later, in "Kill the Moon", threatens to do so so hard, the Doctor would regenerate. This aspect of the character was eliminated in Series 9, with the slapping replaced by face stroking.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: She leaves the Doctor having become essentially immortal.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: It's an uneasy friendship at times, but her and the Twelfth (and more rarely, the Eleventh) have several moments in this vein. Clara also goes from being innocently insensitive to Danny to proving that she does care for him, as inept as she is verbally at the whole dating and relationship thing. Made clear in Series 9, they demonstrated the gestures and affections associated with an established couple, minus the kissing of course.
  • Badass Adorable: If you get the impression that a short and harmless-looking cutie like Clara could not possibly become badass when the situation calls for it, think again. She lives up to the trope explicitly, as even her unusual Badass Boast about "being the Soufflé Girl after all" comes off as a bit comical and endearing when she says it out loud.
  • Badass Bookworm: Oswin has extremely good hacker skills. Both present day Clara and Victorian Clara are keen to observe their surroundings, notice details that others tend to overlook and derive a potential plan from what they found out. Present day Clara is also a bit of a bookworm herself. She even had a pinup of Marcus Aurelius on her wall as a child! (Which might explain why we see her writing down a quote by him on a whiteboard in the anniversary special.)
  • Beneath the Mask: At face value, she'd like to convince everyone that she's a fully mature, professional perfectionist who barely loses her cool at any time. Inside, she feels vulnerable, insecure and often even inadequate, and her more waspish moments and overprotectiveness of children reflect her fear of not living up to the legacy of her parents, who she adores (especially her deceased mother). She also tries to mask her control-freak nature with a carefree façade.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Threaten little kids, try to harm or kill the Doctor, or act ignorantly to the suffering of other people, and she'll waste no time in calling you out on it or punching you defiantly. Tellingly, she always acts disturbed whenever the Doctor is being too aloof, secretive or seemingly careless, and she isn't afraid to express her disagreement with such behaviour. Given the Twelfth Doctor's colder and more questionable methods, he tends to press the "button" more often than the Eleventh.
    • A more comedic variation is how much she dislikes anyone implying she's a control freak.
      Clara I am NOT a CONTROL FREAK!
    • The Twelfth Doctor finally finds out (unintentionally) what it takes to push her berserk button after he makes her decide whether or not to save the moon-egg creature. So much so, she tells him to go to hell, though they ultimately make up.
    • Do not even think of messing with — much less erasing — Clara's memories without her permission.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Read the "Nice Girl" section below. Then watch "The Magician's Apprentice", where Clara is fully prepared to order UNIT snipers to take down Missy; and "Death in Heaven", where the Doctor talks her down from murdering Missy herself.
  • Beyond the Impossible: There are a number of things about her that, according to Doctor Who's internal logic, should be impossible. The dying thing, for one.
  • Biker Babe: The 50th anniversary episode reveals that she rides a motorcycle. She's seen riding it again in "The Zygon Invasion".
  • Bi the Way: She calls Jane Austen a "phenomenal kisser", has a lot of chemistry with female guest stars in season eight, echo Oswin's first crush was on a girl called Nina, and she brings up Jane again in "Face the Raven", telling Rigsy she loves her, and he can take that any way he likes. Even Sarah Dollard said she could have got her own TARDIS and had Austen as a companion.
  • Body Horror:
    • In "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", she gets burned alive, while conscious, and runs around in blind pain for most of the episode. The timeline gets reset pretty soon, but the Doctor comes close to crying at the sight.
    • We probably don't really want to know what Oswin looked like inside the Dalek in "Asylum of the Daleks".
    • Her death in "Face the Raven" is in some respects more disturbing. We see no blood, no aftermath other than the smoke-like raven entity leaving her mouth, but whatever it did to her, it made her scream in terrible pain. While a Hope Spot existed that this might have been a despair cry rather than a pain cry, "Heaven Sent" confirmed that she died in agony, and it is strongly implied that this was the trigger that pushed the Doctor towards becoming a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds to save her from that fate.
  • Bookends:
    • Assuming the Curator really is a far-future retired Doctor, Clara Oswald is both the first companion ("Listen") and potentially the last one ("The Day of the Doctor") he encounters, however briefly, in his very, very, very long life.
    • The very first time we see Clara — in her Oswin Oswald incarnation — the story ends with the Daleks' collective memory being erased. The second time we see Clara — in her Clara Oswin Oswald, Victorian incarnation — the Doctor considers wiping her memory of him using a memory worm. Memory wiping is also part of not only Clara's death story, "Face the Raven", but also her resurrection story, "Hell Bent".
    • When the genuine Clara first meets the Doctor in "The Bells of Saint John", she is wearing a necklace in the shape of a raven.
    • Clara's leitmotif, first heard briefly in "Asylum of the Daleks", showcased in "The Snowmen", and reprised numerous times in Series 7, 8 and 9, becomes an actual part of the storyline and represents Clara's Cloisters conversation with the Doctor in "Hell Bent".
  • Born-Again Immortality: Has been born, lived, died and been reborn again in a million eras on a million worlds.
    • And once the Doctor extracts her from her time stream in "Hell Bent", she is once again reborn - and this time is functionally immortal until she eventually returns to trap street.
  • Brainy Brunette:
    • She's not physically strong, but her bravery combined with her smarts have helped her and the Doctor get out of several seemingly unsolvable situations. She's also surprisingly intelligent and stubbornly independent-minded. "Last Christmas" also revealed that she's scary-good at doing mental math calculations, even while technically dreaming (even the Doctor remarks about this).
    • Lampshaded in "Sleep No More" when, after impressing the Doctor with knowledge of some esoteric fact, Clara points at her (pretty) face and says "Oh yeah, not just this!"
    • Obviously the Doctor's lessons on how to use the TARDIS (begun in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS") held, as she's operating one like an old pro by the end of "Hell Bent".
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Her Oswin Oswald incarnation goes insane after being turned into a Dalek and then blown up in "Asylum of the Daleks".
    • Her Clara Oswin Oswald incarnation dies rather violently after she's officially become a companion, in "The Snowmen".
    • Modern-day Clara fears death in a rather realistic manner. She was depressed when her mother died, has trouble coping with seeing dead bodies and the beginning and ending phases of the Earth's existence, and when the Doctor changes dramatically after his regeneration, she initially feels conflicted about him (in part because, per Word of God, she'd fallen in love with him by this point) and whether she can still trust him. As the Doctor influences her more, she shows off the more messed up parts of her personality. She's broken again by the death of Danny, so much so that she's willing to betray the Doctor if he doesn't help her avert the fixed point of his death. Very seriously this time around, but her gran comforts her and, after a serious misunderstanding, the Doctor offers her help when she least expects it.
    • And then came "Face the Raven". Ironically, however, the one successful outcome of the Doctor's gambit is she leaves the series unbroken now; true, she is no longer able to be with the Doctor, and is technically dead, but she's been given the gift of immortality and the freedom to choose when she will die forever. And now knowing when and how, she appears to have lost all fear of it (or so she lets on, anyway).
  • Broken Bird:
    • She becomes this trope in "Dark Water". It's heartbreaking (and somewhat terrifying) to see her in that state. Her kind grandmother tries to comfort her, but it's clear from Clara's behaviour that she's in a state of shock, is blaming herself for what had happened, and is in danger of just completely losing it. And later, at her lowest and darkest moment, she is offered the friendly help she had already stopped believing in.
    • Further played with in Series 9, with Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat referring to how the loss of Danny contributes to Clara rapidly losing touch with her life on Earth and wanting to become more like somebody else — the Doctor.
  • Broken Masquerade: By Series 9, she's stopped trying to hide her knowledge of aliens from other people. In "The Zygon Invasion", her voicemail even says if she's not on the Tube then she's in space and at her school, she makes no attempt to hide her connection to UNIT. The masquerade, however, was broken back in Series 8, with a group of her students visiting the TARDIS in "In the Forest of the Night" (not to mention one student, Courtney Woods, actually becoming a companion briefly).
  • Brought Down to Normal: Sort of. Her time with the Eleventh Doctor was centered around the mystery of her existence simultaneously across all of time and space. After the Impossible Girl reveal, she gets to be completely normal during Series 8.
    • By the time Series 9 rolls around this trope becomes averted as she becomes the Distaff Counterpart of the Doctor in many ways and, later, becomes functionally immortal.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Though future Clara (Oswin) is a bona-fide computer genius and modern Clara has those skills uploaded into her brain, you wouldn't know by how odd she can come off as at first. Also, Victorian Clara is a governess who moonlights as a barmaid... or perhaps it's vice-versa.
  • Butt-Monkey: Occasionally, usually when the subject of her personality flaws comes up. She's also been knocked out with a newspaper by Strax, and is constantly getting trolled by the TARDIS, who seems to have taken a massive dislike to her...
    • In "The Witch's Familiar", she flat out becomes one for Missy as she gets strung up, handcuffed, and even pushed into a 20-foot hole.
    • And let's face it, did she really deserve to have her life drained simply because she made a simple error in calculation in trying to save the life of a young father using a trick it's implied she learned from someone who (among other things) she looked up to as a role model?
  • Call-Back: Much of her friendship with the Eleventh Doctor late in his life is defined by her effort to make him feel confident about himself again, and convince him that he can always be a good man if he really tries. When the relationship between her and the Twelfth Doctor settles down, he asks her whether he really is a good man, his voice full of apparent doubt. Clara, still taken aback by his recent regeneration, voices that she isn't entirely sure herself, though she later says as long as he tries to be, that's the important thing.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: A two-way example with modern-day Clara and the Doctor. She can call his TARDIS phone (his outside, purely decorative TARDIS phone) before she has any idea who he is. As a result, he can pilot the TARDIS to her front door before he has any idea who she is.
  • The Call Put Me on Hold: Inverted with the modern version of Clara. In "The Bells of Saint John", the Doctor invites her to travel with him. Rather than jumping at the chance, she makes the Doctor come back around 7pm the next day.
  • Came Back Strong:
    • In "The Bells of Saint John", she comes back from the beyond with her computer knowledge dialed up to maximum by the Great Intelligence's lackeys. Although it's stated that this knowledge would fade, her later displayed aptitude for (some) technology and her math skills — not to mention the fact she later learns how to pilot a TARDIS — suggest some elements remained.
    • The post-extraction Clara is now immortal and it is strongly implied that she probably is now indestructible until she returns to trap street, effectively giving her Jack Harkness-like powers.
  • The Cameo: An avatar of her appears at the end of "Twice Upon a Time" after the Twelfth Doctor's memories of her are restored.
  • Cat Smile: The Oswin version of Clara in one particular shot, seen here.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Character Development:
    • More on the subtle side, as Clara can be something of a shut-in at face value. Gradually goes from a playful, cheery, somewhat aimless young gal to a more mature, hardened and less fearful lady, and an increasingly self-confident teacher. She even starts accepting the fact that you sometimes have to make the hard choice (as much as she dislikes the thought). One constant in Clara's development is facing her buried fears, insecurities and occasional bouts of anger, while trying her utmost to remain a nice and caring person and not give into cynicism (some later episodes show that the latter has tempted her now and again and caused her to be Innocently Insensitive at times). Also, by the time of "The Caretaker", she starts realising that her long-lived effort at separating her mundane life from her travels in the TARDIS (that she established in "The Bells of Saint John") is starting to fall apart. The second half of Series 8 sees her friendship with the Doctor getting strained, but both of them start reconciling and trying to prevent each other from picking up bad habits from one another. Clara realises she's been unfair and abusing lies as of late, grows to love and trust her boyfriend even more, and starts returning to her roots. Then a certain tragedy strikes and she has a near-breakdown out of grief and anger, but the Doctor encourages her compassionately and she tries her best to get back up on her feet. Then they decide to face the looming threat together.
    • Over her time with the Doctor, Clara has gone from a meek and mild nanny who is visibly upset at seeing a dead body in "Cold War" to being able to witness the horrific death of a group of Vikings without batting an eyelash and even quipping about it ("The Girl Who Died"), while also finding herself able to make some of the same "ends justify the means" and occasionally cold-blooded decisions that the Doctor makes. The Doctor himself calls Clara up on it in "Flatline", she gets the What the Hell, Hero? treatment from Cass over it in ""Before the Flood", and the Doctor expresses worry about what he's created in her in ""The Girl Who Died".
    • By the time her adventures with the Doctor come to an end, she's transformed from a somewhat average human girl, to someone who is essentially the Doctor in all but name and species, with a very notable separation from the rest of humanity both in her attitude and the fact that she is technically dead and technically immortal until the time of her choosing.
  • Character Tic: Usually eye-related, often to hilarious — or heartbreaking — effect. Whenever she plays up her "cool and mature" side in Series 7, she puts on various cheeky smirks. Folding her arms, leaning against something and giving an incredulous or annoyed look is another recurring tic of hers. She also tends to bop her head around timidly or bite her fingernails when she's panicking or nervous.
    • During Series 8 her penchant for hugging the Doctor is treated as a character tic by him. That all changes in Series 9.
  • Chastity Couple: While her relationship with Eleven was platonic, her romance with Twelve was a case of this. Of course, this is where fanfic comes into play.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Particularly in Series 9, to the point where it openly worries her friends, most notably the Doctor. And, sadly, it doesn't end well.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • The Oswin version of Clara. The Doctor and co. at first think this is purely because she's been stranded for more than a year in her cosy but claustrophobic hideout, going slightly bonkers from loneliness and boredom. Then they eventually discover what really happened to poor Oswin...
    • It's hinted at that her students look upon her as a bit of this, especially when she acts the part during episodes like "The Caretaker".
    • Danny implies this in "The Caretaker" too when he questions why Clara suddenly shows up for dates covered in seaweed and even once wearing a space helmet.
    • In Series 9 the Twelfth Doctor is concerned about her combining this with recklessness.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: She calls herself Twelve's carer. And, later, defines him as her hobby.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Frequently wore red in her early episodes. In the prequel to "The Bells of Saint John", this is a clever little indication that she's the little girl on the swing.
  • The Confidant:
    • As their friendship develops, she becomes this to the Doctor later on, in an apparent effort to help him cope with some of his worst past traumas — including his participation in the Time War. In "The Day of the Doctor", while alone with the War Doctor, she admits to the role and opens up about how it pains her to see the Eleventh's repeated states of dread over his memories of the war and his desperate wishes of undoing it. The Twelfth Doctor is more withdrawn with regards to this trope, but he does occasionally ask Clara for friendly advice, like with his famous "Am I a good man ?" question. In Series 9, he opens up more to her. In "Heaven Sent" the Doctor treats his memory-recreation of Clara as a confidant, as well.
    • At least two episodes — "Robot of Sherwood" and "Death in Heaven" — indicate that Clara had become extremely well-versed about the Doctor's history, to the extent that she was able to, for a time, bluff Cybermen into thinking she was the Doctor by spouting facts about his life even trivia-minded viewers might have forgotten. However, in "Robot of Sherwood", the Doctor implies to Robin Hood that Clara betrayed a bit of his confidence by telling Robin about the Doctor's history.
    • In "Hell Bent", Clara, after realizing at last the depth of the Doctor's feelings (i.e., love) and loyalty to her, makes the Doctor listen as she tells him something important that she believes people like she and him should say to one another. Only the Doctor hears her words — not even the audience is privy to it — and in the end the only person retaining memory of what was said is Clara herself.
  • Consummate Liar: In her own words, "I'm an incredible liar", although she was pretending to be the Doctor at that point. She half-convinces a trio of Cybermen that she's the Doctor despite their scanners confirming that she is 100% human. She also lies to Danny constantly, mostly about the Doctor, and needed post-it notes to prepare herself to come clean about everything.
    • Backfires in "The Zygon Inversion" when Bonnie finds a loophole that forces Clara to tell the truth.
    • Further evidence of her becoming a Distaff Counterpart to the Doctor, as the adage "The Doctor lies" is considered "Rule #1", as established in Series 5 by River Song.
  • Continuity Snarl: Trying to reconcile Clara's age and activities with the calendar simply doesn't work. She joins the Doctor in either late 2012 or 2013 when she is 24 (on screen); by the time of the Doctor's regeneration, she is now 27. The death of Danny Pink occurs in at least 2016 (based on the year given in "In the Forest of the Night", which takes place not long before Danny's death). "Last Christmas", therefore, cannot take place earlier than Christmas 2016. Which means the earliest Clara could die would be 2017, assuming all the events between "Last Christmas" and "Face the Raven" take place within a single calendar year. But then the spin-off series Class (2016) comes along and establishes in canon that Clara died no later than 2016. Oh, and have we mentioned that the series established, again on screen, that Clara, who was 24 in 2012-13, was born in 1986? Don't try to work it out, you'll go cross-eyed. (Ironically, the age discrepancy again works into the whole Distaff Counterpart ethos of the character, as the Doctor's age has also been subject to contradiction.)
  • Control Freak: She's a bit of a perfectionist who starts semi-panicking at the thought of things becoming chaotic. Most of the time, it's Played for Laughs, but sometimes it is a point of tension between her and others, the Doctor included. (He even calls her "short and bossy" at one opportunity, as a counter-jab.) It's played for horror in "Dark Water" in which the Doctor tries to take control on the volcano rock, and she says "when it comes to control, you are really out of your depth" before throwing another key into the lava. Turns out to have been invoked by Missy, who chose Clara because she felt Clara was best suited to getting the Doctor to do as he's told. It's worth noting that the two jobs she's shown to have (governess and school teacher) are positions of authority over others. Under the influence of a truth field on Trenzalore, Clara directly identifies herself as a control freak ("The Time of the Doctor") but throws a near-tantrum when the Doctor calls her one later ("Deep Breath").
  • Cool Teacher: Among other things, often tosses in references to her adventures with the Doctor while teaching. (All There in the Manual: a scene cut from "The Magician's Apprentice" but included in the published script for the episode originally had a fellow teacher outright referring to Clara as awesome in front of her students.)
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Strax does an examination of her brain and finds a lot of muscular young men (or considering his Running Gag of getting genders confused, could easily be women) doing "sport".
    • Her Victorian incarnation takes advantage of an opportunity to admire the Eleventh Doctor's backside while he's climbing a ladder.
      Clara Oswin Oswald: After you. I'm wearing a dress. Eyes front, soldier!
      The Doctor: My eyes are always front.
      Clara: [Female Gaze] Mine aren't.
      Doctor: Stop it!
      The Clara: No!
    • And her Oswin Oswald version tried to fool Rory into taking his shirt off.
      Oswin Oswald: OK, you're safe for now. Pop your shirt off, quick as you like.
      Rory: Why?
      Oswin: Does there have to be a reason?
    • When the original Clara meets the Doctor for the first time in "The Bells of Saint John", she refers to the TARDIS as "a snog box" and accuses the Doctor of trying to get her to go in with him. She doesn't come off as being particularly opposed to the idea...
    • In "Listen", Clara makes the Twelfth Doctor do a double-take when she offhandedly compares his accent to mood lighting.
    • In "Dark Water", the first thing Clara asks the Doctor after he gets snogged by Missy is whether tongues were involved.
    • Clara appears to find herself rather attractive on the rare occasions where she's been able to view herself from a different time. She shares a seductive look at herself in "Clara and the TARDIS" (noting how she had to share a bed with herself, not sounding very upset about it), and in "Listen" she thinks she looks great from behind when she has a chance to watch herself walk away.
    • Also from "Clara and the TARDIS", her reaction upon seeing a picture of Amy Pond is to become fixated on her legs.
      Clara: Dear God, that woman is made of legs. That's the most legs of any living human!
    • In the Expanded Universe novel The Blood Cell, Clara tells the Governor a parable she made up about a young queen who married a number of kings as she tried to find the perfect one. Clara sees fit to point out that one of the kings "looked very nice in a thong".
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: Spoofed with her rather klutzy pose in this promotional image.
    • The slightly pigeon-toed pose in the above image appears to be the actress' trademark as she often adopts it in promotional images, including many later Clara images.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Knows the Doctor's backstory to an almost stalker-like degree, allowing her to effortlessly impersonate him in "Death in Heaven".
    • In Series 9 we learn she's prepared a series of cue cards for the Doctor to use when conversing with people and trying to be nice. They cover topics such as what to say if someone is left behind in Aberdeen by mistake, and how to reassure people they won't be turned into jelly (among other options).
  • Cuddle Bug: Insists on hugging Twelve despite his dislike of this on several occasions. She also hugs numerous other people, much to Twelve's puzzlement. By Season 9, he no longer objects and starts hugging her on occasion. Becomes heartbreaking in "Face the Raven" when one of the last things Clara does before her death is hug the Doctor.
  • Cultured Badass:
    • Oswin, the first version of Clara we meet, is a baker in her free time, likes listening to classical music, and does both of these things while warding her capsule against Daleks. She isn't afraid of anyone or anything. Present day Clara seems to like philosophy and reading (with an implied soft spot for storybooks).
    • Modern day Clara is very well versed in classic literature and philosophers, even at one point claiming to know more about Jane Austen than the Doctor (arguably even more come Series 9. And not only that, when she was 15 the only pinup she had on her wall was, of all people, Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Downplayed, but sometimes she messes up minor things in very goofy ways. The Doctor is fond enough of her determination and resourcefulness to not make fun of her occasional clumsiness too vocally.
    • The expanded universe plays up this trope a bit more than the TV series. The novel Shroud of Sorrow, for example, places the Doctor, Clara and a group of explorers in peril due to a moment of clumsiness by Clara which earns her a rare angry rebuke from the Eleventh Doctor.
  • Damsel in Distress: Very rarely invoked, but occasionally emerges, such as in "The Bells of Saint John". The Doctor cranks this attitude Up to Eleven in the finale of Series 9 when he threatens to break time itself in order to rescue her from her death.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Though the Doctor can generally be relied upon to rescue and comfort her, she'll usually try to find a way out of danger and trouble herself and not rely on the Doctor. Further averted by her multiple Heroic Sacrifices for the Eleventh Doctor when he gets into life-threatening situations. The aversion goes as far as the Doctor outright lamenting the fact that he's failed at saving her at least twice, while she's already done him the favor multiple times. In the Twelfth Doctor's introductory episode, part of the reason why he leaves Clara on her own in a very dangerous environment is because he's already fully confident in her living up to this trope. She's still annoyed that he didn't help her out a bit more.
  • Darkest Hour: The Series 7 finale has her performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Doctor and all of reality that nearly ends with her death. In the Series 8 finale, she experiences a terrible personal tragedy that completely breaks her and nearly forces her over the edge, before she comes back to her senses. As much as the Doctor can bring problems into her life, he's all the more adamant about standing by her side and helping her on both occasions.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Though she's usually affectionate while snarking, instead of being sour.
  • Determinator: Had enough willpower to Mind Rape both the Great Intelligence and the Daleks when they tried to control her, and to sabotage Bonnie's attempt to kill the Doctor when the Zygon rebel was mentally linked to her pod-bound comatose body. In the case of Bonnie, her will is so strong that the Doctor himself recognizes it as a legitimate danger to Bonnie, which is quickly proven correct as not only is Clara able to briefly control Bonnie's actions several times, she even forces the Zygon to momentarily lose her human form.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To the Doctor. As mentioned above, the only companion to truly ever be called that, her story ending with her in her own TARDIS, running from Gallifrey and in her case, her final death. Although according to showrunner Steven Moffat, that much of Series 9's character arc making Clara this was only devised when Jenna Coleman agreed to stay on one more season at a very late date, signs of this can be found going all the way back to "The Snowmen", where Clara Oswin Oswald catches the Doctor's attention (and fancy) by reasoning a way out of a crisis in precisely the same way the Doctor would; he even go so far as to invoke "Clara who?" for the first time.
    • Other aspects of Clara's character that made her Doctor-like included her penchant for lying, her ability to (not always successfully) play Xanatos Speed Chess, and at one point she even utters the Doctor's "Run!" catchphrase before he has a chance to.
    • The series also offered Clara numerous occasions where she de facto acts as the Doctor, from dealing with soldiers in "Nightmare in Silver", to her squaring off against "Odin" in "The Girl Who Died", acting on the Doctor's behalf in "The Magician's Apprentice" and her mental showdown with Bonnie in "The Zygon Iversion".
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: As part of being a bit of a control freak and introvert, she can react like this at times. On the surface, she likes pretending to be a cocky, flirty and experienced 20-something, but her sensitive inner side conceals her grief for her deceased mother, her childhood fears and various insecurities about herself. As Emma Grayling remarks to the Doctor in "Hide", Clara hides a lot more of her true emotions than she's ever willing to admit.
    • Invoked in her pleas to the Doctor and to Rigsy just before her death.
    • And again to Ashildr after leaving the Doctor, when Ashildr expresses sympathy about Clara having to eventually still die.
  • Dying as Yourself: "I am Oswin Oswald. I fought the Daleks and I am human. Remember me."
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • The much more flirtatious versions of her — Oswin and Victorian Clara — show some signs of this trope towards the Eleventh Doctor. In contrast, present day Clara is much more reserved in this respect and tends to be more bashful in her relationship with him (to the point where she freaks out after stumbling upon him naked in "The Time of the Doctor").
    • In "Deep Breath", she can be seen briefly doing this with the new Doctor as he shows off his new outfit to her.
    • Following the Doctor's regeneration, she focuses on her relationship with Danny but she is clearly seen giving a young man the eye in "Flatline".
    • A case of "listening to the eye candy" in "Listen" when she compares the Doctor's accent to mood lighting.
    • During Series 9 she is seen looking adoringly at the Silver Fox Twelfth Doctor both on screen (i.e. the finale scenes of "Before the Flood") and in promotional images (most notably the official iconic image used on the cover of the Complete Series 9 DVD/Blu-ray release).
    • On two occasions, Clara is seen giving herself the eye. In "Listen", thanks to time travel, she has the unusual experience of seeing an earlier version of herself walking away and remarks how good she looks from behind; in the mini-episode "Clara and the TARDIS", a time loop causes numerous versions of Clara to interact, and two of them give each other the eye.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Retained her knowledge from the Great Intelligence's computer core, turning her from a complete alien to computer technology into a Techno Wizard. The reveal is that, thanks to the Timey-Wimey Ball, the last individual Clara we meet was perfectly normal, until she scattered herself across the Doctor's timestream-she may be the only individual that knows exactly what makes him tick now.
    • Series 9 added to this by giving her authority within UNIT.
    • Whether the "normal" part of the name still applies after "Hell Bent" is a matter of debate.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge:
    • Appears to have gained intimate and detailed knowledge of the Doctor's life during her time in the TARDIS, enough in fact to give the Cybermen a detailed biography while attempting to impersonate the Doctor in "Death in Heaven".
    • Knows quite a bit of trivia and history. Lampshaded in "The Zygon Invasion" when Bonnie (who has access to a number of Clara's basic memories) mentions how Clara used to memorize Trivial Pursuit answers, and in "Face the Raven" when Clara's knowledge of trap streets provides the clue to solving the mystery of Rigsy's tattoo.
  • Exact Words: Steven Moffat had stated that Clara wouldn't appear until Christmas. Her appearance in "Asylum of the Daleks" was a complete surprise — quickly followed by the Doctor mocking the Daleks by saying "it's Christmas!". Also, Clara didn't appear. This was Oswin. And the "prime" Clara does debut in the Christmas special, albeit just at the very end.
  • Experimented in College: In "Asylum of the Daleks", Oswin mentions her first crush was a girl called Nina, though she elaborates it was a phase.

    Tropes F to M 
  • The Face:
  • Face Your Fears:
  • Face Death with Dignity: As the raven approaches, she waits for it and doesn't run away.
  • Fake Shemp: Except for one brief scene, a body double plays her in "Heaven Sent".
  • Famous Last Words: They don't end up being her last, but she certainly thinks they will be. Twice.
    • Run, you clever boy... and remember.
    • Let me be brave... let me be brave...note 
  • Fangirl:
    • For Robin Hood and Jane Austen.
    • And, per Robin Hood himself, for the Doctor, whom she considers her hero and can't stop talking about, even with Robin.
  • Fanservice with a Smile:
    • Victorian-era Clara works as a barmaid in a dainty but rather titillating red dress.
    • Oswin Oswald's red Starfleet-style miniskirt as well.
    • Interestingly averted with the "real" Clara, who generally preferred non-revealing shirts/sweaters, pants and tights to miniskirts and decolletage, except on very rare occasions, including the short waitress outfit she wears in "Hell Bent" and her flapper outfit in "Mummy on the Orient Express".
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Tends to pull these on the Doctor whenever she's being cheeky or sarcastic towards him. One particular example from "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" stands out.
  • Fashion Dissonance:
    • Played for Laughs with Oswin, who wears a "little red dress", an oversized utility belt around her waist and very silly-looking red-and-white trainers on her feet. Given that it's Oswin...
    • In "Time Heist", Clara sports a pair of impractically high heels for the caper she's about to take part in (to the point where the Doctor advises she change her shoes). To be fair, Clara didn't expect to participate in such an event when she put on the outfit.
  • Female Gaze: Is not above this from time to time. Aside from the original Clara giving this to both the Eleventh Doctor and Danny Pink (some fans have even claimed occasions with the Twelfth Doctor such as in "Mummy on the Orient Express", including a verbal equivalent when she surprises the Doctor by comparing his accent to mood lighting in "Listen"), she's seen giving Rigsy the eye in "Flatline". Her Victorian echo Clara Oswin openly admires the Eleventh Doctor's backside in "The Snowmen"; and in "Asylum of the Daleks", the Oswin echo finds both the Eleventh Doctor and Rory attractive to the point of asking Rory to take his shirt off for no real reason at all.
    • Fans have noted that Clara can be seen giving the Doctor this numerous times in "Under the Lake".
  • Flashback: Appears significantly in the one towards the end of "The Doctor Falls", just prior to the (for now) aborted regeneration, revealing that the Doctor has his memories of her again (a fact touched upon once more in "Twice Upon a Time").
  • Foil: In addition to the Not So Different listed bellow, there are many things similar, but not the same, points between her an the Doctor:
    • Similar to the Doctor, there are many of her scattered throughout the time stream. Whereas the Doctor is always one person with distinct personalities and faces, Clara is essentially temporal clones, each with their own distinct life and personality, but always the same face. Both are essentially the same person underneath the different versions, with each personality being a mixing of details from the core or original one.
    • They both are good at being in charge, but Clara does it out of her need for Control, while the Doctor shies away from Authority, finding it boring and restricting.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In numerous episodes — from "The Bells of Saint John" through to "The Woman Who Lived", Clara is seen wearing necklaces in the shape of a raven.
    • In "Hide", coming to grips with how ephemeral her own life and existence are compared to the vastness of time and the universe, she tells the Doctor that all people who are not time travellers seem short-lived to him, as if they were just echoes, just ghosts. Ironically, given the later developments of Series 7 and 9 — in particular her ultimate fate — Clara's own philosophizing about life and death become very relevant to the Doctor as well, even though he's much, much longer-lived than her.
    • In "The Bells of Saint John", the Doctor finds an old leaf tucked away in her cherished book given to her by her mother. When asked what the leaf signifies, she says that it's not a leaf, but "page one". In the prologue of the next episode, "The Rings of Akhaten", we get to see the backstory of Clara's childhood and why the leaf holds such significance to her and her family history.
    • Also in "The Rings of Akhaten", when Clara comforts Merry, she talks about her childhood fears, to help ease Merry's own. She mentions that she was really scared when she got lost once as a little girl, on a holiday in Blackpool. She's had a bit of a lingering maze-phobia ever since. Cue the later episodes "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" and "The Name of the Doctor", in which she's forced to face some of those great personal fears again.
    • Clara's journey to becoming the Doctor's Distaff Counterpart at the end of Series 9 begins in "The Snowmen" with her Clara Oswin echo being noticeably Doctor-like, even thinking like the Doctor at one point.
    • A meta example: "Hell Bent" reveals that, in universe, Clara's leitmotif was in fact composed by the Doctor as a way to remember what she told him in the Cloisters. Retroactively this means every use of the melody on the soundtrack (from "Asylum of the Daleks", when it is first heard, onwards) is foreshadowing her eventual fate, and the loss of the Doctor's memories of her.
  • Flower in Her Hair:
    • Has a flower decoration in her hair in "Asylum of the Daleks", as part of Oswin's cosplay as the title character from Carmen.
    • In the novella Into the Nowhere, the Doctor plucks a rose from a tree to put lovingly into her hair, while they hold hands and initiate Held Gaze. Played for Laughs comes in as Clara tries to do the same for the Doctor...
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Ignoring the special case of her echoes throughout time (who, it is implied, had encountered the Doctor in some way throughout his lives), there is no indication given on screen that Clara has any memory of meeting the Eleventh Doctor in the playground as a child.
  • Freak Out: She has an unexpected one when the Doctor suggests that he is resigned to the fact he is going to have to die in "Before the Flood", culminating in her even playing the "If you love me in any way, you'll come back" card which no previous companion had ever done. Ironically, when faced with her own death in "Face the Raven", she reacts calmly and is more concerned about what it will do to the Doctor after he has a freak out.
  • A Friend in Need: Her reasoning behind her many a Heroic Sacrifice for the Doctor. To her, he's a good and caring friend and she's willing to risk neck and limb to help him or even save him from harm or death. The Doctor notes multiple times that the feeling is mutual.
  • Friend to All Children: Was first properly introduced as a nanny and later became a teacher. Likewise, Victorian Clara was a governess. Clara seems genuinely fond and protective of kids, as seen in "The Rings of Akhaten", "Nightmare in Silver" and "The Day of the Doctor". Brought to a whole new level in "Listen", when she gently consoles two scared children — they eventually turn out to be surprisingly related to her life... There's also the (unspoken) implication about Clara being so kid-protective because her mother died when she was still rather young. She's channeling her motherly instincts at kids to fill in the hole left in her heart when her beloved mum died.
    • Her ultimate motivation for taking on the chronolock from Rigsy is so his daughter doesn't grow up without her father.
  • Friendship Moment: She and the Doctor have a fair few of these, as part of the growing sense of friendship and trust between the two of them. Unsurprisingly, these moments often occur during threatening situations. Even in her more heated friendship with the Twelfth, the two of them still have many sweet, touching and funny scenes together, and this increases in Series 9 when they undergo a subtle Relationship Upgrade.
  • Fugitive Arc: Echoing the Doctor's own fugitive status during his first two incarnations, Clara is last seen (in "Hell Bent") embarking on her own fugitive arc, on the run from the Time Lords.
  • Fun Personified:
    • Never to the extent of the Eleventh Doctor, but she can be very perky and upbeat most of the time, loves to joke or snark, and has dreamt since childhood about travelling a lot and going on adventures. It's implied that her decision to become the Doctor's companion is motivated a lot by the latter desire and that she uses it as a bit of a coping mechanism to overcome grief over her mother's premature death and being down on her luck when it comes to her dream of seeing the world. No matter how dark some of their regular adventures get, Clara tends to act cheerfully whenever she and the Doctor help prevent some major threat in time and space (this is particularly evident in "Cold War", where she outright hugs him and giggles happily).
      [slyly smiling at the Doctor when asked what she'd like to go see with the TARDIS]
      Clara: Something awesome...
    • In "Under the Lake", she and the Doctor have recently visited a place where they've been celebrating New Year's for two centuries. She wants to go back because she left her sunglasses there ("and most of my dignity"). Soon after, she's talking about wanting another adventure and is having the time of her life when they find one (though the Doctor draws the line at sharing a high-five).
    • In "Face the Raven" she enjoys the adrenaline rush of nearly falling out of the TARDIS so much, it worries the hell out of both Rigsy and the Doctor.
      Rigsy: She enjoyed that way too much.
      The Doctor: Tell me about it. It's an ongoing problem.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Victorian Clara angrily cussing and rocking a carriage from the inside in "The Snowmen" after the Doctor and Strax lock her in while they discuss what to do with her.
    • Clara and Jenny Flint eying each other up in the background as the Doctor and Vastra converse in "The Crimson Horror".
    • Clara grinning in the background like the Cheshire Cat as she watches not one, not two, but three Doctors carrying on in the TARDIS console room in "The Day of the Doctor". (Possibly real life bleeding through, as Jenna Coleman enjoyed watching veteran John Hurt play off David Tennant and Matt Smith.)
    • An apparent case of a blooper being kept in happens in "The Zygon Invasion". After the Doctor boards the presidential plane, Jenna Coleman can clearly be seen sneezing before continuing on with the scene as if nothing had happened (likely a case of the actress following the maxim that actors carry through a scene until the director says cut, regardless what happens).
  • Future Me Scares Me:
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Oswin" is traditionally a male name. Lampshaded when we get a hint at how Clara's alternate self might have come to such an odd name.
  • Genki Girl: Victorian-era Clara in general, especially when compared with the calmer and more mature-minded Oswin and modern day Clara. While all of the versions of Clara love having fun and being perky, Victorian Clara is a little bundle of unstoppable energy, particularly whenever she doesn't have to hide her "cheeky Cockney girl" persona.
  • Girly Bruiser:
    • Shows signs of this in several episodes, but especially in "Nightmare in Silver" and "Robot of Sherwood", where she even wields weapons for a short while. Somewhat Played for Laughs in the second case, with the Doctor chastising her for grabbing a medieval polearm, swinging it around and claiming she can handle it, because she took taekwondo lessons once.
    • In "The Girl Who Died", when the Doctor asks a group of people who has ever wielded a sword in battle, Clara is the only person other than the Doctor to raise a hand ... which even takes the Doctor by surprise. The circumstances surrounding this remain a Noodle Incident.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: She's highly intelligent, and has no qualms of using her resourcefulness to thwart even genuinely imposing enemies.
  • Good with Numbers: Though this ability is only shown once, she is able to instantly work out difficult math problems in her head to the extent that it annoys the Doctor in "Last Christmas".
  • Got Me Doing It: Season 8 has her taking on a lot of the Eleventh Doctor's traits, like talking to his child self in "Listen" the way he talked to Amy in "The Big Bang" and being called an egomaniac needy gameplayer and falling for the vanity trap in "Deep Breath". "Into the Dalek" has her pressing buttons and calling it "a clever thing", and in "Robot of Sherwood" she says interrogation is where she turns the tables. As time goes on, she adopts more of the Twelfth Doctor's mannerisms. In "Dark Water" she uses the Doctor's "Shut up! Shut up!" catch phrase, and in "Flatline" and "Before the Flood" she shows a willingness to sacrifice people for the benefit of the many in ways that, in "Flatline", even disturbs the Doctor. Results in Clara making a fatal mistake in "Face the Raven", when she tries to pull one of the Doctor's Batman Gambit scenarios, only for it to backfire. Ultimately, she avoids having her memories wiped by the Doctor by "reversing the polarity" of the sonic sunglasses.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: As Jenna Coleman is fond of pointing out, Clara is the first companion known to have encountered every incarnation of the Doctor (if one includes her many echoes). This includes the Curator, a mysterious individual confirmed in the expanded universe (Titan Comics) to be a future incarnation of the Doctor. Although River Song is later shown to have also met every Doctor up to Twelve (including the War Doctor), there is no indication yet that she ever met the Curator, giving Clara the win for now.
    • The expanded universe comic strip "Blood & Ice" revealed that Clara's echoes did not stop with the Eleventh Doctor, as one is encountered who exists to save the Twelfth Doctor. This implies that later incarnations of the Doctor may similarly have their own Clara-echo "guardian angel".
  • Guile Hero: Resourceful and capable of improvising on-the-fly, if she needs to. This counts especially for some of the alternate Claras, particularly Oswin.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Averted. As the Doctor basically never fights with a real weapon, in the few situations where muscle is needed, Clara, of all people, becomes the closest substitute. She is, as seen in "Nightmare in Silver", fully capable of both taking ambush potshots at Cybermen with a raygun and threatening to clobber them with an old mace. In "The Crimson Horror", she even destroys a doomsday device by gleefully throwing a chair into it.
  • Have We Met Yet?: An even more complicated case than River Song, not just towards the Doctor, but also towards the Great Intelligence. The Clara who saved Victorian London existed because regular Clara followed the Great Intelligence across time and space after he was defeated by her. Same with the Clara in "Asylum of the Daleks". There was even a Clara on Gallifrey who told the Doctor which TARDIS to steal after the Great Intelligence tried to muck that up.
  • The Heart:
    • The need for kindness and compassion is a recurring theme of her character. To the point that whenever she lets her fury get the better of her, one is genuinely surprised.
    • After the Doctor loses Amy and Rory and starts becoming cynical and world-weary, she's the friend that reminds him, time and again, of why he's such a revered adventurer in the first place: He doesn't leave others to their fate, he doesn't remain a passive onlooker, he helps the less fortunate. Though the two of them tend to bicker (especially modern day Clara), it's thanks to her caring and friendly influence that the Doctor regains his sense of purpose and wonder. And then there's the scene in which she convinces him — with a single look and some encouraging and kind words — that Gallifrey isn't doomed yet and might still be worth fighting for and saving, no matter how impossible it might seem. The Doctor has a change of heart and agrees it's worth a shot.
    • Clara's status as "The Heart" becomes even more evident once the often-cold Twelfth Doctor arrives. As formal and no-nonsense as he is, he doesn't deny it. He more or less describes her directly as this in "Into the Dalek" when he says. "She's my carer. She cares so I don't have to."
    • This continues in Series 9 when we see she's created a series of prompt cards for the Doctor to use if he's coming off too cold blooded. The Doctor later invokes her status as this in convincing her evil double, Bonnie, to do the right thing. And as she prepares to die, Clara spends her final (she assumes) moments passing on as much of her "heart" as possible to the Doctor.
  • Heartbroken Badass: After she loses Danny, she becomes a genuine mess. While she's a very mild and goofy example of a badass, the trope still hits her hard.
    • In Series 9, her grief over Danny seemed to be manifesting itself as an unhealthy addiction to adventure and horror. Even Twelve has noticed. "Before the Flood" also confirms that — as hinted in "Last Christmas" — she transferred her affection and dependence to the Doctor. And she finally acknowledges it in "Face the Raven" after taking one risk too many.
    • At the end of "Hell Bent", when she realizes she can't get the Doctor to remember her.
  • Held Gaze: Numerous times with the Doctor (both Eleventh and Twelfth), usually accompanied by an affectionate smile by both of them. Word of Saint Paul (the actors) during promotion of Series 9 is that this is primarily how the two express their love for each other rather than more overt ways like (as Peter Capaldi puts it) saying outright they're "crazy for each other". Many of the major images for Series 9, including the main one showing the Doctor and Clara running from an explosion, as well as the images chosen by BBC Video for the UK DVD releases of Series 9 Part 1 and Part 2 also, have Clara doing this. On screen, the most blatant examples can be found in "Under the Lake"/"Before the Flood", with a one-sided version of this being done by Clara in "Hell Bent" in the diner.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Pulls off an incredibly ballsy one in "The Name of the Doctor", while the Doctor begs her not to, despite knowing his very existence is at stake. Once he gets better, he immediately tries to go after Clara and rescue her before it's far too late. In the end, both of them survive and get out alive, but the Doctor is forced to reveal to her some secrets from his Dark and Troubled Past that were never meant to be seen.
    • The IDW Comics story Sky Jacks has Clara nearly sacrifice her life by detonating a nuclear bomb by hand, but she is rescued by the Doctor at the last moment.
    • Attempts to make one in "Face the Raven", at the cost of her own life. Subverted when it was revealed that the person whom she took the bullet for would've survived had she not done so; Mayor Me was planning to remove the sentence. Nonetheless, Clara committed herself in order to prevent the death of a young father.
  • Heroic Willpower:
    • How the Oswin version of her fought off the Dalek conversion to preserve her humanity, at least mentally.
    • The original Clara exhibits this in "The Zygon Inversion" where she is able to not only fight back against a Zygon duplicate using only the power of her will, she even manages to make the double revert back to its original form and, later, send a secret message to the Doctor, unaware of being manipulated.
  • Hero-Worshipper: A non-comedic application of the trope. Clara exhibits undisguised hero worship of the Doctor on numerous occasions, stating outright in "Before the Flood" and "The Girl Who Died" her firm belief that the Doctor will save the day, no matter what. In "Robot of Sherwood", Robin Hood directly states that Clara sees the Doctor as her hero (and Clara herself attempts to say so to the Doctor). Her intentional emulation of the Doctor becomes part of her character arc, but her blind hero-worship ultimately results in a moment of hubris that costs her her life.
  • Hey, That's My Line!:
    • In "Under the Lake", when the Doctor and Clara find themselves needing to flee from the ghosts, it's Clara who shouts "Run!" first. Normally that's the Doctor's line.
    • In "Hell Bent", she states how she "reversed the polarity" of a device.
  • Holding Hands:
    • One of the more common affections between her and the Eleventh Doctor. Subverted several times, as she often takes his hand into hers not because she herself is worried or scared, but because the Doctor is. This subversion is particularly evident in "The Day of the Doctor". By that point, Clara has grown to become the Doctor's confidant, to the point that when a Time Lord painting of Gallifrey's destruction is revealed, all of his sorrow, fear, and regret about his actions resurfaces, resulting in him slowly grabbing Clara's hand for support. The slight motion is enough to notify Clara that the Doctor isn't doing so well.
    • The trope is also spoofed in at least two episodes: In "The Snowmen", the cliché where the hero pulls the Damsel in Distress along by the hand while fleeing danger is turned on its head when Clara ends up pulling along the Doctor, who complains that he's the one who's supposed to do it. In "Hide", Clara complains to the Doctor about him holding her hand while exploring a shadowy corner of Caliburn House, but he reveals to Clara that he wasn't holding her hand while she was scared, but the resident monster was. Cue an Oh, Crap! reaction from both of them.
    • Not used quite so frequently with the Twelfth Doctor due to the new incarnation being less overtly affectionate than his predecessor. Major exceptions include "Dark Water", where he comforts Clara by holding her hand; the main publicity image for Series 9 where the two are shown running from an explosion, hand in hand; lampshaded in "Sleep No More" when the Doctor asks Clara to hold her hand because he is scared; and finally in "Hell Bent" the two hold hands frequently, including a subtle grasp when they hold the neuroblock device together. They also grasp hands as the Doctor collapses afterwards, but this is only visible in behind the scenes images of the scene.
  • Honest Advisor: Tries her best at being this to the Doctor, along with being The Heart. The Doctor outright requests this of her in "Into the Dalek" as he is still trying to figure out whether he's a good man or not and requests her honest, direct opinion on the matter. Her words towards him are sometimes a bit harsh, but he realises that she often has a good point or is acting out of concern for him and his conscience. "Heaven Sent" has her continuing in this function, even after her death, telling the Doctor in his subconscious to "get up off your arse, and win."
  • Hot Teacher: Definitely downplayed, but she's obviously young and attractive when she starts teaching at Coal Hill School (and remains so, of course). And she does start dating a fellow teacher soon after. "The Caretaker", set primarily within the school, shows her also wearing more makeup than usual, possibly for Danny's benefit.
    • "The Zygon Invasion" has her returning home from school wearing a rather sexy leather outfit and dark, dark red lipstick.
  • Humble Hero: As noted elsewhere in this index, Clara is directly responsible for an insane amount of major things in the mythos coming to pass. Primarily, she splinters herself into untold echoes to help the Doctor throughout his timestream — one of whom becomes indirectly responsible for the entire franchise when she advises the Doctor to steal a different TARDIS — convinces the Doctor not to use the Moment to destroy Gallifrey (after the Moment herself fails to do so), and it is because of her that there is a Twelfth Doctor (and all future Doctors will owe her a debt as well). Yet at no point on screen are these points ever really raised, and she is never seen asking for anything in return — even when she is emotionally distraught and blackmailing the Doctor to save Danny in "Dark Water", which would have been the logical time for her to play the "I got you a new regeneration cycle" card. She doesn't even complain when, for all intents and purposes, the Moment gets all the credit for saving Gallifrey in "The Day of the Doctor" even though it was Clara's tears that made the Doctor consider a third option. The Doctor also does not acknowledge her contributions as justification for breaking time itself to keep her alive. The closest she ever comes is in "Before the Flood", when she demands the Doctor not give up and die because "you owe me"; and in "Hell Bent" she demands to be allowed to keep the memories of what she calls "the best years of my life."
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Tries to be this, and is occasionally depicted as this, such as in "The Magician's Apprentice", where she officially acts as the Doctor's surrogate for no less than UNIT and the prime minister. Ultimately, it is due to her attempting to out-Doctor the Doctor that she loses her life.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Thoroughly averted. Clara is fully aware that she is considered attractive and actually refers directly to herself possessing "a pretty face" in "Deep Breath" and "Sleep No More". She also openly admires her body when she has a rare occasion to view a past version of herself in "Listen".
  • The Idealist: Generally portrayed as such. A bit of a goofy, bookish romantic at that...
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: While she's a bit of a romantic and a dreamer, and somewhat of a big kid at heart, she has a rather mature and fastidious outlook on her place in the world. Though she's thrilled about going on adventures with the Doctor, she's uneasy about leaving her daily life behind and being pulled too deep into the Doctor's personal history and secrets. Also, when offered the position of the empress consort of a galactic empire in "Nightmare in Silver", she politely declines, pointing out modestly that it's really not anything for the likes of her...
    • Emphasized in Series 7 and 8 as it's established she and the Doctor usually only get together once a week for adventures.
    • Pretty much goes out the window in Series 9, with Clara in "Under the Lake" pretty much stating the last thing she wants anymore is a normal lifestyle. Illustrated by the episodes themselves, as we only see her school and her home in one story each, whereas in Series 8 they were featured regularly (and we don't see any of her family at all again after "Last Christmas", not counting a deleted scene from "The Zygon Invasion").
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: Averted several times. Not only does Clara say it to Danny — at one point in "Dark Water" promising to never say those words to anyone else again — she is also one of only three other characters to date (the others being Rose Tyler and River Song) to say it to the Doctor himself (Clara does so in "Mummy on the Orient Express" while speaking to Danny on the phone; per Word of Saint Paul (Jenna Coleman), the words were actionally spoken to the Doctor, not to Danny as the show's Love Triangle kicked into high gear). In Series 9 she does not say it to the Doctor, despite having several occasions where it would have been appropriate; part of this is due to a promise she gives Danny to never say those words to anyone else again, and it also reflects her move towards being a Distaff Counterpart to the Doctor as the Doctor is never shown saying "I love you" in those exact words, either. The closest she comes is in "Before the Flood", where she demands of the Doctor, "If you love me in any way, you'll come back" after telling him he's become "essential to me." According to the actors in Series 9 publicity interviews, this is intentional due to the characters keeping a lot of things unsaid between them; illustrated in "Face the Raven" when the Doctor appears to be about to say something of this nature, only for Clara to stop him and tell him "whatever you're about to say, I already know."
  • Immortality Bisexuality: She is heavily implied to be bisexual, as she states that Jane Austen is a "phenomenal kisser", and in "Hell Bent", the last second of her life is paused, and she goes on to get her own TARDIS and travel the universe, with a presumably infinite lifespan.
  • Informed Ability: Claims to know Taekwondo yet never showed those skills. Played for Laughs.
  • In Harm's Way: Clara is, by her own admission, addicted to traveling with the Doctor, including the dangerous adventures they find themselves in. "Face the Raven" sees this played out to its tragic, inevitable conclusion.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • She has a serious problem with it when she starts dating Danny Pink, a former soldier who really doesn't appreciate her condescending comments about it.
    • This even happens with the Doctor, when Clara jokingly asks "Which one of us is dying?" in "The Magician's Apprentice", which the Doctor takes very seriously.
  • Insecure Love Interest:
    • Eventually realises she's this to Danny. It causes her more than a few moments of embarrassment and she makes some questionable decisions in a desperate attempt to "fix herself". It backfires on her later on. When she finally seems to regain her balance and common sense, a mundane tragedy strikes out of the blue. In a somewhat upbeat twist, she gets to prove her love and admiration for her boyfriend one last time, showing him she didn't take him or his kindness for granted.
    • As indicated elsewhere, whether the Twelfth Doctor and Clara were in a romance is a matter of some token debate, however it's made clear in Series 9 that by this time their bond — whatever that bond may look like — is unshakeable. That said, there are a couple of moments in "The Magician's Apprentice" when Clara is clearly shaken by the realization that, in some things, the Doctor and Missy have a closer bond, such as finding out Missy got the confession dial and Missy later comparing Clara to a puppy.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Soufflé Girl", "The Impossible Girl". And "Oswin" for modern-day Clara: in "The Bells of Saint John", Clara uses the portmanteau "Oswald for the win"; "Oswin". She'd never heard of the word "Oswin" before the Doctor called her that, after the name she used the first two times he met her. Clara's pupil Courtney also nicknamed her "Ozzie". The Titan Comics franchise also has her given the nickname Oddbod.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With the War Doctor after talking to him about her worries concerning the Eleventh Doctor's repressed grieving over his role in the Time War. Slight subversion because while the War Doctor has naturally aged on his own and has the appearance of an old man, the incarnation is younger than both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. The trope is also subverted with the Twelfth Doctor — he looks old enough to be her dad, but given how childishly he can act, it's hard to tell who is the more mature figure in their duo. This is never more apparent than when Clara gives the Doctor some parting words before going to meet her death in "Face the Raven", including, "I will die and no one else will suffer." To which the Doctor replies with a near-childlike "What about me?"
  • Internal Homage:
    • Clara isn't the first companion who's supposed to be dead but is mysteriously still alive, calls the TARDIS a "cow", gets into a bitching match with her voice interface, forms a bitter rivalry with her and then gets let in by her without a key anyway in order to follow the Doctor to a pocket universe. Charley Pollard did all those things in Big Finish about ten years before.
    • She eventually turns out to be a Whole Plot Reference to the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Unnatural History, in which the Doctor’s lifeline becomes a scar woven through space and time, which the villain — dressed as a Victorian undertaker — is going to attempt to use to rewrite his life, until the Doctor’s companion (who he’s met before in a different version) saves the day by leaping into it at the cost of her own existence. Possible Fridge Brilliance given that Clara's purpose and existence means this may very well be a version of her (or vice versa).
    • Some people have noted that, especially with the advent of the Twelfth Doctor, she seems to be channeling some Sarah Jane Smith-like characteristics, in a nod to the Twelfth's similarities to the Third and Fourth Doctor. In aid of that, Sarah Jane's actress was Elisabeth Clara Sladen and it's been confirmed the Clara character was named in honour of this. Meaning this comparison might well have been intentional.
    • The Batman Gambit the Twelfth Doctor subjects her to in "Deep Breath" resembles the one used on Ace by the Seventh Doctor in "The Curse of Fenric".
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    • "Deep Breath": Clara has a near-tantrum at being labelled a "control freak" despite acting like one for much of the episode (and admitting to being one in the preceding episode).
    • In "Into the Dalek", one of the soldiers tending to her patronizingly comments that she looks like a schoolteacher. Which she is.
      Journey Blue: You look like a schoolteacher.
      Clara: [indignantly] I am a schoolteacher!
  • It Gets Easier: A variant of the trope.
    • In "Cold War", only her third chronicled adventure with the Doctor, Clara becomes visibly upset upon seeing a violent death. By the time of "Face the Raven" she watches a violent death stoically and shrugs it off. Even before then, in "The Girl Who Died", she makes a Doctor-like joke after seeing a group of Vikings slaughtered and is far less emotional about Ashildr's death than the Doctor is.
    • Related to this, as time goes on, Clara becomes far more willing and capable of putting herself — and others — in harm's way in order to achieve an objective, for which she is called out in "Before the Flood" and "Flatline" — the latter by the Doctor himself.
    • In terms of the killing-related aspect of the trope, no "first kill" scenario ever occurred with Clara on screen. However in "The Girl Who Died" the Doctor bemoans the fact he's made Clara effectively a soldier and in the same episode she rather nonchalantly indicates that she has wielded a sword in battle (though we don't know if she actually killed anyone). She also is prepared to order UNIT snipers to execute Missy in "The Magician's Apprentice".
  • It's All About Me:
    • Played for Laughs in "Hide", when the TARDIS gives Clara a visual voice interface with the appearance of the person she believes Clara esteems the most: Clara herself.
    • In "Deep Breath", circumstances lead her to inadvertently say "There's nothing more important than my egomania!", only to realise right away how whiny it sounds at face value.
    • Her Freak Out about the Doctor dying in "Before the Flood" takes on some elements of this trope, though modified by the fact she's also giving him a verbal slap in the face to get out of his resigned funk and figure out how to win in order to not only save Clara and the people she's with, but also himself. Whatever the motivation, it works.
    • Thoroughly averted in "Face the Raven", as Clara spends her final (or so she thinks) minutes of life trying to comfort the Doctor and convince him not to seek revenge for her death.
    • Inverted in "Hell Bent", when she is horrified to discover the Doctor's 4.5 billion years of torture was all to try and save her and in fact the Doctor's entire driving force in returning to Gallifrey and overthrowing Rassilon is to get her back. While it was never her intention for this to happen, the Doctor made it all about her.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • In a very bleak turn in "Dark Water", she starts blaming and hating herself for the tragedy that occurred, thinking she was one of the direct causes of what had happened (technically, she was, as Danny appears to have been a victim of distracted walking). In a further heartbreaking moment, the state of shock she experiences drives her into near-madness and she almost betrays the Doctor due to her grief and desperation. Though what she attempts obviously angers the Doctor, he's noticed that something very bad has happened to her and thus kindly offers her a helping hand, to her great surprise. He has one demand, though: He'll help her as long as she promises to stop pitying herself and picks up her courage again.
    • She acknowledges in "Face the Raven", just before the end, that her actions led to her demise and utters the trope by name.
    • The published script for "Hell Bent" includes notation that Clara is thunderstruck at the realization that the Doctor's self-imposed hell was all for her benefit.
  • Jumped at the Call:
    • The first two versions of Clara the Doctor meets. Justified later on, when we learn what their real origin was like and why they tried to help and protect the Doctor so much. The modern-day Clara, however, doesn't right away. She's skeptical of the Doctor and even after being convinced makes him essentially wait a week (her time) before making up her mind whether to travel with him.
    • When UNIT tries without success to locate the Doctor in "The Magician's Apprentice", Clara doesn't hesitate to fill in on his behalf.
    • By Series 9, Clara is more or less living for the chance to travel with the Doctor. In "Under the Lake", she tells the Doctor outright that she wants more adventure and is initially very pleased to discover they've stumbled upon a mystery.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: The Doctor is busy making sense of himself during Series 8, and he deliberately wants to distance himself somewhat from Clara. Unfortunately, it often snowballs into him being insulting to her (while thinking he's just playfully teasing her or treating her more maturely). This eventually hurts Clara's feelings and trust in him. By far the biggest shock for Clara occurs in "Kill the Moon", where she's stumped that he'd leave the fate of humanity in her hands, to decide on her own, and treat the whole dilemma as none of his business. She tearfully gives him an angry verbal putdown for acting like an arrogant big-head, instead of really respecting humanity and its vulnerability. He then realises he has gone too far, one time too many. Though Clara later forgives him and he tries being more empathetic, the particular event casts a deep shadow over their friendship for a time (by Series 9, however, they're closer than ever).
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Played with, as she supposedly died in what turned out to be a Stupid Sacrifice. However, Clara was extracted from the last moment before she died by the Time Lords at the Doctor's request. He was attempting to save her. The fact that her heartbeat has still not returned means that the death we saw was a fixed point, and must, in fact, happen at some point. However, that doesn't mean she can't dawdle on her way to get back to that event. So, it still will have to happen. But she's going to travel with Ashildr/Me for a bit before she goes off to deal with it. The later spin-off series Class further confirms that Clara does indeed eventually die as her name is on a memorial plaque at the school she taught at.
    • Finally, "Twice Upon a Time" offered final confirmation that Clara did indeed die on Trap Street after eventually returning, as the only way for the Twelfth Doctor to briefly communicate with her as he does during her cameo is for her to be deceased. And she appears to him wearing the outfit she wore on Trap Street (not, say, the waitress costume she wore the last time she "met" him).
  • Last Stand:
    • Defiantly prepares for one in "Nightmare in Silver", along with the surviving soldiers of the emperor's Punishment Platoon. Thankfully, all of them manage to get out alive when the Doctor initiates an indirect Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • And again in "Face the Raven" as she prepares to face her death.
    • "Hell Bent" implies that at some point in her future, in order for time to heal, Clara will have to experience a final last stand against the raven. And she says she's fine with that. Just not right away.
  • Leitmotif: “Clara’s Theme” is a soft, fluttery, whimsical piano riff that encapsulates the inquisitive wonder and easygoing nature Clara displays throughout all of her lives; it's established in "Asylum of the Daleks", and makes its proper debut in "The Snowmen" and "The Bells of Saint John". Notable variations include "Clara in the TARDIS", "Clara?", "Remember Me" and "Beginning of the End". In "Hell Bent", the melody becomes part of the narrative when we learn that (in-universe) the Doctor composed it himself as a reminder of what Clara told him in the Cloisters of Gallifrey. According to a deleted scene for "The Pilot", the Doctor calls the song "I Forget", a reference to his lost memories of Clara.
  • Likes Older Men: During an angry confrontation in "Deep Breath" she is goaded by Vastra into admitting that she hasn't "the slightest interest in pretty young men" after she initially appears upset over the fact the Doctor (who she openly admitted to fancying in the previous episode) has regenerated into an older-looking man.
  • Living a Double Life: In "The Snowmen", Clara worked as a barmaid under her real name and as a governess under the name "Miss Montague". The trope later became something a theme for the character, especially during series eight, as she splits time between the TARDIS and her more mundane life as a schoolteacher back on mid-2010s Earth, for a time trying to keep her double a life a secret from her boyfriend ... and continuing to do so in secret after she tells him she's no longer travelling with the Doctor.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Particularly to Twelve. Shown best in "Into the Dalek" when he asks Clara whether he's still a good man. He also explicitly says he needs her in the same episode when journeying into a Dalek body, looking to her to find the good decision and the "right way" out. Also, the Eleventh viewed her as this trope before their relationship stabilised into a more relaxed friendship. Not without reason, as Clara was one of the things that compelled him to stop wallowing in the despair and apathy he had suffered from for years after losing the Ponds. On the flipside, the Doctor in general is a bit ashamed that Clara's efforts of cheering him up and offering him friendly support had led to him developing a bit of a child-like crush on her earlier.
    • In "Death in Heaven" the Doctor is given emergency powers commanding all the Earth's resources. His first order as President of Earth? That Clara be brought to him as soon as possible. He does the exact same thing when he briefly seizes power from Davros on Skaro in "The Witch's Familiar".
    • Thus, the Doctor goes into a huge Freak Out in the run-up to and aftermath of her death in "Face the Raven", becoming a Revenge-hungry, rage-driven soul who threatens to return to his War Doctor ways (he even denounces his Doctor name briefly, which is a big deal in the show's mythology). Worse, he's delivered into the hands of his enemies after she dies, meaning no one is around to help stop this descent into madness for the following episode "Heaven Sent". His subconscious tries its best by recreating her, but in hindsight it only proves how dependent he's become on her... as in "Hell Bent" he temporarily becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who willingly risks destroying the universe to save her from the grave.
    • Twelve becomes this to Clara after the death of Danny Pink — witness her demands for him to figure out how to prevent his own demise in "Before the Flood", in which she says outright that the Doctor has become essential to her and even plays the "if you really love me" card in hopes of getting him to snap out of his belief that he has to die. Their final separation in "Hell Bent" hinges on the mutual realization that their relationship has become so codependent — pushing each other too far, needing each other too much — that they must part not only for each other's sake, but for the safety of the universe. This doesn't stop Clara, however, from inviting the Doctor to, essentially, elope with her instead, or from attempting a final Xanatos Gambit in hopes of sparking the Doctor's memories of her; when it fails, she is heartbroken.
  • The Lost Lenore: Becomes this to the Twelfth Doctor upon her death. His grieving for her confirms (as Word of God had indicated earlier) that the Doctor's feelings for her went beyond platonic love, as Peter Capaldi himself stated in interviews in 2015. Unlike most Lost Lenores, he does get her back for a little while before they are parted for good in such a way that (so we assume) she is no longer this to the Doctor because he can no longer clearly remember his love for her. It is hinted that the Doctor, although he is not dead, is now the male equivalent of this to her as they are still forcibly parted.
    • Even before this, Clara took on a version of this trope during the period when the Eleventh Doctor, mystified by the deaths of Oswin and Clara Oswin, tries to seek out the mysterious original Clara, even at one point painting a portrait of Clara Oswin to remind himself of her (not unlike what Twelve is implied to have done in "Heaven Sent").
    • Clara had her own version with Danny Pink after his death in "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven", especially when she discovers that his consciousness had been preserved and there was a hope of rescuing him.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • In "Asylum of the Daleks", one of the alternate Claras creates her own personal mental paradise to avoid the truth that she was turned into a Dalek.
    • In "Last Christmas", the Dream Crabs trap her in a vision of marriage to Danny Pink that she honestly doesn't want to escape even if it will end with her death. With the Doctor and dream-Danny's help, she comes out of it, but the dreamworld has many layers; the climax comes when she seems to wake into a world where she and the Doctor haven't seen each other in over six decades...
    • Although she had no part in it directly, her image did play a significant role in the Doctor's internal recreation of the TARDIS that helped him remain (sort of) sane during the 4.5-billion-year torture in "Heaven Sent", ultimately coming forward to give the Doctor a mental slap in the face when he plunges into a full-out Heroic BSoD.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Comes very close to this in "Dark Water", when she attempts to blackmail the Doctor in a rather horrific way in order to force him to bring Danny back from the dead.
    • In "Hell Bent", she is clearly horrified to see the Doctor headed down this route in his desperation to save her from dying, in an intentional bookend to what she did for Danny.
  • Love Redeems: Subtly. Though one would think it wasn't a straightforward romantic love, the love the Doctor and Clara develop for each other helps the Doctor overcome despair and anxieties that he's been running away from for several incarnations now. It's partly through Clara's influence that he finally mans up and decides to face the traumas of his more recent past with courage. Turned around when the Doctor returns the favour: Eleven risks his life to save her and the Twelfth shows his unconditional love for her as a friend when he offers her help even after she had nearly betrayed his trust. Suffice to say, Clara and the Doctor had a very touching dynamic, that evolved into a deep romance... which tragically threatened to be reversed into Love Makes You Evil once she dies for good in "Face the Raven", as the Doctor becomes hungry for Revenge and attempts to change history to save her.
  • Love Triangle: At the center of one that involves the Twelfth Doctor and Danny during Series 8. Becomes more explicit from the epilogue of "Mummy on the Orient Express" onwards when she lies to Danny about leaving the Doctor, finds herself saying "I love you" at the same time to both men (though the Doctor fails to notice this; Word of Saint Paul (Jenna Coleman) is that Clara addressed the words to him, not to Danny), and essentially "cheats" on Danny in a non-sexual way with the Doctor for a time afterwards. Finally delivers a "kick the puppy" moment to Danny when Clara, unaware that she is speaking to a Cyber-converted Danny, tells him the Doctor is the most important man in her life and the only one she trusts and would never lie to. The triangle is finally resolved in "Last Christmas", when a dream version of Danny gives Clara permission to move on, which is actually Clara giving herself permission. She immediately all but elopes with the Doctor and never looks back.
  • MacGyvering: Shows off her skill at this now and then, especially in "Nightmare in Silver" and "Flatline" (big-time).
  • Made of Iron: Despite supposedly being a "regular girl", Clara on several occasions has managed to bounce back from physical punishment that might have incapacitated others.
    • She manages to survive being torn apart in the Doctor's timestream in "The Name of the Doctor" despite River and others being convinced it would be fatal to her.
    • "Deep Breath":
      • She's hit hard enough by a rolled-up newspaper to be knocked cold, yet apparently within minutes she's able to get dressed, do her hair, and carry on as if nothing had happened.
      • Later, she holds her breath to the point of passing out from oxygen starvation (don't try that at home), yet not only shrugs it off but is immediately able to match wits with Half-Face Man. In reality, she'd have required hospitalization at worst and at best would have not have been in any condition for a round of Xanatos Speed Chess.
    • Not once but twice during "The Witch's Familiar", Clara shrugs off falls that would injure or incapacitate people in real life — one of them a twenty foot drop down a pit that knocks her out briefly but otherwise she bounces right back and the fall leaves her with little more than a scrape on the forehead. Oh, and the same episode also has her get wires inserted into her head as she is hooked up to a Dalek.
    • In "The Zygon Inversion", she appears to shrug it off when she's unhooked from the Zygon pod (previously, people like Kate Stewart have been shown to be somewhat incapacitated by being in one).
    • Very likely is now this given her functionally immortal state post-"Hell Bent". The universe can't let her die away from trap street.
    • May literally apply to the Clara Oswin echo given that she falls thousands of feet from the Doctor's cloud and while, yes, she is killed instantly (only to be revived temporarily by Strax), the impact doesn't leave her resembling the ice governess.
  • Madness Mantra: Reoccurs at a few different points in the Series 7 story arc concerning her, always when a particular version of her gets into mortal danger or feels deathly lost. It's an increasingly desperate, frightened and manic series of sentences.
    Clara/Oswin: Where am I? Where am I?! I don't know where I am... I don't know where I am... I don't know where I am!!!
  • Mama Bear:
    • Mess with the kids she looks after as a governess or nanny, and she won't hesitate to defend them with her own body. When the Cybermen capture Angie and Artie, Clara becomes uncharacteristically authoritative and is willing to get back at the attackers at all costs, as long as she rescues the kids. When the Twelfth temporarily works at her school, she's annoyed that he might attract some threat to the kids, and when he takes her and Courtney to the Moon, Clara's "caring teacher" instincts towards Courtney are clearly present.
    • In an interesting twist, she realises in "In the Forest of the Night" that saving her and Danny's pupils would only make them miserable later on, so it's better if they just get the kids safely back home to their parents. No need to play saviour, just see to it that the children will be happy and with their loved ones. This unusual decision is actually proven right, given the minor twist about the episode's threat to Earth.
    • They aren't kids by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesn't stop Clara from verbally taking the Doctor and Robin Hood by the scruff of the neck and giving them a shake in "Robot of Sherwood".
    • She can give it, but she can't take it; several times in Series 9 she challenges the Doctor when he expresses concern for her safety and his "duty of care" to her, saying she doesn't need looking after. She maintains this attitude right to he end, even after realizing the Doctor's "duty of care" is another of his euphemisms for "I love you".
    • The Expanded Universe book The Companion's Companion is supposedly written by Clara with the sole purpose of providing the next companion with the information he, she or it requires to be this to the Doctor.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Clara doesn't see herself as such and would probably even disagree with the notion, particularly the present day Clara. But the Doctor shows certain signs of viewing her through the lens of this trope. This counts especially while interacting with Victorian Clara, after she inadvertently pulls him out of his major depression in "The Snowmen". This subtext is especially evident once he befriends her and shows her the interior of the TARDIS, complete with a borderline silly Theme Music Power-Up while walking into it. He's suddenly acting suspiciously cheerful and upbeat, and smugly bragging about the TARDIS in front of Clara, as a little boy would while showing off his favorite toy in front of a new friend. This is not helped at all when Clara even subverts the usual newcomer companion catchphrase about the TARDIS interior, impressing him further. And then he gives her a key to the TARDIS... Yeah, Doctor, explain yourself...
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Clara likes both admonishing the Eleventh Doctor for saying things to her that can be easily misconstrued and flirting with him herself. This trope is even more prevalent in her relationship with Danny, practically from the moment they first meet and strike up a conversation. She is also not above giving odd signals to the Twelfth Doctor, too ("Do you have your own mood lighting, because the accent is enough" in "Listen" causes even the Doctor to do a double take).
  • Mayfly–December Romance: The "romance" aspect of the trope is a matter of debate among fans (though the actors and showrunner are not ambiguous), but the basic trope becomes an ongoing cause of emotional turmoil for the Doctor in Series 9, and is addressed directly in "Deep Breath" and "The Woman Who Lived".
    Ashildr: She'll die on you, you know. She'll blow away like smoke... How many have you lost? How many Claras?
    • Clara herself addresses the "mayfly" part of the equation in "Hide", when she is made to realize how fleeting her existence is compared to the Doctor's, which saddens her.
  • Meaningful Name: Has its origins in the Latin clarus — "clear, bright". When you realise that the Eleventh Doctor befriends her during what might be the worst depression of his entire life, her name becomes almost a pun, as she's literally the friendly light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, Doctor...
    • Note that in the original Latin, the same word can also mean "famed" or "illustrious", as you would describe a politician or warlord, wich is none too inappropriate given her credentials as a powerful, capable, occassionally vain and even slightly dangerous figure.
    • Real world significance: The BBC and the creators have confirmed that Clara is named in honor of Elisabeth Sladen, who played iconic companion Sarah Jane Smith and whose middle name is Clara.
  • Meet Cute:
    • The prequel to "The Bells Of Saint John" has the Doctor meeting a very young version of her (which he later meets again in "The Rings of Akhaten"). They hang around in a playground for a bit and their conversation cheers the Doctor up and gives him an idea. At that point, he doesn't realise yet that the little girl is the original incarnation of Clara he's been looking for so much.
    • In "The Snowmen", Victorian Clara's first chance meeting with the Doctor also has this vibe to it. However, it's more downplayed due to the Doctor going through an Achilles in His Tent depression at the time and trying to act aloof and distant in front of her and others. Still, her upside-down "Doctor? Doctor who?" matches this trope to a T.
    • In one of the strangest examples, Clara and the TARDIS' "girl to timeship" discussion (in the minisode "Clara and the TARDIS") comes off as a bit of a meet cute, especially when the two end up commiserating over the Doctor.
    • Clara and the Twelfth Doctor's meeting at the restaurant in "Deep Breath" qualifies as, among other things, it gives them their first opportunity to have a proper conversation after his regeneration.
      • They have another meet cute in "Death in Heaven", complete with a hug, before going their separate ways.
    • Clara and Danny attempt one in "Listen", but it doesn't go well.
    • Meeting Missy in Spain also qualifies, at least until Missy starts killing UNIT personnel and Clara(!) prepares to order snipers to kill her.
    • The Doctor and Clara in the diner in "Hell Bent" starts as this, but ultimately ends up being more a "meet sad".
  • The Missus and the Ex: The TARDIS really doesn't like her at first. After the TARDIS insults her by having her interface take the form of the person she believes Clara most esteems (Clara herself). Clara's response is to refer to her as a "Cheeky cow!" and insist this proves the TARDIS is being a Clingy Jealous Girl.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother, Ellie, died the same day as the revival's first episode. It's a popular fan theory that she was killed in the Auton attack on London.
  • Morality Chain: She played this straight with Eleven, ultimately convincing him and his other selves to save Gallifrey instead of destroying it; Series 8 Twelve is considering paying her for her "Doctor, you're being an ass!" job. However this is reversed by Series 9: She's spent so much time with the Doctor that's she like him to the point that she's no longer calling him out on his more morally grey decisions and is much more eager to take dangerous risks, something that terrifies Twelve and ends up with him attempting to be this on a couple of occasions (most notably in "The Girl Who Died"). She realizes all too late that his fears were justified in "Face the Raven", and though she tries to be a Morality Chain Beyond the Grave with her Final Speech to him it ends up not taking; he is so broken by her death and the torture he goes through in "Heaven Sent" that he becomes obsessed with bringing her back from the grave even though there is no way time and space will hold if he succeeds, acting the way she did in "Dark Water". The two eventually realize that they are now too similar in spirit to serve as morality chains to each other, which is why they cannot stay together.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Facing her final death, she hopes to be this to Twelve, instructing him to honor her memory by not harming anyone by way of Revenge. But he's about to be delivered into the hands of his enemies; who will help heal his emotional wounds? All she can tell him to do is "Heal yourself". When she is later extracted from time and finds out what he went through after her death, which turned him into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, she is rightly horrified and takes it out on the Time Lords present, calling them monsters.
  • Motor Mouth: It's been said that Jenna Coleman was cast in the role based on her ability to talk even faster than Matt Smith, and this is demonstrated several times, such as when Clara Oswin and the Doctor discuss his plan for escape in "The Snowmen". The different acting style of Peter Capaldi, however, resulted in this being tuned down to the extent that the Jenna seen in Series 9 is almost a completely different person, acting-wise, from the Jenna-Louise of Series 7.
  • Mysterious Waif: "The only mystery in the universe worth solving." Subverted by the fact that that quote by the Doctor was a double entendre, also talking about humans and intelligent beings in general.
  • Mythology Gag: In "The Snowmen", it is revealed Clara Oswin Oswald was born on November 23rd 1866 and is 26 years old — the same day the first episode of Doctor Who aired in 1963 and the same age as the classic series when it was cancelled in 1989. Modern Clara is 24 years old in 2013 — meaning she was born in 1989, the year the show was cancelled. The list of ages in Clara's travel book also omits the ages 16 — which would have been in 2005, when the show came back — and 23, which would have been in 2012, when Clara first showed up and died the first time. Furthermore, Clara's mother died on March 5th, 2005... the day "Rose", the first episode of the revival, takes place. Another unrelated myth gag is her becoming a teacher at Coal Hill School by the time of the 50th anniversary special, bringing the first fifty years of Doctor Who companions full circle.
    • "Death in Heaven" later gives her birth year as 1986, the same as Jenna Coleman, meaning that modern Clara was first picked up in 2010/11, rather than the out-of-universe present day (2013). Clara's adventures in general have avoided citing specific years for the present day: only "The Name of the Doctor" (2013) and "In the Forest of the Night" (2016) give definitive dates, with the latter later contradicted by the Class spin-off series.
  • Must Make Amends:
    • By the end of Series 8, she realises she's been two-faced and insincere to Danny and starts to own up to those mistakes. This effort is tragically cut short by his unexpected death, and she descends into a mix of shock, grief and anger for a while. When given the opportunity to contact Danny in the afterlife, she grabs it with both hands. In return, he does everything he can to make sure she'll be safe, even when she tells him (not realizing it's Danny) that the only man she truly trusts is the Doctor. Even though Clara knows she'll never be with Danny, they both forgive each other, come to an understanding and promise to remember one another. The Doctor, despite his grumpiness, makes a heartfelt remark in the finale where he praises Clara and Danny, despite their troubled relationship: "Love, it's not an emotion. Love is a promise.".
    • Finds herself on the receiving end in "Last Christmas", as the Doctor invites her to run away with him again, after having indirectly helped her (through her dream) deal with some (not all) of the emotional baggage involving Danny. Series 9's "Under the Lake" includes a scene where Twelve confronts Clara with friendly worries about whether she's doing all right and isn't sad. At the same time, "loving" is an accurate way to describe the Doctor and Clara's relationship in Series 9, compared to their rather rocky relationship in Series 8.

    Tropes N to Y 
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Her namesake? Elisabeth Clara Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith for more than three and a half seasons of Doctor Who and five seasons of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Fittingly, Clara slowly develops into something of a younger homage to Sarah Jane during her three series long tenure.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: A point of both praise and of criticism of the character is the fact she is arguably the most powerful companion of all time. Aside from her Impossible Girl status, she is also the first known companion to verbally convince the TARDIS to not only fly to a destination, but one in a pocket universe where the ship is in mortal danger ("Hide").
    • Lampshaded, however, in "Robot of Sherwood" where Clara suddenly claims (not very convincingly) to know taekwondo. She's also seen to be useless with a bow and arrow.
    • Averted, however, with regards to her ability to fly a TARDIS in "Hell Bent"; although the series never made a big deal out of it, it was established way back in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" that the Doctor was teaching her how to operate the ship, and several times in Series 9 was shown using the controls, most notably in "The Zygon Inversion", where we see Clara enter settings into the console and the Doctor dematerializes the ship without any hesitation. (Plus she had a trillions-year-old immortal who could read the TARDIS manual handy, as well.)
    • Her ability to control her mind to the extent that she was able to manipulate Bonnie and even cause her to revert to Zygon form in "The Zygon Inversion" demonstrates a level of mental control that not only Clara has never before shown, but no one else in any previous Zygon-related story, either.
  • Nice Girl: She might be snarky and gutsy, but she's a genuinely kind-hearted and self-sacrificing young lady who cares deeply about her friends, as The Doctor finds out from first-hand experience several times. It's no coincidence that, at least on two occasions, he's been outright moved by her willingness to risk her own life for him and his own good. Even when her more jaded side starts becoming more apparent in Series 8, she does her best to not lose her compassion. When she realises she's been picking up some bad habits and has become prone to white lies, she starts growing ashamed. Then a terrible personal tragedy hits, and she makes a conscious decision to never compromise her kindness and honesty to others ever again. Until she does.
  • Noodle Incident: A number of throwaway references to unchronicled events have popped up related to Clara:
    • In "The Caretaker", Danny mentions she once turned up for a date wearing a space helmet.
    • Several Series 9 episodes begin at the tail end of an adventure, including one in "Face the Raven", in which the Doctor starts to talk about what Clara did that got the two of them banned from the Second Most Beautiful Garden in All of Time and Space, but is interrupted.
    • In "The Girl Who Died", Clara impresses/surprises the Doctor by revealing she once wielded a sword in battle. Said battle has never been chronicled on screen.
    • Series 9 includes several references to Clara meeting Jane Austen. The circumstances behind Clara learning that the author was "a phenomenal kisser" remain a mystery.
    • She once got into an argument with Gandhi.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Clara isn't enamoured of the idea of death and definitely doesn't want "a preview" of what is to come (per "Listen"), but when push comes to shove, as seen in "The Name of the Doctor", for example, she is willing to lay down her life for the Doctor and others. At the end of "Hell Bent", in her semi-alive state, she knows exactly when and where she will die, which appears to have made her fear of death vanish totally.
  • Not So Different: With the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor, oddly enough. Their lives change drastically when both lose people close to them (Clara's mother, the Ponds), they both tend to hide their true, conflicted personalities, they at first engage in escapism to run away from what was bothering them (only for this to increasingly fail) and they are both flawed people who struggle with trying to do the right thing. Also, particularly with the Eleventh Doctor in mind, neither of them can stand children crying. Many of these small parallels not only tighten their friendship, but also create an ever-present undercurrent of tension within it.
    • Both her and Twelve consider each the other a "egomanic needy game-player" type person. It eventually comes to a head in "Kill the Moon", where Clara leaves the TARDIS after a particularly stressful adventure telling Twelve to never come back. She ultimately comes to understand his position, though.
    • In "The Caretaker", Clara complains much about the Doctor's difficult, bossy attitude, but once the Skovox robot actually attacks, we see her shush/get bossy towards poor Danny in much the same way. "It's a thing!"
    • "Mummy on the Orient Express" makes it very clear that she's addicted to traveling with the Doctor, to the point of lying to both him and Danny about her choice, and they even pull the lever at the same time.
    • In "Flatline", she fills out the Doctor's role so well it unsettles him, although his reactions while trapped inside the TARDIS and after he safely escapes differ... bonus points for him chiding her for lying, saying that it's a "bad habit", when he's not the most strictly honest person on the planet either...
      • Clara's knowledge of the Doctor's life, demonstrated when she again pretends to be him in "Death in Heaven", approaches stalker proportions.
    • According to River Song, Rule #1 about the Doctor is "The Doctor lies." Clara is a skilled liar, which is both a major character flaw (especially when dealing with Danny) and a source of strength ("Death in Heaven"), though it backfires when she attempts to effectively lie to herself ("The Zygon Inversion").
    • In Series 9, she demonstrates some of the same thrill-seeking and death-defying behaviours past Doctors have shown, culminating in a Heroic Sacrifice in the name of saving a single innocent who'd served as her companion-proxy in a previous adventure. She even admits in her final moments that she'd become a bit of a Death Seeker, before facing her end with dignity.
    • In her final episode, "Hell Bent", she completes the transition, flying a stolen, broken TARDIS with a human(ish) female companion, running away from her fate on Gallifrey, accepting her death yet refusing to follow through with it until she's good and ready.
  • Number Two: Although all companions are this to the Doctor to some degree, Clara is more so than most. By Series 9 she is on two occasions shown to have direct authority to act on the Doctor's behalf in his absence in major situations, with UNIT and even the prime minister deferring to her. This backfires when she is impersonated by a Zygon, however.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Most of her actual saving of the Doctor during her Heroic Sacrifice in "The Name of the Doctor" falls under this trope. Justified in that she had rescued him from the Great Intelligence's interference a few hundred or even thousand times, all throughout history and the universe. It is subverted a bit in that we see Clara rescuing the Doctor directly on at least three occasions, as well as rushing to his aid in several other moments from his past travels.
    • The time she wielded a sword in battle, referenced in "The Girl Who Died".
    • A number of Series 9 story arcs begin at the tail end of another, leaving viewers to guess what adventures Clara and the Doctor had experienced.
    • Two Series 9 episodes have hinted at romance between Clara and author Jane Austen.
    • An emotional example: in "Hell Bent", Clara decides the time has come to tell the Doctor something very important. As she begins talking, the camera pans away to another place. We do not hear what she has to say and the fact their conversation remains private is both a plot point and a metafictional moment.
    • The Classic Era established that materializing a TARDIS around another TARDIS is a very, very difficult thing to do without causing major problems. Clara and Ashildr are able to do it when they transport the Doctor's TARDIS to him in Nevada.
  • One Head Taller: The Doctor to her, even though two different incarnations of her insist that she's not that short. The height difference between the Doctor and Clara actually becomes important in "The Snowmen", because the Doctor wouldn't need an umbrella to reach his invisible ladder to the TARDIS, whereas she would, so the fact that he brought it with him lets Clara know that he wanted her to come.
  • Oop North: With the exception of Victorian Clara, all Claras speak with Jenna-Louise Coleman's natural Lancashire accent. Lampshaded in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" and "The Rings of Akhaten". It is not until Series 8 that it Clara is confirmed to be from Blackpool.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Modern day Clara has partly gotten over the death of her beloved mother, but it's implied she still grieves for her inside, when nobody's looking. In "The Time of the Doctor", there are some subtle hints that she doesn't get along all that well with her father's new girlfriend (effectively her stepmother).
  • Overt Operative: Except when dealing with Danny Pink, Clara appears to make little effort to hide her time travelling adventures with the Doctor, convincing the Doctor to take the Maitland kids on a trip in Series 7, to take one of her students to the Moon in Series 8, an entire class of hers enters the TARDIS later in Series 8, and at the start of Series 9 not only is she bragging about meeting (and snogging) famous people like Jane Austen, she even mentions UNIT right in front of them. Later, she also recruits the Doctor to help a student with her history assignment and doesn't seem concerned that this again involved time travel.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Despite her intelligence and increasing experience with the Doctor, scripts occasionally dumb her down at times. Example include "Before the Flood" in which she appears unfamiliar with the concept of the Bootstrap Paradox despite having been involved with — and in one case, "Listen", being the centre of — several. And in "Hell Bent" she appears unable to understand the Doctor's actually-quite-straightforward explanation of the Cloisters and the Matrix, while also not registering what a "neural block" is.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: She's rather slim and petite and not what you'd usually imagine when thinking of an action heroine. Nevertheless, if the going gets tough, she's willing to pick up a mace or an oversized raygun, or even throw a chair into a doomsday device. While she remains The Chick and is predominantly a Non Action Girl (though the opening of "Face the Raven" suggests otherwise...), her caring nature and sheer determination can bring out a real fighting spirit in her when needed.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: At times. She's smart and can be very competent and no-nonsense, but sometimes ends up in very goofy situations. She also carries a good sense of humour and likes to tease the Doctor.
  • Plucky Girl: Can stay upbeat in some nightmarish situations, and has enough willpower to Mind Rape both the Great Intelligence and the Daleks. As a scanner describes her in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS";
    "Lancashire. Sass."
  • Polyamory: The post-Clara episode "The Husbands of River Song" revealed that the Doctor, whose infatuation with Clara was undisguised both in his eleventh and twelfth incarnations, engaged with her all the while still married to River Song; it should be noted in fairness, however, that said episode also revealed River to have married at least two individuals — one with sexual intent — while still married to the Doctor. In an earlier incarnation, the Doctor was also depicted as falling in love with historical figure Madame de Pompadour during a period of time when he was also engaged in a form of romance with Rose Tyler.
  • Possession Equals Mastery: On several occasions, Clara is able to operate alien/futuristic tech despite having only seen the item for a few moments prior. Examples include the space bike in "The Rings of Akhaten" and Captain Jack's vortex manipulator in "The Day of the Doctor". She has also demonstrated proficiency with both the sonic screwdriver and sonic glasses and, when last seen in "Hell Bent", was operating a TARDIS like an old pro.
  • The Power of Friendship: One of the running themes of her character, in regards to her personality and close friendship with the Doctor. As both The Heart and The Confidant of their little duo, she tends to help him cope with his accumulated anxieties, as well as not being afraid of calling him out on compromising his usual ethics. At first, during the start of his search for the original Clara and the answer to her mystery, she's nearly a Living Emotional Crutch to him, after he regains optimism and a sense of purpose that he had previously lost with the departure of River, Amy and Rory.
  • The Power of Love: Seems to be one of Clara's main motivations for doing good. Without coming across as naïve, she repeatedly displays an honest interest in being kind and caring to others — not just friends, but even potential enemies. Tellingly, in "Cold War", she treats a threatening and embittered Ice Warrior with respect over his tragically deceased daughter and tries her best to convince him that hatred and blind lust for revenge never really solve anything. Her words don't miraculously save the day, but they're enough to give Skaldak some pause for thought and somewhat soften his anger at humanity.
  • The Power of Trust:
    • She and Eleventh have some trust issues early on, but start to slowly resolve them when Clara presses the issue. When the soldiers of the Punishment Platoon in "Nightmare in Silver" question her trust in the Doctor, she states that she trusts him thoroughly, even though she's honestly unsure whether there's any guarantee of him easily pulling off whatever plan he prepared against the episode's adversaries. With the entrance of the Twelfth Doctor, she grows unsure of him again due to his very different personality, but it's clear from her behaviour she still wants to trust him, as she doesn't want to let go of him as a friend.
    • There is markedly no such disconnect on the Doctor's side, and he is shown quite distressed by her alienated reaction. If anything, he now discusses doubts about himself and his actions with her that he would previously have downplayed, and it is even implied that, ironically, his blunter, more "unfiltered" demeanour might be a direct result of him feeling less of a need to 'veil' his true self around her. However, unlike Eleven's more protective approach, Twelve might express that same trust by trusting /relying on her to handle difficult situations and decisions by herself and making systematic use of her capabilities. While he is usually correct in his assessment that Clara could handle the situation in question, this has occasionally led to her ending up in situations she's not comfortable in, or rather, feels confronted with the possibility of falling short of her own standards.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Under the influence of the Twelfth, she becomes mature realist in some situations — especially when saving people proves logically pointless or impossible. The Clara from Season 7 would have been horrified at the decision she makes in "In the Forest of the Night". She lies to everyone to make the Doctor leave Earth and her with the kids to die. However, her reasoning is actually sound: If the end of humanity is coming, the children just want to be with their parents anyway. Danny also doesn't care about death, as long as he gets the kids home. And she herself sees no point in being the last living human either. Therefore, it's pointless for the Doctor to save them, if there's nothing he can really do. When she explains this to him, he suddenly realises what he did wrong in "Kill the Moon" and admits his mistake back then, in a touching Ironic Echo of Clara's teary words to him. Then he flies away. Luckily, he realises a solution for the mystery and comes back. Even when Clara goes more pragmatic, she does her best to avoid being cynical.
  • Precision F-Strike: Although the words are only considered curses in certain aspects of UK society and not at all outside the country, Clara uses the term "bloody" only under extreme stress (being called out for using it by the Doctor in "Kill the Moon"), "damn" likewise, and the version of Clara conjured up by the Doctor's subconscious in "Heaven Sent" is notable for being the first character in over 50 years of the series to utter the word "arse" on screen.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Wears her hair like this during the events of "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS". In the relaxed epilogue of the episode, she lets her hair down and is seen in more casual clothes.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: The Doctor lampshades this in "Nightmare in Silver", referring to her as "a mystery wrapped in an enigma, squeezed into a skirt that's just a little bit too tight", complete with a goofy smile to match, before being a little disturbed that he's noticed the latter. This is a trademark look for the character, who was only seen bare-legged or wearing pants in a handful of episodes.
  • Protectorate: With the Doctor befriending her, she makes a conscious decision to help and protect him if he'd end up in trouble. The Doctor is fully willing to return the favor and is nervous at the mere thought of something bad happening to Clara. This intensifies during "The Time of the Doctor", in which he tries to keep her out of harm's way as much as possible, much to her annoyance and disappointment. After rescuing Clara from the antagonists of "The Bells of Saint John", he sends them a clear message:
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes:
    • When she begs the Doctor to help her roast the Christmas turkey faster with the sonic screwdriver by "apping it". In addition to the big anxious eyes, she accompanies this with a "waving around the sonic" gesture.
    • The Puppy-Dog Eyes moments become a running gag with the Twelfth Doctor, who wonders how she can somehow make her eyes bigger when she is surprised or sad.
      The Doctor: [somewhat annoyed] Stop it with the eyes. Don’t do that with the eyes. How do you do that, anyway? It's like they inflate!
    • "Hell Bent" includes several heartbreaking examples of this in the Cloisters, just before activating the neuroblock and in the diner.
  • Quirky Curls: Her one-off hairstyle while investigating in Victorian Yorkshire with the Doctor in "The Crimson Horror". She returns to a similar hairstyle for disguise when she visits Victorian London in "Deep Breath".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Clara was supposed to be written out at the end of Series 8, but Jenna Coleman wanted to stay for Series 9.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Clara starts dating Danny Pink in "Listen", although their relationship also gets upped in "The Caretaker", where she says she loves him on screen for the first time.
    • With the Doctor in Series 9. Although the episodes do not imply anything sexual (and thus we of course have Fan Fic to fill in those gaps), the actors and writers have confirmed that the Doctor and Clara's affections and bond have deepened after Danny Pink's death, with Peter Capaldi referring to it directly as a romance. By the end of the season, however, circumstances force the relationship into Anchored Ship mode, if not drydocked completely.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Openly but politely defied by present day Clara in the "The Bells of Saint John". Though the Doctor only hints at who Victorian Clara was and doesn't tell present day Clara any of the specifics, Clara is quick to note that she'll be willing to travel with him and be his friend only if he'll behave to her as a real person, and not as an excuse to mourn over whoever he's lost. The Doctor takes her advice at heart, though it's not until "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" when he really grows completely confident in her presence.
    • In "Before the Flood", Clara acknowledges that she won't be the last companion as she tells the Doctor to die "with whomever comes after, not with me."
  • Retcon: Underwent this at the start of Series 9 when the notion that she is bisexual was revealed, despite the contrary being strongly indicted during Series 7 and 8.
  • The Reveal: It's revealed at the end of "The Snowmen" that Victorian Clara's full name is Clara Oswin Oswald. The Doctor spends half a season trying to understand how that can be possible. He eventually discovers, in "The Name of the Doctor", that Clara voluntarily let herself be shattered across time to undo the actions of the Great Intelligence, who'd also let himself be shattered across the Doctor's timeline in order to delete the Doctor from history. She's been there from the day the Doctor and Susan left Gallifrey and as such, knows the Doctor better than any other companion.
  • Revenant Zombie: Her final fate is to become a science-fiction version of this, when the Doctor's bungled attempt to save her life leaves her as an unaging, unalive walking time paradox.
  • Reverse the Polarity: Pulls this on the Doctor of all people in "Hell Bent", using the sonic sunglasses to tamper with the neuroblocker and uttering the trope name. She told the Doctor this, because having him erase his own memories was not part of her plan. She merely wanted to keep him from erasing hers.
  • Rewatch Bonus: It is well known that Jenna Coleman originally was to have left at the end of Series 8, then at the end of the 2014 Christmas special, before deciding to stay on for Series 9, so much of this is either a case of coincidence or of Steven Moffat doing his homework, but elements of Clara's character development and story arc are apparent as early as "The Snowmen", and become noticeable only after having watched her character arc completed in "Hell Bent". Also, the events of the final two episodes of Series 9 are reflected strongly by the finale two-parter of Series 8, and several Series 9 episodes, most notably "Under the Lake"/"Before the Flood".
  • Rousing Speech: Clara has a very good way with words, and has been showing giving rousing speeches of some form or another in a number of episodes.
  • Running Gag:
    • Her attempts at baking soufflés, especially according to her mother's recipes. This even earns her one of her nicknames. She also seems to be a rather insecure cook in general, as she needs help from the Doctor even when preparing the Christmas turkey for her family.
    • Being clumsy with computers, especially working with the Internet. Subverted in "The Bells of Saint John", where she gains Instant Expert hacking powers.
    • The TARDIS and her not getting along that well. At first...
    • In "The Bells of Saint John", while she's still suspicious of the Doctor, she keeps referring to the TARDIS as his "snog box" and accusing him of being a creepy Stalker with a Crush.
      Clara: Is this actually what you do ? Do you just... crook your finger and people just jump in your snog box and fly away?
    • Some of the goofy, googly-eyed grimaces she makes when she's astonished or unpleasantly surprised.
    • Her Ship Tease moments with the Doctor become a running gag in and of themselves, given their almost ridiculous frequency within Series 7.
      • In Series 8 this morphs into Twelve off-handedly insulting her appearance. She gladly returns the favor, not only calling the Doctor a "grey-haired stick insect" in one episode, but at one point even using an image of said creature on her phone to represent the Doctor. In Series 9, however, this stops and the Doctor, reflecting the subtle Relationship Upgrade, begins complimenting her instead as the Ship Tease resumes.
      • "Have you seen/met you?" whenever Twelve is... being Twelve.
  • Secret Test of Character: Both Vastra and the Doctor put her through this a few times. Memorably, Vastra's two different tests try to tease Clara with the notion that the Doctor is not really kind to others or her, and that she's only interested in him due to a crush or silly curiosity. Victorian Clara proves Vastra wrong, much to her delight, and present day Clara pulls it off as well, giving her an even snarkier retort, while pretending to be fragile and shaken at face value. Both times, Jenny tellingly pops a smile or chuckle at Clara for not giving in. The Twelfth Doctor is well-aware of Clara's Damsel out of Distress side, and is thus willing to risk leaving Clara in danger a bit more than the Eleventh used to (though he begins to worry more and more about her safety as time goes on).
    • She gets another, much more serious one in "Dark Water" and fails it miserably. Fortunately, the Doctor forgives her.
  • Security Cling: Subverted to the point of inversion. It's the Doctor (Eleventh) who seems to be all too eager to gently embrace Clara or hold her hand whenever he gets the impression she's frightened or feels threatened. While it works and comes off as natural in a lot of scenes, in others, it's a borderline Running Gag.
    • Not as frequent during the Twelfth Doctor era. Exceptions include Clara reaching for the Doctor's hand in "Dark Water", the Doctor asking Clara to hold his because he's scared in "Sleep No More", and their farewell hug in "Face the Raven". In "Hell Bent", the Doctor holds onto her hand for dear life as they try to escape the Time Lords after he shoots the General.
  • Self-Deprecation: Hilariously subverted while she's under the influence of the truth field on Trenzalore in "The Time of the Doctor". Though she obviously doesn't want to, the truth field forces her brain to introduce herself to the locals as "Bubbly personality masking bossy control freak!" Cue embarrassed Eye Take and her quickly covering up her mouth with her palm.
  • Self-Insert Fic: Clara's alternate selves spread throughout the Doctor's timestream often feel like idealised distillations of her own positive personality traits. In essence, Clara's doppelgängers are what she'd like to see herself as if she wasn't the rather shy and careful girl she is in her normal, present day life.
  • Ship Sinking: Her death, of course, puts an end to their relationship, though the fact she continues to exist for a time as an immortal left the door open for her and the Twelfth Doctor to perhaps one day reunite. They did, briefly, in the final Twelfth Doctor story, "Twice Upon a Time", but in such a way that confirmed there was no possibility of an Off Screen Moment Of Awesome in which they reunited before she returned to Trap Street.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Both future Clara and Victorian Clara quite fancy the Doctor, but modern day Clara is less flirty and their relationship is in flux between Will They or Won't They? and Better as Friends. The idea that he might work up the courage to tell her he likes her in "that way" makes her realise she's talking to Hyde Plays Jekyll at one point. Eleven being a bit of a Covert Pervert, the Ship Tease stays just under the surface. It hurts that he refers to her in private as "perfect" with a loving tone in his voice, shares a lot of Held Gaze moments with her, and seems eager to hug Clara when he thinks she's worried or frightened (even in situations where she's clearly not that scared). And none of the two ever employ the She's Not My Girlfriend excuse either, which makes you wonder...
    • "The Day of the Doctor": Clara takes the Doctor's cheek, kisses it tenderly while he has a dopey love look on his face and tells him that she "always knows", while stroking his cheek. They both initiate a short Held Gaze. The episode also begins with them discussing what between any two other characters would be considered a date.
    • "The Time of the Doctor": Clara nearly flat-out admits she fancies him when the truth filter in Christmas affects her and the Doctor, and it's part of the reason why she runs off with him. This is after she has the Doctor pretend to be her boyfriend at her family Christmas dinner (and remember: the Doctor seemed genuinely accepting of the notion when she first brings it up before emphasizing it's all pretend). Somewhat later, there's a sequence involving hologram clothing, hugging, clinging, and rolling in the snow in said hologram clothing. (Word of Saint Paul: Jenna Coleman has stated at conventions and in interviews that Clara realized she was in love with the Doctor during the events of this episode.)
    • Her comments on the Twelfth' Doctor's accent and the "mood lighting" thing in "Listen".
    • Word of Saint Paul: During the DVD commentary, the director of "The Caretaker" directly refers to the Clara-Doctor-Danny dynamic established in that episode as a Love Triangle.
    • "Mummy on the Orient Express" is particularly stuffed with it, especially with the actress' statement that her deliberately loud "I love you" at the end was not primarily intended for Danny, but for the Doctor. The episode's writer has also publicly remarked on the sexual chemistry displayed between the Doctor and Clara in several scenes, most notably the nightcap sequence.
    • Maisie, Robin, and even Danny himself assuming that there's something between them. (Later, Ashildr in "Hell Bent" invokes this too, forcing the Doctor to make a not-very-convincing denial.)
    • "Last Christmas": While under the mistaken assumption that they hadn't seen each other for 62 years, the Doctor asks her if she ever married. When he first assumes it was because she never got over the loss of Danny, she goes as far as to outright state that there was one other man she would have deemed a worthy husband: The Doctor. The episode ends with her kissing him on the cheek like she always did with Eleven, and the two of them running away hand in hand for further adventures.
    • Then, of course, the BBC's official twitter recently put out 12/Clara themed Valentine's Day Cards in a set that otherwise contained only canon marriages or established official couples like 10/Rose or Amy/Rory.
    • Series 9 had a number of moments, dominated by the fact the season's background arc dealt with the Doctor's growing infatuation with Clara and paranoia over losing her. Official publicity images featured Clara gazing with affection at the Doctor, and the cast openly discussed the fact that their relationship was a romance, with Peter Capaldi surprising many in an interview shown with a theatrical release of "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven" by stating outright that the two characters were crazy for each other but weren't the type to come out and say it. (To which Jenna Coleman chimed in with an example: "I love you, man!").
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Snowmen" Clara's job as a governess whose two charges are haunted by the ghost of her predecessor is taken from the Victorian classic The Turn of the Screw.
    • Also, Clara tells the previous governess "I regret to inform you the position is filled", right before floating up into the sky with a black umbrella on her arm, in an Affectionate Parody of Mary Poppins. Bonus points for her not being dressed too dissimilarly from said character, since she's using her "Ms. Montague" governess persona at that moment.
    • Oswin Oswald seems fond of Bizet's opera Carmen, listening to several arias and even dressing up in a costume inspired by the titular character, presumably out of boredom in her isolated hiding place.
    • Oswin referencing a catchphrase of Mae West verbatim: "Come up and see me sometime."
    • Clara introducing herself and the Doctor to the 1970s couple in "Hide" as Ghostbusters. (This is also a bit of Call-Back to the Tenth Doctor and Rose.)
  • Significant Birth Date: 23rd November 1986. The first ever episode of Doctor Who aired on 23rd November 1963.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: In Series 8, Clara becomes a demure school teacher who's willing to go to hell and back.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While there are many hints of romantic feelings between the two, Clara tries to treat the Doctor as she would a normal human friend. She is repeatedly very critical of him whenever she gets the impression that he's growing proud and arrogant and betraying his much-touted personal ethics. On the other hand, she displays an honest and caring interest in his life and problems and considers him trustworthy enough to help her cope with hers as well. In contrast to previous female companions of the revival era of the show, she is consistently shown as a single young woman, so she fits the trope rather straightly, despite how subverted it gets in her case. The trope is played in a more romantic way when she starts befriending Danny Pink. As time goes on, however, her feelings for the Doctor — very strong during his Eleventh incarnation — return with the Twelfth. After the death of Danny, they are a de facto couple even though neither admits it. The fact she is in love with the Doctor and the feeling is mutual has been confirmed multiple times by Word of God and Word of Saint Paul, and it plays out to an extreme in "Hell Bent".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Moffat has said that she's let her stint of being the Doctor in "Flatline" go to her head. This explains a lot of her attitude in Series 9, especially in "Under the Lake"/"Before the Flood".
  • Spirited Young Lady: Victorian-era Clara shows a lot of signs of this, along with being a Plucky Girl. As she admits very vocally in one scene, she doesn't like it when people underestimate her intelligence and independence and think of her just as a short and sweet girl.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Often accused of taking too much attention away from the Doctor, to the point of it being nicknamed "Clara Who" by some fans. Lampshaded directly in the show by there being two episodes of Series 8 in which Clara impersonates the Doctor, with the second incorporating a Couch Gag in which her name appears first and her eyes are shown in the credits, and the Doctor using the actual phrase "Clara Who" near the conclusion of the three-part finale of Series 9 that was almost totally built around Clara.
  • Squee!: Hardly hides one when meeting Robin Hood for the first time in Series 8's "Robot of Sherwood". As she notes, she has always wanted to meet him.
  • Stable Time Loop: When she went into the Doctor's timeline, she scattered herself throughout his history, making her "the impossible girl". And she was only in a position to go into the Doctor's timeline and thus become the impossible girl because she's already the impossible girl.
  • Story Arc: The mystery of her impossible existence is the overarching storyline for the second half of Series 7.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: When Victorian Clara first sees the interior of the TARDIS, she goes outside, surveys it from all sides, and rushes back in to declare, "It's smaller on the outside!"
    The Doctor: ...that's a first.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman in the introduction to "The Snowmen"'s first trailer make it clear Clara most definitely has nothing to do with Oswin Oswald from "Asylum of the Daleks".
    Smith: And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the very first look at the Doctor Who Christmas trailer... which is, of course, the very first episode to feature Miss Jenna-Louise Coleman.
    Coleman: Ahem... second.
    Smith: Oh yeah, you were in the Dalek one, weren't you... playing a different character...
    Coleman: Yep, totally different character.
    Smith: [...] Yeah... so you couldn't be the same character at Christmas, that would be just impossible.
    Coleman: No way.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Played with in "The Rings of Akhaten", where she helps defeat the Big Bad of the episode not with her determined speech to him, but by giving him the memories present in her most precious family heirloom — the leaf that brought her parents together and is a reminder of her deceased mother. As she points out, that leaf might look ordinary, but to her, it's the most important leaf in the whole universe. She would have never been born without its interference in her parents' lives, which would have been completely different, in infinite possible ways. The leaf is full of memories of not only what was, but of the infinite potential of what could have been. Bear in mind that the Doctor, as travelled and experienced as he is, couldn't defeat the same antagonist by offering him his own vast memories. He himself lampshades this by acknowledging the value of Clara's leaf and what it means to her, or any other person in her shoes.
    Clara: Still hungry? Well, I brought something for you. This. [holds up her parents' leaf] The most important leaf in human history. It’s full of stories, full of history. And full of a future that never got lived. Days that should have been that never were. Passed on to me. This leaf isn’t just the past, it’s a whole future that never happened. There are billions and millions of unlived days for every day we live. An infinity. All the days that never came. And these are all my mum’s.
    The Doctor: [to the villain] Well, come on then! Eat up. Are you full? I expect so. Because there’s quite a difference, isn’t there, between what was, and what should have been? There’s an awful lot of one, but there’s an infinity of the other. And infinity’s too much. Even for your appetite.
  • Tearful Smile:
    • Shows up on her face during the Eleventh Doctor's final monologue. On one hand, she's very happy he's alive and regenerating, but on the other, she's well aware her friend will change and never be the same again.
    • As the Twelfth Doctor begins to lose his memory of her, he asks Clara to smile for him. She attempts it despite crying, but ultimately fails.
      Clara: How can I smile?
  • The Tease:
    • The Oswin version of Clara just cannot stop flirting with both Rory and the Doctor, despite it being purely verbal flirting. Played for Laughs when she nonchalantly tells Rory to pull his shirt off and reacts to his complete bafflement with a cheeky "Does there have to be a reason?" Ultimately subverted when the Doctor finally discovers Oswin and learns of her sad secret.
    • Modern day Clara teases the Eleventh Doctor a few times in this way, most noticably in "The Bells of Saint John" and at the end of "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS". This aspect more or less ends with the coming of the Twelfth Doctor; the closest being Clara's occasional attempts to have the Doctor notice her appearance when she's dressed up (i.e. "Time Heist", "Into the Dalek", "Listen").
  • Tender Tears: Seen rarely, but she has her moments. Her visit to the grave of her mother in a flashback seen in "The Rings of Akhaten" or her final farewell to the Eleventh Doctor in "The Time of the Doctor" stand out in this regard.
    • Seen throughout "Hell Bent" in relation to the Doctor.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Gets killed, a lot, only to inevitably get better.
    • Gets turned into a Dalek and then blown up in "Asylum of the Daleks", only to turn up miraculously alive in "The Snowmen".
    • Proceeds to fall to her death in "The Snowmen". At that point, she miraculously turns up alive yet again in the modern day.
    • Gets burned alive by the Eye of Harmony in a possible future timeline in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", only for the Doctor to erase the timeline before it could happen.
    • Also has some near-misses with death that seemed very much like they were going to stick, both in "The Name of the Doctor" and "Last Christmas", but both times the Doctor was there to save her life.
    • It practically became a running gag in Series 9 for the Doctor to think that she's dead or in near death situations.
    • It kinda sticks in "Face the Raven", when she is killed by the raven of the Trap Street due to taking Rigsy's tattoo. However, due to the events of "Hell Bent", she becomes a time-frozen walking corpse.
  • Think Nothing of It: She has this kind of dynamic with the Doctor whenever he thanks her for helping him in critical situations.
    • Most notably, at no point on screen is she directly thanked — nor does she appear to seek thanks — for inspiring the Doctor to Take a Third Option to save Gallifrey after the Moment's efforts to stop the Doctors from pushing the big red button fail ("The Day of the Doctor"), or jumping into his timestream to save his many selves ("The Name of the Doctor"). There is no indication that the Doctor is ever made aware that she's also responsible for him getting a new regeneration cycle ("The Time of the Doctor"). That said, the debt the Doctor owes her could be reflected in the extreme lengths he goes to in order to save her at the end of Series 9.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The way time travel works in Doctor Who should make it impossible for both Oswin and Clara to exist, and yet they do...
    The Doctor: She's not possible.
  • Time Skip: The series introduces a time jump of at least a couple of years between Series 7 and the 50th anniversary special; in "The Bells of Saint John" and other Series 7 episodes, Clara is established as being 24 years old. "Deep Breath", which takes place immediately following the 2013 Christmas special, indicates in dialogue that she is now 27. In-between, the 50th anniversary special establishes that at some point after the end of Series 7, Clara attended teacher training and began a new career in education, likely accounting for the couple of years (minimum) between Series 7 and the anniversary special.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Made herself forget she was turned into a Dalek in "Asylum of the Daleks" to keep herself sane. The Doctor tells her the truth when he finally reaches her.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: An inversion of the trope. She's very feminine, dresses accordingly and has long hair (though she cuts it shorter for Series 9), but her Fun Personified attitudes and willingness to be tough in hairy situations give her some tomboyish qualities.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: A running theme — enemies who try to destroy or feast on her mind tend to die horrible deaths themselves. Justified, since it's later revealed that that was the exact purpose she keeps being born for.
    • The Oswin Oswald echo dismantles an entire Dalek prison world and then gives the entire race selective amnesia after they make her one of them.
    • The Great Intelligence has its entire snowman army turned to water while feeding off the thoughts of the Clara Oswin Oswald echo and the family she takes care of. In the Expanded Universe, the Great Intelligence IS Yog-Sothoth!
    • The TARDIS really doesn't like the original Clara Oswald, to the point where the TARDIS passive-aggressively locks her out, unless she's with the Doctor. Though in "The Day of the Doctor", the TARDIS closes to Clara's fingersnap, so it seems to have grown to like her. After what Clara did to save the Doctor, it's only natural that this would eventually happen. Though, judging by the extent of how strongly this favor has grown (the TARDIS closes her doors for Clara snapping her fingers, when prior to this it was thought only the Doctor could do that, and he himself doubted this at one point), the shift in behaviour is very significant.
    • Lampshaded by the Doctor when Bonnie is trying to access Clara's memory, but accurately as Bonnie finds it very difficult to control Clara, even at one point reverting to Zygon form because Clara's will is too strong. Indeed, Clara is actually able to manipulate Bonnie into sending the Doctor a text message and even winking at him by the power of her mind alone.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Series 9, it becomes apparent that she's been traveling with the Doctor way too long. She's much more detached and Doctor like to the point it scares Twelve and earns her several What the Hell, Hero? speeches from the people she meets on her adventures for being too morally grey — as well as two half-hearted reprimands by the Doctor himself. It hurts that with Danny gone she has nothing to ground her anymore.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: It was at times suggested that the Twelfth Doctor and Clara didn’t bring out the best in each other as their dynamic was often destructive and co-dependent. They also pushed each other, sometimes to dangerous degrees.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Soufflés, baked according to her mother's preferred recipe. To the point that this becomes referenced in her nickname from early on. Subverted by the fact that she seems to be a rather clumsy cook and keeps ruining almost every single soufflé she starts. The alternate versions of Clara inherit her knowledge of the recipe and often mention liking soufflés or trying to bake them whenever they're bored. Oswin's mention of soufflé baking even becomes a plot point in "Asylum of the Daleks", where the Doctor realises something in her story just doesn't add up, due to the local lack of fresh ingredients (e.g. eggs, milk) needed for the recipe she's been making. In "The Snowmen", Victorian Clara off-handedly asks about whether the TARDIS has a kitchen, because she likes baking soufflés, prompting bewildered looks from the Doctor. The soufflé motif surrounding Clara comes to a head in "The Name of the Doctor", where it becomes a bit of a Chekhov's Gun and even earns her an unusual Badass Boast.
  • Tragic Keepsake: 101 Places to See, a book her late mother gave her as a present when she was little, stimulating her imagination and lust for travelling. Then there's also the leaf that caused her parents to meet for the first time — but it subverts the trope by being more than just a sentimental keepsake, playing a role in saving Clara in her Darkest Hour and also allowing Clara to help save the day on one occasion.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Oswin forgets she is a Dalek and imagines hiding in an escape pod because the truth was too terrible in "Asylum of the Daleks".
  • True Blue Femininity: Some of present day Clara's clothing has various shades of blue as a prominent colour. Victorian Clara's alter ego, Miss Montague, also wears somewhat dimmer blue-coloured clothes.
  • Two First Names: Or even three, if you count Victorian Clara's use of Oswin as her second given name. (This is lampshaded in "The Bells of Saint John", where present day Clara denies having such an odd second name when the Doctor asks her about it enthusiastically.)
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • To the Doctor, friends and children in trouble. It's implied that her innate urge for kindness to others is what fuels a lot of her courage. Whenever someone's getting abused or threatened, she tries to overcome her fears and not walk away until she helps the unfortunate person.
    • They never had it easy, but in the Series 8 finale, she shows a lot of this towards Danny. She tries everything in her power to either save him from death or at least make sure he can die peacefully and without suffering. Her grief and anger even drives her to betray the Doctor for a short while, despite how she makes it clear that he's still her best friend in the entire world. The Doctor is rightfully furious, but then himself showcases the trope when he makes it clear he's willing to help both her and Danny and not let them suffer.
    • Is in full undying loyalty mode (mixed with being in love) with the Doctor in Series 9, to the point where despite seeing the Doctor's future ghost, and the Doctor telling her point blank that he has to die because of the timeline, she refuses to drop her loyalty to the Doctor. She also several times expresses the belief that, no matter what, the Doctor will save the day. It is in part due to this assumption that she makes her fatal mistake in "Face the Raven".
  • Unfazed Everyman: Even more so than most of the Doctor's other ordinary companions. In "The Bells of Saint John", once she gets to know the Doctor a bit better and sees he has no malicious intentions towards her, she's surprisingly nonchalant about his revelation that he's a time-travelling alien. This probably has something to do with her Bunny-Ears Lawyer personality.
  • Unkempt Beauty:
    • She's noticeably more unkempt than usual in "The Time of the Doctor", including messier hair and less attractive clothes. Justified by her scrambling to keep up with her preparations for a family Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. The barmaid persona of Victorian Clara also prefers a deliberately unkempt visage and hair.
    • She also seems a little less groomed than usual during the events of "The Girl Who Died", due to being kidnapped by Vikings less than two minutes after escaping a life-or-death situation and spending two days on a boat before being forced to spend several days roughing it in a Viking village. Also justified in real life, as reportedly Coleman was ill during filming of that particular episode and they were not completely able to hide this.
  • Unlikely Hero: Initially mostly stuck to just being the Doctor's helper and female Watson, but as time went on and she became more of a Distaff Counterpart to the Doctor, her hero status increased.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: She and the Eleventh Doctor have a bit of this going on note , despite both of them deciding to remain platonic friends. It pops up in a few episodes, usually as part of an overall Played for Laughs Ship Tease Running Gag. In "The Snowmen", Victorian Clara accidentally falls on top of the Doctor and his hand seems to want to keep her there. Then there's the Played for Laughs moment when he briefly stares at her behind at the end of "Nightmare in Silver", before he snaps himself out of it. In the sketch-like miniepisode "Clara and the TARDIS", Clara outright tries to have a girl-to-girl conversation with the TARDIS about whether the Doctor would choose a girl over his machine, plus some Lampshaded Double Entendre about his sonic screwdriver. Clara, Clara...
    • Although there was an attempt (via reported Word of Saint Paul — the actor, Peter Capaldi, though he later suggested he was misinterpreted) to eliminate this upon the arrival of the Twelfth Doctor, this ended up not being the case. Although the series was never overt about it, elements of UST remained clear through to the end of Series 9, with "Mummy on the Orient Express" usually cited as Exhibit A because of the romantic elements and the chemistry shown between the two leads on screen; the writer of the episode himself made note of the UST. It is also detectable between the Doctor and Clara when they first arrive at the underwater base in "Under the Lake".
  • Unwitting Pawn: Missy gave her the Doctor's number so she would become his companion, because she's the kind of person whose weaknesses, in particular her bossiness and undying loyalty to her loved ones, could be used against the Doctor.
  • Vague Age: Based on the show playing around with time jumps, and even stated calendar years, it's not actually possible to guess Clara's age at the time of her death. For example, some episodes set on modern-day Earth are suggested to be around the same year of broadcast, yet "The Power of Three" established that the Doctor first met Kate Stewart of UNIT sometime after 2016, which happens to be the same year "In the Forest of the Night" is set. A Christmas episode followed (Christmas 2016?) and then an unknown length of time after that. Clara could well be in her early to mid 30s by the time of her death. And now, because of the "wiggle room" provided by "Hell Bent", it's no longer certain how old she really is when she dies.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With the Twelfth Doctor. They both mean so much to each other, but they're both prone to arguments and there's always an element of tension in their friendship, whether comedic or sombre. This remains a facet of their mutual relations even after they reconcile at the end of "Deep Breath", and even survives a temporary break up after "Kill the Moon". As she reassures the Twelfth in "Mummy on the Orient Express", she doesn't hate him at all, he just left her unpleasantly surprised and furious. Clara tended to argue with the Eleventh too, but it was more child-like and hardly ever serious.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Since she's a Pintsized Powerhouse and only infrequently tries her hand at being a Girly Bruiser, this trope is her modus operandi most of the time.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Clara's striking eyes are referenced on more than a few occasions, including several times by the Doctor (sometimes in a comedic fashion, as in "Dark Water", sometimes with sadness, as in "The Girl Who Died"). In "Hell Bent" her eyes almost deserve co-starring credit.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mostly serious variations, but also a few comedic ones.
    • A decidedly not amusing example occurs in "Kill the Moon", when she verbally attacks the Doctor for his actions. She's also visibly annoyed when he seems to be keeping secrets from her about her potential death in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", and slaps him in "Into the Dalek" when he starts overly dismissing that they could maybe study the Dalek and change it for a better cause.
    • While most of her quips in this vein are on the serious side, some of them come off as amusing, e.g. the following example.
      Clara: [punches the Doctor's shoulder angrily] Why have you got zombie creatures?!? Good guys do not have zombie creatures! Rule one, basic storytelling!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • She still seems to have a mazeophobia due to her childhood experience. And it's explored at least four times in ten episodes.
    • Several episodes prove conclusively that she does not have acrophobia, including "The Day of the Doctor" and "Face the Raven", both of which have her hanging or leaning out of the TARDIS as it flies high over London, with no ill effects (indeed, in the latter she's having a blast).
  • Working-Class Hero: Victorian Clara works as a barmaid at The Rose & Crown. She also secretly moonlights as a soft-spoken governess at the Latimer household.
  • Worth Living For: She and the Doctor begin to see each other as this. And, in "The Day of the Doctor", she reminds him that his homeworld is not necessarily lost yet and that he finally needs to stop running from his fears and guilty conscience and try to save Gallifrey, even if it seems hopeless. Her appeal to him is handled in an interesting way, as she doesn't call for him to fight or perform heroics, but just insists on him doing what he can handle best (being the Doctor) and giving the rescue of his planet one last try. In the end, it works.
    • In "Before the Flood", Clara tells the Doctor how much he means to her by saying how essential he's made himself to her.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: According to Strax, her subconscious is full of narcissism, passive-aggressiveness, and... lots of young men "playing sport". Though, as Strax gets gender wrong more often than not, Clara might be into another type of porn, especially given her occasional flirty tendencies with female one shot-characters.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Part of her Rousing Speech to the Eleventh Doctor (and indirectly the Tenth and War Doctors) in "The Day of the Doctor".
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • The Clara Oswin echo pulls the Doctor out of his mounting depression in "The Snowmen". Later, the orignal Clara comforts him on occasion without getting too touchy-feely, and tries to stay by his side in "The Time of the Doctor" just to avoid leaving him completely alone in the event that he'd die permanently.
    • Heartbreakingly inverted in "Face the Raven" when she finds herself trying to give the Doctor comfort because "you're going to be alone now, and you're very bad at that."
  • You're Insane!: Non-villainous version. In "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", she says this to the Eleventh Doctor, shaking her head, after he explains to her an Indy Ploy he thought of to get them out of danger.

Alternative Title(s): Doctor Who Revival Series Companions Clara Oswald

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