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Alter ego: Peter Benjamin Parker

Notable Aliases: Bombastic Bag-Man, Ricochet, Dusk, Prodigy, Hornet, Ben Reilly, Scarlet Spider, Captain Universe, Liar

Editorial Names: Amazing Spider-Man; formerly Sensational Spider-Man, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Avenging Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Super Spider-Man, Astonishing Spider-Man

Species: Human mutate

First appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

Team Affiliations: The Avengers, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Secret Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Fantastic Four, The Defenders, Future Foundation, Daily Bugle, Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, League of Realms, S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Army / Web-Warriors

Peter Parker was a shy, timid, asocial and bullied science genius, described as "Midtown High's Professional Wallflower". During a science exhibition with some isotope generators, a little spider was hit by radioactive rays generated in the middle of two arcs. This spider crawled away and bit Peter Parker before dying. In a short while, Peter found out, to his initial delight, that he had gained super-strength, the ability to crawl on walls and other abilities. He was also able to use his genius to create a special web fluid and a pair of web shooters. Peter, who lived with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, attempted to use these abilities to get some money for his poor family, but he chose to do so by courting fame and celebrity as a professional wrestler and TV showman. His success went to his head and one night after a performance, he let a burglar escape after one of his shows, only for this same burglar to kill his Uncle Ben a few days later. After this tragic event, he vowed to dedicate his life to helping innocent people with his powers to atone for his big mistake and to honor his uncle's beliefs in justice and responsibility.


Peter's life since then has been full of ups and downs. He graduated from high school to college, he worked at the Daily Bugle as a freelance photographer for his boss J. Jonah Jameson who just happens to despise Spider-Man. He has fallen in love with a few girls, dating Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, and Felicia Hardy, before marrying Mary Jane for twenty real-time years until a retcon. He has graduated college but has yet to fully escape grad school and complete his thesis. In addition to photographer, Peter has worked several small time jobs, before working for extensive periods of time as a high school teacher, a scientist for Horizon Labs, business owner of Parker Industries.

He has even been dead a few times, one of which involved him getting organic webbing for a while. More recently (2010-2019), he had a "death" with the Superior Spider-Man hijacking his body for a year and a half during which Otto, in Peter's body, started a company called Parker Industries and completed his graduate thesis under false circumstances. This company offered Peter success and fame for a while, though typically, Peter refused to draw a big salary from the venture, and eventually said period of success was overturned, and Peter returned to his mid-20s struggling self around the time of Nick Spencer's Spider-Man.


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     Tropes A-F 
  • Action Hero: Spider-Man has seen his fair share of action throughout his career.
  • The Adjectival Superhero: Spidey might have the most adjectives. He has Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational, and his favorite, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. He was called the Bombastic Bag-Man, when he borrowed a Fantastic Four costume with a Brown Bag Mask. When Venom acted as him during Dark Reign, Venom was called the Sinister Spider-Man. He is also the Avenging Spider-Man, as a member of the Avengers. And the Fantastic Spider-Man as a member of the FF.
  • Aesop Amnesia: He's repeatedly tried to ditch super heroics to be a normal guy with a normal family, only to have it drilled into him again that "with great power equals great responsibility".
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Future retellings, across several mediums, of Peter’s days just short of becoming Spider-Man have made him a more pure-hearted person from the get-go. However, in the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko run, it was quite evident that Peter was more of an irritable teenager, a good guy yes, but not an ideal pure hero, which gave weight to Peter’s immediate decision of trying to make money as soon as he got super powers instead of trying to be a hero right away; it was only after much hard-earned experiences that Peter grew to be up a fantastically heroic person.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • He's called "Tiger" by Mary Jane and "Pete" or "Petey" by many of his friends.
    • The people of NYC and various other heroes call him "Spidey" or "Web-head" at times.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: He has some shades of this. Notably, he carefully controls the force of his punches so as to not unduly injure the normal humans he fights, he doesn't drink out of fear of losing control of his Super Strength, and after a certain incident involving Gwen Stacy, he's very cautious about calculating the force necessary to safely catch someone with a webline.
  • Alliterative Name: Peter Parker. Both his first and last name begin with the letter P. Middle name's "Benjamin", though — not that it comes up often.
  • All-Loving Hero: He is ultimately the most lovable human being in Marvel and is the prolific easy-going superhero. Throughout the entire Marvel community, he has teamed up and allied with almost every character based on his modesty, compassion, his sense of humor, and his devotion to being responsible. Plus, most stories about him when he's all grown up (considering even the main continuity Spidey, the oldest mainstream depiction, is still only about 24) depict him as "the greatest hero of all".
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Peter got bullied in high school because he was a nerd; meanwhile, Spider-Man gets treated like a criminal by the same media that worships all of the other super-heroes. In the case of J. Jonah Jameson, he treats mutants (the feared and hated minority of the Marvel Universe) better than he does Spider-Man.
  • All Webbed Up: Peter created a set of wrist-mounted webshooters on his own in one of the clearest displays of scientific genius on his part. The formula for his webs in particular is nothing short of miraculous, given its tensile strength and adhesive properties. It disappears after a couple hours or so, so he doesn't even leave a mess. For a time after his first encounter with the Queen up to One More Day, Peter underwent a secondary mutation that gave him organic web shooters that functioned in much the same way as his artificial ones. There is little he can't do with his webs. Possibly justified — in real life, spiders do tend to be pretty brilliant with them.
  • Almighty Janitor: He is a freelance photographer who constantly struggles to pay rent. He is also a superhero who regularly saves the city, and sometimes the whole world, from danger.
    • This gets eventually subverted during J. Michael Straczynski and Dan Slott's runs, though. During JMS's, Peter gets a job as a High School Science teacher, although that was one of the things that Civil War and One More Day put to an end. Slott then took it to the next level by making Peter get a serious full-time job as a scientist in Horizon Labs. And finally, he becomes CEO of Parker Industries, which eventually becomes a multi-national corporation.
  • Alternate Self: Almost every single AU Spider-Man is a version of Peter Parker, something Otto Octavius finds both annoying and disappointing.
  • Always Save the Girl: He tries. Doesn't always work out, but he tries.
  • Amazon Chaser: Has shown an interest in heroines he's worked with, especially the kind who can fight as well, if not better, than he can. He had a one-sided interest in Black Widow when she had amnesia, he seems to have an attraction to Jessica Drew, went out with and had a budding relationship with Carol Danvers and briefly dated Mockingbird. There is also Black Cat, who is also a pretty scrappy fighter like him. Even Mary Jane, whom he eventually married, has shown that she is capable of taking care of herself and has even saved Peter on a few occasions.
  • Animal Motifs: Spiders.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: The webs, the wall-crawling. He's based on a spider, obviously, due to being given spider powers.
  • Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Spider-Man is a notable example for being very colorful. Except when he's wearing his black costume.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In recent events, he's finally able to use his technical skills to make a living — and a good one at that. Peter is now the CEO of his own company, Parker Industries — employing most of is former colleagues from Horizon Labs — and gets paid a very sizable salary to develop new technologies. When he started at Horizon, Aunt May recalls him asserting his dreams of working as a scientist to Ben as seen in one of the older comics.
  • Attention Whore: Peter's original Fatal Flaw in Amazing Fantasy #15 which he overcomes gradually but it still shows up from time to time, since Peter does indeed define himself and is conditioned by what other people think of him to a very great deal:
    • After becoming a superhuman, he uses his abilities and skills to become a media sensation and celebrity out of a craving for the acceptance and respect that was denied to Peter by his peers in high school. He earns money for his Uncle and Aunt but it's clear that his main motivation was respect. When the fame and approval goes to his head and he makes the Tragic Mistake that led to Uncle Ben's death he mellows out, albeit he still has some flirtations with celebrity in the early issues. Working as a street performer, trying to join the Fantastic Four so he can ride their coattails, and getting more than a little bothered by Jameson's scandalmongering.
    • In Roger Stern's "The Daydreamers" written in Amazing Spider-Man #246 in Peter's early middle-career, Peter's ideal fantasy world is beating up his entire Rogues Gallery in single combat, Jameson apologizing and literally kissing his boots, winning both the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize for his scientific papers, having the Avengers and the Fantastic Four kiss up to him and fight for him to exclusively join either one of the two top teams. The fantasy punctures itself, or as per the story logic, his defense mechanism kicks in, when the Avengers realize he's Just a Kid and everyone leaves him.
  • The Atoner: His main motivation for doing good is that no one will have to suffer like he did when he inadvertently got his Uncle killed. As he makes it clear in "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man", Peter will never forgive himself for letting the burglar get away.
    Timothy Harrison: Geez, do ya have to be so hard on yourself? I know you messed up... but at least you've tried to make up for it.
    Spider-Man: I'll be making up for it, for a long, long time.
  • Back from the Dead: Was killed by Morlun, but was reborn by embracing the supernatural side of his powers. He lingered on in Superior Spider-Man as a spirit. Peter can exert enough control over Otto to keep him from killing a helpless foe with Otto none the wiser. Peter also vows to take control of his body back, but gets erased for good this time... at least until Otto's desperation to remember something of Peter's past brings him back. And now he's back for real.
  • Badass Adorable: Despite being incredibly agile and a super-powered daredevil, he's just so damn cute and fun when being in any situation with his life as a hero and a normal guy. The guy defines Moral Pureness for the entire Marvel community.
  • Badass Bookworm: Unanimously Marvel's definitive geek turned epic hero example. Also likely the most powerful street-level hero.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: After his Kung Fu Lessons for Spider-Man.
  • Becoming the Mask: Swings in and out of this, but Peter can get so caught up in his persona that he forgets that Spider-Man is the mask Peter wears, not the other way around.
  • Being Good Sucks: Also the Marvel Trope Codifier for this, as no matter how much good he does, many people are freaked out by him and he loses friends and love interests.
  • Benevolent Boss: He took over as CEO of Parker Industries, but his happy-go-lucky attitude ended up working against him. Following Parker Industries being established as a global conglomerate, it's finally caught on and he's hired some of his former enemies, including Clash, the Prowler, and the second Green Goblin.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • When Peter ("Archie") was in high school it was a choice between "mature" brunette secretary Betty Brant ("Betty") and the more girlish, flighty blonde Liz Allen ("Veronica").
    • In university, Peter ("Archie") was caught in between Gwen Stacy ("Betty") and Mary Jane Watson ("Veronica"). Gwen seemed to have won... until she died.
    • Later on, he was in a triangle with Mary Jane Watson ("Betty") and Felicia Hardy ("Veronica"). Then Spidey hitched up with MJ.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: You DO NOT want to threaten his loved ones. The results will not be good for you.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: When Peter stops cracking jokes, you know he's seriously pissed off. Poked fun at in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual, where D-list villainess Ruby Thursday remarks that as long as Spider-Man is cracking jokes the world is all right. Seconds later Spider-Man shows up and doesn't respond to their prompts, causing Thursday to mutter Uh-oh. He just had laryngitis.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Peter's never taken any long-term sidekicks, but if he runs into any new teen heroes, he usually tries to act like this.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Whenever things look bad, you can bet Peter will arrive at the last possible second to save the day.
  • Big Good: He and Rogers respectively represent the heart and soul of the Marvel Universe.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Following The Other, he had retractile stingers in his forearms, but lost them following One More Day.
  • Blood Knight: It doesn't always seem obvious, but especially in his adulthood Peter doesn't shy away from enjoying a fight when it becomes clear no other option is available.
  • Body Horror: At one point, Spidey created a formula to rid himself of his spider-powers which instead caused him to sprout four extra arms, and on no less than three separate occasions he has been forcibly turned into a monstrous humanoid arachnid called Man-Spider. As if the poor guy didn't have enough to deal with...
  • Born Unlucky: Poor Peter tends to see himself as being very unlucky, so much so that he would complain that it's taken this long for him to be mentioned. He's even mumbled the page quote more than a few times. It should be noted his poor luck has been both Played for Laughs and done seriously. A good deal of the ol' Parker luck is self-inflicted due to his secret identity as Spider-Man, whose duties often interfere with his civilian life, and despite his bad luck he has a loving family, a circle of friends, and as a few supervillains have enviously noted, a love-life entirely filled with gorgeous women.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman:
    • Peter spent a bit of time as a successful show-wrestler, learning how to fight using his powers and his webs before ever trying to fight crime.
    • In a straighter example of this trope, he studied martial arts under Shang-Chi during one of the (many) times he briefly lost his Spider-Sense and found himself seriously handicapped without it. He even developed his own style of Kung Fu, the Way of the Spider.
  • Breakout Character: Originally the star of a story in an issue of a Twilight Zone-esque sci-fi anthology, he proved popular enough to get his own series a few months later and quickly became one of the most popular superheroes ever.
  • Break the Comedian: One of the main traits of Spider-Man is that he often jokes alot when in combat, both as a way to trip up his opponents and try to show civilians he means no harm. But likewise as a coping mechanism to keep himself focused in any situation he gets into. Needless to say, if he's really affected by something personal or horrific, he loses the jokes instantly. A few of his opponents have noted if he isn't joking, then he's taking things very seriously and likely isn't going to hold back in a fight.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to him on a depressingly regular basis.
  • Break Them by Talking: If pushed too far, or if sufficiently pissed, Peter can demolish people. During Avengers: The Initiative, he gets into a fight with Komodo, who was sent to try and depower and arrest him. While he's still dealing with Aunt May being in critical condition in hospital. He proceeds to tear Komodo down, reducing her to a terrified wreck.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: In modern stories, Peter is often perceived this way because everyone knows how smart he is, but not why he doesn't put more energy into his work (the trope is even stated by name in the second movie). They specifically point out that he made something as revolutionary as the web-fluid formula at fifteen, on limited resources and funding, but since then he's only made minor upgrades and gadgets while not developing his original work.
  • Brooklyn Rage: The quintessential New York superhero.
    Leo Zelinsky: Ask me again in that Queens accent how I know you're from around here.
    • Subverted, in that — largely because of his "everyman" aspect — he's rarely depicted with a New York accent in media where it could actually be heard.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • Spider-Man lost his powers once or twice, notably in the '70s; when tricked to drink a potion that nullified his spider-powers, he manages to burst out of several lengths of rope tying him up on a chair by flexing his muscles and getting pissed off — looks like playing super-hero daily helps building up upper body strength. On top of that, he remains a skilled chemist and physicist, good enough to show up the likes of Reed Richards, Doom and Tony Stark. He has, more than once, used his intellect to escape baddies while preserving his secret identity.
    • When he lost his Spider-Sense, he compensated by learning martial arts under Shang Chi, to the point where his skill at fighting enabled him to fight as effectively as he had before he lost it. When he regained his Spider-Sense the combination of his training and the returned ability took his fighting ability to another level. Unless writers start to forget about this ability.
  • Building Swing: His main means of traversing the city.
  • Butt-Monkey: He started out as a poor nerd bullied at school. But as Spider-Man too, he often suffers humiliation and bad publicity from the media. Peter has come to jokingly call the tendency for his life to go awry "the Parker luck".
    • In the first issue of Marvel NOW! Amazing Spider-Man, after finally regaining his body from Otto Octavius, he hasn't even been Spider-Man again for ten minutes before he has his suit unraveled by a villain's power, and pictures of him nude except for his mask and hastily-made web underwear get posted all over the internet. While him making quips again had people wondering if he really had returned, this incident convinces everyone that the real Spider-Man is back.
      Jessica Drew: Okay, Cap. I'm convinced. That's Parker. And he's completely back to normal.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In his origin story, he let a burglar who he could have easily stopped run right by, because he didn't think it was his problem. That same burglar would go on to kill his Uncle Ben.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: During his early years, he was an awkward nerdy teenager before being bitten by a spider. He grew out of it after that, and then started dating Betty Brant. By the time he came to college, he never really has difficulty finding dates. Keeping them and maintaining relationships is what he finds hard to do.
  • Cat Smile: He does this frequently.
  • Characterization Marches On: A hallmark of Peter Parker's development was dynamic growth, at least until later retcons and so on made him a Static Character:
    • Peter originally was The Everyman in the classical sense, in that he was flawed, a little quick to anger, and had a fixation on fame and celebrity, and said that he only cared about the people he loved (and who loved him back) such as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, while the rest as he says it in Amazing Fantasy #15, "can go to hell for all I care". When his Tragic Mistake leads to the death of his beloved Uncle Ben precisely because of his selfishness, he slowly starts maturing into a more moral and selfless person, and someone who never ceases to help out even those he dislikes such as Flash Thompson (in the early issues).
    • Peter in Lee-Ditko Spider-Man had an independent and self-righteous streak (which he, arguably, never entirely loses) and a tendency to distrust others. This was toned down in Romita's era, where after he realizes that Harry had a difficult life with Norman, he and Harry (who started out as enemies) become friendlier, though this creates new problems since Peter is constantly tempted to tell people his secret identity and dislikes lying to his friends but feels it's better for everyone to keep his double life from them. His constant disappearances, lengthy absences, and erratic behavior makes him neurotic, and many of his friends and social circle find him a little weird, with Gwen in particular being constantly worried about him.
    • After he and Mary Jane become confidants and later get married, Peter now having someone with whom he could share his identity with, starts mellowing out and relaxing albeit his period of marriage also coincides with issues of a young struggling couple starting a two-income household where MJ earns more than him. The issues of being a superhero while having a wife and negotiating different responsibilities as an adult also makes Peter think more and more about his long-term future prospects then as a young man. During JMS' run, when Aunt May finds out that Peter is Spider-Man, and also becomes his confidant, Peter opens up even more, and this also makes him more trusting and open to joining teams and sharing his private life with other heroes (with Mary Jane citing how little a part she has in Spider-Man's life as opposed to Peter's which she as his wife has a right to share), leading him to join New Avengers, which ends tragically with Civil War.
    • After OMD, Peter's made into a Static Character, flanderized from different eras of his high school, college and grad school periods. His new characterization is as a funny, unlucky Butt-Monkey, who easily lets a little success to go to his head, is a bit of a Manchild. Once he and Mary Jane (now his long-time live-in girlfriend and ex rather than his wife) break up, he starts a new relationship with Carlie but refuses to tell her his secret once it gets serious because he wants to be liked as "plain ol' Pete" an entirely new wrinkle since in the classical era his biggest problem with relationships was precisely that his girlfriends (Betty and Gwen) hated Spider-Man. This ends up blowing on his face in Spider-Island when she finds out and dumps him for lying to her (which MJ warned him about before).
  • Character Tic: Will often crouch as a means for writers to show his super agility and flexibility.
    • This is acknowledged in Ultimate Spider-Man when he switches bodies with Wolverine. Sabretooth confronts them, but notices Peter Parker is standing with his fists up and Wolverine adopts a crawling position and realizes what happened.
    • Likewise, he has a distinct way of hanging from the end of a web, and extreme contortion is second nature to him.
  • Chick Magnet: His lovers' gallery is really long. In fact, the Human Torch "snaps" when he learns that his best bud Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker, whom he was extremely envious of for his ability to attract women. Johnny even labeled Peter's ability the "Parker Luck", much to Spidey's amusement, who uses the same term to describe his bad luck. If you still need proof, take a look at the Love Interest section. He even nabbed Hercules' former wife!
  • The Chosen One: He has an odd tendency to discover there are ancient prophecies about him. He was, for instance, destined to stop the "Bend Sinister" (alongside Dr. Strange), and no less a pair of personages than Lord Chaos and Master Order claimed to have guided his life to defeat Thanos. The Uni Power chose him as its host to stop the Tri-Sentinel, and he's also the one destined to train Hope Summers. Then there's the whole "totemic spider god" thing with Ezekiel, Ero, and Morlun...
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Justified in that he blames himself for his inaction with Uncle Ben when he could have saved him just by stopping the robber earlier, he takes this to the logical extreme and even other superheroes think he needs a vacation at times. The Venom symbiote has stated that it effectively learned how to feel guilt from sharing a mind and body with Peter.
    • Sometimes he takes it to dangerous extremes. During a prison riot and escape in the supervillain prison Raft, the other Avengers are waiting for backup since they are totally outnumbered. Spidey, not one to let innocent people die on his watch, leaps down anyway. He gets his arm broken and gets the stuffing beat out of him and his mask torn off. The only reason his Secret Identity was not exposed was because they had been beating on him so bad that by the time the mask came off, his face was an unrecognisable mess. Good thing he has an accelerated healing.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Originally pitched as a "superhero with problems", Spider-Man was revolutionary in his time for depicting a comicbook hero whose life didn't magically get better after receiving super-powers — if anything, his life got worse as he was essentially robbed of his youth by being saddled with poverty, responsibilities, duties, and his superhero work. Peter Parker is perpetually living paycheck-to-paycheck, his heroing is detrimental to his personal life, he constantly battles a rogues gallery of super-powered killers that he's secretly terrified of, lacks guidance and support, and he rarely, if ever, gets a "thank you" for all of the sacrifices he performs for the greater good. The temptation of quitting is forever in the back of his mind, but the guilt he feels over his uncle's death will never allow him to stay out of the fight for long.
  • Climb, Slip, Hang, Climb: Ordinarily this never happens to Spider-Man for obvious reasons, but it does turn up in stories where he loses one or more of his powers and has to fake it.
  • Cloning Blues: Peter has a lot of angst regarding his "brothers" Ben Reilly and Kaine, and tends to react very negatively regarding clones in general.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Even the black suit retained the form.
  • Clothes Make the Superman:
    • Spider-Man's symbiote costume (and subsequently, Venom and the other symbiotes) were retconned to have enhanced his powers at a price.
    • Spidey has outfitted himself with several technologically-advanced suits:
      • The first Spider-Armor was made from a silvery pseudo-metallic compound to face the New Enforcers, but was destroyed by acid.
      • The "Iron Spider" suit was built by Tony Stark, and had retractable spider-legs and was one of his most versatile suits. He lost it after defecting during the Civil War, but has since rebuilt it at Parker Industries.
      • The second Spider-Armor was a black-and-yellow bulletproof suit intended to compensate for his lack of a Spider-Sense, and was equipped with built-in web shooters and magnetic webbing.
      • The Stealth Suit was a black costume with Tron Lines made from Unstable Molecules. The Tron Lines are white in its default mode, green in its stealth mode, and red in its anti-sonics mode. Madame Web later altered it into Kaine's Scarlet Spider costume, and Otto Octavius as the Superior Spider-Man rebuilt it.
      • The third Spider-Armor was built to combat the entire Sinister Six, and was equipped with a variety of gadgets intended to facilitate this.
      • The fourth Spider-Armor is made from a light-weight but bulletproof metallic material, an infrared vision mode, and built-in web-shooters.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's more than a little odd, and is seen as creepy by many other heroes at first.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: He sees himself as a guy who can't attract a date, despite having never gone an extended period without a relationship, having long-term relationships with some of the most beautiful women in comics and being married to arguably the most beautiful woman in the MU. Post-OMD, when Peter's supposed to be "unlucky", he has had 5 new relationships (Michelle, Carlie, Silk, Lian, Mockingbird), and all of them openly sexual relationships (with him and Felicia being friends-with-benefits), making him essentially a womanizer.
  • Combat Parkour: This is Spider-Man's specialty. As a consequence of his powers, he fights reflexively. However, he is extraordinarily limber and agile, so by reflex he jumps, twirls, twists, and contorts all over the place to dodge blows and missiles. His only real weapons are his hands and feet. It should be noted, however, that this doesn't really stop Spider-Man from taking severe blows. Indeed, almost every videogame starring him features a costume selection that is torn up and ravaged from all the damage he takes during the game. Because of his Spider-Sense, he's never really blind-sided, but his enemies just tend to be that fast and powerful.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While the way he fights isn't exactly dirty per se, if he can exploit a weakness you have or use whatever is available in the nearby environment to beat you, best believe he won't pass it up.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: The Trope Namer, as it's part of his catchphrase. Though Uncle Ben never actually said it, it was a realization that Peter came to on his own.
  • Confusion Fu: One of the prolific examples in comic books, or at least the most famous. Spidey fights with self-taught moves, superhuman speed and agility, and pure reflex, giving him a fluid freedom in combat that few others can match. Those who come close include Deadpool, Nightcrawler, and cosmic powered martial artists like Gamora.
  • Cool Loser: In high school, he was mocked and bullied relentlessly, was scrawny, poor, and friendless. After being bit by a spider, he no longer needs glasses, he becomes more muscular, and actually starts looking attractive and by the time he hits college, he becomes quite the stud.
  • Costume Evolution: Spider-Man's first costume, as drawn by Steve Ditko in 1962, was red and black with under-arm webbing. In 1966, John Romita Sr. changed Peter's costume to what is considered his classic look: red and blue with no underarm webbing. In 1984, Peter acquired the black suit but returned to his classic look. In 1989 he became the host of the Uni-Power and became Captain Universe, with the lower part of his mask staying the same. In 1990, Todd McFarlane made the blue parts of Spider-Man's costume darker and re-added the under-arm webbing, though in the wake of the Clone Saga he returned to his classic look. His 2004 Secret War outfit was black with blue spider-leg like stripes, his 2006 Iron Spider costume was red and metallic gold with a large spider-emblem, and his 2010 Future Foundation outfit was white with black sides, eye-pieces, and spider-emblems. His 2011 "Big Time" Stealth Suit was black with white/green/red Tron Lines. From 2015 to 2017, he wore the Spider-Armor Mark IV, which is metallic red and blue with underarm webbing and a glowing outline around the spider-emblem before returning to the ole’ red and blues.
  • Crazy-Prepared: During his tiff with Iron Man in Civil War, Tony reveals he (being deeply paranoid) installed safeguards in the Iron Spider armor in case Peter ever turned on him. Then Peter reveals he knew about the safeguards already, and worked in a countermeasure.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Venom never would've existed if Peter didn't try to kill the Venom symbiote after finding out that it was alive and wanted to bond with him. Even after Venom's Heel–Face Turn, it took nigh-on thirty years for Eddie and Peter to fully bury the hatchet thanks to Peter holding a grudge.
  • Creepy Good: He was often seen as creepy by many fellow heroes in the Marvel Universe, even as recently as The '90s, as seen when he and Nova fought the Tri-Sentinel. Also, while it isn't canon, Wonder Woman mentioned he was creepy during his second Crossover with Superman. This is often due to Spidey's costume, his ability to cling to any surface, and his knack for showing up out of the blue, to say nothing of the fact that he is often a Hero with Bad Publicity. His aforementioned tendencies, coupled with a knack for often frightening contortions and a face concealing bug-eyed mask, were likely what led to his becoming a Hero with Bad Publicity, after which it just became a vicious cycle. It probably doesn't help that many people have a phobia of spiders in general.
  • Crisis of Faith: The Amazing Grace storyline shows Peter having (mostly) renounced his previous Protestant Christian views for a staunch atheist outlook, which he is called out on by Beast and the Santerians. By the end of the mini-arc an encounter with Uncle Ben's ghost leaves him unsure about this, and the Santerians push him to renew his faith, which he does by going to a Confession.
    • A more secular version happens when Aunt May is dying from a bullet wound and Peter ends up meeting and getting encouragement from The One Above All. The One Above All takes Peter out to lunch and then shows him that being Spider-Man, for all its heartache and hardships, was monumentally important when be brings Peter to Robert Moses beach and conjures the thousands upon thousands of people Peter saved during the course of his superhero career. Realizing just how many people he helped and are alive today because of his actions helps renew his faith in the world.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Has given them to his enemies and received them in turn. Among his most one-sided defeats has to be at the hands of Doctor Doom in Amazing Spider-Man #350 where the Latverian tyrant wipes the floor with him and reduces Spider-Man to a pulp and basically forces Spider-Man to bargain for his life or face certain death.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Peter often laments his powers and has made the occasional attempt to get rid of him.
  • Cute and Psycho: He is typically a very lovable individual, but when pushed too far he can demonstrate Batman levels of ruthlessness and efficiency. He's also a bit of a Blood Knight.
  • Dating Catwoman: Literally, with the Black Cat becoming Spider-Man's girlfriend for a couple of years before he married Mary Jane, and on-and-off lover after One More Day.
  • Deader Than Dead: Subverted. Not only is he killed once in Amazing Spider-Man #700, but his spirit/ghost was also erased in Superior Spider-Man #9. He returned thanks to Otto's desperate attempts to remember something that could help him prevent a crisis.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To the point of deserving to have the trope named after him. Though really, he spends a lot of time in incredibly-energetic-snarker mode too. At one point, this embodied him so much, a lot of people used to call them "Spider-zingers".
    • His snarkiness is well known even in-universe. In an issue of Excalibur, the members of the Wrecking Crew briefly mentioned Spider-Man's name, eliciting a "I hate Spider-Man" from one of the members. The response: "Everyone hates Spider-Man."
    • In the Secret War miniseries, Spidey met Black Widow out of costume and made a quick joke. Widow suddenly realized who she was speaking with.
      Black Widow: Oh God, I recognize that voice.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Spider-Man was actually one of the earliest Superhero deconstructions, showing just how much being a superhero could have an effect on someone's personal life. Specifically he showed what would happen if a teenager became a superhero without an adult mentor or any confidant with whom he could share his Secret Identity and private issues (no Robin, no Alfred, no Ma or Pa Kent), and actually faced the consequences of his actions without the help of the social validation, and police immunity that was given to both Superman and Batman (via a supportive Daily Planet and The Commissioner Gordon giving a blank check on vigilante activities respectively). His stories removed the "training wheels" that had always made the black-and-white and good-versus-evil stories of Superman and Batman possible making his stories about something more mundane and difficult than simply defeating the bad guy du jour.
  • Defector from Decadence: During Civil War, he initially sides with Iron Man's pro-registration faction, going so far as to reveal his Secret Identity on national television. He defected when he found out that the unregistered supers Iron Man's faction were capturing were being imprisoned without trial in the Negative Zone.
  • Determinator: The flagship hero represents this for the entire Marvel Universe and beyond. Surpassing Captain America in every way, he will not give up no matter what. The source of his strong will? "With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility".
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He once beat up Firelord. Firelord, a former Herald of Galactus, and therefore completely out of Peter's weight class. Admittedly, part of this was because Spidey had taken him by surprise, and just wouldn't stop.
  • Distaff Counterpart: At last count, Spider-Man has had no less than five of them, including his own daughter from an alternate timeline. Unlike most versions, none of them had any major connections to Peter and stood on their own. In fact, in an odd inversion, when the second Spider-Woman was introduced in Secret Wars, the Marvel EIC at the time wanted him to have a black costume similar to hers. Thus the black costume was made, leading to the creation of Venom years later.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When he first meets Mary Jane at a dinner (Amazing Spider-Man #43):
    Aunt May: Would you mind passing the butter, Peter?
    Peter: [staring at Mary Jane] No—not at all!
    Aunt May: Then why don't you pass it, dear?
    Peter: Pass what?
  • Distressed Dude: He's been captured more than any of his girlfriends. Sometimes he breaks out on his own, sometimes it's another hero who swoops in to help, and sometimes it's the one you'd expect to get kidnapped who does the rescuing.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Subverted. His powers work very well, if not even better, purely on instinct, but Spidey's most powerful foes tend to be exceedingly dangerous, and in very many cases more than a physical match for him. Usually, Spider-Man has to out-think or out-smart his enemies, pulling almost as many Batman Gambits as the Trope Namer. Additionally, his live-saving reflexes and Spider-Sense will generally kick-in whether or not he's thinking or distracted.
  • Doom Magnet: Peter has infamously bad luck, which he refers to as the "Parker luck" and which provides the page quote AND picture.
  • Dork Knight: Peter is socially awkward, nerdy, and quirky, but he's one of the best heroes in the Marvel Universe.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The sheer number of villains he's defeated, the longevity of his career and his versatile power set have all made him one of New York's most feared street-level heroes to many criminals.
    • During Spider-Verse, Morlun is terrified of him to the point where he refuses to set foot in Earth-616, even long enough to nab a shocked Miguel O'Hara who was only a few feet away. Considering he was eaten by Man-Spider the last time they fought, who can blame him?
  • Driving Up a Wall: Spidey briefly possessed a Thememobile called the Spider-Mobile: a Spider-Man themed dune buggy. Amongst its abilities was the ability to cling to, and drive along, walls. Exactly how it did this was never really explained, but it seems to have been something the Human Torch installed, so possibly it was Reed Richards's technology. Although the Spider-Mobile was short-lived, various writers have brought it back from time to time. It eventually wound up in the hands of Deadpool.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He's arguably Marvel's poster boy for this trope, to the extent that some (including other superheroes) joke that it's one of his superpowers.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: During Steve Ditko's run, the wall-crawler had noticeable, dramatic webs under his armpits. These mostly disappeared over time as other artists took over, to the point most people don't know they were ever part of the costume.
    • His costume was originally red and black; the black areas gradually turned to blue over the first few years.
  • Easily Condemned: It happens to him all the freakin' time. No matter how many times Spidey saves the city, it only takes one smear campaign or mistaken action seen by the public to turn New York against him and declare he's a criminal.
  • The Everyman: Perhaps the poster child of the Marvel Universe. He is often held up as the epitome of this within superhero comics, and possibly the key to the franchise success. Admittedly, he's not a strict example, as he's consistently portrayed as responsible, hardworking, highly intelligent, and when the going gets tough, a wiseass. However, compare him to his contemporaries: he's the average working stiff where the others include super-scientists, a millionaire playboy, an idolized war hero, and a god. Some writers (Joe Quesada especially) tend to turn this into This Loser Is You. He fills the role so perfectly, many other attempts to make an Everyman superhero wind up compared to him.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Averted with pretty much all of Pete's supporting cast. Of them, the only ones from his highschool are Liz Allen and Flash Thompson. Retcons established Jessica Jones as one of his classmates, who even had a crush on Peter (who had no idea who she was at the time), Peter even trying to console her after her family died (thanks to the Parker Luck, it didn't work).
  • Expressive Mask: Sometimes, the shape of his mask's eye-lenses will change to express what he's feeling. This is also incorporated into animated adaptations, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 2018 video game, although the latter two justify this in that the eyes incorporate a mechanical shutter design.
  • Failure Hero: Can happen a lot. Sometimes it's because he's too full of self-pity, other times because the writers like to Kick the Dog.
  • Fantastic Racism: Due to his experiences with Venom and Carnage, Peter truly loathes Klyntar. He vehemently believes that the symbiotes are irredeemably evil by nature and refuses to listen to anyone who says otherwise. His hatred for the species is so strong that Peter is more than willing to make them an exception to his Thou Shalt Not Kill policy.
  • Fatal Flaw: His sense of responsibility sometimes lapses into borderline martyrdom. This leads to him leaping into situations easily handled by the police or other heroes, and often costs him personal relationships and financial opportunities.
  • The Fettered: After losing Uncle Ben through negligence, Peter swore to never abandon his responsibilities again.
  • Fiction 500: Parker Industries is now a global phenomenon, but people consider him a "Poor man's Tony Stark". He later sold the company but he's still rich and for the first time doesn't have to worry for rent for the immediate future.
  • Fighting Irish: He is of Irish-American descent (given his Protestant affiliation, probably Scots-Irish) he's not particularly hot-blooded and is generally one of the nicer heroes in the Marvel Universe. That being said, as mentioned multiple times throughout this page, when he's actually angry, he's terrifying and quite fond of handing out a curbstomping to those who harmed his loved ones. He also was a pretty angry kid in his early days, but this has since been downplayed as he became more of an everyman character.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Daredevil. In fact, many of Spidey's superhero friendships arguably fall into this trope.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: In contrast to his previous Protestant Christian outlook, in the Amazing Grace mini-arc Peter scorns the notion of God and deities in general, even when Beast points out that superheroes in general are essentially Physical Gods unto themselves, to say nothing of those who were actually worshipped or have divine parentage like Thor and Hercules.
    • Subverted when Peter meets The One Above All who is offially the undisputed creator and almighty of the Marvel Multiverse. When Peter first meets him he doesn't realize who he is. Then The One Above All reveals himself and Peter is not only shocked but openly acknowledges that this is the big G.
      Peter: You... you snuck up on me without my Spider-Sense going off. Who are you?
      The One Above All: C'mon, Peter. You know who I am. [cue bright aura surrounding his mortal body and divine revelation dawning on Peter]
      Peter: Ye... yes.
      The One Above All: All righty, then. Lunch? Some food? My treat?
  • For Want of a Nail: Some alternate universe versions of Peter Parker have him becoming other characters entirely. In one universe, he's a Composite Character of his traditional Spider-Man identity and Iron Man. In another universe, he's imbued with radiation and becomes the Incredible Hulk. In yet another universe, Peter never gets any superpowers but develops his own mechanical weapons to become that universe's version of the Steel Spider to deal with Flash Thompson, who was the one bitten by the spider and became a supervillain.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: His "death" from 2012-2014 was caused by this placing him into the dying body of Doctor Octopus. A part of him remained to try and at least convince Otto to go straight, but was purged for a spell. Obviously, he got better.
    • A recent team-up series saw him get hit with this again, at least with a much more friendly face in Kamala Khan.
  • Friendless Background; In his original appearances, he had no friends, unless you count Liz who was nice to him on occasion, and Betty who was his girlfriend until he got to college. This made Uncle Ben's death more devastating because as a kid bullied at school, he especially depended on his guardians for love and companionship, and Uncle Ben was as much Peter's best friend as he was his surrogate father.
  • Friend to All Children: Spider-Man has to deal with a lot of crap from adults, but not kids. Kids love their Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. He also finds himself serving as a mentor for inexperienced young superheroes, like Kamala Khan. He's also considered an honorary uncle of sorts by Franklin Richards, who considers him way cooler than his actual uncle, the Human Torch.
  • First Girl Wins: Depending on how you define this.
    • Spider-Man's earliest love interests, Liz Allen (his first crush) and Betty Brant (his first date), didn't become his long term love interests. In the case of Liz, they have never even dated once. Betty Brant was his first girlfriend.
    • Gwen was Peter's first serious relationship, and the first girl he really fell in love with, and who loved him back.
    • Mary Jane was first mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #15 and Aunt May kept insisting that she and Peter should be together and set up many Blind Date between them which Peter kept passing because he believed she would have to be uncool to be suggested for him by his Aunt. She made a few early appearances where her face was covered but by the time her first real appearance. This makes the MJ v. Gwen pretty hard to untangle, because while Gwen showed up before MJ, the latter was mentioned and built-up for more than twenty issues before her. In either case, MJ while second to Gwen's first love was Peter's first mature relationship (canonically she's the one who deflowered him at the end of Issue 149, and the first and only girl Peter proposed to, and who said yes (which is true for both Pre and Post OMD).
  • Fun Personified: You don't see many iconic superheroes like Batman or Superman lighten the mood with funny quips and antics like Spider-Man does. Because of these characteristics, only Spidey could get antiheroes like Wolverine and Deadpool to hang out with him.
  • Future Badass: Several different future continuities show Spider-Man being remembered as a great hero.
    • When Miguel O'Hara/Spider-Man 2099 pays a trip to the present day he says as much... to Jonah's face.
    • Cable has also mentioned that Spider-Man was remembered in his time as the greatest hero in the history of the world. On some occasions; he's also remembered as the only hero of his time, because of how often he helped the average citizen compared to every other hero of his time.
    • The version of Days of Future Past Wolverine who turns up in Earth X says that it took an army of Sentinels to bring Spider-Man down.
  • Future Loser: Some of the potential futures has him being killed anti-climactically. Most notably there's the case of "Last Stand", a future version of him that went vigilante and was gunned down fighting the police, and Spider-Man: Reign which paints a very bleak version of his future before making a possible comeback.

     Tropes G-L 
  • The Gadfly: The Ultimate Superheroic Troll for Marvel, which is why his Marvel Team ups with Marvel's greatest characters are great and memorable. Peter basically pokes fun and teases his friends and foes for the tongue in cheek obviousness we as fans would get.
  • Genetic Memory: Every clone of Peter will invariably have his memories.
  • Genius Bruiser: Has an IQ of 250 and literally hits like a truck.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: He started out wearing Nerd Glasses, but eventually lost them as he grew up and developed more confidence in his civilian identity. The interesting thing about how Peter learned he didn't need glasses in the comics was because of a boxing match. He agreed to a match with Flash Thompson, Flash got in one good blow that broke his glasses and Peter countered with a knockout. Once Pete realized the spider-bite fixed his vision, he really saw no need to buy a new pair or keep up the charade at that point.
  • The Gimmick: Spidey possesses several: The Spider theme, the quick wit, and, out of universe, being One of Us.
  • Going Commando: Per an early issue of New Avengers, he doesn't wear anything under that onsie. It should be noted, however, that this remains the only mention of Spidey ever going commando under his costume. He's been consistently shown wearing underwear when putting his costume since the 60s.
    Spider-Man: I chafe.
    Spider-Woman: I want off the team.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: He certainly has his flaws; he's hot-headed, neurotic and can occasionally descend into bouts of self-pity, yet he's still extremely loyal to his loved ones, lives by a very strict Thou Shalt Not Kill code and above all else, he values responsibility. He also happens to be a genius scientist.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Before his Kung Fu Lessons for Spider-Man.
  • Good People Have Good Sex:
    • Although always through Sexy Discretion Shot (it's still a family-friendly franchise, after all), his relationship with Mary Jane was always shown to be sexual. Peter's first time was with her at the end of issue 149 (albeit with a tasteful door closed behind). Particularly after they got married, since the marriage allowed the writers and artists to show them in explicitly sexual situations without fear of angering conservative types too much. (As for nowadays, the second issue of Nick Spencer's Spider-Man, their first scene after officially getting back together is them waking up in the same bed. Subtle that ain't.)
    • To a lesser extent, he's been shown quite sexually active with some of his other Love Interests as well, particularly Black Cat. Although with her it was portrayed as kinkier and less healthy due to her being turned off by the Peter Parker persona.
  • Guilt Complex: His guilty conscience makes him his own worst enemy at times. Otto says this is what separates him and Peter the most. Deep down, Peter knows he's better and smarter than other people, but it came at such a high cost that he willingly sabotages himself to ease the horrible guilt he feels.
  • Happily Married: He was (for about twenty years real-time) to Mary Jane Watson. But then Joe Quesada decided that made him feel too old and boring and retconned the marriage. The backlash of ending the marriage was so bad that even Stan Lee didn't fully agree with the new direction, and kept him married in the newspaper strip. In either case, Spider-Man's marriage in both the comic-strip and the main continuity, and in other continuities made him for a long time, and for some still does, the most prominent example of a superhero who was also married, and many cited that as one of his most unique qualities as compared to Batman and Superman, the latter of whom got married ten years later, and today has taken the crown from Peter as the most prominent superhero who is a married man.
  • Headache of Doom: His Spider-Sense will sometimes trigger when something really wrong or awful is about to happen, such as in The Infinity Gauntlet. In the Ultimate Universe, Venom triggers this automatically - his approach causing the Spider-Sense to go into overdrive. Spidey compares such occasions to a bad migraine.
  • Healing Factor: Peter heals A LOT faster than normal people, though it's pretty slow one by Marvel standards. An example would be that any time he gets his bones broken, expect them to heal in less than a week. He also one time had his eyes completely burned out... and woke up with 20/20 vision the next day. He was also able to heal from third-degree burns after a few days.
  • The Heart: Of the Marvel Universe, Steve Roger's, Jean Grey, Jen Walters, Kurt Wagner, Sue Richards, and possibly Kamala Kahn are very close contenders.
  • The Hero: The Marvel U's best after Captain America. See Big Good.
  • The Hero Dies:
    • During The Other, he sheds his body and gets a new one out of a cocoon, with many team-mates and his loved ones believing he had died.
    • Following Doc Ock's "Freaky Friday" Flip, Peter tries to get his body back but fails, though in his dying moments he convinces Octavius to pull a Heel–Face Turn. However, given that Death Is Cheap in the Marvel Universe, he came Back from the Dead albeit about a year and a half later during his longest absence in regular Marvel books ever.
  • Heroic Host:
    • He was the first host of the Venom symbiote until he found out what it was and rejected it out of fear and disgust. It still wants him, one way or another...
    • In the mid-2000's he was revealed to be the avatar of a totemic spider-god, though he later lost his connection to it and the powers it bestowed, which was acquired by his antiheroic clone, Kaine.
  • Heroic Fatigue: He's gone through this more than once. Peter got his powers as a teen, had no adult guidance and was trying to fight crime, help Aunt May with bills, keep up school work and try to have something resembling a social life all while being the quintessential Hero with Bad Publicity. He's been shown quitting, trying to get rid of his powers and even resorting to crime (albeit influenced by a malevolent being or force) to get a form of compensation.
  • Heroic Spirit: Spider-Man is capable of pushing himself far beyond his normal limits when he's motivated enough. Notably, his Marvel Zombies incarnation was the only infected character who refused to accept his Horror Hunger, even when Colonel America had completely given in. It could be argued his greatest superpower isn't his strength, Spider-Sense, or agility, but that he simply will not stay down no matter how hard you try to break his spirit, mind and body. Peter Parker always gets back up one more time.
    • Even dying doesn't stop him from being a hero. After his supposed death in Ock's body, he shows up later as an apparition, preventing Ock from killing the supervillain Boomerang, and then vowed to regain control of his body from Octavius.
    • If being killed once wasn't enough, having most of his essence and willpower erased by Ock after being found out he was still tagging along in his body still does not kill him, just buries him until he gains the strength to rise up again. Even when there's barely anything left of Peter Parker left in his body, he comes back swinging to regain control of his body and his life.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Pete's love interests have varied quite a bit in hair color over the years (although two of the runners' up Gwen and Felicia are blonde). But the woman he eventually married and his most prominent love interest to date, was the redheaded Mary Jane.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Trope Codifier. He saves countless people, the entire city, and even the entire universe many, many, many, times, but he will still not get the credit he deserves. That being said, he does have a number of fans (how often they show up depends on the writer, however), and most of the other heroes, at least nowadays, do show him considerable respect, enough that he was made an honorary member of the Fantastic Four and was offered a spot on two teams of the Avengers.
    • Deconstructed during Nick Spencer’s run, where J. Jonah Jameson points out that all Spider-Man had to do to clear this up was talk, and that him constantly harassing JJ didn’t help matters at all.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: A regular source of angst for him, being a full-time student, a part-time photographer, and a more than fulltime superhero.
  • He's Back: Peter got his body back from Doc Ock in March 2014, just in time to save New York from the Green Goblin in-universe and for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie in real life.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Initially he was totally friendless, but in college after bad first impressions, he became best friends with Harry Osborn, albeit that friendship faded thanks to Norman. Among the superhero community, his longest and most endearing friendship is with Johnny Storm who was originally his Big Brother Mentor (a speech Johnny gave in college basically served as his Heroic Second Wind in his first fight with Dr. Octopus), and Johnny nominated him as his successor in his will during his brief "death". He also became pals with Daredevil in The '80s and The '90s. Years after they got over the whole bullying thing, Peter has become good friends with Flash Thompson surprisingly enough.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: It's pretty much his central character flaw, as for all of Peter's intelligence and amazing powers he could never truly become greater for all of the constant mishaps that happen in his life, whether if it was out of his control or not. As Otto can attest in Superior Spider-Man, it is that Peter secretly acknowledges his superiority to other people, but willingly sabotages himself to ease the horrible guilt he feels from the price that came with it.
  • Hollywood Dateless: He was married to one of the most beautiful women in the Marvel Universe. And before MJ, he had Betty Brant and Liz Allan fight over him and dated Gwen Stacy and the Black Cat. Even his least overtly attractive love interest, Debra Whitman, looked like a Hot Librarian. This despite him being described as a poor nebbish nerd (though Depending on the Artist not really looking like one). His friend the Human Torch even called him on it, as did the Chameleon while impersonating him.
    Chameleon: Does Parker know anyone who isn't a stunningly beautiful woman?
  • Hollywood Nerd: Peter Parker is a famous example. He was a real nerd in Amazing Fantasy #15 but by later issues, when he stopped wearing glasses, started putting on muscles, and worked for a living, he was actually becoming a pretty handsome guy. Romita Sr. gave him his iconic redesign where Peter went from a dark-haired brunette to a light-haired one, had a more rugged and muscled look to the point that MJ and others would call him a "hunk" but later comics and stories still remind us from time to time his nerdy origins and kept lampshading his relationship with the gorgeous MJ even if he had dated other gorgeous women (such as Gwen) and was pretty easy on the eyes himself.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: When Parker Industries becomes a successful multi-national corporation, he's determined to keep his principles. When he opens a new branch in China, a journalist asks him point-blank if he just did it "for cheap Chinese labor". Peter responds that he's paying a fair salary to all of his workers, and even cuts his own salary down to the middle-management level to make up for the loss of potential profit.
  • Honorary True Companion: His relationship with the Fantastic Four for years. He initially tried to join them because he thought there'd be money in it (Aunt May was strapped for cash), but a close bond formed all the same. He finally joined them for real when Johnny Storm briefly died and he has the status of "fifth Beatle" with them in any case with them and the Future Foundation.
  • Hurting Hero: Some writers seem to think that the biggest appeal of Spider-Man is that things constantly go wrong for him. As a result, we get countless stories of Peter suffering humiliation, lack of money, sickly aunt, girl trouble and just all around unpleasantness, to the point that reading the stories can actually get a little depressing. Note that after John Romita Sr started working on the title with Stan Lee, the book became much Lighter and Softer than it had been recently, a move which led most fans to label it as the golden age of Spider-Man.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one of the earlier issues, Spider-Man, of all people, tells Mysterio to quit it with the sarcasm.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Spider-Man tends to hold back against non-powered opponents most of the time. The gloves come off when he's fighting a dangerous opponent... or if he's really pissed off:
    • During Spider-Man's first fight with Green Goblin II, Harry had most of his father's equipment but none of his actual powers. Peter easily beat him up, and told Harry that if he hadn't pulled his punches, he probably would be dead.
    • Despite them being mostly normal humans, Punisher and Kingpin have had a long history of fighting Spider-Man and coming up (relatively) even... until the gloves come off. Aunt May gets shot by one of Kingpin's assassins during the events of One More Day; Punisher launches an assault on the Exchange building in Greg Rucka's Punisher run, resulting in massive collateral damage. Both events result in a pissed off Spidey tracking them down and beating the crap out of them, reminding them that he could easily destroy them if he really wanted to.
  • I Can't Sense Their Presence: One of the things that makes Venom such a threat is that he doesn't trigger Spider-Man's Spider-Sense. The Spider-Sense also can't detect the Spot's Teleport Spam or Spidey's clones.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He's tried to give up the superhero life several times, often because of how much he suffers and never gets the credit he deserves for his superheroics. It never lasts long; Peter's self-imposed responsibilities always end up drawing him back.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: The Trope Namer. In fact, he killed her himself by accident.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: One of the driving forces of the character is that he is so strongly compelled to do what he sees as the right thing that he can't give up being a superhero, even with all the misery and ruined relationships that it brings to his life.
  • In Harm's Way: He is most definitely an adrenaline junkie, in addition to being something of a showman since his inception in the wrestling ring. His patter has more energy the more danger he's in. He often goes out to 'clear his head' with the hazardous sport of swinging from skyscrapers.
  • I Shall Taunt You: The Master of the battle insult. Since he usually fights purely on instinct, he actually thinks about making insults rather than focusing on the battle. He has gotten wittier over the years, and so he's able to do it when he IS focusing on the battle. It's been mentioned he becomes like this whenever he puts his mask on. And should he stop snarking...
  • I Work Alone: He normally works alone and finds it difficult to work in teams. This has diminished over time, with Spidey becoming a member of the Avengers and the Future Foundation.
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • Peter's best known and most-beloved costume is his red-and-blues, the exact appearance of which has changed over the years but in pattern, placement of details, color scheme has remained consistent to Steve Ditko's design.
    • The Black Suit is his second-most iconic costume, and he still wears a synthetic replica whenever he gets pissed off.
  • Idiot Ball: Spider-Man is tossed one of these nearly any time he is taken by surprise by an attack, considering that his comic named the trope for the ability to sense when something potentially dangerous is about to happen. Sometimes justified in that the Spider-Sense is not infallible. Pete has misinterpreted it at times and been too distracted or in too bad of a condition to pick up on it clearly at other times. It is danger precognition... not omniscience. At one point it was triggered by his own sneezing when he was suffering a truly awful cold.
  • Improbable Weapon User: He often has to get creative with his webbing in a fight.
  • Indy Ploy: Spider-Man's modus operandi is mostly just focused on his superpowers, but his creativity and ingenuity using his powers is also a huge factor. He initially had no training in battle or martial arts so to compensate he uses his powers at his fullest extent to fight unpredictably as he can to find weaknesses and openings in an opponent. Occasionally, he'll use technical knowledge like science and physics to improvise a quick idea to come up with a plan to defeat enemies and foes stronger than him and more deadly.
  • Informed Ability: Some Marvel Databooks state that Spidey can lift and support the weight of around 10 tons, and yet many writers had Spidey struggle with situations that his Super Strength could easily do the work; common examples are when he is saving people from some catastrophe that wrecked the city, so there are civilians stuck in cars (inside or under them) and debris, much of the time he is struggling to lift some car or piece of concrete that can't weigh over a ton and half. It seems Peter can only do justice to his informed strength when he is in determination mode, he has supported the weight of collapsing buildings more than once, which in itself is much more than he could possibly endure. Of course, databooks aren't always reliable.
    • It's more of a case of Depending on the Writer a lot of the time. In earlier comics he could tip a train car onto its side with a finger flick and threatened to crush a villain with it in another.
    • Likewise, Peter Parker's scientific genius has also been one for the majority of time across his publishing history. Aside from the adhesives of his web shooters which he invented, Peter doesn't seem especially brilliant compared to the likes of Tony Stark or Reed Richards who occupy the same universe. It's not even especially clear which field of science is his specialty. While he's quite a smart detective and gifted problem solver in general, his science genius is often told rather than shown. Granted, he doesn't get to spend a lot of time doing research when he's busy fighting crime all over New York City, and Peter would have surpassed the aforementioned scientists in time if he spent all of his time in academia according to Richards himself.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Spidey", "Webhead", "Webslinger" or "Wall-Crawler", "Your Friendly Neighberhood Spider-Man" or any combination thereof.
  • Instant Expert: His powers are hardwired into his reflexes and instincts, so he really has a harder time suppressing them than actually using them. That said, he's the Trope Namer for How Do I Shot Web? for a reason; his early days were plagued with misapplication of his powers that mostly came with not knowing how to consciously control them. Unconsciously, he reacts to his Spider-Sense and leaps over a car and sticking onto the side of a building mere moments after the life-changing spider-bite.
  • It's All My Fault: Tends to take the deaths of people he knows — friend and foe alike — personally. Carlie calls him out on this habit after Rhino drowns himself and Silver Sable. Peter does have a tendency to blame himself for things that are in no way his fault.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: He's the strongest street-level hero, but he's still a street-level hero. He has surprising speed and agility, but he's no Quicksilver. He has super-strength, but not Hulk levels. He can take a lot of punishment, but not from super-powered individuals. This combination of powers, combined with his intellect, make him one of the most adaptable heroes in all of Marvel.
    • His bevy of superhuman powers are nothing compared to his greatest strength: his heart. The Hulk, The Juggernaut, Phoenix-Force empowered X-Men, Heralds of Galactus, Spidey has faced and defeated all these Omega-level threats not by being stronger than them, but by his sheer inability to give up.
  • Kick the Dog: His treatment of the Venom symbiote was rather unwarranted, at least before it was retconned.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Being the original Kid Hero, it's fitting that he fills this role in The Avengers, (along with The Smart Guy), being rather young compared to the others.
  • Kid Hero: He's one of the first true teen solo superheroes that wasn't a Kid Sidekick, starting superheroics when he was fifteen.
  • Kid Hero All Grown Up: He's the original Kid Hero, starting when he was in high school. Over the course of the series, he grows up from that, to a college student, to a schoolteacher, to the leader of his own company, all while keeping up his superheroics. At the very least, ten years have passed in Spider-Man's 616 Continuity despite the floating time scale. And Peter's gone from the age of 15 to, as per Nick Spencer's run, in his "mid-20s". The end of Slott's run had him pushing thirty by establishing that thirteen years had passed since he became Spider-Man while he was the CEO of Parker Industries, and a couple of years have passed in-universe since then.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: The universe loves kicking him in the nuts while he's down. No matter how much good he does, Spider-Man almost never receives any real gratitude or credit for his actions, and he often loses friends and loved ones. He's contemplated and even attempted quitting at different points, but he always comes back and continues his heroics because With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Of a sort. Because of the time he spent bonded to the Venom symbiote, Venom and all other symbiotes that spawned from it (or its "children") — and in some stories symbiotes in general — don't trigger his Spider-Sense. This would be a problem in itself, but Peter's reliance on his Spider-Sense to predict oncoming danger usually means he forgets this fact until it's too late.
  • The Lancer:
    • In many crossovers, he's presented as this instead of the leader.
    • He's technically this in Superior, up until the Grand Finale.
  • Le Parkour: He takes this trope Up to Eleven.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: He learned that "with great power comes great responsibility." Cue years later, where his family and friends never get any personal time, because he can't let go of his mission to protect the general public by stopping super-villains.
  • Lightning Bruiser: So far as street-level heroes go, Spider-Man is one of the fastest, strongest, and most durable — to the point that he deliberately holds back against opponents to avoid killing them.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: With MJ. Though to be technical about it, it's more like "literally loving thy neighbor's niece".
  • Logical Weakness:
    • He has been shown to be susceptible to pesticides that affect spiders. He also can't stick to surfaces that are sufficiently slick.
    • His Spider-Sense can also be rendered useless or even a drawback if faced with overwhelming danger from multiple sources. Iron Man also proved that if Peter can build a tracer that emits a signal detectable by his Spider-Sense, then others can build devices to trigger false positives in his Spider-Sense, rendering one of his greatest advantages useless.
    • Peter was the main host to the Venom symbiote for a while before he got rid of it. The close connection meant that the symbiote has an understanding of every part of his physiology, including the Spider-Sense, and has adapted itself to not set it off. Venom is one of the few foes who Peter can't see coming.
    • The sense isn't very specific, and can thus be fooled by misdirection. For instance, in one What If? story, the Punisher set a trap with a Dr. Octopus dummy and a bomb. Spidey assumed that his Spider-Sense was going off because he was about to tangle with Doc Ock and never realized the real threat until it was too late.
    • It also isn't touched on much but his Spider-Sense only identifies immediate, direct, danger/potential danger to Peter. It won't warn him of things that might hinder him but otherwise don't pose a threat nor will it warn him when something is a potential threat until it's activated like a bomb that was not active when he entered a room but then suddenly turned on. He won't know he's in trouble until trouble is basically knocking on his door or about to put its foot up his ass.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Spider-Man started off as one of the few Marvel Superheroes with no actual team affiliations. Albeit at the time there weren't many teams other than Fantastic Four (who were family first and team second) and the X-Men (an exclusive club of mutants). This went hand in hand with Peter's desire to keep his superhero life far away from his private life, to the point where there were literally only six superheroes who knew him well. This has changed rather drastically in the 2000s, where now Spider-Man is arguably one of the most connected heroes in the Marvel Universe.
  • Look Ma, No Plane!: Spider-Man swings by helicopters all the time. In the game of the second movie, you end up chasing one... if you go too close to the rotors, exactly what you'd expect happens.
  • Loser Protagonist: Part of the appeal is that, rather than being a millionaire playboy or any other kind of extra-awesome person that other superheroes are, Peter's a normal guy that has to deal with the same mundane problems as anyone else.
  • Lovable Nerd: The Trope Codifier for Marvel U. He is the sweetest geek ever.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Played with in his relationship with Black Cat. She's perfectly aware of his secret identity, but she only has real interest in the Spider-Man persona. Due to this, coupled to her cat-burglar tendencies, their relationship never sticks.

     Tropes M-R 
  • Made of Iron: He can shrug off an incredible amount of damage and stay in the fight. Enhanced durability is one of his superpowers, and he can also heal extremely fast, but nevertheless he's taken some incredible poundings. Once, when Peter was involved in an incident, he let a police doctor take some X-Rays just to make certain he was okay, but drew the line there, as he's consistently been shown to be very careful about anyone drawing blood from him. The doctor came back and asked to speak to Pete privately. The doctor explained that he used to be an Army physician, then did a stint with SHIELD before joining the NYPD. He flat-out told Peter that his X-Rays showed multiple broken bones and injuries that no human could have survived, and that he'd seen similar injuries before... among superheroes and super villains. He ended by saying that he didn't know what side of that equation Peter was on, but advised him to try and take better care of himself.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Let's just say Spidey has experience with this... as in he's never had a single relationship where this didn't factor in some way, mostly because he has never had relationships with anyone before he got bitten by a spider and his Uncle Ben died.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While Peter's powers were initially stated to be derived from radioactive spider venom altering his DNA, J. Michael Straczynski introduced an arc revealing that his powers - and those of the various other spider-related superheroes as well - stem from an arachnid-related supernatural force called the Web of Life, and that that the spider that bit him was actually the avatar of a totemic spider deity. Araña's comic series and the Grim Hunt and Spider-Island arcs support this supernatural origin story, but it is noted in The Other that the two origin stories aren't mutually exclusive. Spider-Verse reveals this mystical origin to be the case for all Spiders regardless of how they got their powers.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Peter is Latin for stone and rock, popularized in the English language by Saint Peter, who like Spider-Man, was also burdened by the guilt of failing his mentor for selfish reasons while he suffered and died, only to devote the rest of his life to spreading his work as atonement. The name Peter often signifies humility, and is associated as a famous "common name" which befits Spider-Man's Small Steps Hero nature.
    • Parker is old English for "Keeper of the Park" or "gamekeeper", as a surname. It was also a lower-class occupational surname associated with maintaining the neighborhood and ensuring that the garden doesn't over-run with animals.
  • Mental World: Superior reveals that he has one comprised of a patchwork of his important memories, with the main hub being his hometown of Queens.
  • The Mentor: Got drafted during Avengers Vs. X-Men to serve as one for Hope Summers, by the monks of K'un-L'un. Despite everyone involved being extremely dubious about it, he managed to impress on her the nature of power and responsibility, and get her from sneering at him to actually awed of him.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Mary Jane Watson's Aunt Anna once tried to get her to face the "truth" about Peter Parker's apparent infidelity, what with all his sneaking around at odd hours and missing commitments with the flimsiest of excuses; this aggravated MJ enough to evoke a Sarcastic Confession: her husband was really Spider-Man. During the JMS Era when the Spider Queen kissed him on TV, MJ (at the time married but separated) reacted negatively on hearing the report and seeing it on TV though she forgave Peter when she learned the truth.
  • Money, Dear Boy: This is what Peter Parker first thought of using his spider-powers for, before it resulted in Uncle Ben's death. Even then, the first issue of his regular series features him attempting to join the Fantastic Four because he thinks the members get paid.invoked
  • Monstrous Humanoid: On several occasions, Peter has undergone transformations into a feral, anthropomorphic arachnid called "Man-Spider".
  • Motor Mouth: Doesn't pause his mid-fight quipping to breathe. He even does this to other heroes, especially to the brooding silent types like Daredevil or Punisher.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: He possesses incredible strength but also possesses a thin physique that earned him the nickname "Puny Parker". He's typically drawn as having a decent physique, just one more befitting a gymnast or runner rather than the bulk of someone with a lot of upper body strength. Captain America, for example, has much larger arm and chest muscles despite Spider-Man being several times stronger.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Peter recognizes the murderer of his uncle as the man he allowed to escape earlier.
  • My Greatest Failure: He let a burglar run right by him when he could have easily stopped him because he didn't think it was his problem. That same burglar goes on to kill Uncle Ben, and Spidey has lived with the guilt ever since. Then there's his second greatest failure, I Let Gwen Stacy Die.
    • As Nick Fury once stated in a secret file he kept on Spider-Man: "Parker is driven by an overwhelming sense of guilt that basically compels him to do anything you say he has to do."
  • Mr. Fanservice: While his intelligence is attractive in its own right, he's also very appealing physically, especially for those who prefer a less bulky physique. Some artists seem to intentionally draw his wall crawling from angles that showcase his butt, he often sustains Clothing Damage in battle, and outside of his costume he's often shown in his underwear or towel for no clear storytelling reason. Outside of that, Peter himself is a case of Progressively Prettier, even in the Ditko era where by the time he heads to ESU he actually grows more good-looking since the spider-powers and a growth spurt actually made his attractive features stand out, and then John Romita Sr. gave him an updated look that made him quite handsome.
  • Mundane Utility: His Spider-Sense makes him a pretty good hand at Poker. It alerts him when he gets a bad hand, when his opponent has a better one, and he used it to his advantage in Paul Jenkins' "Read 'Em and Weep" where he defeated The Kingpin in a game.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: He's quite the Chick Magnet, considering he used to be a complete dork. During their marriage, Mary Jane even seemed to consider moments when he talked about science as a turn-on.
  • Neutral No Longer: In his backstory, he initially planned to just use his powers to pursue fame and fortune, to the extent of deliberately letting a burglar he could have easily stopped run right past him on the grounds that it wasn't his problem. That very same burglar later breaks into his house and shoots his Uncle Ben; the guilt of the incident shakes Peter to his core, and leads him to become a superhero to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: When he is infected by the Spider-Queen's venom in Disassembled he grows organic spinnerets, can talk to spiders, and his strength gets boosted to 15 tons. After becoming the receptacle of the totemic spider-deity called the Other in... The Other, he develops night-vision and venomous stingers in his forearms, and his strength gets boosted a second time to 20 tons. He's reverted back to his original power set by Mephisto.
  • Nice Guy: Pretty much his defining character trait. He's such a nice guy that most other heroes will go out of their way to help him in times of crisis.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Spidey's rescuing Alpha from The Jackal, he at one point tries to encourage Alpha to free himself. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of telling Andy that he'd lose his powers if The Jackal managed to drain them from him, prompting Andy/Alpha to break free and state that he would rather die than lose his powers and go back to being a powerless nobody like Jackal's failed clones. It's after this incident that he emancipates himself from his parents and strikes out with the family lawyer for bigger fame and profit, and also became even more conceited than he already was. Not quite the result Peter had hoped for.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Spider-Man's fate. He's damned if he doesn't do (as in the death of Uncle Ben) and damned when he does (courtesy Jameson and others). Specific examples:
    • After Green Goblin unmasked him and Spider-Man fought him off leading to Norman getting Easy Amnesia, Peter decides to give his Arch-Enemy a second chance, partly out of fear that his identity would be compromised, and because of compassion for Harry Osborn his college classmate. The end result: a few years later the Goblin regains control and kills Gwen Stacy out of spite and he goes on to make Peter's life a world of pain for years to come, spitting on Peter's mercy and his second chance and gloating at him for doing so.
    • At the end of Ends of the Earth, when Dr. Octopus established himself as an irredeemable Misanthrope Supreme and wannabe dictator, Peter insists on bringing him in alive and having him face justice, and even escorts him to prison out of duty even when many of his team-mates wanted him dead. The end result, Dr. Octopus hijacks his body, ruins all his relationships, screws over his life and saddling Peter with the consequences of actions that he did not take well after he has "redeemed" himself.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Peter generally holds back against his enemies to avoid killing them. That said, there have been times when he's gone all out.
    • When the Green Goblin threw Gwen Stacy off George Washington Bridge and Spider-Man accidentally broke her neck trying to catch her, Peter furiously chased the Goblin down and nearly killed him. He stopped himself, but Osborn accidentally killed himself trying to impale Peter with his glider.
    • Black Cat ran afoul of Doctor Octopus while tracking him down as a favor to Peter, and he beat her to within an inch of her life. When Spider-Man learned what had happened, the resulting beatdown traumatized Octavius so badly he was institutionalized with arachnophobia.
    • When Aunt May was shot by a sniper hired by the Kingpin after Peter had outed himself as Spider-Man during the Civil War, Peter put his black suit on and hunted Fisk down, trashing Iron Man and berating him into paying for May's medical bills. After listening to Fisk mock him, Peter brutally beat him to a pulp and promised to come back and finish him off if his aunt died.
  • No-Sell:
    • According to New Avengers, Peter's been through so much horrific things that when unconscious his brain is utterly shielded from psychic intrusion, something Maria Hill learns only after she's had SHIELD's psychics knock him out.
    • Also, blows from normal humans fail to phase him in the slightest. In fact, on more than one occasion they injure their hands. A one-shot villain who was a heavyweight boxer punched Peter in the abs, and ended up with broken wrists to Peter's amusement.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: In the grand scheme of things Spider-man is not characterized as a truly powerful character, being overshadowed by dozens of superheroes. But for the street level standards that is where he usually works he is easily one of the most powerful superheroes, being able to lift tanks and surprise Daredevil with his speed.
  • Not Helping Your Case: One of the main reasons for his being a Hero with Bad Publicity, and something Jonah calls him out on during Nick Spencer's run. As JJ points out, whenever he made a false accusation against Spider-Man in the past, Spidey's response was usually to insult, antagonize, and even threaten Jameson for doing so rather than simply reach out and try to set the record straight, which, if anything, just made the situation worse and convinced people he was even more of a menace. On one particular occasion, Spidey went so far as to break into Jonah's office, web the door shut, and corner him with full intent of beating him up, only for Jonah to call him out on it, saying his paper only reflects the public's perception of Spidey and the wall-crawler isn't exactly helping his image:
    Spider-Man: Don't give me that! You're the one who made them believe I'm a menace!
    J. Jonah Jameson: Oh, really, Spider-Man? Look at yourself, you're so blasted smug. Either you were always the menace I said you were — or I've managed to convince you that you're a menace, because you're sure acting like one! And frankly, masked man, I didn't think I was that good a writer.
    Spider-Man: ... You stink, Jameson. You really do.
  • Not Quite Dead: He was thought to be dead at the end of the Amazing series. Superior #1 shows that a piece of his soul is in his body, plotting to get it back. And he does.
  • Not Quite Flight: Thanks to the Iron Spider armor, Peter briefly had the ability to glide via the suit's armpit webs.
  • Not So Different: In regards to Alpha, MJ points out to Peter their similarities. Deep down, Peter knew that if it weren't for the tragedy of losing Uncle Ben, he'd probably be doing exactly the same things Alpha was doing then.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In the early days, no one would have suspected bookish, shy Peter Parker of being the web-slinging, wise-cracking Spider-Man.
  • Official Couple: He's had quite a lot of official partners over the years, but three of them stand out: Gwen Stacy, Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, and Mary Jane Watson with the latter the most prevalent and longest lasting of all. They were married for over 20 years (in Real Life time) until the infamous story One More Day retconned their marriage. After that, he barely sustained any lasting relationships, while at the same time teasing the possibility of him getting back together with MJ until Nick Spencer's Spider-Man finally made them to officially start dating again.
  • Offing the Mouth: Spider-Man, being a Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire, invokes this trope deliberately when he fights his enemies, to make them so pissed-off they don't notice whatever plan he's cooking.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Depending on the Writer, of course, but Peter has in-depth knowledge of chemistry, biology, and physics. He developed the formula that produces his super-strong and versatile webbing when he was just a teenager. By the time he's an adult, he's working in cybernetics, robotics, particle and quantum physics. While he may not be as purely intelligent as people like Reed Richards or Tony Stark, Peter has outwitted both of them on multiple occasions by coming up with solutions that those super-geniuses could not.
  • One-Hit Kill: Peter's full force punches, even when he's out of shape, can easily be fatal to humans. In fact , this was exploited, much to Spidey's horror, a woman trying to get a Mercy Kill via Suicide by Cop, jumped into a fight between Peter and Wolverine, resulting in her dying from one punch from Peter.
  • One-Winged Angel: On at least four occasions, Peter has been transformed into an anthropomorphic spider-like monster called Man-Spider, and even completely into a giant spider.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The rule of thumb with D-list villains is that as long as Spider-Man is constantly quipping and cracking jokes, everything is right in the world. If he's not telling jokes, bad things are happening or he's really, really pissed off. (Or he has laryngitis.)
  • Ordinary High-School Student: One of his most famous traits, even though he's past college now. Most adaptations have him in high school, or for some reason have his college seem like a high school.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: In Superior, he doesn't get any ghost powers, but is just there for the ride as a soul.
  • Pals with Jesus: So far, Peter is the only character in the entire Marvel Multiverse to ever have The One Above All go after him to have a chat, a meaningful one; others looked for The One Above All and some talked to him, but Peter was the only one who was looked after by the man himself; in all, Peter seems to have a tendency to intrigue multiverse beings, good and bad, to sometimes take their precious time to talk with him.
  • Parental Abandonment: In most continuities, his parents die before he's old enough to remember them, leaving him with Ben and May.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: During "Sins Rising," he initially works to save Norman Osborn from the resurrected Sin-Eater and his followers. But when Osborn sniffs Spider-Gwen, hits on her in the sleaziest way possible right in front of Spider-Man, and threatens to kill her just as she did the Gwen of Earth-616, Peter snaps and personally throws Norman to the Sin-Eater.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Most of the villains Spider-Man met when he was a teenager only developed a hatred for him after he kept getting in their way. One notable exception was the Green Goblin, who intended to make an impression on the New York mobs by capturing Spider-Man, who he thought would be an easy target. It all went downhill from there.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Peter is by no means very small but his build is lean and he, like Daredevil or Black Cat, has a reputation for being fast, agile, and hard to hit. This makes most villains believe that he's a Fragile Speedster. He isn't. At all. Peter can officially lift over 10 tons and has lifted more than that when pressed and running on adrenaline. It's just that Peter is a Nice Guy so he always holds back when dealing with any villains who can't handle punches from a man that can bench press a fire truck. This has often caught his enemies off guard much to their regret.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Anna Maria Marconi. After discovering the truth about what happened during Superior Spider-Man, she and Peter become close friends.
    • In a reverse situation of what would be considered normal of them, Spidey is this with Earth-65's Spider-Woman, Gwen Stacy. As both of them are haunted by the deaths of their respective counterparts, the two of them made a pact to protect each other and remain close friends without progressing past that.
    • He and MJ were this during the period after she returned to his life and they confessed each other's Dark Secret, but the sparks that flew between them made it hard to stay platonic for long.
  • The Pollyanna: No matter what life throws his way, he will always do the right thing and won't stop trying to make the world a better place. He also always seems to have a joke at the ready for any situation.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Often makes Shout Outs to other media, being a huge nerd and all.
    Iron Man: How did you know my A.I. was a woman?
    Spider-Man: I know you. And I saw 2001. No computer will ever have a man's voice again. Kubrick saw to that.
  • Popularity Power: How Spidey gets to beat the really tough villains and heroes.
  • Powered Armor: Peter's worn several and built most of them himself: The Iron Spider, Big Time Stealth Suit, Big Time Spider-Armor, and Ends of the Earth Suits, to name a few. His All New All Different costume, the Spider Armor Mk IV, has a metallic sheen to it while it's being worn, with glowing eye pieces and Tron Lines around the spider emblem, but can be taken off like a cloth costume.
  • The Prankster: When with Johnny Storm they often play pranks.
  • Pretender Diss: When Mac Gargan becomes the third incarnation of Venom, Spidey has this to say:
    Spider-Man: He's just a B-list punk who's got a shot at the big-time here. A lackey of the Goblin that suddenly thinks he's got a chance in the major leagues. But I've got news for you, man... a loser dressed like Venom is still a freakin' loser.
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: When Spider-Man first got his powers, he entered a wrestling tournament and beat a wrestler by the name of Crusher Hogan. Interestingly enough, Crusher came back years later, publicly stated that wrestling was fake, and that he purposefully threw the fight to Spidey.
  • Psychic Block Defense: When Mosaic possesses Spider-Man, he finds out the hard way that Peter installed a mental defence system following his last brain-jacking: multiple copies of Symbiote Spider-Man that viciously attack anyone who invades his mind and tries to discover his civilian identity.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Has big brown/hazel eyes that a lot of woman find attractive.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: Peter Parker won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography for his pictures of Spider-Man. After he revealed to the world that he was Spider-Man in Civil War, he was sued by J. Jonah Jameson for essentially selling him pictures of himself, but no word if his prize was in danger of being revoked as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dishes one out to Kaine in the "Grim Hunt" storyline when the latter insists they can't beat the Kravinoffs and they should just "run and screw the rest." Peter outright punches Kaine in the face, absolutely disgusted at Kaine's selfishness and cowardice despite the two sharing DNA and memories. This actually reaches Kaine, who subsequently knocks Peter out, dons his costume, and dies fighting the Kravinoff family in his place.
    Spider-Man: I know you've had a crappy life, and done bad things, I get it... but I never realized what a piece of garbage you were until this moment. How can you share my DNA and be so damn selfish? We've all been hurt! We've all suffered! But the difference between us is I never used it as a crutch.
  • Reckless Pacifist: All very well when Spidey's dealing with supervillains, but sometimes he seems to forget how much ordinary people can take. This becomes a plot point when Otto Octavius discovers he's dying from brain damage caused by his fights with Spider-Man.
  • Refusal of the Call: Peter refused to stop a robber, who shortly thereafter murdered Uncle Ben.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: With Mary Jane, sorta; it's subverted quite a bit in the 616 timeline. They already had a close relationship, previously sorta dated, and Peter had proposed to her once before, and it wasn't Peter who revealed himself to her, she revealed she knew who he was and that she loved him, resulting in him proposing to her. Him being a superhero was actually a turn off (she knew that dating a hero could result in violent death and that he could end up killed in action and leave her alone), but couldn't shake her feelings for him and so eventually relented and said yes. The Ultimate Universe, however, has a straighter example. This is averted in the newspaper strip, where Mary Jane was already seriously dating Peter without having prior knowledge of his dual identity. After Peter revealed who he was to her and proposed, she didn't think twice about accepting.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: There have been several occasions where Spider-Man has been pushed to the breaking point and strongly considered breaking his Thou Shalt Not Kill tenet; pretty much every single time one of his loved ones is badly hurt... or killed. Stand out examples are:
    • When Uncle Ben was murdered, Peter went after the criminal with every intent of returning the favor. The realization that he had inadvertently caused his uncle's death through inaction stopped him, and he turned the burglar over to the police.
      • Subverted when the burglar returns. During the pursuit, Spider-Man reveals his identity to show why he won't just give up. The burglar — thinking that Peter wants the ultimate revenge for Uncle Ben's murder — has a fatal heart attack out of fear.
    • After Gwen was killed, Spider-Man hunted down the Green Goblin with a vengeance. Before delivering the final blow, however, Spider-Man backed away out of fear of breaking his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule.
    • When Jean DeWolff was murdered by the Sin-Eater, Spider-Man pursued him in a very personal way. This time, he almost beat his prey to death — leaving him crippled — and was only stopped by the intervention of Daredevil.
    • When Doctor Octopus nearly beat Black Cat to death after catching her tailing him, Peter went after him with such intense fury that Otto suffered from arachnophobia for some time.
    • When Aunt May was shot by a sniper hired by the Kingpin following Spider-Man outing his secret ID on Iron Man's behest, Peter put on the Black Suit and beat the tar out of everyone standing between him and the Kingpin — including Iron Man. After sitting through Fisk mocking his choice to out himself, Peter pummelled Fisk to a pulp, and then said he'd come back and finish him off if Aunt May died.
    • In the "Grim Hunt" storyline, the Kravinoff family, led by Kraven's wife Sasha, started hunting down spider-powered individuals, killing Mattie Franklin, Madame Web, and Kaine in the process. In response, Peter put on the black suit and took the fight to them, defeating the Chameleon, Alyosha, and Vladimir, ripping Sasha's face apart using his Wall Crawling power offensively, and nearly killing Kraven himself with a spear before Julia Carpenter, now the new Madame Web, talks him down by showing him visions of a Bad Future where he becomes a mass-murdering Anti-Hero.
    • When Itsy-Bitsy began killing in his name, Spider-Man snapped and built a weaponized suit of Powered Armor resembling the Superior Spider-Man's costume in order to kill her, but was stopped by Deadpool.
  • Run the Gauntlet: Spidey's first battle with the Sinister Six was one of these, where he was forced to battle the Vulture, Electro, Kraven, Sandman, Mysterio, and Doctor Octopus one after another to save Aunt May and Betty Brant.

     Tropes S-Z 
  • Sad Clown: To quote Iron Man, "The closer we get to uncomfortable truths, the more jokes per minute you make."
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Big time. After Uncle Ben, Pete has taken much more responsibility for the safety of New York than a hero of his modest power set should have. Other heroes respect the hell out of him for it, but consider it unhealthy. He takes it up to eleven when Jonah's wife is murdered trying to save Jonah from the Spider Slayer, declaring that no one would die while he was around. This gets thrown in his face when Rhino murders Silver Sable and commits suicide by drowning during the End of the Earth. During the first issue of his All-New, All-Different Marvel Amazing relaunch, Mockingbird worries he's gone back to this, but he corrects her that he's realized that's an impossible dream and toned it back down again.
  • Sarcasm Failure: Woe betide the villain who causes Spidey to stop telling jokes.
  • Science Hero: Some writers portray him as this, especially in the "Big Time" arc, with his new job. Even in the Ditko era he was prone to rely on his smarts as often as his superpowers, especially in the case of Dr. Octopus and Electro.
  • Second Super-Identity: Spider-Man did this as an entire group of heroes. When Spider-Man was accused of murder during the "Identity Crisis" storyline, he temporarily adopted four other costumed identities to allow him to continue fighting crime without appearing as Spider-Man: Hornet, Prodigy, Ricochet, and Dusk. Eventually these personae were adopted by other heroes, creating The Slingers.
  • Secret Identity: Spider-Man's identity was originally secret, before the Green Goblin found out. Since then, a handful of Spidey's Rogues Gallery have found out that it was Peter Parker, Mary Jane always knew from even before they officially met, Aunt May walked in on an unconscious and bloody Peter in costume, and it gradually became an open secret amongst part of the superhero community. Then Civil War came, and Spider-Man publically unmasked, before One More Day erased the knowledge of Spider-Man's identity from everyone. Since then, a handful of his allies and villains have found out his identity:
    • He revealed it to the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.
    • Kaine still knows due to being a clone of Spider-Man.
    • The Jackal also knows due to his cloning work, and the Queen knows since the Jackal was working for her.
    • All of the Spider-People (Spider-Woman, Spider-Man 2099 etc) know. Kraven the Hunter knows.
    • Doc Ock knows, due to taking over his body.
  • Series Mascot: Of Marvel Comics, alongside Wolverine, Iron Man (since 2008) and Stan Lee himself.
  • She-Fu: One of the oldest examples, believe it or not, despite being a Rare Male Example. He uses it expansively throughout his career. It can be seen a bit more clearly in some of the more recent video games, where you can see Spidey in motion more easily.
    • In the Marvel vs. Capcom series, everyone has an equal amount of punches and kicks due to there being buttons for both. Come the third installment, which decreased the buttons to three for general attacks, and he becomes a Rare Male Example for Kick Chick, using almost exclusively that.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: When he finally got a date with Carol Danvers, the two were attacked and Peter was held at gunpoint with the shooter threatening Carol to surrender or he'd shoot "her boyfriend". Peter clarified this was their first date, so calling him her boyfriend is premature.
  • Sherlock Scan: Spoofed more than once. Peter is smarter than the average bear, and has heighted perception, but there've been occasions where he's able to make ludicrously quick determinations from mere glimpses of someone's body-parts. To whit:
    • During an appearance in an issue of X-Men where for a variety of reasons New York has been turned back into the Hyperborean Age, Peter gets attacked by the brainwashed New Mutants. He's able to recognise it's them when he sees Cannonball, recognising the guy by his distinctively large ears, while Cannonball was a nigh-indistinguishable blur due to his blastin'.
    • In New Avengers, he claims to be able to recognize Electro from a blurry black-and-white security recording of the guy's elbow. To quote Peter, "I'd know that elbow anywhere!" And he's right.
  • Ship Tease: Both this and Ship Sinking. Ever since One More Day, the writers have been mercilessly teasing the possibility of Peter and MJ getting back together... only to sink the hell out of that ship and make it float again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Both in and out of universe. Notable examples are the build up to One Moment in Time, the ending of Spider-Island followed up by Superior Spider-Man, and again the build up to Renew Your Vows and the "Power Play" story arc. The cycle was maintained for over a decade until it was finally broken by Nick Spencer.
  • Sidekick: Spider-Man was created as a subversion. Stan Lee never liked the idea of sidekicks, and decided to make a character who had all the makings of one, but was instead the hero. Given his popularity, this may explain why so many superheroes are now young adults. Of course one can argue that during Team-Up, Spider-Man kind of defaults to sidekick either to Captain America, Wolverine, and especially Iron Man in Civil War. There has never really been a major story where Spider-Man was outright the team leader or senior partner.
  • Signature Move: Spidey has always liked to shoot a small patch of webbing at his foes' eyes to blind them.
    • Should he meet someone as verbose as he is, his first target is their mouth. He does the talking around here, thanks.
  • Small Steps Hero: What separates him from characters like the Fantastic Four, Iron Man or Thor. While they're out saving the world or the universe, or the multiverse, he's in Manhattan saving the civilians.
  • Sneaky Spider: A quippy spider-themed superhero who frequently uses his wits and webs to outsmart larger and stronger opponents.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Peter is the Trope Codifier, being a nerd with superpowers.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": One of his recurring pet peeves is people spelling "Spider-Man" as all one word or without the hyphen. Somehow he can even tell when people are saying it wrong, despite it being pronounced otherwise identically.
  • Spider-Sense: Peter possesses a form of mild precognition (which he is the Trope Namer for) that warns him of potential dangers, including people who might be observing him to discover his secret identity (for example, the Green Goblin could only discover it after numbing the Spider-Sense with a special gas grenade thrown by one of his henchmen).
  • Spirit Advisor: An interesting example, to say the least. Though Otto initially didn't know he was there, Peter was keeping him from crossing the line.
  • Split Personality: Discussed, as his employees at Parker Industries think he's insane due to the stark contrast between his behaviour and Otto's.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: He and Mary Jane Watson were forced into this by One More Day.
  • Starving Student: His college years were spent impoverished, in part due to Aunt May's failing health.
  • Stepford Snarker: Depending on the Writer, Spider-Man does this. He uses his quippy brand of sarcasm to hide the fact he's usually pretty scared, self-doubting and carries around a massive Guilt Complex.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: A precursor of sorts. He's a Fun Personified Primary-Color Champion who's one of the most frequent mascots for the Marvel Universe and initially (and often) depicted as a Kid Hero. A key difference between Spidey and the typical Stock Shonen Hero is that he's very intelligent, and his ineptitude instead comes from being a social outcast as a teen in many adaptations. Naturally, Spidey is one of the most popular Marvel heroes in Japan.
  • Stood Up: Inverted. In a recent issue of Spider Man, where Peter Parker is (unintentionally) stood up by Mary Jane Watson after spending the day trying to remember where he agreed to meet her. Of course, Peter has had to ditch a fair number of dates while trying to save the day.
  • Strong and Skilled: He started out as Unskilled, but Strong due to unfamiliarity with his powers, but he eventually becomes the most proficient Spider-based hero due to his years worth of experience above his successors.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Not as blatant as most examples, but Spider-Man's strength level tends to fluctuate as well. One comic might have him struggling to lift a car. Another might have him holding up part of the Daily Bugle flipping a train car over with one finger, and tearing another train car off the tracks with both arms to use as a weapon. It should be noted that this goes hand-in-hand with Afraid of Their Own Strength above.
  • Superhero: Peter is one of Marvel's flagship characters. He initially only wanted to use his powers for personal gain, but after Uncle Ben's murder he began acting for the common good as Spider-Man. He has also assumed other hero identities, including Prodigy, Ricochet, Hornet, and Dusk.
  • Super Loser: Depending on the Writer. His Butt-Monkey tendencies as a superhero, not to mention J. Jonah Jameson's editorial vendetta against him, make him seen as the dweeb who swings around in red-and-blue tights. In his civilian identity as Peter Parker, Spider-Man was also a Geek who continually lost out because he had to protect his secret identity, as opposed to a war hero, a millionaire playboy, or a god. Needless to say, some writers enforce the "loser" part more than others.
  • Superpower Lottery: Peter has an array of powers given to him by supernatural force with a spider fetish via a radioactive spider-bite. The source of his powers inspired him to take up an arachnid motif, but he's also used other non-spider-themed identities.
  • Super Reflexes: His reflexes are around 40x those of an olympic athlete, coupled with being more than twice as flexible as a normal human.
  • Super Speed: As a result of his combined Super Reflexes and Super Strength, he is fast enough to keep up with speeding cars on foot and move faster than the eye can follow.
  • Super Strength: Peter can lift approximately 10 tons at a minimum (which might seem small, but a car is roughly 1 and a half tons so he can lift about six of them), and has greatly exceeded that with enough effort (lifting 25, 50, or even over 100 in certain instances), punch through steel and concrete effortlessly, pick up and crush a tank with his bare hands, and KO a mutant T-Rex in one hit. He has to actively hold back to avoid killing the thugs he pummels on a daily basis. His strength was boosted to 20 tons following The Other, but this has been reverted following One More Day.
  • Super Toughness: Peter's durability is such that he can withstand a lot of damage, even from big shot Marvel characters such as Rhino, the Hulk, and the Juggernaut. He can usually walk away with only a headache at least, and at most he would be temporarily KO'd. This also explains how he can web swing like he does without ripping his arms from their sockets. Depending on the Writer, he can be virtually invincible against bog-standard Mooks in a fistfight, to the point that he has to roll with the punches less they break their hands on him.
  • Suppressed Rage: The Venom symbiote notes that Peter is teeming with rage and hatred towards it that he isn't even consciously aware of. Following the Dead No More fiasco, the involvement of Norman Osborn is enough to cause him to stop cracking jokes, causing Mockingbird and Tarantula to note he isn't acting like himself.
  • Take Up My Sword: This seems to be Spidey's thing concerning superhero teams. He joins the New Avengers after this disastrous Avengers Disassembled storyline, he joins the Fantastic Four when Johnny Storm was thought dead, and he joins the Jean Grey School as one of Wolverine's last wishes.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: And Spidey can keep it up all day.
  • Technical Pacifist: He is usually depicted as this. Sure, he's willing to beat the ass out of the villains, but he absolutely refuses to kill anyone, even against said villains. Then again, it's also more or less his fear of himself if he drops his Thou Shall Not Kill moral code. In fact, when a resurrected Kraven the Hunter offer Spider-Man the opportunity to kill him, he was about to pull a killing blow on Kraven, but later refuses to do so after given a vision of a Bad Future where he becomes mass murdering Anti-Hero vigilante, thus reinforcing his moral code.
  • Teen Genius: At the start of the series (and the most common portrayal of him in most media) he was 15 when he developed his super strong and versatile web formula. Some writers give him an IQ of 250, a superhumanly high statistics that makes him an improbable super-genius.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He's strongly against killing anyone. In fits of rage or frustration, he has been known to say he's going to kill *insert villain here*, but never actually goes through with it. He has, however, seriously considered killing the Green Goblin, Carnage, and The Kingpin.
    • He accidentally gives Uncle Ben's killer a fatal heart attack by revealing his identity. The killer thinks he wants the ultimate revenge.
    • The Punisher started as a Spider-Man villain, and Spidey is still one of the heroes least comfortable working with Frank Castle because of this trope.
    • This is one of his points of contention with Wolverine, but to a lesser extent than with the Punisher. Spider-Man doesn't approve of killing, but he understands that Wolverine doesn't often have a lot of choice and isn't a kill-happy maniac.
    • Spider-Man has actually killed before — the agent Charlemagne exploited confusion during a battle between him and Wolverine. It was essentially Suicide by Cop, but Peter is still haunted by it.
  • Three-Point Landing: Spider Man likes this pose so much that he is more or less the Trope Codifier.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: His love of Aunt May's wheatcakes dates back to his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy. And, of course, there's New York pizza & hot dogs.
  • Trash Talk: The king for Marvel U. Deadpool rivals him though, to the point where he has been described as a Spider-Man clone as a result of this.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Not uncommon, but the most severe occurred to Peter in the '90s comics. First his parents are seemingly Back from the Dead, only for it to turn out to be a ploy by the Chameleon — they were in reality Ridiculously Human Robots programmed to kill Spider-Man. After a battle and their death, Peter is understandably extremely shaken, causing him to retreat so far from his identity as Peter Parker he is essentially never at home and neglects Mary Jane's feelings. Then his Aunt May seemingly enters a coma. Then Ben Reilly appears and much drama ensues over who the original is. Mary Jane is also revealed to be pregnant, and Aunt May seemingly dies. Then it turns out that not only was Norman Osborne Back from the Dead and masterminding the whole Clone Saga, but drugs given at his behest result in the death of his unborn child. Oh, and Ben Reilly dies too.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he's so enraged that he stops wisecracking. Opponents and allies both have commented this is terrifying.
    • In fact, in one of the earlier examples, when his Aunt May is dying from a disease that Doctor Octopus stole the cure for, when Peter confronts Octopus, Octavius notes how ferociously he's fighting and, realizing he can't beat him, makes a hasty retreat.
    • When Doctor Octopus beat Black Cat to the brink of death, Spider-Man coldly returned the favour to the point where Otto had to be sent to a psychiatric hospital to get treatment for severe arachnophobia.
    • When the Kravinoff family tormented him and his "spider family," killing Kaine, Mattie Franklin, and Madame Web, Peter dawns the black suit and goes after them, subjecting them to a Mook Horror Show, ripping Sasha Kravinoff's face apart, and coming within a hair's breadth of killing Kraven himself, all echoing menacing threats of his intentions to each of them.
  • Troll: One of the friendliest but original examples in comic books.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: There are numerous occasions where Spider-Man gets lucky breaks. But the biggest one is where Cable revealed that he will be remembered as ''the greatest hero in the history of the world", and that on some occasions, he's also remembered as the only hero of his time, because of how often he helped the average citizen compared to every other hero of his time. That means that despite all the tragedies and heartbreak he has gone thought, his undeserved reputation as a menace by the public he's trying to protect, someday Spider-Man will be seen as the hero he is and the public will appreciate his work to protect them.
  • True Companions: Johnny Storm's Video Will names him first choice for a replacement on the F4, which the rest of the team wholeheartedly supports.
  • True Love Is Exceptional: His relationship with MJ is this.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Frequently. He's a lithe guy who swings around a lot, wears silly pajamas, and makes stupid jokes. New villains tend to forget that he's held his own with the Avengers, the X-Men, and fought just about every villain in the Marvel Universe.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Peter just can't seem to catch a lasting break.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In a universe full of vigilantes skilled in Martial Arts, Spider-Man for the longest time just winged it with his fighting style and relied heavily on his Spider-Sense. This allowed characters like Captain America and Daredevil to have the upper-hand in combat whenever they fought in close quarters. Upon temporarily losing his Spider-Sense, Peter would later develop an actual fighting style after getting trained by Shang Chi.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Any villain who manages to really piss him off will soon regret it.
  • Unwanted Harem: Often entering "Unnoticed Harem", but Peter gets a lot of attention. Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, Carlie Cooper, Black Cat, Michele Gonzales, Debra Whitman, Betty Brant, Jessica Jones (at least back when they were in high school), Jean De Wolff, Mattie Franklin, Carol Danvers, Silver Sable, Norah Winters, Deadpool, Anya Corazón, Jessica Drew, Silk, Joy Mercado, Black Widow (via her amnesic "Nancy Rushman" self, though she confessed to herself she was still attracted to him), Mockingbird, and the Venom symbiote (which has always been portrayed as more of a scorned lover than anything else) have all canonically show attraction Spider-Man at some point, and this is far from complete and only counting the mainline universe.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Thanks to Uncle Ben and Aunt May. To drive the point home: in Bullet Points, the very same upbringing sans Uncle Ben (and, therefore, without a fatherly figure) resulted in Peter being a total jerk instead.
  • Utility Belt: Spider-Man wears a utility belt to hold extra web cartridges, spider-tracers, his camera, and his "Spider-signal" flashlight buckle. He wears it under his shirt but since it leaves only a small bulge, as well as its being the same color as his suit and he is usually moving around so much, most people don't even realize he has one. Ben Reilly wears his on the outside with his Scarlet Spider costume.
  • Vague Age: Peter became Spider-Man when he was 15, but pinning his age down since then is far from an exact science. At the beginning of Peter's stint as the CEO of the globalized Parker Industries, Dan Slott established that thirteen years had passed since he became Spider-Man, with at least one year passing leading up to Go Down Swinging — making him around twenty-nine. However, the subsequent writer, Nick Spencer, has re-established Peter as being in his "mid 20s" again.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: In "The Night Gwen Stacy Died," he flies into a rage, swearing revenge on the Green Goblin and vowing to make him pay. When Osborn is skewered by his own glider, Spidey feels nothing from it.
    Spider-Man: I thought seeing the Goblin die would make me feel better about Gwen. Instead, it just makes me feel empty... Washed out... And maybe a little bit more alone.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Johnny Storm. Their team-ups are a constant snark-fest, but Johnny is Peter's closest friend in the superhero community, and Peter is Johnny's closest friend outside the F4. Spider-Man also shows this most obviously with Wolverine, and post-OMD with Iron Man.
  • Wall Crawl: His ability to cling to almost any surface with any part of his body. While some incarnations have given him spines or hairs on his palms and feet (which is how actual spiders do it), the Spider-Man of the 616 universe does so by subconsciously manipulating his body's electron interaction (basically he is creating temporary molecular bonds), and each fingertip can hold a few tons before the bond breaks. This is so entrenched with both his super strength and his will power that whenever a villain tries to rip him from a wall, most of the wall comes with him. In fact, anytime Spider-Man slips, it's not his power failing so much as the object he's clinging to not being able to handle the weight and force.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Spider-Man is usually physically, sometimes mentally as well, outclassed by the bulk of his more dangerous enemies. Even moreso against threats he faces in team-ups with other heroes. He still manages to win by using his powers efficiently and creatively.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: The real reason why Peter Parker is so sexy and irresistible to some of the most beautiful women in the world. They actually like his woebegone affect. MJ once told him so but he didn't get it:
    MJ: You're the tensest person I've ever met, Pete. I think that's what makes you so loveable. You always look like you're going to fall apart — like a Charlie Brown who's just had the football jerked away from him.
    Peter: That's the strangest compliment I've ever received, MJ. If it was a compliment.
    MJ: Oh, it was, baby. It was.
    The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, #141, dialogue by Gerry Conway.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Peter is unique for the fact that he became a superhero because he failed this test. After getting superpowers on a silver platter, he tried to cash it in, and had no grand plans aside from using the money to provide for his family. But then a burglar passes by and he does nothing and when called out for it, exclaims that it isn't his job. That burglar then killed Uncle Ben, i.e. his beloved surrogate father. This moral failure and lapse pretty much defines Spider-Man for the rest of his life, and his attempts to do good and redeem his action.
    • In Nick Spencer's run, Peter cites his refusal to turn his unearned degree after his revival in his own body as another failing of a similar kind. He notes that after getting his body back he simply walked past a wall showing his graduate degree earned by Octavius in his body and he didn't turn it in and realizing this, he comes to the conclusion that the plagiarism scandal he faces is entirely deserved and justified.
  • When He Smiles: It's been noted by more than a few that Peter has a "dreamy smile" when he lights up. This is best seen after Peter and MJ have their First Kiss which goes on for a few panels and at the end of it Peter gives out a Laugh of Love and breaks into a wide grin that is the happiest he's been since Gwen died.
  • While You Were in Diapers: His response to The Avengers when he offers to join them in Roger Stern's The Avengers #236 when Cap points out that their roster only allows 6 and it's all filled up, but Spider-Man can join a trainee program:
    Spider-Man: Trainee program?!? Hey, I'm Spider-Man, remember? I was sticking to walls when you guys were still looking for a clubhouse, I'm no green rookie!
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: While he's got a very misplaced reputation for being whiny and angsty (coming from the second two Raimi films playing up his Woobie points and the nineties being, well, the nineties), Peter Parker's main reason for being so popular isn't because of his powers, but because he'll always do the right thing, no matter what the world throws at him.
  • Willfully Weak: Whenever he fights normal humans, he constantly holds back and pulls his punches to avoid accidentally killing someone. When Dr. Octopus, having stolen Peter's body, punches the Scorpion in the face so hard that his jaw snaps clean off, he's absolutely shocked at just how powerful Spider-Man truly is.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: How Peter was before the fateful day where he learned With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. Paralleled with Andy/Alpha who plays this trope straight, much to Peter's regret (and slight envy).
  • Wolverine Publicity: Just how he manages to balance being a member of two Avengers teams, his job, his social life, and the Future Foundation is quite amazing.
  • The Worf Effect: Seems to get knocked around by his enemies more often than other heroes. Then again, he usually comes back to win, so the Effect isn't as bad as it otherwise would be, plus his enemies are legitimately stronger and faster than him — as in if they grab him, it's Instant Death.
    • If anything, you could argue it's an inversion: Spidey gets knocked around all the time (and often fights enemies who are much stronger and/or larger than he is) to show that he's weak and spindly. But wins anyway.
    • It's also somewhat subverted in that he more often than not uses his intelligence or pragmatism to defeat someone as opposed to just a straight beatdown.
  • Working-Class Hero: In the original Steve Ditko stories, Peter Parker was very much this. Later, he became less so, and as the ex-CEO of his own company, it's much less of a factor, though given the rising costs of living in New York, it's probably less likely for Peter Parker to continue operating in New York believably as a low-wage earner than the '60s version of the character did.
  • Would Hit a Girl: While Spidey never hits women first, if you want to fight or kill him, know that your vagina won't get you any special treatment. Ask Shriek, the Femmes Fatales, Shathra or the White Rabbit for details. Actually got called out on it by Typhoid Mary of all people, causing him to apologize profusely. Turns out it was just Crocodile Tears, and he stopped pulling punches after that.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Peter peppers his quips with Yiddish phrases, especially when Bendis is writing him.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The master of this trope, deadpan or not. Peter Parker may not use a sword, but nevertheless, he's the master of the fighting quip.
  • Your Mom: Engaged against fellow jokester, Deadpool, and got the last diss in and technically won if not for the former not choosing to go through with his Yo Mamageddon.

Alternative Title(s): Spider Man Main Characters


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