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Comic Book / Robin (1993)
aka: Robin Series

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Spoiler & Robin

In 1993, after the success of three separate miniseries chronicling Tim Drake's tribulations as the third Robin, (succeeding Dick Grayson and Jason Todd), Tim was given his own monthly ongoing series that began in 1993 and ran for more than 15 years, until it ended in early 2009. The series is notable for depicting Tim's personal life with his family and friends, and him balancing a delicate act between his superhero and civilian identities. The first 100 issues of the Robin series were written by Chuck Dixon, who had written the preceding miniseries. During Dixon's run, the series was acclaimed for a high-profile Teen Pregnancy arc involving Tim's love interest Stephanie Brown a.k.a. Spoiler. In 1998, Wizard magazine ranked the series as the best ongoing comic book of the year. Following the Batman: No Man's Land crossover event, Tim was sent away to boarding school at Brentwood Academy.


Chuck Dixon left the book in 2002 and was first replaced by Jon Lewis, whose run as writer began with Tim moving from the suburbs into Gotham City itself after his family lost most of their savings. Lewis had fondness for writing slightly sci-fi plots, which was jarring in a Bat-book that had focused more on street-level crime; his run also built a stable relationship between Tim and Stephanie.

The next writer was Bill Willingham, who forcibly retired Tim from being Robin after his dad found out his secret. Stephanie briefly replaced him as the new Robin, before being fired by Batman and then killed off in the War Games crossover. Afterwards, Tim left Gotham for a while and temporarily stayed in Blüdhaven with Cassandra Cain.

Adam Beechen took over the series at issue #148 for the "One Year Later" relaunch, and had Tim now officially adopted as Bruce's son and once again working in Gotham as Batman's partner. Chuck Dixon briefly returned the series for issues #170-174 to resurrect Stephanie Brown, but was promptly fired and replaced with Fabian Nicieza, who wrote the last arc in the series before it was cancelled in the wake of Batman R.I.P. at issue #183.


The series was almost immediately followed by Red Robin, starring Tim Drake in his new superhero identity. Following Red Robin Tim's next solo series is Tim Drake: Robin.

Robin (1993) provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: It was heavily implied at one point that Alfred was falling for Tim's stepmother, Dana. Then Blüdhaven blew up and Dana was never seen again.
  • Abuse Mistake: When Tim’s friend Ives is working as the mascot at a Suck E. Cheese's, he comes to school so bruised that Tim and their friend Callie suspect he is being abused.
  • Academy of Adventure: Brentwood Academy. Lampshaded by Tim himself when he comments on the weirdness of the school.
  • Accidental Athlete: Tim is usually careful to under perform in PE at Brentwood he races a fellow student he's curious about in class which makes the school's soccer coach hound him to join the team after seeing his speed and stamina. Tim refused to join.
  • Accidental Kiss: Tim Drake was so grateful to be saved from being buried alive that in a moment of exhilaration he kisses Stephanie on the lips. Then he snaps out of his funk moments later and realizes he's just accidentally cheated on his girlfriend Ariana in a moment of celebrating his continued living.
  • Achilles' Heel: The Dark Rider can only fly if he's on his shadow steed, and once he's unhorsed, the thing dissipates and he can't call it up again until the next night.
  • Adoptive Name Change: After Tim accepts Bruce's offer to adopt him he hyphenates his last name as Drake-Wayne.
  • Adults Are Useless: While it's not played straight as Alfred, Harold and Dana are usually competent and useful most adults in the series are either constantly useless or actively a problem: Tim's father has no clue how to be a parent, Ariana's uncle tries to kill Tim over a misunderstanding, Tim's teachers are combative and make no inquiries into his injuries and constant need to sleep in class (or in one teachers case only makes misdirected questions trying to frame Bruce as an abuser, but only after Tim is living with his father), Bruce pulls heartless gambits trying to manipulate Tim, Az!Bats goes off the deep end and tries to kill Tim and after Tim's father dies Tim has to forge portions of his father's will in order to avoid becoming a ward of the state.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: An entire issue of the Batman: Contagion storyline was dedicated to Tim being treated for the Clench in the Batcave's medbay following a riot during which he was infected. Dick tries and fails to get Tim to call his father before he looses lucidity and Alfred considered himself to be treating the boy on his deathbed as there was no known cure and very few known survivors.
  • After-Action Patch-Up:
    • Tim tends to his girlfriend Stephanie's wounds as she talks about her villainous father.
    • A platonic variation occurs when Tim and Cass (Batgirl III) help patch each other up after a battle in Bludhaven while she explains a bit about her villainous father:
      Tim: How can you take a bullet and not bat an eye?
      Cass: You know that... kid game "two for flinching"?
      Tim: Yeah. Oh no, don't tell me -
      Cass: My... Dad and I played something like that.
  • After-Action Villain Analysis: Tim often reflects on the circumstances which led to the villain he fought in the issue to a criminal lifestyle. He's usually sympathetic to their plight but never feels it excuses whatever they did to bring them to his attention.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: The Robin series does very well at handling Tim's teenage love troubles and his own methods of coping with his mother's death, the crippling of his father, and subsequent death of said father in a way an average 15-year-old boy would do in those situations (the Robin thing not withstanding).
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Damian worked his way to the heart of the Batcave using the air vents when he was trying to escape from his grandfather. He wasn't able to enter the vents until he'd already made it into the cave and past layers of security, and it wasn't sneaky at all as Tim was well aware of his location and waiting for him when he exited.
  • Alone Among Families: Prior to Tim Drake's eventual adoption by Bruce Wayne, the fact that Jack Drake was incredibly neglectful was highlighted by Tim's wistfulness about his friends' families on several occasions. This most often occurred in relation to Ives' large family.
  • Alone in a Crowd: Tim Drake finds himself feeling alone in the crowd during the massive gang war that started after he retired from the role of Robin. He ends up putting on a mask again before the gang war is over out of guilt after a classmate involved with the mob died, even though he'd stolen a car and provided first aid trying to save her.
  • Always Identical Twins: Two of Sebastian Ives' many cousins are a pair of identical twin girls. Since their parents give them matching outfits and keep their hair cut the same way, the easiest way to tell them apart is seeing which one tries to keep her clothes clean and tidy and which one has ribbons untied and doesn't seem to care much how nice her clothes look.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Stephanie Brown's father, the supervillain Cluemaster, had a friend who tried to sexually assault her. Cluemaster found out, and soon after, the man died. Stephanie accepts that she'll never know for sure if her father was behind this.
  • Angry Collar Grab: Azrael tried to kill Tim after grabbing him by the collar and pinning him. This didn't work out for Az!Bats as Tim had already weaponized his costume to prevent this sort of thing.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Tim quickly figures out that there is something off about Stephen's forest due to the odd behavior, sizes and location of the flora and fauna within, some of which does not belong in the Western Hemisphere let alone Appalachia.
  • Annoying Arrows: Robin gets back up and keeps fighting, and then easily roofhops home after being shot full of arrows by the Rising Sun Archer. He notes in his internal monologue that he can only do so because most of the arrows didn't actually make it past the armor in his suit, though one of them did get lodged in his arm.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
    • Ives' twin cousins are not his actual siblings but the extended family is close enough, and they rambunctious enough, that he treats them as annoying little sisters.
    • Tim comes to see Damian this way since Damian is cruel and rude even after he (mostly) stops trying actually to kill Tim. At one point when he tries to keep Damian out of a computer file the password he sets is Cousin Oliver.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Tim is shown sleeping sitting on the floor against his bed in issue 162, and it is implied that at some point in his time as Robin he started sleeping against his bed rather than in it. He also falls asleep in class fairly often. He gets away with falling asleep in class because Ives is usually able to give him enough hints to answer whatever question the teacher woke him up with to see if he was paying attention.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Tim gets jumped outside a fairly busy theater while on a date with Ariana. Not only does everyone other than Ariana ignore what's going on, his school councilor tries to pin the blame for the injuries on Bruce, even though Tim had just started living with father for the first time since he started attending school and there were easy to contact witnesses.
  • Apathetic Student: While Tim started out trying to keep his grades up he skipped school quite often and used extra credit to manage his grades. After his father's interference forced him to switch schools several times he became even less invested and after his father's death dropped out rather than complete high school despite his intelligence. He mostly viewed school as a requirement, and once it wasn't one anymore he quit.
  • Apologetic Attacker: When Tim is helping round up Arkham escapees in issue 167 he utters an insincere apology to Riot Act as he smashes in the windshield of the truck the man stole and knocks a couple teeth out with his staff;
    Tim Drake: "Sorry about this, but I'm in a really bad mood, and you did just try to shoot me in the face!"
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In one story arc, Robin is contacted by what appears to be a version of Alfred from a Bad Future where someone in the Bat-Family has devastated Gotham. Robin is unable to convince Batman that it actually happened, because, quoth the Bat, "Time travel is scientifically impossible." Even though Batman himself works with time travelers in the Justice League and has traveled through time dozens of times himself. It turns out that it was a test to see if Robin was prepared to accept the idea of Batman going rogue, even though Tim had already shown he wasn't blindly loyal after B was accused of murder. Tim is rightfully pissed when he figures out the truth.
  • Area of Effect: While fighting Dodge's crew Tim uses a "wide burst attack" that sends an electrical charge out of his suit into the area around him to deal with Macro and Micro. The attack seems tailored to Micro and is able to knock him out without killing him, for the others it mostly hurt their eyes and stung a little.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: While Tim Drake always has body-armor in his suits they are generally flexible and cloth-like overall while his recurring villain "Scarab" wears high-tech full body encasing Powered Armor.
  • Arms Dealer: When Tim Drake tries tracing an influx of illegal guns in Bristol (just north of Gotham) he ends up discovering his skateboarding pal Star's boyfriend is selling guns out of the back of a van and Star and her boyfriend both end up shot during a deal gone bad.
  • Arms Fair: Ulysses Armstrong, otherwise known as "the General", first meets Ali Ben Khadir, the young leader of a country bordering Qurac, at an arms fair. The two become friends and Ali gives Armstrong some influence on his military, until he realizes just how violent and blood thirsty his new friend is.
  • Artificial Gill: The limitations of a rebreather are displayed when Tim gives his to a gangster who was pinned underwater by falling debris. Tim struggles to try and pull the large structural beam off of him while he slowly drowns.
  • Asleep in Class: Tim frequently falls asleep in class since he's not getting much sleep at night.
  • Assassination Attempt: A political rival of the young head of state Tim's roommates with at Brentwood summons the demon Arrakhat to assassinate him. The attempt fails when the boy realizes the charm around his neck that he received from his father allows him to control the demon, and he leaves school to take up ruling his country instead of leaving it to advisors in the wake of the attack.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: If Tim Drake wants to intimidate someone before attacking he generally to finds somewhere with a height advantage to menacingly perch with his staff in hand before drawing their attention, usually paired it with an audacious grin.
  • Attack the Mouth: When Robin and Spoiler find themselves fighting a group of mooks lead by a man who is incredibly proud of his bizarre dental work Robin immediately kicks him in the mouth when he's close enough, causing him to loose a tooth.
  • Attempted Rape: Both Ariana and Stephanie had a near-rape experience before, and both confessed it to Tim. It's no wonder that Tim has the 'Lets Wait Awhile' mentality in the first place...
  • At the Opera Tonight: Janet and Jack used to like to attend the opera when they were in Gotham. Tim himself ends up at the Opera House after it's been heavily damaged by the quakes that triggered Batman: No Man's Land, attending a vaudeville style production since the abandoned house has been taken over by artsy types who give out free food and let almost anyone perform, from poetry readings, to short plays, piano recitals, and comedy acts.
  • Automated Automobiles: The Redbird can drive itself to Tim's location. He's never seen using this when the car is very far away so it's not seen how well it would deal with traffic, which is probably a good thing since it doesn't balk at driving on sidewalks and crashing through glass doors to get to him.
  • Autopsy Snack Time: While a coroner at the Kane County morgue is worrying about the evidently misplaced body of Johnny Warren one of his superiors is casually eating lunch while prepping a cadaver. Johnny wasn't actually misplaced, he just got up and left.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Jack makes a plan to go fishing with Tim to spend some time with his son for once upon waking from his months long coma and discovering his wife is dead and his health is such that he can't go gallivanting off to the other side of the globe easily. Jack ends up going on a date with his physical therapist instead and never tries to make any further plans with his son despite bringing it up on occasion so it's averted in the end.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Robin and Spoiler often face off against goons back to back before taking them all down and into custody.
  • Backseat Driver: Tim has to grab the wheel and shove Ives' foot off the gas pedal after Drury Walker tries to carjack Ives and Ives goes into shock and floors it. Ives only comes back to himself sometime after Tim has the car parked.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: Gotham's Willow Street Card Room, a Mafia operated hangout, contains several pool tables.
  • Baldness Angst: Ives is embarrassed when he loses his hair due to his follicular lymphoma and its treatments and does all he can to hide it from his classmates.
  • Ballistic Discount: Some criminals selling guns out of a van have one of their customers turn some of their wares on them when he doesn't like the price tag. In this case, the attempted thief ends up dead and one of the "clerks" and a bystander end up injured since the people he pulled the gun on were all armed themselves.
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti: Every time Tim visits the bathroom at high school, except while he as at Brentwood, the stalls within are written on, and usually the mirrors too.
  • Barbaric Bully: The brutal bullies Mark Meachum and Josh Stanzland get transferred to Tim's high school along with a bunch of other students due to school shutdowns in the wake of devastating earthquakes. The campus and staff are not equipped to deal with the influx of students, and after getting away with repeated cruel acts in public they drag their favorite victim to the wooded area behind the football field and beat him to death.
  • Batman Cold Open: Issue 167 starts with five pages of Tim apprehending an Arkham escapee who had stolen a semi and gotten on the interstate before being called away to the main plot of the issue; tracking down and recapturing Lock Up.
  • Batman Gambit: Inherited from the man himself, Tim does this once to Lady Shiva in the last arc of the Robin series. He drugs her food before their fight and wins easily against her.
  • Battle Couple: Tim/Robin with Stephanie/Spoiler.
  • Battle in the Rain: Shortly after his father's murder Tim helps track down a bunch of Arkham escapees in the rain and ends up having a fight with Lock-up that nearly leads to them both drowning.
  • Beach Episode: Tim and his classmates from Brentwood Academy take a trip to the beach. Of course that night the hotel is attacked by Kobra ninjas.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: One of the villains who attacked Robin, Ragman and Blue Devil after escaping from O.M.A.C. looks like an ethereal glowing take on this, with unsettling jagged dark holes for eyes and a mouth.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: The Joker is actually in tears as he tells the psychiatrist of his abusive childhood, only for the psychiatrist to coldly point out that it's the seventh story he's told them. The implication is that he sometimes gets a little too caught up in a good story and believes it for a bit.
  • Betty and Veronica: Tim had a brief love triangle in the early in the series. He was dating civilian Ariana Dzerchenko (Betty) but was attracted to vigilante Stephanie Brown (Veronica) at the same time. Ironic, because Ariana has Veronica's physical appearance and bitchiness, and Stephanie has Betty's physical appearance and tomboyishness. Ultimately, Stephanie wins the triangle, with her becoming his most high-profile (and longest) relationship in the series.
    • Even after Stephanie and Tim's breakup, her fake 'death', Tim dating a new girl called Zoanne and later Stephanie's subsequent return to Gotham — Stephanie was still the Veronica, this time to Zoanne's Betty. And again, Stephanie wins the triangle (technically), with Tim breaking up with Zoanne on the phone, and then calling up Stephanie to try and patch things up with her.
    • In Red Robin, Tam is now the new Betty to Stephanie's Veronica. And Lynx is the Third-Option Love Interest.
    • Any of Tim's civilian girlfriends will end up being the 'Betty' by default due to his working partnership/love-hate-on-off relationship with Stephanie (who is always the Veronica).
  • Big Bad: In the original Robin miniseries and its sequel, King Snake. Then for a brief time Johnny Warlock. From the end of the first ongoing into Red Robin, Anarky II.
    • War Games and the brief gang conflict instigated by Jason Todd and then Anarky.
  • Big Brother Worship: Tim Drake adores Dick Grayson. Prior to Jason's violent return and Tim's actual adoption into the family he looked up to Jason too.
  • Big Man on Campus: At the fifth high school Tim Drake attended, one of the tennis players was incredibly kind, attractive, talented, and got decent grades and was quite popular as a result.
  • Binocular Shot: Right before Lloyd Waite is shot a couple of panels are from the sight of the shooters' sniper scope, and make it unclear for a page if the shooter is going to aim at Lloyd or Robin.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: While Tim Drake's favorite pizza—artichoke hearts, Canadian bacon and pineapple—is presented as more odd than gross his father is disgusted by the combination and only allows Tim to have it while he's around after being badgered into it by his wife for Tim's sixteenth birthday.
  • Bland-Name Product: Tim is seen drinking "Spite" soda a few times, and a scene in an O'Shaunasseghy's Spite in shown alongside some other amusingly tweaked brand names on a soda fountain.
  • Blinded by the Light:
    • Tim Drake carries a few little bright flashing type weapons he can toss in a fight to force an opponent to protect their eyes. He uses one to escape a fight with Brutus once, as the giant of a man is cannot be harmed by being punched or kicked.
    • In Annual #6, Robin and his allies are forced into a showdown with a gang of bikers, with them facing the rising sun so it is in their eyes. They manage to turn the tables on their attackers by hiding mirrors under their ponchos. At the crucial moment, they throw back their ponchos and reflect the sunlight back in the eyes of their attackers, allowing them to regain the initiative.
  • Blind Mistake: When Tim goes to ask questions of a temporarily blind Jason Bard, the P.I. pulls his gun on the door and warns whoever has entered his office that he knows they are there. Tim, who had snuck in through the window behind Bard, mentions that it's probably not a great idea for Jason to be using a gun while blind.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: After getting hit with an electrical weapon Lock-Up had set up Tim is left with blood seeping from his ears, nose, mouth and nail beds. He's still able to kick Lock-Up over a railing from his spot on the floor when the villain arrives with a message he wants Robin to deliver to Batman.
  • Blush Sticker: The villain Tiger Moth (II) evidently likes the aesthetic as she included a set of blush stickers on her otherwise insectoid mask.
  • Boarding School: Tim's father loses patience with his supposedly bad record and after realizing Tim didn't try out for football he yanks him out of public school to send him back to boarding school, at Brentwood Academy, in the middle of his freshman year of high school. Tim adjusts to the school but compares it to a prison and is almost happy when his dad makes a financial blunder that bankrupts him and causes him to stop paying Tim's tuition.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Initially Deconstructed by Lonnie Machin, Anarky I, who was a Well-Intentioned Extremist on his bad days,and generally a Hero Antagonist when not. Then parodied by Anarchy II, who was actually a fascist seeking to cause enough chaos to justify a military takeover. However, after a Spanner in the Works decision by a policeman leads to him killing his own brother and sister, he arguably plays it straight.
  • Books vs. Screens: One of the characterizations given to Tim to differentiate him from Jason is that Tim likes movies, especially sci-fi movies, that literature is his least favorite subject while and that he doesn't care for school much. Jason loved reading and school. Even when Jason was homeless he maintained a small book collection, while the few books Tim keeps in his room tend to be instruction manuals.
  • Boot Camp Episode: When the Veteran tries to recruit Tim Drake into his secret Army division Tim undergoes training with the Veteran's troops. While Tim does accompany the Veteran on a couple of occasions he ultimately turns him down and was mostly playing along because he wanted to investigate and make sure the Veteran was on the up and up.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Edmund Dorrance dislikes the era he was born into. He thinks Hong Kong had only been made into a great city thanks to its British influence and plans to lay waste to the city rather than have it fall into the hands of the Chinese using an experimental Nazi super-plague. Fortunately for the city, Robin was able to thwart his plans, only for Dorrance to head straight to Gotham and wrest control of the Chinatown district away from the Triads and continue his racist crimlord ways.
  • Bouquet Toss: The 80 Page Giant special, which covers Tim's father remarrying, ends with Dana's bouquet toss after the ceremony is finally able to safely take place.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Darla Aquista, who was already a Stalker with a Crush with heavy shades of Entitled to Have You for Tim before her death, is brought back as a superpowered undead magic using assassin who thinks she's dating Tim because she refuses to take no for an answer when he makes it clear that he still has no interest in dating her.
  • Bright Is Not Good: The Speedboyz are a gang of murderous car thieves who wear bright near neon shirts in teal, orange, purple and red with white masks that have orange lenses.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Tim has a reputation as a brilliant slacker because he does really well on tests but often doesn't complete his homework, sleeps in class and ditches often. This is because he is incredibly busy as Robin, and it doesn't help that he doesn't care for school and ends up dropping out rather than get his high school diploma.
  • Bring It: When Ra's goons hesitate to attack I Ching and some look like they're going to follow Robin instead he calmly says, "Ah. Servants of Ra's al Ghul—here I am, a humble monk. Yours for the taking.", to goad the lot of them into attacking.
  • Broken Pedestal: Bruce preventing Stephanie from visiting Tim while she was Robin, hiring Steph and then unceremoniously firing her in an attempt to manipulate Tim back into the role, and preventing anyone from even telling Tim that she was missing while she was being tortured to death permanently altered the lens through which Tim views Bruce in a way little else could and is the reason Tim went to such great lengths to keep from being adopted by Bruce following Jack's death.
    "During my visit it took every bit of discipline I could conjure to keep from asking Bruce that one terrible question I'm stone cold certain our relationship can't survive. 'What happened in those last moments between you and Stephanie, and why did you keep me from being there?'"
  • Brown Bag Mask: Discussed when Stephanie Brown asks Tim Drake to take her to lamaze class and since he still doesn't have permission to tell her his secret identity and can't show up as Robin he uses the sleazy fake ID of Alvin Draper which Steph thinks is hilarious:
    What was I supposed to do? Wear a bag on my head?
  • Bubblegum Popping: Callie Evans starts lounging back and blowing bubbles with her chewing gum when Ives and Ariana start arguing about Shakespeare and freedom of speech. When Ari tries to get Callie to give her opinion on the matter she smirks and blows a bubble in response.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Teen Titans defeat Brutus, a minotaur, by having Dodge teleport out of the way of a charging attack at the last minute leading Brutus to set off an explosion one of his own allies had hidden.
  • Bully Brutality: A pair of bullies at Gotham Heights High School beat a kid to death.
  • Buried Alive: Tim Drake gets buried alive alongside Cluemaster by Cluemaster's accomplices purely by accident when their fight leaves them both in the back of an armored truck that is buried in concrete as part of Cluemaster's plan to get away with stealing its contents. Luckily Spoiler was expecting to meet with Robin and manages to rescue them after shadowing Cluemaster's accomplices for a day.
  • Busman's Holiday: Tim takes a weekend off from crimefighting to go to the beach with his classmates. Their hotel is then attacked by a swarm of ninjas who kidnap one of said classmates.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: Tim mentions the former Robin looking more "graceful" and built like an athlete in comparison to Conner dressed as Robin when trying to convince Darla Aquista that said Robin (himself) is dead so she doesn't need to keep trying to kill him.
  • By the Hair: While Ra's is yelling at Talia for not handing over Damian so that Ra's can kill the boy and use his body for himself he grabs her by the hair and yanks her head back to shut her up when she spitefully tells him that she will protect her son from him.
  • Cain and Abel: Out of the three brothers Tim gains from being adopted by Bruce two have made repeated attempts on his life. Tim gets to play Able to both Jason and Damian's Cain, with Jason seeming to think shooting in his general direction is an acceptable way to say he disagrees with Tim's way of doing things without considering it to be picking a fight and Damian regularly sabotaging his equipment and trying to break into his room and files. His sister Cass Cain has also viciously attacked him, but she was mind controlled at the time and ends up being the sibling Tim trusts the most.
  • Camp Straight: Bernard is flamboyant, dramatic, concerned with how dress communicates to others and seems to cling to Tim after spotting him and noticing him as attractive and unattached. He's also straight and interested in Darla. A few reboots later his next appearance did away with the "straight" bit and had him ask Tim out.
  • Canon Character All Along: Tim ends up tracking down an apparent new female vigilante wearing purple and thinks he sees Spoiler, only to discover he's tracking a new player who goes by Violet, only then to discover someone wearing the Spoiler costume is also tracking Violet. He's furious at the stranger behind the mask for dressing up as his beloved deceased girlfriend, disrespecting her memory and messing with him but then learns it actually is Stephanie, whose death was retconned to have been faked in this storyline.
  • Cape Snag: As Tim has always had a quick release cape which he uses in fights any time his cape seems to get him in trouble it's an early hint that what is being seen is staged and Tim is actually playing a part.
  • Car Porn: There's an entire arc dedicated to a group of car thieves who target expensive sports cars, during which Tim attends a car show, the cars of Gotham's elite are shown at a country club and a benefit gala and there are numerous chase scenes. He also teams up with motorcycle mechanic Wildcat to catch the thieves.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: After losing nearly all of his biological family Tim sets up an actor to pretend to be his fake uncle so that he doesn't have to go into the foster care system. Batman, being Batman, naturally finds out, and Robin assumes he's about to be reamed out for going behind Bruce's back... but all Bruce can say is that he's so proud of Tim for taking the initiative, and gives him some tips on how to make the deception foolproof.
  • Chubby Chef: The waitress and chef at the diner in Gotham's Widow Creek neighborhood where Stephanie takes Tim for comfort food when she's upset are both noticeably plump.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: He wore glasses for a while during his short tenure at Brentwood Academy, as sort of a precaution.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Johnny Warren was a Mafia enforcer who enjoyed torturing people while waiting for his actual target to show up. When Tim first "meets" him he's been beating, burning and otherwise torturing the girlfriend of a guy who stole from his boss all day while waiting for her boyfriend to show up.
  • Cold Cash: In the Violent Tendencies storyline Robin, Spoiler and Violet are led by the Penguin to a fish processing place with the money hidden under the ice. It's fake, but Violet tries to steal it anyway until they're ambushed by the Korean Mafia.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Tim's initial costume was primarily green and Steph's was eggplant purple. Tim's narration boxes were given a green drop-shadow or green filled while Stephanie's were purple cursive on light lavender paper making them clearly green and purple coded respectively. Tim's green association became less consistent after his costume lost its green to make it better match his red and black DCAU costume but by this time Steph was "dead" and he was the sole narrator and protagonist of the book.
  • Comfort Food: When Steph is reacting to her father's (reported) death and is irritated with herself to realize she's grieving she confides in Tim that mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food for her as he buys her a plate of them.
  • Coming of Age Story: The series chronicles his progression from a naive 14-year-old boy to a jaded, cynical 17-year-old brooder.
  • The Confidant: Alfred remains the person Tim trusts the most and Tim tells him quite a bit that Bruce remains blissfully unaware of. Tim and Steph served as confidants for each other for a time, but then she faked her death and left him thinking her dead for a year while his life fell apart and betrayed him on Bruce's orders "to make him a better Robin" when she returned.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: At his third high school Tim befriends a fellow student named Bernard who has a number of interesting theories. His most amusing one is that "Batman owns a bunch of secret orphanages all over the world — where he gets his Robins from." since he earnestly tells it to Tim, who was Robin.
  • Contamination Situation: During the Batman Contagion story Robin was infected with the Apocalypse Virus ravaging Gotham and spent a couple issues hallucinating while slowly dying of it in the Batcave while Alfred watched over him and the rest of the Batclan tried to find a cure while preventing Gotham from tearing itself apart.
  • Cool Car: Tim's Redbird looks like a sports car by day, is bullet-proof and has panels that move to disguise it for night use.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Tim's friend Ives has a pair of identical twin cousins whose parents dress them in identical outfits. One of them seems to care a bit more about keeping those outfits looking nice though since she keeps any bows and ribbons tied perfectly while the other tends to leave them undone or uneven.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: Strader Pharmaceuticals is developing a Psycho Serum, by having people sell it as a superpower granting drug to unsuspecting people in Gotham. When their unethical and deadly human experimentation starts gaining attention they hire mercenaries to kill their surviving victims and dispose of the bodies.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lloyd Waite is the CEO of Strader Pharmaceuticals and oversaw their highly illegal development of a drug designed to give the user super-strength but ended up making the users homicidal and killing them over time.
  • Costume Copycat: In one late plot arc, an old Robin villain was running around dressed as Red Robin - an identity Jason had used for about five minutes. When Tim's head and neck got burned taking them down he used the costume's cowl for a while to protect them, and took up the costume himself in his next series Red Robin.
  • Costume Evolution: Tim's primary Robin costume (he has others for specified situations like extreme cold weather) was initially mostly green, with green pants, green gloves, a green mask and a red leotard with green sleeves, eventually it was decided to change his costume to the red and black one from Batman: The Animated Series and get rid of the green altogether despite green having been his associated color across the DCU up until that point. The change was given the in universe justification of being a reaction to his best friend Superboy's death, who had at the time of his death been wearing a black and red costume.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Tim and Zoe bump into each other while doing father's day shopping, but they had already gone on dates and their realationship was already on rocky ground. The conversation they have after colliding was one of the final nails in the coffin for their budding relationship.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Tim, who has a reputation for being quite serious in comparison to the previous Robins, has a habit of talking to cats he comes across on patrol as long as he has the time to.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: in which Batman manipulated Tim on his 16th birthday into believing the existence of a Bad Future, in order to 'train' him to become a better Robin.
  • Dean Bitterman: Dean Nederlander of Brentwood Academy is a suspicious old man who patrols the campus at night and gives out demerits like candy, and it doesn't take very many demerits to earn an expulsion.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Crocky, a Barney parody and cereal mascot. It's zig-zagged in the one issue centered around him, actually: one of the guys who played him used the suit as a disguise to rob convenience stores, and later took a kid hostage, but the original actor was a wrongly-accused good egg who ultimately helped catch that guy.
  • Detachable Lower Half: Tapeworm can leave behind part or all of the flat segmented tail he has in place of legs and just regrow it.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Badlands can create localized tremors by sending his powers rippling through the earth beneath him.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The edges of Stephen's woods merge seamlessly into real world forests and stands of trees, but to stumble into his woods without his protection will lead to death as anyone who does so will be lost forever.
  • Domestic Abuse: In their few appearances together before Janet's murder it is clear that Jack is prone to ignoring her, brushing off her concerns and screaming at her. In addition they're both neglectful of their son, with Jack being the worse of the two by combining that with verbal abuse, destroying and selling Tim's belongings, blaming Tim for his own actions. There are also a couple of issues that imply Jack has hit Tim out of anger before but that is only alluded to rather than shown.
  • Domino Mask: Tim comes to regret wearing just an eye mask and no head protection toward the end of the series, when half his head is burned to a crisp when he's caught in an exploding building. Two issues before, he wondered jokingly to himself why he only wears a domino mask as he jumped through a window, noting he'd be pulling glass out of his hair for weeks.
  • Double Date: Tim and Stephanie once went on a double date with Ives and Callie to the arcade at the mall.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After having to declare bankruptcy, sell his mansion and move into his condo in the city Jack Drake refuses to leave his bed for anything but to grab a bottle, change the music or grab a book leaving his wife and son to have to do all the paperwork involved in liquefying his assets and keeping the family afloat.
  • Easter Egg: Tim always has band posters up in his room which tend to change with the artist.
    • Wonder what class Tim’s Advanced Egyptian Algebra textbook is for.
    • When Tim is reminiscing about a toy store he used to beg his parents to go into to no avail there is a Godzilla figure among the generic toys in the window.
  • Eerily Out-of-Place Object: During a visit to an archeological dig Jack Drake comes across an amulet that does not fit the culture or time period, and the overseer decides they don't want to try and account for it and so tell him to go ahead and take the mysterious thing home. It is, of course, a possessed cursed trinket that ended up embedded in the earth years ago while the JSA was fighting an evil sorceress.
  • Egypt Is Still Ancient:
    • Played with. Scarab is the most technologically advanced of Robin's foes and the only character noted to be from Egypt, but she seems a direct descendant of ancient Egypt skipping all the cultural influences of Arabic and Christian influence in Egypt. This is explored in Red Robin where it's revealed she's part of a group of assassins who trace their roots to ancient Egypt and intentionally behave this way.
    • When Johnny Warlock is hiding out in Egypt his room has a view of desert and ancient ruins.
  • Eldritch Location: Stephen's woods may look like a normal forest if you squint but Tim notices quite quickly that there are species there that have no business co-existing and things aren't necessarily the right size. Then there's the fact that neither space nor time work properly there, allowing Stephen to use it to nearly teleport but anyone or thing that follows him in and loses track of him will be lost in the woods forever.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tim stumbles across a thing in the Appalachian Mountains that is currently in the form of an apparently harmless, if odd, little girl who maintains human form by linking itself to a human, who is given regenerative powers and made mute and whose mind is radically altered by the link. If the link is broken "she" reverts into a mass of tentacles, eyes and mouths and starts killing and eating everyone around "her" until she forms a new link. "She" doesn't seem to notice being shot and while using a flamethrower on her seems to get her attention it doesn't appear to actually cause her any damage.
  • EMP: Tim's staff has a built in EMP emitter with a range of 20 yards. He doesn't use it much as it can disable out his own gear too, and it takes a second to set up as parts of the staff have to be shifted around.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Ariana caught Tim staring at Stephanie during Karl Ranck's funeral, and proceeded to bleach her hair because she was jealous and thought that Tim preferred blonde girls. (He doesn't, but Ariana was insecure and paranoid at the time) Ironically, blonde Ariana became really popular with the boys at school and that pissed off Tim.
  • Enchanted Forest: Stephan's woods are something of a pocket dimension, filled with plants and animals that no longer exist on Earth and which never existed together or in such large sizes. Anyone who enters without Stephan's protection will be lost in them forever.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Pretty much every hero that has to fight Tapeworm comments on how terrible he smells.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy:
    • Tim straight up thanks Dark Rider for indignantly shouting things about his powers that will help Tim defeat him as they're fighting. This of course just pisses Dark Rider off, but does nothing to keep him from continuing to do so.
    • Blue Devil lampshades this tendency in villains when Cenotaph loudly explains the source of his powers while trying to choke him.
  • Exposed to the Elements: While Robin generally appears to wear the same costumes regardless of weather they make a point to mention the winter costumes are more insulated and have built-in heaters. Spoiler once commented how nice it was to be able to cling to Robin in the cold since his heated suit made him like her personal heater, since her suit was emphatically not suited for the weather they found themselves in. He also actually has a snow jacket to go with his costume that he wears in a few issues.
  • Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: In the Ozarks Tim meets and befriends Stephen, whose "shortcuts" through the woods allow him to walk places faster than anyone could drive there, and take him through an alternate forest full of flora and fauna that don't belong in the American north-east. If he brings anyone with him and they lose sight of him they'll be lost there forever.
  • Eye Scream: Recurring villain Lynx has one of her eyes ripped out by King Snake as punishment for failing to kill Robin.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Tim inherited his blue eyes from his mother, which only Jack really takes note of and is part of his excuse for locking himself away from his son while he's grieving his dead wife.
  • Fanservice: Mostly averted (surprising for a teenage book), but there are a few exceptions: Ariana coming out of her room in skimpy lingerie, and Tim's various shower scenes.
  • Fiction 500: An entire issue was devoted to delivering an awe inspiring cost-accounting of Batman's arsenal.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Happened with an evil Cassandra Cain in Robin:OYL.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Tim addresses the Batfamily's habit of forgetting the fallen. It annoyed him when Jason started to only be brought up as an example of what not to do, and ticked him off when it came to Stephanie, who didn't even get a memorial in the cave. He also refuses to forget Harold existed after the mechanic's murder by Hush even though the rest of the family seems to as soon as their one-time ally is buried. He averts this constantly, as he refuses to let his memories of fallen friends fade.
  • A Friend in Need: When Tim learns Ives has cancer he goes out of his way to make sure he's there for him. He even gets back in contact with Ives very quickly in Red Robin after cutting everyone but his sister out of his life and leaving Gotham.
  • Gaslighting: When Bruce decides to test Tim by giving him a fake message from the future about a teammate turning evil he responds to Tim bringing it to his attention by acting like Time Travel is impossible and ridiculous. Bruce is on a team with a time traveler and has traveled in time himself, making Tim immediately realize the message is from Bruce. Amusingly Tim had actually suspected one of his villains of leaving the message to try and unsettle him, so he was furious when he realized it was Bruce trying to test his commitment to Bruce's ideals.
  • Genius Bruiser: Tim himself ends up as a nightmare for any poor mook he comes across, but is still outclassed by the heavy hitters like Ra's Al Ghul and Lady Shiva, and must rely on Brains to score a victory against them.
  • Goofy Suit: When Tim’s friend Ives is working as the mascot at a Suck E. Cheese's he wears a "Rat" costume.
  • Good Stepmother: Dana Winters helps resolve disputes between Tim and her new husband Jack after they marry. She goes out of her way to get Tim's side of the story when his father refuses to allow him to speak for himself, and reminds Jack that he said he was going to spend more time with Tim. She gets along great with Tim and regularly acts as a voice of reason to him with regards to his father, but they never grow too close due to his age when she joins the family, as well as her untimely death.
  • Grounded Forever: Jack decides to ground Tim indefinitely after hearing from Ari's uncle that Tim and Ari had sex (which they didn't) and furiously cuts off Tim's attempt to explain what actually happened. Luckily Dana goes to get Tim's side of the story, which includes Ari's uncle trying to kill Tim because Ari was wearing lingerie, which was not Tim's idea at all.
  • Happy Flashback: After Jack bankrupts Drake Industries and sequesters himself in his room refusing to speak to his wife or son Tim reminisces about spending time with his mom while she was still alive and going to the opera with both his parents on the rare occasions they were home in Gotham.
  • Hates Reading: While Tim has no problem with reading, he doesn't care for reading plays and older fiction, which means he avoids doing so for class, leading to him requiring extra credit for his Lit class at Gotham Heights High.
  • Her Boyfriend's Jacket: Tim and Steph are both seen wearing the same green utility jacket on separate occasions after they start dating, with it appearing to have started out as Stephanie's jacket.
  • Hero Harasses Helpers: A large part of Tim’s job when working with Batman seems to be smoothing things over when Bats does this.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: While retired from the role of Robin Tim stole a Mini Cooper and drove it into a truck that contained a bunch of mafia hitmen trying to drive straight into his school guns blazing. He has to work with what little is available to him since he doesn't have any of his old gadgets or armor.
  • High-School Dance: Tim takes his girlfriend Ariana to a dance at his high school in the first issue. The school parking lot gets targeted by car thieves during the dance.
  • Holding Hands: Tim and Steph hold hands while chatting on rooftops during their first date.
  • I Have This Friend: Subverted in Robin #58:
    Robin: Could I ask you for some non-professional advice?
    Oracle: Talk to Doctor Babs, Robin.
    Robin: I have this friend…
    Oracle: Hold on. This friend isn't you, is it?
    Robin: My friend is pregnant.
    Oracle: Oh.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: "Dodge" stole a prototype personal teleportation device from his Star Labs scientist father because he wanted to be a hero. After his arrogance and lack of training gets him injured when he endangers a group of hostages and the device malfunctions and starts to fuse with him he decides to turn villain instead. Evidently super-hero to super-villain is not a big jump for Dodge as long as he gets to be some type of super.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Tim was friends with the much older Harold Allnut, who is Batman's mute in house mechanic since they both like developing new gadgets. He bitterly brings up Harold's murder when Bruce sent him to ask another genius to help build a new Batmobile, angry that Harold is never mentioned following his death.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: To quote Fabian Nicieza:
    "What I love about Tim is that he shares some of the strongest traits of various Bat-family members. The intellect and detective skills of Bruce, the ability to lead others and be a friend to others like Dick has and even the ability to make cold, harsh decisions like Jason does."
  • Kids' Show Mascot Parody: Crocky in #42 is a Barney parody who's a crocodile. Tim finds the character annoying when he has to watch the show for clues, because the actor who was fired from the role has taken to committing crimes in costume.
  • Kid Sidekick: to Batman.
    • And Spoiler is the kid sidekick to the kid sidekick.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Tim hates having to lie to his father and Steph about being Robin, though he only really pushes Bruce to let him tell Stephanie his id.
  • Knee-capping: Tim took out Mister Mayhem by kicking his knee the wrong way during a melee in Bludhaven where Robin, Ragman and Blue Devil were fighting thirty villains lead by Tapeworm. This had the added benefit of having the gadget Mayhem was about to throw in Tim's face hitting one of Tapeworm's crew instead.
  • Lamaze Class: Disguised himself as Alvin Draper and accompanied Steph to birthing classes when she was pregnant.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The Jury is a murderous Vigilante Militia that covers their faces and uses numbers to avoid being identified. While their leader, the foreman, starts lecturing Tim about why Tim's methods of crimefighting are wrong after the group blows up a purse snatcher #4 starts mumbling that he should be the foreman as its "only natural", to which #5 whispers shut up, while his gun is aimed at 4.
  • Leave No Witnesses: In their efforts to cover up their illegal human experimentation Strader Pharmaceuticals keeps expanding the list of people they're hiring mercenaries to kill. It starts out as just trying to dispose of their victims, but expands to include the drug dealers they'd used, the investigative journalist looking into the mess and anyone else who ended up involved with their victims.
  • Legacy Character: Obviously, but issue #10 highlighted the difference between Tim and Dick; the issue was a crossover issue of Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!, and worked together with Dick!Robin. Tim realized that Dick's Robin was far more physical — a former acrobat — while Tim was far more of a detective.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the ongoing Batman series of the time, with some issues being either more lighthearted or more serious than others.
  • Local Hangout: The teens of the Gotham Heights neighborhood, especially the group Tim hung out with, tended to spend time at the local O'Shaughnessy's, an Irish themed fast food joint.
  • Lost in Imitation: Tim's costumes are generally used as the basis for animated adaptations of Robin, he has pants. However bringing the red and black costume of the Tim from the Animated Series—a character who was really a amalgamated Tim and Jason—and making Tim darker and broodier to match lost much what had appealed to fans about Tim and let him carry his own solo series for years. It also meant Tim wasn't associated with green anymore, the color that had been used to identify him in speech and thought bubbles across the DCU.
  • Magic Ampersand: Tim plays a tabletop RPG called Wizards & Warriors with his Gotham Heights pals.
  • Making a Splash: Monsoon II nearly drowned Tim when she used her abilities to suddenly move a mass of water into a Bludhaven alleyway. He'd have died if he hadn't been accompanied by Shadowpact at the time.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Tomboyish basketball player Callie Evans, who is shaping up to be quite The Lad-ette as her high school career draws to a close went on multiple dates and was close friends with the much more emotional Non-Action Guy Sebastian Ives.
  • Mistaken for Betrayal: Damian sneaks into the batcave and claims to need his father's help to protect him from Ra's. Since Bruce isn't home and Damian is talking to Tim, who he tried to kill with a grenade during their last meeting and who knows Ra's recently died, Tim thinks Damian is trying to kill or impair Batman. Damian does not help his case when his reaction to Tim's skepticism is to shoot a grapple gun at Tim, which would have killed him if he hadn't dodged, and run into the manor. Tim thinks he's going to kill Alfred and is entirely unwilling to listen after this.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Darla Aquista is revealed to have prepared a bed for the two of them on the night Tim has Superboy intervene in the date she'd forced Tim on. Her chillingly out of touch words later that night imply she's only giving him room instead of forcing herself on him further because he saw her commit a murder that evening and she still thinks it's an eventuality he'll come to her on his own.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Defied. In one case, the obvious culprit says he didn't do it, and Tim spends several issues following a chain of evidence, only to find out the obvious culprit did do it and was just lying to avoid judgement.
  • Not a Date: Back when Tim was still dating Arianna he would occasionally team-up with future girlfriend Stephanie Brown to fight criminals on the street. He keeps on insisting that "it's not a date," but that does not stop Stephanie from shamelessly flirting with him. It doesn't help that he was giving out mixed messages and his relationship with Ari was well past failed at that point.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Prior to Lasky's Face–Heel Turn, Robin worries that he might might have been as annoying a pest to Batman as Lasky is to him.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Tim & Steph's relationship's first snags are due to Bruce refusing to allow Tim to tell Stephanie his secret identity. Then Bruce nonchalantly tells Steph Tim's ID without first discussing it with Tim, but only after Steph has given her child up for adoption, Tim is forcefully kissed by a classmate in front of her, and Bruce hires her as Tim's replacement Robin without either of them talking to Tim. The largest blow to their relationship though was when Stephanie's death was faked with Tim left thinking her dead for a year. It takes him a long time to trust her again.
  • Off the Wagon: Dylan Prescott has a number of issues he's just learning to manage without alcohol so he can try to live a more fulfilling life. Unfortunately his problems are suddenly exacerbated by contact with Noctura whose drug like meta-human ability mixes very poorly with his psych meds. He grabs a bottle of alcohol instead of his pills after spending two days hallucinating.
  • Off to Boarding School: One of the arcs in Chuck Dixon's run. Tim gets sent to Brentwood Academy by his dad who is worried about him being a rebellious and secretive teenager.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: On his sixteenth birthday Tim receives a message claiming to be from the future saying one of his allies is going to turn into a murderer. He becomes skeptical of it right away due to Bruce trying to act like Time Travel is impossible despite being on a team with a time traveler and the whole thing turns out to be a test from Bruce to supposedly check if Tim would do the right thing and not blindly stand by him if he turned villain. Considering Tim did not blindly stand by him when he was previously accused of murder and that he decided to gaslight Tim for a birthday present Tim gets understandably pissed and quits as Robin.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: In Robin #40, Ariana wanted to have sex with Tim, but he told her that they weren't ready and ended up just hanging out together on the couch. Her uncle walked in on them and saw her still in lingerie, got the wrong idea and chased him out of the house.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: There was a period in The ‘90s, mostly but not entirely in comics by Chuck Dixon, where Two-Face decided he hated Robin more than Batman. While this mostly meant Nightwing, he wasn't averse to taking shots at Tim Drake.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Tim and Steph's relationship was intentionally sabotaged with poor communication by Bruce since he disproved of them dating. When Bruce later allowed Tim to finally stop hiding things from her she still usually thought he knew way more about what was going on than he was letting on which led to her not telling him very important things, like about her falling out with the Birds of Prey, because she assumed he already knew. This put them both in danger on several occasions.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Tim's room was filled with band posters when he still lived with his parents. Amusingly Stephanie had a prominent flattering poster of Tim's pal Superboy winking over her bed to Tim's endless annoyance.
  • Private Military Contractors: Strader Pharmaceuticals hires a group of unethical Private Military Contractors to clean up the evidence of their fatal and incredibly dangerous unethical testing of a new Psycho Serum by tracking down and killing the already dying victims.
  • Psycho Serum: Strader Pharmaceuticals develops a drug that's meant to give the user super-strength, and while it does it is also addictive, makes them incredibly violent and slowly starts breaking down their bodies killing them horrifically and painfully. When they realize their illegal experiments are being investigated they hire mercenaries to quietly hunt down, kill and dispose of the bodies of everyone who took their concoction.
  • Put on a Bus:
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Tim has called out Batman several times — first when Batman revealed Tim's identity to Stephanie without his permission, and the second time when Batman pulled an elaborate, dysfunctional plan to test his dedication as a Robin on his 16th birthday.
  • Real Men Cook: After moving into the condo Tim starts asking Dana to help him figure out how to cook things for Stephanie and helping Dana in the kitchen while his father is busy drinking and moping. He is never seen trying to cook again after Stephanie's death.
  • Rearing Horse: Dark Rider is pictured atop his rearing shadow mount with his magic lance bearing down on Tim on the cover of issue 137.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Johnny Warren tries to shoot Robin and the woman Robin is saving from him even though Tim warned him that the epoxy he tossed on Johnny's gun has warped the barrel and the gun is visibly deformed. He loses a hand for his bloodlust.
  • Repression Never Ends Well: Tim tries hard to repress his feelings of disappointment and frustration with paternal figures, but once his father's injuries force him to actually buy a home in the city his son lives in and he and Tim move in together he looses it, yells and runs off when the man tries to tell Tim how Tim is changing and not the son he knows; as Tim puts it who is the son Jack "knows"? The man has never even lived with Tim before, instead having him housed in boarding schools. Bruce later ticks Tim off so badly that he quits being Robin for a bit in protest after yelling at him.
  • Retcon: Stephanie's death in War Games — it turns out that she was just hiding in Africa.
  • Reunion Kiss: After finding out that his girlfriend wasn't actually dead Robin sweeps her into his arms and gives her a surprise kiss. Right in front of Batman, no less.
  • Revealing Skill: In Tim’s backstory, this is how he learned the secret identities of Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson): by watching news coverage of the Dynamic Duo's escapades, during which Robin performed a complicated gymnastics move (a quadruple somersault) — which it had been established could be performed only by a small handful of people, including the orphaned circus artist Dick Grayson.
  • Right in Front of Me: Bernard discusses his conspiracy theories about Robin with Tim Drake, including the one where he figures the latest Robin is dead, unaware that he's talking to the person he is presuming to be deceased.
  • Rogues Gallery: Tim was the first Robin to acquire his own before graduating to another identity.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Tim Drake/Robin (goal-oriented, serious introvert) with Stephanie Brown/Spoiler (plucky, street-smart people person).
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Even after having to declare bankruptcy and considering himself broke Jack Drake bribes politicians to get his way. When Tim ends up in Gotham while the city is quarantined he bribes his way into getting his son, but no one else, evacuated against federal orders.
  • Second Love: Following his adopted father's footsteps, Tim's first love was Ariana Dzerchenko and his second love was Stephanie Brown. In fact, Tim is Stephanie's second love — her first boyfriend, Dean, got her pregnant and abandoned her after he found out.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: He sometimes addresses himself in the third-person in his thought dialogues, either as 'Robin' or 'Tim Drake'.
  • Secret-Keeper: Thanks to his spot as The Smart Guy, he knew who both Huntress and Spoiler were well before they knew who he was. This annoyed them both, naturally.
  • Secret Relationship: Tim and Steph started dating as costumed crimefighters (because he was not allowed to reveal his true identity to her, Batman-related issues and all) and spent a long time only knowing each other as Robin and Spoiler. Tim would also go out of his way to avoid bumping into Steph at school, and lied to his parents when they asked him if he was seeing anyone.
  • Senior Year Struggles: The final arc focuses on the stress of Tim's senior year of high school. This is compounded by the Gotham gang wars and the fact that Bruce Wayne is missing. Tim suspects Bruce isn't dead, so he chooses to make that his priority and ends up dropping out of school altogether.
  • Serious Business: When Tim is transferred to Brentwood Academy by his father as punishment for not trying out for football, and supposedly lying about having done so even though Tim was intentionally vague when his dad asked, he's amused to hear that the school doesn't have a football team. Brentwood is a soccer school he's told, and students that display physical aptitude for soccer can be forced onto the team.
  • Ship Tease: Arguably played between Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II) and Tim shortly after War Games.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Stephanie Brown (Spoiler/Batgirl IV) was in a relationship with a sleazy douchebag who knocked her up and left her to fend for herself. Her next boyfriend was nice guy Tim Drake who supported her decisions, took care of her during her pregnancy, brought her to birthing classes, and even crossed hundred of miles in one night just to see her at the hospital during her labour. Heck the only reason they "broke up" was because she let him think she'd died for over a year, and as soon as she returned Tim realized he needed to break off his current attempt at dating because he was still in love with Steph despite her letting him think she'd died the same week his father was murdered so it wasn't fair to Zoanne even if Steph didn't want him back.
  • Sleepless Alarm Clock: On at least one occasion Tim sneaks in from acting as Robin all night and falls into bed just in time for the housekeeper Mrs. Mac to open the door and order him to get up.
  • Smooch of Victory: Tim kisses Stephanie after she rescues him from being Buried Alive. As she had been flirting with him since nearly their first meeting this is quite nice for her, though Tim realizes quickly that despite the relationship having long since fallen apart he's still technically dating Ariana and prevents things from going any further till he's actually single. He and Steph are dating before the week is up.
  • Soft Glass: Like his mentor, Robin has a tendency to throw himself through windows with no ill effects. Tim reserved doing so only for emergencies where time is of the essence specifically because he knows he could still end up hurting himself or inadvertently hurting someone else with the shards despite his armored suit.
  • Soup Is Medicine: When Steph gets a cold Tim decides to fix home-made chicken soup for her and bring it over even though he doesn't have a car anymore. With Dana's help he's able to fix the soup and then he has to take it by subway to get to Steph's house where she is appreciative of the food. It helps her nose clear up right away and she recovers from her illness the next day.
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: The Redback Spider may be a villain rather than a hero, but her costume is very similar to that of Spider-Man, though she's traded out the wrist web-shooters for venomous needles.
  • Sports Dad: Jack wants Tim to play football. Tim hates football, to the point that he doesn't even like watching it. At one point Tim responded to his dad asking him why he got home late by saying he stayed late because of football tryouts, never saying he tried out. If his dad knew the first thing about his son he might have thought he was taking photos, instead when Jack learns the football coach doesn't remember Tim trying out Jack tears apart Tim's room, destroying Tim's possessions, tearing open the walls and forcing Dana to go through Tim's computer for him.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: When Cass came to Bludhaven to help out Tim, Batgirl and Robin had this dynamic.
  • Sudden Name Change: Stephanie Brown's mother was named "Agnes" when she originally appeared in Detective Comics, but her name was later changed to "Crystal." According to Scott Beatty (who was the first to rename her), he had asked DC editors about the name of the mother but no one could remember, leading to an accidental name change that stuck.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Ives got a job at one, he was too embarrassed to tell his friends about it at first since he was a mascot wearing a rat costume.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Tim's staff contains an EMP emitter, and as Red Robin he added a retractable blade for emergency use. He doesn't use either often as the EMP disables his own gear and the entire reason he chose the staff rather than a bladed weapon was for its non-lethal applications.
  • Telescoping Staff: One was given to Tim by Lady Shiva.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The reason Tim is now an orphan and permanently dedicated to crime-fighting.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: The reason why his relationships with Ariana and Zoanne went sour, he kept not showing up for dates or falling asleep during them.
  • There Are No Therapists: In addition to the benefits the various members of the Batfamily could reap from a visit to a good therapist (Dick has actually gone to one) Tim’s first girlfriend could undoubtedly use some therapy after seeing her father murdered, being kidnapped and forced to help manufacture drugs, and having a classmate try to rape her. Of course it is understandably difficult to trust anyone in that profession working in Gotham.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: The Jury not only goes around murdering people for all kinds of petty theft and other suspected criminal behavior, they like to do so by shooting at them with automatic riffles and bazookas. Apparently in their minds its a public service to blow up a purse snatcher (and purse) on a busy public street, collateral be dammed.
  • Through His Stomach: Tim only starts trying to figure out how to cook things from scratch in order to give them to Stephanie.
  • Trauma Conga Line: starting from War Games on Tim experienced his girlfriend's death, his father's death, his stepmother's possible death, his best friend's death, his other best friend's death, and all capped off by the apparent death of adoptive father and mentor Bruce Wayne. All these tragedies caused Tim to go down the angsty, jerkass route right up until he takes up the Red Robin mantle.
  • Training from Hell: His training arc with Lady Shiva in Paris and Hong Kong.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: Tim once chased after a car containing a kidnapped classmate on his skateboard. It didn't work out and he got shot for his efforts but he was able to figure out where they were going and Stephanie gave him a ride there on her motorcycle, and assisted in taking down the kidnappers.
  • Uncovering Relationship Status: Stephanie quickly decides she wants to know if Robin has a girlfriend and his hesitance to answer her out of concern for his secret id means she doesn't actually believe him when he says he does. She tones down the flirting but doesn't stop entirely and eventually Tim breaks up with his girlfriend to date her.
  • Vigilante Militia: The Jury is a group of murderers who target petty criminals and those who have escaped extrajudicial imprisonment, claiming to be doing a public service and be heroes.
  • Vigilante Execution: The Jury is an entire group of armed murderers enforcing vigilante justice by doing things like blowing up a purse snatcher on a busy street, and going out on a shooting spree when a bunch of people escaped extrajudicial imprisonment in Bludhaven.
  • Villain Episode: Issue #85 focuses entirely on the Joker, who gives a warped-but-mostly-accurate rundown of his history with all three Robins so far.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: A major component of the series before Tim grows out of it.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Jerk Jock Karl Ranck has a nice sports car from his father he's quite proud of, so of course, it gets stolen and damaged during a school dance.
  • Weak Boss, Strong Underlings: While the General does eventually bulk up, he starts out as very Young and in Charge. He's an eleven-year-old bossing around gangsters and other criminals and for a short time, the army of a small foreign country, who are willing to listen to him because his brutal plans and strategies tend to work.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Tim's father doesn't spend much time with him or really know him but he does make it very clear that he wishes his son was interested in American Football and completely ignores any mentions of Tim's actual hobbies of photography and skateboarding. He's also annoyed that Tim likes and wants to be in public school rather than a private boarding school.
  • To Win Without Fighting: Tim revived Lady Shiva after he stopped her heart when given temporary superpowers, so she gave him a favor. He later used the favor to get her to leave Connor Hawke alone when she was about to kill him, rather than have himself and Dick try fighting her. Shiva assumed this meant Tim was out of luck when she showed up to fight him to the death a year later in return for having trained him with a bo staff, but Tim poisoned her ahead of time as he knew he had no chance in a straight fight against her.
  • You Can Barely Stand: During Batman: No Man's Land Robin ends up facing off against Croc when he's running a high fever to the point of suffering mild hallucinations. Croc quickly defeats him and uses him as a hostage but he gets a second wind and turns the tables on his captor after waking up and realizing he's giving Croc an advantage.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Strader Pharmaceuticals is having everyone that can implicate them in their illegal human experimentation killed the targets include low level employees and former employees who helped them find and target the lower class Gothamites the initial experimentation was meant to kill. These people knew they were targeting people for painful deaths, which makes it seem they shouldn't be too surprised by their own executions.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The only reason Tim can harm Johnny Warlock is that Johnny cannot disassociate him with the remembered pain of losing his hand to his own exploding gun after Robin damaged it in a fight while Johnny was still human. His own fear of Rob turns his powers against him when he's fighting him, which Tim absolutely takes advantage of and encourages by acting as though he's impervious to Johnny's powers as otherwise he and his allies would have been killed by the magic user long ago.

Alternative Title(s): Robin Series