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Comic Book / Supergirl (2005)

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"I... I thought I was helping. I mean, what's the use of having all this strength and everything if I can't use it to fix things?

Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad... But you're neither one! I'm capable of recognizing my own mistakes, Kal! I don't need my nose rubbed in them! Maybe I'm not perfect like you—
Superman: Hey, I'm not—
Supergirl: Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and Uncle Jon and Aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation! I can get by on my own terms, and I'm doing just fine, and—
Superman: I know.

Supergirl 2005 or Supergirl Vol 5 is the fifth Supergirl self-named comic book series, which began publication in October of 2005, spanning 67 issues and 2 annuals. This series features the modern Kryptonian Supergirl, Kara Zor-El, who first appeared in Superman/Batman storyline The Supergirl from Krypton (2004).

After arriving on Earth and being saved from Darkseid by Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Kara Zor-El tries to adapt to her new home. Unfortunately, she unknowingly suffers from Kryptonite poisoning, which alters her behavior dramatically and turns her into a very erratic, unstable, and unpleasant person for one whole year, in addition to plaguing her with horrible nightmares and bad memories.

After recovering from her sickness, Kara sets to work clearing her name, reconnecting with her cousin and her new family, rebuilding previously burned bridges with other heroes, and learning how to be a hero herself. However, the coming of Brainiac, the rescue of Kandor, the return of her parents, and the rise and downfall of New Krypton will make her life harder.

Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle's creative team took over story and art duties respectively in issue #34. Their run — Supergirl #34-59 — is regarded as one of the best runs of the character. It clocked in at #69 on The Hollywood Reporter's 100 Best Super-Heroes Comic-Books List. Mark Waid’s Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16-36 run is also considered excellent.

Supergirl (2005) provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Kara did quit several times when her superhero life got too hard or she deemed herself to be a failure.
  • Actually a Doombot: Toyman's robots look like real human beings and they are capable of deceive even Kara's X-Ray Vision. In "Day of the Dollmaker" Kara invokes the trope when she warns Toyman that he will answer her questions lest she believes he is a robot and tears him apart to verify it.
    Supergirl: And how do we know you're even the real Winslow Schott? I've seen one of your robots before — no, two of them. One here in Gotham, the other on New Krypton. And that one had a part in my world's destruction. A small part, sure, but an important one. Your work is very well made. Impossible to tell apart from real, live human beings, even with my X-Ray vision. So please. Answer Ms. Grant's questions, or else another outburst like that will lead me to believe you're one of Schott's automatons... and I'll start probing to make sure you're real.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength:
    • Kara is more hot-headed and more short-tempered than her cousin, but she is also frightened of her own power and she holds back most of time because she doesn't want to hurt anybody.
    • In the first arc, Clark makes clear that she appears to be more powerful than him because he is always holding back.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: In the cover of issue #47, Alura does this with Reactron's helmet.
  • Alien Among Us: Subverted. At the beginning, Supergirl feels she doesn't understand Earth or Terrans and she doesn't fully fit in. But then she and Superman rescue Kandor and Kara finds she doesn't fit in with Kryptonians anymore either because she got used to thinking and acting like an Earth woman.
    Lana Lang: So what's it like over there?
    Supergirl: On New Krypton? It's... different. Our people are happy there. The planet itself is beautiful, too, but... It's weird, but being around other Kryptonians like my mother, I'm really starting to feel... well...
    Lana: Alien?
    Supergirl: Some of them are so different from humans, Lana. They think differently, they speak differently, they... react differently. I've been on Earth so long, it's been hard for me to fall back into being "just another Kryptonian".
  • All Just a Dream: In Supergirl #22 after getting hit with a train engine, Supergirl sees herself surrounded by her friends of the Legion of Super-Heroes. She's happy until Lightning Lad tells her that she is dreaming.
    Lightning Lad: Hey, Kara, remember when you first showed up here, telling us all we were figments of your imagination?
    Supergirl: Yeah. Sorry about that.
    Lightning Lad: Well, now you really are dreaming.
  • Alpha Bitch: Played with when Kara attended high school as "Claire Connors" and she's initially led to believe a blonde, beautiful, popular girl must be this type of character by a science geek named Becky. By the end of the issue, it turned out said blonde girl's actually really nice and Kara's "friend" Becky is a manipulative, nasty piece of work. Kara apologizes to the blonde girl for not getting to know her.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Subverted. Kara suffered from amnesia when her rocket landed on Earth, and for a while she wondered whether she was a good girl or an evil girl pretending to be good. Eventually she remembered everything and it turned out that she was really a good girl.
  • Amnesiacs are Innocent: Subverted. Kara is a pretty innocent, naive, scared teenager that cannot remember anything of her past. Batman suspects that her innocence may be an act, especially after Darkseid kidnaps her and brainwashes her. After being rescued Kara also wonders what kind of person she was. When some of her memories appear to return, they are pretty terrible and she believes she was a bad person before losing her memory. However, she eventually got her real memories back, which proved she was always a good, well-meaning girl.
  • Anatomy of the Soul: Several Supergirl's enemies are pieces of her soul, her spirit or emotions given physical shape by magic or Kryptonite. Dark Supergirl is born from her self-loathing and Survivor Guilt.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Kara Zor-El and Thara Ak-Var wore the "Flamebird" moniker for a while, naming themselves after the Kryptonian god bird.
  • Annoying Arrows: Justified in issue #20 -the Amazons Attack tie-in-. Supergirl falls down after getting struck by a magic arrow, but she's up and about right away after it gets -painfully- yanked out thanks to her healing factor.
  • Anti-True Sight:
    • In the "Way of the World" arc, Supergirl broke into a federal detention center and made off with an inmate who could help her save Thomas. As they were standing in a secret lab, she lined the ceiling with lead sheets so Superman would not find them.
    • In Supergirl #23 someone has sent a sound-proofed, lead-lined gift box to Kara. Since her Super Senses cannot scan it, she opens it. It was actually a Batman's test, who calls her and admonishes her for opening it.
  • A Rare Sentence: When Kara and Steph are about to fight a sobbing Dracula (long story).
    Batgirl: Nothing sadder than a crying Dracula.
    Supergirl: If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that...
    Batgirl: You'd have a nickel?
    Supergirl: I'd have a nickel.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Reactron. A lecherous, bullying thug, Benjamin Krullen craved for getting even at Kara because she had the gall to kick his butt when he attacked her without provocation. Over the course of both her solo series and the New Krypton crossover, the two clashed repeatedly, leading to Reactron's murder of Supergirl's father, her mother Alura's Cold-Blooded Torture of Reactron upon his capture, and the eventual destruction of New Krypton when Reactron blew up himself, the planet, and Kara's mother. For both of them the conflict was always personal. Needless to say, Supergirl hates him, and a hallucination looking like Reactron is enough to send her into a murderous rage.
    • Superwoman did aid and abet General Lane to destroy Krypton.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas:
    • In Day of the Dollmaker, Supergirl is trying to find a child kidnapper at Christmas Eve. With no concrete leads, she combs Metropolis, beating and interrogating every criminal and super-villain she meets until she manages to catch and beat down the kidnapper.
    • In the DC Universe Holiday Special 2008: A Day Without Sirens, Kara Zor-El and Barbara Gordon team-up to gift Gotham City a crime-free Christmas.
  • Atomic Superpower: Reactron has the ability to control and project nuclear radiation.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: During the events of the reviled Amazons Attack! storyline, in where the Amazons went to war against the US, Supergirl and Wonder Girl suddenly come up with a "brilliant" plan to end the war: kidnapping the President and bringing him to Queen Hyppolita to engage in peace talks with her. Predictably, their plan went awry and their reputations suffered a severe blow because the Amazons shot the Air Force One down and almost killed the President. After fending off an Amazon squad, Kara flies to New York to help, although Cassie reminds her that acting without thinking got them into that mess.
    Wonder Girl: But we were only trying to—
    Supergirl: Doesn't matter. I have to make up for this somehow, before it's too late. I have to balance the scales.
    Wonder Girl: How? By flying off half-cocked again, after what we just did...?
    Supergirl: I can't do nothing, Cassie!
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Supergirl and Brainiac 5's relationship was rocky for a while in spite of their mutual attraction. In a nutshell, he couldn't stop himself from behaving as a snarky jerkass, and she was torn between punching him and kissing him. At the end, she settled for kissing him.
  • Badass Boast: In Supergirl #60 some kind of portal opens up in front of Kara, and Parasite, Silver Banshee, Metallo and the Kryptonite Man step through it. Kara's reaction?
    Supergirl: I hope you don't think you're going to win.
  • Bank Robbery: In the first Annual issue, set during the New Krypton event, Supergirl has to foil a bank robbery without being seen since Kryptonians have been banned from Earth.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: While depowered by red sunlight in "Breaking the Chain", Kara catches Cassandra Cain's katana... only for Cass to kick her down.
  • Bash Brothers: In this instance, Bash Cousins: Superman and Supergirl.
  • Batman Gambit: Superman punches both Supergirl and evil Supergirl, assuming that his real cousin will not retaliate. His plan doesn't work because both girls fight back.
  • Battle Boomerang: Used by Boomer during the Joe Kelly's run.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Chris Kent -Nightwing- and Thara Ak-Var -Flamebird-.
    • Supergirl and Brainiac-5.
  • Beam-O-War: Due to a temporal misunderstanding, Supergirl and Superboy engage in an Eye Beam duel during their first meeting. Kara wins by getting enough close to punch Conner.
  • Beast with a Human Face: Issue 12 "Rock On!" has the Empathousaur, an underground giant reptile who turns its head into Supergirl's father's to upset her during one fight.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Kara does this to Lana in order to free her from Insect Queen's control.
  • Beautiful All Along: In her Linda Lang Secret Identity, Kara braids her hair and wears glasses in order to look like an inconspicuous, average, geeky girl.
  • Being Watched: In Supergirl #0, Kara is flying back to Earth when she realizes she is being spied via satellite.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Defied. Supergirl frequently and openly mocks her friend Thara's belief in the Kryptonian gods and treats her as a loony who believes she is Flamebird's incarnation. When it is revealed that Thara IS Flamebird, Kara apologizes and feels happy, because if their gods are real, then her deceased father is in a better place.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Post-Crisis Supergirl and Brainiac-5. He liked her, but he didn't know how to show his feelings due to being socially awkward. She liked him back, but his jerkass, never-my-fault attitude infuriated her. Cue arguments and Kara punching and kissing Querl in the same single issue.
  • Beware the Nice Ones In Supergirl #33, Kara flew Clayface up to the edge of the atmosphere and dropped him after he got her pissed off.
  • Be Yourself: In Secret Identities, Supergirl starts high school under an assumed identity, but after a few days she gets sick of teenagers pretending to be friendly as planning to backstab you. Deciding a secret identity was a mistake, she reveals her true self to her classmates and flies off after telling them they should stop pretending to be other people. A bullied girl takes her advice to heart and starts talking back to her tormentors.
    Supergirl: Do yourselves and each other a favor... Be yourself. It makes life a Hell of a lot easier.
  • Big "WHAT?!": In the second Annual, Supergirl has this reaction when she finds out that Brainiac 5 accidentally created a super-bomb while analyzing a mystical statue.
    Brainiac 5: It’s a ten-thousand-year-old Brocian hunting statue! Rumored by natives to have "magical" properties when struck by lightning, so I was analyzing its reception to other kinds of energy!
    Supergirl: Okay! So what did you hit it with?
    Brainiac-5: Uh, I opened the timestream and bombarded it with chronon energy.
    Supergirl: WHAT?
    Brainiac-5: Obviously that wasn't the best of my ideas!
    Supergirl: So what's it doing now?
    Brainiac-5: Based on my readings, I'm pretty sure I just created a magical time bomb. And if my calculations are correct, we've got less than four seconds to live.
  • Blackmail: In the Day of the Dollmaker arc, Cat Grant blackmails Lana into getting Supergirl to help her interrogate Toyman and find several kidnapped children.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: In the Day of the Dollmaker arc, Cat Grant blackmails Lana to get Supergirl to help her. She claims it was not blackmail.
    Cat: And I'm not blackmailing anyone. I merely asked Lana to ask her friend to help me.
  • Body Horror: When her suit gets torn, Superwoman's body becomes deformed and falls apart.
  • Bookends: Sterling Gates' run: In the first issue, Cat Grant wrote an article titled: "Why the World Doesn't Need a Supergirl". In the final issue, Cat wrote a kind of recantation: "The world needs a Supergirl".
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Kara has training in both unarmed and armed combat by Wonder Woman and the Amazons, and she has been taught Klurkor -a Kryptonian martial art-.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In Superman/Batman #77, Scarecrow's fear toxin makes Supergirl believe that Robin is her parents' killer Reactron and attack him.
  • Breaking the Bonds:
    • In Supergirl #2, Cassie Sandsmark alias Wonder Girl binds Supergirl with her magic, unbreakable lasso. Supergirl shrugs it off.
    • And in the third issue she breaks a pair of Kryptonite cuffs binding her arms.
  • Break Them by Talking: Sakki, The Hate Furnace, delivered one to Supergirl. He mistakenly believed that she was Superman's daughter and picked at her shame at failing to live up to Superman's example. Sakki and his partner, Gakidou, were also emotion eaters, so Supergirl's despair and other negative emotions served to make them stronger. Unfortunately for them, she became so angry that they nearly overloaded, and they found out the hard way that their extra strength isn't nearly enough to deal with a Kryptonian.
  • Breath Weapon: In Supergirl #34, Supergirl fights a flame-spewing griffon. When it belches out flames on her, Kara retaliates with her freezing breath.
  • Bring It: In Girl Power, the JLA interrupts a battle between Supergirl and her Evil Counterpart. When Dark Supergirl suggests the Leaguers to run, Black Canary asks her to try and attack them.
    Black Canary: Please. Make a move on us.
  • Broken Tears: Kara sheds them after finding out that the Daily Planet is slandering her.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Supergirl wears the S-shield on her costume. It's kind of a Berserk Button to Luthor.
    Luthor: Striking a woman — worse, a girl — reduces me to the level of some thug — a hooligan — on the street. Then, I see that "S" that you so brazenly decided to wear on your less than impressive chest. And I can almost forgive myself.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: In "Secret Identities", a high-school bully talks another girl into rigging a bucket filled with toilet waste over a toilet's door and dumping the contents on the head of new student "Claire Connors". The accident convinces Kara that creating a secret identity was a mistake, so she drops her disguise on the spot and takes off.
  • Bullet Catch: In Supergirl #11, Kara shoots at a pirate mook and catches the bullet before it hits his face.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: In issue #0 -which is a reprint from Superman/Batman #19-, Supergirl uses herself as a shield to cover Batgirl from gunfire.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Cat insults, mocks and taunts Supergirl the whole time. In Day of the Dollmaker she does do it to her face. She doesn't seem bothered by the fact that she's goading someone who can rip her in half and hurl her remains out of the planet in less than a second.
  • Burning with Anger: Thara does this when Reactron drives her so mad that she becomes Flamebird.
  • Buried Alive: In Supergirl #32 Kara has a nightmare in where she has been buried alive.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: "This Is Not My Life begins with Supergirl saving a tram full of innocents which is being attacked by Ivo Amazo's flying robots.
  • Cain and Abel: According to Dark Supergirl, Zor-El hated his brother Jor, and sent Kara to Earth to kill Jor-El's infant son. Kara later had visions of Zor-El just not getting on with his brother, and trying to prevent Kal-El from "infecting" Earth with evil spirits from the Phantom Zone. When Zor-El actually appears, it is made clear that Dark Sueprgirl was lying, and Kara's memories were fake.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Through ''New Krypton, Supergirl followed her mother's orders and tried to forgive Alura's constant emotional abuse. By the time of "War of the Supermen", though, Kara has had it with her mother when she finds out that Alura ordered her to capture Reactron in order to torture information out of him.
    Supergirl: "Watch out for your mother." That's what father said to me as he died. "Watch out for your mother." I thought that meant I should... I don't know, make sure you didn't get hurt after he was gone or something. But that's not what father meant at all, was it?
    Alura: Kara, I—
    Supergirl: He wasn't warning me to look out for you... He was warning me about you.
    Alura: Don't you dare judge me, Kara. Reactron is a prisoner of the state, and he has information necessary for the protection of our people—
    Supergirl: "Our people"? Have you lost your freaking mind? You've been torturing someone down here, mom! Someone you sent me to Earth to bring back to New Krypton. That makes me responsible for him. Just as it makes me complicit in a war crime.
    Alura: If I have to go to extreme measures to get information out of him— information that will keep our planet safe— it's worth it.
    Supergirl: That's how you justify this? You think the safety of New Krypton is so important we have to beat information out of someone—
    Alura: How naive can you be, Kara? Or have you forgotten that this... monster... murdered your father in our streets—
    Supergirl: I know he did, mom. I was there. Dad died saving my life. In fact, where were you when he died?
  • Came Back Wrong: Discussed in "The Way of the World". Supergirl tries to save a young cancer victim named Thomas. Unfortunately, Thomas dies, but she thinks a blood transfusion of another super-hero's nanite-laced blood may revive Thomas. Superman tries to dissuade her, stating that "the transfusion might bring Thomas back as something inhuman... a blazing skull, a monster, or worse."
  • Came from the Sky: "The Supergirl from Krypton", had her found by Batman and Superman.
  • Captive Date: Deconstructed in "Breaking the Chain". Powerboy knocks Supergirl out and takes her away. When Kara comes around, she finds she has been shackled and dragged to Powerboy's stalker shrine of a home, and now Powerboy intends to be her boyfriend whether she likes or not. Kara breaks her chains, calls Powerboy out on being a delusional domestic abuser as fighting him, and tells him to stay away from her from now on.
  • Car Fu: Kara loves this. In issue #34, Kara drops a garbage truck on Silver Banshee.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • In Supergirl #32 Kara does this after a bad dream in which she has been buried alive.
    • And in issue #38 after having a nightmare where crowds of angry humans and Kryptonians demand her to choose a side.
  • Catchphrase: Supergirl's during Gates' run: "Hope, help, and compassion for all."
  • Cat Fight: Kara got into several Cat Fights with Power Girl, Wonder Girl and even a dark version of herself in the first issues.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Played straight, parodied and invoked several times.
    • After Cat slanders her, Kara left a note on her desk, saying: "Cat — Don't call me if you ever get stuck in a tree. S-Girl"
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Supergirl #38, someone sends Cat Grant a Supergirl doll. In Supergirl #58 she realized it was the key to find a child kidnapper.
  • Chest Insignia: Supergirl's S-shield is her family crest. Luthor kind of hates seeing it.
  • Child of Two Worlds: During the New Krypton arc, Kara feels torn between New Krypton -where her people settled in- and Earth -her new home-.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: After her emo teen phase, Supergirl tries to be the kind of hero worthy of her Family crest. Unfortunately, her attempts to help everyone are wearing her out. In Supergirl #34:
    Supergirl: You think I should stop —?
    Superman: No. But Kara, you spend so much time trying to save everyone else, to be the hero that everyone expects you to be, you don't get a chance to relax. You're Supergirl twenty-four hours a day, and I think it's starting to hurt more than help.
  • Clarke's Third Law:
    • Invoked constantly by a secondary character in the final arc:
      Henry: Magic is just the science for which we don't know the rules quite yet!
    • Later on, another character said:
      It only looks like magic if you can't do the math.
  • Clark Kenting: Kara followed her cousin's example by using glasses.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: "Linda Lang" wears long shirts and trousers to cover her athletic, fit body.
  • Claustrophobia: Kara experiences severe claustrophobia -combined with nyctophobia- when she is stuck inside a tight, dark space due to spending decades trapped inside a space pod.
  • Cleavage Window: In Supergirl #34 Cat Grant wears a red dress that has an enclosed opening on the top portion right above her cleavage.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Superwoman's costume gives Kryptonian powers… after a fashion.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • In Way of the World, Supergirl comes upon Clayface. Kara lets him have a couple of blows before showing him she isn't giving him a fair fight by freezing him solid, flying him to the edge of the atmosphere and letting go.
      Supergirl: I'm sorry, but you seem confused. Just 'cuz I let you land a few easy blows— that doesn't mean we're having a fair fight!
    • A few issues later, Silver Banshee challenges Kara. Kara drops a truck on Banshee.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the second Annual, Supergirl calls Brainiac 5 out on drawing into their dimension the Eldritch Abomination that has conquered the whole world. Brainy's answer? He doesn't believe she's had conquered the whole world yet.
    Supergirl: Okay, let's review. You, Brainiac 5, while experimenting on a supposedly "magical" statue, bombarded it with timestream energy, thereby summoning an alien death goddess.
    Brainiac 5: Mm.
    Supergirl: Then, when she shows up and starts possessing our friends, your first inclination is not to stay and fight, but run away into the timestream. Which pretty much ensures that she enslaves the entire Earth.
    Brainiac 5: Oh, I doubt the entire Earth's been enslaved by this point, Supergirl. I mean, she's only had a few days.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Supergirl gets introduced to Inspector Mike Henderson, member of Metropolis Metacrimes Division. After working together in the case of Superwoman, Inspector Henderson would remain the Girl of Steel's ally and confidant throughout Gates/Igle's run.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: In Supergirl #34 Kara saved Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant from being hit by falling debris. Unfortunately Cat accidentally got bruised when Jimmy landed on her. Cat was so irate she devoted herself to wage a smear campaign against Supergirl.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Supergirl becomes stuck between loyalty to her cousin and her adopted planet and loyalty to her mother Allura -who hated and blamed humanity for her husband's death- and her Kryptonian kin. She tries to protect everyone, but eventually both sides go to war.
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer: In "Day of the Dollmaker", Supergirl and Catherine Grant visit Toyman in his cell to ask him who might be sending Cat dolls looking like missing children.
  • Continuity Porn: Sterling Gates' run abounds with references to Supergirl's lore like the Lyra Kam-Par character (daughter of a Kryptonian who made his sole appearance in ''Superman Family #207) and the numerous nods to her stint on the Legion of Super-Heroes squeezed into the 2010 Annual: finding King Arthur's Excalibur, fighting the Positive Man...
  • Cool Uncle:
    • Jonathan and Martha Kent, her cousin's foster parents.
    • Lana Lang becomes this to Kara after helping her create her Secret I Dentity: her niece Linda Lang.
  • Covered in Gunge: In issue 22 -a "Countdown" tie-in-, Supergirl battles Equus, a mutant monster whose powers include shooting spurts of some kind of fire-resistant, gluey, green goo. During the fight, Supergirl's head and hair end up completely covered in disgusting, green globs.
    Supergirl: What about this gunk your goon sprayed on me?
    Government Agent: It'll degrade in thirty-six hours. Till then, it's a bad hair day.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly:In the first Annual, Kara tries to pass herself off as Lana Lang's niece when a cop questions her. She realizes too late she doesn't even know what her alleged job is.
  • Crashing Dreams: In Supergirl #22, Kara dreams that she's surrounded by her friends Legionnaires. Then they gradually turn into stone. Kara wakes up and notices she is buried in the rocky ground after a villain dropped a train on her.
  • Crazy-Prepared: After Krypton's destruction, Zor-El had an escape pod ready in case that he and his wife needed to launch Kara towards Earth. And he fitted it with solar panels in case that Kara needed to be invulnerable before landing!
  • Cry into Chest: Supergirl did this to her cousin after the destruction of New Krypton.
  • Crystal Prison: After capturing Reactron, Supergirl and Flamebird shrank him and put inside a crystal shard in order to transport him to New Krypton where he would be trialed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During the New Krypton arc, Supergirl fights an evil Superwoman. At the beginning Superwoman seems a serious menace, but as soon as Kara finds out about Superwoman's identity and allegiance, the Kryptonian girl trashes the villain every time.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: In Supergirl #33, Kara meets Eddie Rose, "Aftermath", a villain that used to be a normal person who believed heroes were real and bad things only happened to bad people until the first battle between Superman and Doomsday cost him his legs.
    Aftermath: Once upon a time the world was simple. There were heroes and there were villains and bad things only happened to bad people. And then Doomsday came. "Luckily", I survived the attack, but by then I'd come to realize— that sometimes the bad can even afflict the good. And that while we may believe in heroes, there really is no such thing.
  • Darker and Edgier: At the beginning, DC tried to turn post-Crisis Supergirl into a darker, edgier and supposedly more modern Kara Zor-El. It didn’t work.
  • Dead Serious: Reactron was easily overpowered by Supergirl in his first appearance. Several months later he got himself a Deadly Upgrade, murdered Kara's father, spent most of the New Krypton storyline hounding her, and was ultimate responsible for the demise of the Kryptonian race.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kara often makes sarcastic remarks when she gets angry. In Supergirl #22 she fights a Super Soldier who claims to be "your tax dollars at work". After defeating him, she grumbles:
    Supergirl: Tax dollars at work, my butt!
  • Death Glare: Kara is just as good-natured as her cousin, but being a teenager, she is fiercer and more short-tempered than Superman. If she is giving you one of these -often accompanied with glowing red eyes-, then you have pissed her off for real, and you last resort is praying.
  • Declaration of Personal Independence: Many, many times Kara tells her tremendously overprotective cousin that she can't learn from her mistakes unless he stops babying her, and she needs to stand on her own:
    • In issue #0:
      Supergirl: Thanks. I'm sure there were a few times, particularly out there on the street, when you wanted to fly in— but you let me handle it. It's the only way I'm going to learn, Kal.
    • Later, in Action Comics #850:
      Supergirl: And next time, let me fight my own battles. I could've taken her, if you hadn't come in all Papa Bear at her. I swear, you treat me like a four-year-old...
    • In Supergirl (2005) issue #22, he's finally gotten the message:
      Superman: Look, a lot has happened in the last few days, and I need to tell you—
      Supergirl: You know something, Kal? I've been dreading this talk for days.
      Superman: Kara—
      Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad— but you're neither one! I'm capable of recognizing my own mistakes, Kal! I don't need my nose rubbed in them! Maybe I'm not perfect like you—
      Superman: Hey, I'm not—
      Supergirl: Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and uncle Jon and aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation! I can get by on my own terms, and I'm doing fine, and—
      Superman: I know.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Kara and Cassie fight in Supergirl #2 and Kara wins. They become very close friends afterwards.
  • Defusing the Tyke-Bomb: Subverted. An early story stated that Kara's father trained her to be a weapon, and Superman -with aid of Batman and Wonder Woman- took her in and acted this way toward her. However her abusive father was eventually retconned as a Kryptonite-induced hallucination when the real Zor-El showed up and turned out to be a pretty nice guy.
  • Destructive Saviour: Supergirl is the most powerful teenager in the planet. Unfortunately she is still a teenager and an inexperienced hero, so she is very destructive. Cat Grant uses her inexperience as an excuse to wage a smear campaign against her.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In Supergirl #3 Supergirl decides to fight Lex Luthor alone. Quickly she realizes her plan is not a brilliant one.
      Supergirl: Two seconds and I know. I'm in way over my head.
    • In Supergirl #20 -part of the reviled Amazons Attack! storyline- she explains that she and Wonder Girl hijacked Air Force One because they thought they could end the war by making the President sit down in the same room with the Amazon Queen. When things went south very, very quickly she realized that it was a big mistake.
    • In Supergirl Annual #2, Brainiac-5 was analyzing how a mystical statue reacted to different kinds of energy, and he accidentally turned it into a kind of super-bomb. He admitted that it was not a very good plan.
      Brainiac-5: It’s a ten-thousand-year-old Brocian hunting statue! Rumored by natives to have "magical" properties when struck by lightning, so I was analyzing its reception to other kinds of energy!
      Supergirl: Okay! So what did you hit it with?
      Brainiac-5: Uh, I opened the timestream and bombarded it with chronon energy.
      Supergirl: WHAT?
      Brainiac-5: Obviously that wasn't the best of my ideas!
      Supergirl: So what's it doing now?
      Brainiac-5: Based on my readings, I'm pretty sure I just created a magical time bomb. And if my calculations are correct, we've got less than four seconds to live.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: In Annual #1 several bank robbers are holding several hostages. Supergirl cannot tip her identity off (long story), so she breaks a restroom's window, crawls into the place and pretends to be one of the hostages until she has a chance to take the crooks down anonymously.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The enmity between Supergirl and Reactron was born because the latter got hired to assassinate the former, and Supergirl had the gall to fight back and wreck his radiation-containment suit. During the next months Reactron doggedly and obsessively attempted to kill her, murdered her parents and volunteered to become a human bomb which blew her planet up and wiped out her race. He hated a teenager girl and did his best to ruin her life because she didn't let him kill her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Kara finds Dick Grayson... distracting. Immensely distracting.
  • Distressed Dude: Played for laughs in issue #60, which showed there are quite a few guys like this in Metropolis; they will literally jump off of buildings so Supergirl has to catch and rescue them (and they often ask for her phone number afterward).
  • Domestic Abuse: In "Breaking the Chain", Supergirl starts a relationship with a mysterious guy called Power Boy. Their brief "romance" ended when Power Boy revealed his abusive nature by beating Supergirl into unconsciousness when she had the gall to visit a male friend in the hospital, and then locking her up "for her protection". In reaction, Supergirl gave him a beating and told him to never come near from her again.
    Supergirl: You hit me. You said you loved me... And you hit me.[...] No one who says he loves you should hit you, ever.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Early on in her career, this was a trouble for Supergirl.
    • In Supergirl #0 she tries to save a falling plane, and she accidentally tears a wing off.
    • During one of her first fights against Reactron, she pulls a man out of a building at super-speed and accidentally breaks his arm in three different places.
  • Dream Emergency Exit: In Supergirl #22, Kara's dream starts to fade as soon as Lightning Lad explains that she is dreaming.
  • Dream Tells You to Wake Up: In issue #22, Kara is dreaming that she has been reunited with the Legion after being knocked out and buried under a railway car by a super-villain. Her happiness is cut short when Lightning Lad tells her she is dreaming, and she really should wake up before her friends get killed by the guy who dropped a train on her.
  • Driven by Envy: Catherine Grant hatred towards Supergirl stemmed to a great extent from jealousy. As Lois Lane bluntly put in Superman: Brainiac, "She doesn't like someone half her age flying through Metropolis and turning heads".
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Due to editorial carelessness and a poor understanding of the character, the first years of the book were plagued with this: they tried to turn Kara into an angst-filled and jerkass Anti-Hero, her personality changed every story, her past was constantly retconned, and subplots were dropped or had no resolution. This Dork Age lasted approximately until Supergirl #20 when Tony Bedard -who is a big Pre-Crisis Supergirl fan and didn't know how she was being written in the time- took over the book.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: In "Girl Power", Kara gets so entraced when she sees Nightwing than she barely hears what he is speaking.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: In The Hunt for Reactron, Supergirl and two friends are staying in Paris. Then Kara and her friend Thara get into a fight during which the former gets accidentally slammed into the Eiffel Tower.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: Thara Ak-Var has reddish-brown hair and fire powers when she transforms into Flamebird.
  • Emotion Eater:
    • The Japanese assassins Gakidou and Sakki, The Hate Furnace not only have Intangibility, but can feed on negative emotions like lust and anger to boost their strengths to astronomical levels. Supergirl defeated them by simultaneously beating them up and overloading them.
    • In the same story, Powerboy revealed he can channel others' emotions to fuel his abilities, but the excess emotions caused him to go psycho on Kara.
      Powerboy: (to a restrained Supergirl) I feel. Feel everyone else's hate, love, pain, fear... and it becomes this... (forms ball of black energy) Of course, you saw what happens when it goes the other way.
  • Enemy Within: Kara had an evil doppelganger for a short while until she reabsorbed it. Her evil side -dubbed by SG fans Dark Supergirl or Dark Kara- embodies all of Supergirl's repressed anger over the loss of her people, and later it resurfaces and takes over. Remarkably, Dark Supergirl is less evil during her reapparance. She is pretty much an angry jerkass.
  • Enemy Without: In Supergirl #3 Lex Luthor exposed Kara to black kryptonite. It's not clear whether he knew what exactly it would do to her, but he hoped it would be bad. Well, it turns out the stuff does this, and Kara had an evil doppelganger for a while. "Dark Supergirl" later resurfaced as an Enemy Within.
    Starfire: Listen. When Luthor flew off— I was pretty out of it, but I thought you went after him.
    Supergirl: I did. In a way. But it wasn't me. And it's not a good thing.
    Starfire: What? Like an evil twin?
    Supergirl: I... don't know. More like it was part of me.
    Starfire: I have a sister. They call her Blackfire. I feel like I'm responsible for every bad thing she does.
    Supergirl: Yeah, well, in this case... I think I am.
    Starfire: Do you know where this... "she" is?
    Supergirl: I do. She's been in my head... Maybe... All my life.
    Starfire: And now? How do you feel having her out?
    Supergirl: The truth...? Relieved.
  • Entitled Bastard: Daily Planet sleazy journalist Cat Grant launched a smear campaign against Supergirl with the intention of driving her away Metropolis. Cat called Supergirl a reckless, out-of-control teenager. Cat accused her from spearheading a Kryptonian Alien Invasion. Cat complained about her out-of-fashion dress and the length of her skirt. During one year she told over and again that the world doesn't need a Supergirl. And then she ran into trouble and blackmailed Kara into helping her because she couldn't find Superman. And as they teamed up, Cat kept insulting her.
    Supergirl: "The hero the world doesn't need," Cat wrote about me. Some days, though, it sure feels like it does. Though, if there weren't three kids missing, I'm not sure I'd help her. You can't say those kinds of things about a person then expect them to just fly up and give you a hand.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Although most of the time they are evenly matched, it was rumored for a while -by Batman himself- that Supergirl was more powerful than her cousin. In "Girl of Steel", Kara's evil clone gloats that she can defeat Superman, but Kal replies he'll win if she forces him to go all out. Dark Supergirl challenges him to test his theory, but their argument is interrupted by Batman, and the matter is left unresolved.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Supergirl hated Cat Grant because she published news articles slandering her. Still she rescued her when villain Dollmaker kidnapped her. Dollmaker couldn't understand why Supergirl would want to save someone she hated.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Kara did this twice. It was based on a Silver Age story in which Supergirl was exposed to a piece of red kryptonite that created Satan Girl, who likewise wore a black outfit (her version had a cowl and no S-symbol, because her identity was originally a mystery).
    • The first time happens in The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), when she is captured by Darkseid and turned into one of his Furies. This was very brief, but during that time she wore, essentially, skintight red-and-black pants and a black bra.
    • The second time happened when she was hit with black kryptonite in Supergirl #3, causing an evil duplicate to suddenly emerge from her body... already wearing a black version of her normal costume. Apparently, evil kryptonite clones have black clothing as part of their very nature. This trope was also lampshaded an issue later, when evil Supergirl switched her costume with the original Supergirl's at Super Speed, in an attempt to fool Batman and Superman as to who was the evil clone. The black costume returned in a later Justice League of America storyline where a battle with the Omega Man accidentally reawakened the Dark Supergirl persona within her.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Dark Supergirl is a nasty, malevolent and violent Evil Twin created by exposure to black Kryptonite.
    • Superwoman (Lucy Lane) is another female with super-powers and complicated family issues. Nonetheless, she's an human with a super-powerful costume, whereas Supergirl is a Kryptonian with natural-born powers. And even though Supergirl stands up to her mother when she crosses one line, Superwoman would make anything to earn her father's approval, no matter how atrocious.
    • Bizarro-Girl is Supergirl's imperfect clone. She's more of a backwards loony with a warped sense of morality than an evil twin, though.
  • Evil Is Petty: Reactron tried to kill Kara several times, murdered her parents, blew her planet up... because she had the gall to defend herself and beat him when he first attacked her.
  • Evil Makeover: Sometimes it happens to Kara. Usually she switches costumes and she wears less clothing or wears a black version of her costume.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Supergirl was split into her normal self and an evil alternate personality when exposed to black Kryptonite. Supergirl was frightened of her dark, violent and murderous self because "Dark Supergirl" claimed she was the real Kara, and Supergirl's nice and well-meaning persona was only an act.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: In Supergirl vol. 5 #59, Supergirl fights Dollmaker. He ducked when she shot her heat beams and mocked her aim. A second later he realized she wasn't aiming at him. She was freeing Cat Grant.
    Dollmaker: Ha! You missed me!
    Cat: She wasn't aiming for you, you little bastard.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In Supergirl #1, Wildcat threatens with poking Solomon Grundy's left eye out.
    • In Supergirl #20, Supergirl pierces the eye of a Cyclops with a magical arrow.
    • In Supergirl #41 a cop puts a bullet through Reactron's left eye.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: In Supergirl #41, Reactron clutches a cop's head as burns him.
  • Faceship: Brainiac's ship. It resembles a huge humanoid skull armed with metal tentacles and pincers.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: In Candor, Saturn Queen, who is mind-controlling Kara Zor-El into marrying Ultraman, gets her wear a sumptuous, multilayered, pink-and-golden wedding gown, complete with a three-pronged crown ornamented with red beads.
  • Faking the Dead: When Reactron is being judged, a mob breaks into the court intending to lynch him. Alura takes advantage of the ensuing chaos to fake his death in order to throw him in a cell and interrogate him.
  • Falling into His Arms: In "Good-Looking Corpse", Supergirl catches a young boy falling from a rooftop, and then she finds out he willingly jumped off the building as a ploy to introduce himself and ask her number.
  • False Flag Operation: In The Hunt for Reactron, Reactron and Metallo magically disguise themselves as Supergirl's friend Thara Ak-Var -Flamebird- and attempt to kill her. As Supergirl seeks and attacks the real Flamebird and Nightwing, Metallo and Reactron attack and appear to kill Mon-El in front of a multitude disguised as Supergirl, Nightwing and Flamebird so people blame his murder on the heroes.
  • Family Extermination: During Sterling Gates' run, Reactron murdered Supergirl's father, and then attempted to murder her and her family systematically and doggedly, until he finally managed to wipe her mother and her whole race out. At the end, Kara and her cousin were the only survivors.
  • Fetal Position Rebirth: Post-Crisis Supergirl slept curled-up inside her rocket until she landed on Earth, woke up and exited her pod.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Kara does this several times:
  • First Kiss: In issue #0, Supergirl runs into Poison Ivy, and the villain forcefully kisses Kara to put her under mind-control. After pushing Ivy back, Supergirl notes that was her -very weird- first kiss.
    Batgirl: That was weird.
    Supergirl: Sure was. Especially for my first kiss.
  • Fish out of Water: One of the defining traits of modern Supergirl. Unlike her more famous cousin, who left Krypton when he was too young to remember it, Kara spent her formative years growing up in Kryptonian society before she was sent to Earth as a teenager. Understandably, she has a harder time adjusting to life on Earth than Kal-El ever did, as she still considers herself a Kryptonian at heart.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: During Infinite Crisis she was accidentally sent to the 31st Century and joined the Legion. She was so confused that in the beginning she thought she was dreaming.
  • Flaming Hair: Thara Ak-Var, alias Flamebird, sprouts a head of flame when her divine power manifests.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Kara's parents sent her to Earth to escape from the shrinking of Kandor and look after her baby cousin, and she eventually became one of the greatest heroes of Earth. In issue #30, a Jor-El hologram states that even though his son will not remember Krypton, Kara will do, and they'll live through her.
  • Forceful Kiss:
    • In Superman Batman #19 -later reprinted as Supergirl Vol 5 #0, Poison Ivy forcefully kisses Supergirl to impregnate her lips in some kind of mind-controlling poison. In reaction, Kara pushes her back angrily.
    • In Supergirl Vol 5 #3, Kara Nightwing impulsively before flying away to face Lex Luthor.
    • In Supergirl Vol 5 #51 Kara kisses Mon-El as he flies to Brainiac's ship.
  • Forgot to Gag Him: In "The Hunt For Reactron" Supergirl, Flamebird and Nightwing are captured by the Science Police, but they convince the squad leader that they were framed up for the Metropolis' water reservoir's destruction... and Reactron was foisted off on his squad because Sam Lane wanted the Kryptonian trio murdered and all witnesses eliminated.
  • Friend on the Force: Inspector Mike Henderson, member of Metropolis police, Metacrimes Division. He helped Supergirl discover the identity of Superwoman during the Who Is Superwoman? story.
  • Friendship Moment: In " Big Girl, Small World" Cassandra is staying with Kara after a fight with her mother. Kara hugs Cassie while both girls mourn the then-late Conner Kent, and she gives Cassandra one of Superboy's t-shirts as a gift.
  • Freudian Excuse: Catherine Grant spends one whole year smearing Supergirl's reputation and endeavouring to drive her out of Metropolis through her slandering pieces. In the Day of the Dollmaker arc, Lana explains Cat Grant is a very unpleasant woman because her son's murder changed her.
    Lana Lang: You've got to understand, Kara, Cat's been to Hell and back with Toyman. You didn't know Cat before her son was killed. She was a different woman back then. Heck, we all were. [...] Her son Adam was killed rescuing a group of children who were kidnapped by one of Toyman's malfunctioning robots. The robot cut his throat. Cat changed after that. She didn't grieve. Instead, she turned hard. She moved to L.A. and started writing for tabloids, tearing down anyone she could. The more teen stars and starlets she saw parading around town, the angrier and angrier her writing became. [...] Clark thinks Cat became angry that those teens were still alive to make messes of their lives... and her son wasn't.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: In "Day of the Dollmaker", Lois visits Lucy after she has been imprisoned for her crimes, and tells her sister she disgusts her. She thought Lucy joined the military to honor their father, but at some point Lucy stopped being her sister and became a monster. When Lucy tries to justify her crimes by saying she was only following their father's orders, Lois calls that a pitiful excuse, and calls Lucy out on allowing herself to become a killing machine to impress a man that did not even care for them when they were kids.
  • Freudian Slip: Lana Lang tells Cat that her "nephew" Linda lost her father a short while ago to get her off Linda's back. Cat asks her if it was her brother or her sister's husband who died.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Supergirl is scared of her older, alternate self Power Girl.
  • Gambit Pileup: Alura orders her daughter to capture Reactron and bring him back to New Krypton. When Kara drags him along to the planet, a mob tries to lynch him and Alura takes advantage of the ensuing chaos to fake his death, throw him in a cell and make him talk... which was a bad idea because Luthor and Lane's gambit involved transforming Reactron into a living bomb and setting him off inside of New Krypton.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: It happens three times on Supergirl: Identity:
    • When Supergirl returns to her apartment, her roommate Boomer aka Captain Boomerang Jr., asks how her day was.
      Supergirl: I met a girl tonight.
      Boomer: (Double Take, then grin) Explain. And do not leave out any details.
      Supergirl: (hits him with a pillow) Idiot... Another hero in a costume.
    • When Supergirl and Wondergirl hug, with Kara's arms around Cassie's neck, and Cassie's arms around Kara's waist.
      Kid Devil: Can't talk. Committing image to memory.
      Ravager: Someone get a video camera... We'll get two billion hits on YouTube.
    • When a guy asks his girlfriend and Supergirl to hug and let him take a picture.
  • Glasses-and-Ponytail Coverup: Kara does the ponytail-and-glasses disguise when she creates her Linda Lang identity.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Supergirl wears glasses and adopts a geeky if snarky behavior when she is being Linda Lang, and she takes them off when she has to perform her hero duty.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: It happens a lot when Kara gets real angry. Some instances:
    • In Supergirl #2 she has had enough of Wonder Girl trying to bash her head in and refusing to hear her out, so her eyes glow red before knocking Cassie down.
    • In Day of the Dollmaker her eyes glow red as she faces Toyman and suggests that he answers her questions... or else.
  • Grand Theft Me: Insect Queen did this to Lana Lang in Supergirl #50'.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: In "Way of the World", Supergirl visits the graves of the parents of a little child she was unable to save.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: In the cover of issue #12, Kara performs a ground-cracking landing (combined with a Three-Point Landing for greater effect).
  • Hate Sink: Reactron is an unrepentant bully, lecher and mass-murderer with exactly zero redeeming qualities.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Kara gets along with most of young heroes, especially members of the Bat-Family, but she barely tolerates the youngest Robin Damian Wayne. Whenever they team-up in her own book or the Superman/Batman and World's Finest titles, she has to constantly remind herself that throwing him into the Sun would be wrong due to Damian treating her like a glorified utility tool or putting down one of her actual friends.
  • Heal It With Fire: In Girl Power, Supergirl uses her heat vision to cauterize a gunshot wound on Starfire's right shoulder.
  • He Knows Too Much: In "The Hunt for Reactron", Reactron murders a whole Metropolis Science Squad when they discover it was Sam Lane who blew the water reservoir up and Supergirl, Nightwing and Flamebird are being framed.
  • Heel Realization: In Supergirl: Identity Kara Zor-El was acting like a jerkass for a while (partially because of Kryptonite poisoning and because of Dark Angel who was attempting to break her). After getting rid of Dark Angel in issue #19, Kara reflected on her past behavior and realized she needed to change for better.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: In her introductory story Kara tried to befriend Krypto, and she was devastated when the dog seemed to dislike her. Later on, they became friends.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kara had a breakdown after New Krypton's destruction. Superman hugged her while she cried in space, and she considered quitting the hero gig for a while.
  • Heroic Bystander: In Supergirl #20, Supergirl is fighting a Cyclops (long story) and being trounced by the giant monster. Then a bystander hands an arrow dropped by an Amazon (long story) over to Supergirl, and she uses it to blind the Cyclops.
  • Hero Insurance:
    • In Supergirl #12 new hero Terra (now called Atlee) helps Supergirl take out a giant dinosaur; after the battle she uses her earth powers to repair the streets and even fix a fire hydrant. It is later revealed in the Terra miniseries that she apparently does this after every battle.
    • Invoked in Supergirl #34. Supergirl fights Silver Banshee in a baseball field, unintentionally trashing the place. Several spectators berate her about it until she flies away, and then they yell that she should clean the place up. So... they successfully drive her away and then they want her to stay and clean up.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • She suffers from Kryptonite poisoning when she arrives on Earth, which changes her personality to one of a crazy, self-absorbed, whiny, rude emo teen. After one year she gets her act together and begins acting as an S-wearing hero, but it took some time for her initial behavior being forgotten.
    • In Supergirl #34, Daily Planet journalist Cat Grant starts a negative PR campaign to smear Kara. She finally stops one year later when Supergirl saves her life.
  • He's Back!: Kara wanted to give up being Supergirl after New Krypton’s destruction, but she donned her Supergirl costume again to save Metropolis from Bizarrogirl.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Kara and Stephanie Brown alias Batgirl. They love spending time together and helping each other. And if you pick on Steph, you will never know what hit you.
    • Kara and Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl were very good friends, too.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: In the cover of "Superman Supergirl: Maelstrom" #1, Darkseid's minion Maelstrom is doing this to Supergirl.
  • Honorary Uncle: Lana Lang acts as an aunt to Supergirl, letting her move to her apartment and looking after her when nobody else did. Kara, for her part, not only refers to her as "Aunt Lana" several times but also uses the "Linda Lang" alias.
  • Hostage Situation: In the first Annual, a bank full of people are taken hostage, and Supergirl has to slip into the building and take the bank robbers down without letting anybody spot her.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: In Candor, Saturn Queen captures Kara and then mind-zaps her so she marries Ultraman. Fortunately Kara manages to snap out of it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In issue 2, Supergirl meets Starfire, who tells her she has some of the answers she is looking for.
    Supergirl: (thinking) What would a girl who comes from another planet in a faraway galaxy know about — Oh. Says me, the girl from another planet in a far... Huh.
  • Ignored Expert: Zor-El pleaded with Argo City's Council to find a new world to settle in, reasoning that the shields protecting the city wouldn't last forever. They didn't listen, even though he is the man who designed the dome and his brother was the man who correctly predicted Krypton's destruction.
  • I Hate Past Me: Karen and Kara don't get along well because Kara was being written as a jerk in the first issues of her book. Kara apologized to Karen after getting her head together, but Karen turned her down.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: In issue #14, Power Boy kisses Supergirl's hand, who gets pretty puzzled about the custom.
  • I Know Karate: Supergirl knows Klurkor and has been trained by Wonder Woman and Batman. In "Who Is Superwoman?" she warns Reactron she is a Klurkor first level before proceeding to kick his butt.
  • I Know Your True Name: Superman makes Supergirl aware of Silver Banshee's weakness, and Kara uses it to her advantage every time they fight.
    Superman: The Banshee is supernatural in nature, Kara— And she's the worst kind of criminal. A spree killer. There's neither rhyme nor reason when she kills. You do have an advantage going up against her, though. She can scream at you all she likes, but the only way her wail can kill is if you hear her scream your true name.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In Supergirl #50, Insect Queen took over Lana Lang's body. While Kara beat her up, she tried to reach out to Lana.
    Kara: Lana, if you can hear me— SAY something! Lana! I KNOW you're IN there! Let her body Go, you insect FREAK! Get OUT!
  • I Know You're Watching Me: In Supergirl #0, the Calculator is monitoring Kara under Lex Luthor's orders. At one point, she glares straight in the direction of the Calculator’s camera, which is enough for him to freak out in a Spit Take.
  • Immune to Bullets: Kara is bulletproof. Issue #53 provides the Trope Image.
  • Implacable Man: Get Supergirl real mad and she will chase after you and will put you down. In "This Is Not My Life", she captures Ivo Amazo and makes known that "you can't outrun me".
  • Incurable Cough of Death: In the "New Krypton" arc, Lana Lang often coughed or vomited blood. Kara eventually found out that Lana had been keeping her illness from her.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Kara has blue eyes. And after undergoing Character Development she is a nice, kind and compassionate young woman.
  • Insect Queen: The eponymous villain is the Big Bad of Death & the Family, when she takes over Lana and attempts to invade Metropolis with an army of giant insects.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: In Supergirl #41, Kara rips the "S"-shield off Superwoman's clothes screaming she is a murderer and she doesn't deserve to wear her family's crest.
  • Insistent Terminology: As seen in Supergirl #37, Alura was NOT spying on the Earth’s army. She was merely "monitorizing" them.
  • Instant Costume Change: Kara often takes advantage of her Super Speed to change clothes instantly. In Batgirl (2009) she comes to visit her friend Stephanie Brown and does this to avoid to be caught by Steph's mother.
  • Invisible to Normals: In "Breaking the Chain", a flashback shows Kara and her father were the only ones able to see a race of evil spirits which had escaped from the Phantom Zone and were possessing random Kryptonians. Later it was retconned as hallucinations and false memories induced by Kryptonite poisoning, though.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: In Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24:
    Jeyra Entinn: You won this round, Legionnaires... But this is only the beginning...!
    Cosmic Boy: Wow. Is there some super-villain book of quotes they all work off of?
  • It's All About Me: Reactron attempted to kill Kara several times, slaughtered her parents, blew her new home up and tried to ruin her life... because she trounced him when he attacked her out of nowhere and with no provocation whatsoever.
  • It's Personal:
    • Kara wants to take Reactron down because he murdered her father, blasting him right in front of her.
    • Once New Krypton blows up, Supergirl goes directly after Lex Luthor and Sam Lane -who orchestrated her species' genocide- and Superwoman -who aided and abetted them-.
    • In Superman/Batman Annual #5, Supergirl is glad to fight Doomsday, the abomination who slew her cousin.
  • I Will Show You X!: During Kara and Cassie's fight in "Girl Power":
    Supergirl: You think you know anger? I'll show you anger!
  • Just Following Orders: When Reactron is taken down in "The Hunt for Reactron", he claims he was just following orders when he mass-slaughtered Kryptonians, and he shifts all the blame to his superior General Lane. Aware that he carried out every order gleefully, neither Flamebird nor Supergirl are impressed.
  • Just Toying with Them: In story arc Way of the World, Kara runs into Clayface. She lets the mud monster hit her for a bit before disabusing him of any notion he's a match for her (Kara freezes him solid, flies him way, WAY up and lets him drop).
    Supergirl: I'm sorry, but you seem confused. Just 'cuz I let you land a few easy blows— that doesn't mean we're having a fair fight!
    Clayface: Wh— What are you... d-doing...?
    Supergirl: To call you "lame" and "ever so slightly beneath me" would be the understatement of the century. But it's been a bad few weeks. A shame you just happened to be the whipping boy I was looking for.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The same as her Earth-One and Earth-Two counterparts, Kara owns a pet cat called Streaky.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Kal and Kara are cousins but have a sibling-like relationship which is even closer than usual due to being the last ones of their kind. Hurt her and Superman will pummel you and pin you to the physical limit of the universe, even if you are Darkseid. Hurt him and Supergirl will beat you to death, even if you are the Anti-Monitor.
  • Kubrick Stare: Cat Grant does this when she interrogates Toymaker in Supergirl #58.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: In the "Amazons Attack" tie-in, Kara leaps in the way of an arrow to protect civilians. Unfortunately Amazon arrows are magic-imbued, so it gets embedded in her midsection.
  • Law of Disproportionate Response: In Superman: Brainiac, Kara accidentally reveals that Daily Planet's journalist Cat Grant has fake boobs. Later Supergirl accidentally gets Cat slightly bruised while saving her. As a result of this, Cat spends one whole year slandering Supergirl in the hope that her tripe drives the young hero away from Metropolis.
  • The Leader: Supergirl was elected leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes for a short while.
  • Leave Me Alone!:
    • Deconstructed. Shortly after showing up on Earth she asked her cousin, Batman and Wonder Woman leave her alone for a while as she figured her new life out. Unfortunately she spent one whole year completely aimless and screwing around due to Kryptonite poisoning altering her personality until she understood she needed help.
    • In Supergirl #58, Cat Grant blackmails Supergirl into helping her find a children kidnapper. As they are working together, Cat belittles Kara the whole time until Kara gets tired of it, decides to work on the case on her own, and tells Cat leave her alone.
      Cat: But — But WAIT! I need —
      Supergirl: You need to leave me alone, is what you NEED to do.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • In "Girl Power", the Outsiders are training with a handicapped Supergirl. The team gang up on her until Kara gets fed up, breaks her chains shouting "No more games!" and starts fighting seriously.
    • In a Teen Titans issue, Kara and Miss Martian come to blows. Kara thinks M'gann is not in her League until the Martian girl punches her hard. Supergirl then gets serious and fights Miss Martian hard.
  • Light Girl, Dark Boy: As seen here, Supergirl has blond hair and a fairer skin that her black-haired cousin.
  • Literal Split Personality: In "Girl Power", a piece of black Kryptonite creates an evil Supergirl, clads in a black version of Kara's costume.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: In the storyline "Way of the World'' Supergirl tries to save Thomas, a little boy who suffers from terminal cancer. She swears that she will not let him die but she fails.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Most of guys Kara dates turn out to be jerks, creeps, cheaters, or super-villains. When she dates a guy who is actually nice and well-meaning, she often has to break up with him.
    • Supergirl #15's title is "Love Hurts". She gets involved with Power Boy until she finds out that he is an abusive, evil bastard.
  • Lovely Angels:
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: During the Sterling Gates' run, General Sam Lane and his minions Reactron and Superwoman used this tactic against the eponymous heroine over and over again: they harass Supergirl and try to murder her, and when Kara defends herself she gets in trouble for aggravated assault and battery, and attempted murder.
  • Magnetic Hero: In "Good-Looking Corpse", where Kara quickly puts together a completely new and very diverse team of teenager heroes by merely asking them, the main villain remarks Supergirl is a danger to his plans mainly because of her capability to get very different people working together.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Kara fights Silver Banshee at least twice. Superman warns her that Banshee's loud scream never results in instant death as long as she doesn't know your real name... but she can still blow out your eardrums.
  • Man of Kryptonite:
    • During New Krypton, Reactron was rebuilt as a Metallo expy, complete with a Kryptonite heart —- though in his case it was Gold Kryptonite, the one kind of Kryptonite that could permanently cancel all her superpowers.
    • In Supergirl #60, Parasite and Silver Banshee teamed with Metallo and the Kryptonite Man to take Supergirl down. Kara admits that fighting the latter two is a headache, but she is not intimidated and tells them bluntly that they will not win.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": In Supergirl #20, Supergirl a bunch of bystanders have this reaction when they see a giant, rampaging Cyclops. And then a bunch of preschool children and her caretaker do this when the Cyclops is moving on them.
  • Mind-Control Eyes:
    • In issue #33, Kara's eyes give off a purple glow as she's under a mind-controlling spell.
    • In Superman/Batman #77, Kara gets glowing red eyes when she is under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin.
  • Mirror Match: Kara is often a victim of this. In Girl Power Supergirl fights Power Girl and later Dark Supergirl, and in Bizarrogirl she confronts her Bizarro clone.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The passengers of the Air Force One blamed Supergirl for shooting the plane down during the events of Amazons Attack. It was not Kara's fault but she didn't correct them because she definitely blamed herself.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In Supergirl #2 Cassie Sandsmark -alias Wonder Girl- walks in while Kara and Superboy are having an argument and assumes that the two are engaging in foreplay. She attacks Supergirl and loses, but the misunderstanding is cleared up.
    Whatever you thought was going on, Cassie— wasn't. I came looking for someone I could talk to.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Hal Jordan once had to remind himself he "isn't Ollie" to get himself to stop thinking weird thoughts about the seventeen-year-old Supergirl.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), a naked Kara wanders confused into an alley, having just woken up from her rocket, and is spotted by three workers. One of them mistakes her for a prostitute and decides to play Lothario only to have his hand crushed and be slammed through a wall. The second tries to help his friend. The third wisely proclaims he's not with the other two and offers her his coat.
  • Modesty Shorts: Added to her costume from late 2008 until her costume change for the New 52 reboot. According to the artist Jamal Igle, "At the first meeting I had with [Matt Idleson, the editor] after I got the book, he said, 'I never want to see Supergirl’s panties again'."
  • Moment Killer: In Supergirl #19, when Wonder Girl and Supergirl reunited there was the extremely close hug, actual "I love you", leaning in... and being shot with a rocket launcher by Ravager, who apparently enjoys having invulnerable teammates.
  • Mood-Swinger: Kara suffered wild mood swings in the first issues because of Kryptonite poisoning. She went from fury to happiness to fury to gloominess in a single scene.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: During her second stint as a Justice League of America member, Supergirl wore a black version of her blue-and-red costume.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Post Crisis Kara was a pretty infamous example, what with her cheerleader-like costume, being introduced naked and later dressing in low-cut jeans with her thong on display, and her constant panty shots when in costume. While most teenage girls in comics at the time got treated like this, she did it to such a degree that it made many people uncomfortable, and was the source of many of her early criticisms. Editors eventually issued a demand for this to be limited and/or stopped, and thankfully it did.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: When Kara returned in 2004, she looked like a slender, sixteen-year-old... who could bench-press airplanes, lift mountains and outrun light. Writers were easily able to tease the fan base with the idea that teenager might be stronger than her full grown powerfully built cousin Superman.
  • Must Make Amends: In issue #19 Kara decides to turn over a new leaf and apologize to everyone for her jerkass behavior. That was the first step to become the hero Supergirl is meant to be.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Grace Choi of The Outsiders tried this on Supergirl as revenge for freezing during a battle and failing to watch her back, but broke her hand despite her formidable strength.
  • My Parents Are Dead: In "Death and the Family", Kara -in her civilian identity Linda Lang- is told her "aunt" Lana Lang has passed away. When a doctor asks about the rest of her family, she sobs they aren't around anymore.
    Doctor: —Are counselors on staff if you'd like to talk to someone, and I'm sure the rest of your family is worried about you—
    Linda: No. They're not around. Lana is... was my family here. I have no one else right now.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Neck Lift:
    • Sometimes Supergirl does this when someone pisses her off:
      • In the end of New Krypton, Supergirl does this to Sam Lane after he has successfully engineered the death of New Krypton and the Kryptonian genocide.
      • In the beginning of the Day of the Dollmaker storyline (Supergirl vol. 5 #58), she does this to Toyman during an interrogation when she thinks he's lying. Her Glowing Eyes of Doom stress that she's serious and furious.
    • In Supergirl #51 Alura attacks Superboy. When Supergirl finds them, he is grabbing the neck of Alura and is about to punch her out.
    • Luthor neck-lifts Kara in issue #3.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Kara has got this issue. On the one hand, she is one of the mightiest heroes of her universe; on the other, she is cousin of THE greatest hero of her universe. She struggles to walk out of his shadow, but it's hard to shake the "Superman's younger cousin" label off, especially when he -together with Batman and Wonder Woman- tried to train her and mentor her when she arrived on Earth. And at the beginning she messed up... a lot. After a monumental screw-up, she thought that her cousin was about to lecture her, and she stated that she was finally learning and she didn't need his validation. To her surprise, Clark agreed.
    Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad — But you're neither one! Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and Uncle Jon and Aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation! I can get by on my own terms, and I'm doing just fine, and —
    Superman: I know.
    Supergirl: ... ... What?
    Superman: I know you're doing fine. That's what I want to talk about. You made one of your worst mistakes ever with Air Force One, but you bounced back from it and did some real good in Washington. And I don't want you feeling like you're in my shadow.
  • Newhart Phonecall:
    • In issue #34, Lana Lang receives a call from Perry White. Although Perry's side of the conversation is not given, it is clear he is trying -and failing- to talk Lana into returning to work in the Daily Planet.
    • In contrast, in "Death & the Family", we hear Lana's side of her call to Perry explaining why she must take a leave of absence... and yes, she would like keeping her job.
      Lana Lang: Perry, I understand... No, I told you, I had a doctor's appointment.... Yes, I know it's the third one this week. Look, can I talk to you about this when I get there? No, I know my attendance has been spotty... Yes, Perry, I like my job...
  • New Media Are Evil: Supergirl #60 has a guy launch an attack on the entire DCU metahuman community by creating a Foursquare-esque smartphone app for people to post metahuman sightings so villains can then track them down and attack them.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • During the Joe Kelly's run, Supergirl gained the ability to grow sharp glass shards from her body. Since it was too stupid and out of nowhere, it suffered the fate of everything what came from that run: it was explained away quickly (Kryptonite poisoning caused her blood to crystallize in the oxygen when she was cut) and never mentioned again.
    • Parodied in issue #29 during the "Way of the World" arc. Kara fights a villain that at one point brags about his new powers:
      Luzano: The same technology that merely repairs Shelley's body is capable of so much more! Hyper-Strength! Hyper-Speed! Plasmagenesis! Yes, that's a word! Hyper-sensual perception!
      Supergirl: (incredulous) "Hyper-sensual"?
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Supergirl delivered a brutal beating to Superwoman in issue #41.
    • In Superman/Batman Annual #5, Supergirl comes face to face with Doomsday. And she is actually glad because she wanted a chance to take him -the monster that killed her cousin- on one-on-one. And then she does and she cuts loose.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Kara has an unfortunate record of falling for guys who later turn out to be jerks, super-villains or jerkass super-villains who hate when she sees through their ruse and breaks up with them. When it happens, they try to abuse her... and find out what bullying the obscenely super-powered, temperamental girl is a spectacularly bad idea. Powerboy is a case in point: he brutally beat her up, including dragging her face down the side of a skyscraper, and tied her to a bed. She beat him up, dropped a house on him and told him never to bother her again.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • In Supergirl #2 Superboy and Supergirl have an argument and brawl, only for Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) to walk in and assume Superboy is cheating on her and that the two are engaging in foreplay. She attacks Supergirl and loses, but the misunderstanding is cleared up. Cassie didn't even stop to consider that Superboy is the son/clone of Superman, Supergirl's cousin.
      Supergirl: Whatever you thought was going on, Cassie — wasn't.
    • In Supergirl #51 Alura ambushes Superboy. When Kara runs into them, he is neck-lifting her and about to punch her out.
      Supergirl: Superboy!? What the Hell are you doing?!
      Superboy: Uh... This definitely isn't what it looks like, Kara!
  • Now or Never Kiss:
    • In issue #3, Kara decides she'll confront Lex Luthor alone... but before leaving she impulsively kisses Nightwing "because if half of what they've told me about Luthor is true... I might not be able to do it later..."
    • And in issue #51 Kara kisses Mon-El as he flies towards Brainiac's ship.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kara had a huge crush on Nightwing. She even kissed him at a point. Dick Grayson's reaction? "Oh, I'm sure she cannot possibly have a crush on me."
  • Offscreen Inertia: Bizarrogirl reveals Superwoman has been confined in a S.T.A.R. Labs containment cell while Dr. Light filters the alien DNA, which had become grafted into her cells during her battle with Supergirl in Who Is Super Woman, out of her body. Later storyline "The Day of Dollmaker" shows Lucy is still shackled to her cell, and Dr. Light is still stripping alien DNA out of Lucy. Superwoman lampshades it's taking a lot of time.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In War of the Supermen, Supergirl defeats Superwoman for good. And that final battle happens completely off panel.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Catherine Grant will never let Supergirl forget she vowed to save a child who was dying of cancer... and failed.
  • One-Hit Kill: In "Girl Power", Kara knocks Solomon Grundy out cold with one single punch.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Power Girl rather disliked Supergirl for several reasons: she felt Kara's existence made hers redundant, their powers went haywire when they got closer, and Kara's early bratty attitude. Although Kara attempted to make amends, they hardly got along.
  • Outdated Outfit: Her suit is supposed to be a modernized version of her 1959's original costume which she wore in her 60's stories... unfortunately, belly shirts were severely out of fashion by the mid-00's.
  • Paint It Black: In Supergirl #3, Supergirl was exposed to black kryptonite and she was split into her normal self and an evil (and oversexed) alternate personality that wore a black-and-silver version of her normal costume. The black costume returned in a later Justice League of America storyline where a battle with the Omega Man accidentally reawakened the Dark Supergirl persona within her.
  • Pardon My Klingon: In Supergirl #34, Kara says "Cat Grant is a total snagriff" after Cat smears her publicly. Clark agrees.
    Supergirl: Cat Grant is a total snagriff.
    Superman: Yes, she is.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kara loses her parents when they send her to Earth to save her from Brainiac. After a while Kara finds out that they are still alive after all... and they get murdered soon after. So she lost them twice.
  • Parental Substitute: Kara has several parental figures: her cousin Superman, his foster parents Jonathan and Martha Kent and Lana Lang.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car:
    • This is even part of Kara’s introduction in Superman/Batman #8. Some guy crashes onto Kara as she roams the streets of Gotham aimlessly just after her crash-landing.
    • In the cover of Supergirl #10, another car crashes into Kara while she's standing in the middle of the road.
  • Percussive Therapy: In issue #33, Kara is severely distraught after failing to save a child. Then she runs into super-villain Clayface and decides he is exactly the punching bag she is looking for.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: In Supergirl #36 storyline, Supergirl holds her father's body while he dies.
  • Playing with Fire: Thara Ak-Var is a pyrokinetic.
  • Powerful and Helpless: In "Way of the World", Supergirl fails to save a boy that is dying from cancer, and she has to accept her incredible powers can't fix everything.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: During a fight Reactron nullifies Supergirl's powers with Golden Kryptonite. He thinks he has already won when Kara rises up and beats the crap out of him, telling she trained with Batman, the Amazons and is a first level practitioner of Klurkor- a Kryptonian martial art.
    I trained with Batman. With the Amazons. I know first level Klurkor. Just because I can't use heat vision doesn't meant I'm helpless.
  • Portal Door: In Supergirl #60 a group of villains use portals to find and harass heroes.
  • Possessive Wrist Grab: In "Breaking the Chain", Power Boy grabs Supergirl's wrist when she wants to go out alone. Power Boy backs off when she glares at him, but this is one of the first clues of his possessive, abusive nature.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    • In issue 2:
      Supergirl: You think you know ANGER? I'LL SHOW YOU ANGER!
    • In issue #41:
      Superwoman:And don't bother trying to put up a fight, girl. I'm just as invulnerable as you are.
      Supergirl: Good. That means I won't have to hold back, you murderous babootch.
  • Prequel: Superman: Secret Files 2009 told the story of the beginning of the friendship between Kara Zor-El and Thara Ak-Var, and it is set prior to the events of the New Krypton story arc which introduced Thara.
  • The Promise: In "Way of the World", Supergirl promises a boy who is dying from cancer that he will not die. She will not allow it. She moves Heaven and Earth to find a cure in time but at the end, she fails.
  • Promotion to Parent: Superman serves this role for his younger cousin. Ironically, Kara expected to raise her baby cousin when she arrived on Earth, but her ship was delayed and she put in suspended animation, and when she crash-landed on Earth, Kal was nearly twice his age.
  • Properly Paranoid: In Supergirl #0, Kara is being spied by Luthor's henchman Noah Kuttler alias Calculator. Suddenly she turns towards the camera, freaking Noah out. Luthor tells him he's just being paranoid and Supergirl can't be aware of him. She is, though.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Reactron smiles gleefully while killing, especially Kryptonians.
  • The Real Remington Steele: Supergirl and Power Girl assumed the identities of Flamebird and Nightwing while operating inside Kandor.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lois gave Cat a very scathing -and very right- speech, accusing her from having become a war-mongering tool.
    Lois Lane: Are you even a reporter, Cat? Don't you have a shred of integrity? Or is pandering with lies and innuendo just that much easier for you? This isn't journalism! It's PROPAGANDA! And that makes you a tool. How you can stand to look at yourself in the mirror, Cat?
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Supergirl does this a lot, especially when she is pissed off.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: In Way of the World, Supergirl attempts to find a cure for cancer to save a little child's life. She refuses to listen when other heroes warn her that she is over her head and even their powers have their limits, and argue they should be more proactive, but ultimately she fails.
    Wonder Woman: Amazon, alien, human— the ray can heal almost any wound for any of us in seconds. It's an amazing, world-changing technology... and it can't cure cancer, Kara. You're in above your head.
    Supergirl: I'll find a way. I know I can do it. [...] What if we've all been wrong? What if we've all been fighting crime and saving dozens— when we could have been saving billions? Saving everyone?
  • Reformed, but Rejected: After surviving Dark Angel’s trial, recovering from her K-poisoning a bit and getting her head together, Kara sought Power Girl out and apologized for everything. Karen replied she couldn't forgive her or trust her.
  • Red Herring: In Who Is Superwoman? Kara suspects that her old friend Thara Ak-Var is the evil Superwoman who aided and abetted her father's murderer because Thara was Kandor's security head. It turned out that Superwoman is Lucy Lane.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Supergirl's Secret Identity is Linda Lang, Lana Lang's niece.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Resurrection Man's power to coming back to life each time he's killed becomes a plot point in "Way of the World" when Supergirl thinks it might be used to save a boy who was dying from cancer.
  • Ret-Gone: A later version of The Dark Angel tried to do this to Kara by trapping her in a horrifying illusion without her knowledge. If Supergirl had mentally, physically, or spiritually broken, Dark Angel would have had the authority to erase her. Supergirl survived the test, but Dark Angel decided to erase her anyway, only to be stopped by her boss, The Monitor.
  • Right Behind Me: In Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #20, the Legion are discussing Supergirl, ignoring Dream Boy, who is trying to warn them she's listening to them.
    Cosmic Boy: She makes me nervous, Garth. I can't put my finger on it, but something’s not right about Supergirl. Oh, Boy. She's here... isn't she?
    Dream Boy: That's what I've been trying to tell you. She can hear every word...
  • Rise from Your Grave: Kara is seen rising from her grave in the cover of issue #28. Four issues later, Kara has a nightmare where she has to dig her way out of her grave.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: The last arc of Joe Kelly's run reveals the mystery villain who'd been testing Kara from behind the scenes was Dark Angel, who normally spends every waking moment trying to torture Donna Troy.
  • Rousing Speech: In Bizarrogirl's Final Battle, Supergirl and the Bizarros are leading a charge against a planet-eating Eldritch Abomination. In order to defeat it, they need Bizarrogirl's unique power, but she gets real frightened and runs away until Supergirl's words manage to encourage her back to the battleground.
    Bizarrogirl: H-How did you get to be so brave when me so cowardly, Bizarro Bizarro Me?
    Supergirl: I'm a Bizarro You, remember? I feel the opposite of whatever you're feeling. Tell you what: I'll trade your feelings. If I let myself be scared... will you be brave for your world?
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: In issue #11, Supergirl and the Outsiders set out to take down a ring of meta-human pirates prowling along the Western African coast.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Kara spends all of her time in her cape until Superman warns her that she will get burned out if she keeps it up and she needs to live like a normal person.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In Supergirl #58, Cat Grant blackmails Supergirl into working with her to find a child-kidnapper... and spends the whole time belittling her. Kara finally has had it with Cat and decides to leave the older woman and work on the case on her own.
    Supergirl: That's it. I'm gone.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: Dollmaker wears a green shirt, purple bow tie and belt and violet overalls.
  • Second Super-Identity: Supergirl briefly took up the "Flamebird" moniker during the Candor story arc.
  • Secret Identity: "Linda Lang", Lana Lang's nephew.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: Kara was Supergirl 24/7 until her cousin warned her that she would eventually burn out and suggested that she came up with a secret identity. Kara created a civilian identity called Linda Lang, but it was merely a disguise. After failing to save New Krypton she briefly considered giving up on being Supergirl and becoming Linda permanently.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Supergirl knows Clark Kent is Superman, Bruce Wayne is Batman, Diana Prince is Wonder Woman and her dear friends Stephanie Brown and Cassie Sandsmark are Batgirl and Wonder Girl.
    • Superman, Lois Lane, Pa and Ma Kent (she calls them Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Martha) and Lana Lang know that Linda Lang is Supergirl. Lana actually helped Kara set it up, pretending that she is her niece. Stephanie Brown also knows her secret identity.
  • Secret Public Identity: Kara went by her real name until issue #34, when Lana helped her create her "Linda Lang" persona.
  • Secret Test of Character: In Supergirl #23, Kara opens a sound-proofed, lead-lined gift that mysteriously appeared in her apartment, which was a test from Batman who calls her and admonishes her for opening it.
  • Security Cling: Supergirl clings to Superman and sobs after the destruction of New Krypton.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In Supergirl #58, Toyman's son Dollmaker tried to kill his father.
  • Sensory Overload: In "Girl Power", Cyborg uses an ultrasonic device to slow Superboy down.
  • Series Fauxnale: This title has two false conclusions. Knowing he was being kicked out of the book, Sterling Gates used his final story arc Day of the Dollmaker to tie up most of his run's last ongoing subplots. By the end, Supergirl is an experienced super-hero who has greatly matured since her career's beginnings, has defeated most of her enemies and is presently happy with her life. You would be forgiven to think it was Post-Crisis Supergirl's final story, but her book went on for eight issues more. This is not my Life, the book's final arc, ends with Kara making several life-changing choices, and subtly asking the readers to not forget about her before the Supergirl (2011) reboot.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Subverted. In Supergirl #32, Kara has the chance to travel back to the past. She thinks of fixing all of her mistakes and doing it right this time... but then she decides that the past is the past and she must accept this and move on.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: In issue #12, Supergirl faces a psychic, sentient dinosaur called the Empathosaur. It probes her mind and makes his head look like her father. Supergirl is completely unimpressed, commenting that a man's head sticking out of a dinosaur's body isn't going to fool anybody.
  • Ship Tease: The second Annual was full of Belligerent Sexual Tension between Supergirl and Brainiac 5, culminating with Kara kissing him and Querl vowing he would not let her die alone during her final battle.
  • Shooting Superman: Usually played very straight, but subverted with Reactron. A cop manages to hurt him when aiming for his left eye, one of the only areas unprotected by his armor.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: In "Who Is Superwoman" Reactron has nullified Supergirl's powers but she's pretty good of a fighter to drive him back. Still she's armed with an iron rod and he's geared with energy blasters. So what do he does? Rushing towards Kara to fight her at close quarters.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Kara is brutally beaten up by Powerboy, including having her face dragged down the side of a skyscraper, she wakes up in a bed next to a Stalker Shrine devoted to her, bound in powerful, alien-tech restraints. Powerboy says a big speech about how much he loves her, that he knows best, and that the beating was her fault for making him angry. Supergirl blasts him with heat vision, calls him out that he's an asshole and that no one should ever hit someone that they love, then drops his house on him. He tries to escape, while still ranting, but Supergirl catches up to him and kicks him in the groin.
    Powerboy: "Look, I'm just going to lay it all out because honesty is important in a strong relationship... I was born on Apokolips. Taken from the Armagetto Slums to serve You-Know-Who... He made me strong, trained me in the ways of the Earth so I could come here as a "hero" and... Well, it doesn't really matter anymore, because it changed the the day you came to Apokolips. The most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Ever felt. From that moment, I knew I had found my "Missing Half". I knew we would be together. And then you left... I couldn't eat. Sleep. Think. I knew that my true destiny wasn't with Darkseid and his stupid plans... So I followed you across the universe. I watched you try so hard to fit in, to find your way. All I wanted to do was hold you. Tell you how beautiful you were. But I knew you weren't ready to hear it... Sometimes we have to fall all the way down before someone can lift us up. You could be something so special, Kara... But you're lost. You're lost and you're too weak to find your way alone. Whenever you try... the monster in you comes out. Is this what you what to be?" (cups her face) "You need someone to take care of you, Kara. Someone who loves you to build to up... To make you into something you can be proud of. I love you, Kara. We can be perfect together, if you'll just let me fix you."
    Supergirl: (destroys her restraints and burns his hand with heat vision) "We need to break up."
    Powerboy: "Aaaaaigh! What did you do?!"
    Supergirl: "You hit me. You said you loved me... And you hit me." (punches him through a wall to the outside)
    Powerboy: "Y-You made me hit you! Because you don't listen, like now! Kara! I'm warning you! Stop it or I'll do it again! I'll hurt you again! You can be happy if you just do what I tell you! I—" (Supergirl rips his house from its foundation and rises into the sky) "Kara, I love you. Don't you want someone take care of you!?"
    Supergirl: "No one who says he loves you should hit you, ever." (drops his house on him)
    Powerboy: (Flash Step into outer space, pulls out his Father Box) "Ouch. Heh... Heh... Got some fight to her... Gonna have to work on that... Next time... And there will be a next time. Try to drop a house on me now. Father Box... Honey..."
    Supergirl: (Flash Step up to him, knees him in the groin) "I out-flew Superman, "Honey". We're not done." (grabs him by the scruff of his neck) "I don't know if you can hear me, so read my lips... Don't call me. Don't talk to me. Don't look at me... Or I'll break every bone in your body."
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Supergirl had a huge crush on Dick Grayson alias Nightwing because he was nice and understanding. Kara once spontaneously made out with him, all because he made a speech about being a good teammate.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Kara did not believe in Rao and thought her friend Thara, who claimed to be the incarnation of Rao's child Flamebird, was a nutjob who believed in fairy tales. Though Kara quickly becomes a believer when Thara transforms into Flamebird right in front of her to save her life.
  • Small Steps Hero: In "Way of the World", Kara tries to help an ill kid as dealing with super-villain Reactron.
  • Smug Snake: Reactron's Kryptonite-powered suit and his army training make him dangerous and formidable enough to kill dozens of Kryptonians in New Krypton's opening arc. However, he treats everyone -including his would-be allies- as dirt, he always underestimates his enemies, is prone to wasting time gloating and playing cat-and-mouse games, and proves to be a dirty coward when push comes to shove. So, in Who is Superwoman? he gets humiliated by Superwoman when his Kryptonite blasts prove to be ineffectual against her, and loses against Supergirl because he's eager to fight her hand-to-hand instead of using his energy blasters from afar, even after she's shown to be a good melee fighter. And in The Hunt for Reactron, when his suit gets crushed by Flamebird, he surrenders, begs for mercy and claims he was just following orders.
  • Sole Survivor:
    • Kara was originally Argo City's only survivor. However a group of Argonians -including her parents- survived the city's destruction when Brainiac abducted them. All of them got killed when New Krypton exploded, and Kara is again the Last Daughter of Argo City.
    • The Saturn Queen controlling Kandor was from a timeline that'd been wiped out thanks to Crisis on Infinite Earths. When her world was briefly restored during Infinite Crisis, Saturn Queen somehow fell through the cracks when it was destroyed all over again.
  • Speed Blitz: Supergirl is fast enough to take someone out before they can react. In "Girl Power", the Justice Society are having a tough time taking Solomon Grundy down when Kara dives into the battlefield and punches Grundy out in a single movement.
  • Spit Take: In Supergirl #0, Calculator is spying on Supergirl. He spits his coffee out when she looks straight at the camera and he knows intuitively that she has spotted him.
  • Split-Personality Merge: In "Girl Power", Lex Luthor used a piece of black Kryptonite to create an evil Supergirl clone, and Wonder Woman used her Lasso of Truth to merge both Karas back into a single being.
  • Spot the Imposter: In the first arc, Dark Supergirl switched her costume with the original Kara’s at super-speed, in an attempt to fool Batman and Superman as to who was the evil clone. Superman tries to spot the imposter by punching both girls, assuming -wrongly- that the real one will not retaliate. Finally, the real Kara gets fed up with the situation, and tells Diana to use her Lasso.
  • Stalker Shrine: Powerboy built one devoted to Kara.
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Supergirl: Breaking the Chain", has Powerboy become obsessed with Kara after catching a glimpse of her as a Female Fury. He created a shrine and became a superhero to impress and seduce her. However, he grew more and more possessive, and beat the crap out of her when she tried to visit Captain Boomerang (Owen Mercer) in the hospital. Supergirl defeated him in spectacular fashion and told him to stay away from that moment on.
  • Stalking Is Love: During Kara's stay in Themyscira, Superman often hovered above the island to keep a check on her cousin and ensure that she was doing right. When spotted, Diana complained about it to Bruce. In Supergirl #0:
    Batman: I don't think it should come as a surprise to anyone that Clark is having a hard time letting go. Diana called last week to say that he was hovering again. An island of beautiful women and a man spying on them from above and Clark doesn't see any problem with that.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • In Supergirl #0, Superman does this to Batman when he flies out of the Batcave to help Supergirl.
      Batman: She's broken off the wing. Okay, Clark, if you manage to keep your distance, she might need some hel— I hate it when he does that.
    • Kara sneaks up on Batman when she realizes that he and her cousin are monitorizing her from the Batcave.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: It happens to Supergirl when she moves to New Krypton and finds she's been living in Earth for so long that Kryptonians are "alien" to her now.
    Lana Lang: So what's it like over there?
    Supergirl: On New Krypton? It's... different. Our people are happy there. The planet itself is beautiful, too, but... It's weird, but being around other Kryptonians like my mother, I'm really starting to feel... well...
    Lana: Alien?
    Supergirl: Some of them are so different from humans, Lana. They think differently, they speak differently, they... react differently. I've been on Earth so long, it's been hard for me to fall back into being "just another Kryptonian".
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: In Way of the World, Kara meets Empress, a teenager hero whose deceased parents were magically brought back life as kids.
    Supergirl: Your parents... are WHAT?!?
    Empress: It's a long story. But all you need to know is that they were brought back to life.
    Supergirl: But as kids...?!?
  • Super Breath: Kara can blow gale-force hurricane winds out of her mouth, exhale blasts of ultra-cold air and survive underwater or in space without breathing. In issue #34, she fights a flame-spewing griffon. When it belches out flames on her, Kara retaliates with her freezing breath.
  • Super Toughness: In Supergirl 21 Kara got a locomotive dropped on her. It knocked her out for several seconds. Then she woke up and threw it out of the planet.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In "The Way of World", Kara meets a little boy that is dying from cancer and vows to save his life. Kara fails and has to learn that her powers cannot do anything.
  • Survivor Guilt:
    • In "Way of the World" Kara reveals that she often wishes her parents had not saved their life. She feels guilty because she's alive.
    • Supergirl feels like this after losing her parents and Krypton over again. In Superman/Batman Annual #5, a computerized Dr. Fate tells Kara that she is suffering from survivor guilt and she shouldn't let guilt kill her and she has to forgive herself.
      Doctor Fate: In you, Supergirl, can you imagine the poison, the pain, the dark that resides in your psyche?
      Supergirl: Wait, you're saying I'm manifesting this change in me?
      Dr. Fate: Color of costume, color of eyes? Not much change outwardly, the rest... the bulk of it is your attitude. Recently, the loss of your planet all over again. And your father. And your mother. I'd say you have a pretty obvious case of "Survivor Guilt".
      Supergirl: And it's killing me?
  • Swarm of Rats: In the "This Is Not My Life" arc, Kara and her college friends are investigating the secret tunnels under Stanhope College when they are swarmed by packs of robotical rats built by Professor Amazo.
  • Symbol Swearing:
    • This is made with Kryptonian signs.
    • Superboy does this with asterisks in issue 2 when his ex-team flies to see him: "Oh, @#$%!"
  • Take That, Critics!: Issue #18 was a heavy-handed attack by the writer, Joe Kelly, on the many critics who disliked the Post-Crisis Kara Zor-El's abrasive and morally questionable personality, and the book's extreme and, given the character's youth, distasteful fanservice. Kara spent the issue fighting an evil duplicate of herself who wore Pre-Crisis Supergirl's costume and self-righteously berated her for not being "wholesome". The issue particularly annoyed the critics as it was rather a straw-man view of their objections - they didn't think Kara should be perfect or a Stepford Smiler but argued that Kelly's version of the character came across as a Totally Radical sexualised fantasy of a screwed-up barely-legal teen. Two issues later the writer and artist were removed and the book underwent a heavy Retool in the direction that the critics in question were calling for.
  • Taken for Granite: Bizarro Supergirl has Eye Beams that cover the victims with a stone shell.
  • Taking the Bullet: In issue #0, Supergirl does this for Batgirl when Poison Ivy mind-controls several cops into shooting her friend.
  • Taking You with Me: Reactron tries to do this to Supergirl. He fails, but he takes her mother and New Krypton with him.
  • Talking to the Dead: "Guilding Day" is framed as one letter written by Kara to her recently-murdered father Zor-El where she tells him how (very badly) her mother is dealing with his loss, and explains why she's choosing the Science Guild instead of following his footsteps and choosing the Arts Guild as she had always intended.
  • A Taste of the Lash: During the "Candor" arc, Ultraman and Saturn Queen take over the alien ghetto of Kandor -not to be confused with the self-named Bottle City- and maintain the populace subdued by means of frequent floggins.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • In Supergirl #34 Kara sheds them while Lana gives her an encouraging speech.
    • Supergirl cries in happiness after Thara reveals herself as Flamewing, since if Flamewing and the Kryptonian gods are real, it means their murdered father is in a better place.
  • Tears of Remorse:
    • In issue #20 Supergirl gets tricked into hijacking the Air Force One (long story), only later realizing it was a spectacularly bad idea. Later she cries when she apologizes to a man who is worried about his wife being on the plane.
    • In New Krypton, Supergirl captures and takes Reactron to New Krypton so he gets trialed, unaware that Lex Luthor has turned him into a ticking bomb able to blow the planet up... which he does. In the aftermath of the destruction Supergirl blames herself -even though she couldn't have known- and cries.
  • Teaser-Only Character: "Song of the Silver Banshee" begins with Silver Banshee murdering an innocent, unnamed woman.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Supergirl and Cat Grant in Sterling Gates' last story arc. Due to Supergirl carelessness in a fight with a group of metahumans, Cat was slightly wounded. Cat runs a slander campaign against the would-be super heroine causing a large portion of Metropolis' population to turn against Kara. But her relationship with Supergirl got better when Kara saved Cat from the Dollmaker.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In New Krypton, Zor-El tempted fate several times:
      • In "Superman: New Krypton Special", Zor says now they have powers "We'll never be in harm's way again". he got murdered shortly after. And New Krypton got blown up.
      • In ''Supergirl #34 Kara questioned the wisdom of having a Brainiac's robot keeping Argo's shields up, and asked what would happen if it woke up. Her father reiterated over and again it can't and won't turn itself back on. Despite everything, the robot woke up and nearly killed them.
    • At the beginning of "Superman Supergirl: Maelstrom" #1, Supergirl notes that it's been a very quiet week and she thought she'd have more action when her cousin asked her keep an eye on Metropolis while he was away. Cue a Darkseid's minion arriving on town and flinging cars away.
      Supergirl: Oh no... The second I think good thoughts...
  • That Was Not a Dream: During Infinite Crisis, Supergirl is struck by an altered zeta-beam which makes her re-appear in the 31st century. Upon her arrival, Kara is so confused that she concludes that her life since she left Kyrpton has all been a dream, and she continues believing it's all a dream for several weeks. In Supergirl and the Legion Of Super-Heroes issue #23 she wakes up, finds herself in a Kryptonian city and believes her dream is finally over... until she runs into her friends Legionnaires and remembers they knocked her out and took her to Kandor. The shock makes her snap out of her dellusion.
    Supergirl: All that stuff in my head about Krypton blowing up... mom and dad and... everything... gone... it really wasn't a dream.
  • There Was a Door: In Supergirl #59, Supergirl flew through the wall of the lair of Dollmaker to rescue Cat Grant.
  • They Would Cut You Up: In Good-Looking Corpse, Kara investigates an abandoned clandestine research facility and finds several Kryptonian bodies that have been experimented on.
  • Three-Point Landing: In the cover of Supergirl #12, Kara lands supporting her weight on her right knee, left foot and left hand, causing damage to the ground upon contact.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Argo City's Science Council. Jor-El warned that Krypton would blow up, and the planet exploded. His brother Zor-El warned them that the dome was unsafe and they needed to find a new world to settle in. Did they listen? Noooooo!
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Kara was feeling confused, irascible and pretty miserable upon arriving on Earth. Several months later she'd adapted to Earth and learned to be a hero and she is reasonably happy with her life.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: In "Way of the World", Supergirl fights Aftermath, a villain who used to be a normal person who thought there were good and bad people and bad things only happened to bad people. Then he got crippled when Superman fought Doomsday, and decided his outlook was a lie and his duty was bring the so-called heroes down.
    Aftermath: Once upon a time the world was simple. There were heroes and there were villains and bad thins only happened to bad people. And then Doomsday came. "Luckily", I survived the attack, but by then I'd come to realize— that sometimes the bad can even afflict the good. And that while we may believe in heroes, there really is no such thing. But why couldn't everyone else see that?
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Sterling Gates' run had Kara, who had been depicted as an immature brat by preceeding writers, evolve into a kind-hearted young woman.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: In Supergirl #22, Kara runs into this trouble when she remembers that she travelled to the far future and fought/will fight alongside the Legion of Super-Heroes.
    Supergirl: Well, um, thank you for unblocking my memory. You were... will be... very good friends to me.
  • Trainstopping: Subverted in Supergirl #18. Kara stops a train but it breaks in half and derails upon crashing onto her indestructible body. Kara has a breakdown but she calms down -a bit- when she discovers that it was an illusion.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Issue #57 has a variant in where Lana Lang walks into her office and finds Cat Grant sitting on her couch in the dark and wanting to talk about Lana's connection with Supergirl.
  • Troubled, but Cute: At the beginnig Kara Zor-El was an emotionally-unstable, quick-tempered jerkass due to Kryptonite-poisoning and being a teenager stranded in a strange land (she got over it and got better after a while, though). She is also an Amazonian Beauty and boys were obsessed with her, especially during her "troubled teenager" phase.
  • Two First Names: Supergirl's civilian Earth name is Linda Lang.
  • Undead Tax Exemption:: In issue #10, it is completely glossed over how Kara created her Claire Connors identity. Justified in issue #34 when Barbara Gordon sets up the Linda Lang identity for Kara thanks to her hacking skills.
  • The Unapologetic: Cat Grant wages a smear campaign aimed at Supergirl, driven for petty reasons -Kara bruised her accidentally as she was saving her life, and Cat thought that she could gain notoriety by libeling the young hero-. And she doesn't feel guilty at all, not even after Supergirl saves her life over and again.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • When Supergirl and Powerboy quell a hurricane in Mexico, a general threatens them, saying it is illegal for metahumans to interfere with Mexican affairs. Powerboy threatens to bring the hurricane back, and the general shuts up.
    • Kara saved Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant from being hit by falling debris. But because Cat accidentally got bruised when Jimmy landed on her, the woman devoted herself to smear Supergirl.
    • In Supergirl #34 Kara fights Silver Banshee in a baseball field. Several spectators throw their cups at her and shout that she ruined the game and trashed the field (disregarding that Silver Banshee also destroyed the place and Supergirl saved their lives). They scream that they don't need her and want her to go away until she flies away... and then they demand that she cleans the mess up. So... they tell they don't need her and want her gone until she goes away.... and then they want her stay to help?
  • Unwanted Assistance: During the events of the "Amazons Attack" storyline, in where the Amazons went to war against the US, Supergirl and Wonder Girl try to end the war by kidnapping the President and bringing him to Queen Hyppolita to engage in peace talks with her. Predictably, their plan went awry, and Supergirl apologized, saying that she screwed everything up even though she just wanted to help.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Constantly. Here's an example taken from Supergirl 20.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In "Girl Power", Supergirl fries the Outsiders' jet's dashboard to prevent them from coming to her aid when she confronts Lex Luthor.
  • Vibration Manipulation: In issue #55, Supergirl is frozen by Bizarrogirl and escapes by vibrating her molecules. She credits the Flash with teaching her this technique.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: At the end of "This Is Not My Life", Professor Ivo tries to escape through the sewer system when his latest scheme goes up in smoke, but since he is being chased by Supergirl he doesn't go far.
  • Villainous Crush: Kara had to deal with Powerboy, a Darkseid's minion who had a crush on her and was Not Good with Rejection.
  • Villain Teleportation: In Supergirl #60, Kara has to fight a group of villains that use dimensional doors to move around and strike heroes unexpectedly.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: In Death and the Family, Lana apparently dies due to an unknown illness. She wakes up in the morgue, her mind taken over by Insect Queen, which was making her ill as trying to repossess her body.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Way of the World, villain Aftermath wants to turn the public against super-humans because he thinks good people always gets screwed when they fight. So he kidnaps a couple to blackmail their daughter into putting a mind-control hex on Supergirl, and he intends to mind-control Supergirl into causing mayhem until everybody hates her.
    Aftermath: NO!!! I only did this to make them understand— to make the world better.
    Supergirl: I know. But that doesn't mean you're right.
  • Well, This Is Not That Trope: In Supergirl #22, the Legion explains Kara this time she really is dreaming.
    Lightning Lad:: Hey, Kara, remember when you first showed up here, telling us all we were figments of your imagination?
    Supergirl: Yeah. Sorry about that.
    '''Lightning Lad: Well, now you really are dreaming.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the second Annual "Secret Identities", a Kryptonian woman reproaches Supergirl for blowing her and her son's cover, flies off and is never seen or mentioned again. Did she manage to blend in among humans again? Was she found and "purged" by Sam Lane's troops at the climax of War of the Supermen? Nobody knows.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Kara Zor-El spent three decades trapped inside a space pod in suspended animation. She gets frightened or mad when she's stuck inside a tight, dark space. In Girl Power she explains this to Raven.
      Supergirl: You shouldn't have done that. Don't ever put me in the dark. Closed in. It's like I told Superboy. I can't handle it.
    • Subverted. In the final arc, Supergirl has to fight a swarm of rat bots. She isn't afraid of them, but since she's been fighting evil robots and robot-mooks for weeks she's sick of them.
      Supergirl: Robots... Why... did it have to be... robots?
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: After Kara is brutally beaten up by Powerboy, including having her face dragged down the side of a skyscraper, she wakes up in a bed next to a Stalker Shrine devoted to her, bound in powerful, alien-tech restraints. Powerboy says a big speech about how much he loves her, that he knows best, and that the beating was her fault for making him angry. Supergirl's retort? Delivering a brutal beating combined with a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech.
    Supergirl: (destroys her restraints and burns his hand with heat vision]) We need to break up.
    Powerboy: Aaaaaigh! What did you do?!
    Supergirl: You hit me. You said you loved me... And you hit me. (punches him through a wall to the outside)
    Powerboy: Y-You made me hit you! Because you don't listen, like now! Kara! I'm warning you! Stop it or I'll do it again! I'll hurt you again!
  • Wicked Toymaker: Anton Schott alias "Dollmaker", the son of Toyman who is also a skilled -and creepy- toymaker, although he specializes in deadly robot dolls.
  • World of No Grandparents: Through the entire history of the character, Supergirl's maternal grandfather has barely been mentioned once in issue #35.
  • World's Strongest Woman: Supergirl is possibly the world's strongest woman. In Supergirl #34 she says:
    Supergirl: I'm Supergirl. Strongest girl on the planet.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In Supergirl #3, Luthor mutters that he hates hitting women or girls... while he is beating Supergirl up.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Supergirl #34, after reading Cat Grant's slander, Kara wonders if that woman may be right and she is worthy of the S-shield. Superman's reply is automatic:
    Supergirl: Is she right, Kal? Am I "a tarted-up teenager in a short skirt and cape with some to prove"? Am I "not worthy of the legacy of Superman"?
    Superman: I think you're more than worthy.
  • You Can See Me?: In Supergirl #0, the Calculator is monitoring Kara under Luthor's orders. At one point, she glares straight in the direction of his camera, which is enough for him to freak out because he realizes that she can see him even though it was supposedly impossible.
  • You're Not My Father: In Supergirl #22, Kara thinks her cousin is about to lecture her after her latest mess-up, and she interrupts him to remind him he isn't her father or her brother, she's trying to learn to be better, and she doesn't need his validation (Superman answers that he actually agrees with her).
    Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad — But you're neither one! I'm capable of recognizing my own mistakes, Kal! I don't need my nose rubbed in them! Maybe I'm not perfect like you —
    Superman: Hey, I'm not —
    Supergirl: Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and Uncle Jon and Aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation!
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Kara bears a grudge against Reactron, her father's murderer.
    • When Supergirl fights Doomsday in Reign of Doomsday, she hasn't forgotten that monster killed her cousin.

I'm Supergirl. This is my life... And y'know what? I'm pretty happy with it (for now, at least.)