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Fridge Brilliance

  • There is a notable lack of sexism in the Worm Universe. But it is extremely obvious why this is because while the number may be close, a background lecture revealed that more women than men have trigger events. Trigger events have been going on since the 80's and the larger number of women parahumans has probably caused a Cultural Effect that translates into the lack of sexism. It likely also doesn't hurt that the people who have been secretly running the world - Alexandria, Doctor Mother, and Contessa - are all women.
  • Coil's power almost certainly created at least two Offscreen Moments of Awesome for Skitter when she ended up facing off against him after he didn't free Dinah:
    • There is only one real reason for Coil to insist that none of his troops use grenades: in one of his cut-off timelines, she must have used her bugs to bounce the grenades back at them.
    • At the burning house, Coil went and hid in the car, rather than lead his troops. In other words, in the timeline when Coil didn't hide, he must have lost so badly that letting Skitter go was better.
  • In Interlude 15 (Donation Bonus #2), Brian is amazed at how calm Taylor is when she's within his darkness — but there's a good reasons why she is, even ignoring her innate sangfroid and the way her power allows her to sense her surroundings without sight. She trusts him. It's an aspect of love which is too often not shown in works of fiction, and it adds a whole layer to the heartwarming nature of the scene.
    • What's more, given her Trigger event Taylor is likely somewhat claustrophobic. Grue's power makes people feel like they're in an empty void.
    • Additionally, Skitter doesn't have the best social skills—she is constantly shown to be stressing over every step of any basic conversation. When she's in the darkness like this, she can pretend she's alone and just talk without worrying about if she's misreading social cues.
  • On the surface Grue's power seems to be an odd mix of things: darkness, silence, and weakened sense of touch go together, but the way his power interferes with and "dampens" other power (Velocity's Super Speed, Shadow Stalker's intangibility, and others) and his second trigger giving him the ability to copy the powers of anybody in his darkness don't seem to fit, nor does Imp's power. The the underlying theme of both Grue and Imp's powers is actually denial of information.
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  • Grue's power takes an active proactive approach, blocking out any stimulus for the senses including all electromagnetic radiation note  and a degree of heat note . His "darkness field" is just an area where even light is blocked. Imp's power takes a more passive approach, temporarily blocking or removing the fact of her existence from people's heads.

  • The reason why Imp/Aisha dislikes Cozen so much is because it wasn't Cozen but Taylor who brought Brian/Grue back after he was tortured by Bonesaw. Aisha, who has major trust issues, even straight out told Taylor that she had no idea how to help Brian and was trusting Taylor to do it. Taylor is the only person who ever truly helped Brian get better, and watching the reaction of the insects when Taylor sees that Cozen and Grue are a couple proves to Imp that Taylor still loves him, even after two years apart, and that she's hurt that he's now with someone else. So to Imp, Taylor is the only person who deserves to be happy with Brian, and Cozen is a usurper, who not only hasn't 'earned' her happiness with Grue, but is actively hurting Taylor by her very presence, the only person other than Brian that Aisha feels a great debt to.
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  • 18.1: Dinah's predictions about the apocalypse: Skitter will be there. Other people might be there. Holy. Crap.
  • In Skitter's fight with Mannequin from 12.6-12.7, Mannequin is able to see individual insects in her swarms ... but not that Skitter didn't bleed from his attempt to cut her neck. Skitter doesn't understand it, but there's one obvious suggestion: Mannequin — a tinker, you may recall — specifically intended to go after Skitter, and therefore calibrated his vision to act as a Super Sense as far as tracking swarms of insect-sized objects, and sacrificed normal visual capacity at other tasks to do it!
  • After Skitter gets the pistol from Trickster in 14.05, she is rather astounded to discover that she can actually hit people with it. Four things, though: first, she's never all that far away from her targets; second, the shots she hit, she aimed carefully; and third, she has Nerves of Steel.
    • More importantly her bugs give her a spatial awareness of her surroundings that allows her to gauge the distance to her target much more accurately than a normal person could manage without rangefinding equipment. In Sting 26.6 the sense of the bullet's path this gave her is described as "Like being able to reach out with my arm in a perfectly straight line, touch my target, then aim along the line."
  • Tattletale has seemed like an awfully ironic name for a girl who keeps a lot of secrets — but leaving aside how many of those she was forced to keep: what good reason is there for a cape to tell people what her powers are anyway? It is to her advantage to be coming from an unexpected angle as far as what she can do.
    • Some readers have commented that Tattletale tends to reveal the information she knows even when it would be more prudent to keep her mouth shut in certain situations. It has been theorized that her power has altered her brain so that she is compelled to talk about what her power tells her no matter what. However, after learning her backstory in Scourge 19.7, it makes sense for her to firmly believe that it's always better to reveal what she knows, in order to warn everybody about bad things that might happen later on and prevent disasters.
  • In Interlude 18 (Donation Bonus #2), the TA calls out social isolation as a key component in trigger events — and, simultaneously, a key component in driving parahumans to become villains. And social isolation is exactly what drove Taylor down that route. She stayed with the Undersiders because they were the only people other than her dad who offered her any kind of support since her mother died — her only friends, her only allies, her only defenders. It's not surprising she would choose that over the abstract principle.
  • I thought it was a little odd for a moment that Bitch's friends on the Undersiders were specifically listed as Grue and Skitter and not Tattletale, especially given that Tattletale is the one who gave Skitter the key to reading Bitch in the first place, but I realized two things:
    • First, Tattletale never actually went to the effort to be a friend to Bitch — her attitude toward most of the team is on the professional level, and there's nothing in particular about Bitch that would motivate her to go to any effort otherwise.
    • Second, Tattletale grins all the time — i.e. bares her teeth, all the time. She talks, all the time. She plays all those human social games, all the freaking time, and gets a huge kick out of playing them. Literally nothing about that would endear her to Bitch.
  • In Interlude 18, we discover that the reason that the superheroes of Earth Bet are calling Noelle Meinhardt (a displaced inhabitant of Earth Aleph) "Echidna" is because a PRT agent named Meinhardt has a three-year-old daughter named Noelle. A weird and strange coincidence — but not so much as I initially thought. In all likelihood, Noelle's father exists on both worlds, wanted a kid named Noelle, and on Earth Bet he simply took a lot longer to settle down with someone.
  • Looking over the archive, despite the fact that both of them are pretty girls who use what they know to say exactly the right thing to mess with their target's heads, there's only one actual time that Taylor explicitly compares Tattletale to Emma Barnes in her mind, and that is in Scourge 19.2. When, as she reveals in 19.7, Lisa was realizing that saving Taylor didn't fix the way she felt stupid for not saving her brother Rex, and trying to outsmart all the smartest capes in the world as a way of dealing with that. Which, in point of fact, is a direct parallel to the way Emma reacted to feeling insecure about her emotional stability by tearing down Taylor — the emotionally-strongest person she knew — as described in Interlude 19.
  • Tattletale wanted to take down Coil from the start. Think about it: one of the prime incidents she names as a time she snuck off with extra cash from a job was well before she had any idea about Dinah — the bank robbery. What happened on the hillside near the monument is that Tattletale let Taylor in on it when Taylor said she was willing to come back. (Plus, it gives Tt a second motive to recruit a hero into a supervillain team - Taylor was exactly the sort to back Tt's eventual play.)
    • Furthermore, in Lisa's bonus interlude 8.I, it's revealed that she was aggressively recruited by Coil and never presented with a real choice. When this is taken into account she probably has more of a reason to be pissed with the Dinah situation than Taylor, since she was essentially brought in to be Coil's pet too.
  • When the Slaughterhouse Nine — including Shatterbird, who is famous for trashing all the glass across the entire city every time she shows up — arrive in town shortly after Leviathan struck, Coil finds out quickly ... yet keeps large quantities of computer equipment and all the data he just had the Undersiders steal from the PRT in town, and within range of Shatterbird's power. This bothered me to the point that I posted a comment to that effect on the chapter in question, to which the author replied, "Can't answer without spoiling, but it should be evident if you think about it." Said thinking reminding me that this is "can split into two timelines and remember both" Coil that we're talking about, and Coil would obviously send one timeline's team out of town with the data as insurance while the other team got a head start and tried to finish before Shatterbird sung.
  • I just realized: Rachel's trigger event came when she was fourteen, and when she left that house she had no resources, no allies, no training, no personal superpowers — nothing but (probably) that one dog. She evaded the combined forces of the police, the PRT, the Protectorate, and the Wards for two years. That's just insanely badass.
  • Because this section just isn't long enough already: in Chrysalis 20.3, it's a little odd that the prospect of a physical altercation with Taylor didn't particularly faze Emma, even after the vice-principal's entire speech about fights at the school. It's almost like getting slugged was something she saw as simply another path by which she could hurt her favorite victim.
  • Whenever Emma is stood up to even slightly, she crumbles. In Shell when Emma tries to imply Taylor has no friends she gets flustered when Taylor laughs at her, or when the Undersiders attack the event she just huddles with her family. Than you find out about what happened to her, and it becomes clear that she never really recovered no matter how hard she deludes herself, and that the incidents when Taylor stands up and doesn't take her abuse basically puncture the little bubble she set up for herself. It's also why she gets enraged when Taylor effortlessly brushes off her attempt to guilt Taylor and instead just takes out her phone.
  • Why do powers that affect the mind work best on Butcher? She's got thirteen more minds in her, so they have thirteen times the effect.
  • Why is Dragon so much better a Tinker than everyone else? It's not just because she's an Artificial Intelligence. It's because her creator was a Tinker — second generation capes tend to be more powerful, and she's second gen!
    • Also, the age where someone get powers plays a role in the strength of powers. If we treat her creation date as her birthday, she's actually quite young!!
      • Actually, it's because Dragon isn't a Tinker, she's a Thinker with the power to understand and thus reverse-engineer Tinker-tech. The reason Dragon is so much better at 'Tinkering' than anyone else is because unlike every Tinker in the story, Dragon actually understands the science behind what she is doing. In other words, Dragon is an engineer.
  • We all know Tattletale is a certified badass, but I recently realized one more facet of it: Tattletale uses her superpower with incredible economy. Read her interlude — her limit was "an hour or two every few weeks" less than a year before the story started, and was increasing only very slowly. Tattletale has been kicking ass and taking names on an average of less than ten minutes a day of actually using her power. Ninety-nine percent of the Tattletale magic is just her.
  • In Interlude 19, one of the posters muses over why the term 'Cauldron' is specifically blocked, unless it's obscured with an asterisk or the like. Later on, it's revealed that Dragon is behind many of the sockpuppets on the Parahumans Online message boards, and that she herself runs the website. If Cauldron was meant to be kept hidden, and she was ordered to block discussion on it... then she accomplished a white mutiny via the Streisand Effect.
  • The fact that Scion turned out to be the cause of the apocalypse was terrifyingly unexpected ... but if you notice, from almost his introduction, it was pretty clear that Scion was bad at being a superhero. What makes it particularly clear is Kevin Norton's interlude, where it becomes clear that if it weren't for Norton telling Scion what to do, Scion wouldn't do any of the heroic stuff he spends all his time on — and that Norton had to explain really basic stuff about helping people, like "if one of the Endbringers attacks, don't ignore it to come talk to me."
    • Now that we now why the entities were really here, it makes sense that he wouldn't be any good at the whole "saving people" deal.
  • Tattletale's friendship with Taylor is parallel to Sophia's friendship with Emma. Emma was attacked by the ABB and Sophia saved her. Emma, after spending time in despair, went back to the site of the attack and found Sophia waiting for her, and the two became friends with Sophia helping her build herself up as a survivor. Lisa and the Undersiders save Taylor from Lung, leader of the ABB and Lisa notices that Taylor is in despair. Taylor meets Lisa at the site of the attack and the two become friends, and Lisa helps build up Taylor's confidence and becomes her best friend. The difference is that at the end of the day, Emma abandoned Sophia when she went to juvie (becoming a victim in Emma's eyes) whereas Taylor and Lisa remain the best of friends.
  • It's established early on that its both hard and dangerous to even mess around with a Tinker's technology, and very difficult to mass-produce said technology. But we also learn that Dragon's lost technology to Saint before, and he's reverse-engineered it to form his Dragonslayers. How does that work out? Because Dragon's tech isn't Tinker tech. Its technology devised by an AI created by a Tinker, so it can be understood and reproduced more easily by non-Tinkers.
    • More likely, assuming Defiant's theory about her trigger event and Taylor's assumption about her specialty being using other Tinker's specialties being true, is that she channeled Masamune, who is the only Tinker to have "mass reproduction" not only not be an obstacle, but a specialty.
    • Actually, while Dragon's specialty appears to be using other Tinkers' specialties, it could be that Dragon's specialty is actually making other Tinkers' tech understandable/reproducible. This would explain why her specialty appears to be both understanding other Tinkers' tech and mass production: she makes other Tinkers' technology into something that can be understood without a Tinker shard, and thus anyone, including Saint, can learn how to build and using Dragon-processed Tinker-tech.
    • Dragon is probably the only Tinker with the time/multitasking capacity to write documentation for her creations. Other tinkers build and forget, or just plain forget if they can't get to a lab.
    • Also, Saint and the Dragonslayers have a backdoor into Dragon's systems, so they can just look up the designs for the equipment and have a handy guide on how to repair them.
  • The scene in Drone 23.1 where all the Wards are complaining about Glenn, to the point that they actually seem to at least be on the same ground with Taylor in regards to how annoying he is with the whole Slave to PR thing has an added dimension: By being incredibly annoying and a pain in the ass to the entire team, he gives everyone someone to equally dislike, fostering at least some basic comraderie among the Wards no matter where they're from and what they were before joining.
  • The reason why the Protectorate is so powerful and well-organized to the point that it supplies 25-50% of the foreign capes involved in any Endbringer attack, and why most cape teams go to the Protectorate for support and training? They're the first real hero group, and are backed by Cauldron and have three of the most powerful capes in the world as members. With Cauldron basically selling powers to anyone who wants them, and beefing the numbers of American capes - American capes who don't have the myriad issues that naturally-triggering capes require to trigger in the first place - then naturally they'd be able to form the largest, most organized, and sane superhero group.

  • The Yangban has a disproportionately large number of English-speakers in their ranks, forming a significant minority in a force that is otherwise made up primarily of Chinese. The reason why there's so many English-speaking Yangban members? Accord, an American villain, has been selling capes to the Yangban.
    • Also, it is revealed that the Yangban has a habit of abducting and indoctrinating capes from other countries that they operate in, such as when they captured Lung in Japan.
  • The reason why Militaries Are Useless when it comes to the Endbringers: no conventional weaponry short of strategic ordnance can do any real damage to an Endbringer. Infantry would be completely useless and little more than Cannon Fodder at best and subverted by the Simurgh at worst. Tanks and infantry fighting vehicles would be flooded out by Leviathan, vaporized by Behemoth, and their crews subverted to horrible ends by the Simurgh. Helicopters would be shot down by Behemoth and the Simurgh and the storms that surround Leviathan when it attacks would knock them out of the sky. Ditto for jets and bombers. Artillery would singularly ineffective because of the Endbringers' durability. The only things that can really slow the Endbringers down and survive fighting them for any length of time are the very powerful, heavy-hitting capes, and even then all they're doing is holding on until Scion arrives.
  • Tattletale notes that the entire fight between heroes and villains is basically a kabuki play; as long as you don't kill people or radically disrupt society, you're mostly left alone or put in a Cardboard Prison. This makes more sense in light of Cauldron's ultimate goal — Cauldron, which founded the PRT and the Protectorate, wants as many parahumans as possible to survive to fight Scion, so the actual purpose of those authorities is to channel the natural parahuman conflict interest into a shadow war where none of them die, while preventing destructive conflicts with normal humans. This also explains why the Worm universe seems to completely lack any sort of death penalty despite having villains who can't be stopped by any normal prison — even the most horrific villain might prove to be decisive against Scion, so Cauldron has ensured that no capes ever get executed, fullstop.
    • Even without direct involvement of Cauldron, the "cops and robbers" cape interactions could also be seen as a sort of Xanatos Gambit to get as many anti-Endbringer fighters as possible. Parahumans who are on good terms with authorities become heroes, get a chance to practice using their powers in combat by fighting villains, and become part of a culture where fighting Endbringers is the norm. Parahumans who aren't on good terms with the authorities become villains, get a chance to practice using their powers in combat, and give the heroes opponents to fight. Villains know that there will be crackdowns if they cause too much disturbance (giving them an incentive to take out the really dangerous parahumans that otherwise might run rampant - look at what happened to the ABB when Bakuda went too far) and that they will be treated more leniently if they participate in Endbringer fights. Results: almost everyone with parahuman powers has the incentive to step up against the most dangerous enemies and the experience to do so effectively.
    • Also, their ultimate goals explain why Cauldron starts with such high prices, and (as far as we see) always sells formulas at reduced price with favors attached: they use the price as a way of making the powers seems valuable, so that everyone who gets a Cauldron vial will feel indebted to them beyond the favors, and so that they can draw as many capes to their banner as possible.
      • High prices also insure that only people who are already successful under the current power structure can get vials, reducing the chance for Caldron capes to destabilize anything.
    • It also explains the whole deal with rogues; their name designation (which gets brought up several times in-story) and their treatment by the legal system (as seen in Canary's trial) make much more sense when you realize Cauldron wanted capes to fight, so they essentially punished those who didn't, to both set an example to others who didn't want to use their powers for violence (after all, rogues would get treated negatively, and what better way to stay safe than by being protected by trained heroes or villains?) and make sure that those who refused had a high chance of being sent to the Birdcage, where they would still be surrounded by trained villains.
  • Interlude 29's "flash sideways" to the scenario where both Zion and Eden arrived intact on Earth, Richter is mentioned but not Dragon. This implies that her creation was never part of the plan. His creations would be similar to Dragon’s — weak minded, non-sentient AI. The Endbringers pushed him into creating Dragon. We have plenty of evidence how paranoid & fearful he was of doing it, but the world going so wrong made him desperate enough that he risked it.
  • At the time of Weld's introduction, he's worried about how his superiors will react if they find out he's embezzling his personal food & clothes stipend. He makes the very good point, at least in his narration, that he doesn't need to eat, and uses his Voluntary Shapeshifting powers to mimic clothing, so why shouldn't he spend the money on things that actually make him happy? Much later, during the battle of the oil rig, we find out that he was spending the money on music, and his worries start to look like The Paragon feeling bad about overindulging on ice cream. But we also find out that, because his glands are also metal, he has trouble experiencing emotions. And who do we know that's a singer with emotion manipulating powers that work over recordings, who's also in serious trouble with the law? Canary.
    • Canary's music is probably especially uplifting to Weld since she has subtly non-human features, small feathers in and around her hair, which make her visibly more mutated that most parahumans, and so her popularity and success probably made Weld like a sign that even mutated capes could be accepted and embraced, at least until her trial.
  • Jack Slash made Scion turn against humanity. Or, if we use their real names, Jacob led Zion to fight against the rest of the world, and both events occurred at the end of the world. Wildbow, you sly dog!
  • Why can Contessa avoid the Scry vs. Scry lockout? In Interlude 26, it's mentioned that the shards containing precongitive abilities were given strict limitations to prevent them from being used against the entities. However, Contessa got a shard that got knocked loose from Eden in the crash, so the limitation wouldn't have been installed. This also explains a lot about Cauldron capes and by extension the Endbringers in general; their shards come from Eden's corpse, so they wouldn't have been prepped for distribution, meaning they lack the safeguards to keep the powers from damaging the user, resulting in physical mutations. It's possible everyone who can bypass the Manton effect with non-biological powers is a Cauldron cape. Presumably, the stuff they mix in to reduce mutations and variability contains some of the safeguards.
    • This makes Cauldron's actions in general make more sense, especially that they start just giving away vials as the apocalypse approaches. They're hoping for capes whose powers bypass not just the Manton Effect, but the safeguards that Scion/Zion put to prevent power from hurting the Entities themselves.
  • All the Endbringers have a theme; Land, Sea, Sky for the initial trio, Time for Khonsu. Tohu and Bohu? Their theme is humanity. Bohu fuses with a city and fills it with inhabitants. Tohu becomes capes that protect the city.
  • Another note about the cafeteria scene in Chrysalis 20.5: from the same incident that let Dragon figure out who Skitter was, she knew that Taylor had a history with Emma, so when she sees Taylor giving Emma the death-glare...
    "Skitter," Dragon said. She made it a warning, almost like she had with Defiant. I couldn't be sure what she was warning me about. Was my line of thinking that obvious?
  • Also, the long delay in the hallway behind the cafeteria before Taylor and the rest leave the building — the delay during which Defiant runs the patch on Dragon to let her let them escape — is because they still need to get the key to the door out of the ventilation duct.
  • Khepri was the Path to Victory's plan from the beginning. Cauldron's plan was to create an army of easily expendable mook troops that could survive due to the Cardboard Prison rules, but they wouldn't be any good without something else making them "willing" to risk their lives. Additionally, Dinah's prediction that Taylor would be there while others may or may not be is because Countessa's path has a 100% chance of occurring, and has been protecting her the entire time.
    • Why would Cauldron just let Manton fall into the hands of the Slaughterhouse Nine when he is so powerful? He's right beside Countessa, so it can't be an unimportant event that just fell through the cracks (the Path can't be bothered to control the breakfast choices of every person on the planet). Unless giving Siberian to the S9 was necessary for the Path to succeed. Say, protecting the S9 from being stomped by the Triumvirate before Jack could set off Scion when Taylor was at the perfect emotional state to become Khepri? Siberian is the only one we see take down one of them after all.
    • Everything in Brockton Bay was rather stable. The gangs were locked in war with each other and the Protectorate, but nothing major started occurring until Taylor entered the scene. Including the appearances of Leviathan, Echidna, and later Behemoth. These were crucial in shaping Taylor's Nerves of Steel and are more clues that the Simurgh was also working towards making Khepri capable of facing Scion alongside the Path to Victory.
      • Except in an interlude it mentioned that Cauldron thought Coil would be the most important person until his demise. I think Path of Victory doesn't have 100% control. That would be way too broken for even Wildbow. Instead her plan is able to adjust to still hit her end goals.
      • Path to Victory tells Contessa what steps to take to achieve her goals, but it doesn't necessarily give any understanding of WHY these steps will work. Mostly, Cauldron can figure out why certain steps will have a certain effect, but not always. In this instance, Coil was unintentionally directly responsible for Skitter assuming complete control over the entire criminal underworld of Brockton Bay.
  • Coil's organisation is made up of unpowered soldiers with himself as the only cape, excepting the Travellers and the Undersiders. This makes a lot of sense when you find out/remember that Coil is Thomas Calvert, a big man in the PRT, who used to be a member of the hit squads the PRT sent after villains. He's treating his organisation like a branch of the PRT.
  • Why are second-generation parahumans the children, wards and siblings of parahumans, but not their parents? Because the shards don't understand how human reproduction works and are trying to approximate the process with what little they know. They look for those that are emotionally linked to the original shard-holder in a manner that somehow indicates the 'next generation', e.g. someone who is reliant on the original shard-holder. This is another instance of the shards 'halping'.
  • Tinker triggers are the result of a long-running problem. Kid Win has ADD and struggles to focus on specific tasks for any length of time, which is why his specialty is modular equipment, or technology with inter-changeable components: it allows him to rapidly switch between different designs and projects without sabotaging the previous design, which he always ended up doing before he discovered his specialty. His alternator cannon was only successfully created after he took medication for his ADD, and he had to stop taking it due to the side-effects. The side-effects weren't due to the medication, they were due to him forcing himself to work in a manner that runs directly counter to his specialty, and as a result his shard is trying to sabotage his work.
  • Scion, the extradimensional alien distributed-computing-network entity... was put on the fritz by a bug.
  • Taylors shard is implied to be in charge of coordinating and organizing other shards of an entity, in the fight with Scion she took control of numerous other parahumans(and thus there shards) from across multiverse having them act in unison, the entities are multiversal beings made up of numerous shards acting in unison, to fight an entity Taylor effectively became an entity
  • In Parasite 10.1, Taylor reflects that " I hadn’t known [Imp] to rest in the three days I’d known her. I could almost believe she was one of the capes that didn’t need to sleep, but the theory would have felt a lot more tidy if I could connect it better to one of her powers. " Imp's powers are default-to-on; she has to actively concentrate to be seen. Of course nobody has seen her sleep since she's triggered - Imp could have fallen asleep in the middle of the table while the rest of the group has a meeting, and nobody would notice.
  • The phrase "tabula rasa" is used to describe someone twice- when Jack Slash mentions how he hates tabula rasas, and also by Kevin Norton when he describes Scion.

Fridge Horror

  • With the revelation that the Triumverate work with Cauldron, the majority of heroes might owe their powers to them and be under their control.
  • Emma is going to be terrified and paranoid for the rest of her life after finding out that Taylor is Skitter. From her perspective, she deeply hurt someone with a terrible reputation and who can torture and kill her in SO MANY different ways. She doesn't know that Taylor doesn't care about her at all. From now on she'll have to live in fear that every insect she sees could be Skitter coming to get revenge. Sucks to be her.
    • Not anymore, instead she just gets to live with knowledge that the friend she betrayed and nearly drove to suicide killed a God and saved all of humanity.
      • Unless she died in Scion's rampage.
      • When Taylor comes back to Brockton Bay and goes through the portal, she sees the Barnes (Emma's family) missing Emma, and they are upset. They look at Taylor accusingly. Then when Taylor goes and sees Sophia, Sophia says Mr Barnes had already told her Emma was dead. Except why would Mr Barnes do that with the world ending around them? Implication is she died before Scion began his rampage. Popular theory is that she couldn't live with knowing Taylor is Skitter and took her own life.
  • It ... probably wouldn't have happen, but can you imagine the consequences if Noelle cloned Imp?
    • Cloned who?
    • How would we know if it had?
      • I can only think of two ways: either Imp getting rescued or released and passing the word, or someone with an Imp-detecting power (like Tattletale) spotting the copies.
  • Shatterbird 'wears' a costume of stained glass. The implication is obviously that she specifically hits churches to resupply.
  • Dinah had a trigger event, probably, given her Thinker power, over some sort of mental trauma. At age 11 or 12.
  • Its stated that the first of the third generation parahumans have begun to trigger as young as five. Considering some of the dangerous, destructive, and disgusting powers we have seen, how well do you think a five year old is going to use such parahuman abilities?
    • Plus, what kind of trauma are all of these 5 year olds receiving to cause them to have trigger events?
      • Second-generation parahumans sometimes require much less traumatic circumstances to trigger powers (for instance, Glory Girl triggered after being fouled in a basketball game), so third-generation parahumans might be more sensitive still (that would also explain why they trigger so young - with a lower level of stress required to trigger, they have more opportunities to gain powers from day one). That just adds more Fridge Horror, though: imagine a little kid instinctively responding to some mundane problem with all the power of a newly triggered cape (see 11.6 and Snare 13.9 for an example of how strong powers can be in the immediate aftermath of a trigger event) and no control.
      • Worse, one of the second generation capes? Aidan, one of Taylor's orphan kids, who got a copy of the Administrator shard. There is a good chance of any children he has getting Khepri level powers as a child.
      • Also, Aiden's only the we see triggering with powers in canon, but there's no indication that he will be the only one. Imagine a dozen kids with Skitter-level control over the animals around them, who are generally a tight-knit group.
      • Both are impossible, fortunately. Skitter double triggered - even for a third gen cape you'd need something hellish for that. And Khepri-level power seems unlikely outside of Cauldron capes and jailbreak events like Khepri herself - neither of which can occur naturally.
      • Apparently the shards Scion released when he died have no safeguard against destroying their hosts. Assuming Scion had Admin shards and just never felt the need to use them, it's only a matter of time...
  • Leviathan has the power to literally sink islands and shatter coastlines. In Interlude 24, there's an incomplete list of past Endbringer attacks. Out of those, Leviathan has hit at least ten different locations besides Brockton Bay. Exactly how much of Earth Bet's geography has been defaced by this one creature?
  • Lung. Fighting Leviathan, his power propels him to Endbringer-level size and strength over the course of a few hours at most, and Word of God is that he has no upper limit. Under the right circumstances, he could grow to melt the sun and swallow the universe.
    • Before either of those would happen it probably would burn his shard out, Word of God confirms that his shard controls how much he grows.
  • In Interlude 2, Glory Girl chases down a skinhead, dangles him in the air, threatens to break his limbs, and throws him against the side of a building before begging Panacea to heal him and help her avoid a media firestorm. The skinhead puts the "asshole" in Asshole Victim, being a member of Empire 88 who beat a black woman nearly to death, but Glory Girl's cavalier attitude toward her own actions can make the reader wonder if she's ever given the same treatment to someone who later turned out to be innocent. As Panacea's powers don't seem to leave a trace, an innocent victim would be unable to sue for damages, considering there would be no proof of Glory Girl's actions.
  • Coil's death. In the reality we see he tries to talk his way out, offers his mercenaries more money, begs the Travellers for help, tries to tell Skitter she isn't a killer. So what was he doing in his other realities? From the first moment Tattletale turned the mercenaries against him, Coil would have been splitting off realities, trying to run, trying to fight, trying different angles every time, and every time he's shot by a merc, shot by Skitter, shot by Ballistic, stabbed by Imp, mauled by the dogs, shot, shot, shot, over and over until the death we saw.
  • Imp's power is always on, and she must consciously suppress it in order to be noticed or remebered by anyone, with the exception of a very few people whose power allows them to circumvent her Perception Filter. Which means if she ever got seriously injured and lost consciousness, there's a real possibility that nobody would know and nobody would be able to help her. This also means that if she ever needed surgery, she'd need to be awake the entire time or there'd have to be a power nullifying cape on hand. If the building lit on fire while she was asleep, no one would remember to warn her. Imp is uniquely and terrifyingly on her own all the time.


  • Remember how Panacea had intense romantic feelings for Glory Girl — feelings which led her ultimately to break down and mind-mojo GG into loving her back? Some time after the unhappy resolution of that relationship, comment thread poster Mrmdubois pointed out that Glory Girl's awe aura — an aura that presumably kicked in at puberty, and that she used all the time — would, naturally, be affecting Panacea all the time at a ... suggestible point in her sexual development. It is, in fact, possible that Glory Girl brought it on herself.
    • When this was brought up, Wildbow himself stated "I was wondering if anyone was paying attention to that."
    • This becomes obvious in hindsight when you consider that the chapter immediately before we learn this has Cherish explain to Regent that continuously dosing someone with a small amount of positive emotions every time they meet her will result in them falling in love with her simply through the Pavlovian conditioning of their brain as it learns to associate this one specific person with feelings of happiness and adoration.
  • Simurgh is not actually blocked by other precogs. When we see through her eyes in Doc Mother's interlude, she only mentions one blind spot — Scion. She is perfectly capable of incorporating even Contessa and Dinah into her plans, as seen in the final chapters. And since her only senses are precog and post-cog, she therefore isn't being jammed. Yes, everyone who made plans based on precogs countering Simurgh was exploiting a fake weakness.
  • Alexandria: YMMV on her actions and whether she's evil or not for allowing Cauldron's human experimentation and other horrors, but in terms of character arc and slowly darkening morality, she's the Taylor of the previous generation of heroes.
  • Uganda is at one point referred to as the People's Republic of Uganda. This is not Uganda's real-world official name, meaning that something happened there to change its administration (possibly to a communist government, given the name). Since parahumans are more common in third-world countries, whatever it was almost certainly had something to do with parahumans. This means that multiple countries may have undergone radical political changes, possibly for the worse, as a result of being plunged into a world where superpowers are real.
  • Life in the Wormverse would pretty much be one of constant terror. Even in the United States, there would be headlines every couple of weeks or so along the lines of "Slaughterhouse Nine kills 150 elementary schoolers," so the parts of the world that are unstable in Real Life would likely suffer an ungodly level of destruction and death.
  • Wilbow had an aborted interlude (one which he removed,due to reader backlash and himself not liking it either,on retrospect)where he introduced Witness,a tattletale clone made by Echidna,who survived while all other clones died,and joined the irregulars.It hit me a while after finishing arc 29:in the original draft,Witness was meant to corrupt the Irregulars so that they created havoc in Cauldron,rather than them being revenge bent by themselves.
  • The entities reproduce by channeling all available energy from parallel dimensions into one version of a planet. The energy rebounds through these channels, destroying every version of the planet in all dimensions, and the new entities ride the shockwave to get where they're going. Is the transdimensional ram that the heroes kill Zion with an inversion or a refinement of this technique?
  • The death of Taylor's mother parallels that of Eden's: She was distracted sending messages and crashed. Scion and Danny both react to these deaths with a long period of apathy, feeling lost and going through the motions, and eventually they explode in misdirected rage. And Taylor, in a way, is a daughter of both pairs, or the potential daughter, depending on how you see the relationship between Scion and his shards.
  • According to Wildbow, Scion has a penis. Now, this in itself is more Fridge Humor than Fridge Horror, until you consider the reason why he was given male-genitalia in the first place: Procreation.
    • And/or the cultural associations with power which was why he chose the "golden god" image in the first place.

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