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  • Jacob and Esau
  • Jerk Jock: Brody Mitchum is the quarterback and serial rapist who targets Claire and, if only temporarily, kills her. He gets extravagantly punished: Claire crashes his car with him aboard, she survives thanks to her Healing Factor, he is confined to a wheelchair, and later he has his entire memory erased (at the order of her Father).
  • Joker Immunity: Sylar.
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    • Ali Larter. She's played two different characters on this show already - chances are she'll take the third at some point.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Mohinder at the start of Volume Three regarding the Super Serum. Nathan, too, near the end, but before his (final) Heel–Face Turn.
  • Karma Houdini: It seems that the universe is bending over backwards to let Sylar be his dastardly brain-and-power-stealing self. In Volume Three, he worked for The Company. Because the Company has shown itself in the past to not associate with dangerous psychos at all...
    • Later, he was working with the "villains", and somehow this only makes him more of a good guy. Sylar is the moral equivalent of a Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • You could argue that his constant Emo counts as a consequence.
    • Six weeks after mind-wiping Sylar, Angela Petrelli seems thus far to have escaped full retribution...
    • As of episode "The Wall," we can probably remove Sylar from the Karma Houdini list. Several years (relative time) of complete and utter isolation? When solitary confinement can be used as a means of torture just over the course of days? And when you add in the fact that they listed his single worst fear as being alone forever and then having his arch-rival stuck in his head? Yeah, we can argue Sylar is getting his payback.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The sword of Kensei. As an aside, it is never outright stated that it is a magic sword, but it does focus Hiro's abilities somehow.
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    • Magic Feather: Or so Hiro chose to believe.
  • Kick the Dog: Though considering it twice(!) involved someone willingly giving Sylar someone to steal a power from, it may count as Moral Event Horizon instead.
  • Killed Off for Real For Real: Nathan Petrelli
  • Kiss of Death: Or rather the Hug of Doom.
  • Kitsch Collection: Sylar's mom and snowglobes.
  • Knife Nut: New villain for Season 4/Volume 5 Edgar, a speedster and member of the sinister Carnival that Big Bad Samuel is running, apparently prefers to dispatch people with a well thrown blade when possible.
  • Knight Templar: Pretty much every major Big Bad, really. Mr. Linderman, who desires to heal humanity at any cost. Rivaled solely by the Primatech organization, which systematically abducts, studies, and slaughters potential heroes in order to protect all the fragile, regular humans from... we don't know yet but it involves lots of Stuff Blowing Up. Primatech's working for Linderman. So is just about everybody and everything else, for that matter. Then there's Adam Monroe, who wanted to wipe out 95% of the human race so the remaining 5% would stop fighting and get along.
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    • Nathan Petrelli.
    • The Hunter.
    • Indeed, the only Big Bad who never bothered to put on pretentious airs about Shooting The Dog in order to save the world is Sylar. He's just in it for the brains and the lulz.
    • Arthur Petrelli, who's superdickery was motivated by the noble aspiration of - proving he was better than everyone else.
      • His long-term goal was to make everyone a super however. All people would have powers, not just a lucky group. (Which also prevented the issue of Fantastic Racism) Of course, he still would be a Physical God next to them, but the rest of Big Bads also envisioned themselves somewhere at the top of their new world orders.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Noah Bennet, most especially in Volume One. His daughter has superpowers, and could suffer if her mother found out? Wipe the mother's memory every time she gets suspicious. His daughter's only friend knows, and could blow her cover? Wipe the friend's memory of ever knowing her. The daughter seems rather upset about this? Wipe her memory as well. He was one step away from feeding her anti-growth hormones to avoid losing Daddy's little girl. By Volume 5 his actions have been softened considerably as wanting Claire to have a normal life. He was just trying a little too hard to help.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Happens to Hiro in Volume Three.
  • Kubrick Stare: Sylar's default expression. Nathan does this when he's really pissed and when Sylar poses as him.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • When Arthur tries to recruit Mohinder's services, the latter replies that there's always some shady organization looking for his help for diabolical ulterior motives. This doesn't stop Mohinder from helping Pinehearst.
    • Claire asking "Why is it always me?" is a spectacular lampshade hanging.
  • Landslide Election: Invoked by Linderman manipulating Micah into rigging the machines into Nathan's favor.
  • Large Ham: Two big cases, Mr. Linderman, who is always overly dramatic like only Malcolm McDowell can do so, and Hiro Nakamura, always happy, shouty and overall enjoying himself. Sylar was sometimes this ("MY NAME IS SYLAR!") and other times, a Cold Ham.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Peter in Season 2, Sylar in season 4.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Sylar, Adam.
  • Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid: Peter Petrelli and Hiro Nakamura are the worst offenders.
  • Leitmotif: Sylar gets a really nice one in Volume 3. It's used as a general one for a while, but then ends up just being used for whenever he's being... Sylar.
    • Hiro and Ando have a fun, upbeat one.
  • Legion of Doom:
    • In Volume Three, the team of villains being assembled by Pinehearst Industries a.k.a. Arthur Petrelli.
    • Seems to be what the new "carnival" is in Volume 5.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Almost every season ends with geeky otaku Hiro Nakamura teleporting in and pretty much pwning the Big Bad in literally the blink of an eye. He takes out Sylar (twice!), Adam, Danko, and the entire Build 26 Black Ops unit (the last two defeated while Hiro was using a weakened version of his powers that are slowly killing him). So far the only Big Bad who could beat Hiro was Physical God Evil Overlord Arthur Petrelli.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Season 2 had Matt vs. Nathan when Maury trapped them both in a nightmare and a Hiro vs. Peter misunderstanding fight thanks to Adam's manipulations.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Parkman and Nathan agree never to tell anyone about the former riding piggyback on the latter to get from New York to Texas.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: It can if your name is Ando. Elle wasn't nearly as bad about this.
    • Not necessarily lightning as we know it, though.
    • Yeah, how many people remember that Ando's power was initially just super-charging other people's powers?
      • Ando's ability is not really lightning, even if it is referred to as 'red lightning' and looks like it sometimes. The energy he produces supercharges people, at least evolved humans, so it makes sense it could be used to overload electronic devices and be used offensively to send people flying. Also, the FIRST TIME we saw Ando's ability used (by Future-Ando), it was used as an energy blast.
  • Like Goes with Like: Hiro Nakamura is transported to feudal Japan where he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Yaeko. He also meets his hero Takezo Kensei who is in love with Yaeko as well. Hiro's Japanese hero turns out to be a white Englishman. Yaeko falls in love with Hiro, not Kensei.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Gabriel Gray gets the name Sylar from the brand of watch he's fixing when he kills his first victim.
  • Lingerie Scene: Ali Larter has several, spread over the series. Not quite enough to dub her Ms. Fanservice, but still.
  • Living Legend: Hiro goes to medieval Japan to meet his hero, Takezo Kensei. Hiro then does everything he can to make Takezo live up to the legends about him, making him into the legend Hiro willen haven onen learned about.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: All the "heroes," and their friends, family, colleagues, etc. It's easy to get lost.
  • Logo Joke: When the series was shown on BBC Two in the UK, it was preceded by a special Station Ident in which the '2' symbol eclipsed the Sun, though it isn't part of the actual show.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Turns out Claire Bennet is Nathan Petrelli's daughter and Peter Petrelli's niece.
    • Early in Volume Three, Angela reveals Sylar may be the third Petrelli brother neither Peter nor Nathan was aware of. Noah later states that she might be lying, which turns out to be 100% true.
    • We see Sylar's actual biological family in Volume 4, though we still don't know much about them.
    • ... and then there's Alice Shaw, Angela's long lost sister.
    • Let's not forget Tracy Stauss, the triplet sister of Niki Sanders that we meet in Volume 3. They were separated at birth, and the third sister, Barbara, is only mentioned in passing as a possible Chekhov's Gunman
  • Loud of War: Mohinder knows his mortal nemesis Sylar has absorbed the power of super-hearing. His hearing is so keen he can hear other people's breathing and heartbeats, and in fact suffered terrible headaches from the noise. So when Mohinder goes to torture Sylar, what does he do? He strikes a tuning fork and holds it up next to Sylar's ear in all of its shrill, discordant glory and lets Sylar scream for mercy.
  • Love Floats: Though it's West using his flight powers, West and Claire do the classic embracing float scene.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Kensei/Adam, Angela Petrelli.
  • Love Martyr: Sylar and Elle
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: Knox seems compelled to mention in every single scene he's in that other people's fear gives him Super Strength. The Crazy Eye look he gives while saying this may count as well. It gets to the point where it must be asked, what kind of power does other people's annoyance give him? He also has the amazing ability to fail to notice a very tall woman with bright blonde hair enter a small room.
    • Justified. He does this to intimidate people to fuel his powers.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father/Luke, You Are My Father: See Everyone Is Related.
  • Made of Plasticine: Claire is a comparatively mild version of this trope, but still prone to dying or breaking bones in completely ridiculous ways. Some fans claim she has a secondary power: causing herself unlikely and violent accidents.
    • In the first half of the first season, she was on a football field, a football player tackled her or maybe just ran into her by accident, and she broke her neck when she fell. Not sprained her ankle or dislocated her knee, but broke her neck. This was used mainly just to show off her Healing Factor for the benefit of her friend (the one person who happened to see it) and the viewers.
    • Also in the first half of the first season, a Jerk Jock is trying to rape her, but she falls down and gets stabbed through the back of her head with a sharp stick, killing her instantly. That happened to hit her Achilles' Heel, so she remained dead until the stick was removed in the morgue several hours later. This death drove her plotline for the next few episodes.
  • Magic Feather: In Volume One, Hiro convinces himself that he needs to steal Takezo Kensei's katana in order to reactivate his powers, while Niki believes that she can only access her Super Strength when her Superpowered Evil Side is in control. Both are eventually proven wrong.
  • Magic Pants: Sylar is seen being ripped to pieces by Elle's furious electric blasts yet only his pants and possibly his shoes stay on him as he regenerates.
    • Nathan escapes from HRG and The Haitian by jetting off at a supersonic speed. How those flimsy linen sleep pants stayed on him while he flew is beyond logic.
  • Magical Negro: Dying African American Charles and his inspiring speech to Peter. The Haitian can also sometimes be considered as fitting this role, being a mysterious, usually mute, plot device. Usutu, the African Trickster Mentor character was almost literally this — though he had a neat little subversion where what Matt assumed to be ancient African mumbo jumbo was a quote from Carl Jung.
  • Mama Bear: Niki/Jessica will put anyone who dares to try and hurt Micah through a world of grief.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Linderman and Angela Petrelli are behind the Primatech company in Season 1.
  • Man on Fire: Elle sets Adam on fire as he's escaping Primatech.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Adam Monroe in Season 2, Angela Petrelli in Season 3.
  • Married in the Future:
    • In one of the futures that Peter Petrelli visits he finds Sylar & Elle have hooked up & started a family. And Sylar's a good guy.
    • Matt Parkman learns that in the future he and Daphne have gotten married, so he starts to pursue a relationship with her when he returns to the present for no other reason than he saw them together in the future.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: Inverted, the Eclipse mass depowers the cast.
  • Matter of Life and Death
  • The Mean Brit: Claude (ironically, one of only two British characters on the show played by an actual Brit).
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • "This is how we roll."
    • "The future's not written in stone."
  • Meaningful Name: Many of the protagonists have first names with "hidden" meaning that fits their story background.
    • Biblical names with roots in Greek or Hebrew are common, or names derived from Christian saints. Angela could come under this as well.
    • Of course, the name Hiro Nakamura might simply be a pun on the English word "hero", since it's pronounced similarly. In the online comics of the series, Hiro explains that he was named after Hiroshima, since his grandfather survived the nuclear explosion there.
    • And then there are the not-so-hidden meanings of Elle (who controls 'electricity), Flint (who can start fires), and Echo (with, of course, sound powers). The other obvious one is Adam Monroe, who predates all other known "evolved humans" (this would come under Biblical names too).
    • In an interesting bit of irony, the character of Danko is a complete inversion of his counterpart in the Russian folk tale publicized by Maxim Gorky (the folk hero Danko ripped out his heart to bring fire to his people, whereas Emile Danko is attempting to "extinguish" the fire of evolved humans from the world).
    • And of course the main hero, who can fly, and who actually believes that With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility, is named Peter P.
    • Volume 5 brings us Lydia, whose powers involve tattoos.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future...: Gets a Lampshade Hanging on the UK DVD covers.
  • Meddling Parents:
    • Mrs. Gray, the mother of watchmaker Gabriel Gray, who placed so much emphasis on her son being "special" that it drove him insane and turned him into the serial killer Sylar. So its kind of ironic that his 'specialness' ended up causing him to (accidentally?) stab her. Angela pretended to be Sylar's real mom.
  • The Men in Black: Noah Bennet, Badass Normal for hire, among others.
  • Messianic Archetype: Micah Sanders aka "Rebel" gets promoted to this in Volume 4, being the driving force behind the Resistance Movement attempting to save all evolved humans from Building 26. He even (in the graphic novels) convinces Doyle to turn over a new leaf, and even tries to redeem Sylar (that last one doesn't turn out so well, though he at least convinced him to spare his life; as Sylar said to an unrelated character, that's "kind of a big deal" for him).
    • Nathan's whole dilemma in season 1 is whether or not to become a darkened version of this.
      • Come to think of it, every Big Bad with a connection to Nathan want to make him this.
  • Meta Origin: Though there some disagreement over the course of the series as to the exact mechanism of the powers (its either seated in the brain or the adrenal gland), every super gets their powers from that source.
  • Mid-Season Twist: We know that Claire is adopted in the first episode, but it's not until the 14th episode that we discover Nathan is her biological father, which threw a huge wrench into the shipping part of the fandom.
  • Mighty Whitey: Takezo Kensei/Adam Monroe. A blond-haired, blue-eyed samurai running around Japan in the 1600s. With superpowers, yet.
  • Milky White Eyes: Isaac, as well as anyone else who uses similar precognition.
  • Mind Rape: Frequently, using the Haitian's powers. Also Freddy Krueger Maury Parkman the Nightmare-man... and then Matt does this to Sylar in the Volume 4 finale. As of the beginning of Volume 5, it looks like Sylar's giving Parkman a taste of his own medicine.
  • Mister Muffykins: Mr. Muggles came so darn close to being the Trope Namer. Note that he fails utterly in being an Evil-Detecting Dog.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Micah Sanders, the child of a black father and white mother.
  • Mobstacle Course
  • Mook Horror Show: After first gaining powers, Mohinder is attacked by two thugs looking for easy money. From here, it's the thugs running away screaming. Later on, he cocoons an abusive husband and a drug dealer.
    • Sylar can come across this some times on the show, however, he mostly does it to the heroes.
  • Moral Dissonance: Bullying is unforgivable. Traumatizing someone and getting them suspended from school is A-OK! Claire and West have clearly been taking lessons from Yu Gi Oh Abridged's Pharoah Atem.
  • Morality Chain: Future!Sylar and his son. Does he ever get pissed when his son is accidentally killed!
  • Morality Pet: Claire for HRG, Peter for Nathan, Luke Campbell for Sylar, Noah Grey for Future!Sylar. Aileena is a subversion of the trope. Around her Danko is a far kinder, gentler individual than the cold blooded killer we know. But then when Matt holds him and Aileena hostage Danko reveals that at the end of the day, unlike with HRG, he will choose the mission over his loved ones.
  • More Expendable Than You: Depowered Peter argues this when he's trying to save Nathan in Haiti.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: "Odessa, Texas" has mountains in the background. The real Odessa is completely flat and dry, as actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder) amusingly pointed out in the DVD commentary.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • In Volume One, one of Linderman's thugs accompanies Niki to the hotel where she's supposed to seduce Nathan. He leans over and threatens Micah if she fails in her task. This is enough to awaken her Jessica side, who throws him to the ground and threatens to put her heel through his skull.
    • In Volume Five, a Rabid Cop makes the poor choice of threatening to beat a confession out of an amnesiac Sylar, who reflexively tosses him through the interrogation room's one-way mirror with his telekinesis.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Claire's family, though in an unusual twist they're actually pretty cool. Especially her dad.
  • Muggle Power: The reason for The Company to be ambiguously evil and controlling, and Sylar's drive to be special. Referenced again in Volume Three with Marine Super Soldier Scott.
  • Mundane Utility: Generally ignored by all the heroes with the exception of Peter, who uses borrowed powers of strength, speed, and ultimately healing to make himself an elite Paramedic.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Subverted when Isaac, in a move inspired at least partially by jealousy over Simone, thinks he hears Peter leaving and immediately fires two shots. But it wasn't Peter leaving; it was Simone entering.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Building 26 operation, Nathan's Nazis.
    • Of course, despite the fan nickname and Nathan creating it, he actually had little control over what his agents actually did: For an example, in a rather notable aversion to the trope early on in the season where Danko not only let Tracy go to kill a random member of the group, he did it without Nathan's knowledge until Nathan was accused by Tracy of setting her up to be released. As soon as Nathan found out what Danko did, he told Danko off for it. Danko also made it known to Nathan that he was spying on both him and Noah, explaining Nathan and Noah were compromised due to their protection of their daughter, Claire, and partiality to Nathan's brother, Peter. Then, the whole thing spun completely out of Nathan's control once Danko exposed his power (prompting the end of the free pass Nathan had given his daughter Claire from this operation), wherein Nathan rushed to save Claire from being captured, flew her to Mexico to protect her, and they had to go on the run from his own former agents.
  • Neck Lift: Niki/Jessica and her father. And in Volume Three, Sylar with Claire.
  • Nerd Glasses: Gabriel Gray.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: "Enhanced Synesthesia", though eventually shown to be an ability to manipulate sound and summon people, is initially demonstrated as like standard sound-to-color synesthesia and is played as a strange superpower.
  • Never Suicide: Subverted where Claire discovers her college roommate apparently committed suicide by jumping out the window, even leaving a note about how depressed she was, despite having planned out her whole life. Learning that being pushed will send a body a further distance than jumping, Claire jumps out the window herself (Good Thing She Can Heal), only to land on the same spot. Played straight, actually. She was pushed out the window by an invisible girl, but we don't find that out for a few episodes.
  • New Powers As the Plot Demands:
    • Several characters demonstrate the ability to acquire new powers from other powered people. Peter Petrelli copies powers, Dad Petrelli takes them, and Sylar rips them out of their heads (killing them, and he gets to use Peter's copying power later).
    • In general, the whole series operates this trope at a higher level. If the writers need a new power, they don't give it to an existing character, but introduce a new character with the desired ability. One of the benefits of Loads and Loads of Characters is nobody much notices a few more or less.
      • Except when Matt gets the power of drawing the future. It's never explained how he got it, and he doesn't use it later, but still...
      • Ando is a particular victim of this trope. His power goes from power amplification to multi purpose energy blasts. Subverted, in that we are given a preview of the latter form of his ability via time travel before we even find out if he'll even get one in the main timeline.
      • Sylar seems to have gotten Offscreen Teleportation when he pulls an extreme Stealth Hi/Bye in Danko's car and appears on a rooftop literally five seconds later. It looks awesome, but it would be nice to have some explanation.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: How Sylar escapes being detected by Hiro and Ando at the diner. Also helps that he was sitting in the shadows.
  • Nice Job Breaking It Hiro: Volume Two Hiro should be the posterboy for this trope.
    • Volume three Hiro blows that out of the water. In order he loses his half of the formula, fails his attempt to get it back, loses Angela's half of the formula, and frees Adam Monroe, only to lose him to Arthur. In short everything that goes wrong in volume three is his fault.
    • He broke HISTORY. Not even Superman over on Superdickery managed that.
    • In Season 1, most of the characters are trying to stop a nuclear explosion in Kirby Plaza. Turns out, The explosion is caused by Peter exploding after absorbing Ted's radiation power. But he only absorbed Ted's power because he was trying to find Ted in order to stop the explosion.
    • Volume Three Peters. Just Peter. Angela gets one of these too.
    • Everything bad that happens in the series is the fault of one or more of "the good guys." Everything.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Rivals!: In the Season 1 episode "Unexpected": Nice job killing your girlfriend, Peter and Isaac.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Arthur Petrelli, though the keyword here is definitely 'wannabe.' Wannabe defines everything about Arthur Petrelli.
    • Interestingly, from what we've seen of him so far Volume 5 Big Bad Samuel Sullivan seems to be defining as a genuine Übermensch; he doesn't seem to regard the lives of Muggles as holding any moral worth and happily offs them as needed, but at the same time he isn't going around killing folks just for shit and giggles, and seems to genuinely be trying to build a world of his own for evolved humans after he brings them around to his point of view.
  • 90% of Your Brain: "Imagine what we could accomplish if we used one hundred percent of the brain." Massive seizures?
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine:
    Mohinder: What is it that you want?
    Sylar: [Beat] Breakfast?
    • "Cake?"
      • "Waffles?"
    • Sylar crashes Peter and Angela's Thanksgiving dinner.
    Sylar: What's for dinner? I'm starving. [After polishing off a pie by himself] I feel like I haven't eaten in months.
  • No-Sell: Peter and Sylar are/were/are immune to just about everyone else's powers.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Weaponized. Sylar's favorite tool in his arsenal of tricks to terrify people is to get uncomfortably close to them, sometimes using his telekinesis to keep them in place. It explains why he makes up a bulk of the show's Ho Yay and Foe Yay Shipping.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever it is that Luke's ability does to pacemakers.
    • It's commonly believed that microwaves can disrupt/stop pacemakers, but there's not a whole lot of science behind this.
    • "I figured out that speedsters don't like the cold. Or Quaaludes, but mostly the cold."
    • Exactly how Danko was involved in the "Angola Incident", or even what is the Angola Incident.
    • The reason for Claude's termination from the Company. We know it has something to do with hiding a Special, but we're never given details.
  • No Ontological Inertia: In "Dual" Primatech's lockdown system turns off when Claire "kills" Sylar.
  • No Name Given: The Haitian, even in a story arc that took place in Haiti.
    • Except that in Shadowboxing, Claire calls him René. Presumably, everyone on the show learned this offscreen.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Most of the characters have one, and the relationships tend to drive a large part of the plot. In contrast to love interests, who tend not to stick around very long.
    • Ando for Hiro
    • Peter and Nathan
    • Claire and her dad
    • Micah for both of his parents, especially Niki
  • Not My Driver: Inverted, Mohinder as a cab driver realizes that his passenger is Mr. Bennet and flees. This is probably the smartest thing Mohinder does in the entire series. Which is very sad.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The heroes' powers are supposed to be derived from an abnormal genetic factor, but nobody ever mentions the word "mutant" or the X-men, not even the comic-book geeks.
    • Well, Ando mentions the X-men, but only when he's trying to figure out what Hiro is trying to say through the scrambled brain damage that Samuel caused.
      • Actually, Hiro brings it up in the very first episode, describing a Kitty Pryde plot as something akin to what his powers could and will do.
  • Not Worth Killing: Sylar spares Luke and Peter didn't have anything he wanted anymore.
  • Noughties Drama Series
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Although Mohinder is almost always carrying the Idiot Ball, there are a few instances in which he's only pretending to carry it.
  • Odd Couple: Company policy, one of us, one of them. They Fight Crime!.
  • Official Kiss: Peter and Simone at the end of "One Giant Leap", under Simone's red Umbrella of Togetherness.
  • Offing the Offspring: Arthur Petrelli, Maury Parkman and Samson Grey attempt this.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Future Peter vs Future Sylar... Offscreen.
    • Heroes Abridged had fun with this:
      Future Mohinder: OH WOW, I'VE NEVER SEEN SO MANY POWERS USED IN ONE BATTLE, IT'S WAY BETTER THAN ALL THE FIGHT SCENES IN THE X-MEN MOVIES COMBINED!
    • The two Petrelli brothers vs Sylar in Invisible Thread behind a door that's being held shut by telekinesis.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Sylar does this a lot, so much so that it's kind of become his signature move. Also, to a lesser extent, the rest of the cast seem to have the ability to make long cross-country trips in an abnormally short period of time.
  • Oireland: Peter's subplot at the beginning of Volume Two. You know... maybe we shouldn't have brought it up again...
  • Oh, Crap!: Mohinder disables Sylar's superpowers in order to torture, taunt, and eventually kill him. After torturing him for an hour, Mohinder shoots him in the head, only for Sylar to telekinetically freeze the bullet in mid-air, undo his restraints, and rise up revealing his powers have been restored. Mohinder's deer-in-the-headlights expression is quite appropriate.
    • Sylar on Kirby Plaza after getting several super-powered punches to the face looks up just in time to see Hiro teleport in ready to stab him.
    • In Volume 3, the look on Bennet's face after he realizes that Peter is no longer possessing Jesse.
    • Likewise, in Volume 4, after Sylar decides he's had enough of Danko's crap and isn't willing to play along anymore, Danko casually stabs Sylar in his weak spot when he's not paying attention, seemingly killing him. Just as Danko turns to walk away, Sylar rises up from the ground and looms over Danko, clear very much annoyed at just having been backstabbed. The look on Danko's face is simply priceless.
    • And again in the Volume 4 finale, when it looks like Sylar's plan to get close to the President so that he can shapeshift into him is about to succeed, we find out that he can't because it's actually Peter, who stole his ability earlier and in turn stabs Sylar with a tranquilizer. The look on Sylar's face shows that he's finally been owned after 3 seasons of fighting him with no clear winner, followed by a badass quote from Peter:
    • In the Volume 5 preview, Sythan looks at a clock and remarks on how it's going a few minutes fast, with Angela Petrelli waiting for him at the door so they can go to lunch. The "FUCK." expression on Ma Petrelli's face is a classic.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: In the first season, Future-Hiro travels back in time to warn Peter about the Bad Future in hopes of averting it.
  • One Degree of Separation
  • One Person, One Power: strictly observed except for the power-borrowing/power-stealing characters.
  • One-Winged Angel: In a painting of the future, we see a man surrounded by green fire all over his body. Everyone thought that this was going to be Sylar. It wasn't...
  • Only I Can Kill Him: subverted on Kirby Plaza when all the characters (without access to prophetic materials) believe that Peter will be the one to take down Sylar but its Hiro that delivers the coup de grace.
  • Organization with Unlimited Funding: The Company has fit this trope to varying degrees throughout the seasons, most closely when it was run by Bob Bishop (who had the power to turn anything into gold) during Volume Two, who identifies himself as The Company's "financial source."
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Of the President Minority type, but subverted due to real world events.
    • Later becomes President Target in the Volume Four finale.
  • Out of Focus: Mohinder in Volume 5. He spends the first seven episodes off-screen, then we find out he's been dead for eight weeks, the Hiro goes back in time to save his life, then he leaves Mohinder in an asylum, eventually he gets out, makes a few appearances and gets Put on a Bus a few episodes before the finale.
  • Papa Wolf: Noah. Bennet. The end. Do NOT mess with Claire, EVER, if you don't want him to go Terminator on your ass. Which made a LOT of people wonder whether he'd had a lobotomy sometime during An Invisible Thread.
    • Alternate Future Sylar in I Am Become Death after his son is accidentally killed in a shootout. Leads directly in this case to a Superpower Meltdown.
    • Matt Parkman, normally a mild-mannered everyman, will mess you up if you go near his surrogate daughter Molly Walker, or his wife and bio-child.
    • Nathan Petrelli is a Papa Wolf for his daughter Claire, brother Peter, and mother Angela, but... tends to screw things up sometimes. As he does.
  • Parental Abandonment: For lots and lots of characters.
    • Parental Neglect: It's heavily implied but not outright stated that Angela and Arthur chose to neglect Peter in favor of their grand schemes and using Nathan as their pawn, leaving him to be more or less raised by Nathan.
  • Parental Issues: Everyone has a problem and/or bad relationship with their parents in one way or another.
  • Parental Substitute: Angela keeps trying to adopt Sylar, with mixed results.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Bob Bishop, whose power is that he can turn things to gold with a touch, uses "Midas" as his password.
  • Pensieve Flashback: Peter's dream in the first season finale starts off like this, with him watching himself on his first day as Charles' caregiver. It takes an unexpected turn half-way through.
  • People Puppets: Level 5 inmate Doyle
  • Persona Non Grata: Hiro and Ando are banned from Mr. Linderman's casinos after they abuse Hiro's powers to cheat at poker.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Walking nukes Ted, Peter, and Sylar, and Maya our lady of bioweaponry.
  • Personality Powers
  • Perverted Sniffing: Sylar does this to Claire in "An Invisible Thread", after he manages to separate her from Noah, Nathan, and Peter.
    Sylar: [sniffs Claire's hair] God, this is fun.
  • Pet the Dog: The Volume Three flashback episode "Villains" was one big Pet the Dog moment for most of the series' major baddies: Sylar, Linderman, Angela Petrelli, Elle, and even Thompson all got to have sympathetic and humanizing moments. The only exception is Big Bad Arthur Petrelli, who was revealed to have been a grade A Jerkass even back then.
    • Danko, who's made a living out of hunting people with powers, gives some fatherly advice to Sylar when his shapeshifting power becomes too much for him to handle. Danko also lets Sylar examine a watch that his father had left to him.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Powers roughly 75% of the plot.
  • Pineal Weirdness: Implied to be the source of superpowers.
  • The Plague: Shanti's virus, which would have killed basically everyone. Instead, it only led to a new female lead getting written off the show by being trapped in a timeline that quite possibly negates her existence.
  • Playing Drunk: Claire has to do this when playing a drinking game.
  • Plenty of Blondes: At least eight of the show's main characters during its run are blonde. Daphne's hair is bleached to the point of being almost white.
    • Lampshaded in-universe by Meredith, when she is reunited with her ex-lover, Nathan and she meets Tracy, who had accompanied him and is also blonde. She's both skeptical and highly amused when Tracy denies being with Nathan.
      Meredith: "I see you've still got a weakness for blondes."
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Maury Parkman to Molly.
  • Power Copying:
    • Sylar and Peter Petrelli both are able to acquire new powers from other evolved humans. Peter just has to remember how that hero made him feel. Notably, Peter has an easier time getting new powers, he has trouble getting some powers to work, and trouble getting other powers to turn off.
    • Most of the time Sylar is a Power Parasite thats kill people to steal their powers. Later, he learns how to gain abilities without removing a person's brain, obtaining Elle Bishop's power of electric manipulation by empathizing with her and convincing her to let go of her anger. Despite possessing this ability, he has returned to killing to obtain new powers..because Status Quo Is God.
    • In the graphic novels, one character, Linda, has a power that allows her to see the auras of people around her, and seemingly absorb them. Not only does it happen to absorb superhuman powers, but it allows her to kill them as well. Nifty. Unfortunately, she got a bridge dropped on her in her very first appearance, and didn't do anything too spectacular in the two other comics she appeared in (thanks to Anachronic Order). Ah, well.
    • Like Taskmaster, Monica Dawson's power is to be able to perform any physical feat she sees, from cutting a tomato into a rose like the TV chef to pulling wirework-style Kung Fu from action flicks. She receives a Blackberry with videos of various skills (plumbing, fighting, flying airplanes, etc) that she can watch to copy any time she needs to.
  • Power Hair: Ma Petrelli
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: Peter Petrelli during the Villains Arc, and later after the Discard and Draw.
  • Power Parasyte:
    • Gabriel Gray/Sylar is the archetypical example of this process, as most of the people he stole from wound up dead, as a result (since he has to examine their brains to do it, and is a psychopath without any neurosurgical skills).
    • Arthur Petrelli could do this by touch without killing the person, although he was still evil.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Explicit in the Series. In Volume 2, Master of Illusion Candice offers to let Sylar sleep with anyone he wants. Including twins. Or himself. Parkman uses his power in a more romantic way in season 1, by reading his wife's mind in order to give her a perfect date. Sylar (inside Matt's head) in season 4 uses it in a darker manner, by having sex with Janice and making her enjoy it much more than she ever did with Matt.
  • Posthumous Character: Linderman in Volume Three, though he's quickly outed as a hallucination created by Maury Parkman.
  • Power Incontinence: Peter, Maya, Ted.
  • Preemptive Apology: Hiro (to Tracy): * bows* "Sorry" * whack!*
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: From early in the third volume, when Hiro meets Daphne after she compromises his time-stop:
    Daphne: This whole time-stopping thing, how does it work, exactly? I mean, if you chase me to Bangkok, will time stay frozen in Tokyo?
    Hiro: I don't know.
    Daphne: Well, something to think about when you get back on your feet.
    Hiro: But... I am on my feet.
  • President Superhero: In an alternate future, Nathan Petrelli (who can fly) has been elected President. He uses his Presidential powers to round up all the other people with powers and get rid of them.
  • Previously On: Almost every episode, but often with additional dialog not shown in the scenes being shown. For Example, In the scene where Sylar first arrives at the carnival, there is no dialog, he is simply beckoned in, while in the Recap in the next episode, the barker says "what are you waiting for?"
  • Professor Guinea Pig ( Mohinder)
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Ando, Sylar and Angela. Also sometimes someone is promoted midseason: most notably HRG started as a guest star, but season 2 had Adam Monroe promoted midway in and Samuel is a regular as of "Once Upon A Time In Texas".
  • Prophecy Twist: Isaac's paintings, both used straight and averted. Paints Peter dead: Peter dies, then regenerates in seconds. Paints Hiro up against a dinosaur: Hiro goes to a natural history museum and looks at a dinosaur model. Paints a sequence of Claire getting killed: the sequence turns out to be just ambiguous enough to let the victim be someone else. Paints himself, dead, his brains removed: Gets killed and has his brains removed. There wasn't really much room to maneuver with that last one. He was still doing it in later Volumes, from beyond the grave...
    • Peter does it too, with the dream where he nukes New York. Notably Nathan's presence at the scene and his line, "I'm not leaving you, Peter." come off very differently in the dream from how they play out in real life.
    • This appears to have happened with Angela's dream of Bob, Kensei and Co followed by Sylar. Except Bob got Sylared.
    • Bob was not in Angela's dream. The four "villains" were Adam, Tracy, Knox, and Maury. Sylar seemed to be on her side.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Hiro
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Had a Lampshade Hanging in the eclipse episode where everybody lost their powers.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Matt gets one when he over-exerts his mind-reading ability in order to overcome the Haitian's Power Nullifier field. In Volume 4, Hiro gets one, demonstrating that his new partially restored powers come at a significant cost.
  • Psychometry: One of Sylar's victims had the ability to learn the history of an object by touching it
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Sylar is shown to have shades of this as he enjoys toying around with everyone before launching into a bloodbath and Elle is a much straighter female example. No wonder the two of them hooked up.
  • Psychic Static: Mr. Bennet thinks in Japanese to throw off American mindreaders.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: Maury and Sylar's mental prisons.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Yes, we KNOW Nathan Petrelli is a Jerkass... but Adrian Pasdar flutters the eyelashes and pouts and panties everywhere commence to drop. Don't you just wanna hug him?!(... Although this was mostly cancelled out by the fugly Beard of Sorrow in the beginning of Season 2.)
    Peter: "take me?"
    Nathan: "no."
    Peter: ::puppyface::
    Nathan: "seriously, you're pulling the... ... ...asdfghjkl... grrgh, OK then :: fume ::".
  • Put on a Bus: Man, they're bad about this. Zach, West, Molly, and Monica with no ceremony at all (Micah at least got a few brief cameos and West's departure was given a "aw, he and Claire broke up" Hand Wave). Also Caitlin, in the cruelest possible way. And Claude, who just ran out and was never seen again (for obvious reasons).
    • Mohinder decided he should return to India despite pledging to stop Samuel from wreaking havoc since was was the one who brought Samuel's potential to light to begin with.
    • The episode "Let It Bleed" addresses the situation with West. Claire tells Peter that he goes to NYU and they're friends on Facebook.
    • Zach is kind of justified as the Bennets moved to California and changed their name. It would make sense that they would have cut all ties with him, not only for their safety, but for his because if the company found out that he knew about Claire...

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