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Lois And Clark / Tropes Season One

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  • Absolute Xenophobe: Jason Trask of Bureau 39, who sees Superman as the vanguard to invasion. Naturally his superiors and a former colleague find him crazy, as a result he goes rogue.
  • Adults Are Useless: Lampshaded throughout "Smart Kids". Lois takes one of the high-IQ orphans under her custody, hoping to pump her for information ("The day I can't outsmart an 11-year-old is the day I hang up my press pass!"). A scene later, Lois is helplessly tied up with rope.
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  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In "Smart Kids", Lois' influence rubs off on Clark, who swipes incriminating evidence out from under a suspect's nose. Lois squees when she finds out. Really.
  • Amnesia Danger: In trying to intercept an asteroid, Superman is slammed back to Earth — with amnesia. When Clark is wandering around, his parents find him and try to get him to remember he is Superman. Of course, Jonathan Kent can't really explain how he can uses his flying ability ("You just... will it to happen?")
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Clark, though he immediately backpedals from it.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: As a dapper-looking Lex takes his leave of Superman, leaving him to die in a kryptonite cage, he seems to have second thoughts.
    "But am I making a mistake? Will the pain of losing the challenge that you represent be worse than the pain of constantly losing to you? [beat] Nah.
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  • Arrested for Heroism: Superman is subpoenaed by the city to attend a hearing to discuss whether there should be an injunction enjoining him from using his powers, pending further scientific study on the cause of the unseasonal heat wave. Superman agrees to try to refrain from using of his superpowers. Naturally, he ends up stopping a crime before he even leaves the building. Everybody cheers — except the judge, who has him arrested. D'oh.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Clark, when asked about his date to Luthor's charity ball. He rails on about Lois being "complicated, domineering, uncompromising, pig headed, ...brilliant."
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: In "Man of Steel Bars", Superman races to stop Luthor's newly-inaugurated power plant from going online, knowing that it's rigged to melt down. He alerts the authorities to shut it off, but it can't be done. Lex claims that not being able to shut down the reactor once it began its start-up sequence was a 'safety feature'.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The Planet's star reporters and Bureau 39 each drop in on Smallville during its annual corn festival.
    Lois Oh, be still my heart.
    • Lois later refers to what she sees here as "ritual crop worship."
    • This was later referenced on Smallville; before Kal-El's arrival via spaceship, the town proudly calls itself the "creamed corn capital of the World!" In the ensuing years, this was altered to "meteor capitol of the world."
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Lois is forced to wear a sexy(?) chicken outfit while working undercover at the Metro Club. The other dancers' outfits are no improvement, with each representing a farm animal while a showgirl sings "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm."
  • Bachelor Auction: "I'm Looking Through You" features one of these, with both Lex and Superman being bid on for dates. Cat Grant and Lois make dueling bids on Superman, before a third woman bids $50,000. This is five times what Lex was bought for, much to his resentment.
  • Bad Boss: Lex Luthor, natch.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lois does this when she shows up at Clark's apartment in "Pheremone, My Lovely", while influenced by a perfume that has caused her to lose all inhibitions.
  • The Baroness: Lex Luthor's "personal assistant", Mrs. Cox. Think Pam Grier with a machine gun.
  • Belly Dancer: In "Pheromone, My Lovely", Clark repeatedly turns down Lois' sexual advances (including doing the Dance of the Seven Veils) on the grounds that she's under the influence of a powerful pheromone. Finally, he cracks. By this time, however, Lois has regained her senses.
    Lois: Clark! Have you lost your mind?! (glances down at self) ..Or have I lost mine?
  • Better to Die than Be Killed / Disney Villain Death: Lex, rather than face prison.
  • Big Bad: Billionaire Lex Luthor, as long as he still had hair...
  • Big "NO!": Superman's reaction to hearing Lois accept Lex's proposal of marriage. He super-speeds to the Andes and lets out a scream.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Lex carries a solid gold handgun.
  • A Bloody Mess: In "Smart Kids", Clark outwits a bunch of child prodigies who blackmail him with the knowledge that he's Superman. He fools them by pretending to cut his finger while eating, using a ketchup packet to simulate blood.
  • Bond One-Liner: Lex is fond of this trope.
  • Book-Ends: Season One begins with Lex boasting about his building being the tallest in Metropolis. He ends up leaping from the roof in the season finale.
    • Ironic Echo: Early in the pilot, Lex Luthor mentions that he intentionally designed the Lexcorp headquarters so that his office was the highest location in the city, thus commanding everyone else to gaze upward in order to see him. At the end of the pilot, Superman delivers a token "Lecturing Lex Luthor" speech (rare for the series, but a staple of the comics) that ends with Superman rising slowly into the air, saying "And Lex... if you ever want to find me, just look up." Pwnd.
  • The Boxing Episode: In "Requiem for a Superhero", Luthor creates a cyborg prizefighter who he believes can take on Superman. The boxer delivers a punch that staggers Superman. For a moment it looks like Superman is actually on the ropes, but then he simply flicks the boxer in the forehead and knocks him out.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Superman takes a crash course in kung fu to face off against a martial artist who stole a mystical artifact which multiplied his strength.
  • Brainless Beauty: Cat Grant.
  • Brawn Hilda: Played for laughs in "Smart Kids" when the four child prodigies drain Lex's giant bank account. When payment comes due, Lex's German masseuse angrily crushes his credit card in her hand. Eek.
  • Bridal Carry: While posing as newlyweds, Clark nearly (and repeatedly) drops Lois to the floor while trying to conceal his strength.
  • Cloning Blues: Superman's clone suffers from a short lifespan, and dies shortly after his Heel–Face Turn. A similar fate befalls Lois's clone.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Lex, in colorful terms, explains why his clone Superman can beat the real thing: "Because if it means the difference between winning and losing, he'll pick up a passenger train filled with people and use it to bash Superman's skull in."
  • Casting Gag: Metropolis' Mayor is played by Sonny Bono, quoting his songs and all, who was the Mayor of Palm Springs at the time (later to become a Congressman).
  • Catapult Nightmare: Early in the series, Clark has a nightmare of his co-workers all wearing Superman paraphernalia and cackling insanely at him.
  • The Cavalry: Moments before Clark (weakened by Kryptonite) is killed, Smallville's Sheriff rolls in and fatally shoots Trask.
    • Sheriff Rachael is hinted to have an unrequited schoolgirl crush on Clark, so threatening him was probably a bad idea.
    • More than hinted, especially as Rachael Harris is the show's equivalent of Lana Lang, after they were unable to gain permission to use that name/character.(Although, they were able to use a version of Lana in a later season.)
  • Contagious Powers: Superman accidentally swaps his powers with regular people on several occasions, usually as the result of Lightning Can Do Anything. In Season 3, red kryptonite has this (unintended) effect on Lois, turning her into Ultrawoman.
  • Challenging the Chief: Toni Taylor ejects her brother, leader of the Metro Gang, after he proves too stubborn to adapt to legitimate business. This turns out to have been a tad hypocritical, as Toni was working with Luthor all burn down Metropolis' waterfront properties.
  • Child Prodigy: The eponymous three orphans in "Smart Kids".
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: This is actually what Clark is labelled with, after he was hit by as car and later as Superman tries to destroy an asteroid, losing his memory.
  • Comically Missing the Point: From "Man of Steel Bars":
    Lois: Did you really think I hadn't figured out what it was with you and Superman?
    Clark: What do you mean?
    Lois: You idolize the man, Clark!
    • "Requiem For a Superhero":
    Lex: It's always such an embarrassment, having to do away with someone. It's like announcing to the world that you lack the savvy and the finesse to deal with the problem more creatively. I mean, there have been times, naturally, when I've had to have people eliminated, but it's always saddened me. I've always felt like I've let myself down somehow.
  • Confessional: With Superman is still missing, and a failed attempt by the military to destroy the asteroid with nuclear missiles, Cat Grant goes to confessional.
    "Bless me father for I have sinned. ...And sinned....and sinned..."
  • Covered in Mud: In the Pilot Movie, Lois and Jimmy are captured by Lex Luthor's The Dragon; Clark goes in to rescue her (as Clark, not as Superman). There's a bomb in the building and as it goes off Clark flies Lois & Jimmy a little bit, as if they're being pushed by the blast and they land in a pile of mud just far enough away that they're all safe.
  • Crushing Handshake: In the pilot, Clark does this accidentally to Perry White after his first (failed) job interview. When Perry later changes his mind and offers Clark a job, Clark puts out his hand again, but Perry recoils in terror and pats him on the back, instead.
  • Death from Above: "All Shook Up" centers around an asteroid headed for Earth.
  • Decoy Damsel: Lena Harrison in "The Ides of Metropolis".
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Lois in the first season, coupled with healthy doses of Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Derailed Fairy Tale: Lex reading a bedtime story to Bizarro Superman.
    Lex: And then the Wolf said to Little Red Riding Hood: "Are you sure the policy is in your name?"
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Clark blasts the much-beloved philanthropist Lex for being evil incarnate, to no avail.
  • Dialogue Reversal:
    Perry: What happened to that mood piece I gave you about the razing of that old theater on Forty-Second Street?
    Lois: I wasn't in the mood.
  • Die Hard In A Newsroom: "Fly Hard." (Yep, it really is that blatant.) With the Planet staff held hostage, Jimmy finally got his chance to be a hero... and is promptly captured. By a near-sighted goon with arthritis.
    Lois: Jimmy... Jimmy, he could save us!
    Perry: Oh, come on, Jimmy couldn't save baseball cards.
  • Dirty Harriet: Lois infiltrates the Metro Club as a scantily-clad waitress, then gradually works her way up to showgirl.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In the early episodes, Cat continually ramps up her efforts to seduce Clark, changing into a phony "all-American girl" outfit, calling him "hotcakes" and even kissing him squarely on the lips without an invite. Despite Clark politely asking her to "put a stop to this."
    • More iffy was her attempt to seduce an amnesiac Clark, pretending that they used to be an item.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the Pilot, Superman wears his hair exactly the same way as Clark Kent. This was perhaps taking things too far. To be fair, it was also immediately after he had created his "Superman" persona and Martha has finished up his first costume and didn't have a lot of time.
  • The End Is Nigh: In "All Shook Up", an asteroid is headed for Earth. A bunch of people march around carrying signs that read "THE END IS NEAR"
    • Living in Metropolis, though, you'd think we'd see those signs more often.
  • Electrified Bathtub: In the pilot, Dr. Platt is disposed of in this manner.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Perry in "Pheromone, My Lovely", after getting sprayed with Love Potion, serenades his cleaning lady in full Elvis regalia.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: After fending off marketers throughout the episode, Clark knocks on Lois' apartment door... only to be greeted by Lois wearing a Superman T-shirt beneath her bathrobe.
    • This was Clark and Perry's gambit during "The Rival." Clark pretends to ditch the ailing Planet to go work for their competitor. Just to be on the safe side, Lois "Loose Cannon" Lane is kept out of the loop, as is Jimmy.
      Jimmy: Boy, you think you know someone. .....Did he mention what kind of medical plan they have over th—
      (Perry glares at him)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lex Luthor has one of these when he finds out an ex-girlfriend plans on dousing the city with animal pheromones which will throw it into chaos. Naturally he runs to Clark to get Superman.
    • A similar twist happens in "Honeymoon in Metropolis", when an industry rival plots to hit the city with a tsunami.
    • Likewise, in "Ides Of Metropolis" despite the scientist attempting to ransom the world with an unbeatable computer virus working for him, Lex has nothing to do with it. In fact, he thinks setting humanity back hundreds of years is a terrible idea... though he's not against speculating what he could do with such a weapon.
    • Subverted in another episode when he's telling someone off-screen about how he ordered the death of a man and feels bad about. Who is he talking to? Himself, in a mirror. Why does he regret it? Because having someone murdered is far too easy and he feels he is usually more creative.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One episode features a ruthless assassin who, in a twist, has a wife and child he loves very much... unfortunately, he's hired by Mindy Church, who comes onto him and doesn't take it very well when he matter of factly informs her he believes in the sanctity of the home, no matter how loyal he is.
  • Evil, Inc.: "Apocalypse Consulting." Seems trustworthy enough.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: Especially prevalent in the early episodes; Luthor is seemingly allergic to light of any sort. In "Neverending Battle", Lex and his cronies sit in a darkened war room plotting Superman's demise, with the phrase "KNOW THY ENEMY" spelled out on an LED sign.
  • Facial Composite Failure: Lampshaded in "Neverending Battle" with a Daily Planet sketch artist, whose rendering of Superman looks exactly like his square-jawed DC Comics counterpart (rather than, say, Dean Cain). Lois continues haranguing the artist about the "eyes" until he gives up in disgust.
  • Failing a Taxi: An opportunity for Clark to use his powers in a stealthy manner.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: In "Honeymoon in Metropolis", Clark and Lois are spying on a couple bad guys across from their hotel when Clark sees the cleaning lady coming in with towels through the door. He then tosses Lois on the bed and this trope ensues. A short Post-Kiss Catatonia occurs for Lois afterwards.
  • False Reassurance: When Lex Luthor tells you, "Your final payment is waiting for you in the helicopter. I promise, there will be no loose ends.", you should probably take a cab.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: The Metros. Really, the gang of chome-suited nimrods in hardhats are more menacing.
  • Fiery Redhead / Inspector Javert: Betty Reed in "The Ides of Metropolis".
  • Flash Back Echo: "Fly Hard", in which the main cast members double as prohibition-era gangsters in the past.
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    Lex: Superman has morals. He has ethics. He is unrelentingly good. Because of that, I will win.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: When Clark inquires into the whereabouts of Pa Kent's friend, who mysteriously vanished after discovering a green rock he instead finds the EPA digging up his property for "ground water contamination".
  • General Ripper: Jason Trask.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When Luthor's accomplice in "Smart Kids" starts having a panic attack at the thought of being exposed, Luthor smacks him a good one. He seems to enjoy it just the tiniest bit, too.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Cat Grant. Just Cat Grant. A character who oozes sexuality, can't say two words without an innuendo, dresses like she's ready for a night on the town (or behind closed doors) at all hours of the day, and hurls herself at nearly every man she meets.
    • "Pheromone, My Lovely" features Cat locking herself in the copy room with the nerdy repair man, having sex with him, then later breaking the copier again just after he's finished fixing it in order to give him an excuse to screw her again. And she does all this despite being the only character not affected by the mood-altering pheromones being sprayed around. This might be the first example of an all-ages show that airs at 7 PM actually having moaning sounds being played, removing any doubt that sex is indeed happening.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: "Honeymoon In Metropolis".
  • A Glass of Chianti: Lex gives a nice soliloquy about wine in "The House of Luthor".
  • Going Critical: Luthor's brand-new nuclear plant ("Man of Steel Bars").
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Bureau 39
  • Gravity Screw: A bored Clark taking a stroll on the ceiling, straightening lightbulbs. ("Pilot")
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: While covering a story at a sports gym, Clark tries to impress Lois by listing a string of boxing statistics — all of which Lois casually shoots down, like she's The Rain Man of sports trivia. This is a segue to revealing that Dr. Sam Lane, a renowned figure in sports medicine, is Lois' father ("Requiem for a Superhero").
  • Groupie Brigade: Superman freaks out and runs away when a mob of fangirls chase him into a dead-end alley ("I'm Looking Though You").
  • Hall of Mirrors: The climax of "Illusions of Grandeur" takes place in one.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Clark does this upon seeing a nude portrait of his mother in "Ides of Metropolis." He's pretty disturbed.
    • Happens again in "Pheromone, My Lovely", when Clark overhears Cat Grant getting serviced by a repairman.
  • Hobos: Clark accidentally reveals his flying ability to a hobo in the Pilot Episode. Luckily, the man is either drunk or very, very drowsy, so Clark slips him a $5 and goes on his way.
    "You must be some kinda angel, brother!"
  • Hollywood Hacking: "The Ides Of Metropolis" was exceptionally bad about this.
    "My LAN isn't talking to me. Should I reboot?"
    "It's collapsing into a subdirectory!"
  • Hollywood Nuns: The pilot shamelessly shows Clark rescuing a string of nuns from a runaway bus.
    Dean Cain: (commentary) It's a nice touch to have the nuns crossing the street.
    Robert Butler: I love that! If Clark Kent is not pure enough already, he just saved nuns!
  • I Know You Know I Know: Perry's memorable exchange with Lois/Clark in "The Ides of Metropolis".
  • I Love the Smell of X in the Morning: Perry: "I love the smell of fear in the newsroom."
  • ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: Lois' arms are full with "Metro Mart" bags when she trips on her apartment stairs, to the cackling laughter of the Smart Kids.
  • The Infiltration: Clark pretends to defect to the Daily Planet's competitor, the Star, after the latter begins instigating disasters to increase circulation ("The Rival").
  • Just Think of the Potential: Luthor isn't really concerned with sick children who he says his space station's research will help cure. He wants to sabotage NASA's colony so that he himself can control the research patents.
    • Sam Lane's cybernetic limbs were originally intended for handicapped people, the good of mankind yada yada etc. But unstoppable armies of killing machines are good, too.
  • Kick the Dog: It is clear that Lex Luthor is not a member of PETA and probably not in any way an "animal rights" believer. In "Neverending Battle", he's shown playing with pet hawk, Faust, while ordering him to go kill pigeons.
    • Following the awards ceremony for Superman in "I'm Looking Through You", Lex decides the best way to cheer himself up is to go hunt alligators in the Everglades; he later returns wearing alligator skin boots.
    • Lastly, in "Man of Steel Bars", Lex readies his power plant to empty boiling-hot water into Metropolis Bay. Even his butler, Nigel, thinks this is a bit extreme given that it would cause an ecological disaster; Lex shrugs this off, since there's "Plenty of fish in the sea, Nigel." Oh that Lex, he's incorrigible.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The Metro Club.
    • Jason Trax's original hideout was an old furniture warehouse in Metropolis, where all of his Kryptonian tech was stashed.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: The Metropolis Star - "We Make Things Happen."
  • Lotus Position: Jimmy walks in on Perry like this in one episode, listening to rainforest noises on the stereo. ("There are no animals with high blood pressure.")
  • Love Is in the Air: In "Pheromone, My Lovely", a Woman Scorned sprays the Daily Planet's offices with this. When this fails to get desired results, she hijacks a crop dusting aircraft and nearly pollutes the whole city with it.
  • Lying Finger Cross: In the season finale, Clark does this while telling Lois that when he said that he loved her (in the penultimate episode) he didn't mean it, he was lying to get her to not marry Lex.
  • Manchild: Clark gets like this during the holidays. Dean Cain felt that Superman, being not of this world, would have a childlike infatuation with the concept of Christmas.
  • Meet Cute: Lois and Clark don't actually hit it off at first. Partly because he got hired by reporting on a story which she refused to cover.
  • Miranda Warning: Lex Luthor receives one when arrested. He reacts by ranting about how he can afford several attorneys and get the cops in trouble for arresting him.
  • Money to Throw Away: In perhaps his one Pet the Dog moment, Lex flicks dollar bills into the fireplace. He's realized he's in love with Lois Lane.
    "I'm doomed."
  • Mrs. Hypothetical: On the eve of Lois' wedding to Lex, she stands in front a mirror in her wedding dress, reciting her new surname. None of the name variations sound very appealing. Finally, she settles on, "Lois Lane...Kent."
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: The male version is implied when, after trying on a variety of costumes, Clark ends up in the classic Superman outfit.
    Clark: What do you think?
    Martha: Well, one thing's for sure, nobody's going to be looking at your face!
    Clark (slightly mortified): Mom!
    Martha (laughing): They don't call 'em tights for nuthin'!
  • Ms. Fanservice: There is hardly a scene where Cat is not trying to seduce somebody, holding a phallic symbol, wearing revealing clothes, or saying lines dripping with sexual innuendo.
  • Never Found the Body: Lex.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Lois hides behind a magazine while eavesdropping on Linda King's flirtations with Clark. It fails.
    "Bye, Lois."
  • Noir Episode: "Fly Hard" splits the action between the Daily Planet (where Clark and the others are held hostage) and a Roaring Twenties flashback which holds clues to the villain's motives. Lex Luthor stands in for the mob boss Dragonetti, Clark is the witless patsy, Lois is the Femme Fatale, and Perry is a Dirty Cop.
  • Not a Date: In the Pilot, Lois needs an escort to avoid going to Luthor's party alone. After exhausting all of her other alternatives, she picks Clark.
    Clark: So, this would be like a date?
    Lois: A date? Oh, you mean like in Smallville, where you meet my parents and try to give me a hickey behind the dairy freeze. No, this is not a date.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Lois is distracted on the way home after an evening out with Lex Luthor. When she doesn't respond to his comments about the production of Othello they just saw, Lex says, "Did you know that Shakespeare didn't write Othello, it was actually written by Dr. Seuss?" Lois just nods and says "Mm-hm".
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Clark glowingly describes Smallville in these terms, right before a black ops team rolls in with their humvees and meteor rocks. D'oh!
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Lex cracking jokes with a prone mook in "Smart Kids". The shot pans over to the mook, revealing a funnel has been strapped to his mouth, and a vegetative state-inducing chemical poured into it. Lex reaches over and turns the funnel upside down, making it resemble a clown hat.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Lex is shot in the shoulder by one of the armed hostage-takers. Unable to reveal his identity to his co-workers, Clark is forced to cauterize the wound with an "herbal remedy" utilizing random crap lying around the office, such as tea bags, orange juice, and chewing gum.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Lois scoffs at Clark's assertion that the folks of Smallville are all "normal", pointing out that the fat guy running the barbecue (Howdy, Pa Kent!) is probably a crossdresser.
    • Then when they go to Clark's home Lois makes a comment about needing to send a fax, going into a condescending dialogue on what a fax is, until Martha shows Lois the fax machine.
  • Overused Running Gag: Clark and Lois lobbing sports metaphors at each other, beginning with Lois' quip that she's in a better position to "score". i.e. take credit for a story. At the end, they blessedly lampshade the repetitiveness of this.
    Lois: You know, I'm getting really tired of fumbling around with these sports metaphors.
    Clark: Me, too. I pass.
    • In "Foundling", Perry sits down next to a troubled Lois, who tells him to "lay it on me." But the sage Editor-in-chief is oddly reticent.
      Perry: Oh. I suppose you expect me to pry into your life to try and find out what's bothering you and then relate it to some obscure event in the life of Elvis Presley. Well I— I'm just not gonna do that.
      Lois: Why not?
      Perry: Well, for one thing, any connection I made would probably be vague and not particularly useful. And for another, if I did that, it would seem like I cared more about telling my story than helping you with your problem.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Lex, after gunning down a mercenary and commenting on the kryptonite in his pocket.
  • Outrun the Fireball: In the Pilot episode (and the Title Sequence), Clark outruns a fireball while carrying Lois and Jimmy. Of course, he's Superman.
  • Paranoia Gambit: In retaliation for Lois stealing his story and submitting it under her name, Clark scribbles a phony map to Superman's "spaceship" and leaves it on his desk for Lois to find. Later, Lois returns from her little expedition, covered in mud and carrying the broken heel of her shoe. The only thing Lois found down there was the "Metropolis Sewer Reclamation Facility", and a Godzilla doll dressed up like Superman. (Earlier, Jimmy had said that Godzilla was the only one who could teach Lois a lesson.)
  • Parody Names: One of the Smart Kids' pranks involves hacking every ATM in the city, making them dispense candy-colored "Metropoly" money.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: In the first episode, a pre-Superman Clark stops a city bus from hitting a pedestrian. After the event, the bus driver gets out to check on the bus and sees Clark's hand-print in the metal of the bus.
  • Photo Op with the Dog: Lex being forced to relinquish his Key to the City to Supes.
  • Pyromaniac: The "Toasters" consists of a whole gang of these.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Lex Luthor was demoted from being a regular character after John Shea got tired of commuting between New York and L.A. for shooting.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In "Requiem for a Super Hero", Lois and Clark hesitate to publish what they know, out of fear that Sam Lane will be targeted. Perry isn't amused; he assigns Lois to cover the Metropolis Auto Show. As for Clark...
    Clark: Police Academy graduation.
    Lois: Nice.
  • Recycled Set: "Smallville" is pretty obviously a redressed Metropolis set.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Nobody has ever from resigned from Bureau 39 and lived — at least to hear Trask tell it.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Inverted. Clark, stricken with kryptonite radiation, laments that he could lift a space shuttle a few weeks ago (in the Pilot).
  • Ring Ring Crunch: In "Pheromone My Lovely", Clark is awakened by his alarm clock and accidentally flattens it with a single bash.
  • The Rival: The eponymous episode has Linda King, Lois' archenemy from a competing newspaper. Dan Scardino later becomes this to Clark.
  • Romantic False Lead: Lex Luthor in the first season was an item with Lois. That didn't work out? Gee willikers.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Lois agreeing to let Jimmy date her sister — right after he submits a full blood screening and psych evaluation. He actually nods.
  • Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: Perry saving a life-size cutout of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark from the trash bin. "Jimmy, she's the reason why I've seen Godzilla 115 times."
  • Scrabble Babble: "chumpy": an adjective for someone behaving like a chump.
    Clark: Try again.
    Lois: Are you challenging me?!
    Clark: You bet your sweet little chumpy I am.
  • Secret Government Warehouse: In "Strange Visitor (From Another Planet)", Lois and Clark visit a secret Bureau 39 warehouse which contains the ship that brought Clark to Earth as well as records of numerous other encounters with UFOs. When they return later with Perry and Jimmy, the warehouse is empty.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "The Neverending Battle" Perry purposely holds Jimmy back and assigns him busy work in order to push him until he takes the initiative and rebels.
    Perry: Good for you, kid. (laughs)
  • A Shared Suffering: Clark suggests that "Superman" is sad that Bizarro Superman is gone, because it might have been nice for Superman to have a brother.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Inverted. After being dragged (kicking and screaming) to the Smallville corn festival and mixing with the locals, Lois resurfaces wearing a purple prairie dress. The expression on Clark's face goes, "Yowza."
  • Showgirl Skirt: Subverted in "I've Got A Crush On You" — Lois' big number involves feathers and a rooster hat.
  • So Was X: Inverted — Clark tries to appeal to Perry White's "higher authority" to persuade the pheromone-addled editor not to poke his cleaning lady.
    Clark: Elvis never cheated on Priscilla!
    Perry: He never met Rehalia!
  • Soap Within a Show: Lois' apparent guilty pleasure, The Ivory Tower. "Tonight my body is yours. But my heart... my heart beats only for one man!"
  • Something Else Also Rises: Played with a few times with Clark while he's staring at Lois. In the Pilot, Clark starts to levitate in mid-air when Lois appears in a dress. A season later, the cork on his champagne blows off while viewing her Sexy Silhouette. Subtle.
  • Spinning Paper: A whole slew of them in the wake finale. The first set of headlines announce the collapse of Luthor's empire. The pilot did the same thing after Superman first appears.
  • Smithical Marriage: Lois and Clark in "Honeymoon in Metropolis".
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The cops bust in on Luthor's wedding right before he and Lois are wed.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Lex Luthor stares down a venomous snake which slithers away in fear.
  • Street Urchin: Jack.
  • Sue Donym: While working undercover as a bartender, Clark's alias is "Charlie King" (C.K., get it?).
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Lois.
    You'd like that, wouldn't you? Me, home alone, in a schlumpy robe, crying into a tub of Rocky Road? In your dreams, Kent.
  • Technology Marches On: The introduction of the Kents had a gag where Lois expected them to be technologically clueless and behind the times, up until Martha offers to let her use the fax in her office. Today having a fax machine is itself incredibly behind the times.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: In episode 3, Clark briefly stashes away the Superman costume out of fear that publicity as Superman makes those he cares for a target — and out of knowledge that he cannot be everywhere at once to avert every disaster. Inspiration from Lois helps him get over it.
    • In "Man of Steel Bars", Clark briefly leaves Metropolis — both as himself and as Superman — when Lex Luthor's latest plot convinces the public that Superman's use of his powers is responsible for the ongoing heat wave. Naturally, it's all resolved by the end of the episode.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In "I'm Looking Through You", one of the Superman toys plays the theme tune.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Enjoy the couch, Clark. Especially funny because they're in a honeymoon suite that has a fairly gigantic bed.
  • Third-Person Person: Clark's parents are mildly alarmed when he starts referring to Superman in this manner.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The Invisible Man and his wife.
  • Trash the Set: The Daily Planet building gets dynamited at the end of Season 1, then rebuilt with an expanded newsroom set.
  • Twice-Told Tale: "All Shook Up" has basically the same plot as the episode "Panic In The Sky" from the 1950s series The Adventures of Superman. In both episodes Superman loses his memory while trying to stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth. Lois, Jimmy, and Perry find Clark and try to help him regain his memory. Meanwhile, the asteroid is still out there and still a threat to life on Earth, so Superman must regain his memory quickly in order to stop it once and for all.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Lex's buyout of The Daily Planet.
  • Wakeup Makeup: Used as a story point in the episode where Lois and Clark are undercover as newlyweds: the gorgeous Teri Hatcher and clean-shaven Adonis Dean Cain complimenting each other on how "decent" they look in the morning. Grumble...
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Lois and Det. Reed are tossed into a garbage compactor. There is even a Shout-Out to Star Wars, as Lois tries to hold the walls apart with a bar, only for it to instantly break.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: "Project Prometheus" ends about the way you'd expect. Luthor and his partner in villainy, project chief Dr. Baines, arranged for the sabotage of the space shuttle launch, killing the astronauts onboard and destroying the shuttle (bringing to mind the Columbia disaster).
  • Van in Black: The "EPA cleanup" operation in Smallville is just a front. It's actually Bureau 39, digging up the entire town in search of Kryptonite.
  • Victory Is Boring: Lex is so bored with his wealth and prestige, he has servants attacking him with snakes. The original script also had Lex escaping from shark tanks and the like.
  • Viking Funeral: Superman following through with Bizarro's request to be cremated — in the sun.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lex has an epic one when he's finally cornered and placed under arrest. It begins with him raging like a madman when the cops close in on him, segues into him raging like a madman when he discovers Superman has escaped his trap, and ends with him throwing himself off a building.
    "Get me the governor on the phone. Get me THE PRESIDENT! GET HIM! ON THE PHONE!!!"
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Lex Luthor calls Superman's morality the "chink" in his armor.
  • We Have Those, Too: Lois puts her foot in her mouth when she starts explaining to Martha Kent was a fax machine is.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: In "The Man of Steel Bars," Superman has fled Metropolis and Clark Kent has "resigned" from the Planet. Cat compassionately puts her hand on Lois' shoulder, which only makes Lois more despondent.
    Cat: All I said was hello.
    Lois: Exactly! No little dig, no rude remark. It's not normal.
  • Win Her a Prize: When the title characters were "not on a date", Clark did this. Before you think he was being a jerk pretending to be weak, he was suffering the aftereffects of being exposed to kryptonite for the first time.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Perry lampshades this in "The Rival", when presented with a mundane headline announcing a water shortage.
    Perry: (holds up front page) What's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture. The problem is that we have no picture. Superman is the biggest story of the day. Now, can someone please explain this to me?
    Jimmy: Well, Chief, the first diagram illustrates the amount of rainfall we've been getting this year, and the pie chart
  • Would Hurt a Child: After using orphans as lab rats for his IQ-boosting serum, Luthor orders that the children be rounded up to test the absorption rates. His neurologist toady reminds him that such a test would require vivisection. Awesome. Lex is OK with that. "You can't make chicken soup without plucking a few chickens."
  • Wrong Guy First: Lois nearly marries Lex Luthor. Good grief.
  • X Days Since: Happens non-comedically. The counter at a base is reset to zero because of something happening in the episode.
  • Xanatos Gambit: When their scheme falls through, Lex betrays his associate by shooting him just as he's about to kill Lois ("Requiem For A Superman"). When Superman shows up, Lois instead runs over to Lex, all, "How can I thank you, you mysterious black clad hunk of a night thing?" Lex kisses Lois' hand, then turns and makes a crack to Superman about how lucky it was that one of them got there in time.
    • Superbly done in "I've Got a Crush On You". Luthor's business partner is now in jail, but that's one less cut of the profits. Metropolis harbor is all his. As an added bonus, Lex plans to reverse-engineer the Toasters' flame guns for later use.
  • Zorro Mark: The Toasters leave their mark on the Metro Club in "I've Got A Crush On You".


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