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"A big part of the job is looking for the worst in people. Turns out I excel at that."
Jessica Jones
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Jessica Jones is a 2015 Netflix original series based on the Marvel comic book Alias, developed by Melissa Rosenberg. It is the second entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's The Defenders (2017) mini-franchise, sandwiched between the first two seasons of Daredevil (2015), and preceding Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher (2017), and The Defenders.

The first season, released on November 20th, 2015, stars Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, a former superhero who became a private detective after a traumatic incident with a mind-controller named Kilgrave (David Tennant) ended her short-lived career as a crime-fighter. When Kilgrave returns out of nowhere, she's forced to confront her demons and prevent him from hurting others. She's aided along the way by Mike Colter as Luke Cage (prior to the release of his own show), Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, Erin Moriarty as Hope Schlottman, and Wil Traval as Will Simpson.

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A second season of Jessica Jones was released on March 8, 2018. Following Kilgrave's defeat, Jessica tries to live an ordinary life, but finds herself being forced to confront her past as it turns out her troubles don't start and end with Kilgrave. Season 2 adds several new cast members including Janet McTeer as Jessica's mother Alisa Jones, J.R. Ramirez as Oscar Arocho, Callum Keith Rennie as Dr. Karl Malus, Terry Chen as Pryce Cheng, and Leah Gibson as Inez Green.

A third season was ordered on April 12, 2018, with a release date yet to be determined.

Also has a free Jessica Jones prequel comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos (who created the character), which serves as Jessica's first canonical appearance within the MCU.

As Jessica Jones is part of The Defenders, spoilers from that series are included in some of the examples, and they are marked as such.

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Jessica Jones contains examples of:

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    A-L 
  • Aborted Arc: At the end of season 1, Will Simpson remains at large, still pining for Trish and hopped up on super-soldier serum. He's reintroduced in season 2 following Trish in a few early episodes, then gets suddenly killed off-screen by Alisa, ending that plot line rather abruptly.
  • Abuse Mistake: Ever since Kilgrave's first domination of Jessica, Trish is undergoing intensive Krav Maga self-defense training to make sure she can protect herself. This comes with a significant number of extremity bruises and bloody noses, and when Jessica sees the marks she fears that her mother has come back into her life.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Trish's mother was emotionally and physically abusive until Jessica stepped in. The abuse is referred to pretty often and later clarified in "AKA I've Got the Blues".
    • Subverted with Kilgrave. He claims that he was cruelly experimented upon by his parents as a child, who used him as a test subject for their scientific projects that traumatized him and created the warped worldview he has today. Until it is revealed that Kilgrave's stories about his youth were deliberately slanted and modified to suit his purposes, and the experiments he showed to Jessica were actually his parents trying to cure the degenerative disease that was killing him as a child.
  • Achilles' Heel: Jessica and Luke have the same one: while most of their bodies are much stronger and more durable than the human norm, this doesn't seem to extend to their brains and they are relatively vulnerable to head trauma.
    • Luke is later shown to be remarkably protected in the head area, taking a punch to the cheek in his own series without moving. It took a shotgun essentially sucker punching him in the chin to cause significant enough internal damage to be a problem. His real achilles heel is the fact that, due to his impenetrable skin, internal injuries are incredibly difficult to treat and require significant workarounds.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Given that Kilgrave is portrayed by David Tennant, there are many allusions to his tenure as The Tenth Doctor. In fact, it'd be better to just think of Kilgrave as being the Tenth Doctor if he were evil or if Tennant had been cast as The Master instead:
      • Tennant plays Kilgrave with the Estuary accent he used for Doctor Who, and he uses the drawn-out "well..." that was one of the character's catchphrases. (The scene where he first meets Jessica is 99% of the Doctor. The only part which isn't is how he dismisses the girls he's with.)
      • In the final "regular" episode of Tennant's run, his arch-enemy Davros describes the Doctor in a Breaking Speech as "the man who abhors violence, never carrying a gun. But this is the truth, Doctor; you take ordinary people and fashion them into weapons." Guess what Kilgrave does in this series, albeit less willing on the victim's part?
      • The Tenth Doctor prides himself on not being a killer, no matter how much hypocritical or untrue that is. Likewise, Kilgrave insists he's never killed, anyone.
      • The restaurant employee that Jessica questions about Hope refer to Kilgrave as Hope's companion.
      • Kilgrave warns he has "a very particular palate", nodding to the Running Gag of Doctors' unusual eating habits, especially after they regenerate.
      • In order to get information on Kilgrave's parents, Jessica has to contact one Professor Davies, named for Russell T. Davies, the Who showrunner who presided over Tennant's tenure on the program.
      • When he forces a chef and a housekeeper keep lookout by a front window for Jessica, he commands them not to blink.
      • Kilgrave buys a new house ( which we later learn to be Jessica's childhood home), he peels off the wallpaper to reveal something written there a long time ago. This was done to Write Back to the Future in 'Blink'.
      • They wait till late into the show to bring out another Running Gag from Who:
      • The number Ten comes up twice in relation to Kilgrave. First, he forces Malcolm to meet with him (and later for Jessica to send him photographs) at 10:00 AM every day. Likewise, at one point, Jessica tells him "You're not Ten anymore!" One can imagine David Tennant struggling not to break character to give Krysten Ritter a Death Glare.
      • His appearance as a hallucination in Season 2 includes a scene where several copies all taunt Jessica, like the Master in "The End of Time."
      • And a very interesting parallel to 'Journey's End'.
    • Tennant also alludes to another work of his: Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, who was under the Imperius Curse for years, killed his own father and proved very adept at manipulating people. To quote the book, "Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter..."
    • Incidentally, David Tennant played someone kinda like Kilgrave in the 2005 movie Secret Smile.
    • In the 2nd episode of Season 1, when Jessica is being questioned by Clemons about Hope's Kilgrave inspired murder of her parents she says that she was on her way to Pennsylvania, which is where Krysten Ritter was born.
    • Clarke Peters plays Oscar Clemmons, and is still a fan of antiques.
    • This isn't the first time Krysten Ritter's had a creepy neighbor who has a crush on her. Or lived with an optimistic blonde who had a very different outlook on life from her.
    • It's a little funny that Malcolm, having cleaned up his act and helping Robyn in a truly selfless act in "AKA 1000 Cuts", is wearing red.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Karl Malus is certainly a lot more affable here than in the comics.
    • Maynard Tiboldt, a supervillain known as "Ringmaster" in the comics, is just an ordinary hypnotherapist here.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Krysten Ritter and Rachael Taylor keep their natural hair color, which means Jessica's hair is pitch-black while Trish has blonde hair. In the comics, Jessica is a brunette while Hellcat is a redhead. Trish's Patsy persona was a redhead in her youth, but it was not her natural color.
    • David Tennant does not have the purple skin and hair that gave Kilgrave's comic book counterpart the name "the Purple Man". The purple theme is retained by giving him a wardrobe primarily made of purple clothing and accessories. Many scenes have lighting that casts his skin in a purple tint. In the Season one finale, Kilgrave's face is streaked with glowing purple when injected with the serum to increase his powers. Later in the episode, the streaks show up again upon giving a command to a large group of people. Finally, when he is being choked by Jessica, his face turns temporarily purple as he is deprived of air.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Though it's not obvious at first, there is Jessica herself. In the comics, Jessica's birth name is Jessica Campbell and she is later adopted by the Jones family after her accident. In the show, her full name is Jessica Campbell Jones and her last name wasn't changed as a result of her adoption by the Walkers.
    • Patsy Walker is played with. Here, she's Trish Walker, with 'Patsy' being an Affectionate Nickname her fans use because of It's Patsy. Her full name however, is still Patricia Walker.
    • Minor example, but it seems the spelling of Purple Man's last name has changed from "Killgrave" to "Kilgrave." Towards the end of the season, it is revealed that Kilgrave's real name is Kevin Thompson, with Kilgrave itself an assumed alias, something that is made fun of several times.
    • Frank Simpson is renamed Will Simpson, likely to avoid confusion with Frank Castle, who was being written into Season 2 of Daredevil (2015). This also served The Reveal that Will is Nuke from the comics, fooling even die hard fans into not realizing who it was.
    • Jeryn Hogarth is still Jeryn Hogarth, but for the most part she goes by the nickname Jeri.
    • The season 2 has a brief appearance by the Whizzer, who was Robert Frank in the comics but is Robert Coleman here.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Along with Gender Flip. Jeryn Hogarth is a straight man in the original comics. In the show, Jeryn "Jeri" Hogarth is a gay woman.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Carol Danvers has her role as Jessica's best friend taken by Trish Walker, a character which had no involvement with Jessica Jones in the comic. Carol Danvers' character is slated to appear in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie.
    • Jean Grey does not appear in the series, as the rights to the X-Men are tangled with Fox. In the comic, she had a brief but crucial appearance in being able to help Jessica to resist Kilgrave's power.
    • Jessica's high-school crush on Peter Parker has been cut out due to Jessica being in her mid-thirties in this series, while Peter is still in high school at the time of his debut in Captain America: Civil War. More to the point, Spider-Man wasn't part of the MCU when the show was first written, as the deal between Sony and Marvel wouldn't happen until later.
    • Scott Lang appeared in the comic as Jessica's other major love interest and Luke's rival for her affections. Like Carol, he is completely omitted here, appearing in the Ant-Man film.
    • There are no appearances from S.H.I.E.L.D. or Clay Quartermain.
    • In the comic, Kilgrave's control over Jessica was finally broken when she attacked Scarlet Witch, which led to a Curb-Stomp Battle with the Avengers where she was severely injured by Iron Man and The Vision. In the show, it was the mental trauma caused by murdering Reva Connors that broke his control over her.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: An aggressive flirter trying to hit on Trish at a bar says that her TV show taught him to "box the bald-headed bishop".
  • Adult Fear:
    • Kilgrave made a father abandon his son on the side of the road because the kid was annoying him.
    • Jessica faces a doozy of this with her mother, Alisa, who received superpowers similar to her own... with two catches; where Jessica has a bad temper, Alisa is prone to screaming, furniture-smashing fits. And where Jessica is strong enough to change a car tire without a jack, Alisa is strong enough to pick up the car and throw it. In other words, she is going senile, is a serious threat to herself and others, and Jessica can't handle her herself.
  • Affably Evil: Dr. Karl Malus is consistently friendly and seems to genuinely mean well. He is also disturbingly willing to ignore all medical ethics to advance his research, as well as just generally caring a lot more about getting what he wants than about who's going to suffer for it. The first thing we ever find out about him is that he befriended a mentally disabled janitor and spent a lot of time talking to him and being nice to him...and then when he needed a scapegoat to pin one of Alisa's killings on, he framed the janitor without a second thought.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: When Jessica tells Kilgrave she found him by "following the trail of misery", he remarks that he thinks that it would make a good band name.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Though it sticks in her craw to have to do it, Trish publicly apologizes to Kilgrave on her show after she realizes that she cannot effectively defend herself if Kilgrave decides to send someone else after her. Jessica encourages her to comply, as she also cannot protect Trish forever.
  • The Alcoholic: Jessica drinks a lot to cope with her Dark and Troubled Past. She's frequently seen on a bender, drinking straight "Wild Fowl" bourbon.
  • All for Nothing: The main hook of the plot of the first season is proving Kilgrave's powers exist so that Hope can go free, which forces Jessica and her allies to put themselves and others in dangerous or fatal situations so that they can get Kilgrave to either confess or demonstrate his abilities. Despite all their best efforts, Kilgrave is able to squirm out of every trap they set, the few reputable witnesses to his abilities die, and Hope ends up killing herself, demanding that Jessica focus on killing Kilgrave.
  • Alliterative Family: Jessica's twin neighbors, Robyn and Ruben.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Jessica Jones, of course. Though the alliterative status disappears when you add her middle name, and it becomes Jessica Campbell Jones.
    • Trish Talk, the name of Trish's radio show
  • All Part of the Show:
    • When Luke and Jessica are trying to track down Kilgrave by looking for news reports regarding his powers, Luke explains the lack of any coverage by relating to her an anecdote from presumably not long after his escape from Seagate: When he was experimenting to see how much he could lift by picking things up in an abandoned junkyard, he was discovered and seen. Instead of realizing that he had Super Strength, the people who discovered him instead asked him where the wires were for the trick he was pulling off.
    • After the above, Jessica begins searching for Kilgrave by looking for news reports on unusual events that people would have tried to explain in other ways. She quickly finds an article regarding an unannounced improv event that had happened at a club the night before, which was Kilgrave using his powers misunderstood as some sort of performance piece.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Jessica has black hair and is very aloof, in contrast to the more outgoing and blond Trish.
  • Amoral Attorney: Jeri Horgarth here is the kind of lawyer who manipulates juries into thinking "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" means "you need thirty witnesses and a video of the defendant doing it". She greatly cleans up the act by the time of Iron Fist (2017).
  • Anachronic Order: In regards to the movies, while the show was released after Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, the events of the show occur in early 2015, placing it before the events of both movies.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • When Kilgrave tells you to do something, you will do what he wants you to do, whether or not it's what you want to do. When his victims talk about their ordeal afterwards, many mention how they were hating inside their minds all the while.
    • Kilgrave made the ambulance driver who picked him up give him both of his kidneys, and as a result suffered a severe stroke that gave him extensive brain damage. When Jessica finds him, he is stuck in a wheelchair and being cared for by his somewhat creepy mother. He manages to get enough control over himself to ask Jessica to end his misery.
    • Jeri Hogarth's search to find alternative treatments for her ALS is because she lost her father at about her current age to brain cancer, and she had to watch him spend two years deteriorating.
  • And Starring:
  • Anti-Villain: Dr. Malus and Alisa Jones. Dr. Malus seems to genuinely want to help people, but his unethical science practices ultimately cause a lot of harm to innocent people. Alisa is also a good person at heart, but the brain damage she received due to Maius's experiments make her too dangerous to be unsupervised.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Jessica in spades during the first season. Justified too, since most of the time, her opponents are people that are only attacking her because Kilgrave has ordered them to.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Discussed. Multiple characters point out that after an alien invasion, someone with mind control powers should not be too hard to believe in theory. The real challenge is actually proving that such a non-tangible power exists and was present in any one specific circumstance, as otherwise any criminal could claim that Kilgrave made them do everything.
  • Arc Words
    • "Start at the beginning."
    • "Smile."
  • Artistic License – Biology: At one point, Kilgrave's powers are explained as him emitting a virus to which Jessica is immune. Nothing that relies on either diffusion or cell division/reproduction to spread through the body could affect someone as quickly as Kilgrave's mind control affects its victims, nor could its effects be timed to the second to see when his powers would stop affecting people. Towards the end of the series, his powers are upgraded so that his voice can command through electronic broadcasts like television and telephones, with no address of how a virus can travel such distances and through walls so quickly. Even if he has a way of getting it through the air vents or otherwise into the air they breathe, there is no explanation for how they know it's connected to his voice.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • In one scene, Jessica very briefly follows Wendy from the Tompkins Square Park area to a subway entrance near 34th Street - Herald Square, which is 25-30 blocks away in real life. They end up on the subway platform for Lower East Side - Second Avenue on the IND Sixth Avenue Line, which is a few miles downtown on the Lower East Side.
    • There is no intersection of a Birch Street and a Higgins Drive anywhere in the New York City area. Jessica's childhood house is actually located in the Queens neighborhood of Douglaston at 15 Prospect Avenue.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Jessica tranquilizes Cheng into unconsciousness, then while he's still unconscious, gives him a second dose of tranquilizer and leaves him unattended. While Jessica's actions are not presented as sound medical science, they are extremely dangerous and could easily cause a fatal overdose.
  • Artistic License – Physics: That is some blender.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Kilgrave, in the adaptation from comic to show. While he had a huge role in Jessica's back-story in Alias, he was in prison for most of the comic series and his character and connection with Jessica weren't examined until the last seven issues. Here he overshadows the whole first season.
    • While they were in twelve episodes each for season 1, Trish and Malcolm's roles were actually not that large in the overall narrative. Come season 2, Trish and Malcolm play significantly larger roles in the story. This is especially noticeable with Malcolm, who now gets his own story arc.
    • Jessica's mother died in the car accident in the comics. Here, she survived due to the same experiments that gave Jessica her powers, and is the primary antagonist of season 2.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Jessica and Luke in episode 6 during a fight with Sirkes and his buddies.
    • Jessica and her mom, when they work together to stop Oscar's ex from kidnapping Vido.
  • Back from the Dead: Both Jessica and her mother Alisa, thanks to IGH.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: A near-inversion with Jeri Hogarth, who is constantly providing Jessica with jobs, legal assistance and cleaning her collateral damage. The audience might feel bad for Jeri if she wasn't ruthless enough to make Jessica look saintly by comparison.
  • Bar Brawl:
    • We learn Luke Cage's powers when a rugby team attacks him in his bar.
    • Jessica has one with her mother, who is impersonating Dr. Hansen.
  • Big Bad:
    • Kilgrave is the source of all the first season's conflict in addition to Jessica's personal nemesis. Defeating him drives the plot forward.
    • Played With in season 2, where although Jessica's mother fills the "villain", she's not really a villain per se but more of a victim of circumstances.
  • Big Fancy House: In season 2, Jeri's moved to a pretty fancy Upper East Side apartment.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Malcolm says a French prayer over Ruben's body.
    • Oscar delivers some unsubtitled Spanish in the second season.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The first season's plot is based around Jessica's repeated attempts to prove Kilgrave can control people, thus proving Hope innocent of killing her parents - and as more of his victims come forward, it becomes more apparent than ever that he can't be allowed to go free. Kilgrave squirms out of every attempt to expose his powers, and Hope kills herself during a stand-off to force Jessica to focus on just killing him. However, Kilgrave's final rampage demonstrates his powers to the authorities, permitting his other victims to rebuild their lives - including exonerating Jessica for his death. Also, Jessica now has a 100% Adoration Rating and jobs/help requests flood her voice mail, with Malcolm staying on to help her. That said, The Defenders (2017) opens with Jessica still drinking and still having not fixed up her apartment from the fight with Simpson, although Malcolm and Trish are still pushing her to take cases to get her bills paid.
    • The second season, much like Daredevil (2015) did in its second season, puts everyone through the wringer even harder and ends with a lot of hopes dashed and relationships destroyed, but it still ends with everyone having gotten a little slice of something. Jessica has lost her mother and her two closest friends Trish and Malcolm, but in the end she sits down to have dinner with her new boyfriend and his son and seems to have decided to stop hiding from life, and maybe even to try to be a hero. Trish has burned her bridges with Jessica and Malcolm, is unemployed, plastered over the gossip press, and back to having to rely on her abusive mother, but she's finally developed superpowers of her own. Malcolm has lost Jessica and Trish and his promiscuity may actually be an addiction to sex, but he's also stepped out of Jessica's shadow and gotten an upscale job as an investigator. Hogarth is still dying from ALS, but she's regained a sense of control by getting back at the con artists who took advantage of her and the partners who tried to force her out of her firm.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Jessica drinks Wild Fowl brand whiskey, based on the real-life Wild Turkey brand (incidentally, Wild Turkey also exists in this universe, as it's seen on her desk at least once and at least one ad for it appears on the wall in Josie's Bar during both seasons of Daredevil (2015)).
    • At a few points, Jessica drinks Winston Canadian Whisky, based on the real-life Windsor brand and a pre-existing brand in the Marvel comics universe.
    • Season 2 has a few more aversions, as Jessica drinks Four Roses bourbon, while her mom drinks Spanada sangria.
    • In one episode, Jessica looks up information on sufentanil on a website called The Knowledge Base, but what's visible of the page clearly shows what's meant to be a Wikipedia page with alternative logos. Made even weirder is the fact that Wikipedia does exist in the show, since Simpson mentions in another episode to have read Trish's Wikipedia page.
    • Griffin is on ZCN, a broadcast network that is definitely a thinly veiled version of CNN. Hell, ZCN has a graphics package identical to the graphics package CNN was using at the time.
  • Book-Ends: The first and last scenes with Malcolm in Jessica's office, in the first season has him in her kitchen. The first time he's a junkie and doesn't know any better, the second time he's taken it upon himself to help her with her business.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Simpson encourages Jessica to murder Kilgrave, ensuring no one else suffers at his hands. However, as Jessica points out, this doesn't help any of his other victims, while exposing his crimes and imprisoning him exonerates those he's manipulated and ends his reign of terror.
  • Bridal Carry: The best and most hilarious example: Jessica carries Luke this way. They're a couple after all, and she is super strong. Dr. Malus mentions that Alisa did this with him also in reference to her own super strength.
  • Broken Bird:
    • What Kilgrave did to Jessica (mentally and physically raping her and forcing her to kill Luke's wife) severely damaged her on a psychological level, and dampened her ability to use her powers, or at least her will to use them for anything other than small stuff.
    • Season 2 establishes that Jessica had been one even before Kilgrave, even before the accident. She was a brooding shut-in who listened to Nirvana all the time, and she's also afraid of letting people in due to thinking that gangsters killed her first boyfriend Stirling as retaliation for her beating them upnote .
    • Hope had been a star athlete and respected student living her dream of going to college in New York, but became psychologically broken and withdrawn and ultimately killed herself after Kilgrave controlled her, including using her as a sex slave, and forced her to kill her parents.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Trish uses her show to insult Kilgrave, banking on the fact that it will draw him out. Turns out he's listening in, and promptly calls the station to complain (and points out just how stupid she is to antagonize someone like him). The next day, he sends Simpson to her door.
    • Jessica is hired by Audrey Eastman, who thinks her husband is cheating on her. Turns out she and her husband concocted a plan to lure Jessica to a predetermined location to try and kill her, because the woman blames super-people like Jessica for her mother dying during the Incident. Jessica shows them clearly just how stupid a plan this was.
    • In Season 2, Jeri has been diagnosed with ALS and is desperate for a cure, letting herself being scammed by Inez and Shane, believing that he could heal her. Not only is Jeri enraged after getting her apartment robbed. After getting back her stuff, she immediately gets their information and manipulates Inez into killing Shane with a gun Jeri got from Turk Barrett. Never mess up with one of the most powerful lawyers in New York City.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jessica is an extremely competent private investigator, but nothing about her (including her office) really suggests an air of professionalism. Fortunately, none of her clients really seem to care about that, Fortune 500 execs like Joy Meachum consider her the best, and Jeri Hogarth explicitly keeps hiring her due to her proven track record.
    Jeri Hogarth: We just hired a full-time investigator.
    Jessica Jones: Whoever he is, he's not as good as me.
    Jeri Hogarth: Hence me having offered you the job, which you rejected.
    Jessica Jones: Wasn't personal, I just prefer to freelance. No ties.
    Jeri Hogarth: So you said with an impressive string of expletives.
    Jessica Jones: 'Kay, is being drunk an excuse?
    Jeri Hogarth: You know, it's really about professionalism. You are erratic, and you are volatile-
    Jessica Jones: Effective! You brought me eight jobs no one could deliver on, and I did.
    Jeri Hogarth: And that is why I have overlooked several complaints, and have kept your methods confidential.
    Jessica Jones: You're not protecting me. You need my methods. I'm not going to beg you for a case. I will ask you, though, very strongly.
  • Byronic Hero: A rare female example in Jessica. Attractive, brooding, quite capable of violence and selfishness, cynical, jaded: she's practically the modern-day Mr. Rochester.
  • Call-Back:
    • In season 1, Kilgrave threatened an entire NYPD precinct by forcing the officers to point their guns at themselves. He then ordered them all to believe that it was a hilarious joke. In season 2, a large part of the reason Detective Costa trusts Jessica is that he remembers this event as traumatic, and knows that Jessica saved them from certain mass slaughter.
    • We see in Season 1 that Jessica had a Nirvana poster in her room. When Alisa says that Jessica listened to depressing music as a teen, Jessica objects, prompting that party to counter, "Didn't that guy commit suicide?", a reference to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
  • The Cameo:
    • Foggy Nelson makes a one-scene cameo during season 2, and Hogarth is later revealed in the twelfth episode of season 2 to have connections with Turk Barrett as she buys a gun from him to exact revenge on Inez and Shane for conning her.
    • A photo of Stan Lee appears on a back of a bus in season 2 as Jessica and her mom are helping Oscar stop his ex from fleeing the city with Vido.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Jessica manages to subdue and capture Kilgrave three times over the course of the first season, but needs him alive to exonerate Hope.
  • Cape Punk: Even more so than the preceding Daredevil, the show eschews most trappings of superhero stories. Jessica toys with becoming a superhero, but finds them lame and refuses to wear an outfit. She goes by her own name, dresses in street clothing and spends most of the film as a detective/vigilante rather than a crimefighting superhero. Kilgrave is never referred to as the Purple Man and looks normal.
  • Celeb Crush:
    • When reminiscing with Simpson about her history during her 'Patsy' era, Trish mentions several instances where fans demonstrated their affection in extreme ways, including one sending her a homemade creation that she can only describe as a 'voodoo doll'. Though she seems to recognize now how they were creepy and excessive, she mentions them without any bitterness or haunting, instead appreciating the intent.
    • In the near-past of season 1 covered in flashback, Trish and Jessica are approached at a bar by a man trying to hit on Trish. When he recognizes her he talks about how her TV show helped him to "box the bald-headed bishop". Jessica forces him to apologize to Trish for the way he spoke to her.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Grey's Anatomy exists as a TV series in the Jessica Jones universe, as Jessica's reference to Seattle Grace Hospital is recognized as coming from television. Rachael Taylor, who plays Trish Walker, played the minor character of Dr. Lucy Fields in a couple of 2011 episodes. Additionally, Eldon Henson, who plays Foggy Nelson, guest-starred in a 2009 episode of that show. And the show's titular protagonist is played by Ellen Pompeo, who portrayed Karen Page in the 2003 Daredevil film.
    • The Star Wars franchise exists since Jessica calls Kilgrave "Obi-Wan Kenobi" after he goes "We can go about our business, move along" to two cops. David Tennant, who plays Kilgrave, had a guest role in the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, specifically as Professor Huyang.
    • Whizzer's videos in season 2 imply that "With great power comes great responsibility" is a famous cliche in this setting, despite Spider-Man just recently having become a hero.
    • Trish makes a Harry Potter reference when talking to her station manager in the season 2 premiere ("You can say IGH, Ian, they're not Voldemort"). David Tennant played Barty Crouch Jr. in the film adaptation of Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Hope aborts Kilgrave's baby, Hogarth makes arrangements for the remains to be researched. Hogarth later reveals the existence of the fetus to Kilgrave, who recovers it and uses it to advance his own powers.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In episode 3 of season 2, Jessica learns that Oscar is an expert at making forged IDs. She calls on his forgery skills a few episodes later so she can pose as a doctor to infiltrate Birch Psychiatric Hospital and talk to David Kawecki.
  • Child by Rape: Hope Schlottman becomes pregnant as a result of her time under Kilgrave's control. When she realizes this, she tries to miscarry by having Jessica give her money so that she can pay an inmate to beat her up. When that fails, Jessica and Jeri arrange to give Hope abortion drugs. This is undoubtedly for the better, because readers of the comics will know that children of Kilgrave inherited his mind control abilities.
  • City of Weirdos: Many of the secondary characters in Jessica's neighborhood are shown to be far more quirky than the ones in Daredevil (2015)}. Besides Jessica herself, her fellow neighbors include Malcolm, a social worker forced by Kilgrave into becoming a junkie, and Robyn and Ruben, a pair of seemingly incestuous twins.
    • In season 2, Robyn and Ruben are gone and replaced with Oscar and his son Vido.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Robyn has shades of this, though she is more grounded than most. She tries to say profound things at the oddest times.
  • Coconut Superpowers: Jessica's jumping. A whoosh, a cutaway shot, and she's off! Dean Cain would be proud! Bear in mind this version of Jessica cannot fly, only jump long distances. Her mom can do much the same thing, but with even better jumping skills due to more extensive experimentation.
  • Color Motifs:
    • In season 1, Jessica is associated with the color blue, as the color fits her moody, dreary behavior. Most of the show is show with a blue filter and there's plenty blue walls and objects and shots of the sky (representing hope).
    • Kilgrave loves purple, and the appearance of purple almost always indicates his arrival or the presence of one of his agents. Whenever Jessica has a flashback to her time under Kilgrave's control her memories tend to be tinted purple, and it is a good indication whether someone's dealing with trauma from an encounter with him, as Hope's prison attack makes clear.
      • By season 2, purple is slowly being reclaimed by Jessica. When she first sleeps with Oscar she and he do so while rolling in purple paint, and his subsequent painting of her sleeping form mostly incorporates purplenote .
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • The Purple Man is known only as "Kilgrave," which is a variation of his last name in the comics (his name is usually Zebediah Killgrave). "Kilgrave" is itself a codename, and his real name is Kevin Thompson. Here characters lampshade how on the nose "kill grave" is as a name.
    • Jessica's codename "Jewel" is mentioned once, when Trish suggests using it as a superheroine name. Jessica dismisses it out of hand and says "Jewel is a stripper's name, a really slutty stripper. And if I wear that thing, you're gonna have to call me Cameltoe."
    • Luke is never called "Power Man," though he has not used that name in the comics in years anyway, just going by Luke Cage. And then it's revealed in his own show that even "Luke Cage" is an alias as he's Carl Lucas, an escaped fugitive from Georgia.
    • The Avengers are referenced multiple times, but never by name. The Incredible Hulk is usually called "the big green guy," while Jessica calls Captain America "the flag-waver."
      • Subverted in Season 2, when Vido is shown to have a prized Captain America action figure, and only ever refers to him by that name, never Steve Rogers.
    • Will Simpson is never referred to as "Nuke". The change of his first name (he's Frank Simpson in the comics; the rename allowed for him to not be confused with Frank Castle) hides the twist even moreso.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: A minor one, but Jessica, who wears predominantly black clothing, uses a jet-black iPhone 7, while Trish uses a silver iPhone 7 befitting her blonde hair and generally brighter wardrobe.
  • Compelling Voice: Once you've been exposed to Kilgrave and he tells you to do something, you will do it whether you want to or not; from allowing him into your house to hanging yourself... or worse. Towards the end of the series, he becomes powerful enough to overcome his previous inability to manipulate folks through electronics.
  • Connected All Along:
    • Jessica and Malcolm. The first Jessica has known of Malcolm is that he recently moved into an apartment down the hall from her. However, a flashback reveals that she had by chance encountered Malcolm much earlier, when she beat up two men who were trying to mug him...but Jessica doesn't remember that Malcolm was the man she saved, because Kilgrave appeared immediately thereafter, and commanded Jessica to not check on him, so she never got to see his face.
    Malcolm Ducasse: God damn it, you can't save me! You can't save me again.
    • Also from that scene, Kilgrave has two women accompanying him, who immediately depart when he tells them "You bore me. Leave." A close viewer will notice that the woman with the Afro hair on Kilgrave's left is the woman from the support group who said that he made her smile for hours, but she doesn't remember Jessica from that encounter.
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Kilgrave picks Simpson randomly to send after Trish, and Simpson just happens to be a part of a Psycho Serum experiment, and his former organization turns out to be behind the superpowers Jessica and her mom received.
    • The hospital Jessica takes Luke Cage to after shooting him in the head just happens to be the one Claire Temple works at, and it just happens to be in her ward on her shift. Lucky, lucky.
  • Cop Killer:
    • Will Simpson's sanity begins to slip after he's almost blown up by Kilgrave and ends up taking combat enhancers from Dr. Kozlov, who runs the program Simpson used to be a part of. He stumbles upon Oscar Clemons, a detective two years from mandatory retirement with full pension, at the CDC facility where Jessica had tried to isolate Kilgrave. He grills Clemons for information about Trish's whereabouts and the whereabouts of Kilgrave's father, and after getting what he needs, Simpson shoots Clemons in the face before burning down the facility.
    • Kilgrave takes an entire precinct hostage and orders the officers to point their guns at each other or their own heads, and threatens to make them shoot each other/themselves if Jessica does anything to him. A season later, Detective Costa recounts how terrifying the incident was and how he had nightmares that only stopped when Kilgrave died.
    • Jessica accidentally kills in self-defense Dale Holiday, a corrections officer assigned to guard her mother and who turns out to be a serial killer that murders inmates who defy him, makes their deaths look like suicides, and collects their numbers as trophies. To cover up her presence, Jessica stages his death to look like a suicide. That said, Dale turns out to have not been much better with his colleagues, none of whom even try pretending to act saddened to hear about his death.
    • When cornered by Detectives Eddy Costa and Ruth Sunday in Trish's hospital room, Alisa disarms and takes Sunday hostage, then leaps out the window, dragging Sunday to her death.
  • Cradle of Loneliness:
    • When Ruben first goes missing, Robyn finds one of his shoes in Jessica's apartment and hugs it to her chest while she cries.
    • After Robyn learns that Ruben is dead, she received in the mail an iPad charger that he had ordered on-line and cradles it.
    • Jessica does an embrace with a comatose Luke to comfort herself before getting ready to confront Kilgrave.
  • Crossover: Naturally, with the other Netflix heroes in The Defenders, with Jessica appearing prominently and Trish, Malcolm, and Jeri playing more minor roles. Trish's radio show Trish Talk is also heard once or twice in other series, and Jeri makes a cameo in the second season of Daredevil and shows up across multiple episodes in Iron Fist's first season.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Like Daredevil, the show has darker content than the network shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter as well as the movies. Jessica Jones is an alcoholic and Luke Cage is an escaped convict.
    • Kilgrave rapes Jessica in the series whereas in the source material, this is not so. Not that what he did do in the comic wasn't monstrous either. In the source comics, he instructed her to want to have sex with him, so much so that she would beg him to, while he would refuse, and have sex with other women right in front of her. In fact, in the end, that's just what Kilgrave threatens to do just to torment Jessica, but she breaks his neck before that happens.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Kilgrave's exact words regarding Reva were "take care of her", which he uses to dodge any responsibility for her death. He directly tells Jessica that it was her own decision, not his, since she interpreted those words as "Kill her". Everybody else, Jessica included, points out that even an idiot could tell that he meant "Kill her", and this word-shuffling does not alleviate any responsibility.
  • Dead Man Writing: Reva left Luke a message to dig up the foundation of a building in the event of her death. The building was the same location where she was killed, and she was directing him to the buried flash drive that contained information of the experiments on Kilgrave and other children, and possibly some of the experiments at Seagate.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jessica was an example even before her teenage tragedy. She's only gotten drier and snarkier with age. Must run in the family.
  • Deal with the Devil: After Kilgrave has been captured, Hogarth makes a deal to release him if he will get Wendy to sign her divorce papers. As with most examples of the trope, she had no comprehension of how badly this would go for either her or her loved ones (assuming she actually HAD loved ones).
  • Death by Adaptation: By the end of Season One, we have dead Oscar Clemons and Kilgrave, who are still kicking in the comics.
  • Death Is the Only Option: Near the end of the first season, Hope figures this. Most of the season had Jessica reluctant to kill Kilgrave because it would make it impossible to obtain enough proof to exonerate Hope. In the end, she kills herself so Jessica is no longer fettered by her.
    • Near the end of the second season, Alisa killing Detective Sunday leads the police to instigate a manhunt, with the participating cops clearly intent on shooting her on sight. To some extent, Jessica realizes that this can only end with her mom dying, and indeed it ends up being the case, at the hands of Trish.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: When discussing their relationship, Wendy describes Jeri's treatment of her as countless slights and insults, metaphorically killing her by a thousand cuts. When leaving, Kilgrave orders Wendy to give Jeri a literal Death of a Thousand Cuts, and Wendy makes it as far as 30 before Pam bashes her head in protecting Jeri.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Luke Cage and Jessica Jones break everything once they realize that the other has powers. It is actually a bit light the first time, but once they realize they have a partner who can handle them they cut loose to the point of the bed shattering under them.
  • Determinator: Kilgrave’s father has both of his arms chopped off and is left to bleed out. However he survives long enough to warn Jessica about his power upgrade.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Constantly, the story looks like everything is just about wrapped up, or a secondary character appears to have finished a full arc, only for Kilgrave to escape or for a character to get pulled back in and have more horrible things occur to them.
  • Differently Powered Individual: There is not a single accepted term for people with superpowers, with several different euphemisms and implications in use as people talk about "they" and "them". The term with the most traction seems to be 'Gifted', which is used as a general stand-in after characters have already established just what it is they are talking about.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • There's a bit of this with Kilgrave's use of Hope Schlottman, seeing how Erin Moriarty is young enough to be David Tennant's daughter.
    • Season 2 reveals that Trish had been exploited by Maximilian Tatum, a producer when she was in her teens.
  • Disposable Superhero Maker:
    • Kilgrave gained his powers when his parents were attempting to cure a deadly illness he had as a child, but they did not do it deliberately and do not know how they would duplicate it. When Jeri Hogarth attempts to reverse-engineer his powers from the fetus of his child with Hope, she is unable to duplicate the abilities (though there wasn't much time for whoever she had to work on it).
    • Karl Malus is responsible for Jessica's powers and has empowered an unspecified number of other people as well. However, in each case it was an accident - what he was trying to do was accelerate recovery from injuries, and the process just turned out to give some patients superpowers, with Malus being unable to predict which ones and what powers they would receive. Malus kills himself at the end of the season, and it's implied that he took the imperfect empowering process to the grave with him.
  • Disappeared Dad: Trish's abusive, controlling mother is talked of a lot, and makes an appearance later by flashbacks and in the present. Her dad is not mentioned or seen though. There's a strong implication that he may have divorced her.
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Jeri and Wendy's divorce is extremely bitter, with Wendy demanding 75% of Jeri's assets and blackmailing her into agreeing. Jeri in turn asks Jessica to dig up dirty information on Wendy to blackmail in return. Jessica, in a drunken depression, resorts to outright threats against Wendy, who ups her demand to 90% of Jeri's assets in response. Jeri ultimately tries to make a bargain with Kilgrave to force Wendy to agree to lesser terms, but he orders Wendy to kill Jeri, and Pam winds up killing Wendy in Jeri's defense.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: As their bitter divorce drags on, Jeri begins to suspect that Wendy is deliberately spreading it out because she hopes that the process will drive a wedge between Jeri and Pam, and that Jeri will come back to her afterwards. Jeri quickly dismisses the idea once she realizes what Wendy is up to and they never reconcile.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The theme of abuse is pretty prevalent, and Kilgrave is used to explore many of these themes:
    • At one point, Jessica and Trish have a discussion about whether Kilgrave's powers might be turned to good purposes... which is semantically quite similar to how some abuse victims think they can "fix" their abuser.
    • The show treats Mind Rape exactly like physical rape, and explores the terrible consequences those targeted by such violence can suffer. Kilgrave regularly uses his powers to make others kill themselves or murder their friends, family, co-workers or even complete strangers in often graphic ways.
  • Double Think: In addition to other allegories about rape and abuse, the series touches upon what it's like to be under Mind Manipulation. Kilgrave's power triggers in a victim by overriding all other priorities, needs and desires so that what he compels them to do something, they want to do it more than anything. However, there is always a part of them that also loathes and despises what they're doing while at the same time they're doing it. Many abuse and rape victims have similar thoughts. Part of the cycle of abuse is the victim questioning their own actions and one of the effects of rape are victims feeling they "wanted" or "deserved" it in some way.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Jessica and Simpson's fight happens at a time when Jessica is suffering several broken ribs, giving Simpson the upper hand even though he's "only" a Super Soldier and Jessica has genuine Super Strength. Simpson admits himself that she'd have mopped the floor with him if she'd been at at full capacity.
  • Drink Order: Whiskey. LOTS of whiskey. It solidifies Jessica's status as both a badass and an alcoholic.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Jessica, sometimes.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Every single character has some sort of trauma, addiction, or other issues that they have to cope with.
  • Ear Ache: At one point while Jessica is under Kilgrave's control, Kilgrave commands her to start cutting her left ear off. He makes her stop before she can finish cutting it off, and she retains the scar from that wound.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The show introduces Luke Cage into the MCU ahead of the debut of his solo series.
    • The season 1 finale introduces Manhattan district attorney Samantha Reyes, prior to her taking on a larger role in season 2 of Daredevil (2015).
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: In the last episode, Jessica carries an unconscious Luke bridal style, revealing her Super Strength to Claire Temple.
  • Everyone Owns A Mac: Jessica and Trish use iPhone 7s in season 2. Jeri and Malcolm use Macbook Pros.
  • Evil Brit: David Tennant plays Kilgrave using the Estuary English accent he used as the Tenth Doctor.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Besides his constant mocking Jessica's attempts to help people, the most egregious example of this comes when Kilgrave and Jessica defuse a hostage situation. After making the man release his hostages, Kilgrave then starts to make the man blow his own head off with a shotgun. After Jessica talks him out of it, he later explains that he honestly thought it was the right thing to do. This leads to a conversation where Kilgrave admits he has no moral compass, and while he did enjoy being a hero, if he's going to keep doing it he'll need Jessica constantly by his side to guide his actions. This, more than anything else, seems to convince Jessica that Kilgrave is thoroughly beyond redemption.
  • Exact Words:
    • Kilgrave orders Trish to put a bullet in her skull. Trish had previously emptied her revolver at Kilgrave, so she removes the spent shell casings from the cylinder and tries to push one of them into her temple with her bare hands to fulfill the command. Jessica manages to break her out of this by putting the bullet in Trish's mouth.
    • After he unintentionally tells his guard to say "Hello, Hank", Kilgrave told Jessica about one time he unthinkingly told a man to 'screw himself'. He does not give exact details on how the man interpreted his instructions, instead asking "can you imagine?"
    • Kilgrave tells Luke Cage to blow himself up, but does not actually say the word "kill," allowing Luke to survive because Kilgrave was not aware of his invulnerability. This was actually part of Kilgrave's plan, as Luke is under his control the entire time afterwards and he wanted Jessica to believe that he was unaware of Luke's survival.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Will Simpson. After he is reintroduced to a Psycho Serum midway through the season he abandons any restraint or moderation, and even begins directly killing friends and allies. He seemingly turns good prior to season 2, to warn Trish that she's being targeted for going forward with her IGH investigation, only to be killed off by Alisha.
  • Fake Food: Whenever Jessica is drinking whiskey on set, Krysten Ritter is actually consuming peppermint tea.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Jessica thought that Kilgrave was killed in the bus accident the night Reva died. In reality, he survived and made Dr. Kurata transplant new kidneys to him and forge a death certificate.
    • Because of the illegality of the operations, Karl Malus had to declare Alisa dead in order to save her life.
  • Fan Disservice: Inez shows some skin a couple times in Season Two, but it's done to display the horrific scars on her lower back and legs.
    • For both Fanservice and Fan Disservice, Jessica strips down to her bra and panties to make sure she isn't wearing anything that has Dale Holiday's blood on it.
  • Fantastic Legal Weirdness: One of Jessica's major hurdles is that it's nigh-impossible to force a psychopath with a Compelling Voice to stand trial, especially when most people don't believe that Kilgrave's powers are real. It's even pointed out by Trish that after an alien invasion in the city, people ought to be more open to the idea of mind control, but for various reasons, aren't.
  • Fantastic Noir: The feel of the show, mixing a Film Noir atmosphere with more overt superpowers than Daredevil (2015).
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • In "AKA 99 Friends," a woman named Audrey Eastman hires Jessica to catch her cheating husband, only for this to turn out to be a ruse designed to kill Jessica. The woman reveals that she hates Gifted individuals (people with superpowers) because she lost her mother in the incident. She is not moved at all by Jessica's not being involved in that battle, saying she will inevitably kill innocent people one day and killing her now would stop it. Jessica doesn't take too kindly to this.
    • In season 2, Jessica's powers have become publicly known thanks to Kilgrave's death and her help fighting the Hand. Oscar, Jessica's new building superintendent in season 2, has a dislike for supers and at first doesn't want her being anywhere near his son. Though he warms up once Jessica saves Vido's life.
    • Pryce Cheng uses words like "freak" and "animal" to make Jessica inferior to him.
  • Feminist Fantasy: An abuse/kidnapping/rape/stalking victim works to overcome her trauma and PTSD to fight back against her abuser/kidnapper/rapist/stalker, with the help of her (female) best friend, and her (female) lawyer ally. The former victim also has a bevy of superpowers and showcases the full range of her wit and perseverance. The other men in her life aren't all evil, and the one she cares about most is placed in a vulnerable spot where only she and another strong woman can save him. The show could be the poster child for a feminist fantasy.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The idea of a man with mind-controlling powers or super strength is still hard for some people to believe. Trish discusses this with Hogarth on her radio program and makes a reference to aliens invading New York to show that it is not out of the realm of possibility. As it turns out, Hogarth firmly believed in Kilgrave's power, but did not want to make the argument herself on the air, so she goaded Trish into doing it for her.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The series delves into mistrust of superheroes by the general populace and the fallout of their super-activities, leading into the main plot of Captain America: Civil War.
    • When a paranoid Jessica follows her client for most of the day to make sure that she is not being mind controlled by Kilgrave, she discovers the woman's secret shooting range, with female mannequins being used as target dummies. She then notes that the client is out to kill someone. That someone is Jessica, as said client has a grudge against powered individuals because she lost her mother in the Incident
    • Early in the series, a man on a radio show comments that he thinks "Kilgrave" is one of the most fake-sounding names he ever heard. We later find out that Kilgrave did make it up and his real name is Kevin Thompson. The comment also foreshadows how he has also been twisting his past and omitting details. Incidentally, although rare, "Kilgrave" is an actual surname.
    • Kilgrave takes over an apartment, and says "Children should be seen and not heard. Or better still, not seen and not heard. Get into that closet." The boy obeys without question, but the daughter who is wearing headphones during his initial order protests that she has to go to the bathroom rather than immediately obeying. Though she complies after Kilgrave repeats his order, her temporary resistance foreshadows Trish's use of noise-canceling headphones and loud blaring music to avoid Kilgrave's control.
    • When Luke and Jessica first discuss their powers, she asks him if he's bulletproof. Luke admits he doesn't know and that he'd rather not find out. At the end of the season, it turns out that Luke's skin is bulletproof....when it comes to regular bullets. However, like real bulletproof vests, that does nothing to prevent internal damage to bones and soft tissue due to the transfer of energy. And then Luke Cage (2016) reveals that his skin isn't as bulletproof as we'd thought: the Judas bullet can penetrate his skin.
    • When Jessica and Kilgrave see each other face-to-face after Kilgrave tries to make Simpson kill himself, rather than the smugness we've come to expect, Kilgrave instead has an Oh, Crap! stare right before he runs away. It turns out, Kilgrave knew Jessica was immune to his powers, and if she'd gotten her hands on him right then, he would have been doomed.
    • Luke says sharp teeth are his specialty when he and Jessica have to deal with some guard dogs, foreshadowing the appearance of Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in Luke's own show.
    • After Malcolm expresses his experience to the rest of the Kilgrave survivors during one of their meetings in Episode 6, there is a very brief but focused shot of a female survivor who wasn't shown previously. A couple episodes later, she is revealed to be Kilgrave's mother.
    • When Kilgrave and Jessica meet at the precinct, he commands everyone in the room to dismiss the whole guns-to-other-peoples-heads thing as the greatest prank ever. Despite being included in the general command, Jessica does not burst into laughter when all the cops do, the first hint that she is now immune to his control.
    • A short-term case: When Kilgrave increases his powers and tells Jessica to smile, she gives a full tooth-baring grin rather than the small one she's always given even under his control, showing that she's faking being affected by it — although this could also be interpreted as a result of Kilgrave's power's increase.
    • Robyn makes a remark about Malcolm's group leader status in "AKA I've Got The Blues", saying about humanity "At best, they're assholes, at worst, they're zombie assassins." This foreshadows the Hand's resurrection methods, first shown in Season 2 of Daredevil (2015) with their attack on the hospital, their resurrection of Harold Meachum in Iron Fist (2017), and their resurrection of Elektra Natchios in The Defenders (2017).
    • Detective Sunday at one point angrily tells Jessica that she'll be responsible for the next person her mother kills. That person turns out to be Detective Sunday, herself.
  • Freudian Excuse: Deconstructed with both the protagonists and antagonists of the series. Kilgrave claims it was the mistreatment at the hands of his parents that turned him into the monster he is today, but it is later revealed they were actually trying to cure a disease he had, with him becoming a monster when he developed his powers. It was his parents who were tortured at his hands. Jessica and Trish were themselves mistreated as children, but both became decent and good people as adults regardless (granted, they didn't get Mind Control powers when they were in their formative years, and Power Corrupts, but still...). Also, while it's always made clear that Jessica is not responsible for what she did while under Kilgrave's control, she is held accountable for the questionable things she does as a later response to the trauma like first stalking Luke and then sleeping with him without telling him that his wife died by her hand. The series ultimately seems to say that past horrors do not excuse or justify current horrors, and you need to take responsibility for your own actions.
    • The second season goes even further and shows that several characters had issues long before they went through the trauma that supposedly shaped them. According to Alisa, Jessica was surly and withdrawn even before the car accident. Jessica also spent some time pushing Trish away and living off of petty theft during her relationship with Stirling, which was several years before Kilgrave entered her life. And the scene Malcolm has with his ex-girlfriend establishes that he was a bit of a drug user, and a shifty and unreliable college dropout before Kilgrave hooked him on drugs completely in order to better control him.
  • Gender Flip: Jeryn Hogarth, a male lawyer for Danny Rand in the comics, is a woman in this show and is nicknamed "Jeri".
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Season 2 reveals that this was IGH's main shtick. Dr. Karl Malus was a groundbreaking geneticist who devised a way to save critically injured people from death, which coincidentally accidentally activated superpowers in some of the patients, such as Jessica.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: Will Simpson gets hooked on some combat pills he is supplied and goes nuts (helped by him not taking the "cooldown" pills), subsequently causing his Face–Heel Turn. Trish later gets high on Simpson's inhaler in season 2.
  • The Ghost: When it comes to Hogarth Chao & Benowitz, only Hogarth shows up in season 1 and there's not even so much as a mention of the other two partners. It's not until season 2 that Linda Chao and Steven Benowitz finally make onscreen appearances as they try to use Jeri's recent ALS diagnosis as an excuse to get her fired over the season 1 ordeal with Pam and Kilgrave.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Everything associated with Kilgrave is purple. Luke Cage's surroundings often have yellow lighting, the flash drive containing information on Kilgrave is colored yellow, and Jessica wears yellow in a flashback.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Hope refuses to give birth to Kilgrave's child by rape, and pays her cellmate to beat her up so she will miscarry. When that does not work, Jessica helps her procure abortion pills. Just to bring it home further, when Hogarth starts asking Hope if she's sure she wants to do this, Hope gulps down the pills before Hogarth can even finish the sentence - she's really very sure she wants Kilgrave's evil mutant offspring out of her body, okay?
  • Good Is Not Nice: Jessica is surly, antisocial and generally self-interested, but has a strong sense of right and wrong. That said, when she's stuck with Kilgrave and hears him grumping 'bout the help eating with them, she tells him the first rule of being a hero is, "Don't be a dick."
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Trish mocks and belittles Kilgrave on her radio show in an attempt to get under his skin and draw him out. This succeeds, and leads to Kilgrave sending Will Simpson to kill her, which she barely survives.
    • Trish's quest for powers in season 2 succeeds, but it costs her relationships with Jessica and Malcolm (and nearly her own life, at least once).
  • Gorn: The killing of Kilgrave's father. His limbs are hacked off with kitchen cutlery and then fed into a garbage disposal, leaving the (still living—and thus still bleeding) mangled body on the floor. He only finally dies after Jessica finds him.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: Unlike season 1 where Kilgrave is evil incarnate, the biggest theme of season 2 is that none of the characters are entirely good or evil. The heroes commit plenty of shady and downright illegal acts throughout the season, while the two main villains are actually decent people: one believes they're serving a greater good and never maliciously harms anyone, and the other is mentally unbalanced and isn't entirely to blame for their violent outbursts.
  • Hallway Fight:
    • When Will Simpson turns into a psychotic super soldier, he attacks Jessica in her apartment. The two of them fall through a wall and start smashing each other against sides of a small passageway.
    • The season 1 finale sees Jessica have to fight her way through a hospital corridor filled with doctors and patients that Kilgrave has ordered to stop her. She tries to sneak down the hall to get out but she is soon spotted and forces her way through, getting a nasty cut with a scalpel for her troubles.
  • Headbutting Heroes: As soon as they join forces to take down Kilgrave, Jessica and Simpson can't help arguing with and sniping at one another.
  • Hero of Another Story: Despite Jessica's office being in Hell's Kitchen, her stories essentially take place in a vacuum separate from Daredevil, although there's been some cast sharing between the two:
    • Despite both shows using the 15th precinct, the cop characters never cross over to the other shows. The sole exceptions being when Brett Mahoney makes a cameo during Kilgrave's takeover of the 15th Precinct, as Kilgrave makes him point a gun at Clemons' head, and an early scene in Daredevil season 2 where Brett makes a mention of Clemons during a conversation with Karen and Foggy.
    • Claire has her extended cameo in the season 1 finale when she is treating Luke
    • District Attorney Samantha Reyes starts as a one-scene character in the season 1 finale of Jessica Jones, prior to having a recurring role in Daredevil season 2.
    • Despite Foggy Nelson and Marci Stahl working at Hogarth Chao & Benowitz for good portions of the timeframe in which the first two seasons of Jessica Jones take place, neither of them have played any role in Jeri's storylines. Foggy makes a cameo in an early season 2 episode and attempts to offer Jeri assistance in the fight against her partners, only for her to sternly reject his offer of help. He's not so much as mentioned at all outside of that scene. Likewise, while Marci began working at HC&B right after Wilson Fisk was caught, she never gets mentioned or makes an appearance of any kind during any of the scenes at Hogarth Chao & Benowitz, and the only time she's ever shared the screen with Jeri was a brief shot in The Defenders. And after Jeri gets shown the door at HC&B and goes off to start her own firm, Marci and Foggy don't follow her, instead starting their own firm prior to Daredevil Season 3.
  • Hollywood Law:
    • Our heroes don't follow some standard practices while collecting witnesses to testify in Hope's trial. They put everyone together in a support group rather than interview them separately, thereby weakening all their stories because they've had time to be influenced by each other. They also don't subpoena the restaurant staff, who could provide impartial corroboration of details.
    • Toward the end of the first season, Jeri Hogarth's secretary/mistress Pam kills Hogarth's wife Wendy to save Jeri, after Kilgrave commanded Wendy to kill her. Afterwards, Jeri attempts to serve as Pam's counsel during her questioning by the police, but there's a conflict of interest given her personal involvement in the case. However, Jeri may have just been doing "stand-in defense" until she can get another attorney in place.
    • The “medical disclosure” clause that Hogarth, Chao & Benowitz requires their attorneys to sign would be illegal as an unlawful discriminatory practice. Lampshaded by Foggy, who calls bullshit on the clause (and is also more versed in disability law due having been friends with Matt). Incidentally, Chao and Benowitz had plenty of valid reasons to fire Hogarth due to the many laws she breaks throughout the series, had the firm been aware of them and able to prove them.
  • Hollywood Silencer: A literally silent silencer is used by Pryce Cheng in season 2. The show even brings attention to the fact: On the next morning after the shootout, Oscar Arocho says that he didn't hear gunfire and Jessica responds that the gun had a silencer.
  • Hookers and Blow: Jeri indulges, quite literally, while coming to terms with her ALS diagnosis and threatened ouster from the firm.
  • Hope Spot: Towards the end of the first season, it's learned that Kilgrave's powers are biochemical and it's possible to create a "vaccine" that blocks his powers. Kilgrave's own father synthesizes such a vaccine, and when put to the test, it works...for all of five seconds.
  • Hotter and Sexier: This series has more sex scenes, and more explicit sex scenes, than other projects of the MCU and the original comic.
  • Hourglass Plot: A partial example: In an early episode of the first season, Jessica sees Malcolm trying to get into his apartment and drop his keys. She picks up his keys and unlocks the door for him. In a late episode of the same season, Jessica is in bad shape and drops her keys trying to unlock her door. Malcolm picks them up and unlocks her door for her.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: When Jessica tracks down the ambulance driver that picked up Kilgrave after he was hit by the bus, he is paralyzed from a stroke after Kilgrave forced him to donate both kidneys in surgery and requires constant dialysis. He is cared for by his (somewhat creepy) mother and can only communicate through a notepad, and when Jessica tries to get information from him he writes out 'kill me'.
  • I Choose to Stay: In the first episode, when she finds out that Kilgrave is back, Jessica plans to leave the city and head to Hong Kong. At the end of the episode, she realizes that she has to stay and stop him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is titled "AKA (Also Known As) [Phrase spoken in the episode ]". The series was originally going to be named AKA Jessica Jones, but it was shortened to the current title.
  • I Have No Son:
    • After Pam realizes that Jeri had planned to use Kilgrave to force Wendy to sign the divorce papers, she has her removed from her holding cell and informs the police that she has no idea who she is.
    • After Trish kills Alisa, Jessica disowns her.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: In season 2, Trish reveals that she's long been jealous of Jessica because of her super-powers. She ends up volunteering for Malus' procedure to try to get powers of her own, and gets sent to the hospital as a result.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Happens between Jessica and Luke Cage, who has been brainwashed.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You:
    • Kilgrave claims that he is legitimately in love with Jessica, and that he wants her to love him back without using his powers to force it. However, even without using his powers on her directly he still attempts to control her behavior through the manipulation of people and circumstances around her, and his false belief that she returns his affections is based on what she did when he was controlling her with his powers. Towards the end of the series, it is revealed that Kilgrave is not choosing to not use his powers on Jessica at all, but that she has instead become immune, and he spends several episodes trying to increase his powers so that he can control her directly again.
    • Karl Malus has this going on in his relationship with Alisa, admitting that to some extent he loves her because she scares the piss out of him at times.
  • Immune to Bullets:
    • Luke Cage, due to his unbreakable skin, though the blunt force can still cause internal problems. His own show provides further exploration.
    • Jessica can shrug off bullet wounds pretty easily, like when she gets shot by Audrey Eastman in season 1, or by Pryce Cheng in season 2.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Kilgrave forcing Jessica to kill Luke's wife was so traumatic that it effectively made her immune to his power—she is the only one he can't control.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Sorta. Oscar Clemons in the Punisher comics was crafted in the likeness of Morgan Freeman. Clarke Peters, who plays Clemons in the show, does bear enough of a resemblance to Freeman to get a free pass.
  • In a Single Bound: Jessica can leap great distances via her Super Strength. People frequently ask her if she can fly, but she once explains that it's more like "controlled falling."
  • Instant Sedation:
    • Jessica injects Trish with Sufentanil to make Simpson believe he killed her.
    • The sedative used repeatedly on Alisa works almost immediately.
  • It Gets Easier: Over the course of season 2, Jessica worries that killing will become a habit in light of having killed Kilgrave. When Alisa says that her guilt over her own murders has faded away, Jessica visibly flinches, as if it confirms her fears. When Jessica accidentally kills Dale Holiday in self-defense, she spends most of the next episode with this fear manifesting itself through hallucinations of Kilgrave.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Dale Holiday, the guard overseeing Jessica's mom when she's incarcerated, refers to the inmates in his charge only by their number tags. He is a serial killer and collects the number tags of his kills.
    "You're gonna learn my rules, 46592."
  • Jerkass: Everybody at some point during the series, with the possible exception of Trish Walker and Luke Cage are rude, abrasive, and treat others like dirt. Quite a few characters are established as permanent Jerkasses - Jeri Hogarth, her vitriolic ex, Jessica's upstairs neighbor Robyn, Will Simpson, Jessica's attention-whoring former neighbor and, of course, Jessica herself, though she probably has a better reason for her behavior than most.
    • Trish of course starts to become one of these in season 2 as she gets more and more hooked on Simpson's inhaler. It gets to the point that the only real exceptions are Malcolm once he gets clean, and Oscar once Jessica saves Vido's life.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Jeri Hogarth is introduced as Jessica's vitriolic sort-of friend and sometimes-employer with whom they each have a "I do not like you, but you get results" respect. As the series progresses, Jessica asks Hogarth for more and more legal favors during her hunt for Kilgrave, while Hogarth asks Jessica for assistance in her own acrimonious divorce. Over time, Jessica devotes less and less time and effort Hogarth's divorce while still asking for more favors, until Hogarth eventually points out that Jessica is delivering nothing on her end and in fact might be making things worse for her. Further, Jessica flat out manipulates Hogarth in ways that threaten her reputation and physical well-being. This all blows up near the climax, where Jeri betrays Jessica and tries to get Kilgrave's help instead. Yes, Jeri is incredibly selfish and manipulative, but she is absolutely right that Jessica screwed her every step of the way.
    • Simpson is far too focused on taking Kilgrave down permanently to cooperate well with Jessica and in fact undergoes a Face–Heel Turn in order to achieve his goals, but he is ultimately proven right that killing Kilgrave was the only thing they could have done to put a stop to him permanently. Every other choice just resulted in more death and destruction.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope:
    • Simpson repeatedly bumps heads with Jessica over the proper way to deal with Kilgrave, as he is more concerned with directly ending the threat by killing him than by getting him convicted of his crimes and exonerating Hope. After he is injured in one such attempt, he re-enlists in a Super Soldier program he had been in before and instantly switches from frustrated cooperation to being willing to kill his own allies and even fellow cops and soldiers in his single-minded obsession to kill Kilgrave.
    • Trish over the course of season 2. Her desperation for powers causes her to take increasingly unsavory actions to get them. This involves manipulating Malcolm's desire to protect Jessica, and his affection for her, to get him help her track Dr. Malus down. Then she knocks out, ties up and stuffs Malcolm in the trunk of her car when he tries to bring Dr. Malus in. Then finally, she kidnaps Dr. Malus and threatens to shoot Malcolm when he manages to free himself from the trunk.
  • Just Giving Orders: Kilgrave, being a Psychopathic Manchild with the power to make other people do things for him, repeatedly uses this excuse. Whenever Jessica calls him out on the trail of destruction he leaves behind (or anyone else capable of calling him out for that matter), he claims that he is not responsible for killing anybody because he has other people do the killing for him. Whenever someone points out that he compelled people to kill, he will try to gaslight them into thinking that it was somehow their fault. For example, Jessica confronts him that he made her kill Reva Conners, he claims that he only told her to "take care" of her, and that Jessica was the one who interpreted this as killing her.
  • Just Train Wrong: In one episode, Jessica rides the subway from 42nd Street - Port Authority Bus Terminal to 50th Street, when she breaks the glass in the windows due to having a flashback about Kilgrave. The scene was actually filmed on a PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) train, as can be deduced from the design of the seats, which is distinctive compared to the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) subway cars. Why they couldn't have filmed on an actual New York City Subway train is not clear.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Jessica realizes that Dale Holiday is abusing her mother in prison, she breaks into Dale's home to discover he has been collecting the jumpsuit numbers of prisoners who have "committed suicide" under his watch... then turns and takes a face-full of Mace from Dale. Dale then starts beating her with a nightstick, gleefully taunting her that he can kill her in "self-defense"... and she gets a lucky shot in, killing him instantly. Oops.
  • Killing in Self-Defense:
  • Kryptonite Factor: Kilgrave's power — even at its greatest strength — requires that his victims be able to hear him and acknowledge that he's speaking to them. Noise-cancelling headphones blaring music, or a completely sealed off room, is enough to completely thwart his commands.
    • More specifically, certain drugs like surgical anesthetic temporarily blocks his power, even after he wakes up.
  • Lady Macbeth: When Jeri and Wendy's divorce drags on and on with more punitive demands, Pam criticizes Jeri for letting Wendy beat her like this and tells her to win, explaining how she had fallen in love with her when she saw how ruthless and unstoppable she used to be in the courtroom. Pam is subsequently horrified when she learns that Jeri wanted to use Kilgrave's powers to force Wendy to sign the divorce papers, never imagining that her motivation would have lead Jeri to try something so unequivocally evil.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • For both Jeri and Pam. Pam urges Jeri to be ruthless and finalize the divorce with Wendy so that they can be together. Jeri takes her at her word, and decides to work with Kilgrave to force Wendy to sign the divorce papers. Kilgrave, of course, takes pleasure in turning Wendy on Jeri. The end result: Wendy is dead, Pam is arrested for her murder, and she refuses to have anything more to do with Jeri, who is left injured and alone.
    • Jeri gets back at Inez and Shane, who rip her off, by manipulating Inez into murdering Shane.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Jessica's typical daily outfit is a leather jacket that she got on the night she first hooked up with Stirling, plus faded jeans, fingerless gloves, and boots, and sometimes a scarf if it's cold out.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: All three of the women involved in the Jeri/Pam/Wendy Love Triangle count, although Wendy is more subdued since her 'day job' is as a working charity doctor instead of a high-profile lawyer.
  • Loan Shark:
  • Loophole Abuse: Kilgrave's mind control requires the victim's interpretation to complete, which gives it a number of loopholes that Jessica quickly learns to exploit.
    • It is possible, for instance, to break Kilgrave's control by tricking the victim into believing that they've already followed the command:
      • After Simpson is commanded to kill Trish, Jessica uses a surgical sedative to temporarily knock Trish unconscious, then tells Simpson that he killed her. Simpson believes her and concludes that his mission is complete.
      • Right after this, Kilgrave commands Simpson to jump off the building, but does not specifically say to kill himself in doing so. Jessica knocks him out and carries him to the ground and lays him in a pile of garbage. When Simpson comes around, Jessica tells him he jumped and the garbage bags broke his fall. He accepts that he already jumped and doesn't remember, so Kilgrave's hold is ended.
    • Victims can use the Exact Words of the command to escape Kilgrave's actual intention.
      • When fleeing from the sin bin, Kilgrave orders Trish, "Put a bullet in your skull, Patsy!" Trish immediately acts on the common interpretation, which is to shoot herself in the head, but her gun is empty. Trish then picks up a spent shell casing (what most people think of when they think "bullet") and tries to physically push it through her skull. Jessica pushes the shell into her mouth and tells her that the bullet is now "in her head," which Trish accepts as completing the command and therefore ends Kilgrave's control over her.
      • Following the exact words can get people in more trouble, however, as Kilgrave admits when recalling that he once told a man to go screw himself. "Can you even imagine?"
      • He does benefit from this at one point as he offhandedly snaps at Jeri Hogarth, "Tell me something I don't know!" Despite the lack of intent behind his words, she is compelled to do so, and thus gives him a critical piece of information that he previously didn't know (namely, the matter of how she secretly took Hope's aborted fetus).
    • And of course, Kilgrave's commands must be heard to be followed. Jessica doesn't think to use this until the season one finale, in which Trish uses headphones and loud music to temporarily make herself immune to Kilgrave.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Jessica's attachment to her mother makes her perfectly willing to throw away everything else to protect her. This is lampshaded by Detective Costa, who mentions to Trish at one point that the bond between a parent and their children is incredibly strong and makes people do irrational things, and Trish of all people should be able to understand that.
  • Love Triangle: At the start of the series, Jeri and Wendy are married, but Jeri is having an affair with Pam, her secretary. Wendy discovers the situation in the second episode and she and Jeri begin a very acrimonious divorce, with Jeri believing that Wendy is making it so difficult because she hopes that Jeri will come back to her if Jeri and Pam's relationship falls apart. By the end of the season, Wendy is dead at Pam's hands after Jeri attempts to use Kilgrave's power to force Wendy to sign their divorce papers. Kilgrave is so disgusted by Jeri that he orders Wendy to slowly kill her, and Pam then kills Wendy to defend her.
    M-Z 
  • Made a Slave: Kilgrave frequently controls the same people for long periods of time to cater or support him during his endeavors.
    • Jessica was Kilgrave's all-purpose slave while he had her under control, serving as his Sex Slave and slave henchwoman in addition to fulfilling his fantasy that they were in a romantic relationship.
    • On multiple occasions he is shown taking over an apartment and making the occupants cook and clean for him.
    • Kilgrave forced one man to be his chauffeur for more than a week.
    • He made one woman follow him around for long periods just because he liked the way she smiled.
    • When Kilgrave and Jessica speak later in the series she explicitly refers to these sorts of people as slaves (although, ironically, in that particular instance the two people under discussion - Hank and the bodyguards - were not, as Kilgrave had hired those two with actual money in order to defuse this specific accusation from Jessica). Double Subverted later on, though, when it turns out he did have them under his control; just not in the way Jessica expected. He uses his powers as the primary way of controlling them, and he pays them so they continue to work for him even when he isn't capable of using his commands.
  • Mama Bear: Jessica's mom considers herself one. She killed Jessica's first boyfriend Stirling when she overheard him offering Jessica's superpowers to some gangsters in exchange for his debts being forgiven, and she later kills one of Pryce Cheng's fixers when she catches the man stealing a computer and files from Jessica's apartment.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Kilgrave always treats himself to the best clothing, the finest meals and the most attractive women that his powers can bring him. When he is taking the winnings of a poker game he even tips the dealer as part of his high-roller role.
  • Meat Grinder Surgery: Kilgrave forced a doctor to perform a kidney transplant on him without general anesthetic, only an epidural, because general anesthetic would have deprived him of his Mind Control powers.
  • Meaningful Echo: Jessica's first encounter with Pryce Cheng calls back one of her remarks when Kilgrave was in her childhood home.
  • Meta Origin: In the season 1 finale Trish says she may have found some evidence linking the Super Soldier project that Simpson took part in to the the car accident that gave Jessica her powers. Season 2 ultimately reveals that Karl Malus had been working with Dr. Kozlov, but Malus considered Kozlov a hack who stole their formulas to develop the combat enhancers Simpson was on.
  • Mexican Standoff: Kilgrave takes a police precinct hostage by commanding the cops to all point guns at each other or at their own heads. In season 2, Detective Costa recalls having nightmares for weeks after the incident, which only stopped when Kilgrave died.
  • Mind Rape: This is basically Kilgrave's power, as he can mind-control and order people to do anything, up to killing themselves or other people. He used this power on Jessica in the past, which is why she retired from being a full-blown superhero. The series goes to great pains to liken it to physical rape, with all the horror that includes (he also uses it for physical rape).
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Used the second and third times Luke and Jessica have sex. Also used whenever Trish has sex, whether with Simpson in season 1, or Griffin and Malcolm during season 2.
    • Jessica in season 2 gets a case of this when she first sleeps with Oscar. She wakes up in Oscar's bed and is a bit embarrassed by the fact that Oscar has been painting her sleeping form. He gives her the completed painting by the end of the episode.
  • Mooks: One unexpected development, a third of the way into the season: Kilgrave has henchmen. What's more, where such henchmen come from and where that trail leads becomes a recurring plot point.
    • Wyatt, the loan shark that Stirling owes money to, has a pair of thugs backing him up who Jessica calls "Humpty" and "Dumpty".
  • Morality Pet: Discussed. Kilgrave tries to make Jessica this after they resolve a hostage situation. While his powers were solely responsible for saving the hostages, it was Jessica's idea to go in the first place, and it was she who stopped him from making the hostage-taker kill himself. She even goes to Trish to ask if she should become a Morality Chain and their conversation has heavy undertones of an invoked I Can Change My Beloved. Jessica, however, is naturally reluctant to form a superhero team with her rapist.
    • There's a later case of this in season 2 with Jessica and her mom.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: The IGH doctors, like Karl Malus and Dr. Kozlov, were involved in very shady human experimentation.
  • Mugged for Disguise:
    • Kilgrave made a commuter fork over a $5,000 suit. What would normally be just a petty crime ends up demonstrating how truly evil Kilgrave's actions are; even something as small as being forced to give away a jacket traumatizes the man because of the victimization and lack of control.
    • In the season 1 finale, Jessica mugs a hospital employee and takes his scrubs so she can escape a hospital where Kilgrave has ordered every doctor and patient to attack her.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Simpson brings up repeatedly the suggestion that Jessica just kill Kilgrave rather than try to take him alive. It isn't until Hope commits suicide that Jessica comes to realize the validity of Simpson's reasoning.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Jessica's superpowers let her throw people with one hand despite lacking mass. Her lack of mass does mean that she can occasionally be thrown around as well. Possibly subverted in that Luke, who has Super Strength and is a lot physically larger than Jessica, is also shown as being stronger than her - though it's possible that his brand of superpowers is just more advanced than her brand of superpowers.
  • My Beloved Smother:
    • After being paralyzed by a stroke (as the result of losing his kidneys to Kilgrave), the ambulance driver is cared for by his strongly religious mother who fears anybody coming to take him away.
    • Despite being his twin sister, Robyn has shades of this towards Ruben, such as tying his shoes for him and preventing him from going places without her.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In the season 2 finale, Jeri's demands in exchange for not going forward with Malcolm's recorded confession implicating Chao and Benowitz in money laundering are for them to double the severance offer, and let her take all of her clients including Rand Enterprises.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A recurring, almost constant theme with Kilgrave's victims:
    • Jessica killed Reva before the start of the series, which is the single most haunting event of her time under Kilgrave's control. Even though she knows that it was not her fault she is haunted by her actions.
    • One of the members of the Kilgrave support group was hijacked by Kilgrave to be his personal chauffeur for a week. His infant son had been in the back seat when Kilgrave got in the car, and was left by the side of the road when Kilgrave became annoyed by his crying. He speaks to the group about the horror he feels at the way he just drove off and left his son behind, and particularly about how at the time he liked doing it, even though he was simultaneously horrified.
    • A non-Kilgrave example comes out of the Jeri/Pam/Wendy Love Triangle. Pam had told Jeri to win her fight with Wendy, and Jeri tries to get Kilgrave to control Wendy to sign the divorce papers. Afterwards, when Kilgrave orders Wendy to kill Jeri, Pam is forced to kill Wendy in self-defense, and is horrified that Jeri had taken her motivation to win and decided to work with Kilgrave.
    • A minor, non-Kilgrave-related one when Young Trish accidentally reveals, in the worst possible way, to Young Jessica that her entire family was killed in the car accident.
    • Alisa is pretty shell-shocked after killing Stirling and looks dazed as she returns to Dr. Malus.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Kilgrave's name is pronounced "Kill Grave".note  Multiple people point out that it sounds like something a teenager would come up with to seem edgy and threatening. Jessica asks him whether "Murdercorpse" was already taken, and Claire wonders why he didn't name himself "Snuffcarcass." The juvenile nature of the name is a huge clue as to Kilgrave's true nature.
    • Dr. Karl Malus was a villain in the comics. But despite his malicious name, he's someone who's done shady things with good intentions.
  • Neck Lift: Jessica seems to be fond of these, as she does it to several people throughout the series, including Kilgrave right before she kills him with a Neck Snap.
  • Neck Snap: It runs in the Jones family. Jessica defeats Kilgrave by snapping his neck. Meanwhile, her mother kills Luanne in this way in the same incident where she maims Inez, and later kills Simpson in this way.
  • Never Be Hurt Again:
    • In a variation of the trope, Trish by proxy through Jessica. Though she was never personally controlled or harmed during Kilgrave's first control over Jessica, afterwards Trish resolves that she will not allow herself to be placed in any such position. She has her apartment converted into a secure area (including security door and panic room) and begins taking intensive Krav Maga self-defense training. Part of this is for Jessica's sake as well, since she tries to get Jessica to move in with her behind the security.
    • Played straight after Trish's first time being "Kilgraved". After being told to "put a bullet in [her] head", Trish understands how scary it feels to not be in control of your own actions, especially since at that moment all she wanted was to kill herself. She flat out said, she never, ever wants to feel like that again.
  • Neverending Terror: This is Jessica's nightmare as she is stalked by Kilgrave. Not only is she herself always in danger because all it would take is one word from Kilgrave to enslave her again, but every single person in a city of 20 million people is a potential Manchurian Agent. One former victim of Kilgrave flat out tells her the only way out is to kill herself.
    Jessica Jones: I'm not safe anywhere. Every corner I turn, I don't know what's on the other side. I don't know who's on the other side. It could be the cabbie who's going to drive me into the East River, okay? It could be the FedEx woman! It could be a talk show host, who was my best friend!
    Trish Walker: "Was"?
    Jessica Jones: I'm life-threatening, Trish. Steer clear of me.
  • Never Found the Body: Debated when Jessica first suspects that Kilgrave has returned. According to Trish, Jessica saw Kilgrave die one year prior to the start of the series, including a death certificate, but Jessica fears that with Kilgrave's powers it might not have been as it seemed. It turns out that he was hit by the bus, and was extremely injured, but he managed to get himself medically treated and had the surgeon forge the death certificate.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Like many abusers, Kilgrave is very good at justifying his own actions to himself, painting himself as a victim and finding excuses for all of his selfish and brutalizing behavior. In a triumph of self-delusion, he even gets offended when called a rapist, apparently believing that mind-controlling someone to have sex with you makes it okay.
    • Trish's mother also has a habit of never actually taking responsibility for her mistakes. Or, she does, but only when she thinks it benefits her, and it falls apart whenever people call her out on it. For instance, taking in Jessica was about deflecting the media from an incident of Trish passing out in a bar. Even when Trish is hospitalized from Karl Malus's aborted experiments, Dorothy can't help continue pimping out her daughter.
    • Jessica blames her prickly personality on Kilgrave, but flashbacks, especially the flashbacks in season 2, establish that this was her personality even before she ever crossed paths with Kilgrave.
    • Alisa is a Zig-Zagging version of this; Dr. Malus's experiments have left her with the impulse control of a hummingbird, which would be bad enough even if they hadn't also given her superhuman strength approaching that of the incredible green guy. Each time she demolishes something — or someone — she is immediately sorry and accepts punishment and restraint... until the next time she flies off the handle and twists off someone's head like a toothpaste cap.
  • Never Suicide: In S2E10, Jessica discovers that Dale Holiday, the security guard assigned to her mother, has had at least four inmate "suicides" on his watch. Then she finds their number patches in a hidden cache inside one of his stuffed trophy heads, and immediately realizes:
    ...If these were suicides, they wouldn't be on his wall. He likes to hunt.
  • Nice Guy: There are a rare few around to lighten up what would otherwise be a World of Jerkass.
    • Luke Cage is, like in his own show, a pretty thoroughly stand-up guy.
    • Jessica admits that despite her best efforts, she's unable to dig up anything on Griffin that would disqualify him from being a decent bachelor to Trish.
    • Trish is an idealistic and caring foil to Jessica's cynicism in Season 1 and The Defenders, though subverted in Season 2, which reveals she's got a pretty major dark side of her own that was only hinted at before.
    • Oscar is a nice caring father to his kid, even with his shady past.
  • No Antagonist: Season 2 technically has no main antagonist. Everyone is dealing with issues, problems, and demons. But each person's worst enemy is themselves, their issues and their blindspots.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Jessica gives one to Kilgrave in the sin bin. It is so bad that even she cannot help but feel sorry for him afterwards.
    • Jessica receives a severe beating from Simpson while impaired by broken ribs.
  • Not Me This Time:
    • In light of the Schlottman murders, Jessica gets wary of any potential clients, unsure if any of them actually are seeking to hire her or have been sent by Kilgrave. So when Jessica is approached by a client for a normal, everyday case of following her cheating husband to get pictures for the divorce proceedings, Jessica spends the next day following the client instead, checking for when Kilgrave will meet up with her to give her new instructions for his plot against Jessica. It is not until the end of the episode that Jessica accepts that Kilgrave is not involved in this, as he is too smart to have gotten mixed up in this stupidity.
    • While first being hired by Audrey, Jessica gets a phone call from a frightened Trish, as Simpson has come back, backed up by a second cop, and is viciously trying to break down her door with a battering ram. When Jessica sees the desperate look on Simpson's face, and hears Simpson's partner asking him why he's so sure that there's a body in the apartment, she immediately realizes that Kilgrave didn't send Simpson; rather, he's come of his own accord because he believes he killed Trish.
  • Not So Similar: Simpson is visually very similar to Steve Rogers, to the point of having similar street clothes, and Wil Traval sports the same dirty blond hair color as Chris Evans. Both have a background in military (Rogers in the military, Simpson in the police, and the military prior to that), and both are test subjects of a Supersoldier program. But, as things go on, Simpson's attitude proves to be completely different to that of Rogers.
  • Not So Different: A major theme of the second season is that Jessica shares a lot of similarities with the IGH killer, because the killer is her mother, with whom she shares genes, and the treatment was genetic. All of Jessica's traits (strength and rage issues) are amplified in her mother.
  • Not Wearing Tights: There are no costumes or tights of any sort in the series. However, this is justified since the three main superpowered characters featured in the show generally don't wear tights in the comics anymore either. When Trish tries to get Jessica to wear a costume during a Flashback, but Jessica just mocks how silly and impractical it is.
    • Gently mocked towards the end of the second season: When Jessica's middle-aged mother wants to try super heroics, she claims she'd rock a unitard.
  • Oh, Crap!: Talking to a man at a restaurant, Jessica hears him talking about the staff just gave a diner whatever he asked for (including tracking down the chef of the restaurant that used to be there for a specific recipe) and recognizes the description as Kilgrave.
  • Office Romance: Jeri is having an affair with Pam.
  • One-Hour Work Week:
    • A variation. After the first episode Jessica only has two clients (Audrey and Luke) hire her for detective work, spending the entirety of her time on her quest for Kilgrave and other personal endeavors. However, the lack of pay that comes from having no clients is reflected by her being continuously broke, and she is paranoid about any potential clients that might come her way on the chance that Kilgrave sent them.
    • Justified in the second season. Malcolm notes in the first episode that Jessica has been taking a lot of paying jobs since defeating Kilgrave and the Hand, and has money saved up from them, meaning that she can afford to go without working for a time while focusing on the season's plot. Malcolm even picks up the slack with Hogarth's case involving her partners at one point.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted, with Claire the cellist, and Claire Temple having the same first name.
    • Also averted with Oscar Clemons in season 1, and Oscar Arocho in season 2.
  • The One That Got Away: Jessica is the only person who managed to escape from Kilgrave's control... and he wants her back. Jessica is terrified at this prospect.
  • Person as Verb: Being mind-controlled eventually becomes known as being "Kilgrave'd".
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Jessica Jones is a private investigator, but the first season is focused on her quest against Killgrave. Beyond the first episode of that season, there's hardly any private investigation going on. The second season isn't much better at showing her in action, given her investigation into IGH, and its' surrounding characters, though we do get to see more of Jessica actually investigating. Entirely justified as Jessica's firm is small, attracts weirdos or cheating lovers, and is based out of a Hell's Kitchen apartment, compared to other PI firms around the city.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery:
    • In the first episode of season 2, Jessica is hired by a pizzeria owner to find out why her boyfriend, one of her delivery drivers, is having abnormally long delivery runs. Jessica follows the boyfriend and finds he's using his pizza delivery runs to have hook-ups with another woman. When she comes back with the photos, the owner tries to hire Jessica to kill the boyfriend, bringing up what Jessica did to Kilgrave, but Jessica refuses and instead intimidates the boyfriend by twisting the metal of a chair with her bare hands. Then she tells off the owner by saying she's in serious legal trouble for trying to solicit murder.
    • Later on, when Pryce Cheng stops by Jeri's apartment while she's in the midst of an orgy with some hookers, he's greeted by one of the hookers:
    Hooker: You are not the pizza.
    Pryce Cheng: And you're not Jeri.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Jessica uses this as a key word to prove she's not under mind control when speaking to her friend Trish as it's something she'd never normally say. Doesn't make it seem any less sincere or true.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Audrey Eastman decries the use of the term 'gifted' for people with powers. She likens it to the word 'special' for people with mental disabilities, instead claiming that they are just retarded. Jessica in turn wonders what either people with powers or the mentally disabled have ever done to her.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Once we learn the full details of Kilgrave's origin as a supervillain, while it's true that his parents were trying to save his life and not ruthlessly experimenting on him like Mad Scientists, all told, apparently he actually didn't know that. One only imagines how he'd have turned out if he understood why his parents were doing what they did.
  • Product Placement: Pretty much everyone has a Microsoft or Apple laptop or tablet on multiple occasions, with the logo clearly visible. It's also a case of "how did the producers get away with this", as light-grey characters like Jessica and Malcolm use Macbooks(and Jessica uses a jet black iPhone 7, along with season one Trish), while dark-grey characters like Dr. Malus, Alisa and season 2 Trish use Windows products. Ouch.
  • Potty Failure: Kilgrave's control is so absolute that his victims can't even go to the bathroom and often have accidents on themselves.
    • In the first episode, Hope Schlottman is told to wait for Kilgrave and remains motionless in bed until Jessica discovers her. When discussing the instruction to wait for Kilgrave, Hope tearfully explains that she's wet the bed since she is unable to get up and go to the bathroom.
    • When Kilgrave invites himself into a family's apartment, he tells the children to go into the closet to not be seen or heard. When the daughter protests that she has to go to the bathroom, Kilgrave says, "Go in the closet. It will be fine." After the children get into the closet, the camera tracks down to show urine leaking out beneath the door.
    • When Kilgrave is experimenting with greater range and duration for his powers, he practices by giving instructions to a large club at once. One of the patrons not affected by his powers mistakes it for some sort of staged comedy act, and when he tries to compliment Kilgrave afterwards, Kilgrave, fed up, tells him to stand in front of a chain link fence forever. When Jessica and Luke Cage show up at the club the next day to track down Kilgrave, the camera pans over to show that the man is still there, and has wet himself in the time he was standing there. And he can't call for help either, because right before that "stand there forever" command, Kilgrave also told him to stop talking.
    • When trying to find a way to increase his power, Kilgrave forces the researchers at a lab to work non-stop on a mechanism. Jessica tells Luke that she had to drag the lab assistant outside to talk to him because of the foul stench inside, not because he was unwilling to talk.
    • Pryce Cheng wakes up with wet trousers after being sedated by Jessica for a longer time after he tried to kill her mother.
  • Power Incontinence: Kilgrave can't shut off his Compelling Voice and actually spends some time training not to speak in commands. Later, the reason for that is revealed: He can't control Jessica and a single command to her would have shown her that.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The show takes considerable liberties with the original comic, namely:
    • Jessica's Flight powers are instead portrayed as enhanced jumping due to Netflix's budget restrictions.
    • Many of Jessica's friendships with other Marvel heroes (Miss Marvel, Captain America, etc.) are omitted due to the Darker and Edgier tone of the show, and because of changes already made to the larger MCU continuity.
    • Kilgrave does not have purple skin because it would look too ridiculous in real life. Instead, he wears purple clothing and some of his scenes have purple filters applied to them.
    • Kilgrave's powers are stated to work via a virus, not "pheromones", as it sounds more plausible that one can develop immunity and a vaccine against a virus.
    • Kilgrave's animosity with Daredevil is omitted to give more focus on Kilgrave's enmity with Jessica. As a result, Jessica's impetus for retiring from superheroics is revised.
  • Precision F-Strike: Malcolm becomes the first person in the MCU to say the word "fuck."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Jessica delivers one to Kilgrave just before snapping his neck.
    Jessica: Smile.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Jessica gives a pretty classic example, which is mostly concentrated in the first few episodes of season 1 and most of season 2, when she doesn't have much of anyone else to talk to. It's about her job and how it forces people to acknowledge the shitty truths in their lives, which they then blame her and try to avoid paying her, like the guy she threw through the window of her office front door.
  • Protagonist Title:
    • Jessica Jones is about a character named Jessica Jones.
    • In-universe, we have It's Patsy, the show that Trish starred in as a child.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: This is Kilgrave's specialty. He has forced multiple people to kill themselves, and uses the threat of it to control people he cannot directly use his powers on.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Although he puts on an act of sophistication, Kilgrave has a hair-trigger temper and little self-control to speak of. He has a tendency to overreact to any slight or insult and resent not getting his way, which he views as his just due. Towards the end of the season it is revealed that he gained his powers when he was a child and never had to leave the juvenile fantasy world.
  • Psycho Serum: The pills Simpson takes magnify his already-present belief in the need to kill Kilgrave into an all-consuming obsession that begins killing friends and allies. Trish first takes one to fight him, which nearly kills her. In the second season, Simpson uses an inhaler that supposedly grants him the same powers without the side effects. Again, Trish takes it from him and uses it for most of the rest of the season, becoming markedly unstable in doing so, though it's unknown how much of that is due to the serum and how much is Trish's addiction-prone personality. It later turns out that prolonged use of the inhaler would cause all kinds of organ damage.
  • Race Lift:
    • Malcolm is white in the comics, but is played by the black Eka Darville in the TV adaptation.
    • Kilgrave is Croatian in the comics, but British in this adaptation.
  • Rape as Backstory: Since Mind Rape is equated with physical rape throughout the series, Jessica considers herself raped by Kilgrave, even before he forced her to have sex with him using his power. This same scenario ends up becoming Hope's story as well.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Kilgrave's abilities are repeatedly and directly compared to being rape as the strongest condemnation that can be made. They both revolve down to a loss of control, a complete lack of any kind of consent, and his victims point out that that is what makes it bad. Even the people who were not physically harmed or seriously inconvenienced, like the man who was only told to give Kilgrave his jacket, are traumatized that they were so totally reduced to irrelevancy. Kilgrave also uses his power to literally rape women, but is highly offended when Jessica calls him a rapist, snarling that he "hates that word" when she keeps accusing him of the deed.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Trish has a surprising number of male fans of her old tv show It's Patsy, considering it is implied to be a Hannah Montana-type sitcom. A uniformed cop on duty and an aggressive flirter in a bar both know the show well enough to sing the theme song.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: It's mentioned in the series that "Kilgrave" sounds like a silly fake name and in fact 'Kilgrave's' real name is Kevin Thompson, but, while not very prominent, "Kilgrave" is in fact a real surname.
  • Reality Ensues: Has its own page.
  • Red Herring: Season 2 teases at least two characters as being seasonal villains before revealing who the real ones are. Simpson is seen following Trish, but he's actually regained some of his sanity and is looking to protect her from the killer he knows is after her. Griffin is seen going through Trish's computer and having enigmatic phone conversations, but he's actually just planning a surprise marriage proposal for her. In both cases, the red herrings are in line with what is commonly seen in PI noir works. In addition, they play off viewers who probably expect the show to continue the first season's theme of stalking, rape and abusive partners, and the villain to be an evil boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, when in fact the season is more focused on toxic familial relationships and the villain is Jessica's mother.
  • Red Herring Shirt: Malcolm is introduced initially as Jessica's drug-addicted neighbor, with only isolated scenes used for comic relief and minor pathos. It is ultimately revealed that he is in fact a plant used by Kilgrave to monitor and observe Jessica.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Jessica Jones and Patsy Walker have absolutely no connection whatsoever in the comics. In the show, they are adopted sisters.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Detective Costa, introduced in season 2, mentions being one of the cops who Kilgrave controlled when he visited the precinct, even though Costa was never seen on-camera during Kilgrave's visit. He's also never popped up in Daredevil despite the prominence of Brett Mahoney, another 15th precinct cop, in that show.
  • Repeat After Me: Kilgrave introduces his security detail to Jessica:
    Kilgrave: And that's Hank. Say hi, Hank.
    Hank: Hi, Hank.
    Kilgrave: Sorry, I slip sometimes.
  • Reusable Lighter Toss: To get rid of evidence, Simpson starts a fire in Kilgrave's former cell so Jessica will be back to square one in convicting him.
  • Ring Ring Crunch:
    • Showcased in a teaser with Jessica's alarm clock.
    • During the precinct standoff, Kilgrave has every cop pointing a gun at each other. Then a cell phone rings. Getting increasingly agitated, Kilgrave stalks around, trying to find the damn phone that someone is too distracted to answer, until he finds the source - Oscar Clemmons' phone. He then takes Clemmons' phone and hurls it at a wall, shattering it.
    Kilgrave: THE NEXT PERSON WHOSE PHONE RINGS HAS TO EAT IT!!!
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant:
    • Kilgrave originally had been a Daredevil villain in the comics.
    • Will Simpson was originally the Daredevil rogue Nuke in the comics.
    • Dr. Karl Malus was a Spider-Woman rogue in the comics.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Trish and Jessica are clearly the most important people in each other's lives.
  • R-Rated Opening: The opening scenes for both seasons involve Jessica spying on sexual affairs.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jessica and Claire both make fun of Kilgrave's name at different times by offering more ridiculous alternatives: Murdercorpse and Snuffcarcass.
    • People recognizing Trish from her show and singing some of the theme song.
    • Jessica's door window keeps getting broken, with several characters commenting on it after the fact.
    • Jessica's tendency to break the locks on doors with her bare hands, whether it's pulling off padlocks or crushing locks located in doorknobs, as she has to do when her door gets repaired and she's locked out by a pair of repairmen sent by Trish, until she pays them.
  • Sanity Slippage: Both Will Simpson and Hope become steadily more unstable after suffering Kilgrave's influence, leading to a Face–Heel Turn in the former and Driven to Suicide to spur Jessica to kill him for the latter.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • Subverted when Trish and Jessica try to infiltrate a country club to talk to Dr. Karl Malus's bankroller Justis Ambrose, and the receptionist turns them away because Trish doesn't have a membership. Trish resorts to going on a lengthy tirade at the receptionist while Jessica sneaks in by hopping over a fence.
    • Trish apparently once bit Sally the wig shop owner on the arm. She sheepishly admits "I was young, and entitled."
    • To get the charred head found in the basement of Dr. Hansen's building fast-tracked, Trish and Jessica use their pull with Maury Tuttlebaum, a mortician that Trish bribed with a dinner reservation at Per Se during season 1 when they were searching the morgues for Kilgrave's father. Trish asks him how he liked his meal there.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When she realizes Kilgrave is back, Jessica immediately starts asking what friends she has for money to get out of town, openly admitting she "sure as hell" is running. Her first action is to buy a plane ticket to Hong Kong.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • For the first season:
      • Trish is digging into IGH to find out who they are, and what connection they have to Jessica.
      • Thanks to her high profile defeat of Kilgrave, a bunch of citizens are now calling up Jessica to ask for her help.
    • And in the second season:
      • Trish apparently has developed powers now.
  • Sex Slave: Jessica and Hope were both used by Kilgrave as "playthings." He implies that there have been many more too. In keeping with his Never My Fault attitude, he refuses to consider either to be rape, apparently thinking having given them gifts makes it okay.
  • Sexy Secretary: Jeri's secretary is so hot that she's dumping her wife to marry her.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: After Jessica manufacturers a story about Trish splitting with Griffin (which is really just to sideline Trish while Jessica goes to meet with the phony "Dr. Hansen"), Trish gets photographed with Malcolm by a paparazzo, who then has the photo plastered on gossip magazines purporting that Malcolm is Trish's new lover. She and Griffin are forced to hold a mini press conference to discredit the gossip. (Incidentally, Malcolm and Trish do end up hooking up later in the season after she dumps Griffin)
  • Ship Sinking: Played with. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones gets sunk... quite a few times. Starting from the second episode, then it's unsunk, then it's sunk again. By Luke Cage, he's moved on to Claire. But then there's a Ship Tease moment at the end of Defenders, so maybe the ship is coming back up again. But then come season 2, Jessica hooks up with Oscar.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jessica suffers from PTSD as a result of the horrific incident that ended her career, Kilgrave's mind control.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Recalling and listing items, such as street names, is a real life grounding strategy taught to rape and sexual assault survivors.
    • A Cracked article from an abuse survivor detailed how realistically the show portrayed stalking and abusers.
    • In a minor variant, David Kawecki, the IGH janitor who took the fall for Luanne's murder and is locked up in Birch Psychiatric, rattles off lots of researched facts about octopuses: they have no bones, a 600-pound octopus “can fit through a hole the size of a quarter", they’re solitary, and don’t care for their babies.
      • Dave also tells Jessica that “no other DNA is like an octopus,” and that “no one knows where their genes come from,” and that they’re called “de novo, which means ‘out of nowhere.'” When the octopus genome was sequenced in 2015, it led some scientists to describe it as alien because it was so different from what we normally see in animals. They have hundreds of genes that don’t appear in any other animals, including other mollusks. And octopuses also have more genes that code proteins than humans do: 33,000 compared to fewer than 27,000 in humans.
      • At the aquarium, Jessica gives a little voice over “fun fact” about octopuses, noting that they’ll lose and abandon an injured arm. Octopuses can regenerate their lost arms with no loss of function, unlike when a lizard loses its tail. Octopus squids can also detach arms altogether as a way of escaping predators.
      • In fact, Google searches for “octopus DNA” spiked following season 2's release, to the point that even the show's Twitter account lampshaded it:
      "Haven’t seen this much Octopus DNA since finding The Whizzer’s stash of tentacle porn."
  • Show Within a Show: In her youth Trish starred in the TV show It's Patsy , which was a popular sitcom/teen-life series. Currently she hosts a radio talk-show Trish Talk, which she describes as a "lifestyle show." A subplot in season 2 has Trish trying to pivot Trish Talk into a more substantive current events commentary show.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: In a way, Jessica named her firm Alias Investigations in Stirling's memory. She also wears the leather jacket she acquired the night she met him.
  • Smug Snake: Pryce Cheng may be a competent fighter and investigator, but he's not remotely capable of handling himself against superhumans like Jessica or her mother and he's just generally nowhere near as big of a player as he thinks he is. He spends Season 2 trying to attack Jessica in various ways, each time getting clobbered and still stubbornly coming back for more.
  • Soft Glass: Zigzagged throughout the series. In the series' opening scene, Jessica sends a rowdy client through her office door in a bloodless scene. Generally speaking, glass doesn't cause permanent injury unless it's important to the plot, such as when Inez Green is scarred and nearly paralyzed by being tossed into a glass-doored cabinet.
  • Spanner in the Works: In "AKA 1,000 Cuts", Jessica finally has Kilgrave tied up in her apartment, gagged so he cannot use his powers, after he has already used his powers to arrange for Hope to be freed from prison. With only the need to wait out the time until it all is done, Robyn leads a mob of former Kilgrave victims to attack Jessica because she blames Jessica for what Kilgrave has done. They knock Jessica out and release Kilgrave.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kilgrave has grown obsessed with Jessica ever since she escaped from him, and stalks her accordingly.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Kilgrave controls Jessica by forcing people to kill themselves if she doesn't follow his commands. At one point he states that if he disappears, there will be a rash of suicides throughout the city.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: As usual for Jessica Jones, the trope is gender-flipped when Kilgrave orders Ruben to kill himself in Jessica's bed.
  • Stylistic Suck: Trish's "I Want Your Cray Cray" music video from her short-lived music career, a throwback to heavilyy autotuned, cookie-cutter 2000s era pop music. It's so terrible that the one nice thing Jessica can say about it is, "Well it got the It's Patsy theme song out of my head, so there's that."
  • Suicide Attack: Kilgrave orders Jessica's old neighbor Elizabeth de Luca to act as a suicide bomber, handing Will Simpson back a bomb he attempted to kill him with and then triggering it.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham:
    • When Claire Temple offers to reach out to a friend of hers and bring him in to fight Kilgrave, Jessica refuses the help, saying that she cannot risk anybody else falling under Kilgrave's control.
    • Kilgrave is exactly the sort of threat S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to contain, and he even manages to make the news a few times. But it's also a justified example: Kilgrave's existence doesn't even qualify as rumor until Hope kills her parents, and even then its clear that aside from Jessica and some of Kilgrave's other victims, practically nobody takes her claims seriously. By the time enough concrete evidence exists in the system to indicate that Kilgrave might be real after all, things have come to a head and Jessica has already killed him.
    • Played with in season 2. Obviously, Matt Murdock isn't ever brought up because everyone thinks he died in Midland Circle in the climax of The Defenders (2017). The show still very much takes place in a vacuum separate from Daredevil. Trish's friendship with Karen Page is never brought up, and the only reminders that this show takes place in the same universe as Daredevil are a one-scene cameo from Foggy and a later cameo from Turk Barrett. Likewise, despite Jessica and Luke ending The Defenders on good terms, it doesn't seem to occur to her that enlisting a second super-strong person might be a good idea when faced with an enemy who's even stronger than herself.note 
      • Not only that, but Jessica didn't even want to be a part of the whole teamup. She's willfully ignoring everything that happened because not only did she not want to be a part of it, but Matt, who was the one person besides Luke on the team that she even mildly connected with, was seemingly killed by their superhero antics and saving the day. She willfully ignores the fallout of The Defenders because she wants to.
    • When one looks at the barebones script, it's pretty clear that Jessica Jones season 2 was meant to take place after Iron Fist season 1, but in a timeline where the events of The Defenders never happened. According to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, and interviews with Krysten Ritter and Rachael Taylor, this is because writing process for Jessica Jones season 2 started in January 2016, well before The Defenders writing process begannote . Therefore, what references do exist to other shows are limited to everything up through Iron Fist (2017) season 1note : Jeri Hogarth mentions Rand being one of her clients in a couple of scenes), while a cameo from Foggy establishes that the season takes place after Daredevil (2015) season 2note .
  • Super Soldier: The mysterious 'IGH' organization is running a super soldier program using medication to give soldiers advanced healing and physical abilities. Red pills bring on the advanced abilities, white pills allow the user to maintain them, and blue pills bring them down so their bodies do not succumb to over-exertion. There is also some currently unexplained connection between IGH and Jessica herself.
    • We see more affected people in season 2. Turns out IGH was really a back-alley organization several times too small for the science they were trying, shut down years ago after Karl Malus started to suspect his co-worker Kozlov of trying to siphon off their work to create supersoldiers when IGH really wanted to explore healing people and giving them powers.
  • Super Strength:
    • Jessica's main superpower. She can punch hard and lift heavy objects. Her powerful legs allow her to jump great distances and run a mile in under four minutes.
    • Luke Cage, introduced in this show, also has super strength.
    • Jessica's mother, Alisa Jones has super strength superior to that of Jessica.
  • Super Weight: Most of the characters are on the low side.
    • Jessica herself is an Abnormal Weight. She has enhanced strength, faster healing (without an actual healing factor) and super-jumping abilities. Her durability is greatly enhanced: she's resistant but not immune to gunshots, and she shows no reaction at all to being tasered. She's also as light as a slender woman, so she's easily tossed around.
    • Luke Cage is a Super Weight. In addition to his impervious skin, he also has super strength.
    • Kilgrave is a Super Weight, and potentially slipping into Hyper Weight by the end of the series. While he's physically a normal human, his powers would enable him to be a full blown Person of Mass Destruction were he so inclined.
    • Will Simpson is an Iron Weight, being a former Special Ops soldier and trained police officer, slipping up to Abnormal Weight with the use of his performance enhancing drugs to put him on par with Jessica when she's got a couple broken ribs slowing her down.
    • Trish Walker is a Muggle Weight in the process of working her way up to Iron Weight throughout the series.
  • Surprise Car Crash: The title character lost her parents and brother when they all crashed into a truck carrying a container of chemicals because her father who was driving was too distracted by his children arguing.
  • Tear Off Your Face: After Jessica tells him that their excursion will last about two hours, Kilgrave tells their two servants to rip each other's faces off if he doesn't return in two hours.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage:
    • In the first season, Jessica sets up interviews for people who've been targets of mind control in order to find more of Kilgrave's victims. A decent number of the interviewees are legit, but for the most part the montage consists of obvious bullshitters wasting Jessica's time.
    • The second season premiere features Jessica getting visited by a bunch of various potential clients with seemingly legitimate jobs and some nutjobs clearly trying to bullshit Jessica after learning she has superpowers. One of them is Whizzer, the IGH patient trying to reach Jessica because he's being targeted.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Kilgrave frequently sets up timed or responsive instructions in people around him to activate in the event that Jessica manages to harm or capture him. These are often particularly brutal or graphic, and include instructions to make sure she sees it.
    Jessica: I could kill you right here and now.
    Kilgrave: But you won't, because you don't know what'll happen when I die.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: IGH. After being hinted at in the first season of Jessica Jones, IGH turns out to be an acronym for Industrial Garments & Handling, a shell company for a secret group researching super empowerment through at least gene manipulation and drugs. Though Jessica, Alisa, and the Whizzer can be laid at their feet, those cases are extreme exceptions to countless failures. They quietly closed up shop and quit over a decade earlier.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak:
    • Jessica emphatically states that she neither needs nor wants therapy, instead relying on self-medication with alcohol and internal repression. The coping technique she uses during moments of stress is based on a real-life grounding technique taught to assault survivors, but she at one point angrily laments how little it actually does.
    • Several of the Kilgrave survivors who go to the discussion group become disillusioned as time goes on, and are easily stirred by Robyn to abandon their talking in favour of retribution. They point out that sharing their stories over and over again is not fixing anything.
  • Title Drop: Each episode gets its name dropped at some point during the show.
    • Season 2 does a few visual ones. "Playland" uses the location of the climax, and "Sole Survivor" uses the writing on an accident report.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Hogarth believes that she can make a bargain with Kilgrave to use his powers for her own ends. In painfully ironic fashion, she does not die because of her actions, the people around her die.
    • Simpson casually looks into a package brought to him by an old lady who says that it was sent by Kilgrave. Naturally, it's a bomb.
    • When Kilgrave is imprisoned in an airtight cell behind very thick glass, Simpson gives Trish his gun so she can shoot Kilgrave if she has to. Shooting him would require her to break the glass that's keeping his powers contained, so her next shot would have to come quickly and kill him instantly to stop him giving an order, and since there is no indication that she has any experience shooting people, it would be much more likely that she would just set him free while she's armed and in a perfect position to hurt herself and others.
    • The car accident that killed Jessica's dad and brother, and critically wounded Jessica and her mother, was caused by Jessica's father turning around WHILE DRIVING to smack her for misbehaving.
  • Trauma Conga Line: This is not the most chipper of series, as befitting a noir series. Relationships typically end with loss and trauma at best, characters die even when they're trying to do better, hope spots are everywhere and lives just keep getting worse the longer Kilgrave is active - which becomes a plot point. Jessica's trauma is the most obvious, but nearly every supporting character's life is a long line of terrible events.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: At one point, Kilgrave takes control of an eight year-old girl to deliver a message to Jessica, and makes her include some language that is definitely not age-appropriate, which unnerves Jessica to no end.
  • Trust Password: Near the end of the first season, Jessica and Trish decide on something to say so that Trish will know that Jessica still is not under Kilgrave's control. They realize that they cannot use something she would normally say because Kilgrave could get her to act like herself, so they decide on something she would normally never say: "I love you."
  • The Unmasqued World: The series sees Jessica investigating superhuman threats, which as fans of the MCU know, have become increasingly common in-universe these past few years. A throwaway line in season 2 refers to kids going to "back-alley doctors" trying to get super powers.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Jessica has never had any kind of combat training, but her Super Strength allows her to go toe-to-toe with special-ops soldiers and ninjas and win.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Several characters end up becoming this in Jessica's quest to capture Kilgrave.
    • Pam encourages Jeri to be ruthless in her divorce talks with Wendy. This leads to Wendy's death and Pam accused of her murder, after she hit her to stop Wendy from killing Jeri.
    • Robyn (not entirely guiltless, since she has just learned her brother is dead) thinks Jessica knows more than what she thinks, so she leads part of the support group for Kilgrave's victims to demand answers from her. Robyn proceeds to knock Jessica out and free Kilgrave, thinking he is a victim of Jessica's. This leads to Kilgrave taking his father away, Hope's suicide and Robyn's almost death.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Karl Malus and Alisa Jones consider themselves to be married note . There are many unsettling aspects to their relationship, and each can be said to be abusing the other in their own way, but they also seem to genuinely love and care for each other, as well as being willing to go to extreme lengths to protect each other.
  • Verbal Tic: When under the influence of the combat-enhancing "Reds," Will Simpson occasionally repeats a word or phrase twice in quick succession, usually when-when trying to lie.
  • Vertigo Effect:
    • When Jessica is following Malcolm as he meets with Kilgrave, the first time, the vertigo effect kicks in and she's forced to turn away and do her street names recitation before she can properly focus in.
    • Jessica's reaction when Kilgrave reveals that he's had Luke under his control this whole time.
  • Villainous Crush: Kilgrave believes himself to be in love with Jessica, although it's very unlikely he's actually able to feel such an emotion at all. Obsessed is far more accurate.
  • Villain Pedigree: Kilgrave gets an upgrade to this in a meta sense. In the comics, Purple Man is at best a third-stringer of a villain who never managed to escape his camp 60's origins. The much more realistic nature of the MCU, along with the Jessica Jones series itself turning him into a massive walking allegory for abusive relationships, transforms the MCU's Kilgrave into an absolute top-shelf villain who is really only held back by his obsession with Jessica — as time goes on, one gets the impression he could've been a threat to the Avengers, even.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: On Jessica Jones in the episode "AKA The Octopus" Trish vomits in the toilet after taking some drugs.
  • Wham Line:
    • For those familiar with the comics, "Give me a red." This line reveals that Will Simpson is the comic book supervillain 'Nuke'.
    • "Let go, Jessica!" Except this time, it doesn't work.
    • "You heard that?" "I wrote it!"
  • Wham Shot: Late in the first episode, Hope has been reunited with her parents and they are getting into an elevator and ready to get the hell back to Omaha... and Hope pulls out a gun and stares Jessica down just as the doors close.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Kilgrave makes a Love Confession to Jessica, but it soon becomes obvious that he still thinks of her as a possession and what he assumes is love is just an obsession created from having been denied something for the first time in his adult life.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Simpson questions Jessica several times when they have the chance in relation to Kilgrave. The notional reason is that they need to get evidence to save Hope, and also that prison would be far worse than death for him. A LOT of people die because of this. Even Hope eventually calls bullshit on it, in a very extreme way.
  • With a Foot on the Bus
    • In the very first episode, Jessica gets ready to depart to Hong Kong when she finds out that Killgrave is back in town. She has her luggage ready, an available taxi, and must decide: go to the airport and escape, or stay and fight back? Of course, she chose the latter.
    • Jessica gets a plan after Ruben's death: commit a crime so heinous that she'll be thrown in a maximum security prison, so that Kilgrave is caught on film while trying to reach her. As Clemons doesn't come in until the evening, she spends the day finishing some unfinished business: tell Luke's coworker that Kilgrave will pay, insult her stepmother a bit, have a look at the city from the Manhattan Bridge, etc. Then, she takes Ruben's head to the police station and drops it on Clemons's desk, asking to be detained. It all goes to shit because Kilgrave himself shows up at the police station, and after threatening and mocking her for a bit, makes all the cops dismiss the incident by telling them to regard it as a hilarious joke.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Jessica is wounded rather severely towards the close of the series, including bruised and broken ribs which severely impair her movements and strength. When Simpson is beating her in a fight, he acknowledges that without that damage he would probably be losing.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kilgrave at least once claims that he does not hurt women. Throughout the season, he forces people to kill women, and forces women to kill themselves. Given his mentality, he might actually believe it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In season 2, Jessica believes there is a conspiracy using a captive superhuman as an assassin for its shadowy goals. Turns out, IGH folded years ago, it was mostly (and not too competently) trying to find ways to heal people and give them powers and the relation of the remaining member to the assassin is that he loves her and tries to make sure she doesn't harm anyone.
  • Yellow Peril: One of the fake Kilgrave victims is a stoner that claims Kilgrave was a Chinese man with glowing eyes who made him rob a convenience store at gunpoint.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Kilgrave's skills, well-honed through repetition—aided by an ever-changing army of bystanders (enlisted as bodyguards or distractions)—ensure he's escaped long before anyone else sees the carnage. Victims, due to the extreme and shocking acts Kilgrave forces them to perform, are assumed to be Ax-Crazy. For these reasons—combined with understandable skepticism, upon hearing extraordinary explanations (without evidence) to deflect blame for a crime, who'd believe a person with such powers could exist? Except his victims, plus a very few witnesses who've observed events in context.
    • Those who struggle with mental illness are more likely to encounter dismissive attitudes than to feel truly understood. Kilgrave can be interpreted as a personification of mental illness: PTSD in particular. Jessica expects not to be believed, except by those who've also suffered.
    • Of course, tying with the themes of the first season, Kilgrave's victims have that same bond; they expect society to side with their abuser. The nasty part is that in this milieu, they're 100% right; no-one who hasn't been controlled by Kilgrave would believe in his power — and some of those people have been ordered not to believe.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jeri is cheating on her wife with Pam. Her wife Wendy found out, and they're undergoing a bitter, messy divorce.
  • You See, I'm Dying: Hogarth has become diagnosed with ALS in season 2.

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Alternative Title(s): AKA Jessica Jones, Jessica Jones

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