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Series / No Heroics

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A normal city with a small difference

A short-lived British comedy series, No Heroics was the first sitcom produced by ITV2 and ran from September to October 2008 for six 20-minute episodes.

The series is set in modern-day Britain, in what the opening describes as "a normal city with one small difference: there are superheroes". They're pretty much common-place, with powers ranging from super strength to controlling monkeys, and since the public knows about them, they just hang out in capes all day. Our main characters themselves are a group of "capes" who meet after work in The Fortress — the pub where superheroes go to unwind and where there are "No Masks, No Powers, No Heroics", hence the title.

Of course, the series parodies a good number of superhero tropes and there's a lot of Genre Savvy and shout outs going on.

No Heroics provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Maggie Mayhem, Velvet Veil.
  • Atrocious Alias: Ladytrouble. People keep making fun of The Hotness, too.
  • Badass Cape: Excelsor tries to invoke this with his golden cape.
  • Badass Normal: Notable by their absence.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The Stronghold.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Lampshaded by Lightkiller.
    She-Force: You should use your powers for good.
    Lightkiller: Yeah, yeah, right. So being able to plunge the world into complete darkness is an ideal power for a good guy, right?
  • Beard of Sorrow: The Hotness grows one in the final episode. The others mock it as a plea for attention.
  • Cape Busters: Anti-cape leagues go around beating up low-powered capes.
  • Chest Insignia: They all have one.
  • Clark Kenting: No one recognizes She-Force when she's Jenny at work, even though she just put a pair of glasses on. Justified, as there are so many superheroes that you'd have a hard time figuring out who's who anyway.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Played straight for some capes, parodied for most as they fight crimes to be famous and get money from goodies.
  • Dating Catwoman: She-Force considers dating one of her former foes, Lightkiller.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Sarah asks Alex to pretend they're dating again because she knows her dad hates him.
  • Death of a Child: The mouthy, homophobic young prince.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: The Hotness tries to invoke this during one of his date.
  • Eye Beams: Part of Excelsor's powers.
  • Fan Dumb: In-universe, when She-Force and Electroclash go meet the fanclub of their old superheroine team.
  • Fantastic Racism: Some normal people hate "capes" and create "anti-cape" hate leagues.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Almost all the capes wear tight spandex, including out of shape men.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Invoked with Excelsor, who has all of Superman's powers but is a major Jerkass.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Parodied with the death of Thundermonkey:
    The Hotness: A terrible, terrible waste of human life.
    Timebomb: A terrible, perfectly avoidable waste of human life.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Pretty much everything in the pub is a pun on superhero series: Shazamstel, V for Vodka, Logan's Rhum, Gin City...
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: She-Force.
  • Insult Backfire: Alex's insults always end up like this one way or another.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Timebomb tortures Doomball by doing things like shoving stakes up his fingernails. Played for laughs by the fact that both are enjoying the experience, Doomball is encouraging Timebomb to go further, and the encounter is treated as a necessary step amongst the edgier heroes and villains of the setting.
  • Jerkass: Devlin/Excelsor.
  • Kick the Dog: Devlin, joking about Alex's dead mom.
  • Killed Off for Real: Thundermonkey in the last episode.
  • Local Hangout: The Fortress
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Doomball
  • Manly Gay: Timebomb
  • Maximum Fun Chamber: When Timebomb tortures Doomball.
  • Most Common Super Power: She-Force.
  • Mouthy Kid: The prince whom Timebomb is hired to protect.
  • Mundane Fantastic
  • Mundane Utility:
    • In the opening, The Hotness uses his superpower to warm up a meal (he also finds work as a heater in senior communities during the winter), She-Force uses hers to move a car and get a shopping trolley, Timebomb uses his prescience to see that the train he's waiting for is cancelled.
    • Electroclash is fond of using her powers to get money and cigarettes for free.
  • Noodle Implements: Subverted when Timebomb tells Doomball he's going to torture Doomball with bite-size potatoes on toothpicks. Cut to the next scene where we're shown that Timebomb wasn't kidding.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Parodied with Timebomb, who ends up going to group therapy to try to deal with his attitude.
    Timebomb: At least you got to break somebody's arm. I miss that.
    She-Force: Oh, Don, I know you do. That's why you're taking time off.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Excelsor has a whole speech dedicated to how his powers make it impossible for him not to please a woman.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Justified as heroes are assigned troubled sidekicks as part of community service.
  • Secret Identity: She-Force is the only member of the group who even tries to have one. She works as an accountant.
  • Sensual Spandex: Everyone, really.
  • Side Kick: Jackrabbit to Electroclash.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Norse Dave, the barman.
  • Shout-Out: Word of God says there are hundreds of Shout Outs worked into the short series.
  • Smug Super: Excelsor.
  • Soaperizing: Most of the show centers on what happens in The Fortress, with only a few minutes of actual hero action in the whole series.
  • Stripperiffic: Electroclash's costume is tame compared to what comic book heroines wear, but she still gets remarks.
    Electroclash: Have you seen my costume? It's fucking tiny.
    Thundermonkey: It's not my fault you dress like a slag.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Everyone thinks Alex's beard makes him look like a pedophile.
  • Superpower Lottery: Excelsor. While most heroes have a single specific power, he has a whole laundry list of them including (but perhaps not limited to) flight, force fields, heat vision and mind control among others. Not surprisingly he has a massive ego.
  • Super-Strength: She-Force.
  • Super Villain: A lot, including Doomball and Lightkiller.
  • The Cape: The term is used to describe any super in the universe but the only one who'd seem to fit the trope is actually Electroclash's dad, Rampart.
  • The Hero: Subverted with Excelsor who's basically Superman but acts like a complete asshole to everyone in The Fortress.
  • Theme Tune: "Make way for Ladytrouble!"
  • The Stoic: Don/Timebomb.
  • Verbal Tic: Fusebox fuses words. "New friend. Nend."
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Avoided in most cases, since even capes with the power of photocopy are put to good use, but played straight a few times.
    • Lampshaded with Thundermonkey, who can summon monkeys:
      Electroclash: How long does it take for the monkeys to get there after you've summoned them?
      Thundermonkey: About two and a half hours.
    • Also lampshaded with Lightkiller's secondary glowing eyes power.