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Series / Runaways (2017)

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Molly: Why would our parents do all these horrible things?
Gert: I guess 'cause they're horrible people.
— "Kingdom"

Runaways is a 2017 superhero Teen Drama airing on Hulu (and later, Disney+), based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name. Like many other shows produced by Marvel Television, it's set within the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, alongside ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Defenders franchise on Netflix. Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) and Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl) are the showrunners and executive producers.

The series focuses on six very different teens who only have one thing in common — their parents are literally evil. As members of the secret conspiracy/cult "The Pride", their parents engage in a yearly human sacrifice and are working towards a more nebulous ultimate goal. Deciding to team-up and stop them, the teens struggle to learn as much as they can and blow the operation wide open.

They are:

Not to be confused with rock band The Runaways, nor the film based on them.

Shortly before the first Season Finale dropped, it was confirmed that the show was renewed for a second season. It was then released, all at once, on December 21, 2018. A third season was announced in March 2019, and premiered on December 13th. It was later announced the same year that Runaways would be crossing over with Cloak and Dagger in a season three episode, marking the first instance of a crossover between two Marvel Television series on different networks.

On November 18, 2019, it was announced the third season was going to be its final one. The series was pulled from Disney+ and Hulu in May 2023.

Please put character tropes on the appropriate Marvel Cinematic Universe character sheet, and specific episode tropes in the recap page.

Runaways contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Nico does this to AWOL (though he turns out to have merely been sent to another dimension) and possibly her father while under the control of the Staff of One.
  • Acting Unnatural: Alex tells Gert to act normal. She defaults to cheery charm that is clearly out of character.
    Molly: You've never sounded that happy in your entire life.
  • Actionized Sequel: Season 2 is much more action-packed compared to the teen drama of the first.
  • Actor Allusion: When Julian McMahon's character is revealed in Episode 5, his first words are "I feel fantastic". McMahon previously portrayed Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four (2005) and its sequel.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Molly was a Cheerful Child and a Genki Girl in the comics, but she's more of a Shrinking Violet in this series.
    • The entire PRIDE has their personalities change to various degrees, with most of them becoming Anti Villains.
    • Alex Wilder is less emotionally withdrawn and much friendlier here than in the comics.
    • Chase is portrayed as much more thoughtful and mature compared to his often crass comics self. He's portrayed as the runaway who most cares about his parents.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • The entire PRIDE, to various degrees. Instead of being committed supervillains working towards global extinction, most of the members are Trapped in Villainy Anti Villains. Even those who are the most blasé about the human sacrifice part of their activities still believe that the ultimate goal will be for the betterment of humanity.
    • Frank Dean is a subversion. He had his memories of the PRIDE erased and has no idea of their true activities, making him closest to good amongst the adults in the series. However, the second he gets a taste of power, it goes to his head and he sells out his own daughter for personal gain at the first opportunity, which everyone else has refused to do.
    • Alex's Evil All Along reveal from the comics is removed, and his role as a villain in season 3 only occurs in a Bad Future.
  • Adaptational Species Change:
    • Molly and her parents are no longer mutants because Fox at the time of development owned the rights to the X-Men and the concept of mutants.
    • Frank and Leslie Dean are human rather than Majesdanians like in the comics. Given that Karolina's biological father is Jonah however, their daughter retains some of her comic book origin in being half alien.
    • The Gibborim are aliens, rather than biblical deities. And as Jonah's half-human half-Gibborim daughter, Karolina has undergone this as well.
    • Topher is human, and not a vampire.
    • Xavin is a Xartan rather than a Skrull.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Along with having much more sympathetic character development, nearly all the parents show up as being depowered and most of the time unarmed, and their sacrificing of teenagers are done in a more sanitized manner. It really shows in the episode 10 fight where the only ones who don't just stand around are Tina, who fires a few spells, Dale, who tranquilizes Old Lace for two minutes, and Jonah, who curbstomps all six kids when he finally shows up.
  • Adults Are Useless: All of the adults in the series, as in the comics, are either incompetent, corrupt or evil. No exceptions.
  • Age Lift: Molly is in her early teens here, as opposed to the prepubescent child from the comics. She's still the youngest member of the team, though.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The end of the first season. The guys have been accused of "kidnapping" Molly, and now are America's most wanted. "What do we do?" "We run". And then they all run away.
  • Anti-Villain: It is revealed throughout the season that most of the Pride did not know what they were getting into when Jonah first approached them, and they need to be forced into sticking around through blackmail and threats.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Geoffrey apologizes to Destiny as the Pride put her in the box, and Leslie tries to comfort her and sheds a tear for her.
  • Artifact Title: Because of the Prolonged Prologue nature of the first season, the kids spend almost all of it still with their parents, keeping their discovery of the PRIDE sacrifices a secret and working together to uncover the truth. As a dig towards Chase who had destroyed the evidence they collected to stop the Pride, Alex suggests calling themselves "runaways" in honor of the kids they couldn't avenge or protect, but the rest of the team shoots it down for being way too dark.
  • Attempted Rape: Karolina passes out at a party and two of Chase's friends take her off to do unsavory things until he follows them upstairs and stops them.
  • Big Bad: The Pride and Jonah / The Gibborim Magistrate for the first two seasons, Morgan le Fay in the third.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Nico has a deceased sister named Amy in this version.
    • Jonah shares some traits of Frank Dean and the original Gibborim from the comics, but for the most part is an entirely new character.
  • Canon Welding: The third season establishes a connection between Nico's powers, Doctor Strange (2016)'s Dark Dimension and the Loa Dimension from Cloak & Dagger (2018). Additionally, said dimension's inhabitant Morgan possesses the Darkhold from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., last seen in Ghost Rider's possession.
  • Cast Full of Rich People: Due to focusing more on the PRIDE families than the original comic (which had the kids run away right away and didn't give the parents much pagetime), the show becomes this. The main characters are six wealthy kids and their parents. The kids all go to a fancy Los Angeles private school, while their parents are big names in STEM (the Minorus, Steins, and Yorkeses), church (the Deans), and real estate (the Wilders) who cover up their villainy by pretending to be a group of Wealthy Philanthropists.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After Nico brings everybody to the Dark Dimension in the final fight with the Magistrate and his Family it's revealed that those who were being possessed were split from the Gibborim. What happened to the Gibborim after that is never shown or even looked in to.
  • Church of Happyology: The Church of Gibborim, a show-only invention, is a new-age religious cult based in Los Angeles, popularised by Hollywood actors and with ties to an alien conspiracy.
  • Composite Character:
    • The show's version of Topher seems to combine him with Victor Mancha. His role as a street smart older kid who joins the team, turns on them, and is accidentally killed comes from the former. His Latino heritage and his storyline about being addicted to an extraterrestrial mineral that gives him enhanced abilities are taken from the latter.
    • It's later revealed that Victor Mancha does exist in this universe and comes to know the runaways, albeit in the future, meaning he's a Decomposite Character here.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The penultimate episode and series finale do one of these with Gert's death and resurrection via time travel from the comics, compressing a storyline that spanned a decade in real-time into just over a single episode.
  • Continuity Snarl: The erasure of both Earth-TRN770 and the alternate 2021 goes against the time travel rules established in Avengers: Endgame and Loki, unless Chase discovered actual time travel rather than the multiverse-hopping utilized by everyone else and/or it was permitted by the TVA as part of the Sacred Timeline much like the Time Heist was.
  • Creator Cameo: Stan Lee has a cameo as a limo driver in the sixth episode.
  • Cruel Cheerleader: Atlas Academy has a dance troupe that appears to fill the same function; they're snooty mean girls lead by catty Alpha Bitch Eiffel.
  • Culturally Sensitive Adaptation: The series made several adjustments from its source material:
    • The original series featured a scene where Chase uses his x-ray goggles on Nico and Karolina without either character's knowledge. In the TV series, Gert uses the goggles on Chase instead.
    • In the original series, Karolina remains in the closet until the second volume and has to endure casual homophobia from her teammates (who don't yet realize that she's gay), and after coming out of the closet, she is Put on a Bus for several months to enter into an Arranged Marriage. The TV series significantly reduces the Gayngst; she comes out early on, is quickly accepted by her teammates, and starts dating Nico by the end of the first season.
    • In the original series, Xavin was a Gender Bender who would often default to a male form, only taking a female form because they were betrothed to Karolina, who is exclusively lesbian, which raised a lot of questions about whether they were really genderfluid or whether they were just pretending to be female in order to keep Karolina from breaking off the engagement. In the series, Xavin is only presented in their female form.
  • Darker and Edgier: When compared to the original comic. While not quite on the level of the Netflix seriesnote , it's up there and definitely edgier than the movies as either as a very hard PG-13 or a soft-R. This show features frequent swearing, sexual content and fanservice, violence, depictions of abuse, cheating, attempted rape, and murder, and the teens themselves behave about what you'd expect from real life teens as opposed to the squeaky-clean kind you often see in fiction. For comparison, the original comic had its dark moments but was overall much lighter in its tone.
  • Decomposite Character: Frank Dean from the comics is split into human Frank Dean who is not part of the PRIDE and Ambiguously Human Jonah, who is Karolina's biological father.
  • Defector from Decadence: The kids could have gone back or gone on with their comfortable lives after they found out about their parents. They chose to fight back even if that meant being homeless and scrounging for food and medicine.
  • The Dog Bites Back: By the end of first season, the entire PRIDE decides to go to war and kill Jonah for what he has done to them.
  • Doing in the Scientist: After the first season removed seemingly all fantastic elements, the next takes it in stride. Season 2 hints that the Staff of One is, in fact, magic just as how it is in the comics. Oh, and the Gibborim do actually exist.
  • Doing In the Wizard: The Minorus are not wizards in this version, just that they run a company called "Wizard" as a Mythology Gag. The Staff of One appears, but similarly is not magic but rather of technological origin. Or so it seemed, anyways.
  • Downer Ending: Season 2. The Gibborim are free and one of them is still unaccounted for. Jonah is still alive. The team is fractured, Gert's been kidnapped, and Chase and Karolina are being sized up to be sacrificed.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Karolina has demonstrated this, but if the trailers for season 2 are anything to go by all of our heroes can be included. It makes sense considering that between the six of them (seven if you count the dinosaur) only Chase has a drivers license.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Tina and Leslie, the last Jonah loyalists, turn against him after he puts their kids' lives in danger.
  • Fakeout Makeout: Nico covers for Alex's presence in their house note  by letting Tina find them on her bed, with her straddling him.
  • Fan Disservice: All of the teenage victims sacrificed by PRIDE are stripped nude as part of the ceremony- which, given the context of becoming a Human Sacrifice to some kind of mysterious creature, makes said nudity less than sexy. The sacrifice most explicitly shown to be naked, a male member of the Church of Gibborim seen in a flashback, is arguably the most disturbing of them all, because he knows what's going on and is willing to sacrifice himself.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Gib" for Gibborim.
  • Forced into Evil: Most of the PRIDE members were unaware what was going to happen during their first Human Sacrifice, and afterwards were blackmailed by a recording of the event to keep participating.
  • Foreshadowing: The intro alludes to what the Runaways get\are (the dinosaur buoy = Old Lace; an iridescent angel = Karolina; girl wearing a mechanical glove = Fistigons; swim goggles = X-Ray Specs; girl with shiny eyes = Molly; and also two figures resembling the Staff of One) and a few events of the first season, such as the drilling facilities and the Church of Gibborim and Synnergy logos.
  • Frameup: After the six run away at the end of season one, the PRIDE decides to frame their kids for Destiny's murder so that they won't be able to hide and will be brought back to them.
  • Freudian Excuse: Victor Stein, who abuses his wife and son, was abused by his own father.
  • Genre Mashup: Part teen drama, part superhero show.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: A rare gender-flipped example, as there is ongoing romantic tension between handsome Chase and awkward Gert.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Gibborim aliens are able to take over people's bodies and identities.
  • Hate Sink: Awol and Jonah's unnamed son. The former is a sexist gang member who isn't shown to care about anyone and the latter is a psychotic Gib who isn't shown to have any redeeming qualities.
  • Hollywood California: Set in and around the posh neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
  • Human Sacrifice: The PRIDE sacrifices one person a year to an unexplained cause. Short-term it seems to be what allows Jonah to live and function, but it is implied to also be part of Jonah's long-term plans.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Season 1 episodes have One word titles, season 2 episodes have 2 word titles, and season 3 episodes keep up the theme with 3 word titles.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Chase's crush on Karolina. When Chase finally realizes that Karolina is gay, he jokes that he knew there had to be a reason why his charm and good looks didn't work on her.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: In Episode 5, Nico and Alex nearly have sex while passionately making out, but Karolina interrupts them.
  • Irony: Gert, a Straw Feminist, falling for Chase, who starts off as a classic Jerk Jock right out of a bad highschool movie.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Inverted with Victor and Chase; Victor is a brilliant scientist who is at odds with his jock son. As the season progresses it is revealed that Chase isn't "dumb" per se, he is just bored by the theoretical mathematics of school and prefers practical science.
  • Karma Houdini: After the Dark Dimension the Runaways just let go of their anger toward their parents, which might be character development but also means that the surviving members of the PRIDE get away scott free even after all the child murder and corruption. Even Victor who was physically abusive to his wife and son gets to rebuild his relationship with both of them because he's changed after his near-death experience, despite having made multiple claims to have changed in the past.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The PRIDE came up with a serum that can erase memories.
  • Language Barrier: In the opening to the first episode, a homeless girl is accosted by two men who only speak Spanish. Members of the Church of the Gibborim show up to rescue her from the "attackers" and offer her shelter at the church for the night. What the subtitles reveal, however, is that the two men were trying to warn her about the church and protect her from them.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Deans are constantly dressed in white, and their house, the church they run, and the room where Leslie keeps an old man seemingly on life support are prominently white. The Gibborim doctrine worships "The Light". They are, however, unequivocally evil, and the Pride's dealings are heavily linked with them.
    • The Gibborim themselves are beings of light and yet they kill people in order to steal their life force and extend their own lives. The Church is also a cult that "reconditions" those who stop believing and acts as a front of finding and grooming sacrifices for PRIDE.
  • Living in a Furniture Store: The families all live in spacious, tastefully-decorated houses in the richer suburbs of California; the only one that looks anywhere close to realistically cluttered is the Yorkeses', which not only reflects their parents' personalities, but also because they save a lot of money in case they finally get a chance to get away from the PRIDE.
  • Love Dodecahedron: By about the halfway point of the first season, Gert is crushing on Chase, who's crushing on Karolina, who's crushing on Nico, who's with Alex. In episode nine the dynamic changes as Alex is on the outs with Nico, Chase realizes Karolina isn't into him, and Gert and Karolina both confess to their respective crushes. The season ends with Nico & Karolina together, Gert & Chase together, and Alex not with anyone.
  • Love Triangle: In season 2 Nico and Karolina are committed to each other but Karolina is supposedly betrothed to Xavin by prophecy.
  • Missing Mom / Disappeared Dad: Alice and Gene Hernandez, Molly's biological parents, died ten years before the series started.
    • By the end of the series, all the Runaways except Gert have lost at least one parent:
      • Karolina's biological father Jonah is killed by Nico (though he survives in another form as The Magistrate), while her adoptive father Frank is eventually imprisoned on one of his own church compounds and never seen again in the series.
      • Alex's mother Catherine is stabbed to death in prison.
      • Chase's mother Janet's physical body dies, though her mind lives on as an AI in control of her husband's computer systems.
      • Nico's father Robert is killed by Morgan after breaking out of the latter's spell and working to help Nico take her down.
      • Stacey and Dale Yorkes - Gert's biological and Molly's adoptive parents - are the only married couple in the series who both survive to the end.
  • Moment Killer: Karolina barges into and interrupts Nico and Alex making out in Episode 5.
    • The rare mutual example in Episode 9, wherein Gert and Chase, clearly just having had sex, walk in on Nico and Karolina, who were just making out. Both couples just stare awkwardly at each other for a few seconds, until Chase says, "We should go."
  • Mythology Gag:
    • One of the teaser stills posed the cast similarly to their positions on one of the comic covers.
    • The Runaways studied at Atlas Academy, named after Atlas Comics, one of the comic book publishers that would evolve into Marvel Comics.
    • The dancer before Molly in the pilot matches comic Molly's appearance. Even has a nice hat.
    • Stein's car is called the Leap-Frog, referencing the giant hopper vehicle the kids steal in the comics.
    • The scene with the X-Ray specs is an almost exact reversal of how they were introduced in the comics.
    • The cafe frequented by the characters is called "Timely Coffee", named after Timely Comics, a company from which Atlas Comics comics grew and which became the forerunner to Marvel Comics.
    • Alex claims that he could get into Tina's office because he correctly guessed that her password was "password." In the comic, Karolina mentions that Leslie's AOL password is "password."
    • One episode is titled "Tsunami", which was the name of the publishing imprint the series first appeared in.
    • The finale has the teens all dressed in outfits that are direct recreations of outfits they wore in the comics.
    • Minor recurring characters are named Vaughn and Alphona respectively after the comic's original writer and artist.
    • There are several shots of the Griffith Observatory at the end of Season 1. There are several scenes where the team frequently meets at the Observatory in the comics, complete with Shout Outs to James Dean.
    • Victor is interested in building a time machine. In the comics, Gert's parents are time travelers and the Runaways themselves do some time traveling of their own.
      • In the series finale, Chase builds a time machine and goes back to save Gert from dying, just as he does in the 2017 comics. The other Runaways time travel with him.
    • After going the entire series without being seen or alluded to, Victor Mancha is finally referenced in the series finale, and he's not to be trusted according to the future versions of Alex and Chase.
    • In the future, Karolina is shown to be dating a girl named Julie, in reference to Karolina's relationship with Julie Power from Power Pack in the comics.
    • A vision seen before the crew return to the modern time in S3, E8 is Alex with All the powers of the Runaways combined with an evil smirk on his face. This references the comic Alex and his evil personality and the moment when he had the staff of One, Old Lace, and the Fistigons in the comics, asking if he made his parents proud.
  • Nerdy Bully: The nerdy Gert Yorkes regularly mocks and belittles Karolina Dean as an idiot for her sincere religious beliefs.
  • Never My Fault: The Parents' official position on everything they've do to their kids.
  • Never Suicide: Amy's death is presented as being suicide by overdose, but Nico believes that she wouldn't have killed herself and that her mother had something to do with it. The season one finale ultimately reveals that Jonah was the one to kill her, after Amy had hacked into her mother's computer files.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Like Tom Cruise, Frank Dean is a famous actor whose reputation took a hit due to his membership in the Church of Happyology.
    • David Ellerh, the founder of the Church, is a stand-in for L. Ron Hubbard.
    • Like Elon Musk, Victor Stein is a brilliant but eccentric inventor and businessman whose cars have a reputation for being purchased by assholes.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Alex has made covert dealings without the team's knowledge for what he believes to be in their best interest, like his own parents. During her What the Hell, Hero? to Alex for making a deal with AWOL, Livvie says the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
    • Nico tends to be domineering and harsh to her teammates, just like her mother. Molly accuses Nico of being just like her mother after she proclaims that only the people close to her matter to her. Nico doesn't deny it.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Doomsday," when the parents attempt to threaten the kids with either guilt trips or "I'm disappointed in you" looks, once Molly and Karolina reveal their powers and Chase powers up the fistagons, the parents realize they're outbalanced.
  • One True Love: Xavin believes Karolina is hers.
  • Parents as People: In almost stark contrast to the comic, all of the parents are given their moments to appear more human and flawed as opposed to being completely villainous. Some of the parents are not completely on board with the ritual sacrifices done and voice objections throughout despite still going through with the plan. It turns out that they're being blackmailed into doing the sacrifices for Jonah, and as the series goes on all the parents become undone and by the end of episode 9, all of them are fed up with Jonah's manipulations and they're especially angry when he threatens their kids.
    • The Yorkes, in particular, are very dorky and are the most reluctant parent group out of the PRIDE to the point were they have (well, had) an exit strategy.
    • The Wilders flip-flop between this; Geoffery was a former criminal who was trying to live on the straight and narrow, and he clearly doesn't enjoy having to do the sacrifices. Catherine seems to be okay with what's going on, but it's clear she loves Alex very much.
    • Victor Stein, despite being abusive towards his wife and son, is humanized as well as being under a tremendous amount of stress due to his PRIDE duties as well as knowing his wife is cheating on him and his brain tumor. Janet is cheating on Victor with Robert, but she is also a battered wife who's afraid to stand up to Victor.
    • Tina Minoru, who was shown to be a somewhat of a cold, Tiger Mom was shown to be absolutely shattered when discovering her husband Robert's affair with Janet. Robert mainly just goes along with the PRIDE's plans without complaint, but he's hopelessly in love with Janet. After Tina stops him for sacrificing himself for Janet, they seem to want to work things out for their marriage and Nico's sake.
    • The Hernandezes were trying to bail out of Jonah's plan before they were killed by Leslie and set up ways for Molly to find about PRIDE should they be killed.
    • The least remorseful figure out of the PRIDE is Leslie Dean, and even she sees what she's doing as protecting Karolina and Jonah, who appears to be Karolina's real father and benefactor for the group, and carrying on her father's legacy.
  • Power Perversion Potential: A pair of X-Ray goggles make an appearance early on. They are put to use in exactly the way you might expect of teenagers as well as actually useful missions. Gert promptly finds herself a lead-lined X-ray apron to avoid Chase checking her out.
  • Pride: Mostly used as clever word play as the "Charity Group" is called Pride and the villains who comprise it are referenced as both the deadly sin and a family of lions.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Due to the self-contained nature of the show and the constraints of a TV budget, a straight adaptation of the original comic wouldn't work. Consequently, the show instead zeros in and expands on the Teen Drama aspect of the original, keeps the story local, and devotes a large amount of time to fleshing out and developing the parents.
  • Product Placement: If someone needs to call a car service, it will invariably be a Lyft.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The kids don't actually run away until the first Season finale. Up until then the series itself is an Artifact Title.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Nico and Karolina get together in the first season finale. Their comic counterparts didn't make things official for a few more months (and that was after years of subtext).
  • Properly Paranoid: In a message Karolina uncovers after his supposed death, in which he reveals his ability to move from body to body, Jonah claimed that the reason he'd gone to extreme lengths to preserve his current body (the sacrifices) was because he was worried moving to a new body would sever the bond he had with Karolina, his daughter. This appears to be true as, in the season 2 finale Jonah, now possessing Victor, at least appears to be willing to sacrifice Karolina, as well as Chase and Janet, to feed himself and his family, possessing Tina and Stacy.
  • Race Lift: Gert and Molly are white in the comics, but played by Latina actresses here, though only Molly is coded Hispanic. Molly's last name has been changed from Hayes to Hernandez.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Alex lays one out to his father after being exposed first-hand to his old criminal life, and which also refers to his current Pride activities. All of Geoffrey's assurances that what he's done he's done for Alex are meaningless since he is the one who created the problems they are dealing with.
    • Both Gert and future Chase deliver one to Morgan in the final episodes.
  • Ret-Gone: The Runaways of Earth-TRN769 disappear after Gert is saved.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Dale and Geoffrey suspect Tina of committing arson because of a burn on her hand where her magic staff would be, which she instead insists came from a frying pan. Leslie is actually the one who threw the bomb that started the fire, but Tina was conspiring over the phone with her and got distracted and burned herself cooking dinner.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The original Runaways had occasional strong language and sexual themes (it was created by Brian K. Vaughan, after all), but was otherwise marketed towards young adults. The 2016 TV series, on the other hand, had much more profanity (at one point, Molly, of all people, calls another girl a bitch) and sexual themes, and an attempted date-rape scene in its first episode.
  • Running Gag: In the early episdes, Tina hating Stacey's homemade brie, and Stacey being very resentful of it.
  • Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: Not all parents were on the same level of villainy to begin with, but eventually all of them get fed up with Jonah and turn against him.
    • Jonah is the Big Bad and The Man Behind the Man for the PRIDE, and would do anything to achieve his goals, including Human Sacrifice and Would Hurt a Child.
    • Leslie Dean is Jonah's Number Two and the most ruthless one among the parents. She selects and grooms the Human Sacrifice victims, and has personally killed the Hernandezes and kept Jonah's murder of Amy Minoru a secret from the others.
    • Next to Leslie, Tina Minoru and Victor Stein are the ones most willing to go to extreme lengths for the Jonah, being aware of the Human Sacrifice nature of the PRIDE from the start and working with him to keep the others in line. They are also the ones most strict to their kids, with Victor outright abusive.
    • Catherine Wilder is an Amoral Attorney, who would ordinarily be considered villainous even without the PRIDE activities. However, she still has standards, deciding not to subject Molly to Laser-Guided Amnesia.
    • Everyone else are Anti Villains who are Trapped in Villainy. They knew something shady was going on with the PRIDE, but did not sign up for Human Sacrifices and had to be blackmailed to continue doing them, remaining very hesitant and reluctant to be doing them even 15 years later. The Yorkes and Hernandezes are especially broken up about it, and at various points attempted to get away from the PRIDE.
  • Social Circle Filler: Most of the characters had their own social circle at the beginning of the first episode which completely disappear afterwards. The only exceptions to the disappeared circle are Chase — whose is shown leaving his previous circle — and Gert, who is confronted by some friends over the fact that she has completely disappeared.
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: The PRIDE make a weapon capable of doing this specifically to hamper Nico.
  • Straw Feminist:
    • Played straight with Gert, whose opinions on feminism are shown with a very immature manner (for example, she at one point claims that she can objectify Chase but he can't objectify her because she's just "leveling the playing field"). Karolina explicitly calls her out on claiming to be all about empowering women while at the same time attacking other girls for not following her personal morality.
    • Subverted with her mother Stacey, who has some unconventional opinions stemming from pro-female sentiments (e.g., "menstruation is a gift!") but who seems a lot more positive and friendly about it and who is very Happily Married to her like-minded husband.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Season 2 shows what happens when Gert runs away from home without her anxiety medication: her panic attacks start to seriously affect her performance with the team.
  • Survival Mantra: When Chase and Gert accidentally free Old Lace, Gert begins repeating "Deep breath. I'm under control." as a way to remain calm. As she keeps saying this, Chase notices Old Lace is calming down, indicating that the Yorkeses have already linked Old Lace to Gert.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In season 3, The Algorithm is quite similar to The Framework.
  • Take That!:
    • As far as Gert is concerned, her parents' biggest flaw is that they occasionally listen to Weird Al.
    Gert: For pleasure!
    • In the second episode, Gert mentions LARPing, which Chase assumes to be "that thing where people dress up as animals and have sex with each other." Nico corrects him by saying "That's furries."
  • Taking the Heat: When Geoffrey Wilder was first negotiating his entry into what would become Pride, one of the conditions was that he had to be out of jail within the month. Since he was in there for attempted murder that was very unlikely, so he persuaded fellow gang member Darius to confess to the crime with the promise to take care of his family afterwards. Now, Darius has returned and is looking for compensation.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Alex having the distinct pleasure of watching Geoffrey and Catherine get arrested after he set them up.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Victor is clearly mentally unwell (being a mad scientist and all) and begins having hallucinations about the woman the Pride sacrificed in the first episode. In episode 4, he's shown driving around with a recently-kidnapped girl tied up in the back of his van screaming, only for him to open the van shortly thereafter and see that the girl and the blood stains on the tire iron are gone. He claims it's from malaria he contracted while overseas recently, but it's apparently worse than that. "Kingdom" reveals that he has a brain tumor.
  • Title Drop:
    • The show gets one in "Fifteen," where it's revealed that Leslie Dean selects "runaways" with no connections or next of kin for the PRIDE's annual Human Sacrifice.
    • Alex suggests calling the group the "Runaways" in honor of the kids they couldn't save, but this is rejected for being "too dark".
    • As of Season 2, the show follows the comic's lead in frequently calling the kids "runaways" because, well, that's what they are.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed since they're all to some degree OK with sacrificing disadvantaged teenagers to further their own wealth and comfort, but several members of Pride have shades of this trope:
    • Alice and Gene Hernandez were offed by the other members of Pride precisely because they took this trope too far. Averted again in Season 3, where it's revealed that despite their attempts to get away from Pride to protect their own family, they were involved enough not just to participate in Pride's worst acts but to actively take on the role of recruiting, grooming, and choosing kids to be sacrificed.
    • Janet Stein and Robert Minoru are largely involved due to being completely dominated by their more ruthless spouses. In Season 1 they're having an affair with one another, and genuinely seem to want to leave their marriages and Pride behind if they can.
      • Geoffrey Wilder is a less extreme example of the same motivation: he's less afraid to get his hands dirty than Janet or Robert, but it's pretty clear that Catherine calls the shots and that Geoffrey wouldn't be a part of PRIDE through his own volition.
    • Stacey and Dale Yorkes start off seemingly just as bad as the rest (although with a more positive relationship with their kids than the more strained Minoru, Stein, and Wilder households), but gradually become more morally neutral (especially in Dale's case, as he ends up frequently helping Gert fight against PRIDE), and even consider running away like the Hernandezes tried to. Interestingly, they're the only couple to still be both alive and together at the end of the series, possibly making this a convoluted villainous variant on Earn Your Happy Ending.
    • Zigzagged all over the place with Frank and Leslie Dean. Season 1 makes it seem like Frank will be a straight example of this trope, as he's the only parent who's not a part of the inner circle at the beginning. However, Frank reveals himself to be incredibly power-hungry in Season 2 before being Put on a Bus for good; while Leslie, despite initially being The Dragon for Jonah, pulls a Heel–Face Turn after discovering that she's pregnant again and ends up becoming the main adult ally of the Runaways.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Most of the PRIDE lives in deadly fear of the rest of the Pride, and of Jonah above all. They fear the retaliation if they were ever to break from their instructions.
  • Truth Serums: The Yorkes use one on Chase. It's explained that it suppresses higher thought process, making it hard to lie, so they try to use it to find out where the Hostel is. Unfortunately for them, they learned about his sex life with their daughter.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Inverted, as in the source material. Two guys (Alex and Chase) in a team of six.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Text on cell phones and laptops (such as text messages or social media updates) are shown in large, easily-read fonts.
  • Villain Ball: Jonah's claim of an energy source works fine as a cover, he could have approached his dig as a legitimate business venture. Instead he threatens and blackmails the members of PRIDE to get them to do villainous shit. He could have kept the dig completely separate from the sacrifices keeping his host body healthy.
  • Villain Protagonist: The PRIDE are billed as main characters and get as much screentime as their kids.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The main kids are Childhood Friends who grew apart following the death of Nico's sister.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Nico's reaction when Alex admits he knew more about Amy's death than he let on. Finding out Amy's death was Never Suicide didn't change her reaction.
    • The reaction from the entire group when Chase breaks Alex's laptop destroying the only proof they have of Pride's activities.
  • You Owe Me: Deconstructed in the interactions between Geoffrey Wilder and Darius. They used to run in the same gang together, and when Geoffrey got involved with Pride he bequeathed all of his criminal enterprises to Darius out of gratitude for Darius taking the fall for him. Now, though, Darius resents the way Geoffrey has become a billionaire while he is still eking out a dangerous bare-bones living as a criminal, whereas Geoffrey feels that he has already lived up to his obligations.

Nico: What do we do?
Alex: We run.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Runaways, Runaways 2018


Cloak and Dagger appear

Just as Nico is about to cast a spell to enter the Dark Dimension, Cloak & Dagger show up, demanding to know what she's done.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhamShot

Media sources: