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Tropes found in Supergirl:

  • Cain and Abel: During a brief Dork Age, that was thankfully swept away by Infinite Crisis, Supergirl's father Zor-El hated his brother Jor, and sent Kara to Earth to kill Jor-El's infant son. Or he just didn't get on with his brother, and knew that Kal-El would "infect" Earth with evil spirits from the Phantom Zone. Or something. It does not matter anyway because it was retconned out.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • Discussed in Supergirl vol 5 storyline "The Way of the World". The eponymous heroine is trying to save a young cancer victim named Thomas. Unfortunately, Thomas dies, but she thinks a blood transfusion of another super-hero's nanite-laced blood may revive Thomas. Superman tries to dissuade her, stating that "the transfusion might bring Thomas back as something inhuman... a blazing skull, a monster, or worse."
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) Cyborg Superman turns the people of Argo into Cyborgs to bring them back from the dead. However they are only soulless zombie robots.
      Supergirl: This isn't the future. Look at them. Look at their eyes. You made them monsters! [...] These things aren't alive. You perverted our people's bodies. It isn't right. They move but they don't talk and they aren't really alive.
  • Came from the Sky:
    • In Action Comics #252, Clark Kent found Kara Zor-El when he saw a rocket crashing down to Earth and flew to the landing site to investigate. Inside the rocket he found a teenager girl who was dressed like him and happened to be his cousin.
    • Post-Crisis Kara origin story, "The Supergirl from Krypton", had her found by Batman and Superman.
    • And in the New 52 universe her space pod landed in Kansas, cut through the mantle and emerged in Siberia. When Kara left her pod, she was surrounded by a corporate-owned black cops team who wanted to capture her to examine her. They didn't count on their target being a super-powerful Kryptonian and Superman arriving at the site during the melee.
  • Canine Companion: Krypto The Super Dog is technically her cousin's pet dog, but he also follows Kara around and obeys her. In Superman vol 1 #149: The Death of Superman! he became her dog after Clark's death. In the Post-Flashpoint universe, he was the family dog.
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  • Canon Immigrant: National City, Supergirl's home base in her 2015 TV series, was brought into the comics in The Final Days of Superman, and serves as her home base in Supergirl (Rebirth). Her foster parents Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers also first appeared in her TV show. Her enemy Selena hails from her 1984 film feature.
  • The Cape: Supergirl is traditionally very much a Cape.
    • During the Silver Age in particular she was one of the most caring and humble superheroes, perhaps more so than her cousin himself since for her first few years she had to do her heroism in secret.
    • Kara died a hero in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. When the Anti-Monitor attempted to destroy The Multiverse, she sacrificed her own life so that her cousin might live. In so doing, however, she severely set back the Anti-Monitor's plans, making victory possible for the heroes of the surviving Earths. The greatest tragedy of all, however, was that with the destruction of the Multiverse and changes to the timestream, Kara was erased from history, and no one at all remembered her heroic life and death. And still she accepted this, though, because she accomplished her goal: save them all.
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl acted like a selfish emo teen for a while when she showed up on Earth because she suffered from Kryptonite poisoning and it was messing her head up and altering her behavior. For all her problems, though, Kara was headed strongly in this direction by the time of the New 52 reboot. She'd put the past behind her, adopted Superman's attitude towards dealing with issues, built strong friendships with other heroes, and was well on her way to being the same sort of paragon as her cousin.
    • New 52 Supergirl didn't want to hurt anyone and was willing to help people, but her obsession to bring Krypton back and her anger and loneliness issues were holding her back. During the Red Daughter of Krypton arc she finally faced her inner demons and outgrew her angst and anger. When Supergirl (Rebirth) starts out, she has become the kind of hero who will punch criminals and monsters but also try to reach them out.
  • Cape Snag: Supergirl has also ran into this problem. In Supergirl Vol 2 #20, Parasite grabs her cape, and after spinning Kara around, slams her into a railroad track.
  • Cape Wings: Linda/Matrix as the Earth Angel of Fire.
  • Captured on Purpose: In Adventure Comics issue #424, Linda Danvers lets several thugs-for-hire capture her so they bring her before the boss of the local crime syndicate whom she intends to take down.
  • Car Fu:
    • Some incarnations of Kara love this.
    • In Supergirl Vol 5 #34, Kara drops a garbage truck on super-villain Silver Banshee.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton Kara doesn't use a car as a giant club. She uses an ocean liner as a giant club.
    • In Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom issue #5, Supergirl confronts Darkseid's warrior Stompa. Stompa flings a car at Kara. Kara's eye beams bisect the car, and then she sandwiches Stompa between both halves.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) story arc "Reign of the Cyborg Supermen", a Kryptonian Cyborg attempts to throw a car at her. Supergirl wraps the car around him.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse:
    • Rare heroic example in Supergirl vol 1 #6. The eponymous heroine needs to stop a gang war so she picks two huge rolls of insulation, and lays them out, knocking the gangers over and rolling them up inside. Once they are paralyzed, they have no option but listening to her.
    • After her death at the hands of the Anti-Monitor in Crisis On Infinite Earths, Superman used this method to transport his cousin's body to New Krypton where her natural parents lived in Superman #414.
    • When Matrix fused with Linda Danvers, one of the flashback memories revealed Linda, as a young girl, witnessing a church leader beating his wife to death through the window of their house. The husband had the body removed inside a carpet and spread the word she'd run off on him.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Supergirl's friend Stephanie Brown -alias Batgirl II- is an expert at this, often sharing wisecracks with her mission control while in the middle of a fight. When she and Kara are being strangled by Dracula in issue #14 of Batgirl (2009), Batgirl tries to apologize for how their night out has been sidetracked.
    Batgirl: I hope you won't hold this against me.
    Supergirl: That's What She Said.
    Batgirl: You're funny.
    Supergirl: I try.
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel: Supergirl can travel quickly between planets thanks to her powers, although in some storylines like The Killers Of Krypton she's forced to build and rely on a faster-than-light spaceship.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Kryptonians can travel to the literal edge of the universe by merely flying there in a ridiculously short time. Back in the Silver and Bronze Ages, Supergirl casually zipped through the cosmos and visited alien worlds. Nonetheless, she and her cousin also own a starship to travel fast to worlds where their powers don't work.
  • Catch a Falling Star:
    • In Detective Comics #508, Barbara Gordon alias Batgirl gets thrown off a building. Supergirl shows up out of nowhere, catches Barbara and transports her to safety.
    • In New 52 Superman #6, a Superman doppelganger drops Jimmy Olsen off a building. However, Kara -who had come to Metropolis to talk with her cousin- catches Jimmy.
    • In New 52 Action Comics #35, Superman gets shot down and knocked down while flying back to Earth and falls to the planet. Then Kara streaks up to him and carries him to the ground.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Supergirl and Bleez are flying together. Suddenly Bleez falls down, and Kara quickly grabs her hand and carries her to the ground safely.
  • Cat Fight: Post Crisis Kara got into several Cat Fights with Power Girl, Wonder Girl and even a dark version of herself during her early adventures.
  • Cat Smile: In Superman Vol 1 #338, Supergirl smiles wickedly when Brainiac hits himself with his shrinking ray and disappears.
  • Cat Up a Tree:
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Most of Supergirl's early Pre-Crisis stories since Action Comics #252 had been innocent tales where Kara helped orphan kids until The Unknown Supergirl did away with the orphanage setting and introduced her first supervillain. From that point on, her stories started getting more serious, involving darker themes and higher stakes. By the 80's, she was dealing with racism and gentrification.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Supergirl takes advantage of her superhuman speed to change instantly. One example of her changing clothes between panels is provided in the first issue of her first solo book, where she quickly takes off her Supergirl uniform and puts civilian clothes on as someone is opening her bedroom's door.
  • Character Development: Kara often undergoes some kind of character development:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara goes from being a naive teenager who idolized her cousin to a young woman who was determined to be her own person and figure out what kind of life she wanted to lead.
    • Post-Crisis Kara was characterized as a whiny, fickle, immature brat who didn't deserve to wear the S-shield for a while until she decided that she needed to stop being a jerk and truly change. From that point on, she started to mature. Later on, it was explained that her weird behavior, her mood swings, her contradictory memories, her inability to focus on what she was doing... was due to kryptonite poisoning.
    • New 52 Kara was a teen ball of anger and abandonment issues who felt trapped in a strange land where she didn't fit in and longed for returning to Krypton. After the "Red Daughter of Krypton" and Crucible arcs she's accepted that Earth is her new home and she's calmer and more controlled.
  • Character Tics: Kara used to put her finger to her mouth as she puzzled out some conundrum in early issues of Action Comics. That quirk that has been seen every now and then even in modern comics.
  • Character Title: Her solo books are titled Supergirl.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: In most continuities, Supergirl believes her parents passed away after sending her to Earth only to find out later they weren't dead after all, meeting back with them... and seeing them to die for real. Sometimes, bloodily.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the beginning of Supergirl's sixth volume, some aliens were seen floating in several pods in the background. Later on, Supergirl met and fought four of those aliens -who were called Worldkillers-, and her leader revealed that there was a fifth worldkiller. Guess who fights Supergirl almost thirty issues later?
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Red Lantern Supergirl had a huge and disturbingly wicked grin when she met Superman in space during the events of Superman: Doomed.
  • Chest Insignia: Kara shares her cousin's "S" shield -later versions of the Superman mythos have established that it's the emblem of the House of El-. During her Red Lantern tenure, she wore the symbol of the Red Lantern Corps: a circle and two crooked lines on its right and left sides.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: In the Silver Age, Dick Malverne grew up at the Midvale Orphanage during the same time that Linda Lee alias Supergirl did, and he had a huge crush on her. Although the two dated for a while they grew apart after college. They met again as adults, and Dick confessed he always loved her and and knew of her secret identity before dying.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Unlike Superman, Supergirl spent most of her formative years in Krypton, and often she feels like she kind of belongs to both worlds but fits in neither. In Supergirl Vol. 5 issue #30 she mutters "[She] barely understands [Earth] and barely can remember [Krypton]". Though, in the New Krypton arc she realizes she's become more human-like without realizing, and has nightmares where crowds of Terrans and Kryptonians demand her to pick a side.
    Lana Lang: So what's it like over there?
    Supergirl: On New Krypton? It's... different. Our people are happy there. The planet itself is beautiful, too, but... It's weird, but being around other Kryptonians like my mother, I'm really starting to feel... well...
    Lana: Alien?
    Supergirl: Some of them are so different from humans, Lana. They think differently, they speak differently, they... react differently. I've been on Earth so long, it's been hard for me to fall back into being "just another Kryptonian".
  • The Chosen Many: Superman was the only of his kind... until Kara came along.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • In 1988 one-shot Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2 : "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot", the Pre-Crisis Supergirlbriefly appears right after having been erased from continuity:
      Kara: We don't do it for the glory. We don't do it for the recognition... We do it because it needs to be done. Because if we don't, no one else will. And we do it even if no one knows what we've done. Even if no one knows we exist. Even if no one remembers we ever existed.
    • In DCU Infinite Holiday Special issue #1, Supergirl gets to answer some of the Christmas letters that get sent to her cousin. One of those letters is from a girl who wants to see her father. However her father is an asshole who doesn't want his daughter to know he is a screw-up. Supergirl manages to talk him into clearing things up with his ex-wife and daughter through... unorthodox means. Several months later (in Supergirl #50), the little girl thanks Supergirl for bringing her dad back:
      Supergirl: You know the cliché, Fred. Everyone does. "When you're about to die, your life flashes in front of your eyes." But I've been there, and it's crap... isn't it? You see something, though. You see the holes... the missing bits. And all of the things that would have made your life complete, if you had one more year... a day... a second. I don't know what you saw, Fred, but considering you were in free fall for a solid minute, I bet it was an eyeful. Maybe you are a screw-up. A loser. A drunk. But maybe, the piece you're missing... can make you something better. But only if you go to her, and try. Merry Christmas, Fred. Hope it's a good one.
    • In the DC Universe Holiday Special 2008: A Day Without Sirens, a "Day Without Sirens" is proposed right before Christmas. Commissioner Gordon believes such an initiative is doomed to failure. The criminals of Gotham would never heed such a calling. However, the day proceeds without police sirens. It turns out that Kara Zor-El and Barbara Gordon It turns out handled covertly all emergency calls during that day.
      Oracle: Just rest easy knowing you did something special today.
      Supergirl: You really think so? Do you think this one day is going to make a difference?
      Oracle: I know so. Never discount the healing power of a little hope, Kara.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • Kara Zor-El is the same kind of hero than her cousin, but she is more short-tempered and more compassionate, which means that she feels more compelled to be a hero, punish criminals and help people.
    • Back in the Silver Age she had to do her heroism in secret for her first few years until her existence was revealed to the world.
    • In Krypton No More she wants to undertake an off-world mission because she and her cousin "fight injustice wherever it strikes".
    • Sometimes being Supergirl wore her out and she complained that she wanted to settle down and lead a normal life. She never stopped being an hero, though.
    • In Supergirl vol 2 #1, she feels guilty because she needs to give herself space to be "Linda Danvers" rather than "Supergirl". In the same scene she admits she would interrupt a date with Robert Redford to rescue a kitten from a tree.
    • Per Word Of God, in Supergirl (Rebirth) she is the kind of hero who will punch you, throw in a cell... and try to help you.
  • Chronoscope: Kara uses her cousin's Chronoscope in Action Comics issue #309 to see her father's past and discover what happened to her parents after she left their hometown.
    Supergirl: This chronoscope can overtake light rays which left Krypton years ago! By watching the screen we can view the past!
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Supergirl's supporting cast and Rogues Gallery is often jettisoned and replaced every time a new creative team takes over. Dick Malverne, her foster parents Fred and Edna some of her enemies like Lesla-Lar, 'Nasty' Luthor and Black Flame were never seen again after the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1987.
  • City in a Bottle:
    • The Bottle City of Kandor. Kandor was a Kryptonian city which was shrunk by Brainiac before Krypton's destruction. Superman managed to retrieve the city from Brainiac, and he and Supergirl spend most of Silver and Bronze Ages looking for ways to re-enlarge Kandor and its inhabitants (they finally succeeded in a 1979 story).
    • In Krypton No More, Kara appears to smash it when she tries to convince her cousin that Krypton is not real, but in reality she destroyed a replica.
    • In the Post-Crisis universe, Kandor was reintroduced in the Superman: Brainiac storyline.
  • Civvie Spandex: In the early 00's, Supergirl's costume consisted of shortpants and a white t-shirt with the S-shield insignia on it.
  • Clark Kenting: Several incarnations of Kara have tried her hand at this. In order from bad to better:
    • New 52's Kara didn't use any extras.
    • The Linda/Matrix gestalt didn't use any extras.Justified, as she could shapeshift between her Linda form and the Supergirl form, who had different height (Supergril was taller), hair color (Linda brunette, Supergirl blonde) and bust size (Supergirl was bustier).
    • Pre-Flashpoint Kara and "Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade" Kara versions followed her cousin's example by using glasses.
    • For most of her Pre-Crisis life, Kara used a brown wig to hide her blonde hair.
    • The animated Supergirl of the DCAU uses both wig and glasses.
    • Supergirl (Rebirth) Kara wears loose clothes, glasses, dyes her hair brown and braids it into a ponytail, and behaves like a insecure, quiet, geeky girl (as opposite to her hot-blooded, fiery and determined real self).
      Dr. Chase: "Kara Danvers" is a tool for you to walk amongst the people you protect.
  • Clark Kent Outfit:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl wore very plain clothes, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts to hide her muscles.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Kara's Secret Identity wears loose clothes and baggy trousers to hide her super-strong physique.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Although Supergirl is usually considered a classic example of The Cape, when Kara starts out her career she is an inexperienced, naive, temperamental teenager full of doubts and insecurities -she often is not even sure of wanting to be a hero- that makes mistakes and has to learn from them until she eventually grows into the role of the Ideal Hero.
  • Clock Roaches: As travelling through the time-stream into Superman Family #200, Supergirl gets stalked and assailed by a Time Beast, an ageless demonic monster that preys on time-travellers.
  • Cloning Blues: A notable Bronze Age story involved Kara getting an Evil Clone who was then depowered and just wanted to live a normal life. Kara promised to help her establish a new identity for herself.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Supergirl has traditionally kept her iconic costume: long-sleeved blue shirt, blue or red skirt, yellow belt and red cape and boots. Every so often Dc decides to change it -usually ditching the skirt-, but such changes are seldom well-received and Dc always returns to the classic look. New 52 Kara's costume, which replaced her traditional outfit with an armor-looking blue leotard with a red crotch patch, drew some ire from fans.
  • Coincidental Broadcast:
    • In Who is Superwoman?, Supergirl and Lana Lang switch on the news to find villain Reactron escaped from police custody.
    • In Strangers At The Hearts Core, Linda turns the TV on to watch a quiz show; suddenly, the program is interrupted for a special news bulletin reporting that the house of Linda's former classmate Professor Rudolph Clement has been destroyed by one gravity experiment gone wrong.
  • Collapsing Lair:
    • In Supergirl (1972) #7 Supergirl and Zatanna face up to a demonic sorcerer called Orgox. Once they defeat his traps and find him, he brings his mountainous lair crashing down.
    • In Demon Spawn, once Supergirl defeats Nightflame and her minions, the Innerverse collapses. Justified, since that world was the psychic manifestation of Supergirl's dark side, so it was destroyed when Kara beat her inner demons.
  • Combat by Champion: In Adventure Comics issue #412, Supergirl is chosen by the ruler of planet Liquel II to be her champion:
    Glynix: We must hurry, Supergirl! If we're not inside the circle of combat by the time the contest is to begin, the aggressor's champion will win by default!
    Supergirl: Contest?
    Glynix: Yes, a contest to determine whether my mate and I continue to rule the planet, or the aggressor named Zogg gains the throne! The League of Galaxies long ago decreed that anyone who wishes to replace another ruler cannot do so by waging war... He must select a single warrior... and my mate and I must do the same...
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Supergirl often holds back, but in a tough situation she will start to use her powers in many, many creative and nasty ways, particularly when she is upset or mad.
    • In Way of the World, the Girl of Steel comes upon Clayface. Kara lets him have a couple of blows before showing him she isn't giving him a fair fight by freezing him solid, flying him to the edge of the atmosphere and letting go.
      Supergirl: I'm sorry, but you seem confused. Just 'cuz I let you land a few easy blows— that doesn't mean we're having a fair fight!
    • A few issues later, Silver Banshee challenges Kara. Kara drops a truck on Banshee.
    • In Many Happy Returns, second-rate villain Rebel looks forward to fight Supergirl... until Kara warns him that she's mad enough right now that she'll destroy him before he can blink if he bothers her.
      Supergirl: Look — Here's the problem. You've done some bad things, but I'm really, really upset right now. So much so that, honestly, I don't trust myself. And if you attack me or I attack you... I will hurt you. I'll hurt you worse than you've ever been hurt in your whole life. I can carve you up as soon as look at you. I can break you, boil you, freeze you. I can do things you can't imagine. Things I can't imagine, until I have to. And then I'll improvise. Part of me is hoping you will attack. And part of me is praying — for your sake, and my own peace of mind — that you don't. It's up to you.
    • Red Daughter of Krypton: Unsurprisingly, becoming a Red Lantern doesn't make Supergirl less reluctant to fight dirty. When she figures out the Diasporans can breathe in space, she smashes through their space ships. When she's fighting a ruthless and powerful alien parasite Kara resorts to every kind of underhanded tactics such like letting him bonding with her and then poisoning herself or tricking him into throwing her into the Sun.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton, Superman comes up with a complex plan to guarantee that Darkseid leaves his cousin alone which includes Supergirl faking her death in order to make Superman go berserk.
    • In a Power Girl issue, villain Satanna replaces Kara's friend Terra's brain with Ultra-Humanite's. When a severely unhappy Power Girl barges into her lair, Satanna starts gloating and stops when Power Girl -who isn't in the mood- blasts her arm off and demands Terra's brain back.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Supergirl was created after Superman had got most of his power upgrades, so she had a lot of different powers from the beginning. In Action Comics #252 she uses her super-strength, hurricane breath and x-ray vision... in the same page!
  • Comic-Book Limbo: In the early 80's, DC blamed Superman's declining sales on his spin-off characters. In 1985, Kara Zor-El was killed off and her character consigned to Limbo. DC intended she was gone permanently, but eighteen years and half dozen of failed replacements later, DC gave up and brought Kara back.
  • Comic-Book Time: When Supergirl first appeared in 1959 she was explicitly 15 and aged at a slightly slower than real time rate throughout the Silver Age. She graduated high school in 1965 and graduated college in 1971, after which she became more or less 'fixed' as a young adult woman in her early 20s... until the start of the 1980s when she was inexplicably de-aged to about 19 so she could star in a college setting again. Her Post-Crisis incarnation is perpetually stuck in her teenage years.
  • Comics Merger: In 1974, DC Comics canceled Supergirl's first book, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, and Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane. The three features were combined (along with other occasional Superman-related features) in the (ahem) super-sized Superman Family title, which ran until 1982.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: In Supergirl vol 5 #34 Kara saved Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant from being hit by falling debris. Unfortunately Cat accidentally got bruised when Jimmy landed on her. Cat was so irate she devoted herself to wage a smear campaign against Supergirl.
  • Complexity Addiction: Super-villain Black Flame has a serious trouble with this. In Adventure Comics #400, Supergirl is at her mercy: trapped in a locked room, unconscious and sprinkled with Green Kryptonite. And Black Flame orders her hired guns to hurry up and bring Supergirl to a Death Trap before the Kryptonite kills her because she doesn't "want her go that easily". Supergirl survives Black Flame's elaborate death trap but she is immobilized and rendered unconscious. So Black Flame kills her? Nope. She sets another death trap up and waits for Supergirl coming around.
  • Composite Character: In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade Linda Lee's Evil Twin Belinda "Superior Girl" Zee has a few obvious Bizarro elements, but is thematically closer to "Dark Supergirl".
  • Conlang: The DCU has not one, but two alphabet ciphers that translate to one of 26 Roman Alphabet Letters: Kryptonian and Interlac. It's explicitly stated that English sounds different than Kryptonian (which has been hinted as vaguely Swedish sounding), which sounds different from Interlac, despite having the same amount of symbols to depict those sounds, and that each symbol matches a Roman symbol as well. Makes some sense in Interlac's case, since it could be descended from our alphabet. Some of the symbols might've been repurposed for new sounds, too; the Greek vowel letters were consonants in Phoenician. They have one non-cipher language: the language of the Indigo Lanterns.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Buzz the demon does this without realising that's what he's doing — he thinks the agonising headaches he gets when he tries to abandon Linda are direct punishment from God, and he's not being given any choice, but it turns out that if you haven't used your conscience for two thousand years, it's a bit stiff and painful when it becomes active again.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu:
    • The Supergirl from Krypton: Justified when Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman faced an army of Doomsday clones. Doomsday's clones don't inherit his invulnerability, nor his regeneration, reducing them to one hit point wonders. The army is taken out with heat vision and exploding batarangs.
    • Red Daughter of Krypton: Supergirl vs the Diasporans. A batallion of them? Red Lantern Kara wipes the floor with them. Their leader? Kara almost gets killed off.
    • Bizarrogirl: Subverted. Godship obliterates an army of Bizarros very, very quickly and easily. He also beats Supergirl and Bizarro down when they attack individually, but He has a harder time doing so.
    • Who is Superwoman?: Reactron killed dozens of Kryptonians when he and Metallo wreaked havoc on New Krypton. But when he ambushes Supergirl she is able to fight back and drive him away.
  • Contagious Powers: In Superman Family #203 "The Supergirl from Planet Earth" an Earth girl named Ellie Leeds gains Supergirl's powers after stumbling across Kara's crashed rocket ship.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: In issue 23 of the New 52, Cyborg Superman creates robot replicas of people from Supergirl's memories to fight her. This includes everyone she's met in her series; friend and foe, hero and villain.
  • Continuity Creep: Early Supergirl's stories were loosely-connected standalones. The Unknown Supergirl was her first multi-part storyline which had long-lasting consequences.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: In Action Comics issue #337, Supergirl's ship gets caught in a warp stream which both sends her vessel far away and knocks its guidance system out. Fortunately, her rocket reenters physical space near from a planet where she can find help to repair her ship upon landing.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Subverted in a Bronze Age issue when Kara tries to save a guy from a conveyor belt and finds the buzz saw is made from plastic. The conveyor belt wasn't supposed to cut the weak-hearted guy in half, it was meant to scare him to death.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: One early Supergirl comic featured a woman impersonating a man claiming to be Supergirl's husband-that-she-forgot-she-had, in order to make her (the woman's) boyfriend give up his crush on Supergirl. Supergirl saw through this at the beginning, because the woman put "his" arms around Supergirl's neck when "he" kissed her rather than around her waist, which is apparently something only girls do.
  • Cool Pet: Pre-Crisis Kara had Streaky the Supercat as well as a superhorse named Comet. Both animals have made cameo appearances since, and Post-Crisis Kara had an ordinary cat named Streaky, but main universe Supergirl never has got super-pets again (unless you count Krypto).
  • Cool Uncle:
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Ancient human-turned-demon Buzz lured young, troubled and insecure Linda Danvers into his cult, getting her involved in numerous illicit activities as he intended to use her as an human sacrifice. Later Linda became the next Supergirl and began to fight criminals and demons to redeem herself.
  • Costume Evolution: Supergirl has worn dozens of different costumes, although she always reverts to her iconic blue shirt/red skirt combination. She started out with a red cape, blue long-sleeved shirt and a blue skirt which she sometimes swapped with a red one. At the onset of the Bronze Age she tried a different costume every two issues until deciding on a puffy-sleeved deep-cleavage blue shirt and red cape, choker, short pants and boots that she wore until the early 80's when she changed back to her classic look plus a red hairband. In the Post-Crisis era she changed to midriff blue shirt with yellow-rimmed cuffs and long blue shirt, and Post-Flashpoint she changed to a high-collared blue leotard and boots with knee-holes. During Red Daughter of Krypton she wore a Red Lantern variant before the Rebirth relaunch when she returned to her classic look.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower:
    • In Action Comics #321, Supergirl discovers who stole her powers when she lends a book to a girl and she finishes it overnight. That girl couldn't have done that unless she read it at super-speed.
    • In Starfires Revenge, Linda Danvers gets hospitalized as temporarily depowered and has to sneak out of the hospital before her powers come back and everyone realizes her skin is invulnerable and her injuries heal instantly.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: In an Annual, Kara tries to pass herself off as Lana Lang's niece when a cop questions her. She realizes too late she doesn't even know what her alleged job is.
  • Covers Always Lie:
  • The Cowl: Ironically, Supergirl -one of the classic examples of The Cape and cousin of THE Cape- used to be like this back in the Silver Age. Before Superman revealed her existence to the world she secretly patrolled the small town of Midvale at night, trying not to get caught while she stopped crimes and saved people. Midvale locals rumored that they were protected by a "guardian angel".
  • Crapsaccharine World: Before both cousins arrived on the scene, Metropolis was a Crapsaccharine City. It's a bright and shiny metropolis... that was being ruled by Evil Overlord Villain with Good Publicity Lex Luthor.
    • In Elseworlds Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Lex Luthor's discoveries, especially his solar battery, have apparently turned Metropolis into a place where pollution, waste, unemployment, homelessness... were no longer a concern. Then it was revealed that his solar battery was a dead baby whom he murdered itself.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In Supergirl (1972) #2, Linda Danvers' friend Jeff made several passes at her even though she was not really interested. Still he was jealous every time Linda spent time with another guy and behaved as if she was cheating on him in spite of them NOT being together.
  • Creating Life Is Bad: Matrix was an artificial lifeform created by an alternate Lex Luthor.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
    • In Adventure Comics #410, Linda is captured by a tribe of birdmen and bound to a cross.
    • In Demon Spawn, Kara assumes this position when her enemy Nightflame places her in an unholy light pentagram.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: In Action Comics #314, Allura's physical and mental health are deteriorating due to her daughter never calling or visiting. The Danvers find out about it and they decide to abuse Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers verbally until she rejoins her biological parents (rather than explaining the situation to her). Their plan doesn't work very well because it's a bit hard to hide things from a teenager with super-hearing.
  • Cruel Mercy: In Action Comics #286, Luthor killed himself accidentally. Because he shot himself with an experimental nuclear Kryptonite ray-gun, Supergirl was capable of finding a method to revive him. Why would she do THAT? Because he was sentenced to life, and she didn't want him to escape his life-term jail sentence through death.
    Lex Luthor: Before I was respected! Now the other criminals will laugh at me behind my back because I was saved by you!
  • Cryonics Failure: Invoked in Supergirl (1972) #7. Supergirl finds Zatanna's frozen body and does her utmost to thaw her carefully because Zatanna can die if she is not careful.
  • Crystal Prison: After capturing Reactron, Supergirl and Flamebird shrank him and put inside a crystal shard in order to transport him to New Krypton where he would be trialed.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Krypton and Argo City (Kara's hometown) definitely fit this (and pre-Crisis planet Rokyn where the citizens of Kandor settled on). The Supergirl books often go into detail about the culture and society of Krypton, showing people wearing colourful, bright clothes and long, flowing robes and capes, and tall buildings made of glass and metal.
  • Curse Cut Short: In Adventure Comics #421, Pre-Crisis Linda Danvers grumbles (after putting up with her overbearing, self-serving, mean-spirited rival and co-worker Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor):
    Supergirl: That lousy 'Nasty'! She's out to get me fired! That rotten, under-handed stupid w...
  • Curtain Camouflage: Kara lampshades this. The image comes from The Superdictionary— appropriately, for the word "curtain."
  • Cute Bruiser: Supergirl is a small, cheerful, adorable blonde girl in her mid teens (when she first arrives) who happens to be one of the most powerful super-beings in the galaxy. She has been known to punch one god of evil into space.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: As reasons go, Jor-El and Lara and Supergirl's parents Zor-El and Alura had a pretty damn good one: the planet was blowing up and the only rockets they had were just large enough to safely carry their respective children to Earth.
  • Damsel in Distress: It very rarely happens to Kara, and when it does, it is because she has been overpowered by someone like Darkseid or she is playing along, and she hardly ever needs to be saved.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Supergirl seldom needs to be rescued. In World's Finest #169 Supergirl and Batgirl have been kidnapped by Catwoman and Black Flame (a Silver Age Supergirl's enemy). By the time Superman and Batman arrive at the cave where they're being held, both girls have already escaped. In fact, they save them from a Death Trap.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kara's entire home planet was destroyed when she was just a little child, and there's only one member left of her family.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Her origin story. In the original Silver Age version, she lands on Earth and is found by her cousin who sees that she is being taken care of (even if his methods are questionable). Post-Crisis The Supergirl from Krypton Story Arc involves kryptonite meteors, fanservice, a paranoiac Batman and Darkseid kidnapping her and brainwashing her. On the plus side, Superman immediately wanted to take his cousin in and introduce her to Lois.
    • At the beginning Kara was a naive, innocent, sweet newcomer. However she grows up during the Silver and Bronze Ages, and although she never stops being an idealistic hero, her childlike innocence goes away. This is made clear in Adventure Comics #424, in where she wears sexy clothes while trying to get a scoop.
    • When Supergirl was rebooted in the Post-Crisis continuity, several writers and editors thought the best way to update the character was turning her into a mood-swinger, self-centered, bratty jerkass. This strategy continued until DC realized that Supergirl's fans hated it. Supergirl's earlier characterization was retconned out and she became a troubled, insecure but ultimately good and heroic teenager again.
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl started out this way, with Kara being a reluctant hero at best, traumatised and, like most teenagers would under her circumstances, feeling overwhelmed and simply wanting to go home. She also holds a fairly dim view of humanity at large, but considering that they keep shooting at her and have poisoned the atmosphere with Kryptonite. Grief morphed to rage, partly under the influence of being manipulated and betrayed by H'el, and she became a Red Lantern for a little bit. Now, however, she's discarded the Red Lantern Ring, has come to terms with her losses, matured and become that much wiser. She has since accepted Superman's charge to be Earth's hero in his stead in The Final Days of Superman and Supergirl (Rebirth).
  • Dead Sidekick: Supergirl was Superman's partner and got killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Deader Than Dead: In Action Comics #297, villain Lesla-Lar is disintegrated by a ray weapon. In Superman Family #206 it's revealed her ghost endured and kept plaguing Supergirl for years, but Kara obliterates her soul during a psychic battle.
  • Deadly Dodging: In Superman Family #183, Supergirl lets her enemy Shyla Kor-Onn hit her, so the backlash throws Shyla back into the path of Phantom Zone Projector's ray, and she's sent her back in the Phantom Zone.
    Supergirl: Luck had nothing to do with it, Shyla... I knew you couldn't control your flying ability yet, so I let you get in that last punch... Then I used Newton's Law of Motion— for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction— It forced you back into the Projector's ray!
  • Deadly Gaze: During the "The Unknown Supergirl" storyline, Kara has an hallucination where she suddenly develops the power to kill living beings upon staring at them.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El was the nicest and kindest Supergirl's version, but she had little patience for idiots.
      • In The Daring Adventures of Supergirl vol. 1 #12, while several mooks are shooting at her:
        'Supergirl: I hate thinking of the fortune in ammunition thugs like you have wasted on me over the years!
      • A short while later, a cop is berating her:
        Lieutenant Peters: You wanna play cop, join the department and get yourself a badge! Until then, stay out of my way!
        Supergirl: You need a hint as to what you can do with your badge, Peters?
    • Peter David gave this quality to the Linda Danvers Supergirl. In Many Happy Returns, when The Spectre tries to tells Linda about the Anti-Monitor, she slightly mishears:
      Linda: I thought I was fighting Xenon! What the hell—? Auntie Monitor?! Who's her partner, Uncle Screen Saver?
    • Post-Crisis Kara often makes sarcastic remarks when she gets angry. In Supergirl vol. 5 #22 she fights a Super Soldier who claims to be "your tax dollars at work". After defeating him, she grumbles:
      Supergirl: Tax dollars at work, my butt!
    • New 52 Supergirl also has some good deadpan lines. In Supergirl #22, after Cyborg Superman reveals that he needs her flesh to become whole again, Supergirl gives this gem of an answer:
      Supergirl: You want to say that again? I couldn't hear you through all the creepiness coming out of your mouth!
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, Kara and her foster mother Eliza have a friendly battle of wits:
      Supergirl: Eliza, Jeremiah — Do you need help?
      Eliza: Not at all! I live to work hours cleaning twenty square feet.
      Supergirl: Sarcasm is not unique to Earth, you know.
      Eliza: Good. You already speak my language. This adjustment process will be easy.
  • Dead Person Conversation: In Last Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl has a conversation with her dead parents during a near death experience.
  • Death by Origin Story: Kara Zor-El's biological parents are a complicated matter due to changing continuities and retcons. In her origin story, Zor-El and Allura died from Kryptonite-poisoning after sending their daughter to Earth, where she would become a super-hero; however, their deaths were retconned in The Untold Story Of Argo City. In her Post-Crisis origin, they supposedly died after getting Kara into a rocket when Brainiac attacked Argo City. Later it was revealed they survived, but they were murdered during the events of New Krypton shortly after. In Last Daughter of Krypton, Zor-El and Allura die when Krypton blows up, after the former gets Kara into a rocket, and later Kara meets and talks to their ghosts.
  • Death from Above:
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Bleez asked one of her teammates to use their flagship's enormous laser cannon to blast her and her brainwashed friend from space.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Kara's telescopic vision warned her that a meteorite was about to collide with Earth, which would kill everyone. She wanted to solve the situation by pushing Earth out of the way, but Linda assured her that the Justice League would deal with it.
  • Death by Secret Identity: In Action Comics #303, a crook impersonating Supergirl's adoptive brother Jan Danvers learns her secret identity. The man intends to take advantage of her, but ultimately he ends sacrificing his life to save hers.
  • Death Glare: Kara is just as good-natured as her cousin, but being a teenager, she is more fierce and more short-tempered than Superman. If she is giving you one of these -often accompanied with glowing red eyes-, then you have pissed her off for real, and you last resort is praying.
    • In Supergirl vol. 5 # 58, a security guard is ogling to Cat Grant's butt. Then Supergirl leans over and glares. He starts and falls backwards.
    • Minutes later she's interrogating villain Toyman about several missing children, but he claims that he has done nothing wrong and tries to balk at answering her questions. Kara glares at him and a second later she slams him into the wall and urges him to cooperate as her eyes glow red.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton she does this constantly because she is constantly angry because of her Red Lantern Ring. At the beginning of the story she glares at Lobo as she tells she's done with users... and with him, and Lobo -an inter-galactic bounty hunter and mass murderer- gets scared and tries to calm her down.
    • Elseworlds: Finest Supergirl And Batgirl, Kara's glare after finding out that Lex Luthor murdered her cousin is... scary.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • In ''Convergence, Kara Zor-El, Supergirl of Earth-One, made a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and she returns. With the crisis prevented and the multiverse restored, an infinite number of people didn't really die. This includes Kal-L, Superman of Earth-Two, who was retrieved from the past timeline, and does not get to experience his death in Infinite Crisis and Blackest Night.
    • In issue #23 of her Post-Flashpoint series, Supergirl gets killed and her soul thrown into a Hive Mind. Later her soul is reattached to her rebuilt body.
  • Death Trap: In Adventure Comics #400, Supergirl is at the mercy of revenge-hungry villain Black Flame: trapped in a locked room, unconscious and sprinkled with Green Kryptonite. However Black Flame doesn't "want her go that easily", so she orders her hired guns to hurry up and bring Supergirl to an elaborate death trap involving a giant bowling lane and oversized bowling pins. Supergirl survives but she is immobilized, rendered unconscious and brought to another death trap (this time consisting of a giant crossbow) from which she also breaks free.
  • Declaration of Personal Independence: Many, many times Supergirl has told her tremendously overprotective cousin that she can't learn from her mistakes unless he stops babying her, and she needs to stand on her own:
    • In Superman/Batman #19:
      Supergirl: Thanks. I'm sure there were a few times, particularly out there on the street, when you wanted to fly in— but you let me handle it. It's the only way I'm going to learn, Kal.
    • Later, in Action Comics #850:
      Supergirl: And next time, let me fight my own battles. I could've taken her, if you hadn't come in all Papa Bear at her. I swear, you treat me like a four-year-old...
    • In Supergirl (2005) issue #22, he's finally gotten the message:
      Superman: Look, a lot has happened in the last few days, and I need to tell you—
      Supergirl: You know something, Kal? I've been dreading this talk for days.
      Superman: Kara—
      Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad— but you're neither one! I'm capable of recognizing my own mistakes, Kal! I don't need my nose rubbed in them! Maybe I'm not perfect like you—
      Superman: Hey, I'm not—
      Supergirl: Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and uncle Jon and aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation! I can get by on my own terms, and I'm doing fine, and—
      Superman: I know.
  • Defends Against Their Own Kind: Both Superman and Supergirl are the ones to fight and stop Kryptonian criminals and outlaws who manage to escape from the Phantom Zone. Their unwillingness to let anybody invade Earth and turn it into a New Krypton has gotten them labeled as traitors to their kind by people like Zod or Faora.
  • Defiant to the End: In Red Daughter of Krypton, parasitic abomination Worldkiller-1 is going to absorb and take over Supergirl's body. Kara's words as he moves to do so?
    Supergirl: I hopes it chokes on my poisoned—
  • Deflector Shields
    • When Supergirl joined the Legion, Brainiac 5 gave her a force field belt. Its energy shields protected Kara from force impacts and Kryptonite radiation, but the belt broke right away.
    • One of many explanations for Kryptonian Nigh-Invulnerability is that they somehow have an invisible force field just above their skins.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: Subverted with Post-Crisis Kara. An early story stated that her father trained her to be a weapon, and Superman -with aid of Batman and Wonder Woman- took her in and acted this way toward her. However her abusive father was eventually retconned as a hallucination caused by Kryptonite poisoning when the real Zor-El showed up and turned out to be a pretty nice guy.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • In Demon Spawn, sword-wielding sorceress Nightflame steals Supergirl's soul in order to drain her life-force and take over her body.
    • In Supergirl Vol 2 #8, Medusa’s disembodied ghost tries to take over Supergirl's body. The Kryptonian girl manages to defeat the spirit, but with the help of another ghost.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the 60's, Kara Zor-El was treated as a prominent member of Superman's core cast, had her own backup strip, her own supporting cast and made frequent appearances across all books of the line. Then she was gradually pushed to the background during The Bronze Age of Comic Books and eventually killed off. She wouldn't be brought back until 18 years later, after half dozen of failed attempts to replace her with non-Kryptonian Supergirls.
  • Depending on the Artist: Some artists picture Supergirl as well-built or waif-like, but back when she was an adult in the Pre-Crisis comics, she generally looked curvaceous and athletic. Her hair has been depicted cropped-short and curly, long and curly, shoulder-length and straight, shoulder-length and wavy, and even waist-length and wavy. Also, her Post-Crisis suit included golden cuffs whose length fluctuated wildly. On the other hand, her Post-Flashpoint red cape was gold-trimmed until DC Rebirth started and artists forgot about it.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Many Supergirl's villains (Lesla-Lar, Satan Girl, Nightflame, Starfire, Psi, Black Star, Superwoman, Reign...) are female partially because of this trope. Plus, when Kal and Kara battled Kryptonian criminals in the New Krypton storyline, Supergirl engaged Ursa (female) as her cousin fought Zod (male).
  • Despair Event Horizon: It happened to Kara in the vol. 6. She starts out a nice, happy-go-lucky girl. Then her father placed her in suspended animation inside a rocket and launched her out of Krypton. When she wakes up, she finds herself stranded on an alien, primitive world. Her family, her friends, her old life... are gone forever because her home world exploded nearly thirty years ago. Then she goes through several months of endless battles. Meanwhile, she appears to be unable to connect with her only living relative, she doesn't manage to fit in with Earth's people or keep any friends, and everyone she meets wants to decide what is better for her or tries to use her. She falls in love with someone, and then she finds out that her crush was a murderous bastard who was manipulating her. She has a chance to save her planet, and she fails... Then she runs into and fights Lobo, who intentionally presses her Berserk Buttons until she flips out. After pummelling him, Kara is mad like hell and feeling hurt, betrayed, confused and utterly hopeless, thinking she belongs anywhere and can trust no one.
  • Destruction Equals Off-Switch: In Convergence: Adventures of Superman, several Kryptonian criminals banned in the Phantom Zone attempt to invade Earth through a dimensional portal. Though, the dimensional gate instantly collapses when Supergirl smashes the Phantom Zone Projector that generated the portal.
  • Destructive Saviour: Supergirl is a hero fully committed to save lives. Unfortunately she's also powerful enough to level whole cities, so when she fights an enemy who can force her to fight seriously, they often wreck the battlefield.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #7 she and four enemies turned Manhattan into a war zone.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #31 and Red Lanterns #31, she and several Red Lanterns tried to save planet Primeen's capital city. Unfortunately they almost burned it down when they fought Atrocitus, and Kara used her heat vision to stop a blood storm. Supergirl felt horribly guilty, and Blezz muttered she thought that they were supposed to be the good Red Lanterns.
  • Determinator: Kara never quits. Never. Not even when she's poisoned with Kryptonite, her body is getting stolen by an alien abomination, and her heart has stopped. Even so, she'll keep fighting. She explains that her mother taught her to never give up.
    Supergirl: But then I thought of mother. I remembered all I had to live up to. A daughter of the House of El never quits. I wasn't about to be the first.
  • Determined Expression:
  • Diary: In her early Silver Age stories, Supergirl kept her own private diary where she wrote down their daily experiences and adventures.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In Red Lanterns #31, Supergirl used her heat vision on a blood maelstrom conjured by Atrocitus, and accidentally burned half city down instead of destroying the maelstrom.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, villain Belinda Zee uses her "Superior Vision" on Streaky (Supergirl's pet cat), and accidentally turns him into a sabertooth tiger.
    Superior Girl: That was not my best plan.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • In the Pre-Crisis universe Supergirl and Superboy attempted to punch Darkseid. They were amped up by Highfather to insane amounts and let's remember they could pull an entire galaxy's worth of planets without said power up. None of their punches even hurt Darkseid and barely even catches his attention.
    • Earth's 1's Supergirl lays an absolute beatdown on the Anti-Monitor before being taken out by a lucky shot... and as he limped off the battlefield, the Anti-Monitor said she nearly killed him. That's right, she nearly killed a being who ate universes.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: There's actually a whole forum debating whether Kara slept with Lex on Smallville.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: In Supergirl Volume 5 Annual #1 several bank robbers are holding several hostages. Supergirl cannot tip her identity off (long story), so she breaks a restroom's window, crawls into the place and pretends to be one of the hostages until she has a chance to take the crooks down anonymously.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Pre-Crisis Supergirl was able to travel to other dimensions by her own power.
  • Disappeared Dad: In most continuities, Kara's father Zor-El dies shortly after sending his daughter to Earth where she becomes a superhero. In DCU Infinite Holiday Special issue #1, Kara has to reunite a little girl with her absent father. It turns out that the man is a jerkass drunk who refuses to be around his daughter because doesn't want her to realize her father is a screw-up. Supergirl convinces him maybe he can get his act together and be a good dad, if he stops to run away.
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: Super-villain Shyla Kor-Onn created a device that can drain Supergirl's powers in Superman Family #183. You would expect that more villains would try to build a copy of Shyla's machine in order to steal the powers of Superman or Supergirl, but it was never mentioned again.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • To Superman, obviously. She even provides the page's trope image and is the Trope Codifier. Although not the first female copy of an established hero (Mary Marvel and Bulletgirl preceded her), she has had the most longevity and the most incarnations, including her own movie and Live-Action show.
    • In the New 52, a significant addition to Supergirl's Rogues Gallery has the distinction of being the Distaff Counterpart to two major Superman foes- Reign has a very Doomsday-like originnote , and a very Zod-like personalitynote . Incidentally, she basically presents herself as Kara's Evil Counterpart as well.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Kara has been known to be very distracting to male members of the super-hero community, but she isn't inmune herself. When she first met Dick Grayson she was too busy gawking at him to pay attention to his talk.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Supergirl often inverts this: she's fast enough to deliberately place her own invulnerable body in the path of bullets, to protect whatever's behind her.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Supergirl does this in on occasion, for example in one of Redan's Batman and Superman comic strips. Then again, she was still learning to control her powers. One of the explicit differences between Superman and Supergirl is that Superman has mental blocks he imposed on himself so there's an upper limit to how much power he'll use, while Supergirl has no such blocks, allowing her to at times be stronger than her cousin. Stronger, but not better. When they fought, Superman easily defeated and immobilized her (and actually threatened he could do it any time he wanted to if need be). Supergirl has been using her power for one year or two. Superman has been fighting people more powerful than he allowed himself to be since he was twenty.
    • In the 1970 story "Supergirl's Lost Uniform" (Adventure Comics #392), Supergirl while in her Linda Danvers identity lifted what she thought was a fake 500-lb weight and twirled it like a baton. The fake was the one next to it. Oops.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #27 Supergirl kicks Lobo so hard that she -apparently- kills him. Kara is so upset that she swears she didn't want to kill him and she cries she doesn't know her own strength.
      Supergirl: I don't even know my own strength!
    • In Supergirl vol. 7 #1, as Kara is learning how to drive, she puts her foot on the brake... and through the bottom of the car. When it happens, her foster mother cries out: "Again?".
  • Doing In the Wizard:
    • Subverted in Supergirl Vol 1. The eponymous heroine thinks villain Orgox pretends to be a kind of demon-sorcerer in order to deceive a bunch of superstitious, insular villagers, but it turns out that Orgox is really a demonic sorcerer.
    • Played straight in a story of Supergirl Vol 2 in which villain Kraken pretends to be a wizard, but he uses devices hidden inside his bracelets and belt to perform his tricks. Kara realizes he cannot be a wizard when one of his "spells" hits her and hurts her but doesn't blow her head off.
    • In Action Comics #257, Kara is reading fairy tales to several little orphaned children when another kid mocks them for believing in silly fantasies. Annoyed, Kara disguises herself as a fairy godmother to teach him a lesson.
    • In The Unknown Supergirl, Supergirl travels to the year 1692 and uses her powers to help a little settlement, unwillingly making the villagers believe she is a witch.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Averted in Superman #376, where Superman and Supergirl toil to dispel several tornadoes trashing Kansas. Although both cousins are capable to dive into the funnel and come out unaffected, the winds spawned by the tornado blow rocks, trees and houses away.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In the Many Happy Returns storyline, Rebel attacks Supergirl but she is feeling depressed and doesn't want to defend herself. When Rebel complains about it, Kara apologizes and says she can try to fight back if it'd make him feel better. Rebel grumbles he doesn't want her pity.
    Supergirl: I'm... I'm sorry, Rebel. I could... try to fight back. If it'd make you feel better.
    Rebel: Oh, please. I don't want your pity.
  • Domed Hometown: Argo City initially survived Krypton's destruction because it was surrounded by a dome.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • In the final arc of Peter David's Supergirl, The Spectre informs the Pre-Crisis Supergirl -Kara Zor-El- that she has to return to her own timeline for the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths to happen (namely, her Heroic Sacrifice). Linda Danvers tried to switch places with Kara, but it failed.
    • Convergence subverted it right at the end. In Convergence: Adventures of Superman, Silver Age Supergirl finds out -and accepts- that she is fated to fight the Anti-Monitor and die to save The Multiverse. However, post-Flashpoint Superman -and his family- and Parallax Hal Jordan join the battle and save her and Barry Allen's lives.
  • Doomed Hometown:
    • She has lost her home planet Krypton several times and her hometown Argo City.
    • New Krypton was this in the Post-Crisis universe.
  • Double Entendre: From Supergirl vol 4, #77.
    Kara Zor-El: I'm looking through it. It's amazing. All the equipment I'm seeing. So many sizes and shapes...
    Linda Danvers: All the ...? Kara! Just where are you looking?!
    Kara: The equipment room, where they keep all the sporting stuff, why?
    Linda: Oh, I thought you were peeping in at the guy's lock— Forget it. My own dirty mind.
  • Dragon Rider: In Supergirl (2011) issue #10 "Rescuer", Supergirl rides a Kryptonian black Flamedragon when facing the Black Banshee in a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Lex Luthor sees himself as the man who talked Batgirl into opening Gotham after keeping her city closed off during one decade. However it is Supergirl who manages to do this when she befriends Batgirl. Even in universes where Luthor gets rid of Superman, the Man of Steel and his family always manage to wreck his plans.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Superman meets Pre-Crisis Kara, but he thinks she is an obsessed fan, so he tells her to go home because it's too dangerous for her. He doesn't know it but she is way more powerful than him. Likewise, he tells her that she will get herself killed if she keeps it up. In this instance, he is tragically right. Being a hero got her killed.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Supergirl can do any number of other tasks at super-speed. But she can't fight at super-speed. The in-universe explanation for this is that she holds back to keep from injuring anyone else. The real explanation for it is simply that someone with the strength of the Hulk and the speed of the Flash is borderline invincible.
  • Dream Sequence: In Action Comics #275, Kara dreams about her being raised by Pa and Ma Kent in Smallville.
  • Dressed in Layers: In Batgirl 2009 #14 Supergirl and Batgirl enjoy a pleasant (and normal) night at Steph's college campus. Later, after the sudden appearance of 24 Draculas, the two realize that they would need to cut their night-off short and save the day. Supergirl rips off her top to reveal her costume beneath it, then turns to Batgirl:
    Supergirl: "Aren't you gonna... you know..."
    Batgirl: "Not unless you wanna see my bra."
    Supergirl: "Does it have a bat on it?"
    Batgirl: "I assure you that it does not."
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: In Adventure Comics #410, Mike Merrick, a guy who Linda Danvers was taking a fancy to (before discovering he was a crook), rescues Supergirl from drowning in the sea and kisses her before she regains consciousness.
  • Dual Wielding:
  • Duel to the Death: In Adventure Comics issue #412, Supergirl is forced to enter one when she's chosen by the ruler of planet Liquel II to be her champion. She doesn't want to kill anybody but Liquel II will be taken over by a tyrant if she loses. Kara manages to win the gladiatorial combat, but instead of finishing her opponent off, she manages to talk the pubic out of choosing rulers via combats to the death.
  • Due to the Dead: In Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 Supergirl's public funeral in Chicago, where she was eulogized by long-time and close personal friend Batgirl, was attended by literally thousands of people, many among whom were heroes and super-beings of greater stature or presence than herself (such as Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel); her actual final rites were conducted by her cousin Superman alone and in private outside his Fortress of Solitude, where he wrapped her in her cape and flew her off into space, heading towards New Krypton/Rokyn to leave her body with her natural parents, Zor-El and Alura (as seen in ''Superman Volume 1 #414).
  • Dye or Die:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara used a "Kryptonian comb" which allowed her to comb the brunette into her hair as well as comb in blond locks and serious curls when she did the reverse motions.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Supergirl dyes her hair brown to disguise herself.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In Crisis on Infinite Earths Supergirl managed to bust the armor of a heretofore-untouchable universe-eating dark god, though he took her out soon after, she still managed to force it to flee into the darker corners of the multiverse.
  • Dying to Be Replaced: Kara Zor-El was killed off in Crisis On Infinite Earths and replaced with a non-Kryptonian Supergirl due to the fact that DC wanted to do away with all Kryptonian characters other than Superman but they still needed to keep a Supergirl around for copyright purposes.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: Supergirl pulls this off once in a while. She doesn't often do this, though, because she's impatient and more concerned with stopping criminals than looking good. Kara also pulls this pose off in her tv show.
  • Dynamic Character: As noted above Supergirl was one of the first DC characters to avert the Static Character format going from a naive teenager to a smart young woman looking to make her mark on the world, gaining a family and friends of her own. Notably Superman (who was a constant presence in her earlier stories) slowly faded away from her narrative as Supergirl grew into her own character.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #31, Red Lantern Sheko is about to mind-rape several more innocent bystanders when a heat blast hits her from behind. Cue Supergirl swooping in on her.
    • During the Superman: Super League storyline, this is how Kara barges in on the battle between her cousin and the Energy Superman: she dove from the sky and double-kicked the false Superman while she yelled: "Leave my cousin alone!"
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, Kara interrupts the battle between Lar-On and the DEO agents when she suddenly swoops in on the werewolf, grabs him and flies away with him.


How well does it match the trope?

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