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Tropes found in Supergirl

  • Oblivious to Hints: In Plain Sight, Ben's blatant desire to take her to the next school dance in a not-so-subtle way goes unnoticed by Kara Danvers.
    Kara: But this is meant to be an elite school— aren't we here to learn? This "dance" just sounds like a distraction.
    Ben: Maybe sometimes people need a distraction. I take it you're... not interested, though.
    Kara: Not in distractions, no.
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  • Oh My Gods!: Kara invokes Rao's name frequently: "Praise Rao", "Sweet Rao"...
  • Older Than They Look: Kara, at least in Post Crisis and modern adaptations; she also made the journey from Krypton to Earth, but took longer to reach Earth and be released from suspended animation. As such, she looks about 16-18, and is mentally that as well, but is actually a good few years older than Superman himself. In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Kara insists that she's mentally and emotionally older than she looks.
    Supergirl: My entire planet was destroyed. My civilization is gone. That makes you grow up fast.
  • Old Flame: Pre-Crisis Kara/Linda and her childhood crush Dick Malverne dated for a while but they drifted apart during their college years. Several years later, when Kara is twenty-four they meet again. It turns out that Dick was seeking her out because he was dying from cancer and wanted to confess he still loved her before dying. They shared a kiss the night he finally passed away.
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  • One Head Taller: Kara is taller than most of her love interests like Brainiac-5. Played straight with Dick Malverne, who is taller than her.
  • One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: In several Silver Age stories, Supergirl became immune to Kryptonite for a short while.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Kara is a nigh-invulnerable Flying Brick who has been known to wipe whole armies.
    • This is especially true from her pre-Crisis counterpart, who was virtually a Physical God. She broke down Warworld -a planet-sized machine war- by ramming through it.
    • Post-Crisis Kara crushed single-handedly several squads of Brainiac's murder androids during Superman: Brainiac. An impressive feat since they were built to deal with Kryptonians.
    • Post-Flashpoint Kara first wiped a wave of enemies as soon as she landed on Earth. During her Red Lantern days, there was not much she couldn't handle, and she nearly single-handedly defeated the whole Diasporan force.
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  • One Super One Powerset: Supergirl has a weakness to Kryptonite. She also has access to a Kryptonite-Proof Suit. You'd expect her to wear it pretty much all the time or at least line her costume with lead to reduce the effects. However, she brings it out only when she's fighting a villain that specifically uses Kryptonite as a weapon and expect it in advance. It's because the suit is fragile relative to the levels of power of Supergirl, her cousin and many of their foes. What they have done on more than one occasion is try to get rid of the Kryptonite since its supposed to be rare but more just keeps showing up.
  • Only One Me Allowed Right Now: In the Pre-Crisis Superman comics, this was declared physically impossible. If you time travelled back to a period where you already existed as a distinct being, you could only observe things as an invisible, intangible phantom. So, in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, when young, teenage Supergirl visits the present and doesn't understand why she's not intangible. It's because it's after her own death. She asks if the contemporary version of herself is visiting another era and Superman, fighting back tears, confirms that "Supergirl is in the past".
  • Only Sane Man:
    • In Justice League 3000, Supergirl is the only Leaguer who is the real deal instead of a defective replica of the original member. She's a mature, sensible -and snarky- woman and her teammates are a Superman who is an egotistical ass, a crazier-than-usual Batman, a blood-thirsthy, booze-guzzling straw feminist Wonder Woman, a deranged Guy Gardner, an annoyingly hyperactive Flash...
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Linda Lee is a kind-hearted, nice girl and the only person in her school who isn't a jerkass, a bully, a bitch or a xenophobic and deranged mad scientist.
  • Oops! I Forgot I Was Married: It happened in the 80s to Kara, in a story just after she died in Crisis On Infinite Earths (Superman #415: Supergirl: Bride Of- -X?). An alien named Salkor showed up on Earth claiming to be her husband, which of course Superman didn't believe. Later in the story he finds a video Supergirl made in his fortress where she relates being injured by a collision in space with a kryptonite meteor. Salkor, the hero of his world, finds her and nurses her back to health. Since she has amnesia, she hangs around and falls in love with him. But eventually her old memories return, in the process pushing aside her memories of the incidental marriage. She flies back to Earth and resumes her life. Her memories returned just in time for her to make the video before her death. A lot of fans forget this story because it was a time of way out stories as writers were cut loose to write any story they wanted before the reboot. Plus the marriage was a little bit gross by human standards.
  • "Open!" Says Me: In Gotham City Garage, Supergirl, Nightwing and Catwoman are sneaking in a secret facility and attempting to open a door but the retinal scan doesn't work. Kara -who is shielding her partners from a laser barrage- loses her patience and punches the door down.
  • Opposites Attract: Supergirl and Brainiac-5. She's a warm, nice, friendly, monotheist Flying Brick. He's a super-intelligent, rude jerkass with no social skills and no faith.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: In a Pre-Crisis story she was cloned. And her clone was a boy called himself Superlad.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Supergirl grew up in Midvale Orphanage after losing her parents and crashing into Earth. Although she didn't get into details, she has stated that she hated her life in the orphanage, felt very lonely, and was extremely grateful when the Danvers adopted her and she escaped that place.
  • Orphanage of Love: In the Silver Age, it looked like Midvale Orphanage was a nice one, but in Supergirl vol 2 #1, Kara revealed that she hated that place without getting into details.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Post-Crisis versions of Supergirl suffer from PTSD and Survivor Guilt due to her parents' loss. Kara has been known to openly say she wishes she would have died together with them.
  • Orwellian Retcon: In Supergirl's first story with the Legion of Super-Heroes, the following dialogue occurred when Supergirl figures out that the Legion who wants to induct her into their club is the same one that inducted Superboy.
    Original printing (from Action Comics #267):
    Lightning Lad: Not the same ones he knew, although we have the same names...
    Saturn Girl: We are the children of the three young super-heroes who befriended Superboy! We are carrying on the Legion's traditions...
    Reprint (from Action Comics #334):
    Lightning Lad: You're hitting on all cylinders, Supergirl!
    Saturn Girl: We've admired Superboy...and you! That's why we made this trip!
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Post-Crisis Kara is frightened of Power Girl because their powers go into overdrive when they touch... and because she turned on Karen temporarily. She apologized later on, but Karen turned her apology down.
  • Our Hero Is Dead:
    • In Adventure Comics #402, Supergirl has lost her powers and got shot. A mook briefly examines her fallen body and declares that she's dead. At the beginning of the next issue, though, Kara comes around.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, the Red Lanterns get this reaction when Supergirl removes her Red Ring (Red Lanterns die if they take their rings off). Two pages after, Kara revives when her enemy foolishly dumps her into the Sun.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Kara and Stephanie Brown teamed up in Batgirl (2009) #14 to take on 24 hard-light hologram Draculas.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • Lar-On is a Kryptonian werewolf whom Superman and Batman fought in World's Finest #256 (way back in the Bronze Age) and who fought Supergirl in Supergirl (Rebirth). His lycanthropy was a sickness caused by Red Kryptonite poisoning (Red-K does weird things to Kryptonians as opposite to the lethal and most famous green type). He turns into a muscled, huge, purple-red, humanoid wolf with firey Eye Beams.
    • In Adventure Comics #387 Supergirl is accidentally turned into a wolf-girl, while a wolf-girl Supergirl from a lupine alternate universe is turned into a human.
  • Overprotective Dad: Even though they're cousins, and she's actually chronologically older than he is, Superman took on this role with Supergirl when she first arrived on earth. He even jumped down the throat of one of the Amazons of Themyscira for besting her while they were sparring in The Supergirl Fom Krypton.
  • Painted-On Pants: Several Bronze Age Supergirl's costumes included form-fitting blue pants.
  • Paint It Black:
    • In Supergirl #3, Supergirl was exposed to black kryptonite and she was split into her normal self and an evil (and oversexed) alternate personality that wore a black-and-silver version of her normal costume. The black costume returned in a later Justice League of America storyline where a battle with the Omega Man accidentally reawakened the Dark Supergirl persona within her.
    • This was based on a Silver Age story in which Supergirl was exposed to a piece of red kryptonite that created Satan Girl, who likewise wore a black outfit. Her version had a cowl and no S-symbol, because her identity was originally a mystery.
  • Parental Abandonment: She always goes through this: She loses her parents when they send her to Earth to save her from Krypton/Kandor/Argo City's destruction. In the Post-Crisis universe, Kara finds out that they are still alive after all... and they get murdered soon after. So she lost them twice.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick:
    • Downplayed in Supergirl (Rebirth). Supergirl really doesn't like hearing her foster parents flirt when she's around (or when she is not around. She can hear them from anywhere, literally). They are not concerned about her squicked reaction, though.
      Jeremiah: What I did miss?
      Edna: Just the launch, Jeremiah. But the new uniform sure fits.
      Supergirl: Comms are live. I can hear you two.
      Edna: We're your parents, Kara. We're not dead.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Linda learns that her mother got pregnant. When their parents explain the hows and whys, she decides she did NOT need to know that.
      Linda: How did this happen?!
      Fred: What—
      Linda: Are you responsible for this?
      Fred: What the hell kind of question's that?
      Linda: Haven't you ever heard of protection?
      Fred: I had a gun nearby. Didn't help.
      Sylvia: Remember that afternoon you kind of surprised us, when your dad and I reconciled? Well, I think that's when...
      Linda: Oh, I SO don't need to hear that! Jeez, Ma, you're too old old to be having—
      Sylvia: Sex?
      Linda: I was gonna say "a baby", but yeah, the other thing, too.
  • Parental Substitute: Kara has several parental figures.
    • Her cousin Superman is or tries to be this, always.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl was adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers. They were loving, supportive parents, even after discovering that she was a super-powerful alien.
      Edna Danvers: To others, she's the world's greatest heroine, but she's more than that to us! She's the daughter we dearly love!
    • Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers become post-Crisis Kara's guardians when she moves into National City in Supergirl Rebirth. They are both her DEO-appointed handlers and her foster parents, and they try to help her understand and adapt to Earth.
    • In Action Comics #308, Kara takes care of a missing little girl for a while she seeks her parents out. The little kid -named Candy- called her mommy, too.
      Candy: Nice lady give Candy horsie-ride just like my mommy! Me call you "Mommy", too!
  • Passing the Torch: In The Final Days of Superman, Post-Flashpoint Superman finds himself dying with him not being able to stop it. So he takes Supergirl to the Fortress of Solitude and asks her to take over for him, before giving her the key to the Fortress. Although he doesn't actually die, Kara effectively carries on his legacy.
    Superman: Make me proud, Kara.
    Supergirl: You can count on that, cousin.
  • Pass the Popcorn: In the second issue of Superman Family Adventures Supergirl and the Teen Titans pass the popcorn while they watch Superman fighting Bizarro.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: Supergirl has done this time and again, either intentionally or unintentionally.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 2 #17, a car crashes into Supergirl. She said them "Stop", but they didn't listen.
    • This is even part of the introduction story of the post-Crisis Supergirl in Superman/Batman #8. Some guy crashes onto Kara as she roams the streets of Gotham aimlessly just after her crash-landing.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 5 #10, another car crashes into Kara while she's standing in the middle of the road.
    • Variant in Supergirl vol. 7 #1, in which Kara breaks several cars while she's trying to learn how to drive.
    • Demon Spawn: As soon as Nightflame steps into the physical world, a car moves in on her, and the villain crushes the vehicle.
    • In this fanart, Supergirl meets a truck. Said truck didn't survive that meeting.
  • Percussive Therapy:
    • In Demon Spawn, after having an argument with a bullying co-worker, Linda shuts herself in her office and she is so angry that she punches -and cracks- a wall.
      Linda: That lousy 'Nasty'! She's out to get me fired! That rotten, under-handed stupid w... I'd like punch... OOOPS!
    • In Supergirl (2005) #33, Supergirl is severely distraught after failing to save a child. Then she runs into super-villain Clayface and decides he is exactly the punching bag she is looking for.
  • Person of Mass Construction: Supergirl is just so quick taking apart the landscape like putting it back together. She has been known to get a giant breakwater up in seconds to protect San Franciso from a tsunami.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Supergirl is massively strong and powerful due to their vast and numerous powers. In addition to them, she got a Red Lantern Ring during the Red Daughter Of Krypton story arc, becoming one of the most dangerous things in the universe.
    Shay Veritas: How'd she get a Red Lantern Ring? [...] A Kryptonian wearing one of those is an extinction level threat—!
  • Physical God: Supergirl not only wields vast powers but also has been worshipped as a goddess or divine emissary at some points, much to her chagrin.
  • Pietà Plagiarism:
    • The cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, showing Superman carrying Supergirl's dead body, is one of the best known examples in comic books, and is frequently referenced and/or parodied itself and has generated a deluge of merchandising, effectively making the origin of the trope Older Than They Think for anyone who isn't aware that this cover itself is copying an older work, though it differentiates itself by Supes standing, tears streaming and crying out in grief.
    • And a drawing by Arthur Suydam of DC zombies has it too, with everyone but Supergirl a zombie, and her with an apple in her mouth.
    • Inverted here.
    • Superman did this to Supergirl long before the Crisis in DC Comics Presents issue #29. A reviewer made the next quip: "Again with the anticipation. Superman cradling a Supergirl literally at death’s door. All they need now is copious amounts of blood and a sweatband."
    • In the Post-Crisis New Krypton storyline, Supergirl holds her dying father's body while he dies.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 6 #20, Power Girl is holding the body of a dying Kara.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, villain Worldkiller-1 holds a dying Supergirl in his arms before dumping her in the Sun (a move which was fortunate for her and incredibly dumb of him).
    • In Justice #12 Kara does this to Poison Ivy after knocking her out with a blast of heat vision.
    • In Supergirl Rebirth #3, Cyborg Alura holds Kara's foster mother in her arms.
  • Pineal Weirdness: Action Comics #287 had Supergirl visiting the future in response to a call for help from the Legion of Super-Heroes. To get her up to date on the pending crisis, they used a future-tech device to download the info into her "'Third Eye' pineal gland."
  • Pink Means Feminine: This trope shows up a lot with Supergirl merchandise. Even though her costume is red, blue, and yellow like Superman's, you'll find a lot of costumes that look like this.
  • Pink Product Ploy: A clothing line.
  • Planetary Romance: Pre-Crisis Supergirl often travelled around the galaxy and visited and explored other planets, mingling with their inhabitants.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: In Adventure Comics #424, Linda/Kara allows herself to be held prisoner by a mob gang so she can track down their boss. As soon as she gets what she wants, she breaks free, beats the whole mob up and jails them.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Judge Sheko gains fire powers when she becomes a Red Lantern.
    • Chris Kent's girlfriend and Kara's childhood friend, Thara Ak-Var, has pyrokinesis in addition to standard Kryptonian powers. She can harness fire even if being stunned by kryptonite, red sunlight, or some other Kryptonian weakness.
    • Post-Crisis Linda Danvers had pyrokinesis and flaming wings for a while.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Along with Dick Grayson, the original Kara was allowed to grow up, even if it took thirty years. She started out as a cute little teenybopper, and became a beautiful young woman. There's a huge Tear Jerker in "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?,'' when time-travelling young Kara asks Superman if she grows up to be pretty. This is after Kara's own death, and Supes can't tell her that; but he does tell her, as they pass a statue of her adult self in the Fortress, "You grew up beautiful, Kara."
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot:
    • DC's first Distaff Counterpart characters to Superman (Lois Lane temporarily getting powers and operating as "Superwoman" and Superboy turning into a girl and operating as "Claire Kent, Super-Sister") were probably not tryouts so much as one-shot story ideas. But 1958's "The Girl of Steel" was clearly a dry run for Supergirl. In that story, Jimmy Olsen uses a magic totem to wish for a "Super-Girl" who would be a companion and helpmate for Superman. It doesn't work out all that well, and Jimmy ends up wishing the girl out of existence at her own request (It Makes Sense in Context... sorta.) Reaction was positive enough that DC introduced Kara Zor-El, the "real" Supergirl, shortly after in The Supergirl from Krypton.
    • Superman/Batman issue #19 picks up on Kara Zor-El's story after the events of the The Supergirl from Krypton story arc. It mainly, however, serves a staging ground for the Supergirl (2005) spin-off series. It was even republished as Supergirl #0.
  • Positive Discrimination:
    • With her reintroduction in the Superman/Batman series, many efforts were made suggest that Kara was possibly a greater Flying Brick than her cousin. Many stories written soon after her introduction as Supergirl had other heroes saying that she might be faster than Superman, might be stronger than Superman, etc. Overall, characters seemed to believe Kara would eventually surpass Clark in all parameters. Later these cheap compliments and expectations simply vanished, and the more traditional "as strong as Superman, but maybe slightly less so because she's smaller" interpretation again prevailed.
    • In the lengthy 1959 story arc about Supergirl's secret apprenticeship and training, Kara had a power outage. Then she briefly got everything back — along with invulnerability to Green Kryptonite. (Mr. Mxyzptlk was responsible.) Superman seriously regarded her as superior to him, and wondered if he should become her assistant.
    • In her Post-Crisis reintroduction, she seemed stronger than Clark for a while, but it proves to be because Clark's long since gotten used to holding himself back in a world of cardboard, while Kara hadn't yet.
  • Possession Burnout: Kara's villain Worldkiller-1 burns out any body he possess if his host isn't strong enough to contain his spirit. In a instance he possessed a baseline human, and his victim's body melted in a matter of seconds.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: In H'el on Earth, Supergirl stabs H'el with a shard of Kryptonite and pushes him through a dimensional gate, ending his threat. Kara mutters she wasn't about to leave things to her baby cousin before collapsing.
  • Power Crystal:
    • Several times, Kryptonite is a formidable power source. Generally done in the interest of making things harder for Kryptonians. For example, it was the power source for Metallo in his original incarnation, though with no anti-Superman malice at the time (all the scientist who made Metallo happened to have on hand when he made him was some Kryptonite).
    • In the Post-Crisis universe and other continuities Kryptonians use a kind of glowing crystals called "Sunstones" which perform a large array of tasks like building or information storing.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton, a sunstone guides Supergirl back to Argo City and then displays a message recorded by her father.
    • In Bizarrogirl, the Bizarro's rocket ship is controlled by sunstones. Supergirl also learns information about the Bizarro race via a Sunstone.
    • In Who Is Superwoman?, Supergirl keeps a communication device made from Sunstones. Kara smashes it to pieces in a fit of anger and gets her hand bleeding, which shows sunstones are not only glowing and multipurpose but also hard.
  • Powered Armor: In the Crucible Academy arc, Kara wears a blue-and-red Kryptonian powered armor during her first fighting tests.
  • Power Floats: Supergirl does it constantly when she is about to fight.
  • Powerful and Helpless: In "Way of the World", Supergirl fails to save a boy that is dying from cancer, and she has to accept her incredible powers can't fix everything.
  • Power Glows: Modern Supergirl's body often glows when she is super-charged with solar energy or is using her solar flare attack. In Supergirl #33, her body gave off a golden glow after she took a literal sunbath.
  • Powers as Programs:
    • In Demon Spawn, Nightflame intends to transfer Supergirl's powers to herself.
    • In Superman Family #183: Shadows of Phantoms, another villain -Shyla Kor-Onn- attempts to steal Supergirl's powers by plugging her into a life-draining machine.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Thanks to her Nigh-Invulnerability, Supergirl has won fights simply by standing still while human mooks hit her and hurt themselves.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong:
    • In the New Krypton'' arc Reactron nullifies Supergirl's powers with Golden Kryptonite. He thinks he has already won when Kara rises up and beats the crap out of him, telling she trained with Batman, the Amazons and is a first level practitioner of Klurkor- Kryptonian martial art.
      I trained with Batman. With the Amazons. I know first level Klurkor. Just because I can't use heat vision doesn't meant I'm helpless.
    • In the Justice League of America Elseworlds series JLA: Act of God, a mysterious event wipes out all superpowers, and Supergirl re-trains herself to become Badass Normal.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: In New 52 Supergirl issue 28, after Kara shots Lobo's ship down:
    Lobo: Bloody Nass! That ship was custom built! The things I did just to pay for it...!
    Kara: Don't worry... You'll pay for them ALL.
  • Precocious Crush: Damian Wayne, who is at best, biologically 12 (New 52 Damian definitely has accelerated growth, and 5 years old chronologically, at best) has a crush on Kara.
  • Preemptive Apology: In the "Bizarrogirl" story arc, Supergirl apologizes to Dr. Light before knocking her out and making off with her Bizarro clone.
    Supergirl: Dr. Light, I think you're going to be really mad at me later. And I'm really sorry.
    Dr. Light: "Sorry"? What for —
    Supergirl knocks her out with one uppercut.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Supergirl has changed costumes constantly since her creation, but most times she keeps the blue-and-red color scheme. Most of her costumes can be seen here (although her New 52, Red Lantern and Rebirth costumes are missing from that list).
  • The Promise: In "Way of the World", Supergirl promises a boy who is dying from cancer that he will not die. She will not allow it. She moves Heaven and Earth to find a cure in time but at the end, she fails.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Sterling Gates was a huge Supergirl fan from a very young age when he read Crisis on Infinite Earths. In 2008 he got to write her solo book, penning a critically acclaimed and comercially successful run. Since then he has written a good number of comics, often featuring Supergirl, and even one episode of her show.
  • Promotion to Parent: Superman usually serves this role for his younger cousin, who arrives on Earth after losing her parents. Ironically, in the Post-Crisis comics Kara was born earlier and she expected to raise her baby cousin when she arrived on Earth, but her ship was delayed and she put in suspended animation, and when she crash-landed on Earth, Kal was nearly twice his age.
  • Publicly Discussing the Secret: Subverted in a Silver Age Adventure Comics issue when Linda Danvers visits Clark Kent's workplace and openly calls him Superman. Although there was nobody nearby, her cousin is not amused and chides Kara for her carelessness.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Kara does this when she scares Rebel away.
    Supergirl: Oh... and Rebel...
    Rebel: Yeah?
    Supergirl: I have eyes that can see through solid matter. I have ears that can hear your slightest word... Your heartbeat... Your breathing... You do anything that hurts others... I will find you... and you won't like it. Do we have an understanding? Do. We. Have. An. Understanding?
  • Punished for Sympathy: When Kara was being held in stasis near from a kryptonite rock, one of the employees of Tycho released her. His boss got him killed.
  • Put Their Heads Together: In Green Lantern storyline Atrocities, Kara slams two enemies' heads together when she, Guy Gardner and Bleez are being swarmed by a mob of Red Lanterns.


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