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Tropes found in Supergirl

  • Rage-Breaking Point: After spending several arcs feeling angry, confused, lonely and betrayed by everyone, New 52 Kara fights Lobo in Supergirl #28, and the Czarnian taunts her and mocks her to the point that she explodes and beats him up brutally. She becomes so furious that she turns into a Red Lantern.
  • Raised by Humans:
    • In The Unknown Supergirl, Kryptonian teenager Kara Zor-El is adopted and raised by Fred and Edna Danvers, one human couple.
    • In Supergirl: Being Super, Kara arrives in Earth when she is a little child, and she is found and raised by Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers, one couple from a Midwestern town called Midvale.
  • Ramming Always Works: In War World, Kara hurls herself at the titular weapon-satellite at incalculable speed and collides with it, breaking it down.
    Then, at a speed that defies the imagination, the Girl of Steel strikes the gargantuan satellite — punches through it like a bullet through a snowball — and her velocity undiminished, hurtles onward, to be swiftly swallowed once more by the void!
  • The Real Heroes: In Crisis on Infinite Earths issue #4, Supergirl and Batgirl's final conversation revolves around Barbara's helplessness in the face of universal obliteration. At least her Kryptonian friend can fight thanks to her godlike powers, but what she can do? Kara reminds her nobody needs to powers to be a hero:
    Supergirl: Barbara, there are thousands of people out there— without powers like mine... the police, firemen, soldiers— They're all ordinary people trying their best to keep this world from falling apart before its time.
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  • The Real Remington Steele: Supergirl and Power Girl assumed the identities of Flamebird and Nightwing while operating inside Kandor.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In Strangers at the Heart's Core, Klax-Ar -a Kryptonian criminal who attempted to blow Krypton up but failed and lost his natural powers in the process-, demands Supergirl transfers her powers to him on grounds of being worthier of them than her. Supergirl rapidly fires back he is not entitled to have powers, no matter how big his delusions are.
      Klax-Ar: You have no right to Kryptonian powers! But I— I am a native-born Kryptonian! Power is mine by inheritance!
      Supergirl: Bunk! You sold your birthright when you turned against your home planet!
  • Recycled Title: There're several series titled "Supergirl".
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Not evil, but she was definitely darker, edgier and angrier when she wore her red-and-black Red Lantern costume.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: If her eyes begin glowing red... don't bother with running because she will catch you. Fall to your knees and beg.
    • At the first issue of the New 52 "Red Daughter of Krypton" arc, her eyes's red glow intensifies as she gets angrier. At the beginning their eyes give off a faint red light. At the end they pour red fire.
  • Reforged into a Minion: In the the 2011 series, Brainiac came upon a dying Zor-El (Supergirl's father). Brainiac mindwiped Zor-El and rebuilt his body, turning him into the new Cyborg Superman.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: After surviving her trial, recovering from her K-poisoning a bit and getting her head together, Kara sought Power Girl out and apologized for everything. Karen replied she couldn't forgive her or trust her.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Subverted in Supergirl (2005): In the "Day of Dollamker" arc, Cat Grant is kidnapped by the eponymous villain, and Supergirl, who has been the target of Cat's vicious and smear campaign for one whole year (which Cat is utterly unapologetic about), is sorely tempted to ignore her pleas for help. When she finally bursts into Dollmaker's lair, the villain wonders why Supergirl is rescuing someone whom she cannot stand.
  • Red Herring: In Who Is Superwoman? Kara suspects that her old friend Thara Ak-Var is the evil Superwoman who aided and abetted her father's murderer because Thara was Kandor's security head. It turned out that Superwoman is Lucy Lane.
  • Red Is Heroic: She wears red most of the time. Her Red Lantern uniform was red and black.
  • Relative Error: Supergirl and Superman are -usually- extremely close since both are the Last Of Their Kind and biological family. They are so close that people who is not aware of their kinship, assumes that they are lovers. Some examples:
    • In Action Comics #500 Superman explains several fans how came to Earth, became a hero, met his cousin... A member of the audience then blurts out: "I never knew Supergirl was your cousin — I guess I always thought she was your girlfriend!"
    • In Supergirl vol 2 #20, Linda Danvers -Supergirl's secret identity- tells her friend Joan that she's got a date for lunch with Clark Kent. When Joan starts gushing about her hot date, Linda tells Clarks is her cousin.
      Linda: 'Fraid you're on your own today, Joanie. I've got a date for lunch.
      Joan: With the gorgeous Mr. Philip Decker, I presume—?
      Linda: Nope. A different man... named Clark Kent.
      Joan: Clark Kent... THE Clark Kent, the news guy from GBS?! Don't you ever see guys who aren't nationally famous?
      Linda: Relax, Joan. Clark's my cousin!
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse:
    • In Adventure Comics #278, Kara goes back in time and she meets Pa and Ma Kent. As she remains in Smallville, she pretends to be Linda Kent, niece of Jonathan and Martha.
    • In Pre-Flashpoint continuity, Supergirl's Secret Identity is Linda Lang, Lana Lang's niece.
  • Relocating the Explosion: In Trinity (2008) issue #14, the solar power of super-villain Sun-Chained-In-Ink has become out of control. Before he blows up and takes the entire planet with him, Supergirl takes him out of the planet and throws him far, far away where his inner star explodes safely.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Supergirl's most notorious moment of awesome was beating the Anti-Monitor up in Crisis On Infinite Earths. Sure, he got a lucky shot and killed her, but she nearly kills an Eldritch Abomination that had previously devoured an infinite number of universes. That was not her only or last awesome moment, but it is the most memorable one. And it is often referenced In-Universe by whoever remembers the Crisis.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: In Superman Family #174, an alien race of serpent men attempts to subjugate mankind by mind-controlling Supergirl into working for them.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Strangely both averted and used in Legion of Super-Heroes V2 #303. Supergirl is trying to move a planet. She has the strength, but attempting to do so just ends up digging a hole through the planet because she can't move it as a single object by touching a small part of it. However, the "solution" used is to have her bounce into the planet, which really should fail for the same reason.
  • Retail Therapy: At the beginning of Adventure Comics #397, Linda Danvers/Kara Zor-El is feeling gloomy and depressed, so she goes shopping to cheer herself up. After trying some new clothes she feels better right away.
    Linda: Poo! This is for the birds! I've gotta get over this feeling! And when a girl feels this way — some new clothes are in order!
  • Ret-Canon:
    • Supergirl's 80's costume (the one with the headband) was originally designed for the live-action movie. It was dropped from the movie at the last minute, but by then, it was too late for the comics to ditch it.
    • Also, the white T-shirt costume from Superman: The Animated Series. It's explained in-story that Linda fashioned it from things she found in a costume shop, after Matrix (who wore a classic version of the costume) was forced to leave her.
    • The Rebirth series adds as much of the live action series set-up as possible given New 52 Kara's existing status quo; she's relocated to National City, where she works for the DEO, has a secret identity as Kara Danvers (with Jeremiah and Eliza both being DEO agents) and has developed a prickly relationship with Cat Grant, whose CatClark website has apparently become a media empire since the last time we saw her.
    • Selena from the 1984 film also is introduced in Supergirl Rebirth.
  • Retcon: Her backstory has been re-written more often the Blue Boy Scout himself. It can look like a tangled mess.
  • Ret-Gone:
    • For a long while, Kara Zor-El was retconned out of existence by the Crisis on Infinite Earths - until a storyline with the Linda Danvers Supergirl had pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Kara entering the Post-Crisis timestream by accident. Later, a Post-Crisis Kara was reintroduced, replacing Linda. Finally, the events of Convergence undid the death of the original Supergirl.
    • There was a truly heartbreaking Christmas special a couple years after the Crisis where the ghostly superhero Deadman is wondering why he bothers going on when a young woman, who can see him, tells him: "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." Then she disappears into the night, but not before Deadman asks her name. "My name is Kara. Though I doubt that'll mean anything to you."
    • Pre-Crisis, Supergirl fought a villain named Black Flame who's plan to defeat her was to trick the heroine into attempting this. Claiming to be a descendant of Supergirl from the future, Black Flame committed a few random acts of vandalism, and then "generously" let her "ancestor" see archived recordings of the future, where she ruled as a cruel and murderous tyrant. In truth, the archives were fake, and Black Flame was a citizen of the shrunken city of Kandor; she had hoped that Supergirl would expose herself to gold kryptonite to erase her powers to prevent any descendants from having them - which, of course, would render her helpless while not getting rid of Black Flame at al. There was one flaw in the villain's plan - a dental filling which Supergirl noticed, which she realized an actual descendant would not have.
    • A later version of The Dark Angel tried to do this to Post-Crisis Supergirl by trapping her in a horrifying illusion without her knowledge. If Supergirl had mentally, physically, or spiritually broken, Dark Angel would have had the authority to erase her. Supergirl survived the test, but Dark Angel decided to erase her anyway, only to be stopped by her boss, The Monitor.
    • It's happened to most of Supergirls. Lucy of Borgonia? Forgotten. Super-Girl? Her story never happened. Matrix/Linda Danvers? Retconned out twice and not even DC Rebirth brought them back. Cir-El? Retconned herself out. Post-Crisis Kara? Temporarily erased from existence by Flashpoint until Convergence brought her universe back.
  • Retool: In the late 60's-early 70's, Supergirl went through several permanent changes, culminating with her graduating college, moving out of Midvale and losing most of her supporting cast. During the Bronze Age Kara constantly moved out and changed jobs, until she was killed off in 1985. When she was reintroduced in 2004, she was reinvented as a troubled, moody teenager until Sterling Gates took over her book and completely revamped the character.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: In Adventure Comics #397, Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor sets in motion a bullying campaign to cover up her uncle Lex's latest plan to kill Supergirl as luring the Girl of Steel out. Her bullying spree indeed drew Kara's attention... so she spied on Nasty and found out about Lex Luthor's whole sceme.
  • Revision: Supergirl's real name is Kara Zor-El, survivor of Argo City, and the only child of Zor-El and Alura In-Ze. Much of this detail, however, was added over time: in Action Comics #252, Kara’s home city had no name, nor did her mother, and Kara had no surname. Adventure Comics #365 gave her a surname for first time, nine years after her first appearance.
  • Right Behind Me: In Supergirl and the Legion Of Super Heroes #20, the Legion are discussing Supergirl, ignoring Dream Boy, who is trying to warn them she's listening to them.
    Cosmic Boy: She makes me nervous, Garth. I can't put my finger on it, but somethings not right about Supergirl. Oh, Boy. She's here... isn't she?
    Dream Boy: That's what I've been trying to tell you. She can hear every word...
  • Right in Front of Me: In Adventure Comics #392, two girls talk up Supergirl and wonder about her secret identity as Linda Danvers walks with them.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: In Superman Family #168 Supergirl takes down "Lemon-Lips" Romero, a wannabe sorcerer who wore indigo robes and a starry, blue pointy hat for no other reason than because he thought those clothes are proper wizard wardrobe.
  • Robotic Reveal: It happened a lot in the Silver Age, since Supergirl had robotic duplicates that could impersonate any of their identities. In Action Comics #317, Linda Danvers believes she has to break her friend Lena and her fiancé Jeff Colby up to save Lena from a future heartbreak (long story); so, Linda hypnotizes Jeff into flirting with her to Lena's face. Later Linda finds out she was wrong about Jeff, but she cannot confess the full truth without jeopardizing her secret identity, so she builds a Jeff-looking android, who approaches Lena and reveals himself to be a robot. Then Supergirl tells Lena it was a robot who flirted with Linda before explaining it was all a horrible misunderstanding.
  • Robot Me: Superman made a bunch of Kara robot duplicates to fill in when she was unavailable and help her maintain her secret identity. When Kara fought crime while living at Midvale Orphanage, she used one of her robot decoys to keep the other orphans from noticing her absence.
  • Rogues Gallery: Supergirl has her own gallery, including Mad Scientist and body-swapper Lesla-Lar, Kryptonian criminal Black Flame, sword-wielding Amazon Nightflame, Satan Girl (name shared by three vastly different enemies), reality-warper Nazi Blackstarr, super-powered Darkseid minion Powerboy, mass-murderer bounty-hunter Lobo, Metallo expy and genocidal thug Reactron (who killed post-Crisis Supergirl's parents and blew New Krypton up), corrupt bussinessman Simon Tycho, Super Soldier Reign and the remainder world-killers -biological super-weapons-, Kryptonian werewolf Lar-On, Cyborg-Superman, and many more.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant:
    • Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman was, unsurprisingly, originally created as a recurring villain in the Superman titles. His new incarnation, though, has become a Supergirl villain entirely.
    • Silver Banshee has historically been a Superman foe but in recent years she's been more associated with Supergirl. In the New 52 she even became a (currently non-villainous) Supergirl's supporting cast member.
  • Running Gag: During the Silver Age, Supergirl saved cars from falling off a cliff the whole time.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: In Adventure Comics #409: "Fight with Fire Drake", a pirate band called the "Fire Drakes" assault yachts belonging to the rich. Their name comes from their dragon-looking diving suits and their flame-throwing gear.
  • Sacrificial Lion: In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kara -one of the most powerful heroes of her universe- fights the Anti-Monitor and dies. Her death deeply affects the surviving main characters, specially Superman and Batgirl who are left rather heart-broken.
  • Salt Solution: In Adventure Comics #396, a so-called magician tries to frighten the Girl of Steel by claiming that spilling salt causes bad luck and the only way to prevent it is to throw some of the salt over his left shoulder. Kara doesn't believe one single word.
  • Samaritan Syndrome:
    • In the Bronze Age, Kara was torn between her desire to live a normal life, her responsibilities bestowed upon her by her formidable powers and her need to save and help as much people as possible.
    • During the second half of her Superman Family run she worked as a soap opera actress. Her job was extraordinarily demanding and interfered with both her private life and her Supergirl duties. Most of time she had to ignore emergencies and working as Supergirl at night instead of sleeping (Kryptonian bodies don't need sleep, but their minds need to dream and rest). And she had no time to be plain Linda Danvers. It was driving her crazy, so she eventually quit her job.
    • In the late Bronze Age she had to accept the fact that she couldn't save everyone and sometimes she wasn't needed. In a classic story from that era she was mindwiped and forgot about her Secret Identity. She got her memories back, but that incident made her realize she couldn't be Supergirl 24/7.
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl spends all of her time in her cape until Superman warned her that she would get burned out if she kept it up and she needed to live like a normal person.
  • Saving the World: Supergirl is determined and committed to save the world and protect people for reasons that go beyond simple justice or righteousness: her cousin and she are the only survivors of a dead world. They cannot bear the thought of losing their adoptive home. Many of their stories lay emphasis on this:
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Kara explains why worldwide genocide and planetary destruction are one of her Berserk Buttons:
      Supergirl: How could anyone make it their mission in life to murder whole worlds? Can you imagine what an abomination that is to an orphan from a dead planet? [...] This world-killing stuff... it hits a nerve. It makes me furious, and the ring just fans the flame!
  • Sapient Steed: Comet the Super-Horse from the 60's comics was an extremely intelligent flying white horse who had several powers like super-strength and telepathy which he used to help his owner out.
  • Scene Cover:
    • The iconic cover of The Supergirl from Krypton features a girl emerging from a space rocket, wearing a costume similar to Superman's and claiming to call herself Supergirl and have all powers of Superman.
    • The cover of Demon Spawn features Supergirl being seized by demons as villain Nightflame holds a flaming sword above her. That scene happens, although slightly tweaked.
    • The cover of the third issue of Supergirl Vol 1 features Linda/Kara kneeled and sobbing as her friends get fun without her. That scene happens in the last panel of that issue.
    • The cover of Supergirl Vol 2 #17 features a car crashing into Linda/Kara and getting crushed. That is exactly what happens in that issue.
    • The cover of the first issue of Red Daughter Of Krypton features an enraged, eye-glowing Kara grabbing a Red Lantern Ring.
    • In Supergirl Vol 6, the cover of issue #37 -during the Crucible story arc- features Kara struggling against several versions of her wearing her Red Lantern outfit, her work clothes and a Kryptonian armor. It really happens in the history, although they are only psychical projections.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
    • In Adventure Comics #395, Linda Danvers spends the night at a haunted house to find out why everyone who stays overnight is driven insane. It turns out that the supposedly-missing mansion's owner was a criminal that built an illusion-generator machine to keep nosy people out.
    • In Starfire's Revenge, Supergirl investigates an allegedly haunted theater and comes upon some kind of ghoulish creature while checking the place out. Said "ghoul" was actually the theater's owner dressing up like a monster as part of a Starfire's scheme to lure the Maid of Might into a trap.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Kingdom Come, Supergirl decided to leave the present and join the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th Century when Superman retired.
  • Screw Yourself: There is a(n un)surprising amount of Supergirl/Power Girl slashfic. In 2013, DC took advantage of this, announcing Supergirl would soon loose her virginity to Power Girl. Guess what day they announced it on? The fans were not amused.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis:
    • Kara's first enemy Mad Scientist Lesla-Lar wore a lime-green suit. In her second appearance she wore a violet costume and orange cloak, gloves and boots.
    • Sorceress and swordswoman Nightflame wears a tight green outfit.
    • Nazi reality-warper Blackstarr wears purple robes.
    • Wicked Toymaker and Creepy child Dollmaker wears a green shirt, purple bow tie and belt and violet overalls.
    • Belinda Zee -a. k. a. Superior Girl- wore a violet outfit.
  • Second Super-Identity:
    • Before her existence was revealed to the world, Pre-Crisis Supergirl sometimes operated as the heroine "Mighty Maid".
    • In Adventure Comics #334, Supergirl was "the Unknown Legionnaire".
    • Post-Crisis Supergirll briefly took up the "Flamebird" moniker during the Candor story arc.
  • Secret Identity: Pre-Crisis, Linda Lee Danvers; Post-Crisis, Linda Lang; Post-Flashpoint, Kara Danvers.
  • Secret Identity Change Trick:
  • Secret Identity Identity:
    • Back in the Silver and Bronze Ages, Kara Zor-El was torn between her responsibilities as Supergirl and her desire to be a normal woman and lead a normal life. Unlike her cousin -whose "real" person was Superman in those decades-, she thought of herself as "Linda Danvers", and sometimes she felt frustrated because she spent so long being Supergirl that she forgot what being "Linda" was like.
      Besides, I could do with the time to myself... to sit back and think. It's selfish, I know, but I deserve... Whoa! There you go again, Linda!
      There's nothing selfish about wanting to get into yourself for a while instead of thinking about the whole blasted world! I do enough of that as Supergirl — and wasn't the whole reason for this move... to give myself space to be just plain Linda Danvers?
      I've been Supergirl for such a long time, it seems. Not that I'd give that up for anything... but I feel like I've totally lost hold of the part of me that doesn't scoot around the universe in shorts and a cape! I've forgotten what it feels like to be just a person... Instead of a symbol!
    • Post-Crisis Kara Zor-El was Supergirl 24/7 until her cousin warned her that she would eventually burn out and suggested that she came up with a secret identity. Kara created a civilian identity called Linda Lang, but it was merely a disguise. After failing to save New Krypton she briefly considered giving up on being Supergirl and becoming Linda permanently.
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl was given a secret identity in Supergirl Rebirth. However, "Kara Danvers" was merely a tool to socialize with humans and understand them in order to protect them better.
      "Kara Danvers" is a tool for you to walk amongst the people you protect.
  • Secret Chaser:
    • In the Silver Age, Dick Malverne. He grew up at the Midvale Orphanage during the same time that Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee/Supergirl did, and he was constantly trying to prove she had super-powers. In a story written in 2004, it was revealed that he always knew Linda was Supergirl, but he kept it a secret.
    • In Action Comics #361, a boy thought Linda Lee was Supergirl, and he pretended to be Kryptonian to goad her into revealing her secret identity.
    • In Adventure Comics Nasthalthia "Nasty" Luthor -Lex Luthor's evil niece- enrolled at Stanhope University as a student, hoping to lure Supergirl out into the open so her uncle could kill her. Several issues later she is convinced that Linda is Supergirl and follows her to San Francisco, where both begin work as junior reporters for K-SFTV as she tries to out Linda/Kara.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Supergirl knows her cousin's secret in all eras, and Superman also knows her Secret Identity. In the Pre-Crisis universe, Kara often helped him protect his Clark Kent persona.
    • Likewise, Kara's secret identity has a good number of protectors:
      • In the Pre-Crisis era, her Secret Identity is Linda Lee Danvers. Her cousin Superman and her foster parents, Fred and Edna Danvers, know this. At one point Linda's friend, Lena (Luthor) Thorul, also knew her secret. Batgirl was told in The Attack of the Annihilator 1981. In 2004 it was revealed that her childhood crush Dick Malverne always knew, but he kept mum.
      • In the Post-Crisis era, Superman, Lois Lane, Pa and Ma Kent and Lana Lang know that Linda Lang is Supergirl. Lana actually helped Kara set it up, pretending that she is her niece. Stephanie Brown -the third Batgirl- knows Kara's secret identity and vice versa.
      • In Supergirl Rebirth, only Supergirl's foster parents -Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers- and her boss -Director Cameron Chase- know who Kara Danvers is.
      • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Supergirl and Batgirl -Barbara Gordon- figured out each other's identities.
    • The Girl with the X-Ray Mind: After Lex Luthor confesses Lena is his little sister, but he does not want her to know about it to not create problems for her, Supergirl agrees to keep their blood relationship secret from Lena.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • In Young Love -a 2004 one-off tale set in the 1985 Pre-Crisis universe-, Linda Lee Danvers' childhood crush Dick Malverne knew she was Supergirl all along. On his deathbed, he confessed he always loved her and he knew of her secret identity.
      Supergirl: Mr. Malverne? You asked to see me...?
      Dick: Hey-Hey... Linda Lee... I wanted to see you one more time... You sure look pretty.
      Supergirl: You... You know —?
      Dick: I always knew, Linda.
    • In The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor, Lena finally learns Linda Danvers' secret identity due to Mad-Bomber augmenting her telepathy, but she chooses to keep quiet about it until another emergency forces her to come clean with Linda.
      Lena: At the same time I felt that strange pain, I got an overpowering telepathic "flash"— which told me why Supergirl was just here, but Linda wasn't... Because Linda is Supergirl! Of course, there's a small possibility I'm wrong about Linda! So I'd better not let on I know anything till I'm sure!
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • Subverted in Action Comics #258. Superman wanted to find out if Supergirl could protect her secret identity. So he sent Krypto to tempt her in revealing her identity, and then he exiled her in space for a week. Then he tried to prove that Linda Lee had super-powers using his Clark Kent identity. When she admitted that she was Superman's cousin without even attempting to cover it up, he thought she had failed... until she said she had figured out that he was Superman.
    • In Krypton No More, Linda refuses to help Clark when he fights Protector, telling "It's [not my] fight!" Her real reason to sit it out was testing him, "trying to see if [he] can still function after all these revelations".
  • Security Cling:
    • In Superman: Brainiac, Supergirl glomps her cousin while she tells him she is terrified of Brainiac. He hugs her back to reassure her.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton, Supergirl glomps Superman after telling her story and finding out that he is her cousin.
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Kara clings to her cousin, wraps her arms around him and weeps after being freed from Darkseid.
    • Supergirl also does this to Superman in the aftermath of the destruction of New Krypton.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Supergirl leans on her cousin's chest while Lex Luthor tries to save her friend. Superman wraps an around her shoulders.
    • The Untold Story of Argo City: When she watches a prediction showing the Zygor -a monster who nearly destroyed Argo City- nearing Earth, Allura gets frightened and hugs her husband tightly. Shortly later, Kara similarly clings to her mother after being told how much harm that monster may do.
    • Reign of Doomsday: When Superman manages to break into the space station imprisoning the Super Family, Supergirl lunges at him and hugs him.
    • Bizarrogirl:
      • After discussing about her name change and her need to move on and forget her roots and her past, Kara hugs Lana.
      • Bizarrogirl clings to Bizarro when she meets him upon returning to Bizarro World.
  • Seen It All: In Supergirl (Rebirth): Escape from the Phantom Zone, Ben Rubel is understandably upset over being thrown into an other-dimensional Hell, being jailed by a mad scientist that wants boil his flesh and turn his soul into fuel for his armor, and watching a girl transforming into a giant psionic dragon. Supergirl and Batgirl are absolutely unfazed, though, stating that they know how to deal with the aforementioned shenanigans because they're routine stuff to them.
    Benjamin: My God, she... She's a dragon! She split the whole city apart! This is too much, it's crazy...
    Batgirl: We handle crazy every week, Ben.
  • Sexy Scandinavian: Discussed in The Supergirl from Krypton (2004) when Kara first lands on Earth and meets some dock workers who believe her to be Swedish because of her blonde hair, blue eyes and her strange language, though she is speaking Kryptonian.
  • Shadow Archetype: Supergirl has several evil counterparts like Satan Girl and Dark Supergirl -who are literally her dark side given shape and sentience-, Overgirl -her Nazi counterpart from a parallel universe-, Bizarrogirl -her backwards, imperfect clone- and in Who is Superwoman? Lucy Lane, who is pretty much her complete opposite: she is an adult woman whose powers are artificial and who is willing to do anything -no matter how abhorrent- to earn her surviving parent's approval.
  • Sham Wedding: Action Comics #338, Supergirl gets stalked by an alien named Raspor, who is convinced that she'll marry him because his precognition says so, even though she already hated his misogynist self well before finding out that he's a murderous criminal. Nonetheless, when Raspor proudly (and falsely) claims to be the one who destroyed Krypton, Supergirl suddenly insists on getting married to him in a planet of her choice. After the "wedding" she reveals the "preacher" performing the ceremony was a three-dimensional projection, and her real goal was to lure him towards a faraway, deserted planet to leave him stranded in punishment for his crimes.
  • Shaving Is Science: Supergirl uses her heat vision to shave her legs.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Kara started out being depicted (and drawn) as a typical teenager, rarely looking more than 13 or 14 in most of her early appearances, only by the mid-1960s to be depicted and drawn as a sexy 20-something woman. Although "eye of the reader" does not apply for this trope, Supergirl becoming a woman is touched on in numerous issues, including stories such like Superman #376 where she tells her cousin she doesn't need his guidance or approval anymore.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: In Superman Family #194, Supergirl fights a villain equipped with a device which absorbs hate and transforms it into strength. In order to beat him, Supergirl uses self-hypnosis to remain relaxed and motionless. Without hate to power his engine up, the villain loses his strength and is defeated.
  • Ship Sinking: Supergirl/Brainiac 5 ship was temporarily sunk in The '80s when Kara decides to quit the Legion and return to the 20th century. Although she promises to go back, she's killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths shortly after. After Kara was reintroduced, though, Kara/Querl's Ship Tease resumed.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Kara ships her cousin Clark with Lois. She even tried to get her and him together once without showing her hand in Pre-Crisis continuity.
    • Back when he was a member of the Legion, Superboy approved of the relationship between Brainiac 5 and Supergirl and was not at all subtle about it, openly encouraging Querl Dox to romance his cousin more proactively.
  • Shockwave Clap: Supergirl has performed this move on occasion. In Red Lanterns: Atrocities she uses a super-clap to take down a mob of Red Lanterns surrounding her.
  • Shooting Superman:
    • Of course, this is done to Supergirl the whole time. Of course, it never works.
    • In The Death of Superman (1961), Supergirl breaks into the Luthor's lair while he and other criminals are celebrating her cousin's death. Several of them shoot her -even though she has just informed them that she is Superman's cousin- and she suggests that they stop wasting bullets.
    • In Action Comics #286, Luthor picks an ordinary machine gun, shoots at Supergirl and then he swears because the bullets bounce off. You would think he would already know that by now.
    • Many Happy Returns's first scene had the situation plays out as normal, right until the mook throws the gun at her — the gun hits Supergirl in the head, and she collapses. Then, she gets back up in the next panel.
      Supergirl: Just kidding!
    • Kara lampshades it in The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #12:
      Supergirl: I hate thinking of the fortune in ammunition thugs like you have wasted on me over the years!
    • In Red Lanterns #30, a squad of Primeenian soldiers shot at Supergirl and the Guy Gardner's team... even though they had just fought other Red Lanterns and their strongest weapons didn't even slow them down.
    • In The Killers of Krypton, Harry Hokum tries to stab Supergirl, prompting her to sneer at him:
      Harry Hokum: Die!
      Supergirl: A knife? Really?
  • Shrink Ray:
    • On the cover of Superman #365, Supergirl shrinks Superman down to tiny size with a Shrink Ray Gun as shown here.
    • In The Unknown Supergirl, Supergirl uses a shrinking rifle provided by Brainiac 5 to shrink the way-bigger-than-a-mountain Infinite Monster down to the size of a lizard.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: When Kara dies in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superman sets a shrine/memorial for his cousin in the Fortress of Solitude, complete with a large statue in the center of the chamber.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • After Kara is brutally beaten up by Powerboy, including having her face dragged down the side of a skyscraper, she wakes up in a bed next to a Stalker Shrine devoted to her, bound in powerful, alien-tech restraints. Powerboy says a big speech about how much he loves her, that he knows best, and that the beating was her fault for making him angry. Supergirl blasts him with heat vision, calls him out that he's an asshole and that no one should ever hit someone that they love, then drops his house on him. He tries to escape, while still ranting, but Supergirl catches up to him and kicks him in the groin.
      Powerboy: "Look, I'm just going to lay it all out because honesty is important in a strong relationship... I was born on Apokolips. Taken from the Armagetto Slums to serve You-Know-Who... He made me strong, trained me in the ways of the Earth so I could come here as a "hero" and... Well, it doesn't really matter anymore, because it changed the the day you came to Apokolips. The most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Ever felt. From that moment, I knew I had found my "Missing Half". I knew we would be together. And then you left... I couldn't eat. Sleep. Think. I knew that my true destiny wasn't with Darkseid and his stupid plans... So I followed you across the universe. I watched you try so hard to fit in, to find your way. All I wanted to do was hold you. Tell you how beautiful you were. But I knew you weren't ready to hear it... Sometimes we have to fall all the way down before someone can lift us up. You could be something so special, Kara... But you're lost. You're lost and you're too weak to find your way alone. Whenever you try... the monster in you comes out. Is this what you what to be?" (cups her face) "You need someone to take care of you, Kara. Someone who loves you to build to up... To make you into something you can be proud of. I love you, Kara. We can be perfect together, if you'll just let me fix you."
      Supergirl: (destroys her restraints and burns his hand with heat vision) "We need to break up."
      Powerboy: "Aaaaaigh! What did you do?!"
      Supergirl: "You hit me. You said you loved me... And you hit me." (punches him through a wall to the outside)
      Powerboy: "Y-You made me hit you! Because you don't listen, like now! Kara! I'm warning you! Stop it or I'll do it again! I'll hurt you again! You can be happy if you just do what I tell you! I—" (Supergirl rips his house from its foundation and rises into the sky) "Kara, I love you. Don't you want someone take care of you!?"
      Supergirl: "No one who says he loves you should hit you, ever." (drops his house on him)
      Powerboy: (Flash Step into outer space, pulls out his Father Box) "Ouch. Heh... Heh... Got some fight to her... Gonna have to work on that... Next time... And there will be a next time. Try to drop a house on me now. Father Box... Honey..."
      Supergirl: (Flash Step up to him, knees him in the groin) "I out-flew Superman, "Honey". We're not done." (grabs him by the scruff of his neck) "I don't know if you can hear me, so read my lips... Don't call me. Don't talk to me. Don't look at me... Or I'll break every bone in your body."
    • In the H'el on Earth, H'el talked Supergirl into helping him save Krypton, assuring that no one would suffer. She believed him... until she found out that he omitted several key details when he explained his plan.
      Supergirl: H'el, you never said anything about sacrfice! About threatening this planet! About killing innocent people!
      H'el: Killing? I'm not killing anyone! When we go back in time, this planet and its people will still exist, only thrust back to its own past! What happens to them today will be no more real than a bad dream! Surely you see that, beloved —
      Supergirl: Don't call me that! You used me! You told me everything I wanted — everything I needed — to hear! And now people might be dying because I helped you!
  • Sibling Team: Supergirl and Superman are the cousin version. They work together most of time and they often fight together.
  • Side-Story Bonus Art: In The '60s Supergirl often asked her readers for costume designs, and even wound up wearing some of them in actual stories.
  • Sideboob: In Adventure Comics #408-409, Supergirl wore a backless "costume" which some side boob.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • In the post-Crisis universe, Supergirl had a huge crush on Dick Grayson alias Nightwing because he was nice and understanding. Kara once spontaneously made out with him, all because he made a speech about being a good teammate.
    • In the New 52, Kara fell for a nice, kind-hearted guy called Michael. After meeting Red Hood, Michael is worried that she will like a "bad boy" like Jason Todd, but Kara states that she doesn't want bad boys like him, but someone normal and dependable.
      '''Supergirl: Some girls go for that sort of thing. Me? I just want something normal. Something real.
  • The Sleepless: In an interesting twist, Kryptonians bodies don't need to sleep -yellow sunlight gives them so much energy as they need, as well as quick cellular regeneration and healing-, but their minds have to. Their mental health deteriorates if they don't sleep and dream.
    • In Superman Vol 1 #365, a villain prevents Supergirl from sleeping, and dream-deprivation makes Kara move quickly from irrational to insane.
    • In Superman Family #200, sleep-deprivation makes Supergirl cranky and irritable.
  • Skyward Scream:
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: In a Sterling Gates Annual, Kara punches Brainiac 5 across the room when he's being a bigger jerkass than usual. Five minutes later she kisses him.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Superman is a Level 3 in at least The Silver Age of Comic Books — while Mort Weisinger was the editor, his supporting cast, Rogues Gallery, and mythology were slowly built upon, without readers requiring to have read any previous stories most of the time. Supergirl (also edited by Weisinger) followed this model but often moved into Level 4 as she was more likely to be involved in two or three part stories.
  • Small Reference Pools:
    • Supergirl is one of few Superman supporting characters to gain some level of notoriety.
    • Many people think Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 is the only good Pre-Crisis Supergirl story because it is the only Pre-Crisis Supergirl story they have read or heard about.
  • Small Steps Hero: Back in the Silver Age, Supergirl looked after orphaned kids when she was not taking down interplanetary dictators. By the Bronze Age, though, the dichotomy between her compulsion to help people and her desire for a normal life had gotten so bad that she had to accept for her sanity's sake she couldn't solve every problem in the world.
  • Smart People Build Robots: In the Silver Age Supergirl often showed off her Super Intelligencewith her capability to pump out and repair humanoid robots quickly and constantly. Her android-making skills were toned down during the Bronze Age, though, and barely mentioned after her return in 2004.
  • Smug Snake:
    • 'Nasty' Luthor is an obnoxious, condescending bully who plagued Linda Danvers for a while during the late Silver Age, scheming to out her Secret Identity or get her fired from her job at the very least. However, although she is manipulative, conniving and a Luthor, she is not her uncle, her first scheme backfired badly, and she only succeeded at driving Supergirl mad.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eight Grade, Belinda Zee is a smug, arrogant and scheming bully who is determined to ruin Supergirl's life. However she is too arrogant and prone to not think things through, which means her plans often backfire. She's brainwashed into acting like a duck in the second issue, and in the fourth issue she gets attacked by Streaky the Super-Cat. She's then turned into a statue by Mr. Mxyzptlk in issue six.
    • 'Nasty' Luthor is an obnoxious, condescending bully who plagued Linda Danvers for a while during the late Silver Age, scheming to out her Secret Identity or get her fired from her job at the very least. However, although she is manipulative, conniving and a Luthor, she is not her uncle, her first scheme backfired badly, and she only succeeded at driving Supergirl mad. In Demon Spawn, when Supergirl is rescuing her, she takes advantage of her closeness to tug at her hair, thinking Supergirl wears a wig... and it is Linda the one wears a wig.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Belinda Zee is a smug, arrogant and scheming bully who is determined to ruin Supergirl's life. However she is too arrogant and prone to not thinking things through, which means her plans often backfire. She's brainwashed into acting like a duck in the second issue, and in the fourth issue she gets attacked by Streaky the Super-Cat. She's then turned into a statue by Mr. Mxyzptlk in issue six.
    • Post-Crisis Reactron's Kryptonite-powered suit and his army training make him dangerous and formidable enough to kill dozens of Kryptonians during New Krypton's opening arc. However he treats everyone -including his would-be allies- as dirt, he always underestimates his enemies, is prone to wasting time gloating and playing cat-and-mouse games, and proves to be a dirty coward when push comes to shove. So, in Who is Superwoman? he gets humiliated by Superwoman when his Kryptonite blasts prove to be ineffectual against her, and loses against Supergirl because he's eager to fight her hand-to-hand instead of using his energy blasters from afar, even after she's shown to be a good melee fighter. And in The Hunt for Reactron, when his suit gets crushed by Flamebird, he surrenders, begs for mercy and claims he was just following orders.
    • Simon Tycho is a manipulative corrupt businessman and arms dealer, who albeit cunning, tends to overestimate his own smarts and resourcefulness a lot. In Last Daughter of Krypton, he thought kidnapping a Kryptonian girl and pilfering her techonology was a good idea. When she breaks free -thanks to one mook taking issue with his boss torturing a girl- and starts wrecking his base, Tycho does nothing but frantically shout at his soldiers "Take her down!". He ends up with half body scorched because he refuses to evacuate and admit he has been "defeated by a little girl" when the place is exploding around him.
    • In Crucible, Roho was too arrogant, smug and stupidly overconfident to be an effective threat. His villain squad has the chance to kill Supergirl's team off after winning their first bout, but he leaves the heroes alive because he wants to make them suffer later. As a result of it, Supergirl and her group track Roho's group down, now aware of their enemies' powers and abilities, and they utterly slaughter his squad and force him to flee. Shortly after Roho decides to fight Supergirl hand to hand with predictable results, and he has to be bailed out by the Big Bad himself. To top it off, he's beaten off panel during the final battle.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Action Comics #254 has the Dales, a couple of swindlers who sold a so-called "Power Tonic" which supposedly granted Super Strength, allegedly "made from an ancient Indian formula". In reality, it was sugared water flavored with ginger to make it taste "powerful".
    Mr. Dale: My daughter gained her super-strength by drinking this power tonic every day for one month! It's made from an ancient Indian formula! Drink it and it will give you the same powers, folks!
    Linda Lee: (thinking) Great Krypton! This was all a... a racket!
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Supergirl always finds harder to attend school and make friends than being a super-hero. In Rebirth she attends National City High School along with being a teen superhero, but she doesn't manage to fit in with her schoolmates because she isn't familiarized with human social customs and Earth's science is primitive and ancient to her. However she has saved the world dozens of times for now.
  • The Soft-Hearted Warrior: Kara Zor-El is one of the world's mightiest heroes, has been trained in both Kryptonian and Earth combat arts, and has a fiery temper. She is also incredibly caring and compassionate, and is always ready and willing to help anybody, no matter who they are.
  • Sole Survivor: Kara was originally the only survivor of Kryptonian city Argo. In the Pre-Crisis universe, though, she discovered than a group of survivors found shelter in a pocket dimension. In the Post-Crisis universe, a group of Argonians -including her parents- survived the city's destruction when Brainiac abducted them. However all of them got killed when New Krypton exploded, and Kara is again the Last Daughter of Argo City.
  • Something Person: Her codename is Supergirl.
  • So Proud of You:
    • In Action Comics #285, Linda Danvers reveals her foster parents that she is Superman's cousin. Her mother says she is proud of her.
      Edna Danvers: Then the daughter we love is a... Supergirl! I'm so proud!
    • In Supergirl vol. 7 #1, Kara has a flashback in which her father Zor-El said he was proud of her compassion and hopefulness during a school excursion:
      Zor-El: The Kamnium in the lake petrified these animals ages ago. They're not going anywhere.
      Kara: Exactly. They're stuck here. But If I holo-photo them all, then a little piece of them can escape with me. It's pretty strange, I know. Everyone else thought so.
      Zor-El: That's because no one else would ever see it that way, Kara. I would never say that's strange. That's Hope. That's what the crest we wear stands for. That's why I'm proud you're my daughter.
  • Space Pirates: In Adventure Comics #415: "The Space Pirates", Supergirl runs into the Space Marauders, a pirate band from planet Somar who plunder entire planets with the intent of putting together an army to overthrow their world's corrupt government.
  • Space Western: The story "Shootout At Ice Flats" in the 1996 Supergirl Legends of the Dead Earth annual was about a Kara-lookalike sheriff on an ultra-primitive frontier world. Forget laser guns, the people of this world didn't even know what a gun looked like.
  • Space Whale: In Action Comics #338, Supergirl runs into two different species of space-faring whales called "Space-Beasts".
  • Spanner in the Works: In Elseworlds story The Death of Superman (1961), Lex Luthor manages to murder Superman. He thinks he's going to get away with it and no one can stop him now, but an unknown girl wearing Superman's costume breaks into his secret lair, reveals that she is Supergirl, Superman's cousin and secret emergency-weapon, and she takes him away, bringing him to Kryptonian Bottle City of Kandor where he is put on trial for murder and sent into the Phantom Zone.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": In Pre-Crisis comics, the name of Kara's mother was Allura In-Ze. In later continuities, though, most of writers spell it Alura.
  • Spin Attack: In New 52 Supergirl #30 she performed a spin attack to repel a squad of alien enemies: she grabbed an alien and used his body as a blunt weapon, spinning around to hit all enemies surrounding her with her "weapon".
  • Spin the Earth Backwards: Parodied affectionately in Tiny Titans #6 when the Titans ask Supergirl to reverse time by flying around the Earth backwards in order to not get grounded (long story).
    Supergirl: "Oh! Fly around the Earth backwards and reverse time? No problem!"
  • Split-Personality Merge:
    • In Adventure Comics #313, an evil Supergirl is created when Kara gets exposed to red Kryptonite. At the end, though, Satan Girl is reabsorbed back into Kara.
    • In "Girl Power", Lex Luthor used a piece of black Kryptonite to create an evil Supergirl clone, and Wonder Woman used her Lasso of Truth to merge both Karas back into a single being.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • In Adventure Comics #395, Roz-Em -a Kryptonian criminal that had plastic surgery to make him look like Jor-El- pretends to be Jor-El's ghost to drive Linda out of her mind. He gives himself away when he tells he knows her secret identity. Since her uncle can't know that because he died long before she was born, Supergirl deduces the "ghost's" real identity.
    • In Superman vs. Shazam!, Supergirl and Mary Marvel deduce who has been impersonating their relatives through an elimination process. Mary correctly guesses Black Adam is the only who can replicate her brother's powers, whereas Supergirl eliminates possible candidates (Bizarro is not articulate enough, all Phantom Zoners have been accounted for, and they would have already heard if a Kandorian had left the Bottle City), until she remembers the Quarrmer.
  • Squee: In the 2017 Batgirl (Rebirth) Annual, during the Escape from the Phantom Zone, Supergirl lets out a high-pitched, literal squee when Batgirl agrees to help her out with a case.
  • Stalker Shrine: Powerboy had one of Supergirl, a wall of photos.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Powerboy became obsessed with Kara after catching a glimpse of her as a Female Fury. He created a shrine and became a superhero to impress and seduce her. However, he grew more and more possessive, and beat the crap out of her when she tried to visit Captain Boomerang (Owen Mercer) in the hospital. Supergirl defeated him in spectacular fashion.
  • Standing Between the Enemies: In Supergirl (Volume 2) #15, Linda Danvers' landlady Ida Berkowitz stands between Supergirl and the super-villain Blackstarr, Mrs. Berkowitz's own daughter, to keep them from killing each other.
  • Stanford Prison Experiment: Superman Family #194 is a commentary on the Stanford Experiment: Supergirl happens upon the students of New Athens Experimental School dressed as prison guards and inmates and fighting each other. When she asks what is going on, a student explains they are taking part in a Sociology experiment on human relationships run by Professor Martin: the campus has been turned into a mock prison, and the students have been labeled either "prisoner" or "guard". Though, they lost their minds and suddenly started attacking each other. Later it is revealed Professor Martin is a super-villain who devised that "experiment" to manipulate the students into hating each other as part of a power-bidding scheme.
  • Star Killing: In Superman: Brainiac, Brainiac develops a weapon called solar aggressor which can make a star explode. He blows a star up and later attempts so detonate the Sun, but Supergirl manages to stop and destroy the weapon.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: Reactron wears a suit like this. He claimed it was "made from a region of space", but later admitted this was untrue. The Pre-Crisis version wore a purple outfit with big five-pointed stars all over it.
  • Starter Villain: Supergirl's first enemy were the Dales, a couple of swindlers who sold a so-called "power tonic" which supposedly granted Super Strength in Action Comics #254. Supergirl quickly -and stealthily- destroys their racket and ensures their victims get their money back. The world's strongest girl would fight crooks, swindlers and bullies for several issues until The Unknown Supergirl introduced her first real villain.
  • Statuesque Stunner:
    • Supergirl tends to be portrayed as a woman of roughly above average height at 5'7", but occasionally taller, particularly if shown as her "future self" of Superwoman. Not too surprising, since Power Girl is essentially Supergirl's "grownup" counterpart from a parallel Earth.
    • Andromeda, Supergirl's Captain Ersatz in the Legion of Super-Heroes, is 6'2".
    • Super-villain Nightflame is two heads ''taller' than Supergirl.
  • Status Quo Is God: Zigzagged. In the early Silver Age, Kara was stuck in the Midvale Orphanage as operating as Superman's secret weapon. Every so often someone would try to adopt her, or she would try to prove Superman she was ready, but the Reset Button was always pressed at the end. The Unknown Supergirl completely altered the setting by allowing Kara to be adopted, leave the orphanage and go public, and her status quo remained in constant flux for the rest of the Pre-Crisis era: she grew up, graduated high school and college, and changed cities and jobs constantly. After returning in 2004, though, DC got Supergirl stuck in a loop where she felt incapable of fitting among humans, then she got over her loss, but something set her Character Development back.
  • Stellar Name: Astra, Supergirl's aunt in the series.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers started out as a high-school student, but she grew up and graduated. In the 70's she worked as a cub photographer for San Francisco news channel KSF-TV, and later as student advisor in Florida. In Post- Crisis continuities she has been a full-time hero or a high schooler. Her Earth-Two counterpart owns a software -later environmental- company.
  • A Storm Is Coming: In DC Retroactive Superman - The '80s, Superman calls Supergirl after a bad dream has gotten him utterly shaken to ask her to be careful. Preluding the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the story ends with Supergirl gazing at the morning red skies through a window and guessing "a bad storm's coming in".
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: In Adventure Comics issue #418, Supergirl has to stop a terrorist gang. When she corners the youngest of them, the kid points a gun at his temple and threatens to kill himself if she goes a step closer. Fortunately, Supergirl manages to take the weapon away.
    Child: Stop! Take one step closer— a-and I shall k-kill m-myself!
  • Stop Worshipping Me: In "Hero Worship" Supergirl finds a cult of Supergirl has formed on her hometown. Supergirl is very uncomfortable with it and asks the faithful that stop worshipping her and focus on helping each other.
    Supergirl: Please... Please, stop. I'm just a messenger. You can't worship the messenger... only the Source, which I most definitely am not. But I'm here to tell you how you can help. Instead of coming here, spending all your energies in worshipping me... I want you to channel all your zeal into helping each other. There's just one of me, but there are so many of you...
  • Story Arc: Unusually for DC characters in the early Silver Age (especially Superman himself) Supergirl stories were regularly two or three (or rarely longer) story arcs rather than just stand alone stories.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Supergirl took no part in the metahuman war in Kingdom Come because she would join the Superman side together with Power Girl, which would mean the old-school heroes would count three full-powered Kryptonians among its forces and utterly curb-stomp any opposition. Hence, she joined the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century prior to the events of the story.
  • Stripperiffic: Pre-Crisis Supergirl's costumes were -usually- relatively modest, but once she wore this costume. Remarkably, it was designed by a female fan. Her Post-Crisis counterpart wore a ridiculously and notoriously short mini-skirt during a Dork Age.
  • Strong and Skilled: Supergirl has the full Kryptonian powerset, and in most of continuities has been trained by Batman, Batgirl and the Amazons. Additionally, she knows at least one or two Kryptonian martial arts like Klurkor and Torquasm Rao. Reactron found out about it, to his regret, when she kicked his butt while depowered in Who is Superwoman?.
    Supergirl: I trained with Batman. With the Amazons. I know first level Klurkor. Just because I can't use heat vision doesn't mean I'm helpless.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Supergirl is usually treated as the equal to Superman but depending on the story she may be more powerful or clearly weaker (she's consistently been depicted as faster since the Silver Age, though). Her powers fluctuate depending on who she is fighting... or her opponent's level of popularity. So, in Wonder Woman Vol. 1 #177 she easily manhandles Wonder Woman, whereas in H'el on Earth Diana disables Kara after a lengthy struggle.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Brainiac 5 is a 12th-level intellect, meaning he is one of the bigger geniuses in the galaxy. His longest romantic partner is Supergirl, one of the strongest beings in the galaxy.
  • Stronger with Age: It has been canon of Kryptonians for quite a while that, as Supergirl grows older, her body becomes more accustomed to absorbing solar radiation and builds up greater stores of it.
  • Stunned Silence: In The Great Darkness Saga, Brainiac 5 spends four whole panels gaping after Supergirl says he's cute.
  • Stupid Evil: Villain Blackflame is able to come up with good revenge schemes but she's also prone to ruin them with unnecessary drama and convoluted death traps.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Linda Danvers retired from superheroics after Many Happy Returns, but returned in Shadowpact, transformed into a vengeful "Fallen Angel".
  • Super Breath: Linda Danvers/Kara Zor-El has super breath: she can blow gale-force hurricane winds out of her mouth, exhale blasts of ultra-cold air and survive underwater or in space without breathing. In the Silver Age her control was so precise that it was practically a form of telekinesis.
  • Super-Deformed: In Superman/Batman #51-52, an entire s-d League (called Li'l Leaguers: Li'l Superman, Li'l Wonder Woman, Li'l Flash, Li'l Supergirl...) make an appearance, hailing from a lighter and softer universe.
  • Super Empowering: In several Pre-Crisis stories, Supergirl accidentally gives someone else's powers through a blood or tissue transfusion. Usually those subjects (such like the Super-Scavenger in Supergirl (Volume 1) #4) use their newly-gained Flying Brick skills to commit crimes; fortunately, the transfer is always temporary.
  • Super Family Team: The Super-Family, which is comprised of Kara, her cousin Clark, her cousins's clone -Superboy- and her second cousin Jon Kent.
  • Superheroes Stay Single: Supergirl has never had a stable, long-lasting relationship. Her love interests usually are: cheaters; assholes; creeps; stalkers; manipulative bastards who are using her; or actual nice guys who break up with her and are put on a bus shortly after meeting her.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: She usually wears a cape just like Superman.
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: Kara often wears tights.
  • Superhero School: Crucible Academy. In the last pre-Rebirth storyline Kara attended Crucible, with heroes from all across the galaxy both new and some which had not been seen on DC titles for some time now (like the New 52 version of Maxima).
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Girl of Steel, the Maid of Might, the Maid of Steel, the Last Daughter of Krypton, the Red Daughter of Krypton, the Girl of Tomorrow.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: When Supergirl arrives in Earth, Superman expands the Fortress of Solitude to include a new wing for Kara's own trophies.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: 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 Oracle teamed up with Supergirl and both girls handled covertly all emergency calls during that day. Supergirl ended up completely exhausted, though, making clear she cannot keep it up forever.
    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.
  • Superman Substitute: Superman's distaff counterpart with his same powerset.
  • Superpower Lottery: She's Kryptonian's Superman cousin, so... she hit the jackpot. She's one of the most powerful heroines of The DCU, and her powers include super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability, super-senses, eye beams, several breath weapons...
  • Super Reflexes:
  • Super Rug-Pull: Kara has done this sometimes. One of those times happened during her battle against the Anti-Monitor.
  • Super Senses: She has half dozen of different kinds of super-vision (telescopic vision, microscopic vision, X-ray vision...) and super-hearing. In the first issue of Supergirl Rebirth, Supergirl is flying over the surface of the Sun and hears her foster mother's voice -who is standing on Earth- in real time. Later in that issue she uses her microscopic vision to read someone else's genetic makeup.
  • Super Speed:
    • Supergirl is consistently portrayed as faster than Superman (although nowhere as fast as Flash). In the Silver Age she could fly faster than light easily and even shatter time and dimensional barriers. Her power levels were reduced in the Post-Crisis universe, but she can still fly to the Sun and back within minutes.
    • In The Daring Adventures of Supergirl series she shows how incredibly fast she is when she flies from Chicago to her foster parent's home in the Midwest within seconds. And in Supergirl #21:
      Take a stopwatch to it if you'd like — from the instant Supergirl leaves the Kryptonite Man — to speeding to her cousin's side — turning back a miniature alien invasion — and returning to her starting point — within scant seconds!
  • Super Strength: Part of the Kryptonian pack. Depending on the version, she's nearly so strong or slightly stronger than her cousin.
    • In Red Lanterns #29, Supergirl and Superman have a short fight. When she picks an ocean liner easily, swats her cousin with it and Superman tanks it, it becomes apparent how massively strong Kryptonians are.
  • Super Spit: Kara gained the ability to spit corrosive plasma when she became a Red Lantern.
  • Super-Strong Child: Supergirl is usually a teenager in age with all of Superman's powers.
  • Super Toughness: Supergirl is a nigh invulnerable Flying Brick on par with her cousin. Some examples:
    • In Supergirl vol 1 #3, a giant mutant venus fly-trap tries to swallow Linda/Kara whole but it ends up spitting Supergirl out because it can't bite her skin.
      Supergirl: This brute may become a vegetarian now! Trying to chomp down on my invulnerable body would ruin the appetite of any meat-eater!
    • In Supergirl vol 2 #1 she shielded several men from a shower of molten steel with her body.
    • Post-Crisis Kara got a locomotive dropped on her. It knocked her out for several seconds. Then she woke up and threw it out of the planet.
    • Post-Flashpoint Kara first discovers she is very, very hard when she gets caught in an explosion and she doesn't get harmed.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Kara gets hit by missiles, punched on a moon and hurled into the Sun. She endures everything.
  • Super Weight: Pre-Crisis Supergirl was a Type 6 (quasi-Cosmic Entity). Post-Crisis she got downgraded to Type 4 (person of mass destruction).
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Many Happy Returns: Human Supergirl Linda tries to take the place of the original Girl of Steel to fight the Anti-Monitor and save Kara's life. Unfortunately, Kara can fight that universe-eating Eldritch Abomination because she is all but a Physical God. Linda is human. She has no a prayer, and no amount of determination, willpower, human spirit or preparation time will change that.
    • In Supergirl (2005) story arc Way of the World, Kara meets a little boy that is dying from cancer and vows to save his life. Kara fails and has to learn that her powers cannot do everything.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In Adventure Comics #384: "The Heroine Haters", Supergirl meets Volar, the female hero of planet Torma, who dresses up as a male because her planet's misogynist society wouldn't accept to be protected by a woman.