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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.
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  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • 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.
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    • In Supergirl (2005) story arc "The Way of 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 anything.
  • The Real Remington Steele: Supergirl and Power Girl assumed the identities of Flamebird and Nightwing while operating inside Kandor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Re-Power: Post-Crisis Linda Danvers' powers changed constantly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reverse Mole: In Action Comics #317, Kara believes her friend Lena's boyfriend Jeff Colby is an enemy spy. Later she finds out that Jeff was really working with the F. B. I. and trying to trap a spy ring.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Scene Cover:
    • The iconic cover of Action Comics #252 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 Academia 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 Adventure Comics #407, 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".
    • 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 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.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • In 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.
    • Lena Thorul knew that her friend Linda was Supergirl but she kept it to herself.
  • 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.
  • Security Cling: In Action Comics #867 -part of the Superman: Brainiac storyline- Kara glomps Clark while she tells him she is terrified of Brainiac. He hugged her back to reassure her.
  • Separated by a Common Language: "Knocked up" gets used in a Peter David's issue, when the British-accented demon Buzz asks Linda to knock him up in the morning. Eventually they get it sorted out.
    Linda: Demons...
    Buzz: Americans...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Superman vol 1 #149, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Skirt over Slacks:
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Supergirl wears a pleated red skirt over her Supergirl outfit (which is otherwise identical in design to Superman's usual costume).
    • She was drawn with shorts under her skirt in the regular comics as well before her costume changed with the universe reboot in 2011.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl wore a pleated red skirt over her blue leotard in The Eighties.
  • 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, Supergirl 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Spanner in the Works: In Elseworlds story Superman vol 1 #149: The Death of Superman! 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.
  • 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.
  • Squee!: In the 2017 Batgirl (Rebirth) Annual, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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).


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