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Video Game / DC Universe Online

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"The next legend is you."

DC Universe Online is a Super Hero MMORPG, following on the heels of Champions Online and City of Heroes. The game is set in the DC Universe and allows the players to create any character they want without the usual class system of MMOs, as they can mix and match using any combination of powers (e.g. mind attacks), weapons (e.g. dual-wielding pistols) and abilities (e.g. super speed). The player character will then align themselves with either the famous heroes or villains of the DC universe, whereupon they are mentored by one of the big three of either side (e.g. Batman for technological heroes or The Joker for technological villains).

The player can explore the fully realized cities of both Gotham and Metropolis (as well as the surrounding areas during certain missions) at will as they complete quests and battle against/with other players and iconic characters from the Universe. Compared to other MMORPGs, DCUO has a bigger focus on fast-paced combat, storytelling, and player customization, as it is optimized for the PlayStation 3 as well as PCs.

The game was released on January 11, 2011, and became free to play November 1, 2011.

The game also had a tie-in comic book, DC Universe Online: Legends, telling the story of both the arrival of Brainiac in the present as well as the future where Lex Luthor travels back to the present. The book was written by Marv Wolfman, one of the game's co-writers, and Tony Bedard, with Tom Taylor also writing two issues.

This game provides examples of:

  • Allegedly Free Game: While the base game itself is free, you're not going to get far without making some sort of real-life purchase.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Making one of these is an option. Munitions seem more or less tailored to this, with lots and lots of guns with some powers with very edgy names (such as 'Killer Instinct').
  • After the End/The Bad Guy Wins: The entire set up for the explosion of metahumans is that 20 Minutes into the Future the heroes and villains are having an The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny in the Ruins of the Modern Age until Brainiac digitizes everything into Exobytes so Lex Luthor travels back in time with Brainiac's stolen Exobytes and infects the world to give thousands of people powers. He doesn't care if he creates a ton of Heroes or Villains so long as it means we have a chance against Brainiac, then flees to do "other important things" (and so we won't have 2 Luthors!)
    • Though it turns out Future!Luthor isn't as altruistic as he claims...
  • A God Am I: Circe and Undead Isis. The irony is neither of them are really goddesses.
  • The Ages Of Super Hero Comics: The game plays around with this in interesting ways. Metropolis is very Silver Age; the first enemies you encounter as magic (Wonder Woman) or meta (Superman) heroes are dudes running around in stereotypical Egyptian costumes and sentient gorillas with rayguns, respectively. While the level of "serious" fluctuates as you level across the story, it generally remains fairly silly. Gotham, meanwhile, features pretty much only Batman's rogues' gallery, meaning you're fighting street toughs pushing steroids, madmen with fear gas and whatnot as a hero, and as a villain you're just straight-up roughing up cops and paying them off for the mob, and participating in a gang war; the feel is much more "Nolan"/Modern Age. Even the alerts vary; the HIVE moon base is very Camp, while Bludhaven is quite a bit more serious.
    • Gotham also has a lot of civilians running around screaming over various things, while Metropolis people only freak when attacked.
    • Notably, in Metropolis it's always daytime (specifically a late-ish afternoon for maximum pretty); in Gotham, it's always night with a huge moon.
      • Lampshaded when a Hazmat officer mentions that he doesn't remember when is the last time he saw the sun in Gotham.
    • Certain Modern Age elements do leak through into Metropolis, though. For example, while most characters are in their "classic" outfits (Superman and Wonder Woman are in their most famous Superfriends-esque outfits, even Batman has a more bluish cowl, etc.), Giganta wears her One Year Later outfit (the form-fitting bodysuit) rather than her "classic" jungle swimsuit getup from the Superfriends era.
    • In general, the game seems to use traditional continuity elements, combined with a visual style that leans towards the lighter side. One such example of this is Killer Croc, who in this version, just looks like a big crocodile man, rather than a deformed monstrous human-like some versions portray him as.
    • Gotham does seem darker, but if you think about it, some of the quests are just as silly. Look at this gif and do the bomb quest in Amusement Mile. Try not to laugh your butt off.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In the final Joker-mentored mission pre-joining the Secret Society of Super-Villains, you fight a robotic Batman and Joker. The robotic Joker goes insane and thinks it's the real Joker, forcing you to stop it from killing the real one.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Armored Robotic Custodian is an extremely deadly example. If you had an inexperienced team, it might end up integrating the mobs it summons and (individually) gain Rocket Barrage from security drones, Doom Spin from OMAC Prime, Sonic Blast from Omega Sentries, Riot Foam from Pacifier Drones, Stun Beam from Arrester Drones and Whirlwind Attack from Wing Armor. It is as insanely difficult as it sounds, and more.
    • Catwoman when she is imbued with the speed of the cheetah, power of the lion, stealth of the panther and agility of the tiger through some mystical artifacts. She has little health, though, and is quite easy to defeat.
  • Alternate Continuity: Another one for the Multiversal Orrery, presumably. When the game started, it seemed to take place in an alternate post-Infinite Crisis universe where certain events, such as Knightfall still happened. As of 2019, the game has taken on a life of its own as this world has become a fusion of the Silver Age, Post-Crisis and the DC Rebirth eras. Of note, the Blackest Night event happened, but without Final Crisis happening, Barry Allen is active as the Flash, but Bart Allen is Kid Flash, Superman dies battling the New 52 Doomsday and not the original version and The Judas Contract event occurs with Damian Wayne as part of the group.
  • Alt Itis: Judging by the fact that the biggest selling item in the in-game store after going Free-to-Play was additional character slots, it's safe to say this is a common phenomenon.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Played to realistic levels, but the female characters are reasonably well-muscled.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The comic. Lex and the League manage to reset the timeline at the expense of Luthor returning to his evil self, but Future Batman also sends back a transmission to his present day self, revealing Brainiac's location in the hopes that Bruce will send it to the Green Lantern Corps and cut the threat off early. The comic ends before we see whether or not Batman accepts the transmission.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The game is loot-based but the 'rare' drops just add costume styles.
    • The coolest examples are the cool armor that the player gets once reaching level 30. Batgirl (if you're Hero Tech) gives you a robotic batsuit while Harley Quinn (Villain Tech) gives you a suit with an armed bomb on it.
    • In addition, running 'The Vault' gives you the chance to get some costume pieces that are purely fanboy loot, such as hoodies with Green Lantern or Lobo logos and baseball caps emblazoned with Bizarro's or Robin's logos.
  • An Ice Person: Ice is one of the power sets.
  • Anti-Grinding: Averted. By MMO standards, it is ridiculously easy to gain levels. Even grinding low-level missions gives an obscene amount of experience. However, gaining renown to unlock the epic armor (only available after reaching max level) is a more traditional MMO Grindfest...
  • Also, your weapons degrade and you have to pay cash to repair them. Expect to regularly spend time fighting low-level mooks with your bare knuckles and broken armor to find cash to repair your goods if you didn't plan your finances properly.
  • Art Evolution: The developers have earned their pay when you compare how most NPCs look now compared to how they looked when the game first launched.
  • Ascended Meme: The April Fool's Day event of 2018 gave the player a full collection in the recording collection area. One of the contents of this collection? Forty cakes.
  • The Atoner: Future Lex a degree. He doesn't really care that his actions create thousands of new supervillains. He just wants Earth to survive Brainiac. It turns out to be an act, as Future Luthor wanted the events to transpire as it did in his timeline so that he could defeat Brainiac at the last moment.
    • Played straight with Luthor in the comic, who began to see Superman for who he truly was after Brainiac manipulated him into killing Lois. Unfortunately, in order to stop Brainiac's invasion, he had to push the Reset Button and go back to being his evil self.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Iconic powers (Save for the Innates). While the idea of using Superman's Heat Vision or a Batarang does sound cool, they require a lot of Power Points and have no power interactions (Which are very important in PvP and endgame content such as Hard Alerts and Raids). Recent patches changed this to make them work better and stronger, although some of them are still passed in favor of more practical powers.
    • The Skip to Level 25 and Advance to CR X passes. They hop your character to the certain level dictated, but doing so completely skips most of the content connected to them and you can easily miss out on many of the good stuff they offer.
  • Badass in Distress: Several missions involve coming to the aid of a prominent superhero/supervillain, who normally then proceed to team up with you to fight the villain upon being rescued.
  • Badass Longcoat: Not an uncommon sight. Major examples include three members of the original Trenchcoat Brigade (John Constantine, The Phantom Stranger and Doctor Occult) and The Question II.
    • The Player Characters can have them as well, having several different options.
      • A wide, leather one looking like the ones worn by Neo or Morpheus that can be selected during Character Creation.
      • A better-fitted, canvas one, more akin to Columbo's, which is the reward for collecting the scattered personnel files of the (former) Gotham Major Crimes Unit.
      • A western-style duster is available if you collect the scattered Briefings from the Battle for Earth DLC.
      • And a tech-style one is available from the PVP vendor.
  • Badass Normal: Zig-zagged with characters using the Gadgets and Munitions powers; they rely on high-tech gadgets and conventional weaponry in lieu of genetic superpowers or magic and their default movement style is Acrobatics, but they can still utilize Iconic Powers and have the same Super Strength as Meta and Magic characters as a Required Secondary Power.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Calculator in regards to Christmas:
    "'Tis the holiday season! Full of Charity and Mistletoe and Karma and...all the other girls at Club L'Excellence."
  • Batman Gambit: Oddly enough not done by the Trope Namer but by Hera in the Amazon Fury Arc, to wit- She has a vision of Typhon coming to Olympus to kill Zeus, and aware of Ares and Hades' current actions to take the crown from Zeus. So she manipulates Circe to assist Ares in his attempt with the promise of getting the crown for herself. That part works, Circe gets the crown after Zeus is defeated and Typhon attempts to kill Circe not Zeus, it all goes to hell in the final raid to take the crown from Typhon, where he chooses to destroy it rather than hand it back to the Gods. This leaves Olympus in limbo.
  • Bat Signal: A fixture in Gotham City, and there is a feat for finding it.
  • Beware the Superman: Villain player characters, naturally.
  • Big Bad:
    • Brainiac for the base game, returning in episodes 1, 3, 13, and 40.
    • Episode 35 - 37 and 41 - 43 have Perpetua instead.
  • Big Bad Triumvirate: Lex Luthor, The Joker and Circe.
  • Big "NO!": Mr. Freeze when the player betrays him.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: During the holiday event, your job as a hero is to give Larfleeze's stolen presents to citizens, while as a villain you must destroy those same presents. The NPCs that would've received them will sometimes lob this type of insult at you.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The comic's ending. The timeline is reset to one year before Brainiac's invasion, and all the deaths and destruction it caused is undone. Unfortunately, Lex Luthor went back to being evil as a result. Future!Batman sends the coordinates of Brainiac in the current time period to Present!Batman's Bat Computer, and asks him to send them to the Green Lantern Corps so they can stop him. The comic ends before we see whether or not Present!Batman accepts the transmission.
  • Blood Knight:
  • Wonder Girl shows some too, especially in her spotlight message.
  • As of War of the Light, Part 1 DLC, players can become Red Lanterns, who are this trope in its purest form.
  • Boring, but Practical: Most of the weapon types have some rather unique combat abilities, such as the acrobatic Martial Arts, or the flashy Hand Blast. Brawling, on the other hand, simply utilizes punches, swings, and the occasional kick, and is arguably the strongest fighting style in the game.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Lashers in the Stryker's Island alert, who are so strong that they're basically Raid-Level mooks.
    • Also some of the tougher HIVE agents, who dress quite similarly to their incredibly weak drone counterparts.
  • Boss-Only Level: The "Doomsday" Raid in "The Death of Superman" episode has no enemies other than Doomsday.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Naturally if your player character uses guns, they will have these.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • The Teen Titans by Trigon (twice), Aquaman by Circe, Robin by Poison Ivy.
    • Booster Gold by Queen Bee and Donna Troy/Cheetah by Jacob on duo missions.
      • Queen Bee also hypnotizes some people who (apparently) came to help you during her boss fight.
    • The Bat Family by Brother Eye and Krypto, Supergirl, Power Girl, and Bizarro by Brainiac in Raids.
    • It also happens automatically to any NPC who's transformed into a gorilla or is made into a "Drylander Slave."
    • Superman by Brainiac in the comic. It was eventually undone by the Atom, but not before Brainiac made him kill Lois.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: How Calculator apparently views The Riddler. "So he tells riddles. His checks clear."
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Many, but Calculator couldn't go for more than a couple of sentences without some mention of his or the player's evilness.
  • Car Fu: For players with the Super Strength power.
  • Cities Of Adventure: Almost all the action (barring a couple missions) takes place in Metropolis and Gotham City.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The characters that have the acrobatic movement mode, despite not being technically a super power, with this movement mode they can run at speeds greater than 35 miles per hour and climb walls with just running.
  • The Chosen One: Downplayed. While you are part of the Justice League/Legion of Doom by the end of the leveling experience, you're not treated as the next Superman-level star. In the Starro Invasion event series, a recording from Iris West refers to you as an "unknown meta" and, when helping citizens in Doomed Metropolis, they have absolutely no idea who you are, but are thankful for the help.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The three main types of hero or villain are arranged like this in their bases. Metas are blue, Magic users are red, and Tech users are green.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    Joker: If you wanna stay on my good side, you'll give those stolen diamonds to Mister Freeze. Oh, but don't worry - we'll be stabbing him in the back soon enough.
    • At the end of the Fortress of Solitude raids, after defeating Brainiac and General Zod, Lex Luthor turns against Superman and attempts to send him to the Phantom Zone. It doesn't work because the crystals are programmed that way.
    • Happens twice in the "Birds of Prey" episode. First it is revealed Lex has been helping the heroes before to analyze their powers for Amazo to use, then at the end when Lex "teams up" with the heroes to take down Brimstone, turns out he's using them to crack it open like an egg to get to the seed of source energy, which he merges to gain godlike power.
      Black Canary: Called it.
  • Climbing Climax: Given the commonality of flying powers, this is often averted. Inverted in the Lighthouse mission vs. Bane, where you enter through the top floor and fight your way to the bottom. All the better for him to drop it on your head.
    • On the other hand, if you pick Acrobatics as your method of travel, you'll do a lot of this when exploring. Getting the grappling hook skill makes it a bit easier.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The color of the icons on your action bar indicate your character's powerset: Gadgets, Ice, Electricity, Quantum, and Water are each a different shade of blue, Fire and Atomic are two shades of orange, Sorcery, Mental, and Celestial are each a different shade of purple, Nature and Munitions are two shades of dark green, Light is bright green for heroes and yellow for villains, Earth is brown, and Rage is red.
      • Adding to this, the PlayStation 4 version reflects the color of your current character's powerset on the light bar, the only difference being that Quantum and Celestial are now white and like-colored powers are usually the same shade.
    • Weapon attacks will show what kind of power you have. For example, arrows shot by Fire players are red, icy blue for Ice, green for Nature, pale blue for Gadgets, etc. This also extends to the visual effects, i.e. Nature users will have plant visuals in their combos while Atomic gets miniature mushroom clouds.
  • Combat Medic: Players have their damage outputs greatly reduced while in the healer role; however, Kryptonian medics in the Fortress of Solitude are arguably more dangerous than infantry or snipers, having a special attack that hits over 3000, which is more than the max health of the average player at that level.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: Bad Future Batman in the "Family Reunion" operation will do this if you return to confront him after wiping.
    Batman: Back again? Because it went soooo well last time.
  • Covers Always Lie: The main piece of "Atlantis" episode promotional art depicts Aquaman and King Shark lunging towards each other in battle. Not only is this not the central conflict of the story, they never fought each other and the only time they even meet is at the final battle when everyone is united against Corum Rath and his forces, they do not interact in any way.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Two-Face's opinion on Clayface's condition.
    If I could look like anyone I wanted, I wouldn't be complaining.
  • Dark Is Evil / Light Is Good: The Celestial powers are colored differently depending on your faction. If you're a hero, then they're colored Gold and White; while if you're a villain, the powers are Black and Purple.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some of the released DLC content seem to be this for lesser-known heroes and villains such as Dr. Fate/Felix Faust and Steel/T.O. Morrow in Hand of Fate and Home Turf respectively.
    • Xa-Du and Corum Rath are both very recent additions to the comics and thus unknown to anyone who isn't a hardcore comic book fan, and this is the first adaptation of them; in-game, Xa-Du is the mastermind behind "The Death of Superman" and Corum Rath took over Atlantis and raises it to the surface.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Calculator knows how to speak like a good villainous contact.
    Awesome, you can follow instructions.
    So, Luthor wants you to make more Parasites? The Parasite who devours every energy source he sees? ... Yeah... can't see this going wrong.
    Just so you know, the Eye of Sin is not Trigon's actual eyeball. In case you were wondering.
    Wrath demons? Niiice. Call me when Sloth and Greed show up. Now those are my kinda guys.
  • Death by Irony: It's perfectly possible for players to kill the pesky H.I.V.E. minions with the exobyte containers that they're so eager to steal. Or, preferably, with the armored truck they stole from.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the "Fire and Brimstone" operation, Jimmy Olsen equips one of Lex Luthor's powersuits to aid the group against a newly empowered Lex Luthor, but he failed to take into account that Lex might have a contingency for such an action.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Earth is one of the power sets.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Apparently people attending Power Girl's lectures on using powers responsibly got a little sidetracked.
  • Distracted by the Shiny: Colorful, glowing orbs found in random locations are residue exo-material that are key components in creating the most powerful equipment. Naturally, happens to players a lot.
  • Distressed Dude: Robin, who's been captured and placed under mind control by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy respectively.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: In one of the radio recordings in the Fortress of Solitude, an agent for Lex Luthor says something along the lines of this to another agent before being Killed Mid-Sentence. It's implied that the other agent is controlled by Brainiac.
  • The Dreaded: Black Adam. Many of the investigations and briefings that mention him inevitably mention the World War III incident.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Many characters who started out with their classic designs when the game launched have since been switched to their New 52 or DC Rebirth designs. These changes tend to retroactively apply to legacy content, so it can be a bit jarring for a veteran player to play one of the game's oldest instances and see an NPC sporting a different look from when the game launched, or for a new player to see an NPC using a newer design in gameplay and an older design in a cinematic.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Many over the course of the years:
    • The original tutorial had players guided by Oracle or the Calculator to reach the end, where Superman or Lex Luthor would show up to save the day.
    • Prior to the release of DLC 14, the endgame PvE and PVP armor were based around certain characters from different factions. DLC 14 would be the first focusing on actual characters and the last hero/villain-centric armor with it being Mister Miracle and Kalibak.
    • Prior to Update 73, there were a number of Iconic Powers that were designed around boosting a player's stats. Since then, the only remnant of that set is the Super Strength power as it also grants the ability to pick up cars and the like.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The resident Big Red Devil himself, Trigon, is a major antagonist.
    • The Beast from Beyond from the "Justice League Dark" episode.
  • Elite Mooks: Too numerous to list.
  • Enemy Civil War: This happens a lot. Even if you're a villain, you'll spend a fair amount of time fighting fellow bad guys.
  • Enemy Mine: Done in the Raid missions with Superman, Lex Luthor, and General Zod in Fortress of Solitude and Wonder Woman and Circe in Themyscira.
    • The Task Force X/Suicide Squad option for PvP and PvE is this too, allowing players to team up with the opposite faction.
  • Enemy Without: As of "Desecrated Cathedral" in Episode 16, Raven (white) and her Prideful (black) side are separate.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Black Adam truly loves Isis and vows revenge towards the player after killing her after her resurrection, Came Back Wrong be damned.
    • While Owlman does seem to care for the Earth-3 versions of Bruce Wayne and Richard Grayson, he will not tolerate their "softnesses" and has no problems killing or abandoning them even to their death, respectively.
    • Klarion truly cares for the denizens of Limbo Town, best seen when he protested Mordru wanting to use their souls to gain power and when he chose to stay behind to help the town recover after Mordru leaves.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Brainiac wants to destroy/digitize the world. Many of the villains would rather rule it, or declare Enemy Mine!
    • Calculator also has shades of this, especially after helping Brother Blood defeat the Titans and release Trigon.
      Calculator: So that's the demon Trigon. I'm filled with terror. No, really! What did you just do?!
  • Evil Is Not a Toy:
    Doctor Fate: Do not toy with powers beyond your grasp.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Even if you're a villain, you'll still be opposing Brainiac and the various other Big Bads.
    • Several villains have missions that mirror the heroes, and sometimes you're not on opposite sides. Both sides have to stop the resurrection of Isis and both have to stop Bane's Venom distribution.
  • Exposition Fairy: Booster Gold and his kiosks.
  • Expressive Mask: It's subtle, but a few head styles have mouths that move with the wearer's own, e.g. the female version of the Joker Goon Mask and helm on the Black Adam-themed Shroud of Anubis set.
  • Eye Beams:
    • Heat vision power. The original guy also uses it a lot.
    • For players who fight with bare hands, the energy bolt for "Freeze Ray" and "Frost Snipe" seems to come from their eyes.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The Joker uses a variant of this story (replacing the farmer with a bat and the viper with a scorpion) to explain the relationship between him and Batman.
  • Flunky Boss: Several at higher levels have tons of mooks around to make the fight harder including Brother Blood, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
    • All of the major Alerts bosses, and some of the minibosses. It's why the alerts are usually for four players.
    • As a Magic hero, you face Circe around lv 16. Turns out you need to focus on her mooks while Wonder Woman handles her, until the very end of the fight where you can help out.
  • For the Evulz:
    • Villain players can torment civilians for no good reason, including punching suicidal ones off buildings.
    • This is Johnny Quick and Atomica's MO, to the point where Johnny thinks that the Crime Syndicate is too tame.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • There are times when your character will be transformed into something else for a mission, like a gorilla, giant zombie, or demon. You lose your own moves and fighting style, but have infinite power points while in this form, allowing you to use the transformation's (often very powerful) special attacks as much as you want.
    • During the "Season's Greedings" Holiday event, one of the traps the Orange Lanterns use turns your character into a hard-light snowman. You can move and interact with objects in this form, but can't use weapons, skills or powers.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The game can be surprisingly clever about this in a few places. Case in point: During the mission which takes you into the new HIVE complex in the Metropolis Metrodome, the music sounds rather familiar, and at times the "beeping" etude you first heard on the Brainiac Harvester Ship plays briefly before fading back into the "HIVE theme". You might think "psh, SOE is being lazy with the music, that must be the music that plays for all "high-tech villain lairs". As you find out at the end of the mission, Queen Bee Zazzala has thrown HIVE's lot in with Brainiac wholesale and is now part of the larger Brainiac villain group. Thus, they share music.
    • The Joker is willing to stab his fellow villains in the back for personal gain as Mister Freeze would attest. The Last Laugh expansion has him do this on a more epic scale.
    • The Bad Future version of Gotham seems similar to the Bad Future version of Metropolis (With even WayneTech now being WayneCorp). It is revealed that Future!Luthor took in young Bruce Wayne as his apprentice after the latter's parents were murdered.
    • On the villain side of "Themyscira Divided," after defeating Wonder Woman, Hippolyta taunts her stating that she cannot stop "war and death." Amazon Fury II reveals that Ares and Hades are behind Hippolyta's action. Even Circe taunts the player character by implying that she knew this all along.
    • Also from the Amazon Fury DLCs when you play as Circe in a Legends Challenge, she states "A little bird told me..." about the Amazons gearing up for war. Come the final DLC and we learn that Circe has been working with Hera...whose symbol is the peacock.
  • For Want of a Nail: The Origin Crisis Operations center around alternate versions of heroes and villains such as Superman as Lex Luthor's Dragon.
  • Fragile Speedster: Can be averted or subverted depending on the power sets you choose, but if you don't get a handle on controlling your speedster properly, you will end up dead pretty quick.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Hate the powers you chose? Re-rig them here - for the right price - with our brand new Biological Adjustment Devices, or "BAD," courtesy of LexCorp. Bad, get it? B- A... never mind."
    • The hero equivalent is a similarly contrived bit of Techno Babble that comes out as "RAD".
  • Freemium: The game is actually fully playable from the get-go, however, the game has numerous roadblocks preventing players from getting far without having to pay actual money. Playing the game completely free only lets you have access to the main game, stunted access to cash, the Vault, character creation and other items. When you buy an item with real money, you get better access, but you have to have a membership to get the entire kit-and-kaboodle.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: Possible for the Player Characters, especially during character creation.
  • Genre Blindness: Many characters.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Huntress or Catwoman in your first Gotham mission as a villain or hero. They turn invisible and sneak around.
    • Dr. Psycho in one of the most annoying boss fights for heroes.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Brainiac's siege on the Fortress of Solitude justifies freeing General Zod from the Phantom Zone.
    • The threat of Zeus using Source energy to go on a rampage is so great that, when the opportunity arises, Wonder Woman sees teaming up with freakin' Darkseid as a necessary solution.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Powers from the "Blessed" power tree of the Celestial powerset are gold with hints of white.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The League is Good, the Society is Bad, and non-Society villains (with Brainiac at the top) are the Evil.
  • Gorn: Superman's nightmare after Lois was kidnapped by Brainiac in the comic. It starts out perfectly fine, with Superman taking Lois to the moon and confessing his love for her, when suddenly... See for yourself.
  • Grand Theft Me: Giganta attempts to do this to Wonder Girl. Depending on your alignment, she either succeeds (only for you to beat her down and put them back in the right bodies) or screws up and somehow gives Wonder Girl her powers, forcing you to save Giganta from a giant Wonder Girl.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Trigon is able to curbstomp the entire Brainiac fleet, but the fact that he's destroyed multiple dimensions may not bode well in the long run.
  • Green Thumb: Nature is one of the power sets.
  • The Grinch: Larfleeze steals some presents as one of the Christmas missions.
  • Guns Akimbo: The dual pistols weapon class, which implements a lot of Gun Fu in its moves.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Averted as pistols and rifles are effective at range, but less effective for melee combat.
  • Harmless Freezing: Both subverted and played straight, but mostly the former. The most powerful single-target ice attack, Freeze Ray, encases the target in a block of ice. On the other hand, Hibernation freezes the player in a block of ice, but actually heals them and prevents damage.
  • Healing Hands: If any fellow player gets knocked out, you can run up to them and hit the use key (within a certain small time frame) to return them to an upright position, though only with about 10% of their health back. This at least means that they don't have to respawn and attempt to run back to the fight, which may not always be possible in an instance.
  • Heal It with Water: Water is one of the powersets available to healers.
  • Heroic Mime: No matter what, your custom character never speaks, or even lets out any grunts or cries of effort. Legends characters, meanwhile, will regularly spout quips during combat.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: In the original Flashpoint comic, the Reverse-Flash is the ultimate villain (Barry's accidental change of timeline notwithstanding). In the "World of Flashpoint" episode, it is revealed Brainiac is behind it to try to tap into Speed Force energy.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During a boss fight with her, Circe tries to turn you into one of her Beastiamorph servants to get an edge on Wonder Woman, namely a rhino-themed Elite Mook. Wonder Woman promptly uses her lasso to free you of her control, letting you use your beast form to pummel her mooks into the ground then assist Wonder Woman in beating her.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: One of Harley Quinn's attacks during her boss fight is to run at the player while smashing her wooden mallet repeatedly on the ground in front of her. Eventually, she will bring the hammer down on her own foot, which results in the usual reaction and leaves her open to attack.
  • Idiot Ball: Carried by Giganta during the Grand Theft Me villain questline due to her impatience. Circe is about ready to strangle her by the time you go in to fix her botched ritual.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: Repeatedly hitting enemies with a weapon will cause the combo meter to change in color and give different scripts each time it changes color. This is important to note as each change in color results in recovering power through weapon combos much faster.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Hall of Doom. Club deVile.
  • I Got a Rock: During the Halloween event, the Shop Fodder dropped from defeated enemies previously included toothbrushes and granola bars.
  • Implied Death Threat: From Talia al Ghul, should you complete the "Chronicles of Death" investigation.
    Talia: I thank you for this record of the League's history. These will be of great use to me, and my father, as we guide the League. I suggest you do not mention these to anyone else - life is precious, Do not waste yours.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The reaction of a Gotham citizen upon being kidnapped by Joker's clowns then rescued by the player.
  • Instant Costume Change: Implied by the tutorial outtro; the humans infected with the Exobytes suddenly change into their new costumes. It may just be a thematic thing, but still.
    • The game also has a neat feature in regards to the equipment, through use of a style tab. Like the way your cape looks, but have found one with better stats? But does the better cape look dumb? You can change its appearance to that of your previous cape! Once the style's been "collected", it stays with you as you upgrade your gear.
  • Kill Sat: You get to fight Brother Eye. The "Home Turf" pack also allows players to fire orbital cannons.
  • Knight Templar: Harley Quinn of all people is one, as her cutscene implies she thinks that the Joker just wants to make a world where everyone is happy and laughing all the time. Based on the Joker's own cutscene, he himself is under no such delusions.
  • Large Ham / Evil Is Hammy: Bane takes the cake.
    Face Bane, weakling! FACE YOUR DEFEAT!!
    Nothing can stand against Bane! NOOOOTHIIIIING!!!
    Once I regain my pure venom, I WILL BREAK YOU ALL!!
    • That being said, Bizarro manages to outdo him.
      NOW! YOU! LIIIIIIIVE!!!!!!!!
    • Even when you get too close to him wandering in Metropolis.
      Bizarro: Me am Bizarro! Bizarro number one! You am Bizarro's bessst friieeeend!
    • Also, the Trigon Sin demons. They love to yell to the player.
      A personal favourite: "All your souls are belong to us!"
    • Circe, who talks into the communicator as if she's addressing an amphitheater.
      Circe: Onto other your DESTRUCTION, Wonder Woman!
      Circe: I know your name! I know your face! And I know your days are NUMBERED!
      • Joker, as always.
    • Also, Gorilla Grodd.
    • The game is a World of Ham in general. The Atlantis episode in particular provides some delicious Ham-to-Ham Combat between the traditional Large Ham Aquaman and Cold Ham Corum Rath.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: All over the place. Generally, whenever someone initiates combat with a boss in an instance, it causes the area to lock down to prevent KO'ed teammates from rejoining the fight, save for a short grace period at the beginning with a temporary portal that grants entry. This can cause some of your team to be unable to participate.
  • Liquid Assets: In the Kahndaq raid, Felix Faust drains Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Giganta, and Brother Blood of their life force one by one and transfers their powers into Black Adam.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: After starting the game for the first time, the PlayStation 3 version required an initial download that could take over six hours, even on broadband!
    • Downloading the game for the first time on computer takes forever as well, possibly days.
  • Lord British Postulate: NPC allies behave in many inconsistent ways in battle. In Fortress of Solitude: Sunstone Matrix, Superman and Lex have relatively normal amounts of health and can be KO'ed, then you have a short period to revive them or they will remain KO'ed for the rest of the battle (but this does not affect story progress). In most other cases, however, they have very high health and thus very hard to KO, since you can't attack them and mobs generally prioritise players. Aquaman in Atlantis: Royal Palace not only has an absurd amount of health, the instance would continuously spawn more and more mobs until the player is overwhelmed or the game crashes; the mobs target Aquaman or the player unpredictably and even if they are targeting him, it would potentially take hours to deplete his health. Superman in BoP: LexCorp Tower appears to be flat-out unkillable, since he functions normally even when his health drops to zero. Spark of Ion has a mess of potentially Game-Breaking Bugs if you somehow get Hal or Sinestro KO'ed; see the wiki.
  • Mage Marksman: Magic characters with points in dual pistols, rifles, and bows can be either version.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The "Sonic Shout" iconic power from Black Canary. Also Beastimorph Raveners roar attack.
  • Maniac Monkeys:
    • Interestingly, Grodd is made out to be a credible threat, due to his psychotic hatred of humanity and missions and cutscenes showing that being forcibly transformed into an ape is, you know, Body Horror.
      • Also there's the entire brain control thing, so not only are you turned into an ape, you're turned into a Faceless Mook Ape.
  • Man on Fire: The villain version of Joker's Funhouse has a mission where you set defeated GCPD members on fire, and doing it enough times will earn you a feat.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: Where all the Player Characters come from.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Avatar of Tech. The Avatar of Meta to a lesser extent.
  • Medium Awareness: Ambush Bug.
  • The Mentor: Each player is mentored by a major superhero/supervillain, chosen based on your origin and morality. For Meta characters, Superman and Lex Luthor. For Tech characters, Batman and the Joker. For Magic characters, Wonder Woman and Circe.
  • Might Makes Right: Circe seems to believe this. She thinks magic users own all magical exobytes and should also own the world. She sees Wonder Woman as going against the "natural order of things" whenever she thwarts Circe's takeovers.
  • Mission Control: Oracle for heroes, Calculator for villains.
  • Mook Medic: Multiple, for example in the Batcave raid, the Zetta drone summons nano repair units to heal itself.
  • Morality Chain: Isis to Black Adam. Villain players must stop her resurrection under the orders of Circe because if he succeeded, he would "rejoin the forces of light".
  • Most Common Super Power: All the heroines and villainesses.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Circe's Chainmail Bikini certainly doesn't leave much to the imagination.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Becoming this is actually encouraged: gaining Mastery in multiple weapons that are set up together allows for combos that lets the player's character swap between weapons.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: As with melee weapons, you are encouraged to get Mastery in multiple ranged weapons which unlocks combos between weapons.
  • Mutant Draft Board: A downplayed version of this trope is applied to Exobyte Heroes and Villains, who end up working for the Justice League and the Society, respectively, immediately after they get rescued from the Brainiac Harvester Ship, but it's also justified by the fact that with the factions' need to recruit Exobyte players to bulk up their forces against Brainiac and it's downplayed because said recruits are still free to do as they please outside missions.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Bludhaven's destruction is stated to be this for Nightwing, as the "Bludhaven" cinematic is centered around the aftermath of the destruction of "his city."
      • When he returned to Bludhaven to confront Major Force, he got shoved aside almost comically.
    • For Batman, Brother Eye serves as a reminder for why he can't afford to make mistakes, as people die when he makes mistakes.
    • T. O. Morrow sees Red Tornado as this. So he made the Tornado Tyrant...
  • Mythology Gag: Joker's weapon? The humble crowbar.
    • And some of the PVP achievements refer to specific events in mainline DC. Defeat Batman as Bane to earn "Breaking the Bat". Beat any Arkham inmate to get "A Serious House".
      • Heck, some of the quest names are this. Like "Bane's Back".
    • The name of the one year anniversary quest is "DCUO: Year One"
    • Julius, Trigon's son who is the embodiment of Gluttony, wears a t-shirt with a piece of cake on it and the words "That's Terrible".
    • A district of Gotham City is named Otisburg.
  • Never My Fault: After saving him from Poison Ivy's plants in the greenhouse, Harvey Bullock blames the GCPD for rushing in, but the briefings for this particular storyline reveals that he rushed in on his own accord.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: In the comic, when Present!Batman touched Future!Batman, the latter was instantly sent back to his own time. Luthor refers to this as "the temporal version of the Roche Limit". This was later used by Luthor to reset the time to before Brainiac invaded, giving the Green Lantern Corps a chance to stop him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Villain: The tutorial opens up with you (Hero or Villain) captured by Present!Brainiac who is hunting down Exobyte-infected heroes and villains to extract their powers. While Present!Luthor has a entire hospital set up to experiment on the Exobytes.
    • Not to mention Future!Luthor successfully killing off Superman and the other heroes, allowing Brainiac to fly in and finish off the Earth.
      • Players' villains can be guilty of this as well when they help Brother Blood defeat the Titans and raise Trigon. Calculator's response is priceless: "So that's the demon Trigon. I'm filled with terror. No, really! What did you just do?!"
  • Noob Cave: The Brainiac Harvester Ship. Does get a little old since you have to go through it on every new character before you get to your mentor's "arc", but at least you get to test out your new powers beforehand (lately, an update was added that provided the option to skip it).
  • No-Sell: Exobyte-powered individuals are implied to be immune to most toxins and DNA contamination.
  • Not Me This Time: Circe may not be behind Hippolyta's Amazon invasion, but that doesn't mean that she won't take advantage of it. Especially after joining with one of the co-conspirators behind the invasion, who had just eliminated the other.
  • Not Quite Flight: Acrobat heroes can "glide" in a slowly descending fashion. With a high enough jumping-off point, you can go over ten blocks this way. There's a skill to allow you to go even further.
    • Skimming allows you to fly by using two hovering discs that form under your feet à la Mister Miracle.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Nightwing does a heroic version towards Brother Eye. Predictably, he immediately came up with a counter.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Cyborg's promotion to the Justice League as of the Earth-3 story line. Before then, he was primarily a Teen Titans character.
  • Oh, Crap!: Luthor, when he sees Brainiac's fleet arrive after he succeeded in eliminating the Trinity.
    • Also expect this reaction from any players who haven't been spoiled upon seeing some of the more unusual bosses. Of note: Jokerized Metal Men, Wonder Giganta, and OMAC Bat-family. Oh, and who could forget Brainiac coming out of the Avatar of Tech?
    • Calculator had an epic one during the Hall of Doom Armory instance:
    Calculator: Okay, bad news, bad bad bad - Brainiac has activated the entire Armory missile silo. And we have a lot, A LOT, A LOT of missiles in there. We're talking extinction event, unless you can take Brainiac's System Breaker out!
  • Ominous Message from the Future: The game begins with future Lex Luthor warning Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman about the upcoming Brainiac threat.
  • One-Hit Kill: Captain Bombus, minion of H.I.V.E., has an encase attack that, if not broken, could hit over 20,000 damage after a while. The average max health of a high level player is about 2000. Circe's aptly named Death Touch could also hit over 8000.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The intro brings this in, as seems to be the usual, between Batman and Joker. Upon seeing Batman being, quite literally, beaten by Deathstroke, Joker proceeds to make sure he gets the kill by shooting Batman. With a bazooka. Given that Future!Batman shows back up along with Future!Luthor...and Deathstroke doesn't make you wonder if Joker was aiming at Batman.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The Monarch Playing Card Company instance is this. But what you'd expect from an instance involving The Riddler?
  • Original Generation: The hero Fracture hails from the Bad Future (ruled by Brainiac) where Future Batman and Future Lex Luthor resides. His powers came from stolen exobytes.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The password to Joker's base is "Batman Stinks!"
  • Permanently Missable Content: There are a lot of special items that are (currently) forever lost to the players, which hurts due to the fact that some of them are needed for cosplaying as various heroes. Among them are the Batman-inspired and Two-Face-inspired Masks (given to players who stuck around after the PlayStation Plus hack), emblems for Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman concerning Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and various emblems of the Trinity released during their Milestone Celebration events. As it stands, players can only get Superman S-Shields from various PvE outfits and Wonder Woman emblems are stuck on the armor for the Merciless. Batman at least has his DC Rebirth emblem to be used.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Brainiac accuses the player heroes and villians of going by this trope as he knows their powers technically came from him.
    Brainiac: "My sensors indicate you have strong exobyte gifted powers. Why do you fight against me? Your gifts are gifts from me. They came from my future technology. You are a child of Brainiac. Do not fight. Join your master. Give me your powers. Become one with Brainiac.
  • Physical God: The Celestial power set technically makes you this, being comprised of divine-themed Combo Platter Powers.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Tiny, whose gorilla fighting style has been honed by his fierce intelligence.
    • Dr. Psycho's fight takes awhile, but this is due to his speed more than power.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Fire is one of the power sets.
    • Mental powers also have an ability letting you psychically set a foe ablaze.
  • Power Copying: The Armored Robotic Custodian raid boss will have random mooks spawn throughout the fight. Periodically, he would kill one of the mooks and gain its signature attack. The worst is arguably Sonic Blast, where he deals massive damage to anyone in its radius, thus requiring good reflex from everyone to run the moment he starts the attack. You can limit what power he gets by killing the mooks whose power you don't want him to get, but there's an achievement for letting him get all of the mooks' powers before killing him.
    • And as per usual, AMAZO.
  • Power Gives You Wings: The created characters can have a variety of wings to start with. More literally when it comes to the higher level gear, many of which include various types of wings.
  • Pride:
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Black Adam to Superman in the trailer.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Talia Al Ghul when briefing the players about Oolong Island.
    Talia: ...As you know, we have Oolong's resident mad science geniuses contracted to deliver a number of extremely. Crucial. Projects.
  • The Quisling: Queen Bee.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Averted. Your character has a Style menu which sets their appearance regardless of equipment. Any equipment collected and worn once adds its appearance to the Style menu. You can also lock a particular style so no matter what armor you put on, your appearance doesn't change.
  • Rays from Heaven: "Guardian's Light" from the Celestial Powerset is a healing power that involves the player calling forth a beam of light from the heavens.
  • Reality Warper:
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Superman, during the intro as well as the final battle against Meta villains. It doesn't help him for long. Black Adam could probably attest how painful it was though.
  • Red Shirt: Fracture from one of the trailers, though he did manage to get a brief CMOA before Luthor stabbed him in the back.
  • Reset Button: The comic ends with Present!Luthor and Future!Luthor causing a Temporal Paradox together, which resets the timeline to one year before Brainiac's invasion.
  • Roaming Enemy: Several will be roaming the overworld for each side for the Bounty challenges. They're also very high leveled to the point a pre-level 30 player is likely to get knocked out in a couple hits by one.
  • Robot Me: In the Level 30 mission for Tech heroes and villains, robot duplicates of Batman and The Joker invade the Batcave and Arkham Asylum respectively for Brainiac.
  • Roundhouse Kick: The Axe Kick move of Martial Arts.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Several villain questlines involve unleashing Trigon upon the world.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Future Batman has no regrets saving an alternate version of the Wayne Family on that fateful night in Crime Alley, even though it might prevent that version of Bruce Wayne from becoming Batman, as he considers it the way things really should have been. Luckily, Batman still comes into existance in that reality because the alternate Bruce became inspired by the mysterious stranger who saved him and his family and wants to be just like him.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When a villain player attempts to bribe a defeated cop, they might say, "So Falcone wants me on the payroll, huh? No way, I'll die before I go dirty!"
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Future Lex Luthor. Although, being Luthor, he does have another motive...
  • Shapeshifting/Voluntary Shapeshifting: Several power sets provide the ability to transform into a different form, but this is a specialty of the Nature power set, which have a large number of different forms they can assume with different abilities. You can take the form of a wolfman, a dinosaur, an insect creature, an ape, the list goes on.
  • Shock and Awe / Psycho Electro: Electricity is one of the power sets.
  • Shock Collar: When you partake in a Task Force X/Suicide Squad group, you'll see a visual of your character being outfitted with this accompanied by the sound of it being armed.
  • Shockwave Clap: Default ranged attack of brawlers, characters mainly using fists in combat.
  • Shout-Out: Many in the Enemy Chatter.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: In the briefings players find there are snippets of Jack Ryder's show, each ending with "You are wrong!"
  • Space Compression:
    • Gotham and Metropolis are very small despite being supposedly large metropolises.
    • The Watchtower is supposed to be visible from the earth but in the actual game it's not that big.
  • Spectral Weapon Copy/Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Most of the premium Weapon Styles are designed to imply this, with each set being modeled on the aesthetic of a different Power Set. The Spellbound (Sorcery) weapons look like they are made of runes and blue energy, the Organic (Nature) weapons look like vines, bark, and flower buds, the Green/Yellow/Red Energy (Light) weapons look like Hard Light constructs, etc., etc.
    • The only exception seems to be the Digital (Gadgets) weapons, which look like they were made from the same parts as your gadgets, meaning they probably come from the same Hyperspace Arsenal as the rest of your equipment.
  • Squee: Calculator, of all people.
    Calculator: Oh. Oh my. This - this is the Batcave. THE BATCAVE! Oh my god, oh my god, don't move, don't move, I'm pinpointing this loc - (breaks off, static)
  • The Starscream: Felix Faust to Black Adam.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Besides the large number of heroines and villains who are tall and attractive, you can create a tall and attractive female character in character creation.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: This seems to be Circe and the Society's policy when it comes to Trigon; if ol' four eyes shows up on their plane of existence then he'll probably be able to knobble the likes of Brainiac without much difficulty then confer power onto his cultists with which to Take Over the World. In theory...
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Entirely possible to create one of these characters with the Dual Pistol or Rifle weapon sets. The Munitions DLC power set is this taken to the logical extreme with lots of guns, explosions and Energy Weapons.
  • Super Loser: As a hero, you'll sometimes run into random wannabe villains on the streets like Captain Kruel, who don't even cause double-digit damage and can easily be taken down.
    • To a certain extent, you yourself if you play as a villain. Sure, you may be taking orders from Luthor or Circe or Joker and you do beat up the big fishes, but your act of villainy of choice is among others, breaking ATMs for a few dollars payout.
  • Super Mode: Giving your character Ice, Sorcery, Nature, or Mental power sets can let them unlock a power that let's them transform into a different forms with enhanced powers. Interestingly, all these form changes tend to be rather monstrous.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Green Lantern Rings. Light is one of the power sets. Heroes gets one of these and villains get yellow rings. Red Lanterns are in on the action too, and can fight for either side.
  • Sword and Gun: Acquiring mastery in a melee weapon and a ranged weapon that have mastery combos can allow for this, allowing for melee and ranged weapons to be used in the same combo.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Combo finishers gained from Skill Point is this. Most of the combo finishers hit for a lot, but they are classified as Interrupt, and thus vulnerable to Block; performing said Interrupt against a Block would cause you to take damage and get stunned for a short while. Against Blocks, we have Block Breakers which are unblockable, but vulnerable to Interrupts. In short, Interrupt > Block Breaker > Block > Interrupt. You can avoid the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors by only using weapon combos with no finisher, but good luck actually killing anyone in PvPwith only that.
    • Also applies to roles in PvP. Tank > Controller > Healer > Tank. DPS role is Jack of All Trades, with no advantage or disadvantage against any other roles.
  • Talk to the Fist: Performed by a member of the Red Shirt Army.
    Hey face, meet fist!
  • Tempting Fate: Robin, of all people. He gives you his nose breather to protect against Poison Ivy's mind-controlling spores. Guess what happens to him in the Greenhouse.
    Robin: I'll tell you what. I'll even lend you my nose breather. I should be immune to Ivy by now.
  • Terror Hero: Naturally very possible to be created. Also can be invoked with certain transformation powers which are rather terrifying.
  • Tornado Move:
    • The Flight (as well as Skimming) and Super Speed Movement Modes feature attacks that involve circling enemies so fast that they take damage.
    • The Armored Robotic Custodian does a spin attack that flings everyone and everything all around the chamber while doing incredible amounts of damage.
  • The Unfought:
    • Trigon. When heroes/villains confront him in his prison, while he does occasionally attack you, you end up fighting Circe/Wonder Woman and maybe a few of his minions. Averted as of the Unholy Matrimony Raid, where as a final boss you do have to fight Ol' Four Eyes.
    • Poison Ivy. All you do is fight Robin and her plant creatures. When she's the only one left, she quickly surrenders. Averted in the Arkham Asylum Alert where Poison Ivy is a mini-boss and part of the final trio of bosses in the last fight.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Pistols and rifles have these sort of attacks, naturally.
  • Unmoving Plaid: Materials applied to your character's skin or clothing have this effect. It's also occasionally found on NPC clothes like Donna Troy's outfit.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: The Brawling combat style invokes this - most of its attacks are rudimentary swings and punches that nevertheless deal a lot of damage.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: In the "World of Flashpoint" episode, Flashpoint!Batman reveals that the Flashpoint!Atleanteans and Flashpoint!Amazons have an unstoppable weapon and an unstopabbly shield, respectively. The goal of the "The Royal War" alert is to disable both the weapon and the shield.
  • Villain Pedigree: Some villains are actually getting their pedigree upped as a result of the game, partially due to simple exposure to the masses.
    • Queen Bee Zazzala was a B-list villain for the Justice League comics in the Silver and Bronze Ages. Now she's in control of the remnants of the old HIVE organization from Teen Titans, having turned it into a real hive, and she's thrown the HIVE's lot in with Brainiac. Even Superman seems a bit perturbed by this one.
    • Circe was little-known outside of Wonder Woman fans before now (her biggest previous "moment" was probably her famous appearance on Justice League Unlimited). Now, she's one of the banner villains of the game and one that magic villain PCs interact with a lot; she's essentially been promoted to the third part of the villainous Power Trio.
    • Gorilla Grodd, while dangerous and clever, was something of a joke during the 60s and 70s and was kind of the poster-monkey for the "evil gorilla!" stereotype during the Silver Age; Superfriends didn't help. Justice League helped rehabilitate him, and now in DCUO, he's got a full-blown army of sentient gorillas which stands apart from the rest of villain-dom (he hates all humanity equally), he's fought multiple times throughout the game (particularly by heroes), his villain group is the first one you encounter outside the Noob Cave as a meta hero, and he's generally given big billing as a major threat - and it works.
      • Taken to another level in the Last Laugh expansion pack, as he leads the villains in defending the Hall of Doom/invading the Watchtower and is shown able to match Superman.
    • After a deadly debut, Felix Faust became a laughingstock, C-list villain whose most memorable moment was having Isis castrate him with her bare hands. The game repackages Faust as a powerful necromancer who can go toe-to-toe with Zatanna and hold his own. He raises an army of zombies and very nearly steals the "power of Shazam" from Black Adam.
    • For those who only know Lex Luthor as a Corrupt Corporate Executive with a lust for power, this game makes sure to remind players of his Mad Scientist side. Kidnapping and infecting innocent people as test subjects, covering up unethical experiments, and combining the powers of Parasite and Doomsday and then releasing the results on Smallville, Kansas the guy gets hardcore.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: Quite literally. Upon character creation, players can choose from, and later invest Skill Points into, any of the following weapon categories:
    • Rifles: A somewhat slow, yet powerful ranged weapon. It also allows its users to move while shooting (yet, never misses). Several other skills integrate a grenade launcher, a flamethrower, and mortars.
    • Dual Pistols: These are much quicker on the trigger and are among the fastest weapons in the game; however, its full-auto attack has its damage divided among enemies in a very wide area in front of the user. Like the rifle above, there are skills that allow the user to move while shooting, but the movements are much faster and cover more ground although they are limited to just toward and away from the target.
    • Hand Blast: a primarily long-ranged and fast weapon with many charge up attacks. It also has a beam attack that hits multiple times against a single target. Its melee is decent but limited.
    • Bows: A very weird, yet versatile, version. Its primary skill tree is melee, but it still has the standard Trick Arrow and Rain of Arrows abilities as well. This is a great weapon for beginners for its faster-than-average attack speed, simple combo system, and adaptability.
    • One-Handed: Includes a variety of Cool Swords, axes, and maces. Its Combos vary between power and speed.
    • Two-Handed: Often a BFS or hammer, these specialize in heavy damage per hit, heavy knockback, and have the slowest attack rate in the game to compensate.
    • Dual Wielding: Uses the same varieties as One-Handed but also includes Daggers and smaller clubs. It has a moderately fast attack rate, but its combos rely on timing and can take a while to do; but when pulled off, the effect can be either a stun, an Area of Effect Knockback, or a spinning move that pushes enemies aside as it knocks them down repeatedly.
    • Blade on a Stick: These hardly have any ranged attacks, but their melee is the most varied and dynamic and can chain stuns while ending the combo with a Area of Effect knockback.
    • Martial Arts: Its weapons include weirdly-shaped katars and uses throwing stars for its ranged attack. It also has a moderate attack rate, but the combos are much simpler with limited crowd control compared to the Dual Wielding and the Blade on a Stick above.
    • Brawling: Like two-handed weapons, specializes in heavy damage and has the slowest attack rate in the game.
    • Shield (Requires The Last Laugh DLC): Relatively slow weapon with moderate knockback and stuns. Shield throws are also a staple.
  • Wham Line: At the climax of the Arkham Asylum alert. It hinted that Dr. Arkham himself is the Greater-Scope Villain. Sadly, nothing comes from this.
    Mr. Freeze: (Upon his defeat) No... The doctor promised, and I have failed.
  • Who Dares?:
    Brainiac: I have conquered worlds. You dare defy me?
  • Wild Card: Joker, who gives the security codes to both Hero and Villain safehouses and headquarters to each other.
    • He also seems to be the one currently running the Vault...
  • Wings Do Nothing: Wings can be worn by any character, but don't inherently give flight and can be purely cosmetic. If the character does have flight, they do animate, though Super Speed is the only movement method that doesn't in any way provide flight.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Rogues in Stryker Island are this. You're facing Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Captain Cold and Heat Wave at once. Indidually, they are they have less hp than 'standard' bosses. Fighting them together however, leads to a rather chaotic encounter where you will have to decide who to focus down first. Generally, the first to die is either Weather Wizard note  or Mirror Master note . Heat Wave and Captain Cold are much easier to deal with, although they have a certain mechanic that makes it beneficial to kill them at the same time instead of focusing one of them down. note 
  • Wolverine Publicity: The Justice League Dark episode includes Shazam, who generally is not involved with the team, and is obviously added due to his film.
  • Working with the Ex: Circe and Ares, as of the conclusion of the Throne of the Dead raid.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Both variants appear in the Electricity powerset with Yellow Lightning for attacks and Blue Lightning for healing effects. Hand blaster-using characters can have lightning in other colors for one attack.
  • You Bastard!: Villain players get this once in a while, like the citizens that accuse them of being a sick prankster.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Future!Batman takes on an army of Brainiac robots so Fracture can use the time machine. Only for Future!Luthor to betray them both.