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Western Animation / Justice League Action

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Justice League Action is an American superhero animated series airing on Cartoon Network. Based on the Justice League of America franchise from DC Comics, the series features a revolving door roster of superheroes teaming up to battle threats too great for any one hero to stand against.

The series is notable for featuring the televised return of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, with the two actors reprising their roles from the DC Animated Universe.

The show premiered in November 2016 in the United Kingdom and in North America the following month. A web series, "Justice League Action Shorts", began airing on the DC Kids' YouTube channel on June 2017.

Has a recap page.

The series has a very loose continuity, so while it can be watched in any order, little details fall into place better if watched in episode order.

Ultimately, due to horrendous scheduling and lack of advertising on the part of Cartoon Network, the series failed to attract an audience and was canceled in 2018 after only one season.

Trope League Action:

  • Adam Westing: The short "Missing the Mark" features Mark Hamill As Himself, being kidnapped by the Joker and the Trickster, and being saved by Swamp Thing. Appropriately, the in-universe Hamill drives a wedge between the Trickster and the Joker by mimicking their voices to lure them to a place with grass so Swamp Thing could save him.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Atrocitus looks far less monstrous than he does in the comics.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Space Cabbie is able to help Superman in his chase against Lobonote , and even catches Mr. Mindnote  initially by outsmarting him. He even manages to trick Kanto, Darkseid's personal assassin!
    • Another example is the Nuclear Family, showing them off to a great degree. Especially 'Dad' being able to take on Firestorm one on one.
    • Black Adam. In this series, not only does he still have his usual powers, he can now cast spells and use his Black Lightning as an Imagination-Based Superpower.
    • Solomon Grundy. While still using Hulk Speak, he is actually a crafty and patient planner, along with having a knowledge of the occult to back up his immense strength.
    • Constantine: While still powerful like his comic book counterpart, he's now able to stand up to Superman and Black Adam-level threats with ease, likely the most powerful caster of magic who doesn't have a beard. (Merlin and the wizard Shazam are probably the most powerful magic-users.)
    • Klarion the Witch Boy also gets in this boat as well. Yes he's taken over Etrigan in The New Batman Adventures and was Dr. Fate's arch nemesis in Young Justice (2010), but here? He's able to overpower three of the most powerful mages of DC (Zatanna, Constantine and DR. FATE) and temporarily GET the Helmet of Fate!
    • Calculator has always been more a planner than a fighter, but here he's able to hack Mister Terrific's T-Spheres and use them to not only fight him into a corner, but to separate Firestorm back into Ronnie and Prof. Stein!
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Most incarnations of Mongul tend to be Genius Bruiser villains who can speak eloquently like a refined gentleman while brutally beating you to death at the same time. In this show, Mongul's still good on the "Bruiser" part, being a powerful physical threat to Superman, but beyond that, he's one of the dumbest and least intelligent incarnations of the character to date.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who is a brunet in most incarnations, has black hair in this series
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Fitting into this is Atrocitus, as his first appearance is him wanting to punish Lobo for stealing from him and ultimately accepts a truce with the League when he realizes they've been played.
    • In "E. Nigma, Consulting Detective", Riddler appears and works with the heroes, both in an effort to go straight (ala the "Detective Nigma" era for the character) and because he's angry with Joker stealing his gimmick.
    • Bizarro is The Friend Nobody Likes to the Justice League rather than a member of their Rogues Gallery.
    • Roxy Rocket is Space Cabbie's rival intergalactic ride-for-hire rather than a D-List supervillain. While she's a thorn in Space Cabbie's side due to her cheaper rates, she amiably gives rides to a stranded Green Lantern and Space Cabbie himself (to his unhappiness).
  • Adaptational Intelligence:
    • Solomon Grundy has typically been shown as a Dumb Muscle henchman for most of the more brilliant villains, but he was able to make a really good plan, surprisingly enough, in "Zombie King".
    • Dex-Starr is also very smart for a cat. Really, all the Red Lanterns besides Atrocitus, who's already really smart, are actually able to make constructs instead of just being rage machines.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The more... cleavage-heavy costumes of the female heroes from the comics are a lot more modest here. And it's Revisiting the Roots for Harley, as she is back in her jester attire instead of her Stripperific costumes.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Killer Frost is a lot nicer (and that's saying a lot) compared to other animated adaptations of the character. It should be noted that this is the Caitlin Snow version, who is a much friendlier and more tragic character.
    • John Constantine. While he's still a good guy, he's a smarmy, cynical, self-centered, chain-smoking, alcoholic con-man with a low opinion of superheroes and a habit of pushing people away in the comics. Here, he's a deadpan, wise-cracking sorcerer and paranormal investigator with a much friendlier but still smarmy personality, and he's also a member of the Justice League.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Toyman is usually a villain, but what's surprising is which one is the villain; it's Hiro Okumara, aka the heroic Toyman/Toymaster, instead of a villain like Winslow Schott.
    • Also applies to Lobo, who's usually portrayed as an Anti-Hero at best and a Heel–Face Revolving Door at his worst, but is consistently portrayed as an antagonist in this series.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Downplayed. Batman's still very smart and extensively prepared, but has difficulty going up against primarily magic-based opponents, occasionally admitting he has problems fighting explicitly supernatural beings. Due to this, it makes it necessary for another, more supernaturally knowledgeable hero to accompany him in fighting the Villain of the Week.
      • Everyone suffers from this similarly. Since it's a team show with 11-minute episodes and thus required to cut to the chase, it often starts with a hero coming up against something that the character usually handles solo in their own book and immediately calling in or being helped out by the episode's guest star.
    • Darkseid has been easily beaten by Superman in both of his appearances thus far and a slight criticism of the show among fans is how Darkseid simply is not threatening as a villain.
    • Astonishingly considering he's sometimes been portrayed as a Knight of Cerebus and/or a Diabolical Mastermind, the Gorilla Grodd on this show is a complete pushover; he and his minions get walked all over, and only last the full length of their episode due to an intervention by Mr. Mxyzptlk.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In "Harley Goes Ape", it's revealed that Dr. Harleen Quinzell tended to Titano before she worked at Arkham Asylum and became Harley Quinn.
  • Advertised Extra: Mister Terrific. Despite having a known voice actor in Hannibal Buress and appearing in every episode during its Opening, the man's track record in screen time outside the Opening isn't quite so consistent. His first major appearance is "The Cube Root" (the show's 34th episode).
  • Affably Evil: If it weren't for the fact that they were trying to cause a nuclear meltdown that would result in a statewide disaster, the Nuclear Family would be just like any other pleasant sitcom family. Dad is rather fond of Firestorm and gives him the Affectionate Nickname "Sparky", due to the fact that like them he was created by a nuclear explosion.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: A heroic version. "System Error" sees Darkseid program a bunch of robots to do research on the League, but they were programmed too much like the League and rebel on him.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Amazo, in "Boo-ray for Bizarro," not only could copy the powers of anyone, but also how they thought. This becomes his Achilles' Heel when Bizarro, the reverse-imperfect Superman clone, gets into his way. Amazo copies Bizarro's Ice Vision, but also the reverse style of thinking Bizarro has (which means he's hit with an ''illogic''-bomb.).
  • Almost Kiss: In "Repulse", Superman and Wonder Woman try to kiss numerous times only to have their intimacy interrupted every time.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Naturally, Killer Frost and Mr. Freeze.
    • By large stretch, as he's the reverse of Superman, Bizarro, as his vision-weapon deals with ICE, not Heat. When Amazo gets in range of Bizarro and copies the Ice Vision power, Amazo is too.
  • Artistic Age: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are adults, but the art style causes them to look very youthful. Of course, Batman at least sounds his age.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: In the episode "Booster's Gold", Green Arrow is attacked by a prehistoric flying reptile and correctly identifies it as a Pterosaur. Then, less than a minute later, he refers to it as a dinosaur.
  • Aside Glance: Superman and Batman flash this at each other when Wonder Woman refers to them as "sidekicks" to her mother, Queen Hippolyta, as if to silently ask each other "Did she seriously just call us that?"
  • Bait-and-Switch: When the Joker and Trickster kidnap Mark Hamill (yes really), the Trickster says he particularly loves "that 70's classic about a young lad who fights impossible odds to fulfill his destiny", he is of course talking about Corvette Summer.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Using a stolen Mother Box, Joker spends "Best Day Ever" taking Lex Luthor to one locale after another—dodging Leaguers all the way. He does this because he knows Lex will eventually want to relax in his secret hideout, where a Doomsday Device is waiting, and all the heroes will come to see what his real game is... just in time to be caught in the blast radius!
    • When Superman has to rescue Sid Sharp from Apokolips, he's waylaid by kryptonite weaponry used by Kanto, Granny Goodness, Kalibak, and Desaad. To buy Superman time to recover, Sid accuses Kanto of trying to take all the credit and then says it was actually Desaad—causing the villains to argue amongst themselves. When Darkseid shows up, Sid keeps him off-balance long enough by "condemning" Superman for being so ineffective.
    • In "The Brain Buster," Mr. Mind forces Batman, Mister Terrific, Luthor, Calculator, and Brain to compete for who's the smartest one of all. As losers are picked off and imprisoned, Mister Terrific willingly throws a challenge so he can be captured and have the opportunity to discreetly hack Mr. Mind's equipment. Batman didn't know what Mister Terrific's plan was, but he trusted he had a plan. Also, Bats deliberately let Luthor win the final challenge—figuring the final winner would have his intelligence drained by their captor.
    • The reason Batman goaded Mister Mxyzptlk into expanding "Freaky Friday" Flip with more Leaguers. Due to the featured numbers, Batman anticipated that when Firestorm's dual mind was switched, Martin Stein's mind would be left over and free to annoy Mxy enough to trick him into saying "Kltpzyxm."
  • Battle Cry: "Justice League, Action!" Doubles as a Title Drop.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Two cases when each might otherwise be a Lethal Joke Character:
    • "Plastic Man Saves the World" shows you do not take a shapeshifter like Plastic Man who can improvise very quickly lightly.
    • "Boo-ray for Bizarro" showed Bizarro, who has near-Superman levels of powers (if at times opposite versions of said powers), is not someone you take lightly either. Even if he is not as forward-smart as the real Superman.
  • Bowdlerise: Constantine traded his cigarettes in for a lollipop. He was seen carrying a metal flask in the episode "Zombie King." They didn't mention what was in it, but you can put two and two together.
  • Bound and Gagged:
  • Brick Joke: Wonder Woman tries to get a kiss from Superman, only to be literally repelled by the nanites Luthor infected him with. Superman at first assumes it's the garlic from dinner or the sewer water until he realizes what's happening. At the end, after they've finished dinner and she tries again, this time it really is the garlic that repels her.
  • Broad Strokes: "Barehanded" implies that the series is in the same continuity as Green Lantern: The Animated Series, but certain aspects of this series don't completely align with it (such as the characterization of Atrocitus).
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • Steppenwolf teleports himself and Superman to a planet with a red sun, so Superman will lose his powers and be easy to kill. Superman just outwits him, instead.
    • The last three djinn brothers can do this by saying someone's name and casting a short spell, which lasts for as long as the person is nearby. If they identify their target wrong, however, it doesn't work. Green Arrow gets the idea to switch costumes to fool them.
    • Temporarily the case with Zatanna, Dr. Fate and Constantine when they and Batman were turned into kids and memory wiped by Klarion.
    • Firestorm is split into Professor Stein and Ronnie Raymond by the Calculator using hacked T-spheres. When Calculator takes Ronnie to make sure Firestorm won't make trouble, it's up to Stein and Mr. Terrific to save Ronnie.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
  • Butt-Monkey: Plastic Man, as per usual. Also, Booster Gold.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Toyman forces his victims to do this in his "video game," with such winners as "Batarang!", "Bat-Kick!" and "Wonder Punch!"
  • Cast as a Mask: In "Watchtower Tours", series regular Rachel Kimsey voices Jackie while her disguised form is the Joker (who's voiced by Mark Hamill )
  • Catchphrase: Invoked by Ronnie, who in his first episode tries to make "The heat is ON!" his catchphrase.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: Jason Blood turning into Etrigan is immediately followed by Etrigan getting run over by a demonically-possessed Batmobile. Of course, if anyone can get run over by a car and still finish his Catchphrase, it's Etrigan.
  • Character Shilling: "Mxy's Mix-Up" does this for Batman. After Mr. Mxyzptlk inflicts a "Freaky Friday" Flip on him, Superman and Stargirl, the other two are left struggling to accomplish anything, especially Superman, who is reduced to hurting himself constantly. Batman, on the other hand, has no trouble being in someone else's body or using powers he's never used before, complete with two comments about him not being negatively affected. And in the end, Mxyzptlk is beaten because he used a Batman Gambit based on something he couldn't have possibly known would happen.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Chronos's time travel tech lets him see a second into the future while fighting Batman, allowing him to anticipate his moves. Batman beats this with a smoke bomb, preventing Chronos from seeing anything until he's already been hit.
  • Canon Foreigner: Calythos, Uthool, and Nyorlath of the Brothers Djinn might count as this — we've never seen them as actual characters in the comics, but the Green Bell of Uthool, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Red Jar of Calythos are artifacts that can be used to wield the powers of the Demons Three: Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast, at the cost of hastening the day they get out of the can.note 
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: General Zod resembles Michael Shannon in Man of Steel.
  • Composite Character:
    • Toyman is an odd one; he's the third Toyman, Hiro Okamura, but is a villain like the original Winslow Schott Toyman.
    • The Wizard and the superhero Shazam are named for their New 52 counterparts, but other than Shazam's chest emblem, they look and act much more like the Wizard Shazam and Captain Marvel. The Wizard even tells Billy to "Say my name!", suggesting that he's actually named Shazam as well, rather than Mamargan.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the very first episode, Batman tries to take on Black Adam and punches him repeatedly in the face, only for Adam to smirk and punch him clear across the room.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted with Roxy Rocket. Her backstory is that she stole warp technology. Why use it for committing crimes when she can open an intergalactic taxi service and keep all the profits?
  • Dating Catwoman: Firestorm has a bit of a thing for Killer Frost.
  • Demonic Possession: Batman gets possessed by the djinn Uthul in the first episode.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Zatanna gets gagged and captured by the cursed Batmobile in "Speed Demon", preventing her from using her magic to immediately fix the situation.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: While less extreme due to being depicted with four fingers on each hand, the Penguin has fused fingers like in Batman Returns.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Joker spends "E. Nigma, Consulting Detective" endangering Batman's life, making the heroes jump through hoops, and ripping off the Riddler's act all because... Nigma once took his donut during lunch in the Arkham cafeteria.
  • Disguised in Drag:
    • When the last three djinn brothers demonstrate they can temporarily de-power any hero by saying their names, Green Arrow gets the idea to switch costumes to throw off their spell. Plastic Man gets stuck wearing Wonder Woman's costume.
    • The blonde woman taking Booster Gold's Watchtower tour is revealed to be the Joker. He says he got the idea from watching Bugs Bunny cartoons.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Wonder Woman/Diana Prince in a red dress causes waiters to trip because they can't stop staring.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: "Plastic Man Saves the World" in a nutshell. Between his fellow heroes thinking he's a clueless goof and Brainiac giving him a comically low threat rating, Plas is determined to prove himself.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Lex is in jail in "Best Day Ever" for building a bomb capable of this. He insists he never wanted to set it off, just prove it could be built. Unfortunately, the Joker is perfectly happy to use it.
  • Evil Is Petty: The Riddler wants to stop Joker because Joker is "stealing his act" by leaving clues for the heroes. Joker's motive for his actions is even more petty — he did all that, including capturing Batman, because Riddler absentmindedly stole his donut in prison. Green Arrow is taken aback.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: This bit of dialogue between Two-Face's identities:
    Harvey Dent: I can't be confused with you! You're a soulless criminal and professional thief, whereas I'm a lawyer!
    Two-Face: I guess we got more in common than I thought...
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: All gunslinging characters wield ray guns of some kind. May be justified as the setting is shown to be slightly more technologically advanced.
  • Food-Based Superpowers: In "Captain Bamboozle", Mr. Mxyzptlk gives Uncle Dudley the power to summon food from the sky, alongside other powers, for the secret motive of using him to cause mischief and annoy the other heroes.
  • Fountain of Youth: Klarion turns Batman, Zatanna, Constantine, and Doctor Fate into children with no memory of their adult selves in order to try and steal the helmet of Fate.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Mxy's Mix-Up" really runs with it. For his own amusement, Mister Mxyzptlk swaps Batman, Superman, and Stargirl while they were in the middle of fighting Grodd's army. Then it goes up to eleven when back-up is later called, with Firestorm, Shazam, Cyborg, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter, Flash, and Zatanna all swapping..
  • Freudian Excuse: Mister Terrific has a massive ego—something Martin Stein (his old college roommate) keeps reminding others of. Mister Terrific says it's actually a defense mechanism that was a result of rooming with Stein, who Terrific says was the smartest person on campus and constantly criticized him.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Constantine, in the comics, is a heavy drinking, heavy smoking, foul-mouthed Brit. Here, he's hit with an accent accelerate spell that makes him babble in slang and is seen pulling out a lollipop at one point. The exaggerated accent is gone by his second appearance, though he's also seen holding a flask briefly.
  • Four-Fingered Hands:
    • Gorillas in general seem to have this, including Grodd and his army.
    • Unlike other depictions of the Penguin having fused fingers, he has four on each hand instead of only three.
  • Gender Bender: "True Colors" has Superman fighting Metallo, requiring Firestorm to change the kryptonite so he can win. After getting Red, Gold, and Black, Firestorm changes the kryptonite to Pink, which turns Superman into a woman, but lets her keep her powers. Metallo suitably freaks out.
    Superwoman: (flexes muscle) I can work with this.
  • Genre Refugee: While Constantine has always been a character in the DC universe, he comes off as this, since he's generally a Darker and Edgier character with more adult themes in his life compared to most other DC heroes in the comics but is now in a DC kid's show for the first time.

  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Let's just say that The Nuclear Family were a much better demonstration of the dangers of nuclear power than they were designed to be.
    • The robot League Darkseid created for research purposes behaved too much like the real League that they foiled his plans.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: "Superman Red vs. Superman Blue" had Luthor boost his Kryptonite Gun with a super-powered battery that split Superman into two forms: Blue Is Heroic (though less ready to fight) and Red Is Violent. A blast to Wonder Woman, then Batman, showed this didn't stop with Kryptonians. Inverted when Luthor himself is hit with the Gun's ray into red and blue forms: he tells us blue is "true self (evil)" and red is "aberration (good)." Red Luthor tries to act even more evil to win the red versions of the heroes over, and sucker them into being reunited. While Green Arrow liked the idea of a good Luthor, Red Luthor said it wasn't natural, and heroes must make sacrifices. "This is mine," he says before reuniting with his Blue Luthor side.
  • Got Me Doing It: During "Speed Demon":
    Etrigan: Done and done! Free the lady and the night is won!
    (they nearly get run over)
    Batman: Apparently easier said than done.
  • Grand Theft Me: In "The Goddess Must Be Crazy", Felix Faust takes over Supergirl's body to get around the spell which keeps males from setting foot in Themyscira.
  • Hammerspace: Zatanna's hat, which not only holds live bunnies and all her props, but with the right spells can access less savory worlds.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Uncle Dudley wants to be of help to Shazam instead of just run from danger. As a prank, Mister Mxyzptlk pretends to be the Wizard and grants Dudley the same powers as Shazam. Despite his best efforts, Captain Bamboozle causes massive property damage and annoys everyone. He does get the better of Mxyzptlk in the end, though.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Seems to be the case for those members of the Nuclear Family without proper names. i.e. Dad really is called Dad, Mom really is called Mom and Brat really is called Brat. Justified since they're automated Americans and these are likely serial designations.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The first of the Djinn is defeated by absorbing the Martian Manhunter's powers — it also comes with his weakness to extreme heat, and the Djinn is made of lava.
  • Humble Pie:
    • "The Fatal Fare" ends with Space Cabbie out in the middle of nowhere with a trashed cab. To leave, he has to get a ride from business rival Roxy Rocket.
    • "Plastic Man Saves the World" has TWO instances: a once-skeptical Superman admitting that Plastic Man really did deserve to belong in the Justice League (in the wake of a Heroic Sacrifice), and Brainiac admitting he'd greatly underestimated Plastic Man (and tells Plastic Man next time "I'm dealing with you first.")
  • I Am Very British: In the pilot, John Constantine was hit by an "accent exaggeration" spell, and sounds like a barely-comprehensible caricature of British people. Batman has to translate for him. Luckily for him, this is only for the Shazam Slam special; after that, he just talks like a normal person with a bit of a Liverpudlian accent. It also means we never really learn what he did with the Djinn, as no one could make sense of his explanation.
  • I Hate Past Me: When Batman and Blue Beetle travel back in time to keep Chronos from sabotaging Batman's younger self, Batman is visibly embarrassed by past Batman's grappling hook fail (that's why Batman made the Grappling-Hook Pistol) and cheesy "I. Am. Batman!" line.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In "The Goddess Must Be Crazy", Felix Fausts takes over Supergirl's body and attacks Wonder Woman. Diana tries to reach Kara out but finally the Amazon lassos the Kryptonian girl and forces her to touch the ground. The anti-male spell which protects Themyscira swiftly rips Faust from Kara's body and flings him from the island.
  • Indy Ploy: Plastic Man had one after another after things kept going South on him in "Plastic Man Saves The World." This constant improvisation made it hard for Brainiac to deal with him—and forced Brainiac to admit he'd underestimated Plastic Man.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Family-friendly version with ice cream instead in "Speed Demon".
    Zatanna: What are you having?
    Batman: I'm dealing with more important things right now.
    (tries to fix the Batmobile, but it falls to pieces)
    Batman: ...Chocolate.
  • In Medias Res: Due to each episode being only 11 minutes long as opposed to 22, the stories open with the action already in progress.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: This line from "Luthor in Paradise".
    Wonder Woman: He's taking advantage of you, Circe. It's what men do. (Suddenly remembers Superman and Batman are right behind her, looking indignant) ...Some men.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Batman is a no nonsense fighter and strategist with a bit of a crusty attitude, but you can't deny that he wants to protect others.
    • Wonder Woman has quite the thirst for battle, and is a bit pushy, but she is still a tried and true warrior who looks out for others.
    • Swamp Thing is rather cynical of humanity, but he will do whatever's possible to protect it.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!":
    • Shazam to the Justice League. He has trading cards of all of them and is super-excited by the chance to work with them.
    • Space Cabbie, who is thrilled to have Superman in his cab and has a collection of photos of famous heroes he's given a lift to.
    • Killer Frost to Mr. Freeze, who she apparently regards as an inspiration and was eager to have the chance to work with.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Badass Normals usually sit out fights with especially powerful villains whenever they can help it, and don't last long when they do clash with someone outside their weight class.
  • Large Ham:
    • Etrigan, voiced by Patrick Seitz in his "orc" voice used for Garrosh Hellscream and Kaptin Bluddflagg, who even piles on the ham while discussing ice-cream.
    • Lobo, who doesn't seem to have a voice setting lower than loud.
    • Virman Vundabar:
      Batman: Just testing how long your shield can last, Vundabar.
      Vundabar: FOOL! My device can last forever! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Brainiac considers Plastic Man this after he ends up thwarting his plans, destroying his ship and saving the worlds he shrank.
    • Bizarro was one to Amazo, as his reverse-logic ended up critically shorting out his forward-thinking brain.
    • Dex-Starr manages to infiltrate the Justice League Watchtower, disable it's security systems so his Red Lantern fellas could break in, and finally managed to beat Lobo, all on his debut episode. On his second episode, Dex-Starr again infiltrated the Watchtower (disguised as a lost cat) and managed to curbstomp Plastic Man, Krypto and Streaky while opening a wormhole portal so the entire Red Lantern Corps could invade Earth.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the more adult-oriented Justice League animated movies, its predecessor Justice League, or even Young Justice (2010). There are still some dark moments, like when the Parasite is apparently killed, or when Darkseid shows up, but nothing compared to the numerous actual or implied deaths in those shows.
  • Limelight Series: Just like Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a similarly lighthearted DC show, which preceded it, this series makes it a point to frequently showcase DC heroes and villains both famous and obscure. While many recognizable faces like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Joker, and Luthor are frequently featured, many more obscure DC characters get plenty of spotlight too, including Swamp Thing, Plastic Man, Firestorm, John Constantine, Mister Mind, and Calculator.
  • Logical Weakness: Firestorm can't create something unless he/Professor Stein knows the chemical structure of the material, so until they get a sample to reverse-engineer the formula from, they can't make any Kryptonite to stop Zod and his cronies with.
    • Chronos can see one second into the future to predict Batman's attacks, but that doesn't mean anything if his vision is physically obstructed by smoke; there's smoke all around now and in one second in the future when Batsy is punching you in the face!
    • Amazo could also duplicate how a Justice Leaguer thinks, so when he ends up duplicating Bizarro, he gets not only Bizarro's Ice Vision, but also Bizarro's backwards-thinking logic, which shorts out his own android thinking. A Logic Bomb that was based on reverse-logic.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Superman and Wonder Woman discuss this when on a date with each other, complaining about being practically invisible to their traditional love interests Lois Lane and Steve Trevor.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Chronos tries to travel into the past and sabotage Batman's first case, getting him killed before he could ever make a name for himself.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: In "The Goddess Must Be Crazy", Wonder Woman knows right away Supergirl is being mind-controlled because her eyes glow purple.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: "Trick or Threat" has the Mirror of Truth, which shows the true self of whoever stands in front of it, ignoring any magical disguises or transformations.
  • Mundane Utility: Roxy Rocket's backstory as revealed over an episode she was actually pretty tangential to: she was once much like her DCAU incarnation until she managed to steal a warp drive. How does she use it? Interstellar taxi service! (And, as such, she's Space Cabbie's chief rival.)
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Never Say "Die": No hard "death" words are uttered, however it is alluded to and there are villians who are actively trying to kill the heroes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Stargirl, Blue Beetle and Firestorm accidentally trap Superman in the Phantom Zone, and let Zod and his cronies out. And although they fix things in the end, it's not without considerable damage to the Fortress.
  • No-Harm Requirement: In the short, Mint Condition, Toyman has invaded the Justice League Tower and is using Cyborg's new action figures to attack him, Batman, and Stargirl. But he doesn't allow Batman and Stargirl to destroy the toys because they're limited edition models from many years ago and even goes as far as blocking their attacks with his body. Ironically, Cyborg is able to exploit this back against Toyman. Toyman prepares to blow the tower sky high with a ton of explosives he's strapped to a big green figure, but he can't bring himself to pull the trigger when Cyborg points out that a real toy enthusiast wouldn't destroy it since it's only one of 5 in existence.
  • Noodle Incident: John Constantine's first appearance features him with a heavy accent and mannerisms, which Batman says is the result of him being hit by an "Accent Exaggeratus" spell within the last week. Also, because of this, we don't know what he ends up doing with the Brothers Djinn in the end.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Toyman is much more anime-inspired in both his Super-Deformed appearance and movements, to the extent that he wouldn't look out on place on Teen Titans (2003).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Played with. Booster Gold does take superheroing a lot less seriously than the rest of the League; but he is much more competent than he lets on. In "Time Share" we see him do his job as Time Sentinel, to the point of earning the respect of Batman.
  • Opening Shout-Out: When Batman and Blue Beetle arrive in Gotham City's past, there seem to be numerous police blimps in the sky- much like the opening sequence of Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In "Night of the Bat," Wonder Woman deduces that Batman is Not Himself when she sees Booster Gold successfully flipped him over during a sparring match after it's established that Batman curb stomps Booster with regularity and he never lets his guard down. Although what really set Wonder Woman off was his "creepy grin."
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "Trick or Threat" is hosted by Cain, who narrates the same way he does in House of Mystery: bad puns, directly talking to the audience with diminutives like "kiddos", invisible to the cast, etc. The style is reminiscent of the Crypt Keeper.
  • Oxymoronic Being: As mentioned in Hoist by His Own Petard, the first Djinn is defeated by tricking him into absorbing the powers and weaknesses of Martian Manhunter, who is weakened by fire, despite being a being of fire.
  • Powered Armor: With the number of DC superheroes appearing, Lex Luthor spends most of his airtime in such a suit.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Atrocitus has no love for the Justice League, but he'd rather work with them to take down a super-powered Lobo than listen to Zilius Zox and launch a foolish sneak attack.
    • Lex in "Best Day Ever" saves the planet from his Doomsday Device because setting it off is a lot different from simply building one to see if it can be done. He also spares Superman from a kryptonite attack because this is not the way he wants to kill him.
  • Prequel: The ending of "Trick or Treat" reveals how Constantine gained ownership of the House of Mystery.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: "Superman Red vs. Superman Blue" is built on this. Luthor's emitter accidentally splits Superman in two: Blue is passive and eager to please, while Red is hotheaded and overly violent. After Wonder Woman is split in two, the Reds decide to do the same to the entire League starting with Batman. They flip the coloring on you with Luthor. Red-Luthor appears to be a villainous hothead, but he's actually a hero. It was the blue version that represented his evil side; Batman reasons the opposite coloring is because Luthor is a villain.
  • Reimagining the Artifact:
    • Jimmy Olsen's job is changed from a print photographer to a web journalist, making his career choice seem less dated in a modern setting.
    • Also updating the Nuclear Family into actually threatening characters, as well as giving a slightly less tragic, more kid-friendly backstory in that they were androids made to show how nuclear tests could be affecting people. This gives a proper explanation as to why the robots were given nuclear-based powers and why they became malicious.note 
  • Reused Character Design:
  • Revisiting the Roots: One can see this show as a way to bring the feeling of previous DC animated shows to the new generation of television viewers. Meanwhile, some characters take on more classic appearances after recent media had given them drastic changes, appearance and nature-wise — Harley Quinn has her classic harlequin outfit back (as much by necessity, considering this is a kids show, and how risque almost all of her other outfits are), Lobo appears as the heavy metal-inspired bounty hunter as opposed to the version from the post-New 52 comics, and Steppenwolf, despite gaining more prominence in his newer, horned incarnation, has a costume directly based on his old Kirby design.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Etrigan.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Because the show has rotating rosters of both heroes and villains, it's very common to see all kinds of swaps. Zatanna and Swamp Thing going after Solomon Grundy, Superman and Wonder Woman rescuing the Joker from Mongul, Plastic Man going up against Brainiac...
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Rock of Eternity holds various monsters, including the djinn. Black Adam sets them free during the short time he takes over.
    • The Phantom Zone also counts as this, given that it holds very dangerous criminals such as General Zod.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Abate and Switch", Black Adam is said to have been sent to prehistoric times. In "Power Outage", he was specifically said to have been sent several galaxies away after the heroes had defeated him.
  • Ship Tease: Wonder Woman and Superman in "Repulse" where they dating. Help that Steve Trevor and Lois Lane are only interested in their super hero personas and only see the other side as friends.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • Wonder Woman is dating Superman because he's someone who cares for the real her, not just her superhero persona.
    • Stargirl has a crush on Firestorm, who is a Nice Guy.
  • Sizeshifter: The Atom, of course. In "The Ringer" he goes inside Sinestro's ring to see why he's not running out of power and finds Despotellis, a sentient virus who's also a Sinestro Corps Member inside the ring, and giving his boss power using his own yellow power battery. Once the Atom shrinks down to subatomic level, he is able to affect Despotellis from inside him. Then put Despotellis in one of his petri dish prisons, cutting off the power.
  • Spanner in the Works: Brainiac is victim to this, TWICE:
    • "Plastic Man Saves The World" forced Brainiac to deal with an enemy who constantly made it hard to consistently deal with him, who always had to deal with changing situations and frequently thought "outside the box."
    • "Battle For the Bottled City" had Brainiac pitted against The Atom, who was able to work a Superman Robot to where he could fight Brainiac long enough for Superman to step in.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Is suggested to be one to the DCAU, based on the art style and at least Batman and Joker being played by their DCAU-era voice actors.
    • The show is also this to Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Just like that series, Justice League Action also involves superheroes teaming up to stop an impending threat or foe, often one of the main three with someone who's less A-list. Both shows placing emphasis on comedy and tongue-in-cheek humor also help solidify Action as being a successor to The Brave and the Bold.
    • Newsrama's review of the pilot called it the "heir apparent of Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans."
    • In many aspects, this series is closer to the original Teen Titans (2003) than Teen Titans Go!.
  • Stealth Sequel: "Barehanded" suggests that the series takes place in the same universe as Green Lantern: The Animated Series, heavily implying that the artificial intelligence in Space Cabbie's cab voiced by Grey Griffin is actually an amnesiac Aya. At the end of the episode she says there was something familiar about Hal and goes looking for "something... or someone", obviously Razer. As she leaves, she states that she will not give up hope, the signature emotion of the Blue Lanterns, in the same way that a blue power ring was attracted to Razer when he went in search of Aya at the end of Green Lantern.
  • Straw Feminist: As per usual, the women of Themyscira fit this to a 'T', while Wonder Woman (while a proud woman herself) is a rather more subdued version, given that she respects her teammates but feels empowered to help others.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Booster Gold, Firestorm, and Plastic Man all have power sets that could end a story in under a minute. As a balance, they’re extremely goofy characters who don’t fully realize what they’re capable of.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Averted in this series. Superman or any other superhero from the League will usually end up tagging along in whatever Gotham adventure Batman is involved in.
  • Take That!:
    • Not within the series itself, but one of the character designers for the series, Jake Castorena, did some doodles of Superman. One of which has him looking at the reader and asking "What do you mean I don't smile in the movies anymore?" Superman is also in fairly dark lighting, presumably lampooning the muted colors of the two films released at the time.
    • This short is pretty much an extended potshot at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, complete with jokes around the Kryptonite spear and Lex's convoluted plan.
    • "Field Day" features a subtle one to the DCAU two-parter "World's Finest". In that episode, Superman is weakened by what amounts to a few crumbs of Kryptonite. An attempt to use a similar amount on Zod and associates falls flat, with Zod laughing at the heroes for thinking so little Kryptonite could hurt them.
    • Booster Gold suggests to Green Arrow that he shorten his name. Green Arrow is very dismissive of calling himself simply Arrow.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After everything he went through on Apokolips, Sid Sharp is livid that Clark once again beat him to the front page, until he sees the headline: "Superman: Sid Sharp Saved My Life!"
  • Time Travel: Batman and Blue Beetle have to protect Batman's own past self from Chronos.
  • Trash the Set: The Hall of Justice, which externally resembles the version from Super Friends and internally resembles the one from the Lego games (particularly Lego Batman 3), is destroyed in the first episode, requiring a new base to be built.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Brainiac didn't think Plastic Man was a real threat, a mistake that he has vowed not to repeat.
  • Unintelligible Accent: In episode "Abate and Switch", John Constantine was hit with an accent-exaggerating spell, forcing him to speak entirely in UK slang.
  • Villains Out Shopping: "Watchtower Tours" sees both Granny Goodness and Toyman take advantage of Booster's tour to sabotage the Watchtower. Another participant turns out to be the Joker in disguise, but he didn't come to cause any trouble; he just wanted to relax and take the tour.
  • Voices Are Mental: Whenever bodyswapping occurs, the characters retain the voices of their original body.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The superhero Shazam becomes this, the League welcoming him in for his Big Damn Heroes moment (as long as it's not a school night).
    • Also in this camp would likely be Blue Beetle, Stargirl, Firestorm and many other teenaged heroes.
  • We Will Meet Again: Brainiac blames Plastic Man for his defeat in his first appearance and vows to go after him first the next time he attacks the planet. Plas is ecstatic to hear this (as it means he's taken more seriously as a hero).
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: "The Trouble With Truth" depicts the "HIVE Master" being callously prepared to set off a bomb regardless of his henchmen, Wonder Woman showing uncommon concern for their well-being mid-combat, and when he seems to decide, set it to go off now anyway, Wondy arranges to save everyone in the room but him... which ends with him sweating, snapping and canceling the detonation.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: All the Nuclear Family want is to have a home of their own, even if it means irradiating a massive area to create a inhabitable area for themselves. In-universe, Firestorm empathises with them enough to deal with them by shrinking them to minute size and giving them a miniature home in a dome.
  • Would Hurt a Child: There aren't many child characters, but occasionally this trope crops up; for example, Zod is more amused than anything else when fighting three teenagers.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In "Zombie King," Solomon Grundy tries to enact a magical one with a gem that allows the wielder to raise the dead and turn the living into voodoo zombies combined with an evil magic-enhancing eclipse.