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From left to right: Wonder Dog, Aquaman, Robin, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Wendy, and Marvin.

"Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice..."

The show that determined more of what you (used to) know (or think) about superheroes than even the Adam West Batman series.

Super Friendsnote  is a long-running Hanna-Barbera series, which ran on ABC from 1973 to 1986 (with breaks), featuring superheroes from DC Comics. The core heroes were Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Robin. Originally, they were joined by "Junior Super Friends" Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog. The series' first season, in 1973-4, consisted of hour long stories, most of which concerned current issues such as energy conservation; the "criminal" was usually a Well-Intentioned Extremist with benign motives, who is usually easily persuaded to a more reasonable stand at the end.

Subsequent seasons could conceivably be considered separate series, not unlike Super Sentai a.k.a. Power Rangers:

  • The series was revived in 1977 as The All-New Super Friends Hour, with some reworking of the concept. Most notably, the "Junior Super Friends" were replaced with the shape-shifting Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, and their monkey, Gleek, who, unlike their predecessors, had actual useful superpowers (even if they were sometimes bad at using them). Episodes typically contained more action with the heroes having to get tough with their enemies and less unnecessarily forced point-making and plodding stories. This and subsequent seasons included short segments on health, safety, crafts, stage magic and a simple word puzzle related to the show's main story. The All-New Super Friends Hour was divided into two parts: one half-hour episode, and another half hour of Three Shorts, which typically followed a pattern: first, two of the original four heroes; then, a short spotlighting the new Wonder Twins; then, the main story with the entire team; and finally, an episode spotlighting one established hero and introducing another hero, many (but not all) of whom would later appear on the next series:
  • Challenge of the Superfriends in 1978 had the largest cast of the various series: 11 heroes and 13 villains (see Heroes Unlimited). Three of the more notable heroes not present were the Wonder Twins and Gleek. By this time, the stories began to resemble those found in the actual comic books, although some of the heroes and villains existed only in animation, including three new "Minority" heroes, Black Vulcan (Black), Apache Chief (Native American), and Samurai (Asian). It also introduced the original Legion of Doom, a group of the Super Friends' greatest enemies united to conquer the world with plans none of them could complete alone. The most fondly remembered series, it evolved as it went on. Most episodes focused on a MacGuffin, and early episodes ended with a Villain: Exit, Stage Left, as if actually capturing the Legion would end their threat, despite the fact that's never how it works in comic books (see Failure Is the Only Option, Joker Immunity, Cardboard Prison). Once they got over that, later episodes raised the stakes and had the Legion introduce ever greater threats, with episode titles starting to take on names like "The Final Challenge" and "Doomsday." The penultimate episode involved the Super Friends being picked off one by one by a "Noxium Crystal" but ultimately being revealed as robots; the final episode begins After the End, as we follow a group of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens as they encounter the scene and wonder what happened. It turns out the Legion fired a solar flare at Earth, and with Superman out of commission, the Super Friends activated their "global force field"; the mixture of the two bathed the Earth in deadly radiation. It ultimately ends with the aliens using Time Travel to push the inevitable Reset Button, moving the moon in the path of the flare (seriously). Originally was still part of an hour-long show; the episodes they ran with, which included the core five and the Wonder Twins, are now very rare and almost entirely forgotten, and the last six were out-and-out absent from circulation until a 2005 DVD release contained this entire group.
  • World's Greatest Super Friends, 1979: Core five members and the Wonder Twins. Only eight episodes; one Whole-Plot Reference after another. The only two exceptions are a Mirror Universe and an Homage to Superman: The Movie. Mostly ran with reruns originally, which helps explain it.
  • From 1980-3, new episodes came in the form of shorts, which generally followed a subtle form of A B A structure, with A teaming one or two of the Core Five with another hero, almost always one appearing on Challenge, although these shorts did introduce El Dorado, essentially a Token Minority. The second series aired in the first season not to be originally aired as an hour-long show. The third series were originally only shown abroad, as the show had been cancelled in the US, and made up another set of episodes missing from circulation until the 1990s.
  • The show was revived again in 1984 as the Merchandise-Driven Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, intended to tie in with the Super Powers Collection toy line from Kenner. The show consisted of two 15-minute shorts, except for some two-part half-hours. It introduced Firestorm, whose ability to transmute elements was depicted as enabling him to change anything into anything else, making him ridiculously over-powered. This was also the series that introduced Darkseid and his fellow villainous New Gods of Apokolips to animation, a decade before Superman: The Animated Series, although many aspects of his personality were toned down from the original, and he was given a bizarre fixation on making Wonder Woman his bride.
  • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, 1985. Hanna-Barbera gave the show a Retool, eliminating the Wonder Twins and all of the Captain Ethnic superheroes they created (with the sole exception of Samurai), introducing Cyborg from the comic books in his animated debut, redoing the character designs (moving away from Alex Toth's art style to DC's then-house style), calling the group "The Super Powers Team" instead of the Super Friends, and adding a more Heroes Unlimited feel. The main connection to the previous series was the voices and the villains, as Darkseid was still around. Some of the episodes were darker and more somber than prior ones. Especially the episode dealing with Batman's origin, which just may have the most powerful performance Adam West ever gave in the role.

And that was that, until Justice League came along. Many thanks to Will's Super Friends Episode Guide and Challenge of the Super Friends.

This show was very campy in its day, Challenge included (although the last season began to veer away from this atmosphere), and used many of the worst Animation Tropes. Despite many of the superheroes' portrayals as rather bland, the show also had the unfortunate effect of tainting the reputations of Aquaman and Hawkman among the general public (see This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman). Although Aquaman, especially recently, has been more of a King Arthur figure than a traditional brawler, the main problem was the show's general Media Watchdog-induced abhorrence of violence and actual fighting. While Superman could fly, lift heavy things and melt metal things, Batman had his cool gadgets, and Wonder Woman had her invisible jet and Lasso of Truth, Aquaman could basically breathe under water and talk to animals, and Hawkman could fly... and nothing else.

There was also a tie-in Super Friends Comic-Book Adaptation for a while. It wasn't half-bad, once it started departing from the strict guidelines of the television show. It's best remembered now for the Canon Immigrant "Global Guardians" team that it created as a team of Captain Ethnic heroes.

1979 saw the airing of two live-action specials loosely based on the cartoon titled Legends of the Superheroes, which had Captain Marvel replace Superman and Wonder Woman's place taken by Black Canary and the Huntress because Superman and Wonder Woman were restricted from use by Superman having his own movie the year prior and Wonder Woman's television series airing on a different networknote .

Recently, there's a new "Super Friends" toy line and associated comic book, this one featuring Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the John Stewart Green Lantern. While the current comic uses an extremely cartoony art-style, it has been praised for its imaginative plots and affection for the more bizarre corners of DCU mythos.

In 2010, Warner Bros. Animation made DC Super Friends, a 17-minute short for Fisher-Price as a tie-in for their range of DC Super Friends toys, packing it as a DVD bonus with select products.

The Arrowverse has made quite a few nods to the show, with an old STAR Labs facility (which looks just like the Hall of Justice) being used as the staging ground for the heroes during the Invasion! crossover event, the Legion of Doom showing up in season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow, the team formed by Supergirl and her friends in the eponymous series often are referred to as the "Superfriends", and most recently, said STAR Labs facility being used again at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) as Barry gathers the heroes for the Justice League (in all but name), and Gleek has apparently escaped and is running around the building.

See Seanbaby's Super Friends Page for a snarky and sarcastic take on the series.

This series provides examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: The Legion of Doom consists of thirteen members.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Darkseid is as obsessed with making Wonder Woman his bride as he is taking over the universe, much to her chagrin. Although she has used his lust for her to her and the team's advantage on more than one occasion. He's also messed up his own schemes himself unwittingly because of his desire for her.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Maximus Mole in the 1973-74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". He's a retired professor of speleology (caves & caverns) who's extremely absent-minded, forgetting things on a regular basis.
  • Action-Hogging Opening: The Legendary Super Powers Team intro had the team facing off against a giant robot followed by Darkseid, DeSaad, Kalibak, Lex Luthor and Braniac. The Galactic Guardians intro has the team facing off against Darkseid, The Joker and Lex Luthor followed by Samurai and Aquaman pursuing Darkseid, Kalibak and DeSaad in starfighters.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Martian Manhunter is the only one of the core seven that didn't appear on any interation of the show. The character had been written out of the comics shortly before the show debuted and only appeared sporadically until the mid 80's, over 15 years in Comic-Book Limbo.
    • Despite Darkseid and his forces appearing during the Super Powers era, New Genesis, Orion, Highfather, and their associates were never shown or referenced, for some reason. For that matter, the only lackeys of Darkseid's that appeared were Kalibak and Desaad. (Strange, considering how the last two seasons were Merchandise-Driven and Orion, Mr. Miracle, Steppenwolf, and Mantis were part of the Super Powers Collection toyline.)
    • Hal Jordan remained the only Green Lantern in existence at the time to be acknowledged, with no mention made whatsoever of Alan Scott, Guy Gardner or John Stewart. In addition, the only extraterrestrial members of the Green Lantern Corps to ever appear are Hal Jordan's predecessor Abin Sur and Sinestro (whose backstory of being a former Green Lantern gone renegade is never brought up).
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • An early episode featured Black Manta in a brown costume and simply called "Manta" Challenge would revert him to his full codename and black costume.
    • The Boom Tubes used by the New Gods were instead called "Star Gates" (no, not those ones), which were depicted as star-shaped tunnels. No sonic boom was heard when these were opened. Likewise, the Parademons were called "Paradrones".
  • Adaptational Villainy: For most of the series, Bizarro is depicted as a clear villain who has murderous designs on the heroes. However, the final season depicts him faithfully from the comics as a well-meaning bumbler.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Multiple characters on both sides in Challenge, in part because of the "no-punching" rule at the time. This especially hit melee characters like Hawkman and Solomon Grundy. The Scarecrow, who is usually written as considerably more of a threat in the comics in part due to his use of fear-inducing chemical weaponry, is one of the weaker Legion members, though he was corrected to a degree in The Super Powers Team. Super Friends also bears much of the responsibility for Aquaman's perception as useless, since it downplayed his non-aquatic powers in an attempt at Cast Speciation.
    • Darkseid never physically fights, and he becomes exhausted whenever he uses his Omega Beam. Despite it keeping its Homing Lasers aspect, the Omega Beam misses several times, and it gets toned down to an Agony Beam instead of a Disintegrator Ray when it is used on a living being. The first time Superman is hit by it, he is able to resist it with some struggle. The second time, he straight up No Sells it.
  • Adults Are Useless: Many times in the original series it was Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog that got in contact with the Villain of the Week and manage to figure out their plans and sometimes even talk them down, leaving the actual superheroes with mop-up duty.
    • The comic series had a bunch of new classical element-based villains appear, and they took down the core 4 easily. Then Robin and the Wonder Twins step in and they curb-stomp the villains. It's kind of justified both times, as the villains were specifically set against a hero that their powers would be most effective against (such as the "Earth" villain transmuting stone into Kryptonite against Superman), and the help that arrives for them has seen the villains in action, now knows what they can do, and they are now the ones going for an opponent they can counter (for example, sending Zan, who can turn into a giant wave of water, to take out the fire-based one).
  • An Aesop: 1973-74 season episodes always had several, usually including: (1) Even in a good cause, don't break the law (2) Solve problems by thinking, not brute force (3) Protect the environment.
  • Aliens Speaking English:
    • Occurs in four 1973-74 season episodes: "The Power Pirate", "Too Hot To Handle", "The Balloon People" and "The Watermen". The aliens in all of these episodes spoke perfect English with no explanation.
    • Averted by the Wonder Twins in the comic adaptation, where they start off not knowing any English, and have stilted grammar and noticeable accents (they pass themselves off as Norwegian in their secret identities) even after they learn.
  • All Just a Dream: One episode of World's Greatest Super Friends has Gleek dream he helped save the Super Friends and a society of gnomes from an evil fiery monster, while he and the Wonder Twins are out camping. After waking up and telling the twins about his dream, Gleek noticed a gnome in the shadows sneaking through the woods, leaving Gleek to wonder.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: 1973/74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". The natural gems in the underground area Molesville are all faceted and shining.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The TV show never explained why Marvin and Wendy were there. The comics do, however: Wendy's uncle was a policeman who trained and helped young Bruce Wayne, and Marvin's mother was the woman whose name Wonder Woman took her civilian name from (Diana Prince).
    • Likewise, the Wonder Twins never got a full biography in the animation, but they did in the comics. Unlimited shapeshifting used to be common among the people of Exxor, but it was carried on a recessive gene, so in modern times the majority of the population lacked the power, and the few that do still have it have limits to what they could turn into. Zan and Jayna were further limited by needing to touch hands to activate their powers. After their parents died in a plague, nobody was willing to adopt the two shapeshifters, so they were eventually bought by the owner of a space circus, to use their shapeshifting powers as sideshow attractions. Only the circus' 'laugh-maker' (clown) cared for them, and gave them Gleek as a pet. In their teenage years, they escaped the circus, only to stumble upon the hideout of the villainous Grax and conveniently overhear his plan to destroy the Earth. Racing to Earth, they warn the Superfriends, and replace the retiring Wendy and Marvin.
    • Or "All There In The Modelsheet": The reason that Black Vulcan's outfit had a lot of animation errors is that it was never right to begin with. According to Alex Toth's model sheet, the costume is supposed to be mostly dark blue, with white lightning trim, gloves, and boots, and light blue trunks and mask. Furthermore, his legs are not supposed to be bare, and neither is his neck area, which is supposed to be light blue as well and connect to his mask as a full Batman-like cowl.
    • The third Super Powers miniseries served to explain the origins of Samurai, establishing that his real name is Toshio Eto and that he was given his powers by the New Gods in hopes that he'd be a useful ally against Darkseid.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • "The Superfriends Meet Frankenstein" had them face Dr. Frankenstein, who transferred the powers of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman into his Monster. To fight it, the remnants of their super powers were augmented and transferred to Robin. When he confronts the Monster a second time, a lead-suited Robin exposes it to kryptonite, which weakens it enough to bring it back to Frankenstein's lab. Robin is able to reverse the transfer, though at the cost of his own newly-gained super powers, too.
    • The tie-in comic book had the World-Beater in #3, who had the combined powers of over a hundred supervillains (who were killed in the process!) Unfortunately for WB, it also had the combined weaknesses of the villains, so was tricked into emitting X-rays that triggered paralysis in itself.
  • Amphibious Automobile: 1973-74 episode "The Weather Makers". The villains have a car that can operate as a speedboat.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Especially in All-New Super Friends where there are safety and health tips, a two part riddle pertaining the show's main story and simple arts and crafts projects. It had the benefit of making the show feel full of interesting treats to watch for the hour, a bit like DC Comics' thick Dollar comics of the time.
  • And That's Terrible: 1973-74 episode "The Weather Maker". The villains have been diverting the Gulf Stream and causing severe weather disruptions in the U.S. When the Big Bad turns his Weather-Control Machine to "Irreversibly On" so they can't turn it off, the Super Friends comment on the situation.
    Batman: Unforgivable!
    Wonder Woman: That's terrible!
    Aquaman: Criminal!
    Robin: It's not right at all!
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: 1973/74 episode "The Baffles Puzzle". When Marvin and Wonder Dog are in a library, Wonder Dog starts to sneeze. Marvin holds a finger to his lip and stifles it, but a few seconds later he sneezes anyway.
  • Anti-Villain: Almost every villain in the original 1973 series had a good cause, but was just going about it the wrong way. Most of the villains in the first segment of each All-New Superfriends Hour episode were this way, too. For example, Dr. Fright wanted to end war and crime; The Collector wanted to ensure that monuments were preserved for future generations; the Secret Four wanted to end pollution and conserve natural resources; the Shark wanted to end exploitation of sea life; Dr. Cranum wanted everyone to enjoy enhanced intelligence and mental powers; Dr. Amy Zahn wanted to make women physically equal to men in hopes it would make women socially equal to men; Dr. Droid wanted to make a race of androids so that humans would never have to work again; etc.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Superman made one in "The History Of Doom".
  • Art Evolution: The Galactic Guardians version has a significantly upgraded art style even compared to the series just one season prior.
  • Artistic License – Biology: 1973-74 series episodes
    • "The Shamon U". A miniaturized sperm whale returns to normal size on a city street. It should be crushed by its own weight and be unable to breathe, but it's just fine.
    • "The Watermen''. When the title aliens extract silicon from sea water, it causes the sea water to immediately turn into red tide. Just one problem: red tide is caused by microorganisms, not a lack of silicon. This is lampshaded when Professor Matey notes that it should be impossible.
  • Artistic License – Physics
    • 1973/74 episode "The Shamon U"
      • A "The Wedge Principle" example when Superman picks up a full size sperm whale and carries it back to the ocean. The whale could never have survived that much force being applied to such a small point on its body.
      • Superman uses the vanes (sails) from a windmill to blow a space cloud away from Earth, despite the fact that there's no air in space for the vanes to work on.
    • 1973/74 episode "The Weather Maker".
      • A Weather-Control Machine freezes the water of a pool solid without the necessary weather conditions (such as a blizzard). Also, the water in the pool completely thaws out a few minutes later, which should have taken hours.
      • An iceberg splits off a glacier, sinks completely under the water and continues descending. This is impossible, about 10% of the iceberg should stay above the surface. Made worse by the fact that when an iceberg appears later, the narrator specifically says that icebergs can have up to 90% of their bulk below the water.
  • Aside Comment:
    • 1973/74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". Dr. Pelagian has captured Wendy and Marvin and is planning his next move.
      Wendy: Marvin, we've got to reach the Super Friends!
      Marvin: Sure. Any idea how?
      Wendy: Uh uh. [Looks at the camera and the audience] Do you?
    • 1973/74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". Superman is examining the cooling unit on the roof of the power plant. While talking to himself, Superman faces the camera and says "It's my hunch the thieves will try to lift this with a powerful crane copter."
  • Aside Glance: Marvin, Wonder Dog and other characters in the 1973-74 series.
    • Wonder Dog does it on a regular basis, usually when Marvin says something stupid. He did it several times in "The Power Pirate" when Marvin made stupid puns and at the end of "The Weather Maker" when Wendy and Marvin did an "Everybody Laughs" Ending.
    • In "The Power Pirate", Marvin tries to impress Wendy and Wonder Dog with his fake British accent. When he fails, he turns to the camera and shrugs.
    • At the end of "The Planet Splitter", Wendy and Marvin take away Wonder Dog's steak bone (he's on a diet) and leave. Wonder Dog pulls out another steak bone, takes a bite out of it and winks at the audience.
    • In "Too Hot To Handle", the alien agent Kobar does this after Wonder Woman delivers an iceberg to Dairyland (a farm area in the heart of America). He's a little smug because he's responsible for the heat wave that required Wonder Woman to obtain the iceberg in the first place.
  • As You Know: In the 1973-74 episode "Too Hot To Handle", Professor Von Knowalot explains basic solar system astronomy to the Super Friends.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • Par for the course where superheroes are concerned. Besides Giganta, Batman and Wonder Woman had to deal with Dr. Amy Zahn in "The Fifty Foot Woman."
    • Inverted in the case of Apache Chief, the fifty-foot hero.
    • "The Giants of Doom" had Bizarro, Sinestro, Captain Cold, and Toyman, of all people, grow themselves to 100 feet tall.
  • Auto-Kitchen: "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.". Every kitchen in the world becomes one of these while under control of the G.E.E.C. supercomputer, including the one in the G.E.E.C. building itself.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Wonder Woman tended to be kidnapped, brainwashed, etc., more frequently than the rest of the Super Friends.
      • In the 1973/74 season episodes "The Baffles Puzzle" and "The Menace of the White Dwarf", she was neutralized by the villains and Superman had to rescue her.
      • In later seasons she was subject to the Legion of Doom's machinations; still later she was frequently kidnapped by Darkseid.
    • When it wasn't Wonder Woman, it was often Superman being subjected to this, so he couldn't just easily solve the problem of the day. In these cases, Wonder Woman often stepped up in his place, such as in the episodes "Dr. Fright" or "Will The Worlds Collide?"
  • Badass Normal: Whether it's dealing with villain with a time manipulation device or a Criminal Amnesiac Superman, Batman and Robin with their intelligence and cunning are equal to nearly any challenge for the Super Friends.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: It's pretty much a coin toss whether the characters will require any kind of protection when going into space. Sometimes they can get by with just a fishbowl helmet, sometimes they need Green Lantern or someone similar to use their powers to protect them, and sometimes they can just flat-out survive hard vacuum.
  • Batman Gambit: The master of the Trope himself did it twice in the same episode, against the same villain. Said villain was using an amulet that could cause Rapid Aging or reverse aging. After using it to turn Superman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman into kids, he threatened to turn Batman and Robin into "feeble old men". Batman's response was "Do your worst!" and he did, only to have Batman and Robin dodge the blast as planned and it hitting the three de-aged heroes behind him returning them to adulthood. In response, the villain turned the amulet on a guy he had previously aged, turning the poor guy to dust in order to cover his escape. Batman put the dust in a canister, then put that inside a mannequin wearing a Batman costume. When the villain tried to the de-aging thing again, he zapped the victim's remains, restoring his body and true age. (And was easily disarmed of the amulet by said former victim.)
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the first episode of Super Powers Team, Cyborg and Firestorm investigate a mysterious seed that Kalibak was planting, only to have it sprouting and envelop them. Firestorm is able to send a distress call and Superman instantly arrives on the scene to pull the plant menace off of them.
  • Big Electric Switch: In the 1973-74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War", Superman throws a knife switch to send electricity through freon coils.
  • Birthday Episode: The lost season segment "Invasion of the Space Dolls" features the Super Friends celebrating Gleek's sixth birthday, his present turning out to be one of the titular space dolls.
  • Bowdlerise: In the Super Powers era, Darkseid's Parademons were called "Para-drones" instead, presumably due to censorship issues—despite the fact that they didn't really look robotic.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Wonder Woman and Jayna in "The Mind Maidens".
  • But What About the Astronauts?:
    • Changing Earth's history to regress culture and society back to the Stone Age somehow doesn't affect Skylab in space, and the scientists there help the Super Friends save the day.
    • It also didn't affect Batman and Robin (who were working on Skylab when the change took effect) or any of the other superheroes (so it presumably didn't have any effect on Atlantis or Paradise Island, either).
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Three 1973-74 episodes.
    • "The Power Pirate". When Wendy and Marvin are trapped in a dark room, initially all the audience can see is their eyes.
    • "The Planet Splitter". When Doctor LeBon's assistant closes the observatory's door and shuts off the outside light, we see Wendy's eyes floating in the darkness.
    • "The Shamon U". While Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are hiking up Mystery Mountain in the dark, they see two pairs of glowing eyes approaching them. The eyes turn out to belong to Batman and Robin, who were following them.
  • Cactus Cushion: The 1980 series segment "Eruption" has Gleek suffer the misfortune of landing butt-first onto a cactus.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Done oddly in the 1981 episode "The Aircraft Terror", where a jet plane was transformed into what was clearly a white dragon (four legs, bat-like wings, long neck and reptilian tail, could breathe fire), but everyone kept calling it a "bird monster". They used the same term for the other aircraft that were transformed in turn, even though most of the others were giant insects, and none of them had anything resembling feathers or beaks.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Samurai's power was basically "Anything he could say in Japanese", though in practice he only used it to turn himself into a tornado ("Kaze no yo ni hayaku!", or "Swift as the wind") or flame ("Igo Moen!", or "Great Flame Go!"), to turn invisible ("Tomei Ningen!", or "Transparent man"), and, once, to create illusions ("Higa Moe!", or "Unreal... something").
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Most blatant in the original Wonder Twins solo stories where teenagers engage in some specific unacceptable activity and quickly find themselves in mortal peril because of it and the Twins have to rescue them.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • The Wonder Twins immigrated into the mainstream DC Universe as members of the Justice League International spin-off, Extreme Justice. They also appeared in Smallville. Wendy and Marvin also appeared in a 2006 issue of Teen Titans, one year after Infinite Crisis. And then, Wonder Dog kills Marvin by mauling him to death and injures Wendy so seriously that she's left paraplegic. There are two attempts at Samurai, one during Justice League of America 80-Page Giant #1 in 2009 and another during James Robinson's Justice League of America run, and DC Rebirth saw the appearance of El Dorado. Additionally, during Joe Kelly's JLA run, Manitou Raven, an expy of Apache Chief, appeared.
    • Apache Chief and most of the Super Friends-exclusive heroes also appear in Captain Ersatz form in the DCAU as the Ultimen, although with a Darker and Edgier backstory. The Samurai analogue (Wind Dragon) didn't have the original's Combo Platter Powers, just his wind-related powers. Shifter and Downpour (Jayna and Zan) didn't have to touch hands to transform and were more obviously alien-looking. Juice and Long Shadow's powers were more or less unchanged. (There is no El Dorado analogue)
    • The Wendy & Marvin in Teen Titans bore little resemblance to the Super Friends characters. They were fraternal twins, whereas the pair in the animated series were not related to one another.
    • Wendy and Marvin later appeared in Young Justice (2010), appearing much closer to their original designs than they did in the comics.
    • Analogues for Apache Chief/Long Shadow, El Dorado and Samurai (gender-swapped in the latter's case) were also part of Young Justice (2010), but with altered powers. Tye Longshadow couldn't actually grow, but he could project an astral form in the shape of a giant that he "piloted" from within. Asami "Sam" Koizumi had chi manipulation that gave her multiple abilities (but not Samurai's wind, fire, or invisibility). Eduardo Dorado Jr. had El Dorado's teleportation but none of his illusion-making powers, though he stopped in an analogue in the revival and outright took up the codename "El Dorado". Static fills in for Black Vulcan.
    • The Wonder Twins are featured in Young Justice (2019), as Justice League interns who help the titular team out.
  • Captain Ethnic: The show provides the image with the Japanese Samurai, the African-American Black Vulcan, the Native American Apache Chief, the (Mestizo) Hispanic El Dorado.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • They created Black Vulcan, an electrically powered black man, instead of using DC's existing electrically-powered black man, Black Lightning. Rumor has it that this stems from a creative rights dispute with Lightning's creator, Tony Isabella; decades later, DC refused to let Black Lightning appear as a Guest Star on Static Shock. They couldn't use Black Vulcan either, so a new character, Soul Power, was created. How often do you get a Captain Ersatz of a Captain Ersatz? The dispute has apparently been resolved, as Black Lightning, as part of the Outsiders, has appeared on Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice (2010).
    • And in a very non-heroic example, Lex Luthor's dimwitted henchman Otis from the era's live-action Superman movies appeared in the episode "Lex Luthor Strikes Back", under the name "Orville Gump".
    • Cheetah was something of one for Catwoman - particularly the Eartha Kitt incarnation from the '66 show (the rasp is a dead giveaway).note 
  • Captain Obvious: Everybody would narrate everything that they were doing or what was happening.
  • Captured on Purpose: In "The Giants of Doom", some of the Legion of Doom members allow themselves to get captured by the Justice League as part of a plan to use the Hall of Justice's computer system in the creation of an enlarging ray.
  • Catchphrase:
    • All of them had a trademark exclamation: Superman's "Great Scott!", Batman's "Great Gotham!", Wonder Woman's "Merciful Minerva!", Aquaman's "Great Neptune!", Black Vulcan's "Great lightning!", and so on.
    • In the 1973-74 season, Wendy would often say "Let's go tell the Super Friends!" when the kids found out something.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog disappeared from the franchise after the original 1973 series, being replaced for the remainder of the continuity by the Wonder Twins and Gleek.
    • The Wonder Twins and Gleek themselves, in addition to every Captain Ethnic hero other than Samurai, were phased out and forgotten by the final series The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: A constant throughout the series, but its most notable was the Super Powers comic, which was the closest Jack Kirby came to writing a full on Justice League comic. The second Super Powers series even acts as a direct sequel to the "Hunger Dogs" story he intended as the finale for the New Gods.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Gentleman Ghost appears as the villain in the All-New Super Friends Hour segment "The Ghost", but is only referred to as Gentleman Jim Craddock.
    • The "three phantoms" summoned by Felix Faust in the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Case of the Stolen Powers" are clearly intended to be the Demons Three, but aren't addressed as such to avoid complaints from parental groups who would object to demons appearing in a children's cartoon.
  • Composite Character: In The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Wild Cards", the Royal Flush Gang member Ace is revealed to be the Joker in disguise.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Naturally, Batman, who could pull out any gadget to deal with a situation. He even had a communicator in his tooth if he was otherwise immobilized.
    • In "Wanted: The Super Friends", Lex Luthor designed his mind control device so that it couldn't be used against him.
    • In "No Honor Among Thieves", Darkseid rigged his throne to spray kryptonite dust on anybody who sits in it, anticipating that Lex Luthor, who had stolen Superman's powers, would betray him.
  • Creator Provincialism: Minor example — the design of the Hall of Justice was modeled after the old Union Terminal train station in Cincinnati; Cincy was where Taft Broadcasting, owners of Hanna-Barbera at the time, were headquartered.
  • Creepy Crows: The Scarecrow uses a flock of crows to Zerg Rush Batman and Robin in "Trial of the Super Friends", and in "The Fear" he keeps one as a pet.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Legion of Doom invents teleportation, invisibility, Time Travel, and casually constructs an entire planet inside a black hole... and they usually use these marvels to rob banks and attempt to foil one or two of their enemies. (And while they often had taking over the world as their main goal, money was usually a secondary one)
  • Darker and Edgier: The 1985 season, which came complete with a name change. Cyborg joined the Super Powers Team, and the stories got more serious in that season compared to the previous seasons, including the first-ever depiction of Batman's origin story on television.
    • It also gave us the first ever on-screen depiction of The Death of Superman, well before Superman IV or the creation of Doomsday.
    • Just about all the seasons from 1977 (The All-New Superfriends Hour) onward were this compared to the lighter-hearted 1973-74 series. Many of the situations were more dangerous or suspenseful and a few episodes actually took stabs (pardon the pun) at killing off the heroes (Superfriends: Rest In Peace, for example.)
    • Notable is the episode "The Ghost" from the All-New Superfriends Hour, one of the few to use an established villain from the comics, the Gentleman Ghost. It starts in a graveyard with a creepy-looking man invoking Mephisto and Satan (by name!) to raise a man from the dead as a vengeful spirit. The Ghost then goes on to transform multiple characters into helpless spirits, including Superman and Wonder Woman.
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: Subverted in the opening title of the original (1973-74) show. When Wonder Dog looks into the darkness he sees a pair of eyes. However, they're quickly revealed to be a reflection of Wonder Dog's eyes in a mirror.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jayna edged into this territory with some of her comments towards Zan. Sometimes she regretted it.
    Zan (looking for a secret passage, and holding a box that Gleek has just handed to him): Hey, this looks different! It could be a secret switch!
    Jayna (standing on a Conspicuously Light Patch on the ground): If you ever really figured out something right, big brother, that would be a switch.
    (Zan pushes the button, Jayna screams as she falls into the trap door that opens beneath her)
    Jayna (as Zan pulls her back onto solid ground): Okay, it's a switch...
  • Defector from Paradise: Remarked upon in the 1973-74 series episode "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.", wherein Professor Goodfellow creates a master computer that can regulate thousands of robots around the world, automating almost every human activity. He theorizes that this will spark a new Renaissance of human research and creativity. Instead, the professor is told that many citizens had resorted to vandalism, fighting and anarchy because they had nothing else to do. This is an inverted case of this trope, because of the occurrence of unrest and subsequent rebellion within a Utopian setting due to its idyllic nature instead of defection.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • 1973/74 episode "The Androids". While Loco is on guard duty outside their secret facility, he calls Dr. Rebos on a walkie talkie and tells him "Two trespassers are trespassing!"
    • 1973/74 episode "The Fantastic Frerps". A Troubalert message comes through. Wendy reads it off as "Killer whale gone berserk in the Pacific Ocean". Seconds later Marvin looks at the Troublealert's screen and says "That whale's gone berserk!"
  • Depending on the Writer: The series has had some discrepancies between iterations on how red kryptonite works, with the only thing consistent for all appearances being that the way exposure affected Superman would always be different (though this was accurate to the comics of the time). The first instance it came up was in the New Super Friends episode "Terror from the Phantom Zone", where red kryptonite subjected Superman to Rapid Aging and he could only return to normal by exposing himself to blue kryptonite. This was contradicted by the 1980 series episode "Revenge of Bizarro" (where exposure gave Superman extra arms and legs) and the Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show episode "Uncle Mxzytplk" (where Superman was de-aged into a Bratty Half-Pint), both of which established that the effects of red kryptonite were temporary and would wear off after a few hours. The only other episode featuring red kryptonite to go with its effects being undone by exposure to blue kryptonite is the 1981 short "Bazarowurld", where the way Superman was affected by red kryptonite was being turned into a frail geek with no powers.
  • Detective Mole: In "The Fear", one of the consultants working with the Gotham police department and the Super Powers Team to catch the Scarecrow is Professor Jonathan Crane. Of course, Jonathan Crane is the Scarecrow. Batman realizes this when he notices the Scarecrow's pet crow looking at Crane and exposes him at the end of the episode.
  • Didn't Think This Through: While Firestorm thought having Cyborg on the Super Powers Team would be cool in "The Seeds of Doom" and that Cyborg might not be hesitant if someone his own age helped him, Cyborg argues Firestorm has one thing Cyborg doesn't: a secret identity which lets people accept him as normal. It was hard enough to be accepted as he was, Cyborg argues, but as a member of the Super Powers Team...? Once he helps foil Darkseid's "Seeds of Doom" plot with his sonic blaster, though, it's a moot argument: Batman claims it's time Cyborg joined — "You can see how much we need you." Cyborg accepts, and Firestorm shows him around, while Cyborg knows some kids who'd love to meet Firestorm.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: 1973/74 episode "The Androids". While the Super Friends are talking to Colonel Wilcox on a viewscreen, the villain Dr. Rebos breaks into the transmission and warns that he plans to sabotage the launch of the Mars rocket.
  • Double Take:
    • 1973/74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". When Marvin tells Wendy that a penguin has walked up to Wonder Dog (who is sunning himself on a beach) she does a double take.
    • 1973/74 episode "The Planet Splitter". The doctor at the orphanage does a double take when he sees Superman (as a baby) swinging from the ceiling light. The orphanage director does a double take when he comes in and sees Superbaby lifting the doctor in the air.
    • 1973/74 episode "The Power Pirate". Wonder Dog does a double take in disbelief when Marvin starts boasting about his brain power.
    • 1973/74 episode "Too Hot to Handle". Marvin does a double take when he sees that the wax figures in the Justice League museum are melting.
    • 1973/74 episode "The Weather Maker". Wendy does a double take when she looks at her buttermilk biscuits and realizes that the technique she learned in order to make them properly will also help the Super Friends locate the villain.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Green Lantern's debut in The All-New Super Friends Hour episode "Flood of Diamonds" features a gross misinterpretation of his powers by having him travel by using his ring to create a jet (ignoring that his ring in the comics gave him flight) and most of his constructs being any color other than green. His second appearance in the All New Super Friends Hour segment "Rampage" began to consistently color his ring's constructs green, while his ring being able to grant him flight was finally acknowledged by the Challenge of the Superfriends era.
  • Easily Conquered World: In Challenge of the Super Friends, near the end of any given episode, there's a good chance that the Legion of Doom will either have temporary control of the world or just barely be thwarted.
  • Eat the Camera: A few times.
  • Eco-Terrorist: In the 1973-74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War", Dr. Pelagian is an eco-terrorist out to stop three polluting businessmen.
  • Educational Short: The second season features small shorts in-between episodes that featured the Superfriends giving kids advice on how to be safe.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: 1973-74 episode "The Fantastic Frerps". King Plasto has one as his headquarters, including a storage room for his Frerp eggs and a Frerps Arena for creating the eggs.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter:
    • Zan could transform into various forms of water, including ice and steam.
    • Samurai could transform into a tornado (or half a tornado), or into fire.
    • Black Vulcan often turned into a bolt lightning to fly (other times he merely transformed his lower half, like Samurai did).
  • Emergency Squad Scramble: The typical setup for the shorter stories is that the Super Friends receive a message on the Hall of Justice's main communications monitor from some official about an emergency and the assigned superheroes launch outside to a pounding orchestral score.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending:
    • 1973-74 series episodes
      • "The Balloon People". Wonder Dog accidentally presses the balloon dog's air release button and everybody laughs at him.
      • "The Fantastic Frerps". After Wendy tricks Marvin into getting a raw egg dropped on his head, everyone (including Marvin) laughs.
      • "The Mysterious Moles". Marvin tells Superman "We dig!" Superman replies "Please Marvin, don't mention that word. I did more digging today than I've ever done in my whole life!" The rest of the Super Friends laugh politely.
      • "The Power Pirate". After Wonder Dog blows out a light bulb (?), the others laugh at him.
      • "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.". A cart starts moving by itself, and when Superman removes it and finds Wonder Dog underneath pushing it. Wendy and Marvin make funny comments and they all start laughing.
      • "The Shamon U". Wonder Dog plays a prank on Marvin and all of the Superfriends have a good laugh.
      • "The Watermen". While Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are playing a game of water polo with the aliens, Wonder Dog blows himself into the goal while carrying the ball. Wendy, Marvin and the aliens cheer and laugh.
      • "The Weather Maker". After Wendy plays a prank on Marvin, they have a good laugh.
    • In later seasons, often occurred at the end of any episode featuring the Wonder Twins and Gleek the monkey or, more rarely, Robin.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • In the 1973-74 series episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf" Raven has one, which he uses after he steals the Washington Monument and brings it to his cloud base.
    • Mister Mxyzptlk had one done by Frank Welker.
    • "The Wild Cards" had "Ace" who was really The Joker, backed by Darkseid give one, also done by Frank Welker.
  • Expo Label: Multiple examples in 1973-74 season episodes.
  • Expy: "Millionaire inventor" Newton Domehead, title villain of "The Collector", is one for Captain Marvel villain Dr. Sivana. Like Sivana, Domehead is a bald old inventor with big round glasses and a pair of teenage children who look exactly like him. Superman and Wonder Woman fill in for Captain and Mary Marvel.
  • Extra-Long Episode: The episodes in the first series all clocked in at approximately 46 minutes.
  • Eye-Dentity Giveaway: Jayna maintains her purple eyes no matter the form she takes.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • In the 1973-74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War", Professor Ansel Hillbrand fakes his death in a deep sea diving accident so he can become the title villain.
    • The Challenge of the Superfriends episode "Super Friends: Rest in Peace" had the Super Friends do this by staging their deaths with robot doubles in order to get rid of the Noxium crystal once the Legion of Doom had discarded it after thinking they used it to kill the heroes.
  • Falsely Reformed Villain: In "Conquerors of the Future", the Legion of Doom pretended to have done a group Heel–Face Turn. This was so the Superfriends wouldn't pursue them when the Legion offered to "help" with an emergency in outer space.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The 1978 episode "Journey Through Inner Space" has this plot device. When Aquaman is turned into a prehistoric sea monster through radiation, a shrunken Superman and Wonder Woman inside the Supermobile are injected into Aquaman's monster body to change him back using another dose of radiation. Meanwhile, the other Superfriends try to stop the monster's rampage.
  • Fictional Country: Glacia, frozen homeland of the villains in the 1973-74 episode "The Weather Maker".
  • Fight Dracula: The Super Friends battle Count Dracula in the New Super Friends episode "Attack of the Vampire".
  • For Science!: 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf". In the Back Story, the Mad Scientist Raven was convicted of trying to jar the Earth from its axis, which might have caused the extinction of the entire human race.
    Raven: I am a scientist! My experiment dictated that I take that risk!
    Judge: A sense of humanity would have bid you not to!
  • Forgot About His Powers: Happens all the time.
    • One particularly extreme example: in "Fairy Tale of Doom", Toyman climbs up Jack's beanstalk and Hawkman — forgetting his one and only power — climbs after him. (Then again, it's unclear whether any of the heroes transported into the stories still have their powers. Superman-as-Gulliver doesn't fly, either)
    • In a few episodes, Aquaman and Wonder Woman show off that they do have some level of Super-Strength. Despite this, there are plenty of episodes where they get captured or ensnared by things that shouldn't pose any threat to them.
    • Aquaman has a very strong habit of forgetting that he can control aquatic life until he's about halfway into a sea monster's mouth. Quite frequently, his solution to this is not "tell the monster to go away", but "summon other sea creatures to fight it." Particularly irritating when one realizes that the only reason the sea monster exists in the plot is so Aquaman can fight it. (Though justified by him talking to aquatic creatures and asking them for help rather than outright controlling them; if a sea creature is hostile, talking won't work)
  • Frankenstein's Monster:
    • Batman and Robin fight a manifestation of the Frankenstein monster summoned by Mr. Mxyzptlk in the New Super Friends episode "The Rise and Fall of the Superfriends''.
    • The World's Greatest SuperFriends episode "The Superfriends Meet Frankenstein" has a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein combat the Super Friends with his own monster and create another monster resembling an amalgam of Batman and Superman armed with Wonder Woman's magic lasso by transferring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman's energies into a featureless target body.
    • "The Monster of Dr. Droid" has an android in place of Frankenstin's monster, but the resemblance is obvious and deliberate. (Dr. Droid talks like Boris Karloff, his assistant is outright named Boris, he brings the android to life with electrodes, and the android terrorizes a nearby town but refuses to hurt a little girl)
  • Friendly Scheming: In "One Small Step for Superman," after his dog is killed by a bear, a young boy thinks he can no longer walk even though nothing is wrong with him. The team gives him a pep talk but nothing gets through to the kid. When a robot attacks, it tosses a piece of Kryptonite that knocks down Superman. The boy manages to get to his feet to throw it away so Superman defeats the robot. He and his parents thank Superman for helping him get over his mental block. As soon as they're gone, Superman absently tosses the "Kryptonite" about in his hand.
    Superman: Yes, sir, it's amazing just how powerful the mind really is. A little green paint, an old robot and a young boy walks again.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • Samurai and the Wonder Twins think it's bad enough for a dose of red Kryptonite to turn Superman into a toddler. But then the imp Mr. Mxyzptlk shows up to "play" with the young Supes.
    • In "The Bizarro Super Powers Team," Bizarro uses a device to create Bizarro versions of Wonder Woman, Firestorm and Cyborg. At which point, once more, Mxy pops in to have fun "training" these new "heroes." Wonder Woman openly groans "oh, it gets worse..."
  • Fun Personified: The Wonder Twins. They were constantly quipping and affectionately sniping at each other, with a blue monkey performing physical antics.
  • Fungus Humongous: 1973-74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". While exploring underground, Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog encounter a stream with giant mushrooms growing along the banks.
  • The Ghost: The Challenge of the Super Friends episode "Super Friends: Rest in Peace" mentions an unseen fourteenth member of the Legion of Doom named Dr. Natas as the creator of the Noxium crystal, with no mention made of his current whereabouts aside from the implication that he's no longer part of the team.
  • Giant Woman: Giganta (whose power was exactly this), obviously. Less obviously, one-shot villainess Dr. Amy Zahn (who turned herself into a giantess accidentally and was transformed back by episode's end).
  • Glassy Prison: The 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf" has a Mad Scientist called The Raven imprisoned in a glass cube. Nonetheless, The Raven is able to construct a lifelike robot duplicate of himself and escape.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Yes, believe it or not, in the episode "One Small Step For Superman", where a boy's beloved dog dies while protecting him from a bear just off-screen. (The boy's father claims that the dog "ran away", but his expression says otherwise)
  • Got Me Doing It: 1973/74 episode "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall's assistant Twisty has been using Spoonerisms throughout the episode, and by the end Dr. Tall is using them too.
  • Great Gazoo: Mr. Mxyzptlk
  • Green Aesop: Regularly in the 1973-74 series, to that point that the show was practically ''Captain Planet with more sympathetic and well-meaning villains.
  • Hand Rubbing: 1973-74 season episodes.
    • "The Androids". Dr. Rebos rubs his hands together after he captures Superman using artificial kryptonite.
    • "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall rubs his hands together when he thinks he's about to capture the title characters.
  • Heel–Face Turn: This happened at the end of almost all of the 1973/74 episodes after the Super Friends explained to the villains the errors of their ways. It usually involved the villain(s) sincerely apologizing and promising to change their behavior. Even some later episodes featured this (like the 1980 episode "Big Foot", which was resolved peacefully once Batman pulled out a translator).
  • Henpecked Husband: 1973-74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". Maximus Mole is very weak-willed and dominated by his wife Minimus Mole.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: More than one story has someone stealing Superman's powers and boasting they're now invincible. They fail to realize they've also inherited Superman's weakness and all it takes is some Kryptonite to take them down.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: In the 1973-74 episode "The Shamon U", a "special gold-attracting magnet" is used to draw a gold-bearing space cloud near to the Earth and also pull solid gold meteors to Earth.
  • Hostile Terraforming:
    • 1973-74 episode "Too Hot to Handle". The inhabitants of the planet Solar Terrarium are moving the Earth closer to the Sun so it will become hotter and more comfortable for them. They are unconcerned that the increased heat and resulting climate change will kill most of the humans living here.
    • Also the Fearians in the Challenge season, who offer to make the Legion of Doom rulers of the world in exchange for making Earth's climate more like Venus. (Naturally, they trick the Superfriends into doing it rather than doing it themselves)
    • The "Seeds of Doom" from the Super Powers Team would've wrecked the planet and turned it into an Apokliptian-style world.
  • Humanity's Wake: "History of Doom" has Lex Luthor's latest plan result in all life on Earth being wiped out, before alien visitors use time travel to hit the Reset Button.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: In the 1973-74 season episodes, Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog often ended up doing the most to solve the core problem of the episode, with the actual superheroes stuck doing all the legwork and clean-up.
  • I Am Not Shazam: A weird case. Though the team name was technically the Justice League of America, it was rarely used in the show (the intro of Challenge perhaps being the most notable example), though "JLA" logos did appear on their communicators and satellite; the Super Friends name was used in-universe much more. The issue was rendered moot in the final season when both names were dropped and they rebranded as "The Super Powers Team".
  • Ice Magic Is Water: Zan and Jayna's Wonder Twin Powers are that Jayna can turn into animals (real, extinct, or imaginary) and Zan can turn into water (including ice, steam, or clouds).
  • The Igor:
    • In The All-New SuperFriends Hour episode "The Monster of Dr. Droid", the titular mad scientist has a short bald assistant named Boris. (Even though Dr. Droid himself was the one doing the Boris Karloff impression)
    • In The World's Greatest SuperFriends episode "The Super Friends Meet Frankenstein", the descendant of Dr. Frankenstein is assisted by a slouching toady named Gor, whose voice is even a Peter Lorre impression.
  • Impersonation Gambit: Done a few times.
    • "The Darkseid Deception" had Darkseid impersonate Steve Trevor. His Glowing Eyes of Doom, though, give him away.
    • One was in "The Wild Cards." Batman managed to use Jack's own energy sword to counter Jack's cards and send them back to entrap Jack. Thinking quickly, Batman switched their costumes to impersonate Jack and make the others think "Batman" was beaten. Batman-As-Jack managed to free his trapped colleagues, and get Firestorm to swap the costumes once more, with Batman himself, and Jack trapped in a straight-jacket style binding.
    • "Superfriends: Rest In Peace" had two. Robot doubles were used to play the Superfriends when the Noxium was used, and they played dead. Once the Legion thought the Superfriends were all dead, a protectively-suited Apache Chief found the Noxium and sent it into deep space. The real Superfriends then disguised themselves as normal folks to ambush the Legion on their base, and deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Improvised Zip Line: In the 1973-74 episode "The Shamon U", Batman and Robin use their batarangs to slide down cable car cables.
  • Informed Species: 1973-74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". Superman and Aquaman both call a group of sharks "whales" (and Superman says "killer whales").
  • Island Base: 1973-74 episode "Too Hot To Handle". Kobar the Solar-Terrarian villain has his laboratory hidden under a volcano on an island.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: 1973-74 episode "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.". Professor Goodfellow invents Goodfellow's Effort-Eliminating Computer (G.E.E.C.) and offers it free to the world to relieve the people of physical labor and mental activity. After only a month the world has started to grow soft. Then a mouse gets into the G.E.E.C. and begins wreaking havoc.
  • Joker Jury:
    • The 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf" and the Challenge episode "Trial of the Super Friends", although due to character-holding rights, neither episode featured the Joker.
    • An All New Superfriends Hour episode has DC phantom villain Gentleman Jim Craddock subject Superman and Wonder Woman to a trial for subduing him years earlier, with him as the judge and prosecutor and the jury made up of the world leaders that he kidnapped and turned into ghosts up to that point. Needless to say, the Amazing Amazon and the Man of Steel are found guilty and sentenced to haunt an old swamp mansion as ghosts for all eternity.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Marvin manages to get the Villain of the Day's freeze weapon and threatens him with it. The villain smugly tells him to fire away because he (and the audience) can clearly see he's holding the weapon backward. In order to demonstrate that he was just as stupid, Zan later did the same thing with a transformation gun, turning himself into a tree.
  • Jungle Princess: Rima, who showed up in a few show-ending segments of the All New Superfriends Hour season and once more in the 1980 season. Doubles as a Public Domain Character (as she was originally from a 1904 novel).
  • Just Hit Him: A near-permanent fixture of the show's fight scenes. The number of times characters actually took a punch can be counted on one hand. It's particularly evident with characters like Solomon Grundy, whose primary power is supposed to be his super strength, which meant that a lot of fights involving him consisted of him clumsily grabbing the opponent until they shook him off.
  • Karloff Kopy: The titular villain of "The Monster of Dr. Droid" is a mad scientist who talks like Boris Karloff.
  • Keep the Reward: In "Batman: Dead or Alive", when Batman defeats the Wild West-themed villain the Capricorn Kid, a sheriff offers Batman the $25,000 bounty. Batman declines and tells him to use the money to repair all the damage the villain caused.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Even by the standards of Superman shows, Kryptonite shows up absurdly often. Grodd once claimed "I don't need exotic devices to stop you, when Kryptonite does the job so well!"
  • Laser Cutter: Green Lantern can pull one out of hyperspace. No, it is not consistent with any of those shapes he normally makes with his ring.
  • Legion of Doom: The Trope Namer made their debut in Challenge of the Superfriends, where Superman's archenemy Lex Luthor teamed up with 12 other villains (fellow Superman villains Bizarro, Brainiac and Toyman, Wonder Woman villains Giganta and Cheetah, Batman villains Scarecrow, Riddler and Solomon Grundy, Aquaman villain Black Manta, Flash villains Gorilla Grodd and Captain Cold and Green Lantern villain Sinestro) to hatch schemes to defeat the Super Friends in every episode.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Applies only to Wendy and Marvin in the 1973-74 series. They always wore exactly the same clothes.
  • Lost World:
    • 1973-74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". Deep under the earth is the Bottomless Cave: a gigantic cavern filled with plants, lakes and dinosaurs.
    • Also, the 1983 episode "Day of the Dinosaurs" sees Wonder Woman and Samurai fall into a similar lost world, with ogre-like cavemen and rampaging dinosaurs... but also an advanced Crystal Spires and Togas civilization that was at war with the cavemen.
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me
  • The Man Behind the Man: "Ace" for the Royal Flush Gang, four young criminals he's followed that he'd saved from Cyborg in "The Wild Cards." Darkseid himself is "Ace's" backer—and The Reveal shows Batman deduced Ace was really The Joker.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Many examples in the 1973-74 season.
      • "The Balloon People". The villain Dr. Noah Tall (Know-It-All) desires knowledge in order to gain power, so he wants to "know it all". His not-too-bright assistant Twisty regularly uses Spoonerisms, indicating his "twisty" mind. The chief of the U.S. Government's Environment Protection Bureau is named Simon Pure.
      • The villain Dr. Shamon. He has a giant magnet in the shape of the letter U, and the episode is titled "The Shamon U" ("shame on you").
      • "The Androids". Dr. Rebos' assistant is named "Loco", and he acts in a stupid and (borderline) crazy manner.
      • "The Fantastic Frerps". The villain King Plasto is obsessed with using plastic. He has two assistants named Styro ("styrofoam") and Polly Ethyl Lene ("polyethylene").
      • "The Mysterious Moles". The villains have a Giant Underground Drill that they use to dig down to the bottom of a cave. Their names? Minnie and Maximus Mole.
      • "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof". A scientist named Gulliver is determined to shrink the entire world population down to a tiny size (for their own good, of course).
      • "Too Hot To Handle". Professor von Knowalot (know a lot). Kobar's home planet is normally quite hot (140 degrees Fahrenheit), and is called Solar Terrarium.
      • "The Water People". An undersea researcher with his own submarine is named "Professor Matey" (as in "Ahoy, matey!").
    • Medulla from "The Mind Maidens": The medulla oblongata is a section of the human brain. Plus a riff on "Medusa".
  • Merchandise-Driven: A slight example with the final two seasons, which were designed to tie in with Kenner's Super Powers Collection toyline, which necessitated the introduction of Darkseid and crew. Still, not many other toy-based concepts appeared, as broadcast regulations would've likely gotten ABC in trouble if they'd gone the route of The Transformers.
  • Mind-Control Eyes / Blank White Eyes: Medulla's victims in "The Mind Maidens". Amusingly, when she finally gets hoist by her own petard, Medulla's own eyes turn from pure white (like her victims') to normal-looking.
  • Mind over Matter:
    • In the 1973-74 episode "The Balloon People", the title characters have modest telekinetic power. When acting together, they can move a doghouse.
    • Dr. Cranum in 1978's "The Brain Machine" has this power to a much greater degree, able to lift cars, transport heavy equipment, tear down brick walls, and paralyze people.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: 1973-74 episode "The Planet Splitter". The theft of diamonds weighing 100+ carats -> A plot to split Cygnus Uno, a planet in another solar system.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The Title Sequence of Challenge of the Super Friends.
  • Mock Cousteau: The leader of the diving team exploring the Titanic in "Terror on the Titanic", down to the red cap. His divers even call him "Jacques" at one point.
  • The Mole: Several in 1973-74 season episodes.
    • In "The Fantastic Frerps", Poly Lean is secretly an agent for the villain King Plasto.
    • In "The Power Pirate", a space alien takes the form of Sir Cedric Cedric to fool the Super Friends.
  • Monumental Theft:
    • In the 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf", Raven uses a fragment of a white dwarf star to steal the Washington Monument.
    • In the 1977 episode "The Collector", the title villain was stealing monuments all over the world by turning them into photographs, ostensibly to preserve them for future generations.
  • Motionless Chin
  • Mr. Fanservice: The Token Minority heroes, interestingly enough — El Dorado, Samurai, and Apache Chief all have costumes that leave them mostly shirtless, and Black Vulcan has nice legs.
  • Murderous Mannequin: In "The Rise and Fall of the Super Friends", Mxyzptlk brings some mannequins to life with his Reality Warper powers. They actually manage to beat the crap out of Superman even before one brings out some kryptonite.
  • My Brain Is Big:
    • 1973/74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf". The brilliant Mad Scientist supervillain Raven has an enlarged bald skull.
    • Dr. Cranum, villain of the 1978 episode "The Brain Machine" as well, after using a machine to evolve a human's brain on himself. Later, he does the same thing to Wonder Woman, and he wants to do the same to everyone in the world (albeit for a good cause).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Alex Ross' Justice, The Joker is furious that the other supervillains have left him out of their Legion of Doom. The original plan was to have the Joker be part of the Legion of Doom, but with Filmation using him as part of The New Adventures of Batman, he and a few other Batman villains, including Catwoman and The Penguin, were off-limits.
    • In "Superfriends: Rest in Peace", Batman's "death" takes place outside of a movie theater, which itself is a nod to how his parents died on the way home from a night at the movies.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sinestro, of course. And then there's Dr. Natas, the ex-LOD member who created the deadly Noxium Crystal. Flip his name backwards...and then cross yourself.
  • Never Found the Body: 1973-74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". Dr. Ansel Hillbrand died in a deep sea diving accident five years earlier but his body was never found. Guess who the Big Bad turns out to be?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Challenge episode "The History Of Doom" is set after the apocalypse and we learn the Legion of Doom launched a solar flare at the Hall of Justice to burn them up. The heroes turned on the Earth protective force field which unintentionally caused the flare to heat up the entire planet and kill everything on Earth, including the Legion of Doom. Some human-like aliens visit the ruins and decide to reverse time and put the moon in position to absorb the flare instead, saying "Everybody deserves a second chance".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In "The History of Doom", Lex Luthor turns the sun into a huge solar flare which destroys the Superfriends, the Legion of Doom, and life on Earth. Grodd calls Luthor out for his Pyrrhic Victory which has sealed the Legion of Doom's fate along with the Superfriends. It takes a Deus ex Machina from the visiting aliens to turn back time and put the moon in front of the solar flare.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Zan and Jayna were almost certainly modeled on Donnie and Marie Osmond, who had a popular variety show that ran from 1976-1978, as evidenced by their catch-phrase, "Spacey, Zan — really spacey," copped from the Osmonds' "Cute, Marie — real cute."
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show had one episode titled "No Honor Among Thieves". In that episode, Lex Luthor created a device to steal powers from the heroes and asked for Darkseid's help. Luthor tried to doublecross Darkseid but Darkseid was Crazy-Prepared enough to cover Luthor in kryptonite dust since, with Superman's powers, comes his weakness. Luthor still managed to use El Dorado's powers to send the powerless heroes the means to escape death. He then got a Title Drop.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf". After the supervillain Raven accidentally captures Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog, he has his android doubles serve them a meal and shows them around his base.
  • No Time to Explain: 1973/74 episode "The Androids". While Wendy and Marvin are held captive in Dr. Rebos' laboratory, she comes up with an idea. After tricking the Wonder Dog android into leaving the room, she calls Marvin over and shows him an android assembly kit. When he asks what they'll make, she says there's no time to explain and they get to work (they need to hurry because they have to be finished before the Wonder Dog android returns).
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Wonder Dog in the first season, Gleek afterward.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: This happened on a regular basis in the 1973/74 season. About every other episode Wendy or Marvin would try to get the attention of one of the superheroes, usually when they were talking to someone else, and the hero would tell them to wait. They would sometimes give Wendy or Marvin a chance to speak once they were done discussing the more important matter, but not always.
    • "The Baffles Puzzle". When Wendy and Marvin try to tell Robin about Wonder Dog sneezing at the museum, he brushes them off.
    • "The Fantastic Frerps". When Marvin tries to tell the Super Friends about his strange adventure with the disappearing shack, Superman tells him to wait till later, as they have an emergency.
    • "The Menace of the White Dwarf". Wendy and Marvin's bicycle disappears while they're at a gas station. When they try to tell Superman about it, he tells them to hold it a minute.
    • "To Hot To Handle". When Wendy tries to tell Superman that she and Martin have discovered a man who is turning up at the site of heat wave disasters, he tells her to wait because Professor von Knowalot is talking.
  • Notably Quick Deliberation: In the 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf", the supervillain Raven puts Superman on trial. At the end of the trial the jurors find Superman guilty without even leaving the jury box or deliberating. Justified because the jury is made up of Raven's robots, who are programmed to find Superman guilty.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: 1973-74 episode "The Androids". Dr. Rebos and his assistant Loco are in their laboratory toasting their mission to stop the U.S. space program. Dr. Rebos says "To me and my mission! No one can stop it!" He then does a Spit Take as he looks up and sees the Super Friends, who have just entered the room.
  • Offscreen Karma: In the 1973-74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf", Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog decide to fly to Washington D.C. to warn the rest of the Super Friends personally about the villain Raven's threat instead of calling them on the phone. As a result, they get captured by Raven. At the end of the episode, Marvin says that Batman gave them quite a talking to about their bad judgment.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: The "Diamonds" Queenie hits Firestorm with in "The Wild Cards" cause him to see distorted visions of her, with colors shifting as well.
  • One-Shot Character:
    • Plastic Man makes a guest appearance in the 1973-74 episode "Professor Goodfellow’s G.E.E.C." What does he do? His ability to stretch is used to free a mouse trapped inside a computer system.
    • In the 1973-74 season episode "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof", Green Arrow uses his trademark trick arrows to save the other Superfriends, who have been reduced to tiny size by a Shrink Ray.
  • Origins Episode:
    • Superman's origin of coming to Earth as an infant after the destruction of his home planet Krypton is revealed in the 1973 episode "The Planet-Splitter", the Challenge of the Superfriends episode "Secret Origins of the Superfriends" and the lost season episode "The Krypton Syndrome".
    • In addition to Superman's origin, "Secret Origins of the Superfriends" also reveals Wonder Woman's history of being born from her mother Hippolyta creating a clay sculpture of a young girl and wishing for the gods to bring it to life as well as becoming Paradise Island's ambassador to the outside world by winning a tournament in addition to Green Lantern's origin of being a test pilot who was given his power ring by Abin Sur on the alien's deathbed.
    • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Fear" revealed Batman's origin of going down the path of becoming a crimefighter after being orphaned by a thug shooting his parents. The episode was also notably the first time Batman's origin was told outside of the comics.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: 1973-74 episode "The Androids". When Dr. Rebos puts on a small hat, neither Batman nor Superman can recognize him.
  • Planet Looters: The Lion Men in their eponymous episode plan to do this to Earth, by simply cutting the planet into four parts and selling the quadrants to four different alien species.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Almost any episode featuring Aquaman.
  • Plug the Volcano: Superman can be seen plugging an erupting volcano with a large boulder in the opening narration for The World's Greatest SuperFriends.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Toyman is portrayed as a cackling lunatic who sees every weapon or property he gets his hands on as a toy for him to play with.
  • Pun-Based Title: The 1973-74 episode "The Shamon U" (i.e. "Shame on you").
  • Pungeon Master:
    • Robin, often.
    • In one Comic-Book Adaptation, four of the Wonder Twins' Earth friends were possessed. He mentioned that the next time this happened, and they couldn't get an exorcist, "—Try an Exor Sister!" he goes, putting a hand on a stunned Jayna. Batman winces with an "Ouch!" saying that was one of Robin's worst puns.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In "History of Doom", when some visiting aliens are arriving on a burnt-out world, they take a look at the evil origins of Lex Luthor and Giganta, and later on, Lex Luthor not only destroys the Superfriends, but the Legion of Doom and the rest of Earth with a horrific solar flare that turns red to destroy Superman, and the force field takes on a supernatural greenhouse effect, multiplying the flames and destroying life on Earth. Grodd calls Luthor out for destroying the Superfriends and the Legion of Doom. Subverted when the time-traveling aliens decide to restore the earth with a Deus ex Machina by going back in time and putting the moon in front of the solar flare, sparing the Earth from Luthor's ill-conceived plan.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • 1973/74 episode "Menace of the White Dwarf". The evil Mad Scientist Raven (who acts more like a Comic Book supervillain than any other opponent the Superfriends faced during this season), has red eyes.
    • The evil Superman from the 1979 episode "Universe of Evil" has red eyes as well, and for bonus points, they're ringed in black, with freakin' huge demonic points. Evil!Batman and Evil!Robin also have red eyes in place of their good counterparts' plain white eyes.
  • Regular Caller: In the 1973-74 season, the title heroes are called into action by either (a) an emergency signal from the TroubAlert computer, (b) a message from Colonel Wilcox or (c) both.
  • Ret-Gone: The Challenge of the Superfriends episode "Secret Origins of the Superfriends" had the Legion of Doom attempt to alter history to prevent Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern from existing by preventing Kal-El's rocket ship from making it to Earth, Cheetah beating Diana in the tournament she was supposed to win and Lex Luthor taking Hal Jordan's place when he is summoned by Abin Sur. The rest of the Super Friends end up finding out what happened and go back in time to fix history and restore the three heroes to the timeline.
  • Reverse Polarity: 1973-74 episode "The Shamon U". Professor Shamon reverses the polarity on his giant electromagnet to repel the Batmobile.
  • Riddling Sphinx: In "Battle of the Gods", the sphinx asks Batman and Robin, "What builds up castles and tears down mountains, makes some men blind and helps others to see?" The answer: "sand". The sphinx is a Sore Loser and attacks them anyway, but they quickly defeat it.
  • Rings of Activation: Aquaman's telepathic communication with sea creatures is visualized with ring waves vibrating across the water.
  • Road-Sign Reversal: 1973-74 episode "The Fantastic Frerps". King Plasto diverts a shipment of raw plastic from the real GREPS building to his imitation building by changing a road sign.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant:
    • Gentleman Ghost, albeit only addressed as Gentleman Jim Craddock, is the feature villain in The All-New Super Friends Hour episode "Ghosts", but has his vendetta directed towards Superman and Wonder Woman instead of Hawkman and Hawkwoman.
    • In the Challenge of the Superfriends episode "History of Doom", Giganta is revealed to be a normal human who became a sizeshifter the same way Apache Chief did, making her one of his enemies instead of one of Wonder Woman's.
    • In the Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show episode "Reflections in Crime", the villain is Flash foe the Mirror Master, but he is only shown fighting Superman, Batman, Robin, Firestorm and Samurai with the Flash nowhere in sight.
    • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Case of the Stolen Powers" focuses on a Villain Team-Up between Felix Faust and Batman villain The Penguin, but neither Batman nor Robin appear in the episode and the only heroes Penguin is shown fighting are Superman, Firestorm, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Samurai and Aquaman.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: There's a brief minecart pursuit in the 1973/74 episode "The Planet Splitter" when Doctor LeBon's assistant Wilbur tries to escape through subterranean coal mine tunnels.
  • Scary Scarecrows: The Scarecrow is a Legion of Doom member and a villain in the final season. In "The Super Powers Team" he's a human in a costume, but this isn't directly stated in "Challenge".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • The All-New Super Friends Hour segment "The Ghost" establishes that Gentleman Ghost (addressed here only as Gentleman Jim Craddock) was sealed in a crypt by Superman and Wonder Woman and has him enable his freedom by having a mortal henchman read an incantation.
    • The New Super Friends episode "Terror from the Phantom Zone" has the Phantom Zone prisoners Logar, Rom-Lok and Hul escape from the transdimensional prison for Kryptonian criminals and attempt to get even with Superman by exposing him to red kryptonite and subjecting him to Rapid Aging, ultimately being defeated when Superman recovers by exposing himself to blue kryptonite and using red kryptonite on the trio before sending them back to the Phantom Zone (causing Logar to shrink, Rom-Lok to become hairy and Hul to turn into metal). The three would resurface in the lost season episode "Return of the Phantoms", where they would escape the Phantom Zone again and try to stop Superman by going back in time and defeating him when he was Superboy.
    • The 1980 series had a segment called "Yuna the Terrible", where the titular villain was a barbarian woman who was set free when her tomb was uncovered by archeaologists.
    • In the lost season segment "Prisoners of Sleep", the antagonist is an evil spirit called Sleep, who was sealed inside a metal sphere for a billion years until Superman and Batman accidentally break it open. This leads to Sleep making the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader fall asleep so he can torment them in their nightmares before the intervention of Wonder Woman enables the other two heroes to wake up and seal Sleep back into his prison.
  • Security Cling: 1973-74 season episodes
    • "The Planet Splitter": When Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are surprised by Doctor LeBon's assistant aboard the space ship, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms.
    • "The Baffles Puzzle": When one of the bad guys slams a door and traps Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in a room, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms again.
    • "The Power Pirate": When Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are trapped in a dark room and a door suddenly opens, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms yet again.
  • Seize Them!: 1973/74 episode "The Androids". When Batman figures out that the Superman in the Hall of Justice is actually an android double, he yells "Grab him!" to the other Super Friends.
  • Sequel Episode: The lost season episode "Return of the Phantoms" is a follow-up to the New Super Friends episode "Terror from the Phantom Zone", as it has the three Kryptonian criminals Logar, Rom-Lok and Hul escape from the Phantom Zone and go back in time to when Superman was an adolescent to try and defeat the Man of Steel before he imprisoned them in the first place.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The 1973-74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". Dr. Pelagian's submarine the Sprite is almost identical to the U.S.S. Seaview in the film and TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
    • Two episodes feature the Superfriends visiting versions of Oz and Wonderland.
  • Shrink Ray: 1973-74 episode "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof''. The villain Dr. Hiram Gulliver uses a shrinking ray on the Superfriends to reduce them to tiny size.
  • Significant Anagram: A complicated version in the 1973/74 episode "The Fantastic FRERPS". When King Plasto tricks the G.R.E.P.S. delivery people into giving him their shipments of plastic, he signs the receipts he gives them "Roy La Post". Marvin accidentally comes up with the term "King Plasto", and Batman puts the pieces together. The "Roy" in "Roy La Post" is based on the French word "Roi", which means "king". Thus "Roy La Post" -> "Roi La Post" -> "King La Post" -> "King Plasto"!
  • Slow Laser: 1973-74 episode "The Shamon U". One of Dr. Shamon's devices is a giant laser that he uses to fuse space gold dust into gold meteors. The beam clearly travels slower than the speed of light.
  • Solid Clouds: 1973/74 episode "The Menace of the White Dwarf". The villain Raven has his aerial base on a solid cloud.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Happened all the time. Superman was the usual victim.
  • Space Travel Veto: In the 1973-74 episode "The Androids", Dr. Rebos has this motivation in sabotaging Earth's space program. He says that Earth should solve its own problems before going into outer space.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Wonder Dog from the 1973-74 season. He couldn't really speak and had to regularly resort to Hand Signals and playing Charades in order to be understood.
  • Spies In a Van: In the 1973-74 episode "The Balloon People", Dr. Noah Tall and Twisty use a van called the "Snoop Wagon" to spy on the title characters. Bonus points for having an exterior radar dish and extendable telescope.
  • Spinning Paper: 1973-74 episode "The Balloon People". A spinning newspaper said "Balloon People land on Earth. Saucer lands in backyard after space trip" after these events occurred.
Superman: Working together, we saved the planet, and I believe that if we stay together as a team, we would be a force that could truly work for the ideals of peace and justice.
The Flash: What, like a bunch of Super Friends?
Superman: More like a... Justice League.
  • Spit Take: 1973-74 episode "The Androids". Dr. Rebos and his assistant Loco are in their laboratory toasting their mission to stop the U.S. space program. Dr. Rebos spits out what he's drinking as he looks up and sees the Super Friends, who have just entered the room.
  • Spoonerism: 1973-74 episode "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall's assistant Twisty uses a Spoonerism in every sentence he speaks, and each time is corrected by Dr. Tall. By the end of the episode he has Dr. Tall doing it too.
  • Spring Coil: A villain in the 1973-74 episode "The Ultra Scam" has shoes with springs in the sole that he uses to bounce around.
  • Standardized Leader: Superman
  • Stealth Sequel: The Super Powers comic book was one to Jack Kirby's New Gods, picking up right after the "Hunger Dogs" story. Jack Kirby worked on both, and Darkseid had already taken over as the primary villain of the franchise at that point.
  • Stock Footage: Not as much as you'd expect from Hanna-Barbera, but many of the shots of the Superfriends leaving the Hall of Justice are reused.
  • Straw Feminist:
    • Evil genius Medulla from "Mind Maidens" created a device to Mind Control women (and of course Wondy and Jayna were among the victims) and enable them to cause men to vanish with a look.
    • Dr. Amy Zahn, who decided to show the world that women were not the weaker sex by turning herself into a Shout-Out to Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. Subverted in that she almost tested the same formula on Batman, especially since Wonder Woman was right there.
  • Super Hero: One of the most well-known depictions of the main DC stable, for better or for worse.
  • Surprise Slide Staircase: 1973/74 episode "The Baffles Puzzle". Wonder Woman is walking down a staircase leading underground when the stairs fold and she slides to the bottom.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Starting with The All-New Super Friends Hour, Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog were replaced with the Wonder Twins and Gleek, who were also a pair of teenage sidekicks to the Super Friends and their pet.
  • Talking Animal: Jayna in animal form, and Gorilla Grodd (and the other denizens of Gorilla City). Also, "Circus of Horrors" features a group of them as the main villains.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: With gems like "I've only got a fraction of a second to avoid that car!"
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: 1973-74 season episode "The Androids". Dr. Rebos shows that he knows what the Superfriends will say (with no explanation given) while they're listening to a tape recording he sent them.
    Dr. Rebos: You have disregarded my warning and so I had to sabotage your Venus probe.
    Batman: Do you suppose he knows about the upcoming manned launch to Mars?
    Dr. Rebos: Your upcoming manned launch to Mars is next [snip] unless you call a complete halt to your space program forever.
    Superman: Of all the dirty, lowdown...
    Dr. Rebos: This is not dirty and lowdown!
  • Team Member in the Adaptation:
    • Robin is presented as a core member of the League. While Dick would be a member on two occasions, both were after he became Nightwing, the first was part of an emergency team and the second was during his second tenure as Batman during Batman (Grant Morrison).
    • Cyborg, originally a member of the Teen Titans, becomes a member of the Justice League in the final season, way before Smallville, James Robinson, and the New 52 came up with the same idea.
    • DC's version of Jungle Princess Rima from the novel Green Mansions was also a member during The All-New Super Friends Hour.
    • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Wild Cards" reveals Royal Flush Gang member Ace to be a disguised Joker, when in the comics the Clown Prince of Crime was never a full-fledged member and merely worked with the Royal Flush Gang on occasion.
  • The Team Normal:
    • Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in the 1973/74 season, with one exception. In the first episode "The Power Pirate" Marvin is able to levitate, which indicates he has burgeoning metahuman powers. This is never followed up in subsequent episodes (making it Early-Installment Weirdness), and at the end of the season they are all Put on a Bus.
    • Batman and Robin have no superpowers at all, just their gadgets and skills.
  • Temporal Paradox: A Grandfather Paradox in the Challenge of the Super Friends episode "Secret Origins Of The Super Friends". The Legion of Doom's efforts to erase Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern from history somehow does not affect the existences of Lex Luthor, Toyman, Bizarro, Giganta, Cheetah and Sinestro (which is especially jarring in regards to Luthor, Bizarro and Sinestro, as Luthor's villainy is mainly driven by the desire to defeat Superman, Bizarro is a flawed clone of Superman and Sinestro became evil because Hal Jordan got him kicked out of the Green Lantern Corps by reporting his abusing his power ring to take over his own planet).
    • Giganta not being affected is explained in "History of Doom", where it's revealed that, unlike in the comics, her origin has nothing to do with Wonder Woman.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Marvin in the 1973-74 episode "Too Hot to Handle". The heat causes wax statues of the main heroes to melt, so Wendy and Marvin remove the uniforms from the statues.
      Wendy: Let's get these things packed away before something else happens to them.
      Marvin: What's the rush? I mean, what else could possibly happen to them?
      [The heat causes the overhead automatic fire sprinklers to go on]
    • In "The Mind Maidens" Wonder Woman and Jayna decide to sneak into Medulla's lair, and Jayna smugly comments "It'll be a cinch!" Cue both of them being turned into Medulla's mind-controlled slaves.
    • Batman, of all people, does this when facing an "obvious" Trap Door set up by The Riddler.
  • Terraform: An inverted version in the 1973-74 episode "Too Hot to Handle", when the Solar Terrarians try to move the Earth closer to the Sun so it will get hot enough for them to move here and live comfortably.
  • That's an Order!: The captain of the cruise ship Queen Victoria says it to a subordinate.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Aquaman, naturally.
    • Somewhat surprisingly, some episodes threw this out the porthole when he had to face off with a giant octopus or squid that was either under someone else's control or just plain wouldn't respond to his telepathy.
    • ... and then there was the one where he got caught by an invisible killer whale. You'd think, given that he is always able to communicate with whales, especially in this series, he'd convince it to let him go and maybe turn it against the villain that let it loose in the first place. But no, he ends up needing Superman to help free him and send the poor thing flying into the undersea horizon instead.
  • Token Minority: Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, El Dorado, Samurai, and arguably Wonder Woman, though Jayna was also present.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Before, Apache Chief could only grow to fifty feet tall. In the episode "The Man in the Moon", The Atom managed to upgrade his powers so he could grow to unlimited sizes. He kept this upgrade in later episodes.
    • In early appearances Brainiac is just a green humanoid without a decent pair of pants. Later seasons have him upgrade to a stylized metallic skeleton, and occasionally threatening the entire league on his own, without the Legion of Doom supporting him.
  • Totally Radical: In the first episode of the 1973/74 season, "The Power Pirate," Wendy and Marvin speak like 60's hippies, regularly using terms like "groovy," "cool," "right on" and "far out." Apparently the writers figured out how silly this sounded and Wendy and Marvin don't speak like that in any subsequent episode.
  • Tracking Device:
    • 1973-74 episode "The Planet Splitter". The Super Friends put microdot homing devices on the remaining 100+ carat diamonds so they can be tracked down after they were stolen. At the end of the episode, Wendy puts Wonder Dog on a diet, them puts a microdot homing device on one of his favorite steak bones so they can track it when he steals it.
    • Batman uses one in "The Wild Cards" to track King after the Royal Flush Gang captured Superman, Wonder Woman and Firestorm.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: 1973/74 episode "The Mysterious Moles". While Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are exploring underground, Marvin leaves chalk marks on the walls so they can find their way back to the surface.
  • Trainstopping:
    • In 1973-74 episode "The Power Pirate", Superman saves a train rolling backwards down a mountain by using his strength to bring it to a stop.
    • In the opening title for the 1973-74 season, Superman is shown stopping a runaway train by grabbing the train's back end and pulling until the train stops. This may be a unique case, but it's a lot safer than the other method.
    • In one episode Wonder Woman stops two trains on a collision course with each other, by standing between them and pushing hard in both directions. (How this is materially different from an actual collision, only the scriptwriters can tell you.)
  • Treebuchet: 1973-74 season episode "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C." When Wonder Woman and the Dynamic Duo need to get past a force field, Batman uses a grappling hook to pull down the top of a tree. Wonder Woman climbs onto the tree and when it's released, she is hurled over the top of the force field.
  • Trick Arrow: 1973-74 season episode "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof". Green Arrow makes good use of his trademark trick arrows to save the other Superfriends, who have been reduced to tiny size by a Shrink Ray.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: "The Fear" deals with similar themes as The Brave and the Bold's "The Chill of the Night" as the Scarecrow forces Batman to relive the murder of his parents.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In one episode, Superman foils a robbery on a laboratory perpetrated by Mr. Mxyzptlk. But the scientist in charge decides to call him out for allowing the imp to escape. As one YouTube comment points out, "Where's the thank you for saving your ungrateful hide?"
  • The Unpronounceable: Mxyzptlk's name is always pronounced "MIX-ul-plick" by the Super Friends.
  • Unraveled Entanglement: "Dr. Pelagian's War". While Miss Caraway is checking stock market reports on a ticker tape machine, Dr. Pelagian takes control of it and makes it spew out yards of ticker tape that entangles her.
  • Unusual Euphemism: 1973-74 episodes
    • "The Mysterious Moles". When the title villains are confronted by the Superfriends, a dismayed Minimus Mole says "Oh ding ding blathering blithers!"
    • "The Shamon U". When Wendy is disappointed that Batman and Robin don't take them along on an investigation, she says "Oh pistachios!" (i.e. the nut).
  • Van in Black: In the 1973-74 episode "The Balloon People", Dr. Noah Tall and Twisty use a van called the "Snoop Wagon" to spy on the title characters. Bonus points for having an exterior radar dish and extendable telescope.
  • Video Phone: The team's TroubAlert has video communications technology that national leaders and even their enemies, the Legion of Doom, have made use of to contact them.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The episode "The Ghost" has the ghost of Gentleman Jim run amok. This villain is able to turn both Superman and Wonder Woman into non-corporeal spirits. The remaining Super Friends must use seven golden wands crafted by Merlin to defeat this ghost. Each wand resembles a police baton, but golden yellow. It takes all seven to permanently neutralize Gentleman Jim, though just the sight of one is enough to terrify him.
  • Vocal Evolution: Frank Welker initially gave Mr. Mxyzptlk a squeaky voice for his first two appearances in the New Super Friends episode "The Rise and Fall of the Superfriends" and The World's Greatest SuperFriends episode "The Planet of Oz", but by the 1980 series and onward, Mxyzptlk started to sound more like the show's incarnation of Toyman, who was also voiced by Frank Welker.
  • The Voiceless: In the lost season episode "Revenge of Doom", Lex Luthor, Sinestro and Solomon Grundy are the only members of the Legion of Doom who have speaking roles.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: In the episode, "Volcano," an alien ship crashes lands into an active volcano. Superman and Samurai come to render assistance, but the captain of the ship is so suicidally paranoid that he is more determined to keep the superheroes away even while their ship is sinking into the magma. Meanwhile, the heroes rack their brains for a way to save the aliens before it's too latenote .
  • We Don't Need Roads: 1973-74 episode "Too Hot To Handle". The aliens have a fire truck that can convert into a rocket ship and fly.
  • We Have Reserves: In "The Seeds of Doom," Firestorm and Cyborg crash through a wall in Darkseid's palace, and see the room is FULL of seed pods like the other members of the Super Powers Team is trying to round up. Even if they'd gotten all of the ones on Earth, Darkseid could keep planting more. To avoid a Here We Go Again! scenario, Cyborg uses his Sonic Blaster to cause the seeds to sprout and grow, forcing Darkseid to blast them while Firestorm and Cyborg escape.
  • We Need a Distraction: The Super Friends are so powerful that in "Rub 3 Times for Disaster," the most feasible way to distract the entire team is to hijack a nuclear ballistic submarine's missiles and launch them against random cities around the world, thus forcing the superheroes to scurry around the world to stop them.
  • We Only Have One Chance: Not technically the trope namer, but might as well have been. Several episodes would have the heroes bring up how they needed to act quickly to avert the pressing disaster they're facing.
  • Weather-Control Machine: In the 1973-74 episode "The Weather Maker", an underwater nuclear powered jet engine can control the weather by changing the course of the Gulf Stream.
  • Went to the Great X in the Sky: When Lex Luthor has Superman nearly beaten in The World's Greatest SuperFriends episode "Lex Luthor Strikes Back", he taunts that the other Super Friends will be going to the great Hall of Justice in the sky.
  • We Will Meet Again: The villain in "Rub Three Times For Disaster" tries to pull this, but immediately gets lassoed by Wonder Woman and hauled away.
  • Whale Egg: While Gleek is an alien monkey, the lost season segment "Invasion of the Space Dolls" implies that his species reproduces by laying eggs, as Jayna mentions that he was hatched when the Super Friends are celebrating his sixth birthday.
  • What Does She See in Him?: In "The Darkseid Deception", this is the bad guys' reaction when they capture Wonder Woman's boyfriend Steve Trevor.
    Darkseid: This is the mortal Wonder Woman prefers over me?
    Kalibak: Hard to believe, eh Father?
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?
    • Aquaman became this to viewers. His primary abilities (swim fast, breathe water, talk to fish) are so specialized as to essentially require an episode to be written to accommodate him. The fact that he tends to fumble even in those obligatory aquatic setpieces is a major reason he became so mockable.
    • As well as Hawkman, whose only power (flight) wasn't even provided by his own wings. Half the team has either flight or Not Quite Flight, making him incredibly redundant, and his record in combat is nothing short of sad.
    • On the villain's side, Scarecrow, Riddler, and Black Manta are the most oft-criticized. Black Manta's only claim to fame is his Sea-Saucer, a spaceship-submarine in a series where both sides have much more impressive gear at their disposal; in most episodes, he seems to have no role except to menace Aquaman. Scarecrow can conjure crows, which does little more than mildly annoy his enemies, and his fear gas is heavily weakened from "make people afraid of everything" to "make people afraid of one specific thing, which I need to have on me to make it do anything." — and even those abilities only showed up on The Super Powers Team season; during Challenge he had no abilities or theme whatsoever. And Riddler is supposedly an Evil Genius playing Criminal Mind Games, but he's on a team with a good half-dozen other genius-types who don't feel the compulsion to send their enemies clues, making him come across as The Millstone.
    • Zan of the Wonder Twins. Jayna's power is kind of cool: she can turn into any sort of animal from any planet (including mythical creatures — she's become a mermaid, a centaur, and a sphinx in the comic, and a winged serpent in the cartoon). Zan turns into water. And ice. And unlikely ice constructions. That's it. Congratulations, Zan, you just made Aquaman look cool by comparison. Some old Cartoon Network ads lampooned this without mercy. "I could be defeated by a sponge! And it wouldn't even have to be an evil sponge!" And he's another underutilization case. Just ask Marvel's Hydro-Man what you can do with that power. In fact, he could apparently do ANYTHING he could describe with water or ice. He even transformed into an ice jetpack which Jayna then wore in her eagle form to fly at supersonic speeds! How does Jayna get to an emergency? She turns into an eagle. How does Zan get there? He turns into water. Then he has to flow into a pail so Gleek can carry him while Jayna carries Gleek with her talons.
      • To the point where they super-buffed him when he appeared in Justice League. He still turns into water, but he can turn into any form and volume of water. He could become a complete ocean or a mist that covered a continent.
      • For the Wonder Twins, it was more that they were written to be inexperienced (and borderline-useless comic relief) rather than any flaws in their actual powers. When faced with an army of cavemen in "Planet of the Neanderthals", they quickly and easily took out the whole group by turning into a brontosaurus and a gigantic hand made of water, and in "Mxyzptlk's Flick", they easily defeated a T. Rex by turning into an enormous spider and an ice catapult (Jayna webbed it up, and then Zan catapulted it into the distance). But normally they turn into small, weak, and/or overly-specialized-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness shapes, which leads to their defeat and capture.
  • Wheel o' Feet: 1973-74 season episodes
    • "Too Hot To Handle". Wonder Dog does a wheel of feet after he sees the villain and runs off to get the rest of the team.
    • "The Mysterious Moles". Wonder Dog does a wheel of feet to run away after the Moles' underground machine drills out of a wall and scares him.
    • "The Shamon U". Dr. Shamon and his two underlings do a wheel of feet before running away from a giant Wonder Dog.
    • "The Ultra Beam". Marvin and Wonder Dog do a wheel of feet before running after Ben, the villain with springs on his shoes.
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: As Seanbaby noted, it seemed like every problem Superman dealt with was solved by him spinning very very fast.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • The villains on this show love death traps and other needlessly complex schemes.
    • Averted in the episode "Super Friends: Rest in Peace" where the Legion of Doom uncover the Noxium crystal (an element created by unseen former Legion of Doom member Dr. Natas said to be composed of all the Super Friends' weaknesses) and they seemingly take out all the Super Friends with this incredible weapon — which they throw away when they're finished. But then it turns out to have all been a ruse by the heroes, to ambush the Legion and arrest them.
    • Giganta and Grodd once created an android version of Gleek that shot disintegrating laser from its eyes to destroy the Super Friends in the lost season episode "Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One". It had practically the same results of the "Super Friends: Rest in Peace" plot.
    • Lex Luthor actually had a good answer for this in World's Greatest Super Friends episode "Lex Luthor Strikes Back". Had Luthor just shot the heroes he caught in his traps, they wouldn't be able to save him from the villains that double-crossed him in that episode. In fact, it was Luthor who saved them from his own death traps.
    • Luthor would need help again in Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show episode "No Honor Among Thieves", when Darkseid double-crossed him (after Luthor tried to double-cross Darkseid, mind you)
  • Wonder Twin Powers: The Wonder Twins are, as expected, the Trope Namers. Zan can turn into ice or water-based constructs and Jayna can turn into animals, but their powers only work when they are in contact with each other.
  • Writing Lines: The 1973 series episode "The Ultra Beam" has Marvin having to write "I will not talk out of turn in class" 100 times. A frequency from the Ultra Beam destroys the chalk board before he can finish writing the sentence a second time.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Used repeatedly in the formula for Challenge: the Legion will cook up a plan that'll go flawlessly for the first 2/3 of the episode, and they'll easily overcome whatever resistance the Superfriends try to put up.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Logar, Rom-Lok and Hul, the three Phantom Zone prisoners from the New Super Friends episode "Terror from the Phantom Zone", resurface in the lost season episode "Return of the Phantoms", but look nothing like they did in their debut appearance.
  • You Meddling Kids: 1973-74 episode "The Balloon People". After Noah Tall is captured by Superman he says "I could have gotten away with it if it weren't for you, Superman."

"Meanwhile, at the Hall of Doom..."


Video Example(s):



DC Comics superhero and the King of Atlantis known for being a friend to underwater animals, and being a Fountain of Memes due to his powers.

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