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Tropes dealing with the original Young Justice series that aired on Cartoon Network, including Season 1 and Season 2 (Invasion).


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  • A Day in the Limelight: Each individual member of the original team gets an episode primarily devoted to them during the first season; Downtime for Aqualad, Cold-hearted for Wally, Image for Miss Martian, Agendas for Superboy, Insecurity for Artemis, and Performance for Nightwing.
  • Absentee Actor: Each member of the Team has been absent for at least one episode. Superboy has the most appearances out of all of them, although his reveal at the end of episode one is nonspeaking. It's also not uncommon for a character to appear in an episode, but not say anything in order to avoid spending money on voice actors. 11th-Hour Ranger Rocket and The Leaguers are chronic offenders, but Nightwing, Kid Flash, and Miss Martian have also been subject to it.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Action Hero: A world of superheroes where men, women, and children are all hyper-competent. Some, like the original Robin, being active from as young as nine.
  • Adaptational Badass: Villains Mister Twister, Sportsmaster, and Count Vertigo have been given revamps that have turned them into real badasses as opposed to their non-badass (and in Sportsmaster's case, outright joke) comic book counterparts.
    • Likewise, The Reach in the comic books focused on diplomacy and subversion to subjugate a species over a period of 100 years, with only one agent on their behalf. In this series, on the other hand, they have a huge army stationed on the ocean bed ready to invade.
    • Likewise, Otis turns from Lex Luthor's bumbling sidekick to head of his heavily armed security detail.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the comics, Artemis Crock is the 3rd Tigress, a villainess.
    • The Tigress mantle itself gets this treatment - Artemis uses it while going undercover in Black Manta's organization, and takes it up again after Wally dies in the second season finale.
    • Mary and especially Rudy West seem to be Good Parents in the show, as opposed to the abusive, self-centered Hate Sinks they were in the comics.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Creator Greg Weisman has stated that the purpose of the series is to distill the best portions of the DCU as a whole.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The Guardian sports red hair in the series, despite traditionally being a blonde in the comics, to help denote he is Roy Harper's uncle (actually, his clone).
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The G-Gnomes are called DNAliens in the comics (What can you say, they were from the Jimmy Olsen Superman's Pal series).
      • To be fair, Ben 10: Alien Force already used the term DNAliens on Cartoon Network, so the creators probably wanted to avoid any confusion.
    • The Light was originally the Secret Society of Super Villains.
    • The two other members of the Marvel family are named Lieutenant and Sergeant Marvel, as opposed to Captain Marvel, Jr. and Mary Marvel.
    • The Reach's Ambassador was known as the Negotiator in the comics.
    • Vykin, leader of the Forever People, had the qualifier "the Black" dropped from his name, presumably due to political correctness.
  • Adult Fear: "Misplaced" explores a fear parents and children experience when they are separated from each other.. In the final act, Zatara is faced with a parent's ultimate fear - losing one's child to events beyond your control. Zatanna is similarly left to deal with losing her father by the episode's end, but in this case because of her own hasty decision.
    • During the events of Season 2, a key plotline has multiple children abducted and then experimented on by the Reach. Virgil Hawkins even mentions that not only was he tortured, some of the kids were killed when their experiments weren't satisfactory.
  • Adults Are Useless: Largely averted, but there are a few cases where this is played straight.
    • In "Humanity", the League (which includes Batman) is completely unsuccessful in tracking down Red Tornado despite weeks of effort. The Team proceeds to find him and foil the villain's plan inside of a day.
      • Re-averted when the team needs the help of Red Tornado to actually save the day. They found him, but they were horribly outmatched.
    • In "Failsafe", the entire League is defeated by the aliens without achieving any sort of victory, whereas the Team is then successful in running numerous offensive actions. Justified: The entire point of the training simulation was to see how the Team could cope after losing the League as support.
    • It took four hours to the Justice League to defeat Amazo... and The Team defeated it in five minutes even while it had also adquired the powers of the JL members. Possibly justified given that Amazo seemed to be much less efficient at using its powers when facing the Team.
  • Aerith and Bob: Atlantean names: Kaldur'ahm, La'gaan, Orin, Tula... and Garth.
  • An Aesop: The show's episodes often have Aesops about Leadership, Teamwork or Strategy including such gems as:
    • "Dropzone": The best strategist isn't always the best leader. Also, always have a clear chain of command.
    • "Schooled": No matter how strong you think you are, there's always someone stronger, which is why you need to learn how to kick their ass too.
    • "Bereft": Bad things happen when you don't secure your communications.
    • "Failsafe": Know who's expendable and who isn't.
    • "Secrets": Secrets, especially bad ones, have a way of coming to light eventually.
    • "Usual Suspects": You need to trust your friends to accept you for who you really are.
    • "Salvage" deals with addiction and the way it destroys your life and relationships, although instead of literal drug addiction they use the metaphor of being obsessed with finding the original Speedy.
      • Although a mention should go to Superboy with those superpatches.
    • "Depths": Failure is a greater judge of character than success. Given by a villain to his son for excellent work in terrorism and murder.
    • "Satisfaction": Intelligence and resourcefulness are more important than weapons or physical resources.
  • Age Lift: The team are an interesting mix of teen heroes from different points in DCU history. Using Dick Grayson as a baseline, Aqualad, Superboy and Miss Martian should be younger (Tim Drake's age), Beast Boy should be older (about Dick's age) and Zatanna should be much older (about Bruce Wayne's age).
  • Airplane Arms: Cheshire. Of the Ninja Run variety.
  • Affably Evil: Lex Luthor is unfailingly polite at all times, as are most members of the Light.
  • Air Jousting: While using a shield patch, Superboy does this several times against Match in "Agendas".
  • Air-Vent Passageway:
    • Subverted in the pilot. The Team did climb into the vents, but quickly dropped out of them back into a different hallway, hacking the surveillance computers to make the villains think they were using them to escape the building.
    • Played straight in "Homefront".
  • The Alcatraz: Belle Reve, a supervillain penitentiary run by Amanda Waller, strong enough to contain Superman himself. They checked. At the end of "Terrors" it falls under the control of the Light, who foment an escape plot in order to remove Waller as warden and replace her with Dr. Hugo Strange, one of their agents.
  • Alien Invasion:
  • Aliens Speaking English: Played with in various ways.
    • When M'gann had her memory of arriving on Earth erased by Psimon in "Bereft" she initially thinks in the Martian language, and only switches to English when she realizes she's on Earth.
    • In "Happy New Year", Lobo shows up speaking solely in Interlac, which not even the audience can understand. However, he soon activates a belt device that translates most of his speech into English.
    • Adam Strange took weeks to even discover a means of communication when he was accidentally transported to the planet Rann. Miss Martian helps bridge the language gap during her visit with a psychic link. The team discovers she has been rendered unconscious when they can no longer understand each other.
    • The Krolotean language is unintelligible to everyone but Blue Beetle, whose armor has a Universal Translator. Other characters, and the audience, cannot understand the language even when Beetle is the one speaking it.
    • The Reach speak English to Kaldur and the Earthling public, but speak their own language around Jaime due to their secret agenda concerning the Scarab.
  • Aliens Steal Cable:
    • When she deduces that she is on Earth after having her memory erased, M'gann is extremely happy to finally be here, but is slightly disappointed that it is nothing like TV. We later learn that M'gann's human appearance and mannerisms are based off of a short-lived sitcom called Hello Megan!
    • Serifan, one of the Forever People who lives on distant New Genesis, is said to be a big fan of Westerns. Thus, he wields a pair of revolvers that fire Depleted Phlebotinum Shells.
    • It's said that the Martians receive TV through the Martian Manhunter and Robin (Tim Drake) says that all Martians love TV. Green Beetle claims to learn of the Reach's presence on Earth this way, and goes down from Mars to help the Justice League. In reality he has been working with the Reach
  • All Just a Dream: "Failsafe". However, the events still have lasting traumatic effects on the Team.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The other villains in Belle Reve prison constantly bully The Riddler, and will not let him eat lunch with them. He gets the last laugh when he is the only one to actually escape in the breakout attempt.
  • All There in the Manual: The tie-in comic gives us background information on characters, explaining how certain team members came to become the proteges' of their respective mentors, and additional information on missions.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • "Homefront", where Red Torpedo and Red Inferno take over the Team's secret mountain hideout.
    • "Auld Acquaintance", where Vandal Savage takes over the Watchtower and brainwashes the entire Justice League.
    • "Darkest", where Black Manta II and his group hack security measures and invade Mount Justice.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • The android A.M.A.Z.O. can copy the powers of all people he encounters and use them at will, though he can only access one power set at a time.
    • In "Disordered," the five Forever People merge into the massive and powerful Infinity Man.
    • In "Performance", Parasite used multiple abilities stolen from circus performers to commit his crimes. By the end, he's stolen both Superboy and Miss Martian's powers, and uses them in tandem to fight the Team.
  • Alliterative Name: A given as a DC Comics adaptation, though it is Lampshaded in "Targets" when Megan Morse and Conner Kent introduce themselves. When Wendy and Marvin hear Conner and Megan's names, Marvin makes a joke about "double alliteration, I like it". Wendy is voiced by Masasa Moyo, and Marvin is portrayed by Nolan North.
  • Almost Kiss:
  • Aloof Ally: Red Arrow though this turned out to be part of his "programming." Joining the team would look less impressive to the league than striking out on his own.
  • Alternate Continuity: The series takes place early during the Second Age of Heroes on Earth-16 of the DC Multiverse.
  • Always Save the Girl: When attacked on his cross-country run to bring a new heart to a young girl in need of a transplant, Kid Flash decides to stop fighting Vandal Savage in order to finish delivering the heart. Unfortunately, the fifteen minutes it took him to realize that his fight was delaying his delivery was too long, as the young girl died twelve minutes before his arrival. At least, that was the story told to Kid Flash by the henchman who wanted to steal the heart to keep it from getting to the girl at all.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: With their memories of the past six months erased, Superboy is a mindless berserker (he has not been alive that long), Kid Flash and Artemis begin to mildly flirt (as opposed to their normal interactions), and Artemis believes that she is probably here because her father ordered her to kill Kid Flash.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • T.O. Morrow turns off Red Tornado's motor functions, powers and voice, leaving him a motionless shell that nonetheless can see, hear and think about everything Morrow is doing.
    • Blue Beetle, trapped for months under the control of the Reach.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The finale mixes this with a cliffhanger ending.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Almost word-for-word.
    Desaad: "Kill the boy, and his little dog, too."
  • Angst? What Angst?: Becomes a plotpoint in-universe in "Failsafe" at least until Artemis's "death". In "Disordered", Conner feels intense guilt because he didn't angst one bit during "Failsafe".
  • Animation Bump: Not that the animation was ever below quality, but Outsiders displays noticeably improved animation as the result of a higher budgets and better technology available. It's on par with the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.
  • Animesque
  • Apocalypse How: Red Volcano attempts a Class 1.
    • The Reach attempt this in “Endgame”—a visual simulation seems to imply a Class 6, but later dialogue bumps it up to Class X.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Aqualad apologises to mind-controlled Aquaman after having to knock him unconscious. M'Gann does the same with brainwashed J'onn.
  • Arc Number: 16.
  • Arc Words: "The Light" or "See The Light".
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Non-sexual example: Wonder Girl, in volume 4 of the tie-in comics, is a little bit offended that while an at that point unknown villain saw fit to kidnap Superboy along with Superman, they didn't kidnap her despite kidnapping Wonder Woman.
  • Are We Getting This?: When Cheshire attempts to assassinate Lex Luthor with an RPG, but is foiled by Red Arrow, reporter Cat Grant desperately asks her cameraman if he got the shot.
  • Are We There Yet?: Klarion in "Denial".
  • Arm Cannon: Mercy Graves comes with one in this continuity, which impresses both North and South Rhelasia enough to get them talking peace if they can get access to the technology.
    • Arsenal gets an even more powerful one to replace the arm that was removed to clone him.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: During Wally's What the Hell, Hero? speech in "Darkest" to Nightwing, Nightwing keeps telling him that this is under control and the ends justify the means. When Wally says this, Nightwing has no retort
    Wally: Kaldur lost the love of his life and found out Black Manta was his father within a few months. He's supposed to be playing them. Are you absolutely sure he isn't playing you?
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Superboy explicitly states that, with his powers, he is always in control of a fight and always has the advantage. Black Canary teaches him the error of his ways.
  • Arrow Catch: The Flash, under mind-control, does this with Artemis' arrows. She compensates by aiming an explosive arrow at the floor.
    • Black Beetle with one of Arsenal's arrows in "True Colors".
    • Arsenal faces this again with Mongul in "War".
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: After a recon mission goes wildly out of control, Batman berates the Team for going against his orders... and then congratulates them for saving the day anyway and praising them for reacting well when the initial plan did not work.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In season 2's "Satisfaction", Speedy comments that in the eight years he'd been captured by the Light that the sidekicks had formed a team, aliens had invaded the Earth, and Oliver grew a "dopey goatee".
  • Artificial Gill: One of the many things Robin (and likely Batman by extension) has in his Utility Belt. After nearly drowning two missions in a row, Artemis also begins carrying them.
  • Artificial Human: Red Inferno and Red Torpedo used to look (and think they were) human as part of T.O. Morrow's plan to have them destroy the community of superheroes from within. Red Tornado was constructed to always look like, and know he was, a robot, but he built an android body of his own so he could interact with humans as John Smith.
  • Artistic License – Geology: Yellowstone is indeed a super-volcano capable of depopulating North America and generally threatening humanity. However, the series presents it as a single, slightly-larger-than-average volcano. The Yellowstone caldera, in reality, encompasses all of Yellowstone and is the size of the state of Connecticut (in fact, even though the volcanic nature of the park's hot springs was well known, the caldera itself could not be seen due to its size until satellite photos were taken of the area, and it was realized that the entire park was the caldera).
  • Art Shift: During Topo's story in "Downtime."
  • Ascended Meme: Tie-in comics suggest The Flaming C is a TV show in Earth-16, with one kid dressed as The Flaming C during "Secrets."
  • Assimilation Backfire: The series had an appearance of Parasite, who was defeated when he stole Miss Martian's powers without realizing they came with a weakness to fire, which the heroes exploit.
  • As You Know:
    • In episode 14, "Revelation," after the initial giant plant attack the members of the Team together sum up the interconnected events of the earlier episodes.
    • Episode 15, "Humanity", has Dr T.O. Morrow gives the whole backstory of Red Tornado, and the reasons for his creation to Tornado's unmoving, and silenced body.
    • Episode 23, "Insecurity" has Huntress deliver her own history as a villain to Artemis, who should both know it. Some of this was foreshadowed early, but it's still fairly awkward dialogue between the two.
    • In "Happy New Year," the first episode after the Time Skip, Lagoon Boy is sparring with Nightwing and, upon his defeat, explains (to Nightwing) Nightwing's history as Robin in order to make sure that viewers understand he changed costumed identities during the skip.
    • In "Alienated," M'gann speaks this exact phrase before explaining the mystery of of the "missing 16 hours" six members of the League lost while under Vandal Savage's mind control just before the Time Skip.
    • Episodes near the end of season 2 tend to start with characters summing up what's happened up to that point.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: A massive group of aliens is attacking our heroes! Wait, what's that? Blue Beetle's with them? Retreat! Evacuate the base! Alien women and children first! Activate the Self-Destruct Mechanism!
  • Attack Drone: The Air Force of Bialya fields a large force of unmanned drones, allowing Miss Martian multiple opportunities for some nice casualty-free explosions.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: "Maneuver Seven" is used repeatedly, which involves one of the Team helping launch another member at the enemy.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Kid Flash can not help but admire Miss Martian's Rule 63 impersonation of him.
  • Badass Adorable: Captain Marvel. From the start he acts like the ten year old he is, only the team doesn't know. Which makes his disappointment over not getting to go to the Halloween party in "Secrets" kind of adorable even when he has a tantrum and goes trick or treating instead.
  • Badass Boast: Episode "Terrors" offers us two interesting subversions:
    Amanda Waller: Belle Reve's walls are thick enough to hold Superman. We know - we've checked. No one's ever escaped Belle Reve. No one ever will.
    The Riddler: No one can say the Riddler goes where he's not wanted.
  • Badass Bystander: When Bumblebee and Blue Beetle track down a Krolotean that was impersonating Bill "Bibbo" Bibbowski, it was Bibbo himself who knocked out the imposter.
  • Badass Family:
    • The Crock family as in, Sportsmaster and his two daughters Cheshire and Artemis. Slightly subverted as they all hate each other. Also, it's implied that their mother was pretty badass before she was crippled.
    • The West-Allen (+ Garrick) family. Barry Allen, nephew-by-marriage Wally West, and grandson Bart Allen end up defeating the Reach's Endgame.
    • The Bat-family. They trust each other to the point that Nightwing will follow Batgirl's orders without question, and Batman will follow Nightwing's, despite the chain of command going the other way.
  • Badass Normal: Naturally, considering Nightwing, Batgirl and the third Robin are all in the show, but it's lampshaded by Robinnote  in the season 2 episode "Intervention"
    Blue Beetle: But Garrett still inspired Kord to become the second Blue Beetle, even with no superpowers.
    Robin: I hear those are optional.
  • Bad Future: "Bloodlines". The world is devastated forty years into the future, with Mount Justice a blasted crater. Impulse traveled back in time to avert it, but while the ash clouds are gone and Neutron loses his prison jumpsuit and scars, Mount Justice is still in ruins.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Light "wins" most skirmishes with the team, getting what they want even when it looks like they have lost. In the end, Vandal Savage has the War World, an alliance with Darkseid, Earth at the forefront of galactic prominence, Reach-derived technology, the Reach are kicked off Earth and Lex Luthor becomes a famed candidate for UN Secretary-General.
  • Bash Brothers: Toyed with. Sportsmaster and Cheshire have amazing combat synergy with one another, but do not like each other one bit, since they are father and daughter with strong personal animosity.
  • Batman Cold Open: A staple of the show. Many episodes, including the pilot, open with the Team just completing a mission before meeting up with members of the Justice League.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • The entire pilot is one by Dubbilex, in order to free Superboy, the Genomorphs, and Cadmus from control of The Light.
    • In "Targets", Lex Luthor and Ra's Al Ghul pull one off to get this universe's versions of North and South Rhelesia united under Lexcorp's — and by extension the Light's — "guidance".
    • Kid Flash pulls this off in "Coldhearted." He realizes that Count Vertigo will always be a threat so long as he has diplomatic immunity and decides to fake the queen's death to make Vertigo think he was untouchable and admit to his attempts at killing her.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Superboy and Miss Martian after "Terrors".
    • Five years later Miss Martian is now one with Lagoon Boy.
      • Until she breaks up with him in "Intervention".
    • In "Bloodlines," Roy and Jade.
    • We finally see Wally and Artemis as one in "Summit".
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: M'gann and Psimon have a pitched battle within her mind at the end of "Bereft" and then again in "Image". The second one leaves him in a coma for five years.
    • There's an extremely brief one between Miss Martian and a Brainwashed and Crazy Martian Manhunter in "Auld Acquaintance". M'gann technically wins, if only by cheating, via using her telekinesis to implant the cure for the brainwashing virus in the back of J'onn's neck while he's distracted.
    • Lampshaded in "Before the Dawn"; when M'gann mind-rapes Kaldur for "killing" Artemis Beast Boy excitedly tells the Team they should have seen it...
      Beast Boy: ...although, actually, it didn't look like much. But I bet in their mind it was awesome!
  • Beach Episode: "Infiltrator" includes a Beach Opening Scene, complete with loving shots of Miss Martian in a two piece swimsuit and the guys shirtless.
  • Beam-O-War: In "Terrors", Icicle Jr. and Mr. Freeze use their ice beams against each other. They are too equally matched, so Superboy intervenes and takes down Mr. Freeze.
    • There's also one between Blue Beetle and Black Beetle in "Before The Dawn".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Misplaced", Zatanna told Artemis that she wished her Overprotective Dad would give her some space, and he (and the rest of the adults) disappears right then. At the end of the episode, Zatara sacrifices himself so Nabu wouldn't possess his daughter. She may never get her father back.
    • M'gann wants to avenge Artemis' death via Kaldur and she does indeed, unfortunately for everyone involved.
    • Artemis wanted to get back into the hero life more than anything despite having had a happy suburban retirement with Wally, and by the finale she's gotten exactly what she wants... but, as a kind of perverse Laser-Guided Karma punishing Artemis for her zeal, Wally dies - quite horribly - while helping to save the Earth, leaving Artemis heartbroken and alone after everything she went through for the Team as their spy. And being the team's spy wasn't exactly fun for her either
  • Becoming the Mask: The first three Reds built by T.O. Morrow (Torpedo, Inferno, and Tornado) were all intended to infiltrate the superhero societies of their time (The Justice Society of America and the later Justice League) and destroy them from within, but all three instead decided to be heroes in truth. Red Torpedo and Red Inferno eventually die protecting humanity, since even if they were never human they were always heroes.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Played with. Openly, Superboy remains supportive of Nightwing after he reveals that Kaldur is a Fake Defector and Artemis is still alive and a Reverse Mole, saying that, as team leader, he had good reason to keep those secrets. Privately, he tears into Nightwing for doing so, and reveals that M'gann fried Kaldur's brain due to his actions and that they could lose all three of them if it goes badly.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kid Flash and Artemis, lampshaded by Robin in "Bereft", which saw the entire team suffer amnesia. With their memories gone, the duo spend the first half of the episode flirting with one another. The moment they get their memories back, it returns to bickering. It seems to die down once both realize Conner and M'gann are dating.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: The Reach are trying to come off as this and even have the backing of the United Nations. Of course, the audience knows they are actually seeking to do painful experiments on humans...
  • Berserk Button:
    • Superboy will flip out when anyone mocks his lack of acceptance from Superman.
      • Also, due to an incident with an illusion of the Joker in Mount Justice, he hates monkeys. And apes. Not that he's ever come across a normal ape or monkey, mind, nor one that isn't trying to kill him.
      • In "Agendas" he does not take being stuck in a pod wearing his Cadmus suit again very well, even though it's ostensibly meant to heal him.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Miss Martian serves as a Betty and Artemis a Veronica for Superboy. Superboy evenutally picks M'gann during the Relationship Upgrade in "Terrors".
    • Kid Flash serves as a Betty and Superboy a Veronica for Miss Martian. M'gann chooses Superboy in "Terrors".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: M'gann is usually a very sweet and heroic character. But if you try to force her to confront her Dark Secret; you might just find yourself in a coma, like what happened to Psimon in "Image".
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Light, which consists of Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor, Ocean Master, Queen Bee, Klarion the Witch Boy, Ra's Al Ghul and The Brain. As of season two, Black Manta has taken Ocean Master's place, after the latter suffered an unspecified "disgrace" and there are references to a "partner.", who turn out to be The Reach.
    • Turns out to be more of a Big-Bad Ensemble in "Summit", when the team reveal that the Light have been following their own agenda and had planned to betray the Reach from the start
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • Between Miss Martian and Superboy in "Terrors".
    • Between Kid Flash and Artemis, then Robin and Zatanna for New Years in the first season finale.
  • Big Eater: Wally. He manages to empty an entire bucket of ice cream within a few seconds at Jay Garrick's birthday party. Justified considering how many calories he burns running at the ridiculous speed he does.
    • Bart "Impulse" Allen as well for exactly the same reason.
  • Big Good: The Justice League itself, which the characters frequently mention as possible support when it looks like the situation is something they can not handle themselves. The League also has a rotating chairman who embodies the trope more then others.
    • Batman’s the League Chairman in Season One. He may seem (and sometimes is) hard and strict on the team, but he ultimately praises them and encourages them to work together.
    • Captain Atom becomes the League Chairman in Season Two.
    • Black Canary is made the new League Chairman in the series finale.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In "Misplaced", Klarion and four other Evil Sorcerers all chant a spell by saying "Wir sind die Pfeifer von Hameln" meaning "We are the whistlers of Hamelin", in reference to The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
    • Everything Asami says is in Japanese. While her accent is lacking, it's mostly accurate and not full of eels.
  • Billy Needs an Organ: In "Coldhearted," Kid Flash needs to deliver a heart to a dying girl, who happens to be royalty, by running cross country during a massive attack by a group of ice themed villains.
  • Birds of a Feather: Surprisingly, for some, Miss Martian and Lagoon Boy are this, they both have similar backgrounds of being discriminated because of their physical appearance.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • "Denial" has Kent Nelson befriending Kid Flash but Kent Nelson sacrifices himself so Kid Flash does not have to be Doctor Fate, meaning Kent Nelson has to wait longer to be reunited with his wife. On the plus side, the Team managed to survive fighting Klarion.
    • "Failsafe" ends with the League alive and the Team rescued from their comas, but M'gann is emotionally traumatized and weeping over what she put the Team through by accident, and the others are heavily shaken by what they've experienced.
    • "Misplaced" ends with the kids and adults of the world reuniting happily with each other after being separate from each other by magic, but Zatanna loses her father, Zatara, who becomes Doctor Fate because he does not want his daughter to be possessed by Nabu.
    • "Image" ends with Qurac being saved from being forcibly taken over by Queen Bee's nation, Bialya, which is ruled under Bee's strict regime. Garfield Logan's life is also saved after he was nearly killed. Unfortunately, M'gann is too scared to let anyone know about her being a White Martian and so Queen Bee blackmails M'gann, after planting a post-hypnotic suggestion so Garfield will harm himself if anything happens to Queen Bee.
    • "Beneath" has Miss Martian, Bumblebee, Batgirl, and Wonder Girl stop Queen Bee's minions from kidnapping a bunch of people and shipping them off to wherever. Except that was only one batch. They still have another, and Jaime's friend Tye is part of it.
    • The final episode "Endgame", the Reach are stopped from destroying Earth, but at the cost of Kid Flash's life. Subsequently, Nightwing leaves the Team (though only temporarily, he says), Artemis becomes Tigress again (as a hero) to distance herself from her old identity as Kid Flash's partner, and Impulse inherits Wally's title. On top of that, it's revealed to the viewer that Savage took the WarWorld to Apokolips and has been aligned with Darkseid.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology:
    • Martians age about three times more slowly than humans do. So, while Miss Martian has the physical and mental maturity of a sixteen-year-old, she's really forty-eight in Earth years. And that's not even getting into her abilities...
    • Rann is host to things like living quicksand pits which burp and eliminate waste via purple flames.
  • Blackmail: Queen Bee threatens to reveal Miss Martian's Dark Secret that she's really a White Martian if M'gann does not cooperate with her. Falls apart when M'gann reveals it to the Team herself.
  • The Blank: In "The Fix", Miss Martian and Artemis make a Journey to the Center of the Mind in an attempt to repair Aqualad's shattered psyche. There they are confronted by a version of Aqualad that has no face.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Artemis trying to explain to Robin why she's in Gotham, when he clearly knows who she is.
    • The Team's taunts when captured in various deathtraps:
      Kid Flash: You think Miss Martian is afraid of fire? She's bluffing! Do you have any idea how hot it gets in the caves of Mars?
      Superboy: And you can't drown me! I'm a Kryptonian! We don't breathe air!
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead:
    • A male version of the trope is in the pilot episode where the initial three team members are Aqualad (Blond), Robin (Brunet), and Kid Flash (Redhead).
    • With the addition of Zatanna in "Humanity", the Team gained a female set of Artemis (Blonde), Zatanna (Brunette) and Miss Martian (Redhead).
    • Season two gives a new set with Wonder Girl (Blonde), Bumblebee (Brunette) and Batgirl (Redhead).
  • Blood from the Mouth: Red Arrow is left coughing up blood after his beatdown from the brainwashed Aquaman and Flash.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played with greatly in "Depths." Black Manta Kaldur appears to stab Artemis, but we see no wound at first. Then we see a spot of blood where she was stabbed later. THEN when it's revealed the whole thing was faked, we learn she was never actually stabbed in the first place, and Nightwing put a fake blood patch on her shirt.
  • Blush Sticker: Miss Martian gets these after a compliment from Superboy. Or after he takes his shirt off.
  • Body Horror:
    • Blockbuster's transformation involves his skin ripping off. When Kid Flash tries the "got your nose" trick, he does it literally.
    • Episode 4, "Drop Zone," takes it up a notch with the Blockbuster/Venom compound by having exposed muscle tissue. This is revisited in "Alpha Male", only with animals exposed to the compound this time and looking about as horrific as before.
    • After Neutron explodes in "Bloodlines", we get to see him slowly reassemble his body atom-by-atom, at one point showing his skeletal system and muscles forming.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: Impulse and Blue Beetle bond in "Satisfaction", after Bart learns Jaime never knew his mentor, just like Bart before he came back in time.
    • Implied with Robin and Zatanna.
  • Bookcase Passage: Played very straight in "Homefront". Lampshaded no less:
    Robin: There's a secret passage behind one of these bookcases.
    Artemis: Seriously? Cliche much?
    Robin: You should see the Batcave...
  • Book-Ends: The episode "Insecurity" has opening and closing scenes taking place at night, in a bedroom, between a father and daughter, with the dads even calling their daughters by the term of endearment, "baby girl". While Mr. Jones was likely sincere in his affection towards his daughter, Sportsmaster's use of the term was straight up psychological manipulation; attempting to regress Artemis back to when he could dominate her will.
    • The series started on July 4th in-universe and ends on July 4th.
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: Red Inferno does this in an attempt to trap Robin and Artemis as the two heroes flee through the base library in "Homefront".
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • Wally has borrowed M'gann's catchphrase as "Hello, Wally!", and even "Hello, Megan!"
    • In season two, Beast Boys adopts Kid Flash's "Souvenir!" as his own. This is lampshaded by Blue Beetle when Impulse borrows it himself.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • Used to neutralize Zatanna's vocal powers in "Secrets".
    • The Riddler is bound and gagged by an annoyed Zatanna in "Usual Suspects".
    • Used to neutralize Black Canary in "Auld Acquaintance".
    • Done to Mr. Haley so that Parasite could use his shape-shifting powers to replace him in "Performance".
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • The Guardian and Superboy suffered from this in the first episode.
    • "Bloodlines" has Neutron brainwashed and controlled by unidentified aliens.
    • Blue Beetle suffers from this as revealed in "The Runaways". Green Beetle pretended he was a hero of Mars who could control his scarab and tricked Blue Beetle into letting him brainwash him by saying he was "fixing" his scarab.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • "Failsafe" is an entire episode dedicated to breaking Miss Martian and, in the next episode, revealed that it had broken Robin as well.
    • Zatanna in "Misplaced".
    • "Image" revealed Miss Martian's Dark Secret and revealed just how deeply the truth had scarred her.
    • Artemis in "Endgame" after finding out Kid Flash is gone.
  • Brick Joke: In "Humanity" the kids tell Captain Marvel that they will join him outside to play with Wolf, but instead they run off on a mission. At the end of the episode he runs back into the base and asks if the kids are coming outside or not.
  • Broad Strokes: The show draws material from Young Justice, Teen Titans, and other parts of the DC mythos.
  • Broken Aesop: The Forever People claim that Superboy has no right to keep the New Genisphere because he views it as a possession, whereas on New Genesis she is recognized as a living, intelligent being. When Superboy protests, pointing out that he does accept the Sphere as alive, the Forever People give her to him; despite pointing out how important it is to respect the Sphere's intelligence and wishes, at no point do they ask what the Sphere wants to do.
  • Broken Bird: Artemis, but she is slowly getting better.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Superboy and M'gann.
  • Brown Note: The Apokoliptian reanimation machine in "Salvage" emits a signal which causes Blue Beetle great pain, evidently because the technology isn't compatible with the Scarab.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S":
    • Each Robins' costume has a stylized "R" over the left breast.
    • Superboy's costume, like Superman's, has the classic S-shield on the chest.
    • The insignia on the uniforms and tanks of the Bialyan soldiers is an Arabic letter B.
    • Wonder Girl, who joins the cast in season two, sports a stylized "W" on her shirt.
  • Bus Crash: Tula/Aquagirl, Aqualad's childhood friend, and Marie Logan, Beast Boy's mother, were both killed in the five-year Time Skip separating seasons one and two.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: A recurring trope during crises in the show. For some reason, rickety bridges seem to be a magnet for trouble and buses.
  • Busman's Holiday: When seven female heroes gather to throw Rocket a bridal shower in "Satisfaction," Captain Cold decides to rob a bank next to their picnic. When Cold notices them coming to thwart him, he can only remark that he is completely doomed.
  • But Not Too Black:
    • Aqualad has blond hair and gray eyes. Averted for his counterpart in DC Comics, who is based on his appearance in this series, where he has dark hair and eyes.
    • Artemis is bi-racial, with naturally blonde hair despite her Vietnamese mother. Greg Weisman says this is based on a girl he knows who is half-Korean and has naturally blonde hair.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag":
    • Red Volcano dismisses the Team as worthless humans. Superboy and Miss Martian both protest that they aren't human, so Volcano surmises that "meatbag" would make a better blanket term. It is later applied affectionately to Red Tornado when the group discuss how he is becoming humanized through interaction with them.
    • Black Beetle uses "Meat" as a derogatory term. Impulse uses it in his Future Slang as well because The Reach have taken over Earth in his Bad Future.
      Impulse: What kind of meat is this guy? He's never gonna hit us with those.
  • Call-Back:
    • Robin observes in the pilot episode that people are always overwhelmed or underwhelmed, but never simply "whelmed." He makes the same observation again in "Bereft", unaware that he has made it before due to a six-month Mind Wipe. He says it again in "Misplaced", advising Zatanna to try to stay whelmed when her father vanishes with the other adults. Since then, members of the team refer to being "whelmed" so often it is almost a catch phrase.
    • After Kid Flash tricks Count Vertigo into confessing to regicide and brings Queen Perdita her new transplant heart in "Coldhearted," Robin congratulates him for "saving an entire country." In "Image," after the team saves the president of Qurac from Psimon's mind control and Robin comes up with the idea of having Miss Martian impersonate Queen Bee to make clear that she was the bad guy, Kid Flash says the same thing back to him.
    • In "Usual Suspects", Batman asks the Team if "this sounds familiar" as he dresses them down for hacking League systems and ignoring protocol, ending in the successful capture of several villains and revealing a hidden plot against the League. This, of course, is exactly what happened in the pilot.
    • The second season premiere ends in much the same way as the pilot: three kid superheroes rescue innocents from a secret underground facility, and watch in awe as the entire Justice League, initially silhouetted against the moon, comes to greet them. Both scenes even have the same music.
    • The mission in "Alienated" has a few parallels to the mission in "Drop-Zone." They're both recon missions to an island that the team enters in different drop-zones, with the Atlantean members going through the water beneath. This is probably how Kaldur was able to spot the team and Leaguers so quickly. Both missions go off the rails, though our heroes manage all right. "Drop-Zone" is also the episode that establishes Aqualad as reluctant leader of the team and Robin as the probable future leader. "Alienated" has two face-offs between current leader Nightwing and former leader Aqualad.
    • Aqualad's brief confrontation with Superboy in "Alienated" mirrors their battle in the pilot episode. Aqualad attempts to subdue Superboy with an electrical attack, only this time it is powerful enough to knock him unconscious, as opposed to the pilot, where Superboy simply shrugged it off.
    • In "Welcome to Happy Harbor," M'gann is a bit confused about when it is okay to read people's minds. When Aqualad orders her to read Mister Twister's mind, she brings up what they said earlier and an exasperated Robin jumps in with "It's OKAY if it's the bad guys!" Five years later in "Depths," Superboy calls her out for her tendency to Mind Rape opponents to get information. Her response?
      M'gann: "They're the bad guys!"
    • In "Before the Dawn", Virgil is locked in the room with Black Beetle and the Team and watches him take down most of them. In "The Hunt", he tells this to the rest of the Runaways when Black Beetle shows up.
    • At the end of "Endgame", having the Justice League on the ground with the Team floating down to surround them, calls back to the end of the first episode, only reversed. It helps reinforce the fact that the Team is finally and truly on equal footing with the League
  • Calling Your Attacks: Amazo has to say the name of whatever Justice League member whose powers it has copied before it can use them. Given that Amazo is a robot, and that this was his first ever appearance within the continuity of the show, this is more understandable than most examples. Although this provides a clue to Amazo's weakness, and the team use that to defeat it.
    • Captain Marvel would sometimes announce or reference which of his powers he was using at a time, whether it was using the Power of Zeus and Speed of Mercury to drill into the ground, or cite the Wisdom of Solomon as the source of his good advice.
  • The Cameo:
    • Wendy, Marvin and Snapper Carr all appear as supporting characters at Superboy and Miss Martian's school.
    • "Homefront" introduced Barbara Gordon and Bette Kane as two of Artemis' classmates.
    • "Humanity" had flashbacks to Golden Age heroes Alan Scott, Wildcat, Sandman, Firebrand and Red Torpedo.
    • "Depths" included Hal Jordan's friend, Tom Kalmaku, in a small speaking role, though he's not named onscreen. Their boss, Carol Ferris, is more prominently featured.
    • In the Cold Opening of "Denial", a Phony Psychic in New Orleans is Madame Xanadu, with Kent Nelson mentioning that she has potential for real magical power.
    • "Before the Dawn" has an appearance of Stephanie Brown and an unnamed bystander that seems to be Virgil Hawkins.
    • One of the other actresses on the Hello, Megan! show is Rita Farr, the civilian identity of Elastigirl of the Doom Patrol. It would seem that the Doom Patrol does not or has yet to exist in this continuity.
    • The love interest in Hello, Megan! is played by Paul Sloane. In the comics, he was an actor who got terribly scarred, causing him to become the second Two-Face (in the Earth-Two continuity) and Charlatan (in recent continuity).
    • And lastly, the actors who play Megan's parents in Hello, Megan! are Jonathan Lord and Sandra Stanyon, characters from Silverblade.
    • In issue #17 of the tie-in comic, after Kobra's giant serpent starts wrecking havoc in the city, a blue-haired woman with a red hoodie and black top resembling Elisa Maza is prominently seen fleeing and then rescued by the Flash. Appropriate since Weissman worked on both shows, and by association, the tie-in comic.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Wolf.
    • The Terror Twins.
    • Green Beetle.
  • Canon Immigrant: As of Brightest Day #4, Aqualad is now a dread-locked black kid called Jackson Hyde (Kaldur'ahm is his Atlantean name), living in New Mexico, making his status in Young Justice official canon. Greg Weisman said that he, Vietti, and Phil Bourassa — lead character designer of the show — created the character, but Geoff Johns liked the new Aqualad so much that he wanted to bring him over to main continuity.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: When their control over the Justice League is broken, Vandal Savage tells Klarion to retreat. Klarion argues that he could beat the Team given the chance, but Savage counters that he'd probably destroy the Watchtower in doing so, and they need the League alive for the next phase of their plan...though having the League alive doesn't actually seem necessary through the next season.
  • Carnival of Killers: "Infiltrator".
  • Casting Gag:
  • Catchphrase:
    • Alyssa Milano voices Poison Ivy. One of her big breaks was playing the lead in Poison Ivy II: Lily, the first sequel to Poison Ivy.
    • "Hello, Megan!"
    • "Souvenir!" usually towards the end of the episode, spoken by Kid Flash. Taken up on and off by Beast Boy in Season two, lampshaded by Blue Beetle when Impulse briefly uses it himself.
    • Beast Boy has "Noted."
    • Lagoon Boy has "Neptune's beard!"
    • Barry Allen says "I'll be back in a flash" whenever he leaves to do some heroics, which his entire family is sick of.
  • Captain Ersatz: Tye, Ed and Sam all fill this for the Captain Ethnic Superfriends (see below), but Virgil (Static) takes the cake. He's a character in his own right that was trained on Static Shock by an Ersatz of Black Lightning and his Ersatz Black Vulcan of the Super Friends. On this show, however, Virgil is an Ersatz/replacement for Black Vulcan, the Ersatz of Black Lightning, who actually appears in this series. Confusion much.
  • Captain Ethnic: Tye Longshadow, Ed Dorado, Asami Koizumi, and Virgil Hawkins; the first three are tasteful, Ethnic Scrappy-averting reimaginings of Apache Chief, El Dorado, and Samurai from Superfriends, and Virgil (Static) replaces Black Vulcan. They seem to be pretty popular in the fandom so far.
    • Subverted with one of the comic originals, Black Lightning. The name now comes from the fact that his lightning is actually black in color.
  • Cardboard Prison: Belle Reve, a supervillain penitentiary run by Amanda Waller, strong enough to contain Superman himself. They checked. It takes one episode for an escape plan to be implemented.
    • To be fair, Waller’s exact words were that the walls are “thick enough” to stop Superman. The villains’ escape plan was several months in the making, and required corruption at the highest levels allowing the smuggling in of multiple weapons and a massive amount of support materiel.
  • Capture and Replicate: Turns out to be what had happened to the real Roy Harper: The real one had gone missing on a mission and had been captured by Cadmus. They sent a clone in his place (and halted his aging) as a Manchurian Agent against the League, whose members were none the wiser until he unwittingly turned against them.
  • Changing of the Guard: Although the show is an ensemble cast, in the first season Superboy was a major character and his character arc was one of the main storylines. In the second, the focus shifted mainly to Blue Beetle, so early on the two team-up for an episode, cementing Superboy's development into a superhero in his own right while establishing Beetle as the rookie with a dark secret. Since then Superboy's screentime have been drastically reduced, while Jamie's part of the Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
  • Character Development:
    • Over the course of the series, Superboy learns to work with his teammates and accept their own personal strengths and weaknesses, in particularl learning to appreciate their skills in relation to his own and coming to understand that having super strength does not make him superior.
    • Aqualad emerges as the leader of the Team after everybody gets in each others way trying to take charge, although he claims it is only until Robin is ready for the position. "Downtime" focused on his conflicting loyalties to Atlantis and the surface world, as well as his final realization that, whatever he decides, he has to commit completely. The climax of "Alpha Male" has him cementing his place as the leader in the face of criticism from his teammates.
    • Red Arrow is starting to defrost. A little. He gets a big helping of humble pie at the end of season one, which unfortunately prompts a whole lot of self-hatred.
    • Artemis learns to trust her team, and become more relaxed, eventually retiring from hero-ing with her boyfriend Wally, who has also matured.
    • Miss Martian becomes more sure of herself and less submissive, eventually stepping into a leadership role in season 2. Unfortunately, she also seems to have become a little grey in morality terms, with a willingness to Mind Rape enemies.
      • Also to note Miss Martian stopped saying "Hello Megan" in season 2 and has become more serious, likely caused by the death of Beast Boy's mom who was her human inspiration.
    • Robin I/Nightwing started off feeling as though he deserved to be leader, but concludes he is not ready yet and nominates Aqualad. His first true leadership experience not only killed that desire, but also prompted the painful epiphany that, although he wants to fight crime, he does not have the same obsessive drive as Batman.
    • By the time Season 2 rolls around, all the team members from Season 1 have become more "professional" when heroing is involved.
  • Character Focus: According to Word of God, episodes 3-8 are focused on a particular member of the Team — "Happy Harbor" was M'gann, "Drop Zone" was Robin, "Schooled" was Superboy, "Infiltrator" was Artemis, "Denial" was Kid Flash, and "Downtime" was Aqualad. Red Arrow gets his own in "Targets" while "Bloodlines" was about Impulse. "Satisfaction" was about Arsenal, the original Roy Harper.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The arrow Robin picks up and Kid Flash saves as a souvenir in "Schooled" becomes critical to the plot of "Homefront."
    • Dr. Fate's helmet from "Denial" becomes a key point in "Revelation" and returns in "Misplaced" but in "Misplaced" it does not come off.
    • Garfield Logan received a blood transfusion from from Miss Martian, with a focus on his new eye color at the close of the episode. By season two, he has gained shapeshifting powers and joined the Team as Beast Boy.
    • The temple in Bialya that Bumblebee and Batgirl stumble upon in "Beneath" gains a lot more significance in "Intervention". It turns out the the temple was used to cleanse the scarab beetle of the Reach's influence 4000 years prior. It was used again to cleanse both Blue Beetle and Green Beetle's scarabs after they came under the influence of the Reach again.
  • Chess Motifs: At one point Arsenal refers to Deathstroke as the Light's pawn. Luthor corrects him, saying that Deathstroke is "more of a bishop actually."
  • Chick Magnet: Nightwing is this by default. The "Players" arc of the tie-in comic shows him getting action from four different women within one approx. 24 hour period.
  • Child Soldiers:
    • The Team becomes a black ops unit for the Justice League. The Light quickly realizes the implications of this, and it is brought up and Lampshaded repeatedly, most memorably by an almost exasperated Mr. Twister when Robin protests that they are not children while he curb stomps them.
      Mr. Twister: "Objectively, you are. Have you no adult supervision? I find your presence here quite disturbing."
    • When discussing the possibility of adding new members to the Justice League, Batman supports keeping Captain Marvel in the League, despite the reveal that he is actually only ten years old. Wonder Woman finds his support less than reassuring since he indoctrinated Robin into crimefighting at nine. Batman explains that he did that to Robin in order to keep Robin from turning out like himself.
    • Taken to the extreme with Superboy, as he was sixteen weeks, a.k.a. four months, an age when most babies are only just starting to sleep through the night, when he is introduced, and just so happens to be artificially aged to the developmental equivalent of a sixteen year old.
  • Children Raise You: Red Tornado reveals that while he was chosen as the Team's den mother because he had no secret identity double life to live, he grew to relish the activity as a way of learning how to act more human, since the Justice League are far too controlled and stiff to be a good representation of human interaction.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Gamma Squad in the first episode of the second season. Composed of Robin (red), Blue Beetle (blue), and Lagoon Boy (green).
  • Circus Episode: "Performance," where the Team goes undercover at Haley's Circus as a family of acrobats.
  • Clark Kenting: No one on the Team (except Kid Flash) knows Robin's identity and when he is in civilian attire around them he uses a pair of sunglasses to keep them from seeing his face.
    • This makes sense as they cover about the same amount of his face as his mask
  • Clear My Name: In season two, the six members of the Justice League that had been sent off-world by Vandal Savage accept a trial to prove that they were not responsible.
  • Cloning Blues:
    • Superboy, being only 16 weeks old at the time of the series, but physically around his mid-teens. When discussing adding new members to the League, the adult characters discuss the issues that arise from the conflict between his biological and chronological age, and the problems stemming therefrom.
    • The first season finale reveals that the Red Arrow we have seen throughout the entire show's run is actually a clone of the real one, replaced three years before the show even began. He does not take this revelation well. In a refreshing take, the original Roy Harper harbors absolutely no hostility towards his clone, and is in fact appreciative of the clone rescuing him.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • In "Bereft," after Superboy loses his memory he rips the "S" insignia off his shirt when M'gann (also suffering amnesia) wonders if he is Superman. Superboy does not have a super suit so this happens to him a lot.
    • In "Targets", Aqualad's tracksuit gets blown off by Cheshire's bomb, exposing his costume underneath.
  • Color-Coded Characters: On top of Blue Beetle, we now have Black Beetle and Green Beetle
    Impulse: How many colors do these guys come in anyways?
  • Combat Stilettos: Averted for the most part since Phil Bourassa designed the costumes to be reasonably practical, if not realistic. Special mention goes to Zatanna, whose normal costume includes raised heels, comments that her shoes were not made for 'chase scenes' and uses magic to change them to flat sole shoes.
  • Comic Book Movies Dont Use Code Names: Mostly averted, but a few examples do play it straight.
    • Professor Desmond doesn't call himself Blockbuster; that's just the name of the serum that gave him his powers.
    • Black Beetle doesn't go by any Code Name and is known as "the Partner" in his first few appearances. Black Beetle is just an offhanded nickname Wonder Girl comes up with.
      • Subverted in that Black Beetle is actually his name. He's called that by the Reach too.
    • Never is the The Team referred to as 'Young Justice', unlike the original comics where that was the actual name for the team. Instead it's just "the team". The justification is that they work undercover, so they don't get a "fancy name" like the Justice League.
  • Comicbook Time: T.O. Morrow was building robotic infiltrators to destroy the Justice Society of America back during World War II, and is still building robotic infiltrators to destroy the Justice League. It turns out T.O. Morrow is actually a bed-ridden, decrepit old man, who built a robotic version of himself to continue his work.
  • Compilation Movie: Independence Day was advertised as such.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
    • Dr. Roquette never stopped snarking while being rescued and protected.
    • When the Team makes a detour to rescue a woman and her son from a stampede caused by an invasion force, the woman points out that their interference will likely draw a stronger reprisal. Superboy also injured one of the animals. Nevertheless, she is thankful for the assistance.
    • Cheshire makes no secret of the fact that she is not happy with Sportsmaster coming to rescue her from Red Arrow. He's the father she hates and ran away from home to escape. No wonder she's not happy.
  • Completely Missing the Point: T.O. Morrow recounts the story of the Prodigal Son to Red Tornado, clearly feeling that it parallels their situation. He does this while subjecting Red Tornado to what is a horrific torture. And he doesn't seem to see how this in fact is the exact opposite of the story of the Prodigal Son.
  • Composite Character:
    • Artemis, a combination of Arrowette (Cissie King-Jones) and Tigress III (Artemis Crock). There might also be a bit of Mia Dearden (Green Arrow's second sidekick after Roy) and Connor Hawke (a half-Asian young relative of Ollie's or so he claims), although Word of God is that the physical resemblance to Connor is just coincidence. note 
    • Red Inferno, who in the show was originally known as the heroine Firebrand before being destroyed and rebuilt. In the comics, they are two separate characters with absolutely no relation.
    • The Golden Age and modern versions of Red Torpedo were combined into one character.
    • Queen Bee is based off the 80's JLI incarnation, but possesses the mind-control powers of the Silver Age original.
    • Klarion the Witch Boy is a composite of Klarion the Witch Boy and a Lord of Chaos known as The Child.
    • While Match uses many elements from the comic character of the same name, the black sclera and Superman-logo carved into his own chest are taken from Superboy Prime's design, and the explanation for his mental instability and backwards S from versions of Bizarro.
    • Beast Boy's biological mother, Marie Logan, is an ex-actress like Rita Farr, his adoptive mom from the comics. Interestingly Rita also appears on Hello Megan, apparently playing Megan's best friend.
    • Static, the hero from Milestone comics you probably recognize from Static Shock, gets blended a little with Black Vulcan from Superfriends. He's definitely Virgil Hawkins, but he's also part of a group that pays homage to the Captain Ethnic characters from the latter series.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Justified in "Satisfaction". When Lex Luthor's office is hit by a rocket and he survives behind his desk with Mercy, he explains that this is why he paid so much for a custom desk.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: In "Downtime", Aqualad is torn between being with the Team and with his Atlantean friends (in particular, his crush Tula).
  • Continuity Cameo: Almost a Once an Episode occurrence. Even one-shot characters are very likely to be pre-existing characters from the comics (all the Team's classmates, the doctors from "Coldhearted", the fortuneteller from "Denial", the federal agent from "Performance", those expendable soldiers from "Failsafe"... the list goes on).
  • Continuity Lockout: There were few standalone episodes. For example, viewers who skipped an episode would wonder who that big white dog was with Superboy.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • "Denial" shows that Kid Flash actually has a room full of shelves where he keeps the 'souvenirs' he picks up every episode. The shelf reappears in many following episodes, each time with more and more souvenirs. In Season 2, Beast Boy continues this tradition.
    • Artemis is placed in danger of drowning in the episodes "Homefront," "Alpha Male" and "Revelation," which each aired one week after the other. In each near-drowning she complains at how frequently it occurs, finally revealing that she now carries artificial gills because of what has happened.
    • In "Revelation" The Helm of Nabu is used as a last resort in the battle against the Injustice League to allow Aqualad to become Dr. Fate. Kid Flash worried that Nabu would not let Aqualad free, as he had earlier threatened to do to Kid Flash in "Denial". Later, in "Misplaced" the Helm of Nabu is used again in another desperate situation, ultimately resulting in Giovanni Zatara becoming the new Dr. Fate permanently to spare his daughter Zatanna.
    • In "Schooled", each of the Team's members were given motorcycles as part of an undercover mission, and Conner eventually abandoned his after gaining the Super-Cycle in "Disordered". Conner's motorcycle reappeared in "Secrets", where it was used by Zatanna.
    • In "Schooled", Superboy says "I hate monkeys" when fighting robot ones. He repeats this when encountering all kinds of simians, including the villainous Monsieur Mallah and Ultra-Humanite and a normal pet monkey. In season 2 Superboy fights alongside Beast Boy, who shape-shifts into a gorilla (and whose default form is a monkey-boy), softening his stance toward monkeys.
    • In "Misplaced," Kid Flash explains to Artemis that Dr. Fate previously defeated Klarion the Witch Boy by attacking Teek'l, his cat familiar ("Denial").
    • During a mission, Kid Flash suffers a broken arm and the cast does not come off until several episodes later.
    • The South Rhelasian Prime Minister from Season 1 has become Secretary-General of the United Nations in Season 2.
    • In "Alienated", just before J'onn leaves to stand trial, he asks M'gann to water his plants while he's gone. In "Cornered", when M'gann disguises herself as her uncle and moves into his apartment, the first thing she does is water the plants.
  • Continuous Decompression:
    • In the season 1 finale, Aqualad, Artemis, and Kid Flash decompress the Watchtower cargo bay to beat Aquaman, Green Arrow, and the Flash. The resulting suction effect knocks them off their feet, then Aqualad shuts their door so they slam into it instead of getting dumped into space.
    • In "War", Arsenal opens an airlock on the WarWorld when he fears capture by Blue Beetle. While the WarWorld doesn't appear to have many interior bulkheads and the door isn't open all that long, the decompression remains steady even though it's pointed out after the fact that the air supply in the room has severely diminished.
  • Convection Schmonvection:
    • The lava in Doctor Fate's tower was only a danger on direct contact with it (well, not to Superboy, but he lost his favorite boots to it). Aqualad and Miss Martian were fazed by its presence, but only because they are particularly vulnerable to heat. Of course, it's then discussed when a floor closes over the lava pit at the last second, and the Team is amazed that they're not frying just from standing on the floor inches above a lava pit. Hey, it's magic.
    • In "Humanity", the Team battles Red Volcano in the middle of an active lava flow with no negative affects until Volcano causes a flame bloom right next to M'gann.
  • Conversational Troping: Impulse uses the term "Big Bad" to describe Jaime's evil future self. Tigress also uses the term to describe Black Manta.
  • Cool Big Sis: Miss Martian becomes this to Beast Boy in the second season.
  • Cool Bikes:
    • All of the Team had them in "Schooled".
    • Sphere can turn into one.
    • Zatanna and Artemis had them in "Secrets". Harm blew them up.
  • Cool Mask:
    • Cheshire wears a stylized mask reminiscent of her namesake. It's full of cool ninja gadgetry like thermal goggles and a rebreather of course.
    • Sportmaster sports a particularly menacing hockey mask.
  • Cool Starship:
    • Miss Martian owns one, which serves as the Team's main transport.
    • John Stewart's ring creates a very spiffy interstellar transport vessel at the end of "Alienated".
  • Covered in Gunge: Superboy ends up on the receiving end of this when he's helping Miss Martian cook, and she tosses ingredients at him faster than he can catch.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: In "Humanity," the Team reasons that Batman would have used every rational method possible to find T.O. Morrow, so they have to come up with a really stupid idea. Fortunately, Wally had one (interrogating Morrow's rival, Professor Ivo... which actually is not a crazy plan at all.)
  • Creator Cameo: Greg Weisman voices Snapper Carr.
  • Creepy Child: Greta Hayes, aka "Secret". Also, Klarion the Witch Boy.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Once the team is formed almost everyone agrees that Robin has the most field experience and should be the team leader. What they find is that Robin is accustomed to working with Batman, where they've had years to hone their partnership and understand what the other is doing when the time comes for an Indy Ploy. So he tends to bark out commands and then rush forward expecting everything to go according to plan, when the team is still trying to process what he means. Aqualad ends up becoming the team leader instead because he is more level-headed and makes his strategies absolutely clear.
  • Crossover: With Conan O'Brien... sort of. The WB lets Conan use clips from the Young Justice series, with a character in each sequence edited out and replaced by Conan's alter ego, the Flaming C. (So far, across multiple clips, he's replaced Superman, Batman, Dr. Fate, Superboy, and Aqualad.)
  • Culture Clash:
    • Aqualad has to tell Miss Martian to tone down the casual telepathy which, whilst common on Mars, is an invasion of privacy on Earth. Later, Black Canary also has to explain to Megan that on Earth, taking on the form of another person and snogging while dressed as them can lead to bad situations.
    • As time goes by the team adopts the Martian attitude on casual telepathy to the point where others have to tell them it is rude to be having a psychic conversation that excludes other people in the same room.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The series opens with Robin, Aqualad, Speedy, and Kid Flash each facing their own ice-themed villain and defeating them with ease, their only concern being that the fight will make them late for their meeting with the Justice League. In "Terrors", Batman notes that they seemed to have been taken down just a little too easily, and the Team eventually discovers that they were planning to all get captured and sent to Belle Reve so they could stage a mass-breakout.
    • When Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Robin free Superboy in the pilot, he soundly beats all three of them unconscious within a minute.
    • When Black Canary is introduced as the Team's combat trainer both Kid Flash and Superboy believe their powers will give them the easy advantage over her. She defeats them both, knocking each to the ground with only a single move.
    • Bane is on the receiving end of two in "Drop Zone". In the first he manages to land precisely one totally ineffective punch on Mammoth who then proceeds to wipe the floor with him and in the second his master plan to blow up the YJ team ends with him being disarmed by Kid Flash, immobilized by Miss Martian and punched into the middle of next week by Superboy.
    • Red Arrow gets one from the tag team of Sportsmaster and Cheshire in "Targets".
    • In "Before the Dawn" Black Beetle manages to take out Wonder Girl, Superboy, Lagoon Boy, Robin, and traps a phase shifting Miss Martian. Black Beetle just finished slamming Wonder Girl's head into a wall eleven times in a row before Blue Beetle shows up and manages to be on even footing.
    • In "Complications", Sportsmaster absolutely destroys Black Manta in a one-sided battle, despite Manta having back up.
  • Curse Cut Short: From "Secrets". Doubles as an Oh, Crap! moment.
    Harm: *notices the gas running from the stove, then Artemis' arrow lighting up in hand* Oh, that little-
  • Cursed with Awesome: Due to being a clone, Superboy will never visibly age. Alanna points out that means Conner will always be good looking, but Superboy still views it as a negative. Also lampshaded by Superboy:
    Superboy: Standard blessing and curse.
  • Cute Machines: The robo-sphere from "Bereft."
  • Danger Room Cold Open: One episode incorporates one of these as its entire plot. The Team (and therefore the viewer) doesn't know that it's fake due to the emotional distress of their psychic teammate.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Wally goes on his first solo mission on his 16th birthday.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Artemis, Miss Martian, Superboy, Nightwing.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • "Failsafe" followed the Team as they were killed off one by one, although it was just a simulation.
      • Although they begin by trying to convince themselves that the beams are just transporting everyone to a holding-area. It's not till right up at the end that they acknowledge that they're just killing people.
    • "Secrets" was quite a large departure from the rest of the series due to its very dark ending. Specifically, the Villain of the Week murdered his own sister to gain supernatural powers. The sister's ghost could only say the word "secret", and Artemis and Zatanna find out at the end that "secret" was the very last word she saw when she died. It was also the series' Halloween episode.
    • The second season in general is much darker than the first.
    • The comic miniseries World Without Grownups was largely Played for Laughs, with the average kid's reaction to the missing adults being a few minutes of fear and confusion followed by the realization they can do whatever they like. It also doesn't mention babies or other children incapable of, for example, fixing themselves a sandwich. The episode based on it, "Misplaced", is more realistic in its portrayal of how traumatic this would be.
    • With the series making a Channel Hop from Cartoon Network to their own private streaming service, they've confirmed that Outsiders will explore more adult themes and storylines that they couldn't do before otherwise.
  • Dark Reprise: The Young Justice: Invasion opening music is nearly identical to the original, but ends with a foreboding low tone compared to the original's upbeat, heroic theme.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The demon-like "Genomorphs" are actually the victims, and providing assistance to the heroes, in the first episode.
  • Dark Secret:
    • Artemis doesn't want anyone finding out about her family's ties to villainy, to the point where she let Cheshire escape to keep it a secret.
    • M'gann is terrified of everyone finding out that her true form is, to human eyes, monstrous-looking. She psi-blasted her own team and blamed it on Psimon to prevent them finding out.
    • Superboy using shield patches to suppress his human DNA and give him Superman's full power set. And his human father is Lex Luthor.
    • Played with, then ultimately defied by Jaime Reyes. The episode after he finds out he's going to go back on mode and betray the team in the future, he reveals the truth to the League and the Team.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Aqualad and Artemis
  • Dating Catwoman: Red Arrow and Cheshire. The two eventually marry.
  • Day in the Life: "Downtime" focuses on the characters' home lives instead of a mission. (Though Kaldur's plot winds up including a battle anyway.)
  • Deadline News: In "Failsafe", this happens to Iris West-Allen. Fortunately, it wasn't real.
  • Death by Irony:
    • Poachers shot dead by a gorilla with a machine gun.
    • Red Volcano was dropped into a volcano, though he showed up alive and well next season.
  • Death by Origin Story: While discussing Blue Beetle's origin in "Salvage", we learn that Ted Kord was killed after supposedly creating the Scarab that ended up bonding with Jaime.
  • Death Glare: Many, as the show assembles some of the most accomplished glarers in all of DC. Superboy's rage-fueled glares are constant in Season 1, though less so in Season 2. Artemis gives these a lot as well, usually directed at either Wally or her evil family members. And Nightwing's squint at the end of "War" even became somewhat memetic.
  • Decomposite Character: The Roy Harper we know turns out to be a clone of the original, who was abducted before the show even began. Eventually the original is recovered and the two wind up splitting elements of Roy from the comic: the clone keeps the name Red Arrow and has a relationship and child with Cheshire, while the original, who lost his arm, takes the name Arsenal.
  • Defusing The Tykebomb: Aqualad was the one to break through to Superboy and convince him to help them escape.
  • Demoted to Extra: Secret. In the comic series the show was based on, she was a member of the team, in this, she only makes an appearance in one episode and is only able to say 'Secret'.
  • Derailing Love Interests: M'gann's antiheroic activities have caused Conner to dump her.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Klarion full stop. He has more power than all the Team and most of the Justice League put together (Savage said that if he fought the team he could lose control and destroy the Watchtower) so in order for the good guys to have a chance of winning he has to be absent most of the time, and totally useless when he is present. In fact after his one fight with Doctor Fate/Nabu early in the series, he was essentially relegated to glorified taxi service for Vandal Savage.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The episode "Homefront" features Robin and Artemis, the Team Badass Normals, on the run from superpowered elemental androids while trying to rescue the rest of their team.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Defied by Nightwing in "Beneath". When Batgirl claims he would never try to justify sending an all-male team on a mission note , Nightwing nervously responds that there's no right way to answer that and closes the channel.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Apparently, diplomatic immunity means that you can not go to jail for teaming up with villains like The Joker and unleashing giant mutant plants upon the world, so long as your country of origin isn't affected.
  • Disappeared Dad: Garfield's origin story usually includes the death of his mother and father, but Mark Logan is curiously absent in this continuity. Greg Weisman even reveals that Garfield uses his mother's maiden name.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Both Aquaman and Aqualad go barefoot in costume, but when Aqualad is in civvies he wears sandals.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The history of Rhelasia, as well as the name of North Rhelesia's leader, is based on Korea's history prior to the Korean War and Syngman Rhee, the first president of South Korea. The uniforms of the North Rhelasian soldier bodyguards are based on the uniforms worn by Korean People's Army soldiers.
      • The fact that this event takes place in Taipei also brings to mind the issues of unification and independence between China and Taiwan.
    • After the Time Skip, Red Arrow looks like he has not shaved nor cut his hair in a long while, stumbles and falls while moving around, and keeps a robber from taking money then steals some of it. His comic incarnation was a former heroin addict.
      • His intervention is even less subtle about this. Between the "used to treat your body like a temple" dialogue, a former enabler to his self-destructive actions, a guy used to be just like him and quit the habit and friends who state that they were his friends before this was a problem, they get the metaphor very thin.
    • In the tie-in comics, M'gann tells La'gaan when she shows him her true white martian form that "This isn't who I am. It's just the body I was born with".
    • Superman's relationship with Superboy - or lack thereof - is awfully similar to a man who finds out he has a kid he never wanted, a kid that was created by using his genetic material without his permission. Even the fandom debate over the subject mirrors real-world discussions about a "man's responsibility".
  • A Dog Named "Dog":
  • Domestic Abuse: Heavily implied in "Beneath".
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set:
    • The Injustice League broadcasts their ransom demand ($10 billion) across all the world's satellite signals.
    • Robin hijacks the world's television signals to give an inspiring speech to humanity after the League is defeated in "Failsafe."
    • In "Misplaced," the Team sends a message to the kids of the world to reassure them that somebody is looking for the adults, and that they need to work together until their parents come back.
  • Double Agent: Discussed in "Darkest", where after Aqualad fakes Artemis' death, kidnaps 4 members of the Team and blows up Mount Justice, a guilt-ridden Kid Flash begins questioning if Aqualad is actually a triple agent who really has gone bad.
  • Double Entendre: Of the rare non-sexual type, in the second season Lagoon Boy, an Atlantean fish-boy, refers to someone who has just insulted him as 'Chum'.
  • Double Take: Wally's reaction to seeing M'gann using her shape-shifting powers to grow extra limbs in "Schooled". He suffers a brief freak-out.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Black Beetle takes over the Reach from the Reach Ambassador after declaring him unfit to lead.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Black Beetle is very clearly one of the most dangerous individuals on Earth, easily fighting off the likes of Superboy and Mongul. He is largely just the muscle of The Reach, driving the battles and emotional trial with Blue Beetle. It's assumed he is programmed to be completely obedient to The Reach, but in the penultimate episode of Season Two he determines the leader to be unfit and assigns a new one of his own choosing.
  • Dramatic Drop: Played for Laughs in "Satisfaction"; when Captain Cold uses a giant freeze ray to freeze most of a street and the armored car he was targeting, he leaves that behind and pulls out his ice hammer to get the money free. Then the seven super-heroines he froze by mistake bust out and confront him, causing him to drop his lame excuse for a weapon.
  • Dressed in Layers: Aqualad does it under his standard civilian clothes, a turquoise track suit.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • Aqualad and Garth attempt this tactic, but they are recognized by Black Manta almost immediately (Aqualad's waterbearers gave him away).
    • Superboy and Miss Martian disguise themselves as the Terror Twins in order to infiltrate Belle Reeve Penitentiary.
    • At the end of "Alienated", Lagoon Boy boards the Bioship to see two Kroloteans manning it. They turn out to be Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter in disguise.
    • In "Beneath", Miss Martian takes out and replaces Shimmer by assuming her form. The real Shimmer is left sealed up inside an oil drum.
    • Numerous times in "Summit". Miss Martian replaces Deathstroke to infiltrate the meeting between the Light and the Reach, and almost half the team is revealed to be in disguise as the Light's backup.
  • Drink Order: A variation in "Schooled", where Batman and Superman meet at a restaurant and order dessert—apple pie for Superman and devil's food cake for Batman.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Two Beings, One Body mentioned below, once freed from Intergang's control, tries to overload a nuclear power plant just to end its tortured existence. When Blue Beetle is about to get through to it, Black Beetle destroys it, reasoning that it was better off dead than an ally of their enemies.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Speedy feels that the Justice League's decision to only give the teenage heroes access to the gym and library is evidence of their lack of respect, and the rest of the Team eventually comes to share his feelings. However, whereas the others are willing to accept that they are young and still have more to learn, Speedy feels that the four of them already earned complete equality. It is later revealed that there is a reason for his extreme reaction. But even without that he's kind of a jerk.
    • Wally has a similar reaction when he alone does not get to team up with their mentors (Flash instead takes Super Boy), instead given the task of running a human heart across the entire country in a mere matter of hours - something only he can do (Flash must be seen fighting the opposition). By the end of the episode he understands though.
  • Dying to Be Replaced: We find out that Jaime Reyes became the new Blue Beetle after Ted Kord, the previous Blue Beetle, was murdered by the Light.
  • Dynamic Entry: Batman is the master of these, doing this in the pilot episode (and his first appearance) and also in the beginning of "Downtime."
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Karen Beecher appears as a classmate of Superboy and Miss Martian in several episodes of season one; during the Halloween episode she is dressed as Bumblebee, the superhero identity she had in the comics which she did not assume until season two of the series.
    • The girl that Green and Red Arrows save from Black Spider in the episode "Image" is Cissie King-Jones, who joins the Team as Arrowette in Season 3. Similarly, according to the credits for "Before the Dawn", the girl the Team rescues is Stephanie Brown, who becomes Spoiler in Season 3.
    • In Volume 1 of the tie-comic, when Aqualad is telling the Team his backstory, he shares a panel with a few of his classmates, Topo, Lori Lemaris, and Ronal, who are properly introduced in Volume 2.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Vandal Savage believes it should be, at least.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: This is what Black Beetle plans to do to the Earth in the episode "Endgame". It is up to earth's heroes to find all of his bombs and deactivate them before this can happen.
  • Easter Egg: In the episode "Image", Gar Logan has a poster of Aqualad. Seen here: [1].
  • Eating Lunch Alone: In "Terrors", the Riddler is regarded as such a loser that none of the other supervillains will let him sit with them in the Belle Reve dining hall.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Mount Justice, the original headquarters of the Justice League.
  • El Cid Ploy: Miss Martian and Superboy don the costumes of Martian Manhunter and Superman in order to convince the world that the older, more powerful heroes are still on Earth.
  • Emergency Transformation: Miss Martian gives a blood transfusion to the dying Garfield Logan by shapeshifting her cells to match his blood type when no other suitable donors are available, unintentionally turning him into a shape-shifter too.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Superboy spends episode 3 uncertain on how to apologize to Miss Martian after he lashes out at her for using telepathy.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Arsenal. He started out as a Badass Normal, but the arm cannon Lex Luthor gives him pushes him into the same weight class as Flying Bricks Superboy and Wonder Girl.
  • Enemy Mine: The Team works with Bane in order to stop Kobra. Of course, Bane betrays them.
    • The Team and Justice League have to team up with Lex Luthor to save the world from the Reach's endgame.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Kid Flash pulls this on Count Vertigo to get his diplomatic immunity revoked.
    • The Team pulls this on the Light and the Reach in "Summit", recording their Summit with each other. They then show it too the UN, completely exposing the Reach's invasion and obliterating their Villain with Good Publicity status.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In "Disordered" one of the thugs immediately places himself protectively in front of his mothernote  when he thinks they're under attack.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despero came to Earth to challenge its greatest warriors to gladiatorial combat and uses his Third Eye only to ensure a fair fight by disabling Zatara (magic is cheating) and Billy Batson (who was 15). His servant L-Ron gets increasingly annoyed as the fight goes on because no one will fight Despero one on one.
    L-Ron: Do you Earthlings truly have no concept of honorable single combat?! Do not follow Earth females! Do not interfere! It is poor sport–ism!
  • Everybody Knew Already: Of the secrets revealed in "Usual Suspects", only Superboy's is truly unknown to the others. Robin had already deduced that Artemis was related to Sportsmaster and Cheshire, while Superboy found out about Miss Martian's true white form from their mind meld in Bialya.
  • Everyone Can See It: In "Revelations", Robin and Aqualad discuss the relationships of the Team and Aqualad comments that he knew M'gann and Superboy liked each other before they had figured it out themselves. They also wonder if they should let Artemis and Kid Flash know that they (Artemis and Kid Flash) like each other, as it will probably take a while for them to figure it out on their own.
  • Everything Is Online: Averted in "Infiltrator"; Robin uses a computer in WayneTech to get to the nano-bugs (presumably making them absorb the virus somehow) but he repeatedly hopes for it to be connected to the mainframe. Dr. Roquette also sends the virus she created to Robin using the internet, using the internet cafe computer she was using to do it. Also played straight with her ability to use the internet to find the nano-bugs she created.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys:
    • The robot minions in "Schooled", called M.O.N.Q.I.s. This began a Running Gag of Superboy explaining that he hates monkeys.
      Professor Ivo: You have no idea how hard it was coming up with an acronym for "monkey"...
    • Beast Boy likes transforming into monkeys and gorillas, and his default form looks like a human-monkey hybrid.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Lampshaded in "Denial" when Nabu blocks Klarion's attack with a rainbow shield.
    Klarion: Ooh, rainbow power.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Well, technically it's Queen Perdita, but given her age, it fits.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Lex Luthor doesn't seem to get why the Runaways would be mad at him for using them as decoys, since he fulfilled his promise to them. He looks befuddled right up until Asami destroys the laptop and the Fatherbox.
    • Everyone on Rimbor, from the audience to the Tribunal itself, cannot understand why the Justice League members on trial are actually trying to prove their innocence to the Tribunal instead of just offering them a bribe for a favorable verdict. Superboy and Miss Martian, at least, get the hint and manage to bribe them in a roundabout fashion once they've properly exonerated the six.
    • At the end of season one the Light's plan to get Superboy Miss Martian and Artemis to betray the team with blackmail fails because all of them already confessed the things the Light knew and the Team was ok with it. To give Lex credit, he had a feeling that MAYBE one of them might have done so, but they never thought all 3 would do it, and that nobody on the Team would have any problems with all 3 of them.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: It's more "Evil Is One Big Loyal Conspiracy With A Common Goal." Nearly every major villain in the entire series is either a member or agent of The Light. Even villains who don't like each other (Sportsmaster and Cheshire; Icicle, Sr. and the Riddler) often turn out to be allies through their connections to The Light. As this is a series where even The Joker and Lex Luthor are team players, it seems that The Light has managed to convince every supervillain on Earth to work together for their mutual benefit. Particularly notable that every single member is loyal enough that nobody has confessed any knowledge of The Light to an outside authority or otherwise betrayed The Light to any major degree. However later in the series many of the villains (especially Sportsmaster and the Reach) have their own goals and are plotting against (if not outright trying to kill) each other.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Bane's forces vs. the Cult of Kobra.
  • Exact Words: The Sword of Beowulf only works for the pure of heart. Unfortunately, purity on either moral extreme counts.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: The Kroloteans. Their leader wears a sash, but that's it.
  • Expository Hairstyle: M'gann's shorter hairstyle is the first visual cue to the Time Skip between seasons one and two.
  • Expressive Mask: About half of everyone who wears a mask, though the show makes an effort to keep it more subtle than this trope has been in the past.
  • Expy: Black Spider in episode 6 bears a remarkable similarity to Spider-Man, mostly in the powerset. When he reappears in episode 23 he's even voiced by Josh Keaton.
    • Point of fact, in episode 23 he not only has the same voice, he also moves exactly like Spider-Man (down to the signature poses hanging upside from a web and clinging to the side of a building), his web-shooters make the exact same noise, and he makes suitably groan-worthy puns. Of course, Greg Weisman (Young Justice producer) also worked on The Spectacular Spider-Man. (This may also explain why there were a couple of mooks in Episode 4 who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jackal and Hyena, two antagonists from another Weisman show, Gargoyles.)
  • Extranormal Prison: Featured Belle Reve as a sort of prison for supervillains, where the inmates wear collars that inhibit their powers. The compound itself has extremely tight security, including walls not even Superman himself could break through.
  • Extraverted Nerd: The Riddler/Edward Nigma, Mr. "Riddle Me This" himself, discovers in the Prison Episode that he is at the bottom of the Popularity Food Chain. Then again, he doesn't really have to put up with that.
  • Eye Scream: Red Tornado, having been transferred to his "John Smith" body, gets the skin around his right eye blown off by Black Canary's Canary Cry.
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    F-K 
  • Faceless Goons: Kobra's masked cultists, Black Manta's helmeted manta troopers, and Queen Bee's balaclava wearing soldiers.
    • Averted a few times though, once Artemis infiltrates Black Manta's crew.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: In "Happy New Year", Lobo grabs Wonder Girl's face with his palm and throws her against a wall.
  • Fake Defector: Aqualad, who joins Black Manta in order to learn the secrets of the Light during Season 2.
  • Fake Static: Lagoon Boy does this over the psychic link. Nightwing immediately calls him on it.
  • Fake Wizardry: The first season episode "Denial" confirms the existence of real magic in the show's universe. The villain Abra Kadabra, however, uses advanced technology from the future to fake magical powers. Kadabra joins forces with Klarion, a genuine magic user, in hopes of getting bona fide supernatural abilities.
  • Faking the Dead: Artemis in "Depths," who is being sent undercover to infiltrate the villains. Only Nightwing, Aqualad and Wally know the truth, and the episode "Satisfaction" shows her mother crying at her grave, her memorial in the cave, and her sister and father swearing vengeance.
  • False Reassurance: When questioned on Rann about their association with the Justice League, Miss Martian only states they are not members of the League.
  • Familiar: Teekl, Klarion the Witch Boy's cat, is his familiar and his link to the mortal realm.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • The episode "Revelation" contained a scene where Joker gas is released from a giant plant, gassing three firefighters who fall down and die onscreen. They probably got away with this because it's never explicitly stated that Joker gas kills people, but come on, it's The Joker.
      • Joker basically says it's deadly when he says none of them will be making it out of the bayou and activates the joker gas.
    • In "Failsafe", the alien invaders disintegrate numerous civilians, the entire Justice League, and half the main cast on screen.
    • Season 2 had one early on when Aqualad stabs Artemis in the chest with a clear bloodstain. It's faked though.
    • The late season episode "Summit" had Deathstroke shoot Aqualad and Artemis in the chest. While you only hear the gunshots and them falling down, you can clearly see the bloodstained bodies shortly afterwards. This is also faked. They get up and start walking and talking again, with convincing blood on their chest. The same episode also has Ra's Al Ghul stabbed in the back with the blade coming out of his chest. This is Ra's al Ghul we're talking about, however.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Black Beetle repeatedly bashing Wonder Girl against a wall for just over 10 straight seconds of airtime. Chilling, and frankly surprising that it got past the censors.
  • Fantastic Angst: Superboy has parental issues and lack of parental bonding due to the fact that he is a clone of Superman, who is also having a hard time coping with this fact.
  • Fantastic Drug: Luthor's "shields" suppress human DNA to allow a half kryptonian to use the full range of their powers. In practice they function more like G-rated steroids.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • When talking about race conflicts in class, Megan mentions to Conner that on Mars there is a lot of discrimination against the white minority by the green majority. It turns out that Megan is really a white martian, who takes a green and more humanoid form to avoid ostracization on Earth.
    • In season two, reporter G. Gordon Godfrey is trying to encourage this by suggesting that the Justice League may be harboring more aliens than the publicly accepted Martian Manhunter and Superman. It works.
    • Red Volcano's goal was essentially to wipe out all organic life so that he and his fellow robots could rule. Oddly this plan seems to have come from his human creator, though it's a bit hard to tell since the Morrow we originally see is actually a robot too.
    • The tie-in comic has a story revolving around a group of Atlantean extremists who try to incite violence against the citizens who do not look fully human such as Lagoon Boy, or even Kaldur himself, who has visible gills and webbed digits. In a later issue, La'gaan tells M'gann that he came to the surface in order to escape such prejudice, same as she did.
  • Fastball Special:
  • Feuding Families: Black Manta and Sportsmaster's families following Artemis and Kaldur faking her death.
  • Fiery Redhead: Very much Speedy. Both of 'em.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Though Jaime is unable to do anything but watch his body's actions when his scarab is put back on mode, the scarab secretly fights the Reach's control by stalling and purposefully using poor tactics in order to give the Team a chance against him. He has to do what the Reach tells him to, but does it in the least efficient way possible.
  • Fighting Game: "Revelation" opens with Robin and Aqualad in a real-life fighting game as a sparring session. They are awarded points for combos, dodges and other gaming moves.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Applies to the Team, the Runaways, and Jaime and the Scarab.
  • Five-Man Band: From the end of the pilot to Artemis' introduction, the Team fit perfectly. They're even shown in the first season's theme song in this exact order.
    • The Leader: Aqualad. He was voted into the position during the team's first away mission, as he was the oldest and the most level-headed of the bunch.
    • The Lancer: Robin. While he has the most crimefighting experience on the Team, he's also the youngest. Though he tried to lead the Team, he eventually realized he had no experience leading others and lacked the maturity to do so.
    • The Smart Guy: Kid Flash. He gained his powers by successfully recreating the Freak Lab Accident that gave the original Flash his powers. He's also a endless source of scientific knowledge.
    • The Big Guy: Superboy. As Superman's clone, he's a Not Quite Flying Brick with invulnerability and Super Strength.
    • The Chick: Miss Martian. She is the only girl on the team until Artemis shows up and is very traditionally feminine. She has patterned her Earth appearance, clothes, and mannerisms after her favorite character from Earth television.
    • The Sixth Ranger: Artemis. She's a previously unknown teen hero who joins the Team out of nowhere. She has a Dark and Troubled Past and a Big, Screwed-Up Family. She's even dressed in green, like the original Sixth Ranger.
  • Five-Token Band: The Runaways, who consist of Virgil (Black), Ty (Native American), Eduardo (Hispanic) and Asami (Asian). Arsenal, who's missing an arm, joins later.
  • Flash Step:
    • In "Drop Zone", Kid Flash snatches Bane's detonator so fast, Bane doesn't realize it's gone until he tries to press it. Kid Flash needed a running start to do it, though.
    • In "Bloodlines", the Flash and Impulse dodge Neutron's attacks by simply moving to the side at super speed.
  • Fluorescent Footprints: Cheshire's mask has infrared, allowing her to see these.
  • Forceful Kiss: Cheshire to Red Arrow in "Insecurity".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Independence Day", when Green Arrow asks Speedy if he's ready to see the Justice League's inner sanctum, Speedy replies "Born that way." It's revealed in "Auld Acquaintance" that this Speedy is actually a clone implanted with a desire to join the Justice League as an unwitting mole.
    • When Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash go to investigate the Cadmus lab in "Independence Day", Cadmus immediately wants to clone the three sidekicks and then send the clones off as moles back to the League. We later find out that is actually what happened to the real Speedy three years before the series even began. He even refers to it as "the new Project Sidekick", indicating there was an old one.
    • When Dubbilex reveals his complicity in bringing the sidekicks to Cadmus he refers to the Genomorph clones as "brothers," and the camera lingers on Guardian. His later assertion that he is Speedy/Red Arrow's uncle makes his connection to the previous Project Sidekick obvious.
    • When Red Tornado confronts Mister Twister in "Welcome to Happy Harbor", one may notice that Tornado is flying without using his air powers and that his whirlwinds are white instead of red. When Mr. Twister tries to brainwash Red Tornado, it's turns out that it was Miss Martian disguised as him and that Kid Flash was providing the whirlwinds.
    • In "Downtime", Aqualad wears manta trooper armor and Black Manta calls him out for blindly serving Aquaman. Come Season 2, Aqualad has joined Black Manta, his father, the secret of which was kept a secret from the young Atlantean. Except Aqualad's a Fake Defector and it's all part of Nightwing's plan to take down The Light.
    • In "Targets," Sportsmaster reveals to Aqualad that he has an "inside source" on the Team, before it shows a close-up on his eye and the camera moving from Aqualad to Red Arrow.
    • Mercy's cybernetic arm is foreshadowing for Arsenal getting a similar arm in "Satisfaction", after his organic arm was amputated to clone him.
    • Several times, for Miss Martian's true nature as a copycat of a sitcom character and as a White Martian.
    • Episode 16 contains several pieces of foreshadowing for the second season: the alien invasion premise, what happens to Artemis, Kid Flash's reaction, the depths of M'gann's true power, Robin's leadership style.
    • After Impulse lists off the present team members early on "Bloodlines", the only other person he specifically mentions and expresses interest in is Blue Beetle. He also uses the words "crash" "mode" "meat", which are later terms used by the Reach.
    • When Virgil is talking to Black Canary, he plays with a paper clip. When he walks out, he drops on the desk, and it magnetizes and drags the rest of the clips together in a ball.
    • Robin twice uses escrima sticks to help him fight, once against the MONQIs and once again in the season finale. Come season two, he's graduated to being Nightwing, who keeps his escrima holstered on his thigh and reaches for them much more readily.
    • Kid Flash's stealth costume is black, reminiscent of the "Black Flash", a kind of Grim Reaper for DCU speedsters. He dies in season 2.
    • When Artemis is re-introduced in season 2, she's standing next to an open fridge. Although it turns out she fakes her death.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: The Team's reaction to the death of the Justice League in "Failsafe". Of course, they all knew that it was a simulation.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Red Tornado, Red Torpedo, Red Inferno, Red Volcano.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The first season finale reveals that the trigger phrase to activate the mole is "Broken Arrow," which puts Red Arrow into a trance where his handler can retrieve information and plant subconscious instructions. This phrase also works on the audience: After it was uttered, the show cut to a commercial and returned after the counter-command was given, leaving the audience unaware of what had transpired, and ignorant even of the fact that anything had happened at all.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Batman's holo-map in "Schooled" for once shows Gotham City in relation to New York and Boston.
    • In "Welcome To Happy Harbor", the camera rests for a second on the Team's screen tracking Red Tornado. If you have an HD TV you can freeze it and make-out most of RT's file detailing the Elemental Wars. This was actually unintentional and upset Greg Weisman—somebody decided to put that in for this trope, but did not realize that the Elemental Wars have not happened yet (if they will at all) according to the Universe Bible.
    • In "Downtime", you can read the rigorous screening process of Gotham Prep in Artemis' acceptance letter. The letter also reveals that her full name is "Artemis Crock", which has yet to be conveyed through dialogue.
    • In "Bereft" there is a split-second shot of a White Martian (which could've easily been mistaken for a Cadmus genomorph in Superboy's memories) while M'gann is restoring the Team's memories. Doubles as a Chekhov's Gun: in the episode "Usual Suspects", Superboy reveals he saw it, too.
    • An accidental one happens in "Beneath". A map of Bialya depicts the nation as encompassing the territory of Qurac, suggesting that Bialya successfully annexed its neighbor over the timeskip. This was apparently Off-Model rather than intentional.
    • Gar's room in Mount Justice. Right before it's destroyed by a bomb, hence the freezing. On his wall, he has posters of Hello, Megan! and Dick Grayson's Robin, and a picture of his mother on the dresser.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • "Homefront" is one increasingly bad development after another, culminating in Red Tornado knocking out the Team before going AWOL.
    • "Failsafe" opens with the defeat of the entire Justice League and steadily goes downhill. Which was the entire point.
    • "Before the Dawn" is just the beginning as M'gann breaks Kaldur's mind, Artemis is trapped on The Light's side with her only ally broken, The Reach formally introduced themselves to the world before the Justice League could warn the public, and they have an entire armada waiting in the Mariana Trench till the day they can make their move and begin a conquest.
    • "Runaways" didn't help matters, with Blue Beetle being revealed as back on mode, the Green Beetle turns out to be a Reach agent, and the Runaways unwittingly joining up with Lex Luthor. All of this with no knowledge from any else related to the Team or the Justice League.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Robot monkeys? Why they are Mobile Optimal Neural Quotient Infiltrators. Ivo even lampshades it when they get destroyed.
    "And after all the trouble I went through finding an acronym for monkey."
  • Future Me Scares Me: A case where the somebody doesn't actually meet their future self, just hears about it, when Jaime is told that in the future, Blue Beetle is the worst villain of all, he fights very hard to avert it, and is plagued by images of an evil him.
  • Futureshadowing: When we see Impulse's future, he's working on the time machine in the hollowed out portion of a destroyed Mount Justice. Which happens about three episodes later.
  • Future Slang: Impulse's slang, where "crash" is good, "mode" is bad, (more specifically, to "crash the mode" appears to mean "to upset the current status quo", as it is referred to as a good thing by the good guys and a bad thing by the bad guys) and "meat" is a derogatory term. These are all related to the Reach's vocabulary, since they have taken over.
  • Gender Flip: In the Red Tornado miniseries, Red Torpedo is female and Red Inferno is male. The animated versions have this reversed, to fit the Golden Age characters they've been combined with.
    • Asami "Sam" Koizumi is a female version of Samurai from Super Friends.
  • Genre Savvy: While in disguise as Tommy Terror, Superboy tells Hugo Strange that he doesn't want to live in a "fantasy world where every problem's solved in half an hour!"
  • Girls' Night Out Episode:
    • "Secrets," where the male characters (and M'gann) are either at a school dance or meeting with members of the Justice League, leaving Zatanna and Artemis to spend the night fighting crime in New York City.
  • Glamour Failure: Played with in "Disordered". M'gann suddenly changes into her human appearance during her therapy session, causing her to flip out when Black Canary points out that she just turned "white"; she calms down when she finds BC meant "Caucasian", as opposed to a White Martian.
  • Glass Cannon: The alien scouts in "Failsafe" can disintegrate Superman in one shot, but can be taken down by one of Artemis's arrows.
  • A Glass of Chianti: In "Alienated", Black Manta is seen in his private quarters, eating a fine meal and sipping wine.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Using the Helm of Nabu transforms the wearer into Dr. Fate and grants them the power of a Lord of Order, but Nabu is not that keen on letting the one wearing it have their body back.
    • When Aqualad feels that he and the Team cannot defeat the Injustice League, he becomes Dr. Fate. Kent Nelson talks Nabu into backing off.
    • In "Misplaced", Zatanna decides use the helmet again. This time, however, Nabu is tired of the run-around and has no intention of releasing her. He even sent Nelson off to the afterlife when he tried to protest. Zatara has to offer himself as a replacement to free her, and he is not going to be removing the helmet.
    • Arsenal realizes his scratch team is way outside its league fighting Black Beetle on the Warworld, so he does something desparate. Mongul is freed.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In the second season finale "Endgame", every hero introduced up to that point (except for the ones on Rimbor and the ones that died) can be seen at the debriefing for the Reach's endgame, helping save the Earth.
  • Gone Horribly Right: T.O.Morrow's fourth android, Red Volcano, was built with the express purpose of not having any heroic programming so that it would not be bound by morality or humanity. Red Volcano, since it had no humanity or morality, killed Morrow as soon as it was activated.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Inverted in the case of oppressive Bialya and progressive Qurac. The former's military uses equipment drawn to resemble Real Life American military equipment, while the latter's soldiers use Kalashnikov-like guns.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Nabu, a Lord of Order, is one of the world's most powerful protectors and one of the only defenses against the Lords of Chaos, but to affect the world he must inhabit the body of a mortal. If he cannot find a willing host he will take one, and if he fears that his host cannot be trusted to don the Helm of Nabu after they have been freed, he will never let them go.
  • Good Parents: Wally's. Also, surprisingly, Batman, whose relationship with Dick is better than in most modern continuities. Even more surprisingly, Black Manta, once you get past the fact that he's working for The Light, is a very good father to Kaldur in season two.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Despite all the fighting on the show, the only member of the Team to actually receive lethal blows is Superboy, the only character that is Nigh Invulnerable.
    • In Summit, Ra's Al Ghul, who is routinely resurrected, is the only character to be killed despite Black Beetle fighting other heroes after he stabs Ra's.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: At the beginning of "Alpha Male".
  • Got Me Doing It: Over the course of the series, the Team starts picking up on each other’s speech patterns and phrases.
  • GPS Evidence: Time detection instead of location, Kid Flash is able to deduce that they have been in Bialya for at least twenty-four hours since his costume-rations have already been eaten.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Robin, in the traditional bat-style.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Gratuitous German: The magic chant in "Misplaced". It is a reference to The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
    • Gratuitous Greek: In "Downtime", the conversation between Aquaman and Aqualad is spoken in very bad Greek. Word of God is that it was supposed to be a dialect based on ancient Greek, which might explain why it sounded jarring to modern Greek speakers.
      • All things considered, the dialect used is passable for Atlantean, if considered an offshoot of Ancient Greek. Easily one of the least offensive examples,
    • Gratuitous Spanish:
      • Bane has a tendency to do this.
      • The Hispanic Blue Beetle often refers to team members using Spanish slang. Impulse likes to imitate him.
    • Also "Secrets" had Gratuitous Old English, roughly meaning "I summon the strength of Beowulf".
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Captain Marvel has a Gravitational Cognizance moment in "Misplaced". When he transforms, shifting himself from the kid dimension to the adult one, it takes a few moments for him to realize that the plane he was in has not made the trip with him.
  • Great Escape: "Terrors"
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Miss Martian — well, the PG rated version of one. Subverted with her true form.
  • Grenade Tag: Robin does this against a mind controlled Black Canary in "Auld Aquaintance".
  • Gut Punch: Speedy realizing he's The Mole at the end of Season One. Miss Martian mentally assaulting Aqualad before learning he's a Reverse Mole in Season Two. Kid Flash's death in the Season Two Finale.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • In season one, the male members of the Team are either straight hand-to-hand combatants, or include hand-to-hand with their weaponry. The female members of the Team, however, have telekinesis, a bow-and-arrow, magic and technology gadgetry so they do not need to physically touch their opponents.
    • Averted in season two, where the first episode introduces Wonder Girl and Batgirl, two hand-to-hand combatants that serve as some of the members of the newer Team.
  • Hacked by a Pirate: In season 1, Robin's hacking skills is always represented by a chibi Robin on-screen either frowning (in the process of hacking) or grinning (hack complete).
  • Hammerspace: In the fight with Harm in "Secrets" just where does Artemis' crossbow come from, or disappear to a few moments later?
  • Harmless Freezing: At least to Miss Martian, due to her Bizarre Alien Biology. Being frozen by an ice villain is implied to usually be fatal.
    Miss Martian: It's pretty cold where I come from...
  • Hate Sink: G. Gordon Godfrey. From the annoying voice to just being a huge Jerkass, there's not much to like.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: G. Gordon Godfrey hates superheroes with a passion. However, when the Reach showed up, he suddenly proclaimed them to be wonderful, to a suspicious amount. Turns out as soon as the Reach screwed up at all, he turned on them as well.
  • The Hat Makes the Man: The Helmet of Fate which influences anyone who dons it. It eventually ends up completely taking over the mind of Zatara.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Artemis is so heartbroken over Wally's heroic death in Endgame that she takes on the Tigress moniker full time to cope with the loss.
  • He Knows Too Much: The Scarab says this word for word when Tye Longshadow's grandfather makes a vague reference to Jaime's "one on the inside". Fortunately, Jaime keeps the Scarab in check.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cheshire following the Time Skip.
    • The Blue Scarab does, oddly enough. Once it is back under Reach control it becomes a bit of a Literal Genie, enough to fool its masters. Once it is cleansed again, it tells Jaime it is much happier with their heroic partnership.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Red Tornado wants the Team to solve problems for themselves rather than have to have the League come in when things get hairy, explaining that it is a part of their training and a natural outgrowth of their demand to be treated as equals.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Played with. The redheaded Kid Flash has a crush on the equally redheaded Miss Martian, but she likes Superboy and doesn't show an interest in Kid Flash. Aqualad has feelings for Tula, his friend from Atlantis. Ultimately, blonde heroine Artemis falls for red headed Kid Flash.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: You can just watch the Justice League's public relations take a nose dive in season two.
  • Heroes Unlimited: The second season.
  • Heroic BSoD: The Team spends "Disordered" in one. Except Conner, who's busy kicking ass.
    • In "Before The Dawn," Miss Martian goes totally blank after pulling a powerful Mind Rape on Kaldur, not realizing he was good all along. She remains nearly unresponsive for the rest of the episode, only vaguely paying attention to what's around her and not putting her head into anything.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • When Wally's body risks being taken from him to act as a vessel for Dr. Fate, Kent Nelson gives up his chance to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and reunite with his wife so that Wally can keep his body and find a more suitable vessel for Dr. Fate.
    • Red Torpedo's and Red Inferno's death by melting in a volcano to restrain Red Volcano, in order to save humanity.
    • Aqualad, Superboy, Robin and Kid Flash to save Martian Manhunter and stop the enemy attack in "Failsafe".
    • In "Misplaced", Zatara sacrifices himself by becoming the new Doctor Fate so Zatanna, his daughter, doesn't have to.
    • in "Endgame" Wally does it again helping the other Flashes try to stop Black Beetle's apocalypse plan. He didn't get better.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Wally's in-universe reaction to Artemis and the rest of the Team's deaths in "Failsafe", because he thinks the beams are just transporters.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Dick Grayson (Robin I) and Wally West (Kid Flash).
    • In season two, Impulse and Blue Beetle.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Mount Justice is this, by Robin and Kid Flash's admission. See Home Base below.
    Robin: The bad guys know we know they know about the place, so they'd never think to look here.
    Kid Flash: Uh... He means, we're hiding in plain sight.
  • High-Dive Escape: Red Arrow does it to escape from Cheshire and Sportsmaster at the League of Shadows headquarters in "Targets".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Red Arrow/Speedy's anger at not being inducted into the League is what motivated Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash to strike out and investigate Cadmus on their own. Their success there led to Superboy being freed and the formation of the Team. The Team then went on to be a major thorn in the side of the Light, culminating in them saving the entire Justice League from being mind controlled by the Light. The hoisting in question? Speedy's angry outburst was caused by a deep desire to join the League, which had been preprogrammed into him by Cadmus when they were flash-cloning him on behalf of the Light, which wanted to use Speedy as a sleeper agent within the League. The very thing that let the Light take control of the League produced the only thing capable of stopping them.
  • Holding Hands:
    • Plenty moments in "Bereft", from Wally taking Artemis's hand to support her to Superboy grabbing Megan's hand to help her in the final battle.
    • Superboy holds Miss Martian's hand to reassure her when she reveals her Dark Secret: that she is really a White Martian.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Lagoon Boy admonishes Gamma Team to "stay liquid, minnows" when they are discovered infiltrating an alien base in "Happy New Year."
  • Hollywood Hacking: Seems to be Robin's thing.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: The Twist Ending of "Failsafe".
  • Holographic Terminal: Robin can pull them up visibly with the computer in his gloves — everything from indications of how his hacking is going to projected floor plans of the battle area.
  • Home Base: The Team uses Mount Justice, which was the former base of the Justice League until it was exposed to the rest of the world. Yes, they let the covert team stay in the hideout everyone knows about.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: Superboy has the DNA of both Superman and Lex Luthor.
  • Honor Before Reason: It's made very clear that the alien court would let the Justice League free if offered a token bribe. Meg'an, Connor, and Icon nevertheless go to exhausting lengths to get an acquittal without needing to pay a bribe, just because they don't want to subvert the justice system.
  • Hot for Teacher: Kid Flash, in true Flash style, starts to flirt with Black Canary as soon as she appears as the Team's combat trainer. He does this again as a defense mechanism when she mentions Artemis' "death" in "Disordered".
  • Hour of Power: Superboy's "Shields" last about an hour before burning out.
  • How We Got Here:
    • Played with in "Bereft", where the characters themselves have amnesia and spend the episode trying to find out how they got where they are.
    • Played straight in "Earthlings," which starts in the middle of the mission and then jumps back several hours to its beginning.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Mammoth and Shimmer, though they started out the same size. Mammoth became huge after taking the Venom-Blockbuster formula.
  • Human Alien: Superboy and Superman, despite being Kryptonian (or in Superboy's case, half-Kryptonian), are identical in appearance to human beings.
  • Humans Are Special: due to many possessing something in their DNA called "meta-genes", something quite a lot of alien races are interested in exploiting for their own ends.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: Captain Marvel deals with a giant, mutated plant this way.
  • Hypocrite: In "Disordered" Batman assumes the team recuperated after being nearly put in a permanant coma when M'gann took over the J'onn's mental simulation. Much to J'onn's and Captain Marvel's (and probably Red Tornado but the lack of facial muscles makes him hard to read) suprise. J'onn even pointed out that Batman of all people should understand the lingering effects of trauma, more specifically feeling partially responsible for losing your loved ones in front of you.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Dr. Fate, having possessed both Kid Flash and Aqualad at different points, supports their candidacy when the Justice League is discussing new members. Then they bring up Zatanna, whom he has also possessed, and he quickly refuses. He is immediately called on still having Zatara's protective instincts.
    • In season 2 episode, "Satisfaction", Miss Martian says that "She can't focus on parties"... while going to Rocket's bridal shower.
  • I Am Not Spock: Invoked with Marie Logan, the star of the teen sitcom "Hello Megan!" and who now runs an animal reserve. Miss Martian based her whole personality and appearance as a human on her. When Miss Martian starts pestering the now older Marie with questions about the show she insists that it was just a job and that Megan "is not who I am."
  • I Gave My Word: When Zatara offers himself as an alternate host, Nabu asks what guarantee he has that he won't just put the Helmet of Fate back on a shelf when it's removed. Zatara simply responds, "My word." Nabu accepts this, and Zatara is true to his word, putting on the helmet and becoming the new Doctor Fate.
  • I Have a Family: Said word for word by one of the female guards in "Terrors".
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Robin I/Nightwing and Batgirl. The fight choreography was made to reflect their backgrounds as an acrobat and a gymnast, respectively.
  • I Let You Win: Queen Bee's minions deliberately throw the fight against the Team in "Intervention" because it serves the Light's purposes to have them free Blue Beetle from Reach control.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Both Robin and Kid Flash are the "chatter until the villain gets pissed off" types.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: How Artemis took down the Reds in "Homefront".
    • When the Runaways get teleported right in the middle of a squad of Reach soldiers, they pretend to surrender so they can catch the soldiers off guard.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: In "The Hunt", Arsenal, upon seeing Lex Luthor communicating with the Runaways, deduces that he used them as a distraction so one of his pawns could steal the WarWorld's key. Lex insists that Deathstroke is really more like a bishop than a pawn.
  • I Want Them Alive: In "Bereft", when Robin is ambushed by a platoon of Bialyans their leader declares that "Her Majesty Wants Him Alive!" After Robin beats up a few of them he gets fed up and tells his men to open fire.
  • I Was Just Joking: When Wally sarcastically asks which team member has a dramatic revelation to share with the rest of the Team next, he is shocked when M'gann steps forward.
  • Ignored Expert: The Reach's head scientist really wants to find out how the Blue Beetle went off mode for the last 4000 years, but Black Beetle and the Ambassador are not interested. As a result, Blue and Green Beetle were freed from the Reach's control. Her last appearance is full of I Told You So.
  • An Ice Person: The opening scene of the first episode involved several independent ice-themed villains (Mr. Freeze, Icicle Jr., Killer Frost and Captain Cold) attacking separate cities at once. The League considers this an unlikely coincidence and worth looking into. They were planning to be incarcerated together in Belle Reve Penitentiary to engineer an escape with the entire inmate population.
  • An Ice Suit: The cold-themed villains again.
  • Identity Amnesia: When Psimon erases six months worth of memories from the Team's minds in "Bereft," Superboy is left without any memory, since he'd only existed for six months. Hence, he became a wild-eyed, shirtless Berserker.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • In season 2, Robin, Artemis, Kid Flash, and Aqualad don't tell their telepathic teammate of their ruse to fake Artemis' death, knowing full well that Miss Martian is likely to run into Aqualad at some point. This backfires badly when she mindrapes Aqualad, leaving him a vegetable.
    • Season 2, "True Colours" Arsenal blows up the LexCorp Farms for no real reason. He says he's mad at Luthor, but the actions inconvience them more than Luthor and if he really wanted to blow it up he could have waited until they escaped.
      • Robin, as well for not telling Nightwing what happened.
      • Actually Robin was implied to have told him offscreen. When Nightwing kicks Arsenal off the team after he opened up the airlock on Warworld and almost killed the Team (just because he didn't want to be put on ice again) he mentioned that this wasn't the first time that he's done something like endanger team members for personal reasons.
    • In the same scene as above, Nightwing kicking Arsenal off the team in front of the Runaways, who he just asked to join the team. Way to make them walk away Dick
  • I'll Kill You!: When the Team is convinced that Artemis has just died, Wally slips into this trope, proving that nope, he didn't actually hate her.
    Kid Flash: They're DEAD! EVERY SINGLE ALIEN, IF ITS THE LAST THING I DO!
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: Happens during Wally's 16th birthday in "Coldhearted":
    Megan: I made two cakes.
    Wally: Awesome! What'll you guys eat?
  • Impairment Shot:
    • Superboy, after the MONQIs blast him in the eyes.
    • Artemis and Zatanna after Harm has attacked them.
    • La'gaan slowly drifts in and out of consciousness after Aqualad has kidnapped him.
  • Implacable Man: Red Torpedo and Red Inferno.
  • In Name Only: The show has virtually nothing in common with the original 90's comic book of the same name, though showrunner Greg Weisman has said that it was never intended to be an adaptation of the series to begin with and that the title was essentially given to them by some Warner Bros. execs. However the title does fit the central theme of the show, and there are some shout-outs and callbacks to the series' comic book namesake. Originally, there was going to be a series closely based on the comic book, but it turned into Teen Titans, keeping the comedy of Young Justice while using the latter's characters. This series essentially does the opposite, using Young Justice characters with serious stories more in line with the Titans comics.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Impulse curing Neutron in "Bloodlines" just turns his Bad Future self into a normal human and removes some of the fallout. Everything else remains the same. This is the first hint that Neutron isn't directly responsible for said future.
  • In the Blood: Cheshire jokingly says this of Lian Harper when Roy expresses concern that his daughter seems to enjoy watching them beat the crap out of bunch of mooks.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: It sometimes feels like every other line from every other villain is a terrible pun about their own name. Main offenders: the Light, Harm, and the Reach.
  • Informed Ability: Most of the team speak several languages according to Greg Weisman. Unless this is plot-relevant, it doesn't get brought up or used. It's given a nod in "Drop Zone", when Superboy listens to Bane and a Mook argue in Spanish and quietly smiles.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Professor Ivo bears an eerie resemblance to a red-haired, slightly older-looking Peter MacNicol in a sweatervest.
  • Inner Monologue: Miss Martian briefly had an inner monologue in "Bereft," where she thought in Martian because she did not remember that she had traveled to Earth. It was only after she deduced where she was that she began thinking in English.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Superboy and Miss Martian, who live together in the cave simply because they have no other home on Earth. Then they began dating.
  • Insecurity Camera: Played with in "True Colors". Alpha Squad hacks the camera in Luthorcorp Farms with ease. After Arsenal sets off an explosion, however, Luthor monitors the feed and snarks about the obvious disconnect between the visual and the ruckus before having Mercy change frequencies to correct it.
    Luthor: Well, that placid scene seems unlikely.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Red Arrow is very quick to correct anyone who calls him a sidekick or by his old moniker, "Speedy".
    • Vertigo would like you to remember that he is a Count, peasant. He upgrades it to 'king' when he believes that he has killed his niece, the queen.
    • In "Depths", Superboy insists on calling those Miss Martian subjected to her Mind Rape interrogation methods "victims".
  • Instant Runes: These appear when Klarion casts the spell at the beginning of "Misplaced".
  • Instant Sedation:
    • Played straight in the season 1 finale. Anyone hit with the cure tech drops like a stone.
    • Subverted in "The Fix". Artemis hits Psimon with a dart designed to render him comatose for several weeks, but underestimates how long it would take to kick in and gets slammed around for at least a minute before he finally drops.
  • Interspecies Romance: Miss Martian and Kryptonian-human hybrid Superboy, followed by her and non-human Atlantean Lagoon Boy. Deathstroke even calls it such when he interrupts the latter pair in "The Fix".
  • Ironic Echo:
    • In "Drop Zone", when Robin first sees the Kobra leader he says "What's wrong, Koby? You look disconcerted." Later in the episode when he proves to be a better fighter than Robin he says "What's wrong, boy? You look disconcerted."
    • T.O. Morrow has created three separate androids that he hoped would help him destroy the superheroes of the world, but each one chose to be a hero and attempt to become more human. His fourth android, Red Volcano, he made with the express intention of "No more Pinocchios..." Such were Volcano's words to Morrow right before killing him.
    • When Harm is fighting Artemis, he says "So unfocused. It can't fight Harm while fighting itself." After his Villainous Breakdown, Artemis returns the sentiment.
  • Ironic Echo Cut:
    • In the pilot.
      Mark Desmond: He hacked the motion sensors.
      (cut to Robin with his handheld computer)
      Robin: I hacked the motion sensors!
      Kid Flash: Sweet!
    • In "Humanity":
      Zatanna: (responding to Robin about joining the Team) If my dad doesn't ground me for life.
      (cut to Zatara and Black Canary)
      Zatara: She's grounded for life!
  • It Gets Easier: Miss Martian finds it easier and easier to lobotomize people psychically, first doing it by accident but then using it as a harsher form of punishment. It bites her in the ass when she finds out that Aqualad faked killing Artemis and was infiltrating Black Manta's organization as The Mole.
  • Irony: Red Arrow, the most adamant on finding the mole, was revealed to unwillingly have been the mole all along.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Kid Flash and Robin share a wordless sentiment right before charging into their "final battle." It's likely that such a message was conveyed between the two best friends.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing:
    • When Superboy first awakes in Cadmus, they make a point of referring to him as "it" and "the weapon."
    • Harm calls Artemis and Zatanna "its."
  • It Only Works Once:
    • Dr. Fate beats Klarion by attacking his familiar. When Kid Flash tries this during their second meeting, Klarion morphs his familiar into a giant, super-strong cat monster that can more than handle itself in combat.
    • Batman defeated Clayface in his first appearance with electric batarangs; when Robin tried it again in Clayface's second appearance, Clayface explained that that trick did not work anymore. It is a good thing the Team knew that and were only using the batarangs as a distraction.
    • In story at least, the scarab charm. It cured Blue's Scarab in the distant past, but in the present it broke after curing Jaime and Green Beetle. If they get put on mode again, it'll be permanent
  • It Works Better with Bullets: In "Drop Zone", Bane attempts to set of a series of explosives planted around the team, only to find that Kid Flash is now holding the detonator that had been in his hand a second earlier.
  • It's All About Me: Sportsmaster is not angry that Aqualad killed Artemis, his daughter per se, but he is angry that Black Manta did not ask his permission first, since now it makes him and Cheshire look like "punks."
  • Jerkass: Sportsmaster, standup guy that he is. He treats his daughters like resources, and it's apparently not uncommon for him to drug them, dress them up in a super-costume and leave them in the middle of active war-zones (if as a way to test them).
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Miss Martian breaks Kaldur's mind not knowing that he's a Reverse Mole. In "The Fix", she is forced by Black Manta to heal him, so she and Artemis (disguised as Tigress) enter Kaldur's mind which is shown to be shattered by her attack.
  • Just Between You and Me: Subverted by Vandal Savage in the first season finale. He goes on a Motive Rant to Black Canary, Red Tornado, and Red Arrow, but he never actually gives any specific details about his plans.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Tribunal cares more about getting paid off than they do about a fair trial. When the Rimbor 6 are arguing their case, a Kroletean in the audience expresses surprise that the defendants haven't bribed their way to innocence already, and Vandal Savage later admits to offering the Tribunal a hefty bribe for a guilty vote. Even when delivering the verdict, they take a moment to try to coerce a bribe out of the defendants one last time. After the Team delivers evidence that proves them innocent, they still want a bribe. Conner and Ms. Martian eventually stoop to claiming that voting in their favor will be good publicity for the Tribunal, thus leading to future bribes. Thems intergalactic politics folks.
  • Karma Houdini: As a result of the fact that The Bad Guy Wins, Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor, Queen Bee, and Klarion all get off in as good or better a position than they started the series. Ra's Al Ghul will probably be just fine as well.
    • Among the "heroes", M'gann has been using Mind Rape left and right, even on Superboy. This has never been publicly revealed, she has shown no remorse (for any of the victims save the ones who are her friends) or indication that she's going to stop, let alone atoned for those she destroyed. At the end of the series, it remains a secret, and Superboy looks like he's going to rekindle their relationship. What the hell?
      • She does however appear to show reluctance to read Green Beetle's mind a few episodes later, obviously affected by what she did to Aqualad. It may just be that Superboy realised she had learned her lesson.
  • Kid Hero: The creators have promised that there will be some deconstruction of this trope on the show, especially in regards to Robin.
  • Kid Sidekick: Aqualad, Kid Flash and Robin, the three founding members of the Team. Being seen as just a sidekick is be a big theme in the show, and each of the Team's members has an adult counterpart in the Justice League that serves as their mentor, role model or inspiration.
  • Kid with the Leash: Jaime often has to suppress the Scarab's more... aggressive ideas.
  • Kill and Replace:
    • Cadmus planned to do this to Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Robin, but never got the chance.
    • "Auld Acquaintance" reveals that Roy Harper had been abducted and replaced with a clone three years before the show even began. The original is still alive, though.
    • The second season opens with an Alien Invasion where the aliens are abducting important people of earth, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, and replacing them with aliens in human suits. Bibbo Bibowski was also abducted, but he also knocks out his own duplicate.
    • Guardian is also revealed to be a victim of this. He gave up the hero identity in response.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Kent Nelson a.k.a. Doctor Fate. His spirit did reside in the Helmet of Fate for a while, but Fate eventually got tired of his nagging every time someone used the helmet and sent him off to the afterlife.
    • At the end of season 2, Kid Flash is disintegrated when he absorbs too much energy helping The Flash and Impulse get rid of an energy field that threatened to envelop the Earth. To honor his memory Impulse takes up his mantle, and to hammer the point home he gets a hologram in the garden like Jason Todd, Tula, and Ted Kord.
  • Kill 'Em All: "Failsafe," involves the Team being lost one by one after the Justice League has already been killed in a simulation.
  • Kneel, Push, Trip: The boys do this to Blockbuster in "Fireworks". Kid Flash runs at Blockbuster and dives between his legs (at superspeed), then kneels behind him. The confused Blockbuster turns to look at Kid Flash and then turns back just in time to see Aqualad and Superboy flying at him. They punch him in the jaw and he falls backwards over Kid Flash. Kid Flash then remarks that he "learned that one in kindergarten".

    L-P 
  • Laser Blade: Whisper wields a pair of laser whips against Superboy and the Forever People in "Disordered".
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Psimon erases the last six months of the Team's memory in "Bereft". This leaves Artemis and M'gann strangers to everybody else, Superboy completely mindless, and Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad ignorant of the current mission.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Darkseid
  • Late to the Realization: Wally is the last person to find out that Miss Martian and Superboy are dating.
  • The Leader:
    • Aqualad is a calm, levelheaded one. He is replaced by Nightwing in Season 2, who is a bit more devious.
    • With the Runaways, the leader seems to be "whoever has a good plan at the moment". It mostly winds up being Virgil, who has a penchant for making it up as he goes, but Arsenal and Tye have also led them at different points.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In "Terrors", during a therapy session at Belle Reve, Superboy snaps at Miss Martian that they "don't live in a fantasy world where all problems are solved in half an hour." In "Image", M'gann explains how she envies Megan from 'Hello Megan!', including the fact that all of her problems can be solved in twenty-two minutes.
    • In "Failsafe", before the Team heads off against the alien invaders.
      Superboy: So what are we waiting for, a theme song?
    • In "Endgame", Superboy pretty much voiced the exact thoughts of the viewers after learning Robin & Wonder Girl have begun dating off-screen.
      Superboy: Since when are Tim & Cassie a couple?
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • Kid Flash is guilty of this in the pilot. Also in "Drop Zone", where he shoots the Team's "stealth" orders to hell by rushing headlong into a crossfire between Bane and Kobra cultists.
    • Robin is the most frequent embodiment after the Team forms, and is one of the reasons that the leader position is eventually ceded to Aqualad.
    • In "Performance" Superboy does this in near perfect form before the final confrontation with Parasite. The one missing element is that he just screams instead of shouting his name.
    • La'gaan does this in "Depths" when rushing in to battle with Black Manta's soldiers. It doesn't end well for him.
    • In "True Colors" Alpha Squad (Arsenal, Impulse, Blue Beetle, and Robin III) run a covert mission on a farm owned by Lex Luthor, during which Robin hacks the computers to make it seem like everything is normal. Lex and his security believe it... until Arsenal sets off an explosion, setting off an alarm and alerting Lex to their presence, forcing Alpha Squad to fight their way out.
    • They don't call him "Impulse" for nothing.
  • Left Hanging: Due to being Screwed by the Network, the show ends with Wally dead, Virgil joining the team as Static, Artemis retiring her old name in favor of Tigress, Nightwing taking a leave of absence, Lex Luthor poised to run the UN, and Vandal Savage has taken the War World to Apokalips to see Darksied, who greets him as an equal. It essentially ended on a major reveal and some major shocks.
  • Legacy Character: Quite a few.
    • Barry Allen succeeded the Justice Society of America's Jay Garrick as the Flash.
    • The three current Green Lanterns of Earth, Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner, all succeeded the Justice Society of America's Green Lantern Alan Scott.
    • Giovanni 'John' Zatara became host to Doctor Fate after the death of Kent Nelson, Fate's previous host.
    • After Dick Grayson became Nightwing between seasons one and two, Jason Todd and later Tim Drake succeeded him as Robin.
    • Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, after Ted Kord was killed by the Light during the Time Skip.
    • Mal Duncan becomes the new Guardian after Jim Harper retires.
    • Bart Allen becomes the new Kid Flash after Wally's death in the series finale.
  • Legacy Immortality: Jaime mentions that most of the general public thinks he is Ted Kord in a new costume. The real Ted was killed during the Time Skip, and Jaime laments that the world will never know of his sacrifice.
  • Legion of Doom: The Injustice League.
  • Leitmotif: Kid Flash and Artemis have a guitar melody for one in Season 2 signifying their relationship.
    • The War World has one. It's just the one note, but it's a very low, ominous, brass-heavy note.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Spoken verbatim by the original Roy at the very beginning of "Satisfaction".
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In "Disordered", this looks like this will happen between Superboy and the Forever People... but then it's promptly subverted thanks to the intervention of the Forever People's Mother Box.
    • In "The Hunt," Arsenal sets Mongul up to fight Black Beetle so that the Team can make their escape while the two are distracted.
  • Lie to the Beholder: In season 2, Artemis infiltrates the Light using a magic necklace that hides her identity.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Big Bad of the series is actually called "The Light", and appeared for half the season simply as pure-white outlines. Glowing with unearthly radiance, no less!
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Superboy and Alanna dangling from a cliff edge forms the cliffhanger to the In Medias Res opening of "Earthlings".
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Word of God says the complete list of characters will increase as each season passes. Current count as of episode 24, season 1: 174 supporting characters from DC Universe alone, according to Word of God. The second series, Young Justice: Invasion features even more new characters.
  • Lockdown: In "Terrors", Amanda Waller locks down Belle Reve in an attempt to stop the mass breakout.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Kid Flash likes Miss Martian and "hates" Artemis. Miss Martian likes Superboy and recommends to Artemis that she should ask Kid Flash out, but Artemis also likes Superboy. Superboy eventually returns M'gann's affections and they begin dating, but Wally and Artemis are still pouting themselves. It eventually all settles itself out at the end of season one.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Aqualad's father is Black Manta. They use this as part of the justification for his fake defection in season two.
    • The half-Kryptonian, half-human Superboy was created at the behest of, and obtained half his DNA from, his human "father" Lex Luthor.
  • Luminescent Blush: Miss Martian.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: When Mongul's attempt to destroy Earth outright with a Wave Motion Gun fails, he turns the WarWorld's considerable stockpile of missiles on the planet. It takes all the space-capable assets of the League and the team, Earth's collective military might, and the entire Reach armada just to match the sheer number of missiles, and the Reach lost two-thirds of their armada doing it. Mongul wasn't going to run out of missiles, either, meaning he would have won by attrition.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Alanna.
  • Magic from Technology: Abra Kadabra's schtick. Kid Flash believes this of all magic and fervently tries to explain everything supernatural that he encounters (well, at least in that one episode).
  • Magical Native American: Tye's grandfather in "Beneath," though it's Played for Laughs—the Scarab irritably calls him "unbalanced" and, when he says something about Jaime making peace with "the one within," immediately declares that He Knows Too Much and must be eliminated.
  • Magical Particle Accelerator: The Large Boson Collider situated in Geneva in "Performance" is able to generate full-size black holes outside of itself.
  • Magitek: The Light seems to be fond of this, mixing magic, biotechnology, and regular technology to carry out their plans.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Black Canary plays a supporting role.
  • Makeout Kids: Megan and Conner. Fortunately, they have a giant robo-sphere that can somehow discreetly warn them before anyone sees them.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Three episodes into the second season, the villains up to that point, the Kroloteans, are wiped out by a bomb made by The Reach, The Light's new partner.
  • Malaproper: A German example. The spell Klarion and the sorcerers are chanting in "Misplaced" is actually "We are the whistlers of Hamelin" ("Wir sind die Pfeifer von Hameln"), instead of "We are the pipers of Hamelin" which would roughly be "Wir sind die Flötenspieler von Hameln" with "die Flötenspieler" literally meaning "the flute player". Also in actual German "the Pied Piper" was known as "the Rat Catcher" so to be more accurate with the language they should be saying "Wir sind die Rattenfänger von Hameln".
  • Male Gaze: Funny how at the beginning of "Infiltrator", Miss Martian's the only one to get a leering pan-up of her in her bathing suit.
    • Artemis Crock gets this in "Homefront" (with her embarrassingly short school girl uniform skirt) and "Salvage" (the latter taking place five years later, strutting her stuff in a football jersey - and nothing else).
  • Manchurian Agent: Red Arrow, a deep-cover operative planted three years before the show began, responding to phrases by his handler, Sportsmaster..
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A downplayed example in that, being machines, they only superficially resemble their genders, but Red Torpedo (male) and Red Inferno (female), respectively have control over the traditionally feminine and masculine elements of water and fire.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Mr. Longshadow's conversation with Jaime in "Beneath" barely makes any sense, but with a little reading into..
    Tye has gone on a quest of awakening that will connect him to his heritage and show him the path to his destiny. note 
    *to Jaime* You search for answers, but the answers you seek will find you. note 
  • May Contain Evil: The Reach soft drink is designed to mutate human DNA over several generations, making humanity loyal to the Reach.
  • Meaningful Echo: In season 1's "Targets", Cheshire's first attempt to kill Lex Luthor is with a rocket launcher, but misses. In season 2's "Satisfaction", Speedy's first attempt to kill Luthor also involves a rocket launcher.
  • Meaningful Name: With the exception of Static, the children rescued from the Reach all have names that act as callbacks to their Code Names from Super Friends:
    • Eduardo "Ed" Dorado Jr. is a play on El Dorado.
    • Asami "Sam" Koizumi is a play on Samurai.
    • Tye Longshadow is a play on Long Shadow, the Apache Chief Captain Ersatz from Justice League Unlimited.
  • Meat Moss: The lower levels of the Cadmus lab has this look. It actually serves a function however, used to incubate their bio-weapons.
  • Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Played with in "Beneath". Nightwing had a perfectly good strategic reason for sending an Amazon Brigade after Queen Bee, but Batgirl points out that he's never felt the need to justify sending an all-male squad on a mission. Nightwing says there's no right response to that and ends the transmission.
  • The Mentor:
    • All of the kids have individual mentors in the heroes they are sidekicking to (Robin gets Batman, Kid Flash gets Flash, etc.). The Team as a whole has three mentors: Red Tornado, Black Canary and Batman.
    • In season two, Miss Martian, Superboy and Nightwing have turned down membership on the Justice League so that they can mentor the new members of the Team.
  • Mind Rape:
    • This is Psimon's specialty.
    • In "Images," M'gann leaves Psimon drooling and unresponsive after their psychic confrontation. He's better after the Time Skip.
    • In "Earthlings," Miss Martian probes the mind of the Krolotean commander to learn what the League did in their missing sixteen hours. During the probe the Krolotean begins to drool from the mouth. After it is done the Krolotean is comatose and carried off by his compatriots, never once even responding to them carrying him. In "Alienated", she does it again to another Krolotean... right in front of Batman and Martian Manhunter. "Depths" suggests it's become a recurring habit since season one and is the primary reason she and Superboy broke up. The final straw was her trying to wipe away Superboy's memories of the argument. He described it as a perversion of the mental bond with M'gann that he used to love.
    • "Before the Dawn": Miss Martian mind-rapes Kaldur'ahm for supposedly killing Artemis. When she discovers he never did, they both slump to the floor—Kaldur from the attack, M'gann from her own Heroic BSoD.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In "Intervention", an Australian frilled lizard appears in the African nation of Bialya. This is subverted when it's later revealed that the lizard is actually Beast Boy incognito.
  • Mistaken Identity: In "Homefront", Artemis hears Red Tornado call out her and Robin's code names and assumes he has come to save them from the bad guys. It turns out to be Red Torpedo, who has the exact same voice as Red Tornado.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: The Kroloteans are kidnapping people and replacing them with Krolotean-piloted suits, which starts the season two plot of their invasion of Earth.
  • The Mole: The coda of "Infiltrator" indicates there is a mole within the Team, but his or her identity is not revealed. Suspicion falls on the newer less-known members of the group, Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis. It is revealed in "Usual Suspects" that Red Arrow was The Mole, and even he had no idea.
  • Mood Whiplash: From "War", after everyone celebrates for beating up Mongul and stopping the War-World, Blue Beetle knocks out Impulse with one strike, and pretty much disables the rest of his 'teammates', because the Reach have already taken complete hold of him.
  • Moral Dissonance / Moral Myopia: Wonder Woman shows shades of this during 'Agendas'. When it's brought up that Captain Marvel never told the League that he was 10 years old, she is visibly angry at him for 'lying' to them. However, it's been shown that the League are not required to reveal their identities to each other, and to do so is a sign of personal trust between members. Billy not telling Diana about his ID is no worse than Batman not telling Billy his secret ID. Likewise, she's visibly pissed at Batman for training Robin to be a crime fighter, yet Amazons are raised from birth to be badass warriors. So in short, if she and her friends keep secrets from you, or her people train their children to kick ass, that's fine. If you keep secrets from her and her friends, or train your children to kick ass, she's outraged.
    • Superman can seemingly show instant compassion to anyone and everyone regardless of who they are, where they come from and what they've done - unless that someone is Superboy. And the only way Superboy can get any kindness from Superman is to save his life.
    • Red Arrow acts like a Jerkass non-stop and is then surprised to find that 9 out of 10 people don't like him and/or don't respect him.
  • Motor Mouth: Impulse.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Superboy has a number of shirtless scenes, and together with Aqualad, has the most muscled physique. Works in-universe for Miss Martian.
    Superboy: (Taking off shirt to turn it inside-out and hide the symbol) Does this work?
    Miss Martian: (Blushing) Works for me.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Artemis in "Salvage". (see Male Gaze above)
  • Mundane Utility: Zatara and Red Tornado have used their powers just to move crates. In a later episode, Zatanna uses magic to perfectly spread seasoning on a turkey.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Miss Martian after finding out Aqualad was Good All Along after rendering him catatonic
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: In "Misplaced", Zatanna tries to use a spell against Klarion, only for it to fizzle pointlessly against his shield. He dismisses her attempt as "baby magic", then uses her type of spellcasting to send her flying.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: In volume 4 of the tie-in comics, when Wonder Girl and Nightwing first try to talk to Jaime about getting training, Jaime's scarab expresses extreme distrust towards the two of them and specifically warns him not to trust Wonder Girl because she "triggers bio-chemical changes to [his] system".
  • Mysterious Past: Artemis has a hidden history which is slowly explored over the first season. Red Arrow is aware that her story of being Green Arrow's niece is a lie, and her father would theoretically ask her to kill people. Her fear of the truth being discovered is a strong motivator, and she once let a villain escape after the threat of exposure.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Miss Martian.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Lagoon Boy (La'gaan), Longshadow/Apache Chief (Tye Longshadow), El Dorado (Eduardo Dorado, Jr.).
  • Nay-Theist: Kid Flash plays this role in "Denial."
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: The Light seems to have connections or acts as the mastermind with nearly every villain that the heroes have faced so far.
  • Nephewism: Kid Flash is The Flash's nephew, Miss Martian is Martian Manhunter's niece, and Artemis is Green Arrow's niece. Averted with Artemis — Green Arrow just told her to use the "you're my niece" cover story because she didn't want to tell the team she was related to villains.
  • Never Say "Die": Ra's al Ghul's League of Shadows is known as The League of Assassins in DC Comics.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: M'gann's Mind Rape of Kaldur not only revealed to her he was a double agent, but left him in a catatonic state and probably cost the team their Reverse Mole. To a lesser extent, Nightwing's decision not to tell any more teammates than he needed to and Superboy's decision not to tell anyone that M'gann was making a habit of Mind Rape were also a major contributors to this.
    • Also with Superboy not telling anyone about M'gann's playing fast and loose with the Mind Rape, as it's unclear if anyone else on the team actually knows about those tendencies.
    • Also, in order to Mind Rape Kaldur, she shut off the team's psychic link. Given their reliance on it in team coordination, the fight against Black Beetle would have gone a lot better, or they would have concentrated more on holding him off until Blue Beetle could arrive. So a double dose of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
    • It's the gift that just keeps giving. In order to reverse his Mind Rape, Vandal Savage called in Psimon to sort Kaldur's brain out, so Artemis had to take him out non-lethally and get M'gann to do it instead, so now she's a prisoner and Psimon will expose them as soon as he wakes up. It's practically to the level of Disaster Dominoes.
    • In an unrelated example, nice job blowing up the alien lab in Luthorcorp... with security cameras still on and managing to catch your images... Arsenal. Not only did he blow a covert mission and get them caught on camera, said lab was growing food to help fight world hunger. That is going to be a PR nightmare when it breaks.
    • Nightwing kicking Arsenal off the Team in front of the Runaways causes them to abandon the Team and take Arsenal with them, ensuring the loss of four potential members.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Mongul's invasion of Earth to keep it out of Reach hands forces the Reach to sacrifice two thirds of its fleet to counter Mongul's missile barrage and "protect their investment."
  • Nice to the Waiter: When the Flash and Zatara rescue Iris West-Allen from an alien invasion in "Failsafe," the first thing Iris does, after thanking the heroes, is ask Denny, her cameraman, if he is okay. She is visibly relieved, and smiles, when he gives a thumbs-up.
  • No Biochemical Barriers:
    • In "Performance," Miss Martian catches the flu virus that has been making the rounds of the Team and the circus that they have been infiltrating. Robin even mentions that H. G. Wells predicted that could happen. However, Robin also recognizes that the odds of it actually happening are so low as to be non-existent, so he begins looking for another source and discovers the power-draining Parasite.
    • Averted, as the characters explicitly point out that the biology of different alien species renders them immune to threats that would endanger the others. That is why the Light uses magically enhanced biotechnology to get around the problem.
    • Later averted when Arsenal attempts to sedate Mongul. Mongul's only reponse is that it smells nice. It's never explicitly stated, but it's pretty clear that a sedative that works on humans won't work on something as drastically different as Mongul.
  • No Conservation of Energy: Averted. Zatanna explicitly mentions that magic can only happen when there is energy to fuel it, usually given by the spellcaster.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: When it becomes clear to Black Manta that he won't be able to steal Starro's frozen body, he angrily declares that no one will have it and blows it up. This turned out to be the contingency plan if he couldn't steal it.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted by Martian shapeshifting powers. Being knocked unconscious or having her ability to shapeshift drained by Parasite does not make Miss Martian revert to her natural form.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Belle Reve falls victim to this in "Terrors", where the characters mispronounce its name.
  • No-Sell: Red Arrow finds himself being hunted by Green Arrow, the Flash, and Aquaman. When disoriented, he takes a blind swing with his bow at the nearest silhouette, only to watch his bow splinter pointlessly on Aquaman's chest.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Superboy, as a clone grown in a controlled laboratory environment, is hostile and unaware of how to work with a team of equals.
    • M'gann, who learned about Earth by watching TV, is ignorant of a lot of common social mores, and struggles to learn what is appropriate with regards to telepathy and privacy.
  • Nom de Mom: Cheshire/Jade Nguyen, due to issues with her father, Sportsmaster/Lawrence Crock.
  • Non Sequitur Distraction: After Arsenal wakes up and recaps everything that has happened since his capture, including an alien invasion, the formation of a team by all the sidekicks and Ollie growing a goatee:
    Red Arrow: We try not to call ourselves sidekicks.
    Green Arrow: You don't like the goatee?
  • The Noseless: The Reach
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The result of the Time Skip.
  • Not His Sled: Virtually everyone knows that Barry did a Heroic Sacrifice and gave the Flash name to Wally. Then the series finale recreates the famous scene from Crisis on Infinite Earths where the Flash has to counteract a deadly weapon by running, which will end up killing him. Except it's not Barry Allen's last run. It's Wally's.
    • Though its implied this happened in the original timeline where Impulse came from.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Impulse's Bad Future in "Bloodlines". Although the real reason for him coming back was to stop Blue Beetle from betraying the Earth, so only time will tell.
    • Considering the Reach's plans to conquer Earth are effectively ruined (though they're going to try and destroy it), he may have succeeded.
      • Though he might have just changed the Bad Future from the Reach conquering the Earth to Darkseid conquering the Earth.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Kid Flash says this in "Auld Acquaintance" when Black Canary questions why they have Red Tornado hooked up to his android alter-ego. When she points out the obvious transfer taking place, Kid Flash amends his statement to say it's exactly what it looks like.
    • Done much more seriously in "Salvage", when Red Arrow tries to defend stealing a wad of cash from a shopkeeper, specifically by pocketing it after stopping the thief who stole the rest.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: The Runaways rescuing the Team from the Reach in "The Hunt" after they rescued them in "Before the Dawn".
  • Number Two:
    • Robin to Aqualad in season one.
    • In season two, Superboy and Miss Martian split the difference: Miss Martian always has command of the squad in Nightwing's absence, but Superboy counsels with and advises him, with neither of them really stepping into the actual hierarchy.
    • At the end of the series finale, when Nightwing has both returned leadership to Aqualad and chosen to take a leave of absence after Wally's death, Batgirl is nominated as the team's new Number Two.
  • Numerological Motif: A 16-member Justice League, the setting is Earth-16, Miss Martian is 16 by Martian years, Superboy is 16 weeks old, Wally is woken up on his sixteenth birthday at sixteen minutes past the hour, the first season finale began at 00:16 hours on December 31st (and continues after the end of the opening exactly seven hours later at 07:16), and the end of the episode comes with the revelation that six members of the League, including the Big Three, were missing for 16 hours. The second season, which opens five years after the first, starts at 16:16, in the year 2016note  When asked about it, Weisman's only response was "<chuckles evilly>." He gave that response on August 16.
    • Episode 16 of season two aired on February 16, 2013.
    • The final episode of the series aired on March 16, 2013.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In "Satisfaction", following Nightwing and Kid Flash faking Artemis' murder at the hands of Reverse Mole Aqualad. Mal Duncan says he is going to make the apparent villian pay for what he is done and Paula Crock thanks Wally for his emotional support through the worst days of her entire life, leaving Kid Flash and Nightwing feeling guilty for lying and putting their friends and loved ones through this.
  • Odango Hair: Cheshire sports this when in disguise in "Targets."
  • Offscreen Breakup: Superboy and Miss Martian sometime during the Time Skip. She is currently dating Lagoon Boy.
  • Offscreen Teleportation
  • Official Couple: Miss Martian and Superboy as of "Terrors", but apparently no longer as of "Happy New Years".
    • In Invasion, M'gann and La'gaan, Wally and Artemis, Red Arrow and Cheshire.
      • Though by the end of the season,M'gann has broken up with La'gaan, and it looks like she and Superboy are getting back together.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In the pilot, Kid Flash's reaction to seeing the doors close in front of him while he is at full speed and can not stop before running into them.
    • In "Targets", Red Arrow realizes the jail cell wall is going to explode about half a second before it does.
    • In "Terrors", Icicle Jr. sees the "Terror Twins" kissing and realizes that they are actually Superboy and Miss Martian in disguise and says, "Oh man, dad's gonna kill me."
    • In "Misplaced", Billy Batson's reaction to hearing that Amber, the pilot flying his plane, was about to turn 18 in the world where adults disappear. Two seconds before it happens.
    • In "Agenda", Captain Marvel gets this when the Flash and Wonder Woman begin to question his presence with the Justice League after they surmised that he was not an "adult" at all.
    • In "Usual Suspects", Red Arrow's reaction to discovering that he was the mole and while under Mind Control put the entire Justice League under Mind Control as well.
    • In "Auld Acquaintance", Vandal Savage has this reaction after realizing that Black Canary, Red Tornado, and Red Arrow weren't brought under control via the Starrotech he had just applied to them. As a result, he realizes that the Team had reverse engineered a cure and vaccine for Starrotech.
    • Subtle one in "Auld Acquaintence:" Robin is fighting Batman. When Robin's blow doesn't land on anything, he realizes that he lost sight of his opponent, and the turns his head with a grim sort of anticipation, clearly expecting it when he gets smacked aside a minute later.
    • In "Happy New Years", Blue Beetle's mere presence convinces a group of alien tech thieves to abandon their entire operation and self-destruct their base.
    • Artemis in "True Colors" when she learns that Psimon will be sifting through Kaldur's memories and finding out the truth about them being moles.
    • Nightwing in "The Fix" when Superboy reveals that, thanks to him keeping Kaldur's loyalties a secret, M'gann fried his brain, and they don't know if he can be fixed.
      • Also in "The Fix"; Artemis's continued mental repetition of the word "perfect" could very easily be replaced with the word crap. Here its less shocked and more painfully resigned.
      • Also from "The Fix"; Impulse's expression and tone when Jamie reveals that Green Beetle has silenced his Scarab.
    • In "Before the Dawn" when Black Beetle interrupts the team's attempt to escape with the kidnapped victims of The Reach.
      Wonder Girl: Listen, uh... Black Beetle, you're totally outnumbered. Open those doors now and we'll go easy on you!
      Black Beetle: You...? Will go easy... on me? Ha ha ha ha ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha AHA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
      Bumblebee: Oh, that is not good sign!
    • In "The Runaways", guards from Star Labs surround a building that has the runaways inside. Cue Tye's gigantic astral form pushing the roof off.
      Head Guard: That wasn't in the briefing.
    • In "The Hunt", Virgil's reaction to Black Beetle, having seen him in action before.
      • Nightwing and Bumblebee when the Runaways boom tube away with Arsenal.
    • Both the Light and the Reach when they realize the Team has Out-Gambitted them completely.
    • Wally and the other speedsters when they're draining the power from the Chrysalis and Wally starts disintegrating.
  • Oh My Gods!: Lagoon Boy is pretty fond of "Neptune's beard!"
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Light.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted due to Martian Manhunter's fondness for the name John. He took the name John and came up with Red Tornado's name of John Smith. With Giovanni Zatara, who sometimes Anglicizes his name as "John," and Green Lantern John Stewart, that is four Justice League members named John. Martian Manhunter suggests that Superboy should also be named John, but that idea is turned down.
    • Clark Kent and Kent Nelson, which is Lampshaded: J'onn suggests "Kent" as Superboy's last name, but since Superboy and Megan do not know Superman's secret identity they assume it is in honor of Kent Nelson.
      Superboy: Shouldn't I be Conner Nelson?
    • Played with in "Disordered". When introducing themselves one of the Forever People says his name doesn't translate to anything on Earth so he goes with "Wolf"... except Superboy has a wolf named Wolf with him, so he goes with "Bear" instead.
    • Any chance that Hugo Strange and Adam Strange are related?
    • Aqualad's Atlantean best friend Garth, and Garfield Logan (whose name gets shortened to "Garth"), who joins the team in Season 2 as Beast Boy.
  • Only Fatal to Adults: "Misplaced" opens with Klarion and other immortal sorcerers casting a spell that causes everybody on the planet over the age of eighteen to disappear, leaving only the Team and Billy Batson (who cannot become Captain Marvel for fear of likewise being removed) to determine the cause. Halfway through the episode it is revealed that, to the adults, it looks like the kids are missing: Klarion and the other sorcerers split Earth into two separate dimensions, one with the adults and one with the children. Captain Marvel's transformation allows him to switch between worlds thanks to the age change.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Unlike the other members of the Team, Robin is always referred to as "Robin." It is explained that Robin was instructed by Batman to never reveal his true name in public. Jack Haly, owner of Haly's Circus, recognizes and calls him Dick. As he explains, there is no mistaking a Grayson on the trapeze.
    • Superboy, who does not have any other name, until "Targets", where he is dubbed "Conner Kent", since M'gann liked the name "Conner," after the love-interest in Hello Megan!, and J'onn suggested the last name "Kent." By season 2 Superman has since given him the Kryptonian name "Kon-El".
  • Only Sane Man: Conner gets to be this in "Disordered," voicing likely viewer incredulity.
  • On the Rebound: La'gann was Miss Martian's "rebound guy" during her Offscreen Breakup with Superboy during the Time Skip. He even gets called such on the series. She eventually dumps La'gann because she realizes that he's just a rebound guy to her.
  • Opinion Flip-Flop: Kid Flash changes his opinion on the existence of magic, which he believes to be nothing but technology obscured with false mysticism, as soon as he hears that M'gann believes it is real.
  • Opponent Switch: Superboy lets Icicle. Jr. fight Mammoth and Blockbuster so he could fight Mr. Freeze.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Turns up in "Denial", Dr. Fate works for the Lords of Order while Klarion is a Lord of Chaos.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Batman refers to the Team as "kids" in the beginning of "Auld Acquaintance," which Robin recognizes is something he never does.
    • Tye realizes that something is wrong with Jaime when he lets Red Volcano take them as hostages. It's later confirmed his Scarab is now in control.
  • Overprotective Dad: Zatara is quite protective over his daughter Zatanna, seeing how she is a teenager and how weak she is in actual combat.
    • This protectiveness is apparently strong enough to transfer to Doctor Fate after he takes over Zatarra.
  • Painful Transformation:
    • Dr. Desmond/Blockbuster's did not look at all pleasant. Helped to no end that it involves his skin ripping off.
    • After the test subject for the Blockbuster-Venom serum transforms, parts of his skin tear open and you can see exposed muscle underneath.
    • Blue Beetle getting the armor in a flashback in a variant. The only thing that really looks painful is the Scarab clamping itself to Jaime's spine, but the rest of the scene plays out like it's Body Horror.
  • Panty Shot: In episode 10, Cheshire's dress is evidently not magic.
  • Papa Wolf: Surprisingly enough, Black Manta is fiercely protective of his son even after it's revealed Kaldur had been deceiving him the whole time.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Bruce Wayne is very much this to Dick Grayson. Dick actually gets jealous in one episode when Bruce privately lectures Aqualad after a disastrous mission. Bruce then alleviates Dick's concerns by playing basketball with him (claiming that it's "training"). Suprisingly enough, this series averts the parental relationship between Bruce and Alfred. Word of God states that Alfred deliberately remained emotionally distant from Bruce in his youth because he felt it was inappropriate for a butler to act as a father to his "master". Alfred regrets that and has since become closer to both Dick and Bruce.
    • Even though he rejected him in the beginning, Superman to Superboy does count as well.
  • Le Parkour: Kid Flash, in sort of a stumbly, not-always-exactly-as-intended way. Robin, on the other hand, is the stylish one.
  • Pass Fail: M'Gann is actually a White Martian.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Megan claims Mind Rape is okay when the people being mind raped are evil.
  • Pineapple Surprise: In "Summit", Kid Flash pulls the pins on the smoke grenades being worn on the vests of three Light ninjas.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Discussed and lampshaded in "Humanity". The first three members of the "Red family" ultimately get this, which leads to T.O. Morrow declaring them as failures; Red Volcano is only one designed NOT to have it, which results in him turning on his "father".
    Red Volcano: No more "Pinocchios".
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Wendy and Marvin are "best platonic friends," according to Word of God.
    • But They then end up dating after the timeskip in Season 2
  • Playful Hacker: Robin.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: A variation. When the Team finds out about Red Tornado's "civilian identity" android, Zatanna magically transforms the sheet that was covering it into pants, which she felt it needed.
  • Plot Armor: The Light has never gone all-out to try and destroy the League or the team, although Blue Beetle II and Aquagirl both died fighting them. With the League, it's implied they want to use them as scapegoats, while Summit makes clear that the team is alive primarily because the Light, for all their planning, simply doesn't view them as a threat.
  • Plot Hole:
    • When the League is brainwashed by the Light and sent off to wreak some havoc they later discover that they have no memory of what they did and spend five years trying to find out, completely overlooking the possibility that they could ask the GL Corps, or even the ring itself. Even if they turned up to be a dead end, it's still a better place to ask around about the whereabouts or activities of a certain green clad ringwearer than anywhere else, especially anywhere on Earth. Weissman completely dodged the question, making vague claims about the government of the attacked planet being corrupt, but it seems like one of their guys being Brainwashed and Crazy and in possession of the strongest weapon in the universe would be a big issue for the Guardians, regardless of whether the planet would tell them they were attacked.
    John Stewart: Hey ring/Salaak, what happened to me in the last X hours? Kthxbai."
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Superboy, who's only 16 weeks old at the start of the series, but had already been aged to an adolescent by Cadmus so they could "weaponize" him.
  • Pokémon Speak: Secret, since the last thing she saw before her brother killed her was a neon sign that said "Secret."
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: In "Targets", Lex Luthor and Red Arrow have this relationship, Luthor maintaining his unerring politeness at all times, and Red Arrow being his usual snarky, jerkass self. This actually happens between Luthor and every superhero he meets, including his own genetic son, Superboy.
  • Popularity Food Chain: Lampshaded by Icicle, Jr. in the Prison Episode: there are strict groups and everyone better know his place.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Everyone's been Seeped compared to their modern-day comic book counterparts. The Flashes aren't aware of the Speed Force, Miss Martian is still learning her trickier Martian abilities, Superman doesn't have super-breath, Batman is wrong occasionally— even the Green Lanterns, while still being clear examples of Storybreaker Power, don't have omniscient rings. Superboy in particular has an entirely different powerset: instead of "Tactile Telekinesis" that allowed him to mimic Superman's powers, his diluted Kryptonian DNA just gives him the original 1938 Superman's powerset: he can lift a car but not a bus, and while he can't fly, he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
  • Power Glows:
    • The G-gnomes telepathy causes their horns to glow red.
    • Aqualad's tattoos
    • M'gann's eyes at times.
  • Power Echoes: When Kid Flash gets stuck inside Dr Fate's helmet and meets Kent Nelson's spirit, this happens to both of them... except the echoes sound a few seconds before they start speaking. It takes you a fair while to realise something is wrong.
  • Power Nullifier: Belle Reve's combination nullifier/shock collars, which nullify preprogrammed powers and can can shock the wearer on command. The downside is that they only nullify those powers they have been programmed for, so any unexpected powers are unimpeded.
  • Power Parasite: The Parasite, naturally. Unfortunately for him, the weaknesses and strengths come as a package deal.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Miss Martian shapeshifts into Black Canary for a little roleplay with Conner, and such behavior is apparently very common on Mars since shapeshifting telepaths can't actually hide who they are from others. Green Arrow thought it was pretty funny, though Canary didn't.
  • Power Tattoo: Aqualad's, and other Atlantean's, light up when he is using his hard water powers or electric powers.
  • Pregnant Badass: Aquaman reveals that his wife, the Queen of Atlantis, is pregnant, and just a few minutes later she is kicking all sorts of ass when her city is attacked. Admittedly, she's only a few months along (the episode takes place in late August, and Word of God says she is due in February).
  • Present Company Excluded: Comes up when Kid Flash makes a comment about aliens, then is obligated to apologize to Conner and M'gann.
  • Prison Episode: "Terrors"
  • Production Throwback:
    • In "Satisfaction," Luthor tells Arsenal "Vengeance is a sucker's game" a line of David Xanatos' from Greg Weisman's earlier show Gargoyles.
    • In "Revelation", Count Vertigo's line "Count Vertigo to you, peasant" is taken directly from Greg Weisman's DC Showcase: Green Arrow short.
    • Count Vertigo's niece Perdita in "Coldhearted" is also taken directly from Greg Weisman's DC Showcase: Green Arrow short. Vertigo and Perdita also keep the same voice actors, though Perdita's accent is different enough that it's hard to tell.
    • Black Spider is - for all intents and purposes - an evil, unpowered Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • Promotion to Parent: Happens to Superman with Superboy... kinda. Superman does not handle it very well at first. After the timeskip the two "Supers" get along much better, with Superman referring to Superboy as "little brother."
  • Properly Paranoid: In "Terrors", Batman doesn't let the Belle Reve prison staff know that Superboy and Miss Martian are going in undercover since it's possible the prison staff has been compromised. The ending reveals that the breakout was part of the prison psychiatrist Hugo Strange's scheme to become the new warden of Belle Reve.
  • Psychic Link: Miss Martian often connects the Team telepathically while on missions, letting them communicate covertly over distances. Eventually, the group begins using this method of communication even outside of battle when they want to have private conversations.
  • Psychic Static: Bane recites football scores in Spanish to defeat Miss Martian's attempts to read his mind.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The end of "True Colors" shows Lex Luthor planning to form one in response to the team, the candidates being the potential metahumans rescued by the team in "Before the Dawn".
  • Pun:
    • A liberal use in the pilot though not quite enough for a Hurricane of Puns...yet.
      Green Arrow: [re: Icicle Jr.] Heh. Kid had a glass jaw.
      Robin: [upon running out of zipline] ... I'm at the end of my rope.
    • "Psimon says forget!"
    • Sportsmaster refers to getting his hands on the Blockbuster/Venom formula as a "game changer".
    • In "Earthlings", Beast Boy isn't just game, he's big game.
    • "Back in a flash!" By, you guessed it. This has not escaped his extended family.
    • The Riddler actively seeks out this trope, as well, forcing Robin to join in.
      Riddler: I am flora, not fauna; I am foliage, not trees. What am I? Come on, you can get this. I am shrubbery, not grass; what am I? I...
      Robin: ...Am. Bush.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
    • Superboy in the pilot movie: "I... Choose... Freedom!"
    • Miss Martian: "Get! Out! Of my! Head!" in "Bereft."
  • Punny Name: Wouldn't want to put yourself in Harm's way.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Harm is able to wield a magical sword that can only be drawn by the pure of heart, saying "It never said pure good." In the end, faced with the ghost of his sister, who he killed to complete his journey to being pure evil and gain the sword, his guilt makes him impure and the sword rejects him, making his butt significantly more kickable.
  • Put on a Bus: Eight of the League members, the majority of whom were mentors to members of the Team, leave Earth at the end of "Alienated" to face trial in an intergalactic court for the crimes they committed 5 years prior while under Mind Control.

    Q-Z 
  • Qurac: The Team pass through Qurac itself to enter Bialya, a Qurac-type rogue state, in "Bereft". A map in the episode shows Bialya in the same location as Real Life Saudi Arabia, but another map in "Image" Quraq and Bialya are positioned similar to Iraq and Iran (based on the position of the Caspian and Black Seas on the map) and Batman mentions "baseless" claims that they used to be one country (Iraq used to be a core part of the Iran-based Persian empire).
  • Rabble Rouser: Sportsmaster does this to a crowd of adults after Klarion used a spell in "Misplaced" to send all the children to another dimension. This was done in order to allow the Riddler to sneak in undetected into STAR Labs property as the police were busy trying to quell the crowd from rioting.
  • Race Lift:
    • In the original comics, both Artemis Crock and her mother Paula are white. In the TV series, Paula is portrayed as Vietnamese, while Artemis is biracial.
    • Like in Smallville, the Martian Manhunter's "John Jones" identity is African-American.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Speedy is so outraged that the League (and by extension, Green Arrow) does not take him seriously that he essentially Ragequits. The rest of the boys threaten to do the same later, which convinces the League to make the group official.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: In "The Fix", Tigress (Artemis) smashes the mirror when she looks into it and sees her real face staring back at her, rather than the illusion everyone else sees, as she is so angry at the lie she is living.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs:
  • Real Name as an Alias:
    • Artemis, whose real name is Artemis Crock.
    • Giovanni 'John' Zatara and his daughter Zatanna.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • The Guardian is this in the pilot when he is not being Brainwashed.
    • Batman as a mentor of the Team.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Red Torpedo and Red Inferno die stopping Red Volcano from killing most of humanity.
  • Red Herring: The Injustice League; all coinciding villain toys can be traced back to them, not a hypothetical Light Is Not Good -esque group.
  • Red Herring Mole: Though suspicion falls on several members of the Team, Artemis was the focus of suspicion in multiple episodes and actually assisted (Or at least stopped inhibiting) the actions of villains. Of course, the actual mole was covered in a completely separate reveal.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: There are exactly two instances where someone uses their technology and abilities for something other than superheroics / supervillainy. First is Wally running a heart across the US for a transplant (a possibility which is never entertained ever again, although the reason he had to do it was because it couldn't be flown over due to the villains aerial ice fortresses making it impossible and co-incidental time constraints) and the second is the Reach sharing some of their tech with Earth, though in that case it was just to soften them up for invasion.
    • Averted a little by Lex Luthor (of all people) who uses advanced cybernetics to give Arsenal back his arm (and trip out out with weapons) and implies that lesser versions of this tech (the arm, not the weapons) are available. Also the world seems to function on a slightly more advanced tech than we have.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Miss Martian and Superboy as of "Terrors". Though as of the second season there has been an Offscreen Breakup.
    • Kid Flash and Artemis also had this upgrade as of "Auld Acquaintance."
  • Replacement Scrappy: The Team, particularly Kid Flash, initially considered Artemis as this for Speedy/Red Arrow in-universe.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: After suffering a Heroic BSoD in "Before the Dawn", M'gann can barely use her basic telepathy, let alone fight, much to the frustration of Beast Boy.
    Beast Boy: What do you mean, "Do what?" Density shift!
    M'gann: What?....oh, yes, I can do that. I can still do that...
  • La Résistance: Dubbilex the DNAlien and an undisclosed number of the other Genomorphs were well aware that Project Cadmus was using them for purposes they felt were wrong, such as brainwashing the Guardian and Superboy, so they had been surreptitiously trying to get the Justice League's attention and aiding the young heroes all along.
  • Ret-Canon: In DC Comics' rebooted "New 52" continuity, Artemis is reintroduced in Teen Titans Annual #1 (volume 4), resembling her Young Justice incarnation more than her original comic version. However, she's killed off (or at least put out of commission) in that same issue.
  • Retool: The second season was titled Young Justice: Invasion and opened with a five year Time Skip from the end of the first season. Quite a few members of the old group have joined the Justice League or moved on, many new teenage heroes have joined the Team, and some characters have changed identities. The format of the show moves away from switching between action and light-hearted character interaction and focuses more on just action.
  • Revenge: The faked death of Artemis has resulted in a slew of this. In no particular order:
    • The team wants revenge on Kaldur for killing her, aside from the ones that know better, obviously. Miss Martian actually went through with it by Mind Rape, to her own horror.
    • Cheshire wants revenge on Kaldur for the same.
    • Sportsmaster wants revenge on Black Manta because he considers it an insult that Kaldur killed her without Black Manta running by him first.
    • And finally Black Manta wants revenge on Miss Martian for successfully getting revenge on Kaldur by mind raping him. He is especially upset because Kaldur wasn't even given a dignified death, but instead turned into a vegetable incapable of earning one.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Arsenal's M.O.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In 'Failsafe'; the team seems oddly casual after watching the entire Justice League disintegrated by attacking aliens. Then we learn that it was all just a training exercise, and they were aware of this at the start. Only after Miss Martian accidentally erases their memories do they begin to take it seriously.
  • Robotic Reveal: In the third episode, Mister Twister is revealed to be piloted by Bromwell Stikk. Except that Bromwell Stikk is a robot controlled by the real one. Later on, T.O. Morrow turns out to be a robot, too. The flesh-and-blood Morrow is a sickly old man on his deathbed.
  • Rousing Speech: The Team makes a speech to the whole world to keep hope after the Justice League was defeated in "Failsafe."
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • The first thing Queen Perdita of Vlatava does after life-threatening heart surgery is tell her supervillain uncle she's revoking his title and diplomatic immunity. That is one tough kid.
    • Her uncle is a villainous example, actively working as the leader of the Injustice League and agent of the Light prior to his arrest. And speaking of which, two members of the Light are royal: Queen Bee and Ocean-Master/Prince Orm.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens:
    • Martian Manhunter, despite being an alien, is almost identical to humans aside from his green skin, pupil-less red eyes, and ridged eyebrows. His niece Miss Martian ditches the pupil-less eyes and eyebrow ridges, essentially resembling a green-skinned human. the Martians' real form is actually huge, hunched and almost bat-like in shape. However, even Manhunter might be disguising himself once we get a good look at Green Beetle's natural form in Intervention.
    • Though in the comics the Rannians are visually indistinct from humans, in this series they have slightly different facial structures and ear shapes.
    • The Reach, as far as we have seen, are pretty close to humanoids themselves. Different skin colour, fins instead of hair, but cosmetically humans nonetheless.
  • Rule 63: Miss Martian shows off female versions of Robin and Kid Flash when asked to demonstrate her shapeshifting, since she has trouble changing gender.
  • Rule of Cool: Artemis riding a motorbike whilst aiming to shoot in "Secrets".
  • Rule of Three:
    • In episode 5, Miss Martian grows extra arms to fight off Ivo's robot M.O.N.Q.I.s. This scares the truck driver, Kid Flash, and then herself upon seeing Kid's reaction.
    • In "Homefront," Robin's optimistic statements being proven wrong by Red Torpedo slamming him and Artemis with a tidal wave, only for him to quip, with increasing frustration, "Or not."
      Artemis: "Will you please stop saying that!"
    • Lampshaded and Subverted by Artemis in "Revelations".
    Artemis: "No. No way am I nearly drowning three missions in a row!" *Pulls out pocket rebreather.*
  • Running Gag:
    • Robin's obsession with prefixes and his tendency to create back-formations by removing them.
    • Kid Flash's habit of claiming certain items as souvenirs in season one; Beast Boy continues the tradition in season two.
    • Superboy's hatred of monkeys.
    • People pointing out how Speedy's code name makes no sense.
    • Artemis nearly drowning.
    • Shimmer being easily dispatched before being able to join in the action.
    • Beast Boy saying "noted" whenever someone tells him something he didn't know.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Wally as of the Season II finale.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Sphere.
  • Save Sat: After numerous alien incursions using zeta beam technology in Invasion, the Justice League sets up a series of satellites using technology provided by Adam Strange that prevents teleportation on to Earth from other worlds.
  • Save the Villain: Superman tries this with the Kroleteans about to be destroyed by a bomb hidden in their volcano base. They don't believe him and keep attacking, so he fails.
  • Scenery Gorn: A mental projection of Atlantis in "The Fix" is shown shattered into hundreds of pieces, reflecting the chaos of Kaldur's mind after M'Gann got through with him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Speedy quits being an apprentice to Green Arrow, and refuses to join the new team, because he feels insulted and slighted that the Justice League does not already consider him their equal. He views all subsequent attempts to get him to return to either position as the adults disrespecting, minimizing and attempting to control him.
  • Secret Identity Identity: Miss Martian wants everyone to know her through her shapeshifted "Megan" identity. Mostly this is to get away from the White vs. Green Martian classism on her home planet, especially since she's really a White Martian who works closely with the green Martian Manhunter.
  • Secret Relationship:
    • Superboy and Miss Martian try to keep their romance from the team, at least initially.
    • Red Arrow and Cheshire also clearly developed one during the Time Skip, to the point of marriage and a kid.
  • Secret Test of Character: Black Manta has ordered an attempt to destroy a communications system that will set up contact between Earth and Mars. Kaldur, who is attacking the satellite launch, does not know that Black Manta has already smuggled a bomb on the rocket. When Kaldur fails to do the job himself and it goes up in flames anyway, he honestly attributes his success to a fluke. Black Manta wanted to see if he would take credit for a success that was not his own, since failure is a better judge of character than success.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Impulse tells Jaime that he will become the vanguard of the Reach invasion in the future. Jaime freaks out and wants the Scarab off his back to prevent this. This leads him to trust Green Beetle, who fixes the Scarab and sets Jaime on the path to fulfilling that future.
    • Played with, however, Impulse's actions ultimately - albeit indirectly - ended with Jaime being free and the prophecy being destroyed. If Impulse hadn't shown up, Jaime would have eventually fallen to the Reach anyway.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of "End Game," when things seem just about wrapped up, we see Warworld drift into Apokalips' orbit. Then, on the planet's surface, a Boom Tube opens up to the edge of a Fire-Pit, and Vandal Savage steps out to join Desaad. G. Gordon Godfrey, and a mysterious fourth figure. Then the figure turns around to reveal Darkseid, who shakes Savage's hand. "Business as usual."
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Impulse travels back in time forty years to prevent a worldwide disaster, which was caused by a (now former) villain named Neutron. With the reformed villain's help, he is able to cure Neutron before he can do any lasting damage, but the future is still a wasteland regardless.
    • actually that's not the case. Before he leaves, Mount Justice is in ruins, but so is Happy Harbor. After he leaves, ash isn't fallng form the sky and coating the ground, Happy Harbor looks alright, but Mount Justice is still in ruins. This is because Mount Justice is still destroyed a few episodes later, but otherwise the future Impulse comes from has been averted.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Of the "before anything happens" variety. In "Salvage", Artemis is walking around wearing only a shirt while talking to Wally.
  • Shapeshifting Squick: In the opening of "Images", Megan takes on Black Canary's form during a training session with Connor for a little roleplaying. Black Canary gently but firmly makes Megan understand that what she did was highly inappropriate.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • In "Denial" Artemis and Miss Martian take turns explaining why the other should date one of the boys on the team, but it is apparently to turn each other away from their mutual interest: Superboy.
    • Kent Nelson seems to ship Wally/Artemis, though Wally misses the point and decides to interpret it as advice to date Megan.
    • In "Earthlings," Beast Boy tries to get Superboy and Miss Martian to remember when they flirted and dated while visiting him.
  • Ship Tease: Between several characters here and there.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Aqualad was shirtless in the following episodes: "Infiltrator", "Welcome to Happy Harbor", "The Fix" & "Complications"
    • Blue Beetle was shirtless in "Beneath", "Before the Dawn", "Runaways" & "Cornered"
    • Kid Flash was shirtless in "Infiltrator"
    • Match (Superboy's clone) was shirtless in "Agendas" & "Auld Acquaintance".
    • Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal was shirtless in "Auld Acquaintance".
    • Superboy was shirtless in "Infiltrator", "Denial", "Bereft" & "Targets".
      • Red Arrow & Superboy also wore bare-chested circus clothes in "Performance".
  • Shout-Out:
    • To that other comics franchise:
      Black Spider: I don't suppose you'll let me finish off Jones and let me go on my web-slinging way?
      • Not only does T.O. Morrow resemble Tony Stark, but Red Volcano resembles Iron Man.
      • Possibly why the latest group of superpowered teens is called the "runaways", including an episode title. They were more properly alien abductees and only ran away from League supervision.
      • The aliens abducted runaways specifically though(although Vergil claimed he wasn't one and his abduction was a mistake.
      • Possibly unintentional, but the season finale of a two season super hero show involves the Heroes Unlimited cast coming together to break into teams and disable alien doomsday machines affecting the weather. Where have I seen that before?
      • Arsenal/ the real Roy Harper had been frozen in cryogenics and, in season 2, he had an amputated arm replaced with a cybernetic prosthesis, the same path that another former sidekick (Bucky/Winter Soldier) gone through.
    • Robin's "whelmed" Running Gag might be one to 10 Things I Hate About You.
    • Guardian: "These aren't your normal meddling kids."
    • Wally: "Guy knows a little advanced science and Dumbledores it up to scare the bad guys and impress the babes."
    • Psimon: "Simon says: forget!"
    • Robin: "You need to hack our minds in order to grok what happened to us. Got it. Go."
    • Wally: "Get your hands off her you darn dirty ape!"
    • Wally's Halloween costume in "Secrets" has the same letterman's jacket and pattern of hair as Teen Wolf.
    • In "Secrets", Miss Martian's "Martian" form is a slightly distorted Marvin the Martian with Godzilla's roar. The prankster that she is counter-pranking is even named Marvin.
    • When Miss Martian finds out that Billy is Captain Marvel, Kid Flash remarks "Yeah, and I'm Speedy Gonzalez."
    • In "Disordered", Superboy pilots the Super Robot Infinity-Man by docking his Super-Cycle on its head, just like how Kouji Kabuto pilots Mazinger Z with the Hover Pilder, or more directly how Tetsuya Tsurugi pilots the prototype Energer Z with a motorcycle-type Pilder in Shin Mazinger. (The feature isn't in the Jack Kirby comics where Infinity-Man first appeared.)
    • Green Arrow and Artemis use a blue police box as their Justice League teleporter. Later, Miss Martian uses a similar police box located in a junkyard.
    • In "Schooled", Miss Martian briefly uses her shapeshifting powers to become a four-armed green-skinned Martian, reminiscent in form (though not in dress) of John Carter of Mars.
    • Also in that episode are Superman and Batman having a conversation in a diner. But unlike in How It Should Have Ended, they're in their civilian identities, and they're on the opposite of their normal sides.
    • In "Secrets", the magical sword of Beowulf (made up for the show) is sheathed in Grendel's arm, which Beowulf famously tore off.
    • In "Performance," when Miss Martian catches the flu that has been affecting so many of the people around her, Robin mentions that H. G. Wells predicted there could be such a cross-species disease.
    • In "Earthlings", Adam Strange quotes Lewis Carroll in order to get some Rannian policemen to chase him, specifically "Jabberwocky" and Alice in Wonderland. Later Alanna, who obviously has never heard this tale and does not speak English, tries to do this to Kroleteans:
    • Bumblebee's line after discovering the ancient ruins in "Beneath":
      Bumblebee: Can you say "Temple of Doom?"
    • The Terror Twins are named Tommy and Tuppence Terror.
    • In "True Colors", the Justice League logo that appears on Godfrey's show is identical to the logo for the DCAU series. Also the Green Beetle's name is B'arzz O'oomm, which when spoken sounds like Barsoom, the name for Mars in Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series.
    • In "Agendas", Lex Luthor's high-frequency message to Superboy is the same tactic used by Gene Hackman's Luthor in 1978's Superman: the Movie, right down to the comment that with Superman off-planet (aboard the Watchtower satellite), "only one thing alive with less than four legs can hear this frequency"
    • In "Satisfaction", Lex Luthor tells Roy Harper that "Revenge is a sucker's game."
      • Another episode has Wotan cast the Archmage's favorite spell.
    • The Joker is visibly based on the Tenth Doctor, down to the haircut.
    • Bart Allen, a time-traveller, likes to say "spoilers!" whenever he is asked (or lets slip) information about the future.
    • Vizzini, Fezzik, and a blonde woman dressed as a princess are among those mourning the deaths of Robin's family in the latter's flashback in Volume 1. Appropriate, since the former two introduced themselves as "poor, lost circus performers".
  • Show Within a Show:
    • There is a Saved by the Bell-esque show called "Hello Megan" that M'gann got her catchphrase from. It becomes a semi-significant plot-point later as the actress who played "Megan" makes an appearance and the revelation that Superboy's name, Conner, comes from that show. Has its own fabricated page now. Clips, including the opening sequence, are seen in "Image."
    • The Flaming C is apparently a Cartoon in Earth-16.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In the 4th Episode "Drop Zone" when Kid Flash and Robin are discussing chemical formulas, models of them appear on screen. They are the general representations of a steroid and a DNA purine.
    • The maps and locations given in the show are accurate to North East geography. Though why Batman thought Patterson, New York (population 11,306), was important enough to include on the map is a mystery.
    • In "Homefront" Robin asks Kid Flash to give instructions for constructing an EMP device. The components Kid Flash mentions are actual electrical devices and can be used in the construction of such a device. The Vircator is a vacuum tube that can generate pulses of either X-rays or EMPs, hence it being located in an x-ray machine, and Kid Flash's reference about it being a "stone" with a ten to the twelfth wattage is actually an accurate power level.
    • In "Alpha Male" Artemis is attacked by a crocodile, which grabs her ponytail and drags her underwater, before rotating in place with her still held in it's mouth. This is called a "Death Roll" and is an actual method crocs use to subdue prey after grabbing ahold of them.
    • "Humanity" features a villain attempting to activate the Yellowstone supervolcano, a real-world doomsday scenario. The volcano itself, however, is completely wrong.
    • The episode "Coldhearted" has Wally carrying a heart for a transplant from Boston to Seattle at a dialogue-established speed of about Mach 1 (Wally's top speed at this point on the show). The amount of time it actually takes him is pretty close to how long it would take to actually make that run at that speed.
      • They also say that the heart would only be viable for 4 hours.
    • In "The Fix", all the additives listed as being in the Reach drink are real neurotransmitters, which would cause addiction over extended consumption. Admittedly, they probably wouldn't take the form of pink crystals.
  • Sidekick: It is not quite a Berserk Button, but Speedy in particular and the others do not really like being referred to as such.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: As of the beginning of season two, Dick Grayson has become Nightwing while Zatanna and Rocket have officially joined the Justice League alongside their former mentors.
  • Sincerity Mode: There's a moment in "Insecurity" where Wally drops the jokes and snark to honestly tell Artemis that she belongs on the Team and she shouldn't be worried about Red Arrow replacing her.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The preview for the pilot does not feature the two main female characters (Artemis and Miss Martian), since Artemis doesn't actually appear at all in that pilot episode, and Miss Martian only arrives in the coda.
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: The show tries very hard to make this work, particularly by giving some characters "focus episodes". However, the story is so grand, complex and mysterious that it overshadows most of the characters present.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Miss Martian is quite smitten over Superboy.
  • Smoke Out:
    • This is a favourite trick of Chesire; dropping a smoke bomb and not being there when the smoke clears.
    • Batgirl does it to escape from Lobo in "Happy New Year".
  • Smooch of Victory:
    • The entire team pairs off for this in the season 1 finale.
    • Played With in "War". When Mal and Karen get over their issues and kiss, Arsenal (just walking in) snarks about getting that as a reward. Wonder Girl gives him a peck on the cheek, which he considers "a start".
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • For several episodes at the start of the series, Miss Martian was the only female on the team.
    • The Reds have Red Inferno, an android programmed to believe she was a human female.
    • The Injustice League had Poison Ivy.
    • The Forever People have Dreamer.
    • Intergang has Whisper.
    • The Light has only one female member, Queen Bee.
    • The Runaways who received powers from the Reach have one female member: Asami. Being that they're all parallels to the ethnic Super Friends, which had no females, she's a genderflipped version of Samurai. As a nod to this, the three boys nicknamed her "Sam."
  • So Proud of You:
    • In "Performance," Robin and other members of the Team go undercover at Haly's Circus, where Dick Grayson performed with his parents as the Flying Graysons Trapeze Artists before his parents were murdered and he went to live with Bruce Wayne. Despite identifying himself as "Dan Danger," Jack Haly recognizes and calls him Dick, commenting that he has grown, but that there is simply no way to disguise a Grayson on the trapeze, and asks him for one final performance.
    • Mal says this to Karen after she proves instrumental in stopping the WarWorld in "War".
  • Softspoken Sadist:
    • Lex Luthor, interestingly enough—even when directly confronted he never drops his soft, smarmy politeness.
    • When brainwashed, Blue Beetle is in top form here.
  • Something Only They Would Say:
    • Billy Batson convinces Kid Flash that he's Captain Marvel by recalling Kid Flash's request for nachos after he had broken his arm.
    • In "Auld Acquaintance", Red Arrow is in hiding at one of his equipment caches, hiding from the mind-controlled Justice League, when Aqualad finds him. Just to make sure that he can trust Aqualad, Arrow asks Aqualad "Who broke your heart?" Aqualad answers with Tula... and Red Arrow himself, one of Aqualad's best friends, who was aiming an arrow at his chest the whole time.
    • In "Complications", Tigress proves to Sportsmaster that she's really Artemis by performing a counter move that he himself taught her.
  • Speak of the Devil:
    • In "Secrets":
      Zatanna: There are easier ways to take them...
      Artemis: They had it coming! No harm done. (motorcycles blow up; enter Harm)
      Harm: Indeed, Harm is not done...
    • When the Forever People are explaining who Desaad works for to Superboy, they refuse to speak Darkseid's name. Amusingly, Dreamer's projection of Desaad is the one that says "unspeakable", as if it has a mind of its own for that particular moment.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Averted. Red Tornado does this with Batman, but it doesn't stick.
    Red Tornado: Mission assignments are The Batman's responsibility.
    Wally: Yeah, well "The Batman" is with "The Robin" doing the Dynamic Duo thing in Gotham.
  • Spanner in the Works: Even though the Light has a lot of contingency plans and generally manages to keep their gambit running, the Team has a very good track record of foiling their primary plans. It's safe to say they'd be in a much better position if not for the Team.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Captain Marvel seems to have the ability to communicate with animals, as he has an entire conversation with a tiger that he dubs "Mr. Tawny" in "Alpha Male;" in the comics, Tawky Tawny is a tiger companion of Captain Marvel capable of human speech.
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: Black Spider is a blatant Captain Ersatz of Spider-Man visually, resembling the Marvel hero far more than his DC namesake. He even has the same logo, webshooters, pose, and was voiced by Josh Keaton (who previously voiced the character in The Spectacular Spider-Man).
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The show has this kind of odd symbiotic relationship with Teen Titans. The generally serious (though not without its moments of lightness) Teen Titans book was adapted into a zany Lighter and Softer cartoon (though not without its moments of darkness). The generally zany (though not without its moments of darkness) Young Justice book was adapted into a serious Darker and Edgier (though not without its moments of lightness) cartoon.
  • Spoiler Opening: Miss Martian and Artemis appear in the opening credits of every episode. Miss Martian does not actually appear until the very end of the pilot (putting her in the second episode when it was split into two parts for the show's regular time slot) and Artemis does not appear until several episodes into the show's run. Also, scenes from that particular episode will flicker briefly right before the Team Shot.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Season 1 was actually pretty good about balancing the spotlight and character development between the 6 (later 7) primary characters. Season 2, on the other hand, has been dominated by Miss Martian and Blue Beetle. Just to compare, the current Robin is much less prominent now than the original Robin was in season 1, while he still gets plenty of screentime while other Season 1 members have been Demoted to Extra.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Black Manta notices that Aqualad forgot to conceal his water-bearers when he and Garth stole the uniforms of two of his men.
    • When the Justice League was mind-controlled by Vandal Savage, one of the things that alerted the Team was Batman calling them "kids".
  • Spy Fiction: After telling the League that they are no longer content to play the role of sidekicks, the Team is formed under Batman's supervision. He sends them on covert missions around the world, usually intending them to observe, sabotage, escort, or rescue. More often than not, they come upon a villain's secret plans, which have to be dealt with right then and there. Their missions bring them into conflict with a mysterious covert group called the Light.
    • Season 2 further expounds on the spy themes. Aqualad goes deep undercover to get closer to the Light. Nightwing helps Artemis fake her own death, so she can join him undercover. The Light gains a new ally in the Reach, who help them expedite the Light's covert experiments on metahumans. And the Reach themselves have a secret armada of ships waiting in the deepest part of the ocean.
  • Squishy Wizard: Zatanna is the only member of the Team who never does hand-to-hand combat.
  • Staged Shooting: Done in "Summit". Miss Martian (disguised as Deathstroke) 'shoots' Aqualad and Artemis as part of a plan to extract an Engineered Public Confession out of the Reach and the Light. The 'deaths' are then revealed as special effects.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • Robin appears to have inherited Batman's tendency for this, and the other members of the Team find it extremely frustrating.
      Kid Flash: "I forgot how much I hate it when he does the ninja thing."
    • In "Downtime", Aqualad demonstrates to Garth that he seems to have picked up on this trait from Robin.
    • Villains in general are very good at disappearing quickly when visibility is impaired.
    • The master of this trope, Batman himself, manages to pull it off twice in one fight. Against Robin.
    • In season 2, when Black Manta II fires a small missile at Aquaman, Lagoon Boy, Superboy, Superman and Nightwing. When the smoke clears, he, Superboy, and Nightwing have all vanished, and Nightwing actually beat him to his getaway route.
    • In "Revalation" when Aqualad tells Robin and Miss Martian to do recon, they have already disappeared. He doesn't notice however.
    • In "Beneath", Wonder Girl, Batgirl, Bumblebee and Miss Martian are hanging out on a dune. Wonder Girl looks away for a second, and when she looks back, all three are gone.
    • In that same episode, Batgirl does this to Bumblebee.
    • Tim Drake may have pulled off the most skilled one in "True Colors," when he manages to steal some of the Reach's additives while they're close enough to hear him breathe.
  • Stealth Insult: In season two when someone untrustful of Lagoon Boy, an Atlantean, relents, Lagoon Boy replies "No hard feelings... Chum." Hm... what else could chum mean?
  • Stealth Pun: In his first scene in the pilot, Wally gets given the "cold shoulder" by Captain Cold.
    • Even better, the entire first five minutes of the pilot features four ice villains, and is thus one gigantic "cold open". (Involving Batman)
    • A slightly mean one: the Zeta tube system refers to the Justice League with the letter A following a numeral (presumably indicating when they joined; Superman is A1, for example). This is because the team is instead referred to with B, followed by their number. They are literally the B-team.
  • Stepford Smiler: In a deviation from his comic book counterpart, it's revealed that Impulse's Fun Personified personality is essentially a facade designed to hide the true details of his mission to the past.
  • Stock Scream: Not even Young Justice is safe from Wilhelm! For the curious, it occurs in "Drop Zone", when Superboy tosses Mammoth into the Kobra thugs.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Humanity", Zatanna shares Robin's Running Gag tendency for backformations.
    Robin: "Look, I'm trying to all nonchalant here..."
    Zatanna: "Why? Be as chalant as you like."
  • Stylistic Suck: Hello Megan.
    • The commercial for Reach's new line of energy drink.
  • Suicide Mission: "Failsafe" ends with an invasion of the alien mothership that Superboy, at least, knows is going to be a one-way trip. Robin and Kid Flash, though they had hoped to survive, were trapped within the ship and caught in the explosion.
  • The Summation: Occurs at the end of "Depths," where the audience is shown in detail how Aqualad and Nightwing helped Artemis fake her death.
  • Superhero Speciation: Averted with both featured superhero teams.
    • The sixteen-member Justice League has Hawkman and Hawkwoman, and two Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart—with Guy Gardner also on Earth and willing to pick up any slack.
    • Defied by the Team itself; though they accept Artemis into the group, Kaldur points out that they do not have "a quota on archers" and that Roy is still free to join whenever he wants. Even moreso in season two, where the Team expands its roster and has Batgirl, Robin, and Nightwing (Badass Normal with gadgets), as well as Wonder Girl and Superboy (Bricks, Flying and Not Quite Flying respectively.)
  • Superhuman Trafficking: The Light have been sending metahuman teenagers to their mysterious alien partners for some unspecified reason.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: In "Images", Garfield Logan gained shapeshifting powers after receiving a blood transfusion from Miss Martian.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Averted. "Schooled" opens with a Metropolis bridge collapsing. Superman runs in, Batman prepares to lend a hand, and Superboy shows up to help. During Superboy and Superman's conversation, Superman gets a call from Green Arrow and rushes off. Team-ups are common, everyone fights each other's Rogues Gallery members, and the League functions as an international organization. The entire reason the Light exists is in direct response to the aversion of this trope.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: How they are playing Blue Beetle's relationship with the Scarab; it is not actually any more powerful than when Jaime is in control, but more willing to use Beetle's more dangerous weapons, and is more skilled.
  • Superpowered Mooks: The Kobra-Venom infused animals controlled by the Brain in "Alpha Male". Fortunately, destroying their inhibitor collars releases them from the Brain's mind control and renders them neutral.
  • Super Serum:
    • The Venom-Blockbuster formula known as Kobra-Venom.
    • Superboy is given a sort of Superer Serum in "Agendas". His human father, Lex Luthor, gives him a pack of "Shields", slap-on patches that suppress his human DNA, allowing him to use flight, heat-vision, and his full Kryptonian speed and strength for about an hour.
  • Super Speed: The Flash family, natch.
  • Super Strength: Superboy is the strongest member of the team, but Aqualad and Miss Martian also have strength beyond that of a normal human.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Superboy needs a civilian last name, Martian Manhunter suggests Kent. Not being privy to Superman's secret identity, Miss Martian and Superboy assume that he's referring to the late Kent Nelson, who they've met.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: A subtle one when Harm is confronted with the ghost of his sister.
    Harm: "No, Harm's heart is pure. Harm's not sorry. I'm not!"
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • Conner empathizes with Icicle, Jr. over living in their respective fathers' shadows.
    • At the end of "Humanity", Red Tornado decides to care for the real T.O. Morrow, now a bedridden old man on life support. Despite Morrow's past sins, Tornado still considers him his father/creator.
  • Tagalong Kid: Captain Marvel, despite never being a kid at the time.
  • Talking to Themself: Subverted, with Jaimie Reyes as the Blue Beetle. To the people around him he seems to have a conversation with no one, but he's actually talking to the Scarab.
  • Take Me Instead: In "Misplaced", Zatara gives himself to Dr. Fate in order to save his daughter.
  • Taking the Bullet: Tula for Garth. She gets better.
  • Taking You with Me: In the climax of "Revelation," The Joker attempts to release his Joker venom and kill the Injustice League and the Justice League en masse after the Justice League arrives to apprehend him and the rest of the villains.
  • Tank Goodness: The Bialyain army uses tanks effectively against the Team in "Bereft".
  • Tattooed Crook:
    • Inverted with Aqualad, who has very large and noticeable tattoos on both arms but is one of the good guys. At first
    • Played straight with Devastation, who is covered in thorn tattoos.
  • Taught by Experience: All the original members of the Team have done this to some extent or another during the Time Skip between the seasons. They have gained not just combat skill, but maturity and intelligence as well, and are now trying to pass that wisdom on to the next batch of teen heroes.
  • Team Pet:
    • The robo-sphere the Team found in Bialya, which "lives" with the group in their headquarters.
      Superboy: Can I keep it?
    • The giant wolf found in India, which goes with the Team on missions.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Cheshire and Sportsmaster, who very plainly hate one another.
  • Tele-Frag: Superboy defeats Amazo by punching through his intangible head right before it turns solid again, causing Amazo's head to explode.
  • Teleporters and Transporters:
    • Zeta-beam tubes are commonly used by the title team and the League. They make it possible for Aqualad, Kid Flash, Artemis, and Robin to live outside the hideout at their individual homes in Atlantis (it's a country in this universe, not a city according to Word of God), Central City, and Gotham respectively.
    • A "Boom Tube," the preferred means of transportation for the New Gods, appears in "Bereft" and "Disordered".
  • Tempting Fate: Artemis asks Wally what is the worst that could happen with her temporarily coming out of retirement to go on a dangerous mission. The very next scene is her death. It is later revealed that her death was staged and she is about to go under cover, where she again asks what is the worst that could happen.
    • Wall does it himself in "Summit." Naturally, by the end of "Endgame," he is dead.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • A non-sexual one in "Homefront" when Robin and Artemis are watching the footage of the security cameras of their friends being ambushed and the four cameras are wiped out.
      Robin: "That's it. All four are dead."
      (Artemis looks at him in horror)
      Robin: (hurriedly) "The cameras! I meant the cameras."
    • Played straight in "Humanity" in this conversation between Robin and Zatanna with a good helping of Ship Tease.
      Zatanna: Tornado never knew my moves!
      Robin: And I bet you've got some good ones!
      (beat)
      Robin: Whoa! Sorry, that may have come off a little too Wally.
      Zatanna: I don't mind.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Superboy in "Schooled." Using those exact words.
  • That's No Moon!: In "War", this is Nightwing's reaction when he realizes that the WarWorld is actually far larger than the moon it is passing by at the moment.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Superman is understandably hesitant to accept Batman's description of of him as Superboy's father. Who wouldn't be when saddled with a teenaged son they've never met who is essentially the product of their rape.
  • There Are No Therapists: Played with.
    • After "Failsafe" the Team members get a much needed therapy session with Black Canary, though she isn't an accredited therapist.
    • In "Terrors", Miss Martian and Superboy attend therapy while disguised as the Terror Twins. Miss Martian uses it as a chance to try and get Superboy to deal with his issues with Superman, but considering the nature of the inmates in that prison, the doctors on staff aren't terribly good at their jobs.
    • However, this is seemingly played straight with Arsenal, who doesn't seem to have received any psychological counseling or therapy after being mutilated and losing eight years of his life in a cryogenic tube, to the point that he tried to kill himself rather than let himself be captured by Blue Beetle. However, it may just be that he is refusing to see one.
  • There Was a Door: In "Misplaced" Billy scales a 10 foot chain fence to enter an airport, despite the fact a wide open gate is situated only twenty feet further down the fence.
  • They Knew the Risks: Nightwing's defense when Kaldur blames him for getting Aquagirl killed during a mission.
  • Third-Person Person: "We get it! Your name is Harm!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Captain Cold only remarks "I'm completely doomed, aren't I?" when he notices the seven heroes that are behind him when he tries to rob a bank in "Satisfaction."
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Ostensibly, the position taken by the Team, being subordinates to the Justice League.
  • ¡Three Amigos!:
    • The series opens with Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash already cooperating and working as a team.
    • In his backstory, Aqualad with friends Garth and Tula
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Unsuccessfully attempted by Arsenal against an on-mode Blue Beetle.
  • Time Skip: Five years (and sixteen hours) between the first season and the second. Note that the Batman Cold Open of the second season's first episode is set up to fool the viewer into thinking it continues directly from the previous episode. Word of God confirms season three will have another, shorter one.
  • Title In: Locations are introduced in this way and so are the dates.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: It seems Artemis and Miss Martian are fitting this dynamic.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Red Arrow was the most gung-ho about finding the mole, only to find out that he was unknowningly the mole the entire time. Even worse, he is actually a clone of the original Roy Harper, who was kidnapped by the Light three years prior.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Tommy of the Terror Twins has a huge muscular upper body after the Time Skip, but his legs have relatively a lot less muscle.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The commercial still during the debut spoiled that Miss Martian and Artemis would join the Team.
    • The starting theme also featured Artemis in the episodes before her introduction.
  • Training from Hell: The scenario from "Failsafe" was an unintended example on the part of the Justice League, when Miss Martian began to believe it was real and that belief overrode the rest of the Team's conscious knowledge it was fake.
  • Tracking Device: Amazo has these built in. So do Red Arrow's arrow heads.
  • Traintop Battle: In "Performance".
  • Translation Convention: The Atlanteans in "Downtime". At first everyone is speaking Atlantean with subtitles, but start speaking english after a minor character casts a spell. Word of God says that it was a translation spell.
  • Translator Microbes:
    • Blue Beetle's scarab armor can translate the Krolotean language for Beetle, and can even automatically translate Beetle's English (With occasional Spanish) into the Krolotean language. To everybody else present it is unintelligible gibberish.
    • In "Earthlings," it is revealed that Miss Martian can function as a translator if she is able to set up a psychic link between multiple parties. Each still speaks his or her own language, but everybody else hears the words in their own tongue. Superboy specifies that it is subconscious on her part once she sets up the initial link, so she cannot "hear" what you are saying if you are out of earshot.
  • Trash the Set
    • In "Darkest", Mount Justice is blown up by Aqualad.
    • In "Cornered", most of the Hall of Justice is also blown up. This time by a talking alien weapon.
  • Trigger Phrase:
    • Lex Luthor can temporarily neutralize Superboy with the words "Red Sun".
    • Red Arrow can be put into a pliant state with the words "Broken Arrow".
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Artemis, towards the end of "Homefront," when facing the prospects of every friend she has dying and her being unable to do anything about it.
  • True Companions: Artemis says this to Cheshire's mask in "Homefront," calling the Team her real family.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: Young Justice season 1 returned from its last hiatus with the theme song reduced to a five second bit of the tune and its title card, rather than the 20 second one that introduced all characters. This was at least partly to make room for the DC Nation shorts that appear before/during/after the show. Foreign broadcasts keep the extended theme song.
  • Truth Serums: Zatanna casts a spell during the interrogation of Professor Anthony Ivo, forcing him to blurt out the location of his rival's lab. He even glances down when his mouth moves against his will.
  • Truth-Telling Session: "Usual Suspects". It's set up to look like Connor, M'Gann and Artemis are ALL selling the Team out for different reasons... and then a three-stage flashback shows them opening up about their issues one-by-one.
    Wally: So, uh, who's next?
    M'gann: I am.
    Wally: I swear I was kidding!
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Zigzagged with Batman and Robin I/Nightwing. Dick initially wants nothing more than to be Batman's successor and this is what everyone expects, given that the other Leaguers started taking sidekicks mainly because they thought Batman was right to ensure that someone would be able to carry on his work. However, Dick later comes to the conclusion that he doesn't enjoy being the sort of obsessive person who will sacrifice everything to win, and Bruce reveals that he never intended to train Dick as a successor— all he wanted was to give Dick a chance to catch the man who murdered his family and keep from being that same kind of obsessive person. Five years later, however, Dick has further concluded that while he isn't the kind of fanatic Batman is and doesn't want to be, that doesn't change the fact that he's good at it.
  • Twincest: Sort of. Superboy and Miss Martian start making out while undercover as the Terror Twins in "Terrors". Icicle Jr. isn't too pleased.
  • Twin Telepathy: Superboy and Miss Martian pretended to have this while undercover in "Terrors".
  • Two Beings, One Body: Intergang uses an Apokoliptian device to merge four dead Appellaxian host bodies (large, Golem-like creatures formerly animated by energy beings) into one living one.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Artemis and Miss Martian. This trope was so enforced in the minds of its demographic that rumours that another female team member (either Wonder Girl or Secret) would be joining the cast launched much speculation that either Artemis or Miss Martian would be outed as The Mole, die, or otherwise leave the team.
    • This trope, and the anxiety associated with it, has been averted with the inclusion of Zatanna as a long term member without any other character being removed from the team. As for the series’ other big team, the Justice League, although there are three female members on the team, which technically means it doesn't count, the full roster is sixteen members so the essential truth of this trope is still in play. Interestingly, Wonder Woman seems to be actively working against this, as one of her stated criteria for an ideal new member to the League is that they be a woman to help shift the gender ratio.
    • As of the end of season 1 Rocket and Zatanna have joined the Team, so that the gender ratio is even with four boys and four girls.
    • As of season 2, the ratio for the team stands at five males and four females.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Many episodes alternate between two plots, one with more action, and one with more character moments.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Superboy.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The Riddler is the laughingstock of Belle Reve penitentiary, excluded even from eating lunch at the same table as the other prisoners, but is the only prisoner to manage to escape at the end of "Terrors."
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: The Secretary-General of the UN apparently has the capacity to act as a diplomatic representative for the whole human race. Lex Luthor also apparently considers it to be the most powerful position on the planet, as seen when he tries to secure the office of Secretary-General rather than President of the US as in the comics.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kaldur likes Tula, who likes Garth instead.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • Superboy, at least in the early episodes. With training, his hand-to-hand ability improves until we see that he is able to defeat Aqualad in at least one training session.
    • In "Failsafe," Martian Manhunter claims that Miss Martian's raw psychic power is far greater than his own, just untrained.
  • The Unsmile: The Green Beetle doesn't quite...get human facial expressions. The watcher is just as likely as M'gann to flinch as he hurls himself into the Uncanny Valley.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: Mister Twister turns out to be a guy in Powered Armor instead of a robot. But then that guy is a robot. But then, that guy actually exists back at the villains' base, controlling a robot version of himself which in turn controls the Mister Twister armor.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: The plot of "Failsafe" is revealed to be one of these.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: "Before the Dawn" seems to put both Miss Martian and Blue Beetle in this category for different reasons though Blue Beetle eventually becomes a Spanner in the Works.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Lex Luthor lies about being one to the Reach to get the Runaways on his side. Later dialogue from Queen Bee implies that it's the other way around.
  • Utility Belt: You are aware this universe has Batman in it, right?
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Robin's tendency to ponder words and their prefixes ("whelmed", for example) and giggling when he joins battle. Episode 5 shows that he actually puts in a lot of thought to it, and that the rest of the Team is picking up on it and using it.
    • Despero's helper robot, L-Ron, has a tendency to stick "-ism" on the end of words.
  • Vichy Earth: The eventual goal of the Reach. In Impulse's time, they've successfully turn Earth into a planet of slaves.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Madame Xanadu in "Denial".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Klarion has it after he gets beaten the first time, Vertigo has one when Flash tricks him into confessing to attempted regicide, the Reach Ambassador has one between War and Summit, Black Beetle has one after Blue Beetle turns the tables on him, and Vandal Savage has one after the team not only shatters his alliance with the reach, but expose him as the true mastermind of the rimbor attack 6 ago, forcing him to flee the earth.
  • Villainous Valor: Black Manta's men carry themselves very much like a professional, competent military force who are all personally and unwaveringly dedicated to his cause even in the face of superheroes who outclass them.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Played straight usually.
  • Vine Swing: Beast Boy and Alanna both do this while travelling through the Scarlet Jungle in "Earthlings". Alanna uses her Vine Swing to lure an enemy mech into a trap.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: "Revelation" opens with Robin and Aqualad in a real-life Fighting Game as a sparring session. They are even awarded points for combos, dodges and other gaming moves.
  • Visible Invisibility: Both Miss Martian and her bioship have the ability to stealth themselves by bending light around them. It is not true invisibility though and either one can be detected if moving around too much or the observer is particularly...observant.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Robin and Kid Flash are a mild form of Type 2.
  • Vocal Evolution: Quite prominently in Jesse McCartney's Nightwing. While his Nightwing voice in the the first four episodes of the second season was deeper than his Robin voice, it still didn't sound like a guy in his late teens (Dick, as Nightwing is about 18-19 years old). His voice deepened slightly in the second season's fifth episode, and this got particularly noticeable in the sixth episode of Invasion.
  • Voice of the Legion: Occurs whenever someone puts on the Helmet of Nabu to become Dr. Fate.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The Team dealt with normal adolescent obstacles such as romantic struggles and of course school, in addition to being a superhero team.
  • Walk-In Chime-In: Happens a few times, usually when someone enters the room via boom tube or flies into a conversation. Robin is frequently guilty.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Superboy's shirt usually ends up ripped in whatever episode he's in, when he bothers to wear one at all.
    • Jaime seems to be fulfilling this role in Season 2.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The WarWorld has one with enough power to destroy a planet. Dr Fate redirected the beam and sent it back at the gun.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Black Canary serves as the Team's combat trainer and, despite lacking any super-powers in hand-to-hand combat, defeats both Kid Flash and Superboy (easily) because of her superior training and experience.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Superboy wants to learn from Superman, but Supes distanced himself from the kid until the New Year's episode.
      Bruce Wayne: That boy needs his father.
      Clark Kent: (angrily) I am not his father!
    • Robin shows some signs of this as well, being visibly jealous when Batman asks to speak to "Just Aqualad" after a failed training mission. Fortunately, as soon as Batman notices Robin's hurt feelings he invites him outside for a father-son basketball game. He refers to it as "training" but his real intentions are obvious.
    • Icicle, Jr. wants to earn the respect of his father, Icicle, Sr., who is the dominant prisoner in Belle Reve.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Two are Tula and Jason Todd during the five-year skip.
  • We Need a Distraction: The Light often stages some sort of elaborate attack in order to disguise their true motives.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In "Usual Suspects", it turns out that Red Arrow is The Mole via mind control, and he has not only allowed The Light access to the Watchtower, but has also infected the entire Justice League with mind-controlling nanotechnology.
    • "Before The Dawn" has M'Gann finding out about Aqualad being a Fake Defector, but only after putting him through Mind Rape, Blue Beetle discovering he is the key to a Reach-created apocalypse and the Reach making agreements with the United Nations and gaining public favor. We also find out that the Reach are trying to weaponize the meta-gene in humans and have an army of ships ready, and the ships are probably not to help humans.
    • "Runaways" confirms that Green Beetle and Blue Beetle are actually under Reach control.
    • "Summit" starts out with some slow deliberations between the Light and the Reach and the recent problems in their partnership when suddenly R'as al Ghul pulls the magic necklace off Tigress's neck revealing her to be Artemis, immediately exposing Aqualad as a double agent, after which both of them are shot in the chest right then and there. But wait, Aqualad dropped a holographic projector right before he died that exposed the Light having manipulated the Reach from the very start, ruining their partnership and Savage confesses that they stole the Crystal Key. But wait, it turns out Aqualad and Artemis are actually alive and merely wanted the Light to confess to the theft and Deathstroke is actually Miss Martian in disguise and the rest of the team was just waiting in cover. But wait, the Light has cyber ninjas for backup. But wait, the cyber ninjas are actually the other half of the Team in disguise. But wait ... okay, you get the idea.
  • Wham Line: The Title In from "Happy New Year"
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Artemis demonstrates her complete and utter Genre Blindness in "Depths". She immediately "died".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Miss Martian's indifference to robots is not brought up again after her debut episode.
    • The genomorphs: besides a passing mention of the Light taking whatever they "need" in the season one finale, we see neither hide nor hair from them after their secret city was discovered in Agendas.
    • Neutron completely disappears after the rest of the Runaways make their escape, and his fate is never brought up.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: When the Team kisses one another at midnight on New Years Eve, Red Tornado comments that "human customs still elude me."
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Miss Martian fears what will happen when her true appearance is discovered, as her natural form is huge and monstrous. The Team points out that they are not so shallow as to judge her by her appearance.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Miss Martian "kills" the robotic mannequin controlling Mister Twister. The others only complain because they did not know he was a robot, and once she says it's okay because it's "Just a robot", they immediately drop the subject.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • The rest of the Team's reaction to Megan killing Mister Twister's pilot. They promptly retract their objections when they find out he's Just a Machine.
    • Bruce Wayne to Clark Kent for avoiding contact with Superboy, who views Superman as a father figure while he doesn't respond in kind.
    • Nabu to Kent Nelson for not putting his powers to their full use. Kent telling Nabu that he can't keep Kid Flash's body as his host.
    • Aqualad gets one from the rest of the Team in "Alpha Male" for not telling them there was a mole. They later apologize for overreacting and admit his reasons were justified.
    • In "Failsafe", Miss Martian gives one to Robin for sending Superboy on a suicide mission, saying that Aqualad wouldn't do that. Robin counters that Aqualad would sacrifice himself, which is why he's dead and they have no leader.
    • In "Disordered", Martian Manhunter subtly gives one to Batman for acting cold after the events of "Failsafe".
    • In "Agendas", Captain Marvel calls out Nabu for taking over Zatara's body in "Misplaced" and questions whether someone willing to do that belongs on the Justice League.
    • Kid Flash does this to Artemis in "Insecurity", when she seemingly misled the Team simply to prove herself better than Red Arrow, who had just agreed to join the Team.
    • Superboy looks like he is about to do this in "Earthlings" in regards to M'Gann's Mind Rape of the Kroletean leader, but she cuts him off before he can finish since there are more important things to focus on. He gets it out in "Depths."
    • Wally gives one to Nightwing in "Darkest" for letting the cave be destroyed and three other team members be captured. He then points out that it is entirely possible that Aqualad might really have turned, and if so then they are just playing into his hands.
    • In "Before the Dawn", Artemis gets to give one to M'gann for mind-raping Kaldur.
    • Superboy and Lagoon Boy lay into Nightwing for hiding the truth behind Kaldur's defection and Artemis's death in "The Fix".
    • The Runaways call out Nightwing for being kicking Arsenal off the team after he saved them, and take him with them.
  • What Would X Do?: Aqualad manages to get Superboy on his side in the pilot by asking "What Would Superman Do?"
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted (which is strange for a show based on The DC Universe):
    • Gotham City is shown to be in Connecticut, approximately where the real city of Bridgeport is located. Bonus points as Bridgeport in Real Life has a reputation as a troubled city.
    • Happy Harbor, where Mount Justice is located, is somewhere in Rhode Island. This is from the comics.
    • Central City is fittingly in Missouri, complete with its own expy of the Gateway Arch.
  • Whip It Good: Whisper wields a pair of laser whips against Superboy and the Forever People in "Disordered".
  • White Sheep: About half the Team, who despite their families ended up superheroes.
    • Superboy was a living weapon created by Project Cadmus to destroy Superman. Also, his human "father" is Lex Luthor, and his "brother" Match is a clinically insane monster.
    • Artemis' father and sister are League of Assassins members Sportsmaster and Cheshire, respectively. Her mother is also a retired villain.
    • Aqualad's father is the supervillain Black Manta. In season two he joins Black Manta. But he joined him in order to infiltrate the Light.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The main plot of "Coldhearted" is taken directly from the comic book "The Flash Vol. 2 #1", the issue where Wally became The Flash for the first time after his career as Kid Flash.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: In "Satisfaction", Speedy wraps a length of detcord around Mercy's robotic arm while fighting her. She has just enough time to realise why he is looking smug before he presses the detonator.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When Desaad uses the Father Box to reprogram Infinity Man and make him attack Superboy, a mook asks why Infinity Man (obviously the superior combatant) doesn't just kill Superboy outright. Desaad explains that he is not one to end things so quickly, and the Father Box is designed to emulate his mindset.
  • Witch with a Capital B: In "True Colors", courtesy of Black Manta. M'gann's not a witch, but the intent is clear.
    Black Manta: I will have my revenge on the Martian witch that did this to him.
  • The Worf Effect: Superboy gets hit with this hard in Season 2. Sometimes in Season One, as well, really - like every powerhouse hero, he's got a bad case of Strong as They Need to Be.
    • The Justice League or some of its members being taken out often times happens.
    • Red Volcano briefly in Season 2. In his first appearance, he took on the entire team and was only neutralized by Red Torpedo and Red Inferno's Heroic Sacrifice. Here, Blue Beetle alone manages to take him down, to show just how dangerous the rebooted Scarab is.
    • Lampshaded in "The Hunt" when the Runaways fight Black Beetle and he takes down Tye first. Tye recovers though, and manages to get a few hits on Black when the Runaways Zerg Rush him.
      Ed: Please tell me he did not just take out our big gun in three seconds flat.
    • The beetle drones in "Endgame" were supposed to be as strong as a Beetle warrior like Black Beetle. While they may have had similar weapons, someone apparently skimped on the armor, as it takes literally no effort for even Badass Normals to destroy them despite Black Beetle being able to solo the entire team.
    • Poor Wonder Girl never even got to be built up as powerful before her abrupt Worfing - her very first appearance has her get trashed by Lobo, and literally every onscreen fight she has had against a named enemy includes her snaring them with her lasso and them immediately using said lasso to smash her into the ground. One wonders why she uses the thing... and, for that matter, why the writers use her, if they won't let her do anything.
    • When Mammoth is introduced in "Drop-Zone", his first act is a Curb-Stomp Battle where he wipes the floor with Bane.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When fighting the mind-controlled Justice League, Artemis is amazed that they haven't been killed already. Wally points out that since the mind-control is more like remote-control, the League's actions have to be controlled by someone, Klarion. Klarion has to micro-manage every member, and this bottlenecks their performance to a threat that the Team can hope to survive.
    • The reason Despero did so much damage in "Cornered" was because Miss Martian was still suffering Heroic BSoD after mind zapping Kaldur.
  • Working with the Ex: After the Time Skip, Miss Martian and Lagoon Boy are now dating. Conner has voluntarily chosen to stay on the same team with M'gann, even though he has the option of joining the Justice League, but he is clearly uncomfortable with their relationship.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Blue Beetle gives one combined with Shut Up, Hannibal! in "Endgame", when Black Beetle tries to hack the Scarab.
    Black Beetle: You fight back, meat, but you cannot survive against me.
    Blue Beetle: I will survive, because I'm not alone in this battle. Am I, Scarab?
    Scarab:No, Jaime Reyes.
    Blue Beetle/Scarab:Once we fought for control of this body, but now we are united. Friends, hermanos, working together against any attack. *they reverse the hacking and destroy Black Beetle's Scarab*
  • Would Hit a Girl: Both heroes and villains treat their opponents the same regardless of gender, and no character has shown qualms about striking a woman in any episode.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • None of the villains so far have any qualms about attacking minors with lethal force. Mr. Twister commented on the fact that he was fighting children, and found the fact that the Justice League was using children to be disturbing, but he didn't hold back because of it.
    • In episode 18, "Secrets", Harm is revealed to have murdered his younger sister to obtain power and purity of heart.
    • In "Coldhearted", Count Vertigo plots to kill his own ten year old niece to take control of his country, as his niece is currently Queen, by withholding a heart transplant from her. Fortunately, Kid Flash stops his plot and Vertigo ends up humiliated in Belle Reve.
  • Written-In Absence: Robin does not appear in "Denial" because he is "doing the Dynamic Duo thing with the Batman in Gotham". Aqualad gets a similar excuse in "Image".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Blue Beetle uses a Chest Blaster to send Volcano flying while the runaways free themselves, even telling Volcano not to stereotype. This foreshadows the fact that Jaime isn't the one in control.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Every time The Team or the League defeat an Evil Plan, the Light manages some sort of victory and moves one step closer towards their endgame. This show is run by the man who created David Xanatos, after all.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The alien weapons in "Failsafe" cause anyone hit by them to light up, revealing their skeleton before disintegrating the victim.
  • You Are Already Checked In: At least, that's what the computer at one of Green Arrow's secret bases in "Satisfaction" thinks when Red Arrow (clone Roy) tries to use the retinal scanner when Speedy (original Roy) is inside.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: According to the treaty between the Reach and the Guardians of the Universe, Green Lanterns cannot enter planets that are under Reach control, which may cause problems for Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner.
    • Also the case for Miss Martian, Superboy, Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy and Mal Duncan, who were all living in the Cave when it blew up.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Well, you can, but you thwarting it was all the plan of The Light.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Superboy's reaction to "Bear" threatening him as a thief one moment... and less than a minute later declaring that they "embrace him as a friend, ally, and noble warrior!"
    • In "Secrets", Superboy says "You've got to be kidding..." when he sees that almost everyone at the Halloween party is dressed as a superhero.
    • This is Superman's reaction to Lex Luthor announcing his candidacy for Secretary-General of the UN in the finale.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Light decided to kill off the Kroloteans in favor of their new partner, the Reach.
    • Black Manta plans to do this to Miss Martian after she repairs Kaldur's shattered mind. Lucky for her, she's got a few weeks before that becomes an issue, more than enough time to formulate an escape.
  • Younger and Hipper: The Super Friends Captain Ethnic Brigade of Apache Chief, Samurai and El Dorado have been revamped as teenagers with infinitely less ridiculous Civvie Spandex outfits.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: In "Failsafe", Miss Martian accidentally hijacks the training simulation created by the Martian Manhunter, causing anyone who "dies" to slip into a coma in the real world. In "The Fix", while she and Artemis infiltrate Kaldur's shattered mind, she warns Artemis that the projections will only hurt her if she believes in them. Ironically, Artemis keeps her head and stays out of danger, while Miss Martian's guilt makes her vulnerable even though she should know better.

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