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This page covers tropes found in Whateley Universe.

Characters | Tropes A To I | Tropes J To Z | YMMV


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     A 
  • Aborted Arc: Bound to happen in a shared universe this big, but even then very common. The biggest one is Feral: a story called Wild Times, which would have followed Feral as he became the avatar of Artemis/Diana, transformed into a girl, went to Whateley and joined up with the New Olympians, but never got released. There's a small teaser, but that's it- Feral's author dropped off the face of the earth and hasn't been heard from for years.
    • Starting around 2013, after several of the original authors left the series/fell out of contact/took breaks which ended up going longer than anticipated, a number of new authors were recruited to fill the gaps. Several were already fanfic authors for WU, and some of their fan stories were rewritten and introduced to the canon series, with the characters set to join the student body in Fall 2007. However, after several of their Superhero Origin stories were posted to canon, this was followed by a long period in which the follow up stories for those characters were put on hold while the rest of the series reached that point in the timeline, which it finally did in early 2017.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Valley Girl of the West Coast League was seen in a "a shimmering purple ‘fuck me senseless’ minidress with a V neckline that came all the way down to her solar plexus.", as reported in Ayla and the Grinch (A Christmas Story).
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Several. Some magical, others created by Devisors or Gadgeteers. Special mention to Destiny's Wave, Chou's magical talking sword. It's only absurdly sharp when Chou intends it to be; otherwise, it's dull.
  • Absence of Evidence: How Tansy manages to find Kayda under an invisibility charm in as said in The Bear, the Bitch, and Everything (Part 3):
    Since she was using her invisibility charm to hide from everyone, I attuned myself to the emotional flow of the school and went looking for a void."
  • Abusive Parents: Part of the reason Jade was so eager to leave her old identity behind was because her previous life as Jared was little more than a long series of verbal and physical abuses from her father, especially in the three years after her mother died.
    • What Circuit Breaker's parents did to their children is beyond the pale even for child abusers.
  • Academy of Adventure: Superpowers, Magic, Mad Scientists, Eldritch Abominations, Teenagers. Need I say more? There are multiple student deaths each semester, and that's not counting the odd mutilation, possession, or soul lost to demons. Parents still send their kids to Whateley because students there actually have a higher survival rate than mutant teenagers in the general population.
  • Academy of Evil: Deville Academy, is a school that takes in poor, young delinquents... and turns them into the best thieves, spies, and killers on the planet. Except for those mutant supervillains.
  • Ace of Spades: In Silver Ghost, Golden Angel (Part 3), used by Cardsharp:
    The card was the Ace of Spades, the Death Card. Cardsharp held before him, like a priest presenting a crucifix to a vampire. FEAR, mortal terror, primordial panic radiated out from the card, filling Kirk's mind with dread.
  • Acting Your Intellectual Age: Ayla is a self-acknowledged one, and Jobe is one who doesn't realize it. Ayla's reaction to realizing this is to try and bring his friends up to his level, so that they can at least understand why some things bug him so much. ("Why would I blow money on an expensive stereo system that's going to be outdated in three months' time, or on clothes that are going to be out of style in two weeks?")
  • Action Girl: Since The 'Verse is a superhero world, it's not surprising that every female main character is this. Except Gateway, who's a Squishy Wizard right now. Plus several auxiliary characters like the headmistress (who is Lady Astarte in her spare time) and a bunch of the female teachers.
  • Action Mom: Several of the students at Whateley are the children of superheroines/villains.
    • Tennyo's mother is a superpowered secret agent.
    • Becoming an "Action Mom" is Jade's express goal in life, though she is willing to be an action babysitter or action nanny first.
  • Action Prologue: Ayla and the Birthday Brawl starts with the Vindicators fighting their way through a base to confront a supervillain. When they lose, it's revealed to be a holographic simulation that is part of their Team Tactics course.
  • A-Cup Angst: Jade; technically, she doesn't even have A-cups, since she is still physically male. She'd give anything to be fully female, and one of the most common ways she expresses that desire is breast envy.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Every once in a while, a story is told from a minor character's point of view. One of the earliest examples is "It's Good to be the Don", following Don Sebastiano.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: As said in Imp 4: A Teacher's Tail: Part 2:
    "Flying Blue Squirrel, which was an on campus pub, reserved for the staff and faculty."
  • Adults Are Useless: Both averted and played straight. Many adults in the Whateleyverse are in fact quite competent when shown, at least within their areas of expertise; yet since the focus is generally on the (mis)adventures of mutant teenagers, it's just as common to see some adult or other left holding the Idiot Ball. (This is occasionally justified; at least one story has a house mother being unable to see the very real problems between two roommates due to magical manipulation and thus refusing to reassign them.) According to older characters, Adults used to not be useless when it came to the bullying situation in previous years. However Carson has admitted to have committed herself to a plan involving allowing bullies free rein. What exactly that plan entails, has not yet been revealed.
    • We know a bit more about the plan. Apparently, it involves making sure the Don stays at the school, as he has a part to play in a coming Apocalypse-level event.
    • Played straight later when the students band together against the ultimate enemy and decide to exclude all adults because they would either take too long to convince or take too much time to act.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Solange, who still thinks her money can buy her out of anything.
      • Probably because as of September 27, 2010. she's not been a focus character since Jade beat her, badly. She DID learn not to screw with Team Kimba directly, however. She was given an option on learning that she wasn't a good Queen, but thanks to incidents with Ayla, Murphy, and Loophole, she's now out of the Alphas. Her current Aesop is probably closer to 'how to be sneaky and cruel'. Averted with the Don, who HAS learned said lesson, as well as Hekate. Whateley villains in general get most dangerous the more they get beaten.
    • Chou, however, definitely qualifies. How many times has she learned to accept being a girl, accept that the Tao is always right, accept that she has to kill sometimes, accept...She HAS learned how to handle romance, though. Except Molly has some summons that might not be nice...
  • A God Am I - Carmilla is the daughter of a human and a Great Old One, and the focus of a religion (the Cult of Kellith).
    • the New Olympians are the human (mutant) incarnations of the classic Greek Dodecatheon (the twelve highest gods and godesses of Olympus), though two of them (Neptune and Dionysius) are missing.
    • Nacht became a demigoddess thanks to the Telchines' Astrolabe. she deliberately lets go of this power, realizing she isn't ready for godhood.
  • A God I Am Not: While trapped on the planet Medhas, Tennyo is forced to undergo a God Test, and passes it - only to turn around and tell them that 'The Captain' (The Star Stalker) was never a god in the first place and that they should stop worshipping her.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There's a really evil A.I.: The Palm. Dr. Abel Palm was a computer scientist who decided that computer intelligence ought to take over the world by wiping out humans. His viruses were doing a decent job until a mutant hacker stopped him. He was thought dead, but we have just learned that he ensorcelled his own soul into a new type of A.I.. As fits with this trope, his new, improved "virus" isn't taking over the planet as he expected; something has gone wrong (besides running into heroic cyberpaths who are after him).
  • A.I.-cronym: In Mission Imp-probable (Part 3): The "Cybernetic Hardware Improvement Program, identified as CHIP", which is a computer chip, made by Major Upgrade, to, well, help improve his devises.
  • Ain't No Rule: As Jobe Wilkins, whose codename is also Jobe Wilkins, demonstrates, there ain't no rule saying you can't register your real name as your codename. It may help that keeping any sort of secret identity would be next to impossible in his case since his dad is the setting's expy of Doctor Doom, a major supervillain and emperor of his own nation.
    • Well, one of them. There's another one set up in Europe in a nation very similar to the one Doctor Doom actual owns, and with an Eastern European name to boot. Jobe's dad lives in the Carribean.
  • Air Quotes: From I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore (Part 2), used to emphaize the legal fiction nature of the statement:
    Anyway, this is my now-official 'twin sister'." He made air quotes as he said it. "Chessa?"
  • Alien Blood: Including examples that make the in-story scientists' heads hurt, like blood that has antimatter elements in it...but only sometimes.
  • Alien Catnip: Some mutant biology quirks can cause this. For example some exemplars, Like Toni, find chocolate intoxicating due to their hyperactive metabolism.
  • All Girls Like Ponies:
    • Superchick has a dozen and a half plush unicorns each with their own name and story.
    • As said in Boys of Summer: Part 2: Tansy "went through a really intense horse phase when [she] was ten."
    • Possibly Light Ling, who enchanted her horse into a Pegasus, and gave it other abilities.
  • All Hallows' Eve:
    • The Halloween parties of 2006 at Whateley Academy are only a part of a hellish night for the school, covered in two novels.
    • The Three Little Witches:
      Al-Feyez raised an imperious eyebrow. “And what about that insane ‘Halloween’ holiday of yours? How are you going to keep them apart during a night when the Malkuthean veils are so thin?”
  • Alliterative Family: Keeping Cool (Part 2): The Redford family children, are Dylan, Dina, and David, from oldest to youngest.
  • Alliterative List: More than once:
    Would a student who knows us [the Grunts] and Jobe, consider a frontal assault?”
    “Only if they were utterly stupid, sideways and snippy maybe,” Bunker motioned to herself and then as if in illustration Mule.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Some of the made up names for Team Kimba: "Negligee Nightingales", and "Bathrobe Babes" being two examples.
    • William Wilson was the original name of Tennyo.
    • There's also others, like Scrambler, a.k,a Joanne Jackie "Jay-Jay" Jendleschmidt.
    • Apparently, this was common in their equivalent of The Golden Age of Comic Books; Mephisto the Mentalist mentions it in Razzle Dazzle (Part 2):
      Hank Hazard, Vance Vanderberg, Hector Hernandez, Tommy Tsung- what WAS it with the alliterative names back then?
  • Alliterative Title: From Jade 7: Over the Top: Some of the section titles, in Idiosyncratic Episode Naming style:
    • "59: Ghoul, gator, gargoyle"
    • "60: The blue-skinned beast"
    • "61: Inflated Egos"
  • All Men Are Perverts: Crops up now and again, named characters are a lot more likely to be an exception than any given crowd. Lancer and Phase definitely are though.
  • All There in the Manual: Three manuals:
    • The "Whateley Academy Universe Bible" to which only canon authors have access.
    • The Forums, where the canon authors answer backstory questions.
    • The Whateley Wiki.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Elyzia Grimes is a powerful witch and a member of Whateley Academy's Magical Arts Department. She even looks like a witch, since she's described as looking uncomfortably like what Morticia Addams would look like in real life. Her familiar is a solid black cat named Merlin.
    “I look like this, I teach magic, and I have a black cat for a familiar. There are times, Miss Goodkind, when you either laugh with the joke, or set yourself up to be laughed at.”
  • Alpha Bitch: Two full cliques of them, actually. The Alphas (gender neutral, Exemplar focused) and the Martial Arts Cheerleaders. A male version is in the goth squad, who worship Great Old Ones. In particular, Tansy Walcutt, an Alpha, stands out; she tormented Ayla (then known as Trevor) at their old school, and carries on at Whateley after they both mutate. The Alphas have undergone something of a Heel–Face Turn, thanks to the bitchiest of them losing power. Tansy is still a bitch, though.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read:
    • Phase uses this to his advantage when dealing with Fubar and others attempting to read his mind: In the case of Fubar, he focuses hard on the sweet serenades of Britney Spears.
    • Eldritch takes this one further, by turning her brain into a minefield of bad memories. And she's got plenty of them.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Nearly everyone (even Aquerna!) ends up have some sort of fight or incident over their first Winter Break. Don't even ask how it went for Ayla or Billie...
    • Seraphim's Superhero Origin story took place at that time as well.
    • The Outcasts... oh for the love of fuck, the Outcasts' Christmas...
  • Anatomically Ignorant Healing: This trope results in a Gender Bender in Cosmic Plaything Josie Gilman's Superhero Origin story: Josh suffers a groin injury, and is healed by the Raised by Wolves Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant Ecila Mason, but since she was too young to understand the difference between boys and girls when she left humanity behind, she removes the "parasite" between his legs. This later turns out to be a Red Herring, as it is determined that Josh had already begun to transform into Josie even before then.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: They're all over the place, tripping over each others' feet and regularly causing a Gambit Pileup. The most important of them are:
    • The Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom, a lodge of infernalists and black magicians,
    • The Bloodline, an extended family of vampiric proto-mutants,
    • The Tong of the Dark Madonna, who made the mistake of attacking the families of several students and wound up getting wiped out,
    • The Thule Gemeinschaft, who used the Nazi Death Camps to experiment with necromancy,
    • The Red Brotherhood, who seek to use chaos and violence to 'awaken' humans to the mistakes they are making,
    • The White Brotherhood, the sworn enemies of the Red Brotherhood.
  • And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt: Mentioned in Merry Descent into Madness while Merry was looking for a shirt to wear.:
    I did manage to find a few jumpsuits, and a few shirts, mostly of the touristy T-shirt type. You know the kind; "My dad went to the Caribbean and all I got was this crummy t-shirt?"
  • And Then What?: Clover and co get a hold of some essence (magical power). They've been constantly questing for essence so they can do 'cool stuff' (read: they hate being in junior high and want to do everything the older kids do) but never work out a decent plan, so when they finally get the essence, they end up wasting it all accidentally without ever deciding what to do with it.
    • On the flip side of this, Mimeo asked this to himself early in his career - and answered it. Brilliantly.
  • And This Is for......: Done by Lady Astarte when she finally had the chance to pay back Freya for her crimes against the other students.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible:
    • In The Three Little Witches, Clover is rewarded a cookie by Palantir for helping with their mission:
    “Good work, Clover!” Pally said. “Have a cookie!”
    • Kayda also gets a cookie, for her second combat final in Odds and Ends Part 3.
    "Five for me, too?" Kayda asked eagerly.
    "No," Ito said with a wicked grin. "You got your extra points. For your extra effort," he paused dramatically, "you win a cookie!"
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Invoked Canon example with Fey and Carmilla. The fact that they became "sisters" through a Blood Oath makes for Incest Subtext as well.
  • Angry Black Man:
    • Chaka's brother Vince tries to pull this off. The rest of the family doesn't like this, and Chaka calls him out regularly as a phoney.
    • N'Dizi, who founded an Afro-centric martial-arts clique, the Tigers, because of perceived racism from the existing martial arts group, the Dragons. He and many of the other Tigers tend to get in the face of any African or African-American students whom they see as insufficiently militant. Chaka calls him out as a hypocrite due to his possessive misogyny.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The voodoo-wolves. Most people can't even stand to be in their presence because their eldritch nature wreaks havoc on the mind.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Characters who have either changed into animal-like forms or are avatars of certain animals usually adopt traits and habits of said animal. Heyoka has to deal with several different avatars, causing her to seem nearly neurotic when he adopts their powers.
  • Anime Chinese Girl:
    • Laurel Hua (Silver Serpent), daughter of the Iron Dragon (the WU expy for Fu Manchu). She is one of the Bad Seeds (the children of supervillains) at Whateley Academy.
    • Chou Lee (Bladedancer), has had Chinese-ness forced upon her by her Upgrade Artifact, the magic sword Destiny's Wave. Not only was she physically transformed into a Chinese hottie, but also given a language imprint so deep that she now speaks English with a Chinese accent.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Some are a lot worse than merely annoying.
    • Chaka's little brother Matt, in particular, although Cindy and Vince see her as the annoying one.
    • In Billie's origin story, her little brother Thad dosed her with a chemical by mixing it into some chocolate, and the chemical triggered a deadly (possibly even fatal, from a certain point of view) burnout, all over a minor slight.
    • Completely averted by Paige's sister, Jo. She decides not to room with Paige, not because she was afraid of being turned into a were, but because she didn't want her sister to blame herself for it.
    • Loophole is mad because her younger brother Stronghold just won't stop embarrassing her.
  • Anonymous Ringer: Averted: Real life people are brought up, including George W. Bush, who is President at the point in time that the stories take place.
  • Antagonist Title: Silver Ghost, Golden Angel. Silver Ghost is the protagonist while Golden Angel is the criminal antagonist who Silver Ghost repeatedly fails at capturing.
  • Anti-Villain: Not surprisingly, there are several, including one who is a POV character:
    • Dr. Diabolik is a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Affably Evil, with an agenda that aims to make humanity a spacefaring race. However, his methods do tend to leave a lot of Collateral Damage, and have led to over 17,000 deaths to date.
    • The Brigand is a classic Byronic Hero, fighting to root out political and corporate corruption. However, given the setting, and his methods, this means that he's considered a supervillain.
    • The Imp is an artist and art collector. The fact that she has GSD and was driven out of her home as a teen left her with a lot of anger towards the world and a Trickster's view of the people she steals from.
  • Apologetic Attacker: In Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 9), Ayla apologizes for performing a Breast Attack on Chaka in their Martial Arts class:
    Chaka dropped her chain and stepped back. She moved in front of me and bowed politely. But as she did so, she muttered, “Dammit Phase, you stabbed me right in the boob!”
    “Sorry,” I whispered.
  • Applied Phlebotinum
  • Apron Matron: Each of the dorm cottages at Whateley has an adult supervisor, usually a matronly woman who is more than she seems.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Unsurprisingly scientists have started to study mutants, and now have working hypotheses for many different powers. For some reason we're yet to see any scientific view on magic, and several top scientists (including the Mr Fantastic expy) insist that magic is just a mixture of psychic powers and self delusion, something even a simple experiment should prove otherwise. No explanation is given for why scientists are letting prejudice overcome scientific integrity.

      On the other hand, some of the ancient mystical beings have implied that psychic powers are just same thing as magic, but used by somebody who doesn't truly understand what they're doing. There are exactly two people who hold this view. One is in a flashback to the 60s, when nobody knew how anything related to mutants works. The other has been operating since childhood on the assumption that everything has a rational explanation (which magic most certainly does not), and spent most of that time fighting Mephisto, a supervillain who has based their entire career on using mundane processes and high intelligence to imitate magic, mutant powers, aliens, etc.
    • There's also a member of staff, Hakim Al-Feyez, who maintains a belief that Devisors are just alchemists who have yet to admit the mystical basis of their work.
  • Arc Words: As of The Real MCO and Silent Nacht, 'Zulu' appears to be this.
  • Argument of Contradictions: In The Three Little Witches: A short one between Kate and Jadis:
    Believe me, when we went there, Kate here was scared snotless.”
    “Was not.”
    “Was too!”
    “Was not. I had a cold.”
    “Yes you were! You were ready to call for your mommy!”
  • Armored Closet Gay: Solange is terrified that she'll lose status if outed; outwardly, she hates and fears lesbians with a passion, and is determined to sleep with as many men as she can to prove she isn't one, no matter how much she hates it.
  • Arrested for Heroism:
    • This happens to Phase several times. In his first story, he fights a supervillain and ends up getting nearly arrested for vigilantism (he did destroy an entire street). He manages to convince the police that he never intended to fight the supervillain, he just wanted to save his sister, and the cops let him off with a warning that if he does it again without legal authorisation, he's screwed. In his sixth story, he fights a demon that takes down a team from the Mutant Commission Office, and they arrest him and interrogate him continually- despite the fact that he's in urgent need of medical attention- and he only gets out of it because of his family (although he had to physically stop the officers after they were brainwashed by the demon).
    • This also plays a role in Charge's Back Story: on two occassions she saves lives, but the French MCO spin it that she was the one who endangered those individuals in the first place.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    ''Jobe: [...] There's no way genetic engineering can stave off the scourges that are ignorance, poverty, bigotry or line dancing.
  • Artificial Limbs: Common in the setting, with all of the devisors and gadgeteers running around. Some are even necessitated by actual disability, illness or injury, others are just mad science run amok.
    • Omnicidal Maniac supervillain Deathlist is a full body replacement cyborg
    • When Jobe has been beaten and doesn't want to bring the authorities down onto the bully who did it, he claims that it's nothing and that he'd been more injured in a thumbwar, neglecting to mention that it was a thumbwar with his father, whose arm is cybernetic. Jobe, missing Mister Happy, creates an organic prosthetic. Jobe's father, missing his own Mister Happy, built a smart, detachable prosthetic that doubles as a dildo. This reportedly saved the world once. "Do you know how hard it is to declare nuclear war when your wife is doing that to you?"
  • Artistic License – Biology: Naturally part of the mutant factor, however, the vast majority of people have started puberty by 14 (and in fact many girls are actually done with it by that time), yet all the characters shown have only recently come into their puberty and powers. It's plausible that the mutant gene causes later puberty.
    • It's (jokingly) suggested that there is an increasing number of MTF mutants because the mutant gene is trying to outbreed the baseline genes. Even a cursory knowledge of genetics makes this patently ridiculous as genes aren't intelligent. note .
      • It's also been suggested that, while the genes themselves aren't intelligent (duh), there are intelligent forces manipulating the situation both for and against the mutants, which is not entirely implausible in a universe where gods, Fair Folk, and Cthulhu Mythos entities are not only real, but awake, aware, and active.
      • The begged question of homosexual mutants may also be addressed by research such as that by Dr. Robin Baker that shows that, statistically, gay and bi people of both genders have a higher reproduction rate than the heterosexual population through chance encounters, exceptions to their preferred gender, and attempts to hide their lifestyle.
    • A fact occasionally tossed out is that the trans mutants have baseline hormone levels of members of the opposite gender and this somehow explains them developing secondary sex characteristics of that gender incredibly quick. For example Fey goes from male to having to pass as female within the span of a month due to have moderate sized breasts. In real life, secondary sex characteristics take years to develop. Justified to an extent however in that speed of change is apparently incredibly variable depending on the individual, and for some it is agonizingly slow while for others it is almost instantaneous.
  • Artistic License – Religion: The description Whateley gives for the Tao doesn't match up with the real-life Taoism. At all. To be fair, the Whateley universe also features a large variety of very real-in-setting mystical entities that real life (as far as we know) doesn't. In a world like that, that such religions as exist even have familiar names is already a case of Like Reality Unless Noted. (For another example, real-life Christians' notion of God isn't exactly "some less-than-all-powerful being once and possibly still named Nodens that's busy staging a carefully stalemated mock-war with 'Satan' so that the Eldritch Abominations that really run the show won't come in and wipe them both out", either.)
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Ayla's stated ability to alter his inertia in flight through density warping (aka "Phase-Leap") is outright nonsensical in a universe. Even in a classical Newtonian universe there would be problems. The only place "Phase-Leaping" could possibly work as described is on a stationary earth in an Aristotelian universe, which the Whateley universe isn't.
  • Ascended Extra: Starting to be a regular thing. One of the campus jokes, Aquerna, the kid with the spirit of the squirrel, got a role in the Phase novels, and then her own story. Side character and campus nuisance Greasy is getting a Christmas special. Big Bad Don Sebastiano got a point-of-view story, and has gotten more screen time. And on and on...
  • Ascended Fanfic: Several were fanfic authors for WU, had their fan stories rewritten and introduced to the canon series, with the characters joining the student body in Fall 2007.
  • Ascended Meme: In the Whateley Universe story Five Elements Dancing: Book Of The Fire, Dr. Diabolik's suggestion of a response to the Tong of the Black Madonna's breaking the neutrality policy originated from this piece of Fan-Art:
    I think a measured response is in order, wouldn’t you say? Say, something on the order of Orbital Bombardment?
  • A Shared Suffering: The members of Team Kimba bond together on their first day at Whateley Academy because of this: they're more than just mutants. They are all transgender in one way or another.
  • The Assimilator:
    Propaedeutic's 'learning machine' devise that over-learned and tried to take on the properties of every devise and gadget at the [Weapons Fair]. Including all the weapon arrays and a targeting system!
  • Ass Shove:
    • The most memorable part of Skybolt and Cavalier's revenge on Don Sebastiano seems to have been the insertion of a lamp base where a lamp base really shouldn't be able to fit. The fact that everyone - especially the other Alphas - found this hilarious rather than shocking just underscores how much he was hated even by his own allies.
    • Belphegor spent some time trying to trap Chaka so he could study her ki abilities scientifically. Apparently, this would have involved an anal probe. Do I need to mention who it was that got probed in the end?
    • In Mission Imp-probable (Part 3): Imp's threat to Polarstorm:
      “If you ever even THINK of touching my tail again,” I promised in a cold quiet voice, “I will cut off your hand and shove it so far up your ass that you’ll be able to tickle your own tonsils.”
  • Asteroid Miners: In "Tennyo's Easter", the first problem Tennyo hits in space is asteroid miners: an abandoned mine full of pirates trying to operate the equipment to steal more ore, while being attacked by a different gang of pirates.
  • A Taste of the Lash: From Eat, Drink, and be Merry, it's revealed that Chad Wilson was whipped by his parents for swearing:
    “F-u-“ I bit down on my tongue. Must not let the parents hear that word, ever. I still remember the rose thorn covered switch, the scabs and the odd looks from my gym teacher.
  • The Atoner:
    • Erik Mahren, primarily for the events of Rager's Night.
    • Elyzia Grimes is said to be this, at times, but it hasn't been explained so far.
    • the Green Witch, who is on a mission to save her ancestors and herself from the Deal with the Devil her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother made.
    • Several of the teachers and staff see themselves this way, especially those who were supervillains. This includes Mr. Garrity (Cagliostro), one of the original house parents when the school opened, and Mr. Donner, who had been a street hood specializing in being a getaway driver under the name Hotrod.
    • Kodiak, mainly for everything he did as a part of Freya's group.
    • Unverziehen ('The Unforgiven'), a former Waffen SS officer who spent the time since the war trying to atone for German war crimes:
    Unverziehen was an enigma to most people, the insanely potent warper had been a member of the combat arm of the German SS, and had not been privy to the war crimes of Auschwitz, Dachau, Sobibor and other places. The man and Caitlin [Eldritch, formerly Eric Mahren] shared something similar: guilt. He felt responsible for what his country did during the war, and though her crimes paled in comparison to what the Nazis had done during that war, the A-List hero, who still could not forgive himself, hadn’t physically committed any of the crimes he bore the shame of.
  • Atrocious Alias: Codenames are common for superheroes and supervillains alike, and are required for all students at Whateley after their first semester to provide anonymity (though Jobe and Jimmy T. simply used their personal names ''as'' their codenames). Several students (past and present) have chosen codenames which were either poorly thought out or had meanings they weren't aware of. This is a significant problem, as codenames have to be registered with the MCO, and while some allowance is made regarding final selection for minors, finding one which isn't in use is hard, and getting one changed is even harder. Thus, you have people stuck with names long after they decided to change them.
    • 'Power Pork' has been trying for years to get his codename changed. Fat chance.
    • Mega-Death, a (usually) mild-mannered Devisor, chose his name while in the throes of a Diedrick's Syndrome episode. He's regretted it ever since.
    • N'Dizi thought his codename sounds cool and Afro-centric. It turns out to mean 'cucumber'.note 
    • A vicious gossip with translating powers was dubbed 'Traduce' by one of the upperclassmen, and she thought it was a good choice for her codename. She didn't get the joke until it was too late.
    • Boom Job quickly found herself nicknamed 'Boob Job'. Shortening it to 'BJ' only added to the snickering.
    • A speedster tried the codename 'Quickie' in her freshman year, but after she figured out what everyone was laughing at, she went with the only slightly less embarrassing 'Go-Go'.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Standard for the genderbenders, except for those that also get physical mutations thrown in (and it's not unlikely that they won't be attractive in some fashion).
  • Author Appeal: Loads and loads. Aside from the obvious, there's Food Porn, Gun Porn, Supernatural Martial Arts... it is possible to ascribe specific stories and sections of multi-author stories solely by appeal.
  • Author Avatar: Subverted. The ones that most resemble the Canon Cabal are the Lit Chix, who are rather dysfunctional.
  • Whateley Universe: Diane Castle trots out some new vocab in every Phase novel. Words like:
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The one-shot character of OMAG, a duplicator, exemplifies this. While he has a good power, and some creative uses, he never thinks things through. So he's always one step behind.
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     B 
  • Back Story:
    • Hive gets a dream-sequence This Is Your Life exploring her past as a Navy SEAL
    • Mimeo has a full story covering his own life story.
    • Also the core cast have stories - sometimes quite lengthy - of how they came to Whateley and the 'start' of their tales there.
  • Badass Gay:
    • Chou Lee (Bladedancer) is bisexual, who is in a relationship with Gateway, another girl, and Chain Lightning, a guy, and is a superbly-skilled martial artist who wields a magical sword and several other mystical artefacts, that boost her well beyond normal human abilities.
    • Fey, who is in a relationship with Bugs, another girl, and Stalwart, a guy, and is one of the most powerful Wizard-type mutants on earth, and she has the spirit of an ancient Faerie Queen to teach her spells.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Several members of Whateley Security would qualify.
    • Chief Delarose, definitely. A supervillain that was feared worldwide knew him by name.
    • As a non-mutant, Chou Lee is listed by Whateley, and registered by the DPA (see below), as a "baseline". The school has deliberately used this to teach at least one of its nastier pupils a painful lesson in What Measure Is a Non-Super?. However, she is a superbly-skilled martial artist who wields a magical sword and several other mystical artefacts, that really boost her well beyond normal human abilities.
    • Sensei Ito, Whateley's Martial Arts instructor, is a little old man with no powers. He routinely kicks his students' asses all over the dojo, many of whom could charitably be described as 'insanely overpowered'. He is a little old man though. One imagines he is typically grinning. Also, he routinely kicks one particular kind of insanely overpowered student around the dojo..... TK Bricks, who are immensely strong and invulnerable, have well-categorized weaknesses, and have spent most of their time since mutating in a "world of cardboard" scenario and are therefore instinctively holding back for fear of smashing anything they touch. Were Sensei Ito to try this stunt with a blaster, speedster, or any other of the more exotic powersets, he would likely end up wearing his own butt for a hat.
    • Erik Mahren, before he manifested, deserves special mention.
    • As well as the rest of the Dragon Slayers, who not only beat up Boston's Green Lantern expy with either no superpowers or mutations that might as well be useless, but are seen as the boogeymen of the mutant community.
    • Josie Gillman enters Whateley fully expecting to become a badass normal and quickly learns it's just high school, albeit with superpowers
  • Bad Boss: most but not all supervillains, the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom takes the cake.
  • Bag of Holding: these (or technological/magical methods for accomplishing the same effect) are becoming something of a staple of the setting. More than two thirds of Team Kimba have access to something like it: Chou has two, one specifically an invisible scabbard for Destiny's wave, the other a literal Bag of Holding, both given to her by the Taoist Immortals. Ayla has his Mobius-produced utility belt. Fey accomplishes similar effects using magic to store her armour and sword. Shroud has her locker, stored inside her body, where her costumes and things are kept. Jade was given a purse of holding by Thuban for Christmas. The only Kimbas currently lacking are Hank (who manages something similar by using paper swords he can store in his pockets), Tennyo (wo REALLY doesn't need anything) and Chaka. Other notables include Malachai, Loophole, Jericho and the Anti-Paladin, all of whom use gesture- or thought-controlled teleportation devices to pull their gear from nowhere; Thuban himself, who uses his size-warping powers to make bags, pockets, rooms, cars etc into TARDIS-like structures that are bigger on the inside (this is a big secret power of his); and the Spy Kidz Secret Squirrels Espionage Cadet Corps, whose size-warper is able to shrink things down to fit into regular pockets, hence his code-name, Holdout.
  • Batman Gambit: Ayla successfully pulls one off, putting the Masterminds in his pocket.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Sara goes through this in "Insanity Prerequisite".
  • Beautiful All Along: Discussed in The Big Idea with Delta Spike:
    Harlan had a brief flash of déjà vu, looking at Delta Spike. Then he realized that she was the picture of a Hollywood ‘Girl Scientist’, the one who’s supposed to be a drab little geek, but you know that the second that she takes off her glasses and lets her hair down, she’s absolutely gorgeous. Delta Spike had long glossy black hair that was tied up in a style that really didn’t suit her. She wore a pair of thick clunky-looking black frame glasses that couldn’t have done a better job of disguising her classic features if she’d designed them for just that task. Still, she smiled prettily enough.
  • The Beautiful Elite: A lot of mutants, due to the "exemplar" power set. It comes with a price, though: exemplars tend to top out the range of everything, including teenage angst and hormonal tumult, so they have roughly double the mortality, incarceration, pregnancy, and suicide rates of normal teenagers.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The Tao knows where you live. And what books your daddy has in his library halfway around the world.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
  • Benevolent Boss: Phase/Ayla. Also, Jadis Diabolik gets into a rant about this during her and the Bad Seed's Christmas story, and how this management style made her father into one of the best supervillains around.
  • Berserk Button: Go on, hold Strega's kid hostage. She attacks the entire city of Paris and intended to take over Europe in retaliation, unless they returned her daughter.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: Jobe Wilkins is fairly honest: he's also a sociopathic genius with Literal Genie tendencies and a bent for biological tinkering with no scruples about experimenting on himself or others.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: All of the main characters really, but:
    • Jade Sinclair will nail you to a tree. With railroad spikes. Even if you're twice her size. Then she'll burn a message into your flesh.
    • Nikki Reilly ill melt your face.
    • Billie Wilson will slice you in two with a lightsaber, blow you up with antimatter, or beat you to death with her bare hands. Or spit on you.
    • Chou Lee will simply kill you. Sorry, nothing personal, but the balance must be maintained.
    • Ayla Goodkind is nice enough...until you threaten someone he cares about. Then he will financially ruin you, your family, and your dog. Unless you apologize and agree to play nice. Well, he might if it wasn't against school rules, but he'll definitely fantasize about it.
    • Sara Waite will eat your soul.
    • Toni Chandler will throw playing cards into your legs. Ordinary playing cards.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Jade. A prank war between Jade and Beltane could conceivably end all life as we know it, but underneath her silliness Jade is a walking Mook Horror Show with a scarily high body count.
  • Big Applesauce: While most of the series is set in an out of the way corner of New Hampshire, and many of the trips out involve Boston rather than NYC, it is made clear that New York City is the main place for mutants and other supers on the East Coast in the few stories set there, with at least six major super teams located there and dozens or even hundreds of 'street heroes' and 'street villains' running around. At least four Bad Guy Bars are mentioned by name, and one, Superbad, is a regular backdrop for meetings between characters and low-level street supers. Jadis even knows several dance clubs that allow underaged mutants in.
  • Big Bad: Discussed in Test Tube Babies:
    Mrs. Ryan walked in, wearing one of her usual granny dresses, with a knit shawl over her shoulders. She smiled sweetly, “Really. Even if I wasn’t the Big Bad of the scenario in a disguise, I could have been a rival player, or mind-controlled, or an android, or a hologram, or a number of other things. Your empaths definitely let you down there.” She smiled mischievously at Bardue, “At least this is the first group that didn’t lose the entire building and all the hostages.”
  • Big Eater: many mutants, especially energizers, TK supermen, and some shapeshifters, require massive quantities of food to provide the energy to use their powers.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: The flip side of the Most Common Superpower for male Exemplars, often to Gag Penis proportions. An in-world sex manual specifically warns male Exemplars not to be too aggressive because of the risk of harming their partner due to this (the converse warning is made for female Exemplars with baseline male partners, as well, specifically discussing the possibility of of injuring them with their internal musculature).
  • Big Little Brother: Trevor was the older brother by 18 months, but was shorter than his younger brother David, as said in Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
    I was fourteen and six months. I tended to stress the extra months, since I was painfully small for my age. At my age, being 4’9” and a mere 80 pounds was just too small.
    I couldn’t help being small, but my younger brother David really liked to rub it in. He was only a year and a half younger than I was, and he was already as tall as Mother.
    Mother was around 5’6”.
  • Big "NO!": Phase does this in "Ayla and the Tests", upon learning something horrific about himself during powers testing. Specifically, when it appears that his bigoted views on mutants and transgender people were what caused his change in appearance when he manifested.
  • Big "YES!": Silver Linings: Chapter 1: Part 5:
    Dr. Strega: “So, you still think [synthetic manifestation projections are] ‘jejune’?”
    “As a matter of fact,” Tenebros shouted back, despite the fact that Stacy had him by the lapels, “YES!”note 
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • "Quoth the Ninja, Nevermore!" has a Bilingual Bonus. The superpowered ninjas raiding the school (as a Yama Dojo graduation exercise) form a Five-Man Band, and their names are all jokes in Japanese. Their given names are all types of food, as in tons of anime, while their last names all have hidden meanings.
    • Especially in The Big Idea. This includes a DISCLAIMER in French!:
    Author’s Note: Je m'excuse abondamment à mon audience francophonic (vous deux). Les portions françaises de cette histoire ont été traduites par le traducteur libre de l'AOL et j'ai peur que j'aie reçu la qualité pour laquelle j'ai payé. Je comprends que le Français fait attention très mutilant de leur belle langue et je m'abats sur la mutilation inévitable de la grammaire et idiome.
  • Birthday Episode: In Ayla and the Birthday Brawl, which involves the setup and execution of Ayla's birthday party, and the titular brawl that happens during the party.
  • Bite the Wax Tadpole: In-universe example, Trevor (about a year before becoming Ayla) noticed that the product of an upcoming major Homogenous Multinational Ad Campaign was being titled 'MAIRD' (which would be pronounced the same as the French word 'merde'). He pointed this out and got his father to change the name before it was too late.
  • Black Cloak:
    • The supervillainess Hekate's 'Master', so horrific that even she is scared of him, in the Whateley Universe stories.
    • Jinn when going around on Campus as Shroud has one (and being a autonomous telekinetic construct possessing Objects she also technically IS the Cloak)
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: The Tigers, or at least N'Dizi, gives Chaka and Vox some drama as said in A Fistful of Chaka. Both girls are dating white boys:
    [Chaka] needs a firm guiding hand. I mean, will you check out the silly-ass nigga-shit she is always pulling? She hangs with a white crew, she dates a white boy, and the only black folks she deals with are oreos and sellouts like Vox.”
  • Black Magic: Kallysta Thessellarean (Hekate) practices the darkest of black arts.
  • Blessed with Suck: inevitable with all of the more powerful/less attractive mutations, but most prominently explored with non-mutant Chou. As the Handmaid of the Tao, she's required to preserve the balance at any cost, even if that requires her to assist evil or murder a saint. Knowing the Tao may require her to murder her own friends causes her much anguish and gives her nightmares.
    • Tennyo: Potentially the most powerful person in the entire universe, she lives in a world of cardboard and full use of her powers produces hard radiation so she has to limit herself to protect her friends.
    • Seraphim: Kerry can heal virtually any disease or injury, but each healing takes an enormous physical and emotional toll on her. Just choosing who to heal, knowing that she can't possibly help everyone who deserves it, is a difficult if not intolerable burden.
    • Screech's voice can rend steel and melt glass. Unfortunately, she can't make it do anything less than rend steel or melt glass, rendering her effectively mute and a constant danger to everyone around her.
    • Being an Exemplar sounds great (so long as you didn't get a Body Horror transformation), right? Except that even low-level Exemplars can run into Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex issues, and the higher up the scale you are, the more significant it gets. Perhaps more seriously, the higher your rating, the more volatile your emotions tend to be (called Hercules Syndrome), and the more prone you are to monomania (called Galahad Syndrome, as it often results in various sorts of obsessive behavior such as Chronic Hero Syndrome, Chronic Villainy, Complexity Addiction, Patriotic Fervor, etc.).
  • Blinding Bangs: As said in a story, about Slash:
    The boy's hair was too long, a shaggy dirty blonde that hung into his eyes so badly it was a wonder he could see; certainly no one knew what color his eyes were.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunettes are also Brainy, and the Redheads are Fiery.
    • The Three Little Witches: Clover, Abracadabra, and Palantir, respectively.
    • Tansy, Kayda, and Loophole, respectively, as said in Kayda 10 There's No Place Like Poe (Part 3):
    Kayda: "But ... You and Lanie ...."
    Tansy nodded accepting the accusation and being responsible for it. "Yes, we have ... explored ...," she managed, her skin blushing fiercely in embarrassment. "But that doesn't mean Lanie isn't just as much your friend and your sister as she ever was. She needs you! She needs your friendship, your love, your affection! I guess ... we're all three kind of alike.
  • Blood Oath: Carmilla and Fey made a blood pact that was so powerful it gave them some of the other's traits. Carmilla now has Fey's body (including Pointy Ears) and hair, and Fey got some of Carmilla's mental capacity.
  • Blow You Away:
    • Winter. She's able to evoke cold wind with enough fine control to use it to fly.
    • Also, Stormwolf, who is able to use wind to send an opponent flying or to fly himself, and is anything but a Fragile Speedster.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Most Class X entities, and anyone who spends any significant amount of time around them (e.g., Ecila Mason), will have a view of existence quite different from anything remotely human.
    • Jobe's distorted sense of morality makes him completely blind to how other people view his actions.
  • Blood Knight: Several, but the king of this has to be Counterpoint, aka Ares.
  • Bloody Murder: Some of the characters' blood have unusual qualities, such as Tennyo's, which has antimatter in it. Sometimes.
  • Boarding School: of the fancy, toney prep school variety, like Phillips Exeter with Mutants.
  • Body Horror:
    • Most forms of Gross Structural Dystrophy (or similar conditions, usually lumped together with it) have some degree of this. Extreme cases include Fubar, who is on record for having the most extreme transformation that wasn't lethal.
    • In A Single Fold, a number of students are infected with a bio-virus, and Jobe is implicated (though he was innocent). At the same time, the protagonist, Folder, was involuntarily placed under a spell that changed his sex, and was supposed to turn her into a pliant sex object. When the one responsible attempts to claim the fruits of this, Folder panicked, and lashed out in a way that seriously fucked the attacker's body up:
    The right arm was lengthened to where it might drag behind the boy on the ground, if he could walk. The left arm was twisted and bent in so many angles that it seemed to be a knotted mess ‘just’ hanging from the shoulder. One collarbone jutted upwards while the other stuck out from the front of an oddly reformed chest. The legs and hips seemed to be similarly effected, though the toes on one foot were very nearly a foot long. Diaz’s mouth was disturbing in that the lower jaw appeared to have been pulled out half a foot, pinched and pulled downward and then twisted thirty or so degrees to the right.
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: In The Three Little Witches:
    Palantir and Abra reached up and applied all their might into keeping the shelf from falling. Clover scrambled to her feet and pushed. Together, they shoved the tall bookshelf back-
    -so far back that the bookcase tipped over the other way, hitting the bookcase on the other side, tipping IT over, creating a domino effect. Fortunately, it only tipped over three more bookcases, but from where the Three Little Witches stood, it was a scene of horrific devastation.
  • Boring Invincible Hero:
    • Team Kimba have never lost as a group. Take that as you will. To be fair, they did get badly beaten up in the climax of Ayla and the Birthday Brawl, wherein nobody got killed, but none of the bad guys got beaten and the team as a whole were badly hurt.
    • Tennyo can look like this to those who don't know her better, but Chaka may be a better example. Tennyo is a walking Person of Mass Destruction and Made of Iron, but has serious psychological issues and has in fact 'lost' or come dangerously close to it a number of times; meanwhile, Chaka's do-anything ki mastery has so far let her merrily skip through life beating any challenges she encounters while making it look easy.
    • The unique personalities, however, may allow them to move to the level of Showy Invincible Hero, and they STILL have issues with personality. Individual members can, and will, be defeated big-time. Interestingly enough, they ARE getting this reputation around the school.
    • And now they've gotten their asses kicked in a simulation against baselines, created specifically by their instructors to make sure they aren't getting too confident in their abilities. 4 died in-sim, not including 2 others who would have bought it without their Healing Factor
    • Ayla's stories tend to focus a lot on aspects outside of combat, such as social networking and building up from scratch the economic empire that Ayla would have inherited if he had not been a mutant. But when it does come to combat, Ayla is so used to the level of his invincible teammates, and the equally powerful opponents he fights, that he is repeatedly shocked to realise how many people consider him a Boring Invincible Hero. That is, if they consider him a hero...
    • In Ayla and the Mad Scientist, the team minus Lancer and Phase are obliterated by the Grunts, courtesy of Bomber's opening move, in a sim they didn't know they would have. They went in blind and started by getting nuked, only Chaka and Shroud avoiding it. They got even in a later sim.
    • Ultimately most of them except Phase are explicitly excluded from the secret "Atlantean League" the students put together to fight the ultimate enemy because they are either too precious (Fey), too dangerous (Tennyo), too inscrutable (Bladedancer), or both too dangerous and inscrutable (Sara). No one even thinks to consider Jade.
    • The teachers go out of their way to avert this trope, specifically pointing out that nobody is invincible and Anyone Can Die. To that end, they foist more and more impossible tasks upon the teams who have a tendency to readily destroy their sims. This invariably leads to a meltdown when S.T.A.R. League Jr. and Wondercute come to blows in a sim, and both teams wind up traumatized. Unfortunately for Gunny and the Sim Staff, Wondercute - who are practically the Dragonslayers already - finally took it as proof that they need to step up their game.
  • Brainless Beauty: Referenced as the pretty and available option of "smart, pretty, available, pick two." in The Braeburn Report by Dr. Braeburn while he and Dr. Arendt are at a strip club discussing a centerfold girl:
    I nodded sympathetically. “Now I see. And believe me, I sympathize. Personally, I’m less concerned with what she looks like, and more concerned with those personality issues. But even the girl down there on the stage—” I waved toward where the girl was removing her top, in preparation to making love to a brass pole “—she might be a Ph D student, for all we know. I suspect the number of grad students here would surprise you. At one time I was motivated to investigate, myself. But I learned something—” I leaned forward, confidentially. “—smart, pretty, available. Choose any one.”
    “Choose anyone?”
    “No. Choose any ONE. One of those three characteristics. That’s all you get."
    Peter snorted. "I’ve heard that. But don’t you mean, 'choose any two'?"
  • Brainy Brunette: Well, generally, any brunette Gadgeteer, or Exemplar of a high enough level, but for some specific examples:
    • Kayda, who's come up with a nano-mill, and has "inventions and pending patents" as said in Kayda 10 There's No Place Like Poe (Part 3).
    • Abracadabra of the Three Little Witches, who is taking high-schooler courses as a Junior High student.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: In "Razzle Dazzle", Mephisto comments on Doc Wilde's claimed "surgical process that ‘excised’ a part of the brain that could work evil" and points out that it was basically a lobotomy.
    Townsend’s eyes glittered, and his grin turned hard. “Simple. You CAN’T. It was brainwashing, plain and simple, accompanied by burning out certain bits of the brain with electric probes inserted directly into the cerebrum. Yeah, they were okay afterwards… mostly… but they got worse, mostly after people stopped paying attention. Now, while I didn’t know all of the guys that he did that to, I DID know a fair number of them. And they were drooling wrecks, who could barely eat off a plate! .... Y’know, before, they’d been pretty sharp guys. Not NICE guys, but…” Townsend tapped his temple, “…sharp enough to be a challenge to Doc Wilde. Then? One of ‘em had to work hard for an hour to tie his shoes!
  • Braving the Blizzard: Kodiak uses his physical endurance to go out into a magical blizzard to rescue Pejuta from an inadequately insulated sweat lodge.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: From An Imp-perfect World (Ch 2) Imp's banter:
    “I like pie,” I continued with my mouth running almost on automatic. “And whip cream. And whips. And whip cream and whips together…” I paused at that to give Chickenhawk a suggestive wink.
  • Breakfast Club: Apart from Team Kimba, there's also the Outcast Corner, a group of inhuman looking ragers and a blind guy.
  • Breast Attack: Discussed in Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 9), Ayla manages to hit Chaka by accidentally hitting her in the boob by sticking his baton though his intangible body while Chaka was behind him.
    “Dammit Phase, you stabbed me right in the boob!”
  • Briar Patching:
    • Bronco and Silo have, in their time at Whateley, racked up more detention than nearly anybody else... but they're okay with that, as they're learning more by working with the maintenance and grounds crews than they would probably get in class. Also, when the Kimbas were first given detention at Hawthorne, they realized right off the bat that they could do good, and indeed became a semi-permanent fixture at that cottage for some time.
    • From The Final Trump (Part 5): When Jesse uses this to get what he wants, by getting the magical villain to fail in sacrificing him. After that, he says:
    “BORN AND RAISED IN THE BRIAR PATCH, BITCH! BORN AND RAISED IN THE BRIAR PATCH!”
  • Brick Joke: Quite a few, often occurring in Ayla's stories, along with standard Continuity nods.
    • Early in Bek D. Corbin's The Big Idea the Alphas decide to prank the protagonist by painting his room pink and more while he is indisposed elsewhere. Halfway through he's forced to switch rooms with a villain due to roommate problems. Said villain is shown wondering why the room is pink.
    • Example of Diane Castle's Brick Jokes? In Maggie Finson/Babs Yernukle's Christmas Elves, Jade receives a purse, big enough to put a floor lamp in. A few months later, in Ayla And The Great Shoulder Angel conspiracy, Jade is asked to empty out her purse. Sure enough, she pulls out a floor lamp (it's not the same one, though.)
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • The Second Book of Jobe: (Part 1), said by Jobe regarding Negator, after Counterpoint attacks Jobe when near Negator:
    Negator didn’t say anything, he just hid in the bushes and created yellow snow.
    “It’s Hellfire Sheba!” Clover blurted, wetting herself in fear.
  • British Teeth: The Second Book of Jobe (Part 1):
    Belphegor. The boy (you certainly can’t call him a man) is a classic product of the British dental system. Not only does he have rodent-worthy buck teeth, the rest of his teeth are either irregular, or repaired with obvious silver fillings.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S":
    • 'P' for Phase, in "Boston Brawl II". Since Phase is a density changer like the Vision, the 'P' starts out dense at the top and fades away at the bottom.
      gradated capitol ‘P’
    • 'B' for Bravo, from Bravo's description in VAMP:
      The guy was tall, with broad shoulders, a barrel chest and powerful arms, and a long handsome face with a powerful chin. Yet for all that, he was frickin’ ridiculous. He was like a live–action version of a cartoon parody of the ‘All–American Hero’, with a chest that was too large for his frame, bulging arms that would have been impressive on a man six inches taller and a hundred pounds heavier, and his CHIN! It must have taken up at least a quarter of his face! And get this – he was wearing blue jeans tucked into bright yellow galoshes, and a T–shirt with a gold foil ‘B’ ironed onto it. And to top it all off – and please, I can NOT make shit like this UP! – he had a CAPE, a yellow cape pinned to his shirt. Yeah! Seriously! He was standing there, in what I guess was ‘Standard Superhero Pose #11’ or something, shoulders thrown back, fist on hip, pointing in my direction with an accusing finger. “Surrender Villain!” he said through dramatically clenched teeth, “Or face the wrath of CAPTAIN BRAVO!”
  • Broken Aesop: Sara has a speech on how she doesn't understand why humans are so possessive of the people they love and uses branding as a metaphor, no one points out that she has branded people she loves with a demon mark, irreversible marks of ownership. If you have one, the demon owns your soul and can control you almost utterly any time they want. However, as said Insanity Prerequisite (Part 1):
    you have to be willing to accept it on some subconscious level for the mark to appear."
  • Brother Chuck: Whatever happened to Feral? Also an example of Real Life Writes the Plot.
    • She's still there both as a member of Judicator's faction within the New Olympians and as a member of Sara's Pack. Except now she's almost entirely in the background since the author never had the chance to develop her.
    • Definitely fits this trope now that the New Olympians, and Judicator, are in major focus. Feral is just not mentioned, even as 'oh, she's over there'.
  • Bungling Inventor: Devisors and Gadgeteers. They're students after all, and sometimes things go "bang".
  • Butt-Monkey: Greasy. In fact, he actually shifts to The Woobie, at times.
    • Josie Gilman. Fate conspires to humiliate her no matter what happens.
  • Buxom Is Better: In Jade 7: Over the Top, after Jade's Breast Expansion, boys start getting Distracted by the Sexy when looking at her.

     C 
  • Call-Back: In The Evil That Men Do, it is said by a math teacher, that:
    Hallowell's Proof. For those of you intending to continue your studies with me in game theory later in your careers here at Whateley, you will want to take note of this particular theorem as it is considered one of the more important statistical bases of Game Theory and Probability Mathematics.”
    Then, in The Last Ride, where James Hallowell makes an appearance, it is said:
    [he] became a mathematics professor at the nascent University of California, Berkeley where he penned Hallowell's Proof, considered one of the founding theorems of Game Theory.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Yama Dojo ninjas. Fey and the Necromancer have also done this when battling each other, and Chaka does this with her Chaka Chaka Bang Bang. It's noted that in magical duels calling your attacks is standard...so you can psych out your opponent by casting something called Murrigan's Wind or call the WRONG attack and throw off their defenses.
  • Came from the Sky: Where Doctor Amazing thinks "symbiotic vampires" came from:
    “Whoa! You mean we got vampires from outer space now too?” complained Toni.
    I nodded. “Doctor Amazing thinks that the first ones came to earth in meteors in the late Sixties.
  • Cape Busters:
    • The Dragonslayers are a group which shot to fame when they put down a mutant rager who had killed dozens of people and done a whole lot of damage to the city of Darwin. The Dragonslayers had pretty much retired until they mixed it up with the Lamplighter when said super"hero" decided to pick on a bunch of teenagers.
    • They seem to have been replaced by the Knights of Purity, a bunch of baselines in powered armor who fight mutants. We have seen from various points of view that some seem to help mutants (one protected Chaka and offered medical assistance), while others seem to hate mutants (Knight Commander Vernon Swive not only hates mutants but has made it his personal mission to kill all the Loose Cannons before anyone can find out that he shot one of them in the back).
    • Making sure that mutants don't become a menace to baseline humanity is precisely what the much-maligned Mutant Commission Office is technically all about. In practice, they tend to fall into the 'covert black ops' category while doing their best to keep looking officially legitimate because they're an international organization that needs government permission in order to be able to legally operate in a given country at all. Thus far, they do have that permission in a lot of countries (with a couple of small nations ruled by supervillains as the main exceptions), and their presence in the US in particular is certainly felt.
  • Cape Punk: Most of the stories set outside of Whateley Academy itself are in this vein, with big dollops of Post Cyber Punk, Myth Punk, and Fantastic Noir for flavor. A big chunk of those set on campus are, too, for that matter, but it can get much, much darker elsewhere. Once you step off school grounds, you enter a world of Gray and Gray Morality driven by Corrupt Corporate Executives, Ancient Conspiracies, Nazi deadenders, and unspeakable otherworldly entities. A large number of Nominal Heroes are really Jerk Jocks at best, and Knights Templar or Villains With Good Publicity at worst, and even many of the genuinely heroic ones will readily throw Thou Shalt Not Kill out the window when faced with an even worse alternative. The more overt villains can range from Punch Clock Villains and Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains; to Byronic Heroes and Well Intentioned Extremists; to Blood Knights, Super Supremacists, and the Ax-Crazy; to Infernalists and worse, but even they often pale in comparison to the more institutionalized evils. Oh, and the international quasi-governmental agency meant to keep a lid on dangerous mutants, the Mutant Commission Office, is thoroughly corrupt, heavily infiltrated, and mostly staffed by Fantastic Racists who can't wait to set up the death camps. While it is not an unrelentingly grim world, it is dangerous enough of one that the Whateley school administration has to maintain a policy of armed neutrality, including an explicit, written agreement by backers of both the heroic and villainous persuasions to collectively Pay Evil unto Evil whenever that neutrality is violated in certain ways.
  • Caps Lock: For the messages on Interface's devices in The Big Idea:
    Hiding his arm, he started tapping out a message on his console and shot an I-message to the others: [Reach: THIS IS 2 GUD 2 B TRU. REZ, I-M S-B & VERIFY]
  • Captain Ersatz: Hello, Ryoko Tennyo. It's very much acknowledged in the stories, and at least one clique considers her to obviously be the real deal, which may cause problems later.
  • Captain Ethnic: Mentioned in regards to codenames with Black in them, in Ayla and the Birthday Brawl (Chap 13):
    The only guys she had ever heard of who used ‘black’ in their codenames either had darkness powers, or were actually black, or else were supervillains.
  • Captain Superhero: Played with: School rules specifically forbid including ranks or titles like "Captain" and "Doctor" in your code name if you have not earned them in real life. There's some juvenile grousing about the unfairness of it all and some unofficial cheating at the margins but you can see why the faculty and staff who have actually earned those ranks, titles and degrees would find the whole idea of High School kids using them unacceptably pretentious.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: With a Super Registration Act that uses cards, it's quite literal in some cases.
  • The Casanova: Plenty of mid- and high-level Exemplars are perfectly willing to exploit their superhuman masculinity to get lots of nookie, with Don Sebastiano at the top of the list at Whateley currently. Outside the school, the most notorious of these is Captain Courage, who got dubbed 'Captain Condom' by the tabloids after the news broke that he was the subject of hundreds of paternity suits; he is rumored to have fled the country to escape from his crushing child-support payments.
  • Cast from Calories: A number of powersets tend to burn huge amounts caloric energy, which is why so many mutants are Big Eaters. This is especially common for speedsters, energizers, and warpers, though other powers can have this effect, and not all with those powers suffer from this.
    • On more than one occasion, Murphy has overexerted herself to the point of Total Cellular Starvation, in one instance burning off more than 15 pounds of body mass in under a day. She is required to eat high-calorie rations *in addition* to regular meals when exerting herself, lest her powers kill her.
  • Cast Herd: Most characters are part of a team, making it somewhat easier to sort out which character is which. The herds do have a habit of intermingling, though. The number of permanent clubs on campus makes for a Long List itself, and can be found its own page in the character sheets.
    • In addition, there are various clubs and training teams which form around specific students rather than becoming permanent clubs: in the Gen 1 stories, these include Team Kimba, Outcast Corner, Team Phoenix, The Vindicators, and The Whateley Academy Martial Arts Cheerleaders.
  • Casting a Shadow: There seem to be a number of these in the Whateley Universe right now, and they don't all have the same weaknesses. Canon has it that some of them got the powers from a magical source, so the rules of physics need not apply.
    • Nacht can manipulate shadows as a semi-solid substance, and move through shadows from one place to another, among other effects, and is a Deadpan Snarker with a Supervillain mother, but she seems (so far) to be neutral.
    • Blacklight may be a villain in training with some "darkness powers".
  • Catchphrase: Ayla, and the Goodkind family, have "Goodkinds don't complain. They fix things."
  • Chainmail Bikini: But not as armor.
    • Tennyo's, which is made of adamantium, is her clothing of last resort, as nothing else can survive, when she goes all out.
    • At least one major superheroine, the speedster brick Beach Bunny, does wear a chainmail bikini in the usual manner, but it's mostly for show; when one of the students tries to emulate her, she discovers that it doesn't work out well for your typical Fragile Speedster, causing her serious chafing in places which don't chafe well.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Inverted with Nacht, who never imagined that the villainess who raised her wasn't her real mother. Given what an amoral monster that villainess was, she was actually thrilled to learn this.
  • Character Development: With hundreds of stories or chapters written in the series, Character Development is a given. While some, such as Chaka, don't deviate very far from their original personalities, other characters can be seen growing and changing in various ways.
  • Character Focus: There's around a dozen canon authors, all of whom write about different characters. Has generally mellowed out to focus on Ayla and through Ayla, Team Kimba, along with whatever Bek is working on.
  • Character Name Alias: There’s an Angel in Father John’s Basement (Part 1): The MCO Agents' presumably false identities, to The Matrix:
    Agent SMITH? Agent JONES? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: All the Ayla stories are named like this.
    • "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind"
    • "Ayla and the Blackmailer"
    • "Ayla and the New School"
    • "Ayla and the Tests"
    • "Ayla and the Networks"
    • "Ayla and the Grinch"
    • "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy"
    • "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl"
    • "Ayla and the Mad Scientist"
  • Character Narrator: Most, if not all, of the stories are narrated by their protagonists:
    • From Merry Descent into Madness:
      I did manage to find a few jumpsuits, and a few shirts, mostly of the touristy T-shirt type. You know the kind; "My dad went to the Caribbean and all I got was this crummy t-shirt?"
    • From The Braeburn Report by Dr. Braeburn:
    I nodded sympathetically.
    • Etc.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Ayla and the Test, Phase offhandedly considers the problems involved in setting up a mutant-focused webspider. In Ayla and the Networks, two stories later, he's able to use this to entrap Stopwatch after Stopwatch tries to steal data from his laptop.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Many, many people. Given that the stories center around the 600 or so students at the Whateley Academy and their connections (plus the fact that the number of novels, novel chapters, short stories, novelettes, and vignettes now numbers over a hundred) it is sort of inevitable that characters seen in passing can become major players in later stories. Examples: Beltane (Kendall Forbes) gives the protagonists the campus tour on day one... and much later gets her own leading role in "For Whom the Belle Tolls", as well as other appearances. The Headmistress gives a speech on the first day of classes... and then turns out to also be the greatest superheroine around (in her spare time).
    • One of the hot blondes that Phase sees in the cafeteria on her first day at Whateley Academy - the one who really stares angrily at her — turns out to be an old enemy. Who then in later stories turns out to be the blackmailer. And then in a later story actually gets people to try to kill Team Kimba. And then in a later story takes over the Alpha clique and runs the student body, so she can really go after the heroes.
    • At first, Cavalier and Skybolt only get mentioned to show how dangerous The Don really is, and why The Don runs the campus. They're central to the Fey and Generator story "Christmas Elves". And then what they do next drives a lot of the plots for Winter Term.
    • One of the throwaway jokes early in the universe is about some girl at school who has the spirit of the squirrel and is a campus joke. She has now become a protagonist with her own stories, and in her combat final, she managed to beat one of the most dangerous bullies at Whateley in a simultaneous Moment of Awesome and Funny Moment.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Michael Waite has never known his father. Up until he finally manifests as a mutant and finds out that he is really a monster and his father is an Eldritch Abomination.
  • The Chew Toy: Merry. When she's split into Paige and Petra, Paige (as far as the readers know, because she only appears as a minor character since then) gets a reprieve. Petra, unfortunately, picks up Paige's slack.
  • Child Mage:
    • Paige St. Claire from Written In Blood: Part 1, the protagonist's preteen younger sister, who has been learning magic all her life.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Can result from 'Galahad Syndrome' in Exemplars; cf. With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, below.
    • Ayla's determination to solve the problems of everyone around him reaches epic proportions at times.
  • Church Militant: The Catholic Church, in the Whateley Universe, not only has the Inquisition (who has mellowed out somewhat since the Dark Ages), but another group called the Knights of the Church. The Knights are a bit of an odd duck, though: they, on occasion, include non Catholics and Pagans into their group, and their newest member is very close to a lust goddess. Oh, and she gets the fun position of official messenger to the Knights from Satan.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: Demon marks, irreversible marks of ownership from a demon. If you have one, the demon owns your soul and can control you almost utterly any time they want. However, as said Insanity Prerequisite (Part 1):
    you have to be willing to accept it on some subconscious level for the mark to appear."
    • Also, they are not necessarily associated with demons, since at least one other supernatural being, The Star Stalker, is known to have marked Generator in this way.
  • Clark Kenting: Subverted. In the beginning of the third Phase book, on the first day of school at the Whateley Academy, the headmistress Mrs. Carson gives a speech to the new students. Before the end of the talk, Phase has figured out that the headmistress is also the superheroine Lady Astarte. By the end of the book, Phase has figured out that Mrs. Carson is also a former superheroine of the 80's, Ms. Might. By the end of the fourth book, Phase has figured out that the early-thirties-looking Mrs. Carson is actually in her mid-seventies and has had at least two other superhero identities over the decades.
  • Clash of Evolutionary Levels: From The Braeburn Report, there is discussion of mutants overtaking baseline humanity and past events of hominoid species wiping out the previous ones:
    • Mutants wiping out Homo sapiens:
    "Yes. You have to remember that the ... person in question ... is an Afrikaner of the old school. He's seen how minor genetic differences can divide a culture and tear it into pieces. In many cases a mutation is a trivial difference. Some people might think that norms and mutants could live alongside one another. Others think that there can never be peace until once side is unquestionably supreme, and rules the other side with an iron fist. Due to certain childhood experiences, our director takes the second opinion."
    • Homo sapiens wiping out Homo neanderthalensis:
    Peter leaned back, sighing. "The short of it? Mutants are a new species. Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens, Homo mutandis – or whatever they will decide to call it. Compared to the Neanderthals, we sapiens retain more youthful and childlike features. note  Mutants continue that trend. Eyes that are slightly larger again, they average less body hair, a more extreme difference between women and men. Their women seem to have better figures, on average, and they seem to retain characteristics that we associate with youth, even into full maturity.
    • homo sapiens wiping out homo heidelbergensis.
    Homo heidelbergensis – the common ancestor to both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. The date of these fossils is about 200,000 years ago, when Heidelberg shuffled off the stage. Now here’s what you need to know: the Heidelberg was about the same height as modern humans, more muscular, and more primitive. Anthropologists can identify clothing, tools, bones and quickly peg them to either Heidelberg, sapiens,or neanderthalensis. Now look at these.”
    [...] We think it was a battlefield, where Heidelberg fought sapiens. This battlefield appears to be a single incident, but it correlates with other digs.”
    I shrugged. “So the old species fought the new one. No surprise there.” I sighed. “Look, I know what’s got me paranoid. What’s got you so worked up?”
    “What you’re missing is the gender story. In sapiens, there are twenty-three female remains, and only two male. It’s the opposite for Heidelberg – forty-five male, and no female at all. What do you conclude from this?”
    “Uh… raiding gang or maybe even a rape gang, attacking the hunter-gatherer women while the men were out hunting. Also, we trounced them. But other explanations are possible. It’s hard to know. Reconstructing a story from such partial evidence is tough.”
    “Here’s more evidence, then. Dating is crude. You can get within plus or minus a few thousand years, but that’s all. For finer work, they rely on physical positioning, layers, disposition within the site. If we call that point 200,000 years ago ‘the end’ – at least from the perspective of Heidelberg– then there’s a clear trend in the hundred years prior to the end. A steady collection of remains, but proportionately more male pelvic remains. [...] Constant population, but a suddenly shifting gender balance, followed by extinction.
    [...]
    “In a completely different dig, but same time period as near as we can estimate, we have the opposite issue. Homo sapiens, starting with a population of around two, followed by a virtually exploding population that seems to have nine females for every male. Again, the dig teams have dismissed it as absurd, and the result of bad technique. But it fits too well.
    “Because that battlefield is the last item on the list. You know what it looks like to me? It looks like the last members of a dying species, enraged against their replacements.”
  • Clean Cut:
    • The magical empathic sword Destiny's Wave, in the hands of its rightful wielder, the Handmaid Of The Tao, it can cut through anything (even unstoppable superhuman bricks) if the Tao requires it. At other times, it is as blunt and harmless as you'd expect of a blade made of white jade.
    • The sword wielded by Tennyo, which is made of anti-matter.
  • Close-Call Haircut: In Rises the Sun (Part 4), a stray solar laser / finger gun shot takes out a bit of someone's haircut:
    both girls noted several of the long tresses on the left side were now about a half inch shorter, as well as smouldering.
  • Code Name: Every mutant (and thus, every pupil) is required to have one. Jobe Wilkins takes advantage of the fact that no rules say your codename can't simply be your actual name, and Jimmy T only made a token effort. Unfortunately an ill-chosen code name like Megadeath or Power Pork can either follow you for life or leave you open to insults like "Boob Job" for "Boom Job".
  • Comfort Food: Chou's Moon Pies. The rest of Team Kimba have their own comfort foods (Lancer's is pork rinds), but Phase is appalled by all of them since he has the refined palate of a food critic.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Phase is tortured by Mad Scientist Emil Hammond. Who is apparently working for Phase's family to learn about what makes mutants manifest.
    • What's scary is how Emil Hammond always refers to Phase as 'it', and clearly is just doing this to learn more about Phase. The height would be 'what happens if Phase is in the middle of an object when he goes from light to solid.'
    • "Apparently working" nothing. His family actually comes in at one point to see how things are going. When Phase calls for them to help, they ignore him at first and then quickly leave.
  • Collapsing Lair: Gizmatic's Empire of Karedonia, with its artificial volcano island. If it wasn't supported by maintenance, the island would collapse, and its part of the island's defenses: anyone who manages to beat Gizmatic would have to figure out how to keep the volcano stable, lest it collapse the entire island and swamp the whole region with a mega-tsunami.
  • Color Character: The Green Witch, Silver, Silver Ghost, Golden Angel, Black Tiger, White Streak, etc.
  • Combat Commentator: During the Combat Finals, Peeper and Greasy fulfill this, adding unnecessarily lustful and degrading comments about female participants (almost completely Peeper). At one point, Jericho and Razorback forcefully take over this position after they get a little too sexist about their teammate Diamondback.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Sensei Ito. He encourages this in all of his students.
  • Combat Tentacles: Carmilla (Sara Waite). Not too surprising given that her father is Gothmog, demon of lust, while his mother is Shub-Niggurath — and she's related to Cthulhu on her mother's side. She can launch tentacles out of any part of her body, and those tentacles may then have mouths or eyes or worse if she wants. She has killed several people (and a LOT of animals) by thrusting her tentacles into them and eating their souls. She has used them as Naughty Tentacles too: at least one side character is now pregnant from this. Oh, by the way, she's one of the good guys in this universe.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Common, but there's a few characters that stand out, such as Tennyo, Jimmy T, and Merry/Paige/Petra. Power mimics like Counterpoint can create their own combo platters. Power Copier Mimeo combines the powers of Phase, Tennyo, Lancer, and Fey during the battle outside the Roxbury C Supermax Prison. After wiping up the floor with all comers and escaping, he then used those powers to hold up a nearly-impregnable diamond exchange.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Much of the humor in Jobe's viewpoint stories comes from his total failure to understand why most of the people he "helps" hate him so much.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Lots of examples, including the headmistress of Whateley, but Stormwolf (Adam Ironknife) is probably the best example. He's so devoted to the concepts of justice and law that he's letting bad stuff happen because he doesn't have proof of it. Also, every single person in the school club Future Superheroes of America is this way by definition.
    • On the other hand, all of Team Kimba use their powers to make their lives easier, doing everything from Fey magically drying her long hair every morning, to Generator using her powers to earn money working in the Whateley Academy sewers.
    • Ayla, despite having just insisted that he has no intention of becoming a superhero, expounds this premise at length. Fubar calls him on the inconsistency, with the exact phrase even.
    "I don’t see it as playing superhero. I don’t want to be one of the spandex set. I just…” I had to think about it for a second. “...I need to help people. It’s my upbringing. Goodkinds are raised to think about how their actions affect others. We’re raised to.. well.. if we were royalty, it would be called noblesse oblige. We run a large portion of the planet, and we know that people depend on us. We have an obligation to help those people. Just because it’s inconvenient, or difficult, or something we’d rather avoid, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. I can’t look at something like those monsters and just say ‘oh let someone else get it’. That’s not how I was raised.”
    Louis smiled, “With great power comes great responsibility? That sounds like a superhero credo to me, Phase.”
    I sighed, “I’m not Peter Parker. Let’s re-phrase that as: ‘with great economic power comes great social responsibility’. Better?”
    He was still smirking.
  • Comic-Book Time: Subtly referenced and mocked with Headmistress Carson, who looked like a teenager well into her thirties, and is currently around eighty and looks to be in her late thirties. Carson has remarked at least once that this was not a pleasent experience for her.
  • Comic Trio: The side characters of "The Unstoppable Three!" at Whateley. Captain Bravo (flying brick with energy beams from his eyes) is the schemer (well, the leader), Hyper (speedster) is the follower, and Long John (stretchy "Mister Fantastic" type) is powerless. Even the people they attack mock them.
    Phase: Long John? You named yourself after underwear? What, "Fruit of the Loom" was taken?
  • Compassionate Critic: Jobe Wilkins. He talks down to everyone, no matter how competent they may be. At the Whateley Weapons Fair (don't ask), most of his appearances are as he walks up to a student vendor and lambastes him or her for design flaws. Except for his last appearance at the Weapons Fair, where he demonstrates that he really knows what he's talking about.
  • Compelling Voice: A standard ability for Sirens, including Vox.
  • Compulsory School Age: Carmilla and Eldritch. Samantha, despite her apparent age, doesn't become a student. Vamp.
    • In Carmilla's defence, she isn't doing any of the normal high school classes. Just the ones that relate to her mutant power. Same applies to Eldritch.
    • Samantha's new body is 18 so it's not a subversion.
    • Now Ribbon has gotten into the act, too. Given that she went from fifty to eleven in a few days, and is expected to look like a pre-teen for several years to come, this is at least a plausible answer for her current problems, but is only a short-term solution.
  • Conveniently Common Kink: Transgenderism, specifically male-to-female transgenderism, with bisexuality a close second.
    • While gender transformation is the main focus of the series, bisexuality is actually the more common of the two: current students either shown in series or said by Word of God to be bisexual include Chaka, Fey, Vox, Carmilla, Bladedancer, Gateway, Jobe (after being transformed, partly due to the Drow serum itself and partly through Carmilla's psychic manipulation), Belphoebe, Loophole, Michelangelo, Gabriel, Flux, Duplex, Macrobiotic (though this may be just a political stance to support Saladin's coming out), Imperious, Counterpoint (in so far as he's willing to rape anyone he beats when he can get away with it), Don Sebastiano (at least if he can cause enough suffering to someone through it), and Vamp.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Headmistress Carson is well known for her creative approach to school discipline, with work detentions tailored to the offending student being particularly common.
    • Phase is simply in love with this trope as a way of getting back for pranks. Often the 'punishment' is an unwanted gift of some kind (e.g., he sent Fey, a vegetarian, a magazine subscription on different ways of preparing meat, in retaliation for turning the 'special' shower settings on when he was washing up), or one with a boobytrap of some sort (e.g., giving Peeper a devise electronic tablet that isn't affected by his power, thus letting him browse Internet porn again - and then warning him that it would be shut off by remote if he didn't stop harassing the female students).
  • Coolest Club Ever: The club Phase takes Vox to in Miami. It has a ridiculously high cover charge, and so it's one of the only clubs around that can afford the insurance premiums to let mutants in.
  • Cool Loser: All of Team Kimba, even though the group contains some of the hottest girls(-ish) on the entire campus. One of them is regarded as possibly the hottest girl on the planet (she's part Sidhe and has a Faerie glamour). They live in the dorm that's regarded as the campus loonybin (it's not). Before their mutant manifestations, many of them were 'losers' for one reason or another. Part of their isolation is that they seem to live up to the dorm's reputation, particularly Generator and Shroud. Tennyo has the stigma of being a Section 33 (fighting her is an automatic expulsion for anyone involved), so people are afraid of her. The group as a whole attacked the Alphas (who are supposed to be the best, most popular kids on campus)for no apparent reason early in their first term, and they're the only non-Hawthorne students who actually enjoy going over to Hawthorne to visit the students there.
  • Cool Old Guy: Ito-sensei and Gunny Bardue. Headmistress Carson is of the female variety, despite looking middle aged.
  • Cool Starship: Tennyo eventually finds one. It was parked on the moon for millenia, and she finds a memory crystal connected to it in the Whateley Library. It recognizes her as it's rightful captain, and and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: While not very many have been seen in story, it is a part of the background of The 'Verse that these types are largely the reason why many gadgeteers and devisors go rogue (though Diedrick's Syndrome is a common factor, too).
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Part of the mishmash setting, complete with Eldritch Abominations and more than one Tome of Eldritch Lore; Carmilla is descended from at least one Eldritch Abomination. The stories seem to run on Derleth's good vs evil interpretation of Lovecraft's material as opposed to Lovecraft's more chaotic and amoral world. But we don't know for sure yet, and Word of God hasn't clarified it. The school has a special classification for cosmic horror students, "Class X Entities".
  • Cosmic Plaything: Josie Gilman, due to the attentions of both several Great Old Ones and the now-barely-human Ecila Mason.
    • Pejuta seems to draw some of this as well, due to the interference of her enemies among the Native American spirits.
    • Circuit Breaker actually describes her life as a 'cosmic comedy'.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: When fighting an enemy that is wielding a pair of magical artifacts called Agamemnon's Balls in There's No Place Like Poe (Part 4):
    "Quit playing with your balls! There's children present!" The Cajun girl shielded Vasiliy's innocent eyes.
    • During parts of Vamp's recitation of her Supervillain Origin story, Tennyo covered Generator's eyes or ears more than once. The joke here is that while Jade appears to be about ten years old, and often behaves in a child-like manner (partly due to not having undergone puberty, but mostly as a deliberate ploy), in many respects she is far more worldly than Billie is.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Phase (Ayla Goodkind), to the point where a Running Gag is pointing it out. When the Team Tactics instructors are checking the team in for the holographic simulation system, Phase has so many weapons and gadgets and devises in his utility belt that a Whateley Security officer calls him on it. Among the items in Phase's utility belt are the equivalent of 'mad money' for the uber-rich: a handful of gems, rare stamps, and gold coins, in case he needed fast cash when he couldn't use his usual resources. Aside from his holdouts, Phase also has plans for how to fight every major threat on campus, and most of the minor ones as well, including all of his teammates. Several plans for each, with contingencies for different combinations of weapons and teammates. This includes a plan for beating Lancer with no weapons and only Gadgeteer Genius Bugs as backup. Unfortunately, his favored plan for defeating Physical God Tennyo backfired spectacularly: if it hadn't been in a holo-simulation, the entire Eastern seaboard of the U.S. would have been wiped out in the ensuing anti-matter explosion.
    • Mr. X, of the Brooklyn Sentinels, as discussed in Saks and Violence:
    The guy working the ‘Question’ look with the blank face mask and the leather trench coat is Mr. X. And Mr. X may have some sort of invulnerability angle, but give him his due, he does a good job of working the ‘crazy prepared’ and ‘badass trench coat’ tropes.”
  • Crime Fighting With Cash: Not uncommon, given the number of superheroes who use Power Armor and similar things. One of Phase's goals is to literally apply money to the problem of supervillainy, by providing lucrative deals to Devisors and Gadgeteers for their work, thus making them less likely to turn to crime in the first place. In the shorter term, he has a cadre of inventive students acting as weaponsmiths for him, providing him with everything from a utility belt that is larger on the inside to a collapsible tac baton made from Adamantium. He has spent literally millions on these gadgets and devises, mostly just to give him an edge against the many super-powered bullies at Whateley.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Side-effect of All Myths Are True (or possibly an alternate interpretation of the world; the pages are vague)
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jade's solution to the fact that the obviously powerful are the first to get targeted. In addition the entire Team Kimba team has a talisman that makes eavesdroppers think they are acting like 15 year old high school girls when they're talking combat strategy. A LOT of characters work out this way. Take Jobe, for instance. He's not a moron in the intelligence sense of the word, but he's an utterly unsympathetic character from the outside, and not a lot better from the inside. On the face of things, he looks like a typically squishy, physically clueless nerd. Until he reveals he's been trained in martial arts since his early days, and has damn good strategic intelligence on top of it, enough to thoroughly play a team of trainee covert ops kids in the Bad Seeds christmas story.
  • Crush Blush: Also a Luminescent Blush, after Ace and A-Plus's Love Confessions by proxy, they "blushed beet red".
  • Crystal Ball: Mainly used to scry for things:
    Palantir shook her head. “How’re we gonna do that, with all the detention we got? I got a much better way!” She cupped her hands before her and…
    “Oh. THIS again,” Abra grumped.
    “You’re just jealous ‘cause you don’t have a natural gift for this sort of thing.”
    “Sure, sure, I’m all green with envy, ‘cause you’re the Goblin King from Labyrinth, David Bowie,” Abra mocked.
    [...]
    Palantir concentrated on the magic ball, which glowed. As the three of them peered into it, an image of a low-slung rock in front of a gray-painted sheet of metal set into a hillside. A strange pale flame flickered over the rock. “That’s IT!” Palantir said with a triumphant smirk in Abracadabra’s direction. Using a general sense of proximity that she got from the ball, Pally led them through the gloom. They walked quite a ways, and Clover was starting to complain about being tired when Palantir said, “There it is!”
    “Where’s that fire we saw in the crystal ball?”
    • Twitch (Tek Witch) from Generation 2, in Following the Path of Cute, as she's a witch. Not Really. She's using it to look for invisible bunnies:
    “I made a crystal ball…” She proudly held up what appeared to be a crystal ball, about the size of a softball.
    “It sure looks like a crystal ball,” Tyler agreed. “What is it really?”
    Michelle hesitated a moment before answering, “It’s an omnidirectional camera and monitor unit.”
    “If there are any invisible bunnies in here, I’ll be able to see them…”
  • Crystal Skull: Silent Nacht (Chapter 5): "a large, human-sized crystal skull" being "the crystal skull of the Gravewarden, a third-tier supervillain" that can, when activated by Darcy, make:
    wispy ghost-like figures [appear], circling around the skull, moaning
    • However... when activated by Mr. Magic:
    the entire room was filled with ghostly wraiths that wailed like a legion of lost souls
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Team Kimba hands out one in "The Turks or the Geek". Once the sonic emitters are taken out, the entire school gets into one of these on Halloween.
  • Curse Cut Short: From Eat, Drink, and be Merry, it's cut short because Chad Wilson remembers when he was whipped by his parents for swearing:
    “F-u-“ I bit down on my tongue. Must not let the parents hear that word, ever. I still remember the rose thorn covered switch, the scabs and the odd looks from my gym teacher.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Sometimes happens with mutations, changing hair and eye color so they match.
    • From Absinthe:
      The first thing I noticed about my face were the eyes. They somehow seemed just a little larger than was normal and slightly slanted. My irises, like the eyes in general, seemed a touch larger and they were now a brilliant emerald green which was flecked with gold.
      Last night, I’d seen that my hair had turned green, and it still was. My hair was now dark green and had grown until it was down past my shoulders. And when I ran my fingers through my silky smooth hair, I accidentally revealed my ears, which were now pointed.
    • From A Little R&R (Part 2):
      “Hello,” Sapphire said, smiling at me a little self-consciously. I noticed that her eyes were a brilliant sapphire blue, so between them and her hair, it was easy to see where she got her name from.
    • Carmilla, after "The Blood Oath", her hair turns blood red like her eyes.
    • Seraphim has golden blonde hair and gold eyes.
  • Cute Bruiser: There are plenty of them at Whateley Academy, since these are future superheroes (and supervillains and superpowered people trying not to be either). Of the main characters, Tennyo and Phase fit this trope. But the best match is probably Desidera, codenamed 'Diz Aster', an 11-year-old girl who's at Whateley because there's no other place safe to hold her. She is a PK supergirl who can apply 8 tons of force at a mere touch. And she can't turn it off. She does everything with 8 tons of force. Typing. Opening the door. Changing clothes. She can't leave her room without putting on a special power armor suit whose sole purpose is to 'use up' her PK force and keep her from destroying everything she touches.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Carmilla, Paige, Tennyo
  • Cute Monster Girl: Kaiju
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Ayla's solution to the problem of gadgeteers and devisors turning to crime after being screwed over by some Corrupt Corporate Executive is to ensure that they get a fair deal - from him - in the first place.
  • Cyberspace: Being able to dive into cyberspace is Merry's best power. It turns out she's not the only one who can do it, though, and one of the others is trying to kill everyone...

     D 
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Tennyo's death blow, which disintegrates both body and soul of the victim, to the point that even the particles that constituted their body evaporate into nothingness. She has nightmares about the one time she had to use it deliberately.
    • Pejuta is once warned by her spirit guides that some of the legendary powers of the Ptesanwi are so dangerous that she should avoid even thinking about them, lest she invoke them by accident.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Carmilla & the Pack. Gothmog. The Dragonslayers. The Bad Seeds (some of the time). El Penitente. Thuban and Faction Three (maybe). See also Light Is Not Good below.
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • Part of why Imp agrees to go to Whateley as an art teacher is to get away from Superhawk, whom she had developed a romantic interest in.
    • Vamp used this as a ploy to get sympathy from Skyhawk, who fell for it hook, line and sinker.
    • Dragonblade is the result of a liaison between the hero Shadowmage and cult leader The Witch Queen. The custody battle that occurred when Shadowmage found out about A.J. was apparently quite spectacular.
    • She-Beast suspects that her real mother is the superheroine White Witch, and when she was younger imagined that this was what happened. She's still not sure who her mother really was, but she's no longer quite so sanguine about the relationship.
  • Day in the Life: A number of the chapters in the Ayla stories are like this: she goes to classes, gets powers testing, tries to get really good food in the cafeteria, chats with side characters...
  • Deadly Gas: In Test Tube Babies, there's a poison gas spill.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Phase does this with references most of the rest of the cast doesn't get. They return the favor. Girlfriend stuffed in a fridge, anyone?
    • Prince Vlad Brâncoveanu/Lord Fredrick Paramount in response to one critic, bemoaning the fact that they had originally hoped to simply outlive him lamented, "He will bury us all!" To which, Lord Paramount asked whether the critic had a preference to a shovel with an ash handle or a pine handle for the job.
  • Deconstruction: The series liberally mixes deconstructions with Take Thats and Affectionate Parodies, until it is hard to say for sure which is which.
    • The entire concept of mutant powers, which is central to the series, is deconstructed with most of the Hawthorne Cottage residents.
    • Some aspects of the Champion serve to deconstruct Superman, especially Champion's (purely psychological) Kryptonite Factor and his imaginary Origin Story. This is seen most clearly in what Mephisto the Magician says about him.
    • The Cadet Crusaders deconstruct the concept of a 'teen sidekick team', specifically the Teen Titans. Two members of the CC also serve to deconstruct the 'team of Artificial Person superheroes' concept al la DNAgents.
  • Deliberately Cute Child:
    • The Three Little Witches, from their eponymous story, when it's discussed how they get away with things if it isn't Mrs. Grimes who's handling them:
    “My MC 050- ‘Common Sense for Dingbats’- class is here,” Grimes said in a martyred tone. “They’re churning out a hundred pages of the Code of Ethics.
    “Oh, what did they do now?”
    [...]
    Grimes sighed, “[...] I know that they have to be disciplined and taught better, but dammit all, why do _I_ have to be ‘Miss Hardbroom’ all the time?”
    “Because you’re good at it?” Caduceus answered wryly.
    “Yes,” Earth Mother agreed, her round merry face smiling wanly. “Lords of Light know _I_ couldn’t handle them. I mean every time I try to talk simple sense to Clover, she just looks at me with those big eyes, and she is just So Kyute! And then Abra starts nattering about some triviality and Palantir starts fussing, and before I know it, they’ve completely weaseled their way around me!”
    [...]
    —> When Grimes got back to the classroom, she found all three of her charges with their heads on their desks, eyes closed, breathing deeply with their pencils still in their hands. “Oh,” Grimes cooed, “The little darlings are asleep! How cyuuute!” She leaned over and snapped in Palantir’s ear, “It’s not working, Irene! I said twenty times, and I MEANT twenty times!”
    “NUTS!”
    ‘Asha’ (the pronunciation of ‘Ayesha’) was JJ’s younger sister, and the baby of the family. She was 6 years old, and looked like a little blonde angel with big guileless blue eyes; and she had already learned how to use that fact like a club.
    [...]
    They were seated by the proper protocols, except for Asha, who was allowed to have Musette seated next to her on her own chair.
  • Demonic Possession:
    There are vampires who are corpses possessed by a demon or a spirit.
  • Depending on the Writer: Being a multi-writer verse, it's inevitable.
  • Depraved Bisexual: More than a few, with Don Sebastiano (a sadist who gets his kicks humiliating both opponents and lovers alike, and was more than happy to use both Skybolt and Cavalier as sex slaves), Counterpoint (who will gleefully to rape vanquished enemies when he can get away with it, and doesn't much care about what sex they are - he is the physical incarnation Ares, after all, and he never showed much distinction in the past either), and Michelangelo (a brutally physical sadist who has managed to drive away almost every possible lover at Poe) standing out.
  • Description Cut: From Have Your Self an Evil Little Christmas (Part 1):
    those brats have absolutely NO IDEA that I’m on their tail.’
    [On the train]
    —> “Special Investigator for Department of Paranormal Affairs,” Nephandus guessed. “Part of a three-man shadow. His partner is probably on the train in the car ahead of us, and the third man is following the train in a helicopter. They’ll rotate positions in Manchester or Concord, to keep us from getting suspicious.”
  • Deus Exit Machina: This problem exists with some of its more powerful protagonists. Some stories have had to find 'reasons' why Tennyo (or the headmistress) couldn't step in.
    • In "Boston Brawl II" they solved the problem by having Tennyo go after the one supervillain she couldn't beat.
    • Even better, in "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy", the authors came up with a way of stopping Tennyo, maybe for good, by confronting her with the past of her alien part and giving her a Heroic BSoD.
    • Fubar got this treatment at Halloween.
  • Dictionary Opening: In Test Tube Babies:
    ‘test’: n., an examination or evaluation
    ‘tube’: n., slang term for television or video-related imagery
    ‘babies’: n., colloquially, neophytes or tyros
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: But the headmistress points out that having been seen to near-single-handedly defeat The Dragon/Big Bad and his Mooks is not a good thing - because now it means that all the other villains are going to consider them serious threats.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Anybody who's received the attentions of Sara Waite.
  • Dirt Forcefield: Part of some people's powers. It's why Pristine has her particular codename.
  • Disability Superpower: Inverted: Hawthorne is full of kids who are effectively disabled by their own powers because a lack adequate control or Required Secondary Powers make them a danger to themselves or others.
  • Discard and Draw: Potentially a result of burnout, as well as increasing or decreasing powers, however it is never considered a good thing as it can cause deformation and death.
  • Discriminate and Switch: In A Fistful of Chaka, Toni meets Koehnes, an Earth spirit serving Nikki as a maid. Koehnes tries to kick her out, and screams about how horrific it is that the Queen of the West has to share her room with a- and while Toni expects something racial, she instead gets 'With a mortal'. Toni's response, hilariously, is 'Ooh, she said it! She said the M word!'
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A very common problem, when you have a lot of emotionally-overcharged teens with superpowers in the area of a largish private school. Counterpoint is, not surprisingly, king of this trope.
  • Distracted by the Luxury: In Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 1), Vamp says that Jobe will be distracted by buying jewelry:
    Jadis, she'll be so taken with the sparklies that she'll stop thinking about the fact that she's been promised to a guy who she doesn't even know who he IS yet."
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • From Jade 7: Over the Top:
      Demona reached out to lay a comforting hand on Jinn’s shoulder. Unfortunately, she misjudged her own bust size. The arm never made it, blocked by a now-jiggling mass on her chest. "Oops. Dang, I’m still getting used to these things." She paused to poke herself, starting an interesting series of oscillations going.
      A feathered boy, walking past, noticed and was unable to turn away. He ended up walking into a wall so hard that he apparently knocked himself out.
    • Fey. After she had a near-burnout and grew, boys were walking past her dorm room to get a look. And were walking into the wall, falling down the stairs...
  • Dogged Nice Guy: several, as well as some dogged nice girls. Harlan Sawyer is probably the best example.
  • Does Not Like Men:
    • Hippolyta. Her usual reaction to being admired by fellow high school students is to beat the snot out of them. Her backstory makes her attitude a heck of a lot more understandable; it would be pretty hard to go through what she's been through and feel comfortable with guys.
    • Pejuta, initially, who was more mortally terrified of men approaching her in any manner.
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Child: Referenced in Silent Nacht (Chapter 5), with Mr. Magic:
    "Really... you never bothered to find out what SEX your child really is?" Macabre sneered. "Such a negligent parent hardly has any room for such righteous indignation."
  • Dope Slap: Pucelle needs them from time to time, as said in Boston Brawl II:
    "Just another example of the blatant preference that this school gives to those who embody an arbitrary and pointless physical ideal of-" Pucelle stopped as Foxfire held a cupped hand in front of her and a bar of pale blue fire formed in the cup of her hand. It solidified into a crude 2x4 board, with which Foxfire tapped Pucelle none-too-gently on the forehead.
    "Believe me, this is the only way to get her to shut up, once she gets wound up," Foxfire said dryly. Slyboots rose up partially out of Foxfire’s tote and stuck a pink tongue out at Pucelle. <nyeh!> Pucelle bridled and started to say something, but the 2x4 grew into a gnarled club with a long spike driven through the end, ala' 'Li'l Abner'.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Catgirl Madness: The events, "madness", about a catgirl? And also the (false) diagnosis of schizophrenia that catgirl gets.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Aries is now working as a spy on The Don for both Phase and Kodiak while pretending to be a spy on Kodiak for The Don. If that wasn't enough, he has also come clean to Chief Delarose, the results of that are yet to be seen. But seems to be spying for the police, too.
  • Dumb Blonde: Discussed, mentally, by Mrs. Carson in reference to a newsreader in Kayda 9.
    a bleach-blonde newsreader who probably had never heard of South Dakota before it was on the teleprompter. Mrs. Carson caught herself with that thought; it wasn't fair to the woman that she looked like an airhead blonde.
  • Dragged into Drag: The typical fate of anyone who resists the Third Law of Gender Bending, though at least one case of it happening to a physically male character occurs in the Halloween arc.
    • Phase hates that this keeps happening to him.
    • Josie's older sister pulls this on her to keep Josie from moping about her transformation.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • In "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", it's discovered that Fey's powers have been killing entire ecosystems around the country with the energy she's always pulling from ley lines. Because of this, she can no longer use power willy-nilly and has to come up with energy-saving alternatives.
    • In addition, Aunghadhail dying during Whilst Any Speaks has nerfed Fey even more. According to Word of God, Nikki's arsenal has been greatly reduced in size as a result because a lot of her spells were ones that Aunghadhail prepared for her, not spells that Nikki actually knew herself, so with Aunghadhail gone...
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Gunny Bardue and especially Erik Mahren, to the point that most students and security personnel knew him as "that asshole".
  • Drives Like Crazy: As described in A Single Fold, Slapdash, as said by Jobe, who was driven to a location:
    Slapdash blinked as Ms. Carson personally directed him to park behind the infirmary. He nodded and watched with a smile as Jobe slowly unpeeled his hands from the safety harness as a few security guards watched with amusement. Once the all terrain attack vehicle had stopped, Jobe could not exit the vehicle fast enough.

    “That,” Jobe said once he was outside and on firm ground, “was disturbing.”
  • Drop the Hammer:
    • The superpowered mutant Sledge wields a big sledgehammer, and as fits the trope, is a Scary Black Man.
    • Donner is Swedish, has trouble with English, and wields a warhammer much like Thor, right down to the Marvel Comics trick of hurling it (well, using Energizer powers to move it through the air) and letting it pull him after.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: There have been occasional references to 'Quinzel-Osborn Syndrome', a form of bipolar disorder in which the 'manic' periods are characterized by a violent euphoria during which the subject literally appears to be intoxicated by violence and cruelty.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: The Transfer Students:
    "Desdemona is normally played by a blonde," he said with a sheepish grin. "Would you have any aversion to dyeing your hair for the production?"
    "I never have…" I told him hesitantly. "Couldn't I just wear a wig?"

     E 
  • Ear Ache: The Three Little Witches:
    Foxfire and the other Lit Chix dragged Palantir and Abracadabra over to the web. Foxfire had Palantir by her ear, and wasn’t letting go.
  • Eat the Dog: Sara/Carmilla sucks the souls from dogs and other animals with her tentacles, for most meals. Yes, she's one of the good guys, at least at the moment... But the way she eats cause her tons of grief, especially early on. She very blatantly had puppies in her box at least once. And a lot of times old, worn out dogs who suffered more by living, and seemed to want a release from it. Right from the local pound in Dunwich.
    • For that matter, the school cafeteria, having to deal with the dietary needs and occasionally odd tastes of hundreds of mutant teenagers, seems generally able to provide pretty much anything if given sufficient notice in advance. In one Heyoka story, one Jerk Jock is forced to literally eat dog (though not a live one) in front of all the other students in order to break a curse he's brought on himself.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: The nearby town is named after a town from a H.P. Lovecraft story and has a high school for mutants, heroes, and monsters. One doesn't ask too many questions.
  • Either/Or Title: Have Yourself a Monkey Little Christmas Or The Uncanny X-Mas
  • Elaborate University High: Whateley Academy: Seven dorms, a physical education building with a large annex, three swimming pools, two full-sized indoor gymnasiums, a cafeteria that's inside a geodesic dome big enough to seat maybe six hundred, several large school buildings, an astronomy tower, a university-sized library that has really restricted sections, a church, a massive campus store, and miles and miles of underground areas, including: a power plant, three combat arenas and a holographic simulation center, dozens and dozens of public and private labs for the devisers and gadgeteers, you name it. It's so big it has its own building for the security teams.
  • Eldritch Abomination
  • Elemental Absorption:
    • Nacht of has magical darkness powers, and can absorb light-based attacks and make herself more powerful.
    • Blot just absorbs all energy radiating on him all the time, which is why he looks like a human-shaped black spot all the time.
  • Elemental Baggage: Played straight by stronger mutants, but averted by weaker ones.
  • Elemental Powers: Several of the superpowered teenagers at Whateley Academy have elemental powers.
    • Riptide has control over water. Fireball and Phoenixfire have fire-based powers. Imperious has the ability to cast lightning bolts, and super strength.
    • Imperious likely also has wind/air-based powers, due to being Zeus.
    • In at least one case, "reality" somewhat randomly chose to reassert itself: Frostbite technically has hydrokinesis (the power to move water at a distance), but doing so uses up the energy contained in the water in the form of heat...and she can explicitly not manipulate ice, leaving her somewhat blessed with suck.
  • Electric Black Guy: Jamal Castle, codenamed Jolt, a Electrical Energizer, meaning he has some electrical abilities, and is black as an episode of his Power Incontinence was described as "The black kid yelped and suddenly erupted in a crackling field of arcing electricity".
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Chaka, whose middle name is Marc, previously Mark.
  • Emotion Eater: Sara and El Penitente.
  • The Empath: Seraphim. Jinn, Sara/Carmilla and a few others have a variation, wherein they see people's emotions as colors (purple lust, green jealousy, red rage...) but don't experience the emotions themselves.
  • Emperor Scientist: Joe Wilkins, AKA Gizmatic, who conquered a minor Caribbean island and transformed it into the Empire of Karedonia, complete with tax-free offshore banking, robotic police, time-share supervillian lairs, and an artificial volcano that quintupled the size of the island and provided it a steady income from mining industries. The instability of this setup is itself part of the island's defenses: anyone who manages to beat Gizmatic would have to figure out how to keep the volcano stable, lest it collapse the entire island and swamp the whole region with a mega-tsunami.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: As said in I Looked into the Abyss, and it Winked (Part 1), it's what's left of Doctor Crawford Tillinghast's housekeeping staff, lost to Cthulhu Mythos entities:
    "Did he really kill his entire housekeeping staff?"
    "Your guess is as good as mine," answered the man in the sharp black suit. "All we found were piles of clothes."
  • The End: A few stories end with Fin. Such as:
  • Enemy Mine: In the last chapter of Birthday Brawl, Tennyo and a group of supervillains team up to dig out of Rox C after the Necromancer trapped them there.
    • Attacks by Professor Reaper tend to evoke this response, for good reason. In "The Book of Darwin", even escaped convicts helped fight the rampaging robots, as they were being targeting just as much as anyone. The final fight with Reaper involved Eldritch, Dr. Diabolik, and an A-List Super Hero called The Unforgiven, all of whom dropped what they were doing to stop him.
  • Energy Absorption: Several students in can absorb energy in one way or another.
    • Buster can only absorb kinetic energy attacks.
    • Blot absorbs all E-M radiation, which is why he looks like a living blackness; the more radiation he absorbs, the stronger he gets.
    • Several characters, like Icer, absorb heat and can use that ability in an Iceman-like way.
    • A couple, like Negator, can absorb or block whatever energy or phlebotinum powers other mutants' superpowers.
    • And Lancer, a PK brick, can absorb energy attacks and fire them back at his opponents.
  • Entitled Bastard: Pretty common when inherited wealth meets with mutant powers. Jobe, several of the Alphas (naturally), most of the New Olympians (no surprise there), some of the Golden Kids (ditto), and at the very least Fantastico and Oiler of the Good Ol' Boyz all fit this trope to varying degrees..
  • Entry Pimp: Infamously, one fan added hundreds of web links throughout TV Tropes to Whateley without creating the actual Whateley Universe entry, requiring lots of cleanup and creating a lot of ill will.
  • Epigraph: On some of the stories, like:
    • The Evil That Men Do:
      They say, when you gain a lover
      You begin to lose a friend;
      That the end of the beginning's
      The beginning of the end.
      They say the moment that you're born
      Is when you start to die...
      Roger Whittaker, The First Hello, The Last Goodbye
      I wouldn't if I were you
      I know what she can do
      She's deadly man, she could really rip your world apart
      Mind over matter
      Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart
      Hall & Oates, Maneater
  • Epunymous Title: There's a few:
    • Silent Nacht, a pun with the song Silent Night, and featuring a character named Nacht, which means Night in English.
    • The Merry stories, with titles such as:
      • The More the Merrier
      • Merry Descent into Madness
      • Eat, Drink and be Merry
      • To Be Merry and Escape From It All
      • Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again
  • Escaped from Hell: Jade, a.k.a Generator escapes from Sara's personal hell dimension in Tennyo Goes To Hell, though an aspect of herself also gets left behind. Fortunately, that part of herself has achieved everything she ever wanted making it a somewhat confusing example.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Most of the main characters get them:
    • Chaka starts off as a young black teenage boy sharing a room with his unpleasant Gangsta Wannabe older brother, except he's not only becoming a mutant and having to go to a Superhero School but turning into a girl as well, because this setting is basically X-Men with the gay rights allegory promoted from subtext to an actual plot point... And she is absolutely goddamn stoked about it. She also loudly and angrily calls her brother out on his bullshit.
    • The headmistress, Dr. Elizabeth Carson, gives the welcome speech and immediately comes across as someone you'd better not cross. Then later on, at Halloween, we meet her other identity, Lady Astarte, and we find out she's really someone you shouldn't tick off.
    • Trevor James Goodkind is a Sheltered Aristocrat, heir to billions in a wealthy anti-mutant business family and being groomed to be one of the Goodkinds who takes over the reins of power. We first see him and his family at dinner, being waited on, having a staff of chefs, and Trevor is plotting about how, when he grows up, he's going to get his favorite chef to come with him when he moves out. The next morning, he manifests as a mutant and things rapidly go downhill from there, with a series of Break the Haughty scenes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's mentioned very explicitly that one of the few things you can do to get everyone with powers of some sort trying to kill you is to blackmail, threaten, or attack one of the student's families. Even supervillains have families and kids, after all — some of which are at Whateley. Specifically, it's said that the last group who tried to threaten a student's family was made the senior project of that year - and that, of the members of the group still living, every last damn one of them is on life support...and profusely grateful to be in jail.
    • Some of Reverend Goodhope's 'thugs' are dumb enough to do this, and they're dealt with. Very quickly. Very brutally.
    • As of the very end of part 4 of 'Five Elements Dancing', an evil cult tries to blackmail a student by threatening the families of her friends at school. Headmistress Carson calls the alumni association, and suddenly all of the superhero alumni are looking the other way while the supervillain alumni take action.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jobe Wilkins is a sick fuck, but he utterly despises people who disregard the free will of others. Though he's also shown to be a bit of hypocrite about this. He doesn't count things like overriding someones nervous system (you're not controlling their mind, they just can't do anything about it) or making sex with someone addictive (his Drow physiologically imprint on the first person they have sex with). And he's in serious denial about his mother being under mind control from his father.
    • Mephisto claims that the purpose of his 'Satanikos' scam - a purported 'Satanic Child Abuse Conspiracy' - was intended to undermine a very real plan by the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom to arrange fake 'adoptions' of children so they could sacrifice them to demons in exchange for power.
    Mephisto: Now, I’ll admit that the Brotherhood doesn’t play nice. Hell, by the standards that the vast majority of the populace subscribes to, we’re evil as hell. BUT, we have the long-term good of the human race at heart. Selling kids to the Pit does NOT serve the greater good in any way, shape or form. There is shit even WE don’t put up with, and the Grand Hall is a textbook example of what we don’t put up with.
    • Gen 2: The cult which kidnapped Dragonsfyre in order to make her a living power source managed to offend the sensibilities of two demons enough that they gave her advice on how to escape from them. Considering that they had just jacked up her BIT and made her a Gender Bender in the process says that whatever they were planning for her would have been much, much worse.
    • A number of villains (most notably the Harrow family) adhere to the "Code of the Honorable Outlaw", a set of rules that basically boil down to, a) don't be an asshole to other supervillains without a good reason, and b) don't do things that brings too much heat down on everyone else. Those who break those (mostly unwritten) rules too often may find themselves getting robbed by other villains, lose Syndicate support, have anonymous tip-offs to the police about them, and just generally not get the time of day from their colleagues any more.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Variation with Fey: Even the Gays Want Her. How bad is this? Even THE FOUR ELEMENTS WANT HER!
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: It's on the bloody curriculum. True, the introductory combat and survival classes aren't strictly speaking mandatory, but the twice-annual Combat Finals are. Only a handful of confirmed conscientious objectors get out of taking the martial arts courses, and most of those end up wishing they had.
    • At least one of the survival classes is purely escape and evasion techniques for students who aren't physically or mentally suited for combat. And students who figure out how to solve their combat finals without actual combat usually get better grades.
  • Evolutionary Levels: At least, according to Dr. Braeburn's research, mutants are better in almost every way:
    “For my particular investigation, it means that, by sapiens standards, mutant women seem both younger and more beautiful, on average. Mutant men are also more striking. It’s not necessarily body-builder muscular, though that is a possibility. But even the skinny geeks often have a … presence, that makes them striking and compelling.”
    [...]
    I haven’t investigated, but anecdotal evidence is that mutants, as a group, are healthier, smarter, and more graceful. To scientifically prove that they’re more beautiful as well? Sounds like a recipe for hatred to me.”
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Well, not everyone, but (perhaps usurprisingly) a large percentage of the adult characters are Whately graduates, and some of the world's most powerful superheroes and supervillains are still fuming, fussing or feuding over high school slights, grudges or crushes.
  • Evil Laugh: Discussed in Test Tube Babies:
    The sweet voice vanished, and an accented voice - a voice that was still intimidating decades after Lady Hydra had ‘retired’ - malevolently purred, "But of course, Herr Bardue. In the last sim, I didn't even haff time to give zem my evil laugh.” She clenched her fists and looked at the ceiling. “BWA-HA-HA-HAH!"
  • Excited Show Title!:
  • Extranormal Institute: The Arkham Research Consortium (ARC).
  • Extra-ore-dinary:
    • The character Silver secretes mithril and can shape it into weapons.
    • Lodestone has some ferrokinetic abilty.
  • Eye Beams: There are a few:
    • Fantastico has some kind of Superman-like heat vision.
    • Silent Nacht (Chapter 5): The "power item of the Green Gorgon" is an "overbuilt headset with a massive visor" that "shoots out rays that blind people, or paralyze them, or-" some other things.
  • Eye Scream: It's All In The Timing!:
    she attacked me and clawed out my eye

     F 
  • Facepalm: In Charge: le Snob Fracais, after Adalie is faced with Alicia's thoughts on French culture, and Louisiana:
    Adalie face-palmed, her expression stricken. "I 'ave died and gone to 'ell!" she exclaimed.
  • Faceplant: From Have Your Self an Evil Little Christmas (Part 1), during "a racing down a hill while carrying luggage" competition:
    She-Beast planted her face when she came down wrong after almost losing her load.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Do not screw with the BIT. It will not end well-for example, there was a man with a BIT that made him look like a crocodile. He had it changed to make him look like a handsome, completely normal man. Unfortunately, it gave him the mind of a crocodile and he went on a cannibalistic rampage. Which irritates Phase — physically female except for his genitals — to no end. It almost makes you wonder if a higher being is screwing with his life because they think it's funny.
  • Fainting Seer: Half-demons are not good for the health of precogs.
  • The Fair Folk: While the Faerie aren't quite so alien as the more extreme examples, they certainly have the arrogance, vengefulness, and caprice down pat. This seems to be somewhat moderated by their being reincarnated in (mutant) human form, making them more like modern ideas of Elves.
  • Fantastic Catholicism: The Roman Catholic Church runs a small group (the 'Roses and Thorns') who actively fight demons, dark mages, and such.
  • Fantastic Foxes: Whiskey Jak (AKA Wisakedjak and Reynard the Fox), a legendary Trickster who is Alex Preswick-Walcutt's avatar spirit. Given that Coyote, Raven, Sun Wukong, and Hermes are also hanging around Whateley Academy in one form or another, his appearance there will probably raise a few alarm bells, if anyone were to notice.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Sidhe, werebeasts, Lovecraftian horrors, they're all there. Along with avatars of ancient gods. Not delusional. Both Circe (THE Circe) and the Tao through Bladedancer acknowledge the fact that they are the ancient Greek gods stuffed into human bodies. Circe even calls one of them by name and says that it's good to see him again.
  • Fartillery: Miasma's powers. He did use it to good effect against Peeper, though.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow:
    • The Three Little Witches:
      Al-Feyez raised an imperious eyebrow. “And what about that insane ‘Halloween’ holiday of yours? How are you going to keep them apart during a night when the Malkuthean veils are so thin?”
    • Myriad Meetings: Part 1
      “Tanya Wright, or Invictus, which is Latin for 'unconquered.' It's nice to meet you.”
      The girl raised a quizzical eyebrow as she accepted the handshake[.]
  • The Fatalist: A major aspect of the Taoist religion, we've seen them accept murder because it was destined. Not happily mind, but…
  • Fetus Terrible: Multiple:
    • There's a classic example in a Lovecraftian sense. A woman whose ancestry isn't all human is made pregnant by a demon whose parent is Shub-Niggurath. The unborn child is predicted to be a powerful demon whose progeny will wipe the earth clean of humans. The mother is killed. Subversion: the mother is killed over twenty years too late, and the child grows up apparently human until his death. At which point it comes back to life and fights like hell not to be turned into the predicted demon. Currently in this universe, said character is one of the heroes. So far.
    • In Buffalo Gal Won't You Come Out Tonight (Ch 4), Debra is spiritually impregnated by one of Unhcegila's sons. When her spiritual abortion is discussed:
      "If she doesn't do this, she will die. The spawn of the serpent-creature will eat their way out of her, killing her in an agonizingly painful, slow death. She will die in the dream world, and she will die in the real world. Before she dies in the real world, though, she will be driven mad by what is happening to her." She looked at me with a level gaze. "You have no choice. She must take the medicine, and you must incant the spell I tell you if you wish to save her life."
  • Fictional Disability: Roulette gets occasional burnouts, which is where the body cooks itself due to overuse of its mutant powers every once in a while, and each one changes her powers.
  • Fictional Document: Everything published by Whateley Press.
    • "Introduction to the Modern Theory of Mutant Powers, a Whateley Press textbook" by Filbert R. Z. Quintain, M.S., Ph.D., F.A.A.S.
    • From All Hallows Ball Part Two:
      Dr Quintain's [...] Beyond Shiva: A Detailed Study of the Avatar Trait
  • Fictional Painting:
    • The painting of Lord Paramount in Whateley Academy's Homer Gallery, which all students are required to see, annually. It also has an enchantment to hide his presence to those who've seen the picture.
    • The painting of Lady Jettatura in the Green Witch's lair, flipped so it's facing away from the room, enchanted so Lady Jettatura cannot scry into her lair.
  • Fiery Redhead: At least four:
    Alberta ‘Fireball’ Waldner ... She was an Exemplar, which was supposed to be, like, a base requirement. She was a babe, she knew that, even if she did have to dye her naturally strawberry blonde hair flame red to go with her green eyes and Fire Manifestation powers. And POWER? She could not only create fire out of nothing, but she could shape it and animate it to whatever she wanted!
    Okay, so she got a little carried away some times. She was taking medication for that.
    • Powerful mage Fey counts too. Do not piss her off. Plus, when it comes to fire, no one else has what she has.
    • There's also Palantir, of the Three Little Witches, who's learned to fight for her fair share.
    • And Loophole, who screams when she's confrontational, like when she faced Freya, as seen in The Case of the Poisonous Patent:
    Doc stormed into the Melville common room in a rage of biblical proportions. Her face was so flushed it was difficult to see where skin stopped and her brilliant scarlet hair started. "Freya!" she screamed as she entered, drawing every eye in the room. The object of her ire, the tall, shapely queen of the Alphas, turned without a care from her chess game by the fireplace, her ice blue eyes coolly regarding the enraged freshman that had burst into her court.
    My temper has twice the fire of my hair[.]
  • Fights Like a Normal: Whateley Academy Academy actually encourages it. One of the teachers for the aikido classes is sensei Tolman, who is a Type 3: a black woman with superstrength and mental attack powers, who just prefers using aikido. And Aquerna is a Type 1: she has squirrel powers, so she is stronger and faster than a baseline human, which means she is considered a campus joke. She has been learning aikido, Le Parkour, and martial arts weapons.
  • Fille Fatale:
    • Paparazzi of the Whateley Universe, who is already a supervillainess while still in high school. Granted, it's Whateley Academy, but still... As said in Crime and Chaos:
    She had an oval face highlighted with full bee-stung lips and butter gold eyes that looked out of the photograph with an expression that was practically X-rated.
    Miss Harrington here is probably what Justice Stewart would have been talking about if he’d known her when he said in Jacobellis v. Ohio ‘I can’t define pornography but I know it when I see it.’
    [...]
    This wasn’t a seventeen year old school girl; this was a twenty something Porn Queen who had stepped out of the pages of a center fold.
    • Solange (Tansy Walcutt) probably counts as well, since she's been using her feminine wiles and good looks to seduce and humiliate guys since she was 14.
    • One of Sahar's main knacks is the ability to copy other people's Psychic Powers through, ah, intimate association with them. Having lived as a street orphan in Beirut, she was used to seeing other people as either threats or targets, and set about seducing as many of the other Psychic Arts students, male and female, as she could. She only stopped when she fell in love with Zenith and had a Heel Realization about how much she was hurting her targets.
    • Margie and Winifred Schroeder were trained as them, as said in Eisenmadel 1 Summer of my German Heritage (Part 2):
      Six years we spent training to [...] be irresistible [...] to boys. [...]
      "Wait a sec," interrupted Ruby. "You mean you two were honey traps?"
      "Age sixteen and sweet as could be," said Margie with one of those sly winks. "The boys didn't know what hit them."
  • First Law of Gender-Bending: A fundamental law within Whateley. Anyone who changes gender due to being an Exemplar cannot change back. Some shapeshifters and Reach (who flips between genders) are the exceptions. The current (possibly wrong) in universe theory as to why there are so many Gender Benders is that the spirit of evolution has decided to force mutants to out-breed humanity, and is helping that along by just making more female mutants — one way or another. Independent research would be impossible to obtain in order to test this theory...
  • First Period Panic: Happens a few times, with Male to Female GenderBenders. Usually, it's a big reminder that yes, they are a woman now:
    • Tennyo: She panics, but gets over it quickly.
    • Miyet: She was a macho bully until her transformation, and seemed to have been unaware of what a menstrual period was, when it happened.
    • Bladedancer, in her origin story, Destiny's Wave, had the help of a talking sword that was once a female human. The story says:
      The first time her period hit she had freaked out. Thankfully the sword talked her through things. The sword had not known what the tampon was though.
  • First-Person Smartass: Phase.
  • Five-Man Band: Chaka is The Hero, Fey is The Lancer, Phase is The Smart Guy, Lancer and Tennyo are The Big Guys, and Generator is The Chick. Also in Ill Winds, the Grove assembles The Five: Fey as The Queen, Razorback as The Champion and Bard, Jericho as The Healer, Chaka as The Mistress of Chi and finally Chou as The Overseer of Balances.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Quite a few of the top scientists believe that magic is just psychic effects.
  • Flight: Every one of the listed ways of flight has been adopted by at least one of the characters. Of course, since it's at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy which has nearly 600 students plus a host of superpowered teachers, it's inevitable that a lot of people there can fly or have figured out how to fake it. One way not mentioned in the list at the top of the page: one girl with magical powers has given her horse wings so she can fly on the horse's back (her horse also magically communicates with her).
  • Flipping the Bird:
    The sound of a small motor made me aware of a video camera in the room as I sat and took care of some overdue business. I scrunched down, and watched the camera watch me. Not wanting to miss my chance at giving the giving the wrong impression I flipped the camera the bird. Then I said, “fucking perverts.”
    I did get a slight giggle when the camera abruptly pointed to the opposite corner. Though I can’t say for certain, I was fairly sure the motor was not that fast.
    “Because you’re so much older than me,” I teased with a grin. “Oh wait… You barely look like you’re out of diapers…”
    “Bite me, kid,” Alyss responded as she flipped me the bird, which made everyone start to laugh.
  • Flying Brick: Hank and many others; the term "brick" is often used in-universe. It's not an uncommon power set:
    • Hank plays this completely straight, being a 'telekinetic brick' with super-strength, flight, and a forcefield that he's learned to extend a bit to cover weapons he uses, but no ranged powers other than picking things up and throwing them thus far.
    • Tennyo arguably has this as a subset of her powers, though it's easy to overlook underneath her flashy energy blasts/sword and reality-rending 'death blow'.
    • Note that there are several ways to get the same basic set of effects, including psychokinesis (as in the case of Lancer), density warping (e.g., Phase), gravity control (e.g., Superchick, G-Force), space/time warping combined with the Exemplar powerset and regeneration (e.g., Tennyo), and several others. This means that it is crucially important to know which kind of Flying Brick one is to use the powers well, and both information and disinformation about others' powers are no less factors than with other powers.
    • Just as important, because these powersets are fairly common combinations with equally well-known limitations, and given that your typical Flying Bricks have been living in the proverbial "World Of Cardboard" since manifesting and thus rarely use their full strength, there are several known ways of taking most of them out - for all its power, it is one of the easiest powersets to overcome through superior training and planning. This is the favorite trick Ito-soke uses in his introductory demo for Basic Martial Arts classes, with him getting the better of one such brick in four or five classes on the first day of school each year. To say that seeing an elderly baseline human doing this leaves a lasting impression (in the students minds, of not necessarily the dojo walls) is an understatement.
  • Flying Firepower:
    • Tennyo flies, hurls plasma blasts, and more
    • Golden Girl flies, has a golden energy blasts, and can put up a golden energy screen.
    • Sunscreen can do the same, and seems to get energy from the sun.
  • Food Fight: Somewhat common, and often involving powers. Campus security has a pool each year over when the first one of the year happens; they see it as a rite of passage for each new class, though the first is usually messy enough to forestall any others.
    • When Tennyo gets a job as a cafeteria worker on-campus, some people who don't like her start one with her as the (first) target.
    • During the Shoulder Angels story, Peeper gets pranked with a pair that act like an even more obnoxious version of himself, while the pranksters (Generator and Beltane) arrange for a large number of banana cream pies to just happen to be on hand on the tables where all the girls John had been harassing all year were sitting.
    • Mischief sets one off in order to distract Unstoppable when he was pounding Aegis' face in, after Aegis had bumbled to Roulette's rescue when 'Stoppable' tried to pick a fight with her.
  • Food Porn: In Ayla's stories. In his first story, "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind", the contrast between gourmet fare and the stuff he can afford with a normal income is used to illustrate how widespread the major lifestyle changes he goes through are.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Subverted, Iron Star was actually going as Captain America, but using his powers wrecked the costume. Played straight too, since Tennyo went as Ryoko, and the rest of the team went as other Tenchi Muyo! characters. It's generally considered bad form to go to the Halloween party as "my super future self".
  • For Science!: A common excuse used by Mad Scientists in-universe, most notably Dr Macabre (who ironically isn't using science at all). Ironically, of all Devisors both at school and in the world as a whole, it is Jobe who seems to think of the consequences of his experiments more than anyone, though his unrestrained ego leads him to go ahead and perform them anyway.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Tansy Walcutt is an A-grade bitch, but considering what we know of her childhood and family life, one can't help but feel a little sorry for her.
    • Several of the Bad Seeds also fall into this category, Jobe and Nephandus in particular. In both cases, they were raised by particularly twisted parents who molded them into their own supervillainous mindsets. Nacht's mother seems to have tried to do the same, but somehow this got sidetracked into snarkiness and a chilling ability to frighten even the strongest opponents with just a glare.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Jobe is this to the rest of the Bad Seeds. Nephandus too.
    • Dr. Venus strenuously explains to Dr. Macabre not only why almost every other supervillain sees him this way, but also why he should care about what the people who have your back think of you.
    • Looking to outdo his predecessor in terms of sheer bloody-mindedness, Don Sebastiano made a point of packing the Alphas top ranks with the most vicious and sociopathic out of The Beautiful Elite, with only a few holdouts (mainly Kodiak, who was too concerned with being on top of the heap and getting his long-terms plans in motion to resist too much; Bluejay, who was too unpredictable to be discounted; and Aries, who had basically lost any credibility from acting as Freya's enforcer and was stuck in his role as a bully) whom he couldn't afford to remove keeping them from getting worse. What never seems to have occurred to him is that Freya made a point of having only enough such people around to liven things up and otherwise keeping up a more positive outward appearance, nor that he was putting his fortunes in the hands of people who by definition had Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and would leave him to twist in the wind the moment things got dicey even if they didn't just shiv him in the back at the first opportunity. Their Schadenfreude at the beatdown he received from Skybolt and Cavalier doesn't even seem to have made this clear to him yet.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: In combination with You Need to Get Laid in Raises the Sun (Part 1):
    “You’re stiff like that guy Daddy talked about at the Palace.” The young six year old piped up. Before anyone could say anything, she continued. “You need to ... oh, yes, go to a strip club and relax, as Daddy said about that guy.” Pausing once again, with James repressing a snicker, and a slight glare from Kiko to her husband as he cringed slightly, she then burbled on. “Though what’s a strip club?”
    [...]
    “From the mouth of babes, eh?”
  • Full-Name Ultimatum:
    Anna grinned. “I know how that goes. When my mom gets mad at me, she calls me Anna Raquel Parsons. Real loud. Nobody ever uses my middle name except then.” She didn’t want to think about her mom never talking to her again.
    • Talked about in Written in Blood Part 1:
    The last thing I wanted was for my mom to realize that I’d been eavesdropping on her and then yell out with the dreaded, “Bryan Adam St. Claire.” Being called out by your full name was NEVER a good thing, and it NEVER led to anything good.
    • And then used:
    “Bryan Adam St. Claire,” Mom announced, using the dreaded full name. “You know we’re running late. You had better not make me wait on you when we leave…”
  • Functional Magic: runs the whole gamut, most prominently Wild Magic (Fey), Rule magic (mages) and Device magic (devisers)
  • Funetik Aksent: There are multiple characters to which this is applied, and whether it's used or not is Depending on the Writer, as the series is a Shared Universe:
    • Elaine Ethel Nalley (a.k.a Loophole), a Georgia girl: as said in Secret of the Forger's List: Chapter 2 among other stories:
      “Ah’m not saying it’s a bad idea, Becky,” Elaine was saying to Rebecca. “It’s just hard to film.”
    • Dr Ophelia Tenent, mainly in the Loophole stories. It is hinted that she is deliberately emphasizing it at those times, and that at other times she doesn't have much of an accent at all.
    • Charge, a French girl.
    • Alicia, a girl from the Bayou, as seen in Siblings and Savages: Chapter 2:
      “Be just fine if Dino-butt here would explain why he’s usin’ me as a hat!”
      “Stop that ya great scaly oaf! Ah am not a hat!”
  • Fun with Acronyms: Unreliable Narrator Mephisto mentions this was common among 'super-spy organizations', in a story which was a Pastiche of 1960s series such as James Bond and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
  • Future Me Scares Me: In "It's All In The Timing", Toni and Nikki meet their evil alternate future selves, who are trying to kill the current self of the other.
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     G 
  • Gadgeteer Genius: A considerable part of the student body. Comes in two main flavours:
    • Gadgeteers: Their power is a form of ESP that tells them exactly what tool, material, design etc. to use to build a machine, but their creations obey the normal laws of science. Once created, a gadgeteer's design can be patented, built in a factory by normal workers, and used by anyone.
    • Devisors: The real mad scientists. Their power allows them to impose their own personal reality, creating machines, drugs etc. that defy the laws of science. A devisor's creation is known as a "devise" (note the spelling). Devises can only be built by devisors, and often only work reliably for them, or at least in their presence.
    • Some rare individuals manifest both traits simultaneously, such as secondary character, and love-interest, Bunny "Bugs" Cormick. She cannot be certain whether she's breaking reality or not, until somebody else tries to build one of her inventions. Also, the closer to consensus reality a Devise is, the more reliable it tends to be, and the more like it is that a Gadgeteer can create a gadget that works similarly to it during a 'Devise test'.
  • Gag Boobs:
    • Jinn's breasts are turned into this in Jade 7: Over the Top, as other students keep messing with her size settings.
    • Played seriously in "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", following a sabotaged attempt to return Phase to his former male self; Phase is pushed to the edge of a Heroic BSoD as his breasts keep growing almost to the point of immobility.
  • Gambit Pileup: Several, especially in the Phase and Silver Ghost stories.
    • In the second part of "Silver Ghost, Golden Angel", SPECTRUM try to deliberately cause one in order to smoke out Madcap/Golden Angel as well as two different Criminal Mastermind type supervillains - they need to draw "Golden Angel" (Madcap's 'superhero' persona) out in order to arrest her, so they arrange a press conference for Silver Ghost and SPECTRUM, but since both of the supervillains are trying to grab Madcap for their own reasons, they need to make sure that the two villains trip each other up long enough for the trap to be sprung. Throw in a bunch of political maneuvering by both pro- and anti-mutant groups, and anyone else who sees a profit for their own causes in showing up, and you have an epic mess.
  • Gayborhood:
    • An area known as "The Square" is home to many GLBT (mostly T) residents of Los Angeles that features mainly in the Phase stories.
    • In Whateley Academy itself, the entire Poe Cottage is designated as a secret GLBT dorm house.
  • Gem-Encrusted: There's talk about jeweled crowns and Crown Jewels in Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 1), but Vamp also says:
    Right now, Jobe's looking to piss off Emperor Daddy and build herself a diamond-encrusted golden parachute [of jewelry that she owns and can sell].
  • Gender Bender: Everyone in Team Kimba, and others besides. Jericho, Anna, and Jadis are the only major viewpoint characters not in this situation. Most of the support characters aren't either.
  • Genius Loci: The Grove, a powerful (and hostile) magical forest on the borders of the Academy, that only allows those it trusts in. It deeply trusts Fey (or more specifically, Aunghadhail), tolerates Totem and possibly Dr. Tanaka, and has a wary respect for Tennyo, but anyone else who enters uninvited is in for a terrifying ordeal - if they get out alive.
  • Ghostapo: All the major combatants on both sides of WWII experimented heavily with both Super Soldiers and powerful magicks. This is speculated to have fueled the rise of the first large wave of mutants a generation later, and specifically is suggested to be why most of them appeared in the US, Europe and the USSR at first.
    • The Necromancer mentions in passing that he still thinks that the Holocaust would have succeeded in creating an unstoppable undead army if his work hadn't been cut short by the Allies.
  • Girl Posse: What, you were expecting something set in high school without at least one of these?
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Discussed in the Beautiful All Along example:
    the one who’s supposed to be a drab little geek, but you know that the second that she takes off her glasses and lets her hair down, she’s absolutely gorgeous.
  • Glowing Eyes: Steel Ribbon: Mystery Woman has "glowing green eyes".
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • Tennyo's got some. Her irises sometimes go red when she's very angry. But actually, it's when they glow green that you really need to start worrying - that means the Star Stalker has taken the wheel, and people are going to start hurting and dying.
    • From VAMP:
      “Vamp!” Tara said running my way, “They’re getting UP, and they look PISSED!” And, sure enough, both Poppin’ Fresh and Bravo were indeed getting up, and from the energy shows coming from their eyes, they were indeed pissed and burning some serious fuel for some serious butt–whupping.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Phase has a pair of Cool Shades that convert all colors to black, white, and gray so he can talk to Jericho without heaving.
    • Side character Josie Gilman has to wear special nerd glasses that screen out the Eldritch Abominations clawing around the interstices of our reality, thanks to an ancient family curse.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Yama Dojo ninjas definitely count as this. The Vindicators might come close, and a few others follow the general idea.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Non-story example: Doctor Bender created his Lit Chix avatar, Arachne, gave her spider powers as a nod to his own past… and in the process made his avatar unwriteable: he said in an interview that he has absolutely no interest in writing a spider-avatar, and that he isn't too keen on writing a female avatar of himself either. Arachne has appeared only as a minor character and probably won't be getting a story to herself unless she gets retconned.
  • Good Bad Girl: Several, but Sara stands out.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Most of the "good" characters are quite prepared to bully, threaten and intimidate anyone they regard (usually with good reason) as their enemy.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal:
    • Subversion, in that it's mentioned that the evidence for Tennyo actually having been in danger during the Training from Hell that she got put through by accident, would be more compelling if she didn't heal so fast.
    • Also subverted in that healing factors come with a host of problems, such as making certain kinds of surgery much more difficult, resistance to medicines (including anasthetics, see surgery), and making cancer more deadly, rather than less.
    • Petra finds out the hard way what happens when a regenerator does too many full body regenerations in a small time frame: brittle bones and a lot of physical therapy.
    • Recently played straight, with the fallout from the Alphas hiring a couple of geeks to take out the safeties in the sims.
    • In the combat final with Lancer and Hippolyta versus Eldritch, Hippolyta makes the mistake of pushing the uncooperative Eldritch too hard. She gets her neck snapped for her trouble.
    • Counterpoint used to be a regenerator. Then he went up against Jobe and Belphoebe. They both got beaten up pretty badly, but they regenerated. Unfortunately for Counterpoint, he pissed them off enough that Jobe got Belphoebe to inject him with a serum that has removed his power to regenerate- and he can't copy anyone else's regenerating power.
    • Horrifically subverted when, after Jade actually managed to become female, she reverts to male, now with high-level regeneration. Her response to this is pure Nightmare Fuel.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Mutant Control Commission Office (MCO) is nominally a world-wide private organization with mutant-control powers varying from country to country by treaty. Responsible for defining the international Mutant ID (MID) card standard that many countries have adopted.
  • Grandma's Recipe: From Dorms of Our Lives, Season 4, part 2:
    Hannah: "Here you go. A molasses cookie. I made them myself in Home Ec. with my grandma's secret recipe. Super-tasty, I guarantee."
  • The Greatest Style: It's called "Do", and is Discussed in Tea and Synergy:
    ‘Do’. The ‘Sun Source’ Martial Art, of which all other schools are fragments, or pale reflections. ... Do would be perfectly flexible in its application and perfectly suitable to the dynamics of the human form. And Do wouldn’t be limited to hand to hand combat ... or even combat. Do would apply to EVERYTHING!
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Imp's stories cast the villain/hero conflicts into this: on the one hand, supervillains do commit crimes, but on the other hand, some of them often show more regard for people than the so-called 'heroes' do, and a lot of heroes use bad tactics and unreasonable amounts of force when dealing with criminals.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Carson does this with Kodiak in 'The Secret Of Forger's List I'
  • Groin Attack: Carl, Jade, Ayla, and Jobe, as well as others, are subjected to this at one point or another. Carl's is seen as funny, because he can regenerate anyways, and he really deserved it, Jade's incident is treated humorously (and was self inflicted during practice), Ayla's (caused by Jade and Fey as a prank) not so much, and Jobe's... REALLY not funny.
    • Jade has a different event which would qualify, even though it is self-inflicted, which is both tragic and extremely disturbing: after having successfully transformed into a female, she gets transformed back to her older form, but now with a high level of regeneration. She takes this so poorly that she repeatedly hacked off her male genitals, until passing out from blood loss. This took several hours, during which she became more and more manic over it.

     H 
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Animen, who are a genetically engineered, anthropomorphic race of human/animal hybrids.
  • Hammered into the Ground: During "Boston Brawl II", Tennyo is stomped on by Matterhorn. She's durable enough that this embeds her into the asphalt rather than crushing her.
  • Hand Blast:
    • Chaka has picked up one of these from watching a ninja use a Ki attack on her. She calls it the 'Chaka Chaka Bang Bang'.
    • Plenty of Energizers, like Golden Girl, can do it too.
  • Hand in the Hole: Tennyo's Easter (Chapter 3) has The Captain’s Chest, which generations of treasure seekers had tried to open. Tennyo could only open it because of her regeneration. She had to squeeze a handle to open it and when she reached the handle, her hand was disintegrated multiple times before she could squeeze. Presumably, anyone else trying would have lost their hand as well, just without being able to regenerate it.
  • Hand Seals: Naruto's use of them are referenced, in Jade 7: Over the Top:
    Jinn [...] slammed her hands together, intertwining her fingers in an complicated series of gestures that was halfway between sign language and mystic motions.
    “Isn’t that—” Billie began.
    “Yeah,” Jade agreed. “I swiped the hand seals from Naruto.”
  • Happiness in Slavery: As seen in Hank 6: To Companions, New and Old!'', Brownies, of which Leanan Sidhe are a subtypem were originally created by the Court of the West as servants to the other Fair Folk. Leanan Sidhe in particular were meant to be a 'perfect warriors' servants', but they became corrupted during the events leading to the Sundering. The two brownies we've seen so far, Koehnes and Leanne (who was originally a Leanan Sidhe), are utterly devoted and loving towards their masters, much to the dismay of those masters (Fey for Koehnes, Lancer and Wallflower for Leanne), who rightfully see it as slavery and exploitation and feel guilt over being unable to change it.
  • Hard Light: Part of the handwaving for the combat simulations; also a power available to some mutants.
  • Hat of Power: The psychic-amplifying tiara of Princess Arlon.
  • Haughty "Hmph":
    • From Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 6), from Kismet who envies Fey for her greater magical ability:
      They hurried out, although Kismet took the time to glare at Fey and make a little "Hmph!" noise.
    • From Jade 7: Over the Top, after Jinn underwent Breast Expansion, making the other girls envious of her:
      "I thought you didn't have anything to apologize for?" Jana reminded her.
      "Hmph," Gadget hmphed. "Wonderful 'naive' act. It has all the charm of some perky blonde cheerleader cruising for her first date rape."
      "What?" Jinn screeched, trying not to jiggle as she reacted. "That's pretty harsh! What did I ever do to you?"
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Olympian gods have come to Whateley, but they can't find Poseidon and Dionysus. Phase points out that it's possible that they don't want to be found, and there's no guarantee that they're even at Whateley.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: On so many levels.
  • Heal It with Water: From Silver Linings 1 (Part 5): Sobek, used his powers related to the waters of the Nile, to "wash away evil", cleansing Quinn Seabury of magical rot, and washing away the traumas afflicting some children.
  • Healing Factor: The Regen power, short for Regeneration, is super-human healing.
  • Healing Hands: several characters have healing powers, some of them being:
    • Nikki "Fey" Reilly can cure serious wounds with magic.
    • Chou "Bladedancer" Lee can use Taoist "chi" healing techniques through "laying on of hands".
    • Every time Kerry Ellison heals someone, she takes on their illness or injury. And all the illnesses and injuries she's ever healed before. At least the older healings manifest themselves to a lesser and lesser degree over time, but it's still pretty grisly when she heals a cancer victim, after healing a blind person and a person with crippling arthritis and... Even worse, near the end of her intro novel, she's being held captive and forced to do this. And she's only 14.
    • There's enough of them that that those with the power have been given a classification of Healer.
  • Healing Potion: Kayda 2: Trials of a Warrior (Ch 2): Kayda's magical tea is described that way:
    "Correct, Irene. Kayda's spell enchanted the brew, most probably with some nature-based magic thrown in through the herbs, into a healing potion, or tea."
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Jade is a past mistress of this. Aside for the many forms of Mundane Utility she works out, she turns what seems a pretty limited ability - the power to animate objects up to perhaps 180 lbs in weight as an independent aspect of herself - into an ever-growing arsenal of techniques, some of which are terrifyingly effective. And that's without even considering some of the things Ayla holds back from suggesting to her, such as casting herself into an enemy's clothes and then flying them straight up before dropping them to their deaths, or animating a blob of putty and choking someone with it by having it force itself down their throats.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Solange has started one, but it's likely going to be a slow process.
  • Hello, Nurse!: As a result of Most Common Superpower — some of the main characters are considered really attractive. Fey, in particular, often causes students of both sexes (regardless of sexual orientation) to walk into walls, trip over their own feet, and so on, due to the powerful Glamour she possesses.
    • Cytherea also gets this, being the physical incarnation of Aphrodite, but unlike Fey, she's perfectly willing to abuse it for all it's worth.
  • Hermaphrodite:
    • Several of the transgender characters change more slowly than others, retaining both sexual organs for a while (Lancer and Zenith, for instance). Paige and Petra are both completely and permamently hermaphrodites. Ayla isn't quite one: his body's female in form, including breasts, but his genitalia is male, and so is his mind. This leads to the majority of people thinking that he's female, which tends to annoy him quite a lot.
    • A more scientifically accurate example: It is revealed that prior to her initial transformation, Tennyo was actually intersexed and had a sealed off uterus and ovaries that, due to insurance issues, had secretly been removed during an appendectomy without her or her family's knowledge. This was what allowed the formerly male Bill to transform into a form with a female template without ever knowing that he was in any way other than male.
    • Wallflower was born with bot sets of genitals but her female genitals were more complete and her parents decided to have a daughter—causing her to worry she'll follow her mom's footsteps (in the other direction).
    • Vamp is a true bilateral hermaphrodite though it's not commonly knowlege as she always presents as female.
  • Heroes Unlimited: Team Kimba is only one team of 6 (give or take a few) students in a school of hundreds of superpowered people, many of which have become reoccurring characters or even had A Day in the Limelight.
  • Heroic BSoD: Several, usually with good reason.
    • Tennyo, after being confronted by (literal) ghosts of the Star Stalker's past.
    • Phase, more than once, most notably when it is revealed that his transformation was a result of his BIT rather than Gross Structural Dystrophy.
    • Fey, following the death of Aunghadhail).
    • Pejuta, when she is forced to confront the fact that she had been raped, the memories of which she had been repressing up to that point.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath:
    • Certainly Jobe Wilkins (when he's not coming across as a Literal Genie) and arguably quite a few others.
    • Jade, frighteningly enough, seems to be headed this way, with all of her Hello Kitty fury.
  • Heroic Build: : The Exemplar power set, which usually shapes bearers into looking like their ideal self, justifies this in-universe; an estimated 20% of WU mutants have some degree of this trait because they think it's the ideal.
    • However, even those with the Exemplar trait don't always possess this, since the power doesn't have to work from an idealized version of themselves, or their ideal self isn't what they expected. In some cases, its a reflection of their worst fears instead. A heroic build is merely the most common result of this.
    • Also, since the Exemplar power works at least in part on the mutant's self-perception, it can go to exaggerated degrees as well, such as Bravo's absurdly-sized Lantern Jaw of Justice or Attributes' Gag Boobs.
    • Attempts to duplicate the Exemplar trait by Devisors and Wizards are frequent, and almost invariably fail. The closest successes to date were Compiler (who gained a Barbie-doll like figure by means of nanotechnology, but now cannot control her super-strength or super-speed), Spark and Reach (who did it by accident), Delta Spike (who entrusted her life to a Mad Scientist and who might have been brainwashed into total subservience in the process), and Jobe's Drow (who were completely transformed into dark elves by the serum) note . For the majority, such as Migraine (who became trapped in an immobile exoskeleton and went insane), it didn't work out at all.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Father John gets sucked into the dark side of church politics during Kerry's intro story. If this seems like a weak example, well, it's not. He ends up becoming an accomplice to keeping her parents from finding her, drugging her into docility, misusing her talents, and causing her grave injury. He really was a nice guy just trying to protect her to begin with, too. Aries started out as a bully hunter but got mind raped into being one of Freya's hit men. By the time he realised that he'd been screwed over, he was too deep to get out.
  • Hollywood Homely: In-universe. Girls like Aquerna, She-Beast and Nacht are actually quite attractive by normal standards, but simply cannot compare to supernatural beauties such as Fey or Poise.
  • Hollywood New England: Averted. Whateley is located in New Hampshire but it's a boarding school and the kids don't encounter many locals. They do mention the lovely NE fall foliage.
  • Homophobic Hate Crime:
    • Some of the bullies on campus attack Pounce for his effeminate appearance, calling him a "fairy" or a "fag" in the process.
    • Marty Penn is a boy who turns into a girl to use his powers, and is slowly turning into a girl. When this is revealed, some bullies deliberate knock her out to reverse the transformation.
    • Ayla is a boy who, by involuntary magical transformation, happens to have a female upper body and look very feminine, getting attacked for that.
  • Honor Among Thieves: This trope combined with Pragmatic Villainy is why just about everyone respects Whateley Academy's status as a Truce Zone. Even supervillains have families, and nobody wants to see their kids dragged into their professional conflicts.
  • Horny Devils: Sara qualifies, even if she isn't a classic Succubus. She even discusses the subject in her book on mutant sexuality:
    Summoning a Succubus, Incubus, or other sexual being for a bit of a tryst sounds like great fun. Until you remember that most Demons of the lower realms want to suck out your soul and leave you as a dry, withered husk. Yes, you can bargain with them, but do you really want to pay the price that they’re asking? And once they’ve got their hooks in you, you can be darn well sure that they aren’t letting go. What nobody ever seems to think of is summoning a sex Angel. They’re much more reasonable, loving, personable partners as long as you can stand all the sunshine and sweetness and pay their more reasonable prices. Beware tooth decay, confessions of eternal love and REALLY bad poetry.
  • Horny Scientist: Jobe Wilkins is working on a project to create his very own Drow wife. Recent stories reveal that he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. However, in a cruel or poetic twist of fate, depending on your opinion of Jobe, he has become his Drow wife. And, she is the semi-official mother of her own clone.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": In Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 2), when Bova was shooting a goon with a gun she just picked up:
    “Oh. Capture Gel,” I said. “But how did you know that it was that, and not a shotgun or a flame thrower or even a grenade launcher?”
    “I didn’t,”
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Tennyo vs. the Arch-Fiend, in the story Boston Brawl of the Whateley Universe. It just keeps escalating, and they just keep healing up, all the way until a building falls on them. They both get up from it but the Arch-Fiend is out of energy, and Tennyo is just pissed off.
    • Averted with Sara, who has similar regeneration abilities. Getting cut in half meant she was pretty much doomed, and needed to eat FAST. Fortunately, some minions are nearby.
  • Humiliation Conga: Quite a few, with Overclock and Make's comeuppance standing out in particular.
  • Human Popsicle: ARC Black Section is a prison full of Sealed Evil in a Can in the form of a cryogenic storage. Just how dangerous the inmates really are in order to deserve this is made abundantly clear when a rogue doctor set one of them free.
  • Hurricane of Puns: In Jade 7: Over The Top, Jinn, who's been playing with Breast Expansion, interrupts Thuban with a string of puns while he's trying to be serious.
    Jinn looked down at her grapefruit-sized bosoms and giggled, bouncing twice on her toes to get a feel for her new self. "Wow. If I hadn’t just made the trip through absurd-ville, I would have thought this size was officially labeled, 'Gigantically, freakishly huge.'"
    “Thanks ever so much,” Demona replied through gritted teeth. "So what would you call it now?"
    Jinn bounced again, getting a feel for herself, as well as a feel for how the male eyes followed her. "Really really confident," she admitted.
    Demona’s scowl slowly turned to a smile. "Hey, that was almost like an actual compliment."
    At this point, Thuban spoke up. "Well... so far the meeting seems to be dominated by the topic of ... er ... mammal issues," he pointed out.
    “Yes,” Jinn agreed wryly. "We’ve been keeping abreast of the issue."
    Thuban continued. “And whenever that topic comes up-"
"It’s not a matter of ‘coming up’ so much as raising good points, or simply being upfront about the issue," Jinn joked.
"—when that topic comes around, then of course you—"
"Of course Demona is held up as a swell example. Heck, the girls all want her support. And I’m sure she hates to let them down, but I guess her motto must be, 'Always keep them in suspense!'"
Straining somewhat, Thuban plowed through to the finish "—so of course Demona sometimes end up as the butt of the joke."
One finger raised in the air, Demona stood there for a moment with her mouth open. Then, with visible effort, she closed her mouth. "No," she said gamely. "I'm not going there. This conversation has already gone too far. Far too far. You two go. Mingle. Jinn, live in my world for an evening. I’m going to go and take the weight off my ... feet." She turned and escaped.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Commercially available from talented Devisors with the usual caveats on purchasing devices that break the laws of physics. Plus several kinds of warpers can do this for themselves and/or others. Like Thuban and Holdout.

     I 
  • I Call Him "Mr. Happy":
    • From Silver Linings 2 (Parts 2-9), when Stacey's trying to hide that she's partway through a Gender Bender and checking her visibility status:
      Well, her penis, such as it was, was still dangling in plain sight, but Mr. Happy's Luggage was nowhere to be seen.
    • From I looked into the Abyss, and it Winked (Parts 3 - 6), after Josh had a Gender Bender and returned to reality after being ripped out it:
      I acclimated to the shift in reality was ten times better than being in the classroom back in real reality with my pants down around my ankles, a pedophile teacher grinning at me, and the school bully and school bitch ogling my lack of Mr. Happy.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • In the Whateley Universe, all the Phase stories have titles "Ayla and the...". Probably because Phase was/is a pompous rich kid with years of prep schooling, the novels have meaningful chapter titles as well. The first novel has five chapters named for the books of the Old Testament.
    • "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" had chapter titles taken from Spenser's "The Faerie Queene".
    • Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy has its chapters all named after angels: Ishim, Cherubim, Elohim, etc.
    • Ayla and the Tests has its chapters named after Herculean Labors: Chapter 1 - The Lernean Hydra, Chapter 2 - The Augean Stables, Chapter 3 - The Ceryneian Hind, etc.
    • Then there's Ayla and the Mad Scientist, with its French titles...
    • The Gateway stories all start with Summoning, Summoning Courage, Summoning Tactics, and Summoning Sweeties.
  • Idiot Ball: Several, some deliberate and in character. The worst would have to be Amanda Chulkris, supposedly a computent magician and teacher but asks a barely trained clairvoyant to demonstrate by reading Sara's palm. Scrying a great old one isn't a good idea and the clairvoyant loses ownership of her soul. So far no one has called Amanda out on this.
    • At that point, they didn't really know that Sara herself was a GOO. They knew that her FATHER was, but they didn't know SHE was.
    • It doesn't matter if they didn't know for sure, her father was a GOO, just having the distinct possibility should have been enough to put a stop to the clairvoyant testing... but it wasn't...
    • And in 5 Elements Dancing, Chou just handed Clover, an odds mangler with a perchant for trouble, a ball of essence (pure magical power). The authors have shown repeatedly that giving anyone in Clover's group essence generally results in bad things happening, of the unbelievably unlucky kind.
    • When Jobe realizes that his efforts to stop his transformation into a female drow aren't working, he turns to his archenemy, Carmilla, for help. Now, did he go to his friend Nephandus, an expert on demonic contracts, for help in dealing with the Demon Queen of Lust? No, he just looks the subject up on the Internet, trusting his own superior intelligence to see him through. It doesn't work out so well.
  • If It's You, It's Okay:
    • Molly. Before meeting Chou, had no interest in other girls and has no interest in other girls apart from Chou.
    • Fey also has this problem, even from openly gay men who don't even know her.
    • Subverted with Sizzle. Poor Darcy, all she wanted was some genetically-engineered Boobs of Steel, which Jobe had promised her if she helped the Crown Princess overcome some... ah, frustration. She had no idea that sex with Drow was addictive.
  • I Have No Son!: Many parents who have mutant children disown them (Aquerna, Aqueous, Phase, Diamondback) but not all parents do so, and GSD cases aren't always disowned (Razorback, Deimos, Phobos, Jericho).
    • Gizmatic plays this card on Jobe after his/her Drow transformation. Eventually, Joe relents, after a fashion: in return for official status, Jobe will have to marry back into the family, and have children by one Gizmatic's blood relatives. And not through high-tech means, either.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Averted at near Author Tract levels. Proper gun handling and safety is given instructional levels of detail, and woe betide any student who messes about with ranged weapons, lethal or otherwise. A couple of the authors are firearm enthusiasts and/or soldiers, and hot on safety.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The annoying Whateley Academy Martial Arts Cheerleaders.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Ayla and the Mad Scientist: CHAPTER 17 – L’Amour Medicin:
    All right, it was pretty hard to stop watching when Mindbird ran across campus [because her breasts bounced]. I’m a teenaged boy. I can’t help it.
  • I'm Melting!: Mixed with Kill It with Water, when it's revealed in Call the Thunder: Chapter 5 - Idiots 'R Us, that:
    [Hijacker] was "The big Meanie” who had once chased [the Three Little Witches] with a bucket of water wanting to see who’d melt.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Any Poe girl who forgets to turn on the sound-dampening system before using the 'special features' of the Hydroflux showers is likely to get teased about it for a week.
  • Immortal Breaker: Tennyo's "Death Blow" can kill anything, due to its ability to strike down to the soul level.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Destiny's Wave can cut anything the Tao wants to be cut.
  • Inside a Computer System: Technopaths do this; see Merry.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: A common result of Devisors adding computer components to things. Jade's power lets her fake it.
  • Instant Expert: Loophole has a specific form of psychometry that allows her to know how to use any machine she touches automatically (along with getting a brief flash of how it was used in the past). She demonstrates this repeatedly with both weapons and vehicles.
    What are they reading over there in the Lit Chick meetings? How to be James Bond for Dummies? Where did Loophole learn to ride a bike like Jason Statham on crack? Who IS this chick and what did she do with our Rules Lawyer?
  • Insufferable Genius: Several, Jobe takes the cake, however.
  • Insult Backfire: Happens more than once:
    • From Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy: (Chap 1), when Jade has just proposed tormenting Nightbane (after Nightbane had a big run-in with Carmilla and her Combat Tentacles):
      Chaka: Jade, you're a sick, sick girl.
      Generator: Thanks, Toni!
    • From Silver Linings 1 (Part 4), used by Herb Tellock to Karen Wickham, comparing Goodkind-owned businesses with Wickham-owned businesses, which she turns back on him, as shown here, with bolding substituting for underling:
      “You’re talking about setting Humanity First! up as a privately run inquisition with de facto official powers, and no need to answer to City Hall, the Law or the Electorate, and don’t tell me that Humanity First! doesn’t work that way, because I know better.” Herb started to rebut that, but Karen mercilessly cut him off again. “MISTER TELLOCK, no matter what you say, Humanity First! is joined at the hip with the Goodkinds. The Goodkinds have been using Humanity First! as a Trojan horse for years, and using you people to pressure local businesses into toeing the Goodkind line, or else.”

      “Businesses like the hundred or so Wickham-owned and run firms around the Tri-State area?” Tellock asked archly.

      Precisely,” Karen purred with an acid smile. “And don’t tell me that the Goodkinds are good people. I know the smell of them; they smell just like my family - a pack of sharks with sharp teeth and big appetites. However, we’re local sharks, and we know where the bodies are buried.”
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Carmilla and all her more-or-less human entourage, in the Whateley Universe. In fact, with a major-league lust demon for a father and a human/Deep One hybrid mother, Carmilla is also the result of one of those...and from what we've seen of her dad since he showed up in the stories, which basically paint him as a devilishly charming rake with some trouble keeping his tentacles to himself who honestly dotes on his only daughter, romance may well have actually figured into it.
    • Aside from the above, we've also seen hints at possible romance between one or two of the students and members of the local tribe of lycanthropes, and of course there are plenty of mutants whose mutations have forced them into more or less inhuman forms with little hope of reprieve. (The technical term is GSD, for 'gross structural dystrophy'.) While the latter may still be technically and legally human, speculations about their potential present or future love-life (such as the Fury Twins idly musing on their chances of finding a boyfriend) necessarily do invoke this trope.
  • Intangibility: Phase (Ayla Goodkind) has the ability to become a number of variants of intangible, most notably fully intangible, nearly-intangible, or super-dense, so he's Nigh Invulnerable. This is supposed to be an extra-dimensional density-changing ability (though according to the school testing wonks, it's not, but the ensuing scientific babble is hard to understand). While intangible (or close to it), he can fly, and at his most dense, he is almost impervious to damage. But when he first manifested as a mutant and got his powers, he couldn't control them and had trouble NOT sinking through the floor, or going super-dense and smashing his bathroom to shards. Or, for that matter, not going intangible and leaving parts of his clothing behind.
    • He also has a Required Secondary Power: if he becomes solid while phased through something, the other object disappears. Forever. This results in lasting Clothing Damage (and, y'know, other damage) if he phases in and out quickly, but defuses a scary situation when he has an I-beam stuck through his chest as part of his Test To Destruction experimentation by his family's anti-mutant science labs.
    • While intangibility in general is a fairly uncommon power in this setting, Phase has a form that is particularly rare: the only one other mutant is known to the same variant is Tinsnip, one of the deadliest assassins in the world. This has not helped Ayla's self-loathing at being a mutant or fear of becoming a danger to others at all.
    • There is the Wraith, who has the power to make things intangible, as said here:
    How are we going to get those twenty foot sections through a door that’s only six feet wide?”
    “We’ll get Wraith to make them intangible and just bring them in through the wall,” he snapped.
    “You trust Wraith to not mess this up?”
  • Intrepid Reporter: What Peeper tries to present himself as. In actuality, he is at best a paparazzo, and even that is being generous. He can be better described as a walking sexual harassment suit waiting to happen. Ayla's take on the matter was:
    "If he ever got his teenaged-boy urges under control, he might someday be a valued talent scout for a modelling agency, although I still thought it was more likely he would end up a pervy creep who was a valued scout for a pornographic webzine."
    • This was shortly before Peeper so lost control of himself at the sight of Ayla's Gag Boobs that he tried to grope them in public. It did not end well for Peeper.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting:
    • Exemplars dance between this and Metamorphosis — Exemplars, with their BIT (Body Image Template), guiding their growth, will likely end up looking like their idealized version of themselves, because that's what the BIT usually is. Unfortunately, BITs can also be other things. And when it's not based on an ideal self, the differences are usually negative. Variations include, being the wrong gender, the wrong species, etc etc. It's their own powers doing it to themselves, and they have limited, if any, control over it. And using any other powers granted by the mutation causes the effect to accelerate.
    • Playing the trope more straight are mutants that deal with spirits — If you're a mutant that deals with the spiritual and not strong enough to completely dominate the spirit, the spirit will make changes to your body to make itself more comfortable. Fey, Miyet, and Heyoka are all examples of this.
    • Fling transforms into the ideal lover of anyone who lusts after him/her; this affects his/her mind as well, so s/he's not happy when someone wants a bimbo.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: In Ayla and the Mad Scientist (Chapter 11):
    Hank said, “I don’t care who it is, I just don’t want Peeping Janns and Jaynas when I’m studying with Lily.”
    “Ooh, ‘studying with Lily,’ is that what they call it these days?” snarked Toni.
  • I Want Grandkids: From The Final Trump (Part 5): Presumably, it's Melissa speaking, not her brother Virgil, talking about their father and what happened when their sister Mara had a child, and then more children, especially children with psychic powers:
    Well, I was never the favorite anyway, so all that happened for me was that I got him off my back, nagging at me to give him grandchildren!

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