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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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    J 
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • The team keeps getting yelled at for clogging up their comms in the sims with mindless chatter. While Gunny Bardue is right and this could have bad consequences, Phase is also right in that the chatter has helped them keep tabs on each other and quickly realise when someone's gone down- that, and outside of the sims, the comms are just a high-end IM service.
    • In "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", the Spy Kidz get pissed off at Phase for reducing Kew to tears after Kew stole things from Phase's utility belt. While screaming at Kew probably wasn't the best way to handle the situation, the fact still remains that Kew did steal Phase's weapons, Phase really needed them, and he had every right to be pissed off. Those weapons were really freaking expensive.
    • From "No Beast So Fierce":
    Bravo: Young lady, is this depraved queen forcing his loathsome attentions on you?
    Jobe: Excuse me? ‘Queen’? Let’s leave aside the issue of mere slander, and focus on the illogic of your question- if I’m forcing my attentions on her, then I’m not homosexual; if I’m a homosexual, then I’m the last person that she needs to be worried about.
  • Job Title: Medicine Girl
  • Joke and Receive: A joke was made about Mars Wants Chocolate, but aliens really were stealing chocolate from Earth.
  • Joker Immunity: In spades, with the most egregious examples coming from Even Murphy's Law Has Loopholes.
  • Just Ignore It: Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
    David was really excited about his birthday party, and about moving up so he was ‘only one year younger than Shrimpy’.
    “David!” Mother didn’t allow that sort of language in public, much less at the dinner table. “Apologize to your brother at once!”
    “Mother, it’s all right. I am a shrimp,” I calmly admitted. It wasn’t that I was trying to protect David. No, I was going to be quite happy to see him get in trouble in a few seconds. For several weeks, I had been trying a new strategy: if none of his insults appeared to bother me, he might eventually give up.
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    K 
  • Karma Houdini: There are a few. Luckily, it appears to be averted eventually with most villains, but some Designated Heroes may qualify.
    • One of the most evil villains we have met so far is Dr. Emil Hammond, a normal who has experimented on and tortured mutants for decades. He was captured, but in a huge 'OJ Trial', his super-expensive legal team (hired by the mutant-hating Goodkind family) not only gets him off but makes it look as if some evil mutant supervillain has been framing the poor man. He gets hired by the Goodkinds as a researcher, and when 14-year-old Trevor Goodkind manifests as a mutant, Hammond tortures the kid for days. In another story, we see that Hammond has a lab devoted to agonizing experiments on teenaged mutants. Punishment so far? None at all. He has a bigger lab. The overall plot has advanced about one semester out of what seem to be a planned 4 years; it may be a bit early to claim Houdini-hood for villains who simply haven't gotten their comeuppance just yet.
  • Karmic Rape: A peculiar case, as Solange had inadvertently agreed to letting herself be possessed and used sexually by Montana, which he did because she scorned him two years before, as part of her deal with Thuban; she just never expected to have to go through with the deal, as she was expecting her hosting of Jinn to protect her, nor did she realize she would actually remember it afterwards.
  • Kavorka Man: Rack, who despite his diminutive size (he's a dwarf, who used his ability to mimic the gadgeteer trait to build an augmentation exoskeleton), is very popular with the girls. Apparently, his main ability is telepathy, and after accidentally 'listening in' on other people's thoughts when he first manifested, he realized that most people were too busy with their own problems to have the contempt for him he expected them to have. After he learned to control his powers better, he realized that all most people really want is someone to listen to their problems.
  • Ki Attacks: Chaka, though she can't do the flashier ones from anime. Yet.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: From A Little R&R 2: Alyss in Wondercute Land (part 1):
    You have something on your back," Sapphire said, and I turned around just as she pulled a piece of paper from my back and held it up. "Someone taped this to you..."
    The sheet of paper said, 'I AM WEARING A DIRTY DIAPER'.
    "Cute," I said deadpan.
    "Talk about a cliché," Voodude said.
  • Kid Sidekick: Specifically banned by law, though the school does have a clique of future sidekicks called The Robins. Headmistress Carson, a former kid sidekick herself, was instrumental in getting the anti-sidekick legislation enacted.
  • Kill It with Water: Mixed with I'm Melting!, 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.
  • Knight Templar: Unpleasantly common, both for heroes and villains:
    • Rev. Darryl Englund put the entire student body and security force in jeopardy in an attempt to end the threat he sees in Carmilla. While he is never directly punished for this, he does lose his position as a one of the deans at Whateley for his role in the Halloween disaster.
    • Social Darwinist Crucible attempts to get people to appreciate life by causing disasters that kill and cripple thousands.
    • Sinsear began as a vigilante who used his flame powers to 'purge evil' (i.e., torture and kill criminals or anyone else who didn't live up to his warped standards) and may even toned things down a bit when he went full-out Ax-Crazy later, if only because he was too obsessed with Ginormous to bother with criminals any more.
    • The Lamplighter, who takes this to Lawful Stupid proportions.
    • Professor Reaper, the most wanted criminal on Earth, is a quasi-Omnicidal Maniac who believes that the only way to save humanity is to kill off the majority of it. His attacks on major cities, which are so feared that even other supervillains will drop what their doing to help stop him, often have casualties figures in the hundreds of thousands or even millions.

    L 
  • Lab Coat Of Science And Medicine: Labcoats are standard gadgeteer/deviser uniform at Whateley, due to the convenience of the pockets and hardpoints that make it easy for them to carry what they need with them.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Chaka's puns at the end of "Ayla and the Networks" and "It's All in the Timing" earn her a pillow-pummeling and a faceful of snow, respectively.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Quite a lot of this. People keep mentioning how odd that there are so many genderbent freshman in this particular class. There's even a story written for the purpose. It's called The Braeburn Report, and in it they explain that this increase in female gender-bending mutants is proof the everyone will be a mutant in about 50 years.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: This is common, going along with the Heroic Build of many Exemplars. An extreme example is 'Captain' Bravo, who has this to a laughable degree. As said 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!
  • Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid: Stormwolf could be the poster child for Lawful Stupid in the Whateley Universe; his insistence on following the rules at all costs actually hampers Security's efforts to keep the peace at times. The Necromancer, on the other hand, is classic Stupid Evil, at least some of the time. Madcap is Chaotic Stupid done for laughs.
  • The Leader: Toni, Hank, and Ayla have all played leadership roles for Team Kimba at various times. Ayla is a type I/II (mastermind/levelheaded), Hank is a type II/IV (levelheaded/charismatic), and Toni is a type III/IV (headstrong/charismatic). (The first one listed for each is their primary type.)
  • L33t L1ng0:
    • Amelia Hartford: Her codename, which she keeps hidden from the students but still uses professionally, is a pun on her last name ('Deer Cross' -> 'Hart Ford') written in 133t.
    • Plague wants to be known as P74GU3.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Sara is code named after the first one of these to get famous; not technically a vampire, however. (She's also slightly bisexual, not a lesbian.)
  • Legacy Character: Champion, whose successors inherit the Champion Force - essentially the Speed Force with Superman's powerset. Whateley has a designated Champion-successor and a jet primed and ready at all times, should the current Champion ever fall.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: Exemplar Grace class:
    [The] final exercise was to do an entire combat in high-heels and a skirt while holding a full cup of hot tea! Even worse, I was only allowed to hold onto the saucer! You have to disable your opponent without breaking a heel, marring your makeup, spilling the tea, or being immodest with your skirt.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Team Wondercute is a whole team of these, founded of course by Jade. It's composed of a few young girls without any traditionally broken powers, was initially mostly intended to bug Jericho, and their mission statement is to be nauseatingly cute. And thanks to a combination of Confusion Fu, Power Synergy, and sheer Crazy Awesome, watching them in action reminds the sim operators of The Dragonslayers.
  • Level Grinding: From Ayla 5 Ayla and the Networks:
    Fantastico leaned back and drawled, “Okay boys, what’s all the fuss ‘at I gotta get dragged away from World o’ Warcraft right when I was ‘bout ta smack down a whole shitload o’ trolls?” He was really pleased with his warrior guy, since he’d paid Ferret and a couple other nerds to do enough level grinding to turn his player character into a freaking powerhouse.
  • Ley Line: Nikki can tap them to increase her power. But there's a catch: after several major battles off-campus lead to a series of minor ecological disasters, Ayla realizes that the common factor is Fey - if she draws too much power from a ley line, the natural energy sources at the other end of the ley line are drained and damaged. They didn't notice it while on campus because the high magical energies there and the nearby Grove were enough to sustain her power demands. Fey suddenly finds herself scrambling to find less energy intensive spells to avoid word of this getting around.
  • Light 'em Up:
    • Beacon can blast sunlight from his hands. He's on a team that hunt creatures of the night.
    • Also, Prism, who may be known more for his healing powers, but who can also fire energy blasts and is definitely solar-powered. Well, he is the avatar of Apollo...
  • Light Is Not Good: The Alphas, the New Olympians, occasionally the Capes and the Betas, the Martial Arts Cheerleaders, the Knights of Purity, Lamplighter.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Several characters are like this, to varying degrees, (with some being closer to Beast Folk), even without counting the several Cat Girl, Werefolk, and Shapeshifting characters. Notable ones include:
    • Thuban, whose normal form is a dragonic one (though he can shift to a more conventional human form for brief periods)
    • Lapin, who has rabbit ears and a fluffy tail (and trouble controlling her libido)
    • Gadget, who appears as a humanoid squirrel.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: It has happened at least once, from Palantir to Murphy, when the latter was preventing the former from going to rescue her friends, in The Secret of the Forger's List (Chapter 4):
    A few dozen yards down the tunnel was a very upset Irene who was in a tug of war with Murphy.
    “My friends are in there!” she squealed at the slightly larger girl with the rainbow colored hair.
    “What are mine, chopped tuna?” Murphy yelled back. “You’re not…” was a far as she got before Irene reared back and landed a solid kick to the older girl’s shin. “Son of a…” yelped Joanne as she crumpled to the floor, loosing her grip on Palantir in the process.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: That list on the main page barely scratches the surface. The Whateley Wiki's "Student" category, for example, includes almost 550 articles. The current estimated total is over 1200 named characters and counting.
  • Locked Room Mystery: The Big Idea, Reach's story.
  • Logical Weakness: PK bricks who can hear through their force fields are vulnerable to sonic attacks. Regenerators quickly build up immunities to toxins, but also to painkillers. They also face complications with surgery, painkiller-immunity being just one of them.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Averted by pre-story Ayla, whose family made a solid effort to eat dinner together and do things as a family.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Sara.
  • Lord Error-Prone:
    • Stalwart, at Whateley Academy. He even has power armor he's built himself, and a robotic horse which constantly malfunctions.
    • Off the school grounds, in Boston, you have the Lamplighter — basically a Green Lantern expy who's not really quite living in the same 21st century America as everybody else and who the city's police would probably be happier to do without but can't really do much about either.
  • Love Confession: In The Big Idea by proxy:
    She took Ace and A-Plus’ hands and put them together. “Anne, you have harbored deep romantic feelings for Andy ever since you first laid eyes on him two years ago. He shares these feelings. Andy, you have longed for Anne almost as long. She wants you just as much as you want her.” She released their hands, which stayed together on their own. “There! Go, and have a wonderful life!”
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Lapin suffers from Nymphomania, which is actually a lack of impulse control instead of an addiction to sex itself. So far it's been controlled by medication, but she constantly worries she'll answer "sure, why not" to any irrational or indecent proposal if her meds ever stop working.
  • Lovecraft Country: Invoked, Whateley's first incarnation became a notorious Boarding School of Horrors due to the plethora of EldritchAbominations in the vicinity. It was reopened as a school for mutants because no one else wanted it and the staff necessary to keep the kids in line also keeps a lid on the unholy things in the neighborhood.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Sara. Her original self died, and when Waking Up at the Morgue, she vomited up her internal organs in the process. She also eats souls, and her favorite trick (both in and out of battle and bed) is to create random tentacles.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The Whateley Universe, as the name would indicate, mixes Lovecraftian elements into its setting:
    • The story "Ayla and the Grinch" has The Unpronounceable, a Lovecraftian demon from another dimension that isn't defeated, merely locked out of this dimension because it didn't have a big enough foothold. This time. Ayla nearly died, and suffered psychological damage that required psychological help from psychics. Everyone else who saw the tiny part of it that got into our world (except the people who locked it out of our dimension) either died horribly or suffered horrific psychological effects. That's not too 'lite'.
    • On the other hand, Sara manages to successfully avert her fate, and is pretty much a Lovecraftian horror who is...Chaotic Good?
    • Whether or not Sara ultimately has averted her fate just yet or is simply still in her Hope Spot remains to be seen. There's still that ominously foreshadowed pending visit of her 'relatives' coming to 'test' her, and there's that small issue with Shub-Niggurath wanting her for high priestess that's been brought up during her father's visit and left hanging since. And her somewhat infamous encounter with Jobe might in fact call her 'alignment' into question a bit...
  • Love Is in the Air: A subconscious uncontrollable magical effect from at least one of the characters. And a controllable power for at least three (Aphrodite and two lust demons).
  • Luminescent Blush: After their Love Confession, "Ace and A-Plus blushed beet red".

    M 
  • Made of Plasticine: On the rare occasions when death happens, and sometimes with regenerators. The "Voodoo-Wolves" are the most prominent example, apparently so fragile that they can be beheaded with a bare-handed strike from someone equivalent to a very well trained baseline.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: It's discussed in Vamp's narration in Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 1), when Vamp's mom is called a whore by her legal father:
    "Shut yer filthy mouth, ya miserable WHORE!" O'Brien roared. In case you haven't heard of it, the Irish are notorious for falling into that trap of dividing women up into 'Saints' and 'Whores'; and any woman with a sex drive is a whore by those standards.
  • Mad Lib Fantasy Title: Quest of the Underage Taoist
  • Mad Scientist: The mutant power of Devisors allows them to create machines, drugs, etc. that defy the normal laws of science (cf. Gadgeteer Genius above). When combined with the effects of Diedrick's Syndrome (cf. Science-Related Memetic Disorder below), things get dangerous.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The authors try to be consistent about this. Given that the major characters now include a mage who is part Sidhe, a half-demon who has psychic abilities but deals with magic regularly, and an Action Girl with a magic sword, keeping the details consistent must be fairly involved.
    • One story has a character begin to talk about a phenomenon that underlies everything in the universe which is what gives her her powers, only to be told by the other characters that it doesn't exist, or at least, they've seen absolutely no evidence of it. It's a nice thought at how theories are subjective, so when a character explains their own or someone else's powers, they could be completely wrong yet still come up with an explanation that covers the bases.
    • Phase got his via some sort of virus that was non-contagious and nobody else displays any other form of symptom and Tennyo got hers via what are best described as "Magic Brownies".
    • Part of what helps keep the canon stories straight is the secret "Whateley Academy Universe Bible" that only canon authors are allowed access to — this lays out every single "rule" for the storyline, canon characters, backstory, etc.
  • Magical Incantation: There seem to be a number of ancient (read: dead before humans used sticks) languages that work for magical incantations, as well as more modern (human) languages. Fey has used the language of the Sidhe.
    I put the bowl on the desktop, and then I began to incant, my voice trembling from nervousness, as I crushed and added the various herbs at the appropriate times. I could feel the magic coursing through me, through the herbs, and into the cup, and when I finished the incantation, there was a small flash from the cup, which was now steaming lightly. I took a deep breath, and glanced up nervously at Ms. Grimes.
  • Magical Native American:
    • Heyoka; and, yes, that seems to be the entire basis for the character. Or, more specifically, a deconstruction of this. Spirits can be rather...annoying, and besides that her powers are weak. And her life is screwed up. He has very strong powers, but he has to be in the astral plane to use them.
    • Pejuta takes this even further: she is bound to two legendary Lakota spirits, and regularly communicates with the Great Spirit itself. Like with Fey, her appearance is supposed to mark a resurgence for her people. This hasn't help prevent her from becoming a total basket case, however, though not without reason.
    • Bluejay plays at the classic Trickster archetype, but secretly he is Totem's apprentice, and is studying to be the next Lore Keeper for the local were-folk tribe.
  • Magic Dance: Fey, to the Fire Elementals to create/summon them and get them on her side, during her Christmas story.
  • Magic-Powered Pseudoscience: Mutants with this as their power are known as devisors. Depending on the skill of the devisor, their creations (called 'devises') tend to be rather unreliable when used by people other than the creator.
    • Dr Macabre, a non-mutant Mad Scientist who has killed over 500 victims in his quest to unlock the secret of the classic supernatural monsters For Science!, eventually learns that his 'technology' is actually powered by a spirit that has been possessing him for decades.
  • Magic or Psychic?: Mages power their spells with essence, while psychics and other mutant powers are just constrained by skill and stamina.
  • Magic Staff: The Green Brujah has a staff "provided by Quetzalcoatl, and acts as a "lens" and "power regulator" to her power, allowing the Brujah to wield much more power than she should be able to without decades of practice."
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Chaka often uses a superpowered Kiai in battle, strong enough at least to knock people off balance.
    • Screech's voice can rend steel and melt glass.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Averted, for the most part. Most characters are too distressed by their changes to to fool with themselves.
    • In the case of Folder, she actively resists the idea, even when Dr. Bellows recommends that she get more familiar with her new body.
    • Reach, on the other hand, is surprised but enthusiastic when Zenith makes the same suggestion.
    • Of them all, it is Whisper who jumps in fastest, which is funny since Bree was almost as bothered with being female as Chou was up until that point. Even though she doesn't go all that far with anything, that long, hot shower really seems to convince Brianna that maybe being a girl isn't so bad after all...
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: In "Sara's Little Purple Book" (which is presented as an in-series booklet on the advantages and disadvantages of Power Perversion Potential being clandestinely circulating among the students), this is discussed at length. For example, it says this regarding the risks to a normal male having sex with a super-strong woman:
    In vulgar circles, there’s a certain injury sustained by normal men during intercourse with Exemplar women that they call the ‘c**t crush’. Involuntary spasms of the vagina and legs during coitus can severely injure a man’s genitals, pelvic region and back when using certain sexual positions. Again, always insist on a reinforced brick condom, and avoid the missionary position. If you must, a special girdle can be purchased that will take the sting out.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Don Sebastiano, aided by his telepathic abilities.
  • Mars Wants Chocolate: While traveling to a distant star system, a fancy restaurant Tennyo eats at offers her Chocoba, purportedly an incredibly delicious and rare delicacy that has been illegally smuggled there at great cost. Despite spending a fortune for it, she isn't very surprised when it turns out to be a Hershey's chocolate bar.
  • Master Poisoner: Jobe's best defense is a well-deserved reputation for using poisons and bio-weapons at every opportunity. Even mentioning Jobe at the medical center is enough to trigger a full-scale lockdown and quarantine.
  • Meaningful Name: As many as you would expect in a series which deconstructs comic books and pulp SF, including several Names to Run Away from Really Fast (e.g., Dr. Diabolik).
    • Dr. Amos Messing, better known as the Science Hero Doctor Amazing.
    • Dr. Diabolik's original name was Leonidas Diabliku, which he simplified to Diabolik when coming to the US; while Word of God states that it was not originally chosen for the ominous overtones, it turned out to be appropriate when he went rogue.
    • It is hard to imagine that someone with the given name Paine Deth wouldn't turn out to be a villain, and while he later reformed and joined ARC, his creepy demeanor certainly reflects it.
    • Dragonblade's legal surname, Blackstonenote , was chosen by his parents as a compromise rather than giving him either of their surnames, in part to protect him from their various enemies and in part because neither would give the other one the satisfaction.
  • Meat Sack Robot: The Human-AI-Transports (HAITs) made by the AI known as The Palm, are human bodies modified with circuitry allowing copies of The Palm to inhabit and control those bodies.
  • Mega Manning: Sara's hell dimension runs on this via Cannibalism Superpower. Eating something, or exposure to enough of it's genetic material, causes you to involuntarily mutate to assume it's powers. It's because Sara's hell is dedicated to evolution, also allowing Mix-and-Match Critters and forcing everything to breed at least once a day.
  • Mess on a Plate: A few instances:
    • From Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind, Ayla's experience with airplane food:
      I was nearly gagging just watching the ‘airline food’ that Marsha was wolfing down. It looked like a badly-baked dinner roll with two slices of United’s special ‘beef-fat and gristle deluxe’, or whatever they were calling it, along with a slice of processed cheese food, and as many packages of condiments as Marsha could squeeze onto the roll. That went with several little sealed bags of inedible garbage, starting with something that was pretending to be a ‘party mix’ and ending with cookies that looked suspiciously like they were filled with whipped lard.
    • Meals at the Academy itself vary greatly in quality, despite having several expert chefs on the cooking staff, in part because of the volume served daily (with 600 teenaged students, several of whom are epic Big Eaters), and in part because of the need to accommodate some students with radically atypical nutritional needs (such as live animals or odd metal supplements). Things take a dark turn for Sheltered Aristocrat Ayla during the renovation of the main cafeteria, as the staff had to make do with an older kitchen that was in serious disrepair. The results stand in stark contrast to the Food Porn in most of the other Phase stories - usually even the daily menus include some things which are a cut above the usual cafeteria fare, and Ayla has a special deal with the chefs to get even better treats on a semi-regular basis.
    • From Dorms of Our Lives, the carivore special, which, if not terrible disgusting, is at least strange:
      Tanya was just sitting down now, with what was apparently her second tray of breakfast. Even she had to ogle at what Nana brought to the table
      "What is that?" Jimmy asked, emerald green eyes wide.
      "The carnivore special," grumbled Nana. Her tray was piled high with a good three kilos of food, almost all of it meat, and some of it barely qualifying as cooked. "The wonders of hosting the spirit of an obligate carnivore," she complained. "And here I was, all ready to go full-on vegan." The redhead picked up the sole bit of green on the tray, a bowl of broccoli. "This is all I can get away with before I start feeling sick."
  • Metamorphosis: The Exemplar superpower, crossed with Involuntary Shapeshifting (in the sense that it's their own powers doing it to them, and they have no control over the change).
  • Meta Origin: All mutants seem to have a common genetic factor. The supernatural beings, however, are all over the map.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: Chaka does it in Reflections In An Evil Eye:
    "Hey, Danger is my middle name." Toni blinked. "Actually, it's 'Marc'- I gotta look into changing that. Toni Danger Chandler; has a nice ring to it."
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Phase does this to a giant. In "Boston Brawl II" Phase (who is five foot nothing but a density changer) pounds the forty-foot Matterhorn like this (because of the way their powers interact, Phase only has to lift Matterhorn's normal 200 lb. body weight, so he can just move the giant around like a huge balloon), and then — just to add insult to injury — once he was unconscious, Phase uses him as a giant flail, smashing some of the other supervillains in the battle.
  • Military School: There's the optional military training program of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) at Whateley Academy.
    Word of God: It's not dedicated US Military, or even a branch. Students can sign up for credit with all of the US service branches and international students can apply their studies back to their home militaries. The JROTC corps on campus is a panoply of uniforms, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, British, French, Etc. In fact, the only 'uniform' item is the Beret the students wear which, as the fiction of the unit is a 'multinational organization' has dispensation from both the U.N. and NATO to issue sky blue UN collation force colors.
  • Mister Strangenoun:
    Whoever was doing the legwork and running the heist got to pick the team names for the job, and he’d gone with the Reservoir Dogs naming style. Or was that Pelham One Two Three?
    The last job they’d done had been in Phoenix, and Mister Brown had been running it, so they’d gone with his choice of names. Monsieur Bleu, Senor Rojo, etc.
  • The Mole: by the dozen. Several (usually nefarious) student cliques have moles in other cliques and many members of the staff have their own agendas. Quite a few of the security force are actually moles for various military and criminal organizations. Chief Delarose tolerates this "payola platoon" because they come well-trained, are extra diligent (to avert suspicion) and can be manipulated as back channels to their secret employers.
    • Chou's expulsion from Team Kimba is actually a Xanatos Gambit intended to set her up as a Mole in the Knight Templar Goobers in order to protect her friend Carmilla.
    • The Kimbas are not thrilled when teen supervillainess and "Boston Brawl" opponent Vamp shows up at Whateley but she turns out to have been a mole for the Boston Police all along and is now in the witness protection program.
    • When Third Security Platoon's larcenous behavior becomes a liability to both the school and the group's they work for, Carson hires Prison Bitch as her own mole among the moles, while at the same time bringing in the rest of the surviving Dragonslayers to work as Range Instructors (which means they also watch all of those expensive and dangerous toys the Payola Platoon are always trying to walk off with).
  • Momma's Boy:
    • Positive Variation: From Mama's Boy: Marty:
      She chuckled as she shook her head slightly. "I've heard you on the phone talking to Shelby," she said. "I know you're more than a bit interested in girls, and that you're rapidly coming to a point where you'd rather do things with them than with me."
      Marty frowned. "Mom, I _love_ backpacking with you," he protested.
      Tatiana sighed. "Maybe," she said, "but you need to spend time with kids your own age. Eventually, you're going to get a girlfriend, and ...."
      Marty winced, knowing his mother was right. Thinking about Shelby Richards made his heart go pitter-patter, among other things, and he knew that if she asked him, he'd spend time with her rather than his mom. "But ... I ...." He wasn't quite sure what to say.
      "But nothing. It's called growing up. Every kid does it, and you're no different." She smiled at him. "Besides, you don't want people thinking you're a mama's boy, do you?"
      Marty looked down, embarrassed and feeling ashamed that he already had thoughts of leaving mom at home for the night and hanging out with a girlfriend. "I suppose not." He didn't want to tell her that he'd already been in a few fights because some older kids had called him precisely that. He'd won, of course; the bullies didn't know that he was working on his third-degree black belt in karate.
    • Negative Variation: From Ayla 3: Ayla and the New School: Silverwing:
      You did not take Basic Martial Arts last year."
      "My mother talked the guidance counselor out of it… sensei."
      Ito snapped, “And is your mother going to accompany you through life, talking supervillains out of attacking you?"
      "Umm, no, sensei." By now, the kid was beet red from his face down into his costume.
  • Most Common Super Power: Justified as an explicit superpower: mutants with the Exemplar power set have a Body Image Template based on what they would like to look like, and their powers transform them to fit. As a result, the most common superpower really is being very attractive. There are various levels of this, ranging from Exemplar 1, gradual shapeshifting but otherwise merely above the average human, to Exemplar 2s, equivalent to the limit of baseline human potential, all the way up to 7, in which is not only do they get incredible strength, endurance and (in some cases) intelligence, but become supernaturally attractive as well. For female Exemplars, this usually results in Boobs of Steel (or even Gag Boobs). The male version of this is common among male Exemplars as well, to the point that they are often warned not to be too aggressive with their 'endowment' lest they hurt their partner. Weres also get these despite not having the Exemplar trait, and Paige/Petra are endowed with both "gifts".
    • Mentioned, from She-Beast in Saks and Violence (bolding is substituting for the original's underlining.):
      And I recognized the tall, strapping chica in Zorro blacks with cleavage that somehow managed to show off that she was at least a C cup (WHY is it that every female I run into these days has ‘the most common superpower’- but ME?)
  • Most Writers Are Adults:
    • This is a common criticism, with characters in their mid-to-late teens acting like full-grown adults. The series would make a lot more sense if it was set in a college rather than a high school although, that might just be Ayla and Sara, the private school rich kid and the Fountain of Youth case.
    • And then you have the witches, three characters who are presently in middle school, who come up with childishly simpleminded schemes while spouting babytalk. Their odd, stylistically low maturity level can be very jarring when compared to the behavior of real middle-schoolers, although that may just be Clover, who acts Deliberately Cute Child at times and is said by the narration that she "all too often she acted like she was only six."
  • Mugging the Monster: The Alphas send some attackers, most notably a power nullifier, after Tennyo. Unfortunately, nullifying her powers ends up waking up the Star Stalker, and things go very badly for them. Also shows up in a lot of origin stories.
  • Mundane Utility: Shows up all over the place. Since most mutants aren't looking to become either heroes or villains, Whateley tries to either teach them or help them find mundane utilities for their powers. Phase earns a lot of good will with the "Workshop" by identifying mundane utilities for gadgets and then acting as an angel investor for their inventors. He even comes up with a list of mundane utilities for Tennyo's vast powers, including emergency repairs on satellites in orbit and nuclear power plants from the inside. Whateley even offers a Winter Term class called "Special Topics - Finding a Job Only YOU Can Do".
  • My Beloved Smother: Downplayed example: Silverwing's mother, who negatively impacted him by not letting him take martial arts, as mentioned in Ayla 3: Ayla and the New School:
    You did not take Basic Martial Arts last year."
    "My mother talked the guidance counselor out of it… sensei."
    Ito snapped, “And is your mother going to accompany you through life, talking supervillains out of attacking you?"
    "Umm, no, sensei." By now, the kid was beet red from his face down into his costume.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Many Brick types' Nigh-Invulnerability extends to their clothing and weapons, which is explained by their invulnerability being due to psychokinetic forcefields.
    • Loophole's super-armour, which epitomises super armour in general.
    • Almost all the devisors and gadgeteers have some level of this.
    • A lot of the school uniforms have some level of armour - particularly if Cecilia Rogers made them.
    • Loophole invents a new fabric called Kevra that combines the characteristics of Kevlar and Lycra and can be used to make virtually any clothing bulletproof. Mega-girl's father is the first NYPD officer saved by a kevra uniform.
    • Inverted by Tennyo, who often comes out of battles virtually or fully naked because her body is far tougher than any conceivable suit could ever be. Unfortunately, she's also rather shy.
  • Mythology Gag: about as common as the Brick Jokes, more so in the vignettes and side stories. For example Vamp's first POV story has her wondering why the Whateley kids are all so intimidated by the librarian (Tennyo).

    N 
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Fey (an ancient Sidhe) and Carmilla (descendant of Great Old Ones) have cursed in languages which have been dead for millennia.
    • Ayla and the Birthday Brawl (Chap 6): 'Hank unleashed several choice phrases that impugned the Monkey King’s ancestry, family heritage, sexual proclivities, and recreational interests. Obviously, Hannah Declan had learned more from her time on Army bases than how to shoot firearms.'
    • Odds and Ends (Part 1): In Jade and Mule's combat final, has the fanatic "calling [Jade] things that the sims team should probably get in trouble for putting in a scenario for freshman girls."
  • Nanomachines:
    • Samantha, whose body is basically all nanomachines.
    • Whisper, whose body incorporates nanomachines.
    • Compiler, who altered her body with nanomachines that are still in her body.
  • Nature Tinkling: Referenced during the Potty Emergency in The Bad Seeds:
    “Hey,” Nephandus noticed, “is that a potted plant?”
    “Where?” Jobe demanded.
    “Far side of the room. See?”
    “Race you!”
    “I don’t think I’ll make it!”
  • Neologism: Buttercuppy: From The Three Little Witches:
    • When it's first used:
    A figure appeared out of the gloom, conspicuous in a bright yellow dress with an eye-catching ruffled skirt. “Guys?” she called. “You there? I’m not too late, am I?”
    “Clover? What IS that you’re wearing?”
    “Oh this old thing? Oh, I’ve had it hanging in my closet forever and-”
    “Why did you wear THAT?” Pally demanded, waving her arms in the air.
    “Oh, I was just feelin’ buttercuppy today,” Clover giggled as she stuck out her tongue and twirled around.
    “Clover, ‘buttercuppy’ isn’t even a word.”
    “Yes it is! How could I say it, if it wasn’t a word?”
    • And then again, presumably due to security spying on them. Or just coincidence... Which might not be so coincidental, given Clover's luck powers:
    “Hey, if we were trying to break into that house WHY would she be wearing yellow?” Pally pointed at Clover.
    “You were feeling buttercuppy?”
    “YEAH!” Clover piped, “Buttercuppy! SEE? Buttercuppy IS a word!”
  • Neural Implanting: In Destiny's Wave, the titular talking sword does it:
    I have looked through your mind and you know little to nothing about sword work. You also know nothing about combat. I can fix that a little.”
    “Fix it how?”
    “I can give you some access to skills that you do not have: the basics of sword work, kung fu, Chinese, chi gung and Taoism. To learn more would require you to work from that starting point. I was only equipped for helping the person take the first step or two, the rest of the journey is up to you.”
    “Cool! Hey can we do that now? I want to spend the day getting used to this. I want to try you out and see how this body moves and feels.” Alex was bubbling with excitement. This had the potential to be just like his fantasies of being a superhero, except for the being a girl thing.
    “Very well. Please sit down Alex.”
    Alex sat on the edge of the bed. After he had gotten comfortable he felt that tickle again. This time it grew more intense, almost like an itch in his brain. His head swam and he grew dizzy. Finally the sensation stopped.
    • Several devisers have done this. Jericho has a jack in his head for easier uploading, while Techno-Devil has two jacks, one on each side of his head, and a shaved mullet so they both show.
  • Never Heard That One Before: In Have Your Self an Evil Little Christmas (Part 3), Romeo LaClavar a.k.a Rosethorn, expresses this sentiment, when he's under an Unstoppable Rage:
    “Oh, and ‘Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo’!” [...] “Yes, it was funny- the first THOUSAND times I heard it, before I was THREE!”
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: There's a lot of flexibility in some characters' power sets. Tennyo is the foremost example of this.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In-universe example: Doctor Debt, a supervillain, steals millions of dollars and escapes without any weapons, property damage or civilian injuries. The Flying Bulldozer, his superhero nemesis, stops him by throwing cars at him, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage and dozens of civilian injuries.
  • The Nicknamer:
    • Vamp provides some zingers for several of the more absurdly 'heroic' students, especially Pucelle ("Joan D'ork" and "The Maid of Oy Vey" standing out in particular). She also refers to Phase by such insults as "Goodthang" or "Goodwhine" whenever she can get away with it.
    • Imp does this to nearly everybody she meets when not in her Secret Identity. She can really get under people's skin with it, too, as shown by one (previously anonymous) minor supervillain she nicknamed 'Crash Test Dummy'. The name stuck, and he got pissed at her for it.
    • Fantastico simply loves getting a rise out of people by using demeaning nicknames for them, including - no, especially - his teammates in the Good Ol' Boys.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Alice Allusion poster child Ecila Mason spent most of her formative years traveling the multiverse and befriending Mythos beings, leaving her almost entirely incapable of understanding how ordinary people (baseline or mutant) view the world and the creatures she hangs around with.
  • Ninja School: The Yama Dojo.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • It's pretty obvious that the Good Ol' Boyz are a parody of the George W. Bush Jr. cabinet:
      • Fantastico, the head of the Good Ol' Boyz, is George W. Bush Jr., what with his name being Bert Walker Jr, where George W. Bush is short for George Walker Bush Jr., they're both Texans, connected to oil, and thought of as not smart. Also he says "I'm the decider" at one point. A GWB Catchphrase.
      • Fantastico's sidekick, Minefield, is Dick Cheney.
      • His inventor-slash-intelligence officer Ferret, Ivor Lark, is Karl Rove, a near Sdrawkcab Name
      • Conduit is a Rule 63 Condoleeza Rice, with his last name being Reece, and Conduit being able to be shorted to 'Condi' the common contraction of Condoleezza.
    • The Vindicators are an incompetent team parodying The Avengers: Kismet is a pushy, cranky Scarlet Witch in green; Lemure is a sullen Vision; Sizemax is an easily steamrollered Giantman; Donner is a dopey Thor; Dynamaxx is a horndog Iron Man; and Cerebrex is a crazed, incompetent Captain America.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ayla spends tens of thousands of dollars getting the Poe dorm showers up to scratch. When he tries them out on their first operational morning, Fey uses them to punch him in the balls with a jet of water, because the girls were pissed off at his staring at them in the shower.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Yellow Queen's posse, the Whateley Academy Martial Arts Cheerleaders. They are indeed cheerleaders who know some martial arts, but Whateley Academy doesn't actually have any sports teams, so the 'cheerleaders' have nobody to cheer for.
    "Roxbury Prison hasn’t been in Roxbury since 1987, when they built the new prisons.”
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Justified, they're all Half Human Hybrids.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Invoked by name - and caused by Jade.
    • Just as evident is Chaka's combat final, which is never referred to in more than passing - supposedly it can't even be described in a way that can do it justice.
    • Parents' Day and Hallowe'en were noodle incidents for a long time. The current NI is the Outcasts' Christmas trip, which seems by the mentions in other stories, to have been suitably disastrous, and has now been revealed in The Book of Darwin.
    • Lampshaded in Parent's Day.
    • Lancer's detention for the Birthday Brawl.
    • There's also the Isobel Anaelez case, in which a teenage mutant was supposedly disappeared by the MCO. Apparently she's become the poster child for mutant abductions for the purpose of experimentation. We don't know much more than that...
    • And, there's what happened when Vamp decided to learn what the Lovecraftian sorcerer's turn-ons were. It was bad.
    • We never learn just what, exactly, is so bad about the Hawthorne Cottage toilets - though apparently there's weapons involved.
    • Jade's notorious 'Radioactive Condor Girl' combat sim gambit. Just mentioning it causes Gunny Bardue's blood pressure to spike.
    • The 'poo-tonium' incident Jobe was responsible for as a kid.
  • No Periods, Period:
    • Played straight in Sara's origin story where it is mentioned she'll never have a period again and is always fertile.
    • Averted, as many characters who are becoming female at varying rates have to deal with getting a period for the first time.
      Toni: Oh, so that's where it comes from — Tell me, do you have any little tricks that help tide your wife over on these heavy periods? They might come in handy next time Nikki goes into PMS!
    • Both Tennyo and Miyet panic the first time they have their periods; Billie gets a grip quickly enough, but Corey, who had been a macho bully until her transformation, seems to have been unaware of what a menstrual period was.
  • Nosebleed: As said in Dorms of Our Lives, Calliope, a lesbian, dabbed at her nose, making the narrator, Eisenmädel, think that Calliope burst a nasal capiliary after seeing a third girl change without a privacy screen, and at the large size of that third girl's breasts.
  • No-Self Buffs: As said in The Curse of the Dragon Queen, there's the Law of Balance that makes it so helping yourself leads to hurt yourself later, or something:
    The Law of Balance, that ‘TANSTAAFL’ rule, says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, just like Newton’s Second Law. Or, as they put in the mystical biz, ‘For every boon there is a price’.
    the Law of Balance only kicks in when a working imposes change on the external world... [not if you] simply change the caster’s way of seeing the world
  • Nostalgic Narrator: Alex in Destiny's Wave. It starts:
    I think it all began with the sword.
    Wait, let me back up a bit and clarify things a bit. There were things that happened before the sword, like the rest of my life. But those things have changed. My life is worlds different now and there is not much I can do about it.
    I used to be Alexander Farshine. Now, I’m still working on that. Things changed massively in a short period of time and I am still in shock. But the school seems nice. Wait...let me try and start this again. I don’t think I am making much sense.
    You see, I think it all began with the sword.
  • The Notable Numeral:
  • Not in the Face!: From Insanity Prerequisite (Part 4), when Hippolyta, a frequent fighter, gets offended by a shirt Peeper's selling, the scene ends with "NOT IN THE FACE!"
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Reverend Englund becomes aware that there is a half-demon student at the school who he thinks will take over the world by enslaving people, killing others and using her mind slaves to breed demon spawn. While the Reverend has fought otherworldly invaders and all manner of creatures who did harm, in this case he's actually wrong: Sara/Kellith has actually decided that she's going to do good for the world and promote peace and love. So the Reverend gets the Syndicate (i.e. the organised bad guys) to help him kill her… and what would have been a controlled attempt to kill just one person gets hijacked by the Chessmaster, resulting in a large part of the school getting blown up, a number of security personnel and teachers getting maimed and/or killed and all the students being incredibly traumatised.
  • Not So Different: From Silver Linings 1 (Part 4), used by Herb Tellock to Karen Wickham, comparing Goodkind-owned businesses with Wickham-owned businesses, which leads to an Insult Backfire, 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.”

    O 
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: A tactic used by Sunburst, among others.
    • Sunburst's is described by Nacht in Silent Nacht Chapter 2:
      "you take in her looks and her Malibu beach bunny persona, and you think that she’s an airhead. She’s NOT;
  • Oblivious Transformation: Mutant Gene Complex activation is like this, with the resultant iris change usually being sudden and unnoticed until someone points it out.
    • In Absinthe, Adam has his hair obliviously change color. His mom notices first, then he notices when he looks in the mirror:
      "Adam," Mom exclaimed, jumping and rushing to me. "What’s wrong?" Then she blurted out, "Your hair..."
      [...]''
      Just as I was about to climb into the shower, my muscles seemed to turn into rubber and I staggered, barely catching myself before I fell onto the floor. I grabbed the bathroom counter and used it to hold myself up, but then I noticed my reflection in the mirror.
      "My hair," I gasped, staring at myself in blank confusion. My hair was... green.
  • Oh, Cisco!: From The Big Idea, the last line is:
    But at least for now, Migraine is someone else’s headache.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Some Exemplars age very slowly, or not at all. Generator and Timeless seem to be stuck at around eleven, and others seem to only age to their early 20s. Headmistress Carson, AKA Lady Astarte, ages at less than one-third the normal rate; she was born in 1929, but was still seen as a Kid Sidekick into the early 1960s, and in 2006 looks to be in her early thirties. She has mentioned that her oldest grandchild looks older than she does.
    • Ecila Mason seems to have aged about eight years since she started dimensional travelling at the age of 6, which was in the early 1920s.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Played perhaps uncomfortably straight with the Tao, which ostensibly always guides its Handmaid to do just what is required to maintain 'the balance'. However, the Demon Lord of the Hell of Firey Immersion, has hinted that the information Chou received was lies. Whether it was speaking the truth or not, we don't know. The ability to apparently predict the future is also not a original power of the Tao, but given by some magical loom and tapestry that we don't know much about.
    • The omniscient-seeming Mrs. Potter may also count, though she seems to be more unambiguously on the side of the angels than many of the usual trope examples.
  • The One Guy:
    • Lancer, the only guy in Team Kimba, however there are plenty of recurring male characters outside Team Kimba. Phase is another guy on Team Kimba, but most people wouldn't know that looking at him, due to his mutation turning him into an intersexed hot chick physically. He gets a lot of Pronoun Trouble over it.
    • Mega-Boy: The only boy in the Junior High Program of Generation 1, 2006-2007.
  • One Steve Limit: It's been broken a few times, but Whateley Academy does enforce rules about distinct codenames for everyone:
    • Elaines:
      • Elaine Nalley
      • Elaine Fleischer are both gorgeous mutants with the Most Common Superpower, and they're both inventors. When they both went on Phase's birthday trip to Boston, Elaine Nalley went by 'Doc' to avoid confusion among the other guests.
    • The Zenith codename has been used by at least two characters:
      • The Whateley Academy student residing in Poe Cottage
      • The Radical Squad's, which Nacht comments on, predicting Poe's Zenith's reaction to the other one, in Silent Nacht: Chapter 4:
        Oh, someone’s going to have her perfect little nose ALL OUT of joint.
  • One-Word Title:
  • Open-Minded Parent: Some are, others... not so much. For example, Wallflower's parents Falcon and Tabby Cat have no problems with her dating a transgender boy because Tabby Cat is a Gender Bender herself.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While they don't yet seem to have seen a 'real' dragon, the universe has already featured a few variations on the theme. One student has a pet dragon (named Pern, of course) who's apparently a product of her manifestation power and can grow quite a bit in a hurry from his normally small-and-cute stature if bothered. At least two characters, one a student, are known to be hosts to dragon spirits, and then there's Tywyswyr...who, if readers can believe his tale, is actually 'just' a very dragon-looking alien who's nonetheless quite wealthy and apparently a not-so-minor political player living right in the US.
    • In the summer of 2007, Chaka went to China to meet with important Chinese martial artists. Somewhere along the line, she did something that led to a fight between her and the dragon, Oolong. This is a Noodle Incident so far, and may well remain one, but it is noted as having thrown off the timetable for Bladedancer's separate mission in China during the same time period. During that fight, one of the People's Republic supers summons a minor dragon to fight Chou, who ends up getting rescued by Sun Wu Kong.
  • Our Founder: Whateley Academy has a statue of its founder, Noah Whateley.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Discussed at length (by Ayla, of course), in order to dissuade Ceecee from staking Vamp. Apparently, there are a lot of different kinds around, and no one knows what all of them are like.
    • According to Robur, the Bloodline are often mistaken for vampires, but are actually the earliest family of mutants. The longevity and ability to drain others of their psychic energies shown by many members may have played a role in that confusion.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: There several types "weres" that draw from numerous different archetypes.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Transmissible via bites, and can be affected by a certain substance, like how catnip affects cats. They also get the Most Common Super Power or Bigger Is Better in Bed, if female, or male, respectively.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Nick Reilly, Bill Wilson, Tony Chandler... a lot of the kids who become mutants and then go to Whateley Academy.
  • Origins Episode:
    • The origin novel for Phase didn't come out until about four years after the series started.
    • Of the original six Team Kimba members, only Lancer, the one visibly male changeling in that year, wasn't set to get an origin story at first (Phase was supposed to have one from the start, but it was delayed when his original author disappeared). Eventually, he got one written by his new primary author, with some significant Ret Cons to his initial, somewhat breezy story (if making light of being attacked with a Bradley IFV sounds 'breezy') making it clear that he wasn't nearly as comfortable with his transformation as he originally claimed.
    • Absinthe's has a One Word Protagonist Title.
    • Ribbon's is called Steel Ribbon...
    • Almost every POV Character gets one.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: Phase routinely gets teased by his friends for his 'foodgasms'. (The background being a little deal he has with the school chefs; they get a rare opportunity to really show off what they can do and the benefits of being on the good side of one of the richest kids at school and he doesn't have to ruin his refined palate by settling for the standard cafeteria stuff.) Even those friends, though, have to admit that his 'special' treats are frequently just that good.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Nacht's cameo necklace, which at a critical juncture comes apart, revealing the picture of her real mother underneath, thus freeing her from The Bell Witch's domination. Presumably there's some mystical reason (magical resonance, perhaps?) why there was a picture of her real mother in there in the first place.
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    P 
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: One of the popular nicknames for Team Kimba in-universe is the Negligee Nightingales, referring to their first fight with the Yama Dojo Ninjas.
  • Panty Thief: in the story "Panty Raid", a panty thief hits every girls' dorm on campus, one night at a time, finally getting spotted (but not caught). That's because it was Sun Wukong the Monkey King. When he steals yours panties, you just let him.
    • Mimeo's biographical story, "Mimeographic", mentions that the one attempt at a panty raid when he was a student at Whateley (in the mid-1960s) got thoroughly stomped by several of the tougher girls.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Not of itself but other works, 'Grease, the Lolicon Version' and 'Ho School Musical' in regards to a bit character dressing oddly. These are probably just snotty comments by some of the snarkers rather than real movies.
  • Paranormal Mundane Item: Ms. Grimes's reliquary (storage device for magical energy) is a bowling ball bag.
  • Parental Abandonment: Common (Ayla, Jade, Chou etc.) but not universal (Toni, Nikki, Billie, Hank etc.) In some cases it's either half and half (Vamp, whose parents split over her mutation) or complicated (Reach, who is not totally estranged from his parents though his aunt has guardianship.)
    • In addition, there's the notorious Captain CondomCourage, a 'superhero' better known for the hundreds of children he fathered than for his mighty deeds.
  • Parental Favoritism: Multiple instances:
    • Discussed in The Final Trump (Part 5): One of the de Maugris siblings talking:
      Melusine, [...] used to be Papa’s glowing favorite. Then, of the lot of us, it’s Mara who finally has a kid.
    • From Written in Blood (Part 1): Paige St. Claire is the favorite of her mother:
      Paige was twelve years old, and where I took after Dad, she definitely took after Mom. It was no wonder that she was Mom’s pride and joy. I’d long since accepted the fact that Paige was my mom’s favorite, and I’d even come to appreciate the benefits. While Paige received our mom’s full parental attention, I usually received far less scrutiny.
      Mom would never listen to anything that might be considered as criticism of Paige, not when Paige was her pride and joy, and especially not from me.
  • Le Parkour: Parkour Jam Hooligans is the best story for this, but this being a superhero 'verse, there's a reasonable amount of it elsewhere, too.
  • Parody Sue: Joanne Gunnarson, written by Joe Gunnarson.
    • In later stories, there's a girl who goes by the 'Crimson Comet', who seems to be a straight parody of poorly-written fanfic. She transitioned perfectly in three days, is a knockout almost on the level of Fey, is fairly powerful overall, and has all the intelligence and forward planning skills of an ice cream sandwich.
  • Parttime Hero: And part time villains, too. They hang out in a bar called Superbad.
  • Passing Notes in Class: From First Day and Other Interesting Things:
    "There are other reasons also. Mr. Tyler! Will you please share that note you and Mr. Owens are passing around? I'm sure that it doesn't have much to do with what we need to study here."
    We all turned in our seats to watch the two young men in question who were unsuccessfully trying to hide a note that got away from them and sailed to Mr. Winslow's outstretched hand.
    "Let's see... 'That's one of them. I vote for Negligee Nightingales.' I believe this is your writing Mr. Owens? And the writing underneath. Oh yes! Definitely Mr. Tyler's excuse for handwriting. 'I like Bathrobe Babes.' This doesn't sound like anything that we will be discussing in this class does it?"
  • Pegasus: Light Ling has given her horse wings via magic. She is possibly the mage said to do so in the Flight entry.
  • Percussive Therapy: From Silver Linings 2 (Parts 2-9): When Madcap couldn't get a rocket working:
    Madcap got out of the cockpit, stood on the nose of the rocket and hit it with the Star Witch's scepter out of sheer frustration.
    The ship exploded in a ball of fire.
    The force of the blast blew out the glass windows
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Tennyo. Even with only a fraction of the Star Stalker's full power, she has been estimated to be able to destroy vast swaths of land by accident if she were to lose control of her powers. In at least one simulation, killing her led to The End of the World as We Know It, wiping out the entire eastern half of North America and plunging the world into a three year nuclear winter.
  • Personal Raincloud: As said in The Gates of the Garden, Elyzia Grimes might have made one with her magic, to put herself out, when she was set on fire:
    Elyzia Grimes seemed to appear out of nowhere at the Outcast table at dinner. She looked battered and singed, her hair was frazzled and frayed and the umbrella she carried looked like it had seen much better days. Her expression matched the stormcloud that was following her and raining tiny drops on her head, likely having put out whatever fire she had caught herself in.
    • This seems to be the main power of one of the incoming 2007 freshman, Downpour. It is likely that she has more extensive hydrokinetic and/or Weather Manipulation powers, but because of her intense (and sometimes suicidal) depression, this is how it always seems to manifest.
  • Photographic Memory:
    • Carmilla (Sara Waite) has eidetic memory. This is because she's not human: she's mostly demon, and her cellular structure is closer to a living cancer than anything else modern medicine knows about. She knows how many grains of salt were spilled on the table that morning, etc.
    • It's a common ability of high-level Exemplars. Like Bubble, who can "read Ezra Pound's "Cantos" in a couple hours and then quote from it."
  • Physical God: there are several, of different types:
    • Avatars which sufficiently large hallows can become Paladins to gods or other powerful entities; rather than the Avatar serving as the spirit's hallow, the spirit empowers the Paladin with a part of its essence, in exchange for the Paladin serving the god's wishes. Examples: Miyet, Pejuta.
    • The New Olympians are similar to Avatars, in that they are the original Greek Gods who took over the bodies of newborn human children who had high potential for mutant powers, but they didn't specifically choose mutants with the Avatar ability and thus don't show up through tests meant to detect Avatars.
    • Carmilla is part human, part Eldritch Abomination, and is worshiped by the Cult of Kellith.
    • Some of the more human-like Class X Entities, such as Nyarlathotep and Gothmog, are willing to take human form when needed, though apparently it requires quite a few Human Sacrifices by their followers to translate them into this plane for even a short time.
    • Lucifer has managed to appear on Earth as well (in a church, no less), though it may be that he can only materialize in the presence of certain individuals such as the Scarlet Knight.
    • Some of the more powerful beings from the Fivefold Court era, whose spirits were shattered during the Sundering, have managed to reincarnate different parts of themselves over the ages until one of the reincarnations would happen to arise in someone with a mutant power that allowed them to gather the shards together and wholly re-create themselves. The most powerful of these, Aunghadhail, was indeed worshiped by the Werefolk, whom she created, though Fey prefers not to see herself as actually divine.
    • The Eight Taoist Immortals are Bladedancer's sponsors, with Guan Yu personally taking a hand in her training. Also, Sun Wu Kong has shown up at various times either to help her (e.g., in her fight against the Chinese government super-team) or to torment her (such as when he stole panties from most of the girls in the school for fun).
  • The Place:
    • The series is also referred to as the "Whateley Academy Universe", and its stories' headers call themselves "Whateley Academy Tales".
    • More conventionally, is the DeWinter Residence subuniverse.
  • Placebotinum Effect: The thing that really powers the impossible-by-conventional-physics effects that come from the products of Devisors isn't some super special one-of-kind-material, but the reality-warping effect of the Devisor themselves.
  • Place of Power: Not only are there have Ley Lines all over the place, but the Academy is set just a few miles from Dunwich. Yeah. That Dunwich. There are many spots around Whateley that are a Place of Power, and all of them are really, really dangerous.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Anyone with Fire-type Elemental Hair:
      • Fireball
      • Sparkler, from with technological assistance, as said in Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
        That redheaded bitch blasted off a sparkling fireball the size of a refrigerator.
        I was just trying to save my big sister’s life! Okay, I was also trying to keep Firebitch from roasting those cops in that squad car.”
        Byrd said, “Firebitch, huh? Funny. Her real codename is Sparkler.
  • Plane Awful Flight: An exaggerated example, that takes up several paragraphs, in Alya and the Late Trevor James Goodkind. It's Ayla's first time riding coach when she's used to first class, and has nothing less than a miserable time. The cabin is crowded and stuffy, there's no space in the seats, Ayla is stuck sitting next to an overweight woman who won't stop talking to her, there's a strong, horrible smell of perfume, a Screaming Plane Baby, and of course, the food sucks. It doesn't get any better upon leaving the plane:
    "Once we reached the terminal, everyone leapt to their feet and started struggling to pull luggage out of overhead compartments as if there were some sort of race. You would think that the pilot had announced that only the first twenty people off the plane would be allowed to use the restrooms."
  • Plenty of Blondes: Justified, since they're mostly exemplars.
  • Plug 'n' Play Friends: Team Kimba
  • Pointy Ears: A few uses:
    • Sidhe (Elves)
    • Isokist (Aliens)
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: In-Universe, said about Jenny + Harlan in The Big Idea:
    Jenny and Harlan sat down at the lunch table across from Adalie and Romy. “Well,” Adalie greeted them snidely, “if it isn’t Whateley’s latest power couple, Jenlan.”
  • Portmantitle: As Gearhead is a compound word. And also a One-Word Title.
  • Potty Dance: In The Bad Seeds, Lindsay does one when she has a Potty Emergency:
    Lindsey [...] holding her legs tightly together. She began to dance around.
  • Potty Emergency: The ending of The Bad Seeds, involves Cheese starting one by using Nanomachines to "improve kidney output", and using "a super-strong construction supplement" to keep the locked bathroom door from being broken down.
  • Potty Failure: In The Bad Seeds, possibly happens to Hua Chu Lan, when her mantra against a Potty Emergency stops:
    “The body is under control of the mind,” Hua Chu Lan chanted. “The mind is in control. The mind is in control!
    [...]
    “The mind is in control! The mind is… oh… I… eeeeEEEEEEE… aaaahhhh!”
  • Power Copying:
    • Power Mimics, who get copies of other supers' powers somehow, like Mimeo, who can do it being in the super's presence, but works faster when in active combat with that super.
    • As said in Insanity Prerequisite (Part 1), on Temptresses of GEO (Good and Evil Online): "the Temptress did not earn experience for killing monsters and looting tombs, she could only become more powerful by luring another character and absorbing their abilities." -
  • Power Crystal: Power gems are a common source of superpowers for non-mutants, and can be used by wizards as a power focus. Devisors and wizards are sometimes able to create 'cultured' power gems, a more limited form of the real thing but still very useful.
  • Power Glows:
    • Tennyo's sword glows a brilliant blue, and can cut through pretty much anything since it's made of some sort of anti-matter. Tennyo herself does the glowy bit when she gets really amped up, complete with Red Eyes, Take Warning.
    • Several Energizers like Golden Girl also do the full-body glow when they kick in their powers.
  • Powered Armour: Rarely seen "onscreen", but present in the setting. Apparently, a lot of Devisors and Gadgeteers like to think ‘I can keep up with the Exemplars if I just engineer it right’ (as Lady Astarte puts it), and there is even a special course on 'Advanced Defensive Technologies' which teaches the details of building a suit.
    • Loophole manages to build a suit from drawing board to working prototype in three days, before the class even started.
    • Jericho, who is also in the ADT course, has been building a suit of Powered Armor for a different reason: his Rafael armor is designed to allow medics and other emergency workers to enter battlefields and other hostile environments for rescue work. His own version is armed, but the main intention is life-saving, not combat.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Bell Witch tries to enslave her own daughter as a living power battery. It doesn't end well for her.
  • Power Incontinence: A real problem for many of the students in Hawthorne, and generally throughout the setting. Many cases of power incontinence ultimately prove to be fatal to the mutant or bystanders. It's just one more reason why mutants are so feared and hated—they don't have to want to hurt you.
  • The Power of Acting: Most early supervillains, especially Mephisto the Mentalist, used a mixture of stage magic, hypnotic suggestion, Mad Science, and garish costuming to fake their superpowers, and would stage everything from a Zombie Apocalypse to an alien invasion in order to distract the superheroes from the real day-to-day crimes of their Mob associates.
  • Power Nullifier: A few mutants have this power, but no nullifier device exists. Special mention goes to the STAR League parents, who threaten their children with being forced into wearing fake "Power Nullifier Bracelets" until they're 18, or going to Whateley. The kids choose Whateley, only to find out that 1. The bracelets were fake and 2. Their parents had enrolled them in Whateley days before they asked them if they wanted to go.
    • Martial arts classes enforce "no powers" sparring using power recorders since nullifiers aren't possible.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The biggest example is Sara, but she's by no means the only one. However, some say that being a lust demon it is not perversion, rather that this was intentional. Fittingly, it is Sara who - literally - writes the definitive book on this subject in-universe, covering both the possibilities and the caveats of super-powered sex (and even quotes the Larry Niven essay Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex when discussing Exemplars)
    • Honestly, the person who uses this the most, outside of Sara, is Harlan/Harley from The Big Idea. Also, surprisingly, Jenny. They take GREAT advantage of this trope.
    • Solange (Tansy), who can use her powers to (a) make herself look and feel 'just that special' and (b) implant hypnotic suggestions, especially when her target's defenses are down - like they are during sex.
    • Chaka! She used her Ki powers to give her girlfriend a Ki-powered massage.
    • Glamours in general act as a mix of low level mind control / aphrodisiac.
    • Fling is entirely based on this; when someone lusts after him/her, if s/he's close enough to them, s/he changes into their ideal lover.
    • When discussing the question of whether men or women experience sex better, Sizzle comes down firmly on the side of women, claiming that - according to several telepaths she knew - male telepaths often get depressed if their female lovers don't let them 'listen in' during sex.
  • Precision F-Strike: In The Three Little Witches, Abra, a pre-teen, swears after a very humiliating failure in a long list of failures:
    “It was a cluster fuck!” Abra snapped as she paced around the floor in Clover’s room.
    “Abra!” Clover gasped, “If Mrs. Nelson heard you, she’d wash your mouth out with soap!”
    “My best work, up in smoke, and we’re still not any closer to getting any essence!” Abra groused as she shifted yet a little more chalk dust out of an uncomfortable crevice. She plopped down on Clover’s bed, arms crossed, eyebrows beetled. “So, how’re we gonna fix this?”
  • Precursors: According to one theory put forth by some scientists in the universe, entire species and their evolution may be the playthings of an entity tentatively identified as Gaia. If true, it isn't clear how much this overlaps with 'natural' evolution (since by necessity 'untainted' data would be hard to come by) and what this entity's ultimate goals might be.
  • Pretty in Mink: Solange wears an ermine jacket, and Kodiak even imagines her wearing nothing else.
  • Protagonist Title:
  • Psmith Psyndrome: Fey's name is often misspelled by others as F-A-Y. The reader can tell that a character doesn't know the proper spelling by looking at how it's written in their dialogue. For some reason, though, characters that are aware of the correct spelling seem to know instinctively when it's being misspelled, despite "Fay" and "Fey" sounding exactly the same when spoken. Averted hilariously in this exchange between female-drow Jobe (it's a long story) and Thunderbird:
    Jobe: You can call me... (thinks) ...anti-Fey.
    Thunderbird: Auntie Fay? If you say so.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Mentioned, in Saks and Violence, with the "two hands for more power" variant:
    Brainstorm did the ‘psychic placing his fingers on his temples’ thing, and suddenly a wind whipped up out of nowhere
    [...]
    “Brainstorm can’t keep this up very long!”
  • Psychic Block Defense:
    • Eric Mahren (later Caitlin Bardue) in the has this, in a sense. Prod the wrong memory, and you get to relive the sensations of being shot, or worse. It's lampshaded by one of the doctors there: "It'd take a guy like Mahren to turn his own brain into a minefield."
    • Tennyo, Fey and Carmilla also have this. Tennyo's is just a absurdly powerful always-on mental shield, although she appears to be able to drop it partially if she chooses to. Fey and Carmilla both use permanent uses of their powers, a spell for Fey and a psychic construct for Carmilla. Anyone breaking those is also likely to break the effects containing the always-active Mind Rape level auras they have and find themselves incapacitated by lust or reverence. Carmilla also can duplicate Marhen's minefield trick by being an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Chaka can use her Ki powers to close her brow chakra, blocking psychic attacks.
  • Psychic Powers: At the Whateley Academy there are so many teenagers with psychic abilities of one kind or another that there is a Psychic Arts Department full of teachers who also have psychic abilities. In addition to every case mentioned on the trope page, there are also Package Deal Psychics who have multiple powers (which typically can only be used one at a time): most have ESP, Psionics, and some form of PK ability. Some can even use the PDP talent to simulate the Superman bit (the Flying Brick), levitating themselves for flight, using the PK to give themselves a super-strong field about their body, yada yada yada. Living near the academy is a sweet little old lady... who may be the most powerful precog on the planet.
    • Precognition is noted as one of the most hazardous powers, ever. Most active precogs are functionally insane, and Mrs. Potter is unique because she can actually handle all the information she's getting. When Mimeo copied Mrs. Potter's ability, he was mentally paralyzed for long enough to be thrown into prison.
  • Psycho Electro: The only group more prone to Deidrick's Syndrome than devisors are electrical Energizers, with Olympia being the current stock example. Of course, the fact that she is also schizophrenic doesn't help much.
    • While he doesn't have Deidrick's, Imperious counts. True, he may not be delusional - he really is the reincarnation of Zeus - but he is still pretty quick to toss those lightning bolts around at anyone who defies him.
  • Psychotic Smirk:
    Maybe we’d even hit them with all three runs, in succession, ending with the dreaded Radioactive Condor Girl, just to really mess with their heads. That would teach Everheart and Bardue a thing or two…
    “Ayla? Why are you smiling like that? You’re making me really nervous.”
  • Puberty Superpower: Nearly every mutant. Gaining mutant powers after puberty is usually lethal. Non mutant supers are not restricted in this way. Some, such as Tennyo's brother, do develop their abilities during childhood. It seems most common with the Mad Scientist types but is relatively uncommon.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: On her first day in Poe, Chaka defends herself by using her Ki powers to sock Hippolyta in the guts. This is about as effective as punching The Hulk. Hank has to rescue her before she gets pummelled.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Given that this is a Doorstopper, this occurs every so often. Here are some instances:
    “I. Don’t. Sing.”
    “Not. Funny. Ama.”
  • Punny Name: Here: An attorney named "F. Yew Baddeley" (F. U. Badly).
  • Purple Prose:
    • Toni's narration slips into this when looking around the cave in "It's All in the Timing". It's implied that the cave itself is the cause of this.
      Feeling boo-koo nervous, I looked around, and my jaw almost hit the floor of the cave. Something was bubbling down from the roof of the cavern. No, now that it was clearer, it wasn’t bubbling, it WAS the bubbles. It was only a congeries of iridescent globes, yet stupendous in its malign suggestiveness.
      Whoa! Where did THAT come from?
    • In The Three Little Witches, when the narration is from Hellfire Sheba's viewpoint, referring to the Three Little Witches:
      The thing that was the very worst of the malevolent harridan that had been Bathsheba Whateley ... the little redheaded tatterdemalion before her. the scared witless moppet ... grab the mollydraigle ... She lunged at the carrot-top. One of the other little hoydens swatted at her with something that looked like a yarn spider web woven between the points of an elk’s antlers.
      [...]
      The hellblaze spattered against an impossibly potent amulet that the bratling held before her, but her spitespew ate away at the talisman like acid. Then that thrice-accursed gyrtrash tried to maul her again, and she sent it sprawling with gashes in its side.

    Q 

    R 
  • Raised by Wolves: Ecila Mason spent most of her childhood wandering the cosmos and palling around with every Eldritch Abomination she could meet. To say that she has a weak understanding of ordinary humanity would be an understatement.
  • Rape as Backstory:
    • Loophole, who was one of Freya's minions, by one of Freya's minions. Sorta.
    • Also appears in Vamp's origin story.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Most of the early stories are set amongst the same group of people, with the same events happening, but with each story taking place from a different character's Point of View.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Feral disapppeared because her author had to go away, and Ayla underwent retcons and character changes when Diane Castle took over.
  • Real Name as an Alias:
    • Zoe Nesmith is Zenith.
    • Jobe Wilkins is literally applying the trope, with his codename being Jobe Wilkins.
    • Jimmy Trauger is making only a token effort, with his codename being JT.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • The members of the Mystic Six do not suffer from age-related issues despite being over 125 years old, and have near-total control over their apparent age.
    • Faerie-type mutants stop aging once they reach their late teens or early twenties, and can live indefinitely long.
    • Powerful wizards can slow or even stop their aging through magic. Circe, in particular, is thousands of years old, but appears vaguely middle-aged.
    • Despite appearing like a young human (or rather, Isokist), the Scourge in its original form was a genuine Time Abyss, having existed for over eight billion years.
  • Really Was Born Yesterday: Belphoebe, a cloned drow created by Belphegor using the cloning chamber he'd stolen from Jobe then accidentally imprinted the clone with a copy of his own memories. Hence while Belfy is chronologically 0, she looks 16 and is treated as such by the administration, staff and students.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • As multiple characters (namely Fey, Imperious and Majestic) find out, even if you are the avatar of a god, queen or other powerful figure, that means precisely nothing in the modern world, where you are a citizen like everyone else, subject to the same rules and laws. As a result, should you try to operate on your own terms, things will not go well for you. Fey specifically finds that while defending yourself is fine, there's a limit on how far you can go before you cross the line from defense to assault, and if you cross that line, it may well have serious consequences.
    • A Single Fold starts with Folder getting called over to Security because they've found out who attacked him a while ago. Most of the security personnel are happy that they've got the evidence needed to get the bully punished; Folder is not, because he knows that the bully will just come after him again later for revenge, even though Folder didn't report it or tell Security anything.
    • No matter how powerful someone is, power comes at a cost, as Fey and Tennyo find out: in the former's case, her power comes from ley lines, which are powered by nature, so all the fights she's got into resulted in her unknowingly pulling more Essence from the ley lines than was sustainable, killing off forests and animals in nearby areas. As a result, she's had to keep a close eye on what spells she uses to make sure she doesn't kill anything else. In the latter's case, her power has severely irradiated places she's battled in without her knowing it, so she now wears a bracelet with a device attached that can detect radiation levels.
    • In one of Team Kimba's simulated missions, they have to cross a room full of magma. Since everyone on the team can either fly or be carried by a flier, Tennyo suggests that they just fly over the magma to the other side. Phase then bluntly points out that even though they're high above the magma, the air is so hot that it'd kill them all, including Lancer (whose PK field would let the super-hot air in), Tennyo (who is almost invincible), and Shroud (who doesn't even have a living body). As a result, they have to use magic to safely cross.
      • During the boss fight, Tennyo accidentally blows up the villain's teleporter. The group use magic to escape, but later, when Tennyo calls herself out for destroying the teleporter, Phase points out that they needed to use magic anyway because for all they knew, the teleporter could have been set to teleport them into the magma.
    • Murphy can teleport, and does it quite a lot in Even Murphy Has Loopholes. Problem is, teleporting takes a lot of energy, and she does it so much in the early parts of the story that it causes her to drastically lose weight. By the end of the story, even though she starts eating more, it only takes one emergency to send her into total cellular starvation.
    • While being the avatar of a Fae Queen may sound awesome, as the Kodiak explains, Fae Queens were cold, heartless and malicious, and having one in her head was slowly making Fey become arrogant, self-righteous and cruel, to the point that it takes said Queen finally dying and a pep talk from the Kodiak for Fey to be able to realize just how bad Aunghadhail's influence was on her.
    • A lot of mutants, most notably Energizers, are forced to eat more than normal because of their mutations. Not only is this not something they have any control over, there's multiple scenes when an Energizer (normally Tennyo) draws attention to themself because of how much they're eating. It's also caused problems for people who can't get enough food when they need it, or can't afford it- for example, in their backstory, while Jericho's family were happy to shelter Diamondback as she changed into her snake form, they couldn't afford to feed her as much as she needed for over a month, especially since she became unable to eat vegetables.
    • In the Whateley 'verse, having a Kid Sidekick has been outlawed for decades. Why? Because when you send a kid into battle against super villains, they more often than not get maimed or killed.
    • Some mutants have a DFA ("Deadly Force pre-Authorized") put on their official ID card by the MCO, meaning that they can be killed by any law enforcement officer for the most minor crimes. There have been a few attempts by various persons to have the DFA removed, but all of them are stuck in the court systems under miles of red tape. However, when it's brought to the attention of various powerful persons that the MCO has been putting DFAs on the cards of minors with no criminal records without due process, the entire MCO offices in two cities (as well as other agents from around the US) get arrested for civil rights violations and conspiring to murder children.
    • Mutants who develop their powers and immediately go out to try to play superhero tend to be complete disasters: they have no idea what they're doing, and as a result sometimes end up accidentally causing considerable amounts of property damage, along with occasionally accidentally killing or maiming both the supervillains they're fighting and the innocent bystanders.
    • Reach has Rubber Man powers, but what he doesn't have (at least at first) is super strength- so sure, he can make his arm 15 feet long, but when he does, it's so floppy it's completely useless.
    • By the time of the second generation, the Knights of Purity have been taken out of existence- but not by vengeful mutants or government action. Instead, they got sued into bankruptcy after fucking with the wrong company. After all the crimes they committed, it was only a matter of time- once the first lawsuits were won, the precedent gave every other victim what they needed to start getting their own revenge.
    • Imp generally doesn't kill her enemies. Instead, she publicly humiliates them, and has caused several to lose their civilian identities, jobs, and in one case powers... so it's not really a surprise when some of them team up and come after her for revenge.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: From Absinthe, when an employee is offending someone higher in the corporate ladder:
    "I will personally see to it that you are permanently assigned to bumfuck Alaska."
  • Recruiting the Criminal: The Whateley Academy is a neutral school, so it hires heroes, villains, and everyone inbetween. Some hired villains being:
    • The Imp, a successful art thief, is hired to be an art teacher.
    • Lady Hydra, a Northern European supervillainess of the 1950s was also hired, and is teaching during Gen1.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: In Bladedancer's origin story, the Taoist Immortal Lan Caihe Ho offers Alex Farshine the choice: give up the magic sword and return to his mundane life, or keep it and become Handmaid Of The Tao, servant of powers of which she understands nothing.
  • Remote Body: The "communications android" being controlled by someone in Loose Cannons Chapter 2.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Wallflower, because she can become invisible, logically couldn't see while invisible (because the light would pass through all of her without interacting, including her eyes). She never really thought about this before going to Whateley, when one of the scientists noted it. It then turns out that while invisible, she can see in the dark, apparently because she has an extra power that lets her sense her surroundings without light. In fact, almost all mutants require secondary powers. Investigating them, and the exact means by which the laws of physics are being bent, is most of what the Whateley scientists spend their time investigating. According to Sara it all comes down to Pattern Theory.
    • There are also plenty of examples of kids who are disabled because they lack required secondary powers. Like Frostbite, who freezes water but isn't immune to cold herself.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: The Sonnenkinder, as said in The Final Trump (Part 5):
    Jana Kolbe, recently of the Sonnenkinder’s External Projects Executive.”
    “The Sonnenkinder?” Mara and Nick echoed in chorus.
    “WHY do people always react that way?” Jana asked with a slightly halting British Received Pronunciation accent.
    “Well…” Nick hedged, “To be honest, I didn’t think that it was possible to leave the Sonnenkinder.”
    Jana nodded with a sour moue. “I hear that a lot. But there will be more.”
    “Why?”
    “They made the mistake of excoriating me to the Rank and File. But instead of screaming for the blood of the traitor, the general reaction was ‘you mean you can DO that? Just LEAVE?’” Jana let out a gusty breath. “Right now, the Reichsmarshal is putting all of his efforts into preventing any more defections, but believe me, I’m just the first of a wave. What the Reichsdirektorat will do then? Not my problem.”
  • The Reveal: Silent Nacht reveals that the Bell Witch and Nacht aren't related at all. The Bell Witch stole Nacht from her actual mother and dipped her into the Erebos river, thinking that it would kill her, but when Nacht unexpectedly survived, Bell Witch decided to raise her as her own instead.
  • Rock Paper Switch: Chaka and Fey in "It's All in the Timing!". Instead of facing the future versions of each other, they swapped and tried to fight the future versions of themselves.
    “You think that it’s the old Justice League ‘Perfect Enemy for ONE character’ bit?”
    “Toni! That only happens in the comic books!”
    “eennhhh… yer right- it’s not like simple, everyday stuff like attacking ninjas, infectious werewolves, giant robots, and reincarnating Elven queens, now is it?”
    “Good point, good point…” she allowed. “And in the comics, the perfect solution for that is-”
    Nikki reached her hand out to me and I managed to grab onto it. As I pulled us together, the dopplegangers, somehow knowing that we were doing something, both screamed and charged. I swung us around so that we were each directly facing our alleged future selves.
  • Rotating Arcs: Each canon author has his or her own characters, and writes from their point of view. This does have the downside in that arcs involving all of the characters get told piecemeal and if you're following the order recommended outright spoiled in some instances.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Wilkins family, naturally. While Joe and Jobe are the only ones who are mutants, they are all weaselly, self-centered, Jerk Asses with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. On the other hand, each of them is remarkably talented in their chosen field, which means that when they do work together, they are almost unstoppable. Fortunately, most of them are so specialized in some professional or aesthetic field (e.g., couture, interior design, automobile detailing and restoration, medical administration) that they have to double in some black market operation to make a living, with Karedonian diplomatic immunity to shield them from prosecution. The main exception, aside from Jobe and Emperor Joseph himself, is their UN Ambassador, who has a thriving butcher's shop next to the embassy, and most of the diplomatic work actually gets done there.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Isokist look like humans, except with small fangs, Pointy Ears, and possibly non-human hair colors, like light blue, if Tennyo is a typical example.
  • Rubber Man: Several characters, including Jody Cooms (Plastic Girl) who has the 'Reed Richards' power set. She's more the friendly, helpful type rather than the fun-loving type. She's cute but not gorgeous and a little overweight, while she lives on a floor with a number of girls who would make Hollywood starlets binge in envy. Jody is Whateley's postergirl for the Mundane Utility of stretching powers, best demonstrated when Ayla Goodkind pays her to repaint his room.
    • Harlan "Reach" Sawyer is an especially interesting example: he has the Rubber Man power set, but doesn't have some of the Required Secondary Powers that would let him make really effective use of it; namely, while he can make his arm fifteen feet long, doing so stretches his muscles out so much that he can't do anything with his extra-long arm. Near the beginning of the story, however, a lab accident grants Reach the "exemplar" power set, which, among other things, includes Super Strength, so she (oh, yeah, that lab accident also turned him into a girl, though not permanently) is now much more effective. Harley is Whateley's poster girl for the Power Perversion Potential of this powerset as it it is explicitly mentioned that he/she can alter the size and shape of any body part for this purpose, something her girlfriend, who has a complimentary mutation involving nanomachines, greatly appreciates.
  • Rules Lawyer: Loophole. It's the source of her code name.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Part of the laws of magic. It's a recent convention though, according to Aunghadhail, only a few thousand years old.
    • Team Kimba visit Boston three times, and each time they end up battling the Children of the Night. The first two are "The Boston Brawl" and "The Boston Brawl II". The third is in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl".
  • Running Gag: During the shopping montage in "No Beast So Fierce", someone keeps asking: “Do you have anything that shows off a little more cleavage?”

    S 
  • Same Surname Means Related: Lupine's (Stella Woolfe) parents, with surnames of Wolf and Woolfe, were actually members of a long dispersed Native American clan, based around the wolf, and initially thought their similar surnames was just a funny coincidence. But, there are other characters with Wolf-related surnames, who are of unknown relatedness to Lupine, like Techwolf (Harry Wolfe).
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: A sort of example: Diedrick's Syndrome causes people to mimic typical mad scientist or supervillain behaviours, such as crazed rages, ranting monologues, revenge obsessions etc. Particularly common among Devisors (cf. Gadgeteer Genius, Mad Scientist above). Word of God explains that Diedrick's is a mental illness, not specifically evil, and seen among heroes as well as villains. However the villainous examples (such as Diedrick himself) are much better known. Whateley students refer to an acute attack as "dricking out". Megadeath, for instance, is an incredibly nice guy when on his meds. Another, Olympia, however, is stark raving mad even when NOT having an attack.
  • Screaming Plane Baby: In Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind:
    Then, for the last half hour of our flight, as we descended into Chicago, we were serenaded by the screams of a baby whose mother didn’t seem to grasp fundamental concepts, like ‘air pressure differential’ or ‘Eustachian tube’. Poor little kid. I’ll say one thing. That kid had the lungs of a full-grown howler monkey. I wondered if the people sitting next to them would be deaf by the time the plane touched down.
  • Screw Destiny: Sara is determined to shape her own destiny as the Kellith to become the first Prohuman Transhuman Eldritch Abomination
  • Scry vs. Scry
  • Second Law of Gender Bending: Many of the changelings take to their new genders with aplomb. Others, notably Ayla Goodkind and Chou Lee, have much more of a problem with it. Mostly because the Exemplar, Avatar and Shifter traits ALL switch the gender of the brain to match the body. Chou's a baseline, Phase has a combination of male and female BITs (female ones being responsible for the whole intersexed thing). Hive... has no excuse.
  • Secret Identity: Many practicing superheroes have one. Keeping enemies away from the family is a good thing. Also used to justify the use of in-school "code names," especially during powers testing, since records are stolen, or otherwise "acquired", by corrupt government agencies and others. All Arena matches are inevitably filmed and sold to Mutant Deathmatch tv shows, especially the combat finals.
  • Self-Duplication: Troika can split into three identical people, while OMAG can split into at least six people but the duplicates don't seem to have the autonomy that Troika's dupes do.
  • Sensor Character:
    • Jade can sense others by getting information back from her nearly invisible duplicates.
    • Whisper can track anyone that's radiating electromagnetic communication.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: As part of occasional Purple Prose:
    Feeling boo-koo nervous, I looked around, and my jaw almost hit the floor of the cave. Something was bubbling down from the roof of the cavern. No, now that it was clearer, it wasn’t bubbling, it WAS the bubbles. It was only a congeries of iridescent globes, yet stupendous in its malign suggestiveness.
    • In The Three Little Witches, when the narration is from Hellfire Sheba's viewpoint when she refers to the Three Little Witches:
    The thing that was the very worst of the malevolent harridan that had been Bathsheba Whateley ... the little redheaded tatterdemalion before her. the scared witless moppet ... grab the mollydraigle ... She lunged at the carrot-top. One of the other little hoydens swatted at her with something that looked like a yarn spider web woven between the points of an elk’s antlers.
    [...]
    The hellblaze spattered against an impossibly potent amulet that the bratling held before her, but her spitespew ate away at the talisman like acid. Then that thrice-accursed gyrtrash tried to maul her again, and she sent it sprawling with gashes in its side.
  • Sex Magic: In Sun and Fun: Abigail and Nimbus are "in the middle of a very complex working."
    *Abigail... You don't have to do this... there are other ways...*
    "Oh, but Master! You know how being among the Dead and Dying affects me! Now enough of that!" She initiated coitus in the ninth position of the Kama Sutra, 'Chakrabandha, the Wheel'. As they howled the N'thargo Chant in unison to their coupling, and their victims moaned, and the Synchronic Infindibulator tinkled and droned, the ship slipped into the solid wall of flashing mist, and disappeared from the sight of Lady Jettatura's yacht.

    Reality itself rippled and wavered. A tear in the very fabric of time and space opened up, and iridescent spheres which would have enraptured any normal mortal mind before rendering it asunder, encircled the liner.
  • Sex Sells: Discussed in Insanity Prerequisite (Part 1) when Tina is auditioning for being the band at the Halloween Dance:
    Mr. King turned to face the audience in a parody of her stance, muscles clenched tightly, gripping his mic with both hands, knuckles white, “I feel like I’ve been locked up tight, for a century of lonely nights… no wonder you’re locked up, you look constipated! You’re probably in hospital for a ruptured bowel. THIS IS A PERFORMANCE! MOVE! You’re a girl, for God’s sake, move that ass, baby!”
    Mr. King span and wiggled his ass at the audience for emphasis, “Strut that stuff, girl! If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Sex sells. If you think Christina got where she was on her voice alone, you are sadly mistaken.
  • Serial Romeo: Rosethorn; doubly ironic, as not only is his name Romeo, but he consistently is the one who gets dumped by his girlfriends.
  • Sewer Gator: Between the Eldritch Abominations lurking in the area and decades' worth of Devisor experiments getting dumped into the sewers, Stan and Morrie would probably find mere alligators a relief.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: At the beginning of Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: (Chap 9), Ayla and Vox have sex, but all we get is screaming narration and Ayla glossing over it:
    Then she voiced me: “get out those brick condoms I know you have.”

    Oh God.

    I mean, oh God!

    OH GOD!!!

    Vanessa left a couple hours later. Man, that was unbelievable. It was just as erotic and exciting and amazing and perfect as I had always imagined it would be. And that’s all I’m saying about it. So there.
  • Shapeshifter Identity Crisis: In All Hallows Ball: Part 3, Steve Rossiter talks about Chaney Syndrome:
    “It's named after the actor, Lon Chaney, the so-called 'man of a thousand faces'. This,” and he gave a gesture to indicate himself, “isn't what I look like.”

    Lina shrugged. “So, what do you look like?”

    Steven shrugged and stared at the oval rug the couch was sitting on. “I dunno. I'm a shifter four. I can only do mammalian bipeds or quadrupeds and I only have this much mass, but otherwise I'm any body.” He rapidly shifted, sex and appearance, movie stars, TV News Anchors, Presidents, then was back to the blonde teen paragon. “That's what Chaney Syndrome is. If you can be anybody, who are you?”
  • Shared Universe
  • Ship Tease:
    • Hank and Nikki have a bit in the early stories. They show attraction to each other and hints of jealousy over potential rivals. This is dropped after Lily is introduced and starts dating Hank.
    • Ayla and Jadis have a bit, the most overt of it being some comments from their friends such as the repetitions of She Is Not My Girlfriend in Hank 5: To the New Year!.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Ayla says it about his childhood friend, Jadis, in Hank 5: To the New Year!:
    "Which means you've already outed her to your other girlfriend in the Bad Seeds," Toni accused him.
    "If I can find this information, Jadis would already have it," Ayla replied primly. "And Jadis is not my girlfriend!"
    [...]
    "Well, now we know what information you traded Knockoff for with your girlfriend," Toni smirked.
    "I did not 'trade' information about a fellow Possie with Jadis, and for the last time, Jadis is not my girlfriend!" Ayla growled.
    "Does Addy know you're two-timing her?" Nikki interjected, waggling her eyebrows suggestively.
    "Jadis is a friend, who happens to be a girl. She is not my girlfriend!" Ayla repeated, the forced calmness in his voice as plain as the cute nose on his face.
    "No, she's just someone you like to exchange continental 'hellos' with," Toni smirked.
    "One might even say, Parisian style hellos," Nikki murmured wickedly.
    Ayla glared at Nikki and Toni. "I only kissed Jadis once, and that was on her cheek!" Ayla defended himself.
    "And we all know how that turned out," Billie murmured,
  • Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet: Averted in Diamonds Are a Vamp's Best Friend (Part 2), where the police were about to shoot Bova when she was holding a hair-dryer.
  • Shout-Out: So many, that they have their own page.
  • Shown Their Work: Anything by Diane Castle, which is parodied in Fractious, her Lit-Chick counterpart. Fractious cannot help doing this, to the point that a 20 page short story becomes a 600 page criminology textbook.
  • Silicon-Based Life: From Ayla's speech on vampires to Ceecee in Ayla and the Mad Scientist (Chap 12):
    "symbiotic vampire". Very tough, but very susceptible to their few weaknesses. Doctor Amazing has hypothesized that they're a non-sentient silicoid extraterrestrial lifeform that parasitizes a human.
    [He] thinks that the first ones came to earth in meteors in the late Sixties.
  • SI Prefix Name: In Generation 2, the hero, Gigaton, and his son, Megaton.
  • Slice of Life: Ayla stories have a strong tendency towards this, as do Aquerna's and some of Jade's.
  • Slices, Dices, and Makes Julienne Fries: From Mission Imp-probable (Part 2), while the Imp is bantering with Brandywine about her net thrower:
    “That thing looks like something you order off the Home Shopping Network late at night… It slices…it dices…it makes julienne fries… And if you order now, we’ll throw in this handy dandy butt scratcher, absolutely free…”
  • Slippery Skid: Silent Nacht Chapter 2:
    the guard reached into a pocket and threw a handful of peas onto the floor in front of them. As they stepped on the ‘peas’, the tiny memory plastic balls popped into their full size, roughly that of ping-pong balls, causing the young men to slip, and they fell all over themselves.
  • Snark Knight: Nacht. She has reasons why she acts this way, though.
  • Snowball Fight: Happens in the November 3rd section of Ayla and the Tests: Chapter 7.
    • Whateley Academy is up in the Presidential Mountains of New Hampshire, so they get a lot of snow every winter. The big snowball fight around Poe cottage involves a lot of superpowers, including Quake using her powers to force some snow into a snow 'fort' and Phase using his powers to knock it down.
  • Soap Punishment: Mentioned after Abra swears in the Precision F-Strike entry:
    “Abra!” Clover gasped, “If Mrs. Nelson heard you, she’d wash your mouth out with soap!”
  • So Bad, It's Good: "Tales of the MCO" is seen as this in-universe.
  • Somewhere, an Equestrian Is Crying: Averted or subverted in The Bear, The Bitch and Everything (Part 2). Tansy opines that "the secret to good riding is gripping with your knees", which is apparently a hotly debated topic, according to Word of God, here:
    This is one of the most hotly debated topics in equestrian circles. The answer is...yes. If you're doing certain forms of advanced riding, dressage, steeple chase or barrel, knee gripping is something you [lose] points for because it damages your posture. But for new and inexperienced riders, as I learned, it's a great aid in maintaining your saddle because most horses are trained to SLOW DOWN when you grip them with your knees. Posture in my view is something you worry about once you've mastered staying on the horse.
  • Soviet Superscience: 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.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jade, at least twice. Special mention is that both times this is specifically prophesied by Hekate, who nevertheless fails to take appropriate precautions. More specifically, the first time her prophesy says 'don't bother' and she believes it but Don Sebastiano doesn't listen. The second time she TRIES to take appropriate precautions and does a pretty good job. But how do you take precautions against someone who is dead using telekinesis to keep her heart pumping, removing a sacrifical dagger, murdering half your base, and telekinetically making them into a zombie army? All the while claiming to be a Vampire Princess?!
  • Speech Impediment: Eclia in Normalland : Chapter 2: Less Than Three, trying to say: “Hai, Sensei Ito!”
    “Less than Three, in this match, please do not use any of your devices.”
    “Hai, thenthei Ito!” she said so primly, though with an adorable lisp
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Reverend Englund. It doesn't help that half of the canon authors actually do spell it "England."
    • Some authors tend to spell "Hippolyta" as "Hippolyte". (Never mind that it'd be pronounced differently.)
  • Split Personality: Jade. Ayla and the others have made note of the fact that the J-Team needs their own set of pronouns. Jade's the only one shown so far able to have a conference with herself. However at the heart of it Jade and Jinn roughly are the same, and as time has gone on Jade has been acting more like Jinn. Their talking to each other is just a natural extension of her powers duplicating her mind. Whether using her ability to effectively parallel process with all her duplicates mind-linked with her counts is debatable.
  • Squirrels in My Pants:
    • In the origin story of Fey, ordinary high school frosh Nick Reilly is slowly turning against his will into a hot redheaded babe who also happens to be a powerful mage. He gets confronted by a school bully who rips Nick's shirt off, stressing out Nick so much that he accidentally unleashes dozens of hobgoblins who happen to appear as psychedelic-colored squirrels. Two of them go straight up the bully's pants legs. Hilarity Ensues.
      "Ohhh nuts!"
    • And of course there's Aquerna's combat final. The girl's power and personality have made her friends with every squirrel on campus, so it was practically inevitable.
  • Squishy Wizard: Magic users, psychics, and gadget-using types generally fall into this category when their bags of tricks run out. Which is an important caveat. Averting this is one of the major tactical decisions TK takes early on- and very effective it is too. When she starts waving Malachim's Feather about, Fey is the equal of most decent close-in fighters.
  • State Sec: In the form of the MCO, or Mutant Commission Office. A poster child for the Super Registration Act, its officers range from the well-meaning to the blatantly hostile, and from those who act openly in all ways to those who will happily disappear children into the night and fog.
  • Stock Superpowers: Damn near all of them. The school has standard testing to evaluate what kind of powers someone has, how strong they are, and which curriculum modules will develop them most effectively. Averted though, with Jade. Who has ever heard of her powers? Lampshaded partially by the police testing her and having difficulty classifying her powers.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Averted. the series as a whole contains several good examples of ways to prevent ultra-powerful characters from breaking the story by giving them believable reasons to hold back.
  • Strawman Political: The Goodkinds. Fridge Logic raises the question why they are unassailable as well by the superpowered community. Brute force isn't going to work well because the Goodkinds are rich and famous. They believe in hiring competent help — including security, who will be highly trained, motivated, and equipped with the best that money can buy — and any open attacks on them are apt to result in major public backlash. Add to that that superpowered individuals in the setting are generally less than 'cosmically' powerful and their community is far from united (to the point where quite a few, upon learning of a pending attack, would do their own best to stop it), and it really starts to look like the Goodkinds are here to stay.
    • It was pointed out in a recent story that based on past family history this makes no sense whatsoever. The Goodkinds have been pro-life, anti-slavery, pro-revolutionary war, pro-civil rights, pro all kinds of things that would suggest they should be some of mutantkind's greatest supporters. Yet, somehow, they have become the opposite. Ayla doesn't even know how to explain it. It's implied the oddness of this had never yet been pointed out anyone in the family, either, though mention is made of secrets only 21 and old working members of the family are privy to. The question of why, exactly, the Goodkinds are so anti-mutant has been raised as a plot-point.
      • Another story implies that the Goodkinds have been Villains With Good Publicity all along, with the highly visible good deeds covering an ugly history of exploitation, strikebreaking, double-dealing and other similar skullduggery.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Chou Lee's powers are given to her by the Tao, and it gives her as much power as it sees fit. Word of God says nothing can stand in her way if the Tao deems it necessary. But usually it doesn't.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: All the major combatants on both sides of WWII experimented heavily with both [[Super Soldier}}s 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.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Eisenmadel 1: Summer of my German Heritage (Part 1) has "Subliminals in the [Public Safety] seminar, video and audio.":
    • Video:
    when her eyes did the frame-by-frame trick, they were painfully visible — pictures of young blonde women, girls, being threatened, beaten, dragged away to be raped by shadowy thugs drawn from a broad caricature of non-Aryan examples. Only one frame in ten, at most, contained these violent graphics, but that was enough to make her uncomfortable. All around her, other girls were squirming in their seats, reacting to the pictures they were not consciously seeing.
    Subliminal imagery.
    • Audio:
    Open your mouth and close your eyes, and you will get a big surprise. The rhyme popped into Erica's head. In all the old cartoons Eric had watched with Opa, that had been the lead-in to a dirty trick of some sort. Erica expected no less now. So when the relaxing music began, she closed her eyes and focused on listening, in the hopes that her ears had picked up a trick or two as well. At first it didn't seem so, but then she caught just a bit of a word here and there. Fragments of sound came together to form phrases, like "obey the Lady" and "fear the black man." It took a lot more focus to keep up with the sounds, but knowing that they existed helped. She could separate the words from the music. Hopefully that would be enough.
    "She should not be giving us this much attitude now. Her resistance to the subliminals is outside the parameters.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: Team Kimba has subspace communicators, built by Bunny with mathematical help from Sara.
  • Suicide by Cop: Stygian has tried this more than once, by trying to provoke the most dangerous students on campus (e.g., Razorback, Tennyo) into blowing him away.
    • Inverted: An FBI agent goes out of sanction to try and kill Strega; when she (literally) stomps him into the ground, the FBI basically write it off as a suicide.
  • Summoning Ritual: Screwed up version when Bloodworm tries to sacrifice Sara Waite for a dark boon. He gets the wrong hell, calls up the wrong demon, and ends up getting knocked into that hell dimension for a literal fate worse than death.
  • Super Gender-Bender: A central premise but uncommon in the greater community.
  • Superhero: Duh!,
  • Super Hero Origin: Ditto duh!
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages: It starts off in the Late Stage, with kids manifesting their mutant powers and going off to a Superhero School of roughly 600 teenagers with dozens of powered teachers and staff. The backstory of Charlie Lodgeman is set starting in the late 1800's, and the universe was already Middle Stage at that point. He and five others form the superhero team the Mystic Six.
  • Superhero School: While this is what most people (including many of the students) assume Whateley Academy is, the School Administration, and particularly Headmistress Carson, are quite insistent that Whateley Academy is not this trope, though they will admit that it's an Academy of Adventure. Due to Whateley being funded by Superheroes, Supervillains, and Superneutrals, it doesn't push the "hero" thing.
  • Superhuman Trafficking: A number of instances have been seen, with the Story Arc for the Loose Cannons being primarily about this. Another group, The Triangle (an offshoot of Humanity First!) publicly depicts themselves as working to ease tensions between baselines and mutants, but is actually trying to enslave 'useful' mutants 'for the public good'. Dragonfyre's Superhero Origin involves a cult which tried to use her as a source of magical power. One group, the Knights of the Eternal Presence, even tried to do this to Tennyo; to say that it didn't go well would be an understatement. Also, it is apparently de rigeur for some Mad Scientists (e.g., Dr Venus) to kidnap other superhumans as experimental subjects.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Mutants are people who have manifested (usually around age 14) powers based on a 'meta-gene complex' in their DNA. For unknown reasons (since no one understands why some people with this complex become mutants and others do not), children of mutants are much more likely to also become mutants. At the Whateley Academy, there are currently kids who have powers utterly unrelated to their parents' powers. But there is one girl who looks just like her mother used to, and has an exact copy of her mother's powers, right down to the ability to manifest something that looks like a big ol' flaming sword. There are also two students who are the kids of one of the world's most notorious supervillains, and they have his trademark forelock horns (along with his unattractive facial features), but different powers.
  • Superpower Lottery: And guess who pulled the jackpot(s)? Everyone
  • Super Registration Act: Internationally administered by the MCO, in the US administered by the Department of Paranormal Affairs (DPA). DPA maintains records of all US citizens with abilities beyond the human baseline, and issues their mandatory Mutant ID (MID) cards. For international ease of travel, the DPA uses the MCO model for this card.
  • Super Soldier: Experimentation in augmented soldiers during WWII plays an important role in the series backstory.
    • Several supervillains have various types of genetically or cybernetically augmented foot soldiers, including the Chessmen, the Syndicate's Tiger Guard (especially the elite Sabertooths), Dr. Diabolik's Devil Dogs, and Lord Paramount's Catamount Troopers. The Animen were originally created by Dr. DNA with this in mind as well, being meant as breeding stock for future super-soldiers.
  • Super-Speed Reading: It's a part of the stock mental package of the Exemplar mutant power set, along with lightning computational skills and sometimes a danger sense or directional sense. The higher your Exemplar (mental) level, the faster you can read, the easier you can memorize anything you see, and the faster you can do basic algebra types of math. It doesn't make you smarter, but it does make you better able to get good grades. Also, plenty of Exemplars do not have the mental package that goes with their level of power.
  • Super Strength: Pretty common, ranging from Exemplars who are just really strong to 'flying bricks' like Lancer who has a PK field so he can lift that car without breaking it. (However, as a nod to "realism" and in line with the generally assumed slightly lower power level of the setting most characters' superstrength explicitly tops out in the "some single-digit number of tons" range. Thus, even a character who can lift a car can't necessarily do the same with an entire bus.)
  • Super Toughness: Plenty of supers, but Peril is a good example. He field-tested an inventor's jetpack. It exploded at two hundred feet up (so he took the blast and then the fall). He's fine now.
  • Supervillain: Lots. Many send their own children to Whateley. Part of why nobody with half a brain messes with a student's family, or attacks the school.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: As said in the Quotes page. In Saks and Violence:
    Yes, I know, I know, it’s MY fault, I hired them… bargain basement villains, hired at the last minute… SO, this is why some supervillains are always screaming about being surrounded by incompetents.
    Jadis Diabolik
  • The Swear Jar: From Good Cop / Bad Cop (Part 1), mentioned by Tavi to Jimmy:
    "I was eying the press corp, who were stupidly just standing there getting footage or holding mics out... like they were going to interview a gunman while he shot his target. Then a hand landed on my shoulder scaring the shit out of..."
    "Is bad language," Tavi pointed out, solidifying from scattered pixels into his standard ferret look.
    "Tavi... I'm telling a story, its artistic and dramatic..."
    "Broggy would still make you put dollar in jar."
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: As per Word of God: Mr. Magic's son 'Artie' is actually 'Gwen'. He had an affair and she got pregnant, she broke off the affair out of concern 'about raising a child in the unstable life [he] led'. When he saw his child, "for some reason, possibly involving Gwen's tomboyish appearance, he mistook her for a boy. Seeing how elated he was in having a son, she decided to play along and—for some reason—her mother also went with the charade, both telling Mr. Magic that his daughter was a boy."
  • Symbol Swearing: In The Three Little Witches when the Three Little Witches are being chased by the Whitman girls:
    “Come BACK here, you little @&&#*!$!” rang about through the night, shattering the quiet around Whitman Cottage.
    “Slow down you little $#!*&@%$!” screeched the girl with the silver blaze in her black hair.

    T 
  • Taking You with Me: What the Star Stalker was created to do, on a universal scale.
  • Take a Third Option: The whole point of Faction Three. Thuban and co don't want to be forced onto the hero or villain parts, they want to do their own thing without being instantly judged for being GSD sufferers.
  • Talking in Your Sleep:
    Billie drifted off to sleep, to dream about her family. An hour later, Jinn and Jann looked over when they heard her giggling in her sleep, “Yeah Thad, you have to clean all the toilets in Hawthorne, or else…”
  • Talking to Themself: As part of Jade and her Split Personality: Jade. Ayla and the others have made note of the fact that the J-Team needs their own set of pronouns. Jade's the only one shown so far able to have a conference with herself. However at the heart of it Jade and Jinn roughly are the same, and as time has gone on Jade has been acting more like Jinn. Their talking to each other is just a natural extension of her powers duplicating her mind. Whether using her ability to effectively parallel process with all her duplicates mind linked with her counts is debatable.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: How Billie gets her superpowers activated. In Billie's origin story, her little brother Thad dosed her with a chemical by mixing it into some chocolate.
  • Tap on the Head:
    He walked into the bedroom… and walked right into a punch to the jaw. A cheerful female voice said, “Well fancy meeting you here!” Not that he answered. Vamp had punched him so hard he left a dent in the wallboard.
    Vamp glared down at Nightgaunt’s unconscious body.
  • Team Mom:
    • Mindbird of the Wild Pack.
    • Sizemax of the Vindicators.
    • Spellbinder of Elite League.
    • Lucille of the Underdogs, who often say "yes mom" to her just to aggravate her.
  • The Tease: In "Boston Brawl", Nikki and Billie delight in tormenting Hank by exaggeratedly flirting with him and draping themselves over him.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Unusual eye-colour is a normal byproduct of a mutant's emergence, and a classic "give-away" even when their appearance is otherwise that of a baseline human. Known colors are anything under the sun, but purple and normal eye colors with bright tinges seems to be the most common.
  • Technopath: Several of these, most notably Merry, who has this as an inherent power, Dr. Palm the Artificial Intelligence, and Samantha Everheart, because of her body of Nanomachines.
  • Telefrag: Ayla is capable of something best described as this; upon going 'light', phasing into something, and then going back to regular density, whatever was in the way stops being in the way. The process is quite painful for Ayla, however, so he tries not to do it. In the earliest stories, it keeps wrecking his clothes when he phases out accidentally.
  • Teen Pregnancy: It's discussed in Whilst Any Speaks (Chapter 4):
    • As Mega-girl says when her father asks when they're talking about her boyfriend:
      “He knock you up?”
      [...]
      "NO, I'm not pregnant, still a virgin, thanks[...]"
    • And Jadis talks about statistics on Exemplars:
      While a normal teenager is swimming in hormones that makes them liable to make poor choices, we exemplars are drowning in them. Our tempers are notoriously short, our teen pregnancy rate is double the national average and our impulse control is all but non-existent. It's why Exemplars are considered selfish, arrogant, impulsive, nasty, and very physical."
  • The Case Of: The Case of the Poisonous Patent
  • That Came Out Wrong: "Nikki keeps fondling my bling-bling!", when Chaka's discussion Nikki's fascination of her Mythril jewellery.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: For some this is true, others just an excuse. The Bad Seeds are pretty much a whole clique of "then let me be evil" just waiting to happen. She-Beast and Nacht seem to be resisting, but both lament how giving in would be so much easier, and Jobe doesn't really count because of his Blue and Orange Morality. Gloriana even warns her fellow Cape Squad members that they're going to trigger this trope if they don't cut the Bad Seeds a little slack.
    • This seems to play a role in Imp's backstory, as well, though she isn't evil so much as she is a Trickster with a love of fine art and a desire to get back at the world.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, so far three characters have been portrayed as competent therapists, two of whom are telepathic. Teen Drama is preserved because for various reasons characters often are less than cooperative with their therapist. When they work with their therapist they tend to get good help with even the oddest problems, and considering what the therapists see on a daily basis they probably would be believed, but when has an angsty teenager ever believed that anyone could understand their problems...
    • Even with a staff of four, and assistance from ARC's therapists and Fubar, the school is all too aware that it often still isn't enough, given the often unique nature of some of the problems, especially for cases where their powers directly cause behavioral changes (as is often the case for Avatars, due to the passenger that shares their head). In addition, you have trauma cases like Pejuta, kids who have been rejected by their friends and families, kids who have been attacked by other mutants or hunted by H1! and/or the MCO, kids who were subject to abuse due their mutation, kids who were victims of more mundane, but no less tragic, forms of mistreatment (such as Jade), and even cases of psychic, astral, or magical assaults (such as what Skybolt and Cavalier experienced). Just keeping them all going is a monumental undertaking.
    • The trope more fully plays out in the stories of those who didn't make it to Whateley, such as Imp, Lady Havoc, Conner Edwards, or Christine Manning, for whom there were few if any attempts to help, and those which did come, were too little, too late.
  • The "The" Title:
  • Third Law of Gender Bending: Played straight, especially with clothing stereotypes:
    • The girls all end up in lingerie style sleepwear, just in time to get into a very public brawl against a bunch of student ninjas from a rival school.
    • The only ones who voice any objection to dressing or acting girly are Chou (who favours mandarin tops and yoga pants) and Ayla (who actually owns more silk lingerie than any of the girls, admitting he likes it too much to stop).
    • The girls even make use of the stereotype, using masking technology to make eavesdroppers think they're talking about vapid girly stuff, when in reality they're talking Serious Business.
    • Jade displays a tendency early on to adopt the stereotypical submissive behavior of her mother as a way of making herself feel more feminine. She also likes it when her boyfriend is macho and dominant - but only when it's about something she wants to do anyway.
    • During his Christmas story, Phase gets this shoved into his face, hard: fearing that the MCO is after him, his older sister Gracie decides that the best place to hide him is... a beauty pageant. Cue the Makeover Scene from Hell. Worst of all, after the wax treatment they gave him, his body hair and eyebrows never grew back, permanently giving him a more feminine appearance than ever.
    • Ribbon takes this trope and runs with it, on the premise that if she's going to have a chance at a whole new life after living fifty years as a man, then she'd better do it right. Her manifestation powers, which allow her to create a whole suit of clothing instantaneously, may have influenced this. It makes for some jarring interactions when her old habits do show through.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Chaka for Thunderbird. An interesting example, considering that he had no clue that the other girls were interested in him in that way.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In The Three Little Witches when the titular witches are facing death by Hellfire Sheba, and Clover:
    “I’m gonna use…” Clover grasped for whatever straw was around. “My WITCH HAT!” Yeah, my WITCH HAT!” She snatched the hat- which had somehow stayed on her head through all of that- off her head and held it out at the approaching nightmare-thing, bottom-first. “Back off, Sheba!” Clover said in her most authoritative voice. “Or I’ll let you have it with the power of my WITCH HAT! Yeah, I have a Witch Hat, and you don’t! So Back Off!”
    “Oh Christ, we are SO dead,” Abra moaned.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted by many of the characters, heroic or villainous. Among Team Kimba, only Chaka and Phase have no confirmed kills (though Ayla did set one opponent on fire, an act of desperation that left him horrified with himself), and Jade in particular has a body count in the hundreds. Jobe has tested numerous serums on Karadonian prisoners with fatal effects, and thought nothing of infecting the DeVille Academy attackers with a deadly disease in order to get them to surrender in exchange for the vaccine/antidote. Several supervillains, including Well-Intentioned Extremist Dr. Diabolik, have been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.
    • Even the Big Good of the series is pushed to this: during her fight with Deathlist, headmistress Lady Astarte finally decides that he's too big a threat to let live, and tries in full earnest to kill him. While he managed to escape, it isn't known if he survived his injuries or not. It's also been mentioned that other villains have died fighting her, though apparently it was never intentional on her part (one gets the sense that somewhere along the way, at least by the mid-1970s, she'd decided that 'not killing' doesn't necessarily require her to save villains from their own mistakes).
    • Interestingly, it is a supervillain who is best known for this trope. Mimeo is known as 'the supervillain who doesn't kill'; personal ethics aside, he wants to keep his most powerful opponents alive and active, so he can keep copying their powers whenever he needs a power-up. The Necromancer almost pushed him to the point of killing during the fight at the Roxbury C Supermax Penitentary, but once he was convinced that Necromancer would spare Fey's life, he simply left the scene.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Devisor gear frequently works this way, presumably because needing enough energy to work is one of the few laws of physics to which devisors pay attention. Knick-Knack is a big believer in this style of Devising.
  • Tinfoil Hat: A Devisor, Dr. Herbolt, used his powers to make tin foil hats that blocked psychic intrusion, but because they are powered by his power, they might not work for anyone else. There's no info on that latter point.
  • Title Drop:
    • At the end of So I'm a Freak. Sue Me:
      Welcome to Whateley Academy. Hope you like stories, because we got a few doozies to tell sooner or later. I do so love it when panic and mayhem come together.
      Yeah yeah, I'm a Freak. Sue me.
    • Straight from the Squirrel’s Mouth (Chapter 10), when Jerry is asking Anna about her adventures:
      I wanted to hear the real story, straight from the squirrel’s mouth.”
      “Don’t you mean the horse’s mouth?”
      “I would never call you a horse. Not even a filly,” he teased.
  • To Be Continued: It appears at the ends of some stories that have multiple parts, such as:
  • Toilet Horror: There's a Hawthorne Cottage bathroom that's home to a demonic entity.
  • Transformation Fiction: Standard for mutants whether BIT changes in sex, age, or gender, or GSD changes into monstrous forms.
  • Transformation Trinket: Murphy has a devise that does this as seen in Murphy's Laws of Whateley:
    [I] whipped out the devise and clapped it between my hands, activating it.
    “SHIMMERING ... PRINCESS!” ... I was engulfed by ... energy ... as [it] congealed into ... armor.
  • Transgender: Everybody in Team Kimba and quite a number of other characters in their own stories. A uncommon (but apparently growing more common, see Lampshade Hanging above) side effect of the Exemplar power means you'll be changed whether you like it or not.
  • Transgender: A number of Transgender characters, Chaka being the most prominent example, felt as though they were the other gender to begin with before transforming. Jade is a more traditional example, being the only member of Team Kimba who has not physically transformed in any way and is searching for a way to become a "real" girl. Ayla is an inversion, he wasn't transgender until after his body changed when he manifested, and he firmly retains a male psyche.
  • Troperiffic: At some points in the story the characters themselves are referring to tropes. Such as in Part 2 of Eisenmadel's Origin story, where Those Wacky Nazis is discussed.
  • Trouble Magnet Gambit: A man who is known to be rather friendly with the local weres is slipped a fungus that affects them like catnip does cats by a man who wants all the land he owns. And gets killed, as one might expect.
  • True Companions: Summarized in the last bit of "Away from Home".
  • Truce Zone: Whateley Academy itself is one of the most important ones, and while some intramural squabbling (and the occasional cross-campus brawl) happens among the students, visiting adults are held to a stricter standard. Those caught breaking this rule are summarily ejected, at minimum. One of the absolute rules of the school which everyone has agreed to is that anyone who attacks the school itself or any of the students or faculty while on campus, or who try to attack or pressure the families of students in order to coerce or attack the students indirectly, are to be made examples in as bloody and final a way as possible.
    • The Bad-Guy Bar called The Black Mask maintains a strict 'no fighting' policy among its patrons. Anyone breaking that rule is not only teleported out of the bar itself, but will be unable to find it again until the management have decided to let them back in.
    • The Mayfair is an upscale hotel in Boston which, while mostly serving more mainstream customers, has a 'live and let live' understanding about career criminals and costumed adventurers regardless of whether they wear a black, white, or gray hat. They will tolerate a lot, just so long as you don't break any laws on the premises, hurt any of their other clients, or bring unwanted trouble to their doorstep. Ironically, the presence of several supervillains who want to keep the Mayfair going as a safe haven, and are willing to help enforce those rules if asked to by the staff, makes it one of the safest hotels to stay at.
    • Barnaby's, an Italian bistro in NYC which is willing to serve mutants and other paranormals, sometimes serves as a neutral meeting place for supers regardless of their position vis a vis heroism or villainy.
  • Tunnel King: From Ayla and the Birthday Brawl (Chap 13): MoleAr, who can manipulate rock and similar materials by touch and directed a digout from a collapsed prison:
    He looked around. “The only way out is the rubble in the tunnel. We tunnel into the debris, dealing with the way the rubble will slide down toward us as we work. The magical spells in the tunnel ought to be as wrecked as the walls. So once we get far enough into the tunnel to get around the magical effects of the ceiling in here, we can go straight up. We just solidify the debris as we go. Then we tunnel upward a bit at a time, making sidesteps to deal with the problem we’ll have when we finally get through the bedrock.”
    The Black Tiger sneered, “Oh, and what makes you such a big expert on this shit?”
    MoleAr mildly said, “This is what I do. I have a Masters and a Ph.D. in mining engineering from Texas A & M.”
    The Black Tiger didn’t say anything, but his face was sure red.
  • Two Words: Added Emphasis: From Ayla 5: Ayla and the Networks:
    • And as a reference to a Noodle Incident, on how crazy Jade's plans are:
      I tapped my foot impatiently. “Two words: noodle incident.”
    • As an example of how crazily cute-focused Jade is:
      You don’t know what my teammates are capable of doing. Especially Jade. Two words: Hello Kitty.”
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    U 
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Jade Sinclair (Generator), because she's a petite, pretty teenager who looks like a ten year old Japanese girl. When she is attacked by Bloodwolf and Maggot and Killstench simultaneously, she knocks two out (breaking one's jaw) and takes out the unstoppable Bloodwolf (who can heal from any injury) by nailing him to a tree. With railroad spikes.
    • Silent Nacht Chapter 2: Sunburst is this from Nacht's perspective:
    "you take in her looks and her Malibu beach bunny persona, and you think that she’s an airhead. She’s NOT; it’s a ‘Lord Peter Wimsey’ act. Check this out: she takes in hundreds of thousands a year for endorsements, personal appearances and things like that, but she doesn’t OWN anything. She arranges it so that she lives in elegant housing, drives top-end cars, dines at the big name restaurants, and goes to all the A-list parties; but none of it costs her a CENT. She has no real secret identity, so there aren’t any handles on her. Yet, for all that, she isn’t regarded as a mooch. Everyone’s always glad to have her around.
    “On a tactical level, that skimpy little outfit she wears? It’s better armored and equipped than some SWAT power armor, with armor reinforcement, force field augmentation, flight and steering boosters, attack refinements, and tactical updates. And it’s all so sleek and compact that it just looks like a bathing suit! I’m reasonably certain that she has at least three power gems that she uses to boost her power, but she’s savvy enough to not display them. Besides Skyrider, she has tech-geeks at UCLA, CalTech and UC-Berkeley working on new refinements - FOR FREE. Hell, she’s getting Tax Breaks for assisting California’s institutions of higher education.
    She let drop that she’d a part of the Chicago Crusaders ‘expansion team’ that came to Los Angeles - that was in 1976! And she’d been a superheroine for at least fifteen years before that! She’s been a superheroine for at least forty years! Forty YEARS. In that time, she’s had dozens if not hundreds of dynamorph challenges; by this time, she’s probably got one of the most powerful dynamorphs in the world. And in all that time, she’s never been the acknowledged leader of the California Crusaders. BUT, she’s always the ‘elder statesman’, the one that everyone listens to, the one with the final say.
    Sunburst is DANGEROUS! The only reason that a woman like that would allow herself to be disregarded as a giddy bimbo is that that was exactly how she wanted to be seen! She is underestimated, which means that she can get away with murder when she wants to. During that first summer, I was constantly trying to get away, and I could never pull it off, yet it always, ALWAYS looked like a pure fluke, and I could never quite be sure whether it was just bad luck or not. Most of the chessplayers who could pull something off like that have an ego that needs to rub their sucker’s face in exactly how badly they’ve been played. Sunny doesn’t have that.”
  • The Unfavorite: Multiple instances:
    • 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!
    • From Written in Blood (Part 1), when Bryan St. Claire is talking about his sister Paige, and his mother:
      Mom would never listen to anything that might be considered as criticism of Paige, not when Paige was her pride and joy, and especially not from me.
  • Unfortunate Name: In addition to the many students and other supers who have chosen an Atrocious Alias over the years, there are a few folks saddled with personal names that are less than desirable, though often quite fitting:
    • Dr. Paine Deth, who not surprisingly grew up to be a Mad Scientist.
    • Techwolf, who is under a family curse that causes the men of the family to look like werewolves, has the real name of Harry Wolfe. His father, who was the first victim of the curse and has bright red fur, is named Red Wolfe. There's speculation that terribly punny names are part of the curse.
    • Tansy Walcutt's first name is the source of much humor for the other students. No wonder she prefers her codename.
  • Unpronounceable Alias: Akemi Hori, whose codename is said to be unpronounceable by Fubar, who is dressed up as God, in The Devil's Dance Part 1:
    I asked God, “Oh Omnipotent One, I can’t for the life of me recall what Akemi’s codename is, much less what she can do.”
    “I can’t pronounce it,” he shrugged thoughtfully[.]
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: In some of the school's training sessions, the student squads face off against each other in this sort of scenario. Its generally to stop them from thinking they're invulnerable and undefeatable.
  • Universe Bible: See All There in the Manual above.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbering: The first four Tennyo stories have their parts numbered in Roman Numberals. They are, in order:
  • Unwitting Pawn: Mr. Cool is used by a lot of people during "Have Yourself An EVIL Little Christmas". He still ends up profitting more than most of them, without even being aware of the whole deal. He even gets a girlfriend who likes the supervillain stuff!
  • Unstoppable Rage: Some mutants (called ragers) have this problem, where they can be provoked into a bloodthirsty or destructive state. While some of these ragers are villainous in nature, the ones that are seen and focused on are sympathetic and, unfortunately, ostracized for their condition. Merry and Eldritch are somewhat of a subversion, though: though they would be considered "ragers" in universe, they are much more focused and systematic in their rage, possibly making them even MORE dangerous than the berserk velociraptor that can move at speeds higher than 100 MPH.
  • Upgrade Artifact:
    • The sentient, talking, magic sword Destiny's Wave granted Alex Farshine qing gong powers, Taoist healing knowledge, peak physical fitness, superb martial-arts skills, Implausible Fencing Powers, and the ability to speak, read and write Chinese. And turned him into a hot Chinese girl.
    • In The Braeburn Report, which talks about The Pearl of Great Price, which turned Dr. Braeburn into a mutant psychic. With the body of a Playboy model - s/he even matches the parts that were airbrushed.
  • Urban Legend Love Life:
    • Dynamaxx counts as the first type, whose seems as though his romantic success is a bit of an Informed Ability. He seems to think of himself as quite the womanizer, frequently annoying female company with his blunt come-ons. From Toni and the Tiger:
    “Oh, but before you go,” ‘Max’ purred in an European accent that I couldn’t peg, “allow me to introduce myself, valiant lady. _I_ am Dynamaxx.”
    I blinked. “Dynamax? Isn’t that the name of an electronics company?”
    “Not quite.” He said sourly, “They spell it with ONE ‘X’, I spell it with TWO.” He leaned forward and leered, “Sometimes, I spell it with three!”
    • Dash counts as the Chaste Flirt type.
  • Useless Superpowers: Occasional side-effect of the Masquerade.

    V 
  • Vagina Dentata:
    I wasn’t even bothered by the tiny flashes, like gnat-sized knives, that continued to spark like little bites at the base of my manhood.

    It was clear Lucite. Inside was a severed male organ, floating above an inscribed bronze plaque. The plaque read only: “Jobe.”
    Warning * Beware of Vagina Dentata!
  • The Vamp: Vamp. Invoked.
  • Vampire Variety Pack: From Ayla's speech on vampires to Ceecee in Ayla and the Mad Scientist (Chap 12):
    There are vampire-like mutants, and maybe mutant-vampires ... [Vamp] has an eclectic set of talents that combine to give her these abilities, but all that doesn't make her a true vampire.
    I explained, There are vampires who are living humans, and there are vampires who are mobile corpses. ... But there are vampires who are corpses possessed by a demon or a spirit. ... Then there are living people who are vampiric: people possessed by predatory spirits; and sorcerers who practice vampirism for dark magical purposes. And then there are two relative newcomers to the vampire biz. The Amazing Three have fought what Doctor Amazing calls a "symbiotic vampire". Very tough, but very susceptible to their few weaknesses. Doctor Amazing has hypothesized that they're a non-sentient silicoid extraterrestrial lifeform that parasitizes a human.
    Then there are what have been called ‘viral vampires’. Doktor Horrifikus is considered the expert on them.”
  • Vehicular Kidnapping: In the first Ayla story, when she gets kidnapped:
    Ayla: What I do know is that Dr. Hammond stepped out from behind a partition and drugged me again. This time I got a needle in the neck, and I was wobbly in a matter of seconds. Hammond and Uncle Theo and Andrews picked me up, while I just got more and more dazed. They whisked me out of the room while Dad's bodyguards restrained Gracie and Janet. Of course, Gracie and Janet were totally outnumbered, and didn't have a chance. The only one who had a chance was me, and I passed out before I was in the back of that black van they were moving me into...
  • Villain Bar: At least four have been mentioned: three in NYC (Moriarty's, the Black Mask, and Superbad), and one unnamed one in Pittsburgh. Superbad is notable for being mostly a hangout for part-time supervillains with day jobs, basically a workingman's bar with a tolerance for odd costumes.
    • Also mentioned is a villain hotel, the Mayfair, a 4-star exclusive hotel whose staff are willing to look the other way at odd costumes and behavior so long at no one causes trouble for the ordinary patrons, or commits any crimes inside the hotel itself. According to She-Beast, this actually makes it one of the safest hotels to stay at in Boston.
    • It has also been mentioned that henchmen also have their own bars, where they can go to pound down the brew - and each other - between missions.

    W 
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: From To Seal Our Happiness (Part 3), Hugh Wells proposing his future wife, Elizabeth Carson, as she tells it:
    I was at this little bar down in Berlin and he was delivering a batch of his cider when our eyes met and he walked away from the owner, mid-sentence, strolled right up to me and declared, 'You're going to be my wife! You want to fight it or just come with me over to the Justice of the Peace now? I'm Hugh Wells by the way,' and he actually stuck out his hand to be shook!” Liz shook her head. “In all my years of being in the super hero business I have never met an ego to match Hugh Wells.”
  • Wait for Your Date: As mentioned by Aquerna in Straight from the Squirrel's Mouth (Chapter 10):
    Jerry wasn't picking her up until five forty for their date, and she didn't need two hours to get ready this time, because she already shaved her legs, and filed her fingernails and toenails, and did three coats of polish on her toenails, and picked out her outfit. So all she needed to do was just showering and washing her hair and styling her hair and getting dressed and putting on just the right amount of makeup and then doing her nails. She figured all Jerry did was take a quick shower and get dressed, because that was pretty much what her dad did when he was taking her mom out. She didn't mind that guys didn't need hours to get ready, she just couldn't figure out why her dad didn't seem to know her mom needed a lot more time, because they had been married like forever.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: This describes Team Kimba's life in a nutshell, what with the Boston Brawls, the Voodoo Wolves, etc. Still, the emphasis is a bit more on "Go to School" then with other things.
  • Wall Crawl: There's more than one character who can do this.
    • Chaka has figured out how to use her Ki powers to run up and down sheer walls.
    • The supervillain Nex can do this using telekinesis.
    • The Aquerna can do this because she has captured the spirit of the squirrel. And so on...
    • In one scene, there's a wall-crawling conga line.
  • Waxing Lyrical: From Imp 4: A Teacher’s Tail (Part 1), when her narration is discussing her neighbor, the Imp starts singing the opening song for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:
    “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor,” I began singing, only to make Maria stop and stare at me. After a few more lines, I flashed her a broad grin and asked, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
  • We All Die Someday: From Whilst Any Speaks: Chapter 4:
    Aunghadhail: All things end.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Some authors are more prone to this than others.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Tennyo in particular is prone to this to the point that she has ended up completely naked at the end of several battles because her body can withstand far more damage than any conceivable clothing. This is a real problem because she's actually quite shy even though she's too Hot-Blooded for Defeat by Modesty. Eventually, Ayla has Techwolf craft a Chainmail Bikini made of adamantium plates for her to wear under her costume to preserve her modesty.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: There are martial arts instructors, so they have experts helping them choose, if they don't already have a weapon. Bladedancer has a mystical jade jian, Fey now has a mithril scimitar, and Chaka is learning everything she can (right now she's a chain fighter and wields a meteor hammer). Lancer, because of his power set, has two swords made out of paper. Jinn is made of this.
  • Webcomic Time:
    • Since the series started in 2004 at an in-universe time of 2006, by 2015, they've gotten all the way to April 2007. With the first Esoteric story, released on March 1st 2016, the 2007-2008 school year of Whateley Academy has been shown, and the 2006-2007 Graduations were shown in Pomp and Conspiracy, released on 02 May 2016.
    • Generation 2 (Gen 2), which starts around the 2016-2017 terms of Whateley, had its first release on 28 December 2015 with The Big Apple Comes With Calamari (Part 1), which, in-universe, starts on September 5th, 2016. The release on Halloween 2016, Following the Path of Cute, showcases some of Sept 17th, 2016, in-universe.
  • The Weird Sisters: There are at least three trios of witches:
    • The Three Little Witches, Palantir, Abracadabra and Clover.
    • The Trix of Dr. Macabre: Stormy, Icy, and Darcy.
    • The "three magic teachers formed a triangle of power", shown in The Three Little Witches: Miss Elyzia Grimes, Dr. Ophelia "Caduceus" Tennant, and Amanda "Earth Mother" Chulkris.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Dr. Diabolik: In his quest to save Humanity from itself, he's caused over 17,000 casualties.
    • Tabby Cat: Tabby is very intense and so intent on teaching the kids to be ready for anything in her job as an advanced combat instructor she seriously injures Megagirl, earning her a dressing down from Mrs. Carson.
  • Wham Episode: In universe, every so often students are shown a video of the Dragonslayers taking down a rager, dozens of people dying brutally in the process. It's designed to show them that not only are they not unkillable, but that mercy will not be forthcoming.
    • The Halloween attack. Hundreds of powerful people are ambushed and attacked on their own ground, completely unprepared. While the body count is very low, the injury count is huge, and leaves a lot of people very shaken.
    • Tennyo's Combat Final. Taking out an arena of attacking robots single-handedly made everyone want to leave her alone.
    • Subverted with the April Fool's Day story "As Above, So Below".
    • Whilst Any Speaks, Part Four. Aunghadhail dies. Kodiak subsumes his spirit, who was controlling Loophole. Freya gets taken out for good, and Skybolt and Cavalier are finally freed from their mental prison.
    • The first part of The Riddle Of Sappho ends with Heyoka being found dead.
    • The second part of "The Book of Darwin"[1], in which a significant part of the population of Darwin, Australia are massacred by an Omnicidal Maniac, who was stopped by the combined efforts of over two dozen superheroes and supervillains - nearly half of whom were killed - with Outcast Corner giving the decisive action.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Minor characters often have this.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Certain humans (The Goodkinds and Humanity First!) have this attitude towards mutants.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: Certain mutants (The villainous super-ninja Nex for example) have this attitude towards ordinary humans.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Whateley is located in the fictional town of Dunwich, New Hampshire which is somewhere near the real Presidential range and the real town of Berlin, However, all of the rest of the local geography (like the fictional Miskatonic river valley) is invented, and there's little or no mention of other prominent and unavoidable geographical features like the rest of the White Mountains, implying that the authors chose the location from a map and have no real familiarity with the area.
  • The Whitest Black Guy: The Tigers see Chaka as close to one, and sees Vox as a sellout, as said in A Fistful of Chaka, or at least N'Dizi does:
    [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.”
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: While probability manipulation is a relatively uncommon power, it causes disproportionate problems for the school administration, as having two or more 'reality manglers' in close proximity to each other can cause extremely unpredictable results. They run into a serious problem when more probability manipulators show up in one year than there are cottages.
    • This plays a major role in the Halloween invasion, as three probability manipulators ended up close to each other during the fight, throwing off Chessmaster's ability to predict events accurately.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In addition to the rather common Deidrick's Syndrome and Quinzel-Osborn Syndrome, it has been stated canonically that all Exemplars suffer from some degree of both Galahad Syndrome (a tendency to fixate irrationally on finishing the task they have set themselves to at all costs, whether it be 'protecting the innocent' or 'conquering the world') and Hercules Syndrome (an inability to control their emotional extremes, leading them to vacillate between overly dramatic posturing and violent rages). This is, of course, even worse when they are still teenagers, which goes far in explaining why things happen they way they do at Whateley.
    • Part of Jade's increasing erratic behavior is due to the destabilizing effects of her power on her perspective. The events of 'Bottle a Jinn', 'The Christmas Crisis' and especially 'Christmas Elves' in particular involved uses or side effects of her powers that caused severe emotional disturbances for her.
  • Wizard Duel: Fey and the Necromancer in all three Boston brawls.
  • Wizarding School: It may not be Whateley's main purpose, but the Mystic Arts Department stands as one of the world's best, all on its own.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Gotterdamerung. Fortunately for him, his girlfriend, Sunshine, is understanding about it.
  • Wolf Whistle: Used a few times, such as here:
    • ''Who Dun It?: After Hive walks out of the shower, she gets one from Carmilla:
      I washed my hair, got out, and dried my hair and myself. Slipping back into my bedroom, I heard a wolf whistle from the living room, then, “My, my, I didn’t know toes could blush.” I continued into the bedroom and got dressed in my jeans and flannel shirt.
    • The Devil's Dance (Part 1): Hippolyta, Does Not Like Men, and has a bad reaction to hearing a wolf whistle at her Halloween costume:
      Her golden hair was obviously windswept and seemed to bode hell for brushing it out later. Her outfit was fur; light violet in color and well, it covered the ‘important’ bits. Dimly I recognized her as being dressed as a character from a video game, Chrono Trigger’s Ayla. Not to be confused with the quiet spoken Ayla of Team Kimba, Hippy is um, loud, outspoken and ‘rash’.

      “Oh My God!” said Mercy with a wide eyed expression, “Who talked her into that?”

      “That would be telling,” replied the Fuub with a smirk.

      I cringed as Hippy directed her seeming ire on someone whose wolf whistle was louder than the music in the background. “Oh shit, she is gonna moider him,” I pointed to the suddenly moving Hippy and the crowd that dispersed around Akira, who it seemed was coming as Tenchi too, along with the rest of the Power Rangers.
  • World Sundering: The Sundering, as said in Medicine Girl:
    "Long ago, the world was whole. Magic was everywhere. It was the time of the Five-Fold Courts, but it was also the beginning of the rise of man." She frowned deeply. "Then came the Bastard, the evil one. He shattered the land, broke the Five-Fold Courts, and burned the sacred trees that had brought magic to the land. He scattered the Peoples as well."
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Eclia in Normalland: Chapter 2: When Josie is made to fight Less Than Three "an adorable little blonde kid in curls who was even shorter than I was, wearing a smart pair of goggles. She looked kind of like a Shirley Temple playing the part of Daniel-san in the Karate Kid movie.":
    Wait, I was supposed to hit this little kid? I can’t hit a girl!
  • Would Hit a Girl: Any other guy who fights girls in Martial Arts class or elsewhere.
    • Phase, who he has no qualms about hitting a girl if he needs to, because there are lots of girls who are far stronger than he is, including some of his team.
    • Counterpoint is a Blood Knight and is willing to fight anyone.
    • Mimeo has to fight anyone if he wants to get the powers of the person he's fighting in a quick manner.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child:
    • Josie, as expressed in the Wouldn't Hit a Girl entry, when fighting the apparently-a-child, Less Than 3.
    • As shown in Mission Imp-probable (Part 3), narrated by Imp: Mauler, when CHIP, his AI-controlled armor, wants to kill some:
      “Organic machines are obsolete,” CHIP announced as the armor stopped in front of the kids. “Early stage organic machine entities serve no functional purpose. Obsolete technology must be upgraded or recycled, so I will commence recycling…”
      I gasped in horror, but to my surprise, I heard Mauler yell, “NO,” at the same time. Then he continued, “I’m not gonna kill kids…”
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Mafiosi in "Mimeographic" who were perfectly willing to kill a twelve-year-old boy unless the kid attempted to commit murder for them.
    • Also, Jared Reilley's father, who — once he decided for no rational reason that Jared might not be his son - tried to beat Jared to death with his bare hands. He only failed because Jared manifested as a mutant under the stress.
  • World's Smallest Violin: From Kayda 10: There's No Place Like Poe (Part 3):
    I've got three sims scheduled next week!"
    Chou did the mini-violin thing with a mocking grin. "My heart bleeds! We had to suffer under Gunny with sims last winter term - practically one a day, so you're not going to get any sympathy!
  • Wreathed in Flames:
    • Sizzle/Darcy has a "fire aura" as mentioned in Gearhead and The Case of the Poisonous Patent.
    • The Transfer Students has two examples:
    • Phoenixfire/Ashley, with a "fire aura". Like you couldn't guess from her codename.
    • Also Phoenixfire's mom, Magma, as Ashley's powers are described that they "fell in near lock step to [her] mom's. The fiery aura, the super strength, yep, the whole smash; right down to the flaming scimitar she can manifest."
    • Christmas Elves: Fey and Jade's Holiday Havoc: When Fey/Nikki danced "The Offering" to seduce Fire:
    The flame roared out, wrapping around her, licking over her skin while she moved within. Far too soon for the mortal audience, the dance was over, and Fey stood there caressing her elemental love, as it flowed and licked over her limbs and hair.
    “Well, that was – interesting.” Jade managed keeping well away from a still flame-wreathed Nikki. “I know you’ve been told this before, but you’re really, really scary at times, you know?”
  • Writing Lines: In their eponymous story, The Three Little Witches have to copy out the five-page long Whateley Code of Mystic Ethics twenty times, making a hundred pages.

    X 
  • Xanatos Gambit: Invoked by name. Also, that story goes through the Gambit Index.
  • X-Ray Vision: Peeper. And yes, he abuses it. Interestingly enough, he can't turn it OFF, explaining some of his issues. Not all, just some.

    Y 

    Z 
  • Zany Scheme: Mainly from Generator:
    • Using her powers to create shoulder angels to torment Phase, because Phase was peeking at Generator's roommate in the bathroom. It goes From Bad to Worse when the entire school was nearly wrecked.
    • Before that, she was involved in an actual 'Noodle Incident'.
    • She animated a stuffed cabbit doll as part of an epic chase, then later rigged that cabbit with enough weaponry to rip a man's arm off, she's obsessed with Hello Kitty, and she's a trap! Zany Schemes are her forte.
    • She had to go through quite some trouble to go to a lesbian hot-tub thing. Even if she's not a lesbian.
    • She also decided she needed to wear the school's 'pacifist' and 'ultra-violent' armbands, and just switch off on different days. Generator is the definition of Crazy Awesome. Emphasis on the 'crazy'.


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