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A live-action television incarnation of the Superman mythos, and one of the first superhero series aimed at women as much as men. The series is notable for its engaging cast, a few minor Post-modern aspirations, a fair amount of wit and the close focus on the romantic complication between the title characters. Airing from 1992 to 1997, Dean Cain portrayed Clark Kent/Superman while Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane. "L&C", as it came to be known among fans, continued the trend of Post-Crisis Superman stories in identifying Clark as the "real" personality, with Superman as the role he puts on.

After the low-ish ratings of the first season the show was overhauled, including dropping gossip columnist Cat Grant (considered too sexy and flirtatious for a family show) and a recasting of Jimmy Olsen to be a much younger looking actor (the first one could have passed as Dean Cain's brother).

The show suffered, to an extent, from a known problem with live-action superhero shows: restraints on budget and their effect on the story (modern technological capabilities have reduced this somewhat, as can be seen on Smallville and Heroes). Superman rarely fought someone who was a physical match for him, with most villains either being secretive like Luthor or resorting to kidnapping innocents. Making up for this were the particularly well-thought-out character dynamics, the strong acting, and most of all, the phenomenal chemistry between Cain and Hatcher.

A bit controversial amongst sectors of the fanbase, particularly fans of The Adventures of Superboy TV series, which may have been killed by Warner Bros to avert the possibility of two competing Superman shows. In the final analysis, both series are unique in their own right, so pick your poison.

Was simply known as The New Adventures of Superman in some countries outside the USA, due to executives believing non-American viewers wouldn't understand the pun on 19th Century explorers Lewis and Clark (And what would it matter if they didn't?)


Tropes: Edit

General Edit

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Dr. Samuel Platt (from the Pilot) and Emil Hamilton. Dr. Klein has his moments, too.
    • The only way to ever explain why Dr. Klein does not clue into the fact that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person is that he is a total absent minded professor.
    • Generally, the only trustworthy doctors on this show are the forgetful ones.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • Acting for Two / Double Vision: Superman and Lois both have their share of lookalikes. Teri Hatcher plays dual roles as Lois and her clone (Clois) in Season Three.
  • Actor Allusion: Perry likes impersonating Richard Nixon. Lane Smith played Nixon in the television movie The Final Days.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: Lana Lang is a blonde in this incarnation.
    • Jimmy Olson, traditionally redheaded, has brown hair.
    • Lex Luthor, when he has hair, is also usually a redhead, but has brown hair here.
    • If you want to get technical about it, Dean Cain has brown eyes (as opposed to Superman's trademark blue).
      • Hell, one episode has Lois describing Superman's eyes as blue when Cain's eyes are so obviously brown which is bad enough, but she previously described Superman to a sketch artist who also drew him with brown eyes.
  • Adventure Duo: Despite Clark's super powers, he's actually The Scully, with Lois being the one leaping to wild conclusions and charging headfirst into danger.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The survivors of New Krypton. Yet one of Kal-El's crimes is not having learned Kryptonian sufficiently to have understood all the archane instructions on his ship.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Daily Planet is frequently under siege. Lex manages to blow it up.
    • In Season Three, Lex traces Superman/Clark back to his apartment and takes his parents hostage.
  • Alphabet News Network: LNN (Luthor News Network). Its logo uses the same typeface as CNN.
  • Alternate Universe: A world where Superman is a Henpecked Husband and never took up the cape.
    • Bizarro Universe: Charlton Heston is President, and Jimmy is the owner of the Daily Planet (with Perry as his Smithers). It also seems that Elivis Presley served for a time as President of the US and evidently has lived into the 1990s.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Veronica Kipling.
    • Clark passes for this. Show Runner Deborah Joy Levine notes that Dean Cain, who is 1/4 Japanese, has an unplaceable 'look' to him that seems otherwordly. This does not apply to the vanilla-looking New Kryptonians.
      • There is a running gag in the S2 show "Chi of Steel" where Chen Chow (Chinese-American, played by a Japanese-American actor) looks and dresses almost exactly like Clark (even to the wild ties) and when Lois points this out he says "we have the same optometrist".
  • Amoral Attorney: several, although one of the worst apparently is a fake attorney. A few times attorney's who appear corrupt turn out to not be.
  • An Aesop
  • Analogy Backfire: Following Lex's buyout of the paper, Perry balks at his new "Senior" Editor-in-chief, a Yale pipsqueak named Chip. Lex reassuringly tells him to just think of it as a "honeymoon period".

 Perry: Why don't we just think of it as our divorce -- PERIOD.

    • In "Dead Lois Walking", Clark compares Lois' Frame-Up to that of Richard Kimble in The Fugitive. All they have to do is find the real killer!

 Lois: How long did that take?

Clark: [beat] I think the show ran four years.

  • And Starring: John Shea as Lex Luthor.
  • As You Know: Perry's speeches.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Dean Cain's Superman does this often, Clark Kent so rarely it might be part of his disguise. Flanderized in later seasons to the point of Superman constantly strutting around with his arms folded.
  • Bald of Evil: Lex again. Explained by the reanimation process necessitated by his demise, so he can still blame Superman, albeit indirectly, for his hair loss.
    • Lex starts out with a full mop of curly hair, then is bald in Season 2, but his hair comes back and he has it from then onward, although he does not have as much of a role as early on. Presumably, John Shea didn't feel like shaving his head or wearing a bald cap all the time.
    • The actor justified it by saying that Lex is probably rich enough to regrow his hair.
  • Bank Robbery
  • Bastard Bastard: Lex Luthor's illegitimate sons.
  • Bastardly Speech: Tempus is prone to these.
  • Battle Butler: Nigel. "The Phoenix" reveals that he's a former British intelligence agent gone bad.
  • Beard of Evil: Tempus (well, sometimes), Nigel, Lord Nor... the list goes on.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: H. G. Wells really did have a time machine, and shows up in a few episodes, usually hot on the trail of Conqueror From the Future Tempus.
  • Best Served Cold: The Prankster and Prof. Jefferson Cole both harbor ill will toward Lois for her role in imprisoning them. Baron Sunday holds a grudge against Clark Kent, though his excuse is definitely more valid.
  • Betty and Veronica: Mayson Drake and Lois Lane.
    • Linda King definitely qualifies as a Betty, despite only appearing in "The Rival".
    • Averted hard with Veronica Kipling.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Needs no description. Jimmy gets a chance to do this in "Virtually Destroyed", when he and Superman plow into Lois' computer-simulated apartment.
  • Big Eater: Bobby Bigmouth, the informant who accepts food as legal tender.
    • Clark, apparently, as Lois notes after spying in his fridge how he eats like an eight year old and looks like Mr Hardbody. This recurrs at other points with Clark constantly snitching donuts, sometimes with superpowers. It seems he does not even have to eat.
    • And, in a S4 episode, Martha Kent is shown carrying a huge bag full of junk food and candy to stock up the larder with, because she's missing her boy and wants to welcome him home just right, with all of his favourite foods.
  • Bland-Name Product: Bill Church's front organization, Cost Mart, is a portmanteu of Wal-Mart and Costco.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: The Nazis, obviously. See also Lord Nor, Lenny Stoke and Randy Goode.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Vixen. (Technically, though, she's a misunderstood android who's just following orders). Lex's doctor, who tries to revive him, is psychotically devoted to him and becomes this.
  • Blown Across the Room: Clark's super-breath.
  • Bob Haircut: Lois during the first two seasons. Ellen Lane also sports one.
  • Bound and Gagged: Lois, frequently. Possibly leaning into Fetish Fuel territory.
    • Possibly?
    • Clark gets in on this too. Mostly because he was hanging around with Lois when she got them captured. This also means that he has to figure out a way of escaping that does not involve her figuring out what his true identity is, at least until she figures out his true identity.
  • Bow Ties Are Cool: Dr. Klein, Dr. Hamilton, and (occasionally) Perry.
  • Brainwashing: More commonly seen with Lois, but Superman is not immune. Jimmy also suffers from it once.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Kryptonite in this universe had a lingering effect on Superman, taking him some time to regain his strength even after being removed from the source. Red Krytonite can, if the plot calls for it, transfer all of Superman's power to another individual.
  • Call Back: Most of them involve the Villain of the Week picking up where a previous criminal left off, be it re-assembling their weapon or avenging their defeat.
  • Cardboard Prison: H.G. Wells repeatedly dumps Tempus in asylums so he wouldn't cause more trouble. It doesn't take. At times he is able to messup Clark's life just be revealing his secret in writing a journal, which of course will end up in the hands of some evil person at the most inconvenient time.
  • Career Killers: Superman meets both kinds.
  • The Cast Showoff: Cain was a college football star until a shoulder injury. During the show's run he wanted to remind people that he was still a strong athlete by appearing on an American Gladiators celebrity edition.
    • Plus there was that one-on-one game with Bo Jackson.
    • In "I've Got A Crush On You", Teri hatcher sings the eponymous musical number. She follows this up with "Nobody Wants You When You're Done and Out" by Janis Joplin in Season Three.
    • Michael Des Barres, who is also a musician, sings a stereptpyical Hair Metal ballad in "Wall of Sound."
    • Kenneth Kimmins does a spot-on impersonation of Sean Connery. And no, it doesn't pertain to the plot.
  • Casting Gag Sherman Hemsley guest-stars as the villain of the Christmas Episode "Season's Greedings". His Good All Along assistant is Isabel Sanford, who played his wife on The Jeffersons.
  • Catch Phrase: "DUH!" -- Tempus
    • "Great shades of Elvis!" -- Perry
    • Season 1's Jimmy Olsen tends to exclaim "Real smooth!" when impressed. The phrase was dropped along with the actor.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Parodied in an early episode, wherin Clark sprints into a bathroom stall to change into his costume only to smash his foot through the door as he struggles to put his boots on.
  • The Chanteuse: Lois goes undercover as one in the first season. Her amnesia-induced personality, Wanda Detroit, is this full-time.
  • Chick Magnet: Clark attracts an obscene amount of women throughout the show's run. Superman more so, but even when he is just plain Clark.
    • In the episode where Superman is arrested, the police take extra mugshots to give some hookers (who are avowed fans of Superman) a chance to pose with him.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Mindy.
  • Clark Kenting: Lois, a decorated investigative journalist, is unable to realize that her partner, Clark Kent, is just Superman with glasses. This was not helped by Dean Cain not really changing his voice, posture, or facial expression between the two personae, as Christopher Reeve famously did. Teri Hatcher's monologue on Saturday Night Live parodied this, demonstrating her general inability to recognize people with glasses.
    • In the pilot we have this exchange

 Lois: I think I've got you figured out

Clark : Really

Lois : It's my business looking beyond the external

      • True this is before Superman ever shows up, but it is also the first of many times that she does not remove his glasses, and everyone asks "why"?
    • Spectacular Lampshade Hanging in the show:

 Tempus: Look (puts glasses on), I'm Clark Kent. (Takes glasses off) No, I'm Superman! (Puts glasses on) Mild-mannered reporter. (Takes glasses off) Superhero! [...] Well, that was worth the whole trip. To actually meet the most galactically stupid woman who ever lived.

    • Although future generations considered it more a "blinded by love" than being stupid thing. H. G. Wells tells us so.
      • Lois dismisses her first statement about Clark and Superman looking alike, said while under the influence of an inhibition removing perfume, by saying that "every women thinks her man is Superman". Lois seems to be blindable by love, and to various extents Superman and Clark blind her discernment, Clark more so as time goes on.
      • At least early on Lois is so infatuated with Superman (calling her "his" by the third episode, which she unconvincingly backtracks into being her story) and so envious of Clark, that it is at least somewhat believable that her emotions prevent her from discerning the truth.
      • As far as we know Lois is the only person in Metropolis who has seen Clark half naked, so unlike everyone else she cannot be said to be fooled by how Clark's suits conceal his true build. She clearly noticed his well built frame, but the one defense she had there was Superman had not shown up at all.
    • Actually Cain did attempt change his mannerisms and delivery between Clark and Superman, he's just not quite as good at it as Reeve
      • In particular he took the exact opposite approach as Reeve, playing Clark as affable and easygoing, while Superman is stiff and overly formal. This was in keeping with the current interpretation of Superman's dual identity at the time, Clark was a regular guy and the "real" personality while Superman was an facade constructed entirely to protect his normal life.
      • This detail makes it understandable why everyone else is fooled, but since Lois more so then anyone else manages to find herself in close contact with Superman, he does not have the stiff aura to fool her. From the unveiling of Superman on Lois is also the closest to Clark Kent, despite the efforts of Mayson Drake and a few others to change this. Still the fact that none of his other co-workers are any closer to knowing the truth, so Lois Lane is not alone in being fooled.
    • The one possible exception is Perry White. Perry is a good editor so he knows that secret sources are too be garded, thus he may suspect the connection but knows that if he tells Clark what he suspects, this will convince Clark the disguise has been blown and cause him to leave, destroying the source sturcture that Superman gives the paper.
      • When they are posing as newly weds, before their relationship has even moved past the phase of just being business partners, to spy on a corrupt politician, there is one scene where Clark after using his X-ray vision to see an incoming cleaning maid, uses superhuman speed to hid their equipment under the covers and put Lois in a convincingly romantic embrace. There is even time for Lois to give him a look of death before the door opens and she realizes he saved their cover. Why Lois does not make him give a real explanation of how he was able to anticipate this situation, slap him silly or realize then and there he is Superman is never clear.
        • In this same episode Lois says to Clark "Our job is to rip away the vail of secrecy and expose the naked truth." So why does she not take off Clark's glasses?
    • Subverted and lampshaded in "Tempus, Anyone?" in which Lois has to convince an alternate universe Clark to take up a life of superheroics. Clark-A is very skeptical on whether just taking off the glasses will be an effective disguise, and she assures him it'll be fine. Everyone recognizes him immediately.
    • Ultimately subverted when at the beginning of the third season Lois countered Clark's marriage proposal by revealing she had deduced his identity (Clark and Superman gave her an identical cheek stroke in the previous episode). She admitted to being upset with all the implications "When were you going to tell me? When our kids started flying around the room!" To his credit he had been working up the courage to tell her, but was constantly thrwarted by sadistic interuption. After she nearly died he decided to move proposing ahead of revealing his identity.
      • Clark's first reaction to her figuring out is "the new glasses do not work as good as the old ones" or something to that effect.
      • Lois never even seems to try to figure out if Clark and Superman are the same. It is almost as if she knows at some level, but wants him to tell her the truth instead of having to ferret it out. While everyone else may be truly fooled and unaware, it seems more like Lois hopes Clark will tell her the truth.
  • Clear My Name: Dear GOD, nearly EVERYONE had to do this at some point or another. Just about the only regulars who didn't end up caught in this trope were Jonathan and Martha.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Lana Lang in the alt-universe.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Anonymous, a Master of Disguise who is very protective of his real identity.
    • Anonymous, you say?
    • Edward Hanson, the villain of "Shadow of a Doubt".
    • Lex sports a fedora & sunglasses while on the run from the law.
    • Similarly, Lois dons dark glasses and a long, red wig when on the run, after escaping from prison.
  • Coconut Superpowers : To save on money they would often have Cain jump past the camera with a whoosh and cape effect, then cut to people gaping in awe at the sky.
    • On-set, the shorthand for this became known as "Cape Out".
  • Coincidental Broadcast
  • Conqueror From the Future: Tempus. His name means "Time", after all.

 "You see, Miss Lane, in a world with no Superman, there'll be no Utopia in the future. Just a lot of sex and violence and me."

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lex Luthor and Bill Church, among plenty others.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Clark, all the time.
  • Covered in Mud: In the Pilot Movie, Lois and Jimmy are captured by Lex Luthor's Dragon; Clark goes in to rescue her (as Clark, not as Superman). There's a bomb in the building and as it goes off Clark flies Lois & Jimmy a little bit, as if they're being pushed by the blast and they land in a pile of mud just far enough away that they're all safe.
  • Crawl: A news ticker is added to the Daily Planet set in Season 2.
    • As time went on and the LOISCLA-L fan email list increased in population and loudness, at least one member of the writing team joined as a lurking member. Abbreviations and codes used on the list turned up on the ticker, including WAFF (Warm and Fuzzy Feelings) and FoLC (Friends of Lois and Clark).
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted with Lex himself, but a lot of villains fall into this category.
    • Veda Dooson in "Brutal Youth" has to resort to abducting pizza delivery men in order to test her Fountain of Youth machine, allegedly because she can't get a grant.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Tempus, definitely.
  • Dartboard of Hate: In ""Sex, Lies, and Videotape", Clark is unknowingly photographed while making out with Lois in the Superman costume, causing the public to think he's an adulterer. Later, Clark remarks that his disenchanted female co-workers are using Superman's image as a dartboard. Of course Clark has a desk full of goodies from people expressing solidarity with him in his time of crisis.
    • "Requiem for a Superhero" has Lex calmly talking on a phone as he throws darts. After he hangs up it's revealed that he was throwing the darts at a life size cardboard cutout of Superman, and Lex is positively seething.
  • A Day in Her Apron: Clark's parents do this in one episode, concluding in An Aesop about sexism.
  • Deadpan Snarker Clark, in one of his most enjoyable incarnations ever.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Lex in Season 3.
    • Mayson Drake. The last thing she saw was the "S" on Clark's chest. (Though she was dying anyway.)
  • Defector From Decadence: "Hank West" -- the pseudonym for one of Those Wacky Nazis -- grows fond of American pop culture and is reluctant to give up his music stardom. His compatriot accuses West of getting soft, then shoots him.
  • Death Trap
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Bill Church fills this role once Lex's empire is toppled.
  • Die Hard on an X: In "Flyhard", the Daily Planet is held hostage and Clark must rescue them.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jack Olsen.
    • In Season 4, we learn that Perry was an absentee father to his sons, which likely led one of them (Jerry) to a life of crime.
  • Distressed Damsel: Once Per Episode (at least) with Lois. She does put up some good fights, and at times breaks out of bonds without the help of Clark.
  • Distressed Dude: Perry and Jimmy, to add variety.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The "Smart Kids" take over the airwaves to gloat about their mayhem.
    • The Nazis in "Super Mann" take over the nation's airwaves to announce that Resistance Is Futile.
    • Lastly, Mr. Gadget in "Lethal Weapon" gives his ultimatum to Metropolis via this method.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Clark can definitely take what Lois dishes out but she does boss him around and take advantage of his nice guy behavior to the point where this trope is noticeable.
    • Although Clark does date several other women before he and Lois get together, and he's not above taking Lois down a peg or two when he feels she deserves it.
  • Domino Mask: Resplendent Man and Ultrawoman.
    • While traveling through time, Clark is forced to wear this as part of his Robin Hood/Zorro ensemble.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Used shamelessly.
    • Empathic Environment: A variation occurs in Lex's subway haunt, when Clois spills Superman's identity. Cue the flickering electricity and rumbling trains!
    • An identical scene happens between Mr. Smith and Leslie Luckabee in Season Four.
  • Drop in Character: Lois' psychic downstairs neighbor, Star.
    • She (thankfully?) only lasts a few episodes.
    • The Kents should qualify, since the cost of all that airline travel is conspicuously swept under the rug. On at least one occasion Clark does offer to personally fly them into town the next time they need to come.
  • Dumb Blonde: Mindy (or so it appears).

 Reporter: So, Mrs. Church, with your husband in prison, you devoted your life to helping the destitute?

Mindy: And poor people, too!

  • Dysfunctional Family / Parental Abandonment: The Lane family.
  • Earthquake Machine: The villains of "Wall of Sound" and "Lethal Weapon" hatch plots that are essentially the same: Use a sonic device to level entire buildings as part of blackmail.
  • Easy Amnesia: Poor Lois.
  • Elvis Lives: Spinning headlines detailing Luthor's death, with the last being a "photograph" of him alongside Elvis in Hawaii.
    • The ending of "Tempus, Anyone" has Perry inviting former US President Elvis Presley (not facing the camera, but still sporting his trademark cape) to a podium.
  • EMP: "Operation Blackout" and "The Dad Who Came in From the Cold".
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Dean Cain, hot damn.
  • Everything Is Online
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: As the series progresses, Clark no longer needs to duck into a room to change clothes, instead spinning furiously and coming to a stop in his Superman outfit.
  • Evil Brit: Lenny Stoke, Lord Nor and Nigel St. John.
  • Evil Is Petty: Jefferson Cole adds Dr. Klein to his revenge list for his "unhinged and insane" remark.
    • Randy Goode, a world-famous philanthropist, does not take it well when the Nobel Peace Prize committee snubs him in favor of Superman.
    • Garret Grady settles on West Virginia as a warm-up target for his Kill Sat, his reasoning being that the state should have picked "a more creative name".
  • Expy: Rachel Harris, the Smallvile Smallville sherrif, who at least wants Lois to think Clark and her were good "friends" growing up, is one for Lana Lang, as they couldn't get the rights to use her name at the time. An alternate universe Lana showed up later on.
  • Fake Defector: Clark pretends to resign from the floundering Daily Planet and join a rival paper, The Metropolis Star, in "The Rival".
    • In "Church of Metropolis", Mayson Drake goes along with an Intergang's lawyer who offers her a bribe, unaware that she's taping the whole thing.
  • Fake Guest Star: Kenneth Kimmins as Dr. Bernard Klein. His presence is increasingly ubiquitous in Seasons 3 & 4, but he never gets a credit promotion.
  • Faking the Dead: In "That Old Gang of Mine", Clark is left with no recourse but to play dead after being shot in public.
    • In the episodes "The Ides of Metropolis" and "Operation Blackout", the villain fake his death as part of a master plan.
  • Fan Service: And plenty to go around for both sides.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Just guess.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Lois is a Type 2.

 Lois: I only know three recipes, and this is the only one that doesn't involve chocolate.

    • There are multiple remarks about how bad her cooking is.
    • At one point we meet a woman who has less culinary skill than Lois, but she is an alien who just arrived from a planet where they presumably eat very different foods.
    • In season 3 while Clark is cooking and Lois is fawning over him, he suggests that her not cooking is due to lack of time. She tells him flat out it is due to lack of talent.
    • Subverted at the end of "Ghosts", in which she inherits cookery talent from the spirit of a disgruntled housewife who possessed her.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The NIA (a combination of every scare story about the CIA and NSA) and EPRAD (a stand-in for NASA).
  • Fictional Country: The "Boroslov Republic".
    • "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" is centered around the feuding Presidents of Ladislam and Podansk, who are probably stand-ins for Anwar Sadat and Ariel Sharon.
  • Foil: Cat Grant to Lois.
  • For Inconvenience Press One: A Running Gag throughout the show's run.

 Lois: You getting anywhere?

Clark: No, but now I know all five verses to "Windy."

  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: Patrick Sullivan, with regard to Lois.
    • Perry's realization that his longtime friend, Sen. Black, is a Neo-Nazi. Lane Smith plays it deadly serious, though.
  • For Want of a Nail: The alt-universe Clark has it rough. In his world, the Kents were killed in a car crash when he was still a child, and Lois Lane is presumed dead after disappearing while on assignment in the Congo. (At the end of "Lois and Clarks", though, H.G. Wells hints that he can bring her back).
  • Frame-Up / Miscarriage of Justice: Lex blows up the Daily Planet, then pins the crime on Jack, the orphan whom Clark befriended and recently made a copy boy.
    • A lowly software developer gets blamed for his boss' murder in "The Ides of Metropolis".
    • In a Season 4 two-parter episode, Lois is made to seem to shoot her own informant. The Villain Of The Week uses a Hologram of Perry White, while using another hologram to make sure Superman is half-a-world away and not able to see through the disguise, to testify in court against Lois, and she is given the death penalty.
    • Hendrix, aka Baron Sunday.
  • Freudian Slip: Lois in the pilot episode, when she arrives at Clark's apartment to give him a ride to work. He answers the door wearing nothing but a towel.

 "It's nine! I thought you'd be naked. Uh, ready."

    • Veronica tellingly asks, "Got any meat?" when Clark offers her lunch. Eek.
  • Gay Paree: Superman makes a few pit-stops here.
  • Girl of the Week: Jimmy can't keep a girlfriend for more than a week or so, despite professing eternal love to any woman who crosses his path. It gets to the point where Lois actually lampshades it.
  • A God Am I: Jaxon Xavier in his VR world. Also invoked by Lord Nor and Mr. Mxyplyzyk.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: As Tez absorbs Superman's powers, his heat vision and super-breath manifests as green.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Lois.
  • Good Is Boring: Why Tempus can't stomach his utopian timeline.
  • Good Ol' Boy: Perry White.
    • Jonathan Kent, though he's mellower than his other incarnations.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lois flips her wig after Clark wins a journalism award instead of her -- despite winning the same award three times previously.
    • Anytime a woman shows interest in Clark\Superman, really.
  • Green Rocks: In this show it was Red Kryptonite, which had a different effect on Clark with each appearance. It ranged from eliminating his inhibitions, permanently transferring his powers, causing him to lose control of his powers, and others.
  • The Grinch: Lois hates hates, hates, hates, hates Christmas. With her family, you can't blame her.
  • Groin Attack: Lois delivers one to the Prankster, causing him to double over in agony.
    • And again to Col. Ambrose Cash, as payback for spraying Superman with kryptonite gas.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Perry, again.
  • Guttural Growler: Tez and Mr. Smith.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Lois is known to hit the fudge whenever bad news arises.
  • Hero Insurance: Subverted a couple times: First, in "Man of Steel Bars", when Metropolis' citizens blame Superman's heroics for an abnormal heat wave. In the Season 2 premiere, we see the after-effects of Lex Luthor's suicide; apparently, killing the man who employed half the city's population is damaging to local interests.
    • D.A. Mayson Drake adores Clark, but views Superman as a vigilante menace.

 Mayson Drake:(to Superman) Do you have a license to chase criminals? Do you read them their rights? If you injure someone, are you insured?

    • In Season 4's Lethal Weapon, Superman loses restraint over his powers and starts damaging city property. In the ensuing panic, the Mayor orders a sniper team put in place to plug Superman with a kryptonite bullet.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Mayson Drake (Season 2) and Angela Winters ("The People Vs. Lois Lane").
  • History Repeats: History Repeats: In the pilot episode, Superman makes his debut by swallowing a time bomb before it blows up a space shuttle. In Season 3 ("Tempus, Anyone?"), Lois convinces an Alternate Universe Clark to stop living in the shadows and embrace the Superman mantle. His first heroic act? Swallowing a time bomb before it blows up an auditorium.
    • Baron Tempos and Tempus Tex (Tempus' medieval and Wild West ancestors, respectively) deliver the exact same ultimatum in two separate time periods, causing Tex to get weirded out.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Lois Lane for the win. Played for laughs in the scene following Lex's public disgrace and suicide, when Lois opines that she's "always been such a good judge of character!" As we'll see in later seasons, this is not even close to being true.
    • At one point Clark breaks up with Lois on the grounds that if they move forward this will just put her in more danger. She proptly gets drawn into a relationship with a man plotting to sacrifice her, causing Clark to realize that she attracts homicidal maniacs, and the only way to protect her is to have her close.
  • Hot Chick in a Badass Suit: Lampshaded in "Ultrawoman", when Lois she starts wearing a suit tie to disguise her superhero costume underneath (just like Clark does).
    • After Perry is (temporarily) Kicked Upstairs for the duration of "Stop the Presses", Lois is made Editor-In-Chief, inspiring her to wear this outfit again.
  • Hot Scoop: Lois.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Not only are Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher exceptionally beautiful people but after they become an Official Couple, the show can definitely be called the steamiest incarnation of Superman mythology. Exhibit A.
  • Human Popsicle: Lex Luthor is a postmortem example; his remains are frozen throughout Season 2 as his physician works on a "cure" for death.
    • In the season 2 finale, Superman is blackmailed into killing Lois Lane. To achieve the effect (but not the result), he uses his super-breath to temporarily freeze Lois, causing her to appear dead.
    • A Call Back to this episode occurs in Season 4, when Lex Luthor Jr. threatens to kill Lois if Superman refuses to do his bidding. Superman opts to Take a Third Option and freeze Lois, thereby tricking Junior into believing his leverage is gone.
    • Interestingly, Superman addresses the unrealistic nature of Harmless Freezing by warning of possible arterial ruptures, brain damage or even death. Fortunately (as if the audience would expect any differently), Lois survives unscathed.
    • Larry Smiley plans to flood the Earth using his Weather Control Machine, with those he chose (largely against their will) safety tucked away in cryo-pods.
    • The Aryan 'supermen' in "Super Mann".
  • Hurl It Into the Sun: Once he realizes he will soon die from Clone Degeneration, Bizarro Superman asks the real Superman to destroy both him and the lock of hair from which he was cloned from. We see them flying toward the sun.
    • In a variant of this trope, Superman's skin is contaminated with a mass of microscopic radioactive particles that forces him to be in radiation proof containment on Earth. Here, the solution is to fly towards the sun, not to enter it, but just to enter its gravitational field to allow it to pull all the particles at once.
    • And then there was the time Superman tossed a deadly microwave oven into space.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lois spends the bulk of "I'm Looking Through You" complaining that Superman has sold out and gone commercial, although even at this point she admits her main worry is that Superman will forget about her. When Clark later greets Lois in her apartment, she's wearing a Superman t-shirt under her pajamas. It is pretty clear though that Lois is mad that Superman is not paying as much attention to her but instead having his attentions taken up by lots of other people making demands on him.
    • This is literally half of Lois' personality.
    • Career Killer Joey Bermuda on the phone with his daughter:

  Joey Bermuda: No, Cheryl Marie, you can not stay up past 9:00. Yes honey, you can watch TV, just none of that gratuitous violence, okay? [shoot hole through a cut-out of Superman] I'll see you tonight.

    • Garret Grady's plan for world peace ("AKA Superman"):

  Garret Grady: When the world sees what The Annihilator can do, nations will beat their swords into ploughshares, and mankind will live in perfect, blessed brotherhood...or I will blast the hell out of them!

  • I Am Very British: H.G. Wells.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: Superman once tells Lois that he doesn't need to eat, but he likes to. Which is fairly evident since his pantry is stocked with almost nothing but junk food. He also never misses the morning donuts at the office. This ties in to the OTHER DC comics TV adaptation on the air at the time, the much overlooked and quite excellent Flash which also portrayed Barry Allen this way.
  • I Have Your Wife: This happens a LOT, actually. One time it even didn't happen to Clark.
    • Garret Grady's henchman lampshades this practice, calling it "a time honored tradition".
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Lex hints that this is the case between him and Lois, though he later decides she's "a little too independent", then gloats to Superman that he'll soon fix that.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Invoked in almost every episode, with Clark giving increasingly-lame excuses for leaving so he can change into the Superman outfit. They do not improve much when Lois is in on the secret and is giving them, although it is more believable that they work because no one is less willing to accept statements at face value than Lois.
  • Identical Grandson: Clark's great-great-grandparents, Miss Martha and Marshall Kent (the latter is distinguished by his Badass Mustache).
    • Baron Tempos and Tempus Tex. Justified as it's a past versions of Tempus.
  • If I Can't Have You: Lex professes this to Lois, getting worse each time she rejects him.
  • Important Haircut: Lois changes her hair after discovering Clark's secret identity, and again after suffering amnesia (believing herself to be "Wanda Detroit"). This is followed by yet another 'do in Season 4, after Lois clears her name. The Wanted Posters of her face spread all over town convinced her that it was time for a change.
  • In the Blood: The Prankster's dad is an even bigger Jerkass than he is.
    • Gene Newtrich discovers red kryptonite in the Season 2 episode "Individual Responsibility". In Season 3's "Ultrawoman", his nefarious sisters pick up where he left off by building a red kryptonite laser, which has totally different effects.
    • If Baron Tempos and Tempus Tex are any indication, being evil runs deep in Tempus' gene pool.
    • Both of Lex Luthor's sons abduct Lois at some point.
    • Lex Jr. in particular is a chip off the old block, right down to his one-liners and affinity for opera.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jimmy abbreviates Clark's name as "C.K."
  • Insult Backfire: Tempus is remarkably thick-skinned, as the show proves.

 H.G. Wells: You are a fiend beyond comprehension!

Tempus: And a good dancer, but enough small talk.

    • From "Voice From the Past":

 Superman: Well, wouldn't your father be proud? His son turned out to be as sick and deranged as he was.

Lex Jr.: Heh heh. Thank you.

  • Intrepid Reporter: Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Lois seems to have taken this to a new level. At one point Clark pulls out a multi-sheet, multi-column single-spaced prinout of the people who Lois' has been responsible for putting into jail through her reporting, and from what he says this is limited to only the scientists whose nefarious actions she has exposed. There is mention that 200 people have threatened to kill Lois because she has exposed their actions leading them to jail. At one point Lane and Kent are compared to Woodward and Bernstein.
  • Ironic Nickname: Little Tony.
    • Also, Georgie Hairdo. We never actually saw him (he was murdered and thrown in the river offscreen), but he turned out to be bald.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Diana Stride and her henchman in "Top Copy".

 Diana: I made [Superman] swallow a radioactive substance.

Rolf: I'll just bet you did.

    • Perry chastises Lois & Clark for coming into work late:

 Clark: We were on assignment!

Perry: Oh, is that what they're call it now?

  • It Must Be Mine: Lex and kryptonite (his pet name for it is "my Excalibur").
  • It Runs in The Family: In "The Ides of Metroplis", Lex is shown creepily trimming a bonsai tree. In Season Four, Lex Jr. does the exact same thing, even though he never even met his father.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: H. G. Wells' time machine is fueled by gold. He doesn't even have to smelt the stuff; he just tosses assorted coins/bling down a chute.
    • In "Soul Mates", Wells has a hand-held "Soul Tracker" he picked up in the far future. The less said about that one, the better.
  • Joker Immunity: Tempus.
  • Karma Houdini: Mindy Church as the only real foe of Superman not caught or even suspected of wrongdoing, not even by Lois and Clark!
    • This wasn't the case in an early draft of "Seconds", where she is punished for her crimes. Given that she never shows up again in the series proper, it can be assumed she was caught offscreen.
  • Kent Brockman News
  • Kill Sat: A new one every season. Quit building these!
  • Laughably Evil: Tempus, The Prankster and (to a lesser extent) Lord Nor.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Perry White and Jimmy Olsen in the season 2 finale.

 Jimmy: Chief?

Perry: Yeah?

Jimmy: Instead of always standing around, watching Lois and Clark, wondering what they're doing... What if we, uh... Got lives of our own that were a little more interesting.

Perry: Now son, you've just hit the bulls-eye. It's like we're supporting characters in some TV show that's only about them.

Jimmy: Yeah, it's like all we do is advance their plots!

Perry: To tell you the truth I'm sick of it.

Jimmy: Yeah, me too.

And the scene promptly switches to Lois and Clark in the park.

    • In "Tempus, Anyone":

 Tempus: Only thing that would ruin this would be a commercial.

[cut to commercial break]

  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Perry on the life of Elvis. Often apropos of nothing in particular.
  • Lie Detector: In "Strange Visitor", fake government agents hook up Clark to a lie detector as part of their investigations into Superman. Clark's 'baseline' questions are 'Is your name Clark Kent?' and 'Are you Superman?'; he's supposed to say yes to both and get a 'lie' response on the second. However, when he gets a no-lie flatline on both questions, Clark is forced to use his super-breath to push the needle.
    • Amusingly, the agents think that Clark might just be that mild mannered that even the lie detector can't pick up his obvious "lies".
    • Jack Olsen wears a wrist-mounted lie detector which is disguised to look like a watch. It glows blue whenever Clark and Lois tell the truth (i.e. not often), and red when they are lying. Later in the episode, Jack glances at the watch after Jimmy says he loves him (it turns blue).
  • Like a Son to Me: Not in so many words (at least not to Jimmy himself, though he does say so to Lois and Clark and tell them not to hell him), but Perry White has a out-of-focus but still close and subtly fatherly relationship with Jimmy Olsen, which becomes clearer when you note that Perry is estranged from his sons and Jimmy from his father. Perry is noticeably very incensed and disdainful when Jimmy's absentee father comes by.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Superman/Clark and Lois. Frequently commented on by supporting characters.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Locked in a Freezer: Happens often with Lois. In the "Ides of Metropolis", Lois and Inspector Reed are thrown into a trash compactor. That same season, Lois and her college rival Linda King are roped together inside a literal freezer. Lastly, "Operation Blackout" finds Lois and her ex-friend Molly trapped on a military base with a Kill Sat aimed directly at them.
  • Lois Can Breathe In Space: There's a couple of scenes where Lois is either in space, or darn near enough where she would need oxygen.
    • Even if you factor Superman's "protective aura", Lois could not have been enveloped in Superman's forcefield when falling so far from him. She should also have gotten severe frostbite, unless he was using his heat vision from far away to radiate warmth, and -- nevermind.
  • Lonely At the Top: In "The Night Before Mxymas", William B. Caldwell serves as The Scrooge archetype.
    • In "Bob and Carol and Los and Clark", Grant Gendell is presented as a proxy of Howard Hughes, a hyper-paranoid billionaire who lives in a hermetically-sealed apartment. When confronted by Deathstroke -- who seeks to Kill and Replace the old man -- Gendell finds the notion of anyone wanting to be him unthinkable: "I live in a cube!"
  • Love Floats: Lois and Superman floated several times together. Once while making love(!), and at least twice while in a vertical embrace.
    • In the pilot, Clark is shown absent-mindedly floating a few inches off the floor while attending Lex's charity ball, when he spots Lois across the room in all her evening gown splendour.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Lois also starts off this way, not caring about Clark and loving Superman, but she gets over it as the series goes on. When Clark finally proposes at the end of season two, he deliberately waits to tell her his secret so that he knows she's marrying him for Clark, and not because he's Superman. Unfortunately she's already figured it out. Yet Clark had been ready to tell her the secret two days earlier, with no clear plan of proposing first.
    • The reverse is true for Mayson Drake. She loves Clark and vehemently dislikes Superman. She dies learning Clark is Superman.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: Tempus' election posters, and later a hilariously Hitleresque banner.
    • Meet the New Boss: Lex Luthor's old slot is filled by Bill Church, who is himself an Expy of Morgan Edge from DC Comics. Like Luthor, Church hides behind a sunny image and legitimate buisness to distract from his underworld dealings. He's even undone by his passion for a woman!
  • Lex Junior's plot to marry Lois and blow up the Daily Planet building.
  • Mega Corp: Lexcorp. Everything from the air conditioners to the payphones bear his name.
  • Master of Delusion: Lampshaded by Lois in the episode where she was under the effects of a Love Potion. She takes off Clark's glasses and remarks how similar he looks to Superman. Fortunately (or unfortunately), she brushes it off as just seeing Clark as Superman after the drug wears off.
    • After Superman leaves Earth for New Krypton, it suddenly hits Jimmy that Clark's gone missing at the same time as Superman. But he can't....quite....connect....the dots.
  • Master of Disguise: A high percentage of Superman's foes are adept at this.
  • Megane: Dean Cain's Clark leans on this trope hard.
  • Meta Guy: Tempus. "What do you think this is? A family television show?"
    • After Lois and Clark begin dating, Bobby Bigmouth remarks: "I want you to know how happy I am for you, and that there are a lot of people out there that are really pulling for this to work out."
  • Mind Control Conspiracy: Too many to count.
  • Modesty Cape: Real Life example: the show made quite a splash with a promotional photo of Teri Hatcher wearing Superman's cape -- and nothing else. This has become something of a Superman staple; Margot Kidder originated the pose, followed by Hatcher and Erica Durance. In the case of Hatcher, the image almost broke the internet.
  • Momma's Boy: Superman is an unrepentant momma's boy and proudly proclaims to anyone who asks (and some who don't) that his mother made his costume for him.
    • When an enemy blows up his secret closet where he keeps his Superman suits and they're all ruined, the first thing he says is "Mom's gonna kill me."
    • Larry Smiley loves his momma so much, he keeps her in (unwilling) suspended animation.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Let's save ourselves some time: Doctors are bad. Period.
  • The Mothership: New Krypton's "Palace Ship".
  • Mr. Exposition: Jimmy.
  • Mundane Utility: Lois and Clark is in love with this trope. Super-speed was commonly used to remove trash or remodel the apartment, heat vision is for heating coffee (or shaving) and ice breath chills champagne. At one point he even plays Pingpong with himself where he smashes the ball through a window.
  • My Beloved Smother: Ellen Lane.
  • Mythology Gag: Lots of them. (e.g., Kal-El's rocket landing in Shuster's Field, named for Supeman creator Joe Shuster; also various references to the phrase "Faster than a speeding bullet", actors from the 1950s Superman television series appearing in various episodes, and at least one nod to the cliche of Superman changing in a phone booth).
    • Lois' first guess as to the Prankster's identity is a diminutive nerd with the surname "Loomis", like his comic counterpart. In the show, however, Loomis is revealed to be just a Red Herring.
    • Once a Season, the Villain Of The Week will inquire about the logistics of Superman's tights. "When I wear my very tightest ski pants, I always get a bit... chafed. Do you find this happens to you?"
    • In "Double Jeopardy", Lois (under control of her split-personality, Wanda Detroit) works at a lounge singer at Bibbo's Ace of Clubs. Bibbo himself is played by longstanding Hey, It's That Guy! Troy Evans.
    • While serving as ruler of New Krypton, Clarks trades in his costume for a black spandex suit. It's visually identical to Superman's attire at the end of The Death of Superman series, except that his "S" emblem is now a deep blue.
    • Leslie Luckabee (aka "Lex Luthor Jr., well actually just a front man for such") claims he's been living in Australia since he was child, thus explaining his sudden reemergence. During the 90s, the comic book Lex Luthor had his brain transplanted into a younger-looking clone of himself. He then masqueraded as his own hitherto-unknown son, Lex Luthor II, complete with a false backstory about having been bred in Australia.
  • Name and Name
  • Napoleon Delusion: An informant contacts Lois with "information" about Superman, claiming he's the first wave of an alien invasion. The man's credibility suffers a bit when he claims to be Grover Cleveland.
    • A woman claming to be Mary Todd Lincoln witnesses Clark using his powers, but the situation is defused when she decides he must be General Grant reincarnated.
    • Tempus' cellmate in the asylum believes himself to be Superman, which is why Tempus makes no effort to disguise his manner of escape.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Lois discovering Perry inside Clark's closet.
    • Clark's landlady drops by his apartment just as he's grappling with Tez. When the door flings open, Tez has morphed into a blonde bombshell, and Clark is standing with his shirt torn open.
    • Perry embracing Lois -- who is disguised as a man -- in the middle of a bustling street. Oops.
  • Obligatory Joke: A captured Lois summons Superman by ringing church bells. Superman flies in with an obligatory, "You rang?"
    • Lord Nor sets the ground rules in Smallville:

 Jonathan Kent: We don't do much bowing here in Kansas.

Lord Nor: You know, I have a feeling we're Not in Kansas Anymore.

  • Obviously Evil: Lex Luthor, which works against the character somewhat as he shows that he can be genuinely decent, or pretend to be, but the show went all out to paint him as a crook, gangster, psychopath, murderer and all of the above.
  • New Neo City: New Krypton.
    • After taking over Smallville, Lord Nor re-christens Earth "New New Krypton".
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Super-memory, super-sketch drawing, super-smell, super-fingerprint analysis, and super-teleportation.
    • Jimmy becomes a Playful Hacker in Season 3, without any previous mentions of his computer wizardry.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Lord Nor's sit-down interview with Leeza Gibbons.
    • Dave Nemeth, then-reporter for Extra, turns up to report on Superman's alleged "love child".
  • Old Media Are Evil: Whether it be a Rupert Murdoch proxy, or a Career Killer posing as a TV anchorwoman, they're usually evil and out to blacken the name of the Daily Planet. Also played with in "The House of Luthor", when Lex tries wooing Lois over to his eponymous TV network.
  • Older Than They Look: Lex, since he somehow has adult children despite looking at old as Superman. Handwaved by Clark, who insists that Luthor is "a master of deception."
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Professor Jefferson Cole develops a new strain of Kryptonite which is deadly to ordinary humans. He then tunes his Weather Control Machine to rain the deadly substance on Metropolis.
    • Tempus' Plan B is to provoke a nuclear war and jump safety into another dimension, leaving Superman stranded on a dead planet.
  • The Other Darrin: The notable changeover from Michael Landis to Justin Whalin (as Jimmy Olsen). The main issue behind Landis' removal was that he looked too old to be a believable Jimmy. And though he played the comedy well, he was a bit too cool to be Clark's sidekick.
    • Lois' family is completely overhauled from Season 2 onward. Harve Presnell and Beverly Garland take over the roles of Sam and Ellen Lane, respectively (it helps that Garland looks a lot like Teri Hatcher). Lois' sister Lucy is played by two women before dropping off the map altogether.
    • Terry Kiser plays H.G. Wells in two episodes out of four, with Hamilton Camp standing in for him as an older incarnation.
    • Jor-El is played by two actors (three if you count his silhouette in "Never on Sunday").
    • Inspector (Or Detective; the show can't decide) Henderson is first played by Brent Jennings, before undergoing a Race Lift with Richard Belzer. In the fourth season, he reverts to black again, this time played by Mel Winkler.
    • In a strange case of The Other Darrin and Name's the Same, there are two version of the Toyman in this series. The first, Winslow Schott, is named after the comic book Toyman's real name and is played by Sherman Hemsley. A second villain (this time explicitly referred to as "Toyman") appears in Season Four.
    • Jon Tenny, the original actor for Ching, was unable to return for the fourth season. He is replaced by Mark Kieley in the premiere episode.
  • Original Character: A fair amount of villains, notably Tempus.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different
  • Paparazzi: Leo Nunk and his Camera Fiend sidekick. In pursuit of a scoop, he leaks the details of Lois & Clark's wedding to the villains, and gets Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.
    • In "Sex, Lies and Videotape", Lois gets swarmed by paparazzi after being accused of carrying on an affair with Superman.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Tempus munches on popcorn while watching a live feed of Lois dangling from a ledge. A callback to this occurs in Season Four, when he casually eats a banana during a nuclear launch countdown.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Three guesses as to what Lois Lane's computer password is.
  • Peace Conference: In "Chip Off the Old Clark", the Villain of the Week is hired to sabotage one of these.
    • Randy Goode torpedoes a Middle Eastern peace talk by funding a smear campaign against its negotiator, Superman himself.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Ultrawoman. Mindy is also fond of this color.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Jimmy.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Clark nearly uses his x-ray vision to cheat at poker, but Lois' admiration of Superman convinces him to do otherwise. Lois doesn't share his moral fibre; as Ultrawoman, she uses her x-ray vision to see Clark naked.
    • In "Resplendant Man", a regular Joe is granted Superman's powers. When he tracks the guy down, he finds him sitting on a building using his ex-ray vision to look through the building across the way... and into a women's locker room. Superman is not amused.
  • The Professor: Dr. Klein.
  • Psychic Link: The survivors of New Krypton all share this ability.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: James Hong's corrupt student in "Chi of Steel".
  • Put on a Bus: Lucy Lane.
    • Cat Grant, who was first established as The Rival. Justified in that The Daily Planet was closed towards the end of the first season and then reopened under new ownership and a promised overhaul of content. This would explain the absence of Jack, the orphan whom Clark recruited as a copy boy.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Clark's magic fingers can crack any password. By the time he's finished, the keyboard is usually smoking hot.
  • Real Estate Scam: Lex is revealed to be puppeteering a gang of arsonists in order to take over Metroplis' port.
    • Lois' uncle runs afoul of Bill Church by refusing to sell his café.
    • In "Ghosts" in season four, Lois and Clark are being subject to a very agressive buyer involved in one of these.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Clois takes the bullet for Superman by jumping in front of Lex's Disintegrator Ray, zapping both herself and Lex.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Invoked twice with Perry; First, when faced with the closure of the paper, and later when promoted to an executive. Both times, Perry is despondent at having nothing to do.
  • Remake Cameo: Nods to previous Superman continuity include casting Phyllis Coates as Lois's mother in "The House of Luthor", and Jack Larson as an old Jimmy Olsen in the episode "Brutal Youth". Coates played Lois Lane for the first season of The Adventures of Superman, while Larson played Jimmy throughout the series' run.
    • Leslie Luckabee is played by Patrick Cassidy. His father, Jack Cassidy, played the sleazy Max Menken in the 1966 Broadway musical, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! (In the 2010 revival, Patrick played his father's old role).
  • Required Secondary Powers: Superman's Nigh Invulnerability extending to his clothing was described in one episode using the centimeter high "invulnerability field" from the comics. His powers were actually well explained because he voluntarily had Star Labs examine him.
  • Ret Canon: During the time when Lois and Clark ran on television, the comic-book Perry White shared his TV counterpart's passion for Elvis Presley, even quoting his catchphrase.
  • Retro Universe: Metropolis is intentionally designed with this is mind.
    • "I've Got a Crush On You" goes particularly nutty with this trope. The Metro Club is swarming with mobsters and molls, all of whom speak in forties lingo, and showgirls singing WWI-era tunes.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: When Tempus goes back in time to kill Clark's infant self with kryptonite, the adult Clark begins to fade away.
    • After Superman is trapped inside Tempus' time portal, the utopian future ceases to be. This causes Andrus to vanish from existence.
  • Robot Girl: Vixen.
    • Also, Baby Guntersen.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The masked ninja in "Chi Of Steel" is revealed as Lin Chow, the granddaughter of perennial Hey, It's That Guy! James Hong.
  • Screwed by the Network: The series was actually a lock to return for a fifth season early on in the fourth, but the network wanted out (likely due to declining ratings). The series wound up being put on hiatus for a time, but when it came back, there was no promotion and ratings fell even further. Even worse, by the time cancellation was definite, the series was stuck with one heck of a loose end.
  • She's Got Legs: Lois, boy howdy.
  • Shirtless Scene: Plenty peppered throughout the series but who the hell wouldn't want to see that?
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few, especially to Batman.
    • When thinking of a secret identity to help people, Clark was trying different outfits, with each looking similar to Kraven, The Green Hornet, The Flash and Captain America.
    • Lex trained his manservant to attack him at random intervals (this time with a poisonous snake), similar to Cato.
    • Perry meets with a shadowy informant twice, spoofing All the Presidents Men both times.
    • In a reference to The Mask, Clark simply spins at superspeed to change into them to Cuban music and once satisfied, he notes "Smokin'!" before he darts off.
    • In "Man of Steel Bars", when a prisoner who still holds his present situation against the big guy starts harassing him, it degenerates into, "Look at me! I'm stepping on Superman's foot! I'm tugging on Superman's cape!", and another prisoner asks if he's going to "spit into the wind" next, in reference to Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Jim".
  • Show Within a Show: Assorted talk/news programs throughout the series, which are semi-frequently shown.
  • Shut Up, Kirk: Pretty much the gist of Tempus and H.G. Wells' repartee.

 Tempus: Herb, did your books actually sell? Because you're kind of a bore.

  • Similar Squad: Chen Chou, a reporter at the Chinatown press who looks identical to Clark. They even wear similarly tacky ties.
    • Deathstroke and his wife Carol manage to befriend Lois & Clark by posing as a suburban couple that looks, dresses, and acts exactly like them. In reality, they are more like Evil Counterparts, but the gag is repeated throughout the episode: Deathstroke lampshades the absurdity of nobody recognizing him when he wears glasses, and the couple have a revolving bookcase in their apartment concealing their lair.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: Lex in "The Foundling".
    • Roweena Johnson (Bad Brain's mother) makes her first terrifying entrance as this.
  • Sinister Subway: Lex's hideaway in Season 3 (possibly a Shout-Out to the 1978 Superman film). In Season 4, his son has an abandoned subway lair of his own, and is busy excavating Lex's collapsed hideout.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jonathan Kent. The show allowed him to live while other previous television shows and movies allowed him to die.
  • Spy Catsuit: Diana Stride (Raquel Welsh) briefly sports one.
    • Sweet Tart, Jack Olsen's treacherous sidekick.
  • Star-Making Role: For Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher.
  • Stage Magician: Of the evil variety. Penn Jillette plays a suspected terrorist (which would have been awesome), but he turns out to be a Red Herring.
    • Baron Sunday pretends to be this, but is actually a Hollywood Voodoo sorcerer.
  • Straw Vulcans: The entire New Kryptonian population.
  • Stock Footage: "Chip Off the Old Clark" has footage of a missile launch.
    • In "Super Mann", Those Wacky Nazis awaken from their slumber just in time to see Superman catch a falling billboard. Since it's a Flash Back, the footage is ripped straight from the pilot episode (when Dean Cain had longer hair).
  • Supervillain Lair: Both Lex Luthor and Intergang have these.
  • Super Speed Reading
  • Swiss Cheese Security: STAR Labs on a regular basis.
  • The Syndicate: Intergang.
  • Team Dad: Perry.
  • The Teaser: Sometimes they had an opening gag with Clark doing something and mildly showing his powers. One in particular had him accidentally coming across Bo Jackson and playing basketball with him. Jackson was completely dominating him until Clark decided to do a slam dunk from half-way across the court.

 "Bo don't know how to do that..."

  • Terminator Twosome: H.G. Wells and Tempus.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: One particular episode has Clark whistling the theme tune.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Jonathan Kent admits he once had these fear about Clark, but overcomes them. The Alternate Universe Clark isn't so lucky, as his fiancé Lana Lang is constantly reminding him of this as a bullying tactic.
  • Those Two Guys: Perry and Jimmy. (See "Leaning on the Fourth Wall")
  • Traveling At the Speed of Plot: Superman is seen flying to places like Japan and Switzerland to fetch food for Lois, arriving back in Metropolis a few seconds later. In "Chip Off the Old Clark", however, he has 15 seconds to get to Eastern Europe to intercept a nuclear missile, but announces he won't get there in time. Instead, he tunnels directly through the Earth because it's quicker...?
  • Trigger Phrase: Used a few times. In "Illusion of Grandeur", a stage magician hypnotizes Perry into exclaiming "That's brilliant" whenever Jimmy says anything. In the same episode, the Villain Of The Week uses the trigger phrase "The moon and the stars" to manipulate others, including Superman.
    • In "Target: Jimmy Olsen", the titular character is programmed into a Manchurian Agent who tries to kill Lois.
  • Trophy Wife: Subverted when the seeming trophy wife of Intergang's boss swiftly takes over and proves to be her husband's equal in brains and ruthlessness after he is imprisoned.
  • True Meaning of Christmas: Dean Cain played Clark as a big kid who is completely gaga about Christmas, in contrast to Lois who sees only commercialism.
  • Trust Password: In his first appearance, H.G. Wells proves his identity by whispering "I know you're Superman, and I need your help."
    • Clark later proves he's the "real" Superman to Lois by nameing his favorite film, which is (what else?) To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Lois, Clark, and Superman start off this way (one of the show's original taglines/descriptions was "A Love Triangle for Two"), but when Lois finally figures out Clark is Superman, it solves that problem. It later comes back to bite them when someone gets pictures of Superman and Lois together in bed, and this trope is in play again as everyone assumes Lois is cheating on her husband.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife / The Vamp: Mindy, the trophy wife of Bill Church. She's later revealed to be Obfuscating Stupidity, as she arranges for the downfall of both Church and Church Jr. before taking control of Intergang for herself.
  • The Unseen: Alice, Perry's oft-referenced wife. Her face is constantly hidden via camera angles, objects and/or smoke, other people's heads, etc. That is until the penultimate episode of the whole series ("Toy Story"), when she is finally seen.
    • And looks nothing like her double. Oh well.
    • "Long Legs" Lulu gets this treatment for attempting to warn Lois about Intergang. Her nickname is apt, since all Lois finds is a pair of stiletto-clad legs sticking out of a trashbin.
    • For some reason, Long Legs Lulu shows up frequently in fanfics.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Lex, obviously. Most of Intergang's sleeper agents fit this trope.

  Tempus: I am the most popular President the world has ever known! Even Reagan in his heydey couldn't have gotten away with this. (pushes bodyguard out a window)

  • Villain Of The Week
  • Villainous Crush: A.K.A. a day in the life of Lois Lane.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Church family, who own a series of monolithic Wal-Mart type stores and give money to the needy.
  • Villains Blend in Better: Alternate-Earth's Metropolis goes to hell after the arrival of Tempus, who gets himself elected Mayor and removes all gun regulations. Cue the chaos. Conversely, Lois and Clark have trouble just ordering a drink in 1866.
  • Wait Here: Lois never does.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Perry, a rabid Elvis nut, often inserts the King's song titles into his lines.
    • After being jailed for violating an injunction against using his powers, Superman shares a cell with a criminal he recently apprehended. The moron can't resist an obvious joke:

 "Hey, I tugged on Superman's cape!"

 Lex: Have you ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War?

Monique: I'm waiting for the Reader's Digest version.

 D.A. Clemmons: I suggest you keep your emotions in check, Mr Kent. You obviously have no idea who you're dealing with, here.

Clark: Yeah, neither do you.

  • You Look Familiar: In the first season, Leslie Jordan plays a scientist who invents an Invisibility Cloak. He returns the next season as Resplendent Man.
    • He's not the only one. A number of character actors turned up in different roles throughout the series. Lois' mafioso friend in "Foundling" ('I know guys who know guys') turned up a few episodes later as a harried gunshop owner.


Season One Edit

  • Adults Are Useless: Lampshaded throughout "Smart Kids". Lois takes one of the high-IQ orphans under her custody, hoping to pump her for information ("The day I can't outsmart an 11-year-old is the day I hang up my press pass!"). A scene later, Lois is helplessly tied up with rope.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In "Smart Kids", Lois' influence rubs off on Clark, who swipes incriminating evidence out from under a suspect's nose. Lois squees when she finds out. Really.
  • Amnesia Danger / How Do I Shot Web?: In trying to intercept an asteroid, Superman is slammed back to Earth -- with amnesia. When Clark is wandering around, his parents find him and try to get him to remember he is Superman. Of course, Jonathan Kent can't really explain how he can uses his flying ability ("You just... will it to happen?")
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Clark, though he immediately backpedals from it.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: As Lex takes his leave of Superman, leaving him to die in a krpytonite cage, Lex seems to have second thoughts.

 "But am I making a mistake? Will the pain of losing the challenge that you represent be worse than the pain of constantly losing to you? [beat] Nah.

  • The Ark: Lex unveils a giant Fallout-esque vault to survive the coming asteroid. One of the rooms is an exact replica of Lois' apartment, in an effort to woo her to join him.
    • Larry Smiley insists that couples in his retreat adopt animal names, symbolic of the primal urge to mate and further the species." Larry wants two of every kind.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Superman is subpenoed by the city to attend a hearing to discuss whether there should be an injunction enjoining him from using his powers, pending further scientific study on the cause of the unseasonal heat wave. Superman agrees to try to refrain from using of his superpowers. Naturally, he ends up stopping a crime before he even leaves the building. Everybody cheers - except the judge, who has him arrested. D'oh.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Clark, when asked about his date to Luthor's charity ball. He rails on about Lois being "complicated, domineering, uncompromising, pig headed, ...brilliant."
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The Planet's star reporters and Bureau 39 each drop in on Smallville during its annual corn festival.

 Clark: We'll get to see the Corn Queen Pageant, the Huskoff, the Corn-o-Rama, popcorn, cream corn, corn on the cob. We are in luck.

Lois Oh, be still my heart.

    • Lois later refers to what she sees here as "ritual crop worship."
    • This was later referenced on Smallville; before Kal-El's arrival via spaceship, the town proudly calls itself the "creamed corn capital of the World!" In the ensuing years, this was altered to "meteor capitol of the world."
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Lois is forced to wear a sexy(?) chicken outfit while working undercover at the Metro Club. The other dancers' outfits are no improvement, with each representing a farm animal while a showgirl sings "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm."
  • Bachelor Auction: "I'm Looking Through You" features one of these, with both Lex and Superman being bid on for dates. Cat Grant and Lois make dueling bids on Superman, before a third woman bids $5,000. This is five times what Lex was bought for, much to his resentment.
  • Bad Boss: Lex Luthor, natch.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lois does this when she shows up at Clark's apparentment in "Pheremone, My Lovely", while infleuenced by a perfume that has caused her to loose all inhibitions.
  • The Baroness: Lex Luthor's "personal assistant", Mrs. Cox. Think Pam Grier with a machine gun.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed / Disney Villain Death: Lex, rather than face prison.
  • Big Bad: Billionaire Lex Luthor, as long as he still had hair...
  • Big No: Superman's reaction to hearing Lois accept Lex's proposal of marriage. He super-speeds to the Andes and lets out a scream.
  • Bling Bling Bang: Lex carries a solid gold handgun.
  • A Bloody Mess: In "Smart Kids", Clark outwits a bunch of child prodigies who blackmail him with the knowledge that he's Superman. He fools them by pretending to cut his finger while eating, using a ketchup packet to simulate blood.
  • Bond One-Liner: Lex is fond of this trope.
  • Book Ends: Season One begins with Lex boasting about his building being the tallest in Metropolis, and how everyone must gaze up to see him. He ends up leaping from the roof in the season finale.
    • Ironic Echo: During Clark's first meeting with Lex as "Superman", he tells him that "If you want to find me, all you have to do is look up." Earlier, Lex had expressed pride in the size of his skyscraper, boasting that everyone in the city must gaze up in order to see him.
  • The Boxing Episode: In "Requiem for a Superhero", Luthor creates a cyborg prizefighter who he believes can take on Superman. The boxer delivers a punch that staggers Superman. For a moment it looks like Superman is actually on the ropes, but then he simply flicks the boxer in the forehead and knocks him out.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Superman takes a crash course in kung fu to face off against a martial artist who stole a mystical artifact which multiplied his strength.
  • Brainless Beauty: Cat Grant.
  • Brawn Hilda: Played for laughs in "Smart Kids" when the four child prodigies drain Lex's giant bank account. When payment comes due, Lex's German masseuse angrily crushes his credit card in her hand. Eek.
  • Bridal Carry: While posing as newlyweds, Clark nearly (and repeatedly) drops Lois to the floor while trying to conceal his strength.
  • Cloning Blues: Superman's clone suffers from a short lifespan, and dies shortly after his Heel Face Turn. A similar fate befalls Lois's clone.
  • Creative Differences: Deborah Joy LeVine, developer of the series, didn't want Clark and Lois to get married until the Series Finale; ABC felt otherwise, resulting in her being kicked off the show at the end of season 1.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Lex, in colorful terms, explains why his clone Superman can beat the real thing: "Because if it means the difference between winning and losing, he'll pick up a passenger train filled with people and use it to bash Superman's skull in."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lois spends the bulk of "I'm Looking Through You" complaining that Superman has sold out and gone commercial. When Clark later surprises Lois in her apartment, she's wearing a Superman t-shirt under her jammies.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: In "Fly Hard," a group of terrorists storm the Daily Planet after hours, taking Lois, Clark, Lex, and Jack (another Daily Planet coworker) hostage. Clark has to figure out how to overpower the terrorists without revealing his secret identity.
  • Casting Gag: Metropolis' Mayor is played by Sonny Bono, quoting his songs and all, who was the Mayor of Palm Springs at the time (later to become a Congressman).
  • Catapult Nightmare: Early in the series, Clark has a nightmare of his co-workers all wearing Superman paraphernalia and cackling insanely at him.
  • The Cavalry: Moments before Clark (weakened by Kryptonite) is killed, Smallville's Sheriff rolls in and fatally shoots Trask.
    • Sheriff Rachael is hinted to have an unrequited schoolgirl crush on Clark, so threatening him was probably a bad idea.
    • More than hinted, especially as Rachael Harris is the show's equivalent of Lana Lang, after they were unable to gain permission to use that name/character.(Although, they were able to use a version of Lana in a later season.)
  • Contagious Powers: Superman accidentally swaps his powers with regular people on several occasions, usually as the result of Lightning Can Do Anything. In Season 3, red kryptonite has this (unintended) effect on Lois, turning her into Ultrawoman.
  • Challenging the Chief: Toni Taylor ejects her brother, leader of the Metro Gang, after he proves too stubborn to adapt to legitimate business. This turns out to have been a tad hypocritical, as Toni was working with Luthor all burn down Metropolis' waterfront properties.
  • Child Prodigy: The eponymous three orphans in "Smart Kids".
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: This is actually what Clark is labelled with, after he was hit by as car and later as Superman tries to destroy an asteroid, losing his memory.
  • Comically Missing the Point: From "Man of Steel Bars":

 Lois: Did you really think I hadn't figured out what it was with you and Superman?

Clark: What do you mean?

Lois: You idolize the man, Clark!

    • "Requiem For a Superhero":

  Lex: It's always such an embarrassment, having to do away with someone. It's like announcing to the world that you lack the savvy and the finesse to deal with the problem more creatively. I mean, there have been times, naturally, when I've had to have people eliminated, but it's always saddened me. I've always felt like I've let myself down somehow.

  • Confessional: With Superman is still missing, and a failed attempt by the military to destroy the asteroid with nuclear missiles, Cat Grant goes to confessional.

 "Bless me father for I have sinned. ...And sinned....and sinned..."

 Lex: And then the Wolf said to Little Red Riding Hood: "Are you sure the policy is in your name?"

 Perry: What happened to that mood piece I gave you about the razing of that old theater on Forty-Second Street?

Lois: I wasn't in the mood.

 Lex: Superman has morals. He has ethics. He is unrelentingly good. Because of that, I will win.

  • Gas Leak Coverup: When Clark inquires into the whereabouts of Pa Kent's friend, who mysteriously vanished after discovering a green rock he instead finds the EPA digging up his property for "ground water contamination".
  • General Ripper: Jason Trask.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When Luthor's accomplice in "Smart Kids" starts having a panic attack at the thought of being exposed, Luthor smacks him a good one. He seems to enjoy it just the tiniest bit, too.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: "Honeymoon In Metropolis".
  • A Glass of Chianti: Lex gives a nice soliloquy about wine in "The House of Luthor".
  • Going Critical / Instant Cooldown: Luthor's brand-new nuclear plant ("Man of Steel Bars").
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Lex Luthor is rich and badass, and therefore smokes cigars.
    • After sending Bill Church and his son to the slammer, the new chairman of Intergang -- Mindy -- is seen smoking a stogie.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Bureau 39
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: While convering a story at a sports gym, Clark tries to impress Lois by listing a string of boxing statistics -- all of which Lois casually shoots down, like she's The Rainman of sports trivia. This is a segue to revealing that Dr. Sam Lane, a renowned figure in sports medicine, is Lois' father ("Requiem for a Superhero").
  • Groupie Brigade: Superman freaks out and runs away when a mob of fangirls chase him into a dead-end alley ("I'm Looking Though You").
  • Hall of Mirrors: The climax of "Illusions of Grandeur" takes place in one.
  • Have We Met Yet?: "Tempus Fugitive", in which Clark time travels to Smallville circa 1966, meets his parents (before the fact), and subsequently helps them adopt his infant self.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Clark does this upon seeing a nude portrait of his mother in "Ides of Metropolis." He's pretty disturbed.
    • Happens again in "Pheromone, My Lovely", when Clark overhears Cat Grant getting serviced by a repairman.
  • Hobos: Clark mistakingly reveals his flying ability to a hobo in the Pilot Episode. Luckily, the man is either drunk or very, very drowsy, so Clark slips him a $5 and goes about his way.

 "You must be some kinda angel, brother!"

  • I Can't Take It Anymore: In "Pheromone, My Lovely", Clark repeatedly turns down Lois' sexual advances (including dressing up as a Belly Dancer) on the grounds that she's under the influence of a powerful pheromone. Finally, he cracks. By this time, however, Lois has regained her senses.

 Lois: Clark! Have you lost your mind?! (glances down at outfit) ..Or have I lost mine?

  • I Know You Know I Know: Perry's memorable exchange with Lois/Clark in "The Ides of Metropolis".
  • I Love the Smell of X In the Morning: Perry: "I love the smell of fear in the newsroom."
  • ISO Standard Urban Groceries: Lois' arms are full with "Metro Mart" bags when she trips on her apartment stairs, to the cackling laughter of the Smart Kids.
  • The Infiltration: Clark pretends to defect to the Daily Planet's competitor, the Star, after the latter begins instigating disasters to increase circulation ("The Rival").
  • Just Think of the Potential: Sam Lane's cybernetic limbs were originally intended for handicapped people, the good of mankind yada yada etc. But unstoppable armies of killing machines are good, too.
  • Kick the Dog: Oh that Lex Luthor, he's incorrigible. A running gag throughout Season 1 is Lex's over-the-top animal cruelty, usually in the form of recreational hobbies. In "Neverending Battle", he's shown playing with pet hawk, Faust, while ordering him to go kill pigeons.
    • Following the awards ceremony for Superman in "I'm Looking Through You", Lex decides the best way to cheer himself up is to go hunt alligators in the Everglades; he later returns wearing alligator skin boots.
    • Lastly, in "Man of Steel Bars", Lex readies his power plant to empty boiling-hot water into Metropolis Bay. Even his butler, Nigel, thinks this is a bit extreme given that it would cause an ecological disaster; Lex shrugs this off, since there's "Plenty of fish in the sea, Nigel."
  • Latex Perfection: Lex's Body Double.
    • He pulls this trick again while kidnapping Lois.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The Metro Club.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: The Metropolis Star - "We Make Things Happen."
  • Love Is in the Air: In "Pheromone, My Lovely", a Woman Scorned sprays the Daily Planet's offices with this. When this fails to get desired results, she hijacks a crop dusting aircraft and nearly pollutes the whole city with it.
  • Meet Cute: Lois and Clark don't actually hit it off at first. Partly because he got hired by reporting on a story which she refused to cover.
  • Money to Throw Away: In perhaps his one Pet the Dog moment, Lex flicks dollar bills into the fireplace. He's realized he's in love with Lois Lane'.

 "I'm doomed."

  • Mrs. Hypothetical: On the eve of Lois' wedding to Lex, she stands in front a mirror in her wedding dress, reciting her new surname. None of the name variations sound very apealling. Finally, she settles on, "Lois Lane...Kent."
  • Ms. Fanservice: There is hardly a scene where Cat is not trying to seduce somebody, holding a phallic symbol, wearing revealing clothes, or saying lines dripping with sexual innuendo.
  • Never Found the Body: Lex.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Lois hides behind a magzine while eavesdropping on Linda King's flirtations with Clark. It fails.

 "Bye, Lois."

  • Not a Date: In the Pilot, Lois needs an escort to avoid going to Luthor's party alone. After exhausting all of her other alternatives, she picks Clark.

 Clark: So, this would be like a date?

Lois: A date? Oh, you mean like in Smallville, where you meet my parents and try to give me a hickey behind the dairy freeze. No, this is not a date.

  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Lois is distracted on the way home after an evening out with Lex Luthor. When she doesn't respond to his comments about the production of Othello they just saw, Lex says, "Did you know that Shakespeare didn't write Othello, it was actually written by Dr. Seuss?" Lois just nods and says "Mm-hm".
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Clark glowingly describes Smallville in these terms, right before a black ops team rolls in with their humvees and meteor rocks. D'oh!
  • Nuclear Physics Goof: In "Man of Steel Bars", Superman races to stop Luthor's newly-inaugurated power plant from going online, knowing that it's rigged to melt down. He alerts the authorities to shut it off, but it can't be done. Lex claims that not being able to shut down the reactor once it began its start up sequence was a 'safety feature'.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Lex cracking jokes with a prone mook in "Smart Kids". The shot pans over to the mook, revealing a funnel has been strapped to his mouth, and a vegetative state-inducing chemical poured into it. Lex reaches over and turns the funnel upside down, making it resemble a clown hat.
  • Open-Heart Dentistry: Lex is shot in the shoulder by one of the armed hostage-takers. Unable to reveal his identity to his co-workers, Clark is forced to cauterize the wound with an "herbal remedy" utilizing random crap lying around the office, such as tea bags, orange juice, and chewing gum.
  • Open Mouth Insert Foot: Lois scoffs at Clark's assertion that the folks of Smallville are all "normal", pointing out that the fat guy running the barbecue (Howdy, Pa Kent!) is probably a crossdresser.
    • Then when they go to Clark's home Lois makes a comment about needing to send a fax, going into a condescending dialogue on what a fax is, until Martha shows Lois the fax machine.
  • Overused Running Gag: Clark and Lois lobbing sports metaphors at each other, beginning with Lois' quip that she's in a better position to "score". i.e. take credit for a story. At the end, they blessedly lampshade the repetitiveness of this.

 Lois: You know, I'm getting really tired of fumbling around with these sports metaphors.

Clark: Me, too. I pass.

    • In "Foundling", Perry sits down next to a troubled Lois, who tells him to "lay it on me." But the sage Editor-in-chief is oddly reticent.

 Perry: Oh. I suppose you expect me to pry into your life to try and find out what's bothering you and then relate it to some obscure event in the life of Elvis Presley. Well I-- I'm just not gonna do that.

Lois: Why not?

Perry: Well, for one thing, any connection I made would probably be vague and not particularly useful. And for another, if I did that, it would seem like I cared more about telling my story than helping you with your problem.

  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: Lex, after gunning down a mercenary and commenting on the kryptonite in his pocket.
  • Outrun the Fireball: In the Pilot episode (and the Title Sequence), Clark outruns a fireball while carrying Lois and Jimmy. Of course, he's Superman.
  • Paranoia Gambit: In retaliation for Lois stealing his story and submitting it under her name, Clark scribbles a phony map to Superman's "spaceship" and leaves it on his desk for Lois to find. Later, Lois returns from her little expedition, covered in mud and carrying the broken heel of her shoe. The only thing Lois found down there was the "Metropolis Sewer Reclamation Facility", and a Godzilla doll dressed up like Superman. (Earlier, Jimmy had said that Godzilla was the only one who could teach Lois a lesson.)
  • Parody Names: One of the Smart Kids' pranks involves hacking every ATM in the city, making them dispense candy-colored "Metropoly" money.
  • Password Slot Machine: Superman did it at least twice - once with Citizen Kane (the bad guy's favorite film), and another time with a word he knew was related to Norse mythology.
  • Pyromaniac: The "Toasters" consists of a whole gang of these.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Lex Luthor was demoted from being a regular character after John Shea got tired of commuting between New York and L.A. for shooting.
  • Recycled Set: "Smallville" is pretty obviously a redressed Metropolis set.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Nobody has ever from resigned from Bureau 39 and lived -- at least to hear Trask tell it.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Inverted. Clark, stricken with kryptonite radiation, laments that he could lift a space shuttle a few weeks ago (in the Pilot).
  • Ring Ring CRUNCH: In "Pheromone My Lovely", Clark is awakened by his alarm clock and accidentally flattens it with a single bash.
  • The Rival: The eponymous episode has Linda King, Lois' archenemy from a competing newspaper. Dan Scardino later becomes this to Clark.
  • Romantic False Lead: Lex Luthor in the first season was an item with Lois. That didn't work out? Gee willikers.
  • Saw Star Wars 27 Times: Perry saving a life-size cutout of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark from the trash bin. "Jimmy, she's the reason why I've seen Godzilla 115 times."
  • A Shared Suffering: Clark suggests that "Superman" is sad that Bizarro Superman is gone, because it might have been nice for Superman to have a brother.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Inverted. After being dragged (kicking and screaming) to the Smallville corn festival and mixing with the locals, Lois resurfaces wearing a purple prairie dress. The expression on Clark's face goes, "Yowza."
  • Showgirl Skirt: Subverted in "I've Got A Crush On You" - Lois' big number involves feathers and a rooster hat.
  • So Was X: Inverted - Clark tries to appeal to Perry White's "higher authority" to persuade the pheromone-addled editor not to poke his cleaning lady.

 Clark: Elvis never cheated on Priscilla!

Perry: He never met Rehalia!

  You'd like that, wouldn't you? Me, home alone, in a schlumpy robe, crying into a tub of Rocky Road? In your dreams, Kent.

  • There Is Only One Bed: Enjoy the couch, Clark.
  • Third Person Person: Clark's parents are mildly alarmed when he starts referring to Superman in this manner.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The Invisible Man and his wife.
  • Trash the Set: The Daily Planet building gets dynamited at the end of Season 1, then rebuilt with an expanded newsroom set.
  • Twice-Told Tale: "All Shook Up" has basically the same plot as the episode "Panic In The Sky" from the 1950s series The Adventures of Superman. In both episodes Superman loses his memory while trying to stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth. Lois, Jimmy, and Perry find Clark and try to help him regain his memory. Meanwhile, the asteroid is still out there and still a threat to life on Earth, so Superman must regain his memory quickly in order to stop it once and for all.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Lex's buyout of The Daily Planet.
  • Wakeup Makeup: Used as a story point in the episode where Lois and Clark are undercover as newly weds: the gorgeous Teri Hatcher and clean-shaven Adonis Dean Cain complimenting each other on how "decent" they look in the morning. Grumble...
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Lois and Det. Reed are tossed into a garbage compacter.
  • Victory Is Boring: Lex is so bored with his wealth and prestige, he has servants attacking him with snakes. The original script also had Lex escaping from shark tanks and the like.
  • We Have Those, Too: Lois puts her foot in her mouth when she starts explaining to Martha Kent was a fax machine is.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Perry lampshades this in "The Rival", when presented with a mundane headline announcing a water shortage.

 Perry: (holds up front page) What's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture. The problem is that we have no picture. Superman is the biggest story of the day. Now, can someone please explain this to me?

Jimmy: Well, Chief, the first diagram illustrates the amount of rainfall we've been getting this year, and the pie chart--

  • Would Hurt a Child: After using orphans as lab rats for his IQ-boosting serum, Luthor orders that the children be rounded up to test the absorption rates. His neurologist toady reminds him that such a test would require vivisection. Awesome. Lex is OK with that. "You can't make chicken soup without plucking a few chickens."
  • Wrong Guy First: Lois nearly marries Lex Luthor. Good grief.
  • X Days Since...: Happens non-comedically. The counter at a base is reset to zero because of something happening in the episode.
  • Xanatos Gambit: When their scheme falls through, Lex betrays his associate by shooting him just as he's about to kill Lois ("Requiem For A Superman"). When Superman shows up, Lois instead runs over to Lex, all, "How can I thank you, you mysterious black clad hunk of a night thing?" Lex kisses Lois' hand, then turns and makes a crack to Superman about how lucky it was that one of them got there in time.
    • Superbly done in "I've Got a Crush On You". Luthor's business partner is now in jail, but that's one less cut of the profits, Amirite? Metropolis harbor is all his. As an added bonus, Lex plans to reverse-engineer the Toasters' flame guns for later use.
  • Zorro Mark: The Toasters leave their mark on the Metro Club in "I've Got A Crush On You".


Season Two Edit

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Inverted with Veronica. She's actually kind of dishy, but her voice could shatter glass.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Mayson Drake.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Clark is confused by a Lois double who dencounces him at an Anti-Superman rally. He is later skimming a psychology textbook in an effort to try to understand Lois' behavor (Freud is on the cover).
  • Alliterative Name: William Wallace Webster Waldecker (aka "Resplendent Man").
  • Always Camp: The French Jerk party coordinator in "That Old Gang of Mine".
  • Always Someone Better: Tempus quotes this to Jesse James before demonstrating his modern day automatic pistol.
  • Apologetic Attacker: In a saloon in 1866 Smallville, Tempus is elated to meet his "inspiration", Jesse and Frank James. Until he robs thenm.
  • Armchair Psychology: After being exposed to red kyrptonite, the Man of Steel ends up on the therapist's couch. Lois doesn't fare better.

 Lois: The last psychiatrist that I saw had an exact double of me made and tried to have me killed.

Dr. Friskin: How did that make you feel?

 Tempus: I don't belong here! I'm from the future! I have to get out of here so I can build another time machine! Hey! Anybody listening to me?

 "Gold card? {{[[[Sniff Sniff Nom]] nom nom}}) Like hell it is."

  • Bodyguard Babes: Lenny Stoke has two of these.
  • Brand X: Golden Springs beer, the telling clue to a killer's identity! Or something.

 Lois: Clark, this isn't just any beer!

Clark: I know, it goes with "sun and good times!"

  • Brainless Beauty: While on the rebound from Lois, Clark gets roped into dating Veronica, a dim museum attendant.* Broke Episode: During a citywide blackout, Perry orders everybody to prepare tomorrow's edition using old-school printing presses. It pays off, and the Planet is the only paper with a new issue that following morning.
  • Cat Fight / Mirror Match: Lois and her doppelgänger in "Madame Ex". The encounter starts out polite enough, but quickly escalates when the impostor insults Lois' fashion sense. Let the hair-pulling commence.
  • Cement Shoes: Al Capone prefers doing things the old-fashioned way.
  • Changed My Jumper: Lois' business attire doesn't fly in 1866, where she's referred to as "the naked lady".

  Lois: I'm not naked. These are just new fashions from... France.

  • Chekhov's Exhibit: A collection of armor belonging to the Roman Emperor Claudius. The emeralds are spolia taken from one of Claudius' campaigns; the villain needs them to reassemble an evil Irish artifact.
  • Cloning Blues: Somehow, a scientist decides it would be a smart idea to clone Al Capone.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: The premise of "Whine, Whine, Whine" is that Superman saves a musician from being crushed by a falling amplifier... only to have the resucee sue him for "spraining" his arm. The rest of the episode features a lot of Ambulance Chasers trying to cash in. At the trial, the court room is rigged with a C12 bomb, and Superman bursts through the ceiling to fly off with it, saving everyone... and the musician claims to have gone blind from getting plaster dust in his eyes. Finally his wife gets fed up, reveals that he's just pretending to be injured, and dumps him in front of the entire court.
  • Cool Guns: Tempus is anxious to try out the various forms of crime in the 90s. He makes a beeline straight for a gun store to pick up a Desert Eagle and Beretta.

 Tempus: Don't I know you?

Lois: I don't think so. Most of my friends are pro-gun control.

  Lex: If you cross me, Bender, I will cut open your chest, and sew up a rat inside.

 Lois: Hi! I just thought I'd give you girls a tip. Lenny told me he really likes his women to be...well... how should I put this? 'Smaller than your average milk cow? [...] Should I be using smaller words? [run away]

  • Delivery Guy: Superman, prompting the father to exclaim, "I've just thought of the perfect name."
  • Directed by Cast Member: "Season's Greedings",was directed by Dean Cain. His real-life mother, actress Sharon Thomas, has a brief cameo as the customer who gets into a fistfight with Lois over a toy doll.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jesse James, after getting outgunned by Tempus.

 Frank James: Jesse, it happens to every man once in awhile.

Jesse James: Not to me!

Frank James: Look, it's not your fault. His was just plain bigger.

Jesse James: Size never made no difference before.

Frank James: You gotta get your mind off this Jesse, or it could affect your future performance.

  • Dragon Ascendant: Nigel.
  • Drugged Lipstick: To be more specific, kryptonite lipstick. Diana Stride plants some on Superman after applying it.
  • Empty Quiver: In "Lucky Leon", Superman is duped into diverting a nuclear warhead straight into the hands of Intergang.
  • Eye Beams: Patrick Sullivan gains these after donning his cursed mask.
  • Fantastic Aesop: In "The Eyes Have It", evil scientists try to reclaim a device which implants the entire sum of human knowledge into one's brain. The device is later destroyed (forever?), something Perry remarks on as a "good thing".
  • Foot Popping: In mid-air, no less
  • Foreign Cuss Word: When Clark arrives at Lois' apartment for Christmas dinner, she proclaims "You are going to get stuffed!" The line made quite a stir in Australia.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Granted, they've been trying to get together for a while now, but Clark proposes to Lois pretty soon after they start dating.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: "Chi of Steel" revolves around indentured labor, mystical bracelets that allow the wearer to pwn Superman and a Chinese Expy of Clark.
  • Get Back to the Future: "Tempus Fugitive":

  Tempus: Well, Lois Lane, independent career woman of the 1990s, you're about to be stranded in 1866, without the right to vote, own property or write for a great Metropolitan newspaper! God, I love irony.

  • He Knows Too Much: The plastic surgeon responsible for the Lois Lane lookalike. Ariana Carlin compliments his brilliance by declaring that "The world will truly miss you.", then shoots him.
  • High Altitude Interrogation: Superman to John Dillinger (or his clone, anyway).
  • His Name Is: Bill Church's lawyer is about to finger his boss as the head of Intergang--unaware that Church is listening in. One remote control button push later, and blammo.
  • Hologram: Upon being 'outed' as Superman by Diana Stride, Clark uses a hologram of himself in the Superman outfit to baffle everyone at a press conference. Ma and Pa Kent lend their support.

 Jonathan: Oh boy. What am I doing playin' with lasers on a farm?

Martha: You're helping our son! Now get your telemetry straight.

  • Hopeless Suitor: Mayson Drake and Dan Scardino.
    • Maybe those two should have hooked up instead. (It practically writes itself!)
  • Hospital Hottie: Diana Stride, in one of her many disguises.
  • Human Sacrifice: Lois' ex-boyfriend from Ireland has this in mind for her.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Mayson entering the newsroom and yelling "Stop the presses!" A nonplussed Lois points out that nobody ever says that.
  • I Don't Like You and You Don't Like Me: Lois and Mayson Drake in "Hot Copy".
  • I'm Standing Right Here: "Luthor was a lowlife, scum-sucking criminal! How could anybody like that guy? [beat] Sorry, Lois."
  • Impersonating an Officer: Intergang threatens to kill Superman's friends if he shows his cape in their territory. But they didn't mention anything about him dressing as a cop instead.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time: Clark's response after being called out by Lois for having a secret identity.
  • It's All Junk: Clark surprises Lois with a batch yellow flowers ( "yellow is for friendship". This after the Prankster had been sending her using romantic gifts as Trojan Horses for his crimes, and to make her miserable. Lois assumes the flowers are another trap, and bins them immediately.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: A robotic beetle used by Intergang to eavesdrop on nosy reporters. As well as attract heat-seeking missiles.
  • Magic Brakes: Subverted. Jimmy frantically tries to slow his runaway car, until Superman swoops in and.... simply turns off the ignition.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: The imposter hired to frame Lois.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Tempus' plot to kill Clark as a baby.
  • Mirror Scare: In "The Source", a whistleblower has tried to dodge Lois by faking his death. He's brushing his teeth in front of the bathroom mirror, opens it to get mouthwash, closes it and sees in the reflection something truly terrifying: A very pissed off Lois. Interestingly, this is also a reference to Lois figuring out he faked his death by the fact that he took his toothbrush.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Bill Church's Jr.'s reaction to his father announcing that he wants to dismantle Intergang. That's a good one!
  • Never Be a Hero: A diminutive loser gains Clark's superpowers and decides to adopt the moniker of "Resplendent Man" and save people... for money. Usually haggling over the price with the victim while they were still in danger, and seeing nothing wrong with this because, hey, your own life's gotta be worth a lot, right? When Superman shows up and rescues the victim, Resplendent Man berates him for "horning in on his territory". In the end he loses his powers again and status quo is reasserted with an aesop: it takes more than superpowers to make a hero.
  • New Age Retro Hippie: Molly Flynn, a computer genius turned sage-burning Luddite.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Following his return, Lex promptly gets backstabbed and usurped his former butler, Nigel. Nigel defects over to Intergang for little while, but is poisoned by an accomplice.
  • Not Himself: Red kryptonite makes Superman unconcerned with doing his job.
  • Note to Self:: Before losing her memory at the end of "Tempus Fugitive" Lois leaves herself a note reading "CLARK KENT IS SUPERMAN". Clark manages to intercept it, though.
  • Off on a Technicality: "Baby Rage", a street punk who happens to share legal represented with Intergang.
  • Opposites Attract Revenge: Lois, fed up with Clark's frequent 'disappearances', rebounds by dating Dan Scardino. Clark is left free to be pursued by the screechy Veronica Kipling; he definitely got the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
  • Parody Episode: "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape", in which Lois/Clark have alternating nightmares set in the worlds of I Love Lucy (with Clark as Desi Arnaz), James Bond (Lois as the faux Bond Girl Miss Goodbottom), and Dragnet (Perry as Joe Friday).
  • The Plague: In "Resurrection", a lunatic plans to unleash a bio-weapon on Metropolis as payback for being fired from STAR Labs.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Perry can only express it toward Jimmy through sports metaphors. Observe.
  • Remember the New Guy?: "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape" introduces Bad Brain Johnson, an escaped criminal who blames Lois and Clark for his conviction -- which was never shown. Yet the episode treats Bad Brain as a returning villain.
    • In fact, viewers can be forgiven for assuming they either missed that episode or completely forgot about him.
  • Reset Button: Lois briefly learns Clark's secret identity in "Tempus Fugutive", before an end-of-episode memory wipe.
  • Ripped From the Phone Book: Clark complains about people who do this in "Madame Ex." Lois, who isn't listening, immediately rips out the page they need.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Jason Mayzik reveals that he got rich by bumping off his dad.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Tim and Amber Lake.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: Perry White has a membership with one of these. Lois objects to the club as a matter of principle, and manages to sneak in with a wig and mustache.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Hyper-allergic Dr. Hamilton gives himself and Lois away whilst hiding in a closet (Bonnie Parker's perfume set his sinuses off).
  • The Speechless: Danielle, a traumatized orphan. Naturally, she finds her voice again by the end of the story.
  • A Spot of Tea: Lenny Stoke requests one while preparing a deadly sonic wave.
  • Subliminal Advertising: Ariana Carlin's newspaper column, in which the first letter of each sentence forms an acrostic ("SUPERMAN IS EVIL").
  • Timeline-Altering MacGuffin: Tempus' diary, which reveals Superman's secret identity.
  • Time Stands Still: The Prankster's flashy gadget does this.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Diana Stride's henchman, Rolf.

  "Oh. Am I....in trouble? Are you going to...punish me?"


Season Three Edit

  • Affably Evil: Larry Smiley. I mean, really, it's impossible to dislike him, even with the whole nuttier-than-squirrel-shit build-an-Ark-and-flood-the-Earth thing.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In "Seconds", Lex weakens Clark with a "matter disintegrator", then orders him to beg for mercy while holding his parents at gunpoint.

 Lex: That's good. You grovel with style, and that's important. Because I'm going to tell every criminal in the world who you are, and I'm going to give them the design of this weapon, your parents' address, and you're going to spend the rest of your life running...or hiding! And believe me, they're both equally humiliating.

  • Alien Abduction: Subverted. Lois thinks she's been abducted by aliens, but those memories are implanted by an evil Bill Gates proxy.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: Zara's puzzlement at Clark's unwillingness to consummate their union.

 Zara: And are the intimate habits of men and women on Earth so difference from ours? This fact never appeared in my briefing manual.

Clark: That's not what I meant.

Zara: There are techniques to help couples. Your "cable television shows" are most informative.

  Perry: Oh, look, I know I've been uptight and irritable lately, quick to judge, quick to condemn, sometimes I've been downright mean. What I'm trying to say is that you...you...well-- you can expect more of the same.

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Season 3's Beach Episode "Ordinary People", Lois convinces Clark to behave like a normal human on their vacation. Once they're marooned on an island, she begs Clark to use his powers to make their stay more comfortable, but he insists on roughing it.
    • This has little to do with irony though, It has more to do with the fact that Clark is a country boy and enjoys things like camping.
  • Black Shirt: Sen. Xander Truman Black is one of several high-profile figures who try to reboot the Nazi party.
  • Body Surf: Lex's plan to transfer his and Lois' minds into clone bodies.
  • Break Up to Make Up: The Season 3 opener smacked heavily of this, as no sooner does Clark propose marriage to Lois, he immediately retracts it on the grounds that being Superman puts her in danger. What, all of a sudden? This is Lois Lane. She almost gets murdered three times a week.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Subverted in "Super Mann". A Nazi is shown watching an episode of Perfect Strangers and mimicking Balki. This despite Bronson Pinchot previously guest-starring as The Prankster twice.
  • Cloning Blues: Clois has the mentality of a valley girl, exploits Superman to get rich, and eventually trying to bump off the real Lois so she's can't interfere. Oh yeah, she shoots Lex, too. You really start to feel for Lex after a while.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: In "Twas the Night Before Mxymas", Superman repeatedly saves an elderly man from plummeting to his death. At first the man is grateful, but as the time loop wears on, he verbally castigates Superman for saving him. Justified in the second case as the entire world is becoming more depressed and negative with each cycle.
  • Cool, Clear Water: Averted in "Ordinary People", when Clark and Lois end up stranded on a deserted island, and Lois is about to drink from a spring that has been poisoned by the villain. Clark uses his telescopic vision on the water and sees that its swimming with bacteria. He suggests that Lois drink from somewhere else.
  • Cyanide Pill: Sandra Rockford (one of one of Those Wacky Nazis) gulps one after her bazooka attack on Clark's apartment fails.
  • Cyberspace: "Virtually Destroyed".
  • Daddy DNA Test: "Chip Off the Old Clark".
  • Date My Avatar: Xavier imprisons Lois Lane in a VR Metropolis, just so he can approach her in a pro wrestler's body.
  • Day of the Jackboot: "Super Mann". The Nazis seemed surprisingly ready, with all the swastika banners and uniforms in place. Lois is stunned to learn that the geek who writes the Daily Planet's classifieds suddenly has an S.S. rank.
  • Deep-Cover Agent: In "Super Mann", the Germans put three soldiers in suspended animation for decades and successfully reanimated them. Upon awakening, the Nazis pose as celebrities (a star quarterback, supermodel, and country music singer) to integrate themselves into American society.
  • The Ditz: Ralph. The smarmy drudge reporter who pesters Clark throughout Season 4.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: In "Virtually Destroyed", Clark is bemused by the VR Superman's style of speech, which uses cheesy terms like "Good Day Citizens!", and asks Lois if he really talks like that.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Season 3 in a nutshell.
  • Evil Cripple: Spencer Spencer, a pornography tycoon who intends to transplant his head onto Superman's body.
  • Fake Nationality: Patrick Sullivan is played by an English actor, hence the unconvincing brogue.
    • Fake Russian: A pair of fake Ukrainians in "Lucky Leon". (Including "Hey It's That Guy" Mark Rolston).
  • Family Values Villain: Joey "The Handyman" Bermuda turns down Mindy's sexual advances, citing his marriage, hers and belief in "the sanctity of the home." Now if you'll excuse him, he has a school play to attend.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Lois and Clark to Jimmy in "Contact":

 Lois: Call the cops and see...

Clark: ...if there was another robbery yesterday...

Lois: ...at exactly 3:00, particularly at a...

Clark: ...a high tech firm. Ask for everything...

Lois: ...they've got!

Jimmy: (beat) Did you guys practice that?

Lois and Clark: GO!

  • Florence Nightingale Effect: During her amnesia stint, Lois develops this toward her psychiatrist, Dr. Deter. In a rather extreme version of this trope, rather than help her recover her memories, he actively sabatoges her attempts to regain her memory (and her relationship with fiance-Clark) and instead hypnotizes her to fall in love with him.
  • For the Evulz: Lex comes to believe that his public disgrace was a blessing, since he is no longer a Slave to PR.
  • Geek Physique: Jaxon Xavier aka Jason X. Luthor.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Jaxon Xavier's virtual world in "Virtually Destroyed". The pedestrians are seen walking alongside copies of themselves, holes in the walls get fixed instantly, etc.
  • Good Feels Good: Clois undergoes a Heel Face Turn and sacrifices herself to save both Superman and Lois, out of a desire to do good.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: Bill Church really did seem reformed, even if his "new" methods were a bit strange. Nonetheless, he ends up back in prison thanks to his unscrupulous wife's manipulation. It almost seems a little tragic, considering that his reformation was triggered by his feelings for his manipulative wife.
    • Actually, Bill Church Sr.'s dramatic turnaround had two catalysts. It wasn't stated exactly what happened to him, but the implication was he suffered a massive heart attack and nearly died. That kind of traumatic experience can lead to re-examining one's life and realizing the changes that need to be made. His relationship with Mindy was a secondary catalyst; the truly tragic thing is, she knew exactly who and what he was, and latched onto him and encouraged his rehabilitation just so she could take over Intergang.
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Lois is perpetually writing a romance novel. In the third season, Jimmy cracks her password ("Superman", naturally) and discovers that the main character, Linda Detroit, has two love interests: "Clark" and "Kent". One is reliable and strong (her relationship with Superman), while the other is kind but flaky (her relationship with Clark).
  • Hidden Purpose Test: The aim of Ching's Riddle Me This bombing attacks is to see whether Kal-El is worthy to rule New Krypton.
  • Hollywood Hacking: "Virtually Destroyed" is particularly full of this.
  • I Lied: Lex, after agreeing to extend Clois' lifespan.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...:

 Tempus: Herb, if I wanted to kill (Lois), I'd beat her to death with a frozen lamb chop and then eat it with a nice merlot.

 Perry: Just take your cue from the master of cool here, huh? Slow and easy.

(a minute later)

Perry: WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU LITTLE BRAINSUCKER?!

  • Literally Shattered Lives: Superman uses his super-breath to blow liquid nitrogen onto Spencer Spencer, temporarily freezing him. It turns out to be less-than-temporary when the guards spray Superman with gunfire, deflecting their bullets and shattering the ice.

 Clark: ...He's a broken man.

  • Love Makes You Evil: Maxwell Deter.
  • Magical Defibrillator: In "Never On Sunday", Clark rips an electric cable out from a nearby streetlamp, then plunges it into a dying man's chest.
  • Moral Dilemma: In "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", Superman is photographed kissing Lois (now married to his alter-ego), causing a scandal. After Malicious Slander threatens to derail Superman's peace talks between two nations, Clark comes pretty close to divulging his secret identity.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ching experiences it after Superman leaps through a Kryptonite force-field to save him.
  • Neologism: Larry Smiley is a believer in "harmonicity."
  • No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me: Baron Sunday is a patsy who was (unwittingly) ruined by Clark Kent's expose on weapon smugglers. He was brought Back From the Dead by Witch Doctors and returned to get revenge on Clark and the others who framed him.
  • News Monopoly: In "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", Clark futility flips through his TV channels but finds nothing except pundits blasting Superman for his illicit "affair" with Lois.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication / Once For Yes, Twice For No: In "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", a bound-and-gagged Lois is wired to a bomb set to kill foreign diplomats. She can only alert Superman by blinking her eyelids.
  • Not-So-Small Role: "Through A Glass, Darkly" introduces Sarah, a lowly researcher at the Daily Planet who is played by Mallory from Family Ties. ..Yeah, pretty sure she's not all she seems.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Lois learning Clark's secret. Instead of Clark having to constantly dodge her and hide the fact he's Superman, Lois starts to assist in his heroics, even helping Clark out with his alibis.
  • Offered the Crown: The survivors of New Krypton offer their throne to Superman, on the condition that he marry Zara.
  • Parody Names: When Ching first approaches Lois and Clark, he's disguised as a "Century 22" real estate agent. This is a parody of the actual Century 21 Real Estate.

 "And remember, at Century 22 we bring the future to you!"

  • Phlebotinum Battery: A villain has a disintegration weapon that's capable of hurting Superman but they aren't positive they can kill him while using it. To ensure Superman is weakened, they make a catastrophe in an underground missile silo so that while using his powers he doesn't have a backup charge. Superman wins when Lois shorts out the silo door controls, opening them so he could recharge.
    • Later, Lex uses the same weapon, but simply attacks at night, using Supes' parents as hostages so he won't escape to a part of the word where it's day.
  • Playing with Fire: Baron Sunday.
  • Pocket Protector: After being shrunk in "It's A Small World After All", a miniaturized Superman shields Lois from a bullet by hiding underneath her lapel.
  • Reunion Revenge: "It's a Small World After All"
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: Charlton Heston is President of Earth-2. Elvis Presley also held the office sometime in the past.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ching kidnaps Jimmy/Perry and ties them to a bomb in an undisclosed location, while doing the same with Clark's parents in another location. The bombs are set to go off a the same time. They give Superman a choice of saving his friend or his parents, as he only has enough time to find and disarm one bomb. Supes decides to Take a Third Option and uses a beam splitter to fry both bombs with his laser vision from the sky.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Mindy wears one while crashing Superman's charity drive.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Lois' alter-ego "Wanda Detroit" is permanently stuck in Old Hollywood.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Baron Sunday's Hellish Pupils resemble those of a snake, he demonstrates an ability to shapeshift into an anaconda, and a snake rattle follows him everywhere. Even his Calling Card is a snake.
  • So Happy Together: Clark Kent has married Lois Lane after battling the evil frog-eating clones created by Lex Luthor. They have a sweet scene together, and Clark goes to the bedroom to await his bride. And then we watch Lois eating a frog, heralding how exactly how the rest of this is gonna go....
  • Soapland Christmas: Lois' family reunion in "Home Is Where the Hurt Is".
  • Sunglasses At Night: An overly-cautious weapons smuggler in "Seconds."
  • Superhero Episode: While this is technically a superhero TV series, Lois Lane is not one of the superheroes ... except in the episode "Ultrawoman", where she gets Superman's powers and her own costume. (And, eventually, discovers the downside to being able to hear trouble in every corner of the globe while she can only be in one place at a time.)
  • Take That: Lois judges a grainy photo handed to her by Clark.

  Look! There's Elvis...and Jimmy Hoffa...and the plot to Showgirls!

  • Timmy in a Well: Subverted in "Ultrawoman". The "baby" in question is just toy doll planted by the villains to lure Superman to them.
  • This Means War: Lex to Superman in "Seconds".
  • Thrown From the Zeppelin: In "Home Is Where The Hurt Is", Mindy holds a mob conference to re-establish Intergang. The male gangsters don't express much enthusiasm about being bossed by a woman, so Mindy gasses them.
  • Tomato Surprise: Clark's bride is revealed as a frog-eater. (No, not that kind).
  • Trap Door: Randy Goode expresses his displeasure with a mooks by dropping him down an empty elevator shaft. This has apparently become routine for him.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Jack Olsen is a walking Cliché Storm of Bond references.
  • The Unfavourite: "Lame Brain", the brother of a deceased criminal known as "Bad Brain Johnson". To try and win his sadistic mother's affection, he builds a fully functional mind control machine, to offer her the whole world as a gift. Not only was he met with equal disdain (as usual), but not even the machine a full power could force her to tell her son she loved him.
  • Valley Girl: Lois' clone (Clois).
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Tez.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Randy Goode leaks a compromising photo of Superman to the press, sabotaging a vital peace talk which the Man of Steel is mediating.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ching.
  • Wham! Line: The season 3 premiere:

  Lois: Who's asking? Clark..." *swipes glasses* "...or SUPERMAN?.


Season Four Edit

  • Aliens in Cardiff: Lord Nor's invasion of.... Smallville, KS.
  • Almost Kiss: Lois and Other!Clark in "Lois and Clarks".
  • Angel Unaware: Ultimately the only way Clark can successfully get Lois to the altar. Doubles as a Fandom Nod, as the character in question is very apologetic and makes veiled references to a frustrated audience.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Lord Nor. He's got a beard and everything.
  • Attack Reflector: Superman destroys Vixen by deflecting her own fireball back at her.
  • Big Bad: None other than Lex Luthor Jr.
  • Big No: H. G. Wells, when Tempus jacks his time machine (again).
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Lord Nor in "Lord of The Flies", when accused of holding Smallvile's townspeople hostage:

 Lord Nor: Oh, "prisoners" is such a pejorative term.

Leeza Gibbons: What would you call them?

Lord Nor: Students. I wish to educate them to accept me as their unconditional ruler.

  • BLAM Episode: "Soul Mates", which involves Lois & Clark jumping between Hollywood History time periods. Each time, Clark is a heroic rogue with a mild-mannered alter-ego, while Lois is trapped in a Shotgun Wedding by Tempus.
  • Bookcase Passage: Used often, most notably in Season 4, when Lois & Clark move into a new house together. The revolving bookcase conceals a storage space for Superman's costumes.
  • Burning Rubber: In "Lethal Weapon", Clark's total lack of control over his super-speed is illustrated by a fiery trail created by his boots as he skids to stop.
  • The Caligula: Lord Nor.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: During Lois and Clark's honeymoon, H.G. Wells crashes the party to warn that if they have sex, they will die. And no, not because of Mallrats's Superman ejaculation theory, but because Tempus has placed some curse on them.

 Lois: Foreplay is great, but this is ridiculous!

  • Captain Obvious: In "Shadow of a Doubt", a killer has strangled a scientist in his office, despite there being no sign of break-in. Dr. Klein lends his expertise:

 "Self-induced strangulation is very rare."

  • Card-Carrying Villain: Lord Nor's insignia happens to be an inverse Superman logo.
  • Cassette Craze: A tape recording of Lex Luthor exposing Superman's secret identity.
  • Chair Reveal: How Leslie Luckabee is unmasked as Lex Luthor Jr. Or is he?
  • Cool Bike: In "Faster Than a Speeding Vixen", Dr. Klein is revealed to ride a Harley Davidson to work.
  • Continuity Nod: A nice bit of continuity appears in "Dead Lois Walking", when Lois is convicted of murder. The subtitle of her tabloid headline reads, "NUNK SMILES FROM THE GRAVE!" (See "Paparazzi", below.)
  • Create Your Own Villain: Clark Kent, overzealous in his duties as a cub reporter, accidentally created Baron Sunday.
  • Creepy Cathedral: The belltower where Jefferson Cole plans to release a toxin rain onto Metropolis.
  • Decoy Leader: Leslie Luckabee is presented as Lex Luthor's illegitimate son, with the deformed "Mr. Smith" as his valet. Actually, it's the other way around.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Mr. Gadget used to be one, until he was sentenced to prison.
  • Deflector Shields: Lord Nor erects a giant force dome over Smallville.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Spoofed with Ultrawoman.
  • Door Step Baby Somehow left in their living room while they were in the house without Clark seeing or hearing anything, despite his super-senses.
    • A common belief is that the baby was left by Zara and Ching, which would explain how they snuck past Clark's powers. They tended to be amazingly good at that...
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Lex Luthor Jr. to Lois.
  • Doppelganger Replacement Love Interest: After Superman is trapped in Tempus' time warp, H.G. Wells enlists his Alternate Universe counterpart for help. Things get a little awkward between him and Lois, particularly since the Lois Lane of alt-Superman's world has been missing for years and is presumed dead.
  • Energy Ball: Vixen fires them out of her wrists.
  • Precious Puppies / Right Hand Dog: Little Tony carries around a little pooch.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In "I've Got You Under My Skin", in which Clark suffers Grand Theft Me, his hijacker dresses him in leather pants and a black lycra shirt. Quoth Lois: "Change out of that stupid outfit, honey."
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The teaser to "The Night Before Mxymas" shows a dog barking angrily at Mr. Mxyzptlk, who retaliates by turning it into a toy.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: "You are dirt! You are filth! You are pocket lint! You are pocket lint in the pockets of lawyers!"
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Penny makes this observation of Jimmy in "AKA Superman". Then again, she's under the impression that he is Superman.
  • Expendable Clone: Tempus' Body Double, planted by Andrus so nobody would notice him missing from the asylum. Later, Tempus tricks Superman into capturing the fake Tempus.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: Col. Ambrose Cash orders his tanks to open fire on Lord Nor's Deflector Shield. It's about as effective as throwing rocks.
  • Food Slap: In preparation for her Shotgun Wedding to Leslie Luckabee, Lois is forced to share dinner with him... which ends with Lois hurling a plate of food at his head.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During their married time (and sex was abundant nearly every episode anyway) they were snuggling under a blanket and Lois mentioned that her feet were cold. Clark put his head under the blanket and used a low-dose of his heat vision. Lois giggled and said "That wasn't my feet."
  • Good Is Dumb: It apparently wasn't hard for Tempus to convince Wells to take him on a time travel tour.
    • Andrus, a time-traveling "Peacekeeper" who frees Tempus from an asylum (where he was rendered harmless) so he can face trial in the future. Unfortunately, since no one in the future has any perception of violence, Andrus is about the least-competent warden ever.
  • Got the Whole World In My Hand: President-elect Tempus' flag depicts a giant fist punching through a globe.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Penny Barnes ordered in Chinese at a restaurant.
  • The Grotesque: Mr. Smith.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: Myxy puts a different spin on it - he, Supes and, eventually Lois are the only ones fully aware of the loop, but everyone is subconsciously aware of it, causing them to become increasingly fatalistic. After enough loops, World War 3 is on the horizon.
  • Happily Married
  • Haunted Headquarters: Lois & Clark's new apartment has a ghost in it.
  • Head Desk: Mr. Smith bangs his head against a video monitor when Leslie Luckabee starts going off-script during an interview.
  • Heel Face Turn: Jerry White undergoes one in "Lethal Weapon", when Perry discovers that he hasn't gone straight after all.
  • Heroic Fatigue: Lois experiences this as Ultrawoman. Her super-hearing picks up cries for help from all over the world, with no way to respond to them all.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: In "Voice From the Past", Superman is busy looking for Lex Luthor Jr.'s hideout. It turns out to be in an abandoned subway station directly underneath the Daily Planet.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Jonathan Kent suffers one during one of Mxyzptlk's time loops.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In "Dead Lois Walking", an overworked Dr. Klein drinks hooch from a laboratory beaker.
  • Identity Impersonator: In Season 4, Tempus attempts to unmask Superman in front of the world, but is thwarted when a second Clark Kent is seen walking hand-in-hand with Lois. (It helps that one of the Clarks is from an Alternate Universe).
  • Immortality Immorality: Connor Schenk, an elderly convict, enlists the help of a scientist to steal Jimmy's life force via a machine, thereby transforming himself into a young man while Jimmy rapidly ages.
  • In the Back: Leslie Luckabee, after undergoing a Heel Face Turn and attempting to free Lois from Lex Luthor Jr.'s torture device. Junior reckons he's too much of a coward, and Leslie backs off, only to be shot and tumble into a sewer ditch. Hmm, wonder if that's the last we'll see of him.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Bad guy Ethan Press holds his brother Eric hostage and forces him to help kill Superman. At one point Eric fights back and grabs the disintegrator gun they stole from the Pentagon, then points it in Ethan's face. Ethan tells Eric he's not "man enough" to do it. Eric pulls the trigger and, as in the description, nothing happens. Ethan gloats, "I disarmed it!" and shows Eric the part he removed.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Clark's medieval ancestor, "The Fox".
  • Kangaroo Court: Lord Nor puts Kal-El on trial for his phony marriage to Zara, using footage of Clark and Lois snogging as evidence.
  • Kill and Replace: Deathstroke and his wife target a reclusive billionaire by killing off the small handful of people who know what he looks like, with the intention of assuming his identity.
  • Kill the Poor: The homeless are shown to be immune to President Tempus' telephone-linked subliminal messaging, by virtue that none of them own a phone. In response, Tempus passes legislation making it illegal not to use the phone, then lines the hobos up before a firing squad.
  • Knight Templar: Vixen. "To eradicate evil."
  • Law of Inverse Fertility
  • Left Hanging: The Doorstop Baby finale.
  • Leotard of Power: Ultrawoman, meow.
  • Licked by the Dog: Woody Samms makes a Heroic Sacrifice by bodysurfing back into his own body, thereby reverting Clark to his old self. Now vulnerable again, Samms is fatally shot by Little Tony, but survives when the mobster's puppy wanders over to his bullet-riddled body and licks the body-swapping crystal in his hand. ...Yep, Samms is now a quadruped.
  • Lipstick Mark: Penny Barnes plants one on Superman, thinking he's Jimmy Olsen in disguise. Cue a raised eyebrow from Lois.
  • Living Doll Collector: Tim and Amber Lake from the episode "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape" collect rare things, and tried to acquire Superman. They also have a car they're "Just batty over"...
  • Living Shadow / Tragic Villain: Edward Hanson, ex-scientist and victim of a Freak Lab Accident.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Lex Luthor Jr. to Superman, as he holds Lois hostage.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Perry gives Lois a new nameplate for her desk that says "Lois Kent." She is later seen sliding her previous plate and new one together to see how she likes "Lois Lane Kent". In the end she's still not sure.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: Lois wrestles with this in Season 4.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: "Brutal Youth" focuses on Lois' discover that Clark does not age as fast as a normal human being -- if he aged at all. It is (possibly) resolved when Superman gives up some of his youth to rescue Jimmy from Rapid Aging, and also to de-age the villain of the week into a baby. Clark later suggests he has given up enough of his youth for it to no longer be an issue.
  • My Brain Is Big: Dr. Klaus "Fat Head" Mensa.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Mr. Mxyzptlk, after Lois mispronounces it as "Mazel Tov".
  • My Own Private I Do: Plan first, elope later. Much later. Long story short, every criminal and his brother finds the notion of crashing the Kent-Lane wedding irrepressible. Finally, a guardian angel spirits the couple away to a hilltop wedding. Also in attendance are Jonathan, Martha, Jimmy, and Perry, who were also summoned.
  • Name's the Same: "Deathstroke" has no connection to Marv Wolfman's DC Comics supervillain -- as if it weren't obvious enough by the fact he has magnetic powers, a different surname, and he's not missing an eye.
  • New Era Speech: Leslie Luckabee announcing the relaunch of our friendly neighborhood LexCorp.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: "Australian"-born Leslie Luckabee. He blames it on having "watched too many TV shows" as a kid.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Preseident-elect Tempus sics about a hundred of them on Superman, penalizing him for his lack of a flying license, not reading crooks their Miranda rights, and failure to pay taxes.
  • Off the Wagon: Ellen Lane can really put away the eggnog.
  • Only in America: Tempus' excuse for why he's leading the Presidential election poll (under the pseudonym "John Doe"), despite only entering the race yesterday.

 Lois: Well, even you must be surprised by your surge in popularity given that, well, no one knows ANYTHING about you.

Tempus: Ain't America great?

 Tempus: Too late! You need an abort code to-- (SMASH) ..Or--Or that, you could do that.

  • Powers as Programs: See entry for Lightning Can Do Anything. In "Ultrawoman", a red kryptonite laser transfers Clark's powers to Lois, then Lois to Shelly Long, then Long back to Clark.
  • Phantom Zone: Not the Phantom Zone, but pretty close. In "Meet John Doe", Tempus imprisons Superman within a single nanosecond of time, which resembles a giant...spinny, glass cube-thing.
  • Power Incontinence: Upon being exposed to red kryptonite in "Lethal Weapon", Clark loses control over his powers. Before long, he can't even sneeze without turning his whole house upside-down.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: In "Meet John Doe", Clark has a recurring nightmare of Lois being dragged away from him. At the episode's conclusion, Superman gets sucked into Tempus' time portal, revealing it was he who was being dragged away.
  • President Evil: Tempus, courtesy of Mass Hypnosis.

 Tempus: Dragon, I'm told that you are the cruelest, most sadistic, most feared cutthroat in Metropolis. You killed your parents when you were 3, and it's been downhill ever since.

Dragon: That's more or less it.

Tempus: How'd you like to be Secretary of State?

  • Punny Name: Myrtle Beech, aka "The Wedding Destroyer".
  • Purple Is Powerful: Nor's sigil.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Ching and Zara take this view toward Clark's pacifism.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Clark and Lois are revealed to be this in "Soul Mates".
  • Reverse Polarity: Quoted by Dr. Klein's Hot Scientist girlfriend.
  • Right Through His Pants: Seeing as this is Superman we're talking about, this trope gets dialed Up to Eleven. A post-coital Clark and Lois are shown splayed out on their kitchen floor, fully-clothed and ready for work (Clark hasn't even undone his tie or removed his glasses); And yet, both were evidentially so overcome by passion that they forgot to use protection.
  • Rimshot: Accompanies each of Reverend Bob's horrific jokes.
  • Robotic Reveal: Vixen's suit is damaged during her final bout with Superman, revealing her mechanical innards.
  • Runaway Groom: Responsible for creating The Wedding Destroy. Yep. The Wedding Destroyer. If you haven't figured it out yet, she is basically a psycho who goes around destroying people's weddings.
  • Save Both Worlds: No sooner does Clark leave for New Krypton to prevent a civil war, than Lord Nor lands on Earth and takes it over.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Lois in "Meet John Doe".
  • She Who Must Not Be Heard: Brenda, Jimmy's newest girlfriend in "The Night Before Mxymas". Though she never actually speaks, we are treated to sight gags of Brenda going from a Rhodes scholar to scantily-clad streetwalker (via Mxyzptlk's influence) over the course of the time loop.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Lord Nor.
  • Sidekick Glass Ceiling: Lois, when she becomes Ultrawoman.
  • So Proud of You: Ethan Press, the villain in "Stop the Presses", considers Lex his personal idol.

  "Amazing, isn't it? Out of all of the villians who've wanted you dead, I am going to be the one to pull it off; a spoiled dilettante with too much time on his hands. [chokes up] Lex would be so proud."

  • Stopped Clock: At the end of the multi-part episode that involves Clark being lost in time, the exact time of his departure is needed to save him. Good thing said departure involved an explosion that damaged the Big Bad's watch.
  • Strip Poker: The Teaser to "Lethal Weapon" shows Clark and Lois playing this game at home.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Tempus' "subliminator", which carries his hypnotic messages across phones lines and (later) every electric current.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Lord Nor is a fairly obvious stand-in for General Zod.
  • Sword Fight: Clark (as "The Fox") versus Baron Tempos.
  • Tempting Fate: Clark's repeated assurances to Lois that nothing will postpone their wedding.

 "Besides, it's not like the Wedding Destroyer broke out of the asylum or something."

  • That Poor Plant: Mr. Mxyzptlk causes a loop in time, forcing Clark to relive a day again and again during which everyone becomes more depressed and pessimistic. Each time it happens, the Christmas tree in the Daily Planet office dwindles until it's just a stalk with a bauble on it.
  • The Talk: Lampshaded when Superman comes to Dr. Klein for help in determining if he can father children with a human. Klein thinks at first Superman needs The Talk, and starts spinning a colorful metaphor involving flowers until Superman corrects him.
  • There Will Be Toilet Paper: The day after losing his powers to Lois in "Ultrawoman", Clark comes into work like this.
  • There Is Another: Clark finds a Kryptonian colony that had survived Krypton's explosion, though after the cross-season introduction they didn't expand on that.
  • They Do
  • Throw It In: Right before the Closing Credits in "Ghosts" Teri Hatcher waves a spatula around and splatters (an offscreen) Dean Cain with egg goop. Her reaction was so funny that they evidentially chose to leave it in.
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble: "Soul Mates", in particular.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian: Garret Grady.
  • Trial by Combat: Superman and Lord Nor's gladiator Duel to the Death.
  • Unfinished Business: The namesake of "Ghosts".
  • Unsatisfiable Customer: Lois' ridiculously picky food order at a roadside restaurant. Clark pleas with her to keep a low profile, since she is a fugitive.
  • Vigilante Girl: Vixen.
  • Villainous Demotivator: Lord Nor is prone to vaporizing people with heat vision when he doesn't get his way.
  • Walk On Water: Vixen demonstrates the ability to sprint across oceans.
  • We Come in Peace, Shoot to Kill: Lord Nor's posse of evil Kryptonians take over Earth handedly, but not before handing out friendly brochures.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: A tabloid reporter snaps a picture of Superman kissing Lois, but it's a fake: Jimmy reveals the image was made using 3D models of Lois and Superman and digitally posing them in a lying-down position.
  • Weakened by the Light: Edward Hanson, aka the "Shadow".
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Mr. Gadget acts this way toward his son.
  • Wedding Day
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: After Lois' name is cleared of murder charges, neither she nor Superman face any repercussions for busting out of jail. Probably justified in that the prosecuting attorney was hiding evidence and acting in tandem with the real murderer.

 "I call the shots, I ask the questions. You are low man, I am top banana, and that's the way I like it, comprende?

"You like to be on top. Got it."

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