Smallville will forever be remembered as the television show that sparked a fire in superhero popularity, which would evolve into the creation of Arrowverse. Running for 10 seasons and surviving the writers’ strike, superhero fans were finally able to get their weekly nerd fix through a brilliant and new comic book concept.
The Smallville series began in 2001 and was developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. It first premiered on the WB Channel, which would later become the CW after WB and UPN merged. Conceptually, Smallville was groundbreaking and to this day is still loved by fans around the globe. There is even talk about Tom Welling returning to play Superman.
However, with 10 seasons worth of material built around Clark Kent prior to becoming Superman, inevitably, there would be more than a handful of stupid character arcs, episodes, and themes presented.
Smallville began with the humble beginnings of Clark Kent attending high school, showing what his life was like as a teenager. Much like how the most recent Spider-Man: Homecoming was proclaimed a success due to having Peter Parker as a kid in school, so was Smallville back in the early 2000s. Creating 218 episodes of great content, as opposed to a single or trilogy of movies, is a whole different beast. Especially with a small TV size budget.
From vampires to ludicrous character arcs, here are the 17 Stupidest Things To Ever Happen On Smallville.
17. The Never-Ending Arc Of Clark Kent Becoming Superman
Creating a TV show on the origins of Clark Kent was a brilliant move, but never showing him become Superman was lazy and dumb. Executive producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders started the series with a “No Tights, No Flight” approach — which was fine for the first six seasons. That philosophy can only go so far, though, before viewers become bored.
Clark Kent is Superman. Running a show for 10 seasons without showing that transition would be like watching a decade worth of shows about Yoda training Luke.
Brian Peterson stated in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “In the days when we saw him in a flannel shirt, the suit was the furthest thing from his mind.” Fair enough Brian, and we thank you for that — but 10 years’ worth?
16. Vampire Invasion In Smallville
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel had an impressive run — and vampires were super popular — but incorporating them into Smallville was just dumb.
The episode “Thirst” starts with Lana enrolling for classes at Metropolis University while somehow getting forced into joining a sorority. The sorority house leader Buffy Sanders (really?!) and the other members turn Lana into a vampire, instructing her to kill Clark Kent.
It only gets worse from there with Lex “unknowingly” exposing Clark to Kryptonite while explaining Project 1138. Lana disposes of Buffy with her heat vision, tries to turn Clark into a vampire, and gets stabbed with an antidote instead.
15. The Worst Doomsday Ever
Doomsday was originally a Kryptonian genetic engineering project that went horribly wrong. In the animated versions, he was a clone from Earth. The genetic version kills Superman by beating him to death (along with members of the Justice League), while the clone version could never claim a victory.
Smallville decided to create a Doomsday who’s a human paramedic with a deep inner darkness that transforms him into Doomsday. The episode had the potential to align a mini Justice League out of future Arrowverse characters, but ended up making a mockery out of a great villain.
To cover up the debauchery, the writers even threw in a scene where Clark was supposed to meet Lois at a phone booth on a street. As if nostalgia had the power to erase the worst remake of Doomsday ever.
~14. Clark Kent Has An Evil Twin
What is with the CW and alternate universes and timelines? It’s almost as if these versions have become a go-to when ideas run dry. Typical of Smallville version Clark, he accidentally switches bodies with his evil twin, creating chaos in both universes — because that’s how comic book soap opera drama is supposed to be written, right?
Good Clark tries to fix what the evil version of him did, while his twin plays with Oliver, Tess, and Lois. Naturally, the two get returned to their respected realities, but with alternate Lionel becoming part of good Clarks world.
What makes this one of the stupidest moments in Smallville, comes from the fact that body swapping in alternate universes is seen as real, but Clark flying or wearing the full red and blue is out of the question.
~13. Martha Becomes A Senator In DC
In true Smallville fashion, Lionel pulls his weight with the American government and convinces members of the Senate that Martha Kent should fill the murdered Ed Burke’s seat. Oh, and it just happens to tie into the current problem of Clark looking for government persuasion over the Wes issue.
The questions of Martha’s credentials as a Senator are numerous, along with how she could occupy a seat without ever running as a candidate. The storyline was obviously a quick fix for a run-out character arc regarding Martha, but it was presented so sloppily that it began a long downhill spiral for the series.
~12. Kara teaching Clark how to fly
There’s a difference between being a purist of a superhero’s comic book story, and complete disregard of the original story itself. Kara is Clarks older cousin, sent to Earth at the same time as him to watch over and protect him. The Smallville version had her look the same age as him, despite the fact that she gave him advice on utilizing his full abilities. One of these abilities was how to fly.
Considering the fact that Kara had been trapped in suspended animation for 18 years as the episode wanted you to believe, how was she knowledgeable of all of Clark’s potential powers? Also, if Kara could figure out how to fly so fast, why was it difficult for Clark to figure out?
The whole concept was a disaster from the start, which is why disregarding the Superman comics was beyond stupefying. At least the CW learned from their mistakes before launching Supergirl (or did they?).
11. Dramatic Staring Contests
Smallville didn’t have a Game of Thrones budget to work with. Not having the funds to create action packed scenes left the production team with plenty of time to fill per episode. To combat the issue, staring contests were created. Not literally, but if you watched the series on the regular, it certainly felt like it.
Taking another cue from the daytime soap operas, characters would often have long and drawn out moments that involved way too much staring. Much like Luke whining in Star Wars: A New Hope, you could easily make a drinking game out of Smallville characters giving each other the evil eye.
~10. Chloe is Lois But Lois Is Really Lois
Chloe Sullivan’s (Allison Mack) character started as a journalist in high school who would also work for the Daily Planet as a writer. It’s almost as if the show’s writers wanted Chloe to be the Smallville Lois at first, but then realized that it wouldn’t work and chose to introduce the real Lois later instead.
Lois ended up being Chloe’s cousin, allowing her to become part of the series. This also freed the writers up to make more stupid mistakes — like having her get intimate with Oliver Queen, eventually becoming his wife prior to the official Arrowverse.
9. Lana And Lex Get Married
“Promise” is one of the stupidest episodes ever written and focuses on the marriage of Lana and Lex Luthor. Lana’s unsure about marrying Lex (duh), Clark doesn’t want her to marry him, and Lionel makes sure the wedding takes place anyway.
Naturally, this would also be the episode where Lana would learn Clark’s true identity. The dumb part comes when Lionel of all people threatens Lana, saying that he’ll kill Clark if she doesn’t follow through with the nuptials. Maybe she should have asked Clark first before believing anything that came out of Lionel’s mouth.
The telltale sign of a television series going through a slow and agonizing death is the inclusion of a wedding. Not that the writing wasn’t already on the wall, but “Promise” ended up being the icing on the cake.
8. Clark Developing Powers Still In Season Six
We’ll give the whole not being able to fly thing a pass on this because having Clark learn about his super breath powers through a cold is even worse. Of course, it wasn’t a cold — it was him discovering his breathing powers.
This brings up some obvious questions — like didn’t Clark blow out birthday candles when he was younger? Maybe he blew sawdust off a wooden board at some point? Did he never have the urge to sneeze before season 6? Alas, apparently not, because it took him thinking he had a cold to learn about powers that he should’ve discovered at least a decade ago.
To make matters worse, even after blowing the barn door off because of a sneeze, Clark is still confused as to what’s taking place. That’s right, Smallville fans, they made a whole episode on Clark sneezing.
~7. Kryptonite Is Everywhere And In Everything
Having a series run for 10 years with the only weakness to a character being kryptonite creates a ton of inconsistencies, such as how evil characters were able to get their hands on the kryptonite in the first palce. Like sunlight for a vampire, Clark was constantly getting bombarded with kryptonite to help create a balance of good and evil.
Smallville took kryptonite to the extreme by creating four types which occur naturally, and an additional four versions that could be created through processing and synthetic measures. To keep fans from getting confused, they were each assigned and named after a color.
6. Great Comic Criminal Gets A Cameo Rather Than Permanent Spot
Morgan Edge was a big-time player within the crime syndicate in the Superman comics. He was also driven by a single goal in life: destroy Superman. Smallville did a brilliant thing by adding Morgan Edge to season 3 in “Shattered”. Then they botched it up by killing him off at the end of the episode.
Adding Morgan Edge as a permanent villain for a few seasons would have allowed the writing team to explore a huge variety of storylines, especially since he was constantly in competition with Lex in the comic books.
Perhaps with the budget they couldn’t make it happen, however, by season six and above it should’ve been considered a necessity. Also, for the record, Rutger Hauer pulled off Morgan Edge’s character perfectly. He would have been a great addition to the series.
5. Season Four Fails To Deliver
We love Jensen Ackles as an actor, and on the hit show Supernatural. However, we can’t ignore how the writers used Ackles (Jason Teague) and Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang) as eye candy for a majority of season four. If anything, Jason should’ve been the next Pete if they wanted to increase ratings.
The episode “Ageless” was another flop of season four, introducing a baby that rapidly ages 7 years in the span of 24 hours. The purpose of the episode was to get Clark to admit to his own parents about how he won’t ever get the chance to experience fatherhood.
Smallville writers had a chance with both storylines to create engaging characters and compelling stories, but ended up flopping on both. Instead fans were left questioning if an investment of time in the series was still worth it.
4. The Saw Lookalike Episode
Season five contained better written episodes than its predecessor season, but it had its fair share of stupid moments too. As if “Thirst” wasn’t enough, the show’s writers took to another popular genre at the time and did a Saw lookalike episode titled “Mercy”.
Since everyone seemed to have been kidnapped already, it was Lionel Luthor’s turn. Lionel is held captive by a psychopath in a mask (which is hilarious if you think about it). The episode plays out like a Saw spinoff, obviously hoping to attract the horror fan base that was popular at the time.
Saw works as a movie franchise because its about everyday people trying to figure out puzzles. Having Clark Kent take part in a Saw game is like bringing a ringer in who should be able to make things right in less than a minute. Instead, it took a whole episode.
3. The Awkward Return Of Pete
Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) was one of the best characters on Smallville. After learning of Clark’s secret, Pete left because he didn’t want the burden or responsibility of keeping Kent’s secret. The hole that was left because of Sam Jones III’s departure was huge, and only Chloe came close to filling it.
By season seven, the writers took a chance by having Pete return for a single episode (viewer bait). What could have been an awesome reunion between Clark and Pete, became a marketing campaign for Stride Gum.
The stupidest part of the episode “Hero” came when Pete obtained powers from — you guessed it — kryptonite gum. After failing to take on the Luthor’s by himself (because working with Superman is obviously a bad idea), Pete leaves again. Sam Jones III, we will forever miss you on Smallville.
~2. The Death Of Jimmy Olsen
You might ask, how is that even possible. Jimmy Olsen is a major side character in the Superman storyline. First the writers break up his marriage to Chloe, then they kill him off when he’s supposed to be Superman’s right-hand man. Oh, but there’s a twist.
The Jimmy Olsen wasn’t really Jimmy Olsen at all. He was actually Henry James Olsen. He just so happened to have a younger brother who would become the Jimmy Olsen in the official Superman timeline.
The stupidest part of all this mess was that the horrible Smallville version of Doomsday got the credit for taking Jimmy — sorry — Henry James Olsen out. Let’s also not forget the return of Aaron Ashmore playing his old characters younger brother to add to the confusion and stupidity.
1. Jor-El Gives Lois Clark’s Powers
The episode “Prophesy” starts off sappy, but in a cool way, with Clark taking Lois to his fortress. In some weird and human emotional way, Clark wants Jor-El to bless his marriage to Lois. Instead of a blessing, though, Jor-El somehow gives Lois Clark’s abilities and powers for a day.
Naturally, a bad guy’s timing is always impeccable, and Toyman shows up, who Lois must now fight. What makes this the stupidest moment in the history of Smallville is that Jor-El can hand Clark’s powers over to a regular human. There’s also the issue of why Jor-El didn’t just let Lois have the powers for 15 minutes instead of 24 hours. That’s more than enough time to see what being Clark Kent is all about.
What could have been a very human moment for Clark, turned into the stupidest thing to ever happen on Smallville.
Can you think of any other stupid things to happen on Smallville? Let us know in the comments!
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