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"No tights, no flights" is a mandate created by Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.

The rule prohibited Smallville from having Clark Kent possess the ability of flight and also from wearing his trademark Superman outfit.


No flights

Clark has been shown to have the ability to fly, or has flown, on a number of rare occasions throughout the decade-long run of Smallville:

  • Metamorphosis: During a dream about flying into Lana Lang's house, Clark unwittingly floats above his bed and crashes back down upon waking up, later bringing this up to his dad and wondering what it could mean for his future.
  • Tempest/Vortex: In his attempt to save Lana from being killed in the massive twister that enveloped her truck, Clark super speeds into it without hesitation, evidently taking a spontaneous flight deep within; this makes him wonder if it was the wind or if he briefly tapped into something he had previously only dreamed about.
  • Rosetta: While dreaming about soaring into the Kawatche Caves, Clark apparently drifts in his sleep to Route 8, finding it unbelievable that he could have sleepwalked all that way and thinking that perhaps he defied gravity once again.
  • Crusade: After being brainwashed by Jor-El into a pure Kryptonian-thinking state, Clark takes his very first full-fledged flight as "Kal-El of Krypton" in order to take the Crystal of Fire from Lex Luthor's jet. While unable to fly after being "cured", his physical age was technically 18 at this time and thus lines up with when he first fully flew in the post-Crisis comics.
  • Veritas: Despite not making an actual attempt at flying, Clark does undergo a first lesson of sorts under his cousin Kara's tutelage, observing her soaring around the Kent Farm and taking her advice to heart.
  • Doomsday: In his only successful offensive attack against the Kryptonian beast Doomsday, Clark is able to spontaneously pull off something that is more flight than super-jumping, as he was able to soar the monster across Metropolis with the kind of precision and burying force no mere leap could pull off.
  • Savior: Implied to be one of a number of times, Clark undergoes a virtual trial during his training under Jor-El, diving off the Statue of Liberty in what turns out to be a failed attempt.
  • Salvation: Within Clark's dream/vision of his future, he glimpses his future Superman self take flight over the Daily Planet to stop an incoming plane from crashing into the building.
  • Lazarus: During Clark's leaping ascent to catch the plummeting Daily Planet globe, he freezes in mid-air upon catching it and subsequently continues to soar on up while making a controlled landing, all of which is simply impossible for any jump to accomplish.
  • Supergirl: For his latest training in developing the ability, Clark learns a bit more under Kara's watch, leaping in a genuine attempt where he very nearly flies and yet fails again.
  • Homecoming: During his trip to 2017, Clark meets his future self and, after being given instructions on a super-save he must make, witnesses Superman fly through Metropolis while preventing a nuclear catastrophe. Later, in the midst of his romantic dance with Lois Lane in the Kent barn, after declaring their love to one another for the first time and closing their eyes, Clark unknowingly floats with Lois in his arms as they dance the night away.
  • Collateral: Within the cyber-world constructed by the Vigilante Registration Agency, Clark defies the reality of this place by embracing Lois in his arms and taking a full-fledged flight, soaring around Metropolis before flying back down into the real world.

No tights

Clark's choice of clothing, while saving Metropolis as the (Red-Blue) Blur, gradually evolves into the current comic book version of his suit. Due to being photographed in his trademark red jacket and blue T-shirt and jeans, the Blur is instantly connected with these two colors. However, starting with Season Nine, Clark starts to wear a new suit, this time black. Though his color choice strays from the comic book version, he wears a cape-like trench coat over a shirt emblazoned with a white House of El emblem.

  • In Salvation, Clark has a dream where he was seen very briefly wearing his trademark outfit (although viewers cannot make out Clark's facial features). After the glimpse of the future, Clark gets a package from his mother containing the suit.
  • In Lazarus, the suit is seen (in the same package from Salvation) three times in all its technicolor glory: First by Lois (who looks at it), then by Clark (who was going to put it on), and finally in the last scene of the episode (locked away in the Fortress of Solitude until the last episode of the show).
  • In Homecoming, Clark sees his future self in the Superman suit flying while trying to stop a nuclear explosion.


  • Welling Charity Shirt (3).png
    Garth Ranzz once said to Rokk Krinn, "I don't know. No glasses, no tights, no flights. So far, he's nothing like the Man of Steel."
  • Other characters portrayed by Tom Welling who have taken flight include a younger Jor-El, Bizarro, and Clark Luthor.
  • Alfred Gough told TV Guide during Season 7 that, "Yes, we are sticking with that policy as far as Clark is concerned. (Obviously Bizarro can fly, as well as Kara.) But following up on what Chloe said about his lack of flying in the season premiere ("Clark, you need to get on that"), Kara will be giving him 'flying lessons' later in the season. Although with Clark, they end up being more like 'falling lessons.'" [1]
  • Over the course of Seasons 7, 8 and 9, the "no flights" rule only applies to Clark while other characters like Major Zod and the Kandorians, Kara, Brainiac and Bizarro have flown. Races/people other than Kryptonians are also shown to fly like Hawkman, John Jones, and the Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • The rule is broken in Season Ten's Finale, Part 2 as Clark finally becomes Superman and embraces his destiny, thus gaining the ability of flight. He receives the Superman tights from the ghost of Jonathan Kent.
  • Tom Welling sold shirts with the phrase upon them to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital. [2]


See also