List of recurring themes
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- Character connections — The seemingly disparate lives of characters on Heroes are inevitably connected to one another.
- Child vs. parent — Many characters have conflicts with their parents.
- Death — Many characters face the loss of a loved one.
- Faith and religion — Many characters are spiritual.
- Family — "Blood runs thicker than water". Is it always right to put your family first?
- Fate vs. free will — Is a character's future pre-destined, or can they make their own choice to determine the outcome?
- Heroism — Can a character step up and make the right decisions and actions when pressure is upon them?
- Irony — Many characters faced the cruelty of fate's little joke.
- Logic vs. emotion — The characters must listen to their hearts or their minds.
- Loneliness — Many characters feel lonely.
- Loyalty vs. treachery — Where do the allegiances of a character lie?
- Moral ambiguity — There is no absolute good or evil character, only "shades of grey". Everyone has their personality flaws and moments of glory.
- One punch knockout — Many characters are knocked out with one punch, often for a comedic effect.
- Pressure of responsibility — Can a character make the right choices when they are faced with responsibility by others?
- Revenge — The characters face problems, and are hurt. Sometimes, they decide some payback is in order.
- Sacrifice — There are moments when a character must give up what they hold dear (even including their own life) to save others.
- Secrets and deception — Sometimes a lie must be told to protect a character from the truth.
- Special — Some characters believe they are special, while others don't want to be.
- Women in Refrigerators — Many characters are victimized.
- The 36 Dynamic Situations by Georges Polti, defines common plot situations from historical dramas
- The 36 Plots of Storytelling in Role Playing Games, derived from the above