The Best Superhero Moments on The Flash

The Flash isn't short on superheroics. But these are the moments that have really made us feel like we could take on the world.

The Flash is superhero TV for all ages, full of genuinely out-of-this-world moments of heroism and action for Barry Allen and friends. While Arrow made its superheroic reputation on spectacular fight scenes and stunts, The Flash has done it with loopy sci-fi concepts and excellent special effects. But there’s more to being a superhero than powers, and Barry Allen and friends are learning every step of the way.  

These are the moments that make Barry a superhero, and they are the moments that explore his path to becoming a legend.

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Dirty Laundry

The Flash Season 1 Episode 1 “City of Heroes”

After seeing the world slow around him, his hand vibrating, and waking up from a seven month coma, Barry does the only sensible thing and attempts to run faster than Superman. Though the moment is funny, it is also the birth of a superhero.

The lightning may have struck him, but that was a passive thing. He did not choose it. He does choose to explore his abilities, which leads him to his first battle…but first into the back of a laundry truck.

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You Dropped a Bomb on Me

The Flash Season 1 Episode 5 “Plastique”

Barry believes the best in people. He is optimistic and kind. Losing a friend, even a new one, weighs heavily on him.

When Plastique is shot by General Eiling, Barry is distraught. He has no time for mourning, however. Plastique is explosive. Her death sparks an immediate reaction that nothing can stop.

Barry carries her out to sea and, testing the limits of his speed once more, he manages to walk on water. More, he manages to save the city despite his sadness and shock at the loss of a friend. He does what is necessary and performs a miracle while he’s at it.

Father to Son

The Flash Season 1 Episode 23 “Fast Enough”

Barry’s relationship with his biological father is complicated, what with the prison thing and all, but Henry Allen and Barry have a love that is not in question. At the close of the first season, Barry goes to his father, searching for an answer to the choice of whether or not he should go back in time. Henry tells him about his mother.

What makes this a superhero moment is the raw emotion and humanity that belongs to Barry in the scene. He isn’t a robot or merely a larger-than-life character. He is a man with a past, who cries and feels.

…And Justice For All

The Flash Season 1 Episode 1 “City of Heroes”

This is a brief moment, one that the show doesn’t let linger too long because there are people to save and baddies to stop, but it is an important one. When Barry decides that he’s going to do what he can, that he’s going to wear a red suit and be the hero the city needs, he creates the Flash.

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It’s a choice – one he could have made differently. Choices matter, and this is the one that Barry doesn’t have to consider for very long. He wants to help. He’s determined to be good and not to stand idly by while people get hurt. He cares and he is determined to make a difference. This choice sets the tone for the hero he will become.

Better to Give Than Receive

The Flash Season 2 Episode 9 “Running to Stand Still”

A hundred children have bombs under their trees. When the Trickster and Mark Mardon decide to take out Flash, they decide to do it by threatening families around the city. Barry’s choice is simple: let the Weather Wizard kill him (in public, no less!) or they will kill the children.

Barry knows what he has to do. He gives up and allows for the beating. He doesn’t know if his team will find the bombs, but he does know that he can’t risk the innocent lives.

Also, chasing Mardon is a pretty cool scene that involves leapfrog with a helicopter.


The Flash Season 1 Episode 22 “Rogue Air”

Barry spent the better part of the first season fighting off the bad metahumans who were affected by the particle accelerator. They were challenging fights that tested his endurance, ingenuity, and power, but he doesn’t let the anger or pain he went through determine the fate of the people he put away.

When Harrison Wells turns on the particle accelerator again, the metahumans in prison are put at risk. Barry decides to relocate them so that they don’t die. After a betrayal from the ever-reliable Captain Cold, the metahumans are set free and all of Barry’s work is undone.

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This moment could be seen as Barry being idiotic, but the truth is that he cares about human life. He isn’t indifferent. This is what makes him a hero. Barry’s powers aren’t nearly as important as his dedication to humanity.

Lyin’ Eyes

The Flash Season 1 Episode 18 “All Star Team Up”

Sunny Barry has to perpetuate a lie for the safety of his team and himself. This lie isn’t a small one. When Barry finds out that Harrison Wells is the bad guy he’s feared for months, he has justifiable anger and the immediate desire to confront him. Joe West cautions patience and Barry is forced to lie to Wells in order to find a way to outsmart him.

This is a hero moment because it not only shows Barry’s disillusionment with someone Barry saw as a hero and mentor, it shows that being a hero isn’t always about fighting. Sometimes you have to have patience. Sometimes you have to look your enemy in the face and smile. For happy-go-lucky Barry this is a hard-won lesson.

Crazy Train

The Flash Season 1 Episode 4 “Going Rogue”

Barry rescuing twenty or so people from the train after Captain Cold sabotages seems like a minor moment in the run of series, but it is the first time he is tasked with saving so many lives. His speed is the only thing that can keep the train wreck from killing every single person on board. The cost of doing nothing will be another life lost to Captain Cold. His eyes flash with the Speed Force, and then he’s off. He saves every last passenger as the train crashes dramatically around him.

Barry Allen was a hero before this moment, but it was the first time he viscerally and literally saved so many people at once.

You Spin Me Round

The Flash Season 1 Episode 1 “City of Heroes”

Barry is first tasked with a ridiculous, crazy, and supernatural situation in the premiere episode. Uncertain of his destiny, only knowing that he has this paranormal ability, Barry does everything he can to face the weirdness of a man who can control weather. He doesn’t know what he’s doing yet in his mission, but with the help from his new friends he manages to figure out a solution.

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In a moment straight out of the comics, Barry runs counterclockwise and manages to keep the tornado from wiping out Central City, saving Joe, Eddie, and a whole lot of people in the process. This is his first big moment, where he learns that he is capable of being the hero he wants to be – that he can fight. 

Lightning Strikes Again

The Flash Season 1 Episode 7 “Power Outage”

An important lesson for Barry to learn is what kind of hero he is without his abilities. When he loses his power and agrees to nothing short of electrocution to get it back – it’s further proof that his superhero qualities are his personality not his powers.

When Blackout comes looking for revenge on Barry’s mentor, Harrison Wells, he manages to take Barry’s powers from him. Barry is faced with being a regular human after having a glimpse of being super. Even with the failures and the costs he has seen so far, he knows that being a superhero isn’t in his power. It’s in who he is.

When he decides to get re-struck by lightning, it is with a full understanding of the choice he is making. Taking on the powers is no longer a passive choice, it’s one he undertakes with certainty and determination. It is nothing less than the rebirth of a hero.

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

The Flash Season 2 Episode 7 “Gorilla Warfare”

Physical tests are often perceived as the hardest. Superheroes have to be at the top of their game. Without that strength, they are open to losing whatever villain they face. It is the psychological effects that are the most lasting and more important than abs of steel or arms the size of watermelons. When a hero loses faith in their abilities, they lose the real grit that serves them in a fight.

When Zoom breaks Barry’s back, he doesn’t just harm the spine, he wedges doubt into Barry’s mind. It allows Barry the chance to see that he is perhaps too weak to face Zoom. He isn’t quite the hero he thought himself to be. But, like the hero he is, and with some talking to by his biological dad, Barry realizes that he is still a hero. He overcomes his doubt and his failure to put the suit back on and find his confidence once more. Facing himself may be one of the hardest fights he ever has to endure.

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You’re As Cold As Ice

The Flash Season 1 Episode 4 “Going Rogue”

When Barry tries to outrun Captain Cold’s ice gun, he learns the cost of being a hero. He learns that not every person can be saved. Some things are faster. Some villainy he can’t outrun. Barry has, so far, saved every innocent person he’s set out to save. There is levity and humor in his heroism. He isn’t like Oliver Queen (for better and worse). He jokes, he quips, and he runs in the light of day.

But when a man is killed by the ice gun because Barry couldn’t get to him fast enough, Barry learns that being a hero sometimes means losing. He learns what Oliver Queen learned long ago: being a hero sometimes means that people die on your watch.


The Flash Season 2 Episode 1 “Flash of Two Worlds”

Jay Garrick from Earth-2 is the Flash that was. Jay was the original Flash in the comics, and he knows his stuff. He’s had years to master his now defunct abilities and he takes the time to teach Barry how to throw lightning.

Barry uses it to apparently kill a metahuman, but there was no other choice. Nothing can hold the man; no easy solution is possible. So Barry throws lightning – a moment that was as cool as it was grand.

Mother and Child Reunion

The Flash Season 1 Episode 23 “Fast Enough”

Barry, though sometimes naïve, is a smart man. He understands that some fights cannot be won. He understands that the consequences of his actions resonate into the future. The entire series, Barry’s choices and his failures, have led him to one moment – one decision – that certainly qualifies him as a superhero. He wants nothing more than to have his mother alive and his father free from prison. He wants his family back. But even visiting the past in a way that no one else really can, he realizes that it cannot be changed. Some moments are fixed in time, resolute and sure. Unfortunately, one of those moments is his mother’s death. He watches, with tears in his eyes, as she slips away from him once more. He does nothing because he must. That is the price of heroism. He knows that the fate of the world is more complex than having his family back. This is the cost he must bear going forward.

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Back in Time

The Flash Season 1 Episode 15 “Out of Time”

A tidal wave. The city at risk. Iris and Joe near death. This is the moment that many people were waiting for once they heard the series was coming to the small screen.

Barry going fast enough to move through time is one of those iconic acts from the comic, and it was a moment born out of pure heroism in the series. Barry didn’t know he would run back in time; he wasn’t trying to set things right with the past. He just knew that he needed to create a wall to keep the city from being wiped out. So he ran faster than he had ever run in his life and shattered the barrier of time itself in a way that changed the direction of the show and unleashed the problems and fun of time travel forever. This was the moment when Barry Allen became the stuff of legends.

You Light Up My Life

The Flash Season 1 Episode 9 “The Man in the Yellow Suit”

Barry has two dads. The man who gave him life and raised him in his formative years and the man who took him in and loved him through thick and thin. Barry’s relationship with Joe is like any parent with their child. There’s overwhelming love, there’s irritation and anger, and there’s moments of learning and growth. There is no better moment than when, during one of their man heart-to-hearts, Barry confesses his fear to Joe – how he’s never left the living room where his mother was murdered.

Joe confesses that Barry changed his life, brought light to his world that could not be dimmed, and Barry realizes that he is more than his fear. He realizes that he is more than a masked superhero. Barry Allen, the man, matters to the people in his life just as much as the Flash matters to Central City. He is both, and this is a very good thing.

Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do

The Flash Season 2 Episode 6 “Enter Zoom”

Threatened all season, the moment Zoom appears on screen, he is terrifying, monstrous, and clearly the kind of villain only a superhero can have as a nemesis. From his first appearance in The Flash: Secret Files and Origins #3, Zoom had a mighty impact on the Flash’s comic book legacy. His mark on the show is no less.

Barry is met again with a challenge he is not quite ready to face. He has fought crime, bested fake Wells, and closed a black hole, but Zoom is different. Despite knowing that Zoom is faster, Barry fights him anyway. In the process, his back is broken.

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This is often what sets heroes apart from ordinary people. They fight when they are outgunned. They fight because they know they must. The entire fight with Zoom, regardless of the outcome, is one of Barry’s greatest superhero moments.

Black Hole Sun

The Flash Season 1 Episode 23 “Fast Enough”

Barry doesn’t hesitate when a black hole opens up above the good people of Central City in the final episode of season one. He races to close it, hoping his superhuman speed and a counterclockwise motion will help close it. As he leaps from crumbling building piece to crumbling building piece, the hero, the man who would save the city and the world, is finally on display for all to see.

The city watches as he races to save them all. He is a hero in the light, and it is a moment where nothing will ever be the same again for The Flash. Plus the FX were really, really cool.