The Sarah Jane Adventures

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
~~Dramatic Half Hour Science Fiction~~

A Spin-Off of Doctor Who (set, of course, in the Whoniverse), this time for CBBC. The series kicked off with a one hour long "pseudo-pilot" special which aired on New Year's Day 2007, followed by a full series of ten episodes later that year. The series' true pilot, though, was the 2006 Doctor Who episode "School Reunion", which reintroduced the character of Sarah Jane Smith.

It starred Elisabeth "Lis" Sladen, reprising her role of Sarah Jane Smith, investigative reporter and former companion of the Doctor (in his Third and Fourth incarnations), after sharing one adventure with the Tenth Doctor. She appeared to be a bit of an eccentric recluse at first, but it turned out she was really an expert on aliens and their technology. She was joined by local kids Maria and Clyde, as well as her adopted (and Artificial Human) son, Luke, as they battle aliens on Earth... well in Ealing anyway. Later episodes introduce Rani, Clyde and Luke's schoolmate, and Sky, Sarah Jane's adopted alien daughter (a character introduced late in the series as a replacement for Luke).

SJA is sort of the opposite of Torchwood. Where Torchwood is Darker and Edgier, The Sarah Jane Adventures is (ostensibly) Lighter, Fluffier, and For Kids. Like Torchwood, the series occasionally crosses over with Doctor Who, and Sarah Jane and Jack eventually meet and become friends.

Note that this was the second attempt to produce a Sarah Jane-centric Spin-Off, the first being 1981's K-9 and Company; only a pilot episode of that was produced, and after a guest appearance in 1983's Doctor Who special The Five Doctors, and the charity special Dimensions in Time, Sarah Jane wasn't seen on TV again until 2006.

Not to be confused with the earlier Big Finish audio drama series Sarah Jane Smith, which used a similar setup, but is much darker and realistic in tone, as par for the Doctor Who Expanded Universe.

The series was cancelled following Sladen's death, but three out of the six planned two-parters for Series 5 were already completed and aired posthumously in October 2011.

Now with its own recap page. Please feel free to contribute to it.

And the story goes on...

Tropes used in The Sarah Jane Adventures include:

Eleven: Ventilation shafts, that takes me back. And forward.

Sarah Jane: I always suspected Major Kilburn was a slimy creep.

  • Brainwashed: Villains brainwashing people comes up with some frequency. Clyde seems to be especially prone to being a victim of it.
  • Broken Aesop: Killing the Slitheen-Blathereen is a bad thing, but nowhere near as despicable as cheating on a test.
  • Brown Note: The Rakweed in The Gift is killed by soundwaves of a certain frequency.
  • By-The-Book Cop: The Cowboy Cop Judoon in Prisoner of the Judoon...that keeps to the speed limit and pays and displays.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Clyde mentions to Rani in a message he's recording in "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith" that he "always...always..." before collapsing from lack of air.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Slitheen-Blathereen in The Gift.
  • Chain Link Fence: In Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
  • Chekhov's Skill: Alan's skateboarding past, which was mentioned at the beginning of one story and came in very handy in the climax. This trope's even been nicknamed "Chekhov's Skateboard" on Outpost Gallifrey.
  • The Chessmaster: Mr. Smith.
  • Circus of Fear: In The Day of the Clown.
  • City of Adventure: Ealing comes to be known as the "Ealing Triangle" for all the weird stuff that happens there.
  • Collapsible Helmet: Commander Kaagh in The Last Sontaran.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: All the main characters wear a denim jacket at least once. Luke's is always on top of his school uniform. Also all the full-time companions from Doctor Who wear one at least once as well.
  • Computer Equals Monitor: The death of Mistress in Warriors of Kudlak.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Death of the Doctor is just one big Cavalcade of Jo Grant's (and to a lesser extent, Sarah Jane's) previous travels with the Doctor, as well as Clyde and Rani's encounter with him in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith. There's even a token reference to Maria from series 1 and 2. At the end of the episode, Sarah Jane mentions looking up various Doctor Who companions of yore on the Internet, including Harry, Ben and Polly, Ian and Barbara, Ace and Tegan.
  • Continuity Nod: Frequent references to Doctor Who (new and classic) and (more subtly) to Torchwood.
    • Oddly, The Sarah Jane Adventures seems to reference the classic Who episodes more often than Doctor Who itself does. Photos of the Brigadier and other UNIT personnel were seen in the first episode, the Sontarans were referenced in The Eye of the Gorgon before they appeared in The Sontaran Stratagem and in The Mad Woman in the Attic we see flashbacks to Sarah Jane's days with the Third and Fourth Doctors. The same episode also heavily implies that Eve's people were killed in the Time War. And Sarah Jane lives on Bannerman Road.
      • The Doctor himself gets mentioned a number of times throughout the series, sometimes accompanied with flashbacks, sometimes not. Notably, his removal from time is an eventual goal of the Trickster.
      • Kaagh the Slayer belongs to the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet and recounts his fleet's destruction by the Doctor. Sarah Jane Smith also mentions the ATMOS incident.
      • In Revenge of the Slitheen, Sarah Jane recalls when she met Rose in "School Reunion": "Slitheen in Downing Street."
    • The art gallery in Mona Lisa's Revenge used to house the Cup of Athelstan, stolen in "Planet of the Dead", and its theft is referenced.
    • The Vault of Secrets has Sarah Jane and Mr Smith stopping a NASA rover from catching sight of some Pyramids on Mars, and The Alliance of Shades themselves from the animated serial Dreamland appear.
    • The Eleventh Doctor references Amy and Rory's marriage, as well as his previous regeneration in which he is said to have visited every one of his past companions ("Every single one.").
    • Part of the plot of Death of the Doctor revolves around Clyde's absorption of TARDIS energy in the previous series' The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Cool Old Guy: the Brigadier, who returns in Enemy of the Bane.
    • And don't forget the 900+-year-old Time Lord called The Doctor.
  • Cool Old Lady: What did you expect? Older than she looks, Sarah Jane spends her time being generally awesome.
    • As does Jo Jones (aka Jo Grant) in Death of the Doctor.
  • Covered in Gunge: At least once a series (up until series 4), an alien will explode messily when at least one of the regulars is standing too close to them. On one such occasion, Clyde laments that it always happens to him. In series 4, he lampshades that he got through the series without being gunged... and then Ruby White's stomach gunges him.
  • Crossover:
    • Mr. Smith, the older Sarah Jane Smith, the K-9 from this series (one of several) and Luke have appeared in Doctor Who proper.
    • The Tenth Doctor appeared in a substantial role in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.
    • The recurring villain the Trickster has also gotten mentioned, but did not appear, in the parent series, as well as Torchwood.
      • Although the Trickster's Brigade appeared in both.
    • Death of the Doctor saw a substantial guest appearance from the Eleventh Doctor and former Third Doctor companion Jo Grant.
    • Originally, Martha Jones was supposed to appear in the finale of the second series (she was replaced with The Brigadier.) Had this went through, she would have been the first and only character to appear on all three shows other than the American newscaster Trinity Wells and the unnamed French newscaster.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: When listing the aliens she fought off, Sarah Jane mentions the unseen Patriarchs of the Tin Vagabond.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason For Abandoning You: Clyde's father.
    • More so with Sarah Jane's parents.
  • Dawson Casting: Daniel Anthony at 20 and Anjli Mohindra at 18 play 14-year-old (at the start of the series) Clyde and Rani. Averted with Tommy Knight and Yasmin Paige being close to the age they play (though Luke was "born" in the first episode).
  • Dead Line News: Trinity Wells in Secrets of the Stars.
  • Disappeared Dad: Clyde's dad ran off with Clyde's aunt Melba some time before the events of Revenge of the Slitheen. He briefly visits him, but returns to his new family at the end of The Mark of the Berserker.
  • Drop-In Character: Chrissie.
  • Drop What You Are Doing: In The Lost Boy, Maria drops the plate she's holding when she sees a news report about a missing boy who looks exactly like Luke.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Trickster.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Nightmare Man, in the episode of the same name.
    • Ruby in Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith and Androvax also fit.
    • Martin Trueman.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Enemy of the Bane; the Bane Kindred vs. Mrs. Wormwood and Commander Kaagh.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Slitheen, when not in human suits.
  • Eyeless Face: The Trickster.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Rani in The Mad Woman in the Attic. Fortunately, that future changes to a more pleasant one.
  • Gender Equal Ensemble: Until The Nightmare Man at the beginning of series 4 -- two boys (Luke and Clyde), and two girls (Maria and Sarah Jane, later Rani and Sarah Jane).
    • In fact, it's believed that part of the reason that Kelsey was written out after the pilot and replaced with Clyde was so create a gender-balanced ensemble (and possibly because Kelsey's actress just wasn't working out.)
  • Genetic Memory: Luke in Invasion of the Bane.
  • Genre Savvy: As of the fourth series, Clyde apparently keeps a flashlight on him at all times.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In The Man Who Never Was, Luke sends a morse code message that told "Clani" to grab Harrison's pen. Clyde stated he was never more glad to see a full stop. Gareth Roberts even tweeted how surprised he was that it got through.
  • Ghost Butler: In The Eternity Trap.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Clyde during The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith mentions "The Pantheon of Discord" (what the Trickster belongs to) as this. The Doctor concurs.
  • The Good Old British Comp: Park Vale High School.
  • Good Parents: Sarah Jane, Alan Jackson, Haresh and Gita Chandra... Basically, all the parents (apart from Clyde's absent dad).
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Rani in Lost in Time.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: Sarah Jane herself. She was a) 57 as of its beginning, and (b) insanely hot.
  • G-Rated Drug: In The Gift, the Slitheen-Blathereen are addicted to the Rakweed.
  • Grey Goo: The nanoforms in Prisoner of the Judoon.
  • Happily Adopted: Luke. Dear God, Luke.
    • Sky too.
  • Hate Plague: In The Curse of Clyde Langer, after Clyde gets a splinter from a cursed totem pole, every human who hears or reads his name starts to hate him.
  • Haunted House: Ashen Hill Manor in The Eternity Trap.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Kaagh in Enemy of the Bane, prompting Sarah Jane to observe "The universe is an amazing place. It's got so many surprises for us, but one thing I never expected to see was the universe being saved by a Sontaran!"
    • Anyone the Trickster manipulates against Sarah Jane in his effort to allow chaos into the world will end up making one of these. This includes Andrea Yates, Sarah Jane's parents, and Peter Dalton.
  • Heroic Willpower: Subverted, then played straight when Sarah Jane is possessed by Androvax.
  • Honor Before Reason: Kaagh in The Last Sontaran and Enemy of the Bane.
  • Hot Dad: Both Alan and Haresh. The Parent Service in this series is definitely "for the mums".
  • Hot Mom: Chrissie and Gita wear low-cut tops occasionally. And, of course, there's Sarah Jane herself.
    • And now there's Miss Myers.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Subverted in Secrets of the Stars; Sarah Jane thinks this is why Clyde couldn't kill her, but it turns out that it was Luke touching him, since Luke has no birthday and thus no star signs and acts like a circuit breaker to those affected by the Ancient Lights.
    • Later used straight with Clyde's dad in Mark of The Beserker.
    • Subverted in Prisoner of The Judoon part 2 where Luke tries to do this with a possessed Sarah Jane and is tricked into thinking it worked when she starts speaking with her regular voice. It didn't.
  • I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference: In "The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith", when Sarah Jane and Luke head back in time to 1951 and meet her parents on the day they die, they use the names Victoria and David Beckham.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Mr Smith, most notably; but Sarah Jane has a few other alien toys to help her out.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: "Or they'll find relations with Santiago will get a little Chile." Even Clyde's ashamed of himself for making the joke.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted; what with the back story of the Slitheen, at some point before the show, two 12-year-old boys must have been killed and skinned for a disguise for the young Slitheen. This isn't shown on-screen, however.
    • Also averted with thirteen-year-old Andrea Yates in Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?.
  • Insufferable Genius: Nathan Goss (actually Nathan Slitheen) in The Lost Boy.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Clyde to Rani in Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Interspecies Romance: At the end of The Mad Woman In The Attic it is revealed that Eve and Sam, alien and human teenagers we meet in the episodes have a child.
  • It's Personal: In The Gift, it gets personal for Sarah Jane after Luke gets infected by the Rakweed. This happens every time Luke gets hurt. Also happened to Luke once or twice, most notably in Mona Lisa's Revenge when Sarah Jane got trapped in a painting.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Mrs Randall claims this in Eye of the Gorgon. Rani notes this about Harry in The Mad Woman in the Attic.
  • Large Ham: The Headmaster in Revenge of the Slitheen, probably because he was a Slitheen. Martin Trueman in Secrets of the Stars and Erasmus Darkening in The Eternity Trap. Sarah Jane (inhabited by the Androvax) in Prisoner of the Judoon.
    • The largest ham in has got to be the Nightmare Man. "Youuuur dreams are just beauuuuutiful!"
    • Ruby in Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith.
    • The Mona Lisa in Mona Lisa's Revenge (though the actress made up for this, big time, in a later Doctor Who appearance).
  • Laser Hallway: The Pharos Institute, in The Lost Boy, has a dramatic but impractical outdoor laser grid. Which, even apart from the fact that Sarah Jane just zaps it with her sonic lipstick, completely fails to make up for the fact that there's apparently no security systems installed inside.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Sarah Jane offered Gita a cup of tea: "Do you save the world every day, or only on Mondays?"
  • Left the Background Music On: Though first referenced on Doctor Who, it's later established in this series that Mr Smith's fanfare is under his control: when Luke asks him to turn on "quickly and quietly", in "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith", he does. Mr. Smith's fanfare is intended as a parody of the Windows startup music. The fact that his fanfare can be heard by the other characters was originally going to be brought up in series one, but the scene was cut, so it ended up on Doctor Who's fourth series instead.
    • In "Sky", he opened up slower than usual and with no fanfare, apparently because he was scared of the title character's power to short out electronics.
  • Lethal Chef: While there's no indication that her cooking's particularly bad, Sarah Jane has been known to set the kitchen on fire while making scrambled eggs.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In The Curse of Clyde Langer, when Clyde's name is cursed and he has to give a fake name, he looks at an Enrico's pizza box and gives the name Enrico Box.
  • Literal Genie: Ship and Eve's race in general in The Mad Woman in the Attic.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Luke in the cellar full of gardening tools in Eye of the Gorgon
  • Look Behind You!: Performed on a Sontaran, allegedly one of the finest soldiers in the galaxy. He claims he falls for it because he knows where they are going to run and it saves him from having to force them there. Whatever helps you sleep at night, bud.
  • Lost in Transmission: In Revenge of the Slitheen, as the Slitheen begin to drain London of power, Mr. Smith informs our heroes that the Slitheen are "notoriously hypersensitive to *fzzt*", and they're left to figure out the end of the sentence from the information they already have.
  • Magical Computer / Magical Database: Mr. Smith, Sarah Jane's alien computer, has access to all sorts of stuff, as 'he' can "hack into anything" and thus is able to scan for any news about alien activity. Sarah Jane hangs a lampshade on this, pointing out he is also configured to look up boy band news. This is a somewhat Justified Trope, given that the computer is a Sufficiently Advanced Alien one, and this is acknowledged by the fact that it has restricted files which humans can't access. Which turns out to be because he's evil.
  • Mass Hypnosis: On more than one occasion.
  • Meaningful Name: The Mad Woman in the Attic features two characters called Adam and Eve who turn out to be connected, of course.
  • Meganekko: Sarah Jane is, to quite a few fans, infinitely sexier while wearing glasses, as seen here among a few other places.
  • The Men in Black: The robotic Alliance of Shades from the animated Doctor Who episode Dreamland return in The Vault of Secrets.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Luke Smith.
  • The Mole: Mr. Smith, though he's back to good for series 2 as a result of a virus-induced Heel Face Turn.
  • Momma's Boy: Oh, Luke. Somewhat averted, though, in that it's played entirely sympathetically and never portrayed as bad.
  • Monster Clown: In The Day of the Clown, naturally.
  • Mood Whiplash: Very briefly during Death of the Doctor. Jo makes a joke about not being able to keep up with the Doctor and getting him into trouble with the other Time Lords.

Eleven: ... Yeah, I'd probably better go.

  • Most Important Person: Luke and Sarah Jane to each other, explicitly so. All you have to do is look at them to see it. Forget the Shipping, and forget the romance; their love story is the show's heart, and remains so even after Luke begins Commuting on a Bus.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Ruby.
  • Mythology Gag: Sarah Jane's newspaper clipping in Lost in Time is dated November 23rd, 47 years to the day after its parent show premiered.
  • Name's the Same: Really, whose idea was it to call a Whoniverse character Rani, the title adopted by a Mad Scientist Time Lady?
  • Newspaper Dating: Inverted in Lost in Time; Sarah Jane shows someone in 1889 that she's been taken from 2010 using a newspaper clipping she was holding.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Joseph Serf in "The Man Who Never Was" bears a certain similarity to the late Steve Jobs, and his company to Apple. It was commonly said that Jobs had a "reality distortion field" that made audiences love his products; Serf accomplishes this with actual hypnotic powers.
  • No Endor Holocaust: This series is guilty of it. All power going out all over the world, even those with its own power source? The Moon being pulled towards Earth and pushed back? Just about everyone in a trance because of their zodiac signs? No deaths?
  • No Man of Woman Born: the remarkably Macbeth-like climax of Secrets of the Stars.
  • No Social Skills: Luke Smith, at first.
  • Not What I Signed Up For: In Prisoner of the Judoon, Captain Tybo threatens the security guards at Genetec for obstruction. They quickly flee.

No-one said anything about flaming aliens in the contract.

  • Older and Wiser: Sarah Jane, now in, essentially, the role of the Doctor.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The crashing meteor and the encounter with the Dark Horde in Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Opening Narration: Clyde assumes narrator duty starting with series 3.
  • Once Per Series: From series 1-4, the main cast (or at least one member thereof) will get covered in some sort of alien goo.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Though her day job is as a journalist, and apparently one of the country's best, we almost never see Sarah Jane sit down and write a story.
    • Similarly, Alan and Gita are almost never seen at their jobs as computer programmer and flower shop owner respectively.
  • Pardon My Klingon: "Oh, for the love of Clom..."
  • Parental Abandonment: Sarah Jane was an orphan raised by her Aunt Lavinia.
  • Parental Bonus: The continuity nods to classic Who. And in Revenge of The Slitheen Maria's divorced mother asks her ex-husband if she can have the double bed size duvet as he won't need it having a single bed. Her mannerisms and delivery of this line is enough to make older viewers think she's making fun of his sex life. Also, in Mona Lisa's Revenge, Mr. Smith is reading out a vanished woman's profile on a dating site:

Mr Smith: She says she is 'open-minded' and 'willing to try anyth-'
Sarah Jane: Thank you, that will do.

  • Parent Service: All the teen characters' dads are remarkably hot. Rani has her male fans. Chrissie and Gita sometimes wear low-cut tops. Then there's Sarah Jane herself. There have also been more than a few guest stars who also fall into this trope.
    • Sky gives us the dominatrix-y Miss Myers.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Luke gets to deal with this in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Photographic Memory: Luke Smith.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Sarah Jane's a reporter, but since she's dedicated to keeping her adventures secret, she can't report on any of the adventures we see on screen. We've also never seen her actually sit down and write a story (although several stories do begin with her stumbling upon intrigue during legitimate journalism work - which was how Sarah Jane came to meet the Doctor in the first place). Nine times out of ten, the reporter thing is used as an excuse to have adventures, even in-universe. She's constantly escaping Maria's dad (and later, Rani's mum) by using an "I have to go file a story" excuse, when she's really heading off to fight an alien.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Sky.
  • The Power of Love: Oh yes, particularly the love between Luke and Sarah Jane.
  • Public Domain Character: The Pied Piper of Hamlin.
  • Quietly Performing Sister Show: Being perceived and promoted as a kids' show puts a dampener on the way some critics and fans view the show, however well it's produced. But it gets the viewers. The negative attitude was inverted somewhat after the death of Sladen brought increased attention to the final episodes, though even before this the two guest appearances by the Doctor led to increased profile for the series, with Death of the Doctor even being rebroadcast on the main BBC One network.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Luke's psychic energy in the series 1 finale.
  • Reality Warper: The Trickster, of a very limited sort; he can change or undo deaths, but only with the dying person's consent.
  • Real Life Relative: Harry the caretaker in "The Mad Woman in the Attic" is played by Elisabeth Sladen's real-life husband, Brian Miller.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: Sarah Jane offers Rani this choice.
  • Red Skinned Space Babe: Eve in The Mad Woman in the Attic.
  • Robot Buddy: K-9.
  • Running Gag: Sarah Jane burning food.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith. She knows it's a trap, but the temptation is irresistible.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Tenth Doctor implies that he dropped Sarah-Jane on Earth because she didn't need him anymore. Given how many Alien threats she's managed to defeat on her own, he's probably right.
  • Season Finale
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: K-9. Lampshaded on one occasion.

K-9 *In reference to Mr Smith* : Contact with that computer interferes with this unit's synaptic circuits.
Clyde: You mean he gets on your nerves.
K-9(More assertively that normal): Affirmative.

Clyde: If it wasn't for me, all these people... they, they wouldn't be here! I've saved them loads of times, and they don't know!
Paul: OK... is this some kind of trading card thing?]

  • Snap Back: An unusually serious example when K-9 is turned back into a drawing at the end of Mona Lisa's Revenge.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith. While it is partly funny the first time it's uttered, the second time is utter heartbreak.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The Nazis find a piece of chronostene buried beneath the Rheinland in Lost in Time.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: The Doctor has crossed-over twice, but it really doesn't bear worth thinking why he leaves saving the world in all the other episodes up to a bunch of kids and a old woman.
    • Torchwood is also absent, as is any references to the earth-shattering events it takes part in (i.e. Children of Earth - although Luke, Rani, Clyde and Maria are pubescent and thus weren't affected).
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: "Always Something There to Remind Me" randomly comes up on the stereo at a particularly appropriate juncture in Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? (and it's doubly appropriate, because the event she's trying to forget about happened in the year the song hit #1).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Clyde Langer for Kelsey Hooper. Clyde appears to be a male, less annoying, and much less whiny version of Kelsey. He finds aliens exciting and interesting, whereas she was in a state of determined denial. She was dropped from the show; according to rumor this was to even up the gender ratio of the characters (three females and one male became two of each), however other reasons have been reported.
    • Also, the computer Mr. Smith is a substitute for K9, resulting in an amusing mutual dislike between the two when K9 returns for good in The Mad Woman in the Attic.
    • Series 2, among other things, subs out Maria for Rani.
    • Luke has a nightmare about Sarah Jane substituting him when he goes to university in The Nightmare Man.
    • Invoked by Ruby White, who is actually an alien planning to take over Sarah Jane's life.
    • After Luke leaves the regular cast, series 5 introduces Sky, someone who looks like a teenager but is Younger Than They Look, has No Social Skills, and is Happily Adopted by Sarah Jane.
  • Taken for Granite: In Eye of the Gorgon: several Innocent Bystanders, one alien collaborator and Alan; though luckily for Alan, the process hadn't finished so he got better.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Double Subverted with the Nightmare Man. Luke gives a World of Cardboard Speech which he simply laughs off, asking if he really believes that talking would defeat a creature like him. I wasn't talking to you. cue Oh Crap.
  • Team Mom: Sarah Jane leads her group with a rather maternal brand of spunkiness. Apart from that, she's Luke's and Sky's adoptive mother.
  • Teens Are Short: Averted. Sarah Jane is not significantly taller than most of her companions and is noticeably shorter than Rani.
  • They Called Me Mad: Invoked by our favourite Deadpan Snarker Clyde after it turned out that his bringing K-9 to school to cheat on a test would save the day.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Sarah Jane believes that UNIT and other organisations would take in Luke for tests if they knew what he was.
    • In Death of the Doctor Clyde, realising he's got Artron energy flowing through him in the middle of a UNIT base fears the same might happen.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Sarah Jane lives at 13 Bannerman Road, but is not really that unlucky. Her life is just weird.
  • Token Trio: Maria, Clyde and Luke, later Luke, Clyde and Rani.
    • Sarah Jane becomes the Token White when Luke leaves and it actually helps Rani and Clyde's development.
  • The Trap Parents: In "The Lost Boy", Sarah Jane learns that Luke is not an Artificial Human after all, but a human boy who was kidnapped by the Bane and whose real parents miss him terribly and want him back. ...or is he?
  • Two of Your Earth Minutes: In Revenge of the Slitheen, the teacher who's really a disguised Slitheen refers to "your... our main electrical supply".
  • Undying Loyalty: It doesn't matter what you do to try to turn Luke against Sarah Jane - Mrs Wormwood! - his loyalty will always be with his mother, and hers with him (and, second, with The Doctor). The gang's loyalty to each other also counts.
  • UST: Clyde and Rani, since first meeting, but more noticeable in series 4.
  • Verb This: Clyde to a group of atom-disassembling nanoforms.

Atomise THIS.

  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Clyde's dad in The Mark of the Berserker. Chrissie's visits to Alan and Maria's house are a bit too frequent to count as this trope.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: School-based plots were more common in the first three series.
  • The Watson: Sarah Jane's companions.
  • Wedding Deadline: The "I do" variant, but on a cosmic scale, in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Sky only appears in three storylines due to Elisabeth Sladen's passing and the show's subsequent cancellation.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Since Sarah Jane is no longer the passenger of a TARDIS to take her to see aliens, they seem to have agreed to come straight to her home instead.
    • In Invasion of the Bane, an alien is indeed seen visiting Sarah Jane outside 13 Bannerman Road.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Shansheeth faked the Doctor's death so they could lure him to them and steal his TARDIS in order to prevent all death in the universe.
  • We Will Meet Again: Mrs. Wormwood, and she keeps that promise.
    • Inverted in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith in which Sarah Jane suggests she may never see the Doctor again. (As it happens, she does.)
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Sarah Jane gives speeches like this a lot.
  • The X of Y: Appears in 14 out of 27 stories.
  • You Meddling Kids: The reaction from would-be conquerors of Earth.
  • Younger and Hipper: Ruby White in "Goodbye, Sarah Jane" is a younger, hipper, and (initially) ruder version of Sarah Jane. It's a deliberate similarity; Ruby is an alien and part of her Evil Plan includes taking over for Sarah Jane.
  • You No Take Candle: Captain Tybo.
  • You Watch Too Much X: Sister Helena in Eye of the Gorgon, after Clyde accuses her of being an alien in disguise. In fact she's perfectly human -- the head nun, on the other hand...