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Chlois theory

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The Chlois theory was the theory that Chloe Sullivan would eventually grow up to become the iconic character of Lois Lane, Clark Kent's girlfriend and reporting partner at the Daily Planet. However this theory was virtually scrapped as Chloe began to find her own unique destiny as Watchtower and as the wife of Oliver Queen.


There were various versions of the Chlois theory that had been suggested as different points along the life of the series.

  • The Pseudonym theory - Chloe started to use the name Lois Lane as a pen name (as she did in Season 3's Delete) and it was believed that at some point she would change her name to Lois Lane. This theory took a hit after the appearance of Erica Durance as Lois Lane in Season Four.
  • The Identity Switch theory - Chloe would take over Lois' identity at some point in the future, changing her name to Lois Lane. In this version of the Chlois theory, Erica Durance's Lois Lane would die or disappear... or alternatively, agree to give her identity to Chloe.
  • The Names Don't Matter theory - In another version of the theory, Chloe retains the name "Chloe Sullivan" but acquires all the iconic characteristics of Lois Lane: a strong, opinionated award-winning reporter who works at the Daily Planet, is married to Clark Kent, and knows Superman's secret identity.
    • As of the comics' New 52 reboot, Lois Lane is no longer in a relationship with Clark Kent and does not know his secret. Superman is in a relationship with Wonder Woman instead.


The Chlois theory has evidence both supporting and undermining the various versions of the hypothesis:


  • Both Chloe and the iconic Lois Lane are avid reporters with newspapers in their blood. Chloe was the youngest intern in the history of the Daily Planet. Smallville's Lois Lane took several seasons before she fully embraced the idea of reporting.
    • Chlois theory detractors say that Lois has now fully embraced the world of reporting, and is in fact now a more successful reporter than Chloe (as Chloe's attention has shifted to being an information broker for superheros like Clark Kent and Green Arrow).  Also the statement that (Chloe and Iconic) Lois Lane had "newspapers in their blood" was never said in any comic or other take of Lois Lane, it generally was a Chloe characteristic that was transcribed unto Iconic Lois Lane(not the other way around) by fans of the theory.  In fact you can find some other stories of why Lois became a reporter that had nothing to do with her love from an early age, although most of the time when we meet Lois we know little of her background of how she became a reporter. 
  • Chloe's letter says that, "my disguise is so thin, I'm surprised you haven't seen right through me". Chlois theory supporters interpret this to mean that Chloe is Lois Lane in disguise.
    • Chlois theory detractors interpret this to mean that she is disguising herself as a friend, while she is actually in love with Clark.  It can also be argued that the letter was basically a setup for the Season 2 Closing Episode Exodus when Chloe sells out Clark to Lionel Luthor to get a job at the Daily Planet and had absolutely nothing to do with Chloe having some secret identity.  Also if Chloe was really "Lois Lane", how would Clark know who Lois Lane is since he never heard that name when Chloe read the letter so the premise makes absolutely no sense that "Chloe is Lois Lane in disguise" and the letter was her way of hinting that to Clark.
  • In Season 5's Lexmas, Lex sees a vision of the future. Clark and Chloe appear together, but Clark never says Chloe's name. Instead he refers to her as, "Miss Did-I-Mention-my-book-is-about-to-be-published." In addition, Lois Lane does not appear anywhere in the episode, even at a holiday party attended by many of the Kents' friends. Both of these hints that Chloe may have changed her name to Lois Lane.
    • At the same time, Erica Durance often doesn't appear in episodes as a cost saving measure. In addition, Lois Lane could easily have been away from Smallville on a reporting assignment.  


  • The biggest evidence against the Chlois theory is the introduction of Erica Durance as Lois Lane in Season 4. Lois's father is General Sam Lane, her sister is Lucy Lane, and she becomes interested in reporting and gets a job at the Daily Planet. These are all key elements of the Superman mythos.
    • Chlois supporters counter that names and families don't matter, and that Chloe is more similar to the iconic Lois Lane than Smallville's version of Lois.
  • In the traditional Superman story, Clark was in love with Lois. In Smallville's version of the story, the roles are reversed and "Lois" (Chloe) is in love with Clark.
    • Chlois supporters cite this as just another reworking of the Superman myth, similar to how Smallville writers have reworked other characters' relationships (e.g. Clark and Lex being best friends, Lana Lang dating Lex Luthor). Also, since Chloe knows Clark is Kal-El/Superman, it would still fit the original dynamic of Lois loving Superman.
  • Chloe possesses a lot of character traits of various Superman characters throughout the history of Superman, most notability Lana Lang who herself was created as a "proto Lois" in the Superboy comics.  You can also find similar links to Chloe to characters in the comics such as Pete Ross(best friend), Jimmy Olsen(Superman's Pal who helped him on occasion when he needs information), Lucy Lane(relative of Lois who dates Jimmy Olsen), etc.  Beyond that Chloe had many characteristics that were distinctly her own(Superman/Clark Kent never really had a sidekick to the degree of Chloe in the comics for instance).  We never really seen theories made out of these except to prove a point how having a few similarities doesn't instantly mean you are that character(especially in the case of Iconic Lana Lang who Chloe shares a lot of canon plot points with(first kiss, goes to high school with Clark, works as a journalist, etc.)).  Much to the same idea you could find many similarities to link Smallville's Lana Lang doing Iconic Lois Lane things on Smallville so just because you do a couple things that Iconic Lois Lane might be associated with it instantly doesn't make that character be Iconic Lois Lane.
  • Chloe is dating Jimmy Olsen, not Clark Kent. Clark has clearly rejected Chloe's love interest several times during the series.
    • There's no reason why Chloe and Jimmy couldn't break up, so that Chloe and Clark could be together. And perhaps Clark would grow into his love for Chloe, as she hoped for in her letter.        


  • Eventually, the Chlois theory did not become reality, but supporters of the Chlois theory point out that it doesn't matter if Chloe actually changed her name to Lois Lane. In their view, Chloe's character clearly demonstrates the characteristics of the iconic Lois Lane. In this "Names Don't Matter" version of the Chlois theory, Alison Mack's Chloe Sullivan has become the spiritual heir to the comic book concept of Lois Lane.
  • On the other hand, other fans have pointed out that it did become reality in a very different manner, stating that Lois has been taking over Chloe's traits, especially in season 8,[1] and many viewers have criticized the destruction of a character to build up another[2][3][4][5] while others claim it was an homage. However, as Chloe embraces her role as Watchtower, more and more viewers began to realize that Chloe Sullivan has her own calling, one that not even the "real" Lois Lane could have.


  1. The dance scene in Bride is very similar to the one in Tempest, for instance. She also repeated much of what Chloe went through, from pining after Clark, learning his secret and waiting for him to tell her, to actually becoming Watchtower for a time.

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