[[quoteright:335:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mortadelo-filemon.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:335:Walking Disasters]]

'''Mortadelo y Filemón''' ('''Mort & Phil''' in English; check ThatOtherWiki for their names in other countries) are two clumsy secret agents and the two main characters in the comic series of the same name, drawn and written by Spanish artist Francisco Ibáñez. They are known by many other names throughout the world, specially Europe, such as Paling & Ko in the Netherlands and Clever & Smart in Germany.

The comics follow the adventures of Mortadelo and Filemón, two agents of the fictional Spanish secret service T.I.A. (In Spanish 'tía' means 'aunt', making this a ShoutOut to ''TheManFromUNCLE'' and a pun on CIA.) The two are totally incompetent and especially Mortadelo is prone to major goofs. The basic setup is that Mortadelo has some wacky idea on how to complete their mission, it backfires, and Filemón gets hurt as a result, angering him and applying some kind of punishment to Mortadelo. However, this basic setup is twisted, subverted and inverted enough for it to never get boring. The action is very fast-paced much like a ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoon, with StuffBlowingUp and AmusingInjuries all over the pages. Also, Ibáñez usually mixes his wacky stories with [[RippedFromTheHeadlines real world current events]] and fill the dialogues with [[{{Pun}} every single style of pun imaginable]]... which they usually work ([[LostInTranslation at least in the original Spanish]]).

Created in 1958 [[PrintLongRunners and still running]], the strip has released more than 190 books so far (and even more short stories), it's the most popular and respected comic book series ever produced in Spain, and probably the only local franchise that can still compete in sales with {{Manga}} and American ComicBooks at this point in the Spaniard market. The series has also had numerous [[CrossOver crossovers]] with both other Ibáñez's characters (like Rompetechos, Pepe Gotera & Otilio or the wacky neighbors from 13 Rue del Percebe) and characters from other Spaniard comic book artists (like Zipi & Zape, Captain Trueno, etc...)

The two main characters are Mortadelo and Filemón:
* '''Filemón:''' Full name '''Filemón Pi'''. Slightly less tall than Mortadelo, usually wears a white shirt and red trousers, and has two hairs on the top of his head. He is Mortadelo's chief and always sent on assignments with him, a job which he doesn't enjoy since that makes him suffer the consequences of Mortadelo's goofs more often than anyone else. Of all the characters, Filemón the only one displaying some common sense and occasionally a hint of GenreSavvy. Mortadelo calls him "Boss" for no real reason (see TheArtifact below)

* '''Mortadelo:''' Tall, thin and completely bald ([[BerserkButton which is something of a sore spot to him]]), usually dressed in black and always wearing glasses. He is a MasterOfDisguise, able to change into some unlikely disguise in an instant, which is useful in his work as a secret agent, and even more useful for making a quick getaway when someone is chasing him. The latter happens quite frequently due to his inherent clumsiness and total lack of common sense.

Other important characters are:
* '''Agent Bestiájez:''' A recurring character whose appearance, like that of the General Director, changes from time to time, but he's always a hulking brute who uses brawn before brains, just as his MeaningfulName suggests (Bestiájez, in Spanish is something like "[[TheBrute Brutesson]]"). When Mortadelo and Filemón want to skive off work or flee from a mission they consider too dangerous, the Súper always sends Bestiájez after them. Sometimes Mortadelo is able to fool him with his [[MasterOfDisguise innate talents]], but Bestiájez is a relentless hunter and always ends dragging the escapeés back to the T.I.A.
* '''Doctor Bacterio:''' The resident Q ([[Film/JamesBond this one]], [[Franchise/StarTrek not that one]]) of the T.I.A. and sometimes provides Mortadelo and Filemón with the items they need to complete their mission. His inventions almost always backfire in some improbable and spectacular way, and sometimes they drive the plot. The bearded inventor was directly responsible for Mortadelo's baldness, and for this Mortadelo hates him with a passion.
* '''Miss Irma:''' Her role varies from story to story, but she's usually the secretary of the General Director. She always haves the same appearance, though: she's everything Miss Ofelia strives to be. Sexy, curvy and cute, and, to add insult to the injury, she dresses just like Ophelia, on a tight red dress. Mortadelo is head over heels for her: sometimes she returns her affection, while most of the time she seems oblivious. Even if Irma is usually a [[DumbBlonde giggling airhead]], she has been shown to be [[ObfuscatingStupidity extremely smart]] on ocassion, especially on the issue named "El Ascenso" ("The Promotion") when she acted like a real [[ManipulativeBastard femme fatale]]. In the later comics, however, she hasn't appeared at all.
* '''Miss Ofelia:''' The blond, heavily overweight secretary of the Súper. She is in love with Mortadelo (Well, kinda), but he isn't at all interested and usually makes fun of her... [[BerserkButton which is always a bad idea]], because Ofelia is extremely strong and prone to senseless violence [[WomanScorned when provoked]]. Sometimes, she makes passes at Filemón or even at the Súper, with the same predictable results.
* '''Supervisor Vicente:''' ''Superintendente Vicente'' in Spanish, [[DontExplainTheJoke written like that because it rhymes]], although he's usually called the "''Súper''" for short. He's Mortadelo and Filemón's direct boss. He is usually the person who assigns them their new missions, and the one who punishes them when they inevitably fail in just about every way imaginable. (Although sometimes they strike back at him, if it turns out that their "vital mission" was not that important after all.) Short-tempered, inconsiderate of his employee's needs and incredibly cheap, he is the ur-example of the BadBoss. In "De los ochenta p'arriba...", it's revealed his full name is '''Vicente Ruínez'''.
* '''The General Director:''' T.I.A.'s Big Boss. His appearance varies greatly from comic to comic, but he's always a well-dressed old man, usually wearing glasses and sporting an impressive moustache. Even though he's normally portrayed on a positiver light than the Súper, he's not above being vain and tyrannical. He has very little relevance in the stories, and most of the time he's here just to get severely beat up and, subsequently, exert GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity on his underlings.

----
!!This comic provides examples of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: Ofelia, to Mortadelo. Mortadelo's sister to Filemón in the movie.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Many times, a mission will require that Mortadelo and Filemón go down to the sewers, which are big enough to fit Mortadelo quite well (WordOfGod is that Mortadelo is 1'80 metres tall).
* AdaptationExpansion: In the movies, Filemón is given a mother in the first and Mortadelo a sister in the second.
* AdolfHitler: He sometimes appears in the comics. For example, in "El racista" he has just talked with two Jews, one of which says that Hitler is preparing something to keep them warm next winter...
** In "Mundial 78" about the 1978 World Cup, there was a fictional match (the finals) between Spain and Germany. The political authorities in the seats of honour were Adolfo Suárez, Spanish Premier at the time... and AdolfHitler, who was [[BreakingTheFourthWall wawing at the reader]].
* AgonyOfTheFeet: A fairly common gag. Generally, the guy's foot gets really swollen, too.
* AlienInvasion: Featured in "Los invasores", "Expediente J" (both Type 1) and "Las tacillas volantes" (Type 2).
* AllClothUnravels: This is a common gag. Generally, they'll start pulling the thread into a ball, but the thread belongs to a buff man's sweater or something. The owner of the garment will hit them (usually [[ButtMonkey Filemón]]) for ruining his clothing. If the mummy wrapping variation counts, they do that sometimes, too.
* AmusingInjuries: Very, very common, especially the CranialEruption. None of the main characters is safe, if they are in the scene you can be almost certain they are going to get hurt in the most ridiculous ways. Often results in InstantBandages.
* AnachronismStew: Whenever historical events are portrayed, expect some out-of-place item, usually a contemporary one like a cardboard-made TV in old Rome. Other characters will invariably call it a fleeting style which will be out-of-fashing soon.
* AnimatedAdaptation: The series got two major ones. The first, a trilogy of animated films produced between 1965 and 1970 (the first two are actually compilations of short films that were supposed to be a TV show), and an actual 26 episode TV show broadcasted in Spain between 1994 and 1995.
** The 2014 movie is done in CGI animation.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: At the end of one episode, Filemón tells the VillainOfTheWeek that he'll now be arrested for "deceit, breaking and entering, and spoiling our view". (To which the villain responds with an InsanityDefense.)
* ArtEvolution: Ibáñez art style evolved during the first 15 years of the series. At first, the strip was black and white, reselbling the art style from the American cartoons of the 1930s and 1940s with some traits of French comic books. The character design was also different, with a Filemón that resembled Sherlock Holmes and a Mortadelo that had an umbrella and a hat from which he got his disguises. During this time, Ibáñez started to get more and more influenced by French and Belgium comic artists of the time, specially Creator/AndreFranquin. These influences got reflected in the series until the mid 1960's, when his own style got more or less defined.
** It's worth mentioning "''El sulfato atómico''", the series first 44-pages story released in 1969. The art style in this volume is the most detailed and elaborated Ibáñez has ever drawn, which is one of the main reasons why it is considered his best master piece. However, putting that much effort in that art style turned out to be too time consuming, so Ibáñez decided to go back to his less-detailed style so he could focus on the humour gags and be able to release more volumes a year.
* TheArtifact: Mortadelo calls Filemón "Boss", even though they have the same rank in the T.I.A. This is due to the fact that during the first 11 years of the series, both characters weren't T.I.A. agents, but had a private eye agency in which Filemón was, indeed, the boss of the office and Mortadelo his sidekick and only employee. Ibáñez kept Mortadelo's habit after he changed the series basic plot in "''El sulfato atómico''" in 1969. See ReTool below.
* AsianBuckTeeth: All Asians, even in the latest releases.
* [[BaseballEpisode Association Football Episode]]: There's usually one for each World Cup, and one for each edition of TheOlympics. In most of them the agents get to participate, while attempting to stop a terrorist threat to the event.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: The primary plot point of several comics and short stories, with Bacterio usually responsible. ''El Sulfato Atómico'' revolves about a chemical that does this to bugs.
* AuthorAvatar: Ibáñez sometimes plays a minor role in the plot, or is name-dropped, usually making Mortadelo wonder "where he heard that name before"...
* BadBoss: Superintendente Vicente, in spades.
* BatDeduction: This is how "''El Gang del Chicharón''" BigBad Gedeón el Chicharrón deduces that a cat smoking is Mortadelo in disguise:
--->'''Gedeón''': "Cats don't smoke. If they don't smoke is because they don't have money to buy cigarettes. If someone doesn't have enough to buy cigarettes [[PerpetualPoverty is because he is a T.I.A. agent]]. T.I.A. agents eat bread with mortadella. Mortadella sounds similar to Mortadelo. Therefore...This cat is Mortadelo!"
* BeenThereShapedHistory: When the main characters timetravel, they may change history spectacularly.
* UsefulNotes/BerlinWall: They managed to cross it twice in ''In Germany'' (from East to West because they stink so much the guards can't stand them, and from West to East by going really fast on a car), which Ibáñez wrote for the comic's German fans.
* BerserkButton: Quite some.
** For starters, Mortadelo's baldness. Don't try to mock it if you know what's good for you.
*** Also, whenever some other MasterOfDisguise appears, Mortadelo will go into full-fledged disguise mode to prove he's the one and only.
** It can't compare to Ofelia's weight. Even the slightest insinuation of she being anything more than "a little pudgy" (if even that) will end up with you running for your life.
** Don't tell Mortadelo and Filemón that they have to work with Bacterio, or that they have to test his new invention. Seriously, just don't.
** Mortadelo and Filemón themselves are the Súper's own BerserkButton whenever they screw up... which is basically all the time.
* BlandNameProduct: Commonly for the lulz, a portmanteau of a well-name brand with some other unrelated word - "Pescadillac" combines luxury-brand Cadillac with "pescadilla", Spanish for whiting, which is not expensive. Sometimes only some letters are changed to ease a Spaniard's pronunciation.
* BlindMistake: Rompetechos (originally having his own comic-books, now a recurrent character in Mortadelo) is a MisterMagoo -like guy who crosses paths with Mortadelo and Filemón because of a mistake - Rompetechos may be looking for a priest and, seeing Mortadelo's black clothes, will harass him nonstop, meddling with Mortadelo's activities.
* BodyBagTrick: The comic moves this a step forward: Main characters need to infiltrate into a hospital. They see a slacker sleeping in the street. The characters impersonate nurses bringing the slacker in a pallet, claiming he needs urgent surgery for appendicitis. The slacker wakes up in the operating theater; when he leaves the hospital, he sees a peer loafing around and warns him: If the staff catches him sleeping, they'll operate him for appendicitis!
* BookcasePassage: Secret doors are accidentally opened, commonly for comedic effect.
* BowtiesAreCool: Filemón, all the time.
* BreakingTheFourthWall / MediumAwareness: Happens occasionally. The most prominent example is in "Robots bestiajos", where Mortadelo directly addressing the reader to turn the comic sideways so they could easily walk up the side of a building. Another example has a character comment on events he couldn't possibly see by looking in the panel next to his.
* BreakoutVillain: Ibáñez made appear the rival organization ABUELA only once, as a one-time VillainOfTheWeek in "El plano de Alí Gu-sa-no". This didn't stop other writers to use it as the arch-enemy of the organization TIA.
* {{Cameo}}: Practically every single famous Spanish politician of the second half of the 20th Century has appeared in more than one volume. A lot of foreign politicians and world leaders, such as the US Presidents (from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama), Fidel Castro or the European Prime Ministers, appear quite often too.
* CanonDiscontinuity: Ibáñez lost the rights to write the comic during the late 80s. During that time, less known authors published some stories on their own (each with his own style, see DependingOnTheWriter below). When Ibáñez regained the rights, he dismissed most of the stories written by other authors (some of them are still among the official works, though).
* CartoonCheese: A painful aversion: An elderly woman mistakes a bar of soap for a piece of cheese that looks just like the soap (rectangular, not like a wedge) and gives it to [[ButtMonkey Filemón]], who unknowingly eats it...
* CatchPhrase: Mortadelo repeats his "¡Corra, jefe, corra!" ("Run, boss, run!") [[http://mortadeloyalgomas.blogspot.com.es/2011/05/4-aniversario-de-corra-jefe-corra.html quite a few times.]]
* ChangingClothesIsAFreeAction: This is Mortadelo's speciality. He holds an [[HyperspaceWardrobe indeterminate number of disguises]] under his coat and can instantly put them on in between comic panels.
* ChasedOffIntoTheSunset: This happens in virtually every last panel of every story, with the two bumbling secret agents typically being chased by their boss, his secretary, the agency's scientist, or a combination thereof because they (again) screwed up their case big time. Sometimes, Mortadelo will also use his superhuman camouflage skills to hide as a cactus, cow etc. with Filemón hiding "in" him, and their suspicious pursuers in the vicinity looking around for them.
* ChekhovsArmoury: The first movie. You'll just get amazed at how many details get reused later on.
* ChekhovsGun: Every other gag is this.
** But the prize goes to a scene where Mortadelo and Filemón were locked in a bank vault and Filemón ties to dig his way out with a Swiss-Army Knife. Mortadelo tries to tell something to Filemón but the latter dismisses him. He spends '''three days''' digging a hole and, when he comes out, he sees that Mortadelo is already out of the vault. How did he get there? The vault's door was unlocked and when Mortadelo tried to tell this to Filemón, he didn't want to hear.
*** This happens so many times that you nearly expect it to happen when Filemón starts to do something while not paying attention to Mortadelo. There is even one time when Filemón tries to open a door using a cable, and sixteen hours later, when he surrenders, Mortadelo mentions that he was "having some fun with his penknife" and ended making a very artistic door.
** In "Las embajadas chifladas", at the final chapter Filemón got his neck elongated to a point where it was about half a meter long, and had to hide it inside his shirt. Much later, once everyone thought his neck [[AmusingInjuries had gone back to normal]], he used it to make [[ItMakesSenseInContext everyone think that Mortadelo was a snake charmer, revealing it while Mortadelo played the flute]]. And at the end of the story, he and Mortadelo got tied with a bomb near them. What did Filemón did? [[ChekhovsBoomerang He used his neck to take the bomb with his teeth]] and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome threw it to the]] BigBad.
** In "El cochecito leré", Mortadelo and Filemón must participate in a 1000-km car race to win a great prize for their organization, using a car developed by Bacterio. After an accident, [[HonestJohnsDealership Pepe Gotera]] and [[GreaseMonkey Otilio]] are the ones that repair the car, and they accidentally don't put the brake pedal, which causes Mortadelo and Filemón to being unable to stop after a policeman tells them to do so. There are no problems in the whole race, but, when they reach the goal, they have to brake, and they can't. Just then, the car starts to break down in pieces, due to Pepe Gotera and Otilio's shoddy work.
* ChewToy: Every member of the main cast.
** Extra points in Filemón's case.
** Doctor Bacterio also deserves a special mention, as everybody do always their best to make his life miserable.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome:
** Irma, sort of. Her introduction was forced as a way to combat HoYay views of the main characters. The character was apparently disliked by the series creator and [[BrotherChuck Brotherchucked]] when he gained full control of the series some years later.
*** It's also related to the CanonDiscontinuity mentioned above. The introduction of Irma coincided in time with the loss of publishing rights that Ibáñez suffered. As a result, most of the comic books where Irma appears are "apocryphal" and were not written by himself. If you see a comic book where Irma appears, most likely wasn't written by him. When he eventually regained the rights, he dismissed a character that was now strongly associated with the "apocryphal" comic books.
*** Ironically, now that Irma's gone the rumours about possible HoYay between the main characters are pretty much gone, since now Ibáñez has complete creative control over his characters, without censorship, and he's introduced sexual elements such as Mortadelo being sort of a womanizer and Filemón being obviously interested in women. That, and the [[UnfortunateImplications constant tasteless gay jokes]].
** Likewise, Agent Bestiájez hasn't been seen in quite a while.
* ClingyMacGuffin: One of these features prominently in one of the issues, titled "The Warlock": a magical note, enchanted to kill anyone who reads it. The titular characters subsequently try to remove it by the most varied means, chucking it into the bin, shredding it, burying it, tying it to a rock and throwing it to the sea, and ''hitting it with a full discharge of a flamethrower''. And yet the note manages to never be actually harmed due to some kind of karmic immunity that causes people around it to suffer instead.
** They do manage to get rid of it. How? [[LaserGuidedKarma They send it back to the guy that commissioned the warlock to send the note to the Super]].
* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: Some of Mortadelo's disguises grant him abilities he doesn't have undisguised. For example, his ghost disguise allows him to phase through walls, he can [[WallCrawling climb buildings]] while disguised as a lizard, breathe underwater with a fish disguise or fly disguised as a bird.
* CollaredByFashion: Mortadelo.
* ComedicHero: Subverted because they tend to fail.
* ComedicSociopathy: In "Los mercenarios" the two main characters goes so far to throw their boss from the window when (they think) they are rich.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Constantly.
* CompellingVoice: Hypnosis is shown in a fantasy-clichéd way particularly with the character Magín el Mago and in the second movie. The only way to break the spell is by slapping the victim.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: in "La gallina de los huevos de oro" Mortadelo hits Filemón on the head, believing [[ItMakesSenseInContext that it is the hen they are looking for]] and comments that he will wake her up with an injection. Cue angry Filemón starting to run after him, ready to inject him a dose of sulfuric acid. Mortadelo's answer?
--> Don't be mad, boss! You aren't a registered nurse and could get fined!
* CompositeCharacter: On the animated version, they had the Agente Bestiájez fulfilling the roles of many one-off characters in the comics, probably so they could reuse his design and voice actor.
* ContinuityNod: Any appeareances of returning villians are punctuated by a side note pointing to the last story in which they starred. And then there is the book ''Venganza Cincuentona'' where a dozen of the most iconic MonstersOfTheWeek return to fight the heroes together.
* ContinuityPorn: The 50th aniversary special, which includes the return of many former villains and some other references to former albums, not without its problems:
** Some of the returning villains (El Rana, Bíchez) were clearly DeaderThanDead at the end of their respective album, and it's offered [[HandWave a very poor explanation]] or no explanation at all of why they're still alive.
** It's mentioned at the beginning of the story that Mortadelo and Filemón have been catching baddies for fifty years. There's a problem when you see that both the protagonists and the villains [[NotAllowedToGrowUp don't seem to be older at all]].
** Many (if not most) of the recurring villains were portrayed in their original album as pretty much [[TheJuggernaut unstoppable]], only to be [[VillainDecay easily defeated]] in the special.
** By far the worst Character Derailment is the one suffered by "Chapeau el Esmirriau". Not only he suffers from a huge VillainDecay (he's the closest Ibáñez has ever been from a Magnificent Bastard), but he seems to have lost his definining traits, such as his trademark silences (it has been said that he speaks more during the two pages he appears in the special that during the 44 that the original album had).
** And it's worth noting how all of the returning vilains who were portrayed as smokers during their original album [[{{Bowdlerise}} aren't smokers anymore]]... including Professor Von Iatum, an alien conqueror disguised as a scientist, whose cigarettes were established in the original album as his tool for breathing in our planet.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Roughly 30% of the frames show one character punishing another in some ridiculously over the top way.
** There are many other frames in which the Súper threatens Mortadelo and Filemón with something if they don't comply with his orders. Usually involves watching something so horrible that they will go with obeying. One example is ChuckNorris' [[TakeThat films]].
** In ''20,000 leguas de viaje sibilino'' (in which they must go from Madrid to Lugo going around the world), one of the stops is China. Two Chinese SecretPolice members believe M&F are two spies and attempt to make them reveal why they are there through Chinese torture methods (which are not exactly like the normal ones) until they pull out a torture system clearly based out on the Spanish Social Security system. This one works really well (though, Mortadelo just makes up a really bold lie so that they are healed).
** In one gag, Mortadelo tells Filemón that there is "nothing" over a window; Filemón proceeds to jump through said window to plummet hundreds of feet down a precipice, meaning that there was literally ''nothing'' past the window. Injured by the fall, Filemón proceeds to chase Mortadelo, trying to smash him with an enormous book titled "Nada, por Tedio Plomez Sopor", which roughly translates as "Nothing, by Tedium Boredom Sleepiness" (Tedio Plomez Sopor, being a gag name in Spanish). Filemón chases him saying "I'll show you what ''nothing'' means!"
** See SuckinessIsPainful for a few examples.
** Sometimes, both of them are held in specially tiny spaces. This will result in either of the following: either they come out in the form of the place they have been held (and eventually threatened to be sent to other place which is even smaller) or the place where they were kept was [[HammerSpace much bigger than what it should be]] (one hilarious example has Filemón "practicing Formula 1 racing" while kept in a drawer, which results in one guy looking into that drawer and getting his big nose flattened by one Formula 1 racing car and shouted at ''from within the drawer'' to stay off the track).
** Another one has Mortadelo practicing horse riding. Cue a horse coming out of the drawer.
* CranialEruption: From blows to the head, falling from great heights, you name it. The lumps sometimes come in layers of two or three.
* CreatorProvincialism: Played straight and averted: There are plenty of stories set in other countries or as world trips ([[HollywoodGeography Not that they're accurate or anything]]), but quite a few have evil criminals, aliens or whatever that just happen to hide/go to Spain for no real reason. Best example? ''Expediente J''. The evil aliens send a few havoc-causing {{phlebotinum}} rocks to Spain (And accurately, around the area the main characters live at that) and when their leader appears at the end, he assumes that has caused ALL of humanity to be a mess. What?
* CreditsBrandProducts: The comic (1958–1968) included billboards of "Chicle Duglas" in the background.
* CrossOver:
** With another popular Spanish character, Capitán Trueno, in the album "¡Bajo el bramido de Trueno!"
** They also had an earlier, better one with ZipiYZape.
** And with pretty much any other Ibáñez strip: 13 Rue del Percebe, Rompetechos, Pepe Gotera y Otilio, etc.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Some stories were written during the late 80s by other authors, since Ibáñez didn't have the rights to write his own during that time. Those "apocryphal" stories tend to have [[ContinuityNod Continuity Nods]] to the former "official" stories, much more than the ones actually written by Ibáñez.
* DetailHoggingCover: Ibáñez prides himself in these. [[SelfDeprecatingHumor He's usually late delivering them, though.]] In at least a short story it becomes a ''plot point''.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: The Súper at the end of "El bacilón". OK, you have an urgent necessity to go to the bathroom, but [[TheJuggernaut the unstoppable]] MuckMonster that has been terrorizing the city for the last week is obstructing your way. What do you do? If you're the Súper, deliver a SINGLE slap so that [[NoBodyLeftBehind it dissolves into nothing]] and stops obstructing your way. No more Bacilón. But, unfortunately, this does little to help him relieve himself.
* DiggingToChina: One episode contains a RunningGag where the two characters repeatedly drop onto a traffic light from great height, driving it deeper and deeper into the ground with each landing. The final iteration shows the traffic light's base sticking out of the ground in China.
* DinnerDeformation: The thrown variant is often used.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: In one of the comics, ''El Sulfato Atómico'', Filemón is imprisoned and Mortadelo decides to dress as a commander of the Tiranian Army (Tirania is the country they are infiltrating), but when it comes to give the orders, [[OhCrap he realises he doesn't know how to speak Tiranian]].
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The duo ran a detective agency of their own long before joining the T.I.A, and their wardrobe mirrored that of Main/SherlockHolmes, complete with period caps (which doubled as disguise storage for Mortadelo) and a wool coat and smoking pipe for Filemón. The latter would wear jackets for a while after joining the organization. Other TIA members chose differently colored versions of their base outfit before finally setting for one of them.
* EarthquakeMachine: In ''Desastre'', a MadScientist threats cities using several types of {{Doomsday Device}}, the last one causing earthquakes and threatening the heroes' own city.
* EveryoneChasingYou: There's a high probability of any episode ending like this.
* ExactWords: If you ask Mortadelo to check for any guard dogs, he won't warn you about the hungry crocodile... Also, if he tells you that there is "nothing" behind a door, don't go rushing through it too fast.
* ExplosiveStupidity: Characters exhibit this several times in every story.
* ExcusePlot: The comics usually have extremely thin plots that just function to place the characters in random settings or situations, and then let slapstick ensue. Usually Mortadelo and Filemón's investigations do not advance one iota over the course of one story until the very ending, and often another agent will solve the case, or it turns out there was no case to solve at all.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Things simply ''can't'' end well for the protagonists. In the rare occasions when the author allows them a happy ending, it'll be lampshaded.
* ForScience: Prof. Bacterio tends to do this.
* FranchiseZombie: The series has been accused of this since roughly the early 2000's.
* FundamentallyFunnyFruit: Eggplants. Ibáñez likes to draw eggplants lying around, just because they're funny.
** There's more to it than just being a "funny fruit". In Spain, the word "berenjena" has several other uses in coloquial language: a "berenjeno" is someone who likes to argue for stuff that is pointless or totally irrelevant, a "berenjenal" (strictly, the place where eggplants are planted) is an imbroglio or other kind of trouble and a "discusión de berenjenas" (lit. "eggplant argument") is an argument where neither side makes sense or even sees the point at hand.
** There's one instance where Mortadelo has to deal with members of a certain political party, which has as its logo a hand with an eggplant (a parody of the actual logo of the PSOE, a hand with a rose), meaning these guys are all ''berenjenos''.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Ibáñez is a ''master'' of these. In fact, he makes it a goal to put, at least, 2 or 3 of these events on every page (one doubles as a FunnyAneurysmMoment, so much that it provides the page image).
* FunWithAcronyms: The two agents work for T.I.A. (tía means aunt in Spanish and also sounds very similar to C.I.A.); one of the older nemesis organizations was the A.B.U.E.L.A. ("grandmother")
* GadgeteerGenius: Subverted, Bacterio's gadgets almost never work right and usually fail in some spectacular way. Once in a blue moon, they'll actually work correctly, and the failure will be due to the agents using it improperly. Or because there are other things about them that they haven't been told.
* GagBoobs: Ofelia, she once managed to deflect a computer virus with them. [[ItMakesSenseInContext No, really]].
* GeniusBruiser: Sometimes the thugs are said to have degrees in engineering and phylology. This is mostly said once and then forgotten, no ChekhovsGun here (e.g., El Matraca in the second movie).
* GeniusDitz: Mortadelo is a [[TheDitz ditz]], but always expect him to have an idea to solve the problem. Besides, he's usually somehow the one who ends up saving the day [[SelfDisposingVillain (whenever the villain doesn't do it himself)]].
* GenreSavvy: Mortadelo quickly becomes this, doing stuff like using a fire extinguisher invented by Bacterio (whose inventions always work backwards) to fry a living wax monster.
* GilliganCut: M & F are summoned by El Súper. The duo are informed of their next, incredibly dangerous mission, or the next of Bacterio's inventions they will have to test. Cut to the duo simply dissappearing from the office and El Súper calling for a Seek And Capture on the agents. Cut again to Bestiájez dragging the duo into the office, which are still holding onto a landmark from the other side of the globe. Sometimes played in a more traditional form.
* GoneHorriblyRight: YMMV in this case: in "El racista", the vice-president is a racist that is intent on kicking all members of other races and/or ethnic groups out of the [=TIA=], assigning them dangerous and difficult missions so that, when they fail, he can present that as a consequence of what they are. After failing at helping those other agents with their missions, Mortadelo and Filemón plan to have Mortadelo disguise himself as an agent of another race and then Filemón tells some big story about that agent. The president becomes so impressed at those stories (without checking whether they are true or not) that he kicks the vice-president out... and then decides to put people of other races in charge of most of the organization's operations, leaving the Súper as a lowly delivery boy.
* GottaCatchThemAll: Some of the plots are like this, such as catching all members of a gang, rounding up all animals that escaped from Bacterio's lab, or checking a bunch of paintings for a secret message hidden behind one of them.
* GrandfatherClause: AvertedTrope ForTheLulz with Mortadelo's old-fashioned frock coat, because it's part of the joke: : Mortadelo, a veritable master of disguise, can wear whatever he wants - but his default choice is a ridiculously old-fashioned suit that emphasizes his physical defaults (baldness, lankiness). WordOfGod insists that Mortadelo's clothes were already obsolete in his first appearance - so the effect they cause in modern audiences is exactly the intended effect they were to cause in 1950s audiences.
** To a lesser extent, Filemón's bow tie has been object of mock by people he meets.
* GypsyCurse: In one album, the Súper is victim of a curse from a gypsy he accidentally soaked with his car, and he starts growing different animal limbs. After several failed attemps from Bacterio to remove the curse, Mortadelo and Filemón are sent to capture the gypsy, to force her to undo the curse (which proves to be difficult, as the gypsy's curses are similar to RealityWarper powers). Eventually, the gypsy tells the Súper the only way to undo the curse is to give the animal limbs to another people, and the Súper gives them to Mortadelo, Filemón and Bacterio.
* HairAntennae: [[OnlySaneMan Filemón]]. [[PrematurelyBald That's all the hair he has]].
* HairTodayGoneTomorrow: Mortadelo had exceptionally great and long locks before losing all of it because of a failed experiment by the comic's resident MadScientist, Profesor Bacterio.
* {{Hammerspace}}: Where Mortadelo keeps all of his disguises. Ibáñez has drawn from time to time [[DetailHoggingCover very detailed]] diagram pictures of the inside of Mortadelo's garb, as well as [[HyperspaceArsenal all the blunt weapons]] Filemón keeps under his shirt for the sole purpose of punishing Mortadelo.
** In the first years, he kept the disguises in his hat.
** On the "Mexico 86" comic, after he's inquired about the matter, he mentions that he changes [[PaintingTheMedium between panels]].
* HeterosexualLifePartners: they have been working together for many years, lived for a time at the same house, and are now living in the same hostel.
** Rumours that they weren't [[HoYay so heterosexual]] led to the introduction of Irma in the late 80s.
** A number of 1990s stories have jokes commenting on how people view our heroes as a couple. For example a story includes a section where a paparazzo "outs" Filemón as a homosexual and posts pictures of him holding hands with a particularly effeminate man. Other TIA agents start teasing him on the job - Mortadelo included. The paparazzo's next trick is having Mortadelo and Filemón photographed pushing their heads through holes in a wooden plank, which has been painted so that it looks like they are marrying, with Mortadelo as the groom. The same story had Ibáñez give a brief introduction on history's greatest romances... concluding with Mortadelo and Filemón. Followed by the two characters chasing their creator with murderous intent, "It was just a joke!".
* HeWentThatWay: MasterOfDisguise Mortadelo often pulls this off. Once, he sent a pursuer straight up a wall...
* HilarityEnsues: And how!
* HomeRunHitter: Done to an art in many comics. Several characters have been sent into outer space just with one kick.
* HornyVikings: Parodied where it turns out that the Vikings they encounter [[spoiler: are victims of one of [[MadScientist Dr. Bacterius]]'s experiments GoneHorriblyWrong, and the horns are really attached to their heads.]]
* HyperspaceArsenal: Filemón seems able to make appear any kind of weapon out of thin air. Too bad he only uses this skill against Mortadelo.
* HypnoRay: Magín el Mago.
* HypocriticalHumour: In "El nuevo cate", one of the priests that comes to the T.I.A. building prevents Mortadelo and Filemón from killing a cockroach and gives them a long speech about the sanctity of life that gives them a brutal headache... but when other agent appears with a machine gun and tells the priest he is going to kill several criminals, the priest only blesses him and sends him on his way.
* ImpactSilhouette: When the Súper wants to assign some dangerous mission to Mortadelo and Filemón (especially testing Bacterio's latest invention) he usually finds only their silhouettes in a nearby wall.
* ImpossibleThief:
** Many times, Mortadelo saves the day by stealing something without anybody else noticing. His speciality is when someone is holding an important object, which he manages to exchange for an useless thing (eggplants are perhaps the most common example). An ability that Mortadelo seems to be pretty proud of, as he likes to [[LampshadeHanging brag about it whenever he does it]]. This ability also comes useful when a policeman is holding either him or both M&F. Backfires also many times when he steals something from Filemón or the Súper.
** In ''Los ladrones de coches'', a story about a gang that steals cars, there are some instances of this. For example, there is one guy sitting on his sports car, waiting for the green light, and the thiefs take his car. While he was on it. And without noticing. He ends up sitting on the street, his feet into the sewer and stepping on a sewer worker's ear, one of his hands on the sewer's lid as if it was the drive wheel, and the other on a dog's tail.
* IncrediblyLamePun: in one of the old short stories, Filemón receives a threat of assassination and asks Mortadelo to help him prepare a good defense against potential killers. His idea is to bring a neighbour of his that has an hiccup attack, on the basis that "the best defense is a good attack".
* TheInfiltration: "Objetivo: Eliminar al Rana" and "El Tirano".
* IronButtMonkey: Filemón is the god of this trope, he constantly receives horrible beatings, explosions and even gets burned and frozen several times, only for him to recover one panel later. The rest of the cast qualifies, but Filemón overshadows everyone.
* JapaneseRanguage: Every Asian speaks with the "L in place of R" variety, regardless of their country of origin. Then again, they look so [[EthnicScrappy racistically caricaturesque]] it's almost fitting.
* LampshadeHanging: Pretty much the whole point of the tie-in ''Guía para la Vida de un agente de la T.I.A.''[[note]]A T.I.A. agent's guide to life[[/note]] book, which opens with two-page spreads of Mortadelo and Filemón's equipment, which includes: a reducing potion to fit in small disguises, plane tickets to faraway lands for when they're on the run from beating up their superiors, special glue for severed limbs, spare body parts, an array of weaponry (only for chasing Mortadelo) and a full dictionary of "idiot" synonyms, also for Mortadelo.
* LargeAndInCharge: Inverted - El Súper is shorter than Filemón, who in turn is shorter than Mortadelo. Played straight for the villains.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: Characters from the same publisher sometimes appear, mostly in cameos, sometimes as guest stars. The 35th anniversary special featured Mortadelo as a guest star in short stories starring many other characters (other characters by Ibáñez apparently share universe with Mortadelo).
* LegoGenetics: Mr. Probeta, who can sprout the parts of any of the many animals that were used in his creation.
* LethalChef: One of the [[RunningGag Running Gags]] associated with Ofelia, with the aggravating factor that she believes herself to be a great cook.
* LimitedWardrobe: White shirt, red pants and a bow tie for Filemón; looking glasses, long, black peacoat with an impossibly tall collar for Mortadelo (wherever he's not disguised); [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience navy blue, bottle green and beige]] dress pants and coat for El Súper, Bacterio and the Director General, respectively.
* LiteralAssKicking: Very common.
* LiteralMinded: Mainly Mortadelo. A recurring joke is for Mortadelo to be, for example, grabbing Filemón so that he doesn't fall through a window, then letting him fall when the Súper says something like "Stop everything you have ''on your hands'' and come here!".
* TheLoad: Filemón is treated as such in the first movie. He gets called this way twice, one by the Súper and another one by ''Mortadelo''.
* LongNeck: In "Las embajadas chifladas", at the final chapter Filemón got his neck elongated to a point where it was [[AmusingInjuries about half a meter long]], and had to hide it inside his shirt. Much later, once everyone thought his neck had gone back to normal, he used it to make [[ItMakesSenseInContext everyone think that Mortadelo was a snake charmer, revealing it while Mortadelo played the flute]]. And at the end of the story, he and Mortadelo got tied with a bomb near them. What did Filemón did? [[ChekhovsBoomerang He used his neck to take the bomb with his teeth]] and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome threw it to the]] BigBad.
* LongRunners: The longest runner Spanish comic series ever, lasting since 1958 and still running.
* LostInTranslation: The Spanish puns and jokes often don't translate well into other languages, making some scenes look strange.
* LotsOfLuggage: At the beginning of "Valor y al toro", when the two protagonists are about to get on a cruise for their mission, Filemón tells Mortadelo to pack only whatever is indispensable for the mission. Filemón gets angry when Mortadelo shows up later with a big bag and reminds him of how he only had to pack whatever was ''indispensable''. Mortadelo replies that he's only carrying his keys there, and points to more than a dozen of bags, saying ''that'' is his luggage. Eventually, Filemón allows him to carry only a hato.
* MadeOfIron: '''And HOW!''' The list of accidents they have survived [[UpToEleven is basically endless]]:
** They have been shot at any place in their bodies. Sometimes also they have gone through being shot several times, with each bullet leaving a hole.
** They have fallen (or been thrown) from planes flying at more than 11,000 metres of altitude.
** In ''Secuestro Aéreo'', Mortadelo landed a jet airliner... at 800 kilometers per hour, without deploying the landing gear, and crashing it against the airport's control tower.
** They have been subjected at point-blank explosions.
** They have been cut into tiny pieces (and then put back together with glue or thread).
** They have been [[HumanPopsicle frozen]].
** They have been completely submerged in acid.
** They have fallen in concrete pools that have solidified with them still submerged on it.
** They have been put under objects that were very heavy (as in, the range of metric tons).
** They have been thrown to outer space with no space suit whatsoever.
** They have survived a [[SerialEscalation NUCLEAR BOMB TEST]].
*** They have actually died once or twice;
**** Once they broke an old fortune-teller's crystal ball... which prompted the old fortuneteller to reveal she was actually a buff thug in disguise. Cue Mortadelo and Filemón on their graves on a graveyard, apparently alive ("How are you doing, boss?" "Meh, [[BlackComedy kinda chilly in here]].) After escaping their graves, Filemón [[NoFourthWall tells]] [[AsideGlance the reader]] "[[YouDontWantToKnow You don't want to know]] how we did this." On the background we see an archangel chiding St. Bartholomew "I don't care if you're a fan of Mortadelo! The rules are clear; no miracles!"
**** They also died at the end of an episode of the old animated series by Estudios Vara. They were caught on a nuclear explosion (after reaching an island with a [[TooDumbToLive giant bullseye]] painted on the ground). Then we see Mortadelo and Filemón [[WingedSoulFliesOffAtDeath flying to Heaven, complete with tunic, halo and wings]].
* MadScientist: Doctor Bacterio.
** Sometimes, the enemy is a MadScientist who is madder than Bacterio. Examples include a guy that can "resurrect" beings that can serve him for his plans (such as Frankestein's Monster, Mata Hari or César Borgia (venom included)), a guy that concentrates bug DNA into some pills and can turn into a certain bug by eating one of them, or one who developed instant growth seeds.
* ManchurianAgent: Several villains, including Magín and The Sorcerer (El Brujo, Aniceto Papandujo), have tried this plot to take over the T.I.A.
* MasterOfDisguise: Mortadelo, which serves him well in his work and even better when he has to make a quick getaway.
** One of the best disguises is his Invisible Man one - [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman which actually make him invisible]]. Other is his Ghost disguise. Depending on the moment (or, rather, [[RuleOfFun on which result will be funnier]]), it may allow him to go through a wall or not.
** Subverted in one comic book, in which he disguises as a werewolf in order to scare a man but said man immediately recognizes him and asks him why he didn't come disguised.
** In three stories ("Maastricht... ¡Jesús!", "El señor todoquisque" and "El disfraz, cosa falaz"), he has met someone that may be his equal or superior in using disguises.
* MasterOfUnlocking: Mortadelo proves quite often to be very efficient with a lockpick too.
** Although on a couple of occasions, his "lock pick" is a giant key (taller than himself) which he uses to simply smash the door to pieces.
* [[MeaningfulName Meaningful]] or either PunnyName: OK, this is a big one. [[PassThePopcorn Bring popcorn]]. We can wait.\\
These names only work in the Spanish version and few more.
** Mortadelo is called like that because... he is thin and always wrapped in black, like a bar of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortadella mortadella]]
** Filemón, aside from a respelling of a (barely known in Spain) real name in Greek, sounds much like "filetón" (big steak). (In Brasil he's called Salaminho and in Portugal, Salamão; both are references to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salami salami]].
** Vicente was a common name in Spain few years ago, and not punny in itself... until you remember a Spanish saying: "¿A dónde va Vicente? Adonde va la gente" (literally: ''Where does Vincent go? Where people go''; in correct and orthodox English: monkey see, monkey do). Which isn't a particularly good name for the ''boss of most characters in T.I.A.''. [[note]]His surname, Ruínez, is an obviously fake surname meaning "Ruinson"[[/note]]
** Ofelia (Ophelia)... maybe for her MadLove for Mortadelo?
** Professor Bacterio, [[DontExplainTheJoke because he plays with bacteria]]
** Todoquisque (informally "anybody"). because he can disguise as ''anybody''.
** Bestiájez, an obviously fake surname, meaning Brutesson. (Also Migájez, "Crumbson", and many others)
** Actually, in every single book there are several new characters that have this trope. The amazing thing is that Ibáñez rarely repeats any of them.
** Establishments are also given punny names. [[GoodGuyBar Notably]] [[BadGuyBar bars]], whose name made by extracting the prefix "Bar" from a Spanish word that begins with it; so we have ''Bar Baro'' ("barbarian"), ''Bar Budo'' ("guy with a large beard"), ''Bar Quillo'' (lit. "biscuit roll", double points as "Quillo" is Andalusian slang for "Guy"), ...
* MissionBriefing: Each long story commonly has one, in the first episode, with Superintendente Vicente briefing Mortadelo and Filemón.
* MonumentalBattle: When Mortadelo and Filemón travel through the world, important landmarks may appear, sometimes with slight changes (such as Liberty Statue using her torch to fry a sausage).
* TheMovie: A 2003 LiveActionAdaptation movie exists.
** And a 2008 sequel: "Mortadelo y Filemón. Misión: Salvar la Tierra" (Mortadelo & Filemón. Mission: Save Earth) with a different actor in Mortadelo's role: the popular Spaniard comedian Eduard Soto.
* MuckMonster: El "Bacilón".
* MuggingTheMonster: The comic ''El Bacilón'' has the title character (a gigantic, anthropomorphic green monster) walk around the seedy parts of the city; a mugger targets him, but since he is waiting behind a corner, he only hears it walking. He becomes a RunningGag along the episode and eventually turns mad due to both the monster and Mortadelo disguised as a big animal.
* MultidisciplinaryScientist: Professor Bacterio's inventions cover a wide range of areas.
* MultipleReferencePun: The agency the titular characters work for is called T.I.A., which is an obvious reference to the CIA. Since "tía" in Spanish means "aunt", the name also works as a pun on ''TheManFromUNCLE'', fitting since it's a Spanish series about comedic espionage.
* MySisterIsOffLimits: A BerserkButton of Mortadelo in the movie, apparently Filemón somehow abused his little sister, Cordelia. [[spoiler: Turns out Cordelia (played by HollywoodHomely actress Carmen Ruiz) is [[StalkerWithACrush stalking]] Filemón and he only sees her as an AbhorrentAdmirer. Mortadelo forgives Filemón after Cornelia tells him she's in love.]]
* NameAndName
* NegativeContinuity
** There are some things that remain continuous within the comic books. Antofagasto Panocho (a parody of Augusto Pinochet) is a recurring villain.
** The most notorious recurring antagonist[[note]]often being recognised by the two main characters and within panels featuring little annotations that say things like "Yes, yes! Check issue X and you'll see what they're talking about!"[[/note]] is probably [[TheHouseOfWindsor Prince Charles]].
** It seems like Ibáñez is trying to have some [[ContinuityNod Continuity Nods]] during these years, making recurring villains and so. The former comic books, however, are rooted on NegativeContinuity.
* NewFirstComics: In a strange comic book example, the publishers had around a hundred of their early strips (including [[http://mortadelo-filemon.es/images/photos/Articuylos/MartinezOsete/Remakes/Pulgarcito1394_Siguiendoelrastro.jpg the first one]]) redrawn by unrelated artist Martínez Osete to account for the changes Ibáñez introduced after 1969- mainly, changing the heroes' roles from private detectives to secret agents and adding their new boss, Súper, who would take in many cases the role of Filemón, now Mortadelo's sidekick instead of his employer.
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: Whenever real people (or Franchise/{{Superman}}) show up, they're drawn with realistic faces, which contrasts with the usual characters looking cartoony. Then there's also the CrossOver with ''ElCapitanTrueno'', where the Trueno characters get sometimes drawn in their original realistic style and sometimes look cartoony... and sometimes it's a mix... you can see why we don't like talking about that.
* NotThisOneThatOne: One of the most common running gags. For example, when the duo needs, for example, a plane for a mission, it will appear at first that they're going to get something like an F-22, only to realize that what they're going to get instead is an old, beaten up plane from World War I.
* NoSenseOfDirection: Mortadelo's level of disorientation is legendary. Instructed to drive to Córdoba, Argentina (M&F are playing the 1978 FIFAWorldCup with the Spanish team) he makes it to the Córdoba of ''Spain''. After fording the ocean thinking it was a very wide river.
* OnlySaneMan: Filemón, though by a very small margin.
** The most iconic moment is when ten villains make ten holes in the wall to escape from their cell. Filemón points out they could all have escaped through the same hole, and both Mortadelo and the Súper admit they hadn't thought of that.
* OpenSaysMe: A humorous version occurs when they pay a visit to the President of the USA. A security guard goes through a number of scans and checks (iris scan, voice recognition, access code, etc.) to open a door in the White House, prompting Mortadelo to remark that "Security sure is tight." Then along comes the cleaning lady, who just kicks the door a few times to open it. Perhaps she is an AlmightyJanitor.
* OurTimeMachineIsDifferent: Professor Bacterio's shabby time machine looks mostly like a phone booth. Justified, as it is a prototype he just jury-rigged in his lab.
* ParodyNames: Sometimes applies to brand names, sometimes even to people.
* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny: The aptly named Tirania in "El Sulfato Atómico".
* PercussiveMaintenance: The first live-action movie combines this with a EurekaMoment of all things. Dr. Bacterio has invented a device that he just can't get to work. He's sure that something is missing but doesn't know what. When his radio stops working, he hits it to get it going again. That's when he realizes what is missing: "Of course! Beatings!" He proceeds to beat the crap out of the device with his shoe, and it works! It's the only part of the movie that is even remotely funny, and the German dub completely ruins it because the joke went right past the translator.
* PerspectiveMagic: One comic deals with [=UFOs=] that were coming to [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Earth in order to invade it]]. One of them appears to be really huge and far away, but in the end it turns out it is very small... and it hits Filemón right in the mouth.
** The point 2 example, "those far away houses are just on the other side of the page", is used in another story. [[LampshadeHanging With those literal words]].
* PictorialSpeechBubble: Gag comics such as this one commonly have pictures in speech bubbles whenever a character is supposed to curse; for example, in the speech bubble there would be a pig with the face of another person if the character was angry and shouting at him, or just the picture of a turd when someone was supposed to say "shit!".
* PingPongNaivete: Filemón can either be the StraightMan with much more common sense than Mortadelo or just as big as an idiot as him (usually when the boss is present and both of them do something to anger him).
* PlotArmor: Everybody in the series can survive anything, you name it -atomic explosions, drowning, being electrocuted, burnt alive, cut in pieces...-. You only need to worry if you happen to be the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villain Of The Week]] and the book is getting close to page 44, because it's very likely that your PlotArmor will fade just in time for a last explosion to [[KilledOffForReal kill you off for real]] (while the Súper, who happens to be sitting next to you, survives it).
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: Another character of the autor, Tete Cohete, was presented in a Mortadelo comic of the same name.
* PottyEmergency: This is the running gag for poor Superintendente Vicente in the book ''El Bacilón''. [[spoiler: The eponymous monster is ''disintegrated'' at the end by a single slap from El Súper because it stood in between him and the toilet.]]
* PrematurelyBald: Mortadelo lost all his hair to one of [[MadScientist Doctor Bacterio's]] [[GoneHorriblyWrong experiments]]. Filemón combines this with HairAntennae.
* {{Pun}}: Ibáñez masters this like no other in the Spanish language. The number of puns throughout the series is so big that it would need, not its own page, but [[UpToEleven its own Wiki!]]
* PunchedAcrossTheRoom: Exaggerated, to the point of characters getting punched into different countries and even [[RecycledINSPACE INTO SPACE!]].
** Kicked Across The Room: characters are also prone to kick others in the same way. One example: Filemón is almost dead after being shot in the stomach, and is on a wheelchair. The Súper (who was the indirect causant of his being shot) asks him how he is. The next frame has the Súper with a shoe-mark on his back after having landed on an igloo, asking himself how it could happen.
* PunnyName: See MeaningfulName above.
* RealVehicleReveal: This happens lots of times; for example, in the albums "Valor y al toro", "Contra el Gang del Chicharrón", "Los verdes", "La maldición gitana", to name just a few.
* RebusBubble: This is how characters swear.
* RefugeInAudacity: When Spain was under the Franco regime, Mortadelo y Filemón was a pretty tame comic with just some very mild slapstick violence. After the death of the dictator, Ibáñez started introducing more "raunchy" themes, with graphic violence, sex jokes, toilet humor, profanity and political incorrectness in general. [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar It's still aimed at kids though.]]
* ReTool: Mortadelo and Filemón originally had a private detective agency and were a parody of SherlockHolmes and Watson (the comic's original title was "Mortadelo y Filemón - Agencia de Información"), not the ''Film/JamesBond'' parody they eventually became. [[TheArtifact As a relic of that time]], Mortadelo still calls Filemón "Boss", despite they don't seem to have much different responsabilities in the T.I.A.
* {{Revision}}: They were given this in a book where it's explained how they lost their private detective agency and were forced to join the secret services overnight. Several years after it kind of suddenly happened.
* RidiculousFutureInflation: In "Los mercenarios" the main characters obtain 100 000 "percebos" (fictional coin of Percebelandia) They think they can get more than one million pesetas (a fortune in the moment of the album), but thanks to a sudden devaluation only obtain 17.50.[[note]]This, for the non familiarized with the former Spanish coin, is less than 15 dollar cents, not a lot of money, even in 1975 when the album was published.[[/note]]
** Same in ''Los Guardaespaldas''. Mortadelo and Filemón receive as reward for accomplishing their mission 1 000 000 "dólares cochinchinos" (cochinchinese dollars; fictional currency of course), who Filemón thinks are worth 200 million pesetas (a ''real'' fortune when the album was published). Mortadelo turns on the radio to know how is going the currency change... to discover that a massive devaluation turns that million of cochinchinese dollars into just 6.50 pesetas, even less money that in the former case.
* RightHandVersusLeftHand:
** If Mortadelo and Filemón take separate ways in order to solve a problem (say, capture a baddie, finding things or laying on traps) they will very commonly screw up each other's plans.
** In some stories El Súper gets tired of waiting and appears on the scene to spy on the duo or to get the mission done by himself. This can only end badly.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Ever since the end of the Spanish Democratic Transition in 1977 (and thus, the end of Franco's dictatorship censorship system), Ibáñez very often bases (very loosely) his stories in RealLife current events.
** Ibáñez rarely did this during the Silver Age (early 80s). It wasn't until the 90s (let's be generous and say late 80s) that RealLife was referenced in the comics (either as celebrity cameos or as stories based on RealLife events, and until the XXI century that it played a big role in them.
* RoadSignReversal: Mortadelo does this at the end of "Los mercenarios", to lead a squad of mercenaries to the country that hired them, instead of their intended destination.
* RuleThirtyFour: Artist Casanyes' strip for the satiric magazine ''Titanic''.
* RunningGag: The basic plot is one. Mortadelo goofs, Filemón gets hurt and punishes Mortadelo. Lather, rinse, repeat. Often subverted, inverted and played with though.
** When Filemón is the one that goofs and is later punished by Mortadelo, he will complain that the natural order is having Mortadelo on front.
** Also, very often both Mortadelo and Filemón get punished by the Súper, Ofelia or any other character.
** Let's not forget about Bacterio. He is probably the character, apart from Mortadelo, that has been punished the most often throughout the series. Very often by Mortadelo himself.
** Many times, Ofelia will go tell Mortadelo that the Súper is looking for him. He will say something that Ofelia takes for a romantic thing, but turns out to be some kind of insult (mostly aimed at her girth), to which she responds quite forcefully. Filemón will later continue the joke, and finally the Súper will say something completely innocent that Ofelia takes for the continuation. The one that suffers most is the Súper.
** Whenever Prince Charles (the most recurrent antagonist) appears, someone (normally Mortadelo) will make continuous jokes about Charles' ear size. Sometimes, even supposed English newspapers get in the joke.
** A main character receives AmusingInjuries of an specific nature or to a certain body part continuously throughout the entirety of the story[[note]]for example, AgonyOfTheFeet[[/note]]. Characters that have nothing to do with this mention something to the character tangentially related to the injury, [[HairTriggerTemper which drives them nuts]][[note]]a coworker mentioning going for a walk in the park, playing a match on the agency's soccer team, etc[[/note]].
* SelfDisposingVillain: It's a rule in the comics that when a villain really tries to destroy the pair for real, he will fail miserably and get himself owned. A notable example is "El señor todoquisque" the bad guy is a man who can disguise himself and, in the first half of the album, humiliates our heroes in very painful ways. However, when he decides to take care of them himself and goes to the TIA, his plans brutally backfire on him, and, at the end, he goes insane.
* SexySecretary: Irma, the newest (and most short lived) member of the team that fits this trope to a T.
* ShakyPOVCam: Often used when something is thrown at someone's face.
* ShapeShifterShowdown: The most epic one happens at the end of "El disfraz, cosa falaz", although there had been an earlier one between Mortadelo and Ruiz Mosqueos, in the form of a disguise duel.
* SharePhrase: "Quite, quite ¿Qué le hace pensar que...?" ("Bah, bah, what does make you think that...?); "Tenía que hacerlo, ¿entiende? ¡Tenía que hacerlo!" (I had to do it, do you understand? I had to do it!). They're used by many characters in the comics.
* ShesAManInJapan: A strange case: in the German translations the title characters were originally British intelligence agents. Later this was changed to them just being Germans to open up possibilities for jokes relating to German culture, current events etc. However, there were often cases where the comic being originally from Spain just couldn't be written around (like when they actually go to Germany as foreigners). So, in Germany, they are German, except when they can't be anything but Spanish and somehow [[TheArtifact have English names]] (Fred Clever und Jeff Smart).
* ShoePhone: A very early example of this trope. Sometimes, both Mortadelo and Filemón have it, but usually it's only Mortadelo.
** Hilariously played with, as sometimes the Shoephone will have something that makes it ridiculous or painful (such as having an actual phone into the shoe, or an antenna that extends without warning into the ear of the listener) or Mortadelo has done something to the shoe that usually backfires on him (for example, making it sound like a cat and, the next time he is called, a huge bulldog is passing by).
** Another joke is having the phone ring at the worst minute possible. Mortadelo performs a mission needing some degree of stealth, for example a burglary. He has managed to not awake their sleeping enemy or bypassed a few guards. Then the phone rings, alerting everyone to his presence.
* ShoutOut: There are ''tons'' of shout-outs, tributes to and parodies of political figures, actors, and characters of comic-books and animation.
** In a story, Mortadelo plants an electrified trap and he declares that it has power enough "to fry even ''Anime/MazingerZ''". Given that ''[[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff Spaniards Love Mazinger-Z]]'', it is pretty normal finding a shout-out to that series.
** And in another story, Mortadelo and Filemón have to disguise themselves like {{Super Hero}}es (such like ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'', ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'', ''{{SpiderMan}}'' or ''{{Tarzan}}'') to scare the local miscreants.
** UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan shows up in several albums written in TheEighties ("El Cacao Espacial", "La Perra de las Galaxias" and "Los Ángeles 84").
** In a short stoy, they met ''Capitan Trueno''.
** A [[WholePlotReference story-long]] one to [[DonQuixote Don Quixote]] in ''Mortadelo de la Mancha''.
* ShowSomeLeg: In one album, SexySecretary Irma appears in bikini, so Mortadelo and Filemón open their mouths and Bacterio can throw them his pills.
* {{Slapstick}}: Probably the best example in the medium.
* SlapstickKnowsNoGender: Secretary Ofelia is in the receiving end as often as everyone.
* SmugSnake: Mr. Todoquisque.
* [[{{Angrish}} Spangrish]]: A very common reaction of the characters whenever something goes wrong.
* SpringtimeForHitler: In the book ''El Tirano", the titular pair of agents are given the mission to eliminate a fascist dictator (a parody of Augusto Pinochet), but their constant failures actually stop murder attempts from other people (not to mention [[RightHandVersusLeftHand screwing with each other's attempts]]). When they are told they have to protect the man so that he is taken to Spain and judged for his crimes, they try, but their attempts at protecting him subsequently send him to the intensive care wing at the closest hospital.
* SpySpeak: Usually people around take these words literally with odd results.
** It doesn't help that several arranged codes seem to be offensive. Requiring the agents to insult people having facial hair or a certain ideology or ethnicity. At that moment, an agressive member of that group happens to overhear and deals with them accordingly.
*** Fun fact: In RealLife, Enrique Chicote, the only man who ever got the top prize in the Spanish version of WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire, answered one of the last questions correctly thanks to one of these jokes that he read in the comic books.
* StealTheSurroundings: A staple used to establish the competence of a thieving BigBad. In one album, a particularly crafty gang of car hijackers routinely make their hits on manned vehicles, stealing everything ''except'' the seat and the steering wheel, ''without the driver noticing''.
* StuffBlowingUp: Very, very common, but since this comic follows the laws of cartoon physics, they are all NonFatalExplosions.
** Except for the villians. Sometimes.
* SuckinessIsPainful:
** Crappy music and films are used as a method of torture. The title characters are tortured by their boss with an LP of Spanish blockbuster songs (apparently repeated ad infinitum). They are driven mad, and other characters talk about the cruelty.
** [[TakeThat Also repeated speeches by a politician.]] In later albums these are often replaced with whatever [[TakeThat sensationalist TV show or politician speech]] Ibáñez seems to have a problem with at the moment.
* SuddenlyVoiced: Chapeau el Esmirriau was pretty much TheVoiceless in the album he was the BigBad from. In the 50 anniversary special that brings back many former villains, he talks like any other character.
* SymbolSwearing: Normally features Chinese symbols or images of animals.
* TeethFlying: Very common as a result of punches to the face or explosions. For example, there is one scene where Filemón gets hit by a boxer off screen, and Mortadelo asks him if he lost a tooth. Filemón comes back into view, counting a handful of loose teeth: "No, I think I got all of them... 22, 23, 24..."
* ThereWasADoor:
** Played with: The two protagonists find themselves in a cell with a steel door. Filemón starts making a hole in the wall, all the while brushing off Mortadelo who's trying to tell him something. When, after considerable time, he finally breaks through the wall, he finds Mortadelo there waiting for him -- it turns out that [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy the bad guys forgot to lock the door]]...
** In another case, a number of prisoners are discovered to have escaped through an equal number of [[ManShapedHole Man-Shaped Holes]] ''from the same cell''. Lampshaded when Filemón comments on how stupid one would have to be to not just use the same hole for everybody... only to find out that the thought hadn't occurred to either his partner or his ''boss'', either.
** Yet another case was an [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of the standard scheme: Filemón attempts to pick the lock on a door but eventually has to give up, only to find that in the meantime, Mortadelo has made a very artistic new door by "having some fun with [his] penknife".
* ThisPageWillSelfDestruct: Played with.
* ThrowThePin: A RunningGag. Mortadelo is given a grenade, wonders about how they are used, Filemón tells him to pull the pin, count to ten and throw it, and Mortadelo ends up throwing the pin.
* TitleDrop: If the title of the comic is not pictured in its first page, expect it to be said in large, distinctive font by a major character soon after. (The author will sometimes appear [[RunningGag saying that he keeps forgetting to put the title on the first page.]])
* ToiletHumour: Specially in recent years.
* TooDumbToLive: Most of the cast, with only Filemón as a very occasional exception.
* TookALevelInDumbass: Filemón in the movies. While not very bright, he's still portrayed as clearly more intelligent than Mortadelo in the comics. In the movies, his intelligence is downgraded to the point that sometimes he's even dumber than Mortadelo (the scene where Mortadelo refers to him as "TheLoad" clearly shows this).
* TranslationMatchmaking: ''The Big Adventure of Mortadelo and Filemón'', a 2003 Spanish comedy based on the comic book series was renamed for unknown reasons in Poland to... "Liga najgłupszych dżentelmenów" (''[[TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen The League Of The Dumbest Gentlemen ]]'').
* TropeTelegraphing: Whenever the InstantBandages on a character last for more than a single panel, it's guaranteed that the bandaged body part will suffer more harm.
* TrustPassword: They have an [[SparseListOfRules arbitrarily catalogued]] amount of them. A RunningGag is said password be very offensive to some group or collective that happens to be within earshot. [[HilarityEnsues A beating ensues]].
* {{Tsundere}}: Miss Ofelia. When her coworkers ''aren't'' being morons (read: very rarely), she's quite sweet (''deredere'').
* UltimateJobSecurity: The protagonists are never fired from the TIA, no matter how they screw up things.
* UnexplainedRecovery: In the 50º aniversary album a lot of previously deceased enemies appear with litle or no explanation.
* VagueAge: It's never mentioned the actual age of the characters, but they seem to be somewhere between their late 30s and early 40s.
** Though in a different 50º Aniversary Album most characters are implied to be, well, 50 or more and have several (totally disproportionate for their age) health issues, which guide the plot/jokes. It's JustForFun though, and [[StatusQuoIsGod promptly forgotten in the next issue]].
* [[MonsterOfTheWeek Villain Of The Week]]: The plot of a sizable amount of the comic books hovers around capturing a criminal or gang of criminals that are rarely seen again.
* WalkingDisasterArea: Mortadelo and Filemón, being anywhere near them is very bad for your health.
** This is '''in-universe'''. A lot of people recognize Mortadelo & Filemón as bad news and some even have ''attempted suicide'' before having to deal with them.
* WalkingTechbane: In "Los invasores", after Mortadelo and Filemón discover the alien they've been fighting during the chapter is actually a robot, Mortadelo tells Filemón to just touch it, to invoke this trope with Filemón and destroy the robot. He succeeds.
* WhereItAllBegan: In many stories where the heroes have to travel across the city or the world, the last chapter takes place on the T.I.A. headquarters, where they were assigned their mission.
* WomenDrivers: Exploited by Mortadelo. One trick he has pulled once or twice to shake off pursuers in a car chase consists in disguising as a woman, then [[BatmanGambit using blinkers properly]].
* WrongParachuteGag: Very likely to happen at the end of any segment involving planes.
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