[[quoteright:315:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Spy_Kids.jpg]]

->''"My parents can't be spies; [[RuleOfCool they're not cool enough]]!"''
--> -- '''Carmen Cortez'''

->''[[CallBack "Impossible... she's not cool enough."]]''
--> -- '''Rebecca Wilson'''

A movie franchise, written and directed by Creator/RobertRodriguez ([[Film/OnceUponATimeInMexico yes,]] ''[[Film/FromDuskTillDawn that]]'' [[ComicBook/SinCity Robert]] [[Film/{{Grindhouse}} Rodriguez]]), which is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin about kid spies]].

An original trilogy was created from 2001 to 2003, focusing on Carmen and Juni Cortez, a BrotherSisterTeam of [[TeenSuperspy Preteen Superspies]], whose adventures came to resemble spying less and less as the series went along. In the first movie, they discover their seemingly normal parents are actually retired spies and set out to rescue them from a MadScientist who moonlights as the host of Juni's favorite [=TV=] show.

''Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams'' introduces a rival team of kid spies, whose dad ends up being the BigBad, and featured a plot taking place on a tropical island with a mysterious power. The third installment, ''Spy Kids 3D: Game Over'', was a ThreeDMovie set [[InsideAComputerSystem inside a video game]] created by a madman to TakeOverTheWorld. ''Game Over'' is widely seen as an utter disaster by fans of the first two films and is often regarded as the point when the series JumpedTheShark. The critics agreed, with RottenTomatoes giving the first film a 93% rating, the second film a 74% rating, and the third film a 44% rating.

Eight years later in 2011, Rodriguez saw fit to continue the series with ''Spy Kids: All The Time in the World''. The story this time focuses on a new pair of siblings whose step-mother is a retired spy for the OSS. When she get into trouble, the kids find out her secret and set out to save her with some assistance from a [[SheIsAllGrownUp now grown Carmen and Juni]]. Yes, it's [[RecycledScript rehashing the first movie's plot]], but in a way that brings everything around full circle. However, the film suffered from inevitable [[{{Sequelitis}} sequelitis]] and wasn't well received as critics trashed it once it hit the box office with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 23%, even ''less'' than the third movie.

The character of Machete originated in this series, and a spoof of what he'd look like as a B-movie action hero later appeared in one of the ''Film/{{Grindhouse}}'' trailers. That trailer was eventually made into {{Film/Machete}}[[note]]and the sequel ''Machete Kills''[[/note]], a full-length exploitation flick parody. Alhough Rodriquez planned ''Machete'' starring Trejo long before ''Spy Kids'' started production, the project sat [[DevelopmentHell stagnant]] for years. In the meantime Rodriquez decided to insert a more family friendly version of the character in the Spy Kids movies. Which means that, yes, ''Machete'' and ''Spy Kids'' share a universe. Try watching these films the same way again.
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!!Tropes include:

* [[ThreeDMovie 3D Movie]]: Read the title of [[ThirdIs3D the third movie]].
* AbsenteeActor: it can be seen, in the first movie, that only Isador "Machete" Cortez attends Gregorio and Ingrid's wedding; there's no sign of their sister Marissa. This, out of universe, is because she wasn't cast yet - or even written into the Franchise - but in universe it is unknown as to why she did not attend their wedding.
* AccentUponTheWrongSyllable: In the fourth film, Cecil is constantly called SAY-sil (which comes out sounding like see-saw) except by the British dog, which pronounces it more correctly as say-SIL, even if it should be seh-SIL.
* TheAce: Subverted in ''Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over''. [[spoiler:An overly heroic super messiah comes in at the last minute, gives a rousing speech on how everyone should work together to win the game and singlehandedly bursts through the giant gates. He is instantly shot in the chest and loses all of his 99 lives. Made even funnier by the fact that he's played by Elijah Wood, and instead of having an actual name, he's simply known as "The Guy."]]
* ActionMom: Ingrid Cortez and Marissa Wilson.
* AdvertisedExtra: Watch a commercial for an upcoming airing of Spy Kids 3D on Disney Channel. Disney advertises it as "featuring" EmilyOsment, since she has become more well known thanks to HannahMontana after the movie came out, but she only appears in a brief conversation at the beginning and another brief appearance in the ending.
** Which is a bit ridiculous considering there were quite a few bigger name actors to invoke BillingDisplacement for.
* AgentsDating: The first movie starts with their mother telling the story of the two spies who fell in love, with several dates...in which they are some distance from each other since they're on opposing sides.
* AHeadAtEachEnd: A sea serpent-like critter from the second film.
* AlliterativeName: Gary and Gertie Giggles
** Not just those two. Carmen Cortez, anyone?
** Wilbur Wilson, too.
** And Danger D'Amo.
* AntagonistTitle: The other meaning of the title of the first film, referring to the robotic children that Floop constructed.
* TheAnticipator: When the Cortezes escape their imprisonment and start roaming Floop's lair, they fall through a trap door which leads to where Floop is waiting for them, [[NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine dinner spread out]], and was timing how long it took them to escape. He thought it would be a little sooner.
* AntiHero: Juni is a Type II in the fourth film.
* ArcWords: "The third brain lives" in the first film.
* {{Back For The Finale}} - ''Every major character'' from the first two movies comes back for the "big fight" at the end of the third one.
** And some minor characters as well, like Dinky Winks and his son.
* BadassFamily: The Cortezes - we're talking about a family where the dad is AntonioBanderas, the uncle is Creator/DannyTrejo, and Grandpa is Ricardo Montalbán! and the aunt is Creator/JessicaAlba who is active throughout her pregnancy including while in labor.
* BadassGrandpa: Again, Grandpa is Ricardo Montalbán - what did you expect?
* BadassMustache - When AntonioBanderas is in "spy" mode, he wears a (fake) moustache. When he's in "dad" mode, he has no moustache. Fake Uncle Felix does things the other way round.
* BalefulPolymorph: [[spoiler: Apparently, this is how Floop's "Fooglies" are created.]]
* BarSlide: How Gregorio proposes to Ingrid - sliding the ring along the railing of the Eiffel Tower
* BareYourMidriff: Carmen wears an outfit that does such at the beginning of the second movie, up to and including the dinner scene. She also does this in the credits.
* BattleDiscretionShot: From the first movie: "Carmen? Juni? Close your eyes. We don't want you to see this." *mass of punching and kicking off camera*
* BrotherSisterTeam
* CallAPegasusAHippogriff: At one point Juni refers to the [[MixAndMatchCritters half gorilla, half tarantula]] creature that's been following him as a centaur. Its actual name seems to be a "[[PunnyName spider monkey]]".
* CallBack: Several in the fourth film.
** For example, when Rebecca and Cecil find out Marissa works for the OSS...
-->'''Rebecca''': Impossible... she's not cool enough.
** And when the Wilsons and Carmen are surrounded by enemy agents at the hideout...
-->'''Carmen''': [[PrecisionFStrike Oh, shit...]][[SubvertedTrope take]] [[LastSecondWordSwap mushrooms.]]
* ChangelingFantasy - Played with: The kids are raised by their real parents, but don't know they're spies until the first film. An "uncle" does turn out to be an agent assigned to protect their family, though.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Rubber Band]] Machete Elastic Wonder
** Juni's Fooglie drawing, sort of. [[spoiler: Minion [[BodyHorror forcibly transforms]] Gregorio into it, which lasts for all of 5 minutes.]]
* ChildHater- "It's good to be back, Alex. Let's never have children."
* {{Chickification}}: Carmen in the third film.
* TheChosenZero: Third movie. "The Guy" - Juni has this kind of doubt...then later one guy shows up thinking he's the chosen one...and takes five steps and dies.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Alexander Minion
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: [[spoiler:The Timekeeper steps out of the frame after disabling the Armageddon device and is never seen again.]]
* ClarkKenting: The dad, hilariously, simply puts on a moustache for his spy disguise.
* CloserToEarth: The female members of the Giggles family are good; the male ones are evil.
* CollapsedMidSpeech: An entire mob of grown-ups pass out during a speech.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Happens to Floop at least once.
--->'''Minion''': You're spending too much time on this program, when you should be more concerned with our grand, diabolical plan
--->'''Floop''': Syndication?
* CoolCar: In the first film, the Cortez parents own an [=SUV=] which has a lot of hidden gadgets and can turn into a submarine.
* ConspicuousCG: All over the place.
** The third movie has a ''really'' bad case of "Conspicuous 3D". Basically, they were banking on shoving 3D CGI in your face to sell the movie. You could make a DrinkingGame out of watching the movie in 2D and taking a shot every time every time a blurry foreground object, clearly meant to be rendered in 3D, blocks half the screen.
* CrossOver: Creator/DannyTrejo has [[WordOfSaintPaul stated]] that the Machete Cortez in ''Film/{{Machete}}'' is what the Machete Cortez from ''Spy Kids'' does when he's not taking care of the kids. As Creator/RobertRodriguez intended to make a ''Machete'' movie years before [[DevelopmentHell he was able to,]] he inserted a more family-friendly version of the character into ''Spy Kids'' in the meantime, so this is technically canonical.
* DangerousDeviceDisposalDebacle: Before Mr. Cortez was a spy, he also worked in research and development making an AI computer referred to as the Third Brain. He was told to destroy it but admits he didn't want to and is shown switching it with a walnut and smashing ''that'' while putting the real brain in his pocket. "The Third Brain Still Lives" is a key plot point because Floop got ahold of it and used it to build his Spy Kids robots.
** He's briefly seen working on another brain in the third film, but dramatically smashes his entire lab table when his family calls him for help.
* DeadpanSnarker: In this franchise, try and find one kid that isn't this. Good luck with that.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Carmen goes through a somewhat low-key version of this in the first film.
* DescriptionCut: Early in ''3'', Juni receives miniature sharks as a present from Romero. While he dangles his fingers in their fish bowl, he comes to the part of the letter where Romero says to not do anything foolish like [[WhatAnIdiot dangle your fingers in a fish bowl full of sharks]]. Cue him yanking them out just as they leap to snap at his fingers.
* DepravedKidsShowHost: Floop [[spoiler:before his HeelFaceTurn]]
* DisabledCharacterDisabledActor: Ricardo Montalbán was actually wheelchair bound at this stage of his life. Robert Rodriguez specifically wrote the role for him.
* DisneyAcidSequence: Floop's songs. Anything that happens in Floop's Virtual Reality Room, really.
* DolledUpInstallment: ''Spy Kids 3D: Game Over'' was originally planned as a stand-alone movie about children going inside a video game.
* DoubleAgent: [[spoiler:Danger D'Amo, head of the OSS]] in ''Spy Kids 4D''.
** [[spoiler:MoleInCharge]].
* DragonAscendant: [[spoiler: Alexander Minion, following Floop's HeelFaceTurn.]]
* EmbarrassingPassword: The password to the base the kids find in the first movie turns out to be their names. [[OverlyLongName Unfortunately...]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: "You hesitated.", "I had to - he's my son."
* EverybodyOwnsAFord: Isuzus in the first movie, particularly glaring because the company's passenger line at that point had dwindled to ''nothing'' but mid-size [=SUVs=]
* FiveManBand: Juni leads one in the third film.
** TheHero: Juni
** TheLancer: Rez/ Demetra.
** TheSmartGuy: Francis
** TheBigGuy: Arnold
** TheChick: Demetra, again. Carmen also counts.
** TheSixthRanger: Carmen
* FollowTheLeader: ''Agent Cody Banks''
* FunbagAirbag : briefly averted in a gag about being given a lift by the pilot of a flying backpack... you face AWAY from the pilot....
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Tick Tock yelling at his agents after Baby Spy accosts him with unexpected crop dusting.
* GirlishPigtails: Gerti Giggles has these, with operate as HelicopterHair.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom The evil robot kids from the first film
* {{Gondor Calls For Aid}}: Third movie finale, which brought back nearly every character in the series.
* GogglesDoSomethingUnusual
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: The [=OSS=], which in RealLife is a [[http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USG/JCS/OSS/OSS-Functions/index.html defunct organization that existed in the early 1940s]].
* HappilyMarried: Gregorio and Ingrid, Grandpa and Grandma Cortez, and Wilbur and Marissa Wilson.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: [[spoiler: Donnagon.]] In the first movie he's a minor good guy ([[BadassInDistress who spends most of the time as a Fooglie]]), in the second he's the BigBad, and in the third he's back to being a good guy again.
* HeelFaceTurn [[spoiler:Floop]], a relatively unexpected twist in the first movie
** [[spoiler: Donnogan Giggles]] has done this by the beginning of the third movie, as has [[spoiler: The Toymaker]] by the end of the third and [[spoiler:The Timekeeper]] by the end of the fourth. Also, [[spoiler:Minion]] shows up on the kids' side [[BackForTheFinale at the end]] when they called everyone...
** In fact, the only villains to ''not'' end up on the good side are Mr. Lisp, Ms. Gradenko, and [[spoiler:Tick Tock]]. Given the HighHeelFaceTurn trope, it's unusual because out of all the villains in the series, the only female is one of the three who don't get redeemed.
* {{Herald}}: "Uncle" Felix in the first movie
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Minion gets trapped in his own BalefulPolymorph machine at the climax of the first movie. He goes ahead and activates it anyway.]]
* HurricaneOfPuns: Go on, make a DrinkingGame out of taking a shot each time someone says something time-related in the fourth movie, and stay alive by the end of the film. We dare you.
* ICanChangeMyBeloved: Carmen has a crush on the rival bad boy spy and at one point insists she could change him. [[CharacterDevelopment She appears to get over it by the end of the movie.]]
* IFellForHours: In the second movie.
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Gregorio has one in the first film
* InsistentTerminology: Cecil and Rebecca are not Marissa's kids. They are her stepkids.
* IWorkAlone: Juni in the fourth film.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Machete
* JetPack
* JustAKid: Rebecca and Cecil are instructed to stay behind with Argonaut and Spy-Baby as the rest of the OSS infiltrates The Timekeeper's hideout. They understandably mistake it for [[YouAreGrounded being grounded]].
* JustifiedTitle: "Spy Kids" has a double meaning in the first film
* KickTheDog: Or at least [[TearJerker Squash the Bug....]]
* KidHero
* KirkSummation: Used by [[spoiler:Valentin]] in the third movie when he [[spoiler:forgives the Toymaker for crippling him]] and by Rebecca and Cecil in the fourth movie when they convince [[spoiler:The Timekeeper]] that his plans to [[spoiler:travel back in time]] are only wreaking havoc on all the time in the world.
* LargeHam: Sylvester Stallone in the third movie
** Floop ''definitely'' deserves a mention.
** Really, all of the adults in all of the movies. They're clearly having an immense amount of fun, which is a big part of what makes the movie so entertaining.
* LastSecondWordSwap: "Oh shi...take mushrooms."
* LethalLavaLand: Lampshaded in the third film.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared with the other films directed by Robert Rodriguez (Well, excluding ''TheAdventuresOfSharkBoyAndLavaGirl'' and ''{{Shorts}}''...)
* LiteralSurveillanceBug: Ralph is a small robot bug who's primary function serves as a spy.
* MacheteMayhem: [[MeaningfulName Machete]]
* MadScientist: Two of them - Floop and Romero.
* {{Manchild}}: The BigBad of the first film, Floop.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Subverted. Carmen is attracted to Gary Giggles in the second movie, insisting that she could "change him", and her giving up on this is played as CharacterDevelopment. Needless to say, {{shipping}} ensued anyway.
* MixAndMatchCritters: Romero's animals in the second film
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Ms. Gradenko and, later on, Felix, though he was an unwilling case of it.]]
* MundaneSolution: The rubber band in the second film
** Most of the second movie, since none of their normal gadgets worked.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in the third film; Valentin deliberately releases the Toymaker from his virtual prison [[spoiler:just so he could personally forgive him for paralyzing him]]
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: Happens to the parents in the first movie.
* NumberedSequels
* OverlyLongName: Carmen's full name is Carmen Elizabeth Juanita de Costa Echo Sky Brava Cortez, and Juni's is Juni Rocket Racer Rebel Cortez.
** Both of which are jokes in themselves. Rocket, Racer, and Rebel are the names of three of Rodriguez's sons.
* ParentsInDistress
* ParentService: The casting of the parents.
* PinkMeansFeminine: Alexandra wears a pink sweater and then a pink dress.
* PrecisionFStrike: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] by a LastSecondWordSwap, once in each of the first two movies. Done again by Carmen in the fourth film when she, Marissa, Rebecca, Cecil, and Spy-Baby are cornered by Tick Tock's agents.
-->'''Carmen''': Oh, shit...take mushrooms.
* PregnantBadass: Marissa, in the beginning of the fourth film, big time. She keeps fighting the bad guys, ''even after she starts feeling contractions''.
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: When the Carmen and Juni robots first show up in the first movie, Carmen repeatedly tries to beat up the solid metal robot Juni with her bare hands. This does not end well. Robot-Juni eventually writes her off and walks away in disinterest after she knocks herself out.
* QuicksandSucks: Marissa, Carmen, and Juni would've been smothered in The Timekeeper's special hourglass sands [[spoiler:had Carmen not had her atomic lipstick on hand]].
* RealMenWearPink: Invoked by Juni in movie 2 when he claims to know ballet to impress Alexandria at the President's ball. HilarityEnsues when the two start dancing.
* ReversePolarity: The evil robot kids are [[HeelFaceTurn turned good]] by ''inverting their binary code''.
** In the second film, Gerti disables the amusement park ride in the opening by reversing the polarity.
* RobotBuddy: Ralph, the Literal Spy Bug
* SadisticChoice: [[spoiler: Minion gets one near the end of the first movie, when he gets strapped in the Fooglie-creator; either he can activate it and wind up horribly disfigured, or he can not activate it and remain stuck in the basement, with no guarantee anyone will come back to help him. [[OneWingedAngel He chose to do the former]]]].
* SamusIsAGirl: Demetra in the third film.
** [[spoiler:She's also not real.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: The Toymaker in the third movie.
* ShoePhone: The second movie includes an advanced watch that does everything ''except'' tell time, since "there was no room left for the clock". Needless to say, TheRival has a more advanced version of the same device, with a clock.
* SigilSpam: Most prominent in the second movie
* ShoutOut: Juni starts to chant the [[TheLordOfTheRings One Ring poem]] when he reaches for a cursed necklace in the second movie.
** In the outtakes, at one point he pulls it out, strokes it, and says, "My Precious."
** The Fooglies' song (''"Floop is a madman, help us, save us"'') which can only be heard when played backwards, is probably a reference to Music/TheBeatles "Paul Is Dead" rumors, one of which includes a song that, when played backwards, sounds like it says "Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him".
** Antonio Banderas fixing Juni's hair at the beginning of the second movie is probably a shout-out to him doing the same exact thing to his son in the film Four Rooms. Probably because that section of the film was directed by Robert Rodriguez as well.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Great job [[spoiler:tossing your brother's tag in the trash, Carmen. You just single-handedly saved the world from the Armageddon device.]]
* StopCopyingMe: Juni uses this twice, with voices to match.
* SuperFamilyTeam
* TeenSuperspy: Or in this case, ''preteen'' superspies
** Though Carmen is a Teen by the third film.
* ThermalDissonance
* UnfortunateNames: ''Gary'' and ''Gerti'' '''''Giggles?''''' Even those poor kids who were named after the [=ESPN=] network would point and laugh.
* {{Unperson}}: Carmen considers her brother to be this at first in the fourth film. When he finally does show up, we find out exactly why... and it's not what you expect (i.e. he didn't pull a FaceHeelTurn; rather, it's a simple case of IWorkAlone).
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:The Timekeeper to Tick Tock]].
* VillainSong: Floop gets one in the first film, written by DannyElfman in his signature style. Subverted when [[spoiler: it turns out he's not a villain at all.]]
* WackyRacing: Included in the third film
* WeddingSmashers: The parents' wedding as seen in a {{Flashback}} from the first movie
* WhamLine: In ''3D'':
-->'''Carmen:''' Juni, the Toymaker is the one [[spoiler:who put Grandpa in a wheelchair.]]
* WhiteAndGreyMorality: Almost none of the villains in the series stay evil.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:The Timekeeper]].
* WouldntHitAGirl: Gary when Carmen turns on him
* {{Writers Cannot do Math}}: In the third movie, the accident which [[spoiler:caused Grandpa's paralysis]] is said to have happened 30 years ago. [[spoiler:When talking to the Toy Maker, Grandpa says that his condition made him miss his daughter's birth.]] Even assuming Ingrid had her first child at 18, that places Carmen at 12 — far younger than she actually is.
** [[FanWank A few years could be added on.]] The difference between 30 and 32 or 33 might seem to pedantic for [[spoiler:him]] to mention. Still rather iffy, though.
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