''Cigars of the Pharaoh'' begins with Tintin and Snowy on a pleasure cruise in the Mediterranean Sea, where they agree to assist fellow passenger Professor Sophocles Sarcophagus in finding the lost tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh. Before they reach land, Tintin is framed for drug smuggling and needs to evade the detectives Thomson and Thompson. When Tintin and Sarcophacus locate the tomb, Sarcophagus disappears and Tintin discovers that the tomb itself is being used by an international drug smuggling operation to store boxes containing mysterious cigars bearing the mark of Kih-Oskh. After travelling around Arabia and then India, Tintin finds Sarcophagus, but discovers that he has been driven insane by a mysterious poison being used by the smugglers.
''Cigars of the Pharaoh'' marks the first appearance of regular characters Thomson and Thompson, who are noticeably less incompetent here than they would later become, as well as recurring characters Roberto Rastapopoulos and Senor Oliveira de Figueira.
* AndroclesLion: Tintin cures an elephant of malaria with quinine and then receives his help.
* BedlamHouse: Tintin is falsely incarcerated in one of these at one point.
* BedouinRescueService: Subverted. Tintin at one point sees two Bedouins in the distance while travelling in the desert and intends to ask them for help, but as he approaches them he recognizes them as Thomson and Thompson.
* CaughtInASnare: Tintin steps into a snare intended to catch tigers. He might have been able to free himself if he weren't in a straitjacket at the time.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: The Thom(p)sons are much more effective here than in the rest of the series; successfully disguising themselves as Bedouins and veiled women and fooling even Tintin, [[spoiler:arranging for Tintin's death to be faked and arriving in the nick of time when Tintin has been knocked out by the Fakir]].
* [[spoiler:ClimbingClimax: At the end, Tintin chases the Fakir and his boss up a mountain.]]
* ContrivedCoincidence: Tintin just stumbles onto the base of the villains' operation in India by accident after flying a propeller plane from Arabia in a random direction.
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: When exploring Kih-Oskh's tomb, Tintin comes across a hall full of dead, mummified explorers on display, as well as three empty sarcophagi with his, Snowy's and Sarcophagus's names on them.
* DisneyVillainDeath: The unknown ringleader of the smuggling operation suffers this fate. [[spoiler:In the next book, it turns out he survived and is in fact Rastapopoulos]].
* EarlyBirdCameo: In the redrawn edition, Hergé gave the later recurring villain Allan a small role. However, his role is constructed so that he and Tintin never meet each other to avoid continuity issues.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The smuggler's hideout.
* FreakOut: Anyone infected with the Rajaijah juice; including Professor Sarcophagus and Zloty the writer.
* HollywoodMirage: Tintin and Snowy think they see an oasis far off, only to find a skeleton and a sign saying [[LampshadeHanging "Mirage Ahead"]].
* HisNameIs: Before Zloty can reveal the name of the smuggling ring's leader he is hit by a poison dart containing the Rajaijah juice.
* HypnoticEyes: The evil Fakir has this ability.
* InsaneEqualsViolent: Averted in this album. Poison darts drive people insane, but the resultant madmen are childlike, silly and harmless. [[spoiler:In the sequel, ''The Blue Lotus'', it's shown to have much worse effects.]]
* InspectorJavert: Thomson and Thompson, at least in this story. Despite being his enemy at this point, they rescue Tintin from execution with an elaborate scheme because "we were ordered to arrest Tintin, gun-runner and drug smuggler, and ''an order is an order''. That's why!"
* JerkAss: Rastapopoulos behaves this way when he meets Tintin aboard the ship. He becomes nicer later on, [[spoiler:though it's just a ruse]].
* LostAtSea: Tintin, Snowy and Sarcophagus find themselves adrift in sarcophagi in the middle of the ocean. (Despite appearing to be made of stone, these [[YouFailPhysicsForever float perfectly]].)
** Not surprising, that: they're hollow. Even things made out of much heavier steel float; they're called ships.
* MeaningfulName: Professor Sarcophagus.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Tintin tells Sheik Patrash Pasha that his name "won't mean a thing to you... but at home they call me Tintin." It could simply mean that Tintin didn't expect anybody to have heard of him all the way out in Egypt. Some fans, however, take this to mean that Tintin is just a nickname.
* PaperThinDisguise: Averted. Unlike in later albums, the Thompson twins put on disguises that fool even Tintin.
** The Pharoah Kih-Oskh is a pun on 'kiosk', i.e. where you might buy cigars and other tobacco products.
** The Maharajah of Gaipajama's name is a pun on 'gay pyjama(s)' ([[HavingAGayOldTime 'gay' in the old sense of 'colourful, showy']]), referencing the way Indian princes dressed.
* RecursiveCanon: The Sheik Patrash Pasha recognizes Tintin because he ''has read the books'' and even shows him a copy of one of the albums. Even more oddly, in the redrawn version, the album he shows Tintin is ''Destination Moon'', which takes place AFTER ''Cigars of the Pharaoh'', so LiteraryAgentHypothesis can't be at work here (in the original version, it is ''Tintin in America'').
** At the start of the book while on the cruise Snowy says that he'd settle for Marlinspike. Marlinspike Hall is the estate of Captain Haddock, who they haven't met yet!
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The Maharajah of Gaipajama.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Tintin carves a trumpet and uses it to communicate with elephants at one point.
* TrampolineTummy: At one point, Tintin jumps on a fat man's tummy to get over a wall.
* TravelingSalesman: Oliveira de Figueira
* YouJustRuinedTheShot: Tintin attacks two men whipping a defenseless woman, only to find out it's part of a film.