[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grimfandango.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Manny Calavera: Grim Travel Agent]]

->''"Bound only by the paper-thin wrapper of mortality, a soul here lies, struggling to be free... and so it shall, thanks to a bowl of bad gazpacho and a man named Calavera."''

Manuel "Manny" Calavera is a travel agent with the Department of Death -- otherwise known as a [[TheGrimReaper Reaper]]. His job is to bring souls to the Land of the Dead, look over the deeds they have committed over the course of their life, and provide them with the best form of transportation possible for the long journey to the Ninth Underworld. The worst people must walk for four years, facing danger at every turn; the best receive tickets on the luxury train the Number Nine, which covers the same distance in four minutes.

Manny used to be the best in the business, but pickings have been slim for a long time. While the obnoxious Reaper Domino Hurley constantly brings in first-class commissions, Manny is stuck handing out walking sticks to first-rate scumbags, and since he needs to pay back his own misdeeds in life (the exact nature of which is unclear, even to him), he's getting desperate.

He concocts an ingenious scheme to steal one of Domino's clients, a [[MessianicArchetype saintly]] woman named Mercedes Colomar. But when she too comes up on his computer as morally bankrupt, Manny stumbles onto a plot to [[ReroutedFromHeaven steal people's eternal rewards away from them]]. His quest to uncover the truth and save Mercedes takes him on a journey across the Eighth Underworld, spanning years, full of extraordinary places, bizarre characters and startling revelations.

This 1998 AdventureGame for the PC from TimSchafer is a heady blend of [[FilmNoir noir]], Mexican mythology and Schafer's own warped sensibilities. As with all adventure games by Creator/LucasArts, it contained no real action or danger, and no possibility of dying, focusing instead on solving the often tricky puzzles strewn throughout the game, as well as just wandering through the place talking to people. It differed from adventure games of the time in its simple interface; Manny could move in three dimensions in a stationary environment, and interacted with it through three keys -- an Examine key, a Use key and a Get key, which could be used when Manny turned his head to look at something or someone. Sometimes all three keys could be used on the same item to different effect; stand near the giant pit of kitty litter and hit Examine, then Use, then Get, and you will get an increasingly funny series of reactions from Manny. Also, except for one arm-in-a-coffee-grinder moment, the adventure game standard of combining items was absent.

For the longest time, ''Grim Fandango'' was not given a digital rerelease, meaning that in order for the game to play on Windows 7, [[http://www.pcworld.com/article/239339/how_to_play_grim_fandango_on_your_windows_7_pc.html some creativity was required.]] A remastered edition for PS4, PSVita, PC, Mac, and Linux was released on January 27th, 2015. The PC version is available from [[http://store.steampowered.com/app/316790/ Steam]] and [[http://www.gog.com/game/grim_fandango_remastered GOG]].
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!!'''Tropified, the game provides examples of''':

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: The location of the new LSA base, though it's definitely smaller than most examples of this trope.
* AcidTripDimension: The World of the Living(!)
* AddictionDisplacement: Notice how quickly Glottis gets addicted to gambling (specifically, on races) after Year 1? That's not a CompressedVice; it's a displaced version of his ''real'' addiction: speed.
* AdventureDuo: Manny and Glottis.
* AffablyEvil: Domino Hurley comes across as this, at least at first. By Year 3, [[FauxAffablyEvil he's not fooling anybody anymore.]]
* AfterlifeAntechamber: The Land of the Dead. What lies beyond the entrance into the real afterlife is unknown and unknowable, and nobody who goes through ever comes back; [[spoiler:the game ends when Manny goes through.]]
* AfterlifeExpress: The Number Nine express train carries only the most saintly of souls to the Ninth Underworld in four minutes, instead of four years like the others means of travel. Illegally obtaining or trying to counterfeit a ticket, however, has dire consequences, as [[spoiler:the entire train turns into a demon, jumps the tracks, and quite literally goes to Hell as a result.]]
* AlasPoorYorick: In the end, with [[spoiler:Salvador's head]].
* TheAlcoholic: Glottis literally drinks wine ''by the barrelful'', running all the waiters ragged in the process.
* AllThereInTheScript: The three revolutionaries from the Blue Casket bar (Alexi, Gunnar and Slisko) only have their names explicitly listed in the credits. Same goes for Terry's last name being Malloy, though this one [[Film/OnTheWaterfront really shouldn't be hard to figure out]]. A worse case is the tube-switcher repairman, whose name didn't make it past the original game script (it's Juan Brennis).
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Well, [[FemmeFatale Olivia]] certainly does. She ends up romantically involved with three different men over the course of the game, all of whom are varying degrees of bad.
-->'''Manny:''' You have a really bad taste in men.
-->'''Olivia:''' No, I have a taste for really bad men. There's a difference.
** Apparently, Lola has a history of this, and it was her affection for one of Olivia's boyfriends, Maximino, that lead to her [[spoiler:getting sprouted]]. Somewhat {{Justified}} when you think about it; since all the good boys went straight to heaven, there can't be very many to go around.
* AlmostDeadGuy: Played straight and subverted.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Manny gives up a fairly comfortable life in Rubacava to save Meche. He later gives up [[spoiler: an opportunity to walk right out of the Eighth Underworld]] for her as well, but by then, [[spoiler:he's saving many, many more people besides her.]]
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Manny's relationship with Domino while working in the Department of Death.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: Most of the human souls are white like regular skeletons. Some have strange colours, such as Lupe being purple, Raoul being blue, Chepito being blue-green (though he justifies it by walking in the ocean for so long), and Hector being a sickly shade of yellow.
* AnachronismStew: A completely {{Justified}} example: the game takes place in the afterlife, so people from many different time periods live there.
* AnalogyBackfire: [[spoiler:Domino's]] final moments were spent giving Manny a ReasonYouSuckSpeech, culminating in him telling him "If you just adopt the proper attitude, just look what can happen to you!" He was referring to all the success he'd been basking in due to being DangerouslyGenreSavvy, but the effect is lost because he says this [[spoiler:just as he's about to be ground to pieces by a pair of crushers he hadn't been paying attention to]].
* AnatomicallyImpossibleSex: Sex is never explicitly seen or spoken of in the game, but par for the course of it being a FilmNoir, there is still plenty of moments with sensual themes, language, and subtext. It'd be a pretty big stretch to not assume that ''some'' kind of sex goes on in the afterlife, which is kind of a paradox since [[DemBones nobody in the afterlife has any genitalia.]] According to Tim Scafer, the the official ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' policy on sex is "[[YouDontWantToKnow Don't Ask, Don't Tell]]."
* AndIMustScream: One possible interpretation of what happens to a soul upon physical destruction of its skeletal "body", by sprouting or otherwise.
** A couple of commentaries in the remastered edition give a more benevolent interpretation: sprouting cause the soul to be reincarnated in the World of the Living. In this context, however, it's a punishment because you are forced to go through life once again instead of moving on.
* AndThisIsFor: If you keep shooting your gun at the greenhouse during the final showdown Manny will start saying this. [[ButForMeItWasTuesday The villain responds by asking who he's talking about.]]
** Manny decks Nick Virago, who wonders if it's for the camera girl he sprouted. Manny replies that it was just for Nick being Nick.
* ArcWords: "One year later."
* ASimplePlan: The main plot of the game happens because two simple plans inadvertently came to a head:
** Hector Le Mans: Defraud deserving souls of their golden tickets to the AfterlifeExpress, sell [[spoiler:fake]] tickets to rich people, (un)live in luxury [[spoiler:while actually keeping all the golden tickets to balance out his many crimes and get him to the Ninth Underworld.]]
** Manuel Calavera: Steal a colleague's work order in order to break a slump and maybe work off his time in the Land of the Dead a little faster. In doing this, he accidentally unveils Hector's plan, and a four-year long chain of events is started that change The Land of the Dead forever.
* AsYouKnow: {{Lampshaded}} humorously. The opening cutscene has Manny explain to a recently dead soul, and in turn, the audience, how the death system in this universe works. If you want more information after that, you can pester his boss's secretary, Eva, until she gives it to you. Eva then calls him out for being deliberately obtuse as a ruse to hit on her. (It's revealed she and Manny used to date.)
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: The Double N Train and anyone who passes through the Tunnel. No one knows what ''really'' resides on the other end.
-->'''Manny:''' You know, sweetheart, if there's one thing I've learned, it's this: [[AnAesop nobody knows what's gonna happen at the end of the line, so you might as well enjoy the trip.]]
* TheAtoner: All dead souls who lead sinful lives have to pay off their debt in the afterlife one way or another. Manny in particular spends the first half of the story trying to track down and help Meche, who he accidentally, and not exclusively at his own fault, condemned to a fate that she didn't deserve.
* AuthorAppeal: Tim Schafer's love of hot 1970's-style heavy metal-inspired rides with plenty of decals and exhaust pipes is evident with the Bone Wagon.
* BalconyEscape: Manny does this from his Department of Death office twice, once in Year One and once in Year Four.
* BaldWoman: With the unexplained exception of Eva (a wig, perhaps?), all skeletal characters in the story are bald. The women usually make up for it by wearing a CoolHat.
* BanisterSlide: Can be done in Year 2 at the Calavera Cafe, just for funsies.
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: Only the most saintly souls can go directly to their final resting place via the Number Nine train. Most others have to spend years getting there, and some are forced to work off their moral debts first. Then there's the whole deal with the stolen Number Nine tickets...
* {{Beachcombing}}: Referenced by Manny after getting the metal detector.
* BearHug: Glottis gives one to Manny [[spoiler:before [[TearJerker he leaves forever to the Ninth Underworld]].]]
* BeatStillMyHeart: Glottis literally tears out his heart and throws it away in a fit of despondent [[LargeHam Hamminess]]. Manny has to get it back from a spider-web. It beats the whole time.
* {{Beatnik}}: The Blue Casket bar run by Olivia is home to some of them. According to Manny, the bar's got "extra-thick doors to seal in the hipness".
* BedsheetLadder: Or, rather, Necktie Rope, but for the same effect.
* BettyAndVeronica: Meche and Olivia, respectively. In this case, there is no LoveTriangle, just contrast.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Meche's the sweetest gal you could ever hope to meet, but don't think she goes anywhere without an extra hidden bullet in her hat.
* BigDamnHero: Manny grows into one after a healthy dose of CharacterDevelopment. Even when he's literally [[spoiler:staring headlong into heaven's gates and given every right to walk in and never return to the UnderWorld again,]] he still won't do it until everybody who's counting on him is finally safe.
* TheBigGuy: Glottis the demon mechanic.
* BigGuyLittleGuy: Glottis and Manny, respectively.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Manny finally reaches the Ninth Underworld, yet has to leave behind his best friend Glottis as he goes into the unknown.]]
* BlackComedy: It was made by Tim Schafer, and takes place in a world filled with dead people. Did you really expect anything different?
* {{Blackmail}}: Manny uses a photo of Nick Virago kissing Maximino's girlfriend Olivia to get Nick to free Terry from jail.
* BondVillainStupidity: [[SubvertedTrope Nope:]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Manny''': [[EvilGloating Is this where you tell me all about your secret plan, Hector?]] How you stole Double N tickets from innocent souls, pretended to sell them but really hoarded them all for yourself in a desperate attempt to get out of the Land of the Dead?]]\\
[[spoiler:'''Hector''': [[GenreSavvy No.]] ('''''[[WhyDontYaJustShootHim BANG]]''''']])
** [[TheDragon Domino]] does fall under this trope, though. In Year 3, he knocks Manny out with a single punch, but then does nothing to prevent him from exploring his island, freeing Meche, etc.. He also thinks that having Manny take over his factory is a more practical way of getting him out of the picture than simply sprouting him. Funnily enough, Manny can actually [[StatingTheSimpleSolution call Nick out on this]], and he replies by telling him that ''he's'' the one that's being pragmatic, not Hector. Naturally, this attitude backfires.
* {{Boobytrap}}: [[spoiler:Domino Hurley]] arranges one around the Bonewagon.
* BookEnds: The game opens on an ashtray with four mariachi dolls. The game ends on four mariachi playing around the pool, shaped like the ashtray. Also, the gorgeous Aztec relief on the menu depicting the major events of the game (that acts as the progress bar for your game save) is present in the final room of the game.
* BottomlessBladder: Manny can use the men's room in Hector's casino near the end of the game, although the question of why a skeleton would need it is obviously something the player isn't supposed to think about.
* BreakTheCutie: Meche is a ''lot'' harder and colder after [[spoiler:a year of working for Domino]].
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: Chowchilla Charlie tasks Manny with retrieving one from Maximino's club. [[spoiler:It turns out to contain fake Double-N tickets.]]
* CallForward: Early on, still an apparently unsuccessful employee reaper, if Manny looks at posters with luxury sea cruise transportation offer, he mentions his competitiveness: he wouldn't be able to work on a ship without trying to become captain. As story progresses, he ends up [[spoiler:cleaning floors in a shabby dinery. He's owning the place, overhauled into a classy club]] after the year-long TimeSkip. Compounding the echo, he later has to [[spoiler:weasel his way onto a ship, again mopping the floor as the screen pans into another "time skip" card. With him in charge,]] the thing at the very least looks better.
* CaveMouth: The entrance to the Ninth Underworld, of all things.
* CelestialBureaucracy: The Department of Death.
* ChildlessDystopia: A very unique subversion - it's true that there are extremely few children in the Land of the Dead, but because ChildrenAreInnocent, that's the way it's ''supposed'' to be. Manny is only seen meeting two children during his entire four-year journey, but the only reason they're there is because their tickets to heaven were stolen
* ChekhovsBoomerang: The packing foam (see below), which first gets used for gunking up the DOD mail system early in the game. Also, in Year 4, [[spoiler:liquid nitrogen]].
* ChekhovsGun: Certain information from earlier years - some of which is ''missable'' - doesn't become relevant until you encounter certain puzzles in the final year.
** One of the more extreme examples is a cutscene in Year One where a demon's shirt catches fire, and the demon later scolds Manny for trying to put him out with a magnesium compound fire extinguisher in a room filled with chemical packing materials, because the chemical reaction would have caused a massive explosion. Much, much later in Year Four, you finally encounter a puzzle where you have to combine the two elements to create makeshift rocket fuel.
** Related to that very puzzle, the mug you give Bruno in year 1 comes back in year 4 as he throws the mug at you, raging that he could at least have been given a magazine. It becomes useful in the same puzzle as described above.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Olivia has a history of infidelity and, near the end of the game, [[spoiler:betrays the LSA.]]
* ChunkySalsaRule: [[spoiler:Domino]] is presumed DeaderThanDead after being ground into powder by a pair of coral crushers.
* {{Claustrophobia}}: Raoul the waiter suffers from it; a puzzle consists of locking him inside a closet so that he panics and accidentally knocks himself out.
* CompanionCube: Velasco and the ''S.S. Lamancha''. Ironically, the latter is a CargoShip.
* ConspicuousCG: All backgrounds in the game are painted in a 3D-looking style, but all the character models are actually 3D. It's a little distracting, especially now that it's over fifteen years old.
* ConspicuouslyLightPatch: Like ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'' after it, all items that can be picked up are easily discerned from the background.
* ContemplativeBoss: Maximino is first seen in his office looking at the cat races through the window. However, he will turn to face Manny if you start a conversation with him.
* ContinuityNod: Many, some of which are easy to miss. Upon observation of certain simple bed in the 2nd year, Manny's line implies that his cherished sleep comes with nightmares about spiders and beavers. Some puzzles from the in-universe previous year involved dealing with monster semblances of these two species.
* ControllableHelplessness: A puzzle near the end of the game is based on this, where [[spoiler:Manny is shot up with Sproutella, which is slowly filling his insides with flowers, and has to find a way to kill the plant while writhing in agony on the ground.]]
* CoolBoat: The SS Lola.
* CoolCar: The Bone Wagon is the product of Glottis' mad compulsion to make all things with engines harder, better, faster, stronger...
--> '''Manny:''' What a relief. I was getting concerned that our transportation wasn't ostentatious enough.
* CoolOldGuy: Velasco, especially in Glottis' eyes.
* CoolShades: Domino Hurley wears these when at the island near the giant waterfall.
* CoolTrain: The Number Nine. [[spoiler:Especially in its demon form, when it takes a trainload of impostors straight down to Hell.]]
* TheCoroner: Membrillo.
* CosmicDeadline: The fourth year chapter is notably more rushed than the rest - compared to the design document, several puzzles and scenes are just skipped. Remarkably, [[spoiler:the issue of where Manny got a company ticket with all the upper management of his business being completely gone]] is never addressed.
* CrapSackWorld: Because of the way the Eight Underworld works, it's kind of inevitable that it ended up this way: all the best people skipped it completely and went straight into heaven, so as a result, its almost entirely populated with dishonest, corrupted low-lifes at best and dangerous, deadly criminals at worst. That said, the little of the land we do see seemed at least tolerable until [[BigBad Hector]] showed his ugly mug.
* CreatorCameo: The Creator/LucasArts man-holding-a-bow appears on the leftmost part of the Aztec relief.
* CreepySouvenir: [[BigBad Hector LeMans']] has a greenhouse in the middle of a massive meadow of flowers. It sounds pleasant to an outsider looking in, but by that point in the game, any player would know full well [[FateWorseThanDeath what the presence of flowers indicate in this game]] and [[AtopAMountainOfCorpses how he got so many of them]].
* CrueltyIsTheOnlyOption: Like many an AdventureGame protagonist before him, Manny must do some pretty nasty things in order to eventually save the day. He's not as bad as [[TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland Guybrush]], but he's still somewhere in that ballpark.
* CulturalTranslation: The Robert Frost balloon is changed to [[{{Franchise/TinTin}} Captain Haddock]] in France.
* CyanidePill: [[spoiler:Sal has one that sprays Sproutella in a cloud.]]
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: When confronting Big Bad Hector Le Mans, Manny attempts to illustrate his own GenreSavvy. Manny asks if this is the part where Le Mans tells Manny his plans and then proceeds to spell them out in elaborate detail. [[spoiler:Losing patience, Hector replies "No," shoots Manny and says this is the part where he dies painfully.]]
* DeaderThanDead: In the Eighth Underworld you can survive being pulled apart and losing limbs (or your head), but it seems to require extreme willpower; more the more parts you lose. There ''are'' ways to die ''again'', however; they mostly involve having one's skeletal "body" completely destroyed, by being smashed, ground up, consumed by flowers (in-game called being "sprouted"), crushed and similar. Nobody knows where you go after ''that'', but you're effectively forever denied entry into the Ninth Underworld.
** [[spoiler: According to WordOfGod in the [[DVDCommentary Director's Commentary]], they're reincarnated.]]
* DeadGuyJunior: Manny names a whole ''ship'' after Lola. In a darkly-humorous subversion of how these things normally go, [[spoiler: he fails to save the ship, too.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Manny's pretty good at it.
** Looking at his office door:
--->'''Manny''': Wasn't too long ago the name on that door was "Supply Closet."
** After Glottis installed hydraulic stilts on the Bonewagon:
--->'''Manny''': What a relief. I was getting concerned that our transportation wasn't ostentatious enough.
** Looking at a boobytrapped Bonewagon:
--->'''Manny''': Soon to be known as "the Blownwagon".
--->'''Glottis''': Hey! ''That's not funny''!
** Confronting Hector Le Mans:
--->'''Hector Le Mans:''' Oh Manny... so cynical... What happened to you, Manny, that caused you to lose your sense of hope, your love of life?
--->'''Manny''': I died.
** Most of the characters in the game have their moments, given the nature of, well, being dead. They usually get a bit of snark in while Manny is playing MrExposition by BreakingTheFourthWall for the player.
--->'''Manny''': (''Looking at Eva'') It's my boss's secretary, Eva.
--->'''Eva''': It's my boss's whipping boy, Manny.
*** Or this one:
--->'''Manny''': (''Looking at Dockmaster Velasco'') That Dockmaster Velasco is one salty old bag of rope.
--->'''Velasco''': (''laughs'') You should see his wife!
**** This one too:
---->'''Manny''': Is it hard to kiss up to the boss with no lips?
---->'''Domino''': Oh I've got plenty of lip. I get it all from ''you.''
* DeadToBeginWith: The entire game takes place in the afterlife.
* DefensiveFailure: When Meche takes Manny as hostage to make Domino free them, she ends up threatening him with her gun, but he knows he has nothing to fear because she is too good to shoot him. And he is right, despite her protesting.
* DemBones: Every human soul takes this form in death. Contrasted with the briefly-seen ''living'' humans... well, you have to see it, but the dead are more relatable. They also gain "breast-bones" (the women) and "belly-bones" (the fat). That's because they're not ''skeletons'' per se, but ''calaca'' dolls.
** On the other hand, when Meche takes off her stockings, the shape of her legs is visibly outlined by the fabric, yet only much thinner bones are revealed. Perhaps they don't grow "breast-bones" or "belly-bones", but actually still have a physical body of sorts that can give shape to their clothing, yet is entirely invisible.
** Oddly, Meche's lower leg appears to consist of only one bone rather than the normal two (tibia and fibula), although this impression might just be due to the camera angle or an oversight.
* TheDeterminator: One of Manny's best and most prominent qualities; for such a cynical, down-on-his-luck dead man, it's pretty admirable that not once during his ''four-year-long'' journey to help those he feels responsible for are his spirits broken, not even temporarily.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Taken to the extreme; trying to use, give, examine or pick up pretty much any person/object/item leads to Manny making a humorous comment:
-->(''Try to pick up Naranja'')\\
'''Manny''': No. [[DoubleEntendre No more picking up sailors for me.]]\\
(''"Use" stockings away from items/people'')\\
'''Manny''': I would never wear these. ''[[ComicallyMissingThePoint There's a hole in them.]]''
* DialogueTree [[spoiler: Many of the hidden achievements for the Remastered version require the player to ask characters certain things, or lead to funny dialogue options.]]
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu: Hector's entire plan is to literally [[spoiler:scam his way through Heaven's gates.]]
* DVDCommentary: The Remastered version contains "commentary nodes" similar to games by ValveSoftware, where the player can hear Tim Schafer and company discussing the history and inspirations for the game.
* DirtyCop: Police Chief Bogen from Rubacava. He will refrain from raiding the town's gambling joints only if he wins every time, which is why Manny has a device for rigging the roulette tables in his office.
* DisSimile:
-->'''Glottis''': Manny, until now we scraped along the ground like rats. But from now on, we ''soar!'' Like eagles. Like eagles on... ''[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot POGO STICKS]]!''
* DontFearTheReaper: Soul Reaping is simply one of the many jobs you can be given in the Underworld in order to pay off your debt, so a vast majority them are perfectly normal people. Manny himself provides the page quote and treats his customers like any other charming and friendly salesman would.
* DraggedOffToHell: [[spoiler:The fate of Nick Virago and an entire trainload of souls riding on counterfeit tickets; the train turns into a '''[[NightmareFace DEMON]]''' and leaps off the track, taking them all into a fiery pit. When asked just what happened, the gatekeeper chillingly replies, "Your destiny...cannot be purchased."]]
* TheDragon: Domino Hurley.
* DyingDeclarationOfLove: As if [[spoiler:Lola]]'s "sprouting" itself wasn't a tear jerker... Considering the reason she's been shot, she probably would've been still "alive" had she not given up on him:
-->Oh, Manny, it's all my fault. Always falling for the wrong guys. You know, I even had a thing for you, once. But you were so hung up on that Meche woman, I figured I didn't have a chance...
* EarnYourHappyEnding: More or less applies to just about any soul due to how the DOD works -- i.e. if you were a saint, you get to skip the dangerous journey altogether and reach your final resting place in four minutes, but if not, you might have to walk, or even be sent to the Gate as a ''package''. Or just get stuck in the Land of the Dead until you do something to redeem yourself, [[spoiler:which is what happens to Manny]].
* EasingIntoTheAdventure: The game begins on a relatively normal day for Manny, with the first few puzzles largely serving to introduce important characters and explain the setting. It isn't until Manny resorts to hijacking a work order meant for his rival that the actual plot gets into gear.
* TheEeyore: Membrillo the coroner.
* EnterSolutionHere: The betting stub puzzle.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The first scene with Hector has him sprouting [[spoiler:Don Copal]] without a second thought in a YouHaveFailedMe moment. This was presumably the fate of anyone he didn't like, if the Meadow is any indication. In fact, [[spoiler:Hector shooting Manny]] could be less of a case of Genre Savviness and more of Hector using his default method of dealing with obstacles. Some of Domino's dialogue in Year 3 suggests the latter.
* EveryDeviceIsASwissArmyKnife: Manny's trusty scythe is used in dozens of puzzles, with a different usage almost every time.
* EverybodySmokes: Of course, since they're already dead, it doesn't do anything to them. The [[AllThereInTheManual manual]] has the following footnote on one page:
-->"For those who are disturbed by the amount of smoking in ''Grim Fandango'', we offer two reasons: 1) we wanted to be true to the FilmNoir atmosphere, and 2) everybody in the game who smokes is DEAD. Think about it."
* EvilLawyerJoke: You can make a few, but don't expact Nick to appreciate 'em.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Not the plot in its entirety, but the individual chapters, each of which is clearly less than two days long, even counting the cutscenes.
* EyeScream: [[spoiler: How you defeat the giant octopus.]]
* EyepatchOfPower: Glottis, impressed by Velasco's speech, asks Manny if he could have an eyepatch. Manny proceeds to ask Velasco what's under it, since [[DemBones it can't be an eye]].
-->'''Velasco:''' Oh, well, when I was alive I had an eyepatch like this... this one's just for the phantom pain... And that one eye socket used to scream like a banshee when the trade winds blew, so I plugged her.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: Sure, he was a jerk. Sure, he was already dead. But there's no denying that what happens to [[spoiler: Domino]] is a nasty way to go.
* FamousLastWords: In full keeping with [[spoiler: Domino's]] KarmicDeath:
-->'''[[spoiler: Domino]]:''' I can't believe you, Calavera! You're losing a fight, [[EyeScream so you pick on one of my pets?!]] Why aren't you more like ''me'', Manny? I've been trying to show you how but you don't listen! [[AnalogyBackfire If you'd just adopt the proper attitude,]] [[TemptingFate just look what could happen to you!]]
* FantasticLightSource: The luminescent coral used by Chepito. Apparently it's mined and used to make tiny lightbulbs. The Land of the Dead is kind of an odd place.
* FantasticNoir
* FantasticRacism: Demons are literally created with [[HappinessInSlavery no other desire than to perform specific jobs for dead souls]], to the point where they'll waste away out of misery if they're somehow barred from said job. Domino seems to think that having a demon for a friend is below him, but its unclear how widespread that mentality is.
* FatBastard: The BigBad. Impressive, since he's also a skeleton.
* FateWorseThanDeath: There are a number of unpleasant things that can happen to a soul in the Underworld, from being turned into a bone dam by demonic flaming beavers to being ground into powder to being "sprouted".
* FauxAffablyEvil: Both the BigBad and TheDragon of the story, in their own unique ways:
** Hector is a DangerouslyGenreSavvy mastermind who doesn't hesitate to [[FateWorseThanDeath sprout]] his enemies in cold blood, to the point where he literally has a headquarters built atop [[AtopAMountainOfCorpses a massive field of flowers]]. Despite this, we almost never see him break his calm, business-like persona, and he makes sure all his flowers are carefully attended to and cared for. It's not supposed to fool anybody, it's to amplify how utterly bereft of empathy he is.
** Domino, meanwhile, is an unbearably [[SmugSnake smug]] and [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] JerkAss who nevertheless seems to genuinely want to take Manny under his wing and teach him how to be as successful as he is. Considering his idea of "success", and the fact that he also won't hesitate to pull out a sproutella gun if he's not cooperating, this behavior becomes very, ''very'' [[HateSink infuriating]].
* FemmeFatale: Olivia Ofrenda.
-->'''Manny:''' You know, you have a really bad taste in men.
-->'''Olivia:''' No, I have a taste for really bad men. There's a difference.
* TheFifties: True to its Film Noir roots, the game is set in the [=1950s=] - except with modern (circa 1998) conveniences like computers.
* FilmNoir: Tim Schafer said that the inspiration of the story was from 1944 film ''Film/DoubleIndemnity''.
* FissionMailed: [[spoiler:Manny gets shot during the game's climax, but if you figure out a puzzle, you can save him.]]
* FlippingTheBird: Implied in this exchange between Manny and the DOD's resident maintenance demon (who is very irritable):
-->'''Manny:''' I'm still not getting any messages.
-->'''The demon:''' I'm giving you one right now, but you can't see my hand.
* FlowerMotifs: One of the only ways to make someone DeaderThanDead is to shoot them with a Sproutella gun that make flowers break apart and consume their bones. Membrillo the undertaker specifies to Manny that flowers are a negative symbol in the Land of the Dead, and Manny replies that from now on, he'll use balloons as gifts.
** GeniusBonus: To the Aztecs, flowers were a metaphor for blood, as in the vital fluid of the living.
* FirstPersonSmartass: Manny, obviously, in the classic hardboiled style.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: Every time Manny opens up his scythe, you hear one.
* ForeignLanguageTirade: Toto Santos briefly slips into Hungarian on two occasions when Manny starts messing around with his fridge and Naranja's booze.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: ''Many'' examples, but a particularly interesting one -- because it masquerades as a RedHerring -- is when Celso complains that there's no greater constant in nature than the treachery of women. Later, Manny is briefly led to believe that [[spoiler:Meche isn't as saintly as she seems and got involved with his archnemesis Domino]], which ultimately turns out not to be the case. What is ''actually'' being foreshadowed is a late-game plot twist where [[spoiler:Olivia betrays Manny and Salvador, revealing that her latest boyfriend is Hector himself]].
** Manny has no idea why Dom would have a glowing coral in his desk - and it doesn't become explained til late in Year 3.
* ForTheEvulz: Manny loves to reveal himself oh-so-briefly to living people.
-->'''Manny:''' Pssst. It's me, Death. I'll see you soon, okay?
* FourFingeredHands
* FourIsDeath: Well, there are four chapters, and it's a journey through the afterlife.
* FrenchJerk: Raoul the waiter.
-->'''Glottis:''' Taking a little ''nap-pez-vous'', are we?
* GameBreakingBug: The elevator puzzle in Year 2, and, to a lesser extent, the conveyor belt puzzle in Year 3, are tied to the CPU speed, which makes solving them on modern computers impossible without patching the game.
** It is possible to encounter a glitch in Year 4 where the game mistakenly recognizes the bottle of liquid nitrogen in Manny's inventory as empty right as you need to use it. [[ControllableHelplessness Considering]] [[NearVillainVictory the]] [[FissionMailed circumstances]] of that event, this can be very, very frustrating.
* GeniusBruiser: Glottis, despite his looks and his [[LargeHam attitude]], has borderline supernatural mechanic skills. He's not a bad pianist or singer either.
* GenreBusting: FilmNoir/UrbanFantasy/{{Comedy}}/{{Adventure Game}}/{{Art Game}}/TheEpic, with heavy influence from Central/South American mythology and culture.
* GenkiGirl: Lupe.
-->'''Lupe:''' '''''[[NoIndoorVoice HI MANNY!]]'''''
** Manny even {{Lampshades}}:
--->'''Manny:''' Uh-oh. Lupe's gotten into the sugar again.
** She does tend to get on peoples nerves.
---> '''Carla''': All that bubbly energy, I just want to strangle her!
---> ''''Manny''': [[NoodleIncident I've tried that. It doesn't stop her.]]
* GentleGiant: Glottis is ''huge'', but unless it was threatening him or his friends, he wouldn't hurt a fly.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Mostly averted - the game has a well-exercised T rating, so most of the mature content is expected and acceptable. That said, one comment by [[FemmeFatale Olivia]] does raise eyebrows even by those standards. (Keep in mind, Olivia is having an affair on her boyfriend with Nick):
-->'''Manny:''' Do you think Nick would hurt [Lola]?
-->'''Olivia:''' Only if he finds her, and, take it from me, Manny: he's not good at finding things.
* GiantSquid: Well, a giant octopus. It rides around in a ''submarine'' and kidnaps people.
* TheGodsMustBeLazy: Whoever the PowersThatBe are, they do not appear concerned at all that Hector can corrupt the system of handing out proper rewards and punishments, and can outright [[spoiler: take over the system later]]. The only rule they hold up is [[spoiler: people who attempt to get into the Ninth Underworld under false pretenses will be punished]], which does not help the saintly souls who were screwed over, especially all the ones [[spoiler: Manny does not save himself]].
* GoldDigger: This is probably the only reason Olivia is dating Maximino, considering her [[ManipulativeBastard character]] and the fact that she clearly doesn't care about him in the slightest.
-->'''Manny:''' I'm thinking of buying this place.
-->'''Olivia:''' Really? I thought about buying yours for a while, but then I just decided to ask my boyfriend Max to buy it for me.
* AGoodNameForARockBand: In the Director's Commentary, Tim Schaefer remarked that "Thermonuclear Flaming Bone Beavers" would be a good name for a band.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: It's a noir, so EverybodySmokes, and since everybody's already dead, that isn't much of a problem. That said, a few of the characters follow the usual "what and how they smoke" rules: Olivia, like many a FemmeFatale, uses a long holder, and both TheDragon, Domino, and the owner of the betting track, Maximino, are [[CigarChomper Cigar Chompers]]. Interestingly enough, the BigBad, Hector, is one of the very few characters who ''isn't'' seen smoking.
* GratuitousSpanish: Manny and Salvador, frequently. {{Downplayed}}, however, since they usually reserve it for greetings, addressing people, or for exclamation, as opposed to peppering it through their conversations at random. Apparently, they were all [[ThrowItIn ad libbed]].
* GrievousBottleyHarm[=/=]PercussivePrevention: In Year 2, [[spoiler:Meche]] ruins Manny's chance of getting on board the ship she is leaving on by throwing a bottle at him. When the two are reunited a year later, Manny can't resist commenting on that:
-->'''Manny:''' By the way, thanks for that bottle of champagne you sent me. It really hit the spot. ''(taps his head)''
* TheGrimReaper: It's one of many jobs the sinful are forced to take on to pay off moral debt.
* GuideDangIt: For an adventure game, there is surprisingly little. Unlike something by Sierra it is physically impossible to move on without having everything you need to complete the game. However, the betting stub puzzle from Year 2 can frustrate even if you know what you have to do.
* GuileHero: Manny. Considering the fact that he's a professional salesman, [[JustifiedTrope it makes sense]].
* HaHaHaNo: Manny's reaction if you use the "Pick Up" command on a swimming-pool full of used cat litter.
* HappinessInSlavery: The demons of the Land of the Dead are "given one purpose, one skill, one desire", and are obsessed with their job to the point where they'll fall ill and die if barred from any means of doing it. Even though Glottis is ''not'' happy about being stuck in the [=DoD=]'s garage as a mechanic, for him it was still better than nothing, which is why he gets [[BeatStillMyHeart very, very upset]] when he is fired.
* HavingAHeart: Membrillo's "old coroner joke".
* HateSink: You ''will'' feel an urge to cheer when [[spoiler:Domino]] and [[spoiler:Nick]], finally get their [[KarmicDeath just desserts]].
* HelloSailor: You can say this to Velasco just to fool around with him. He doesn't find it funny.
* HeroicSacrifice: In the end, [[spoiler: Salvador]].
* {{Homage}}: To the Noir genre in general, naturally. But Year 2 has a very ''{{Casablanca}}'' feel to it.
** Year 1 is an homage to ''GlengarryGlenRoss''.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Hector's penchant for keeping trophies of his sprouted victims comes back to bite him when the water supply used to maintain them becomes the vehicle for his demise.]]
* HopelessBossFight: Domino Hurley and [[spoiler: Hector [=LeMans=]]] will go on forever until you TakeAThirdOption.
* HorseOfADifferentColor: Giant multicolored demon cats are the racehorses of choice in the Land of the Dead, for some reason.
* HotPaintJob: The Bonewagon and the SS Lola. The common element here is Glottis.
* HumanMail: Effectively what Bruno is subjected to.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Manny keeps everything he needs in the pockets of his suit, including things like a fire extinguisher and his folded-up scyhthe. One explanation could be that he's tucking them into his ribs.
** Averted once: you can't put a mug of hot coffee into your inventory, and even when you're done using it, you still have to put it down in order to climb a ladder.
* HypocriticalHumor: Glottis, while explaining why he can't just quit his job, says that "it's like I'm not happy unless I'm breathing in the thick, black, nauseating fumes". Manny responds with "Hmm... can't imagine" ''after a long drag of his cigarette''.
* ICantReachIt: Occasionally. For example, Manny can't take the bottle of alcohol he finds in Toto's tattoo parlor because he "has enough booze at home". Manny, weren't you planning on leaving town in a few hours or something?
* ICantUseTheseThingsTogether: Regularly lampshaded when various characters respond to Manny's commentary.
--> '''Manny''': "They're locked."
--> '''Carla (from the other room)''': "They're LOCKERS!"

--> '''Manny''': [[CaptainObvious "It's the door to the cage."]]
--> '''Pugsy''': "Duh..."
* IceCreamKoan
--> (''Manny looks at the domino booby trap trapped in a frozen gel'')
--> '''Manny''': A parade of bones, trapped in a suspended state... Kind of a metaphor for all of us if you really think --
--> '''Glottis''': '''JUST DEFUSE THE BOMB, MANNY!'''
* IconicItem: Manny's scythe. [[WelcomeToCorneria He likes to keep it next to where his heart used to be]].
* IdentificationByDentalRecords: The computer terminals at the Department of Death scan the user's teeth to give them access, which makes sense seeing as a person's [[DemBones chompers]] are one of the few identifying physical features one can carry over from the Land of the Living. This is used in a puzzle early on in the game, where Manny has to make a mold so that a local resistance group can make a replica of his teeth and access the Department of Death's computer network.
* ImmuneToDrugs: Like most FilmNoir stories, EverybodySmokes. Unlike most FilmNoir stories, it doesn't do anything bad to the characters since everybody is already dead. The manual humorously [[LampshadeHanging points this out]].
* ImpossiblyCompactFolding: The scythes used by the [=DoD=] "travel agents". There's a pretty lengthy animation (complete with a bell tolling finale!) for its assembly or collapse whenever Manny uses his.
* InformedDeformity: Celso's wife is ugly according to Manny. She looks like just any other female human soul except with a pair of lines on her face.
* InstantMessengerPigeon: They can find anyone based on just a photograph! And the bad guys engineer big talking messenger birds with human skull-heads.
* InsurmountableWaistHighFence: Manny can't get to the Day of the Dead festival in El Marrow because of several performer huts blocking the road. There is a stack of crates on the side, but he doesn't want to climb it. In Year Two, Manny needs to get on a boat which is blocked by a chain-link fence, and blames his stubby legs for being the reason he was never good at the high jump.
* InterspeciesFriendship: Manny and Glottis.
* IronicEcho: "This compass in the handle will sure come in handy, too!" Okay, Celso was probably just being a jerk.
* IsThatTheBestYouCanDo:
** Domino will mock Manny's inferior scythe fighting techniques. [[spoiler: It's better used on the octopus.]]
** One of the BigBad's responses when you attempt to shoot him during the final showdown is "Is that your best?" Unfortunately, it ''is'' - [[PuzzleBoss there's another way to win to the battle]].
* ItAmusedMe: It's quite obvious that Olivia doesn't care at all about either Maximino or Nick (her boyfriend and the man she's cheating on him with, respectively), despite the former being clearly in love with her. She just dates them because she's a GoldDigger in the former category and [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys enjoys the thrill of courting dangerous men]] in the latter.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Domino, oh so very much.
** Hector, too. [[spoiler: He's not even really selling people Double N tickets. He's selling counterfeit ones and keeping the real ones for himself.]]
* ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans: The game is based on Central/South American mythology, and all the gameplay takes place during four consecutive Dia de los Muertos.
* ItRunsOnNonsensoleum: The game {{lampshades}} itself frequently, such as Manny asking what Velasco has under his eyepatch.
-->'''Surly Clown''': (''twisting balloons'') My carpal tunnel syndrome is really acting up.\\
'''Manny''': But... you don't have any tendons.\\
'''Surly Clown''': (''annoyed'') Yeah, well ''you'' don't have a ''tongue'', but that doesn't seem to shut ''you'' up, now, does it?
* IWillWaitForYou: Manny becomes a rare male example in Year 2, where he waits in the town of Rubacava for Meche to pass through. Subverted, since the two of them aren't lovers by that point in the story, although Manny's SheIsNotMyGirlfriend attitude isn't convincing anybody, not even the other characters.
* JoinOrDie: This exchange between Manny and Eva.
--> '''Manny:''' Any messages for me?
--> '''Eva:''' One: join, or die!
--> '''Manny:''' [[DeadToBeginWith But I'm already...]]
--> '''Eva:''' ''Again!''
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: This is what Manny [[GenreSavvy anticipates]] when he confronts Hector in his greenhouse. [[spoiler: [[WrongGenreSavvy He]] [[SubvertedTrope was]] [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim wrong]].]]
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Domino Hurley]], [[spoiler:Nick Virago]], [[spoiler:Olivia Ofrenda]] and [[spoiler:Hector LeMans]] (see HoistByHisOwnPetard).
** [[spoiler: All the people who get Hector's fake tickets ride the No. 9 all the way to the end...and then go straight to Hell.]]
* KissingDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:The very last thing Manny and Meche do before ascending into the Ninth Underworld]].
* KnightInSourArmor: Even by a dead man's standards, Manny starts the game out with a very cynical and sarcastic attitude towards the world, to the point where even after establishing himself as an enemy against evil, he still claims he's only doing it to help himself. As the story progresses, however, CharacterDevelopment causes both his actions and his attitude to improve.
* KnowsAGuyWhoKnowsAGuy: A conversation between two Thunderboys in Year 4.
* LaResistance: The L.S.A.
* LargeHam: Glottis, who once got so worked up over getting fired that he [[BeatStillMyHeart ripped out his heart and chucked it into the woods]], causing him to [[OnlyAFleshWound pass out]].
* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: Anyone who bought Double-N tickets that were not rightfully theirs, or tried to use the fake ones.]]
-->'''The Gatekeeper:''' Your destiny... cannot be bought.
** {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: Manny tells Nick he'll get his for offing Lola. Guess who was on that Double-N train with a stolen ticket?]]
* {{Leitmotif}}: "Manny and Meche". You can ''tell'' that Manny's "love is for the living" speech is mostly him being in denial just from the fact that it's accompanied by this track.
* LighthousePoint: An important one in Rubacava.
* LiteralMetaphor: Glottis's reaction to getting fired. "It's like they reached into my ''chest'', and pulled out my ''heart'', and ''threw it into the woods''!" Uh... was it really neccessary to ''actually demonstrate'' that?
* LockedInAFreezer: Manny and Meche end up locked in a vault at one point.
* LogoJoke: Creator/LucasArts' ''Gold Guy'' turns into a skeleton in the intro.
* LongSongShortScene: Lupe's short theme that plays twice in the game is not on the soundtrack.
* LovesMeNot: Hector does this near the end. It's really creepy, considering what flowers symbolize in this game...
* LoveTriangle: A really messy one that borders on LoveDodecahedron happens in Year 2: Lola the photography girl is in love with the owner of the cat track, Maximino. Maximino has a girlfriend named Olivia that he's in love with, but the feeling is not mutual. Olivia is having a secret relationship with Nick, Maximino's lawyer, that everybody but Maximino seems to know about. Lola tries to reveal this relationship to prove Olivia isn't good for Max, [[spoiler:which leads to her getting sprouted by Nick]]. Amazingly, as far as plot is concerned, this whole debacle happens just to play an indirect part in a puzzle where Manny gets a set of Sea Bee tools. ''Then'' it's revealed in Year 4 that [[spoiler:Olivia is in a relationship with the BigBad, Hector, and it's unclear how long it's been going on; for all we know, it could have been from the very beginning.]]
* LudicrousSpeed: Inverted with Glottis, who can die of speed ''withdrawal''. Ridiculously high speed in this case is the only way to cure him.
* MadScientist: The Florist.
* MadeOfExplodium: Evidently, packing foam + magnesium fire extinguisher = huge explosion. [[spoiler:Or rocket fuel.]]
* MagicAIsMagicA: So, when is a skeleton soul considered "dead"? They are technically all dead, yet they can be "killed" again (the text in the sequences' titles even describes them as "dying"!). This gets a LampshadeHanging: in the Petrified Forest, Manny and Glottis have to cross a barrier of soul bones, and Glottis says that he feels guilty about rolling on them. Manny replies they won't care because they're dead. Glottis reminds Manny is dead, and Glottis wouldn't want to roll over Manny. Manny says that's because they "are friends". There's obviously a distinction between "dead" as an inhabitant of the Eighth Underworld and "dead" as someone whose bone-soul-body has been completely destroyed.
** Manny cannot inflate a deflated balloon because he doesn't "have the lungs for that", and yet, he is shown several times ''blowing'' smoke when smoking, and the Angelitos too blow on crystals when they are working.
** The human souls are described as not needing to breathe (which is the reason why they can stay underwater indefinitely). And yet when Meche and Manny are locked in a vault-like area, ''she tells him to use up the oxygen in another room.'' Maybe she just wanted to get Manny out of her face.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Using the "BLAM" EasterEgg causes Manny to ''spontaneously explode into individual polygons'', then merge back together with a mildly concerned "[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Ouch]]".
** When it's revealed that [[spoiler:Salvador]] has been torn to shreds until there's nothing left but his [[LosingYourHead head]], all he lets is a polite "Hola, Manuel."
* MatchlightDangerRevelation: Chepito revealing the sea monsters. Subverted because, as he puts it, he is too bright for them -- they won't follow him.
* MeaningfulName:
** "Calavera" means skull, and refers to sugar treats made for the Day of the Dead as well as other associated art. Also, Manuel is a variant of [[{{Jesus}} Emmanuel]], and while [[LovableRogue Manny]] isn't exactly a MessianicArchetype, he does eventually save [[spoiler:countless souls from an eternity away from heaven]].
** Mercedes -- "merciful".
** Salvador -- "savior".
** Domino ("God") Hurley -- he who would overthrow ("hurl") God.
** Ofrenda -- "offering".
** Hector -- "to hold, to possess"
* MediumBlending: The Land of the Living segment resembles a weird photo collage.
* MegaNeko: In Rubacava, there is a "cat track" that is just like a horse racing course, except the horses are replaced by ''giant cats''. Of multiple colors. And they have a large swimming pool filled with cat litter. And huge cans of gelatinous mystery meat to feed them.
* MetalDetectorPuzzle:
** Near the endgame, the player is required to find [[spoiler:Salvador Limones' buried body in a field of flowers by using a Number 9 Ticket which is magnetically drawn to him.]]
** An earlier one in Rubacava, where you have to find a metal detector in a giant pool of kitty litter.
** An even earlier one in the Petrified Forest, where you have to use a road sign that magically points the way to Rubacava to find a hidden trap door.
* MissingFloor: In Maximino's club.
* MoodWhiplash: The upbeat Johnny Thunder sequence comes right after some pretty heavy sequences, and feels a little out of place initially.
* MoonLogicPuzzle: A few of the puzzles require observing characters or hearing specific bits of dialogue in order to make any sense. One example is the domino boobytrap puzzle, where the clue is Manny saying that Glottis is so nervous he looks like [[VomitDiscretionShot he's going to be sick]]. Just why simply [[PoorCommunicationKills asking him to go bring that barrel from the Blue Casket]] was not an option is anyone's guess. Oh, and the "Liquid Nitrogen -- Not to be used on bone" comment gets a whole new meaning in the process.
* MundaneUtility: Manny's scythe is used for a vast number of puzzles, but he only uses it properly (i.e. reaping) twice; freeing Bruno, and [[spoiler:cutting the flowers hiding Salvador's body.]]
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler:Nick sprouts Lola when she tries to reveal his secret relationship with Olivia to Olivia's boyfriend, Maximino]].
* MysteriousPast: Manny won't tell anybody what he did to become a reaper, and claims he doesn't know or remember. He is not unique in this; it seems no one in the Department of Death is ''supposed'' to reveal.
--->'''Eva''': What I did back in the fat days is none of your business. You know the rules.
* TheNameIsBondJamesBond: "I'm Calavera. Manny Calavera."
* NaughtyNun: Referenced, but subverted, in a comment made by Domino:
-->'''Manny:''' So, how'd you do at the poisoning?
-->'''Domino:''' Well, it turns out Sister Calabaza had a... secret passion.
-->*{{Beat}}*
-->'''Domino:''' For [[AfterlifeExpress trains]].
* NauseaFuel[[invoked]]: Actually part of a puzzle.
-->'''Manny:''' ''(to Glottis)'' So, what ''is'' that stuff they pack canned hams in, anyway?
-->''(cue Glottis retching)''
* NeverLiveItDown[[invoked]]:
-->'''Manny:''' It's my ex-boss' ex-secretary Eva!
-->'''Eva:''' You're never going to let me forget that secretary thing, are you?
* NeverSmileAtACrocodile: The "alligator-infested sewers" urban legend shows up for a puzzle which requires getting past a ''huge'' albino 'gator.
* NiceHat: All the female souls wear hats (considering they don't have hair). Lola has an especially nice hat: a top hat in the shape of a stack of buildings.
* NonMammalMammaries: Female souls have bulges on their chests despite technically being skeletons. Then again, they're based more on ''calaca'' figurines than on actual skeletons, and several characters also manage to be [[FatBastard noticeably fat]], so...
* NoodleIncident: The office Christmas party. Apparently, he got drunk and punched someone he hated. Like every good Christmas Party ever.
** The [[TimeSkip nature of the game's story]] dumps plenty of these into the game, given an entire year passes in between chapters.
* NowYouTellMe: A particularly harsh one for Manny after climbing a steep mountain.
-->'''Manuel:''' '''''GONDOLAS?!''''' I ''knew'' we should have checked this side of the mountain before we walked up!
* NPCAmnesia: Subverted if you try to go through the security checkpoint after causing Carla to throw away her metal detector.
-->'''Carla:''' Sir, if you will, please, place all of your belongings on the security desk... ''and then jump out the damn window''!
* OddlySmallOrganization: Of the Department of Death workers we only ever see four souls counting Manny, plus two demons. Presumably, everybody else was at home or visiting the Land of the Living at the time.
** The LSA literally consist of two people (Salvador and Eva) at first. (It expands greatly.)
* OhCrap: At the start of Year 3, the SS Lola is boarded by assassins. Glottis pulls Manny into the engine room, shuts the door and says that they're safe there. Cue one of the assassins behind the door mentioning explosives. [[https://www.flickr.com/photos/gamestooge/15792849104/ Glottis's face after that line]] is a perfect (and hilarious) illustration of this trope.
* OncePerEpisode: Manny has a habit of falling into the Sea of Lament at least once per year, [[LampshadeHanging which Captain Velasco notices the second time it happens]].
* OppositesAttract: At the beginning of the story Manny is cynical, bitter, and morally-flexible, while Meche is kind, selfless and warm-hearted. That said, CharacterDevelopment on both ends helps even out their personalities by the time the story is over.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: ''Very'' different - they're essentially giant, multi-colored, more-intelligent [[Literature/HarryPotter house elves]]. The only real connection they have to traditional demons is the fact that they exist in the afterlife and usually have animalistic features such as ears, snouts, and sharp teeth.
* OurGraphicsWillSuckInTheFuture: The DOD computers have very basic visuals. Of course, the game [[AmbiguousTimePeriod might]] take place around the 50s, so it could be ''advanced'' for its time.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: Played with. Trying to access Domino's computer results in Manny guessing key words as the password. It ''isn't'' "GOLDEN BOY", "MR. D", "DOMMY", "ARROGANT FRAUD", "BOXING", "GREED", "VANITY", or "SLEAZE".
-->'''Manny:''' Whew. I was scared it might be "EVA."
-->'''Manny:''' (''calling'') [[RefugeInAudacity Hey, Dom, what's your password?]]
-->'''Domino:''' (''offscreen'') Get away from my computer, Manny.
* PoirotSpeak: Manny, being from Central/South America, occasionally dips into Spanish mid conversation for every other word. In Year 4, Manny even exclaims ''[[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign "¡Ay chihuahua!"]]'' twice in one scene.
** GratuitousForeignLanguage: Numerous minor characters tend to alternate languages.
-->'''Roulette Croupier''': Mesdames et Messieurs, faites vos jeux s'il vous plaît. Ladies and Gentlemen, please place your bets.
* PuzzleBoss: It's an AdventureGame; what other kind is there? There are only two bosses in total, anyway.
* RebelLeader: Sal Limones.
* ReroutedFromHeaven: BigBad Hector is stealing tickets to the Number Nine express, a luxury train that takes the most virtuous souls directly to the next underworld, and selling them to people who don't deserve them. [[spoiler:However, the tickets he's selling are counterfeit, he's hoarding the real ones for himself in a desperate bid to balance out a life of evil.]]
* RoadApples: In Rubacava, Manny finds a pool filled with dirty cat litter. ''Giant cat'' litter. Manny says that it is "tempting" to jump in the dirty litter, and he will explode in a long burst of laughter if you try to have him pick up some of it.
* RunningGag: It's never explained how Manny manages to do so well between chapters:
** At the end of Chapter 1, he's mopping the floor in a cheap diner; at the beginning of Chapter 2 (one year later), he's transformed it into a fancy gambling joint.
** At the end of Chapter 2, he's mopping the deck on a ship; at the beginning of Chapter 3 (one year later), he's captain.
** The lengthy trek between Chapters 3 and 4 goes unexplained as well; the group apparently used sled-dogs, but that's all the insight we get.
*** To be fair, Manny is an unusually shrewd businessman in a business that involves making people do what he wants.
** Manny somehow manages to end up dunked in the drink every year on the Day of the Dead (at the Rubacava docks in 3 of the 4 years). This is actually pointed out by Captain Velasco, who asks Manny if it's "going to be an annual thing".
** The tool that sees the most use in the game, Manny's scythe, is used in an ingenious number of ways - but only once to actually reap a dead soul. It sees more use as a circuit component than as a blade. He uses the scythe the way scythes were designed to be used - to cut plants - just once: [[spoiler:to reveal Sal's body.]]
** No.36 - The Rusty Anchor. It starts out as a puzzle element in Year 2, but goes way beyond that.
*** Showing the paper with those words to Glottis makes him sing an appropriately-themed song.
*** Showing the same paper to Olivia reveals that she has a poem about it.
*** Showing it to Terry causes him to mention a bar by that name.
*** Showing it to Toto Santos results in him finding an appropriate tattoo design in his portfolio. He also points out all of the things mentioned above before doing it.
*** There's also a cat at the race track that goes by the name "Rusty Anchor".
*** Examine one of the ship's anchors in Year 3: Manny will say "Nice chrome job by Glottis, but it's really just an old rusty anchor..." and (in a surprised voice) "It says, 'Inspected by No. 36'".
*** When Chepito sings random gibberish while working, one of his lines is "...oh, rusty anchor...".
* SacrificialLamb: [[spoiler:Don Copal, Manny's boss]] is a rare AssholeVictim example. Nobody was sad to see him go, but the cold-blooded nature of his sprouting still serves a very effective EstablishingCharacterMoment for [[BigBad Hector]].
* SanitySlippage: All florists in the afterlife. Flowers were their passion during their living days, but now they're considered horrific and a FateWorseThanDeath. The contradiction literally drives them insane.
* SassySecretary: Eva.
-->'''Manny:''' Any messages for me?
-->'''Eva:''' No, calls stopped coming for you the day you left. They're ''still'' sending you that lingerie catalog, though.
* SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud: When he has nothing better to do, Glottis will sit on the Bone Wagon and pretend to drive it by doing this.
* SceneryPorn: While the characters and items are three dimensional and fairly basic models, every background and scenery object (i.e. tables, chairs, and other minor details) is a very detailed image.
* ScoobyDoobyDoors: The tunnels in the Petrified Forest clearing. Glottis takes notice the first time you try driving into one.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl:
-->'''Glottis:''' There was this one high-pitched whine it was making -- really grating noise, you know? And I searched and searched, but I couldn't find the source of the noise, until we pulled in here.\\
'''Velasco:''' Was it the blower?\\
'''Glottis:''' No, it was Manny screaming in the back like a cat tied to a cruise missile.
* SecretUndergroundPassage: One that leads out of El Marrow.
* SelfInflictedHell: Membrillo, the tall, dour coroner in Rubacava, believes that the Ninth Underworld does not exist, and that all the denizens of the Land of the Dead are actually in Hell, condemned to this half-life for all eternity. For this reason, he won't complete his journey and leave the Land of the Dead, trapping himself forever.
* SewerGator: One of the puzzles in year 4 is finding a way to get around a huge albino gator that is blocking the way to Bowlsley's sewer hideout.
-->'''Manny''': I don't see how [[RebelLeader Sal]], with all his crazy conspiracy theories, forgot to mention to me that there were alligators in the sewers.
* SharpDressedMan: Manny, whenever he's not in his GrimReaper getup. Admit it, [[http://imagery.playerattack.com/GrimFandango.jpg it looks good on him]].
* ShesGotLegs: A memorable scene in Year 3 involves Meche taking off her stockings in full frame. Since she's a skeleton, this is a rare InUniverse-only example of this trope ([[ILoveTheDead unless you're into that kind of thing]]), and mainly serves to show Manny's denial of having feelings towards her weakening.
* ShesNotMyGirlfriend: According to Manny near the beginning of the story, "Love is for the living". You keep telling yourself that, Man...
* ShoutOut: In contrast with other Creator/LucasArts adventure games, Grim Fandango has a remarkably very low amount of shout outs, but there are still some:
** Examine the dark tunnel in Year 4, and Manny will describe it as "[[VideoGame/MonkeyIsland a tunnel that leads into a system of catacombs]]".
** There's the [[FullThrottle Corley Motors]] insignia that appears in the Nuevo Marrow skyline.
*** The logo for Corley Motors, as well as Sam and Max, are on a poster in Toto's Tattoo Parlor.
** In Year 2, crossing under the blimp on the bridge causes you to hear the theme for ''SecretWeaponsOfTheLuftwaffe'' - a Creator/LucasArts flight sim.
** There is a certain similarity to the poison tooth scene in ''Literature/{{Dune}}''.
** Terry Malloy, the bee working on the docks, is named after MarlonBrando's character in ''OnTheWaterfront''.
* ShutUpKirk: In a moment that subverts JustBetweenYouAndMe, BondVillainStupidity and [[spoiler:Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?]]:
-->'''Manny:''' Is this where you tell me all about your secret plan, Hector? How you stole Double N tickets from innocent souls, pretended to sell them but secretly hoarded them all to yourself in a desperate attempt to get out of the Land of the Dead?\\
'''Hector:''' No.\\
[[spoiler:'''''(BLAM!)'''''\\
'''Hector:''' This is where you writhe around in excruciating pain for about an hour because that ''idiot'' Bowsley ran off with the fast-acting sproutella. That slow stuff ''will'' sprout you, but it's going to take a ''long'' time, I'm sorry to say.]]
* SinisterScythe: The DOD Reapers use them.
* SixthRangerTraitor: [[spoiler:Olivia, after joining Manny and the rest of the LSA.]]
* SlippingAMickey: Manny does this to a sailor in order to prevent him from showing up for work. Interestingly, while this ''does'' knock him out, just having him unconscious doesn't accomplish the goal, requiring some extra plotting.
* SmokingIsCool: Many characters smoke in the game for the FilmNoir feel. The manual says that the game doesn't promote smoking, though, since the characters are already dead. That said...
* SmokingIsNotCool: ... Meche chain-smoking in Year 3 after working for Domino for over a year is shown as a sign that she's [[BreakTheCutie no longer the same]].
* SmugSnake: [[TheDragon Domino]] [[FauxAffablyEvil Hurley]].
* SoftSpokenSadist: [[BigBad Hector]] has a rough, ugly voice, but he very rarely raises it.
* StealthPun:
** "The deadbolt is set. But with what?" A [[spoiler:skeleton key]], perhaps?
** The unorganized worker bees on the Rubacava docks. They're, of course, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabee Seabees]].
** Glottis has but one purpose, a solitary reason, for being summoned: to drive or ride some manner of transportation at high speeds. [[spoiler: He's a speed demon.]]
** The title, "Grim Fandango". That would be a "Danse Macabre", wouldn't it?
** The entire concept of sprouting. When you're sprouted, you're pushing up daises (or marigolds or tulips.)
* StillGotIt: Manny says this near the end of the game after talking Celso into buying Double-N tickets.
* SuperNotDrowningSkills: This is justified for Manny and the other human souls, as they are dead and don't need to breathe, so they can stay underwater forever. Glottis does have lungs though, and he even points this out when he and Manny are stuck underwater. Manny [[HandWave handwaves]] this by saying: "You survived without a heart, you can live without air for a while."
** Subsequent observations of Glottis let us know how he's holding up: "Still not blue", "A little blue around the eyes". Eventually, Glottis emerges of his own accord... because his skin was getting ''pruney''.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: When Manny first asks Glottis if ''he'' could be his chauffeur, Glottis lights up exclaiming "Oh!", then immediately stamps down his enthusiasm, quickly denying, "No! No no no no no no no..."
* TakeYourTime: An odd case. By the point when Manny starts looking for the key [[spoiler:Lola]] supposedly left for him in Year 2, she has already been shot. However, no matter how long it takes you to actually find her, she will stay conscious long enough to get a few last words before turning into flowers and blowing away.
* TalkingInYourSleep: Toto Santos in Year 4.
* ThirdActMisunderstanding: And how! When Manny finally finds Meche, Domino apparently already told her the story about Manny hijacking her file when it wasn't intended for him. As a result, she refuses to trust Manny, who, by that point, underwent enough CharacterDevelopment to stop caring about his job altogether (and even stopped [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend pretending that he isn't in love with her]]). This culminates in Meche attempting to take Manny hostage, only to have Domino confirm that Manny ''really'' doesn't work for him and lock her in a vault.
* ThirdActStupidity: Late into Year 4, Hector almost manages to ''[[spoiler:hire the disguised Manny back into the DOD]]'', something that didn't result in him turning into a flower patch only because [[spoiler:Manny didn't bother to shoot him right away]]. Keep in mind that earlier that same day [[{{Irony}} Hector scolded Bowlsley the florist for accidentally hiring an LSA spy as his assistant]] ("Haven't you ever heard of a background check?").
* ThisIsNotADrill: Near the start of Year 3, Manny (as the captain of the SS Lola) says this while trying to get response from his crew, after being informed that a group of assassins is trying to get on board. [[spoiler:He's a bit too late by then.]]
* ThisIsThePartWhere: When confronting Hector in his greenhouse, Manny says "Is this where you tell me all about your secret plan, Hector?", and then proceeds to describe said plan himself. [[spoiler:Hector replies "No," and shoots him.]]
* ThePowersThatBe: Referred to word-for-word by Manny during the opening cutscene. Whoever they are, they decide what fate you deserve when you die.
* TheThreeTrials: Year 2 revolves around this, being the only chapter set in a single expansive location. Manny needs a Maritime union membership, tools for Glottis, and to prevent a sailor from showing up so he can take over his job.
* TimeSkip: Three of them. The game has four chapters, each a year apart, each on the Mexican [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead Day of the Dead]] -- when most of the dead celebrate by visiting the Land of the Living. No one seems to notice that important, (after)life-changing things happen to Manny on the same holiday four years in a row: First skip, he finds what he's looking for exactly one year after he started looking; then two different lengthy treks take exactly one year each.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Being taller than Manny isn't much of an accomplishment - this is the same guy who has to wear boosters on his shoes in order to be a properly imposing GrimReaper. The height difference between him and Meche isn't much, but it'd be a lot more if not for his elongated head.
* TitleDrop: One of Olivia's poems, which seems to be based on ProcolHarum's song ''A Whiter Shade of Pale''.
* TogetherInDeath: A variation - in Year 1, Celso Flores, one of Manny's clients, is looking for his wife, who died around the same time as he did. By Year 4, the two are reunited, [[spoiler:though this comes with a dose of Fridge Horror as Manny ends up talking them into buying Hector's fake Double-N tickets]].
** Not too much horror. Celso must have been an absolute scumbug since Manny feels the walking stick was ''too good for him''. As for his wife, she's no innocent flower either, hinted strongly as a GoldDigger with ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.
** At the end, [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence in a way]], [[spoiler:Manny and Meche.]]
* TopHeavyGuy: Manny, while not muscular, has a very stocky torso and extremely tiny legs.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer shows part of the death scenes of [[spoiler:Don and Lola]].
* TrainStationGoodbye: [[spoiler:A non-romantic variant with Manny leaving Glottis, who can't follow him into the Ninth Underworld.]]
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: InUniverse at Olivia's club, Manny can spout ''anything to the point of nonsense'', and the crowd will love it provided [[spoiler:they know you're a member of the LSA.]]
** Ask Olivia to recite her "Rusty Anchor" and get this exchange:
--> '''Manny''': I'm not sure what that means.\\
'''Olivia''': Thanks!
* TrueCompanions: Manny and Glottis.
* TrueNeutral[[invoked]]: The Gatekeeper.
-->'''The Gatekeeper:''' The gate opens, the gate closes. It does not ''help''.
* TryEverything: There's one puzzle in Year Two which maddeningly requires you figure out what to do with a slip of paper reading "Rusty Anchor". The only solution is to show it to everyone in the city to figure out what it means - and [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything this being a Tim Schafer game]], ''everyone'' has a unique answer, up to and including a catchy little piano ballad (see below).
-->'''Manny''': [The Rusty Anchor] mean anything to you?\\
'''Toto''': [[LampshadeHanging You mean, besides the song, and the poem, and the bar, and the statue by that name?]]
** Additionally, this applies to the scythe; while several puzzles [[MoonLogicPuzzle require the unorthodox use of the scythe]], only two require it being used normally (i.e. to reap a soul early on, and to later cut a plant).
* UnwinnableByMistake: The elevator puzzle in Year 2 is unsolvable on modern computers without patching the game or slowing down the processor speed. Through excessive experimentation, it is also possible to end up in Year 3 without the scythe, which, being Manny's main tool, is used in quite a few puzzles there.
* ViceCity: Post-TimeSkip Rubacava to some extent. [[spoiler: Also El Marrow/Nuevo Marrow in Year 4.]]
* VideoGame3DLeap: The first post SCUMM Creator/LucasArts adventure. The transition was traumatic to the genre. The 3D graphics were still crude next to crafted and detailed sprites. Grim Fandango suffers from the loss of [[PointAndClick mouse control]], almost total removal of features such as item combination and just moving across the map becomes tedious. All-in-all it was Gamespot game of the year, but it sold so poorly it became a GenreKiller in the minds of video game producers.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Show the kids the Bust-All, or "the bone saw". [[SchmuckBait Go on.]]
* VomitDiscretionShot: Happens as part of the domino booby trap puzzle.
* WeCanRuleTogether: In Year 3, Domino is so convinced that Manny has no other option than to start working for him that he doesn't even bother to give him the lecture. That punch he gave him might as well have been a presumptious "You're hired".
* WeAllDieSomeday: As Membrillo puts it, "We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner of later, we push up flowers".
* WeirdCurrency: It originates from morality and the money people are buried with. It's never entirely clarified how it works.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The ultimate fate of many, ''many'' characters in the story is left completely unknown to the audience. Unless we explicitly saw them "dying" or making their way into heaven, it is completely up to you what happened to a large majority of the minor characters and even a few of the secondary ones. Given the nature of the story and setting, however, this can't have been unintentional and was [[TropesAreTools probably the best choice.]]
* WhatTheHellHero
-->[[spoiler: '''Domino:''' I don't believe you Calavera, you're losing a fight so you ''pick'' on one of my ''pets''?!]]
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: When Manny approaches the Tunnel to the Ninth Underworld, he wrestles with temptation. He could actually walk through the Tunnel -- forget everything and just leave this world and AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence. After all, he ''did'' make the four year trek as any Lost Soul must. However, he passes up freedom because he has to be a [[BigDamnHeroes Big Damn Hero]] and save everyone.
* WhereItAllBegan: Near the end of the game, Manny returns to El Marrow in order to recover the Double-N tickets. Things get ridiculous when he disguises himself to get closer to the BigBad, who then proceeds to ''[[spoiler:offer Manny his old job. In his old office]]''.
* WhoAreYouCallingNames:
-->'''Manny''': Aw, they look just like little Johnny Thunders.
-->'''Thunder Boy''': Who are you calling little?
* WhoWouldBeStupidEnough: Manny gives Membrillo the undertaker a metal detector to help identify "corpses" better, and Membrillo comments he could find a belt buckle with initials. Manny laughs, asking who the heck would keep his initials on his belt buckle, only for Membrillo to point to his own belt buckle, causing an awkward silence.
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: Averted. Hector doesn't hesitate with his gun when he needs to deal with enemies, making sure to do his EvilGloating only after they're dead. During the climax, [[spoiler:Manny gets shot because [[WrongGenreSavvy he was anticipating this trope to take place.]]]]
* WickedCultured: Hector Le Mans - always keeps a calm, business-like persona about him, has enough money to live and dress like a king, owns a well-kept greenhouse of flowers, will shoot you point-blank if he decides you're in the way of his plans.
* WingedHumanoid: A pair of child souls enslaved by Domino. It's unclear exactly ''why'' they have wings; perhaps simply all child souls do.
* WorldOfSnark: Possibly the most {{Justified}} example in history: Everybody's dead.
* YouCantFightFate: [[spoiler:Using a counterfeit or stolen Double-N ticket will [[DraggedOffToHell backfire spectacularly on you]] once you're at Heaven's gates.]]
* YouCantThwartStageOne: Near the end of the game, Manny manages to recover a suitcase of stolen Double-N tickets [[spoiler:and ''almost'' succeeds in getting Meche on the train so she could deliver these tickets to their owners. Then, one of Hector's mutant ravens attacks Meche, and everything goes downhill from there.]]
* YouExclamation: From Chepito and Bruno, both aimed at Manny.
* YouHaveFailedMe: In the first year, [[spoiler:Manny's boss, Don, is killed this way.]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness:
** A peculiar, naturally enforced variant. Demons like Glottis are created to maintain various machines vital to the infrastructure of the Land of the Dead that human souls can't fulfil (since their stays are supposed to be temporary). They each have one specific function and desire. Any spirit of the land that is no longer able to do the job which it was created for will slowly weaken and then die. The Maintenance Demon is able to avoid this by basically making a vague connection between maintenance and his new job as a bodyguard. Glottis himself was created "'''''TO DRIVE!'''''," but since he wasn't allowed to drive anything, being an auto-mechanic was close enough. [[spoiler:He comes close when he's barred from even that for an entire year.]]
** [[spoiler: Hector invokes this with Don Copal. He also orders Manny killed, but the latter escapes before it can be done.]]

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