M&M's (named for Forrest Mars Sr. and Bruce Murrie of Hershey's) have been a staple of chocolate candies since their introduction in 1941. They were known by the slogan of how they would "Melt in your mouth, and not in your hand" (which has since been disproven). In addition to creating a chocolate product loved across the world, M&M's is also known for its extensive advertising campaign featuring "spokescandies". Among the first were the sardonic Red and the dim-witted but sweet Yellow. This cast was later extended to the prideful Blue, the alluring Ms. Green, and the paranoid Orange (originally Crispy). In 2012, they were joined by another M&M named Ms. Brown, a no-nonsense M&M who has been overseeing operations since the beginning.Now has a characters page under construction.Many of the adverts are available for viewing on this excellently compiled YouTube channel.
Body Horror: Played for Laughs in several instances. Like Yellow removing Red's eyes and putting them onto a red Ice Cream Treat to show how it "looks like him". Or Red making Orange a jack o' lantern costume by carving the eyes, nose, and grin out of his back.
There's also Pretzel, whose fate is being grafted right inside Orange to promote Pretzel M&M's.
Butt Monkey: Yellow takes a lot of abuse from Red. Not that Red is safe from being put into this role, such as when they are tasked to track down the M&M's Minis. There's also Crispy/Orange whose shtick has consisted of being stalked.
Cephalothorax: The M&M's spokescandies and all related characters
Comically Missing the Point: Yellow is prone to moments like this. Like the time he, Red, and several regular people are held up at a convenience store and their captor threatens to eat one of his hostages. Yellow automatically assumes he's intending to eat one of the humans. Or this exchange:
Red: Coming up next, the new Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon of everyone's favorite celebrities!
Cool Shades: Blue is sometimes shown wearing them, especially when portrayed as playing an instrument
Cool Shoes" Orange's shoes are modeled after Converse sneakers.
Crossover: "15 Minutes" features an encounter between Ms. Brown and the GEICO Gecko as she tries and fails to get insurance coverage due to not being human. The "Hump Day" Camel also appears, although Ms. Brown cuts him off before he can get to "Hump Day!"
Various promotions have also involved crossovers and encounters with characters of other media, ranging from The Bachelor to Star Wars.
Deadpan Snarker: Red, Blue, Pretzel, Ms. Green and Ms. Brown all have moments of this.
Death Seeker: Compared to the other M&M's that actively work to avoid being eaten, the M&M's Minis actively seek out people who will eat them.
Defenestrate and Berate: One of the "Colour Break-Up" adverts had Yellow chucking Red's stuff out a window in this manner. Until Red points out that Yellow's throwing out his own stuff.
Flanderization: The result of the M&M's further developing their personalities. Red became more cocky. Yellow became dumber/simpler. Ms. Green became more flirtatious. Blue became more arrogant. And Orange became more paranoid.
Fridge Logic: Some of the "Become an M&M" ads address some of the Fridge Logic regarding what it's like to be an M&M. Such as whether or not they can hear without ears and how their diminutive size might leave them at a disadvantage here and there. invoked
Groin Attack: In the Netherlands' promotion for the M&M's "Peanutball", Red kicks it to demonstrate its durability. It proceeds to bounce around and hits him right between the legs. Red reacts appropriately.
Hypocritical Humor: The M&M's are shown doing everything they can to avoid being eaten and declare that they shouldn't be eaten. Yet they are shown frequently shown eating and promoting (non-sentient) M&M's to be eaten. A hilarious example of this occurs when Patrick Warburton calls Red, Yellow, and Orange out for eating M&M's. The three merely switch bags so they're not eating their specific kind of M&M's.
I'm a Humanitarian: The M&M's are frequently shown eating other (non-sentient) M&M's. This has been lampshaded a few times by commentators. And so many people in YouTube comments sections that one could make a (probably fatal) Drinking Game out of it. Although there are also examples like when Red and Yellow lick a paranoid Crispy to taste him (with Crispy angrily catching Yellow's tongue).
This trope was taken to an interesting height during the "Lost M&M's Tribe" Australian contest. Following clues left by his late uncle, Yellow and company discover a tribe of savage M&M's that try to eat them at every opportunity.
Blue (Australian version): Ask what you can do for your candy!
Red (American version) : Vote on one issue this election. Me!
Jerkass: Red and Blue. Ms. Brown also qualifies as of recent ads, especially toward Red.
Karma Houdini: The M&M's Minis are never punished for the chaos they cause (unless being eaten—which is what they want anyway—counts). The Lost M&M's Tribe manage to get away with nearly murdering the spokescandies multiple times. But it's a given since they're on an island anyway.
Ms. Brown sets Red up to be attacked by a rather insane chocoholic and gets away with it.
Let's Meet the Meat: A Running Gag of the series where the M&M's are aware that people want to eat them and are constantly avoiding it. However, some instances play with this, such as the Pretzel saying he'd rather be devoured by an attractive woman than by a creepy guy eying him.
"M&M's Minis! Tons of Chocolate Candies Searching for a Mouth!"
Naked People Are Funny: The "Bare All" promotion was geared around this with the M&M's spokescandies going shell-less in a private nude camp. There are also other gags of the like such as Ms. Green being walked upon in her trailer.
Negative Continuity: What essentially saves the M&M's from being permanently eaten, endangered or both.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Some of the M&M's attempt to hide themselves in this manner. One advert shows Pretzel bluntly telling Orange that wearing fake mustaches won't be enough to hide their identities.
Pokémon Speak: The Lost M&M's Tribe's language seems to consist entirely of variations of "M&M".
Properly Paranoid: Given how many people have attempted to eat the M&M's over the years, Orange's constant paranoia and distrust is pretty understandable.
Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The M&M's star in a trailer for a fake movie featuring many send-ups of action movie tropes, such as Red knocking himself out with a swinging desk lamp while interrogating a suspect. Eventually, it reaches its peak wherein Red is working to disable the missile the others are tied to. However, the trailer then reveals itself as a No Talking Or Phones Warning when Red becomes frustrated with someone's cell phone going off during the "most intense part of the movie".
Straw Feminist: This concept is parodied with Ms. Brown. She is shown berating people (particularly men) for assuming things about her because of her appearance rather than her intellect. This is best demonstrated in an advert where she criticizes William Levy for liking her chocolate over her other qualities. However, she then states that she's just as superficial regarding his looks.
Viva Las Vegas: The setting of the 4D Show I Lost My 'M' in Vegas (shown, of course, at the Las Vegas M&M's World).
White Gloves: All M&M characters have worn white gloves since the 1980s.