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The Main Cast
Played by Jean-Pierre Talbot (Tintin and the Golden Fleece, Tintin and the Blue Oranges), Dal McKennon (Belvision series), Colin O'Meara (90's animated series), Richard Pearce (BBC Radio Series 1 and 2), Jamie Bell (Spielberg/Jackson film)The protagonist of the series, a young and adventurous reporter who seems to have a knack for getting himself involved in all sorts of amazing, fantastical adventures.
- The Ace: Hergé admitted Tintin was an idealized version of himself (even though Haddock was his favorite character).
- Amateur Sleuth: Tintin ends up doing Thomson and Thompson's jobs for them more often than not.
- A-Team Firing: Tintin is a crack shot when aiming at things without a pulse. Otherwise...
- Badass Adorable: He's been noted as baby-faced more than once.
- Badass Bookworm: A highly intelligent young journalist and a force to be reckoned with. Solves crimes and punches out bad guys on a regular basis.
- Badass Longcoat: His trenchcoat.
- Berserk Button:
Mook: He refused?
- Wanna find out what happens when you threaten or harm any friends of his? It's your funeral.
- Attempts to bribe him also seem to be a very efficient way to make him angry, as several villains have found out over the course of his adventures. Most memorably, Mitsuhirato once approached him while he was about to be executed and offered him a way out if he would join the japanese secret services. Tintin seemed half-amused half-interested at first, but the moment money was added to the deal, he beat the crap out of the japanese spy and threw him out of the cell.
Mitsuhirato: How'd you guess?
- Beware the Nice Ones: Tintin is as easy going and sweet as they come but he can knock down men twice his size with a single well placed punch.
- Born Lucky: Ooooh boy. He tends to get himself out of trouble through very unlikely circumstances.
- The Cape: He's a totally morally upstanding sort of guy.
- Celibate Hero: In part because of when he was aired and where, but he never displays any particular interest in women.
- Characterization Marches On: In his first two books, he was originally something of a rude, inconsiderate troublemaker who didn't mind getting into fights.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: It's frightening to imagine what sort of (drunken) trouble Captain Haddock would get into if Tintin wasn't there to keep an eye on him.
- Cute Bruiser: Look at him; doesn't he look just sweet and innocent? But he's pretty good with the old fisticuffs or an improvised weapon, and has repeatedly battered far larger foes unconscious.
- Determinator: In Tintin Tintin In Tibet, as well as in the Spielberg/Jackson film. He inspires Haddock not to give up, which in turn inspires Haddock to encourage Tintin to do the same the one time he does almost give up. Bottom line, there's only so much Tintin will do or risk for himself, but for his friends there's nothing he won't.
- Distressed Dude: He ends up in trouble, knocked unconscious and tied up constantly.
- Forgiveness: He's quick to give people a second chance, and felt obligated to Save the Villain several times over the course of the series.
- Friendless Background: Prior to meeting Haddock and Calculus his only regular associate was Snowy.
- Although by that point he had already struck up the extremely signficant friendship with Chang and the Thom(p)sons considered themselves Tintin's friends, as did a number of persons whom Tintin had met on his travels abroad and would meet again, notably Oliveira da Figueira, Ridgewell, and Bianca Castafiore.
- Good Is Not Soft: He's a very humble and understanding person, but he'll call out on anybody who does cross his limit or puts him in a dangerous situation. He'll even fight his friends if they prove to be too much of a hindrance at times.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His very effective fighting style.
- Guile Hero: Throughout the course of the series, he would lie to the bad guys, disguise himself, trick the bad guys, fool the bad guys etc... A typical scene in an adventure could have him pointing behind a villain and yelling "Look out!" after they make him crash his car, and then he would steal their car while they were distracted.
- He would also use whisky and reverse psychology to get the Captain to cooperate.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Snowy is Tintin's longest companion and trying to hurt Snowy is one of very few ways to get Tintin genuinely mad.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Captain Haddock.
- Iconic Outfit: The plus-fours.
- I Know Savate: As revealed in The Black Island. Notably, the live action films have him doing Judo throws.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Immune to any kind of vice whatsoever (except getting drunk, a few times in the earlier volumes ...and for his initial racism, although that was more Characterization Marches On than anything else).
- Indy Ploy: Tintin's resourcefulness and quick thinking has gotten him out of more tight spots than he can count.
- Intergenerational Friendship: All of his friends are either significantly older than him or significantly younger.
- Intrepid Reporter: Subverted as his adventures only have a very tenuous connection to his job if at all. It's implied that he writes about his adventures afterwards and that's what we're reading in the comics.
- Jumped at the Call: All the time, except in Tintin and the Picaros.
- Master of Disguise: Tintin has pulled off quick disguises quite often to sneak into enemy ranks or avoid capture.
- Nice Guy: He's polite, calm, levelheaded, reasonable, rational, and all around a pretty nice felly.
- Only Sane Man: Between the hot-headed Captain, hearing impaired Professor and the bumbling Detectives, Tintin has his hands full.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's slighter and younger than many of the people he encounters... but he's capable of taking on two gorilla-henchmen at the same time!
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: For someone who is supposedly a reporter, he doesn't get to do a lot of story writing. Most of the places he visits are because of his job, though.
- Chalk it up to Literary Agent Hypothesis. The stories about his adventures are his reports, or at least are based on them; when they originally appeared in newspapers, Herge occasionally wrote fake articles that had Tintin interviewing some of the other characters on the finer details of what was going on — an opportunity for Herge to show his research.
- Red-Headed Hero: His hair is usually colored orange.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Resisted bribery attempts at least twice.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Haddock's Manly Man.
- Technical Pacifist: While he is willing to fight, he goes to great lengths to avoid conflict.
- Vague Age: He's old enough to enter a pub and drink a beer (The Black Island) and old enough to live alone with his dog in his own apartment. However, he is still referred to as a "young boy", and a "puppy." Hergé stated that when he first thought about Tintin, the character was 14 or 15 years old, but in an interview he stated: "but now, let's say that he is 17."
Played by Andrew Sachs (BBC Radio Series 1 and 2), Susan Roman (90's animated series)Tintin's faithful pet dog, a loyal and trusted companion who is always by Tintin's side.
- Animal Talk: Only in the original comics and in the radio adaptations.
- Big Damn Heroes: Frequently saves Tintin's ass by biting someone else's. Naturally, in the knick of time.
- And then there was the time in Cigars Of The Pharaoh when Snowy bit Tintin himself in the ass to break him out of the Fakir's hypnotic spell.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Comics only, when he talks to the reader.
- Canine Companion: One of the most famous in fiction.
- The Chew Toy: A mild example, there's a running gag of people stepping on his tail throughout the series. He also never gets to keep the bones he finds.
- Deadpan Snarker / Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Again, comics only.
- Determinator: If Tintin gets into trouble, nothing can stop him from helping his master. The best example is the way Snowy tracks Tintin to Marlinspike after the Bird brothers kidnap him in Secret of the Unicorn. In the Spielberg/Jackson film, he jumps onto a truck in the middle of a busy intersection, leaps through a herd of cows, and sneaks onto a ship to find him.
- Early Installment Weirdness: He casually speaks to Tintin in Tintin in America, but for the rest of the series remain a Nearly Normal Animal.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Snowy often has people figured out as evil on instinct before Tintin has proof.
- Friend to All Children: Befriends nearly every child character the gang encounters, with the possible exception of the prank-happy Abdullah.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Whenever he encounters a particularly tasty-looking bone.
- Or some of Haddock's spilled whiskey.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Occasionally. Snowy can figure out some matters way before Tintin has.
- Nearly Normal Animal: In the comics we can hear all he has to say but in other adaptations, he's a dog with above average intelligence.
- Non-Human Sidekick: For the first ten or so adventures Snowy was Tintin's only companion.
- Team Pet: His role on the team.
Captain Archibald Haddock
Played by Georges Wilson (French films), Paul Frees (Belvision series), David Fox (90's animated series), Leo McKern (BBC Radio Series 1), Lionel Jeffries (BBC Radio Series 2), Andy Serkis (Spielberg/Jackson film)A blustering and fierce-tempered seaman, Captain Haddock was originally the captain of a trading vessel called the Karaboujan, where his malevolent First Mate Allan kept him pliant in a whiskey-induced alcoholic stupor, allowing him to secretly use the ship as part of an opium-smuggling ring. With Tintin's help, the good captain escaped and eventually aided in foiling the smuggling ring, but his ship was lost forever. Settling down on land, he returned to aid Tintin in pursuit of a treasure secreted by his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock, after which he became wealthy in his own right and a constant companion in Tintin's adventures.
- Accidental Misnaming: Bianca Castafiore is never able to get his name right.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: A lot of his cursing uses alliteration in the translation. For example, "Billions of blue blistering barnacles!"
- Adorkable: In The Secret of the Unicorn, when acting out the story of Sir Francis Haddock.
- Agent Scully: Always dismisses the supernatural despite having seen the impossible with his own eyes several times.
- In Tintin in Tibet, he refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Yeti.
- Happens again in Flight 714 when he states his disbelief in both aliens and hypnosis.
- And he refuses to believe in fortune telling in "The Castafiore Emerald". Even though he saw a pretty convincing case of it in "The Seven Crystal Balls."
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Haddock, we're looking right at you. Literally. You're the picture on the trope page. Dry, he's a force to be reckoned with. Let him swallow a drop of liquor, though, and he's capable of starting a fire in a wooden lifeboat. And breaking the oars for fuel. And when he realizes what he's done, he'll try to put out the fire... With whiskey. ker-WHOOMP
- The Alcoholic: The good captain is quite found of whiskey and rum, and early on, he is shown to get outright nauseated whenever he drinks non-alcoholic drinks, especially water. Despite often being played for laughs, the comic does makes it quite clear that his addiction is a huge problem for him and the people around him, especially as he frequently engages in Alcohol-Induced Idiocy, and a good part of his Character Development is him getting some measure of control over his drinking habits.
- Amusing Injuries: Frequently subjected to these.
- Badass Beard: He sports a small but very impressive beard.
- Badass Family: His ancestor Francis Haddock was also quite a badass.
- The Berserker: He once charged swinging his rifle at a flank of desert bandits when they shot his booze. Deconstructed, however, because it should have got him killed; he only saved his life because the bandits fled from a bigger menace behind Haddock.
- Berserk Button: Stealing or destroying his booze. On a more serious note, in The Red Sea Sharks, he goes ballistic when he meets a modern-day slave driver.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's the most boisterous, outgoing and aggressive member of the "Tintin Trio"; Tintin prefers to talk or outwit adversaries and Professor Calculus is usually too oblivious to even realise he's in danger, but Haddock is the first to take a swing at someone.
- Breakout Character: Not the main character, but almost certainly the most popular one.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: As troublesome as he may be, no one can deny that he's an excellent sailor.
- Catch-Phrase: Billions of blue blistering barnacles!
- Thousands of thundering typhoons!
- All 202 of Haddock's catch phrases are here.
- At the end of the Spielberg/Jackson film, he gets so excited over finding what Sir Francis Haddock salvaged of the treasure that he actually mixes up his own catchphrase!
- Characterization Marches On: When first introduced he was a weak and pathetic alcoholic, but after he dried out he became the salty-mouthed, assertive, somewhat bullheaded sea dog everyone knows him as.
- The Chew Toy: Lampshades this himself in Destination Moon: when Calculus accidentally catapults a bit of plaster from his ear-trumpet into Mr. Baxter's face, Haddock exclaims delightedly: "Blistering barnacles! I thought that sort of thing only happened to me!"
- Clueless Boss: Was this during his introduction, where he was a drunken wreck who had no idea that his ship was being used to smuggle opium.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Yeah, he's kind of a goofball. But he's a pretty damn good fighter when he needs to be.
- Deadpan Snarker:Mr. Baxter: I am delighted that a sailor should be one of the first men to set foot on the moon!Captain Haddock: It would have been all the same to me if a piccolo-player had gone.
- Determinator: When he's dead set on something, you better not stand in his way. Some instances include not giving up on the search for Calculus in "The Seven Crystal Balls", or doing everything in his power to cure Calculus' amnesia in "Destination Moon".
- Dissonant Serenity: In The Shooting Star, Tintin finds the captain at the helm during a fierce storm, cheerfully asking if Tintin's enjoying the breeze.
- The Drunken Sailor: Initially an alcoholic, but he grows out of it over the series. He still likes his drink, until he loses the ability to stomach alcohol due to an invention by Calculus in the final album.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In his first appearance, he was notably slimmer and more emaciated-looking due to his alcoholism. Hergé later started drawing him a stockier man.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Tintin, Calculus and the rest only address him by Captain. In fact, his first name is said literally once in the entire series.
- Father Neptune: A subversion. As soon as Haddock settles down in Marlinspike Hall, he finds he much prefers solid ground under his feet over a seafaring life — although he remains a very capable navigator when his services are called for.
- Flowery Insults: He spouts these instead of the distinctly more earthy curses you'd expect of a sailor. Justified in that he was published for a Catholic children's entertainment comic, so naturally he couldn't be using swears, and it helped cement him as an iconic character.
- Generation Xerox: Is a dead ringer for his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock.
- Good Is Not Nice: In contrast to Tintin, who sometimes has to convince Haddock to be more forgiving with people who cross him.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Of the "Cool Old Guy pipe smoker" kind.
- Grumpy Bear: Much more surly and belligerent than Tintin.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He's quick to start spouting his distinctive curses or even make physical threats when he's crossed.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Tintin.
- High-Class Glass: He tries wearing a monocle after inheriting Marlinspike Hall. Turns out it makes lousy adventuring gear. He even drops them so often that has to carry spare ones in his pocket.
- Hot-Blooded: He really doesn't need a lot of excitement to get him raring for action.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: A common part of his tirades of flowery insults.
- Identical Grandson: To his forefather Francis Haddock, down to copying his catchphrases.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a grumpy, hot-tempered old drunkard, but he cares deeply for his friends.
Tharkey: That's a great friend you have here.Tintin: The best.
- It's stated by Tintin in Tintin in Tibet, after Haddock angrily tells Tintin he'll follow him in his wild goose chase all over the Himalaya so they can hypothetically find an old friend who would have had to survive a plane crash, the freezing cold and starvation before to be found:
- The Lancer: He quickly becomes Tintin's right-hand man and best friend despite them being near-total opposites.
- Large Ham:
- Lethally Stupid: When he gets drunk. Especially in his first appearance, where he lights a fire in a boat and causes a plane to crash in the desert.
- This Loser Is You: Inevitable, being the Foil to Tintin.
- Nice Hat: His captain's cap.
- Older Sidekick: Haddock is at the very least a decade older than Tintin.
- Papa Wolf: When it matters he'll do anything to protect his friends, especially Tintin.
- Punch-Clock Hero: The man just wants a quiet life. Is that too much to ask?
- Rags to Riches: Started off as an alcoholic, hardworking sailor, but becomes wealthy after he and Tintin find the treasure of his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock.
- Seadog Beard: Sports a perfect example of one.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Tintin's Sensitive Guy.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Whiskey. Until Calculus slips his pills that give him an allergy to it.
- Unusual Euphemism: The author originally wanted Captain Haddock to, well, swear like a sailor, but he had to keep the comic family friendly. He compromised by using this strategy, which ended up becoming Captain Haddock's signature character trait.
- Violent Glaswegian: Is given a Scottish accent in the movie.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Captain Chester and Professor Calculus.
Professor Cuthbert Calculus
Professeur Tryphon Tournesol
Played by Paul Frees (Belvision series), Wayne Robson (90's animated series), Stephen Moore (BBC Radio Series)Although Tintin had encountered eccentric professors and scientists before, when he crossed paths with Professor Cuthbert Calculus, he found his most persistent ally. Mild-mannered and intelligent, but absent-minded, stubbornly in denial about his troubles hearing and generally oblivious, Professor Calculus was an important part of the hunt for Sir Francis Haddock's treasure; in return for his having purchased Captain Haddock's ancestral home of Marlinspike Hall as a gift to the Captain for allowing the trial of his anti-shark submarine, Haddock allows Professor Calculus to live and work on the estate.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Mostly due to his poor hearing but see the conclusion of "The Calculus Affair" for a non-hearing example.
- Alliterative Name: Cuthbert Calculus, Tryphon Tournesol in the original version.
- Berserk Button: For all his alleged gentleness, he has a lot of buttons and a Hair-Trigger Temper, albeit a fairly mild one. You don't want to mention his family members in inappropriate situations (including ones he doesn't have). You'll want to avoid knocking off his hat, as well. And for the love of God, never tell him he's "acting the goat". Still, of course, there's always the chance he'll mishear you, for better or worse.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Most of the time he's a very good-natured and polite person, but push one of his Berserk Buttons and you'll quickly regret it.
- Breakout Character: He was the last in a fairly long line of kooky scientists and eccentric professors when he was introduced, but after he joined the cast, he became a permanent member of the team, whereas his counterparts were all one-shot appearances.
- Bungling Inventor: Much more competent than many other examples and his inventions have helped immensely, but when they fail it's spectacular.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be eccentric and severely hearing impaired, but nobody doubts his genius.
- Captain Oblivious: Due to being hard of hearing, he is blissfully unaware of most events going on around him and continually interprets them wrong.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Due to his curiously selective hearing impairment rather than his intelligence. He rarely has any idea of what the gang is currently involved in.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: When his Berserk Button is pressed, NO ONE can stand in his way. He becomes hyper competent, is able to scare off Haddock and even appears to have gained super strength and lifts a man twice his size.
- A Day in the Limelight: The Calculus Affair, as well as the Moon albums which turn him into a competent character.
- Distressed Dude: Calculus getting kidnapped is the main story drive of the Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun storyline and The Calculus Affair.
- The Fool: He is often in the middle of dire straits without having any idea what's going on.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Introduced as having invented several bizarre inventions, including a wall bed and a clothes-brushing device.
- Genius Bruiser: He claims to be a former boxer and savateur, aside from other sports and physical occupations, and for what we see of his strength when angry, he's probably telling the truth. He notably picks up a man of twice his size and hangs him on a coat rack, and later gives the similarly heavier-looking Carreidas a savage beatdown off-page before he's restrained (despite the same book showing earlier that his current savate could use some work). However, he rarely fights actively against real enemies, as most of the time is not even aware of them.
- Herr Doktor: The Belvision Animated Adaptation gives him a German accent.
- Hidden Depths:
- As mentioned above, Destination Moon and The Calculus Affair proved that the good professor is very down-to-earth indeed whenever the world is threatened. He has even less concern for his personal safety in these situations.
- He also shows an unexpected romantic streak vis-à-vis the Milanese Nightingale in The Castafiore Emerald, thus becoming the only major character in the series to display such tendencies.
- I Know Savate: In Flight 714. But he's admittedly gotten rather rusty since his university days, as he falls down rather spectacularly when he tries to demonstrate a jumping high kick.
- Kidnapped Scientist: In The Calculus Affair. Also technically in Prisoners of the Sun, though his kidnapping there isn't because of him being a scientist.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Herge based the character on scientist, inventor, and enthusiastic balloonist Dr. Auguste Piccard, who even invented a submarine.
- No Listening Skills: A Running Gag is that he never hears correctly what Captain Haddock has to say. To be fair to the Professor, he is hard of hearing, but his deafness seems to become stronger any time Haddock (and only Haddock) says something (even if he's yelling it aloud).
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Seems to specialize in physics (having invented a way to use nuclear propulsion on a rocket) but has done remarkable things even outside that field, such as design a miniature submarine (engineering), breed a special strand of white rose (botany) and create a pill capable of making those who take it find the taste of alcohol repulsive (pharmacology).
- Throwing Off the Disability: In Destination Moon, he gets an ear trumpet and later a hearing aid so that he will be able to hear the radio transmissions; he insists he's "just a little hard of hearing in one ear", but needs to be able to hear absolutely perfectly for the mission.
Thompson & Thomson
Thompsonnote & Thomsonnote
Dupond and Dupont
Played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Spielberg/Jackson film), Charles Kay (BBC Radio Series), Paul Frees (Belvision series), Dan Hennessey and John Stocker (90's animated series)A pair of oddly identical bungling detectives, Thompson and Thomson frequently cross paths with Tintin and often inadvertently complicate things as a result.
- Accidental Hero: In The Blue Lotus, they catch Rastapopulous by bumping into him when he's trying to escape.
- Cane Fu: Her favorite fighting style, although they are rarely competent at it.
- Catch-Phrase: One of them always adds "To be precise..." followed by the same sentence or explanatio given previously by the other.
- Characterization Marches On: In their first appearance, they're actually quite competent, donning effective disguises, doing brilliant spy field work and nearly trapping Tintin on several occasions. It's later when they become bumbling cops (with the exception of The Secret of the Unicorn, where they manage to trap their sought thief).
- The Chew Toy: Because of their foolishness and clumsiness, they tend to be accident-prone, which played for laughs.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Well, Plural. After a misunderstanding involving an x-ray machine in Destination Moon, they become convinced that there is a skeleton wandering around the Sprodj Atomic Research Centre in. They even try to arrest a skeleton model hanging in the office of the Centre's resident osteologist, Dr. Patella.
- Clueless Detective: Well, Plural. Tintin does most of the sleuthing and the two are mostly there to officially take the villains in.
- They are at least somewhat aware of this: In The Black Island, they explicitly plan to let Tintin catch the crooks and then claim the credit for themselves.
- Determinators: While their competence is questionable at best later on, they won't let that slow them down. At one point (Prisoners of the Sun) they were canvassing the Earth trying to track down Tintin and Co.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Considering where Tintin's adventures take him, it wasn't that unreasonable to search the places that they did.
- The Dividual (twindividual): They are practically one person in two clumsy bodies. Unlike most examples, they are not even brothers.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Hergé retroactively added Thomson and Thompson to a single panel when he redrew Tintin in the Congo.
- Evil Counterpart: In the BBC radio adaptation of The Calculus Affair, the Bordurian guards asigned to escort Tintin and Haddock are essentially evil versions of the Thompsons, right down to mannerisms, ineptitude, and the voice actor.
- Face Death with Dignity: Say what you will about their intelligence, but they definitely don't lack courage. When they're facing the firing squad in Tintin and the Picaros, they refuse to be blindfolded and are willing to stare death in the face.
- Flanderization: Their first appearances showed them to be clumsy, comedic, but also quite capable, even busting Tintin out of prison at one point. Later depictions made them generally incompetent.
- Heel–Face Turn: In earlier volumes they are often trying to catch Tintin due to a misunderstanding or Tintin being framed.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Their mustaches look slightly different: Thomson's curls in while Thompson's flares out.
- Incredibly Obvious Tail: Played for Laughs in The Blue Lotus when the two are followed through the streets of Shanghai by a growing crowd of Chinese townspeople who are laughing at them due to their ridiculous, incredibly out-of-date Chinese clothing◊.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: They are not related in any way, despite they are physically indistinguishable and their minds are very much alike. Haddock even sporadically calls them twin brothers in a joking way.
- Inspector Javert: Initially.
- Inspector Lestrade: To such an extent that this trope would probably have been named after them if this Wiki had been started by Francophones. By happy coincidence (or maybe not so much), their names are one letter away from a French word for "dumbass", and it's the go-to name in parodies.
- The Klutz: They can't walk out a hatch on a ship without tripping or bashing their heads.
- Lawful Stupid: Later on.
- Man Children: In later stories they become much more silly and bungling.
- Nice Guy: They may be bumbling buffons but they do mean well and are determined to make sure crime is brought in.
- Newspaper-Thin Disguise: In the Spielberg/Jackson film.◊
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In addition to being totally out-of-date in respect to their surroundings (i.e. wearing ancient Chinese clothing in modern (1930's) China◊), most disguises employed by the pair do little, if anything, to conceal their true identities, with Tintin, Haddock and assorted others easily recognising them (much to their bewilderment).
- Police Are Useless: But they are the police, and they have the good sense to listen to Tintin, even deferring to him on occasion.
- Private Defective: Most of the time are clearly shown to be police detectives, but some occasions make them look like they work in their own agency.
- Related in the Adaptation: The Belvision Animated Adaptation makes them genuine twin brothers.
- Single-Minded Twins: Almost to a tee, except that they aren't actually twins.
- Smart Ball: Invoked on a few rare occasions when it's necessary to advance the plot. They help Tintin out a few times in The Cigars of the Pharaoh, and manage to catch the pickpocket in The Secret Of the Unicorn... eventually, at least.
- Spoonerism: Their iconic verbal tic is a tendency to mix up each other's words.
- Those Two Guys: Which is why they're played in the CGI Motion-Capture film by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who are Those Two Guys themselves!
- Twin Banter: Only that they are not twins.
- Ultimate Job Security: They stay on the force and are consistently given major cases no matter how incompetent they really are.
A robust and well-known opera singer who is a friend of Tintin's. She has something of an affection for Captain Haddock, who personally finds her singing awful but is too polite to offend her, whereas Professor Calculus is infatuated with her.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Captain Haddock. Or was it Hoddack? Haddad?
- Catch-Phrase: Will burst into the Jewels Aria at the drop of a hat.
- The Chick: The only recurring and prominent female member of the series.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: To an extent. She doesn't seem to fear authority figures, which may be why she was so successful at getting information out of Col. Sponsz (The Calculus Affair) and taking just 6 panels to shut down her own trial in San Theodoros (Tintin And The Picaros).
- Dreadful Singer: Tintin, Haddock and Snowy certainly think so, though the fact that she's a world famous Opera diva may indicate that this is subject to opinion in-universe.
- Fat Girl: A positive example. Despite her hilariously over-the-top antics, she is mostly a well-meaning ally to the main characters.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: While her voice was never explicitly shown to shatter glass in the comics (at best, Tintin looks relieved at the reinforced-plastic sign on the car window when she starts singing) , The Movie takes this trope Up to Eleven when she unwittingly shatters a reinforced plexiglass cage, allowing the villains to steal the McGuffin within. The villains were counting on this to happen.
- Gratuitous English: She dabbles a bit in this in the original French-written version.
- Gratuitous Italian: In English translations as well as in the French version.
- Kavorka Woman: She may be an extremely Rare Female Example of the trope. Despite neither being much of a looker nor very compelling company, she has quite a few male characters clearly enchanted, including Calculus and Colonel Sponsz. Granted, Calculus's reaction to General Alcazar's wife Peggy suggests he just may have a very unique taste in women.
- Large Ham: A Rare Female Example
- Launcher of a Thousand Ships: In-Universe, tabloids have reported that she's getting hitched with just about every single head of state, powerful tycoon or other influential figure they can think of.
- Malaproper: Gets a lot of peoples' names wrong, with the apparent exception of Tintin and important members of government. Especially noticeable with Captain Haddock in The Castafiore Emerald, although he did stumble a bit when he first introduced himself in The Calculus Affair.
- Meaningful Name: Her first name means "white", while her surname literally means "chaste flower". (Which becomes a Bilingual Bonus when Calculus names a white rose he has bred after her.)
- Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Zigzagged, since the comparison here is "world-famous explorer-reporter, his highly colorful ex-captain partner, and a ditzy genius" to "world-famous Opera diva".
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Notably averted. She's single, unrelated to the main characters and has done well for herself despite being the sole female character of note in a series that takes place in a time where it was difficult for unmarried women to make their own living, let alone become world-famous singers.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Comes off as a regular Cloud Cuckoo Lander... until her help is needed (as in The Calculus Affair or Tintin and the Lake of Sharks): then she proves to be a level-headed and resourceful ally.
- Pity the Kidnapper: Picaros sees her locked up in a San Theodoros jail. She proceeds to make the jailers' life hell by demanding her pasta be cooked al dente. And then there's the singing...
- The Prima Donna: Fits the archetype, but is much nicer and more well-mannered than usual.
- The Smurfette Principle: One of the only female recurring characters, and certainly the only notable one.
- Surprisingly Good English: Given her usual personality, you'd expect more Gratuitous Italian from her.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: The Castafiore Emerald is all about her inviting herself to live in Marlinspike Hall for several weeks.
A butler employed at Marlinspike Hall, first by the villainous Bird Brothers, and then by Captain Haddock after he purchases the estate.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Abdullah's stay at Marlinspike in The Red Sea Sharks is "a little trying" on him. That is, he appears to have lost several pounds, most of it in the face.
- Battle Butler: He tries to be this in Secret of the Unicorn.
- Butt-Monkey: He's prone to accidents and mistreatment.
- Heel–Face Turn: Played with. In his first appearance, he is working for the villainous Bird brothers, but as it turns out, he had no idea about their criminal activities.
- The Jeeves: He's Captain Haddock's loyal butler; naturally, he fits this role.
- Noble Bigot: He's plainly prejudiced towards Arabs and Roma, but he's still a pretty decent guy.
- Satellite Character: To Haddock and the Bird brothers before him.
Séraphin LampionAn insurance salesman that Tintin and Haddock seem to keep running into.
- Drop-In Character: To Haddock's eternal suffering.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: In Tintin and the Picaros. See, it's not only America that exports annoying boorish tourists in ugly shirts, Belgium apparently does too.
- Jerk Ass:
- A less intentional example than most, but there's no denying that he's basically an arrogant, smug, inconsiderate asshole. He could count as being Innocently Insensitive, but most of the time no one ever has the initiative to call him out on his obnoxiousness.
- One of his least sympathetic moments: learning that la Castafiore had her jewels insured, he calls Haddock to complain that the captain didn't try to convince her to switch to his company.
- The Millstone: In The Calculus Affair.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Much to Haddock's relief, he panics and leaves whenever anything dangerous or just plain weird happens.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: He invites himself (and at one point, his entire extended family) to stay at Marlinspike Hall at several points without Haddock's permission. At the end of "The Calculus Affair", when Haddock returns from the adventure to find his home occupied by Wagg's family, Wagg has the gall to tell Haddock to "act like he's at home".
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Wagg can't seem to comprehend that neither Haddock nor anyone else at Marlinspike Hall can stand him.
General AlcazarA South American soldier and the on-off leader of a Banana Republic that Tintin has something of a friendship with.
- Affably Evil: It's pretty clear that left to his own devices, he's not a good guy. Still, he's a happy-go-lucky guy who genuinely likes Tintin and his friends.
- Black and Gray Morality: The main difference between him and Tapioca is that Tapioca got help from the Commie-Nazi Bordurians in the form of Colonel Sponz. By contrast, Alcazar was supposedly sponsored by the International Banana Company.
- Expy: Of Che Guevara - though only in his last appearance; mostly he is a generic South American caudillo.
- Eyes Always Shut: His art design always makes him look like his eyes are closed.
- Full-Circle Revolution: It's heavily implied that he's really no better than General Tapioca.
- The Generalissimo: His basic archetype.
- Gold Digger: Though technically non canonical, in an original draft of Tintin and The Picaros he explains that he married his wife because she is very wealthy and has connections to an arms dealership.
- Hair-Trigger Temper:
- Both played straight and subverted in The Broken Ear. When Alcazar drafts Tintin into his revolutionary army and makes him a colonel, his aide-de-camp Colonel Diaz suggests that Tintin should be a corporal instead, since Alcazar's army already has 3,487 colonels and only 49 corporals. Alcazar is so furious at this suggestion that he immediately demotes Colonel Diaz to the rank of corporal and appoints Tintin as his new aide-de-camp.
- Tintin himself experiences the subversion when Alcazar makes Tintin play a game of chess with him. When Tintin wins the game, an outraged Alcazar gets up, pulls out his gun and shoots at Tintin, very narrowly missing him. Tintin is terrified, and Alcazar starts laughing, explaining that the gun was loaded with blanks and he was just playing a joke.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: He's not exactly the most moral of Tintin's acquaintances.
- Henpecked Husband: His wife Peggy bullies him quite shamelessly.
- House Husband: He can lead a guerilla war campaign and wash the dishes...in a pink apron.
- Knife-Throwing Act: While deposed from power Alcazar perfored such an act in Tintin's country to get by.
- Latino Is Brown: Downplayed. He (and the other San Theodorians) has a slight darker skin than the European characters, but it's still paler compared to the skin of the Incas / Peruvians in Prisoners. Truth in Television since Latin America has a very diverse population varying in different skin tones all across the spectrum.
- Not So Different: From Tapioca
- Perma-Stubble: He sports this.
- Punch-Clock Hero: He isn't a particularly good guy, he just happens to be on Tintin's side.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Picaros are Alcazar's thirty or so hardcore supporters who remain loyal to him after he's overthrown by Tapioca.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Tintin suggesting carrying on the revolution without unnecessarily shedding blood, especially Tapioca's, is a Berserk Button to him. Tintin was only able to convince him to act this way by offering him the necessary means to cure his militia of alcoholism, but everyone could still tell how much Alcazar despised the idea. Rule of Funny, Tapioca himself sees this as utter madness.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Or taken seriously.
- Token Evil Teammate:
- It's implied that he isn't much better than General Tapioca. In Tintin and the Picaros, Tintin and his friends are really only helping the General partly because of Tintin's past friendship with him, and-more importantly-so they can rescue the Thompsons and Madame Castafiore from being executed.
- In The Red Sea Sharks, he was involved in some fishy smuggling business.
Emir Ben Kalish Ezab and Abdullah
Mohammed Ben Kalish EzabThe Emir of a small Arabic nation whom Tintin occasionally runs into and can tenuously call a friend. Best known for his doting over his hellion of a child, Abdullah.
- Arab Oil Sheikh: His basic character design.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He usually comes off meek and is generally not very scary. However in the Land Of the Black Gold, Muller actually attempted suicide because he believed the only alternative would be to be handed over to the Emir for his crimes, suggesting the Emir is far more authoritative when the situation warrants. It's suggested he practices impalement as a punishment.
- Doting Parent: He spoils Abdullah shamelessly and indulges his every whim, which is quite obviously why the little monster is such a brat. He waves off all of Abdullah's jokes (except on one notable occasion, when Abdullah trades his favorite cigars for exploding joke cigars) and gets quite offended at people not wanting to indulge Abdullah as much as he does.
- Skewed Priorities: Threatens to expose a slave-trafficking operation if an airline doesn't make its passenger jets do a loop-the loop before landing.
- Token Evil Teammate: Much like General Alcazar, the Emir has somewhat lax moral standards. He was apparently perfectly fine with allowing Arabair to operate a slave trafficking ring in his country until they refused his son's ridiculous request to make their planes fly in loops before landing. Much like with Alcazar, Tintin primarily aids the Emir for his own reasons; the first time to solve the mystery of the mysterious fuel sabotages before the impending war, and the second time to take down Rastapopoulos's slave market.
AbdullahThe obnoxious, bratty, spoiled-rotten son of Emir Ezab.
- Enfant Terrible: To everyone but his father.
- The Nicknamer: Abdullah, again.
- Practical Joke: Abdullah just loves them. His father finds them hilarious... until he's the target of one.
- Royal Brat: Again, Abdullah. His father mentions that sitting for a painting was very hard on Abdullah... and the artist went mad after.
- Distressed Dude: Along with Castafiore and Irma, he's put in prison in Tintin and the Picaros.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: His name is a two-for-one reference to Igor Stravinsky and Richard Wagner.
- The Gambling Addict: His most prominent characteristic outside of his pianist job given in The Castafiore Emerald, he likes to sneak away during piano sessions to bet on horse races.
- No Respect Guy: Castafiore certainly doesn't have much consideration for him when she's in a foul mood.
- The Quiet One: Outside of The Castafiore Emerald, he borders on The Voiceless.
- Red Herring: His suspicious behaviour related to his gambling habits, as well as the soles of his shoes matching the footprints outside Castafiore's window, make him a suspect for the diamond thefts in The Castafiore Emerald.
- Satellite Character: Slightly less so than Irma, but outside of The Castafiore Emerald, he has no character beyond being Castafiore's pianist.
- Battle Butler: Despite being treated like dirt by Bianca Castafiore, she possesses an unshakeable loyalty to her...and will beat the stuffing out of anyone who dares suggest otherwise.
- Berserk Button: Go ahead, accuse her of disloyalty to Castafiore, I dare you.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Thompsons learn this the hard way.
- Character Development: Starts out as a Flat Character, but becomes slightly more defined in her second appearance in The Castafiore Emerald
- Distressed Dude: In Tintin in Tibet.
- Happily Adopted: Mr. Wang adopts him at the end of The Blue Lotus.
- Nice Guy: Chang is sweet, clever, humble and caring. He's certainly a big contrast against the rambunctious Abdullah.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only actually appears in two stories (The Blue Lotus and Tintin in Tibet) and is mentioned in a few others, but in the latter, it is obvious that he is one of the people Tintin cares for the most.
- Tagalong Kid: After Tintin saved him from drowning Chang accompanied him on his journey.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: No version of his name sounds particularly Estonian, and neither does his accent in the cartoon. He is said to be "from Estonia," rather than specifically an ethnic Estonian, and so could be German, Russian or any of a few other ethnicities. Both his names in the original French exist in real life: the first is the Russian version of Peter, and the second seems to be a rare Polish-Jewish family name.
- Eyepatch of Power: Despite being a fighter pilot. Justified, since he is flying for a low-budget mercenary outfit, who are probably very short on trained personnel.
- Heel–Face Turn: Befriends Tintin and Haddock so quickly it's easy to forget he was technically a Punch-Clock Villain for the first two pages he appeared on.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Was a mercenary hired by Bab El Ehr, and holds no animosity towards Tintin for shooting him down.
- Punny Name: In the original French, his name sounds like "zut", making Haddock think he's being difficult when he's actually introducing himself. In the English translation, Haddock misunderstands the name as a rude command to "scoot".
- Remember the New Guy?:
- He's not an example in the comics, but the English dub of the animated series changes the dialogue in his first meeting with Tintin and Haddock for no apparent reason so that Tintin already somehow knows his name.
- The animated version of The Red Sea Sharks takes place after Flight 714. It's not clear how they met in the series; in "Flight 714", they know each other, that's that.
- That Russian Squat Dance: Does in The Red Sea Sharks.
- You No Take Candle: Talks like this in Red Sea Sharks. When we see him later he spaks more fluently.
Oliveira da Figueira
Senhor Oliveira da Figueira
- But Wait, There's More!
- Honest John's Dealership: Played with. He's perfectly honest and a genuine friend to Tintin, but you really don't want to stay too long with him because he'll sell you enough useless items to fill a small truck. He's just that good at his job.
- Intrepid Merchant
- The Storyteller: He's able to conjure a detailed, incredibly dramatic backstory for Tintin's disguise in Land of Black Gold from out of nowhere (there was a count and a snail breeder involved), which keeps Müller's men engrossed while Tintin infiltrates the study.
- Amusing Injuries: Only Captain Haddock usually suffered the amount of physical punishment Rastapopulous takes in Flight 714, up to and including being hit by a stray grenade.
- Bad Boss: In Flight 714, under the influence of Truth Serum, he reveals that he was going to have all his henchmen (save for Allan) killed after he would complete his evil plan.
- Bald of Evil: Completely bald and very evil.
- Big Bad: The most prominent of such in the series.
- Breakout Villain: He is not in a whole lot of albums and only briefly in most of them, but he made enough of an impression to be universally considered Tintin's Big Bad. Note, though, that appearing in four volumes, Rastapopoulos is still the most frequently appearing villain in the series alongside Allan, who in most of his appearances was working for him.
- Butt-Monkey: Again, In Flight 714, symbolizing his Villain Decay.
- Card-Carrying Villain: When under the effects of Dr. Krollspell's shoddy truth serum, he starts bragging about every one of his own foul deeds and gets into a heated debate with the also drugged Carreidas about which one of them is the more evil, calling himself "the Devil incarnate".
- Chekhov's Gunman: A man looking very similar to Rastapopoulos appears in Tintin in America, a book before his actual introduction, sitting next to Tintin at a banquet. It is unclear whether Hergé actually meant this character to be Rastapopoulos, but it's worth noting that he's sitting next to the actress Mary Pikefort, which makes sense given his job as a movie producer, and that in the English translation of Cigars of the Pharaoh, Tintin states that he has met Rastapopoulos before* .
- The Chessmaster: During his first appearance as the main villain, when it turns out he's the mysterious leader behind the opium smugglers from Pharaos Cigars and Blue Lotus. His other plans fall apart before he has time to rebuild.
- Devil in Plain Sight: His disguise as the Marquis di Gorgonzola consists of Mephistopheles from Faust, the original Big Red Devil.
- Evil All Along: He is introduced in Cigars of the Pharaoh as a short-tempered but benign movie producer, then revealed in The Blue Lotus to have been the Big Bad all along. Surprising, eh?
- Faux Affably Evil: Likes to act polite and charming, but will throw tantrums and become violent at the slightest resistance.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: In his first appearances he wore relatively normal business clothes, but degenerated fast. First, in his disguise as Marquis Gorgonzola, he wore a bizarre red and green outfit that included a cape and a cowl with plummage. In Flight 714, he wore a hideous pink cowboy shirt, complete with hat, boots and bolo tie. And for some reason, carried around a riding crop, even though there's no horses around.
- Gag Nose: Lampshaded in Flight 714 when the bad guys run into a proboscis monkey.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Evil cigars of decadence.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Has a volatile temper that almost rivals Captain Haddock, including his Angrish catchphrase "FDJRK!!!!"
- High-Class Glass: Is usually seen wearing a monocle, it even often survives his Clothing Damage.
- I Have Many Names: After Tintin exposed his criminal activities, he returned in disguise as Marquis Gorgonzola. If the rumors about Tintin And the Alph-Art are true, he was also Endandinne Akass.
- Karma Houdini: In The Red Sea Sharks. Subverted in Flight 714 when it's revealed that Tintin's ruining his slave ring eventually bankrupted him.
- The Man Behind the Man: To fake bosses Mitsuhirato in The Blue Lotus and Mull Pasha/ Müller in Red Sea Sharks.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Initially, before he regresses to a tacky rich man (who is not even rich anymore by that point).
- Never My Fault: During his Villainous Breakdown in Flight 274, a stalactite falls on his head and he starts raving that he doesn't deserve any of this, he'd never hurt a fly. Note that this happens after his Eviler Than Thou drug trip.
- Sarcastic Confession: When Tintin barely escapes an ambush after leaving Rastapopoulos, he tells Tintin that if he didn't know better, he'd swear there was some hidden organization trying to destroy him.
- Villain Decay: He started out as a drug and arms smuggler and eventually moved on to slave trading. However, by the time he appears in Flight 714 he's reduced to trying to steal Lazlo Carriedas's fortune after he was bankrupted by Tintin foiling his schemes. That's just the start of his misfortune, as he tries to threaten to squash Tintin like a spider (and then repeatedly miss said spider), his Amusing Injuries (as noted, he got hit by a grenade, and only got singed), and his being accidentally injected with some defective Truth Serum and getting into a screaming match with Carreidas over which of them is more evil (and arguably losing, given by the way he cries afterwards). And then there's his ridiculous attire, which consists of a salmon-colored shirt, blue jeans, gawdy star-studded cowboy boots and an oversized Stetson. Herge himself Lampshaded the decay, realizing that after he drew Rastapopulous in that silly outfit, he couldn't take poor Roberto seriously as a villain ever again.
- Villain with Good Publicity: At first. After he was exposed he started operating under false names to get by.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never revealed what happened to him, Allan and the other henchmen after they were taken by aliens. Considering Krollspell was dropped close to Cairo with amnesia, it is likely Rastapopulous could have made a return if not for Author Existence Failure. Surviving, unfinished notes for Tintin And the Alph-Art indicate that the main villain Endandinne Akass was Rastapopulous in disguise.
- Bond Villain Stupidity:
- All Tintin villains like to spend quality time with the ol' Villain Ball, but it is Allan who really loves this trope. In all albums he's in, he has Tintin at his mercy at some point, and decides to just leave him alone for him to escape.
- Actually justified a few times. In TCWTGC he is keeping him alive until the boss decides what to do to him, once he finds they want Tintin eliminated he tries to do so. In Flight 714 he leaves Tintin and other prisoners guarded, thinking they'll be sunk on the plane later.
- The Dragon: First to Omar Ben Salaad, then to Rastapopoulos. Is this to Sakharine in the movie.
- Dragon-in-Chief: He is by far a more prominent villain than his boss in The Crab with the Golden Claws, and Tintin's final struggle is against him. He is less proactive when he becomes Rastapopoulos's lackey.
- False Friend: To Haddock. Also, rather tragically, his Only Friend before meeting Tintin.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Often seen with a fag end in his mouth.
- Gratuitous English: Obviously not evident in the English translation, but he does this sometimes in the original French.
- The Heavy: In The Crab with the Golden Claws, Allan is The Dragon as well as The Heavy. The Big Bad makes only a brief appearance, doesn't do much, and is defeated before Allan is.
- Humiliation Conga: His last appearance is basically this.
- One Steve Limit: In the original French, his name is Allan Thompson. To avoid obvious confusion, the English translation left out his last name entirely.
- Retcon: He was Ret-Conned into being the villain that threw Tintin overboard in a newer edition of Cigars of the Pharaoh, even though canonically this album takes place before The Crab with the Golden Claws, Allan's introduction. His connection to Rastapopulous' drug cartel fits with his later work with Rastapopulous.
- Smug Snake
- Spared by the Adaptation: The film, specifically. In the original album The Crab with the Golden Claws, Tintin's struggle to capture Allan forms the climax of the story, and he succeeds (even though Allan must escape or be released by the time of The Red Sea Sharks). But in Spielberg's film, Allan is dispatched when Captain Haddock knocks him down from a height onto a moving truck, carting him out of the fray. It's reasonable to suppose he must have been brought to justice later, once Tintin and Haddock were able to give a full description to the local police — but this may otherwise have been a deliberate scriptwriting tactic, keeping Allan at large to make his return more plausible if a sequel introduces Rastapopoulous.
Dr. J. W. Müller
Dr. J. W. Müller
- I Have Many Names: Professor Smith in Land of Black Gold and Mull Pasha in The Red Sea Sharks.
- Meaningful Name: Named in honor of Adolfo Simões Müller, a Portuguese writer and publisher who was responsible for publishing Tintin in Portugal (which was the first country outside France where it was published) and who once helped Hergé's brother when he was in a prisoner's camp during World War II by paying Hergé in sardine cans that would later be delivered to his brother.
- Psycho for Hire: In his last appearance.
- The Quisling: Based on a Scottish doctor who worked for the Nazis.
- Surrounded by Idiots: His orders to have Tintin pursued by armored cars and aircraft ends in the planes shooting the cars due to Ambiguous Syntax.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Never explicitly stated, but implied, as Müller was largely based on a Real Life Nazi double agent named Dr. Georg Bell.
Colonel Boris /Jorgen
- Ascended Extra: Was a relatively minor character in King Ottokar's Sceptre, but is the Big Bad's proxy in the moon books.
- Kick the Dog: He kicks Snowy down a ladder at one point.
- Killed Off for Real: Accidentally shoots himself to death in "Explorers on the Moon".
- Argentina is Nazi-Land: Originally seen running the State Sec in a Central European fascist government, he's later seen in a similar situation in a South American dictatorship.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: His name is an elaborate pun on the word "sponge" (éponge in French). Taken at face value, it sounds more Polish-Jewish than anything else.
- Badass Longcoat: As part of the uniform in his original appearance. Averted in Tintin and the Picaros, due to the warmer South American climate.
- Bad Boss: Not as much so as many other villains; he is actually a fairly "realistic" secret police officer in this way. However, while he will not usually employ You Have Failed Me, he can be quite unpleasant to subordinates who fail him.
- Beard of Evil: He sports a neat goatee in his second appearance.
- The Chessmaster: In his second appearance, when he lures Tintin to San Theodoros in order to have him killed and prepares a perfect coverup.
- Dragon-in-Chief: As Bordurian "technical advisor" to General Tapioca. It's heavily implied that he and the Bordurians are the ones really in charge, with Tapioca as little more than their front man.
- High-Class Glass: Presumably to invoke a German vibe.
- Putting on the Reich: Much like with real-life East Germany, Bordurian military and police uniforms look Nazi-ish with some Soviet-derived features.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: His subordinates get his ice side, Castafiore and (presumably) his personal friends see his sugar side.
- Surrounded by Idiots: The Colonel himself is a competent enough official, but his Bordurian subordinates are incompetent buffoons. In The Calculus Affair, Tintin and Haddock give some of Sponsz's agents the slip in heavy traffic, and get rid of others by getting them drunk and locking them in their hotel rooms.
- This Is My Name on Foreign: Becomes Colonel Esponja (Colonel Sponge) in San Theodoros.
- Wicked Cultured: Shows appreciation for the Castafiore's singing talent and invites her to sing for a party he's hosting. The next morning, he's humming the Jewels Aria.
- Evil Counterpart: To Alcazar, although there is little setting the two apart.
- Fascist, but Inefficient: His security is so lax that Alcazar and the Picaros are able to seize power by sneaking into his office and forcing him at gunpoint to read a declaration that he's stepping down and handing power over to Alcazar, all without firing a shot.
- Fate Worse than Death: He considers his humiliating banishment to be this; he'd much rather been executed.
- Not So Different: The last page of Tintin and the Picaros implies that there is little difference between him and General Alcazar
- The Rival: Again, to Alcazar.
- The Unseen: Until Picaros.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Sponsz.
- Villainous Breakdown: He bursts into tears when he realizes that Alcazar is going to spare his life at Tintin's insistence. Apparently it's a San Theodoros tradition for the new dictator to put his predecessor in front of a firing squad if he can catch him.
- Big Bad: The nearest thing to a main villain in Tintin in America. He's just one of several gang bosses who Tintin takes on during the course of the story, but he has by far the largest role of any of them.
- Enemy Mine: He tries this when he first meets Tintin, offering him a huge salary to help take down Al Capone. Tintin reacts by pulling a gun on Smiles and making it clear that he's there to take down all the gangsters, not just Capone.
- The Rival: To Al Capone, as Smiles is the boss of the second-biggest gang in Chicago. However, he soon switches to trying to take out Tintin instead.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Had his men been able to tell the difference between poison gas and sleeping gas, Tintin would have been dead right at the start of the story. The Native American tribe that he teams up with at the midway point of the story also don't prove to be the most helpful allies.
- Unusual Euphemism: He tends to shout "Alcatraz!" whenever things don't go his way, likely a reference to the prison where his in-story rival, Al Capone spent most of his sentence.
- White Gang-Bangers: Unlike most of the traditional organized crime in America (Irish Mob, Italian Mob, Jewish Mob, etc.), and unlike his rival Capone's crew, his outfit seems to be made up mainly or entirely of Old Stock Americans like himself.
- The Dragon: While he's just one member of a large criminal organization, he's the most visible member of them in Cigars of the Pharaoh, and the one who poses the biggest threat to Tintin.
- Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": His actual name is never revealed at any point; everyone just refers to him as "the Fakir."
- Rant-Inducing Slight: One of the few things that genuinely angers him is Tintin knocking him out and then tying him up. Not because he allowed himself to be tricked and captured, mind, but because he considers it an insult to his escapology skills.
- Affably Evil: He honestly seems to have no real animosity toward Tintin and is unfailingly polite to him. When Tintin is about to be executed, he even offers him a way out if he agrees to a few conditions.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: His name, like those of many Asian comics characters of this period, is a relatively plausible but otherwise meaningless collection of Japanese syllables. Possibly, it was inspired by the real Japanese given name Mitsuhiro.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As an intelligence agent and underworld overlord, he is sufficiently proficient in the use of both guns and melee weapons to carry out his own assassinations in a pitch, and rather more dangerous than most of his Mook minions. However, in a fair fight he loses to Tintin.
- Bait the Dog: At one point, he has Tintin under his mercy, but reveals he doesn't intend to kill him, and in fact has decided to let him go... only to reveal he will do so after a Rajaijah juice injection, which will drive him mad.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A very polite, affable host... who also happens to secretly be a drug-trader and a japanese spy.
- The Chessmaster: Runs a major Japanese spy ring as well as an international drug syndicate. Is consulted on foreign policy, manipulates Chinese tongs, British officials and even Tintin himself, and knows how to exploit the system for his own benefit.
- City of Spies: Shanghai in the 1930s. Mitsuhirato is portrayed as the top Japanese on-site man, with direct access to the government and the local Japanese commanders.
- Consummate Liar: Tintin is not the only one he fools.
- Double Agent: By knowing arrangement with his Japanese superiors. He works both for them and the Pharaonic drug ring, using the drug money to fund his intelligence operations and, occasionally, intelligence assets to further the drug trade.
- The Dragon: To Rastapopoulos.
- Driven to Suicide: He kills himself in jail soon after being arrested.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: While a passionate Japanese nationalist, he does not seem to be particularly racist against either the Chinese or the Westerners, and indeed people of both races work in his organization.
- Every Man Has His Price: As a wealthy and generous businessman, Mitsuhirato has lots of connections in Shanghai, and, among other things, uses his financial ties with corrupt chief of police Dawson (in the Internatonal Settlement) to have Tintin apprehended and turned over to the Japanese. The same strategy backfires on him, however, when he tries it on Tintin himself.
- False Flag Operation: The Mukden Incident, as here portrayed. Also pulls an earlier, smaller-scale one in Tintin, to alienate him from the Sons of the Dragon.
- The Heavy: While Rastapopoulos eventually is revealed to have been the Big Bad all along, Mitsuhirato is the one who actively opposes Tintin for most of the book, and appears as the main villain until The Reveal.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The Japanese in general don't come off very well in The Blue Lotus, and more specifically, the Mukden Incident (instigated by Mitsuhirato himself in this version, with the direct backing of the Japanese premier) is fictionalized and portrayed in a harsher way than the record would seem to justify.
- Honor Before Reason: Seemingly averted for most of the story, as he engages in various sorts of rather dishonorable villainy. However, when his schemes fail and he faces trial, thereby bringing shame and disgrace on his fatherland, he commits harakiri in prison, thereby expunging his guilt in the honorable Samurai fashion.
- Japanese Politeness: Downplayed. He has this, but less than the stereotype, as well as some hints of a sort of American-ish straight-to-business style in some cases.
- Knife Nut: Tries to kill Tintin with a dagger, as a last resort after his agents botch the job. He fails, and ends up badly bruised for his trouble.
- Patriotic Fervor: A Japanese super-patriot who serves his country loyally right to the bitter end. Which he inflicts on himself, to atone for his failure.
- Perpetual Smiler: Always (or nearly so) depicted with a huge, toothy grin. Sometimes it looks sincere, sometimes unctuous, and sometimes furious.
- Reality Ensues: Plays a savvy subversion of the trope that Police Are Useless and villains best dealt with in person. When Tintin beats him up,note he reports him to the authorities—And since Tintin never cared to file a complaint with his version of the story, this results in charges for assault and attempted murder, as well as a manhunt that seriously limits Tintin's movements afterward.
- Seppuku: How he meets his end.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Always impeccably dressed, except when his clothes are destroyed in battle. Usually seen in morning coat, vest and bow tie.
- The Social Expert: Well-connected and with significant influence among the British and American power-mongers in Shanghai, in spite of the handicap of being Asian. Also a Consummate Liar who fools even Tintin initially.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The plot involves a heavily fictionalized retelling of the Mukden Incident, which is here personally instigated and supervised by Mitsuhirato in collusion with the Japanese government. Its aftermath, with the Lytton investigation and Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations, is also fictionalized, with various important details changed, and/or simplified to better fit the comic-book format.
- Villainous Valor: While mostly a Non-Action Big Bad, he will fight when he has to, as well as do what it takes to preserve Japan's honor when he fails.
- Yellow Peril: To the extent that he is a ruthless, and sometimes sneaky, Asian villain (and drawn as a buck-toothed caricature of a Japanese stereotype). However, he also subverts the trope in some ways. As a cosmopolitan businessman, Mitsuhirato dresses in the Western style, moves in the same circles as the corrupt British and American officials and businessmen who are the minor villains of the story, and shows that he has a lot in common with them; by contrast, the Chinese characters who dress as inscrutable Orientals and speak in proverbs are supporting good characters.
- Conveniently an Orphan: We never see his parents or have him talk about them, but seeing how young he is and how quickly he leaves with Tintin, it's safe to assume he's probably on his own.
- Distressed Dude: Tintin often has to rush in and save him from any peril he gets into. At one point he even gets kidnapped by the bad guys.
- Happily Adopted: Towards the end of Prisoners the Incas have taken him in; mostly for him to keep quiet of their secret location, but seeing how he previously lived on the streets, they might also be offering him a home.
- Latino Is Brown: He has dark skin, and while not an Incan exactly (as we see them in Prisoners, they're their own group apart from the rest of the population, even if they share the same skin tone), he either is of Indigenous / Incan descent, like many current day dark skinned Peruvians are. Makes an interesting contrast to General Alcazar, who is much paler.
- Nice Hat: He's always seen wearing his chullo (a hat with earflaps common in the Andes made with llama's wool, among others). The only time he doesn't wear his chullo is when he was kidnapped.
- Expy: He's basically a Peruvian version of Chang, an orphaned boy whom Tintin saves and in gratitude for that, he helps him in his quest. They both also end up being adopted at the end of their stories.
- Street Urchin: Managed himself on the streets selling oranges before meeting Tintin. His knowledge of the land and the secret of the Incas comes in handy for Tintin.
- Tagalong Kid: After Tintin saves him from being harassed by two racist bullies, he feels safe and grateful enough to confide in Tintin and Haddock to help save Calculus (even if that may cost him his life).
- Grey and Gray Morality: He seems cruel at first, what with cursing the seven explorers and ordering Tintin's execution, but he later on shows nobility by letting Tintin go (after understanding his motivation and seeing how he is a genuine, honest person) and breaking the curse. It's obvious that all his actions in the story are just a means of protecting his people from foreign invaders (to avoid what happened last time...).
- Mayincatec: Inca explicitly rather than a mish-mash (aside from a few details here and there), but he is the leader of the surviving Incan civilization.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He doesn't physically fight (but rather, it's suggested all the actions the other Incas do are at his command), but every act he demands is done in order to preserve his culture and his people.
- The Emperor: The Incas (the figure himself rather than the people as a whole) were pretty much the Emperors of their societies, thought to the descendants/sons of the Sun God.
- Accidental Murder: Struggling to stop Jorgen shooting Tintin he accidentally shoots him.
- Face–Heel Turn: His back-story.
- Foreshadowing: His briefly panicking at the end of Destination Moon ultimately amounts to this.
- Guile Hero: A very minor case, but he improvised a lie to get past the Thompsons and used his technological expertise to make his Heroic Sacrifice without being interrupted or further endangering the other crew members.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Exits the rocket, so the others will have enough oxygen to get back to Earth.
- Meaningful Name: "Wolf in sheep's clothing", anyone?
- Mr. Exposition: Does this once in each of the moon books, the second instance being very different from the first.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His words right before the rocket launch, where he regrets getting into this dangerous ordeal, which makes sense as the other characters were also having second thoughts about going into space. Afterwards, it turns out the danger he was referring to was actually his espionage.
- Pride: Not explicitly stated, but if he'd just told his employers about his gambling debts and about the man who approached him, he could have avoided all his problems; apparently he was too ashamed to do this.
- Redemption Equals Death: Technically, Herge left a loophole where he might have survived, but this trope otherwise fits. However, this loophole only exists in Wolff's farewell note in the collected album version: in the original magazine-published version (later changed under pressure from Catholic organizations) Wolff's last note makes it absolutely clear he has no hope of survival.
- Reformed, but Rejected: He does, eventually, win back the trust of everybody, but it comes at a hefty price.
- Rounded Character - He's...complicated, and that's as much as we dare say without spoiler tags.
- Walking Spoiler: Just look at all that white.
- Character Tic: Gnaws on his tie when nervous.
- The Chew Toy: He takes the role from Haddock in Destination Moon, to the amused surprise of the latter.
- Comically Missing the Point: Doesn't realize that Haddock does not want to go on the Moon voyage.
- The Comically Serious
- Deadpan Snarker: To Haddock in one scene from Destination Moon.
- Greek Chorus: Acts as one in Explorers on the Moon.
- Straight Man: To Haddock, Thompson and Thomson and especially Calculus in Destination Moon. Without him, you could easily forget the inherent seriousness of sending people to the freaking Moon amongst all the antics our heroes pull.
- Determinator: A very enthusiastic fellow; can't deny that.
- Hitchhiker Heroes: Although he ultimately subverts this by leaving the group shortly after he shows up, he initially comes across as a Debut Queue variation.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a rich and successful businessman, despite his many quirks and unpleasant personality.
- Card-Carrying Villain: When under the effects of Krollspell's shoddy truth serum, at any rate. He starts proudly recounting every foul deed he's committed in his life, and becomes offended by Rastapopoulos's (also drugged) assessment that he's more evil than him.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Has a vast amount of money hidden away to avoid taxes, which plays right into Rastapopoulos's scheme.
- Eviler Than Thou: When he and Rastapopoulos are injected with truth serum, they have a debate about which of them is the worse human being.
- Evil Is Petty: For a certain measure of "evil". Carreidas has a camera installed in his private jet that allows him to cheat at a Battleship game; he invites Haddock onto the plane for the express purpose of screwing him over this way. Many of the evil deeds Carreidas boasts about when drugged with the truth serum consist of cruel pranks and petty theft, for instance he starts off with his first theft: a pear.
- Hates Being Touched: He refuses to shake hands with others because he considers it unhygienic.
- It's All About Me: In the interview after the return to civilization Carreidas is asked why he has needle-marks on his armsnote but not the others, his response is: "I'm entitled to special treatment, aren't I?"
- Jerkass: Oh, so very much.
- Meaningful Name: "Carré d'as" means all four aces, fitting for a millionaire.
- Multi-Ethnic Name: Laszlo is a common Hungarian name and Carreidas looks like a Greek name.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Visually based on French aircraft industrialist Marcel Dassault, whose looks were such that according to one anecdote a French photo journalist accidentally wanted to include a photograph of him in a feature on homeless people living in the streets of Paris.
- Perpetual Frowner: Known in-universe as "the man who never laughs", though Calculus's antics do manage to get several laughing fits out of him (for the first time in many years, apparently).
- Skewed Priorities: At the end in an interview, he doesn't seem that upset about losing his new plane, secretary and two of the crew and says what really upsets him is losing his hat, a Pre-War Brosse and Clackwell.
- Enemy Mine: After Rastapopoulos reveals (under the truth serum) that he was planning to murder Krollspell once he no longer needed the doctor's expertise, Tintin rightly assesses that Krollspell isn't too enthusiastic about the whole villain gig anymore. He goes on to help the heroes at a couple of points by keeping watch over the wayward Carreidas.
- Epic Fail: His truth serum to work fine however Carriedas has so many dirty secrets he didn't reveal his account number.
- Heel–Face Turn: See Enemy Mine.
- Karma Houdini: Unlike the other villains in Flight 714, he is let off scot free by the aliens, left him in Cairo, albeit with his memory of all recent events wiped. Of course, we don't know what happened to the other villains, who may have had the same thing happen to them.
- Satellite Character: To Rastapopulos, and to Carreidas once he's appointed caregiver to the latter.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He tries to run out on Rastapopulos, but this doesn't work out as well as he'd hoped as Tintin and Captain Haddock were already outside with their guns..
- Those Wacky Nazis: As with Müller, implied rather than stated outright.
- Truth Serums: What he uses to find out other people's dirty secrets.
- Absent-Minded Professor: His suit looks rather messy and has large documents rolled and stuck in his pockets.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Although friendly and helpful, he's fearsome when he decides to use his Mind Control against evildoers, even if it is with relatively harmless consequences.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his eccentric appearance and demeanor, he's no bluff about his connection to aliens.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: His glasses have a little antenna that presumably helps with his telepathy.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's an incredibly thinly disguised version of French UFO theorist Jacques Bergier.
- Punny Name: His original last name references the phrase Is dat niet tof? ("Isn't that swell?") in Dutch.
- Telepathy: Has this power.
- Touched by Vorlons: He's connected to aliens and got his powers, or at least his technology, from then.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Her dressing gown.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: According to her husband.
- Large Ham: Hergé apparently based her on a female member of the KKK he once saw.
- Say My Name: ALCAZAR!!!! Most notably done in the Nelvana cartoon.
- Heroes Want Redheads: See Ship Tease. Since she and Tintin both have red hair, this could go either way.
- Meganekko: She wears stylish cat glasses.
- Mistaken for Murderer: By Tintin, of all people.