The 68th Beano Annual with a few of the longer running characters appearing on the front.The Beano
is a long running British children's comic
that's been in circulation for almost 75 years, having entertained several generations of kids since 1938, making this one hell of a long runner
. Published weekly, for over 70 years and with more than 3500 issues, it's famous for iconic strips such as Dennis the Menace
, Minnie the Minx
and The Bash Street Kids
, and is a huge influence in (and a reflection of) British culture. Other iconic strips include Roger the Dodger
, Billy Whizz
, Biffo the Bear
, Big Eggo
, Lord Snooty
, Ball Boy
, General Jumbo
, Ivy the Terrible
, Little Plum
, Calamity James
and The Three Bears
A number of spin-off comics have been released as well, including: The Beano Annual (which is released every Christmas and continues to sell 100,000+ every year); the monthly BeanoMAX; The Beano Summer Special, a yearly reprint Annual featuring content from both The Beano
and The Dandy
; Plug comic, a weekly comic which ran from 1977-1979 featuring as its main star one of The Bash Street Kids
; and the Beano Comic Libraries, which evolved into the Fun Size Beano. Other spinoffs include a few animated series (some of which were Direct-to-Video
) and video games.
The comic is easily the most well known British Humour Comic and is also the longest running comic of its genre. It has outlived numerous generations of competitor comics, such as Whizzer and Chips
, Film Fun
, and continues to introduce new characters and innovate.
Its readership peaked in 1950 before the introduction of its most iconic characters, and some consider it to have Jumped the Shark
in the mid 60s when the artists Leo Baxendale
and Ken Reid
left to draw for DC Thomson
's (The Beano's publisher) rivals. However, the comic continued for long after these artists stopped drawing altogether, though the pair were a big influence on the comic.
In its long run it has absorbed
a number of characters from other comics such as The Numskulls
and Fred's Bed
from The Beezer
and The Dandy
Two Beano home videos have been released, the first
in 1993 and a follow-up, Beano Videostars
in 1994. Also, an interactive DVD in 2006, which focuses on the characters' attempts to save Bash Street School from closure after TV stars Mr Cheekychops and Sir Stinksalot's underhand underground scheme.
This comic (and its strips) provide examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Calamity James occasionally fell victim to one of these.
- Daisy also considers Ernest to be one of these in the 'Crazy for Daisy' strips.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Ratz appear to live in quite a large sewer large enough for anthropomorphic ratz.
- Abusive Parents: Though somehow it was played for laughs, Calamity James' mother openly despised her son for being Born Unlucky and in one strip◊ even has a hypnotist regress him to infancy so that she can abandon him at an orphanage.
- Accidental Bid: A staple of the comic in the 1990s.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Smiffy.
- Adults Are Useless: They can't really control their kids, now, can they?
- Affectionate Parody: The comic frequently parodies things such as Doctor Who.
- All There in the Manual: The Bash Street Kids' full names are very rarely used. A strip in January 2015 had Danny call himself Danny "Deathshead" Morgan, probably for the first time since it was first revealed in a text story in boys story paper The Wizard in the 1950s. Plug's name wasn't revealed in those text stories, and was instead revealed in his own comic in the 1970s. His name, Percival Proudfoot Plugsley, is the only one used often enough for most readers to know it. Cuthbert Cringeworthy is an exception to this. His is the only full name actually revealed in The Beano itself.
- All Women Love Shoes: In a few early strips, Daisy exchanged her high heels for platform shoes. In 1999, she started wearing platform shoes full-time.
- Always Someone Better: When characters are focused around a single aspect, a fairly common plot is for a new character to show up who's stronger, such as an even cleverer pupil than Cuthbert joining Bash St School. Of course, they get wiped out in the Reset Button by the end of the strip.
- Ambiguously Gay: Walter and the Softies are sometimes considered this. It was averted when he got a girlfriend, called Matilda who looks eerily similiar to Walter, in the cartoon series.
- Amusing Injuries: Just how many times has Calamity James had his ears reversed?
- Anthology Comic
- Animal Jingoism: The old strip Kat and Kanary and the much newer strip entitled Meebo and Zuky (which involves a cat and dog being violently cruel to each other in a similiar vein to an earlier DC Thomson strip from the Sparky entitled Puss n Boots).
- Animated Adaptation: Dennis the Menace (UK) recieved his own animated series. There have also been a few straight-to-video animated specials for the entire comic (featuring shorts with each of the characters).
- Anvil on Head: Used numerous times, most recently in a Meebo and Zuky strip.
- Art Evolution
- As You Know: For a long time Smiffy's appearances would be accompanied with a caption explaining he's the dimmest kid at Bash Street School.
- Bad Ass Moustache: Pretty much every authority figure in older strips has a moustache, often a Hitler-esque one. Also Roger's dad is one of the few characters whose moustache isn't a toothbrush moustache.
- Balloon Belly: A lot of the kid characters have slight pot bellies.
- Banister Slide: Dennis has done this many times, notably once in a 1980s comic, where Mum had sewn a sandpaper patch on to his shorts, leading him to sand down the banister for her. It was one of many nice things he inadvertently did - Mum was taking advantage of his usual behaviour - and thus he was surprised when he was rewarded at the end.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted in the Minnie the Minx strip from issue 3338, where you can see Minnie's bare chest and she actually has visible nipples.
- The Beautiful Game: The basis of Ball Boy's strip, containing any number of references to great footballers at the time, and any ongoing tournaments at the time of publication.
- Beef Bandage: Was standard treatment for a black eye, in the good old days when children's comic characters regularly beat each other up to that extent.
- Berserk Button: Vic Volcano who starts off nice and calm, but would go beserk after the slightest insult. Uh Oh Si Co also has an example, in the form of a boy called Simon Coe, who is obviously called Si Co by his peers, coz... ISN'T IT CLEAR ALREADY?!?!
- Best Years of Your Life: Used in "Tim Traveller" just after Tim sees how bad they're going to get.
- Big Bad: Baby Face Finlayson in the longer strips by Kev F Sutherland.
- Big Ball of Violence: Used frequently almost whenever there is violence. The Beano's use of this trope was even referenced on Zero Punctuation .
- Big Brother Instinct: Even before his Menace Decay, Dennis has been very protective of his sister, as seen here.
- Big Eater: Fatty from The Bash Street Kids, as well as Minnie the Minx's friendly enemy Fatty Fudge. Former characters The Three Bears and Chiefy from Little Plum could pack away the comestibles too.
- It's not just fat characters. Minnie the Minx can also get greedy with food at times.
- Blind Mistake: This is 'erbert from the Bash Street Kid's main trait.
- Book Dumb: Most of the main characters are this way. Roger the Dodger seems to be able to make up for it with a cunning nature, though.
- Born Unlucky: Calamity James
- A Boy and His X: Many characters in the strips have strange pets such as Roger the Dodger who had a pet crow and Smudge who had a pet... something... which was covered completly in mud.
- Brats with Slingshots
- Brilliant but Lazy: Roger the Dodger. He's often coming up with schemes to get out of doing work and, ironically, these schemes take much more effort than the work he's trying to get out of doing.
- The Bully: Cruncher Kerr from Roger the Dodger.
- Bully Hunter: The short lived comic strip from the late 90s Even Steven involved a boy called Steven who got even with bullies.
- Pansy Potter has her moments, too.
- The Bus Came Back: The Nibblers, who originally left the comic in 1984 have their own story in the 2012 annual.
- Which proved popular enough that they got a full return in the weekly comic in 2014!
- Tricky Dicky also returned in 2014.
- Butt Monkey: Calamity James
- Canine Companion: The Bash Street Kids have the Bash Street Dogs. Dennis has Gnasher.
- Canon Immigrant: In 2007 the comic started running reprints of Fred's Bed, formerly a strip in the defunct Beezer and Topper comic, as a cost-saving measure. Then for the 70th Anniversary special edition of the comic the following year they ran an all-new Fred's Bed strip, as the strip's setup made it a convenient way of exploring the comic's history. This led to a full revival of the strip in the following months.
- This is not a new thing—many characters from defunct comics, most famously the Beezer and Topper, have migrated to the Beano or its sister comic the Dandy over the years.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin'
- Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin': Both forms of this trope are a fairly common plot, such as Dennis the Menace disguising himself as Walter and pulling pranks to try and get him into trouble, or Roger the Dodger trying to get himself grounded in order to escape revenge from the last set of people he's pranked.
- Cats Are Mean: The cat (the dog is equally as mean) in Meebo and Zuky. Also Kat in Kat and Kanary and the cat in the Nibblers.
- Celebrity Toons: Robbie Rebel, based on Robbie Williams.
- Chaste Toons: Averted. Gnasher the dog is the proud father of six puppies. Also, before Dennis' sister Bea was born, there was a long-running storyline which featured his mother's pregnancy.
- The Christmas Annual: Referred to traditionally as The Beano Book rather than an annual, although this changed in the 2000s.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Wayne's in Pain, a new Bash Street Kid who was chosen as a new Bash Street Kid after a competition on Blue Peter, appeared in The Bash Street Kids strips for a while until he was dropped for no reason and without warning.
- City of Everywhere: A wartime issue had Lord Snooty concoct a plan to confuse the Luftwaffe pilots bombing his home town by surrounding it with landmarks "borrowed" by the RAF from all around the world. These included the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Taj Mahal, and Table Mountain.
- Chew Toy: Calamity James.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Smiffy from The Bash Street Kids, Dimmy from Ball Boy. Sometimes paired up for scenarios demanding two particuarly stupid characters for some reason.
- Freddie Fear's mother is also a bit of a dingbat.
- Dennis' mother came across this way in the '90s Dennis The Menace TV series, but not in the comic itself.
- And Smiffy's canine counterpart, Sniffy, in Pup Parade.
- Comics Merger: Merged with Magic Comic for just in the annuals back in the 40s. Had unofficial mergers in the 90s which saw the comic absorbing characters from recently defunct comics most notably The Numskulls from The Beezer.
- The Dandy's demise resulted in Bananaman moving over as well, though they'd already been running reprints as a way to promote his merchandise. After the end of the digital Dandy, these reprints were replaced with new stories.
- Also, the end of Beano MAX when it was replaced with a dedicated Dennis and Gnasher magazine saw Wallace & Gromit and Fight My Monster move to the weekly comic, though still only appearing every month or so. Fight My Monster, an advert strip for an online game, was quickly dropped, however.
- Commedia Dell Arte Troupe: Most commonly done in the annuals. For example, the 1990 annual had the cast star in a version of Alice in Wonderland with Dennis instead of Alice.
- Companion Cube: Smiffy from The Bash Street Kids has a pet pebble named Kevin.
- Composite Character: Tricky Dicky is a combination of The Topper character with the same name, and an old Beano character called Gordon Bennett.
- Continuity Nod: In Beano Annual 2009 the Ratz briefly meet the Nibblers (a group of mice from a 1970s/1980s Beano comic strip).
- Cool Bike: Tim Traveller
- Cool Car: Dennis has one whenever it'll make things funnier.
- For a while several of the characters from both The Beano and The Dandy sported some rather nifty vehicles, in order to tie in with the game Beanotown Racing.
- Cool Gate: Fred's Bed in the appropriately titled strip Fred's Bed which allows him to go anywhere, but his control over where he goes seems to vary strip by strip.
- Cool Old Lady: Dennis's Granny, oh so much.
- Country Cousin: A strip from the 1960s was actually entitled Country Cuzzins, but instead of being this trope involved a group of cousins who lived on a farm. This trope is also used more traditionally in other strips which have sometimes have the characters visiting relatives who live on farms.
- Covers Always Lie: Roger appears on the VHS cover of The Beano Videostars, but he isn't on the video itself. Possibly because his checkered jersey would have made him hard to animate.
- Crocodile Tears: In one strip Minnie the Minx used these to convince her dad's boss that her dad has been driven insane from work-related stress so her dad could take time off work and take her to the fun fair.
- Crossover: The strips will from time to time will feature characters from elsewhere in the comic walking in and having a role. These can range from cameos to advancing the plot.
- This is explained as all the characters living in "Beanotown" which is incidentally next to Dandytown, leading to at least one crossover there.
- Wallace & Gromit showed up in the 70th Anniversary issue. They're also regulars in BeanoMAX and, for some reason, appeared in the 2012 Christmas issue of the weekly Beano rather than the corresponding issue of MAX.
- A switch which became permanent with MAX's demise a few months later.
- In issue 3185, for the comic's 65th birthday, the current characters crossed over with old characters that had long been retired.
- Creator Provincialism: Occasionally the comic's Scottish origins are clear.
- Cute Bruiser: Pansy Potter.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance / Anachronism Stew: The comic's editorial position seems to be to essentially create a mild version of this by not shifting the settings more than they absolutely have to be (as opposed to sister comic The Dandy, which has more of a tendency to jump on modernising bandwagons).
- Depending on the Artist: Just about all the characters in the comic have outlived their original artists by some time, and succeeding artists have often made major changes to the character designs.
- Subverted with Minnie the Minx in the 2000s. Long-serving artist Jim Petrie retired in 2001, and over the next few years a succession of artists all tried their hands at the strip, sometimes radically changing Minnie and/or her family. Then, when the editors finally settled on Ken Harrison as regular artist later in the decade, he undid not only the previous artists' changes but even those of Jim Petrie, taking Minnie all the way back to how her original artist, Leo Baxendale had drawn her in the 1960s.
- Depending on the Writer: Most Crazy for Daisy strips portrayed Ernest as a creep that readers were clearly not meant to feel sorry for, but sometimes he would be portrayed sympathetically.
- Deserted Island: Frequently used in old adventure strips such as The Shipwrecked Circus.
- Dinner Deformation
- Distaff Counterpart: A favorite trope. One example was the short-lived strip The Belles of St. Lemon's, which was a gender-flipped (and upper-class) version of the Bash Street Kids.
- The Ditz: Smiffy's exploits are frequently greeted with, "He's got it wrong again!"
- Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Pansy Potter.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Any issue in days gone by would have included at least two instances of this.
- Doppelganger Dating: in one of the Crazy For Daisy strips.
- Eek, a Mouse!!: Used in the Ratz strip but with rats instead of mice.
- Elvis Impersonator: Les Pretend's dad has Elvis Impersonation as a hobby.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Dennis and Gnasher didn't like Walter's dog Foo-Foo, but they were still disgusted at Walter callously firing and replacing his pet.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Everyone except Cuthbert Cringeworthy, who lives for sums textbooks. The rest of the Bash Street Kids happily throw masses of textbooks in fires.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Teacher, Mrs Teacher, Headmaster, Dennis' Dad, Ivy's Mum... The list goes on.
- But subverted in that it's sometimes stated that those are their actual names (Dennis' Dad was christened "Dennis' Dad", and Teacher's full name is Algernon Teacher).
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Alexander Lemming is a Lemming. Also Roger the Dodger likes to Dodge things.
- Expy: Number 13, a strip about a supernatural family of monsters was pretty much The Munsters. Also Kat and Kanary is pretty much Sylvester and Tweety from Looney Tunes. The character Joe Jitsu from the 00s seems to be an expy of an earlier chracter entitled Karate Sid from the 80s. Meebo and Zuky are this for Itchy And Scratchy.
- Extreme Omni Goat Fatty from the Bash Street Kids and whenever a goat is featured in a strip.
- Failed a Spot Check: Calamity James is constantly surrounded by fortunes, from gold bars lying in the street to eccentric millionaires throwing around fistfuls of money in the background, but he never notices.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Calamity James will never, ever have good luck.
- Five-Bad Band
- Five-Man Band
- Four-Fingered Hands: Played straight or averted Depending on the Artist.
- Frame Break: Used occasionally especially in The Beano Video where among other things Gnasher is used to break a frame.
- Friend to All Living Things: Sidney from the Bash Street Kids' defining quality. Some writers tended to forget this, leaving him as the only Kid without a 'hat', and essentially becoming The Generic Guy.
- Funny Animal: Biffo the Bear, Big Eggo, The Three Bears and numerous other strips.
- Funny Background Event: The source of much of the humour in Calamity James' strip.
- Generation Xerox: Turns out that Deathshead Danny I is an ancestor of Danny from Bash Street.
- One episode of Dennis the Menace (maybe in one of the 1970s annuals) revealed that Dennis's Dad was exactly the same as Dennis when he was younger.
- Following the redesign of Dennis' parents, it was later retconned that the current Dennis is actually the son of the original◊.
- Gentle Giant: some older strips featured these. Examples include the strips The Singing Giant and The Invisible Giant.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: One strip is entitled 'Freddie Fear - Son of a Witch'
- The Bash Street Kids once made a very memorable testicle joke.
- In issue 3421 we see The Bash Street Kids' Headmaster's office. It is full of books with head related titles eg Being the Head, Head Stuff and Heading. We also see another book with its title which is partially obscured but the words Giving 'ead are clearly visible.
- From the 2007 Annual: Bea, you b-!
- Ghost in the Machine and Mobile-Suit Human: The Numskulls.
- Girlish Pigtails: Minnie
- Girls Have Cooties: Dennis. In the final segment of The Beano Videostars, Dennis was kissed by a girl, so he stopped the film and jumped out of it so he could go to the projector and cut that part out so it never happened.
- Hair Reboot: One issue has a Minnie the Minx strip in which, not liking a perm her Mum had made her get, she cuts off all her hair. Of course, she has her pigtails again next issue. A much later issue introduces a new strip, Gwyneth's Book of Records. Her first record attempt? Longest hair. Her hair grows so long (many times her own height, thanks to a hair restorer) it has to be cut off, but the next issue her usual ponytail is back.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The Nibblers - this is made fun of in Beano Annual 2009 when the Nibblers briefly meet the Ratz.
- Half-Identical Twins: Sidney & Toots.
- Having a Gay Old Time: There are old Beano comic strips called Little Dead-Eye Dick and Cocky Dick (Cock and Dick both being contemperary British slang for penis) . Also in an old Bash Street Kids strip Smiffy points at a stuffed lion which Danny has stuffed his head into and says "What a big pussy!" (Pussy is slang for vagina, but can be used to describe a coward. It is also a common UK term for cat, which is the more likely meaning here...).
- The Topper's Tricky Dicky has returned twice in the Beano.
- Minnie the Minx. In the old days, 'minx' meant any kind of impertinent female, but nowadays it's more associated with promiscuous females.
- Here We Go Again: A three-part Calamity James story arc about him trying to ditch a Pig Pen Abhorrent Admirer ends with James being accosted by her near-identical sister.◊
- Heroes Want Redheads: Dennis has often been hinted to fancy Minnie, though he won't admit it.
- High School Hustler: Roger the Dodger.
- Hostile Show Takeover: During the lead-up to Bea's arrival, Dennis got so fed up with the mystery he announced that he wouldn't be appearing in the next issue. Cue several other characters trying to take over his strip.
- Hot Teacher: Minnie the Minx's teacher.
- Oh yes. And the small knickers that hang on her washing line when Minnie terrorises her at home...
- Hufflepuff House: Any class other than Class IIB in pre-75th anniversary issue Bash Street Kids strips and any department other than the Brain, Eye, Ear, Nose and Mouth departments in The Numbskulls.
- Hypocritical Humor: One Les Pretend strip in The Beano had Les's dad discussing the daft things Les pretended to be with his friends, and them all laughing about it. It was at the end of this strip that we first learnt Les's dad and his friends are all Elvis Impersonators.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Dennis The Menace did not appear until almost thirteen years into the run of the Beano comic. Other mainstream strips such as Minnie The Minx and The Bash Street Kids appeared even later.
- Invisible Anatomy: Minnie sometimes has large muscles that can only be seen when she rolls up her sleeves.
- I Thought It Meant: One of the reasons why the series will probably never take root in the US (apart from how severely British it is) is that Bean-O is a well-known gas medication in the US.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Many characters have occasionally glimpsed international counterparts who look identical except for wearing stereotypical national costume.
- Insult to Rocks: Daisy apologising to warthogs everywhere for comparing Ernest to them.
- Jerk Ass: A lot of the characters, all Played for Laughs.
- Sometimes they delve into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory - they've willingly helped people or animals, and Ivy is sometimes portrayed as just a mischievous preschooler rather than a malicious brat.
- Karma Houdini: Minnie the Minx.
- Roger the Dodger surely counts, too.
- However, they've also received their comeuppance on many occasions.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: General Jumbo, intermittently featured from the 1950s onward and still a recent appearer in the Annual.
- Klatchian Coffee: The tea served to staff at Bash Street School. Alternates between dissolving the spoon and not actually being a liquid. One storyline involving a wireless lie detector was ended by the dinnerlady insisting that she did know how to make tea. The lie detector exploded.
- Lampshade Hanging: Especially in the annuals
- Last Of Its Kind: The Dandy's demise as a print title leaves The Beano as the last weekly humour anthology comic in the United Kingdom.
- Lethal Chef: Olive the School Dinner Lady. Apparently based on the publisher's tea lady.
- Limited Social Circle: The Bash Street Kids tend to hang around together most of the time.
- Dennis usually hangs out with Curly and Pie-Face, and less often Minnie and Roger.
- Limited Wardrobe: Nearly all the characters wear exactly the same outfit all the time. However occasionally their outfit changes - for example Ball Boy's football kit has gone from red and black to blue and black, and for a brief period in 2007/2008 Minnie wore a red and yellow jersey instead of a red and black one.
- Magic Skirt: Averted for a second in the Beano Rap video when Minnie is dancing with Walter.
- Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Plug (who used to be called "Pug" until Smiffy gave him an extra L he had left over from spelling a word).
- The Munchausen: Uncle Windbag.
- My Little Panzer: General Jumbo, a schoolboy who was given a fully-functional set of remote-control toy soldiers and military vehicles by his friendly neighbourhood Mad Scientist, and used them to fight crime. Notable as the last non-humour strip to have a regular place in the comic, and still turns up occasionally in annuals. The source of a number of Expies in more recent comics by British creators.
- Naughty Is Good: Dennis The Menace, Minnie The Minx and The Bash Street Kids.
- Also Roger the Dodger, though he's more of a schemer.
- Negative Continuity: In Lord Snooty the Third it is implied that the original Lord Snooty (an old Beano character) is dead and was Lord Snooty the Third's grandfather. Whilst characters which are still children eg Dennis the Menace interacted with the original Lord Snooty whilst they were both still children and they also interacted with Lord Snooty the Third whilst they were both children as well.
- The two Snooty's also appear together in the 2014 annual.
- Nephewism: Biffo the Bear had a couple of nephews also he had a human aunt.
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: Cuthbert especially. In one comic, he kept getting the Bash Street kids in trouble so he could steal all their punishment homework.
- Nice Hat: Minnie's beret.
- Nice Shoes: Daisy's platform shoes.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Quite a number of celebrities (mostly British) have been seen within the pages of the comic, normally treated with dignity (within reason, of course).
- No Fourth Wall: All the characters are avid fans of The Beano, and read about their own and each other's strips in the comic. Occasionally they'll go to the Beano offices to try and change or get advance warning of their adventures, or make Serious Business of getting a special issue.
- No Name Given: Dennis' parents' real names are apparently 'Dennis' Dad' and 'Dennis' Mum'. Make of that what you will.
- Some issues gave the parents names as "Mr. Menace" or "Mrs. Minx". In one comic, Minnie's father was named Victor.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Calamity James and Alexander Lemming also Dennis the Menace and Gnasher.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Everyone. Weirdly enough, Dennis celebrated his 50th birthday in a special issue, even though he's still physically 10.
- Almost everyone. The present Lord Snooty is stated to be the grandson of the original, and Bunkerton Castle's portrait gallery has borne witness.
- Retcon: And then a few years later (January 2013), the original Snooty returned!
- Not This One, That One: Inverted in a story in one annual. The characters have hired a boat to go to Australia and when they go to see it, they are shown a rather small battered wooden boat parked next to an ocean liner. They then use the small boat as to get the liner while the man giving them the boat shouts at them that it's the small one they're getting (he is ignored).
- Official Couple: A flashfoward in the 2006 Dennis the Menace Annual shows Dennis and Minnie as adults getting married and having a kid.
- One of the Kids: Grandpa, the eponymous character from the strip "Grandpa", is often seen acting like a child and playing with children. He also has a dad who spanks him the same way characters like Dennis the Menace got spanked back in that era.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Some of the Bash Street Kids are only known by their nickname such as Fatty, Smiffy and Plug. However some of their full names were revealed in a spinoff Bash Street Kids prose story in the comic entitled "The Wizard" and Plug's full name was revealed to be Percival Proudfoot Plugsley in the Plug comic.
- Fatty Fudge from Minnie the Minx. His real first name is Frederick.
- Opposing Sports Team: Sports examples are actually rare, but the Bash Street Kids are often shown to have this relationship with rival schools Posh St and Blob St.
- Outdated Outfit: The Bash Street Kids are the main offenders. There was at least one strip where this was lampshaded. Their teacher seems to be in on the act, and is frequently seen wearing a mortarboard.
- Personal Raincloud: One of these hovers over Calamity James' head, and occasionally takes a proactive role in his bad luck, like firing lightning bolts at a woman selling lucky white heather.
- The Pigpen: Smudge
- Political Cartoons: Numerous strips during World War 2 were political in nature such as Musso the Wop (which featured the italian dictator Benito Mussolini as an incompetent buffon) and other strips such as a Lord Snooty strip where Lord Snooty fought against Adolf Hitler.
- It has been argued that the Beano was instrumental in changing Hermann Goering's reputation in the English-speaking world from potentially dangerous war hero to idiotic, overpromoted Fat Bastard.
- Politicians Kiss Babies: A The Bash Street Kids strip has the teacher tell the class that they will be electing a head boy by democratic vote. Plug references the trope saying that politicians get votes by kissing babies, so he goes to kiss some at a nursery. But because Plug's ugly, the babies scream and he gets thrown out without a kiss.
- Print Long-Runners: The comic itself (74 years as of 2012) and the following strips:
- Lord Snooty (1938-49; 1950-90, intermittently until 2000, 2013-present)
- Biffo the Bear (1948-1986, 1989-99, 2013-present)
- Dennis the Menace (1951-present)
- Roger the Dodger (1953-present)
- Minnie the Minx (1953-present)
- The Bash Street Kids (1954-present)
- Billy Whizz (1964-Present)
- Ball Boy (1975-Present)
- Ivy the Terrible (1985-2011, 2014-present)
- Prophetic Names: Something of a Running Gag.
- Pun-Based Title: The title of the strip Les Pretend. Also many other strips titles are puns on films such as The Bea Team, Karate Sid and Pirates of the Caribeano.
- Punny Name: Les Pretend. More subtly, Alexander Lemming, Calamity James's sidekick (refers to Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin).
- Rebel Prince: The original Thirties version of Lord Snooty was like this, secretly sneaking away from his aristocratic family to hang out with his commoner friends.
- Relax-o-Vision: Used sometimes in Calamity James to obscure the pain inflicted upon Calamity James due to his unluckiness.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Gnipper and his sisters.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: Some strips (especially in the annuals from the 90s and 00s) involve the Beano characters interacting with photographs of real people in a comic format.
- Rubber Man: Played for Laughs in the stip Ping the Elastic Man. This strip is from 1938 and often ended with Ping being tied up in knots.
- Rule 63: Minnie the Minx is often considered simply a female version of Dennis the Menace. However another example which even better fits this trope is Dennis the Menace's cousin Denise the Menace who appeared in a couple of Dennis the Menace strips back in the autumn of 1967 she looked just like Dennis except for a bow in her hair and she wore a skirt.
- School Is For Losers: The standard attitude of the characters.
- Scotland: The Mctickles (a strip from the 1970s) features a load of Scots in an over the top exaggerated parody of Scotland complete with anthropomorphised haggises called Mchaggis which the Mctickles hunt. Slightly weird considering the Beano is published in Dundee. There's also Ben Nevis, named after the mountains. Not only that but there's references to cheese rolling, which take place in Dundee where the "Beano" Offices are and even the word "Softie" is a Scots expression.
- The Scrooge: Many adult characters (parents and Teacher from the Bash St. Kids) often show signs of it, which may be a reference to the comic's Scottish origins.
- She's Not My Girlfriend: Anyone who asks Dennis if he fancies Minnie is threatened with violence.
- Ship Tease: In one 60s strip, Dennis was Minnie's date to a Valentine's Day dance. In the '90s Dennis The Menace TV series, there was a flashback where Dennis' next door neighbour The Colonel was in a brief relationship with Dennis' granny before he joined the army, and when he encountered her again it seemed to reignite his feelings for her.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: When Tom Paterson drew Minnie the Minx, her eyes would be shown to be green in close-ups.
- Sixth Ranger: Bananagirl who joined Super School a few weeks after it started.
- Slogan: The Beano used to have the slogan "Never be without a Beano".
- Later they used the rhyming slogan "Everyone we know reads the Beano!"
- The Smurfette Principle: Toots is the one girl in The Bash Street Kids and one strip showed her being asked out by all the boys in the gang (except of course her twin brother Sidney).
- Species Surname: Alexander Lemming.
- Spinoff: Often in the form of annuals for a specific comic strip, eg the Dennis the Menace Annual and the Bash Street Kids Annual. Also Plug from the Bash Street Kids had his own spinoff comic. Some Beano comic strips are spinoffs of other strips in the Beano eg Bea the Mini-Menace was a spinoff of Dennis the Menace, and The Three Bears was a spinoff of Little Plum.
- Spinoff Babies: Bringing Up Dennis was a late 50's spinoff of Dennis the Menace with Dennis as a baby. This trope has also been used as a gag in some of the annuals.
- The mini strip The Bam-Beanos definitely qualifies as it depicts Dennis, Minnie, Roger and the Bash Street Kids as toddlers at a daycare.
- Splash Panel: Used in older Bash Street Kids strips especially back when it was called When The Bell Rings. Used most recently in the strip The Riot Squad. This trope is also used quite a bit in the annuals.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The Beano SuperStars used to alternate between Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger and The Bash Street Kids, but starting with issue 81 they were all Dennis the Menace stories.
- Stalker with a Crush: Ernest Valentine of Crazy For Daisy.
- Stock Animal Diet: Pretty much all of the sterotypes about what certain animals like to eat have appeared on a regular basis. One time two were linked together in an interesting way was a Minnie The Minx episode when she pulls a face so grotesque it curdles her pet cat's milk so it turns to cheese, which some mice then come to eat.
- Story Arc: Relatively rare, but there are some examples, usually involving a character going missing and the remaining ones either trying to replace him with a succession of stand-ins or going in search for him.
- Sucky School: The school from the Bash Street Kids. One of the cartoon adaptations had the school shut down because of this (it was back by the end of the episode). No one learns, outdated books, falling apart building which I recall has no central heatingnote and (wasn't outdated then) teacher still wearing a mortar board.
- Most of the pupils don't wear uniform, either (the only one who does is a snobby elitist), and all attempts to get them to do so are farcical.
- The lack of uniforms was Lampshaded when the kids decided to dress as pirates to reverse global warming (Smiffy's dad's idea). Also of note, the school isn't completely hated. Baby Face Finlayson used the school as an abattoir. Of note, the spoiler is a good reason, it's a rare case of an actual Story Arc.
- Super Dickery: Dennis the Menace, frequently inverted. If the cover shows him being kind, polite or 'soft' in any way, expect things to be back to normal by the last page.
- Same with Daisy.
- An extreme example was when the 'new, modernised' Bash Street Kids were unveiled: the old staff were sacked, Plug got plastic surgery, Fatty had muscles etc., etc. A tabloid (cannot remember which) ran an outraged story condemning the changes. When it was published, the conclusion of the two-part story undid all of the changes.
- Superhero School: Super School, including a Distaff Counterpart of The Dandy's Bananaman.
- Super Speed: Billy Whizz.
- Super Strength: Pansy Potter.
- Talking Animal: Biffo the Bear and The Three Bears are good examples of this. Also Gnasher can speak but always buts the letter G in front of N for example "Gno way".
- Take That: The Beano and The Dandy have a friendly rivalry which often involves taking potshots at each other (e.g. characters being threatened with the possibility of getting sent to the other comic).
- Temporary Bulk Change: Several characters have gone through this. Out of all the characters, Minnie has become fat the most times.
- In the Crazy for Daisy strip in issue 3265, Daisy became massively obese after eating a giant box of chocolates Ernest brought her. She soon lost the weight through exercising... by jumping up and down repeatedly on Ernest.
- That One Guy: Gnipper is the only boy in his litter.
- The Makeover: happened to Dennis's parents thanks to Gok Wan, and Roger's parents off panel (due to an artist change) in August 2012. Both Dads lost their outdated moustaches.
- Theme Naming: All of the Bash Street Dogs are named similar to their owners eg Sniffy and Smiffy, Enry and Erbert, Pug and Plug, Blotty and Spotty. Dennis the Menace's pets have this too with Gnasher, Rasher and Dasher. Gnasher's puppies are named Gnipper, Gnaomi, Gnatasha, Gnanette, Gnora and Gnancy.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Lord Snooty III is the grandson of the original Lord Snooty, who was implied to be deceased (otherwise, III couldn't have the title of Lord). So why are they shown together on the third page of the 2014 annual?
- Tomboy: Minnie the Minx, the world's wildest tomboy. Also Toots from the Bash Street Kids.
- Totally Radical: In the 2013 annual, Dennis' (younger and hipper) Dad uses the term "chillaxing".
- Trademark Favorite Food: Pie-face (from Dennis the Menace) and, well, pies.
- The Professor: Lord Snooty had Professor Screwtop. Also the guy that built Tin Can Tommy.
- Title Drop: Whenever someone says to Bea (Dennis the Menace's baby sister), Bea No!.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Walter has become a lot more malicious towards Dennis in later years, presumably to make Dennis appear less of a bully.
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Any attempt to give Plug plastic surgery ends with Plug's natural ugliness undoing it.
- Tsundere: There have been hints of this between Dennis and Minnie. In one strip they were arm wrestling and Minnie threatened to kiss him if she lost.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Dennis the Menace and his cousin Denise the Menace.
- Uncatty Resemblance: Dennis and Gnasher, the Bash St Kids and the Bash St Pups, etc. etc.
- Unnamed Parent True in almost all strips except Les Pretend where his dad is named Des.
- Villain Protagonist: Is Baby Face Finlayson a hero in any strips outside of his own?
- Visual Pun: From A few dollops more starring Fatty Fudge (See issue 3596), Outlaw cowboys say "we've got prices on our heads" and they literally have prices on their heads.
- Wacky Homeroom: The Bash Street Kids all had distinct personalities. Of course, there were only 9 of them.
- Wallet Moths: Used pretty much any time any character took out a wallet or otherwise searched for money. Unless their gimmick was being incredibly rich, of course. (On Calamity James this sometimes happened even for rich people, but the moths came out carrying diamond rings and wearing moth-sized fur coats).
- We All Live in Britain: Even though the Three Bears are American they use a lot of British terms.
- Wheel o' Feet: Billy Whizz. All the time.
- White Gloves: Worn by original cover star Big Eggo mainly to make him more anthropomorphic and white gloves made it look more like he had hands than just wings.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: In the first issue from 1938 in the prose story The Wangles of Granny Green features a boy dressed up as his grandmother.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: Smiffy from the Bash St. Kids and similar characters (other members of his family and Dimmy from Ball Boy for instance).
- The Wonderland: The Pansy Potter in Wonderland strip is an example of this.
- World's Strongest Man: Morgyn the Mighty an old adventure strip appearing in the first issue of The Beano.
- Xanatos Gambit: Roger the Dodger is known for pulling them, for example apparently letting his scheme fail and be banished to his room, only for his parents to find out that he wanted to have an excuse to be stuck there to avoid an angry mob, etc...
- Xeno Fiction: Black Flash the Beaver a prose story about a Beaver from the very first issue.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Ratz
- You Don't Look Like You: In issue 3649, Dennis' parents got a makeover that made them about 20 years younger and more like Dennis.
- Zeerust: Any of the older strips which was either set in the future, space or involved robots. Examples inlcude Jack Flash (about an alien boy who could fly and lives on Earth), The Clockwork Horse (Some of these were set in the past but they did involve robots) and Tin Can Tommy (a strip about a robot built by a professor).