Comic Strip: De Kiekeboes
The Kiekeboe familyDe Kiekeboes
is the most successful Flemish comic strip since Suske en Wiske
. Though Suske en Wiske
has more success and thus larger sales globally, De Kiekeboes
are far more popular in Flanders today. Author Merho started his career as a protégé of Suske en Wiske author Willy Vandersteen, but since 1977 he started his own comic strip: Kiekeboe
(since 2010 renamed as De Kiekeboes
At first sight De Kiekeboes
is your typical Flemish family strip in the tradition of Suske en Wiske, Jommeke
. All stories center around the family Kiekeboe: father Marcel, mother Charlotte, teenage daughter Fanny and school boy Konstantinopel. However, the series have a more realistic every day life setting avoiding many of the typical comic book strip clichés: no World's Strongest Man
, no Absent-Minded Professor
, no Talking Animal
and fantasy elements are kept to a minimum. We do know that ghosts exist (Spoken in Huis
), vampires (Het Witte Bloed
, De Kus van Mona
, De Babyvampier
...), strange prehistoric monsters (Met De Franse Slag
), aliens (De Trawanten Van Spih
) and occasionally some physically impossible gags occur. But most of the time everything is set in a realistic atmosphere. Fanny and Konstantinopel are not Conveniently an Orphan
or adopted, but Marcel and Charlotte's real children. The early albums are still a bit naïve and childish like a traditional comic strip, but gradually the series started Growing the Beard
and became Darker and Edgier
. Many of the early one-dimensional characters became more complex. Story lines touched more adult and often risqué subject matter like prostitution, drugs, transsexuality, religious cults, racism, homosexuality, ... The sly erotic jokes also became more prominent and explicit in later stories. Today De Kiekeboes
is mostly an adult strip, though it still manages to keep its stories amusing and interesting for children as well.
The main characters are:
- Marcel Kiekeboe: The big moustached father. A joyful, enthusiastic but naïve man who is often manipulated by others like his mother, Moemoe, and his boss, Van De Kasseien. He has a tendency of taking impulsive decisions that sometimes cause major problems.
- Charlotte Kiekeboe: The mother of the family. Originally a very bland flat character her personality became more assertive and self-assured over the years.
- Fanny Kiekeboe: The teenage daughter who doesn't go to school anymore, but works various jobs. She is self-assured, headstrong, socially engaged and brave. Many plots have scenes where she walks around in erotic or semi-nude poses. She has also had a lot of boyfriends.
- Konstantinopel Kiekeboe: The young son, who is smart well beyond his years.
- Moemoe: Kiekeboe's mother. She is a meddlesome, opportunistic, headstrong and pushy woman who often claims Kiekeboe and the rest of the family don't do enough for her. Often she will defend a certain opinion militantly, only to claim the exact opposite later in the story, despite all the effort other characters did for her. She is also very elitarian and interested whenever Fanny dates a doctor or a lawyer.
- Mevrouw Stokvis: Moemoe's best friend, although their friendship borders to rivalry. She is an invisible character and never seen by the readers.
- Nonkel Vital Marcel Kiekeboe's uncle and Moemoe's brother-in-law. He is a happy-go-lucky and meddlesome character who often bickers with Moemoe about family matters.
- Leon Van Der Neffe: Kiekeboe's neighbour who works as a military. He is an unsympathetic, snobistic, egocentric, prejudiced, xenophobic and racist man, originally married to a woman with the same opinions. He and his wife, Carmella, have two children: a boy, Joeksel, and a girl, Froefroe, who are actually more intelligent and sympathetic. They often play with Konstantinopel. At a certain point in the series he divorced and since then his one-note character got more depth and even sympathetic aspects.
- Fernand Goegebuer: Another neighbour of Kiekeboe. Generally sympathetic, optimistic and helpful but often obtrusive, naïve and nosy. He has a tendency to spit while he talks.
- Firmin Van De Kasseien: Kiekeboe's boss. A vain, arrogant, corrupt and adulterous man who frequently uses Kiekeboe to do legal and illegal things for him. He never thanks Kiekeboe for all the trouble he goes through to help him. Van De Kasseien also regularly cheats on his wife, Chichi, and tries to seduce anything in a skirt. This often brings him in a lot of trouble.
- Inspecteur Sapperdeboere: A police inspector who enjoys eating more than solving crimes.
- Alanis: Fanny's girlfriend.
- Balthazar: One of the series' villains. He is a naïve, childish, clumsy and dumb man who is generally too stupid to be a real threat to the Kiekeboes. Most of the time he is more obnoxious and irritating to the other criminals who work together with him.
- Timotheus Triangl: A James Bond type villain who wants to take over the world. Originally he was a little man, but later he underwent a sex change and since then he is a woman.
- Dédé la Canaille: A dangerous French criminal who wants to kill Kiekeboe for putting him behind bars.
- Alain Provist The boss of an employment agency, frequently consulted by Charlotte.
- Meneer Kreuvett A restaurant critic.
- Bibi Pralin Gaga An African dictator and parody of Idi Amin. His accomplice is Amoko, an African wizard whose head is always hidden behind a mask.
- Moïse Mombakka: An African foreign exchange student who dated Fanny for one album and later became president of Boeloe Boeloe after the deposition of Bibi Pralin Gaga.
- De Dikke Dame A fat nameless woman who makes one cameo appearance in each album as a Running Gag.
- Jens: Fanny's longtime boyfriend for ten albums. Since then they broke up.
- Elodie Melody: A dumb female pop singer
- Tomboy A black female prostitute who keeps her work a secret. Fanny is the only one who knows about it.
One of De Kiekeboes
most notorious trademarks are the puns and word play jokes, usually hidden in album titles, background gags, throwaway jokes and characters' names.
This trope provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "De duivelse driehoek", "De zwarte zonnekoning", "Kies Kiekeboe", "De pili-pili pillen", "De fez van Fes", "Een koud kunstje", "Vrolijke, vrolijke vrienden".
- Adolf Hitler:
- Dictator Sstoeffer in Het Plan Sstoeffer is a clear parody.
- His handkerchief is auctioned in Het Edelweissmotief.
- Alien Abduction: Happens to Joeksel, Froefroe and Konstantinopel in De Trawanten van Spih.
- All for Nothing: Kiekeboe tries to get a cake which has a ring hidden inside in the album De Taart. When he finally retrieves the cake after many shenanigans it turns out he left the ring at his local baker's place.
- All Hail the Great God Mickey!: In De Wereld Volgens Kiekeboe the entire future civilization has based their society according to the only surviving artefacts of our century: the nearly complete collection of Kiekeboes albums.
- Alternate Ending: An alternative ending to the story De Zaak Luc Raak is provided in Afgelast Wegens Ziekte.
- Ambiguously Gay: Jujuul the flamboyant gay vampire.
- Armed Farces: The album Geeeeef Acht is a collection of various jokes about the military.
- Art Evolution: The early albums look a bit different compared to later albums.
- Art Shift:
- In Album 26 Fanny wants her boyfriend to be drawn as Tarzan. Creator Merho refuses to do so, because it would be an art shift! In the same story Lucky Luke accidentally passes by after a cloudy fog darkens the sky.
- Near the end of De Snor van Kiekeboe in which Kiekeboe was elected to be "Moustache of the Year" by the Antwerp Moustache Club- which really had happened in 1984- several moustached characters from other comic strips gather to protest because they weren't elected at all. In the color version of the album we recognize Thompson and Thomson, Asterix and Obelix, the Count of Champignac and the Daltons
- In Afgelast Wegens Ziekte Kiekeboe's funeral is held. Comic strip characters from other series appear to show their condolences, including Tintin, Captain Haddock, Asterix and Obelix, Lucky Luke and Boule et Bill. Fanny even notices some American comic strip characters have arrived, among who we can recognize Batman, Donald Duck, Popeye, Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
- A special comic strip in which Fanny interviews characters from other comic strips, Bij Fanny Op Schoot has her talking to Nero, Cordelia, Natacha, Suske en Wiske, Cowboy Henk, IJzerbroot and Olga Lawina, De Rode Ridder, FC De Kampioenen and Urbanus, among others.
- Asshole Victim: The pedophile bisshop Hoegeiligman in Schijnheilig Bloed. He's already in hiding from the public, is going mad, gets turned into a vampire and finally walks into broad daylight and bursts into flames.
- Atlantis: In De Bermuda Driehoek the cast visits The Bermuda Triangle, where they discover an underwater city complex, ruled by a villain named Timotheus Triangl. The location is called Attalantis, in an obvious pun on Atlantis.
- Badass Mustache: Marcel Kiekeboe's moustache. The real life Moustache Club of Antwerp even called him the Moustache Of The Year in 1984! Merho then drew a story about it: De Snor van Kiekeboe.
- Bad Boss: Firmin Van De Kasseien is Kiekeboe's boss and a vain, promiscuous, adulterous, corrupt one at that.
- Bankruptcy Barrel: Shown in De Fez van Fes.
- The Bermuda Triangle: In De Bermuda Driehoek the cast visits The Bermuda Triangle.
- Berserk Button: In the album Jeanne Darm Nick Nack, head of the fresh drink company Kameel goes berserk whenever someone mentions the name of the rival company "Dromedaris".
- Beware the Nice Ones: In De Wraak van Dédé Fanny's boyfriend Kris Kras turns out to be a henchman for Dédé La Canaille, Kiekeboe's sworn enemy.
- Big Bad: Timotheus Triangl, who is a James Bond type villain. Kiekeboe's sworn enemy is however Dédé La Canaille, a French convict.
- Big Eater: Inspecteur Sapperdeboere.
- Bilingual Bonus: In a lot of stories foreign characters will speak mixing Dutch words with typical expressions of their own language.
- Subverted in Met De Franse Slag where Kiekeboe translates Dutch expressions and sayings literally in French, as a joke only people who speak French will get.
- Bond Villain: Timotheus Triangl, before his sex change, was a parody of Ernst Blofeld.
- Boot Camp Episode: In Geeeeeef Acht Kiekeboe is sent to the army due to an bureaucratic mistake.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to Fanny very frequently.
- Breakout Character: Fanny, who eventually put Marcel Kiekeboe, the actual protagonist, in the shadow. In the foreign translations she is also the protagonist instead of him.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The characters are well aware they are comic strip characters and frequently address the audience. Merho even took this to more experimental levels in the albums Album 26, Afgelast Wegens Ziekte, De Simstones, Het Geslacht Kinkel...
- The Bermuda Triangle: Plot element in De Bermuda Driehoek.
- Bulungi: The country Boeloe Boeloe in many albums.
- Butt Monkey: Balthazar. But Van De Kasseien also treats Merho as his butt monkey as well.
- Character Development and Characterization Marches On:
- Charlotte, Kiekeboe's wife, was originally a very bland and passive housewife. In the album Het Lot van Charlotte she got so fed up with slaving for her husband and children that she and Kiekeboe briefly separated. They eventually came back together, but since then Charlotte become more assertive and free-thinking. She also regularly goes out part time working.
- Leon Van Der Neffe, Kiekeboe's neighbour, was originally nothing more than a unsympathetic, vain, snobbish and racist man. Later in the series he and his wife divorced, changing his character to a more pitiful loser trying to find a new wife.
- Charlie Chaplin Shout-Out:
- In Kies Kiekeboe a clip from A Dog's Life is shown on TV. Konstantinopel seats himself next to his dog and says: "I like a Chaplin movie more [than watching a political advertisement]."
- In Een Dagje Dédé while Balthazar talks to the prison warden a photo of Chaplin in prison outfit can be seen on the wall. This is a reference to the Chaplin short The Adventurer (1917).
- Children Are Innocent: Averted. Konstantinopel, Joeksel and Froefroe are at most early teens, but know a suspiciously lot about sexual topics. Yet, apart from that, they are very nice and clever children.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Fanny, usually.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: All women fall in love with Kiekeboe when he accidentally gets some aphrodisiac potion spilled over his body in De Onweerstaanbare Man.
- Comic Book Adaptation: The album Grof Wild is a comic book adaptation of the eponymous literary story by Belgian crime author Pieter Aspe. Merho got permission of the author to adapt the plot into a Kiekeboes story.
- Comic-Book Time: The characters don't age (... much. Fanny was stated to be 16 years old in Album 26 but drives a car in later issues, which in Belgium is only possible at 18+), except for one short story in the album Afgelast Wegens Ziekte, where all his characters age 20 years into the future.
- Cool Old Lady: Moemoe, who is very energetic and inventive for someone her age.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Firmin Van De Kasseien.
- Crapsack World: "De Kiekeboes" shows a more grimful, yet recognizable version of our modern day society compared to other more traditional comic strips.
- Creator Cameo: Merho did this in Album 26.
- Cross Over: De Kiekeboes had a crossover with the comic strip Urbanus in the album "Kiekebanus", where the creators of each comic drew the story together.
- Cultural Translation: Despite best efforts the comic never caught on in other countries, except the Netherlands where it is a cult success.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Tomboy the prostitute only shares her secrets with Fanny.
- Darker and Edgier: The later, more definitive De Kiekeboes albums are far more adult and risqué than the first twentysomething albums.
- Defector from Commie Land: In De één zijn dood a recognizable spoof of a Cold War Eastern European country is shown.
- Does This Remind You of Anything??: Used regularly.
- Don't Explain the Joke:
- Some of the early albums did this regularly.
- Merho jokes with this aspect in De Wereld Volgens Kiekeboe where a character is named Verstockt. Konstantinopel then asks: "Zou het kunnen dat die Verstockt vrijgezel is?" ("Could it be that that Verstockt is single?") He then explains that it is a reference to the phrase "een verstokte vrijgezel" ("a lifelong single"), but sheepishly adds: "Of course, when you have to explain a joke it's not very funny anymore."
- Double Entendre: Used a lot
- Dreaming of Things to Come: In Met De Franse Slag Fanny hears a chilling animal roar in a dream. Later in the story she hears the same scream in real life.
- Dream Sequence: Used in Met De Franse Slag, among other albums.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Leon Van Der Neffe, who is a corporal.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The early albums are more traditional comic book stories with cute fantasy creatures (De Wollebollen) and less inspired stories and puns. The characters don't have much depth to them, everything is aimed at children and there's none of the more daring subject matter that can be found in later stories. To make matters worse many plot elements and jokes are told by Mr. Exposition narrative devices. Even Merho sees many of these old stories as an Old Shame.
- Escaped Animal Rampage: In Het Stokvis Incident (The Case Stokvis) Fanny saves a chimpanzee from a medical laboratory and keeps at her house. The animal then escapes from her room and goes to the neighbours where he climbs inside the bathroom and helps the unknowing woman of the house with scrubbing her back.
- Escape from the Crazy Place: The real Napoleon Bonaparte is sent to a mental institution in Een koud kunstje for thinking he is Napoleon. He eventually escapes.
- Executive Meddling: Spoofed in Album 26 and The Simstones where Merho is told to update his comic strip.
- Expy: Timotheus Triangl is basically Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but crazier.
- Eyes Always Shut: Firmin Van De Kasseien's eyes are usually closed, to show his arrogance.
- The Faceless: The face of a villain character in De Doedelzak van Mac Reel remains obscured or hidden from the audience until the very last page.
- Faking the Dead: Pop artist Romeo Alfa fakes his own death in Black Out.
- Fanservice: Fanny's erotic poses
- Femme Fatale: Fanny, to most men.
- Feuding Families: Between the Kiekeboes and the Van Der Neffes.
- Fictional Country: Boeloe Boeloe, Burlandia, Eunuchië, Paranoia, Papagaya, Itsi Pitsi, El Tondzon...
- Fountain of Youth: In Kiele Kiele Boe Kiekeboe is changed into a baby overnight.
- Funny Background Event: Just keep your eyes open when reading an album.
- Fun with Acronyms: And Merho has a lot of fun with that!
- Future Imperfect: In the album De Wereld Volgens Kiekeboe (translation: "The World According To Kiekeboe") Kiekeboe travels to the far future, when mankind has destroyed most of its civilization during a world war. They rebuilt everything afterwards and discovered the entire collection of Kiekeboes albums (except for the one they are currently appearing in). They enjoyed the books so much that they built their entire civilization according to the universe in Kiekeboe's stories. Naturally they do get a lot of things about our century wrong, because the albums are the only artefacts they can base their knowledge on.
- Gag Nose: Marcel Kiekeboe's nose is big and bulbous. Balthazar also has a huge nose.
- Game Show Appearance: Plot element in Hoe Meer Kijkers.
- Gang of Critters: De Wollebollen in De Wollebollen.
- Gender Bender: Happens to Inspecteur Sapperdeboere in Over Koetjes En Kalfjes due to a huge ammount of female hormones in his food.
- The Generalissimo: South American dictators regularly fulfill an important part of the plot (Het Plan Sstoeffer, Zeg Het Met Bloemen, De Roze Rolls...)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the early years Merho still had to keep everything clean and decent, but occasionally he snuck in some erotic scenes and jokes. Throughout the years the series' popularity grew and thus the stories became more suggestive, risqué and sometimes even controversial.
- The Ghost: The ghosts of two medieval robbers are shown in Spoken In Huis.
- Good Grief, Another "Peanuts" Shout-Out!:
- The plastic surgeon in Album 26 is such a comic strip fanatic that he molds the heads of his patients into those of comic book characters, one of them being Snoopy.
- Charlie Brown and Snoopy are among the characters from rival series to appear at Kiekeboe's funeral in Afgelast Wegens Ziekte.
- Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: Merho enjoys puns and word play.
- Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: The communist country in De Eén Zijn Dood.
- Happy End: Sometimes subverted.
- Harmless Freezing: In Een Koud Kunstje it turns out that Napoleon Bonaparte was originally frozen to unthaw him several years later.
- Home Base: The Kiekeboes' home in the Merholaan 1.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Tomboy
- Hot-Blooded: Leon and Carmella Van Der Neffe
- Hurricane Of Aphorisms: Usually by characters who mix two different sayings and proverbs up with each other.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms
- Hurricane of Puns: It's a trademark of the series.
- Hypnotic Eyes:
- Konstaninopel is temporarily hypnotized in De Onthoofde Sfinx.
- Kiekeboe too in Black-Out.
- Hypocritical Humour: Many characters strongly defend a certain opinion, only to do the exact opposite later.
- I Ate WHAT?? In Een zakje chips Kiekeboe accidentally eats a bag of crisps full with computer chips. (In Dutch the word "chips" is used both for crisps and computer chips.)
- Idea Bulb: In Album 26 the characters walk around in a darkened room, until Fanny gets the idea to use the idea bulb to lighten the room.
- Jaws Attack Parody: In the story "Haaiman" a shark attacks a couple on a private boat. One of them even says: "It resembles a movie."
- Karma Houdini: A few villains managed to get away with their deeds, and were never seen again.
- Killed Off for Real: Occasionely characters die in this comic strip.
- "King Kong" Climb In the album Bing Bong a little gorilla mutates to enormous size and kidnaps teenage daughter Fanny, climbing on top of a church.
- Knife-Throwing Act: Depicted in Doorgestoken Kaart.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Subverted with Firmin Van De Kasseien, Nero's corrupt boss, who has a brawny chin, expressing his arrogance.
- Last Name Basis: Marcel Kiekeboe (the father) is usually called "Kiekeboe" by the others, despite his first name "Marcel" be used some times as well.
- Limited Wardrobe: For years the characters mostly wore the same outfits, but recent albums show them wearing different types of clothing to go along with the times.
- Long Neck: In De Pili-Pili Pillen Balthasar's neck grows to enormous lengths.
- Lost Forever:
- In De Zaak Luc Raak the only existing copy of a Laurel and Hardy film in color goes up in flames.
- In Het Stokvis-incident a virus that causes people to age is lost in a plane crash.
- MacGuffin: In Het Stokvis-Incident it turns out that the entire case has nothing to do with Mevrouw Stokvis at all. The villain just named his project after her, without any particular reason.
- The Mafia: Characters in De Hoofdzaak and Witter dan wit.
- Magic Realism: Despite a mostly believable realistic setting: ghosts exist (Spoken in Huis), vampires (Het Witte Bloed, De Kus van Mona, De Babyvampier...), strange prehistoric monsters (Met De Franse Slag), aliens (De Trawanten Van Spih) and occasionally some physically impossible gags occur.
- Marilyn Maneuver: Fanny does this classic Marilyn Monroe pose in De Medusa-Stichting.
- Mass Hypnosis: In De Dorpstiran van Boeloe Boeloe the people Boeloe Boeloe are brainwashed into loving the president by being forced to eat a certain type of mind bending soup used as a Mind-Control Device
- Master of Unlocking: Balthazar shows he's able to open an "easily locked door" in Afgelast Wegens Ziekte just by pointing at it.
- Meaningful Name: Since almost every character has a Punny Name there are also many hidden meanings in their names.
- Meaningful Rename:
- Timotheus Triangl was renamed Timothea Triangl in Zeg Het Met Bloemen, because he had undergone a sex change.
- The series itself was named Kiekeboe until 2010, when it was renamed into De Kiekeboes, because creator Merho felt that the series was more about the family Kiekeboe than Marcel Kiekeboe alone.
- Mona Lisa Smile: One of the ancestors of Jeanne Darm in the story "Jeanne Darm" is painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the Mona Lisa pose.
- The Movie: Adapted to the big screen twice, but in both cases it wasn't a big success.
- Named After Somebody Famous:
- Bibi Pralin Gaga is named after Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada.
- Alanis is named after Alanis Morissette.
- Elody Melody is named after Flemish former teen pop star Sylvie Melody.
- The Napoleon: Timothea Triangl is a dwarf who plots for world domination. He underwent a sex change at one point because he would be able to walk on high heels and look taller and be able to use the ladies' toilets, instead of being unable to reach for the urinoirs in the men's room.
- Napoleon Delusion: Subverted in the album "Een koud kunstje", where the real Napoleon Bonaparte is brought to a mental institution for believing he is Napoleon.
- Never Mess with Granny: Moemoe always gets what she wants.
- Nighthawks Shot: Fanny and Inspecteur Sapperdeboere sat in this restaurant in the album Blond en Blau W.
- Nobody Poops: Subverted in Album 26, where Kiekeboe goes to the toilet in the middle of the story: "Just because other comic book heroes never do this doesn't mean I have to do the same."
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Subverted.
- Bibi Pralin Gaga, a thinly disguised caricature of Idi Amin is portrayed as a dumb tyrant who is deposed and thwarted time and time again.
- The pedophile bishop Hoegeiligman in Schijnheilig Bloed is a caricature of real life Flemish bisshop Roger Vangheluwe who admitted having abused several young children in the past, yet could not be arrested because the facts were dated. He gets turned into a vampire and finally walks into broad daylight and bursts into flames.
- No Name Given: One character, De Dikke Dame" ("The Fat Lady") makes a Hitchcock Cameo in every album, but nothing is known about her, not even her name.
- Nosy Neighbor: Fernand Goegebuer, who often walks in during an inappropriate moment or whose talkativeness causes a lot of trouble.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Konstantinopel
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Spoofed in Geeeeef Acht when Fanny and Konstantinopel visit a government agency and desperately try to get a stamp on a document to get their father out of the military again.
- Overly Long Name: Mr. Osnoprodavonoblikavitch in the album Hotel O who's never been able to remember his own surname. He shortens it to the letter "o", despite other people miraculously remembering it without any mistakes.
- Pastiche: In the album Vrouwen Komen Van Mars, typical Flemish comic strip series of the 1940s and 1950s are stylistically parodied.
- Painted Tunnel, Real Train: Just the painted tunnel part. In Het Witte Bloed Kiekeboe escapes from prison by drawing a large circle on the wall and simply walk through it, something he saw in a movie by Mack Sennett. In Prettige Feestdagen he tries the trick again, but fails.
- Parental Bonus: This is a comic strip that adults can enjoy on different levels.
- People Jars: Comic book characters are put in jars in the album Kiekebanus.
- Pie in the Face: A national tradition in the country Itsi Pitsi in the album De Zoete Regen.
- Pint-Sized Kid: Konstantinopel, Joeksel & Froefroe. Their age isn't exactly stated, but it's clear from their general knowledge (reading, writing, computer use, etc ) that they go to the later years of primary school (9 - 12 years old). They still only come up to their parents' waist.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: In Het Stokvis-Incident a serum is discovered that can make people grow to old age.
- Poirot Speak: All foreign characters mix Dutch with loan words from their own language.
- Police Are Useless: Inspector Sapperdeboere, who usually spents more time eating than actually solving crimes.
- Print Long-Runners: Since 1977.
- Product Placement: Merho drew one album Avontuur in Sun Parks where the Kiekeboes have an adventure in the amusement park "Sun Parks".
- "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody: In Het Plan Sstoeffer Fanny takes a shower and thinks: "If I'm quick, I'll be able to catch "Psycho" by Hitchcock on TV". While she is showering she is attacked by a spy, but she notices him just in time and knocks him out.
- Pulp Magazine: The magazine Top Roddel.
- Punny Name: It's a trademark of the series! Almost every characters has some kind of pun hidden in his or her name.
- Puppet Permutation: Subverted. De Kiekeboes and villain Balthazar were originally based on puppets in Merho's brother Walter's puppet show. Merho decided to use them as his main cast.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Merho is frequently inspired by real life newspaper articles or events, Ripped from the Headlines.
- Dictator Bibi Pralin Gaga was inspired by Idi Amin.
- President Bod in Heil Bod is a spoof of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
- The thief El Bousidi in De Fez van Fes was inspired by a real thief with that name who stole Merho and his wife's luggage during a trip to Morocco.
- Merho sometimes added inside jokes in his stories, usually about his friends and colleagues.
- Really Gets Around: Fanny has had a lot of boyfriends over the years.
- Van De Kasseien commits adultery with many of his secretaries, though he sometimes gets his comeuppance.
- Tomboy would also count, since she is a prostitute.
- Real Person Cameo: National and international celebrities also regularly have small cameos in the stories, including Idi Amin, Louis de Funès, Fernandel, Laurel and Hardy, Woody Allen, John Cleese, Hergé, René Goscinny , Jean Gabin, Bourvil, Victor Borge, Khomeini, the cast of Little Britain, Jacques Tati, Michael Jackson, Grace Jones and many Belgian and Dutch celebrities.
- Recurring Extra: A fat nameless woman in a red shirt is seen in every album.
- Religion of Evil: Found in De Haar-Tisten, Het Boerka-Complot and De getatoeëerde mossel.
- Running Gag:
- Fernand Goegebuer spits whenever he talks.
- Mevrouw Stokvis is always mentioned, but never seen.
- A fat anonymous lady called De Dikke Dame always makes a cameo in each album.
- Inspecteur Sapperdeboere will always start eating instead of solving a case
- Van De Kasseien frequently cheats on his wife.
- Self-Deprecation: unlikely coincidences within a plot will often be lampshaded by someone remarking that even the crappiest writer wouldn't dare write something like that.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Used often in the early albums, until it gradually became more explicit.
- Sexy Secretary: Mr. Van De Kasseien has a lot of them... for obvious reasons.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Fanny is often put in erotic and (semi) nude situations.
- She Who Must Not Be Seen: Mevrouw Stokvis, the best friend of Moemoe is always mentioned, but never seen by the audience.
- Shouldn T We Be In School Right Now?: Konstantinopel is seldom seen at school, though it is often mentioned. Compared to other comic book heroes we DO occasionally see him at school, for instance Kiekeboeket and De Hoed van Robin.
- Shout-Out: Little winks to popular films, books, other comics or TV series are occasionally provided.
- Lucky Luke accidentally passes by in Album 26.
- Moustached characters from rivaling series protest against Kiekeboe winning the Moustache Of The Year Award, among them Thompson and Thomson, The Daltons, Asterix and Obelix and The Count.
- A plastic surgeon in Album 26 gives his patients the head of his favorite comic book characters: Snoopy, Mickey Mouse and Garfield.
- In Afgelast Wegens Ziekte Kiekeboe's funeral is attended by characters from rivaling series, such as Batman, Donald Duck, Tintin and Captain Haddock, Boule et Bill, Popeye, Asterix and Obelix and Lucky Luke.
- In De Hoofdzaak there's a scene where a maffiosi uses night vision goggles in the Catacombs of Parlermo to shoot the protagonists, in reference to The Silence of the Lambs. An extra hint is the corpse of Hannibal Lecter hanging nearby.
- In Album 26 Kiekeboe goes to the Hergé Institute to find a stuntman for his comic strip.
- Kiekeboe and Konstantinopel try to buy backgrounds from other comic strips in "Afgelast Wegens Ziekte". One man buys the set of Moulinsart (Marlinspike Hall) and says: "A bargain. This one isn't used anymore anyway."
- A man named Herr Gé and who looks a lot like Hergé too appears in De Aqua-Rel.
- The album cover of Geen Rook has Alanis smiling and telling the viewer to remain silent, in reference to the album cover of The Castafiore Emerald.
- In album Villa Delfia a master plagiarist thinks up a new idea for comic strip series with a boy, a girl, an aunt, an arrogant baldhead and a strong man (...) we could be on to something!
- Konstantinopel reads a Suske en Wiske story in De anonieme smulpapen, to which Fanny replies: It would be better if you read one of our own stories.
- A special comic strip in which Fanny interviews characters from other comic strips, Bij Fanny Op Schoot has her talking to Nero, Cordelia, Natacha, Suske en Wiske, Cowboy Henk, IJzerbroot and Olga Lawina, De Rode Ridder, FC De Kampioenen and Urbanus, among others.
- Show Within a Show: In Vrouwen Komen Van Mars de Kiekeboes go inside a comic book that Kiekeboe enjoyed reading as a kid. The style is Deliberately Monochrome and a parody of the 1940s and 1950s Flemish comic strips.
- Sinister Schnoz: Balthazar and Timothea Triangl.
- Sizeshifter: Balthazar's head and neck change size in De Pili-Pili Pillen due to the side effects of various pills.
- Slapstick: Merho is a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy, so slapstick elements are often included.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Certain albums have a feel good atmosphere, others are more dark and cynical.
- Smug Snake: Leon and Carmella Van Der Neffe.
- Special Guest: For his album "Doorgestoken Kaart" Merho sought advice about magician's tricks from Belgian magician Gil Ricardo. As a way to thank him he gave him a cameo role in the album.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Mr. Osnoprodavonoblikavitch in the album Hotel O who's never been able to remember his own surname. He shortens it to the letter "o", despite other people miraculously remembering it without any mistakes.
- Suicide as Comedy: Kiekeboe jumps off a bridge in Afgelast wegens ziekte because he thinks he'll die in three days and wants to end it all quicker. His attempt fails when a van carrying sand passes by.
- Symbol Swearing
- Tarzan: Van Der Neffe briefly dresses like him and swings on the lamp post in Afgelast Wegens Ziekte.
- That Didn't Happen: The story of Haaiman turns out to be an idea for a script that Kiekeboe ultimately refuses to act out.
- Time Travel: Kiekeboe travels to the future in De Wereld Volgens Kiekeboe.
- Too Dumb to Live: Balthazar, probably the most useless villain ever.
- Treasure Hunt: In the album De Schat van Mata Hari.
- Underwater Base: Plot element in De duivelse driehoek en De Medusastichting.
- Unexpected Inheritance: Het Mysterie van Spell-De-Prik.
- Unintentional Period Piece: When you read all the albums chronologically you get a real sense of different decades passing by: The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties, The Noughties...
- Vague Age: Most characters don't have a specific age. Fanny was once said to be 16 years old, but since she drives a car she most be at least 18 years old according to Belgian law.
- Vampire Fiction: Vampires are frequently reappearing characters in the series.
- Vapor Wear: It has been stated in some instances, and implied in others (with Shirtless Scene and Sexy Soaked Shirt) that Fanny doesn't often wear a bra.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: In Het edelweissmotief Fanny hides Hitler's valuable handkerchief in her bra, so nobody can find it.
- Villainous Cross Dresser: Timotheus Triangl underwent a sex change in Zeg Het Met Bloemen and since then he is a woman.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?? Fanny, who doesn't go to school anymore, but does work various plot relevant jobs from now to then.
- World of Pun: In almost all the issues, at least one of the one-time characters, the companies or even the title itself is a pun.
- "The Yellow 'M'" Shout-Out: In the album "Afgelast Wegens Ziekte" Kiekeboe and his son visit a store where they can buy backgrounds from famous comic strips. At a certain point they stand in front of the wall of "The Yellow "M"" and even take the same pose as Blake and Mortimer on the album cover. Kiekeboe even says: "If you ask me many people stood here before us."
- The album cover of "Het Boerka Complot" spoofs the cover again, this time with Kiekeboe and Van De Kasseien standing tied against a wall.
- You Just Ruined the Shot: Fanny interrupts a bank robbery in Fanny Girl only to discover that it was actually the shooting of a film scene.