main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Comicbook: Spirou and Fantasio
Spirou (left) and Fantasio (right), with the Marsupilami and Spip the squirrel.

Spirou et Fantasio (Spirou and Fantasio) is one of the most successful Belgian comic book adventure series, spawning various spin-off series and an Animated Adaptation.

Spirou is an intrepid hotel groom/reporter working for Le Moustique/Le Journal de Spirou/freelance. With his wacky/Comically Serious/now wacky again sidekick Fantasio and his pet squirrel Spip, he has many adventures over the globe, fighting Mad Scientists and evil dictators, but also doing a fair bit of actual reporting on the side (Take That, Tintin!).

This series has the distinction of being one the few "work for hire" franchises of Franco-Belgian comics (most of them are owned by their initial creators or their estate). As such, various authors worked on the main series over the years:

  • Robert "Rob-Vel" Velter was commissionned to create the Spirou character to headline the new eponymous weekly "Le Journal de Spirou" magazine. He wrote and drew Spirou's adventures from 1938 to 1943, after which the war prevented him from continuing; his publisher bought the rights to the series and has had various creative teams work on it ever since. These adventures have never been reprinted and are mainly known for the introduction of Spirou's pet squirrel Spip.
  • Joseph "Jijé" Gillain (already a well-known veteran, now mostly remembered for drawing the Western series Jerry Spring) then took over the series (as well as a lot of publisher Dupuis's strips). He introduced Fantasio, whose garish costumes and gaffes made the perfect wacky Sidekick. Overwhelmed by having to handle too many series at once, he gave most of them to the care of various young artists he had groomed for that purpose.
  • André Franquin took over Spirou et Fantasio around 1948 (though Jijé did a few stories after the formal switchover). He is credited for creating the most well-known parts of the Spirou universe, including Champignac, the Marsupilami, Zorglub and Gaston Lagaffe. At the end of Franquin's run, the series received the input of Michel "Greg" Regnier for plots, grounding Spirou's adventures in a more realistic geopolitical context. By the beginning of the '70s, Franquin grew bored of the character and left the series (though he kept the rights of a few of his creations, including the Marsupilami and Gaston Lagaffe).
  • Young artist Jean-Claude Fournier then took over the series, updating slightly the look of the characters and giving the characters a more militant outlook.
  • In the 80s, publisher Dupuis found Fournier too slow and started looking into other creative teams, with three of them working at the same time. Nicolas Broca & Raoul Cauvin's contribution (three albums) were quickly abandoned], as well as Yves Chaland's retro take, in favor of Philippe "Tome" Vandevelde & Jean-Richard "Janry" Geurts. They reached a commercial and critical success by updating Franquin's tradition, often with a slightly Darker and Edgier mood. They also launched the spin-off series [1] (about Spirou's youth), which took a lot of their time: after a failed "realistic" relaunch, they left the main series.
  • In the 2000s, Dupuis gave care of the main series to Jean-David Morvan and José-Luis Munuera, who tried including elements from each of the previous authors' runs; the lackluster sales meant they were given the boot after only four albums.
  • A series of out of continuity one-shots written and drawn by different artists (Le Spirou de...) started in 2006. Five have been published as of 2009, the more notable being Spirou, journal d'un ingénu, an alternative origin story by Émile Bravo in which Spirou is a young hotel groom in 1939.

The magazine this series was created for, now titled Spirou, is still being published nowadays. It is now a weekly anthology of various comedy series, as well as serializing various adventure series of Dupuis's catalogue. Throughout the '90s and 2000s, its eponymous series barely appeared in it (due to frequent Schedule Slip), though Le Petit Spirou remained a regular presence. This changed with the one-shots, which have been published at thrice the rhythm of the main series so far.

Spirou and Fantasion provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Dupilon.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Cyanure
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The Ksorien aliens from Du cidre pour les étoiles land in the rural area near Champignac in order to study with the Count of Champignac.
  • Alternate Continuity: Lampshaded in Alerte aux Zorkons, in which Fantasio mentions a character from a past adventure whom Spirou has no recollection of, and adds "Well, that was in a different space-time continuum." Fans interpret this as a sign that Fantasio went back, after all the time-travel shenanigans in Aux Sources du Z, and erased the Morvan & Munuera adventures from continuity. A Fourth Wall-breaking one-pager with Spirou and the new artist Yoann having wacky adventures through time until Fantasio and the new writer Vehlmann put a stop to it and pledge to put everything back in order lends some credence to this theory, but the fan dislike of the Morvan & Munuera era also seems to be a factor.
  • Ambiguous Robot: The "clone" or "android" in Machine qui rêve.
  • Animal Talk: Extremely inconsistently handled with Spip; in some early stories Spirou and Fantasio were able to understand him, but later on it was established that while Spip understood humans perfectly well, humans did not understand him. Whether other animals understood him seemed to vary depending on the story, but it is notable that while he was good friends with the Marsupilami, the two were never depicted as having anything resembling a conversation. The rule of thumb seems to be that only the reader understands Spip's comments, but there have been several exceptions.
  • Animated Adaptation: Two of them.
  • Animesque: Spirou à Tokyo, with lampshades aplenty.
  • Anti-Villain: Zorglub, Ankou and Luna Cortizone.
  • Applied Phlebotinum
    • Almost all of the Count's inventions are based on mushrooms as a main ingredient or an energy source.
    • Also, the Zorglonde, a form of energy designed by Zorglub which can be used to paralyze living things (only the Marsupilami is immune) or to control people's minds.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In L'Ankou, Fantasio stubbornly refuses to believe that he's dealing with a supernatural creature.
  • The Artifact: Spirou still wears a variation of his trademark hotel groom costume, even though he left that job decades ago.
    • Lampshaded in Des Haricots Partout, when a UN delegate assumes he's the Count's personal bellboy.
    • Spoofed in Le Petit Spirou, where he wears it as a little kid and even his parents own the same outfit.
    • Also lampshaded in the short story Back to the Redac, where Spirou is forced to go back to wearing his bellhop uniform (he had more or less discarded it by the end of Tome & Janry's run, and Morvan & Munuera only had him wear it in flashbacks). Why? Because his contract with Dupuis, the publisher of the comic, obliges him to wear it since he's the face of the company and it is so iconic. The next album, Alerte aux Zorkons features him in full uniform again.
  • Artistic License - Paleontology: Le Voyageur du Mésozoique features a dinosaur with pink and yellow spots.
  • Apocalyptic Log: in La Vallée des Bannis, Spirou finds a very helpful notebook from a previous explorer. Subverted: the guy has actually survived all these years and helps our heroes escape from afar.
  • Arch-Enemy: Zantafio
  • Author Tract: whenever currents events are alluded to, but especially L'Ankou, an Anvilicious attack against civilian nuclear power production "defiling" the folklorish lands of Brittany.
  • Badass Moustache: The Count de Champignac.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Spirou and Fantasio in Panade à Champignac, while babysitting Zorglub.
  • Banana Republic: Palombia
  • Beardness Protection Program: Inverted briefly in Machine qui rêve. The comic opens with a bearded man being pursued by the authories, who shaves his beard off in a bar's bathroom because his image is being broadcasted on the news channels. It turns out to be a movie that Spirou and Fantasio are watching.
  • Berserk Button: The easiest way to make Spirou drop his level-headed hero shtick is to harm Fantasio or Spip.
  • Black Like Me: Played anviliciously straight in Le Rayon noir, when Spirou is turned black by some of the count's phlebotinium. Though pretty hilariously, after half of the town's been turned black and back, people comments how the milkman is still black. His answer: "But I've always been!"
  • Body Double: Lenin's body as displayed in his mausoleum is one, the real one being too fragile.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Spip would occasionally do this in Fournier's stories, acknowledging that he was a comic book character, lamenting his lot as an animal sidekick and even occasionally going into rants on how Spirou and Fantasio were lousy comic book heroes.
  • Breakout Character: Marsupilami later became a lead characters of his own series.
  • Brick Joke: Spip's being gagged in Spirou à Moscou
  • Butt Monkey
    • Vito Cortizone, whose bad luck reaches abysmal levels. Justified by the fact that he's been cursed by his Chinese mafia rival.
    • Charles Atan and Renaldo in L'Abbaye truquée.
  • The Cameo: Le Groom vert-de-gris is full of them. From old Spirou characters to Tintin, Milou, Müller, Captain Francis Blake and other early 20th century Franco-Belgian characters.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Facilitated by the various creative teams working on the series with their own directions, often ignoring their predecessors' work. Due to the lack of reprints, most people think the series started with Franquin's run (Rob-Vel and Jijé's contributions are rarely acknowledged).
    • Because of a strange editorial edict, Nic & Cauvin could not use Franquin's supporting cast, making their short run very easy to ignore.
    • In Alerte aux Zorkons it's implied that Fantasio went back in time and prevented the events of Morvan & Munuera's Aux Sources du Z from happening.
  • Canon Foreigner: The second Animated Adaptation features a character named Zaoki, an Ambiguously Brown Wrench Wench who was the daughter of Zorglub (who was the Big Bad of the series, despite his Heel-Face Turn in the comics). She was probably added due to there only being one recurring female character in the comic proper.
  • Captain Crash: Madflying the Australian pilot-for-hire in Kodo le Tyran and Des haricots partout.
  • Captain Ersatz: Batguy
  • Censor Box: In Le gri-gri du Nikolo-Koba, the diamond of Koli can make people disappear (they come back when it is placed in its special sheath), but it doesn't affect clothes. When a male villain is returned, the frame includes a narrator box with a pointless line (which reads "this is a white square"), conveniently waist-height.
  • Character Development/Characterization Marches On: Early in Franquin's run, Fantasio shifted from a total goofball to The Comically Serious. With the obvious irony of later having to handle total goofball Gaston Lagaffe.
  • Character Tics: Franquin era Spirou had a tendency to chew on things and fidget with his foot when agitated or anxious.
  • The Chew Toy: Fantasio in several of the Tome & Janry stories. If a leg needs to be broken, you can bet it'll be his. Also in many Franquin stories. The premise of several of them are based on "Bad shit happens to Fantasio" or feature a huge element of this in the story. A recurring plot is to have Fantasio be the victim of events outside his control. See La Mauvaise Têtenote , Les Héritiersnote , Z comme Zorglubnote ... That makes him turn Genre Savvy when submitted to madness by the mosquito of La Vallée des Bannis.
    • Also Vito Cortizone, who has literally been cursed by bad luck.
  • Chick Magnet: Spirou in the recent stories.
  • Clear My Name: Fantasio in La Mauvaise Tête.
  • Cloning Blues: Machine qui rêve
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Fantasio in his early appearances.
  • Comic Book Time: Sure since it's a long runner.
  • Continuity Porn: Aux Sources du Z.
  • Cool Car: The Turbotraction (which somehow disappeared just after Franquin left). Pénélope in the Animated Adaptation. The first model was crashed by Ibd-Mah-Zoud in Vacances sans histoires to be replaced by the second model; in Panade à Champignac, Franquin replaced it altogether with a small Honda coupé. Fournier, who took over, kept the same small car. After that, Spirou and Fantasio would always drive small, cheap cars — Franquin said it first in Vacances sans histoires and Tome & Janry hammered in that Spirou and Fantasio are far from being rich in Spirou à New York.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Basile de Koch, CEO of Farmarm in Virus.
    • And the Viper from Dans les griffes de la Viper.
  • Crapsack World: La Vallée des Bannis features a Lost World with Everything Trying to Kill You (including liberal amounts of Schmuck Bait). If you manage to survive the initial confusion, the madness mosquitoes will turn most of you into raving maniacs all killing each other.
    • Also demonstrated to be true for the rest of the world in Dans les griffes de la Viper, where a clique of extremely powerful people is revealed who can launch and win frivolous lawsuits, rewrite laws, force people into contracts that essentially equate to slavery, and set the CIA on random people; all to serve shallow whims.
  • Darker and Edgier: A general trend for the series as a whole, and inside nearly each creative run. Machine qui rêve, Tome & Janry's last album, tried reinventing the series as an ultra-serious (and decompressed) techno-thriller. It didn't work.
  • Deadpan Snarker
    • Spip is the most consistent example of this, but notably in Tome & Janry's early run of the series (he stopped speaking altogether in their later albums).
    • Depending on the Writer, Fantasio indulges a little snarking now and then as well.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: It took him two days of constant hitting on its head with a tree trunk, which was a mere stick to the beast, but Marsupilami managed to knock a dinosaur out.
  • Deface of the Moon: Zorglub's pet project was to demonstrate his genius by writing a brand name in giant letters on the Moon. It worked, but not quite the way he expected.
  • Depending on the Writer: The tone, plotlines and settings have varied wildly with the rotating creative teams.
    • For some reason, Fantasio's sexuality is also one of the things that gets editorialized. He's been everything from straight (Yoann & Vehlmann) to effeminate but interested in women (Morvan & Munuera) to gay and blatantly pining for Spirou (Yann & Tarrin) to straight-leaning-on-bisexual (Tome & Janry).
      • Though, in their defense, a child won't necessarily pick up on those kind of hints... And it can be argued that some of it is played for laughs.
  • Drives Like Crazy
    • Seccotine is the classic terrible woman driver.
    • Also the oil sheik Ibn Mah-zout, who turned Spirou and Fantasio's car into scattered pieces of scrap metal in just a few minutes of driving it.
  • Easy Amnesia: Zorglub in Panade à Champignac. He gets hit over the head and all his memories come back. Then he gets hit over the head another time and they all disappear. And let's not forget the fact that he's acting like an 8-month-old in the first place.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Spoofed in La Jeunesse de Spirou (which has a drunk Unreliable Narrator), averted in Le Petit Spirou (which has none of the other regular characters).
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: In Bravo les Brothers, Gaston gives Fantasio three circus-trained chimpanzees as a birthday present.
  • Evil Twin: Zantafio, although he's actually Fantasio's cousin.
  • The Faceless: Number 2 in Du glucose pour Noémie and the Big Bad in Cauvin's stories.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Used by Spirou on Ursula in Le Groom vert-de-gris to avoid a patrol of Nazis.
  • The Family for the Whole Family
    • Don Vito Cortizone and his family, of course.
    • Also, the Triangle.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: In La Corne du Rhinocéros, the censorship commission made Franquin remove most of the bad guys' guns, which meant they were now pointing their finger at everything.
  • Femme Fatale: Luna
  • Fighting Your Friend: Spirou is forced to do this after Fantasio becomes infected by a Hate Plague in Vallée des Bannis.
  • Fountain of Youth: L'homme qui ne voulait pas mourir.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Fantasio in his early appearances. Including the mostly forgotten Fanta-Copter: a functional jetpack!
  • Grim Reaper: In L'Ankou, Spirou and Fantasio get to meet the eponymous collector of souls. Because of their unfamiliarity with Breton folklore, they aren't nearly as scared as they ought to be.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Fantasio, so much so that at the end of La Vallée des Bannis, the hospital staff did not realize he was no longer violently insane.
  • Harmless Villain: Zorglub
  • Hate Plague: Fantasio becomes infected by one of these in La Vallée des Bannis and spends the volume trying to murder Spirou.
  • Heads Tails Edge: Luna Fatale
  • Heel-Face Turn: Zorglub and John Helena.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners
    • Spirou and Fantasio.
    • Also Champignac and Zorglub after the Heel-Face Turn.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Zorglub's Zorgmen.
  • Home Base: Champignac.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Kodo the Tyrant. He's the undisputed dictator of a fictional country in Asia named Catung. Fantasio and Spirou ruin him by destroying his opium fields and replacing his weapons shipments with agricultural vehicles. A year later, our heroes find him selling vegetables in a open market in Europe.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: a particular tragic variant where the people of Champignac are forced to hunt their friend Spirou by the Viper.
  • Hypno Ray: The Zorglonde.
  • Iconic Outfit: Spirou's outfit, of course. His hat in particular has been used as a logo of sorts for representing the series.
  • Identical Grandson: sort of:
    • Aurélien de Champignac looks exactly the same as his uncle the Count of Champignac, except his moustache points up instead of down.
    • Zorglub's descendant from Le Réveil du Z looks exactly the same as his ancestor, except he's a dwarf.
    • Fantasio and Spirou also have identical family members in Le Réveil du Z, and much to their ancestors' shock, they are Zorglub's descendant's Elite Mooks.
  • Idiot Hair: Fantasio has the eight strands of hair that pop up on top of his head.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: One of the early stories has the Marsupilami meet a gorilla, who starts engaging in threatening behavior (chestbeating, ripping trees out of the ground...). Subverted, however, in that it is quickly too tired to actually fight, and the Marsupilami goes by unharmed.
  • Intrepid Reporter
    • Spirou and Fantasio themselves, of course.
    • Seccotine is a cross between this and Paparazzi.
    • It also applies to Ororea from the Fournier books.
  • King of the Homeless: two pre-teen kids fill this function for a group of Tokio homeless in Spirou et Fantasio à Tokyo
  • Latex Perfection
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Tome & Janry present the duo this way.
  • Madness Mantra: After Fantasio goes insane in La Vallée des Bannis he develops a tendency to say or yell, "FANTASIO MAGAZIIIIIIIIIINE!" due to the fact that the Hate Plague had made him fixate on the fact that despite them being lifelong partners, their book was still called Spirou Magazine.
  • Mad Scientist
    • The Count of Champignac, although he gets saner after his debut episode and becomes The Professor.
    • Zorglub
  • Manchurian Agent: Luna in the animated series.
  • Mistaken for Gay
    • Seccotine thinks that Spirou is in love with Fantasio and teases him about it in Le Tombeau des Champignac.
    Seccotine: Your little Fantasio is well, that's what counts right?
    Spirou: What are you trying to say?
    Seccotine: Nothing, you're free to love whoever you want...
    • A street-vendor in an old Franquin volume mistakes them for a couple as well.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters
    • The Marsupilamis.
    • Everything in the Valley of the Banished.
    • The Snouffelaire.
  • Mysterious Antarctica
    • In Le Voyageur du Mésozoïque, Champignac finds a dinosaur egg in the ices of Antarctica.
    • In Virus, a sinister corporation has a germ warfare research facility located in Antarctica.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Le Journal d'un ingénu, Spirou's suggestion settle peace between the Polish and the Nazis, therefore averting war. However, Fantasio was looking for a big story and angered the Nazi negotiator. This prompted him to retaliate by calling off the peace proposal. Congratulations Fantasio, you just caused WWII.
    • In Fantasio's defense, the Nazi negotiator was total dick and deserve to be punched for hitting Spirou (who was just a young teenager during that time).
    • There's also hints that Nazi Germany wanted to push for war, regardless of the negotiations' outcome.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Sega Genesis game.
  • Nitro Express: One episode of the animated Spirou and Fantasio has the protagonists unwittingly transporting a truckload of "nitrotonic".
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Champignac. Would be a sleepy rural town, but wait, there's the Count...
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In Vito la Déveine. Vito Cortizone is still a Butt Monkey, but he also shows he can be dangerous. He almost successfully killed Spirou; after that failed, he neutralized him with a homemade drug.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Zorglub and Champignac (although the latter is a mushroom specialist, he can also build submarines or counter-mind control devices when needed).
  • Only Sane Employee: Fantasio in Bravo les Brothers.
  • On One Condition: Spirou et les Héritiers has Fantasio and Zantafio face off in three trials mandated by their uncle's will.
  • Outdated Outfit: Even in the 1970s, Spirou's Bell-boy Elevator Operator uniform was painfully out of place. Since the '90s, authors have finally decided to do away with it.
    • Well, you know, until "Alerte aux Zorkons" in 2010...
  • Past Right Now: The theme park recreating Edo.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Le Nid des Marsupilamis, though the spin-off series would not be created until two decades later.
  • Putting on the Reich: At times.
    • Uniforms worn in Zantafio's Palumbia, as shown in Le dictateur et le champignon, resemble those of Fascist Spain.
      • Interestingly, in "Aux sources du Z", Spirou complains that the uniforms resemble Nazi uniforms...
    • All Bretzelburg troops in QRN sur Bretzelburg, whose appearance invokes World War I Imperial Germany.
    • Later on, Kodo le Tyran not only incorporates uniforms, but also a flag that fits well into No Swastikas.
  • Recognizable By Sound: Averted in one story: Spirou, while lost in the jungle, overhears the very distinctive cry of the Marsupilami (despite being continents apart), but discovers it's an entirely different creature.
  • Recursive Canon: Spirou and particularly Fantasio work for Dupuis, the publishing company that produces the Spirou comic. Sometimes they are freelance reporters for Le Moustique, Dupuis' real-life entertainment magazine, and sometimes they work on the staff of the Spirou magazine itself, having to meet deadlines and doing publicity for the comic! In the comic stories, Spirou occasionally meets characters who read the comic and recognize him from it:
    • Jijé had him interact with members of his own fan-club (run by the magazine), Amis de Spirou ("Friends of Spirou"), in the story L'enlèvement de Spip.
    • In Spirou and the Heirs (Spirou et les héritiers), Spirou rescues a boy who is reading his earlier adventure, The Wizard of Culdesac (Il y a un sorcier à Champignac), and who asks him how it ends.
    • In Z is for Zorglub (Z comme Zorglub), a kid helps Spirou when he's looking for Fantasio, having recognized them both from the comic.
    • In Alerte aux Zorkons, a sniper refuses to fire on a Spirou-shaped advertising balloon the heroes are using to cross a military roadblock, because he used to read the comic as a child.
    • In Machine qui rêve, Spirou and Seccotine get out of getting a ticket for riding a motorcycle without helmets because the policeman has kids who read the comics. (He mentions he thought it was ‘just comics' and is surprised to find out Spirou really exists.)
  • Reformed Criminal: La Murène in Virus
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Most of the more serious plots.
  • Robot Girl: Cyanure in Qui arrêtera Cyanure?
  • Ruritania: Bretzelburg is a typical Ruritanian country, with added Germanic trappings.
  • Screwball Serum: The Count once unwittingly drank a toxic drug of his own design, which turned him into a super-intelligent psychopath.
  • Senseless Violins: Seen many times in Luna fatale.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The mayor of Champignac is fond of speaking in convoluted sentences replete with mixed metaphors.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot
    • In Le Groom vert-de-gris, which take place during WWII era, Fantasio wakes up in bed with Wehrmacht officer Ursula Chickengrüber getting dressed for work.
    • In Le Tombeau des Champignac, Spirou and Seccotine are freezing to death in a Tibetan mountain as their anti-cold drugs are wearing off. As they hold each other to warm themselves, Seccotine notices a mushroom that Spirou is holding just changed color. She correctly guesses it's tied to emotions and teases him by asking if he has ever kissed a girl, as she always thought he and Fantasio were gay. Cut to a scene outside the mountain with Seccotine saying: "But?! Spirou, what are you doing?" Later, Fantasio comes to the rescue and has very shocked expression on his face when he enters the cave.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the album Le Groom Vert-de-Gris, a re-imagination of Spirou set during the Nazi occupation of 1942, several references are made to other Belgian Comics from this time period, including Tintin, Blondin et Cirage, Suske en Wiske, Lucky Luke, Quick and Flupke and Jo Zette Et Jocko.
    • The Count of Champignac is one of the moustached characters in the De Kiekeboes album De Snor van Kiekeboe who complains that he isn't elected as Moustache Of The Year.
  • Show Within a Show: some adventures show the heroes' documentary films. Le nid des Marsupilamis is mainly such a documentary with the title heroes as a Greek Chorus.
  • Smash The Symbol: Well, technically it's steal the symbol, but Tanaziof's stealing of Lenin's body is intended to be this.
  • Smug Snake: Zantafio
  • Speech-Impaired Animal
    • Spip, though he does get thought balloons quite often.
    • Strangely, while Spip has a quasi-human intelligence (and the cynicism that comes with it), the Marsupilami, who can utter human words like a parrot does, only has animal-level intelligence. He is clever for an animal, though.
  • Spin-Off: Quite a few of them:
  • Super Serum: One of the Count's first inventions is a serum that, when injected, grants superhuman strength for a time.
  • Techno Wizard: The Count of Champignac. Most of his Phlebotinum involves mushrooms in some form, including in the design stage.
  • Temporal Paradox: Dear God. The last Morvan & Munuera album made, Aux Sources du Z, the entire series was erased with one of these.
  • That Poor Plant
    • The Count once experimented a serum on a mushroom, causing it to turn into an ugly, misshapen thing.
    • In QRN sur Bretzelburg, Spirou convinces the king to stop taking the "medicine" his advisors use to keep him docile. He pours it out on a plant, which immediately wilts.
  • Theme Naming: Fantasio's relatives include his cousin Zantafio and his uncle Tanzafio. They somehow manage to be serious characters despite the silly names.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Zorglub's backstory. People laughed at his theories in school so he decided to create an army of mind-controlled soldiers.
  • Time Travel: In L'Horloger de la comète, Le Réveil du Z and Aux Sources du Z.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Spirou in Machine qui rêve.
  • Torture Technician: Subverted with Herr Doktor Kilikil in QRN sur Bretzelburg: his methods involve scraping chalk on a blackboard, or cooking a lavish and fragrant meal in front of a hungry prisoner. He's so good at it, in fact, that he eventually becomes a restaurant cook.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: Zantafio proposes it to Spirou and Fantasio. First they nearly lynch him, then they accept so they can plot against him more easily.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In a one-shot, Le Journal d'un ingénu, Kassandra Stahl says that Spirou looks great in his red groom costume. After her tragic death, Spirou decides to keep wearing his costume as a reminder of her.
  • Under the Sea: Much of Le Repère de la Murène takes place underwater.
  • Underwater Base: The villains of Le Repère de la Murène.
  • Underwater City: Spirou et les Hommes-Bulles.
  • Underwater Ruins: Les géants pétrifiés
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Most of the time.
  • A Villain Named Zrg: Spoofed. Zorglub's name is a portmanteau of this and "Arglub", which is a standard Written Sound Effect for accidental strangling or drowning in Franco-Belgian comics.
  • Vladimir Lenin: his embalmed body plays a major role in Spirou à Moscou
  • Weaponized Landmark: In Spirou et Fantasio à Tokyo, a live-sized statue of Hachikō (a famous japanese dog) is animated by telekinesis.
  • Weasel Mascot: Spip the squirrel.
  • Where The Hell Is Springfield?: There has been a lot of ambiguity on where Spirou and Fantasio live, with conflicting hints pointing towards the suburbs of either Paris or Bruxelles. Meanwhile, the location of the quaint small town of Champignac is deliberately ambiguous.
  • Windbag Politician: The mayor of Champignac is widely feared for his entirely improvised and metaphor-breaking digressions.
  • The Worst Seat in the House: In Spirou à New York the title characters are supposed to attend a "car ball" (like soccer, but the players are all in cars, and the ball is also a car) finals match to write an article about it. They are late (since they spend the entire comic on wacky mafia hijinx), but a shady guy sells them the last set of seats. Which are inside the "ball".
  • Would Hit a Girl: In Paris-Sous-Seine Spirou punches Miss Flanners in the face for being the cause of Spip's death. However, after discovering that Spip is actually safe and sound, he is mortified by his actions even though Flanners had still done enough to deserve the punishment.
    • Later in Aux Sources du Z it's possibly subverted again as Aged!Spirou reveals he originally hit Miss Flanners because when he saw her, he immediately had "strange feelings" that he'd never felt before and it scared him, causing him to lash out... At Miss Flanners.
  • Writing for the Trade: Mostly averted, as most creative teams made a point of ending nearly every page with a gag or Cliff Hanger because the prepublication schedule could be reduced to as little as one or two pages per week.

The Secret HistoryBelgian ComicsSuske en Wiske
SodaFranco-Belgian ComicsThorgal
Two-FaceThe FortiesVandal Savage
Tintin The Red Sea SharksThe FiftiesTom Poes
Sailor MoonThe NinetiesSuske en Wiske
    TurnOfTheMillennium/Comic BooksSuske en Wiske
Le ScorpionCreator/CinebookThorgal
Tintin Tintin And Alph ArtThe EightiesTom Poes
The DandyThe Great DepressionAction Comics
Tintin Flight 714The SixtiesTom Poes
Spider-ManPrint Long RunnersSpy vs. Spy
Tintin Tintin And The PicarosThe SeventiesTom Poes
Domino MaskImageSource/Comic BooksPlaying Doctor
Sweets FairyThe New TensSuske en Wiske

alternative title(s): Spirou And Fantasio; Le Petit Spirou
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy