Achilles in His Tent: Parodied when Don Quixote invokes this trope for no other reason that a lot of other Knights (Amadis of Gaul, Beltenebros, and Orlando) did it. At the Sierra Morena forest, Don Quixote sends Sancho with a letter to Dulcinea (his imaginary love interest) explaining her that he will be in the forest until she forgives him… Even when Don Quixote has not made anything against her. This madness will force the Curate and the Barber to ask Dorotea to pretend to be a princess and ask Don Quixote a favour to get him out of the forest.
Antiquated Linguistics/El Viejo Español Masacrado: In the original Spanish book, at least, Don Quijote uses outdated forms of speech and pronunciation, like maintaining the initial 'f' in words like 'fermosa' (hermosa), in an attempt to emulate the outdated forms of speech used on chivalry novels.
This shows up in some translations as a Woolseyism: Don Quixote simply uses more archaic vocabulary than everyone else around.
Really toned down in the second part, so it appears that the Spanish language was modernized in 10 years, or for the people missing the joke (because they don't know if words like 'fermosa' were used back in the 1600s) thinking it's a more up to date transcription.
The very name of the book itself. The 'x' in the name denotes an antiquated ortography for a very strong "h" phonem (similar as Scottish loch) and not 'eks'. It is written in Modern Spanish as 'j'. Thus don Quijote, (ki-ho-tey) not Quixote (quick-sot). The Spanish edition uses the modern ortography, Don Quijote.
Affectionate Parody: Cervantes was a connoisseur of chivalry novels (evidenced by the famous scene where the priest and the barber go into a lengthy discussion of Don Quixote's library), and his parody of the genre isn't as vicious and destructive as commonly thought.
Another example is lampshaded in Part II, chapter LI. Sancho has been made governor of the "Island of Barataria". In the 17th century, it was expected that the people who were part of the government and the aristocracy were well educated, and this education included Latin. Don Quixote never uses Latin words in his sentences with Sancho because he is not interested in impressing him with his superior knowledge, but he expects that now that Sancho is a governor he has learned Latin.
Mr. Magoo also had a cartoon where he played the titular knight. There has never been more perfect casting.
Arcadia: Don Quixote considers becoming a shepherd instead of a knight at the end. Foreshadowed by the Golden Age speech he gives to the shepherds in the book's beginning; pastoral tropes in general are very important in the novel for deconstruction and parody. The real shepherds are Country Mouse-ish ignorant people who have enough common sense and work as shepherds by need. They want to help and are sympathetic enough. The problem comes when a lot of City Mouse types try to invoke this trope:
All this long harangue (which might very well have been spared) our knight delivered because the acorns they gave him reminded him of the golden age; and the whim seized him to address all this unnecessary argument to the goatherds, who listened to him gaping in amazement without saying a word in reply.
Deconstructed again at chapter LII from the first part, Eugenio tells the story of the beautiful Leandra, who elopes with a soldier that left her. Leandra gets Locked Away in a Monastery while her various City Mouse admirers decided to become shepherds and make poems about how Leandra betrayed them... even when she never gave them any hope. Eugenio tells that all those shepherds curse Leandra’s indiscretion, and they seem so unhappy that he lampshades that Arcadia is really a living hell. Eugenio then says he has decided to follow the easier way, claim All Women Are Lustful and become a Politically Incorrect Hero who hates all women.
Parodied in Chapter LVIII of the Second Part: Don Quixote meets some beautiful shepherdesses who are part of a crew of noble and rich people who invoke this trope by retiring to a forest to play to be shepherds and shepherdesses. They are so sophisticated that they have studied two poems from Garcilaso (In Spanish) and Camoes (in Portuguese). Only the truly rich CityMouse can afford to live in a happy Arcadia.
Don Quixote considers becoming a shepherd instead of a knight at the end of the second part, before he can invoke this trope, his housekeeper tries to dissuade him by lampshading the truth:
Author Avatar: Cervantes dedicates some chapters of the first part of the novel to “The story of the Captive Captain”, Ruy Pérez de Viedma, a Spanish captain who was prisoner of the Moors. Curiously, this man, like the Priest, claims to know some guy called “de Saavedra”.
Author Filibuster: Parodied and lampshaded. The critics have said that the chivalry books were plagued by a lot of lengthy discourses from different abstract themes, immobilizing the action and discouraging the reader. Cervantes lampshaded this when Don Quixote talks for nearly two pages in the Discourse on The Golden Age, Part I, Chapter XI: "All this long harangue (which might very well have been spared)" and satirized it when in the Discourse on Arms and Letters, Part I, Chapter XXXVIII, the action really never stops, because all the other characters eat their dinners while Don Quixote talked: "All this lengthy discourse Don Quixote delivered while the others supped, forgetting to raise a morsel to his lips, though Sancho more than once told him to eat his supper, as he would have time enough afterwards to say all he wanted."
A Wizard Did It: Quite literally. Just replace "Wizard" with "Enchanter." When the events of the story veer far enough away from Quixote's account in the style of Knights Errant, Quixote explicitly invokes this trope to explain the discrepancy.
Badass: Don Quixote is, arguably, one. He is extremely good at jousting and sword fighting, and can survive being thrown into the air by a windmill. Also, despite all the beatings he takes throughout the novel, he still survives to the end. Indeed as noted by novelist and critic, Vladmir Nabokov, despite being seen as a crazy knight, Don Quixote actually wins more fights than he loses.
BittersweetDowner Ending: Don Quixote, after a string of betrayals and especially cruel practical jokes, regains his sanity and negates chivalry just before his death, while his squire has ingrained the chivalry lifestyle so deeply that he practically cries for Don Quixote to come back to the adventure.
Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Subverted with the Biscayan, who is another of the many Victimized Bystanders Don Quixote finds in his adventures. He talks exclusively in this fashion when he engages with Don Quixote in a duel to the death, even when Don Quixote understands him perfectly:
One of the squires in attendance upon the coach, a Biscayan, was listening to all Don Quixote was saying, and, perceiving that he would not allow the coach to go on, but was saying it must return at once to El Toboso, he made at him, and seizing his lance addressed him in bad Castilian and worse Biscayan after his fashion, "Begone, caballero, and ill go with thee; by the God that made me, unless thou quittest coach, slayest thee as art here a Biscayan."
Don Quixote understood him quite well, and answered him very quietly, "If thou wert a knight, as thou art none, I should have already chastised thy folly and rashness, miserable creature." To which the Biscayan returned, "I no gentleman!—I swear to God thou liest as I am Christian: if thou droppest lance and drawest sword, soon shalt thou see thou art carrying water to the cat: Biscayan on land, hidalgo at sea, hidalgo at the devil, and look, if thou sayest otherwise thou liest."
Canon Immigrant: In a way, Álvaro Tarfe may be one of the first examples, if not the first. He is a character from the non canon sequel written by Avellaneda, who appears at the end of the legitimate second part of the Quijote, the one written by Cervantes, talking to the real Don Quijote and Sancho.
Lacquey Tosilos appear at chapter LVI of the second part when Don Quixote is trying to We Help the Helpless, and comes back in chapter LXVII to inform Don Quixote that all was a Shaggy Dog Story.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Played perfectly straight: In Chapter I, Part I, Cervantes mentions the people who lived in Don Quixote’s house: his niece, his housekeeper and a lad who helps them with the field and the marketplace... this last of whom we’ll never see or hear of again. Obviously, Cervantes had completely forgotten about this character, and didn't want to write him even in the Second Part of the novel; but in his defense, one of Don Quixote’s themes is about how silly it is to detect errors of continuity in a silly fictional tale.
Cliff Hanger: Parodied by the end of Part I, chapter 8: that chapter ends with a dramatic description of Don Quixote and a poor innocent bystander charging at each other... only to have the next chapter start with the narrator telling us that he doesn't have the page in the original manuscript that describes the fight, and wasting three pages telling us how he could get the next part. The critics have said that the cliffhanger was a regular resource of the chivalry books.
Combat Pragmatist: Bernardo del Carpio is one of Alonso Quixano favorite knights, because he found the way to defeat Rolandthe enchanted: instead of attacking him with a sword, Bernardo just strangled him.
... though Don Juan wished Don Quixote to read more of the book to see what it was all about, he was not to be prevailed upon, saying that he treated it as read and pronounced it utterly silly; and, if by any chance it should come to its author's ears that he had it in his hand, he did not want him to flatter himself with the idea that he had read it; for our thoughts, and still more our eyes, should keep themselves aloof from what is obscene and filthy.
Contractual Genre Blindness: Sancho is very aware that the man he is following is pretty insane and often tells him so, but sometimes has to act according to his master's delusions.
Cornered Rattlesnake: Sancho Panza invokes this trope so he can avoid a fight with the squire of the Knight of the Grove, who insists that given that Don Quixote and his master are going to fight, their squires must be doing the same, and bullies Sancho into a fight. Sancho menaces him:
…”if a hunted cat, surrounded and hard pressed, turns into a lion, God knows what I, who am a man, may turn into..."
Crack is Cheaper: Alonso Quijano was a victim of this phenomenon In-Universe. At chapter I Part I we learn that he has acquired a lot of chivalry books (almost three hundred), and if you think that the printing had been discovered in Europe only some years ago, it's a considerable feat. But alas! Then as now, his relatives and friends, who certainly think that this hobby is getting out of control, had no second thoughts to send a lot of his books to the bonfire, even if Don Quixote has spent a lot of money in those books:
"and to such a pitch did his eagerness and infatuation go that he sold many an acre of tillage land to buy books of chivalry to read"
It should be noted that just having a few hundred books in the time in which the story was written would have been a huge expense. It's not like they had Barnes and Noble back then.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Although Don Quixote is a loon and almost always beaten and humiliated, sometimes he shows that he's got some real balls and fighting chops (e.g., the lion episode).
Crushing The Populace: When Don Quixote travels to Barcelona, Sancho gets lost at night in a forest whose trees are filled with feet wearing shoes and stockings. Don Quixote calmly explains that the authorities hang outlaws by the twenties and thirties when they catch them.
Dashing Hispanic: Don Quixote aspires to be one, and actually does pull off some real badassery (e.g., his adventure with the lion).
Daydream Believer: Quixote himself is the archetype of this. And he does not only believe in chivalry books, in Part II, Chapter LXXI, he declares that if he had lived in Homeric times, he could have saved Troy and Carthage by slaying Paris.
Deadpan Snarker / Sarcastic Devotee / Servile Snarker: Deconstructed by Sancho Panza: What happens in Real Life to the employee that cannot say anything about his master without being sarcastic? Why, Sancho is beaten by Don Quixote at chapters XX and XXV of Part I, and gives him a hurricane of insults at chapter XLVI. The problem is that a lot of people enjoys Sancho’s sarcasm (he is good at it) and so he feels compelled to say it, even when he is in perilous situations, like when he denied payment to a Innkeeper (Chapter XVII part I), and he mocked the entire people of the Braying Town or the highwaymen of Barcelona (Chapters XXVII and LX of the part II) The first give him a beating, the highwaymen almost kill him.
Parodied by the "resurrection" of Altisidora, a girl who claims to love Don Quixote and invokes this trope (it’s really a prank). Don Quixote and Sancho didn’t believe it for a minute. When Don Quixote rejects her again:
Hearing this, Altisidora, with a show of anger and agitation, exclaimed, "God's life! Don Stockfish, soul of a mortar, stone of a date, more obstinate and obdurate than a clown asked a favour when he has his mind made up, if I fall upon you I'll tear your eyes out! Do you fancy, Don Vanquished, Don Cudgelled, that I died for your sake? All that you have seen to-night has been make-believe; I'm not the woman to let the black of my nail suffer for such a camel, much less die!"
"That I can well believe," said Sancho; "for all that about lovers pining to death is absurd; they may talk of it, but as for doing it-Judas may believe that!"
Played straight at the end of the novel by Don Quixote, whom could not survive his Fan Disillusionment.
Deal with the Devil: Invoked by Don Quixote in chapter XXV of the second volume, in which he and Sancho encounter a magician with a supposed clairvoyant monkey.
Reconstruction: At the very end of the novel, the narrator notes that Don Quixote's bull-headedness and steadfast impossible perseverance and commitment to his idea made him an even greater hero than all the false chivalric heroes that he aspired to, and who his own story would completely eclipse.
"Haply, gentlemen, you are versed and learned in matters of errant chivalry? Because if you are I will tell you my misfortunes; if not, there is no good in my giving myself the trouble of relating them;"
Door Stopper: It's quite a long book, although not obscenely so. The romances of chivalry it parodies tended to be even lengthier.
Chapter I, part I: Alonso Quijano has read The tale of Don Belianis of Greece and notes that the author has not finished that adventure, so he planned to write a continuation of it, and it would have been a great continuation if not because he abandoned that idea to become Don Quixote (this is not an Informed Ability: In Part I, Chapter II, Don Quixote begins the story of his own heroic exploits, that will undoubtedly write a sage in the future, and in Part I, Chapter XXI, Don Quixote narrates Sancho a perfect summary of the plot and all the typical situations of a chivalry book):
Fanfiction of the book itself. In the 10 years between the first and second part of the novel, there were some "apocryphal" continuations, which Cervantes himself references and afterwards rejects, saying he is the original writer. This probably makes it one of the oldest examples.
Flyover Country: Critics have said La Mancha, don Quixote's home, is the Spanish version of this trope, as the preface to the Gutenberg project said:
on many of his readers in Spain, and most of his readers out of it, the significance of his choice of a country for his hero is completely lost. It would be going too far to say that no one can thoroughly comprehend "Don Quixote" without having seen La Mancha, but undoubtedly even a glimpse of La Mancha will give an insight into the meaning of Cervantes such as no commentator can give. Of all the regions of Spain it is the last that would suggest the idea of romance. Of all the dull central plateau of the Peninsula it is the dullest tract. There is something impressive about the grim solitudes of Estremadura; and if the plains of Leon and Old Castile are bald and dreary, they are studded with old cities renowned in history and rich in relics of the past. But there is no redeeming feature in the Manchegan landscape; it has all the sameness of the desert without its dignity; the few towns and villages that break its monotony are mean and commonplace, there is nothing venerable about them, they have not even the picturesqueness of poverty; indeed, Don Quixote's own village, Argamasilla, has a sort of oppressive respectability in the prim regularity of its streets and houses; everything is ignoble; the very windmills are the ugliest and shabbiest of the windmill kind.
Genius Ditz: Don Quixote despite his reputation as a crazy is highly intelligent and several characters who come across him note that he occassionally sounds rational and sane before going off tangent on his chivalric ideals. Several characters who later trick him note that he's fairly astute about the minor points that concern a given situation but neglects the bigger picture altogether.
Genre Savvy: Apart from the protagonist (who is Wrong Genre Savvy), many other characters are familiar with chivalric tropes and invoke or discuss them. Note that at the end of both volumes, Don Quixote is defeated and forced to return to his village in strict accordance with the laws of the genre.
Gentle Giant: Part I Chapter I reveals that the giant Morgante is one of Alonso Quixano’s favorite characters, because despite being a giant, he is affable and well bred.
Hero's Muse: The eponymous hero fights for his lady love, whom he refers to as Dulcinea. In his mind, he elevates her to a princess and the most beautiful woman in the world, although she is in reality a peasant girl named Aldonza.
Hikikomori: Somewhat of an Ur Example. Don Quixote seems to be living in his village for years, doing nothing but hunting, reading romances of chivalry, selling his property to pay for them (books were a lot more expensive then) and discussing them with his friends. Justified, because the landed gentry of the time were expected to do little else.
Hypocritical Humor: When Don Quixote reads some pages of the Second Part of 'Don Quixote of La Mancha, he claims there are obvious errors from the author, the most important is that he errs on the name of Sancho’s wife (see Series Continuity Error to understand why this is hypocritical).
...is that he goes wrong and departs from the truth in the most important part of the history, for here he says that my squire Sancho Panza's wife is called Mari Gutierrez, when she is called nothing of the sort, but Teresa Panza; and when a man errs on such an important point as this there is good reason to fear that he is in error on every other point in the history."
"A nice sort of historian, indeed!" exclaimed Sancho at this; "he must know a deal about our affairs when he calls my wife Teresa Panza, Mari Gutierrez; take the book again, senor, and see if I am in it and if he has changed my name."
It's subverted: Don Quixote is not an idiot, and we know it since the very beginning of the novel. He is a very intelligent, well-educated man, who is perfectly normal as long as he is not talking about his obsessions: "apart from the silly things which this worthy gentleman says in connection with his craze, when other subjects are dealt with, he can discuss them in a perfectly rational manner, showing that his mind is quite clear and composed; so that, provided his chivalry is not touched upon, no one would take him to be anything but a man of thoroughly sound understanding." Part I, chapter 30. Of course, when he is indulging his chivalry fantasies... well...
The Insomniac: Alonso Quijano is a type B, as described in Part I Chapter I: lead by his obsession to read chivalry books, he sleeps less and less while reading more and more and that sends him over the edge.
Part II, Chapter 70 WHICH FOLLOWS SIXTY-NINE AND DEALS WITH MATTERS INDISPENSABLE FOR THE CLEAR COMPREHENSION OF THIS HISTORY
Part II, Chapter 66 WHICH TREATS OF WHAT HE WHO READS WILL SEE, OR WHAT HE WHO HAS IT READ TO HIM WILL HEAR
Just Like Robin Hood: Deconstructed by Roque Guinart, a deconstruction of the Gentleman Thief, who leads a band of highwaymen at Barcelona’s Civil War. He is an armed beggar, that takes only a part of the money of his victims... by asking them. His 60 men assault two soldiers (300 crowns), a Noblewoman (600 crowns) and some pilgrims (60 reals). That would have been 15 crowns and a real for each highwayman. Roque asks for 60 crowns for the soldiers (20%) and 80 crowns from the Noblewoman (13.6%). That’s 140 crowns. He gives 2 crowns to each highwayman and the 20 crown left he gives 10 to the pilgrims (that’s almost 100 reals) and 10 crowns to Sancho Panza in a clear attempt to Buy Them Off. The people who attacked are happy to keep most of their own money, and Roque Guinart is considered a hero. Everyone is happy! Except for the highwaymen who were cheated of 13 crowns and a real, but Roque manages to Make an Example of Them by murdering the one who dares to be a Deadpan Snarker.
That afternoon they took Don Quixote out for a stroll, not in his armour but in street costume, with a surcoat of tawny cloth upon him, that at that season would have made ice itself sweat. Orders were left with the servants to entertain Sancho so as not to let him leave the house. Don Quixote was mounted, not on Rocinante, but upon a tall mule of easy pace and handsomely caparisoned. They put the surcoat on him, and on the back, without his perceiving it, they stitched a parchment on which they wrote in large letters, "This is Don Quixote of La Mancha." As they set out upon their excursion the placard attracted the eyes of all who chanced to see him, and as they read out, "This is Don Quixote of La Mancha," Don Quixote was amazed to see how many people gazed at him, called him by his name, and recognised him, and turning to Don Antonio, who rode at his side, he observed to him, "Great are the privileges knight-errantry involves, for it makes him who professes it known and famous in every region of the earth; see, Don Antonio, even the very boys of this city know me without ever having seen me."
I would have thee know, Sancho, that the famous Amadis of Gaul was one of the most perfect knights-errant—I am wrong to say he was one; he stood alone, the first, the only one, the lord of all that were in the world in his time. A fig for Don Belianis, and for all who say he equalled him in any respect, for, my oath upon it, they are deceiving themselves! ... In the same way Amadis was the polestar, day-star, sun of valiant and devoted knights, whom all we who fight under the banner of love and chivalry are bound to imitate.
Roque on coming up asked Sancho if his men had returned and restored to him the treasures and jewels they had stripped off Dapple. Sancho said they had, but that three kerchiefs that were worth three cities were missing.
"What are you talking about, man?" said one of the bystanders; "I have got them, and they are not worth three reals."
"That is true," said Don Quixote; "but my squire values them at the rate he says, as having been given me by the person who gave them."
Life Embellished: Ruy Pérez de Viedma relates all his biography in “The story of the Captive Captain”. He was a handsome captive captain who wanted to escape the Moors and was helped by Zoraida, a beautiful Moor princess who wanted to convert to Christianity. The captain organized a successful evasion to Spain, was well received by his powerful and rich relatives and married Zoraida. Cervantes was a captive who failed all his evasion intents, his family paid his rescue and he always was an Impoverished Patrician.
Literary Agent Hypothesis: Cervantes (only referred in the book as "The second author") says that the book was based on some manuscripts he found and made translate to Spanish by an Arab translator.
Written by some Arabian named Cide Hamete Benengeli (or Sidi Ahmed bin Engeli, as it would be rendered today) whose first name, "Cide", could be translated as "Mister", and whose last name is a pun on "berenjena" (eggplant/aubergine).
This trope is parodied, because a lot of chivalry books have his authors claim that they are based in an old manuscript found in an ancient pyramid or another ruined building in some faraway country, written in an exotic language by a wise, famed wizard who favored the hero of the novel. Those claims are made to feign that the chivalry book was inspired by real events. Cervantes twist this and uses it to a comic effect, explaining that the next part of the novel was found in some pamphlets and papers (only a few years old) found in Alcana de Toledo (a real city in Spain) in a silk mercer store, written in Arabic (a fairly known language in Spain) by a (foolish) boy who didn't know what was written in them and so sold the papers to Cervantes for peanuts. If we include the funny name of the wizard and the fact that the second author, the translator and Cide Hamete Benengeli are always making comments about the book, we can see that Cervantes want us to admit that all this tale is a long sequence of lies and nonsense... just like all the chivalry books.
Long List: This trope is played straight and parodied:
Parodied at Chapter XVIII, Part I. Since Homer, the description of the forces and the generals of an army was an important part of the heroic literature, and books of chivalry were pleased to develop it, (Amadis of Gaul has a similar scene). In that chapter, Don Quixote describes what he sees at two contending armies to Sancho, whom only can see… two droves of sheep.
Lord Error-Prone: Pretty much the Trope Maker and the Ur-Example: In the first part of the novel, Cervantes settles Don Quixote characterization as this: he almost kills the Vizcayan at chapter IX and maimed for life the Licenciate at chapter XIX. Misaimed Fandom insisted in seeing him as the much more sympathetic Mad Dreamer.
Lost in Translation: A joke in the Spanish version is that even when everyone understands the term island, only truly sophisticated people understand the term ''insula''. So, Sancho doesn’t really understand what an insula really is, but he desperately wants to rule one, so he would be tricked later in a Massive Multiplayer Scam to rule a little town that is not an island. In some English translations (for example, the Gutenberg project this joke is Lost in Translation).
Cervantes is constantly making puns and wordplay, most of which is untranslatable.
May-December Romance: Don Quixote is around 50; Dulcinea, being an unmarried peasant girl, is probably less than 20. Not that she knows anything about her pretender's interest, though.
Deconstructed with Altisidora and Don Quixote in the second part: Altisidora, a 14 year old maiden at the Duke’s palace, pretends to be in love with Don Quixote. He stoically accepts her teasing and mean pranks because he believes she’s in love with him, but he never attempts anything because he wants to be loyal to Dulcinea and is very happy when he abandons her and the palace. Being an honest man, he confesses to Sancho that Altisidora’s feelings caused him more confusion than pity, showing us how awkward and foolish would be this kind of relationship in reality.
Meaningful Name: Dulcinea, the name Don Quixote gives to his random Love Interest, could be translated as "Sweety". For the others, see Punny Name. Another example: Doctor Pedro Recio (could be translated as "Doctor Hard Rock"), a doctor who insists that Sancho, as a governor, must have a very strict diet. There are many, many others. The very name itself, quixote (Modern Spanish quijote) means "cuisse", the thighplate of a knightly armour.
Mock Guffin: The Golden Helmet of Mambrino, an artifact from romance novels that supposedly made its wearer invincible, is the former Trope Namer. Don Quixote sees a barber wearing his brass basin on his head to keep out the rain and assumes that the basin is the Golden Helmet and takes it for himself.
Sancho is offered dinner with a lot of delicious dishes. Every dish they present him, a doctor signals that he cannot have it because it’s not in a governor’s diet. This is done until an angry Sancho asks what he can eat: only some cookies and fruit.
Sancho asks an innkeeper what food he has to offer. The innkeeper answers that every meat, fish or bird he could ask. Everything Sancho asks, the innkeeper doesn’t have. When Sancho asks what does the innkeeper really has, he answers only a couple of cow-heels.
"All this that I have now repeated I said to him, and much more which I cannot recollect; but it had no effect in inducing him to forego his purpose; he who has no intention of paying does not trouble himself about difficulties when he is striking the bargain.
New Media Are Evil: Spain at The Cavalier Years had just discovered the printing press, and books were considered this trope. The Book Burning the Moral Guardians enact at first part chapter VI to cure Don Quixote’s madness has not the darker connotations associated to the trope (and it’s full of Take Thats against badly written books).
The instant Don Quixote heard his own name be started to his feet and listened with open ears to catch what they said about him, and heard the Don Jeronimo who had been addressed say in reply, "Why would you have us read that absurd stuff, Don Juan, when it is impossible for anyone who has read the First Part of the history of 'Don Quixote of La Mancha' to take any pleasure in reading this Second Part?"
"For all that," said he who was addressed as Don Juan, "we shall do well to read it, for there is no book so bad but it has something good in it. What displeases me most in it is that it represents Don Quixote as now cured of his love for Dulcinea del Toboso."
In Part I, Chapter I: The giant Morgante is one of Alonso Quixano’s favorite characters, because despite being a giant, (and in the chivalry books all giants are arrogant and angry), he is affable and well bred… It’s cool, isn’t it? the whole point is that Alonso Quixano think’s this kind of character is original of his beloved chivalry books, but really it’s not.
Only Sane Man: Sancho. And even then, he still willingly follows Quixote and even believes some of the ridiculous things he's told, because he's a simple peasant who doesn't know any better.
Better examples are the unnamed ecclesiastic from chapter XXXI and the unnamed Castilian for chapter LXII, both from part II. They are the only ones who publicly recognize that Don Quixote is a crazy fool, and lampshade that everyone who makes jokes on him is also a crazy fool too.
Out-of-Character Moment: Lampshaded: In the first part, it's very clear that Sancho Panza is a naïve simpleton. In the second part, Sancho suddenly says very intelligent things to his wife. One of the "narrators" of this tale, seeing this inconsistence, decides to warn us: "The translator of this history, when he comes to write this fifth chapter, says that he considers it apocryphal, because in it Sancho Panza speaks in a style unlike that which might have been expected from his limited intelligence, and says things so intelligent that he does not think it possible he could have conceived them; however, desirous of doing what his task imposed upon him, he was unwilling to leave it untranslated, and therefore he went on to say": This could be considered the beginning of Sancho's slow transformation into a wiser person.
Another example is obtained in Chapter II, Part I: Don Quixote has left his home through a back door and now travels the countryside, thinking abouthow some wise wizard will write the beginning of his adventure. Don Quixote uses a style perhaps not as exaggerated as some examples of purple prose, but certainly is overdeveloped and fancy. You can find the quote at the link of this trope.
"Rashomon"-Style: At chapter XII of Part I, Don Quixote hears conflicted versions of the story of Chrysostom and Marcela in his way to Chrysostom’s funeral: Shepherd Pedro thinks Marcela is a good person. Ambrosio, Chrysostom’s best friend, calls her cruel, but admits it’s an Informed Flaw. Chrysostom poem claims he is a Love Martyr and Marcela is a cruel Ice Queen. At the end, Marcela claims she is So Beautiful, It's a Curse and he has the right, as a free woman, to reject anyone. Nobody says, but everybody implies, Spurned Into Suicide
Real After All: Sancho Panza is fooled by the Duke to assume a governorship (really a complicated series of Massive Multiplayer Scam just to prank Sancho). When Sancho patrols his Insula, he is victim of various prankers, except for the last one, a Sweet Polly Oliver that no one knows, who is a girl who has escaped his Gilded Cage, to all the pranksters confusion.
Reality Ensues: This is what happens when an aging nobleman with little fighting skills and crappy armaments imagines himself a knight-errant.
Retcon: In Part II, Cervantes tried to correct some of the most glaring continuity errors of the first book, particularly the mysterious disappearance of Sancho's donkey.
Satire/Parody/Pastiche: Cervantes, both in the prologue and in the novel itself parodies the way contemporary writers wrote, satirized characters, books, made allusions to many, MANY other works and made a huge impact at the time it was printed.
Scheherazade Gambit: Sancho tries to do this to Quixote to keep him from charging against a watermill (Quixote had something with mills). He forgets about what he was telling.
It's actually even funnier than that: the story he tells Quixote was a common children's story of the time, and is supposed to work like a lullaby, repeating a useless element over and over until the kid goes to sleep.
Sancho talks about using a sword at Part I Chapter XV and the Barber mentions Sancho has a sword in his hips at Part I Chapter XLVI, but at Part II Chapter XIV, Sancho denies ever having a sword.
The name of Sancho’s wife changes at the same page in Part I Chapter 7 (Juana Gutiérrez and Mari Gutiérrez), in Part I Chapter LII (Juana Panza), changes again at Part II Chapter V (Teresa Panza and Teresa Cascajo) and in Part II Chapter L (Teresa Panza).
At the first part, Don Quixote knows that Dulcinea del Toboso is a Shadow Archetype based on Aldonza Lorenzo. In the second part, he claims he never has seen her.
Serious Business: This is the theme of the novel: The first part, only Don Quixote is affected with the chivalry lifestyle, but in the second, a sizable portion of the Spanish population takes it far more seriously than it should be. There are various examples:
Don Quixote: Type I: The very last stage of Alonso Quixano's obsession with chivalry books and the first stage of his true madness (and also to show exactly how out of touch with reality he really is): Part I, Chapter I shows us how important are the chivalry books for him: he will have given his housekeeper and his niece to kick that traitor of Ganelon. (Ganelon was the guy who betrayed Roland at Roncesvalles and who becomes, with Mordred and Judas, one of the great exemplars of treachery for the mediæval period).
The Duke and the Duchess: They spent a lot of money and organize truly Massive Multiplayer Scam (Dulcinea’s enchantment has all the people in their castle, the Insula Barataria involucres all the people of a town) only to laugh at Don Quixote and Sancho.
Shout-Out: Hundreds upon hundreds of them, although many would be unrecognizable to the modern reader.
Chapter I part I mentions Aristotle, philosopher widely regarded as the greatest abstract thinker of Occidental Civilization. Even he has no chance to make sense of the purple prose that plagued Chivalry Books. Also in Chapter III, Part II, Don Quixote's opinion about history and poetry reflects the theory exposed in Aristotle's Poetics.
Show Within a Show (in Part 1, a number of short stories told by other characters). For example, "The Ill-Advised Curiosity" is a true novel within the novel, and the priest reads it to all the guests in the inn completely through two chapters of the first part.
'For the love of God, sir knight-errant, if you ever meet me again, though you may see them cutting me to pieces, give me no aid or succour, but leave me to my misfortune, which will not be so great but that a greater will come to me by being helped by your worship, on whom and all the knights-errant that have ever been born God send his curse
Sweet Polly Oliver: Dorothea, from the first part, plays this trope perfectly straight. At the second part, this trope will be parodied and deconstructed
The Exile Ana Felix deconstructs this trope: Fleeing for Spain for having a Muslim father, she enters Algiers, where the King blackmails her to steal his family treasure hidden in Spain. So she wears men’s clothes to come back with the King’s soldiers and mislead the Spanish authorities.
Take That: Cervantes uses his book to attack several people and institutions of the XVII century, always in a funny manner:
Last but not least, in his prologue of part I, Cervante’s friend mentions a common author trick of his time: Any Spanish author of XVII century only needs to mention the most obvious and world-renowned people or facts. And he doesn´t even need to know those facts, he could only research a book that quotes famous authors from A to Z and just insert the examples in his own book, because some readers are simple enough to believe that the author can use all those quotes in any book. Critics have said that this last reference was an attack to Lope de Vega, the most influential Spanish playwright and writer, and very successful and famous in their own time. (Cervantes himself was not successful, but he is one of the most influential universal writers).
Played straight with Aldonza Lorenzo, a young peasant girl from a town called Toboso, who is blissfully unaware that Don Quixote's had a crush on her. She never appeared in neither parts of the novel, only was referred to by other characters.
Parodied by Dulcinea del Toboso, the imaginary love interest of Don Quixote. Since the first part of the novel, Don Quixote imagines her as a beautiful noblewoman who lives in a castle, or in other words, a person completely different from Aldonza Lorenzo. This imaginary entity is a literal ghost, but it's mentioned so many times across the novel that she can be considered the third protagonist besides Don Quixote and Sancho. Besides, in the second part, one of the plot points is Don Quixote's quest to disenchant Dulcinea and to find her at last, even when he knows he imagined her, is another proof of Don Quixote's madness.
Played straight when the Canon makes a small Character Filibuster asking for a law to regulate Theatre at Spain and so avoid excesses and revenge between actors and society that is obviously an Author Filibuster from Cervantes himself.
Those Two Guys: Pedro Perez, The priest, and Maese Nicholas, The barber. Better known as "The priest and the barber", two guys from the same town as Don Quixote, who are fond of chivalry books, like Don Quixote, and that are completely sane, unlike Don Quixote, and... well, you would not find any other personality trait in them.
TV Never Lies: This is one of the themes of the novel: Juan Palomeque, the innkeeper, believes that Chivalric Romance stories are real because these are printed in books approved by the Royal Council:
"But consider, brother," said the curate once more, "there never was any Felixmarte of Hircania in the world, nor any Cirongilio of Thrace, or any of the other knights of the same sort, that the books of chivalry talk of; the whole thing is the fabrication and invention of idle wits, devised by them for the purpose you describe of beguiling the time, as your reapers do when they read; for I swear to you in all seriousness there never were any such knights in the world, and no such exploits or nonsense ever happened anywhere."
"Try that bone on another dog," said the innkeeper; "as if I did not know how many make five, and where my shoe pinches me; don't think to feed me with pap, for by God I am no fool. It is a good joke for your worship to try and persuade me that everything these good books say is nonsense and lies, and they printed by the license of the Lords of the Royal Council, as if they were people who would allow such a lot of lies to be printed all together, and so many battles and enchantments that they take away one's senses."
Undying Loyalty: Sancho Panza claims to have this for Don Quixote… even when Sancho considers several times in the book to left Don Quixote service, but he is so fond of him he never does it.
...if I were wise I should have left my master long ago; but this was my fate, this was my bad luck; I can't help it, I must follow him; we're from the same village, I've eaten his bread, I'm fond of him, I'm grateful, he gave me his ass-colts, and above all I'm faithful; so it's quite impossible for anything to separate us, except the pickaxe and shovel.
Lampshaded: In the very first paragraph, Don Quixote's literary portrait has the narrator NOT telling us the name of Don Quixote's town, and the narrator admits he doesn't know very well if his name was Quixada, Quesada or Quexana. For the people of the seventeen century, this was an infringement of a very well known rule of the literary portrait, and so they immediately had the real impression that the author was a liar. Also, the original author (Cide Hamete Benengeli) and the Translator (an anonymous Moor) comment the text when the plot is being implausible, and the second author (Cervantes), constantly remind us that this is a true history. All these tricks show that Cervantes clearly want the reader realizes that this tale cannot be true.
Not to mention the fact that the so called original author has an Arabic name. At that time in Spain, Arabs were thought to be liars.
Up to Eleven: Every major female character on Part 1 tops the beauty of all preceding ladies of the Novel. Even when the previous most beautiful girls are present, everyone is amazed by the incomparable beauty of the newly introduced, challenging the reader to imagine them increasingly better good looking. It finally peaks with Leandra, whose beauty was famous even in the halls of the royalty of distant cities. It seems it "overflows" in Part II, where the person Sancho chooses to be the new Dulcinea is described as the ugliest woman you can imagine. How? A Wizard Did It! and the plot becomes to try to disenchant her.
Where The Hell Is Springfield?: First line: "In a village of La Mancha the name of which I have no desire to recall." It's even lampshaded in the very last chapter: Part II, chapter 74: "Such was the end of the Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha, whose village Cide Hamete would not indicate precisely, in order to leave all the towns and villages of La Mancha to contend among themselves for the right to adopt him and claim him as a son, as the seven cities of Greece contended for Homer".
Well, it is where the word 'quixotic' comes from...
This trope is severely deconstructed: In the first part, Don Quixote cares more for fulfilling his fantasies than for anyone else. He confides that the farmer Haduldo will stop flogging the boy Andrés and that the Galley slaves he liberates will be grateful enough to make him a favor. (They´re not). His actions make him the original Lord Error-Prone. In the second part is even worse: he really acts For Happiness and after some Massive Multiplayer Scam aventures that convince him he is a real Knight Errant he must face the sad fact that he has not helped anyone and therefore, all those Chivalric Romance tropes were Blatant Lies. This is so heartbreaking that he becomes Bored With Insanity and dies. Being called "Quixotic" is not always a good thing.
A Wizard Did It: All over the place in the books Don Quixote reads, so naturally when reality blatantly deviates from how he imagines it, he assumes that enchanters are behind it.
Much more literally, when the priest and the barber burn Don Quixote's books, they tell him that a wizard stole them. Don Quixote goes off to find the wizard.
You Watch Too Much X: Even when Quixote could be the Ur Example and Trope Maker for this trope, in the novel this is a Unbuilt Trope: the Stock Phrase never appears in the novel, and Don Quixote is not Genre Savvy but Wrong Genre Savvy: When in some situation Don Quixote comments about how similar situation have happened in the tales he has read in his chivalry books , the people hearing him don’t answer with “You read too much X”. Even so, there are some examples that are very near to this situation, and the fact that Don Quixote read too much and that drove him to believe that he was a knight errand is the core of the novel, and is lampshaded by the narrator since the very beginning (Chapter I Part I).