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FC De Kampioenen
"F.C. De Kampioenen" ("FC" stands for "fan club") was a hugely popular Flemish TV sitcom about the (mis)adventures of a local amateur soccer (in Dutch the word "voetbal", which actually translate to "football") club and their members. The series aired in 1990 and ended almost two decades later, in 2011. The show remains one of the most popular TV shows in Flanders and was mostly considered to be a family show, appreciated by children just as much as adults. The stories took place on the soccer field, but also in the local bar and the respective homes of the main characters.

The huge popularity of the show turned it into a Cash Cow Franchise, which spawned musical records, toys, a comic book series and even a feature film in 2013. These comics were completely different than the show, having the ability to have the characters do or go where they wanted to, something the TV series were unable too. In fact the comics are completely separate from the show; even when the TV series ended, new comics are, as of 2012, still produced; eventually outliving the original source.

This TV series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: In one episode Carmen was jealous of Xavier, because he met another woman, played by Janine Bischops, who used to be Johny Voners (the actor who played Xavier)' real wife back then.
  • Arch-Enemy: DDT, then BTW and then Fernand. They really hate having the titular "Kampioenen" as neighbours.
  • The Alcoholic: Xavier, who really enjoys drinking beer.
  • Berserk Button: Never touch Fernand Costerman's (who is a pigeon breeder) pigeons.
    • Whenever DDT's windows were smashed by a soccer ball he went berserk as well.
  • Breakout Character: Mark Vertongen was simply meant to be a recurring radio reporter who did reports on the matches. In his early incarnation he was a pretty straight side character, but after a while Flanderisation set in and he was transformed into an infantile imbecile who provided comic relief for the children in the audience. He became a main character of the show and married the character Bieke.
  • Butt Monkey: Usually DDT, BTW or Fernand.
  • Canon Foreigner: The comics features characters who've never shown up in the TV series.
    • Balthazar Boma's mother (called Oma Boma by everyone else, meaning Grandma Boma)
    • Inspector Porei
    • Balthazar the dog (yes the characters are aware that the dog has the same name as one of them)
  • Con Man: Fernand Costermans.
    • Everyone calls him "barkeep"
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: A frequent conclusion of a plot.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: All of the female characters.
  • Cultural Translation: This series is really a local phenomenon and despite some attempts to make a foreign version never caught on elsewhere.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: Balthazar Boma is a sausage salesman, but apart from him nobody thinks these sausages taste good.
  • Every Episode Ending: A lot of episodes end with characters giving a round to everyone in the bar.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: A frequent conclusion of each episode.
  • Expy: A recurring character in the comics is an inspector named Inspector Porei.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: De Kampioenen are the worst soccer team in the country, but whenever they have to win a game to keep their field they always triumph...
  • Family Rivalry: There's rivalry between the couples, but in the end they all remain good friends.
  • Flanderisation:
    • The character Marc Vertonghen was originally a bright, straight side character, but as Characterization Marches On he evolved into an infantile, na´ve buffoon and the most popular character of the cast.
    • The original seasons mixed drama with comedy, but after a while the show evolved into a slapstick parade centering around Marc, while the characters were reduced to having personalities not deeper than comic book characters.
  • Henpecked Husband: Xavier by Carmen and Oscar by Pascale.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Especially of the sexual kind...
  • Long Runner: The TV show ran for 21 seasons, from 1990 until 2011. The comics too, debuting in 1998 will most likely last longer than the show.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Fernand.
  • Meaningful Name: The antagonist Dimitri De Tremmerie's initials are "DDT", which is an abbreviation for a type of pesticide.
    • Bernard Theofiel Waterslaeghers' initials are BTW, the name of the subtaxes in Belgium.
    • Maurice De Praetere likes to talk. Praetere is a pun on "praten", Dutch for "to talk".
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: A very common plot device which leads to Hilarity Ensues.
  • Old Maid: Pascale, who was originally married to Oscar, but after the actor left the series they were "divorced" off screen. After that Pascale desperately tried to find another husband.
  • Only Known by Initials: Dimitri De Tremmerie (DDT) and Bernard Theofiel Waterslaeghers (BTW).
    • Averted, everyone knows their full names, but insist calling them like this.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Despite the title many episodes revolve less about soccer matches and more about the private lives of the characters.
  • Put on a Bus: Several actors and their characters have been written out from the series.
  • Real Person Cameo: Some Flemish celebrities have played cameos: Janine Bischops, Constant Vanden Stock, Jean-Marie Pfaff, Eddy Wally, Nicole & Hugo, ...
  • Running Gag:
    • DDT's windows are kicked in by soccer balls, to which he always shouts: "Zal 't gaan, ja?"
    • Balthasar Boma's sausages are considered to be tasteless by everyone.
    • Whenever Carmen is dusting off things in Balthasar Boma's office Boma will try and give her a pat on her ass.
    • Markske always does something stupid or wrong.
  • Slapstick: This element became more dominant as the series progressed.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • After Pico (played by Walter Michiels) was written out of the series his wife Bieke was hooked up with a new character, Pol (played by Ben Rottiers), who shared many of the same character traits as his predecessor.
    • The same can be said about the replacements for the show's villain, DDT. Both BTW and Fernand were introduced in the show and immediately, without any real reason at all, became the new mortal enemies of the soccer team.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: EVERY episode!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Markske.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Xavier and Carmen.
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