Series / Caméra Café

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CameraCafe_1054.JPG
Italian version - From left to right, Paolo, Andrea and Luca. Paolo and Luca try to smile as Andrea (in the middle) prepares to do what he does best.

Paolo: "Pippo, weren't ya goin' to the bathroom?"
Pippo: "But I..."

A French sketch comedy series which spawned more than a dozen adaptations around the world, punny-named so because "Camera Cachée" is French for Candid Camera. The original French series lasted from September, 2001 to December, 2003. A number of the adaptation were still ongoing as of 2011.

It basically involves a fixed camera, installed in a coffee vending machine. Said vending machine is inside a corridor within a company with No Name Given, next to a heavily dysfunctional office.

The camera never moves unless in cases of Camera Abuse (which happen a lot), all while accurately filming the employees' quirky habits.

But what could possibly happen in the relax area, to deserve enough interest to install a camera in a coffee vending machine?

EVERYTHING.

This series, sadly, has never been re-done in English. However this doesn't mean we can't list some tropes here. The series concept has however been sold across many countries, who have copied or made their own scripts based on the concept. The Quebec version, for examples, features a gender-neutral bathroom door in the room where the coffee machine is, allowing for other situations.

A character sheet (also about the Italian version) is under construction, although the most characters have essentially already been covered by now. Pictures about minor characters - or even one-time guest stars - are not strictly required, but still welcome nonetheless.


This series (the names listed come from the Italian version) provides example of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: With Paolo being easily the worst offender. Subverted with Silvano (although he has his rare moments), who is much more naive and innocent than his girlfriend Patti.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Paolo often calls his friend Luca "Bubino" (as much as Luca hates this nickname).
  • Annoying Laugh:
  • Anti-Role Model: Paolo. His defining traits are: almost illiterate by choice, proud of it, can't spell a single word right, he's Book Dumb enough to be unable to end a proverb without simply repeating twice the first half of it, drinks Grappa (imagine something similar to Whisky) regularly even while driving, Drives Like Crazy even while being sober, he only wants to drive either campers or Alfa Romeos, he's a Loony Fan of Italian band Pooh (that last one not actually being a flaw by itself, obviously, but purchasing campers, Alfas and discographies may be too much of an expensive hobby for a father), he can't sing his idols' songs right, he's a full-fledged Casanova Wannabe, only able to betray his wife with Maruska the hooker, argues with his wife almost as regularly as how often he's drunk, he's proud of his two sons because of their criminal habits, and on top of that, he has only one testicle!
  • Asshole Victim: Luca and Paolo, whenever they interact with Andrea.
  • Audible Sharpness: this one needs explanation. Guido Geller, a post-merger character, acts as an in-universe Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, given how being in charge of human resources makes him an extremely feared figure. He carries a small notebook almost as feared as the Death Note, and whenever he notices anything going wrong, he takes it and starts writing. That's when the Audible Sharpness kicks in.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Vittorio the guard. In spades.
    • Also Paolo's stalker (and occasional lover) Lucrezia has shades of this as well-
    • Subverted with Andrea who is just a sociopathic bully.
  • Bald of Evil: Andrea, as seen above, overlapping with Bald of Awesome, with Beard of Evil thrown in the mix.
  • Basement-Dweller: Silvano's relationship with his mom is similar to Seymour and Agnes Skinner.
  • Batman Gambit: Chiara, daughter of the Magnificent Bastard director De Marinis, once pulled a Gambit on her own father.
  • Berserk Button: Andrea has a whole keyboard made of these.
  • Big Eater: Olmo in early seasons. His actor loses weight before season 5 so his eating habits Running Gag is removed.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Patti is a self-proclaimed animal lover who also does volunteering with older people. She comes off as a naive homely woman who is bullied by the other jerks on the show...except that she's often revealed to be a Jerkass just as much as everyone else and she treats her pseudo-boyfriend Silvano like dirt.
  • Black Comedy: Subverted in that nobody makes jokes about certain subjects. This doesn't mean the character just won't stop being complete assholes to each other. Their mistreatment of Wanda, an old employee, counts as this trope.
  • Brainless Beauty:
    • Anna, Depending on the Writer. She's a very good-looking woman and men hit on her frequently but due to her Butt-Monkey status, she sometimes gets the Hollywood Homely treatment. How much she's stupid also varies depending on the episode.
    • Gloria in season 5. In fact her character was created just to be this trope. She's a Ms. Fanservice (played by model Desy Luccini) and so brainless that even Paolo seems smart when they have a scene together.
  • Book Dumb: Paolo, to ridiculous levels. He can't even spell his own name.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Luca and Paolo are actually pretty good in their respective jobs- when they fail it isn't because they're not skilled, but because fate said so. With that said, good luck seeing them working: they'd much rather spend their time in the Relax Area than doing something constructive.
    Paolo: "I might be a beast but I'm a professional, for the love of..."
  • The Bully:
    • Luca and Paolo are two bullies (towards Patti and especially Silvano) but they are also picked on by another much stronger bully (Andrea, of course).
    • While Paolo is implied to be a bully and a Jerk Jock even when he was in high school, Luca used to be the Butt-Monkey of his class, mercilessly bullied by all his classmates.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Paolo is a sleazy, borderline illiterate alcoholic who is also the best salesman in the company.
    • Silvano is a complete idiot and Momma's Boy who is also a very competent accountant. It helps that he's Good with Numbers and (unlike his co-workers) takes his job very seriously.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Silvano is by far the biggest Butt Monkey due to being Luca's and Paolo's favorite target. He gets all kinds of abuse, beatings, and cruel pranks in any given episode. Basically everyone in the company considers him the office's punching bag.
    • Patti, Silvano's "girlfriend", is regularly made fun of and ridiculed by everyone, especially for her physical appearance.
    • Pippo. After Silvano, he's easily the most mistreated of the male characters. There's a Running Gag of people ordering him to go to the bathroom, when they don't want him around.
    • Wanda is an old woman and the lowest-level employee with the most tiresome job. Everyone takes advantage of her and treats her like crap.
    • Anna can't catch a break. Her home life is horrible, she's a single mother of two kids who is always struggling with money. Her ex-husband was a Domestic Abuser and every man she meets turns out to be violent as well (Played for Laughs!) At work she gets no respect either, her boss constantly yells at her, and she's the butt of many jokes by the other colleagues who show No Sympathy towards her situation.
  • Camera Abuse: Expect it anytime Andrea draws near.
  • Camp Gay: Pippo's behavior, though in an interesting subversion, his appearance makes him Camp Straight.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Silvano in "La barzelletta di Silvano" ("Silvano's joke"). Go to the trope page and see why.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Paolo. He wishes he had sex with the women listed under Ms Fanservice below. Poor thing, he always ruins everything right when he's close to the point to get one of them to date him. Out of his co-workers he only slept with his best friend's "girlfriend" Alex, his stalker Lucrezia and 60 year-old Wanda. He actually gets many girls outside his workplace, mostly hookers and sluts, but still. It has been mentioned that he has an intense sex life unlike Luca.
  • Catch-Phrase: Several.
    • Paolo: "TALKIN' 'BOUT ME?"
      • "[first half of the proverb] [Beat] [first half of the proverb]"
      • "Weren't ya goin' to the bathroom, Pippo? GO TO THE BATHROOM!"
    • Carminati: "FOR TOM WEIL!"
    • Silvano: "TOH-GOH!" (a stand-in for "Awesome!", usually said about stuff that's not really that awesome at all)
    • De Marinis, the director: "YOU MORON!"
    • Luca: "Now this will piss off our bosses!"
    • Olmo: "I'll send you an e-mail!"
    • Vittorio: "Ah, if it isn't that little comunist bastard with his tall, brainless pal!"
    • Geller "In the ancient region of..." following a boring story about ancient chinese populations.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several characters did just disappear without being mentioned again, most notably: Anna (one of the most prominent characters in the first two seasons), Jessica, Anselmo, psychologist Nadia along with other minor characters. But the biggest change was in the fifth season starting in 2011: Ilaria, Gaia, Giovanna, Emma, Maria Eleonora, Caterina and Carminati are all missing in the new episodes and seem to be just forgotten by the other characters.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Patti, Alex and Paolo's wife Valeria. Rather hypocritically since they all cheat on their respective partners (or try to, in Patti's case since all men find her repulsive).
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Paolo. The following exchange pretty much sums everything up.
    Luca: "This quiz says you have to astonish your bosses. What should you do?"
    Paolo: "I don't know, by drinking with my nose?"
    Luca: "Something that has to do with your job."
    Paolo: "Drinking with my nose while I'm driving my Alfa?"
    Luca: "Something that has anything to do with your selling job!"
    Paolo: "Drinking with my nose while I'm signing a contract, then!"
    Luca: "But- [brief Beat] Listen, do you seriously think you'll surprise your boss by drinking with your nose?"
    Paolo: "How do you think I got my job?"
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Everyone.
  • Comes Great Insanity: De Marinis once challenged Luca to become "boss for a day", since the latter accused the former to be unfair and declared to be a way nicer boss if given the chance. By the end of that very sketch, he became so "good" at giving orders to prompt a company-scale rebellion.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Paolo often falls into this, being also Sarcasm-Blind and Literal-Minded.
  • The Comically Serious: Guido Geller. Andrea is very good at it as well.
  • Couch Gag: in the beginning, the opening for each sketch provided the series' logo, printed on a small plastic glass while it gets filled with coffee. Then, in the second season, a few variations have been made, such as both the plastic glass and the stream of coffee being misplaced, or the plastic glass being flipped over by the coffee itself. The third season upped the ante with even more absurd variations such as the plastic glass slowly lowered by chains and filled with concrete, a small scuba-diver-action-figure popping up from the plastic glass, the plastic glass being absent and the coffee flooding everything, the plastic glass glowing in the dark, a fish falling off the machine...
  • Crapsack World: Well, Relax Area. Let's just put it this way. Out of all the characters played by the guest stars, almost nobody liked the company in any way. For good reason.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The company produces something called C-14. It's never said what it is. In an episode, Patti is going to say what they are, but the episode ends in the middle of the phrase.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luca, about his friend Paolo and... well, about anything that's weird in general.
    (Luca notices one of the small, round, silver-colored tables stuck to the ceiling)
    Luca: "Why is one of the tables stuck to the ceiling?"
    Paolo (to Luca): "I chose to take a vacation in order to not see that bastard that is Mr. Geller for a while."
    Geller: "Next time you'd better be more careful about when taking a vacation then; turned out we'll both be away from work within the same time range, instead of you coming back to work when I'm on holiday."
    Paolo: "Oh. How long have you been eavesdropping?"
    • De Marinis is pretty snarky as well.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Regularly. Usually it ruins Luca and Paolo's plans at the end of episode (Andrea showing up out of nowhere etc.)
  • Did Not Get the Girl: A Running Gag for Luca and Paolo, whoever the girl is; usually Gaia for Paolo and Maria Eleonora for Luca but Giovanna and Caterina are involved very often as well.
  • The Ditz:
    • Anna, definitely. Even Olmo, who is in love with her, admits that she's rather dumb.
    • Patti is a ditzy airhead with some Cloudcuckoolander tendencies as well. There's also her "boyfriend" Silvano but his math skills put him into the Genius Ditz territory.
    • In Season 5 the queen of this trope is Gloria.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Paolo, on occasion, usually much to Luca's total shock.
  • Dumb Is Good:
    • All the stupid characters (like Patti, Silvano, Anna, Wanda, Gloria) tend to be way too naive and innocent to be as mean and cynical as others. Patti in the later seasons is far less naive and more and more shrill and bossy.
    • Subverted with Paolo who is dumb and just as much of a Jerkass as his smart friend Luca.
    • Also subverted with Vittorio who is an insane idiot and one of the most sociopathic characters on the show.
  • The Eeyore: Anna, who combines this with The Woobie and Fragile Flower, but it's justified since her life seems pretty horrible.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Arch-enemies Ilaria and Gaia on a few occasions teamed up against Luca and Paolo.
    • This is the point of the whole relationship between Luca and De Marinis. They are openly hostile to each other, the former being a "Communist" who claims the director his natural enemy because of their opposite political leanings, but actually they are always making secret agreements and plotting together against the other workers for their own personal profit (and everyone knows it, as lampshaded in the season 4 episode "Il blog di Patti").
  • Epic Fail: most characters are prone to this. Mostly noticeable in a sketch beginning with Luca screws up and gets tea instead of coffee; instead of simply throwing it away, he tries to give it to someone elsenote . By the end of the sketch, he ends up with even more tea.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Luca vs. De Marinis, Luca/Paolo vs. Andrea are the most frequent. One episode puts the two office's resident psychopaths (Andrea and Vittorio) against each other. Aside from that episode they don't have other scenes together though.
  • Exact Words: in one episode, Jerk Ass director De Marinis is about to install an answering machine as a replacement to textbook Sexy Secretary and resident Ms. Fanservice Giovanna, prompting Gonk, Butt-Monkey and Dirty Old Woman Wanda to comfort her by saying "you're young and pretty, you won't have any problems trying to find another job"; De Marinis replies that "this is why her new job will be yours, Wanda. We need an intern". Giovanna's solution is asking resident Nerd and Playful Hacker Olmo's help in order to mess around with the answering machine, only for Casanova Wannabe Paolo finding out about it instead. Giovanna then points out she'll need the help of them both, as her "reward" can be shared. Given that A Threesome Is Hot, Olmo and Paolo eagerly team up and accept, and at the end of the episode, nobody gets fired. Cue the usage of Exact Words: Giovanna points out the two guys will get rewarded by the one who actually risked to lose her job: in other words... Wanda.
  • Extreme Doormat: Pretty much every Butt-Monkey, especially Silvano.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Basically the plot of every episode.
  • Flanderization:
    • Patti goes from a nice, ditzy, unattractive woman with some Bitch in Sheep's Clothing tendencies to a bossy, hysterical Jerkass in later seasons.
    • Paolo. In season 1, with all his flaws, he still had common sense, he was just less book smart than Luca. In later seasons, he was really dumbed down, to the point he never gets the simplest thing and Luca has to explain anything to him multiple times. His idiocy reached its peak in season 4 though, it was a bit toned down in season 5.
    • Silvano was less of a wimpy doormat in the very first episodes. He was still a Butt-Monkey but he was actually able to react to people and in one episode after being insulted by Luca, he loudly yells back at him. In later episodes, apart from very rare Berserk Button moments of unexpected violence, he is a total Extreme Doormat.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Paolo's sons Brad (foolish) and Jonathan (responsible). Interestingly, in the beginning they are both shown as Enfant Terrible, but at some point, to Paolo's absolute dismay, the oldest son Jonathan starts reading, studying and getting good grades. Obviously Paolo is often mad at him because of it and favours little criminal Brad instead.
  • Friend Versus Lover: There are quite a few episodes with Paolo and Alex fighting over Luca. That inevitably end up with Luca having a rare Pet the Dog moment trying to make happy both of them at the same time...only to discover that they actually don't care about him at all and that decided to spend time with each other instead. Leaving him alone, as usual.
  • Funny Background Event: All the time. We often get to see... stuff randomly happening in the background; more often than not, it's likely to involve Andrea and his baseball bat. And some poor guy running away from him.
  • Genki Girl: Patti is very energetic, especially for a woman in her thirties.
  • The Ghost: Several, mostly related to Paolo, the Anti-Role Model. Paolo's family (his wife Valeria and his sons, Brad and Jonathan) and criminal buddies (Pino, the one nicknamed Budello, as well as Maruska the hooker). There's also Lello, along with his restaurant; the President of the company (the first one and the new one after season 3); Silvano's mom and her old next-door neighbour, Mrs Bollini.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Michele Carminati and his co-workers.
  • Gonk: Patti, as well as the late Wanda.
  • Good with Numbers: Silvano, the accountant, has computer-like counting skills and is extremely proud of it.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: while minor swears are allowed within the show, most of the dialogue borders on this even when characters are particularly pissed. This doesn't mean there aren't rare exceptions.
  • Granola Girl: Patti, Alex, Anna and Maria Eleonora all show signs of this.
  • Greed: Luca has an insane attachment to money.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • The two main characters, Luca and Paolo, are best friends who spend all their free time together.
    • Arguably Paolo and his friends Pino and Budello, although they never appear on the show.
  • Hilarity Ensues: The very premise of the series. Everything can happen in front of the coffee vending machine, every character may appear at any given (and least appropriate) moment, and most notably, every plan can will backfire.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Paolo just can't sing in key. He borders on Hell Is That Noise.
  • Hypocrite: While Luca is a Communist, he doesn't exactly always stick to the ideals and values that Communism would imply.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: After seeing "Il portafoglio" ("The wallet"), whistling will become the most hilarious thing you'll ever hear.
  • It's All About Me: Luca, Luca, Luca. As well as most of the other characters.
  • It Will Never Catch On: About a Show Within a Show with the same premise.
    De Marinis: "Filming people talking in front of a vending machine? What a moronic idea! It will never work!"
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Season 3 includes a dozen of episodes entitled "The last century". Each of them shows the very first day at work for every employee (a long time ago) and everyone is seen with ridiculous outfits and weird hairstyles.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: It seems that the contract requires to wear them constantly.
  • Jerkass: Everyone in this show is a complete and shameless jerk. Luca, Paolo, De Marinis, Andrea, Vittorio, and Alex are the most obvious examples, the women are all bitchy and manipulative who abuse of The Unfair Sex trope, and the others, while not openly mean, are Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who would Took a Level in Jerkass any time they have a chance.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Paolo sometimes shows that he really cares about his friendship with Luca. Although most of the time they have a With Friends Like These... type of relationship.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • It doesn't matter how much of a slut Alex is, she never pays for it. Likewise, anyone who acts as the "villain" of the sketch equally never pays for it.
    • Definitely Andrea, annoyingly so. Every single character (including Alex, Gaia, De Marinis, even Geller) gets some humiliation or punishment in at least one episode. But there's basically no episode in which Andrea gets any sort of karmik comeuppance for being right-down sadistic and cruel. Although there's at least one episode, in the early seasons, with a sort of comeuppance for him: Andrea, injured and limited in the movements, is hardly beaten by Luca and Paolo, for all the previous violent humiliations. It was a suicidal Worth It behaviour for the two, since once Andrea recovered, his revenge is obviously unavoidable, so he still gets back on top by the end of the episode.
    • Luca and Paolo depending on the episode, although most the time they get the karmik punishments that they deserve (usually thanks to Andrea or Geller).
  • Lack of Empathy: Everyone, with Luca on top.
    Luca: "No, no, no, I'm sorry, I'm-"
    Ilaria: "You, instead, will just keep working knowing that your colleagues are paying because of you!"
    Luca: *beat* "Oh well."
    • Of course, Andrea is the most triumphant example: while Luca did have his nice moments, Andrea just beats people because they're annoying him.
  • Large Ham: Luca, the Communist employee in charge of organising strikes, whenever he starts being overly melodramatic. And when he's actually talking about strikes, he starts Chewing the Scenery.
  • Last-Name Basis: De Marinis, Geller and Carminati are called by their last names (justified since the first two are bosses). De Marinis usually calls Luca and Paolo by their last names (Nervi and Bitta).
  • Loony Fan: Paolo is quite a fan of Italian band Pooh (no, not that one).
  • Love Redeems: Parodied in the episode "La Bella e la Bestia" ("The Beauty and the Beast") where Andrea, after a one-night stand with Gaia, claims to be madly in love with her and tells Luca and Paolo that he wants to be a better, nicer person just for love. Luca and Paolo obviously take advantage of the situation and start to pick on the new nice Andrea, who doesn't react violently anymore and he's basically become another Silvano. When Gaia arrives, she's seriously disgusted by Andrea being a pathetic doormat and tells him that it was his tough badass attitude what made him appealing. So end of their "love story". Andrea of course immediately goes back to his old self and you can imagine what he did to Luca and Paolo.
  • Malaproper: Paolo. Just Paolo. Especially when he tries to pronounce long words ("Asterosterosis" instead of "Arteriosclerosis").
  • Manchild: Silvano, mostly due to the relationship with his mother.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The director, Mr. De Marinis embodies this trope wholeheartedly, but two characters are even better than him at this, namely his daughter Chiara, and that in-universe Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant that is Guido Geller.
  • Motor Mouth: Patti and Anna, the latter only in case of nervous breakdowns. Maria Eleonora, at times.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Some of the girls are pretty damn sexy when they're wearing the right clothes. Case in point: Alex, Gaia, Ilaria, Jessica, Giovanna and after the company merged with its rival Digitex, Caterina and Maria Eleonora. Most blatant in the episode, "La più bella dell'ufficio", that is, "The most beautiful one in the office", where even Anna goes sexy (while Patti... er, is trying to do her best). Season 5 has Lucrezia and Gloria.
  • Nerd: Silvano is a textbook example, while Olmo tends on the Otaku variant.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Again, Silvano. Until season 5, when he's implied to be the father of pregnant Patti's baby.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Andrea, Vittorio and Guido Geller are this in-universe. Also, Silvano: while usually cheerful and naive, when he talks about his mother it can border on disturbing.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Luca and Alex. She's harsh and spiteful towards him, cheats on him with Anything That Moves and regularly makes fun of his poor sexual performance in front of the other employees. Luca on the other hand, constantly (and unsuccessfully) tries to seduce other women and once he told Paolo that he doesn't like anything about Alex except how "easy" she is and the fact that he's unable to get laid with anyone else.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Andrea is the all-time master of this, really. You name it - any episode featuring him is bound to end like this, whether you get to see it happening or not.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Luca and Paolo. The first time they met they hated each other: now they're best friends.
    • Alex, the slutty, bitchy party girl and Patti, the ugly, perpetually bullied Granola Girl, get along surprisingly well.
    • Also Paolo and Patti in the episode "Momento d'intesa".
  • Oh, Crap!: Whenever a sketch ends with a Bolivian Army Ending, the last shot shows whoever gets a Downer Ending (at the time) either trying to smile (see image above) screaming or stuck with a moronic yet horrified expression.
  • Once a Season: The four merbers of the Pooh band (Paolo's idols) make a guest appearance.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Pippo, Patti and Alex.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Luca. It can't be otherwise since he's always dealing with Paolo's antics and he and Paolo are 95% (if not more so) of the show.
    • The female characters (except Patti), whenever they appear in a sketch, are usually this.
  • Out of Focus: Gaia, Giovanna and Emma are Demoted to Extra in season 4 before totally disappearing in season 5.
  • The Perfectionist: Maria Eleonora's defining trait.
  • Playing Cyrano: Luca played Paolo's Cyrano in an episode to help him to find the right words with Gaia, withouth screwing up. With terrible (and hilarious) results.
  • The Prankster: Luca and Paolo are a well known duo of troublemakers.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Alex, and damn proud of it. She'd have sex with almost Anything That Moves, much to her "boyfriend" Luca's chagrin.
    • Silvano's mom, Chiara De Marinis, Paolo's wife Valeria and to some extent Paolo himself.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Impulsive Cloudcuckoolander Paolo is the red and snarky, intelligent Luca is the blue. Although Luca is the more bad-tempered and hammy of the duo, he's usually the Straight Man to his friend's over the top behaviour.
  • Reset Button: Nothing ever stays the way the sketch ends, but rather the way the sketch begins (without counting major events such as the aforementioned merger).
  • Right Behind Me: all the friggin' time. Every single damn character is a potential Oh, Crap! magnet.
  • The Rival: Digitex to the unnamed company which the series is set in... until they merged for the latest seasons.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • "Pippo, weren't ya goin' to the bathroom?", "Really, I -", "GO TO THE BATHROOM!", "GOING RIGHT NOW!".
    • Andrea beating up somebody.
    • Luca and Paolo beating up Silvano and making fun of Patti's ugliness.
    • Silvano and Patti almost kissing.
    • Paolo and Luca's plans, whatever they are, backfiring.
    • Paolo not being able to properly end a proverb, like: "All's well... [Beat] all's well".
    • Paolo bursting out of the bathroom whenever he hears his name (or not), enthusiastically yelling "TALKIN' 'BOUT ME?!"... usually at the least appropriate moments.
    • Geller narrating boring and incomprehensible stories about ancient chinese populations, when he wants people to learn a lesson.
  • Sadist Show: oh yes.
  • Sassy Secretary: Alex.
  • Sexy Secretary: Alex, Gloria and arguably Anna. Horribly subverted with Patti.
  • Schemer: Paolo and Luca always have a Zany Scheme that provides the plot of most episodes.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: usually provided by Luca when Paolo ruins a plan in a stupid way, but there are many other examples of this trope throughout the series.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
    • The "ultimate joke" seen in one episode ("Il re degli scherzi", that is, "The king of jokes") consists of a wave of coffee flooding the relax area bursting out of the elevator.
    • One episode parodied The Matrix, quoting lines of dialogue word for word.
    • Another episode parodied Final Destination, and Patti avoided a scripted death several times (although this ended up causing chaos). She eventually died by the end of the sketch when the vending machine fell on top of her (a rare case of the view moving).
    • In Season 5, it's revealed that Olmo's mom picked the former's name from a list of vegetables.
    • In the episode Ugly Bitta Paolo, forced to wear braces and red glasses after a car accident, is ridiculized and made fun of by the other workers including Patti, Pippo and Wanda because of his "ugliness". At the end of the same episode there's a reference to another American TV show when Paolo (now without braces and glasses) starts dressing and acting like Gregory House.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • The whole unnamed company has the Digitex Company in the same building; in season 4, with the union of the two companies Paolo sees Digitex worker Michele Carminati as this (being also his rival in his selling job) but Carminati doesn't hate Paolo back and wants him to join his working team instead.
    • Gaia and Ilaria are this to each other; also season 4 has Ilaria and Maria Eleonora.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Played straight with Patti (and sometimes Wanda) but averted with all the other female characters (with rare exceptions) who are rarely involved in slapstick unlike the male characters.
  • The Snark Knight: Luca. Sarcastic comments and snarky comebacks are about 90% of his dialogue.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
    • Luca describes himself as "tall, charismatic, charming, honest, serious, socially conscious, idealist and a cinema expert". Oh well. He's really kind of a cinema expert anyway. The rest is Blatant Lies.
    • Paolo also overestimates himself. Like Luca, he has little to no redeeming qualities.
  • Sorry I Fell on Your Fist: When Andrea draws near, you will suffer. And if the sketch isn't over, you will also apologize for bleeding on him.
  • Spanner in the Works: Any stupid character will ruin any plan at the worst moment possible.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • Geller and Maria Eleonora in season 4.
    • Patti in season 5. There are several episodes completely about Patti, her pregnancy and Silvano, in which Luca and Paolo don't even appear and they are supposed to be the main characters.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Lucrezia towards Paolo in season 5.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • The trope is generally in full effect, as the only thing remotely resembling a coherent continuity is the change of said status quo between seasons.
    • The trope is acknowledged and sort of deconstructed by Luca in a Season 5 sketch, where Silvano being fired for the nth time invokes in the former an... unusual reaction. Luca spends the whole time of the sketch in front of the coffee vending machine, constantly ranting in Creepy Monotone about how "it's always the same story, nothing ever changes, nothing ever happens", etc. This creeps out De Marinis so much, that he thinks it's another strategy of Luca to help Silvano keeping his job (and it isn't); Silvano then hugs Luca in gratitude, and he replies "You see? Nothing happened." After Luca acknowledged the never-changing status quo, he basically took advantage of it to help Silvano by doing absolutely nothing. At the end of the sketch, Paolo remarks that "You've been there since this morning... I can't see you like this, let's go home". As soon as they leave, the coffee machine falls over. Considering it could have crushed Luca, he snaps out of his depression and says in a surprised voice, "Oh well, so something DOES happen!"
  • The Stoner: Alex, though we never get to see her stoned.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In season 3 Emma replaced Anna as the director's secretary.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Paolo. In a lot of season 4 episodes he's dumber than Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin combined. It gets toned down in season 5 but only because they manage to introduce a character who is even dumber than him, Gloria.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Patti in season 5. Pregnant Patti is now a histerical, shrill bitch and downright abusive towards Silvano. She's always been the most dominant in their "relationship" but in the most recent episodes she's getting worse and she literally treats him like a dog all the time.
  • Troperiffic: You've already seen the tropes not related to specific episodes. Keep in mind this is a sketch show. As a consequence, many and brief episodes means many subjects covered, with some episode being based about tropes themselves. You get the picture.
  • True Companions:
    Carminati: "FOR TOM WEIL!"
    • While not at the same level, this is also true for the nameless company. If you are harassing a colleague of Luca and Paolo, they will get you.
      Luca: "That's how you treat your boyfriend?"
      Digitex Guy: "I'm not his boyfriend."
      Paolo: "And those roses?"
      Luca: "Pippo, leave this to us, hunny."
      Digitex Guy: "There's a misunderstanding-"
      Paolo: "Pippo, did this bastard break your heart?"
      Pippo: "YES!"
      Paolo: "Then there's no misunderstanding."
      *And beating ensues*
  • The Unfair Sex: If the men are plotting a plan to get to have sex with any of the women, be sure that by the end of the sketch the plan will backfire and the women will react accordingly.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Luca and Paolo take this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: Patti and especially Silvano.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Luca and Paolo are a strong Type 2. Although Luca is usually the most vitriolic one.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: in the episode "Direttore per un giorno" ("Director for a day"), Luca's complaints about director De Marinis' bossy ways result in the latter daring the former to take his position for one day. Luca accepts out of pride, and at first everything goes well, but considering Failure Is the Only Option in this series, everything eventually backfires: Luca has only one day to accomplish the task given by the same director he's replacing, and underwhelmed by the responsibility suddenly weighing on his shoulders, he starts treating the workers even more like crap than De Marinis did in the first place, going from idealistic communist to borderline Bad Boss. The episode ends with Wanda (yes, Wanda) knocking him unconscious on the head with a baseball bat, while sporting a Slasher Smile.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Silvano goes badass in one episode. Remember "badass Giles"? Something like that. And it is awesome.
  • Writing Lines: Paolo once screwed with the women, and as a result they forced him to write several times the supposed Aesop on a giant paper sheet that covered the entire floor. The punishment is even worse than it seems since Paolo is an illiterate of epic proportions.
  • Xanatos Planned This Index: Basically everyone gets a moment in which he or she is plotting something. Everyone. Except any Butt-Monkey, maybe.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/CameraCafe