Paolo: "Pippo, weren't ya goin' to the bathroom?"
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, 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: Guido Geller used to provide the image for the trope. Hee-hee!
- The new secretary Gloria's weird laugh definitely fits this trope.
- 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.
- 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.
- Badass: Andrea, full stop.
- 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 reminds us of 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.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Patti.
- 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: Gloria. Anna was a milder example.
- Book Dumb: Paolo, to ridiculous levels.
- Brainy Brunette: Ilaria and Maria Eleonora.
- 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 picked on by another 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. Actually many characters could qualify.
- Butt Monkey / The Chew Toy: Silvano is by far the biggest one being also Luca's and Paolo's favorite target. Basically everyone in the company considers him the official Butt Monkey.
- 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 years 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.
- 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.
- Comic Trio: Between Paolo, Luca and Silvano. Also, less frequently, Paolo, Luca and Olmo.
- Control Freak: Maria Eleonora.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: De Marinis, the director.
- 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 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.
- The Danza: Luca Nervi and Paolo Bitta are played by Luca Bizzarri and Paolo Kessisoglu respectively.
- 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.
- 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. Patti is this at times with some Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies as well.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Fat Best Friend: Olmo to both Luca and Paolo.
- Flanderization: Patti, big time. She was already considered a Scrappy (because of her ugliness. Seriously.) and the fact that she Took a Level in Jerkass in season 5 didn't help either.
- Also Paolo. In season 1, with all his flaws, he still had a 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, (possibly Moment Of Awesome) he was 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 started 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 ended 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.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: Michele Carminati and his co-workers.
- Gonk: Patti, as well as the late Wanda.
- Good with Numbers: Silvano.
- 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.
- 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.
- Idiot Ball: Very common.
- 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. Patti, also. As well as most of the other characters.
- It Will Never Catch On: about a Show Within a Show with the same premise.
- 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, with Luca, Paolo, De Marinis, Andrea, and Vittorio being the best examples. Also Alex who is a big Jerkass to Luca (she gets better in season 5 though) and Geller, the Magnificent Bastard.
- Even the supposedly "nice" Patti is evolving into this more and more.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 went 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").
- Magnificent 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.
- Man Child: Silvano, mostly due to the relationship with his mother.
- Paolo, to a lesser extent.
- 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.
- Name's the Same: Pippo is also Goofy's Italian name. It should be noted, though, that they're both goofy, one way or another.
- 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.
- Nice Guy: Michele Carminati, Paolo's nemesis, is usually a friendly and good-natured person.
- Silvano can be seen as this, although his kindness is mostly due to his shy and naive nature. And when he really gets mad can be as violent as Andrea.
- 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.
- Patti and Alex. 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.
- Opposites Attract: Luca and Alex.
- Out of Focus: Gaia, Giovanna and Emma in season 4 before totally disappearing in season 5.
- The Perfectionist: Maria Eleonora.
- 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: Paolo and Luca.
- 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: Again, Paolo and Luca.
- 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.
- There are exception though.
- The Snark Knight: Luca.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Luca defines himself "tall, charismatic, charming, honest, serious, socially conscious, idealist and a cinema expert". Oh well. He's really kind of a cinema expert anyway. About the rest...
- 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, so much: 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.
- 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.
- However, 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.
- Too Dumb to Live: Silvano, Paolo (more in the later seasons) and Gloria.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Paolo.
- 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:
- 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?"
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.
- The Unseen: 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.
- 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.