Western Animation / Totally Spies!

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/totally-spies-the-movie_5125.jpg
Left to right: Clover, Alex and Sam. Totally spies, despite not wearing very stealthy attire.

Clover: Finally, an evil villain who isn't bitter about being dissed or something.
Jerry: It says here that the Lady Dragon left the video game industry several years ago because they refused to make some of her more eccentric games.
Clover: Figures.
— "Game Girls"

Totally Spies! (2001-2008, 2013-present) is an animated show produced by French company Marathon Media. Three action girls — Alex, Clover and Sam (two tomboyish names out of three) — are (totally) spies (and also ordinary high school students) working for WOOHP, the World Organization Of Human Protection. In each episode, the girls battle the plans of some variety of Mad Scientist or supervillain with an axe to grind while also dealing with their personal lives (including their collective high school rival Mandy). Like Kim Possible, Totally Spies! mines both spy and teen clichés, though Kim Possible was the only show to end a season on a cliffhanger.

Totally Spies! is notable for being one of the first Western-made animated series to employ selected Japanese Visual Arts Tropes, such as Cross-Popping Veins and the Sweat Drop, under the assumption viewers were already familiar with them (as opposed to employing them to evoke the anime style, a la Teen Titans). In fact, the shows creators have mentioned that The Dirty Pair (which was massively popular in France in their youth) was a big influence on the show.

In short: Charlie's Angels meets Sailor Moon. Or perhaps more appropriately, The O.C. meets Dirty Pair.

The show totally received a movie, as well as a Spin-Off (The Amazing Spiez).


Totally Spies! provides examples of:

  • Action Dress Rip: They do this a lot when wearing long skirts.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • You can practically mark it off on a checklist for every episode. One or more of the girls experiences a personal issue that could be easily solved with a little extra thought. They go on a mission that somehow relates to whatever the personal issue is. They learn from said mission how to overcome the issue. Cue scene in the last thirty seconds of the episode showing they haven't actually grown or learned anything.
    • There are multiple episodes where Britney joins the team and Alex gets jealous and thinks she's trying to take her place.
  • Affably Evil: The Granny. Which is surprising in a show like this...
  • Affectionate Nickname: Alex tends to call Sam "Sammy", and all three girls occasionally refer to Jerry as "Jer".
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Subverted with the aliens in Aliens! It turns out that Dr. Hawking was the real villain.
  • Aliens Speaking English: But they're actually better at French.
  • All Webbed Up: The girls are briefly cocooned by a giant robot spider in one episode.
  • Alpha Bitch: Mandy. Her cousin Mindy as well, but it takes five seasons for her to show up.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Japan uses a different anime-styled theme song titled "Sweet Dynamite" and "Summer Breeze" by Matsushita Moeko as the ending theme.
    • While the original theme is already in English (and aired as such in most countries), Cartoon Network usually aired an instrumental version for the American broadcast. While unconfirmed, there is speculation that this might have to with the fact that it is an edited version of the somewhat risque "Here We Go" by Moonbaby, and the network worried children would look up the original song.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Literally said by Geraldine when she attacked Jerry and a stray puppy Alex found.
  • Angels Pose: The transformation sequence the Spies do in the theme song.
  • Animesque
  • Annoying Laugh: Mandy's cackling is so horrible that it could attract goats.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the culprit in "Matchmaker" is busted, a crowd of angry women scream, "Tear off his head!", "Rip out his heart!", then Mandy shouts "Cut up his credit card!"
    • In "Space Much", when the girl's Nanny rescues them in her ship, this happens:
    Myrna: I am very disappointed. Letting an inferior villain such as that get the better of you. All I can say is that I'm glad I will be the Nanny and not your WOOHP superior, and if I'm not mistaken, there are three spies in this van who forgot to floss today!
  • Art Evolution: Very noticeable from about Season 3 onward (like how the girls — and everyone else — finally got belly buttons to go with their assortment of Bare Your Midriff outfits).
  • Artistic License Biology: According to the show, being a spy is genetics. Through a "Spy gene". As well as Terrence is so evil that putting his DNA inside of a chocolate turns Jerry evil upon consumption.
  • Ash Face: Happens to Sam in the episode "Alex Quits" when she trips into an electric fence.
    • Has happened to Clover twice; once in an Imagine Spot in the episode "A Thing For Musicians", and again when Alex blows open the door of a plane right next to her in "Shrinking".
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: There is an episode in which Mandy and Clover are enlarged by the Villain of the Week. There's even a shout out to Attack of the 50-Foot Woman when Mandy straddles a freeway overpass.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In one episode, even the heroines are very surprised at how well Jerry can handle himself in a fight.
  • Badass Adorable: The main trio.
  • Bad Future: Downplayed. Travelling twenty years into the future finds that the place is okay, although Mandy has become evil and is trying to make it a Bad Future. The girls - or rather, their adult version - are able to apprehend her like any other villain, and the Set Right What Once Went Wrong part simply means keeping Mandy the way she is.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In "Mandy Doll Mania" Sam, Clover, and Alex are captured with this method by Seth Toyman using remote control Mandy dolls.
  • Baleful Polymorph: This tends to happen to the heroines a lot. In fact, if this weren't a kids' show, the Body Horror Trope would probably apply rather often. Alex even does it to herself on purpose in one episode, chowing on the villains' muscle-enhancing "Bulk Bars" so she can outfight them.
  • Bare Your Midriff: They're teenage girls from Beverly Hills. Do we really need to explain this one?
  • The Baroness: Rosa Klebb type.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: In "Dental? More Like Mental!" and "Evil Graduation".
  • Between My Legs: Shows up fairly often in the show, usually of the girls (or Jerry).
  • Big "NO!": Eugene lets out one when his mother finds out about his plan to break girls' hearts.
  • Black Screen of Death: Used just about every time the girls are attacked.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The villains always have an ulterior backstory for their plans that they spend a lot of time monologuing about.
  • Bound and Gagged: The girls and the victims many times.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The original has only one bragging line on the theme tune, but some dubs have increased it. This excerpt is taken from the Brazillian dub:
    "We are elegant and charming. On the missions, we always find out the plot. We are so smart and so strong."
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to Sam more often than not.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At least once. In the beginning of the series finale, the girls ask the viewer to wish them luck in their coming adventure.
  • Breast Expansion: In one episode, Alex takes a muscle-enhancement drug to defeat a villain, which also causes her breasts to visibly grow several times larger (Although at one point she did appear to have a completely masculine chest). Some also point out that the Art Evolution made the girls "powers" more obvious too (considering how fanservicey the show is quite probable).
  • Bring It: A fed-up Alex says this to a bully at the end of "Spy Gladiators", which is appropriate considering the spies just finished a really dangerous mission full of gladiators even tougher than said bully.
  • Broke Episode: "Dental? More Like Mental" is one for Mandy, who suddenly takes a school bus, buys clothes from charity, eats homemade sandwich and sells her old clothes, although later revealed that she isn't actually broke, as her mom took away her privileges due to her bad grades. She gets them back in the end due to her improved grades.
  • Buffy Speak: The show takes place in California, what did you expect.
  • Butt Monkey: Clover and Alex sometimes.
  • Cain and Abel: Jerry and Terence.
  • California University: Beverly Hills High School in the series and Mali-U in the spinoff show.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Hoo boy. Many of the guys the girls face off against demonstrate this. Especially Terence ("Evil leaders first!").
  • Cardboard Prison: In truth, the four facilities used by WHOOP to detain criminals are pretty secure; prisoner transport, however, not so much, especially when Jerry puts the trio are in charge of that.
  • Cat Girl: Clover got turned into one in one episode in season one. Alex likewise had this happen to her in season 6 due to the villain turning herself into a cat girl.
  • Cheeky Mouth
  • Chekhov's Gun: The entire series.
    • Give the spies a hairdryer and they'll save the world with it. Sometimes because it shoots tornadoes.
    • Occasionally subverted, because they don't always use every gadget they're given in an episode. Although sometimes, there's a Plot Tailored to the Party just to make sure they do.
    • Also lampshaded in one episode, where Sam mentions they never needed the Laser Nail File, and right after that Clover breaks a nail.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Jerry and occasionally GLADIS will take time to inform the girls of ther gadgets at load out.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: sometimes old gadgets show up in later episodes (either Jerry, or the girls themselves have saved and stockpiled items for later use.)
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The girls' suits.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mindy and Britney are completely absent from Season 6 and no explanation is given for either. Mindy's absence is especially jarring as she was in nearly every episode of the 5th season.
  • Clear My Name: One episode has the girls being framed for robbing a bank. They have to dodge Jerry and the rest of WOOHP while trying to find the real culprits.
  • Cliffhanger
  • Clip Show: "The Elevator", "So Totally Not Groove-y".
  • Clothing Damage: Plenty. The first episode, for starters. And "Wild Style", where Clover got turned into a furry female Humanoid Animal.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Sam = Green, Alex = Yellow, Clover = Red.
  • Combat Stilettos: Sam, Clover and Alex have high heel boots as part of their standard uniforms. However it doesn't prevent Alex from complaining that an armour she is wearing as a disguise is harder to walk in than her high heel shoes.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Clover when trying out the widespread cookie craze in Passion Patties. She eventually can't help scarfing them down.
  • Continuity Nod: Much of the season 1 episode "Aliens" is focused on Alex's poor driving skills, although she manages to pass her road test at the end of the episode. In the season 3 episode "Space Much?" Alex brings her driving skill (or lack there-of) up again.
    Alex: I barely passed driver's ed! How does WOOHP expect me to fly a rocket?!
  • Cool Old Guy: Jerry, and he can be surprisingly cooler when he has to be.
  • Cool Plane: The monstrously large and luxurious Bling Jet plane from "Evil Airline Much?".
  • Corrupt the Cutie: This happens to Clover's intern, Tara, due to Clover's influence. She's not seen recovering.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Whenever Jerry needs the trio, a trapdoor opens and they're sucked through a tunnel, eventually landing in his office. Somehow, he seems to have these things installed everywhere in Beverly Hills they could possibly be.
    • Before most missions Jerry gives the spies a bunch of random gadgets that he could not have foreseen being useful, but somehow they all are.
  • Credits Montage: Seasons 1 and 2 only. Season 3 featured a random character talking to the viewer (see The Tag).
  • Crossover: With Martin Mystery.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: The girls get these a lot when they make each other angry or if Mandy does it instead.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Not that they're ever reluctant to undo it, but the Baleful Polymorphs inflicted on the girls often seems to work to their advantage in some way.
  • Death Trap: "This machine will forcefeed you cookies until you explode!" And several other absurd - let creative - versions of this Trope used by villains.
  • Demon Head: Happens to Sam and Martin Mystery in episode "Totally Mystery Much?"
  • Depending on the Writer:
  • Designated Victim: If you know the villain's Evil Plan, it's easy to tell which protagonist will be hit hardest by it:
    • Plots involving brainwashing or hypnotizing always strike Sam hardest, she being the "smart one".
    • Plots involving Baleful Polymorph of victims or other body alterations always target Clover, the one most concerned about her looks, whether it's being shrunk, turned into a cat, fattened up by highly-addictive cookies, or even having her legs stolen and replaced.
    • Alex and Clover take turns being the one who gets kidnapped, though Alex, being the most athletic, is often tied up or locked in a cell as a restrained hostage (and this is considering that it tends to happen to all three of them at least Once per Episode.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Most of the villains fall under this; becoming evil because their girlfriend dumped them, not being accepted into a club or organization, or because things just don't go the way they want to in life. Seriously, just because a (mostly) minor inconvenience occurs isn't enough to actually make someone bad. It's Averted in Tim Scam's case, and possibly the Dude.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Used as a background gag in Season One's "Wild Style" once as a couple of guys walk into each other due to being focused on Sam.
    • "The Suavest Spy" is an episode where the spies have a mission to watch a charming and attractive jewel thief and they just always get distracted while doing that due to his good looks, and taken even further when him and Clover dance at a ball, he's also stealing the key to the world's most valuable jewel using Clover's gadget, yet she doesn't even notice due to being too excited to dance with him.
    • This particular gag returns much later in Season 6's "Trent Goes Wild". A girl walks into a tree because she was too busy staring at a hotter version of the titular Trent.
  • Distressed Dude: Counting this show and The Amazing Spiez spin-off, Blaine and Dean both get their fair share of scenes where they end up bound and gagged.
  • Don't Tell Mama: See Big "NO!" above.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In Season 1. And how. (Seriously, Aliens?).
  • E = MC Hammer: The Movie has a lot of issues.
  • The '80s: A villain has a ray that turns people a few years younger, and their clothes into 80s fashions.
  • Embarrassing Slide: In the episode "Shrinking", Jerry shows the Spies footage of various landmarks being shrunken and stolen around the world. In-between, however, is a clip of himself waterskiing and waving to the camera, to which Jerry reacts in the expected way.
  • Enemy Mime: "Jazz Hands".
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: How most of the episodes end.
  • Evil Is Petty: A lot of the villains fall under this. The movie villain Fabu takes it up past eleven; he wants to destroy Earth because somebody pulled his pants down in public and humiliated him as a child.
  • Expy:
    • Marco Lumière is a (more) unhinged version of Tim Burton.
      • This may also be a bit of the creators actually DOING the research, as the Lumière Brothers were the inventors of film over in France.
    • And Jerry strongly, strongly resembles Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth as he appears in many comics depictions, particularly during the 70's — present (despite being more in the Bunny-Ears Lawyer side at times).
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In "The Yuck Factor", the Spies fought a trio of villains who tried to take over WOOHP from inside Jerry's brain.
  • Fiction 500:
    • Sam, Alex, and Clover may fit this due to their constant shopping sprees, and Mandy, whose mother in one episode, buys an international chain of high-class boutique shoe stores in order to gain the last instance of a limited edition pair of boots.
    • In "Evil Heiress Much?" the girls have to save the kidnapped top four of the world's richest people. The kidnapper? the world's fifth richest person.
    • Felicity Fences, the Spoiled Brat villain from "Planet of The Hunks", is a daughter of a trillionaire who has his own private island resort, Proasis and her dad even gives her a robot gladiator that costs over a billion dollars.
  • Film Felons: At least once. Marco Lumière justifies this in being a batshit insane filmmaker.
  • First-Name Basis: We never get to know most of the characters' surnames.
  • Five-Bad Band: In later episodes.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Some outfits with feathers show up, such as Sam wearing a green feather boa with her evening dress in "A Spy is Born".
  • For Want of a Nail: In "Futureshock!" Mandy breaking a nail during cheerleading practice leads to her becoming a dictator in the future.
  • Four Girl Ensemble: What happens when Britney joins the team.
  • Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle: A variant appears in a training simulation the spies undergo in the TV movie.
  • Fun with Acronyms: League Aiming to Menace and Overthrow Spies (L.A.M.O.S.)
  • Genius Ditz: Stacy from "Evil Roommate" needed to steal the intelligence of smarter students to pass her classes, yet she was at least smart enough to build an intelligence transfering machine in the first place.
  • Genre Blindness: Sadly rampant.
  • Gladiator Games: In "Planet of the Hunks", an evil spoiled rich girl puts a handsome boy into her personal area to fight (or be killed) should she ever gets bored with him.
    • The aptly-titled "Spy Gladiators".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In "Game Girls" and "Silicon Valley Girls".
  • Grand Finale: The end of the 5th season was very much this, with WOOHP being bought out and then shut down, and all of the villains becoming good. 5 Years later Season 6 begins and doesn't even address how it's even possible for the show to still be going.
  • Gratuitous French: Clover has a habit of doing this, if only for the style. One episode reveals that, at most, her knowledge of French is pretty basic: she and Alex find an uncannily handsome pool cleaner guy who only speaks French. Every time he speaks, the girls get lulled about him (after all, Everything Sounds Sexier in French), but it's only with Jerry translating for them at the end that they know: all that he was talking about was the quality of the water in the swimming pool, and all that stuff (therefore, too technical for just Gratuitous French). Luckily enough for them, he had already switched to work for Mandy, whose comprehension of the language was about in the same level.
  • Green Aesop: Inverted in one episode where the spies have to stop an "evil" scientist from using the sun to power the earth in place of nuclear reactors. According to the Spies (paraphrased): "The sun isn't something to be captured and used up! It must be free!" Evidently nuclear power is fine by them.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The premise around Season 4's "Déjà Cruise".
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: In "The Incredible Bulk", the villain's plot revolves around health snacks that bulk up rival bodybuilders to the point their bodies explode.
  • Growling Gut:
    • Sam goes on a hunger strike to protest the school replacing the cafeteria staff with an automated machine. Her stomach growls loudly several times over the course of the episode and annoys Clover and Alex.
    • In later seasons, this has also happened to Alex more than once.
  • Hand Gagging: The spies do this to each other quite a bit.
  • Heart Symbol: Commonly seen floating around the girls (or in their eyes) when they locate the Boyfriend of the Week. And sometimes around each other too.
  • Highly Visible Spies: On their missions, the girls wear neon bright jumpsuits (even if they don't actually need to) and rarely make any attempt to hide or disguise their identities. Actual sneaking around, while not uncommon, happens about as often as barging headfirst into any objective. They aren't really spies in the traditional sense; it's more of a case of Not Wearing Tights.
    • Many episodes have them going undercover at whatever location they're investigating wearing clothes that fit the location and rarely, fake credentials if they can't get in by walking though the front door. They never actually hide their identity and often use their real first names as part of whatever fake identity they're using. It's only later once they break in to snoop around or after their cover is blown do they wear the highly visible suits.
    • The Movie reveals it was Clover who designed the outfits, before actually getting the gist of spying. To her credit, that's the most stealthy she could come up with (she also thought of superhero and Sailor Senshi outfits).
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sam in "Evil Heiress Much?", despite being a rich Beverly Hills girl who loves shopping and lived in a Big Fancy House before moving to the beach house, despises the extravagant lifestyle of the world's richest people for no apparent reason other than because the plot says so, who later becomes the victims in her mission. After saving them, she asks them for private island and private cruise to go to the private island in return.
  • I Broke a Nail: This is enough for Mandy to be evil. (Well, truthfully, breaking her nails leads her feel flawed as a cheerleader, take up broadcasting class so no-one will see her hands, be a success, become Drunk with Power, and become evil in the future.) After finding this out, Sam solves the problem with some Super Nail Enhancing Polish (which Jerry just happened to have.)
  • Identity Amnesia: In "Totally Dunzo", when Mandy goes into shock after breaking a nail, she has a different personality when she regains consciousness. She still knows who she is. The only difference is she's now a nice person.
  • If You're So Evil, Step on That Rat
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Happens to Alex at least once, and to Clover way too many times to count.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Thanks for tipping us on the L.A.M.O.S. latest evil plot, Boogie Gus. (In "Like, So Totally Not Spies", IIRC; granted, the girls had forgotten they were ace secret agents, but did he really need to nearly spell everything out?)
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In both sides. Luckily it does not affect the protagonists...
  • Inconvenient Summons: The girls usually end up subject to this when called for a mission.
  • Instant Costume Change: In "Passion Patties", Jerry sends the trio to their assignment using capsule-shaped rockets that charge their clothes on the way. (Sam, who's already having a bad day, emerges with the shirt on backwards.)
  • In Medias Res: In "Virtual Stranger" Man Hands, Neat Freak and Walking Tornado are out for revenge against the spies, but for the viewers this is their first and only appearance outside of season 5's opening.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Certain episodes featured an instrumental version of Moonbaby's "Here We Go", with a different arrangement.
  • Karma Houdini: Ariel from W. O. W., unlike the other villains in the show.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In "Evil Valentine's Day", we cut away to the girls' disgusted reactions when Jerry and Myrna kiss. Good thing too; there would've been a lot more Fan Disservice.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: When asked how Clover was able to get tickets to an event, she says:
    "Oh it was easy! The manager of the arena has a cousin who lives next door to a guy who's best friends with a man who's married to a childhood classmate of a mother of a guy I know from the football team. I just flirted with him and he got the tickets for me." (Alex's brain breaks.)
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Is it me, or does the way we get WOOHP'd sometimes defy the laws of physics?"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Too many times to count.
  • Latex Perfection
    • Taken to ridiculous lengths at the end of the Season 3 finale, "Evil Promotion Much?" After Terence is incarcerated, he rips off a mask revealing Jerry's face underneath. He then tells the guard watching him to release him with a very convincing acting. So is done. "Jerry" then knocks out the guard and tears off yet another mask which reveals that it was indeed Terence all along. In short, he was technically wearing his own face over a mask of Jerry with no prejudice to the features of "his own" face.
    • There's also the first half of "Escape from WOOHP Island" where Britney, while looking completely normal, was actually Willard in disguise. This was only found out when Clover's phony skin care products started melting "her" face. Granted, one of the girls notices that something's "different" about her, but you'd never have seen that coming.
  • Leitmotif: Anytime there's a beach or vacation setting, the same piece of music plays.
  • Life Drinker: The big bad of one episode uses some kind of magic stone to absorb youth from kids, resulting in this trope. As soon as aforementioned magic stone is destroyed, No Immortal Inertia is triggered.
  • Limited Social Circle: The only person Sam, Clover and Alex regularly interact with at their school (outside the three of them), is Mandy. Any other classmate they were seen talking to would be gone by the next episode, never to be seen or mentioned again (except for maybe the occasional boyfriend that would last about 2 or 3 episodes). Possibly justified in that their lives as spies would realistically get in the way of them having normal social lives.
    • Also the character of Arnold an example of Nerds Are Sexy (although he's rarely treated as much more than repulsive in-episode).
  • Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with their spy jumpsuits, but averted with their civilian outfits.
  • Longrunner: Been running for twelve years straight.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: This happens in "Nature Nightmare" when the girls are fighting over a gadget.
  • Lots of Luggage: In "So Totally Versailles! (Part 1)", Mandy's luggage, which she claims to have her entire wardrobe there, is so overpacked, that it causes major turbulence on the plane.
  • Luminescent Blush: Happens all the time.
  • Male Gaze: About half the camera shots are focused on the girl's breasts as they are about to speak or when they crash into each other. In the other half, the camera is often focused on their butts as they are lying on the floor or fighting.
  • Mama Bear:
    • One episode involves Tim luring the girls and their moms to a resort where he brainwashes the moms into offing them. With Clover and Alex's moms spending most of the episode in their bathing suits. If memory serves it culminates in a Mama Bear moment where the moms actually beat the crap out of Tim for menacing their little girls.
    • Admittedly, they only did that because Sam reprogrammed their mind control chips so that they would hate Tim instead of love him, but they still did a good job of beating the shit out of him nonetheless.
    • Also, in three-part episode "Totally Busted", it was revealed that the protagonists' crazy skills came from having a special set of "spy genes" which they inherited from their mothers. As the episode progressed the Spies were brainwashed and their mothers are recruited to save them. This result in Mama Bears in Catsuits
  • The Men in Black: The WOOHP agents.
  • Marilyn Maneuver:
    • Few times done by girls when they fly through tunnels to the WOOHP.
    • In episode "Forward to the Past" done by Alex when girls get shot at and are sent flying to the fountain.
    • In episode "Evil G.L.A.D.I.S. Much?" done by a random pedestrian when Clover lands WOOHP jet next to her.
  • Mind Control: Sam is put under mind control by villains so often in the series that near the end it was practically a running joke. (One has to wonder if all that screwing around with her brain could be doing some serious harm in the long run.)
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: At the end of the episode where Alex gets muscular after ingesting a muscle growth formula, her boyfriend of the week dumps her because he doesn't date girls more buff than him. She doesn't take that too well.
  • Mistaken for Badass: In "Evil Coffee Shop Much?", Jerry hires Mandy as a spy because he thinks she somehow snuck into WOOHP HQ when in actuality she was just accidentally WOOHP'd along with the main girls and fell behind the couch.
  • Modesty Towel: One episode has Jerry summon the girls early in the morning and recording their interactions with a camcorder. At one point, he does a close up on Sam, who happens to be in a towel in the process.
  • The Movie: A prequel released in (at least) French theaters in 2009. The movie recently aired on Cartoon Network.
  • Mummy Wrap: Given the show's pattern, it was inevitable the Egyptian themed villain in "I Want My Mummy" does this to the girls and their associate. A similar trick is done to them in "Evil Mascot".
  • Negative Continuity: The show has a bit of a problem with this since it's been running for so long and circulating writers. The biggest of which involving the girls origins, in one one-hour special, it was stated that they were chosen from childhood to be spies later on in their lives. But The Movie showcased them becoming spies when they happened upon WOOHP by accident.
    • That's actually false, the The Movie part, as WOOHP has been watching them and picked them because of the skills they have shown, even saying that they have a "Spy Gene"
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted; the girls are able to interact with their adult selves safely in one episode that involves Time Travel.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Mandy's attempts to sabotage the girls' efforts in Do You Believe In Magic? leads them to winning a photography contest.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Alex is the nice one, Clover is the Lovable Alpha Bitch (in contrast to the series' Alpha Bitch Mandy), and Sam is the leader and mediator. Their suit colors help to determine who's which.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: This show was particularly bad with this. In fact, one episode centered around a number of knockoffs of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, etc., and the villain was Milan Stilton.
    • Season 6 adds Donald Trump, Celine Dion, Vera Wang, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber to the mix.
  • Noodle Incident: Mandy became a celebrity at some point between seasons 5 and 6. It's never explained how.
  • No Sympathy: In "Celebrity Swipe!" Mandy repeatedly blows auditions due to Oinky's interference. The talent scout seems to blame Mandy for the stage collapsing under her, and later he blames her for breaking out in laughter in the middle of an acting audition when he could clearly see Oinky licking her foot.
  • No Time to Explain: Happens quite a lot whenever one of the girls wakes up from being brainwashed. It's practically just code for, "You were mind controlled, but you're better now," at this point.
  • Now Do It Again Backwards: "WOOHPersize Me!". Mind control music played backwards negates the control.
  • Off Model: Common in Seasons 1 and 2, and can occasionally happen in Season 3.
  • On Three: In "A Spy is Born Part 2", Sam tells Clover and Jerry to open the door on three. Clover asks if they should wait for "Go". Sam and Jerry are annoyed and the former clarifies: "Three! Who said anything about "go"?!"
  • Open Secret: The supposedly top-secret WOOHP headquarters is located in a large, glass-paned office building smack-dab in the middle of Beverly Hills. Also not an attempt to be Hidden in Plain Sight as the WHOOP logo is displayed clearly on the side of the building, and its roof is in shape of a giant "W." How it hasn't been taken out by twenty enemy missiles by now is a mystery.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Wanted criminal Tim Scam was able to pretty much take over WOOHP by using an alias that was literally just his name backwards. And he had it clearly written on a name badge just in case there was a slight chance no-one would figure it out.
  • Personality Swap: Done in the episode "Totally Switched". Clover's personality is swapped with Jerry's by use of a crazy psychologist's behavioral adjusting amulet.
    Clover: Oh good heavens.
    Jerry: No freakin' way!!
    Sam: O kay, this is the weirdest moment ever.
    • Revisited in "Totally Switched Again!" with the same villain.
  • Piano Drop: Only used for a dramatic sound effect in "Spy Vs. Spy"; a piano falls out of the sky and smashes into nowhere.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Although none of the characters have that as their main color, it still shows up a lot.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Occasionally, a completely improbable situation pops up, demanding the use of a gadget that would be unused otherwise, or an otherwise useless gadget gets a highly unusual use (such as the super-spicy gum used by Alex that allowed her to sweat enough to slip tightly-tied ropes off her, despite the fact that she was still wearing her spysuit).
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Clover's wide knowledge about pop culture is often useful in her missions.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Two of them:
    • Ariel is a Straw Feminist and misandrist who seeks to eliminate all men and inferior females (women who were not the "chosen ones") gain their place as the true rulers of the world. The obvious flaw in such an act (how to avoid humanity's extinction if such a plan succeeded) is never mentioned.
    • The Black Knight is a man descended from a lineage of (presumably evil) kings and would still have been royal, if not for one certain king in England in the Middle Ages; his attitude towards Clover clearly suggests he regards women the way they did back then. (Ie, he's a chauvinist.)
  • Power Trio:
  • Pretty in Mink: Several outfits have fur trim, to the girls' parkas, to a cheerleading squad wearing fur-trimmed dresses.
  • Punny Name: As is to be expected for a comicbook-y/superspy series, there were quite a few. Alien expert Sagan Hawking deserves a special mention.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The spies pull these on Jerry on several occasions in an attempt to convince him to do something for them.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • In season 5 Jerry had G.L.A.D.I.S. dismantled due to her attitude. (The real life reason for this was fans didn't like her.)
    • This is the most frequent method that keeps Sixth Rangers from being mainstays in the cast. Britney in particular ends up on it three times.
  • Rapunzel Hair: In one episode, Clover was captured and her hair was grown really long to be used as a wig. Unfortunately, it made her very weak. The other girls even used the hair Rapunzel-style.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Moonbaby's "Here We Go".
  • Really Gets Around: A PG version with Clover as she constantly throws herself at any cute guy that crosses her field of vision.
  • Rearrange the Song: When the first season aired on Cartoon Network, it used an instrumental version of Moonbaby's "Here We Go".
  • Red Shirt Army: Or rather, Black Suit Army. The lower-ranking WOOHP agents certainly qualify.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Presumably; although there's never been any story on how the trio started at WHOOP, all recruited spies are similar age. (And "attitude"? An understatement.)
  • Retcon: Season 6 actively rewrites the continuity as it pleases. Aside from the elephant in the room of WOOHP even existing, just a few examples include:
    • Alex's father looks completely different (and has a given surname to boot)
    • Clover and Blaine are suddenly and inexplicably exes
    • One villain has a grudge after "serving his time" even though when he was last seen he Heel Face Turned and didn't serve any time at all
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: In "Evil Promotion Much?, Part 2" when the spies find out Jerry has a twin brother.
    Sam: Since when do you have a twin?
    Alex: Since birth. Even I knew that one.
  • Rich Boredom: Felicity Fences's motive.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: GLADIS, despite not having a human body.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Geraldine has one in the episode "Return of Geraldine".
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Though she was slightly inept, episode 12 has the queen of Lyrobia jumping into action along side Alex & Sam when Clover is kidnapped.
  • Rule of Cool: All the gadgets Jerry gives the girls; the show would be nothing without it.
  • Running Gag:
    • The U.P.W.A.T.I. underwater breathing suit. Whenever it pops up in the gadget roster, one of the girls always responds with "Up-whatie?"
    • Also this situation: "[If we're all here]... Who's piloting the plane?!" Common in Season 1.
    • Jerry summons the girls on missions at random times, more often than not when they're at school.
    • Every time Mandy sees the girls in their spy suits (which is a lot in season 6), she will make some sort of comment on them.
  • Satellite Love Interest: A lot of the girls' Temporary Love Interests were this.
  • Sauna of Death: The girls are locked in one by their brainwashed mothers.
  • Secret Test of Character: The events of Deja Cruise turns out to be one. Jerry wanted the girls to ask the passengers for help.
  • Series Fauxnale: Two of them! The third season finale "Evil Promotion Much", which was originally intended as the series finale. The fifth season finale (which actually provided closure for most of the main plotlines) becomes this when the show is brought back for a sixth season.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: The episode "Evil G.L.A.D.I.S. Much?" has Sam, Clover and Alex wearing these at the WOOHP Christmas party. The girls were not pleased...that their outfits were red, when fuchsia was the appropriate color that year.
  • Shapeshifting
  • Shoe Phone: Compact Phone, actually.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple times.
    • References to Sailor Moon are probably an inside joke, as at least one of the voice actors — namely Katie Griffin, who plays Alex — also voiced Raye in the early DiC-dubbed episodes of that show.
    • Charlie's Angels, when a villain impersonating Jerry accidentally calls Alex "Farrah".
    • WOOHP sounds suspiciously similar to WOOC(P), the employer of the protagonist of The Ipcress File and other Len Deighton novels.
    • There is a Shout-Out to Tsukasa Hojo's Cat's Eye in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. More precisely, the tomboyish brunette Action Girl with a yellow Spy Catsuit Alex is an Expy for Ai Kisugi, the youngest of the three sisters. It's much easier for the French viewers to figure it out, since Ai was named Alex (short for Alexia) in the French dub. It also helps that Cat's Eye was broadcast multiple times on French public channels in the '80s (and well beloved). And yes, it was displayed on kids programs. Which the creators of the show grew up watching. Explains a lot, doesn't it?
      • In the episode "Spies Vs. Spies", the agents whom predate the girls, Pam, Alice, and Crimson, seemed to have been directly modeled after the girls from Cat's Eye.
      • Crimson is a reference to the rock song "Crimson and Clover"
      • Wait a minute, Spies Vs. Spies?
    • Also, whenever the girls are shown playing soccer, the animation draws much inspiration from Captain Tsubasa, from the balls taking on an oval shape after being kicked, all the way the ball spinning in the goalkeeper's hands until his gloves are fizzled out. Especially if Alex (who is a professed soccer fan, as per "Spy Soccer") is involved.
    • In the episode "Miss Spirit Fingers", Alex and Clover have a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where they crash into a Pulp Fiction poster.
    • Jerry's Matrix-style jump to the helicopter in the episode "A Spy Is Born (part II)".
    • And there's another possible Matrix reference in the series 2 episode "It's How You Play the Game" with the wriggly silverfish robots used to infect people's minds by the Big Bad. They go in through the ear, though, not the belly button.
    • Oooh! And the James Bond crotch-laser in the episode "Starstruck".
    • Also when Jerry's mother, in a flashback, rises from the sea in an orange bikini with a white belt.
    • King Kong (1933), when the gorilla climbs up a skyscraper with Alex on its back in the episode "Animal World".
    • Averted with GLADIS. Despite what many would think, this show's GLADIS actually came first.
    • But GLADIS' main interface looks a lot like Shirka from Ulysses 31.
    • Margie from "Brain Drain" shouts "NO WIRE HANGERS!"
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: The girls wind up taking a lot of comedic abuse, not just by villains (Jerry's methods of transporting them are often unorthodox to say the least); the brunt of this usually falls on whoever the Designated Victim is.
  • Sleep Cute: Between the three leads. Really.
  • Something Completely Different: "Matchmaker" is one of the few episodes not to feature Jerry summoning the girls to WOOHP for a new mission. It's also one of the few where Clover solo has to save the day.
  • Spin-Off: The Amazing Spiez, which is more like a continuation of TS with a younger cast. Sam, Clover and Alex make an appearance in one episode.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Sam, Clover and Alex, the latter being a straight-up example.
  • Spy Catsuit: The uniform worn by the trio spies is a shiny plastic catsuit. The stealth part of the trope is usually subverted, as each suit is of a unique bright color. At other times, the suits can change appearance to look like more ordinary clothing, subverting the skintight aspect of the trope.
    • In one episodes, one of their gadgets were a "literal" catsuit, a skintight black suit with cat ears on the hood. It was specifically designed to give the wearer the nimbleness of a cat.
  • Status Quo Is God: The show would usually flip back to status quo whenever Clover, Alex or Sam got a boyfriend. Clover's longest relationship was a long-distance relationship with a fellow WOOHP agent who was reassigned to WOOHP's Australian division, afterwhich he was never seen or mentioned again until they officially broke up in season 6, and while they were together Clover still fawned over and flirted with other guys like usual.
  • Sticky Situation: In a couple of episodes. "Creepy Crawly Much" in particular.
  • Stock Footage: A pan of the crowd applauding and cheering in "Black Widows" is repeated quite a few times during the episode.
  • Strictly Formula: Meet villain of the episode, girls having some problem in their personal lives, Jerry calls and explains the situation, go on mission, meet villain, one or all girls get captured, one or all of them gets mutated / brainwashed etc, break free, confront villains, beat them, change back to normal. End episode. Sometime the plots factor into the daily life problems, sometimes not.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: If they need to wear something for extreme environments, it will still look fashionable.
  • Super-Deformed: e.g. Martin Mystery (for which this is much more common) in "Totally Mystery Much?".
  • Superstition Episode: In one episoe Alex breaks a mirror, complete with a My God, What Have I Done?, and is convinced she'll have seven years of bad luck.
  • The Sweat Drop: Ddes it quite frequently.
  • The Tag: Starting in Season 3, a character addressed the viewer during the closing credits, often talking about something related to the theme or events of the episode.
  • Teen Superspy
  • Temporary Love Interest: Practically every episode gives at least one of the girls one. And every time one of them actually gets with a guy they're right back to being single by the next episode due to one of the following reasons:
    • He turned out to be a villain.
    • He dumped her or she dumped him for some superficial reason (or not).
    • Mandy steals them away (Clover is the usual victim of this one).
    • Snapback.
    • Clover's longest relationship was her long-distance relationship with fellow WOOHP agent Blaine, who was Reassigned to Australia. He officially broke up with her in season 6.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Clover along with a great number of others put on several hundred pounds over the course of a few days from eating Passion Patties.
    • Scratch that. Clover and Jerry put on that much over the course of a day!
    • Bittersweet put on that much in a few seconds after being forcefed her concentrated additive.
  • Time Travel: By now about 3 different methods are readily available to the team.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In one of the early episodes the girls are sent back in time to the dark ages. Clover is, at least for a little bit, able to hail Jerry on her communicator despite him not being born for hundreds of years.
    • In another time-travel episode, Sam and her future-self debate the Temporal Paradox of how their older selves can currently exist in the future if their younger selves traveled through time, thereby never existing to be able to age into their future selves.
  • Title Drop: Happens occasionally in certain episodes, but one doesn't happen for the show's name itself until the 6th season
  • Title Montage
  • Title Please: Only on American prints of Season 1 (The International versions of Season 1 epsiodes have different title card with epiosde title and background that changed between episodes). Season 2+ featured the name of the episode superimposed over the Totally Spies! logo.
  • Token Minority: Britney, Caitlin, and possibly Alex.
  • Un-Cancelled: A sixth season started in 2013, five years after the fifth season's intended Grand Finale.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: While on the job the trio wear the same color-coded jumpsuits, in their "spare time" not only have a seemingly endless wardrobe, they love to go shopping as well. Apparently they have rich parents. And they do live in Beverly Hills, which in fiction never has anyone with less than upper class income.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Sometimes the girls are captured this way.
  • Valley Girl: Like, duh.
  • Villains Never Lie: The spies don't believe Terrance when he says Jerry is his twin brother (though he did have surgery to alter his appearance) and when he and Jerry got caught cheating on an exam Jerry lied and let Terrance take the fall. Jerry confirms both are true.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In "The Yuck Factor".
  • We Can Rule Together: The Great Kandinsky to his grandson in episode "Do You Believe in Magic?". When it doesn't work he hypnotizes him.
  • We've Got Company: Said more than once.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jerry's response to the girls apparently becoming bank robbers is essentially to attempt to lobotomise them. When he apologises at the end of the episode, the girls pelt him with snowballs and angrily point out that it'll take a lot more than that to make it up to them.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Madison's nanny makes it clear what will happen to her if her father doesn't release her husband from prison.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The girls were apparently 10 in the 80's. That would point them in their 30's by the time the show aired.
    • Alternatively, the show could be set from the mid-to-late 1990s, just equipped with Anachronism Stews.
    • No it was most definitely the 2000s—the girls were probably 10 in the mid to late 1990s, and during that time, fashion-wise at least, some parts of the country were still kind of stuck in the 1980s. The outfits the girls wear mimic 2000s trends when not looking 60s mod or bohemian.
  • Yes Virginia: "Ho-ho-ho-no!" ends with Jerry flying off in his anti-gravity snowmobile and passing the real Santa riding in his sleigh. Jerry doesn't seem shocked to see the real Santa and they wave to each other.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: Came up on an episode that featured Jazz Hands, a mime who turned evil after people mocked him for being a bad accordion player. He's fond of mime-themed Death Traps, like the time he tied up Clover and Alex in an "invisible mime rope" and started to slowly lower them into a vat of flesh-eating mime makeup. Alex tries cutting the invisible rope with a miniature buzz saw, but the saw gets deflected and ends up shearing off some of Alex's hair instead. Just when everything seems hopeless, the girls' assistant, Jerry, shows up in Jazz Hands's hideout and finally manages to untie the rope...by pretending to untie the rope. ("What better way to untie a mime rope than with mime?")
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: "A Spy Is Born", has a similar Cliffhanger. You see that the girls have captured a rogue filmmaker, and that he's been put on a plane... and then you see in the final scene that he's escaped and captured Alex. Cue part two of the season finale...Which comes after a truckload of episodes before that (which confused a lot a fans).

Alternative Title(s): Totally Spies

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/TotallySpies