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Comic Book / Walter Melon
aka: Achille Talon

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That short guy he's leaning on? That's René Goscinny.


Walter Melon, originally titled Achille Talon, is a French comic created in 1963 by Michel Regnier a.k.a. Michel Greg in Pilote magazine. Originally one-page gags, it turned quickly to two-page gags to which complete 62-page adventures were added in 1974, and continued until its creator died in 1999.

The character is an Homage to Monsieur Poche, a pretentious bourgeois created by Alain Saint-Ogan who's reputed to have created the ligne claire style and whom Greg was such a big fan of that he remade his star characters Zig et Puce just to give some royalties to the poor old master.

Achille Talon, according his author, "knows everything and improvises the rest of it. Apart of this, he's generous, petty, pacifist, aggressive, progressist, bourgeois, selfless, jealous, intrepid and a bit of a coward. In sum, honest and brave just like you and me..."

The comic book was translated for different markets in the 80's and published in English under the title Walter Melon with little success, as it was so specifically French by its main character and its language. Readers hardly understood Talon's favorite interjections, "hop !" and "bof..." which simply express positive/negative moods.

Received a short-lived Animated Adaptation produced by Saban International Paris that aired on ABC Family (back when it was Fox Family)note  in which Walter Melon works as a "hero for hire" with his hapless sidekick, Bitterbug. Together, the duo step in for the hero and sidekick in parodies of popular movies, TV shows, works of literature, and, in its second season (which aired in other countries save the United States of America), historical events. The show also had a woman named Amelia, who often played the female roles (often the sidekick, love interest, or Femme Fatale), and a Joker-esque clown named Sneero, who played the villain.

Walter Melon provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic:
    • Achille Talon's father is one, but this is strictly Played for Laughs. He's remarkably good at holding his liquor.
    • Also his old friend, Arthur de Glouswallow in Le Trésor de Virgule, a British gentleman who's constantly drunk — but still makes a valuable jungle guide.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: In the end of l'Âge ingrat, Grelot is arrested by the cop, just after his car exploded, for "scattering debris on the public way, unpleasant behavior, setting a bad example to the younger generation, and, I'd almost forgotten, kidnapping!"
  • The Alleged Car: Achille Talon drives a sputtering old jalopy which, as it turns out, is a real car, the 1903 Achilles.
  • Amusing Injuries: The fights between Achille and Lefuneste involves them using lethal weapons such as spiked clubs, axes, chainguns, grenades, etc., yet the worst they get are bloody noses or black eyes.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Pétard (the duck) is always identified as some kind of bird, but never the right one. The prize goes to the guy who corrects his acolyte with "a toucan is not an amphibian but a cetacean".
  • Artistic License – Geology: For fun. Tutanémipartou sand + Dontgo-Zisway volcano dust = BOOM + madness smoke.
  • Art Shift:
    • One page was drawn in a child-like style, the in-story explanation being that it was actually the work of the author's kid.
    • On another occasion, Greg parodied the flamboyantly psychedelic style of Philippe Druillet.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...:
    Lefuneste: [on a stepladder, wearing paint-spattered-clothing, holding a paint roller] Yes, Talon! I am indeed painting my ceiling! Anyone other than you, on observing the pose I am in, would immediately have jumped to the conclusion that I was furiously engaged in shelling green peas!
  • AstroTurf: "Yes, thank you Lefuneste. I know you were hired to applaud vigorously during my conference, and, honest man that you are, want to earn your salary, but I'd like to begin the conference now!" (Lefuneste is the only guy in the audience.)
  • Author Avatar: Downplayed, Lefuneste's more prominent traits were an exaggeration of Greg's, but his personality isn't.
  • Author Tract: L'Archipel de Sanzunron was initially ordered to illustrate a bank's newsletter, and as such is a pamphlet about the wonders of capitalism in general and banking in particular.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Sneakules and Potates kidnap Hercules girlfriend Arianny with this method in "The Hard Labours of Hercules".
  • Balloonacy: Achille Talon's father escapes annoying cops by blowing into a breathalyzer balloon until it becomes an improvised blimp and he takes off with it.
  • Berserk Button: Papa Talon losing his beer.
  • Big Applesauce: In the album L'appeau d'Ephèse (it's a pun; "ça coûte la peau des fesses" (literally "it costs the skin of the buttocks") means "it's hugely expensive" in French). Greg lived in the USA for a long time and even worked as writer for TV Shows such as The Love Boat. Talon Sr. serves one of his most beautiful sentences in front of the "Megacash Museum" where he can't go in since it's the night: "I was once more forgetting that, in this retrograde country, clocks ignore that in good French it's actually tomorrow morning."
  • Big Eater: Charlier, the other editor of Pilote magazine. Supposedly an actual trait, here flanderized as always having a three-foot-long sandwich in hand.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Achille Talon once forced himself to ingest a dish made from all the most potent spices in the world, just so he could belch out the lethal digestion gasses right in Lefuneste's face.
  • Blueblood: The marquise Virgule de Guillemets, Achille's (platonic) fiancée.
  • Bluff Worked Too Well: Le Grain de la folie revolves around two kinds of sand that, when mixed together, produce a gas that causes temporary insanity in anyone breathing it. One of these sands is on an island occupied by the US Armed Forces, and while the plan to get them off the island so as to blow up the beach works, they retreat to the island where the other kind of sand is found.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Achille Talon is probably the most egregious offender in all French-Belgian comics. See Medium Awareness.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: In order to fly to Polynesia on short notice and on a shoestring in Le Grain de la folie, Lefuneste and Major Lafrime hire a veteran German World War I pilot, who gets them there onboard his vintage triplane which keeps losing bits while in flight. Amazingly, the obsolete aircraft handily wins a dogfight against a modern jet fighter on the way.
  • Butt-Monkey: Achille and Lefuneste. Usually to each other.
  • Captain Ersatz: What the Animated Adaptation was all about.
  • The Cavalry: Shows up on time to save the day in La Main du serpent, something Achille matter-of-factly hangs a lampshade on.
  • Character Development: Most noticeable with Lafrime, who started out as a Stock Character (the Old Soldier who never stops talking about his time in the army) and became a useful ally later on.
  • Cliffhanger: Copiously lampshaded at the end of many a page in the longer stories, and sometimes even played straight.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The mystery man from The Mystery of the Two-Headed Man is definitely this. A running gag in the album has him confusing people to the point of head-splitting headaches, and engaging in constant logic-defying quips and reasoning.
    Constable: How would I know your name? I've never seen you!
    Stranger: The police is incompetent! Nobody saw Neptune, yet everyone knows his name! I'm filing for a lawsuit for theft of identity! If you meet someone whose name I can't remember, they stole mine!
  • Cool vs. Awesome: An early strip mentions a "Charlie Chaplin versus Tarzan" movie from 1928 ("Ah, more recent than usual").
  • Darkest Africa: Lampshaded in Le Coquin de sort (and somehow parodies Tintin in the Congo). All inhabitants of Doduduba ("Fatinbottom") speak in absolutely perfect French and the primitive bush village where everybody walks around half-naked with spears has a big contract with a pet food canning plant in Chicago. Papa Talon, while in the African Disciplinary Battalions, encountered some rain-making witch doctors, among others.
  • Depraved Dentist: While he doesn't do horrible things to people's teeth, Dr. Fluquesion does knock them out with a special gas that causes recurring nightmares. Then his accomplice shows up with the (very expensive) miracle cure which is only tap water or rain water, and not a cure at all.
  • Eagleland: Mostly Type 2s. To quote General Samuel Surrender:
    General Surrender: Gentlemen, if there's one thing I hate more than the Chinese it's racism.
  • Easy Amnesia: Colorado Jules in Le trésor de Virgule. Got a Tap on the Head that made him forget only a part of the information about the treasure. Immediately parodied by Virgule who argues him and tells him he's "of bad faith".
  • Da Editor: Goscinny. Albeit one who is happy to use axes and sledgehammers to reprimand late authors. This portrayal of him was so pervasive that apparently many people exclaimed "Hey, you're not that small!" when meeting him for the first time.
  • Everyone Chasing You: Sometimes when Talon was too sure of himself.
  • Exact Words: Vincent Poursan, the very greedy storekeeper, sometimes scams Achille using this method. For instance, on one occasion he sells him a stove by ensuring him it will work exactly as shown on the ad, where the stove is represented surrounded by flames. Sure enough, it set fires to Achille's house. On another occasion, Poursan tricks Achille into buying a trip in the sewers of Paris by presenting it with the exact same words as for describing a gondola ride in Venice.
  • Expy: Saint-Ogan's Monsieur Poche.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Zôtrland is one to Imperial Germany in the album Le Roi des Zôtres
  • Flowery Insults: Achille and Lefuneste often try to outdo one another in that regard.
  • French Maid: Subverted; Virgule's maid Hécatombe is a huge woman built like a professional wrestler and anchor arm tattoos... in the requisite maid outfit.
  • Friendly Enemy: Talon and his neighbour Hilarion Lefuneste. Always calls him cuistre (prig) but they're inseparable. Especially when they're fighting each other.
  • Funny Background Event: It would be actually easier to list panels that don't have at least one funny event appearing in the background. Expect also any apparatus to contain overly complicated contraptions or unnecessary appendages, like faucets on brass instruments.
  • Gag Nose:
    • Lampshaded when Lefuneste making fun of Achille Talon's nose ends up having the latter hired to play the title character in Cyrano de Bergerac.
    • At one point, a crook wants to nail Achille in between the eyes with his gun. He aims, they have a silent face-off... and he breaks down in tears.
  • Gargle Blaster: In Viva Papa!, the only product of the Banana Republic of Tapasambal is an alcohol made from cactus juice. The locals seem able to drink it without much trouble, but when the hero and his sidekick Lefuneste sip a little, they instantly turn red and produce cartoonish jets of steam. Along with the obligatory Les Tontons flingueurs Shout-Out: "Cha, ch'est une boichon d'homme, cha!" ("Now, jhat'sh a men'sh drink, jhat!").
  • General Ripper: Samuel Surrender, the commanding officer of the US garrison in Le Grain de la folie is obsessed by the Yellow Peril. To the point where he chews out a subordinate for almost stepping on a butterfly (as American soldiers are the protectors of the weak and the small), then chews them out again when he realizes the butterfly is yellow.
  • Genghis Gambit: In Le Roi des Zôtres, Achille finds himself becoming King of the Zotrland, which is so rife with internal quarrels and conspiracies that it is only one step away from civil war. Achille manages to unite everyone against himself by announcing overly warlike laws that convince every subject to give peace a chance and embrace the rightful heir, a Hippie, as King.
  • Genre Savvy: In La Main du serpent, Achille Talon correctly surmises that the other survivors of the submarine wreck were scattered by the storm. In fact, as another character observes, there was no storm. But Achille Talon replies that in adventure stories, there is always a storm — and so there was one.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "L'Etang Tacule" (Tacule Pond) reads phonetically like "les tentacules" (the tentacles) and is a spoonerism for "L'Etat t'encule" (the State fucks you).
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Often.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Pétard the duck wears a black beret and nothing else.
  • Hazmat Suit: Poursan had one ready for the Snake's Hand radiations.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Every time Talon tries to take an initiative.
  • Housewife: Maman Talon subverts this, in that she's quite happy with merely keeping the house running, but it quite able to go Action Girl as needs be. In fact, her first appearance was of her fixing her motorcycle in the garage, a characterisation that didn't make it because of how hard it was to draw.
  • Hurricane of Puns: And it never stops. The title character himself is a pun (from Achilles' Heel).
  • Hypocrite: After chewing out a subordinate who asked why the upcoming exercise featured China as the enemy...
    Samuel Surrender: Naturally, there is no particular reason I chose China as the opposing force for this exercise. As you know, gentlemen, if there's one thing I hate more than the Chinese it's racism.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The aforementioned General Ripper gave us the little gem "if there's something I hate more than the Chinese, it's racism."
  • Ill-Fated Flowerbed: One panel has Virgule's philodendrons buried under a literal truckload of mud. Ironical, since it is accidentally caused by Achille, who wanted to bring her fresh soil for the poor plants.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Unlike his father, Achille usually avoids heavy drinking. However, in Le Trésor de Virgule, after finding out his fiancée had bought several (fake) shrunken heads as souvenirs, Achille grabs Arthur de Glouswallow's whiskey bottle and gets promptly plastered.
    Achille: I'll never understand either Platopabo or women!
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Played for Laughs in La Main du Serpent, where the three envoys from the Maharajah sent to help the heroes look and dress exactly the same, while they have different surnames and professions (one is head of the secret service, another is a doctor and the last one an historian). Lefuneste comments upon being introduced to them that, for some reason, he did not expect them to have different names or jobs.
  • In Name Only: The obscure Animated Adaptation from the late '90s starred Achille (under his English name, Walter Melon) as a "hero for hire" who substituted for various action hero expies.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: The plot of Ne rêvons pas is set in motion by the visit at Achille's place of a persnickety tax assessor. In a subversion of the trope, Achille's father, acting as his tax advisor, turns the tables on the assessor and assails him with a mountain of paperwork.
  • Intoxication Ensues:
    • Inverted. Lefuneste once claimed to have embraced the hippy counterculture and offered Achille Talon a spliff. Achille angrily turned it down at first, but smoked it when he thought nobody was looking, and had a hallucinatory trip. At which point Lefuneste, back to his normal self, told him it was a joke and the "spliff" contained no mood-altering substance whatsoever — Achille's high was entirely self-induced.
    • In another, Achille burns some old wood he found in the attic brought back by an ancestor who traveled to India. The entire neighborhood gets high on cannabis fumes.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Spoofed at the end of La Traversée du disert. The lieutenant policeman who helped the escaped convicts regrets his betrayal when they attempt to kill all hostages. After Talon punched the wannabe killers, lieutenant tells his sub-lieutenant (who was taken as an hostage) he can now arrest him. Sub-lieutenant smiles and answers the many explosions made him a little amnesiac. It's obvious he actually means "I forgive you."
  • Latin Land: Platopabo ("Uglyplateau") in the album Le Trésor de Virgule published in English as Magnesia's Treasure.
    Achille Talon: What? There are revolutionaries too?
    Arthur de Glouswallow: Come now, Achille! We are in South America, after all!
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Talon almost assassinated Lefuneste with his "boyscout recipe" for breakfast: the bread soup aux morchella with chocolate. Including onions browned in orange juice and a bechamel sauce.
    • Some of Papa Talon's recipes, brought back from his more exotic travels.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Achille Talon and all other characters always dress in identical outfits.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: In Le Grain de la folie, Achille Talon expects being sentenced to 745 years (with mitigating circumstances) for breaking into Surrender's base.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Pétard, Achille Talon's pet duck. Originally given as an ill-thought-out thank-you present, Talon resented it as such, but he eventually warmed to it.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr Grelot and his three 600-year-old guinea pigs for the longevity experiment. The gag is that the victims of the experience (involving the removal of a gland in their brains that makes them long-lived)... go mad.
  • Mama Bear: Don't cross Achille's mother. She may look like a sweet old lady, but she packs a mean punch.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Invoked in La Main du Serpent, where it is never made clear whether the improbable actions of the titular hand were always due to the fakir's power of suggestion or to its cursed status. Achille chooses to believe the latter while the fakir confirms the former to Lefuneste.
  • Mean Boss: René Goscinny (the creator of Asterix) is depicted as a perpetually angry, short and violence-prone editor-in-chief.
  • Meddlesome Patrolman: Agent Dussiflet or his peers get to slap a fine on Achille Talon, or drag him in handcuffs to the local police precinct, on more than one occasion. They often try to catch Papa Talon driving or walking around drunk.
  • Medium Awareness: Achille knows he's in a comic book, even giving conferences on the art of being a comic-book character.
  • Metaphorgotten: A recurring gag in the more verbose strips.
    The gabbling artist stirring deep inside the more methodical reader looks avidly for the outstretched hand that will get his foot in the door of the drawing table and cannot find it. Which is only logical, since this hand, clutching the breadwinning brush, is close to losing its head.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: Greg was an absolute master of it. One of his best examples is when Major Lafrime mobilizes his friends to put Talon into the election run and orders "colonne par cinq pour l'information" for launching a campaign. It makes a triple sense:
    • Soldiers are ordered to be "en colonne par cinq" (line up five abreast) in the army;
    • Cinq colonnes à la une (headline splashed across the front page) was a famous French information TV show in the 60's;
    • The "5th column" was the term for enemy spying during the war.
  • Mundane Utility: Alambic gets a job in a construction company specializing in anti-intrusion measures, such as glass shards embedded on walltops. Shards made by breaking empty beer bottles. Guess whose job it is to empty them...
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Virgule de Guillemet's maid, Hécatombe. In French, it is often used to refer to the massacre of a great number of people.
  • The Napoleon: A caricature of René Goscinny, portrayed as the irascible midget-boss of Polite (!) magazine where Achille Talon works. As for Napoleon, many fans thought then that Goscinny was tiny. It could be as well an Homage to Goscinny's character Iznogoud.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Vincent Poursan works in/owns many different stores, selling anything relevant to the plot at exorbitant prices.
  • Nightmare Dreams: What if the bad guy can provoke them to manipulate his victims?
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: In Le Monstre de l'Etang Tacule, a cartoonist draws grotesque and nightmare-inducing cartoons, but he claims that his drawings are a faithful representation of reality.
  • No More for Me: Papa Talon, once. Just once. Beer is a serious thing.
  • Old Soldier: Major Hector Lafrime.
  • Only Sane Man: Fo-Pli. Greg actually called him the only intelligent character in the entire series.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: One strip has Talon and Lefuneste worried sick about Papa Talon, who is over the moon at the idea of going to work (for a construction company, no less!) instead of slacking around drinking; doubly so when the company's foreman keeps praising Papa Talon's performance. His job turns out to be drinking countless beers so the company, which specializes in building protective walls, can smash the beer bottles up and put the shards on top of walls as a deterrent for climbing.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Gargouilla-la-gargouille, a dragonlike creature in L'âge ingrat.
  • Overly Polite Pals: In one comic, both continuously insist the other go first, but here the stalemate goes on until they're both late, leading to a Big Ball of Violence. Amusingly, this came about after Achille read a book on etiquette, and it turns out the other guy was the author.
  • Papa Wolf: Papa Talon. Keeps an eye opened and a beer with the other.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Several gags make Pilote out to be worse than struggling ("We've had two new subscribers this year, doubling our customer base").
  • Police Are Useless: Greg didn't like them and projected a part of himself in Papa Talon who keeps a flag of the "Wild Anarchists Federation" in the attic.
    Papa Talon: Of course they're here. The bad guy is defeated and we're not pressing charges. Being perfectly useless, it is only logical that the police show up.
  • Punny Name: Does a character have a name? Then it's a pun:
    • Achille Talon (Achilles Heel), Hilarion Lefuneste (hilarious the fatal/disastrous), Séraphin Dumonde (it's the end of the world), Hector Pedeau the auto mechanic (Torpedo, a kind of car), Doctor Samson Fo-Pli (with the french pronunciation of his first name, "without his crease")...
    • Talon even lives on the corner of the Rue Tilante (shiny) and l'Avenue Dumessie (the Coming of the Messiah).
    • Séraphin Dumonde is another example of Multiple Reference Pun. Lefuneste suggests that he imitate this famous ape dressed for painting.
  • Recycled In Space: In L'Esprit d'Eloi, Rheingard Van Daag's project is to shoot "Dracula in Space", in a forest.
    Van Daag: It will be ecological!
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!:
    • In La Traversée du Disert, Achille Talon tries to get an annoying transistor radio to shut up by smashing it against a rock (all it does is change the station) and feeding the pieces to his pet duck. Unfortunately, the radio keeps working from inside the duck's belly.
    • At the beginning of Viva Papa!, Lefuneste gets his alarm clock to stop by striking it with a hammer.
  • Running Gag:
    • A common gag is to have Achille spend nearly two pages explaining various dirty tricks comic book editors use to fill pages, such as large empty spaces, or consisting of single blocks of color (the lowest point of a mine at midnight, a polar bear blinking in a snowstorm, close-up of the Sahara, etc.), ending with a bloodthirsty Goscinny running after Talon with every intention of removing his head.
    • In the stories, people keep mistaking Achille's pet duck for a different species.
  • Safe Driving Aesop: Parodied frequently where, for some reason, the Aesop that the TV presenter kept coming with at the end of various programs (including a western action movie, a children cartoon, a news program and a quiz game, neither of them talking about cars at any point) was "Be careful when you drive."
  • Sanity Slippage: Some gags involve Achille being driven into near madness, usually by a ridiculously mundane thing such as wrapping a gift.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: L'Esprit d'Eloi (a pun on Montesquieu's "The spirit of the laws"), where the ghost is trying to scare off the owner of uranium-rich terrain.
  • Series Continuity Error: One album has Achille claiming his father only ever left Europe for three days to South America, when he spent a good portion of his early life in the African Disciplinary Batallions. Not only that, but this is in the context of finding out if he picked up a tropical disease or a black magic curse from Africa, when Alambic's established knowledge of witch-doctor magics are essential to the plot in another album.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The trademark of the comics. Lampshaded when an accountant complains to Achille Talon that the translation fees for his comics are double the usual rate.
  • Shout-Out: Many, staring with Achille himself being a Shout-Out to Monsieur Poche. Greg was at least as cultured as Achille. There are also references to comics authors such as Floyd Gottfredson, Al Taliaferro, Hergé, Gotlib, Lee Fark...
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Achille and Lefuneste.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In Le Grain de la folie.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Achille, naturally. It's lampshaded multiple times, but building a giant statue of himself in his garden probably takes the cake.
  • Sound Defect: A Mafia henchman in Le Quadrumane optimiste has a strange illness that causes every sound he makes to be rendered as a completely unrelated onomatopoeia (like whacking someone on the head with a huge "gulp" sound or flipping a car over with a "tadidadituuut", for instance), and his boss regularly complains about it (Achille comments that this kind of disability will prevent him from appearing in a good comic book). The henchman is overjoyed at the end of the story to discover that he's cured when the manacles he's handcuffed with make the correct "click" sound.
  • Spexico: Tapasambal ("T'as pas cent balles ?" = "You got ten bucks ?") in the album Viva Papa!
  • Stereotypes of Chinese People: Averted with Professor Fo-Pli ("crease"). Speaks perfect French, huge specialist in chemistry and geology, wears occidental outfit and while he does quote random "proverbs", they're along the lines of "The wise man, and a few others before him, peremptorily told it: 'better a little drawing than a long speech', and the television executives added: 'and it doesn't cost any more'."
  • Strawman Political:
    • The Communist-in-all-but-name leader of the opposition party in Viva Papa!, who speaks in hackneyed pseudo-Marxist cliches.
    • Most politicians seen spring up and are all too ready to help at the mention of the word "voters".
  • Swamps Are Evil: Le Monstre de l'étang Tacule (which is both a wordplay and a spoonerism).
  • Take That!: The police are represented as semicompetent thugs or bureaucrats. One cop finds a sidearm "reserved for the officers who passed the dictation test! A rarity!"
  • Take That, Critics!: In Docteur Chacal et Mister Bide (a pastiche of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as the title suggests), Talon spends a whole page mocking a critic who said of every comic (including the first one) that it was not the best of the series. He concludes by advertising the comic as the only one where no book is the best of the series.
  • A Tale Told by an Idiot: A repeated gag is for such a character to badly explain the situation to a cop and then get impatient when the cop doesn't understand them (or accuse the cop of being too stupid to understand). Funny Foreigner Lazlo Zlotz once gets himself and Achille thrown into prison after doing this.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: Achille hoists the hammer over his head to hit a high striker... then falls over backwards, with the shockwave of his landing sending the weight up to hit the bell.
  • Title Drop: Lampshaded in Ne rêvons pas!
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: Papa Talon actually can: "Alambic-Dieudonné-Corydon Talon -°- Former Living Witness of the Merits of the Disciplinary Batallions of Africa -°- Patented Gustator in Distillated Hops -°- Man of Taste -°- Voter and Husband."
  • Use Your Head:
    • One story has Achille attempt to subdue a gorilla by running into a wall headfirst in an effort to get the gorilla to imitate him. The gorilla picks him up and bashes Achille's head in the wall.
    • One of the three peasants likes ramming doors with his head, despite Achille's disbelief.
      See, your issue here is that you see problems where there are none.
  • Verbal Tic: Achille has two, "Hop!" and "Bof", which seem to be used approximately as verbal equivalents of a smile and a shrug respectively.
  • Visible Boom Mic: In a strip where kids watch a western on the Talon's TV, one of them mentions that an overhead branch is actually the mic perch.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Talon and Lefuneste are an exaggerated example of this. They routinely insult each other and are always one wrong sentence away from a full-on brawl, but they constantly hang out together and in the adventures never hesitate to help each other and occasionally save one another's life.
  • Wall of Text: The characters speak a lot, and it is not uncommon for speech bubbles to take half of an image or more. A particularly epic example occurs when Achille's mother comes to discuss with Goscinny about the journal Achille appears in, and rambles so much that her speech bubble takes more than half a page.
  • We Sell Everything: Vincent Poursan, the 1000-jobs storekeeper. He knows the price of things.
    Vincent Poursan: The world's most powerful coil springs? Of course I sell these, seeing as they're also the most expensive!
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The medieval henchmen in L'Âge Ingrat have second thoughts about continuing the immortality treatment, having not much to do but play cards all day and taking the occasional bath (14 in all).
  • Why Won't You Die?: The radio in La Traversée du Disert keeps broadcasting no matter the abuse it takes.
  • Word Purée Title: The name of the series is actually supposed to be spelled Ach!lle Talon.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Just about every fight has the participants make comments in a conversational tone, related to whatever weapon they're holding.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: In Le Roi des Zotres, Achille is crowned king of Zôtrland, and in order to bring political stability back to the fractious country, he connives with his elderly predecessor to make himself so unpopular that the people will topple him and welcome as a savior the legitimate (and lazy) heir to the throne. This does not make the local conspiracy happy, as the revolution is clearly setting up to happen without them.

Alternative Title(s): Achille Talon