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Film / Spy Kids

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Spy Kids is a 2001 American adventure comedy film directed by Robert Rodriguez. It is the first movie in the Spy Kids franchise.

Gregorio Cortez (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid Cortez (Carla Gugino) were spies from different countries before they fell in love and get married. They retired afterwards, having two children: Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara).

The movie starts more than a decade later, with Gregorio investigating the disappearance of several spies. Gregorio and Ingrid accept the mission to rescue these spies, but they get captured. It's up to their bickering children to rescue them and save the world from a legion of robotic children.

The sequel to this film is Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams.

The film Spy Kids contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: In the novelization, Gradenko and her human mooks are more competent about trying to catch the kids after Juni blows their cover. While in the film Gradenko just grapples with Juni for his backpack and loses him after he sets her hair on fire, she shrugs off her hair being aflame in the novelization and tries to sedate him. Juni only escapes because Carmen comes back for him.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: The kids undergo this when they succeed in escaping Ms. Gradenko and her minions, by purchasing new outfits from a clothing store and donning sunglasses.
  • Adults Are Useless: Zig-zagged. Ingrid and Gregorio manage to escape their cell, but end up dining with Floop. Played straight with Miss Gradenko, who is easily outsmarted by Carmen and Juni.
  • Agents Dating: The movie starts with their mother telling the story of the two spies who fell in love, with several which they are some distance from each other since they're on opposing sides.
  • Amphibious Automobile: The Cortez's SUV becomes one.
  • And I Must Scream: This is the fate of anyone transformed into a Foogly. They're mutated into bizarre caricatures of human beings, forced to work on Floop's TV show, and live as chained-up prisoners whenever they're not filming. The transformation process alters their brains to the point where their ability to talk becomes high-pitched Sdrawkcab Speech, but leaves them sane and sentient enough to know what's happening to them. To make matters worse, they're Forced to Watch as their fellow agents are sent to try to rescue them, only to fall victim to the same fate because they can't be warned about what's really happening. All the Fooglies can do is endlessly scream for help whenever they're on camera ("WE'RE TRAPPED! FLOOP IS A MADMAN! HELP US, SAVE US!") in the hope that someone will reverse the audio and realize what's going on.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Ingrid tells her kids the story of the two spies who fell in love, or how she met their father.
  • And This Is for...: "THIS ONE'S FOR MY SISTER!" Juni tackles a Thumb-Thumb after he and Floop escape the Virtual Room to avenge Carmen after she falls into the puzzle floor trap Gregorio and Ingrid discovered earlier while the two were chased through the castle by the Robot Children. It turns out to be Carmen in disguise, due to the fact that the trap led her to the Thumb-Thumb maintenance room and disguised herself as one in order to move freely around the castle.
  • Antagonist Title: The other meaning of the film's title, referring to the robotic children that Floop constructed.
  • The Anticipator: When the Cortezes escape their imprisonment and start roaming Floop's lair, they fall through a trap door which leads to where Floop is waiting for them, dinner spread out, and was timing how long it took them to escape. He thought it would be a little sooner.
  • Arc Words: "The third brain lives"
  • Art Initiates Life: Floop's Fooglies are made by first creating clay models or drawings of them.
  • Badass Boast: Floop gets a surprisingly good one when introducing Ingrid and Gregorio to his Thumb Thumb robots.
    Careful, I snap my fingers, and my fingers snap you.
    • Only marred by one of the robots tripping over clumsily.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Floop uses this with his robot minions (who resemble a giant humanoid combination of thumbs) with the threat "I snap my fingers and my fingers snap you."
  • Badass Preacher: The minister at Gregorio and Ingrid's wedding keeps reciting the ceremony even as helicopters start firing on the crowds. Machete has to pull him out of the line of fire. Then he declares them husband and wife from the cliffs as Gregorio and Ingrid make their escape in a motorboat.
  • Bar Slide: How Gregorio proposes to Ingrid - sliding the ring along the railing of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: During the film's climax: "Carmen? Juni? Close your eyes. We don't want you to see this." *mass of punching and kicking off camera*
  • Belly-Scraping Flight: The Cortez siblings' tiny rocket-plane loses a wingtip to a rock formation when their bickering causes a near-collision. Then Juni invokes this trope to take off the other wingtip, so the plane will be balanced.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ms. Gradenko is introduced as the parents' liason when they go to find Floop, and as the agent who shows up to debrief the kids at the safehouse. When Juni realizes she came with Thumb-Thumbs however, which sink the sub, her mask fades away rather quickly.
  • Brick Joke: After getting captured, Ingrid snarks that only one of the kids is in diapers. Later on, Juni calls Carmen "Diaper Lady" while they're bickering, as he had threatened to do earlier.
  • Cassandra Truth: Juni tries to warn Carmen that the bracelet Ms. Gradenko gave her is actually a tracking device. Lampshaded by Carmen shortly after she ditches Juni, although it's too late since Carmen and Juni's robot doppelgängers have already found them and manage to get the Third Brain.
    Juni: Why are you still wearing that? That could be a tracer. They could be tracking us.
    Carmen: Don't start pointing fingers at me. I didn't do anything stupid, stupid.
    Juni: You better stop calling me names.
    Carmen: Or what?
    Juni: Or I'm gonna call you names.
    Carmen [takes off the bracelet and it starts beeping]: The booger was right. I hate that!
  • Censor Box: The president, Devlin, has one that he physically puts over his eyes during video transmissions, which he can take off and move around using only his hands.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Played with; The kids are raised by their real parents, but don't know they're spies until the events of the film. An "uncle" does turn out to be an agent assigned to protect their family, though.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: As he prepares to drive his kids to school, Gregorio is seen with a picture of his friend Donnigan, who is missing. Then he sees a new character on Floop's tv show who resembles him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The kids' daily exercises at a home jungle gym makes them physically adept when they have to enter a mission for real.
    • Juni's love of Floop's show. His Broken Pedestal speech to Floop convinces the latter to make a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Juni's Fooglie drawing, sort of. Minion forcibly transforms Gregorio into it, which lasts for all of 5 minutes.
    • The photo of Gregorio and Machete Carmen finds in the wedding album at the Safe House. When the two realize the enormity of the situation after their robot doubles beat them up and steal the Third Brain from them, they need Machete's help, and in the process, realize he is their uncle.
    • Electric bubblegum. Carmen uses is to incapacitate a Thumb-Thumb, Juni uses one to free Floop and then stun the robot Carmen.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Machete, Gregorio's "best man" at the wedding. He turns out to be the kids' uncle and a Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Ms. Gradenko when gaining the kids' trust in the safehouse shows them that Fooglies can communicate if you play their Black Speech backwards. This allows Juni to communicate with them later.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Juni's ability to mimic voices distracts Minion long enough for his parents to incapacitate the Big Bad.
  • Child Hater: "It's good to be back, Alex. Let's never have children."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Alexander Minion.
  • Clark Kenting: The dad, hilariously, simply puts on a pencil mustache for his spy disguise. Averted with the mom in the flashback, who dons several wigs and can change her outfits in a matter of minutes.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gregorio thinks that Juni is this, but Floop is a bit closer, in that he only realizes that he's not a bad guy when Minion turns on him and he's more focused on his show than on impressing Mr. Lisp.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Happens to Floop at least once.
    Minion: You're spending too much time on this program, when you should be more concerned with our grand, diabolical plan.
    Floop: Syndication?
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Subverted. Carmen and Juni are easily overpowered by two robots...then later in the film, their parents come up with a plan under the assumption they can hold their own against 500 of those same robots... too which, after the fact, Machete comes bursting in through the stained glass window and joins the fight, but they all cower in fear the moment the robots rush them. Luckily, Floop ends up reprogramming them to render them harmless just in time.
    Gregorio: I'll take the hundred on the right... Ingrid, you take the hundred on the left. Carmen, hundred center-left. Juni, center-right. It'll work. It'll work.
    Juni: That's 500 total, Dad. We need one more person. (Cue Machete bursting through a window to join them.)
  • Cool Car: The Cortez parents own an SUV which has a lot of hidden gadgets and can turn into a submarine.
  • Cool Plane: Machete's RX Express, which Carmen and Juni use to reach Floop's castle.
  • Cool Uncle:
    • Even though Felix isn't their uncle, he does act like one. He comes to babysit the kids with grocery bags full of caramel corn, and lets them stay up late to watch movies on a school night. It's no surprise the kids adore him and are distressed when the Thumb-Thumbs capture him.
    • Machete is a gruff Gadgeteer Genius. While he tells the kids that he's not helping rescue their parents, he does show them around his workshop, gives them a place to stay and a meal, while brushing off Carmen's assertions that he does care more about family than about money. There is also him coming in the climax to rescue his family.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Ingrid tells her children to close their eyes before she beats up a bunch of Mooks.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Spies have to be this way. Ingrid in the flashback to her spy days wore two wigs to change disguises while tracking down Gregorio. At Ingrid and Gregorio's wedding, they had an escape boat and parachutes prepared in the case that they might be attacked.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Juni. His father thinks he's a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, his sister thinks he's an Annoying Younger Sibling, but he's very observant, remembers Chekhov's Lecture from Ms. Gradenko, and gets cool ideas.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: Before Mr. Cortez was a spy, he also worked in research and development making an AI computer referred to as the Third Brain. He was told to destroy it when the OSS Director realized it would be too dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands, but admits he didn't want to and is shown switching it with a walnut and smashing that while putting the real brain in his pocket. "The Third Brain Lives" phrase is a key plot point because Floop gets ahold of it and uses it to build his Spy Kids robots.
  • Dating Catwoman: Ingrid and Gregorio met when they were assigned to take each other out as rival spies. Instead, Love at First Sight, covert dates, and a wedding ensued.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Carmen goes through a somewhat low-key version of this.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Floop before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Description Cut:
    Floop: They're called Thumb-Thumbs. Very capable robots—
    (Lisp tosses his binder and the Thumb-Thumbs completely fail to catch it.)
    Lisp: All thumbs. Useless.
  • Dirty Cop: Ms. Gradenko is one, serving as a Double Agent for Floop but actually Minion.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Floop's show. Anything that happens in Floop's Virtual Reality Room, really.
  • Double Agent: Ms. Gradenko. She drops the act rather quickly.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The "spy kids" are Floop's army of robotic children, but it could also refer to Carmen and Juni.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Alexander Minion, following Floop's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Minion turns out to be this. See The Man Behind the Man.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: After falling into the puzzle floor trap Gregorio and Ingrid almost fell into earlier while she and Juni are being chased through the castle by the Robot Children, Carmen lands in the Thumb-Thumb maintenance room, where she disguises herself as a Thumb-Thumb to avoid being detected by the robots and the Thumb-Thumbs, only to be tackled by Juni after he frees himself and Floop from the Virtual Room after the latter is locked in there by Minion.
    Juni: This one's for my sister! [tackles the Thumb-Thumb, but it's soon revealed to be a disguised Carmen]
    Carmen: Oh, Juni.
    Juni: [embarrassedly] Hola.
  • Dynamic Entry: During the final fight near the end of the film, when the family is about to go at it with the army of robot children, Machete comes bursting in through the stained glass window and joins them.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: Juni reveals that Carmen is actually the bed wetter, although she takes great pains to appear more mature than him.
  • Embarrassing Password: The password to the base the kids find turns out to be their full names. Unfortunately...
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Played for Laughs. When Gregorio sees a singed Ms. Gradenko who explains her hair was burned off because of Carmen and Juni, he snarks, "Remind me to raise their allowance."
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    Floop: You hesitated.
    Lisp: I had to; he's my son.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: Isuzus, particularly glaring because the company's passenger line at that point had dwindled to nothing but mid-size SUVs.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mr. Lisp has a son, so Floop uses a robot double of that son to demonstrate the power of his "spy kids".
  • Evil Twin: Carmen and Juni's robot doubles.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Occurs twice:
    • After their robot doubles steal the Third Brain and beat them up, Juni reveals to Carmen that he stole her double's tag. After Carmen reads the tag, they realize the enormity of the situation:
      Carmen: "Limited Edition Spy Kid. One of 500..." Floop could have hundreds of these things flying around!
      Juni: The Third Brain makes them smart. They're building an army.
      Carmen: We've got to save Mom and Dad. Only they can stop the robots.
      Juni: But who's going to help us?
    • After Carmen and Juni realize the enormity of the situation after the Brain is stolen from them by their robot doubles, it quickly cuts to Gregorio and Ingrid's cell in Floop's Castle after they're caught the second time. Gregorio confesses to Ingrid about the Brain project, and how their superiors were ordered to destroy it. She starts asking why he kept it a secret if the Third Brain was "something you destroyed." Gregorio gives her a shameful look, and she says with horror, "Or something you didn't."
  • Fate Worse than Death: Floop trapped in The Virtual Room, a case of And I Must Scream as he's projected on the screens. He says that you can't get out unless someone turns it off from the outside, which means Minion wanted to trap him there for possibly an eternity.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Mr. Lisp hesitates to attack a robot double that matches his son to a tee, which ends up costing him. Later on, Ingrid and Gregori do a Double Take when they see Carmen and Juni's robot doubles, with similar results.
    • Minion during the demonstration to Lisp gives a lot of cues to Floop. When he gets the Third Brain, he uses the spy kids to depose Floop and trap him in The Virtual Room.
  • Gasp!: Floop gasps and twitches when Minion turns on him.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Minion takes off his glasses when he reveals his true nature.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The evil robot kids have these.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Juni wears a computer-equipped goggles which shows people's biographical information.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The OSS, which in Real Life is a defunct organization that existed in the early 1940s. (That OSS is a precursor to the CIA.)
  • Handcuffed Briefcase: While exploring a laboratory full of spy gadgets, Juni finds an object that looks like a lunchbox which is presumably used to hold important materials. It has an attached chain and handcuff so it can be secured to a person's wrist.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Carmen's robot double delivers one to Juni after receiving the third brain upgrade, about how he's "weak and useless". The real Carmen, incapacitated by Juni's double, delivers the inversion, You Are Better Than You Think You Are.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Floop.
  • Heel Realization: Floop gets this when Minion turns on him and locks him in the virtual room.
  • Helicopter Blender: A helicopter pursuing Gregorio and Ingrid during their wedding beheads a couple of statues as it flies between them.
  • Herald: "Uncle" Felix tells the kids their parents are actually spies and puts them on course to the safehouse.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Four of the world's most talented spies go missing in rapid succession—after the first one vanishes, another agent is sent to find him, and then another to find the second, and so on. But they aren't concealed from the world at all—rather, they're mutated into bizarre-looking humanoids, dubbed "Fooglies," and forced to appear as characters on Fegan Floop's TV show, which is seen by millions of children every day.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Floop gets locked in the Virtual Room by Minion, which was his invention.
    • Defied by Minion, who gets trapped in his own machine at the climax. He goes ahead and activates it anyway, knowing how the process has a reset-button to use later.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Ms. Gradenko while searching for the Third Brain at the safehouse suggests that the Third Brain could be exchanged for the Cortez parents' safety; even after Gradenko turns out to be working for Floop Carmen likes the idea. She only abandons it in favor of Juni's idea— destroying the Brain— when their robot doubles come to steal the brain from them.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Minion. Turns out he's The Man Behind the Man.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: When Carmen and Juni first meet their robot clones and fight each other's counterpart, she says it almost word-for-word when punching the Juni clone, only to shake off the pain on her hand after doing so (as he is a robot, he is made of metal, just like the others).
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The city San Diablo (literally, "Saint Devil").
  • I Have Your Wife: Minion suggests to Floop to capture Carmen and Juni for this reason, so they can be used against the parents. Carmen and Juni aren't easy to capture, however.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Unlike Ingrid, who misses the thrill of the spy world, Gregorio is happy to settle into the consultant role. While he's annoyed about Juni having his "head in the clouds," he does love his kids. The only reason he gets called into this mission is that the OSS head Devlin personally calls Gregorio and asks him to go on the mission.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Carmen and Juni when confronting Ms. Gradenko in the safehouse. Carmen realizes two gadgets the two are holding are quite heavy, and use them as throwing weights while making her way towards the jetpacks. Juni, who had handcuffed himself to a metal lunchbox earlier, uses the lunchbox to knock out at least one henchman (albeit accidentally).
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Gregorio has one in wanting to protect his son from a bully by throwing the bully's father in a window.
  • In Love with the Mark: Ingrid and Gregorio were secret agents working for different countries and she was assigned to take him out, but they fell in love, got married, settled down, and had kids.
  • Instant Mass: Just Add Water!: The safehouse has packets that expanded into McDonald's food in a split second after being placed in a microwave-like "rehydrator".
  • Invisible to Adults: The adult citizens of San Diablo are completely obvlivious to two kids being chased around on jetpacks by masked, inhuman mooks around their heads, who then proceed to wreak havoc upon outside traffic. And that's to say nothing of the kids' robotic doubles assaulting the two of them right in front of an entire park. One kid does scream that he wants the doubles' rocket shoes, but no one pays attention to him.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • When Carmen complains about having to look out for Juni.
      Carmen: I even have to share a room with him because he's so afraid of being alone. Watch out for Juni, take care of Juni, show Juni right from wrong. I shouldn't be responsible for anybody but me.
      Classmate: You're so right, Carmen.
    • She ends up eating those words when confronting her uncle Machete on his refusal to save his own brother.
      Machete: You think I wanna babysit my brother the rest of my life? Watch out for Gregorio, take care of Gregorio, make sure Gregorio knows right from wrong. Not anymore! Machete ain't responsible for nobody but Machete.
      Carmen: But that's not what family's about.
    • Suffice to say, losing her parents and nearly Juni throughout the day opens her eyes on what she has been pushing away. And Machete eventually pulls a Big Damn Heroes for his little brother.
  • Jet Pack: Carmen flies one to retrieve the Third Brain from Floop's minions.
  • Justified Title: The child robots Floop creates are called Spy Kids.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Gregorio shows little to no respect for Juni's interests and drawings, calling him a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and taking offense at his art. Minion later temporarily transforms him into one of Juni's drawings when Gregorio offers it up jokingly as a weapon.
    • Carmen gets grabbed by Juni's robot double when she encounters it for the first time. She then says "I've always wanted to do this" — that is, punch Juni— and tries to punch his double in the face. It turns out that the robot doubles are literally Made of Iron, however.
  • Literal Metaphor: Juni attacks a Thumb-Thumb, saying "this one's for my sister." It turns out that Thumb-Thumb was actually Carmen in disguise.
  • The Load: Carmen holds the impression that Juni is this, but it gets subverted in many ways. First, he realizes before she does that Ms. Gradenko is a Dirty Cop working for Floop, that The Third Brain has to be destroyed, how to talk to the Fooglies, and convinces Floop to do a Heel–Face Turn. Carmen eventually realizes this and tells Juni You Are Better Than You Think You Are.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Machete reveals to the kids that he's their uncle after they come to his shop, and their "real uncle," since Felix had been a fake.
  • MacGuffin: The Third Brain.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Minion reveals himself to be this, having manipulated Floop as his Hypercompetent Sidekick.
  • Manchild: The apparent Big Bad, Floop.
  • Master of Disguise: Ingrid at the beginning describes how spies are masters of disguise, and in the flashback she's shown to be changing wigs and outfits several times. Carmen and Juni manage to purchase new clothes while on the run, undergo an Adrenaline Makeover, and hide from the villains for a while.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Thumb-Thumb robots that serve Floop. Same goes for the robot children.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Ms. Gradenko initially comes off as one when she's talking to Carmen and Juni.
  • My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: When Gregorio comes face to face with the dad of a school bully. Being a retired spy, Gregorio knows he can take this guy out, but to do so would blow his cover and be counterproductive, so he chooses to walk away, leaving Juni disappointed and prompting the bully to taunt him with this line almost verbatim.
  • Never Say "Die": Noticeably invoked in Ingrid's bedtime story. They use euphemisms such as "destroy" and "take him out," as well as a finger gesture across the throat in place of the words "kill," or "die".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ms. Gradenko shows the kids how to communicate with the Fooglies by playing their audio backwards; guess what Juni does later.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Somewhat of an inversion, in that Carmen and Juni give all their money to a cab driver in ignorance after he takes them to Machete's workshop, apologizing that it's all they have because they have no idea how much a cab ride costs. It's clearly far more than the ride was worth judging by the cabbie's reaction, but he takes it and runs.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Happens to the parents when they try to escape from their cell in Floop's castle. They fall into a trap and Floop remarks how long it took them before inviting them to eat.
  • No Time to Explain:
    Uncle Felix: There's so much I have to tell you [about the kids' parents being spies], but very little time to explain.
    Carmen: Uncle Felix!
    Uncle Felix: The first of which is... [removes his fake mustache] ...I'm not your uncle.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Part of the reason that Carmen and Juni are able to defeat Floop and Minion is that unlike their parents, Carmen and Juni are constantly underestimated by everyone around them. Floop and Minion take all the precautions where the parents are involved. Juni's love for Floop's show ends up stopping the robot kids. He convinces Floop to make a Heel–Face Turn, and Floop in turn uses what Juni teaches him about right and wrong to switch the robots' binary codes on ethics.
  • Overly Long Name: Carmen's full name is Carmen Elizabeth Juanita Echo Sky Brava Cortez.
  • Parental Bonus: The Fooglies are fugly.
  • Parents in Distress: The film's premise.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Carmen's own full name turns out to be an important password.
  • Pet the Dog: In the film's flashback, Ingrid was prepared to take out Gregorio while they were still rival spies, except he confronted her in the elevator, revealing without words that she was his target in turn. He then placed the target photographs together, pressed the elevator button, and let her go. This was the first step in their subsequent romance.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Juni uses his ability to mimic voices to speak in Floop's voice over the intercom. However, Floop was standing right next to him and could have done it himself. In the novelization, it's explained that Juni did it spontaneously before Floop could think of something.
  • Product Placement: Carmen and Juni's gadgets include instant McDonald's meals.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • The Cortezes force their kids to work out in a jungle gym each morning before school. This gives them the stamina to endure the film's events, which involve a lot of strenuous physical activities.
    • Juni also develops this over the film, which Carmen praises after they face their robot doubles the second time. He's the first to realize that Ms. Gradenko is working for Floop, that they should destroy the Third Brain if Floop wants it, and that the bracelet Gradenko gives to Carmen is probably a tracking device.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: When the Carmen and Juni robots first show up, Carmen repeatedly tries to beat up the solid metal robot Juni with her bare hands. This does not end well. Robot Juni eventually writes her off and walks away in disinterest after she knocks herself out with an attempted head-butt.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Devlin, head of the OSS. Even though Gregorio defected to marry Ingrid and become a consultant, Devlin personally calls up the man to ask him to look for fellow agents, showing no hard feelings. He also gives permission for Ingrid to come along. At the end of the film, he tells Carmen and Juni So Proud of You and that he wants to recruit them for a new mission. When the kids insist all the Cortezes must come along for the mission, he silently agrees.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: While the Cortez family is a Quirky Household, they aren't necessarily on the best terms with each other. Gregorio thinks Juni is a disappointment, Carmen finds her little brother and her responsibility for his well being annoying, Juni takes refuge in Floop's show, and Carmen thinks her parents aren't cool and keeps skipping school. Not to mention that Uncle Machete is estranged from Gregorio and thus the kids by extension. Due to the events of the film, they all come to agree that family is the most important thing. Nearly getting killed together by child robots will do that.
  • Reverse Polarity: The evil robot kids are turned good by inverting their binary code.
  • Robot Kid: The robot children of Floop and Minion.
  • Sadistic Choice: Minion gets one near the film's end when he gets strapped in the Foogly-creator. Either he can activate it and wind up horribly disfigured, or he can not activate it and remain stuck in the basement, with no guarantee anyone will come back to help him. After he's left alone in the room, he laughs and activates it...because being a Foogly doesn't actually incapacitate him in any way and it's a reversible mutation.
    Mr. Lisp: (shocked upon seeing Minion's transformation) Minion? What happened to your head?
    Minion (with high-pitched voice): Oh, don't worry. I think it's reversible. (smiles through all four of his heads)
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: The Fooglies communicate by speaking backwards.
  • Secret Message Wink:
    • Floop winks at one of his Spy Kids to cue her to drop-kick Mr. Lisp.
    • When Machete joins the final fight by crashing into Floop's castle, he turns to the kids and winks to remind them he hasn't forgotten about their mission.
  • Shave And A Haircut: Juni accidentally handcuffs himself to a metal lunchbox. He walks away from Carmen, trying to shake it off, and the soundtrack drum plays "Shave and a Haircut". Juni responds with "two bits" by smashing the lunchbox into the wall, and the lunchbox rebounds and slams into his head.
  • Shout-Out: Ms. Gradenko is named after a song by The Police.
  • Skewed Priorities: Felix gets caught by the Thumb-Thumbs because he tries to pack some last-minute items rather than starting the emergency boat/submarine immediately.
  • Speaking Simlish: The robotic children mumble nonsense until they get their brains.
  • The Stinger: This film has a very odd one; just a near-random panning shot of one of the hallways in Floop's castle. It's as though they wanted to put something there, but couldn't for some reason.
  • Stop Copying Me: Juni uses this twice, with perfect voice mimicry to match.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Ms. Gradenko plays the theme song for Floop's Fooglies backwards, and the Fooglies can be heard crying for help. Justified because of their Sdrawkcab Speech.
  • Title Drop:
    Floop: Through physio electrical imaging, I can make them look like anyone, yet with the cunning and intelligence of the world's greatest espionage agents all rolled into tiny packages I call "Spy Kids".
  • Trap Door: When Floop reveals to Mr and Mrs Cortez that his henchmen captured Felix and then proceeds to turn him into a Foogly, Gregorio gets mad and confronts Floop, Only for Floop to push a button on a remote which sends him down a trap door to the dungeon of the castle.
  • Villain Song: Floop gets one, written by Danny Elfman in his signature style. Subverted when it turns out he's not a villain at all.
  • Voice Changeling: Juni is really good at mimicking other people's voices. Apparently, he got it from his mother.
  • Wedding Smashers: The parents' wedding as seen in a Flashback.
  • Wham Line: When Minion reminds Floop that they need to prepare the Robot children army for Mr. Lisp...
    Floop: I don't believe in this anymore Minion. I don't think I ever did.
    Minion: Explain.
    Floop: The Mutated agents, the Robot Kids; they're not my ideas, they're yours.
    Minion: So, what?
    Floop: Well, I guess that's why they're not working!
    (Robot Carmen and Robot Juni arrive and give Minion the Third Brain)
    Minion: Not anymore they're not, but you see... now that I have the Third Brain... I don't need you anymore.
    Floop: Minion?
    Minion: I assure you it's Mr. Minion now. And you Floop have served your purpose. Children? Lock him in the virtual room.
    Floop: (gasps)
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • As the bedtime story reveals, Ingrid and Gregorio had taken on contracts to assassinate each other. Gregorio at some point noticed that Ingrid was following him, and instead of taking the time to finish the job, he confronted her in the privacy of an elevator, revealed the photo he had of her, and let her go while giving a tiny, affable wave. Ingrid fell became attracted to him for the chivalry, and no one else would have known. After they have a lot of discreet dates, he eventually proposes to her.
    • Machete reveals to the kids that he's their uncle when they walk into his shop. They were just looking for help to get to Floop's castle; he's also a tech dealer that sells to both good and bad guys. Even so, while gruffly telling them that he doesn't involve himself with Gregorio anymore, he shows them around the shop and gives them a meal and a place to stay. He also kept Carmen's full name as a password despite being estranged from the family for years.
    • When no one is watching, Juni attacks a Thumb-Thumb to avenge Carmen, who got caught in a trap. The Thumb Thumb ends up being Carmen in disguise, but it's the intent that matters.
  • The Worf Effect: Ingrid and Gregorio are said to have been the best spies in their field. Ingrid tries to brush off their getting captured as having gotten "rusty," but it's actually because a former OSS agent aka Alexander Minion was masterminding the whole operation and knew the tricks that former spies would attempt to pull.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When he gets the Third Brain, Minion turns on a doubting Floop, who points out that none of his plans have worked. Minion then orders the robotic Carmen and Juni doubles to lock Floop in the virtual room.


Video Example(s):


He's My Son

Mr. Lisp may be an evil villain bent on building an army to take over the world, but he draws the line at hurting Johnny.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvenEvilHasLovedOnes

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