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Literature / Contes de la rue Broca

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Les Contes de la Rue Broca (Tales of Broca Street) is a French fairy tale anthology book originally released in 1967.

The stories tend to be go from Fairy Tale played straight to Fractured Fairy Tale. It is set around the real-world street of Paris Rue Broca.

The stories include:

  • "The Witch of Mouffetard Street"
  • "The Giant with Red Socks"
  • "The Pair of Shoes"
  • "Scoobydoo the All-Knowing Doll"
  • "Love Story of a Potato"
  • "Story of Belivitornot"
  • "The Water Tap Fairy"
  • "The Good Little Devil"
  • "The Witch of the Broom Closet"
  • "The House of Uncle Pierre"
  • "Prince Blub and the Mermaid"
  • "The Clever Little Pig"
  • "I-Don't-Know-Who, I-Don't-Know-What"

It received an Animated Adaptation in the form of a series in 1995, which also has adaptations from another Gripari anthology book, Contes de la Folie Méricourt.


  • Adaptational Heroism: The Witch of Mouffetard Street, the titular Big Bad of the first story is nothing but friendly and helpful when Belivitornot comes to her for advice. Maybe it is another, or it was before her Start of Darkness.
  • Artistic License Linguistics: Chinese is described as a language where you can say anything with the same sentence, just by changing the tone. While tone is relevant in fluent Chinese-speaking, there is definitely an extensive vocabulary with varied sounds.
  • Ascended Demon: The Good Little Devil is too soft for Hell and goes to Heaven, where he passes three trials to become an angel.
  • Asian Store-Owner: One recurring character is Papa Saïd, an Arab grocer (a famous stereotype of a shopkeeper in France). His eldest daughter, Nadia, is a protagonist of the first story and his youngest son, Bachir, goes to save her from the witch. He also has two twin daughters, Rachida and Malika, who are involved with the Clever Little Pig.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Belivitornot fights the Romans during Gaul times but his thunder is taken by Vercingetorix, fights the Arabs around 732 but his glory is taken by Charles Martel... he basically wins most great battle events in French history, but his name is too silly for anybody to respect and remember him.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: In The Witch of the Broom Closet, Mr Pierre has to ask the titular witch the "Frog with Hair". Turns out, she is the Frog with Hair; she has to turn into this Frog with Hair and Mr Pierre shaves its hair, preventing it from turning back into the Witch.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • The Water Tap Fairy grants a little girl the ability to spit pearls for every word she says. Problem is, her parents decide to keep her at home as a jewel-maker.
    • Belivitornot is a handsome Hunk and a Genius Bruiser gifted with Complete Immortality, and a name so stupid he spends millennia as a laughing stock.
  • Ching Chong: The Giant with Red Socks and the Chinese Wizard communicate by saying the same "Yong tchotchotcho kong kong ngo" phrase, because you can apparently say whatever you want with it, only by changing the tone.
  • Complete Immortality: Mermaids are depicted as such. And so is Belivitornot.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The Sun himself has to investigate a star's disappearance, so he puts on a big black coat, black hat, black mask and sunglasses to go visit human world.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Water Tap Fairy curses the little girl's sister with spitting a snake for every word she says. She gets taken in by a young doctor who finds her snakes useful to develop serums.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Good Little Devil is tasked with torturing souls of people who had been "very, very evil" in a cauldron. He manages to have them vanish from hell by asking forgiveness from God, and God actually forgiving them.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death / Family-Unfriendly Violence: The witch of Mouffetard Street meets her end quite gruesomely, her skull crushed and bleeding.
  • Forced Transformation: Prince Blub is transformed into a postage stamp so that he won't keep pursuing his mermaid love.
  • Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good: Hell is described as such in The Good Little Devil story. The titular Devil is scolded by his parents for acting well in school.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The Giant with Red Socks wants to marry Mireille, who is normal-sized, but is denied from doing so because he could never enter the church for the wedding. He says he could transform the church to make it bigger, but is denied from doing so as it would be "cheating". And so he is off to a quest to become human-sized.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Giant with Red Socks falls in love with Mireille, who is a normal size human. Of course she is much tinier. At the end of the story, he is much closer to her own size.
  • Interspecies Romance: Several instances.
    • A Sultan falls in love with a living potato and decides to marry her.
    • Prince Blub is in love with a mermaid and she reciprocates. Problem, he is a mortal human and she is an immortal sea creature.
  • Living Toys: Bachir has a living girl doll, called Scoubidou, who can talk and predict things by wearing opaque glasses. Bachir tries to convince her to make his dad, Papa Saïd, buy a bicycle for him. It fails, but Papa Saïd is frustrated at this attempt and bans Scoubidou from his home.
  • Love at First Sight: The Giant with Red Socks falls in love with a human girl, Mireille, the moment he meets her, as he comes out the ground.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The Good Little Devil is a devil from hell who wants to be good and join heaven, much to the despair of his devil family, since Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good in hell.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The protagonist of Giant with Red Socks is huge, of course, and the story is about him trying to become normal-size, so that he can enter the church to marry the girl he loves.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids/Mermen are depicted as immortal and not needing to reproduce here.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: Setting the stars at night and taking them down afterwards is the job of the Sun and the Moon's daughter.
  • Rotten Rock & Roll: The acoustic guitar from Love Story of a Potato used to be played by a human, until it got replaced by an electric guitar and thrown away. The description of the musician-turned-rock-singer makes him sound quite unsympathetic.
  • Speak of the Devil: Do not, for the love of all that is holy, sing the nursery rhyme that can summon the Broom Closet Witch. If not, well sucks to be you.
  • Three Wishes: The Giant with Red Socks is granted three wishes near the end of his story.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mireille, from The Giant with Red Socks, is shown as an avid boiled egg eater.
  • Unfortunate Names: Belivitornot is immortal, strong, handsome and smart. Unfortunately, he is always denied his deserved glory, because his name is just too ridiculous for anybody to take him seriously.
  • Wicked Witch: The antagonists of both Mouffetard Street and Broom Closet are traditional evil witches.