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Literature / PJ Masks

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The logo of the book series

Les Pyjamasques, now known as Pyjamasques, is a picture book and television franchise created and introduced as a series of books by the French author Romuald Racioppo on March 29, 2007. The series began on March 29, 2007 with the release of Les Pyjamasques et le Grogarou, the books are published by Gallimard Jeunesse.

Les Pyjamasques are three super-funny heroes who are not cold-blooded. When it sounds midnight, the three lovebirds put on their pajamas and wander in the night, instead of being in bed.

Thanks to their strange pajamas, they find themselves endowed with particular powers: Yoyo bounces like a rubber ball, Gluglu runs on the walls without ever breaking his face, and Bibou, with its wings, takes off in the sky! Thanks to their tenacity and courage, they live extraordinary adventures without ever losing their good mood!

The book series features the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, Les Pyjamasques' costumes resembled those of slightly altered pajamas. In the show, the television counterparts of the main protagonists have their costumes changed to look like typical superheroes.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While Les Pyjamasques, are always on the side of good in the books they're depicted as more playful and mischievous. It can be summed up as "the misadventures of three superpowered kids playing around in the park at nighttime". In the TV series, their TV counterparts are depicted as mature and act like adolescents between the preteen and teenage age.
  • Animal Themed Super Being: Les Pyjamasques
  • Bedsheet Ghost: In "Le cristal des Pyjamasques", Les Pyjamasques' rivals, Les Mascrapules, disguised as a bedsheet ghost to trick the former on urging them to enter their totem base.
  • Canon Immigrant: During the premiere of the PJ Masks TV series, the book series introduced book versions of Luna Girl, Night Ninja and Armadylan: going by the names of Sorceline, Ninjaka, and Tatouro.
  • Christmas Episode: "Les Pyjamasques et le père Noël rebelle" (The PJ Masks and the Rebellious Santa Claus).
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The book adaptation of the series has a few backstories for some of the villains whose lives are negative such as Romeo's in Les Pyjamasques et l'opération zero, and Sorceline's in Les Pyjamasques et le cadeau de Sorceline.
    • The villains are often armed with lethal weapons, such as Sorceline's magnet having lightning powers, and Romeo being able to create infernal inventions such as a robot demolisher armed with harmful missiles.
    • There is also a scene in "Les Pyjamasques et le croque-chausettes" where the Croque-Chaussettes caused a destructive flood in Tarabiscoville after growing huge in size, thanks to Yoyo not admitting on not telling the truth.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Mascrapules; three other superpowered kids with powers based on a fly, rat and worm.

  • Genre Shift: While the books focused on superhero fiction and the series' central premise of overcoming children's fear of the dark and nightmares caused by supernatural beings from the start, the book series' premise took a shift from focusing on the PJ Masks fighting off monsters to focus more on the younger villains inspired by the PJ Masks TV series with the stories taking on a mythological-styled narrative as of "Les Pyjamasques at l'operation zéro" onwards.
  • Hero Academy: "L'école des Pyjamasques" focuses on a school for superpowered kids, run by the hero Energuman. Besides the Pyjamasques, the school is attended by the Mascrapules, Lilifée and Tatouro (the book counterpart of Armadylan).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Occasionally happens to the nighttime villains.
    • In "La Legende des Pyjamasques", the Mitomites eat Sorceline's clothes after Les Pyjamasques (specifically Yoyo) took her Luna Magnet to free the Animal Totems.
    • In "Les Pyjamasques et la machine à bisous", Les Pyjamasques manage to remove the antennae of the Kisses Machine so that Roméo Mécano could not control his invention and allow the machine to give him a spanking for annoying Les Pyjamasques.
    • A rare heroic example in "Les Pyjamasques et la soupe à la citrouille", Les Pyjamasques team up with a pumpkin monster to frighten Lilifee away in response to sending them away to a vegetable garden.
    • In "Le cristal des Pyjamasques", Les Pyjamasques (specifically Bibou) use Les Mascrapules' own ghost disguise to frighten them away, in response to stealing the former's crystal.
  • Hover Board: Sorceline's Aero-Lune.
  • Just Hit Him: Les Pyjamasques' powers are effective for fighting: Yoyo is acrobatic and agile, Bibou can fly and create ministorms, and Gluglu is a Yautja who can climb walls and is considered to be the most efficient on hand-to-hand combat. However, unlike their TV counterparts (PJ Masks), there are other times where the heroes think of tactics to lure villains into a trap without using their powers to defeat them.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted in most books, as Les Pyjamasques usually give the nighttime villains their comeuppance for their villainous actions, such as flinging Romeo Mecano to outer space (with help from the zodiac constellations), trapping Sorceline inside her own magical bag from escaping scot-free, scaring off Les Mascrapules from getting the heroes' crystal, and so on.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sorceline and Romeo Mécano, unlike their TV counterparts, these villains are portrayed as extreme and cynical on completing their goals and are never portrayed as mischievous in any way.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: On the first page of "Les Pyjamasques et la soupe à la citrouille", the Batmobile makes a cameo, which is no surprise since the Pyjamasques books are inspired by the Dark Knight.
  • Mummy: Apophis, the antagonist of the "Les Pyjamasques et la momie d’Apophis" two-parter, is a child-mummy who wants to cause an eternal night. He can also turn into a snake.
  • Narcissist: Roméo Mécano (in later volumes), he is always trying to disrupt school due that he has shown an intense dislike on people not respecting his achievements.
  • Origins Episode: While not the first book, the series eventually gave the heroes one in "La Légende des Pyjamasques".
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The first book sees the Pyjamasques go up against a purple werewolf named Le Grogarou. Normally, he is a humanoid wolf the same size as the three heroes, and a nice guy, but under the full moon he transforms into a much larger and stronger wolf and goes berserk. The Pyjamasques eventually defeat him by giving him sunglasses, which block out the moonlight. He returns in the third book, where the Pyjamasques intentionally take away his sunglasses to send him on a rampage against Romeo's invention, after everything else to stop Romeo failed.
  • Punny Name: Some characters in the picture book series such as: Ninjaka, Sorceline, Grogarou and Sablotin, are shown to have that.
  • Ret-Canon: When the books were adapted for television, several changes were introduced which, after the show became a success, were retroactively introduced in the books as well (starting with book 19, Les Pyjamasques et l'opération zéro). Most notably the book counterparts for the PJ Masks' vehicles, book counterparts for Luna Girl and Night Ninja, and Les Pyjamasques receiving the PJ's new powers.
  • The Sandman: "Marchand de Sable", the villain (though only because he wants the Pyjamasques to go to sleep) of "Les Pyjamasques et le marchand de sable". He is a large, humanoid being with wings, whose powers include throwing sand that makes a person's eyes sting, summon sheep and force someone to count them, use an enchanted lullaby or hypnosis to make someone fall asleep.
  • Troll: In the book "Les Pyjamasques et l'opération zéro", Les Pyjamasques try to anger Romeo by mocking him while saving the day in an attempt to get him to destroy his own robot demolisher in the process.
  • Unusual Euphemism: At one point in Les Pyjamasques et le cadeau de Sorceline, Yoyo exclaims "Eurechat!" when he thought of an idea to stop Sorceline.