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Literature / TKKG

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A German childrens' detective series, and lately, a series of video-games as well. It is one of the most popular kid detective series in Germany, along with The Three Investigators. The title refers to the initials of the four main characters, Tarzan/Tim, Karl, Klößchen, and Gabi.

TKKG provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Tim is good looking, athletic, disciplined and does well in school. In-universe he's considered flawless, whereas viewers tend to be harsher in him, considering he has no qualms using violence.
  • Adults Are Useless: Usually played straight, averted with some of the more important adults, for example Gabi's dad Kommissar Glockner.
  • Affectionate Parody:
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  • Amateur Sleuth: The titular group. Partially justified that some events are not of a scale where Police would get involved. Other times they support the Police with investigations of their own because friends are involved.
  • Ax-Crazy: Alternate Character Interpretation for Tim, especially if you look at his track record and willingness to use violence. (But take this with a grain of salt: The kids have solved hundreds of crimes so far and barely aged a year, and also have no realistic Character Development, so how probable is this after all?)
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Rather the other way round - many criminals are pretty ugly.
  • Big Eater: Klößchen
  • City with No Name: We know it has over a million people (so it has to be either Berlin, Hamburg or Munich), but Word Of God says it's completely fictional.
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  • Comic-Book Time: The current year is never mentioned, and the kids stay the same age (around 13) forever.
  • Continuity Nod: Sometimes the characters meet people from earlier stories again.
  • Cult: The JAA (Jünger aus Atlantis - Disciples from Atlantis), a sect somewhat inspired by Hare Krishna, Baghwan's sanyassins and the Moonies.
  • The Cutie: Gaby has elements of this trope.
  • Damsel in Distress: At least a third of the stories put Gabi into some kind of danger from which she has to be saved by Tim.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": After he couldn't be called Tarzan anymore for legal reasons, Tim stated that he had seen the Tarzan movie, didn't like the protagonist and didn't want to be called by his nickname. In the German version, he also doesn't like his given first name Peter, so he prefers being called Tim, which is short for his second name Timotheus (after his grandpa).
  • Double Standard: Gabi is usually sent home if it gets late or dangerous. The boys can do what they want.
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero / The Leader: Tiger (German version: Tim)
    • The Big Guy: Grunter, of course (in one scene, he breaks the door down by his sheer weight) but fulfilled by Tiger in others (Willi, nickname: "Klößchen", dumpling)
    • The Smart Guy: Kevin (Karl, nickname: the computer)
    • The Chick: Katy (Gabi)
    • Team Pet: Oskar, Gabi's dog
  • The Game of the Book: Came out in 1985, for C64 / Atari. During 1997 to 2009 16 more games with the characters were made, but those aren't based on any books.
  • Going Cold Turkey: A schoolmate of Tim.
  • Identical Stranger: This trope happens in TKKG stories more often than statistically probable.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Tarzan", "Computer", "Klößchen" and "Pfote". It's never mentioned who actually invented them.
  • Kid Detective: Kids solving mysteries at least some problems concerning authorities are averted because they have contacts who know they are trustworthy.
  • Kung-Fu Kid: Tim qualifies, being just 13 / 14 (forever). Strictly speaking, he doesn't know Kung Fu but Judo and Jiu-Jitsu instead, but he's still pretty good at them for his age.
  • Long Runner: Started in 1979, more than 167 books have been published by now. There also more than 100 audio books.
  • Mad Scientist: At least one, probably more.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Mutant variety cultivated near the nuclear power Plant Fallaut by a crazy botanist.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Tim has dark, curly hair and a tan (which becomes an Informed Attribute in the series and movies). At least once, some German racist mistook him for Italian or another foreigner.
  • The Movie: Two of them, in 1992 and 2006 respectively.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Several, likely to be combined with Punny Name. Example: the nuclear power plant "Fallaut".
  • Official Couple: Gabi and Tim
  • Parental Abandonment: Played straight with Tim, whose mother lives in an other city. Averted with the others whose parents show up from time to time or are actually useful.
  • Punny Name: For example, a nuclear power plant named "Fallaut", or "Scheich Ben Öhli" (Öl is oil in German)
  • Put on a Bus: Quite many teachers, relatives, classmates and friends of TKKG appear in exactly one book and are never mentioned again. Seems it's not easy to get into their circle of trust.
  • The Series: Ran from 1985-87
  • Shout-Out: There's a Doktor Mubase, Karl's last name is "Vierstein"
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Karl
  • Status Quo Is God
  • Totally Radical: Most of the slang is quite outdated or was never in use.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate for Klößchen
  • Whodunnit: The second book. A classmate of the gang his disappeared, and there are several suspects: A blind clairvoyant who fakes his blindness, an Italian restaurant owner, and a bully from their school. All of them are pretty unsympathetic and have possible motives. At the end, they find out that the victim "kidnapped" himself, because he was fed up with his parents; his father is preoccupied with his work as an architect and his mother spends her time imagining she was a reincarnated medieval noblewoman.