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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:
  • 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, Munich or Cologne), but Word of God says it's completely fictional.
  • 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.
  • Damsel in Distress: At least a dozen 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: In the earlier books, Gabi is usually sent home if it gets late or dangerous. The boys can do what they want. Averted with the newer books, however, where she sticks around even when it gets late or dangerous.
  • 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.
  • Impersonating an Officer: In "Blindgänger im Villenviertel" ("Dud in the Villa district"), in order to distract the public so he can rob his own jewelry shop, the Villain hires two henchmen to disguise as police officers and convince the inhabitants of the Villa district, where the Villa of Klößchen's Family is located and the titular group are staying, that an unexploded bomb was disovered and that they'd have to evacuate asap. Gabi, however, being the daughter of a police officer she is, sees through their disguises immidiately.
  • Jerkass: In "Stundenlohn für flotte Gangster" ("Hourly wages for quick gangsters"), The titular group ring at the door of a potential witness in order ask him some questions. How does he greet them? Like this: "I don't buy anything, I got what I need. I also don't make any donations, I don't subscribe to any Magazines, the victims of the flood should help themselves on their own. Besides, I don't even know who you are."
  • 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 200 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.