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Spy Fiction

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"There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger
With every move he makes, another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
Secret Agent Man! Secret Agent Man!
They've given you a number.... and taken away your name!"
Johnny Rivers, "Secret Agent Man"

Related to the Action Series, although not necessarily a series, and not necessarily even action-heavy, it's any work in which the main character or characters are spies, secret agents, double agents, or some other form of espionage professional. Spy Fiction tends to fall along a spectrum of what we've dubbed "flavours": From "Martini" to "Stale Beer".

  • Martini Flavored (shaken, not stirred) Spy Fiction is what you might call the Tuxedo Approach. This involves glamorous parties, fast cars, hot women in Spy Catsuits, Sex-Face Turns, high-risk casino games, cool gadgets, and brutal fights involving guns, fists, and big explosions (swap those adjectives around as you wish). This is the Hotter and Sexier spy game, with a more glamorized and idealistic approach, clearly defined "good guys" and "bad guys" and more of an action movie feel, sometimes to the point where nobody ever actually spies on anyone. Despite the glamour, spying is not for the faint of heart, as it is fraught with danger and the stakes are massive. A Death Trap is par for the course. The main example here is, of course, James Bond, particularly the movies. Also known as the Eurospy style, after the many low-budget European spy movies in The '60s that tried to cash in on the success of Bond.
  • Stale Beer Flavored Spy Fiction could also be called the Trenchcoat Approach. Predating the Martini approach, this is the Darker and Edgier spy game in that it does not romanticize the profession. It involves Dead Drops, brush-pasts, blackmail, and morally iffy things. Spying is stressful, and you may end up a paranoid alcoholic or worse. The plots are more gritty and morally ambiguous, spying reflects power politics between whichever nations or organizations are involved, and other nations and people are caught in the crossfire. Consequently, the stakes tend to be a lot lower: rather than dealing with plots to Take Over the World or completely destroy the rival, Stale Beer plots typically involve seemingly minor plans for the possibility of incremental gain—or which might not in the end significantly change the state of play among the powers. This is the approach taken by Len Deighton and The Bourne Series, John le Carré, and by Callan, the classic counterpoint to James Bond. Ironically, the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming are like this, and both Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig played the character this way.

And within these two poles, we have various mixes and flavours:

  • Dirty Martini Spy Fiction (also referred to as "Stale Beer Served in a Martini Glass") is the gritty style of espionage taking place in glamorous international or domestic locations, such as Japan, Italy, Spain, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Hawaii, etc. I Spy, the Anime Princess Principal, and the Daniel Craig James Bond films exemplify this trope.
  • Bathtub Gin Flavored Spy Fiction applies to civilians drawn knowingly or unwittingly into the world of espionage that is either "martini flavored," "stale beer flavored," or a "dirty martini." They may have or not have transferable skills to help them survive, and they may or may not become realized agents at some point. Examples include: Mrs. Peel (The Avengers (1960s), in the opening voiceover intro, she is introduced as a "talented amateur"), Chuck (Chuck); Amanda King (Scarecrow and Mrs. King), Mrs. Polifax (The Mrs. Pollifax series) or some Bond girlfriends (On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Goldeneye, Spectre); the show Masquerade (where civilians with special occupational or avocational expertise are drafted to help the government on one-off missions; and Tom Hank's character in The Man with One Red Shoe. Alfred Hitchcock also exemplified this to a tee in his earlier films, especially in such stories as North By Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and The 39 Steps (1935). A contemporary example of this is the TV series The Night Manager starring Tom Hiddleston.
  • Layered Drink Flavored Spy Fiction applies to a Byzantine-style of espionage full of intrigue, twists, misdirection, etc. Example: The novels of John le Carré, such as: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Russia House, and The Tailor of Panama to name a few.
  • Absinthe Flavored Spy Fiction applies to those missions that are in- or touch on- the realm of Speculative Fiction, defined by Wikipedia as: "A broad category of fiction encompassing genres with certain elements that are nonexistent in terms of reality, recorded history, or nature and the present universe, covering various themes in the context of the supernatural, futuristic, and many other imaginative topics." Examples of Speculative Fiction in Spy Fiction: The James Bond Films: Live and Let Die, Bond encounters: Solitaire, a psychic who uses tarot cards, and in the film's tag, the Voodoo God Baron Samedi; in Die Another Day, Bond encountered genetic manipulation so advanced that actual physical changes could be brought about in a subject. Television series: In The Wild Wild West, James West was once shrunk to doll-size, was imprisoned in an alternate reality inside a painting, entered the dimension of Limbo, and even encountered the Philosopher's Stone of alchemic lore; in The Avengers, Steed was once shrunk to doll-size; and in Alias, the "Rambaldi Devices". The Prisoner is probably the codifier for this subgenre, with surrealist science fiction elements and social allegory taking precedence over literal plot. In literature, the writings of William S. Burroughs offer a particularly Mind Screw-y form of this.
  • Bleach and Ammonia Flavored A common variant of this genre full of Government Conspiracy plots in which Anyone Can Die, often filled with disposable henchmen — a situation in which even the protagonist may even find himself/herself. Naturally Darker and Edgier than other versions of this genre. Examples include films such as Safe House and Three Days of the Condor.

In other words, the Tuxedo Approach would have a Soviet defector be a gorgeous, aloof Slavic beauty with whom the hero will probably elope at some point; the Stale Beer Approach would have a Soviet defector be a shaken, morally gray individual looking more for personal profit or some other material benefit (e.g. trying to get out of the way of an impending purge) than for any virtues of right or wrong. The "Dirty Martini" would be set in a glamourous location from the former but the defector would be from the latter; the Bathtub Gin variant would have the defector be an innocent civilian who's gotten mixed up in events over their head; the "Layered Drink" would have twists and turns leaving us unable to trust whether hero or defector are who they say they are; "Bleach and Ammonia" would probably kill off both hero and defector at some point; and "Absinthe" would have the defector be a sorcerer battling the Eldritch Abominations who are really in charge of the Soviets.

The Martini Flavored and Stale Beer Flavored tropes as well as the various trope permutations (Dirty Martini and Bathtub Gin) may involve a Cloak and Dagger agency, Agents Dating, or any of the full gamut of Espionage Tropes.

Spy Fiction can often overlap with some other genres. Any stories which concern international espionage, military intelligence, geopolitical conflicts (both hot and cold wars), will obviously overlap with Military and Warfare Works. Stories about (undercover) police detectives or law enforcement agents investigating domestic criminal activity tend to fall under Mystery Fiction and Police Procedural, though they're not always classified as being in the spy genre. Conspiracy Thrillers are very closely related, as they also tend to revolve around people who work for (or have close encounters with) secretive organizations pursuing their own political agendas. There's also Ninja Fiction, which may sometimes feature ninjas conducting espionage for intelligence purposes in addition to covert assassinations.

In the US, it was the subject of Cyclic National Fascination during The '60s.

Go to Spy Fiction (2003) if you're looking for the PS2 game released by Access Games in 2003.

Spy Stories:

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  • Agent Ali: Bathtub Gin with Dirty Martini and Absinthe mixed in - Ali is a middle-schooler who gets recruited by MATA, an agency founded by Cyberaya's mayor to protect the city. Some of Ali's family are part of MATA already, other agents in training are below or above Ali's age, with various reasons for joining MATA. Futuristic gadgets and destructive power sources make the Martini and Absinthe, the grittiness is apparent in conflicting loyalties and the long-lasting consequences the missions have on some agents. In the movie, Grey-and-Gray Morality is more at play, as the mayor is responsible for shaping the antagonist's destructive, but initially well-meaning, cause.

    Anime & Manga 
  • 009-1: Technicolor Ninja cyborg spy girls with miniskirts and machinegun breasts, traveling the world and looking great doing it... while taking part in stories about betrayal, tragedy, and moral ambiguity, with happy endings virtually nowhere to be found.
  • From Eroica with Love — Stale Beer with occasional Martini flavoring. Specifically, the spy character enjoys stale beer while the thief he's after drinks his martinis from diamond glasses.
  • High Card — contains a bit of Martini and Stale Beer. High Card's an agency tasked by the Fourlandian government to pursue special cards taken from the royal castle. The team does their work by fighting while looking good and by being a Badass in a Nice Suit.
  • Lycoris Recoil — A dark and dangerous Dirty Martini world with Chisato thinking (or at least acting like) she's the protagonist of an idealistic and fun Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan Tuxedo and Martini Bond Film, whereas Takina and the rest of the organization (tries) to embrace the cruel and dark Stale Beer cynicism of a Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig Bond Film in spite of Chisato trying her darned best to make everyone look on the bright side of life.
  • Mission: Yozakura Family: A rather zany (but no less dangerous) Bathtub Gin Flavored world that our protagonist Taiyo Asano finds himself in. Starting out as a regular (if not traumatized due to losing his family) high school student, he discovers that his Childhood Friend is the heiress to the famous family of spies. Having his life threatened by her Knight Templar of a brother, he ends up married to his friend in order to survive and to protect her. While he slowly begins to become a more accomplished spy, he is still rather baffled by the antics of this world of spies.
  • Najica Blitz Tactics — Martini, complete with a soundtrack straight out of a '60s spy TV series.
  • Night Raid 1931: The first half (most especially the first episode) started out as Martini due to the protagonists using their Psychic Powers (in place of tech and gadgets) and the setting being in Shanghai which in Real Life is the City of Spies. Then the second half went to Stale Beer, particularly the episodes detailing historical events such as the Mukden Incident which leads to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and Emperor Puyi's coronation. The epilogue episode deals with the February 26 incident, which paves the way to the Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • Princess Principal — Dirty Martini. The Principal Team's adventures are outwardly glamorous, with car chases, Fancy Steampunk gadgets and a very stylish (Elegant Gothic Lolita) wardrobe. On the other hand, they're teenage killers who will Shoot the Dog if the mission requires it, and there are quite a few hints at the psychological issues their life brings with it.
  • Release the Spyce — Martini with a Ninja Fiction fruit twist.
  • Spy Classroom — Dirty Martini, but just barely. It's more Stale Beer that has a toothpick-and-olive floating in it.
  • Spy X Family — Dirty Martini with an Absinthe-infused cherry(maybe two). At a glance, we have a super-spy tasked to infiltrate the high society where his target resides. Look deeper, and we see an exhausted man being worked like a dog, so traumatized by his past experience of war that he'd do anything to prevent it, in the service of an agency staffed with people broken in their own ways from the spy business.such as But there are also many genuinely sweet moments with Loid's cover family; that is to say his wifenote , adopted daughternote , and dognote .
  • Under Ninja

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • 24 — Stale Beer
  • Adam Adamant Lives! — Martini
  • The Agency
  • Agent X - Mixture of Stale, Bathtub Gin and Bleach.
  • Alex Rider (2020) — Dirty Martini, being Darker and Edgier than the book series.
  • Allegiance (2015)
  • Alias — Martini
  • The Americans focuses on the dangers and stresses of living a double life as KGB agents in 1980s USA and how far one can go for one's country.
  • Andor — Set in the Star Wars universe and follows Rebel spy Cassian Andor (from Rogue One). Unapologetically Stale Beer-flavored.
  • The Assets is a Based on a True Story miniseries about Aldrich Ames.
  • The Avengers (1960s) — Martini, or rather Champagne.
  • Barbary Coast - Tequila and Bolo Tie (Martini and Tuxedo in The Wild West)
  • Berlin Station — Stale Beer
  • The Blacklist — Stale Beer
  • Blindspot — Stale Beer
  • Born to Spy — Martini, non-alcoholic of course (let's call it Kool-Aid or Fruit Punch).
  • Burke's Law — In its incarnation as Amos Burke, Secret Agent.
  • Burn Notice — An odd Dirty Martini blend. Michael Westen's fashion sense and the Miami setting suggest martini, and his skill level is definitely Tuxedo. But the work he gets is more or less stale beer (Westen emphasizes the boredom a lot in his voiceover narration) with a few flashy scenes/explosions per episode. A good description might be "Stale Beer in a Martini Glass." On the other hand, the work Michael was doing before he was burned was distinctly Stale Beer, and (patriot that he is), he wants to go back to that life.
  • Callan — Extremely bitter Stale Beer.
  • The Champions (1968) — Spies with Psychic Powers.
  • Chuck — Martini and Bathtub Gin (Affectionate Parody)
  • Citadel (2023) — Martini.
  • The Company You Keep
  • Condor
  • Counterpart (2018) — Stale Beer. The show is very much a classic Cold War espionage thriller — spies working under the noses of diplomats, sleeper agents and intelligence sources, dead drops and covert assassinations — but with a Science Fiction twist: the "other side" isn't a foreign government, but an Alternate Universe.
  • Covert Affairs — Dirty Martini. It looks like regular Martini, but a lot of emphasis is placed on how hard the job is and the stresses it places on the agent's personal life.
  • Crisis (2017) — Stale Beer. The Public Security Mobile Investigation Unit Special Investigation Team gets involved in meeting up with informants, setting up sting ops and surveillance in arresting high-profile criminals/terrorists.
  • Danger 5 — Parody of Martini-flavoured thrillers from The '60s.
  • Danger Man aka Secret Agent — Mostly Stale Beer, at the insistence of star and co-producer Patrick McGoohan; he found the Martini style both unrealistic and ethically questionable.
  • Department S — Most definitely martini
  • Deutschland 83
  • Diplomat Kuroda Kousaku - Stale Beer. This involves a career diplomat who uses his diplomat status and his foreign affairs ministry reputation to get things done by using his language skills, his wits and knowledge on political matters. He has help from a friend of his in the CIA and a female Dojikko detective.
  • The Equalizer
  • Fauda
  • La Femme Nikita — Martini with hints of Stale Beer.
    • Nikita — Martini with hints of Stale Beer.
  • Fortune Hunter — Martini
  • The Game (2014): Realistic spy drama set in 1970's Britain.
  • Get Smart — spoof of Martini. Arguably celery soda. Or an egg cream. Mmm, egg cream.
  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger - Stale beer. This was one of the first sentai-based shows that had some spy fiction tropes in this, considering the show was produced during the Cold War.
  • Homeland a gritty and dramatic post-9/11 thriller series.
  • I Spy — Stale Beer Served In a Martini Glass. The "Stale Beer" element comes from the grittiness of espionage work coupled with the main characters often discussing and wrestling with their consciences regarding the moral ambiguity and the ethics of their profession. The "Served In a Martini Glass" element is that the assignments occur in glamorous international and domestic locations: Tokyo, Italy, Spain, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, etc.
  • Intelligence (2006)
  • Intelligence (2014)
  • Iris
  • It Takes a Thief (1968)- Whatever's in the fridge.
  • Jack Ryan
  • JAG swung in its depiction of the espionage business. While CIA officer Clayton Webb often is portrayed as a martini spy on the superficial level, there's also a whole lot of morally ambigious stale beer stuff in his line of work as well, and often used story-wise as a stark contrast to the morally superior JAG officers (and the U.S. military in general). Other than Webb and a couple of other exceptions, people in the spy business tends not to be trustworthy at all. Webb himself is morally ambiguous being something of a Well-Intentioned Extremist. His main saving graces are that he is not personally corrupt, is devoted to his country and is usually loyal to his friends at least at the end of the episode.
    • NCIS varies in its depiction of spying. Sometimes it's the martini approach - Ziva described it as "It's not all fast cars and sex...Well, there was a lot of sex." One of her flashbacks is shooting someone from the back of a motorbike. Later, the series seems to favor the stale-beer approach a lot more, with plenty of extremely boring stakeouts featuring.
  • Jean-Claude Van Johnson - Dirty Martini.
  • Jericho (1966) — Short-lived martini series about a multinational trio of Allied spies behind enemy lines during World War II.
  • Killing Eve is Stale Beer vs. Martini. Specifically, it's about a bored, desk-bound MI5 officer who finds herself in pursuit of a glamorous Femme Fatale assassin, with a lot of Foe Romance Subtext between them.
  • London Spy - Bleach and Ammonia Variety with a dash of Bathtub Gin, as the main character is a civilian who falls in love with a programmer who works for MI6. When the MI6 programmer is ruthlessly murdered by his own handlers in an effort to destroy the technology he created, his civilian lover gets pursued by the ruthless and unscrupless agents of these various shadowy organisations who all seem intent on ruining his life.
  • MacGyver (2016) — A Mix of Stale and Martini.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — Martini, mixed with Bathtub Gin in that civilians often get mixed up in the heroes' adventures.
  • Man in a Suitcase — Stale beer, served in anything from a martini glass to an unwashed ashtray (depending on the episode).
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • M.I. High — Lemonade flavoured, with a group of James Bond style teen superspies operating out of an Elaborate Underground Base under their high school. And their handler is a retired top field agent posing as the school caretaker.
  • Mission: ImpossibleDefinitely Martini.
  • Mossad 101: Alternates between gritty and smooth.
  • Murder, She Wrote episodes featuring Michael Haggerty of MI6 are Stale Beer in a Martini Glass, or as stale as you can get while also being a Cozy Mystery. (Stale beer with a pot of tea?) The episodes where Jessica gets involved are also Bathtub Gin. There are also Bathtub Gin episodes that don't include Michael, when Jessica's Amateur Sleuth tendencies get her investigating a murder that has an espionage connection.
  • My Spy Family
  • My Own Worst Enemy — Swings between Martini and Stale Beer every episode. For example, the missions JANUS performs (protecting a foreign political candidate from assasination, thwarting a bomb plot, interrogating targets, retrieving a government employee from enemy hands) fall under Stale Beer, their workplace and its equipment are clearly Martini; in addition to all of Edward's stuff.
  • The New Adventures of Beans Baxter — Lemonade
  • The Night Manager: The spying takes place in glamorous locations (Switzerland, Majorca, Cairo) among people of wealth and taste, but back in London, the spymaster works out of a distinctly unglamorous warehouse office and constantly has to deal with bureaucracy and politics. Made with Bathtub Gin because the hero Jonathan Pine is a civilian hotel manager who is recruited to the spy trade.
  • The Old Man — Dirty Martini. The protagonist is a gritty CIA operative who conducted guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan. However, he's also wealthy enough to afford luxury housing and travel when needed.
  • Once a Thief: 1990s Canadian spy action TV series following a group of three spies who work for a mysterious agency. The show was a parody of media often taken seriously, and mocked tropes and action scenes in spy thrillers.
  • Person of Interest often crosses over into the Bleach and Ammonia flavor.
  • The Prisoner (1967) — Starts off like it's going to be a Martini (albeit if not Dirty then at least somewhat smudged), but someone keeps adding increasing amounts of Absinthe into the mix as the show goes on. And maybe some LSD as well. Either way, the ride's crazy but watch out for that hangover.
  • The Professionals: The protagonists, Bodie and Doyle, are visibly working-class, street smart and prepared to bend the rules on their assignments - particularly in comparison to the polished style of John Steed and Emma Peel of The Avengers (1960s), Brian Clemens' earlier series. And they drove Ford coupés rather than Aston Martins or Ferraris.
  • Reilly, Ace of Spies — There are touches of Martini, as Reilly was a playboy on his off hours, but the series is based on Sidney Reilly's real life during the early 1900s naval arms race and features plenty of sordid betrayal and real politics.
  • Rubicon — Primarily focuses on a group of analysts digging through piles of intelligence with one supporting character bitterly bored while another has taken to partying and drug use to cope.
  • The Sandbaggers — extremely Stale Beer (characters often comment, "this isn't James Bond.")
  • Scarecrow and Mrs. King - Affectionate Parody of 80s Cold War Martini-flavoured, and its clash with suburbia. A spiritual predecessor of Chuck in many ways.
  • The Secret Service — Absinthe
  • Seventeen Moments of Spring — 1970s Soviet Union miniseries about a Russian spy who has spent years as a Deep Cover Agent in Nazi Germany, conducting The Infiltration and rising to the rank of colonel in SS intelligence.
  • She Spies
  • The Six Million Dollar Man — as Martini as the 70s TV series budget allowed.
    • The Bionic Woman comes closer to stale beer than martini as Jamie Sommers eschews glamor for working in her non-spy hours as a schoolteacher and living in a loft above a farmhouse. But when she is sent on missions the stakes are often of the "save the world" level, and she does get to put on fancy clothes when the mission calls for it.
  • Slow Horses — Based on the Jackson Lamb novels by Mick Herron about a Jaded Washout (but far from incompetent) agent in charge of a department where the British secret services send their embarrassments, screw-ups and dregs. Decidedly Stale Beer. The cheap, nasty kind, with a few fag-ends floating on top.
  • Sparrow
  • Special Ops: Lioness
  • Spooks — Martini, but with major Stale Beer elements.
  • The Spy is based on the real life Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who posed as a wealthy Arab playboy to ingratiate himself into the highest levels of the Syrian government.
  • Stranger Things — Eleven's backstory mixes the glamour of Psychic Powers and parallel dimensions with the inhumanity of the secret government program (based on the real-life MKUltra program) that tried to weaponize them and turn her into a Teen Superspy. The third season also introduces a group of villainous Soviet spies trying to steal and copy the research done at Hawkins National Laboratory. The Absinthe elements of their story include the Elaborate Underground Base, the sci-fi technology they use to open a portal to the Upside Down, and the Upside Down itself and its inhabitants, while the Stale Beer elements include the ruthless hitman they send to cover it up, the tragic defector Alexei, and the fact that it all takes place in a (seemingly) ordinary, boring American small town.
  • Tehran: It involves a female Mossad agent of Israeli-Iranian heritage to infiltrate Tehran and take out Iranian military defenses. It shows the problems of how something unexpected can potentially ruin an entire op. It also shows Mossad's cooperation with the rest of the Israeli military in conducting joint operations.
  • Till Death Tear Us Apart
  • The Time In Between and the novel on which it's based: Bathtub Gin, as it revolves around a seamstress whose closeness to the elite gets her drawn in as a spy for the British in pre-World War II Spain.
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy — A seven-part miniseries based on the first book in John le Carré's The Quest for Karla trilogy. Stale Beer, like its source matterial.
  • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters — A sentai spy fiction series with Bleach and Ammonia properties applied.
  • Treadstone — A prequel to The Bourne Series.
  • True Lies (2023) — Like the film, a parody of the Martini-based property
  • Turn is set during the American Revolution and focuses on the Culper Spy Ring in New York City, Long Island, and North Jersey, spying on the British for George Washington's army (which spent a lot of time on Long Island at first, but later spent most of its time in the upper reaches of the Passaic Valley in what is now Morris and Passaic Counties, New Jersey). The intelligence work is distinctly unglamorous.
  • Ultraseven X, while having some franchise-traditional elements, is this, having trenchcoat agents investigating some alien incidents in Cyberpunk setting.
  • The Unit - Partially stale beer since the Unit sometimes helps the CIA and sometimes get tangled up with operations they think are a bad idea.
  • Vagabond (2019)
  • A Very Secret Service
  • Whiskey Cavalier deals with international espionage in both glamorous and grimy situations.
  • The Wild Wild West — Martini all the way. Don't let the Western setting fool you.
  • X Company
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles has a sub-arc within the overall World War I storyline, in which Indiana Jones (who was already volunteering for the Belgian Army) gets recruited by a French intelligence agency to conduct undercover missions around Europe. While one episode where Indy travels to neutral Spain is a relatively comedic Martini story, other episodes set in wartorn countries are (usually) Stale Beer, not shying away from the overall War Is Hell theme of the WWI episodes. Especially the one where he visits Petrograd during the onset of the Russian Revolution, which ultimately concludes with a tragic Downer Ending.


  • The Secret Service pinball game zigzags between playing it straight and doing a lighthearted parody of the Martini genre.

  • Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG is based upon LEGO Alpha Team, listed above under Martini, so naturally it shares many of its Martini characteristics. However, compared its source material, the RPG is considerably Darker and Edgier, tackling more serious themes such as death (a subject avoided entirely by the LEGO toyline) which causes it to dip into Stale Beer on occasion.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Delta Green — This Call of Cthulhu campaign mixes Stale Beer and Absinthe with the Cthulhu Mythos in a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink.
    • World War Cthulhu (the The Darkest Hour and Cold War settings) — As spies, the player characters are in incredible danger, paranoid in case the Gestapo, KGB or cultists have uncovered them, always aware that capture or worse could be right around the next corner.
  • Demon: The Descent, a 'Techgnostic Espionage' game under Chronicles of Darkness, where the player characters can lie so well even magical truth detector would be ineffective, the conspiracy theorists are the ones properly paranoid, revealing your true identity will result in the enemy's agents zeroing on you immediately, and the opposition is literally godlike mechanical intelligence existing across the universe and different planes of existence.
  • Night's Black Agents: Bloody Martini. The player characters are elite secret agents being hunted down for discovering that a secret society of vampires controls the world. Exotic spy gadgets, high-octane chases, and exciting combat scenes abound.
  • Ninjas And Superspies thrusts the player characters into a world of espionage and action in the far east where they can take on the role of a stealthly ninja... or a deadly super spy. It's one of Palladium's lesser known works but still has some pretty interesting mechanics and is definately worth checking out for fans of old kung-fu movies and spy films.
  • Pandemic Legacy Season 0 offers Bathtub Gin Made with Rubbing Alcohol. The premise is that you're a medical graduate recruited via the CIA through an unassuming classified ad, tasked with saving the world from a Soviet Synthetic Plague called Project MEDUSA. There's a bit of both Stale Beer and Martini mixed in; on one hand, you've cool gadgets, high stakes, and glamorous (and occasionally ridiculous) outfits, but on the other hand, you're eliminating Soviet agents, infiltrating dangerous places, and eventually have to find a way to deal with a murderous Rogue Agent who's been utterly broken by torture.
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution: A Bleach and Ammonia Bathtub Gin Jägerbomb. It's self-consciously punk as all get-out, with the default PCs as terrorists cum ravers fighting against The Agency, in a world where Anyone Can Die, evil conspiracies fight to control the world, and people's heads explode from out-of-control psychic powers. Tradecraft is de-emphasized for the protagonists (who are kids with serious emotional problems and powers that make them living weapons), but highly important to their enemies.



    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Banshee's Last Cry — Stale Beer, involving Japanese spies working for various intelligence agencies in Nagano as they try to get the drop on the other rival spy.
  • Queen's Gambit

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Spy Drama, Spy Fi


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