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"I'm afraid we have another assignment for you already. Your target is the leader of the National Unity Party, Donovan Desmond. He is a grave threat to the truce between the East and the West. Your mission is to get close to him and probe into any seditious activities. In order to do so... you will marry and have a child."
Twilight's mission briefing

SPY×FAMILY (pronounced simply "Spy Family") is an ongoing, biweekly manga written and illustrated by Tatsuya Endo, which began serialization in the online magazine Shonen Jump + in March 2019. It can be legally read in English online at Manga Plus. As of August 2019, due to Viz Media licensing the title, this is now only true of the first three and most recent three chapters. All chapters are now available on the Shonen Jump app, available in countries such as Canada, Ireland, UK, and the United States. Viz began releasing the physical volumes in June 2020.

The countries of Westalis and Ostania are locked in a cold war rife with espionage and assassination. After flawlessly completing yet another mission, Westalis's top agent, the master spy known only as <Twilight>, has been tasked with investigating the activities of Donovan Desmond, leader of Ostania's far-right National Unity Party. The problem is that Desmond is a social hermit and only ever makes public appearances at his sons' school functions. Thus Twilight has been ordered to get close to Desmond... by getting married and having a child. Oh, and he has seven days to find that family.


Assuming the identity of psychiatrist Loid Forger, Twilight recruits Yor Briar, an Ostanian civil servant who needs a husband to avoid drawing attention in the heavily suspicious Ostanian society, and Anya, an orphan girl who wants a loving family (and some entertainment), to play the part of his wife and daughter. Making things more complicated, however, is that Yor and Anya are keeping secrets of their own: Yor is an infamous Professional Killer code named <Thorn Princess>, and Anya escaped from a lab that gave her telepathic powers.

Thus begins Loid, Yor, and Anya's attempts to pretend to be the best family they can, all while hiding their secret identities from the others... and trying to ignore the growing signs that they're not just pretending.

Family Portrait, a Japanese novel written by Aya Yajima with illustrations by Endo, featuring four original stories about the cast, was released in July 2021. An official fanbook, Eyes Only, was released in May 2022.


A stage musical was announced in April 2022 for a run in March 2023.

Also has a split two-cour Animated Adaptation by WIT Studio and CloverWorks, with Takuya Eguchi as Loid, Saori Hayami as Yor and Atsumi Tanezaki as Anya. The show began airing on TV Tokyo in Japan, as well as streaming on Crunchyroll in most regions, on April 9th, 2022. An English dub of the anime began streaming on Crunchyroll one week later, on April 16th, 2022. The dub stars Alex Organ as Loid, Natalie Van Sistine as Yor, and Megan Shipman as Anya.

SPY × FAMILY contains examples of:

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    # — C 
  • Adaptation Expansion: Every so often, instead of adapting multiple chapters per episode, or a single extra-length chapter, the anime adapts a single normal-length chapter while filling in the run time - sometimes with stuff that was inferred and/or offscreen, and other times with anime exclusive elements that fits in with the original content.
    • Episode 3 expands upon the events of Mission 3. Whereas the manga started with Yor already present at the Forger household, the anime showcases her arrival, Anya giving her an extended tour, along with more of the unpacking/settling in efforts. During the family's outing to familiarize themselves with the upper class lifestyle, an original addition is Anya drawing scribbles about her family's occupations (and being worried when they see this, thinking it'll tell them that she knows they're a spy/assassin) while resting from the museum showcase. There's also an added trip to the tailor shop, allowing Yor to procure several outfits that would help her better fit in for the upcoming Eden interviews, along with a photography studio to make the Forger family portrait (which was first mentioned at the end of Mission 5).
    • Episode 5 extends the events of Mission 6. A scene of the Forgers walking to Eden Academy and coming across multiple ill omens on the way is added, and the castle event that was Anya's present for passing is heavily expanded: a plane ride to the castle is added beforehand, and much more pretend-drama is made of Loid trying to rescue Anya before he gets to the "final battle", including a bit more action with his "fight" against a drunk Yor before ending the game. The castle itself is also mentioned to have specifically been converted into a theme park based exactly on the "Spy Wars" show, with Loid fighting the other WISE agents acting as Franky's grunts.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: Substantial effort is made to show that the government of Westalis is heavily flawed just as the government of Ostania is, in particular due to their greed and materialism, but still overall they are shown in a more positive light than the pro-war elements in Ostania who are driven by paranoia and hatred. Their government is also apparently substantially less strict and repressive toward government criticism than Ostania.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Almost all the students partaking in the dodgeball game in Mission 15 are doing so to earn themselves a Stella Star, a merit needed for students to become prestigious Imperial Scholars at the school. However, it turns out said Stars aren't given out in daily P.E. activities so everyone's efforts ended up being pointless.
    • In one story arc, Twilight and Nightfall team up to win a tennis tournament in order to obtain a painting which leads to the Zacharis Dossier, a secret document believed to be able to "reignite the flames of war" should it go public. Turns out that it's actually a collection of theater starlet photos, which his wife disapproved of. In other words, the "flames of war" it would reignite aren't between the East and West, but in his family.
  • Alliterative Family:
    • Yor and her brother Yuri.
    • Donovan Desmond and his sons Demetrius and Damian.
    • Cavi Campbell and his children Carrol and Kim.
  • Alliterative Name: A common theme for characters:
    • Henry Henderson, one of the Housemasters at the school.
    • Donovan Desmond and his sons Demetrius and Damian.
    • Anya's friend Becky Blackbell.
    • Keith Keplernote 
    • Fiona Frost, WISE agent Nightfall's civilian name.
    • Damian's friends Ewen Egeburg and Emile Elman, as well as their classmate, George Glooman.
    • Cavi Campbell and his children Carrol and Kim.
    • Sylvia Sherwood, Twilight's handler.
    • Matthew McMahon, Yor's manager in Garden.
    • Franky Franklin, the given alias of a friend of Twilight's.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In Mission 29 Yor, in her imagination, claims she and Anya will tell Loid they went to a Tomato Festival as to why Anya is covered in blood. One might think the Tomato Festival is just an excuse that Yor came up with, but there really is a Tomato Festival in Spain where thousands of people throw tomatoes at each other.
  • Anachronism Stew: Most references in the series point to it being equivalent to late 1960s East Germany, but a few references to things that happened earlier or later in the real world have crept in:
    • Twilight's newspaper in Mission 1 has a headline with "President Donald Trump", who was 50 years later in our timeline.
    • In Mission 10, Loid decides to tape Anya's cartoon. The first consumer video recorders went on sale at the start of the '70s.
    • In Mission 39, Ewen mentions maybe getting to see the new film 20,000 Steps Under the Sea. Our world's equivalent was released in 1954.
    • Franky and Nightfall visit a disco club, with Franky in full disco getup, in Mission 60; disco's heyday was the mid/late '70s.
    • Endo explains the thinking behind a number of anachronisms in the author's note for Volume 6: he draws the series with the idea it's set in the '60s or '70s, but it ends up as a mish-mash of past and present because he often has to ask himself whether something existed in that time period, and if he can't find the answer, he goes with "well, this is a fictional country...".
    • In episode 2 of the anime, the bag Franky wears resembles 5.11 tactical packs, which don't exist until the 2010s.
    • The ending sequence of the anime features a very modern looking Blue Bird school busnote , which also features a stop arm, something that was only added onto school buses in the 70's.note 
  • Animal Stampede: Occurs in Chapter 4 during the entrance interview. Loid thinks it's part of the test, but the examiners are shocked by the unexpected event. Fortunately, Loid, Yor, and Anya use their skills to pacify the stampede.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. A flashback shown Loid was once shot in the head and survived thanks to his helmet though he still got injured and spent some time out of commission afterward.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Mission 31 opens with Nightfall grumbling that Twilight's become a Defrosting Ice King thanks to Yor and Anya, impairing his efficacy as a spy... and she adores the new Twilight just as much, if not more, than the old one.
  • Art Shift: The opening begins with a stylized chase scene evoking action TV/movies of the 60s and 70s, then shifts to a flat, cartoony style showing the Forgers going on normal activities as a family while discussing them playing a Fake Relationship. The last 30 seconds then switches to a more conventional anime style as Loid's and Yor's Secret Identities as a spy and an assassin are revealed and the lyrics discuss how the entire family is increasingly Becoming the Mask in spite of Living a Double Life.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: The Handler asking a student terrorist whether he's been killed before gets an "Obviously not, ya dumb broad!" in response. Of course, since her point was that the student terrorists know nothing about war, she knew they'd say no.
  • Author Avatar: In Chapter 53.1 the artist draws an overworked Bond in a beret as an apology for no chapter this update as he's busy with setting up the printing of the new volume.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A terrorist group plans to use dogs strapped with bombs to attack a summit. Twilight comments on how one would need a military trained dog to do such a stunt without issue, but since training a dog costs nearly as much as a missile it is very impractical to use them like that.
  • Bad Future: Bond sees a future where the bombs planted by the terrorists go off, Twilight dies, along with the politician he was trying to protect, and Westalis and Ostania go to a bloody war. Anya, being a mind-reader, gets to see this and attempts to change it.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The opening of Mission 24 makes it look like Yor's been working overtime as an assassin and ended up having something go badly wrong. Turns out she's actually been taking cooking lessons from Camilla.
  • Batman Gambit: Usually at the hands of Anya thanks to her mindreading ability. The first "Special Mission" chapter has her help Loid take down an enemy spy by clinging onto him as he escapes and claiming to the nearby Yor that she's being kidnapped, knowing full well that she'll ferociously kick the guy's ass and stop him.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Part of why the antics around the Forgers don't draw as much suspicion as they probably should is that Ostania is already a country where everyone hides who they are for their own safety. Everyone assumes the Forgers have a more innocent set of secrets and don't pry.
  • Bland-Name Product: Loid and Anya shop at a Dlid grocery store in episode 2 of the anime.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • When Loid and Yor are attacked by survivors from one of Loid's missions, his excuse is that they're his clients, and his knocking them senseless is him using the latest innovation, concussive therapy. Yor buys it.
    • Both Loid and Yor do lie to Anya quite often, primarily to cover for their second lives, but Anya sees right through them thanks to her mind-reading.
    • Yor used pressure points to take down a raging cow. She claims she learned how to do that in yoga class.
    • After Anya punched Damian, she stated she was merely stretching and he ran into her hand.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Yor's coworkers at city hall, Camilla being blonde, Sharon being brunette, and Millie being a redhead.
  • Bookcase Passage: Loid's hospital office has an emergency escape route hidden under a bookcase with a hidden switch.
  • Bowdlerise: The series is a comedy at heart but around the humor there's a fair share of drama and violence, considering the setting is about war, spies and assassins; the manga does show a little of said bloody action, not in gruesome detail but quite strong enough for the anime to dial some of it down. It usually does so by using some camera angle tricks so goons being shot in the head, or just killed in general, are often out of frame, and bodies laying around are obscured by lack of ambient lighting. Other times, it reduces the number of victims altogether, as with Yor's Imagine Spot about killing Zachry Feiss; the manga has her slice her way through a crowd at a party to get to him, while the anime has her corner him alone.
  • Break the Cutie: Swan rather ruthlessly hounds Anya about the authenticity of her love for her parents and eventually manages to make her cry. It's also the first time in the manga where her crying isn't Played for Laughs.
  • Breather Episode:
    • The "Extra" missions. The first one lampshades this to hell and back as the premise is Loid deciding to take a much-needed break from spy work via a trip to the aquarium with his family. Unfortunately, his very next mission happens to be in that aquarium.
    • Mission 10 is just the Forger family at home, trying to get Anya to study. Even then that's not the main focus of the chapter.
    • The second "Extra" mission has Loid taking Yor out on a date.
    • The first "Short" mission has Anya playing out her toys being spies.
    • The second "Short" mission sees Franky get Loid's help when he wants to ask someone out.
    • The third "Short" mission is about Anya's penguin plushie getting torn up.
    • The fourth "Short" mission is a look at Henry's morning routine.
    • Mission 39 sees Damian learning to unwind a little during a school holiday.
    • Mission 56 has the Forgers enjoy themselves on an island following the more serious, action-focused Cruise Arc.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Yor mentions having accidentally broken her brother Yuri's ribs when they were younger from hugging him too much. In a later chapter where Yuri is excited about seeing his sister again, his reminiscing of their childhood causes him to recall the injuries and double over from remembering the accidental trauma.
    • In Mission 11, Loid pulls out a fake shared bed for Yuri's first visit... only it's basically screaming "we're doing it every night", much to Loid and Yor's embarrassment. Come the end of Mission 13, after Yuri's left and Loid and Yor are getting ready to go to bed, they realize they forgot to put the bed back.
  • Busman's Holiday:
    • In Extra Mission 1, Loid wants to take the day off to take his family to the aquarium. He then is given a mission that happens to take place at the same aquarium.
    • Chapter 44 starts with Loid taking time off from work to take Anya on a cruise she won tickets to. At the same time Yor is on a bodyguard mission on the same cruise.
  • Call-Forward: The flashback chapter Mission 62 has a child Twilight doing the exact same "turn around and you're dead" *Click* Hello that his older self does in Mission 1. Only this time, it's with a toy gun.
  • Carnival of Killers: Yor is assigned to protect Olka Gretcher and her infant son from dozens of assassins sent to kill them as they escape Ostania on a cruise ship.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even in crowd shots, there are no two characters who look alike.
  • Central Theme: Secrets and false personas. Nearly every important character in the series presents themselves in a way which masks their true nature, be it in their real profession (the Forgers presenting themselves as a normal family unit despite really being a spy, assassin, esper and genetically enhanced pet) or personality (Damian acting like an arrogant jerk to his peers who lords his family's status over them while really being a Lonely Rich Kid desperate for his father to acknowledge him). This is summed up by the first lines of the series:
    Everyone has a secret self they don't show to other people. Not to friends...not to lovers...not even to family. They hide who they are and what they want behind lies and painted smiles. And thus the world...maintains its thin veneer of peace.
  • Character in the Logo: The Japanese version of the logo averts this, but the English version of the logo has silhouettes of Yor, Anya and Loid in the 'M' of SPY x FAMILY from the online Mission 20 onwards, as well as in the manga volumes from the start.
  • Code Name: Being a story all about secrecy, whether it's spies or assassins, a decent amount of the major cast are Only Known by Their Nickname, with plenty of them also going by fake names for cover identities, such as Yor (real name) being known as <Thorn Princess> and Loid (false name) going by <Twilight>. Loid actually takes this further, because in his dedication to the efforts of his organization, he deliberately invoked Name Amnesia on himself, abandoning his original identity to completely become <Twilight>.
  • Cold War: The story is set in an East Germany expy during a Cold War.
  • Colorization: Shueisha began releasing fully colored digital versions of the Japanese manga volumes in 2021.
  • Commie Nazis: The Ostania government as a whole. Ostania's National Unity party take direct inspiration from Nazi and Fascist parties, whilst the country's propaganda about how awful Westalis is resembles Communist propaganda about how awful the capitalist West was. This is shown best when a kid who thought he was going to move to Westalis believed he was going to be sold into slavery. In addition, the SSS borrows elements from Nazi Germany's SS (with the most obvious example being the name), but mostly Soviet Russia's KGB. Considering that the National Unity party isn't even in power and yet the country's citizens already has the SSS observing their every move, the Ostanian people have no good choices for leaders.
  • Commonality Connection:
    • After saving Anya and dealing with Edgar, Loid is surprised to find Anya still waiting for him despite him (in disguise) telling her to leave. After playing along, he's further surprised that she still wants to go home with him, then remembers that she's been returned from adoption four times already... and each time she changed her last name while trying to find a place to belong, not wanting to be alone, drawing parallels to both his spy work and his own past.
    • Though Loid and Yor don't know about each other's double lives, they have a mutual mindset to do whatever it takes for the greater good, even if that means getting their hands dirty. In particular, Loid tells Yor that being able to endure such self-sacrifices to provide for her brother isn't something that just anyone can do, and moreover is something to be admired. It's this speech, among other things, that leads Yor to privately note that of all the men she'll ever meet, he's the only one who might actually accept her as herself, and leads her to suggest that their agreement extend into a Marriage of Convenience.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: The fact that Yuri seems to be a Cloudcuckoolander's Minder, and has little to no reaction to being sent flying by Yor slapping him (twice) has Loid wondering if this is a normal occurrence for the Briars.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The reason why Twilight needs to find a woman to be a fake wife and not just have a fellow agent pose as one? WISE is short staffed and anyone who would match is busy. Downplayed in that being short staffed is a direct consequence of the escalating tensions between the countries (and thus increased efforts to capture spies) that led to Twilight getting the mission in the first place.
    • Of all the people in the country he could have gotten for his fake family, he manages to unknowingly select both an ESPer (who happens to be a fan of spy cartoons no less) and a highly skilled assassin (who just so happened to also need a fake partner).
    • A college isolationist group attempting to use bomb dogs for an assassination attempt happen to be based right by the animal shelter Yor and Anya were at looking for a dog to adopt...unaware that they have a dog which appears to see visions of the future.
    • Yor gets a protection job on a luxury cruise. At the same time Anya is able to win two tickets to the same cruise ship so they are all able to go.
  • Cruise Episode: There's an extended arc where Yor is given a mission to protect the widow and infant son of a murdered underworld boss on their voyage to find asylum in a foreign country. This is complicated by Loid and Anya winning tickets on the same cruise. Not only does Yor have to fend off dozens of hitmen, she also has to keep her husband and daughter from finding out she's an assassin.

    D — K 
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Short Mission 4 follows a typical morning in Henry's life.
    • Mission 39 spotlights Damian and his minions, with none of the main cast appearing.
    • Mission 40 sees Bond dealing with his latest vision of the future.
    • Short Mission 5 deals with how Sylvia arranges to meet Twilight while under surveillance.
    • Mission 41 sees Yuri investigating an anti-Ostanian writer.
    • Mission 60 has Nightfall trying to meet a counterfeiter through Franky.
  • Death by Irony: A criminal on the Cruise Ship Arc plants bombs around the ship that he plans to use to distract for his get away. Loid, short on time, disconnects one of his bombs and throws it overboard where said criminal happens to be escaping in a boat; the explosion hurls the criminal into the ocean where he's surrounded by sharks.
  • Diplomatic Cover Spy:
    • WISE (the Westalian intelligence agency) operates out of their country's embassy in Ostania, and Twilight's Handler is officially an attaché at the embassy.
    • Yuri is offically a civil servant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but is actually an SSS officer. Loid even comments that Yuri's position already had him on high alert because it is the perfect cover job.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: It is mentioned in chapter 2 that you can be arrested for treason for simply being unmarried at too old an age. Cruelly, Yor's work colleagues discuss pulling this on her just for arriving late at a party, unaccompanied by Loid (due to circumstances beyond either's control). At least one colleague has the sense to put a kibosh on the notion. Ironically, this worked: the crackdown on unmarried women resulted in a large amount of WISE's female agents in Ostania being captured, which is part of why Twilight has to find a local woman to act as his wife.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The story takes place in Berlint, the capital of a Ruritania called Ostania, which is the long-time rival of Westalis. Unusually, Ostania is mentioned as having a monarchy, unlike the communist East Germany.
  • Dog Walks You: The reason Loid denies Anya when she wants to walk the dog.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Anya, with the help of Bond — who she was still referring to as "Doggy" at the time — finds out that the terrorist rigged a bomb to blow up anyone who investigates his hideout. Anya and "Doggy" reach the door where she is close to opening the door, only for the dog to bark at her to remind her not to open it.
  • Don't Try This at Home: In Episode 2 of the anime (carried over from the manga), after Loid claims as one of his Blatant Lies to Yor that applying concussions to people is a form of psychiatric therapy, "This is fiction" pops up on the screen in large letters/kana to clarify about not testing this in real life.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Franky points out the sheer improbability of Twilight finding a woman who fits his criteria for a wife - okay with a single father who's raising a child, elegant enough to seem upper-class, and willing to legally marry him in the next 48 hours. The audience knows, however, he's somehow going to manage just that with Yor, from either the opening pages of Mission 1 (manga) or the OP (anime).
    • Played for Laughs in Mission 29.
      Loid: [in his public persona as a psychiatrist to Anya] Even doctors aren't wizards. We can't ever really see what's inside someone's mind.
      Anya: Heh!
      Loid: Why are you smirking...?
    • Anya's telepathy in general makes her pretty subject to this, as she's able to read the thoughts of characters around her in much the same way as the reader themselves is able to view characters' inner monologues and Imagine Spots. This leaves her in the unique position of being the only one in the family who's fully aware of the Secret Identities of the others, and often stumbling into the plots of the various criminals Loid and Anya deal with because she happened to overhear their thoughts, but cannot actually tell anybody about why she knows what she does because of her need to keep her powers secret, thus having to improvise excuses to subtly direct others to save the day, unaware of the extent of her actions.
    • Fiona's inner thoughts are that if she were Twilight's wife, she'd not only be able to support him better than Yor, she'd be able to whip Anya into becoming a Stella Star machine no problem. Readers know full well that Anya's disposition for studying is about as opposite to that plan as one can get... so even if she had become Twilight's wife, she would've been a full-blown detriment to Operation Strix.
    • Yor's Epiphany Comeback in Mission 53 is a powerful moment in itself, but it takes on further layers for readers when considering her family's secret lives and the motives behind them.
  • Dystopia Is Hard: Ostania's society is falling apart at the seams. Big Brother Is Watching, citizens regularly inform on each other (with all the distrust and witch-hunting that implies), bloodshed on the streets is not uncommon, and practically everybody is a spy or criminal or state enforcer, or has been victimized by someone who is. The only reason Operation Strix succeeds is because all Ostanians need a cover story - whether they're innocent or not.
  • Elevator School: Eden Academy holds students who are of the ages 6 to 19.
  • Engineered Heroics: Loid considers this in order for Anya to obtain Stella Stars, but realizes it may be unrealistic for how risky it is for her age. After Anya earns a Stella Star for rescuing a drowning boy, Handler brings it up with Loid after he informs of the event, only to abandon the idea since doing it often would draw scrutiny and they do not have enough agents available to help.
  • Epic Fail: Anya throwing the dodgeball in Mission 15, where it somehow manages to land right in front of her feet despite putting as much strength in it as she could muster.
  • Escort Mission: In Mission 44, Yor is assigned to protect the widow and infant son of a murdered underworld boss on their voyage to find asylum in a foreign country. This is complicated by Loid and Anya winning tickets on the same cruise. Not only does Yor have to fend off dozens of hitmen, she also has to keep her husband and daughter from finding out she's an assassin.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The isolationist terrorists who discover Anya eavesdropping are noticeably uncomfortable with the thought of killing her and have to be strong-armed into doing so by their leader.
    • The assassins sent after the mother and child Yor's protecting on the cruise swiftly kill one of their own after he suggests just killing every woman and child aboard to make their job easier. They're professionals, not psychopaths, as their apparent leader puts it.
    • Played for Laughs with Yuri's boss in the Secret Police, who tells him he can't arrest his sister's husband just because he's upset she got married.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The anime's first opening, "Mixed Nuts", whose lyrics discuss how the protagonists are faking being just another happy family, like a bunch of peanuts mixed in a bag of tree nuts, how their home and lives are filled with secrets and could disappear at any moment, but even so they can't swallow down their real feelings for each other, and just the fact they are together as a family gives them butterflies all the same.
  • The Extremist Was Right: The woman who Yor's coworkers said was arrested by the Ostanian's brutal State Security Service after her neighbors reported her because she was unmarried at 30, that seemed like a giant Disproportionate Retribution? Turns out the woman was an actual informant for WISE, as were a number of other women arrested for similar reasons, as Twilight comments to Frankie that a lot of WISE's female agents in Ostania were captured in a recent crackdown.
  • Face Fault: When Yor suggests to Loid that they actually get married, he Face Plants in shock. They were both running at the time, though, and he quickly recovers.
  • Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: The conflict between Westalis and Ostania is quite reminiscent to the Post-WWII Cold War, particularly East and West Germany (right down to the city where most of the action takes place being named "Berlint"), though unlike East and West Germany, Westalis and Ostania were seperate countries even before the war.
  • Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: Becky takes Anya on a shopping trip in Mission 36, and naturally a short dress-up montage occurs.
  • Fictional Counterpart: In Mission 39, one of Damian's minions mentions a movie called 20,000 Steps Under the Sea.
  • Flirting Under Fire: Loid proposes to Yor while they're running away from some goons he forgot to finish off from another mission, using a grenade pin as their wedding ring and saying his vows as it explodes.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Anya would often say "Oui" (French for "Yes") rather than "Yes". Later in the story, it is revealed that the only class she does well in is Classical Language.
    • In Volume 1, Twilight's profile has a line redacted out for "military career". Mission 62 goes into his time in the army.
    • In Mission 3, Loid quietly watches a group of boys talking; Mission 62 strongly implies they reminded him of his childhood friends he used to hang out with before their town became one of the first to be bombed by the East.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the opening credits there's a scene of Loid on the ground looking up that switches to Yor on a balcony looking down. During the transition there's a brief moment where they're both on screen and appear to be gazing at one another.
  • Fun with Acronyms: One of the devices Franky uses to find a lost cat is the CAT Nearness Inducement Prototype system. It actually does use catnip.
  • The Ghost:
    • Damian's mother has yet to be seen or mentioned.
    • Damian's older brother is stated to already be an elite at Eden, but has yet to make an appearance.
  • Gratuitous French:
    • Henderson switches to this anytime he refers to something that is "élégant". In the original Japanese version however, he actually switches to Gratuitous English.
      Henderson (in English): Quelle élégance!
      Henderson (in Japanese): ベリーエレガント! (Very elegant!)
    • Anya will often say "Oui" rather than "Yes".
  • Gray Rain of Depression: At the end of Mission 30, Nightfall leaves the Forgers' home while it's raining outside. The rain masks her crying face.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: The commanding chief of <WISE> is the one masterminding all the currently active agents to ensure peace between Westalis and Ostania, particularly the branch <Handler> manages and Loid works in, but he never gets directly involved with the main cast, limiting his role to things like explaining to Loid in the past that they're spies to ensure the peace and happiness of the populace and giving occasional comments about Loid's progress.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Played with. Given that the main cast consists of spies, assassins, and secret police on both sides of the Westalis-Ostania conflict, all of them have a pretty murky sense of morality. Ultimately however, it is shown that regardless of personal morality, methods, or motivations it is those fighting to maintain the thin veneer of peace on both sides that have the moral highground over those trying to restart a war that would be ruinous for both sides.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Hitch a master spy and a master hitwoman together, who don't know the other's true nature. Add an in-law who's a master interrogator, who also doesn't know their true natures. Key to the comedy is this little psychic girl who does know their true natures. Then watch said family adopt a future-seeing dog. Now sit back and watch nature take its course.
  • Honesty Aesop: Parodied in Mission 57. In most series, "lying is bad" is a conventional, even banal, moral. In this one, the people giving the moral are all liars themselves who do it every day. Anya can read their minds and see their hypocrisy, yet is keeping quiet about it, and can only inwardly admit that yeah, maybe it's not worth it to lie all the time.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: Each manga volume cover has a member of the cast sitting in an era-appropriate chair. Each chair also symbolically represents the character sitting on it in various ways.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters and episodes are called 'Missions'.
  • If Only You Knew: In Mission 5 during the Eden Academy interview, the Forger family is asked about Anya's strengths and weaknesses. This answer is extremely attention-grabbing to many readers since Anya can break the Mutual Masquerade within her family at any given time (but deliberately chooses not to do).
    Loid: Sometimes, it even shocks me how astute she is. It's almost like she's reading my mind!
    Anya: [cue visibly sweating Oh, Crap! face and loud heartbeat because that's exactly what she's doing]
  • I Have a Family: When Yor hears that Anya's on the waiting list to get into Eden and even just one student dropping out would let her in, she has an Imagine Spot of assassinating a man who begs her to spare his life because he has a little boy who's just about to start school, only for Yor to say that's exactly why she's killing him.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Translations and subtitles refer to the Eden College as "Eden Academy", despite "Eden College" being printed on the test paper in chapter 1/episode 1 and the school crest clearly showing the initials "EC".
    • Anya's favourite cartoon Spy Wars is often called an "anime", even in translations. While the Japanese term refers to animation in general, whether it's made in the universe's equivalent of Japan is yet to be known.
  • Internal Homage: Young Twilight, with his face in shadow, saying "Turn around and you're dead" in Mission 62.1 is near-identical to adult Twilight doing the same thing in Mission 1.
  • Kick the Dog: Keith, the college terrorist leader, literally kicks a dog just to show how morally bankrupt he is.
    • Housemaster Swan despicably bullies Anya (and no doubt other applicants before her) to tears by mocking her mother's death, simply to vent his jealousy and anger towards happy families thanks to his recent divorce. Thank goodness Housemaster Henderson elegantly smashes his cruel face in for his troubles as soon as the Forgers leave.
  • Kid Amid the Chaos: In the first chapter, Twilight has a flashback to his own childhood as a war orphan crying in the middle of a destroyed city, surrounded by tanks, rubble, and dead bodies.

    L — R 
  • Last Request: Loid's excuse for getting Anya into Eden Academy is that it was his late wife's dying wish.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Mission 6 closes out with "Twilight Mission Report #006", having Twilight's mission reports match the number of chapters (and implying the mission reports have been him reporting on the events of each chapter).
    • The Volume 1 omake opens with Anya declaring she likes omake; turns out she's actually referring to the little toys that come inside boxes of candy.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Manga Plus's translation apparently omitted a couple of things Viz's more literal translation restored: Mission 1's narration reveals the experiments that gave Anya her powers did so by accident, and Mission 2 is the first to identify Yor's boss as the Shopkeeper.
    • There's also a key difference in the opening narration to Mission 12: the Manga Plus translation says this is a decade before the Iron Curtain comes down, while the Viz translation says it's more than a decade after it went up.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The "×" is silent. It's pronounced "Spy Family".
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Anya's "[X]'s a liar."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Yuri is more concerned with Loid treating his sister right than the fact that he is profusely bleeding from the head after Yor slapped him into oblivion. Twice.
  • Manipulative Editing: Franklin Perkin in Chapter 41 would post slanderous articles of Ostania to claim it is a Devil Republic and got him in the crosshairs of the SSS. We see him set up a situation where he throws a kid's toy gun in the garbage, and when the kids go looking for it in the dumpster he takes a picture and sets up a story of kids being so poor that they are looking for food in it.
  • Meaningful Echo: The series' opening narration is reiterated at the end of Mission 11 as Yuri arrives at the Forger home, signifying a new addition to the web of secrets around the family:
    Everyone has a part of themselves they don't show to anyone else. Not to friends, not to lovers, not even to family. With fake smiles and bluffs, they hide their true thoughts, their true self. This is how the world glosses things over for a fragile peace.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Yor thinks Keith is chasing Anya because he wants her for a child bride.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: When Yor's co-worker Camilla gets jealous of her in chapter 2, she tries to embarrass her by telling Loid her previous work involved getting called out by men to give them "massages" (i.e., sex services), although Yor actually meant "acupuncture" massages. Regardless, the truth is that's actually Yor's cover story for her assassinations, and a Deadly Euphemism at that. Loid's reaction on what Camilla said over Yor, however, is empathy, based on his own experiences as a spy, believing that Yor had done whatever it took to support her brother.
  • Mugging the Monster: Happens quite often when Yor is involved:
    • At the party in Mission 2, Yor's coworker Camilla, jealous of her looks, jumps at the chance to humiliate her by telling Yuri she came alone and does not in fact have a boyfriend... Completely oblivious to the fact Yor is now considering killing everyone to prevent just that.
    • A group of street punks try to snatch Anya for money, assuming Yor's the hired help. They're soon proven very wrong.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: As reward for getting admitted into Eden, Anya wants a play session where she's the damsel to be rescued by Loid from the Big Bad's castle, just like in her cartoons. They rent an actual castle to play in, but it's empty and lacks the atmosphere... So they call every available agent for an 'emergency mission pertaining to Operation Strix'. Just so they can play as extras in Anya's play session.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Anya's family photo in Mission 25 is based on the cover picture for Mission 2, with Yor in the wife's position and the addition of Bond. Episode 3 of the anime shows the family photo without Bond.
    • The anime ending features a couple of the chairs from the manga covers - Anya sits on the chair from Volume 2, and Loid in the painting sits on the chair from Volume 1.
    • Twilight's file in episode 5 is his profile from Volume 1.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Subverted in the first "Special Mission" chapter; the Forgers visit an aquarium with over 200 penguins, and Loid has to figure out which one is being used to pass chemical weapons plans to terrorists. Anya's telepathy picks it out almost immediately.
  • The Needs of the Many: Keith realizes his explosive trap he set up for the police will kill a lot of people in the building, but claims it's for the greater good.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The titular lady in the MacGuffin painting "A Lady in the Sun" (日向の貴婦人 Hinata no Kifujin) in chapters 31-33 looks very similar to Hinatazaka46 member Kumi Sasaki.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed:
    • Westalian Foreign Minister Brantz is based on West German politician Willy Brandt.
    • Ostanian Foreign Minister Windsor is based on East German politician Otto Winzer.
    • One student in Mission 57 mentions going to see the Pecassos at the art museum.
    • Wartime Westalian Prime Minister Adner is based on West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Yor ends up unwittingly guilt-tripping Loid in Mission 14 when he suspects her of being a secret plant by the Secret Police, due to him finding out that her brother was an officer, and attempts to confirm it by placing a tracker on her collar and interrogating her while in disguise. She not only completely affirms her loyalty to Loid but later tells Loid outright that she's happy she married him, leading him to secretly take the tracker off of her and crush it in self-disgust.
  • One Degree of Separation: It turns out Bond and Anya were experimented on by the same people. In addition, Bond was Subject 8 and Anya was Subject 007 - while the numbering formats are different, Bond being '8' in his format and Anya being '7' in hers alludes to a connection. That said, Handler mentions the initiative that created Bond was about creating Uplifted Animals, suggesting he and Anya were created as part of different, but related, projects.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Invoked between Twilight and Nightfall. Their casual chat in Mission 30 is actually filled with code words so as to talk about work in public.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Yor's work as an assassin is introduced to the reader by having her casually stroll up to a heavily guarded room before kicking the two guards in front through the door of the room she intends to enter, knocking the door off its hinges in the process.
  • Origins Episode: Mission 62 shows the background of agent Twilight before he became a spy.
  • Orphanage of Fear: For the sake of finding a child who could be incorporated into Operation Strix without raising any suspicions, Agent Twilight deliberately sought a seedy orphanage with poor record-keeping. The one where he found Anya was practically falling apart and the kids were wearing rags. The man looking after the kids didn't really care about them and, exactly as planned, didn't have him fill out any paperwork to take her.
  • Orwellian Retcon: The prototype Nightfall in the online Mission 29 was redrawn for Volume 5 to bring her in line with Nightfall's final design.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: In the first episode/chapter Twilight furiously tears a newspaper in two when he finds out what his new mission entails.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Many Ostanians loathe Westalia and its people, desiring a war to destroy the neighboring country. With how hostile the tensions are between the two nations, it is heavily implied that the people of Westalia are no different.
  • Perilous Marriage Proposal: Loid Forger asks Yor Briar to be his wife (for the purposes of his current cover ID) in the middle of a street battle with some mooks, using the pin from the grenade he just threw in lieu of an engagement ring while they're taking cover behind a dumpster.
  • Pet the Dog: Yuri, for all his quirkiness involving Yor, is utterly ruthless as a member of the SSS. That said, when going after a journalist publishing slander against Ostania, he patiently waits outside to arrest him so as not to upset his father (an older man who relies on his son for support), and promises to submit an application for his father to receive financial assistance.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Yuri's face is obstructed by a glare in the frame before he makes a full appearance.
  • Police Are Useless: Despite their brutality and multiple spy crackdowns, Ostania's Secret Police, the State Security Service, have been utterly unable to catch Twilight nor the core members of WISE operating in their country. Further, the Garden and WISE itself are often shown to be the ones cleaning up criminal organizations and corruption in Ostania, rather than the SSS, leaving the impression their Sinister Surveillance is barely catching any criminal activity. The Cruise Arc indicates that while they do care to a point about keeping people safe, the SSS prioritize keeping up appearances over actually handling crises properly. Their biggest success was capturing a fair number of female WISE agents early in the series, though that was less the result of competence and more that they arrested so many women that it was inevitable some would be spies.
  • Poor Communication Kills: George overhears his parents discussing about how their company is being bought by the Desmond conglomerate, with him coming to the conclusion they're going bankrupt and he'll end up in poverty, making him hate on Damian, and eventually guilts the whole school into helping him treasure what he believes is his last day at the school. Then he gets home and his father explains to him that the Desmond conglomerate buying their company is actually to help their financial problems, meaning the company stays strong and George still goes to the school. When George comes back, he feels extremely embarrassed, with his schoolmates having him repay them for their wasted sympathy, and Anya expressing extra sympathy for his mistake.
  • The Power of Love: Nightfall tries to invoke this against Yor's supersonic tennis ball in Mission 34, but ultimately the ball's speed is too much for her racket. Nightfall takes it hard, seeing it as the defeat of her love; she admits Yor's superiority for now and declares that someday she'll challenge her to a rematch.
  • Pretend Boyfriend: When they first meet, Yor asks Loid to pose as her boyfriend at a party. He agrees, as he conveniently needs to find a woman to pose as his wife as part of his mission. Unfortunately, he only makes it to the party after a grueling mission, and accidentally slips up by saying he's Yor's husband rather than her boyfriend. After they leave, she asks that they get married to help escape suspicion as a couple.
  • Psycho Serum: Chapter 31 shows two tennis players injecting themselves with a drug that makes them Hulk Out.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: In a bonus chapter, Twilight is looking forward to having a day off to spend time with Yor and Anya (technically part of his mission, to uphold the illusion of a family), but his contact gives him an assignment that has to happen that day, coincidentally at the same aquarium where they're going. Twilight has to sneak away from his "wife" and "daughter", disguise himself as a zookeeper, retrieve a microfilm from inside a penguin's throat, fight off an enemy agent, and get back to Yor and Anya before they notice he's been gone too long.
  • Punny Name:
    • "Loid" is a method of lockpicking, while "Forger" is self-explanatory.
    • Twilight and Nightfall's aliases for the tennis tournament have the last name "Foney".
    • The drug-using tennis players are called Anan and Catan Bolic (as in anabolic and catabolic steroids).
  • Putting on the Reich: The Secret Police, which are even called the SSS. However, the full name they give, the State Security Service, is one of the English names of East Germany's secret police, The Stasi, in keeping with Ostania being an East Germany expy.
  • Race Against the Clock: Subverted. During chapter 21 when Anya reads Bond's mind, she sees the bombs going off at 5 o' clock. Being a fan of spy fiction she recognizes this trope and attempts to play it straight... but it turns out Anya doesn't know how to read an analog clock.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Loid and Yor have very... visceral reactions when Murdoch makes Anya cry, both of them getting ready to lay him out and only being prevented by the situation they're in. Loid, in particular, is so close to hitting Murdoch he has to redirect it into breaking the table instead (explaining that he was killing the mosquito on it). Murdoch's treatment of the Forgers causes Henry to punch him in the face after they leave.
  • Recursive Translation: In Chapter 60, Franky's door has a button labeled "Press Button for "Service" in English (the button is booby-trapped). There's a text box pointing at it, translating it for readers who don't understand English, but this is kept in the English version, despite the text on the door plate being clearly legible, presumably because redrawing the panel just for one language would take more effort than it's worth.
  • Relocating the Explosion: On the cruise ship, Twilight (in disguise) deals with a bomb inside a clock by throwing it over the side of the ship and into the water (where it blows up near the bombers' boat, capsizing them).
  • Retraux: The series itself isn't this, but the colorized version uses a palette that makes it look like a comic faded with age.
  • Reused Character Design:
    • Twilight's appearance and behavior is mainly inspired by the main character from Endo's I SPY one-shot, down to his spy-fueled paranoia making him misinterpret everything as a threat. The young stalker girl from that same one-shot slightly resembles Yor too, while the enemy spy woman became Camilla.
    • Anya greatly resembles the title character of another one-shot manga the author did in the past titled Rengoku no Ashe, only as a child as opposed to an adult woman. The most notable similarities are the signature "horns" hair decorations and pink hair, but Ashe's outfit was also recycled as Eden's uniform (that Anya eventually wears herself) and her spiky earrings were fittingly given to Yor instead.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: A group of college aged nationalists/isolationists, led by Keith Kepler, desire to bring Ostania to her former glory and end the collusion between Ostania and Westalis by starting a war; Keith's idea of carrying this out involves bombs strapped to dogs in an attempt on the life of the Westalian Foreign Minister.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The above mentioned Freeze-Frame Bonus where Loid and Yor lock eyes. He's on the ground in the shadows while she's up on a balcony in the sunlight, demonstrating how they're part of two different worlds. Despite this, their eyes still meet, showing how in spite of all that stands between them, they still have eyes for one another.
  • Ruritania: The story takes place in a vaguely European nation called Ostania, with a longtime rivalry against Westalis. They're trying to prevent a war from breaking between the two. The map of the border between the two nations, and the time period the setting takes inspiration from (60's to 70's), makes it very reminiscent of Eastern Germany and Western Germany in a Cold War era conflict; despite English being the official language of Ostania/Westalis their names (East) and (West) are dead ringers to the potential reference.

    S — Z 
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The interview process for Eden Academy ends up being this, as both the parents and their children are being secretly observed by the faculty the moment they step through the school gates, and they're not above staging incidents to see how their subjects will react.
    • Loid and Franky, disguised as SSS, confront Yor on the suspicion of being a spy. They casually mention that there was a girl like her that was released after she mentioned that her family member was also in the SSS, simply to see if she actually knows her brother is an SSS member and will use that to get out of this. It is made clear that she doesn't and Loid actually feels disgusted with himself for putting her through that.
  • Seers: Bond, the family dog, is able to see the future. For example, he has a vision of the Forger family before they meet him, and saves a boy from being crushed under a sign before it starts to fall. However, his visions are not set in stone: since Anya is able to read his mind, she can use the knowledge from his visions to avert undesirable outcomes.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • Both Loid and Yor are in denial about actually getting attached to the others because they're supposed to be focused on their jobs.
    • Damian denies his own feelings towards dirty commoner Anya by literally slapping his "doki doki" Speech Bubble.
    • Despite Yor having constantly returned home covered in blood from her job throughout his childhood, Yuri apparently hasn't realized Yor is an assassin (in part because he thought the blood was hers).
    • Despite Twilight's impressive analytical skills, he seems to completely overlook any of Yor's rather suspicious actions.
  • Serious Business: Mission 34 has Nightfall challenge Yor to a friendly tennis match... which both women have independently concluded will decide the future of Yor and Loid's marriage (Fiona thinking Yor will feel like she's in over her head somehow if she loses and Yor thinking Loid reports weak tennis players to the secret police). Loid meanwhile is utterly baffled as to why this tennis match means anything, why Nightfall runs away after losing, and why Yor keeps saying "I beat her!" afterwards.
    Loid: I... guess she's just really passionate about tennis.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: There're hints that Twilight's dad was traumatized by warfare seeing how harshly he treated Twilight for playing soldier.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: The bill from renting a castle and all the furnishings for Anya to play being saved from a castle as an award for being enrolled.
  • Shot in the Ass: In a bonus chapter, Yor gets shot in the butt while performing an assassination job. Loid, not knowing that Yor is an assassin, thinks Yor's discomfort and irritation are because of something he did and resolves to take her out on a date to make it up to her. Throughout the date, Yor refuses to sit for any reason because she knows it'll cause her intense pain. It reaches the point where she's hover-sitting at dinner and an attempt to poison her actually makes her feel better because it numbs the pain.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Anya used to be known as Subject 007. Similarly, the protagonist of her favorite TV show is called Bondman (and Bond the dog is named in-universe for Bondman, which brings him back round to the original inspiration).
      • In fact, comedic and heartwarming-domestic scenes are punctuated by a lullaby-parody of the Big Band segment from the Lalo Schifrin James Bond Theme played on the recorder, a flute synonymous with childhood innocence in Japanese Popular Culture.
    • The amount of secrecy WISE uses, from Loid's propensity for Latex Perfection masks to coded messages used to relay mission briefings, calls to mind the Mission: Impossible Film Series.
    • The × in SPY×FAMILY was specifically inspired by Hunter × Hunter, a suggestion by S×F's editor to make the title of Endo's work stand out a bit more the way H×H's did.
  • Show Within a Show: The adventure anime "Spy Wars", Anya's favorite show. Becky also occasionally talks about her favorite, a live-action romance show called "Berlint in Love".
  • Sinister Surveillance: "Snoops" is a wireless operator who bugs a cruise ship in order to track down a member of a mob family and her child to have them both assassinated on behalf of a rival mobster.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • In the original Japanese version and Manga Plus' first translation, codenames were often surrounded with chevrons (<Twilight>, <Strix>, <Thorn Princess>, <WISE>), however, it was inconsistent and the manga went back and forth between using them or not, sometimes both in a single chapter. When Viz re-translated the manga, they got rid of the chevrons, and Manga Plus now uses the same translation.
    • Loid and Yor's names were initially interpreted and translated as the more realistic "Lloyd Folger" and "Yoru" despite being spelled differently in the Japanese version. These were eventually changed back to their original spelling seemingly by author's request with Mission 10 onwards and the previous chapters were retroactively altered to maintain consistency. (Anya's name went back and forth on this: Manga Plus's original translator initially translated it as "Anya", then switched it to "Ania" based on their reading of her bedroom nameplate. When Viz's translator took over with Mission 13, they switched it back to "Anya".)
  • Spit Take: Twilight's reaction upon discovering his next mission involves getting married and having a child is to splurt his coffee out onto his (encoded) newspaper.
  • Spot the Thread: Loid was able to figure out Yuri was a member of the Secret Police because of how he bought the wine, recognizing it as a cover story in the government agency's handbook. However he was certain of it when Yuri stated the price as the same as in the handbook, having not realized the price for that wine went up due to a poor harvest.
  • Spoiler Opening: The anime's ending shows Yuri in a specific set of work clothes long before an anime-only viewer would be aware of him working the job that comes with them. While he wears the same outfit on the manga cover depicting him, the fact that it's the fifth volume makes it more of a Late-Arrival Spoiler.
  • Spy Fiction: Dirty Martini. 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 either broken in their own ways from the spy business, or just overworked bureaucrats doing a job.such as 
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    • In Mission 25, Damian and Anya's terribly designed art project got first place because the board thought it was a piece describing a nation rebounding from war and they nearly cried at the sight of the cruelly slaughtered baby that was beside it. Damian and Anya decide not to correct them.
    • In Mission 29, Anya messes with the dolls to make it appear she never left Loid's office when he was away. They are such a mess Loid mistakes it as Anya suffering from a lot of repressed emotions from being an orphan and he needs to give her more attention. Anya goes along with it because she realizes he is going to spoil her.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • It turns out renting a castle, using all avalable agents, and using a lot of supplies to have Anya reenact a Save the Princess from her show would be extremely expensive.
    • Anya's first plan for acing tests is just reading everyone's minds... which fails immediately since she has no idea which person actually has the right answer. In order to circumvent this, she notes that she needs to find out who has the highest grades in advance.
    • Loid then thinks of figuring out a way she could cheat to ace her exams, but realizes if she suddenly increases her grade without a reason the school will realize she is cheating.
    • Despite her telepathy, Anya is still a very young child. As a result, she has trouble telling when the bomb in Bond's vision is going to explode, only knowing that it's when the big clock goes "dong dong."
    • Anya tries her best to help out her mom and dad maintain their cover, but being a child she naturally states the exact opposite of what she's trying to hide, down to the last detail. This ends up just raising even more suspicion on the family.
    • Anya being as young as she is, and having grown up as a human experiment at that, is far far behind her other, older classmates in many aspects of academics and even basic skills children normally acquire. Meaning no matter how much she studies, she has a lot of catching up to do in order to even be on par with most of them, let alone succeed enough to get anywhere close to excelling academically.
    • Bond is an Uplifted Animal who can see the future and is intelligent enough to change or prevent unfavorable outcomes. That said, he's still a dog, and unless Anya is there he has no way of conveying what danger may be coming. This forces him to either (seemingly) misbehave or somehow lure others like Loid into getting involved to stop any bad futures from being realized.
  • "Take Your Child to Work Day" Plot: Anya needs to write a report on what her mother or her father do for a living. After Anya's telepathy lets her see her adoptive mother Yor's gruesome Imagine Spot as the assassin Thorn Princess, Anya decides to follow her adoptive father Loid (aka the elite spy Twilight) to his day job as a psychiatrist instead.
  • Taking the Bullet: Twilight intercepts a bullet for Nightfall during the underground tennis tournament; however, between Twilight anticipating something like this happening and wearing a bulletproof vest, and it being a rubber bullet, he's not seriously hurt.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Twilight's former spy apprentice, Nightfall, is in love with her teacher. However, since she never reveals any emotion, he has no idea.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The college student isolationist terrorists intend to kill a Westalian minister with bombs strapped to dogs in the hopes of starting a war to kill every single Westalian. Keith, their leader, stands out by being fully willing to murder a child to keep their plan secret when the rest of his group is uncomfortable about the idea, and is uncaring of potential Ostanian causalities from his plans, thinking they should be proud to die for their country.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Yor's three coworkers have this trope covered; Genki Girl Millie is the Child, mature Deadpan Snarker Sharon is the Wife, and Alpha Bitch Camilla is the Seductress.
  • Undercover as Lovers:
    • Twilight is a spy who needs to get himself a fake family to infiltrate his target's social circle. Yor is an assassin who wants to keep a low profile under a government that views single women with suspicion. Both agree to get married for the sake of appearances, although neither is aware of the other's true identity. However, real affection is slowly growing between the two.
    • Invoked by agent Nightfall in chapter 31. Since she wants to prove to Twilight that she can be a better cover wife than Yor, she registers herself and Twilight as a married couple for a tennis game in their mission together.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: A variation. When Murdoch Swan finds out that Yor doesn't do the cooking in her household, he begins berating her for this, considering her an embarrassment of a mother figure. When Loid comes to her defense and says she doesn't need to be good at cooking, and that she's good at plenty of other things, like keeping the house clean and taking care of Anya, Swan dismisses this as Loid praising her for things that are the baseline requirements of any woman in a relationship. Loid visibly gets irritated at this.
  • War Is Hell: Both Twilight and his commander have experienced the horrors of war first-hand, with Loid remembering losing his mother and possessions. It's the main reason they both became spies.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Mission 11. Yor's brother Yuri is revealed to be a member of the Ostanian Secret Police and is on the lookout for Twilight.
    • Mission 37 is a real doozy, as Loid finally has a face-to-face meeting with his target, Donovan Desmond.
    • Mission 62, giving a glimpse into Loid's childhood at the start of the war between Westalis and Ostania, where he lost his friends and family, and enlisted into the army.
  • Wham Line: Damian states "I know Father couldn't care less about me" in the tail end of Mission 25, as it not only reveals the kid's inner conflict, it puts how Operation Strix will work into question.
  • Wham Shot: The ending scene of Mission 17. Within some sort of facility is a dog pen for illicit buyers looking for an obedient weapon. One of the dogs there receives a vision of the Forger family.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The reason why they don't just send an assassin to kill Twilight's target? WISE doesn't know enough about him aside from the fact he is a potential threat to world safety and need to learn more before taking any direct action.
  • Wire Dilemma: Anya discovers that a terrorist group planted a bomb inside a clock tower. When she tries to defuse it by cutting the red wire (as seen on TV) she realizes that all of the wires are black.
  • With This Ring: Loid uses the pin of a grenade he threw at some mooks as a substitute wedding ring when asking Yor to pose as his wife. Ironically he actually did have a proper wedding ring which he took from the smuggling ring he broke up, but at some point lost it.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Spy X Family


The Forgers' Double Lives

Much of the opening is animated in a flat, childish art style to show how six-year-old Anya sees her adoptive parents. It shifts to a more dynamic, realistic, adult style to show Yor's and Loid's real, dangerous jobs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArtShift

Media sources: