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Recap / Miraculous Ladybug S 02 E 04 La Befana

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It's Marinette's birthday, and she's sure her friends are planning a surprise party for her. However, her grandmother Gina drops in unexpectedly, gifts Marinette an ill-fitting sweater, candies she hates, and takes her on an outing just before her surprise party. When Marinette leaves her to go to her surprise party, Gina is crushed and akumatised into La Befana, and set on punishing Marinette for deceiving her.

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Tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: La Befana's gun can shoot two different types; one that petrifies her victims, and another that turns them into angel-like minions.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: This little exchange…
    Hawk Moth: Ladybug has joined the party at last! Bring me the miraculous, Befana.
    Befana: You didn't say the magic word.
    Hawk Moth: [Beat] Ahem… please.
  • Adaptational Villainy: La Befana is originally a figure from Italian folklore, who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in the same vein as Santa Claus. Here, she is depicted as a villain.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: It's Marinette's 14th birthday, and her grandmother gets akumatised and crashes her party.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted; La Befana needs to recharge her gun once she runs out of ammo. Played straight with the tin where she keeps the ammunition, which seems to produce an endless supply.
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  • Call-Back: Adrien gifts Marinette his own handmade lucky charm, and shows he still has the charm Marinette gave him in "The Gamer".
  • Cool Bike: Gina's transforms into a flying one when she's akumatized.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Tikki doesn't believe Marinette's bits of evidence that her friends are planning a surprise party for her, which are circumstantial bordering on romantic (well, except the cake her parents try to hide from her). Her suspicions turned out to be right on the money anyway.
  • Good Luck Charm: Adrien gives Marinette one, in exchange for the one she gave him back in "The Gamer". Tikki also gifts Marinette a magatama apparently made from the hairs of previous Ladybugs.
  • Heroic Bystander: All of Marinette's friends jump to her defense when La Befana attacks her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: La Befana, as Ladybug notices, isn't immune to her own ammunition, so she and Cat trick her into petrifying herself.
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  • Hypocrite: In his Once per Episode introduction, Hawkmoth says that he loves deceptions and misunderstandings. The perfect recipe for an akuma, sure, but it doesn't apply to himself.
  • It Runs in the Family: Marinette's parents fist-bump just like she does with Cat Noir; similarly, when they have to make a quick plan, Sabine is the one who comes up with it and Tom follows up, like Ladybug and Cat do when facing an akuma.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Befana's angelic minions fall into this category.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: Marinette pretends to love Gina's gifts because she knows her grandmother means well, and she doesn't want to appear ungrateful or hurt her feelings. It goes as well as you would expect.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Marinette's refusal to tell Gina the truth about how she feels about her gifts in order to keep her happy ultimately gets Gina akumatised when she realizes the truth.
  • Running Gag: Tom panicking and throwing the birthday cake into the trash bin every time someone enters the bakery.
  • Surprise Party: Marinette's friends and parents try to hold a surprise birthday party for her. Emphasis on "try", as they are so clumsy at keeping the preparations a secret she figures out what's going on pretty easily.
  • Unwanted Gift Plot: Gina gifts Marinette a sweater several sizes too small, and feeds her candies Marinette hates. Marinette pretends to love them to spare her grandmother's feelings.
  • Your Favorite: Subverted. Gina gives Marinette a tin of what she thinks is her granddaughter's favorite candy, but actually Marinette can't stand them.


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