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Series / Aquí no hay quien viva

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And this is only the cast from the third season.
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Aquí no hay quien viva (roughly, "No one can live in peace here") is a Spanish dramedy/Sitcom set in an apartment building, calle Desengaño 21 ("Disillusionment Street"), in Madrid. The series focuses on the entire community: three apartment floors, with two apartments each. Plus, the doorkeeper's lodge in the ground floor, the business locale (most of the time a video rental club) and the attic. As the cast's lives crash with each other, Hilarity Ensues.

The show ran for five seasons, from 2003 to 2006, totalling at 90 episodes (though the third season was so long, the DVD release split it in two and some consider the show to have six seasons). It became an instant and huge cultural phenomenon in Spain. It won numerous awards in its home country and was the third most watched show in Spain during the early years of the Turn of the Millennium. The popularity warranted eleven different remakes in other countries.

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Eventually the series ended up becoming a victim of some serious Executive Meddling that ended up causing Troubled Production, the departure of several actors over the years and ultimately its cancellation, although the screenwriters managed to write a definitive conclusion to the characters. A year later, the cast and crew teamed up again on a different network to make a Spiritual Successor: La que se avecina (a Pun that means "What's coming", albeit the word "avecina" is almost identical to "vecina", which means "female neighbor").


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Characters include:

  • Emilio and Mariano in the doorkeeper's lodge: Emilio is the overworked doorkeeper, often taken for granted and abused by the community. He has an on-again-off-again relationship with Belén. His father, Mariano, is a nasty and lazy man who is always devising dishonest schemes. After making some recurring appearances, he is kicked out of the house by his wife in the second half of Season 1 and moves in with Emilio, much to his son's displeasure.
  • Marisa, Vicenta and Concha in Apartment 1-A: A.K.A. "Radio-Patio", this nosy trio is not only in charge of finding out everyone's dirty laundry, but also putting it out for the entire building to see. Vicenta is aloof and has been a virgin forever; Marisa, her older sister, is raunchy, alcoholic and a smoker; and Concha is old grouch and obnoxiously loud woman who loves to torment Juan Cuesta (whom she considers a terrible president) and Belén and Alicia (her third-floor tenants who never pay their rent on time).
  • Mauri and Fernando in apartment 1-B: A gay couple. At first they try to hide their relationship due to Fernando's unwillingness to come out of the closet. They claim to be friends, much to Mauri's discomfort, but eventually Fernando decides to make his homosexuality public for his sake. After Fernando comes out, he gets a job offer in London and is absent for most of Season 2. Meanwhile, Mauri has a short relationship with Lucía's brother, Diego, and has a baby through artificial insemination with lesbian friend Bea. When Fernando comes back in Season 3, they get back together and eventually marry.
  • The Cuesta Family in apartment 2-A: Juan Cuesta is the president of the community, a position he takes too seriously. His wife, Paloma, is loud and outspoken. After she falls into a coma at the end of Season 2, Juan begins a relationship with a nurse, Isabel, who was living in 2-B with her family, and she moves in. His two children, Jose Miguel, average but gifted kid with a quick wit, and Natalia, sarcastic and deceivingly sweet, who has the looks to bribe guys by seducing them.
  • Various owners in apartment 2-B: The apartment is is initially inhabited by Armando, Concha's son who lives there with her and his children in season 1. Then the Ruiz family in season 2, when Isabel moved in with her husband Andrés, a sleazy man that went from riches to rags. It is then rented by Nieves, Juan's sister, in Season 3, after she moved out of Juan's apartment, and she begins a relationship with Andrés to try to make Isabel mad and jealous. It is also rented in Season 4 by Carmen and Bea, and Diego and Roberto. Finally, it is rented by the Heredia family in Season 5.
  • Lucía in apartment 3-A: The couple Lucia and Roberto move into the apartment in the first episode of the series. Lucia is the daughter of a wealthy executive, while Roberto is a comic book artist. They are completely normal people at the beginning of the series, but they end up becoming just as crazy as their neighbors over the years. Even though they got engaged, they decide to postpone it and the relationship becomes on-and-off, further complicated by another suitor (and ex-boyfriend), Carlos, who turns the relationship into a Love Triangle. Both boyfriends lived with her at one time or another. In Season 4, she has a relationship with Yago, an ecologist, whom she cheats on with Roberto, ending the relationship. At the end of Season 4, she leaves to try a new life elsewhere, and never chooses between any of the men in her life. Her father moves in during the last season while they reform his household.
  • Belén, Alicia and other housemates in apartment 3-B: Concha is the owner of the apartment, but she rents it to Alicia and Belén, who often struggle to pay the rent. Belén is a bitter and unlucky woman in both her professional and romantic life, having a different job in each episode and a complicated relationship with the doorman Emilio. Alicia is an aspiring actress and model, vain and unpleasant, coveted by most men and who loves to humiliate Belén, which only makes her more bitter. After Alicia leaves for New York in Season 3, Belén has several housemates, including Bea, Mauri's lesbian friend; Carmen, university professor and Emilio's ex; Lola, police officer; Ana, flight attendant and Bea's girlfriend; and finally, Maria Jesús, Belén's mother, who moves in after her husband kicked her out.
  • The Attic: During the first season it was a deposit, then it was rented in Season 3 by Roberto and later by Pablo and his father, Andrés. After he moved out, Paco lived there with Pablo.
  • Video club Paco, a struggling filmmaker, works here. It is bought by Carlos in Season 3, and he retools it so it's also a karaoke by night and Natalia starts working here too. When Lucía's father moved into her apartment, he bought the video club.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Vicenta to Andrés. Andrés can't stand her because she is older than him and has an annoying personality.
  • A Cappella: The show's entire soundtrack.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: When the apartments are temporarily left without doors, Mauri resorts to using the couch as a barricade to prevent the Nosy Neighbors from entering. It doesn't work: Vicenta easily jumps and rolls over the couch, then Concha nonchalantly pushes it out of the way.
  • Acquainted in Real Life: In an episode, Lucía sets up an erotic hotline, and is surprised when one of her customers works up the courage to meet in person. While she's waiting for her secret admirer outside the building, she sees her ex-boyfriend Carlos there, who was also waiting to meet someone, with both of them thinking they have been stood up... until Carlos lets slip some line from their conversation, with Lucía utterly horrified upon realizing they were each other's mystery date. She promptly closes down the hotline.
  • Aesop Amnesia: When Bea first moves in with Mauri, Fernando is working abroad in London, so Marisa, Concha and Vicenta immediately think Mauri's cheating on him with her. They manage to sneak into apartment 1-B and take Mauri's cellphone to call Fernando... but they somehow end up taking a picture of themselves. Mauri immediately finds out and storms into their house to give them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and tell them to stay out of his life. Their reaction proves they're just not into aesops:
    Marisa: They're involved!
    Vicenta: Of course, why else would he be so angry?
  • All Gays Love Theater: Mauri is noted to be an opera buff.
  • All Lesbians Want Kids: Bea, a lesbian, is inseminated with Mauri's sperm. Later on, Ana tries to do the same with Fernando, but Mariano learns about it and steals Fernando's sperm to replace it with his own, hoping to get a child that has "her Nordic beauty and his metrosexual intellect." It doesn't work, as Mariano's sperm is pretty much sterile, and Ana decides to forget about pregnancy when learning about the whole thing.
  • All the Good Men Are Gay: Thought about Fernando and Mauri.
  • All There in the Script: The name of Jaime Ordóñez's character (more about him below in New Job as the Plot Demands) is unbeknownst to the rest of the characters. According to Word of God, he's called Gerardo.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Fernando, during season 1.
  • Ascended Extra: Characters like Carlos and Mariano had minor appearances in the first two seasons before becoming regulars with expanded roles (and in the latter's case, actually moving into the building). Higinio also appeared sporadically before moving in with his family in the final season.
  • As Himself: At different points of the show, newscaster Susanna Griso, talk show host Agustín Bravo, singer Manuel Carrasco and fashion designers Victorio & Lucchino made cameos playing themselves.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gender-inverted example. Perennial Dogged Nice Guy Carlos is the Betty and Jerk with a Heart of Gold Roberto is the Veronica to Lucía's Archie.
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: Emilio asks Juan Cuesta to speak in his wedding to Rocío. Juan happily obliges at first, but the less-than-ideal status of his own marriage raises its ugly head and the speech quickly degenerates into a rant about how shitty marriage is, kickstarting the chain of disasters that culminates with Rocío punching Emilio and running off.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the final episode, the neighbors discover that the building is in terrible condition and will have to be demolished. They are eventually forced to leave, and Rafael buys their houses. The neighbors sadly say goodbye to each other and promise that one day they will meet again, although some of them very much doubt that this will happen.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Hilariously subverted by Andrés, who doesn't even bother:
    Andrés: Watch out, Juan, watch out! Or maybe I might let slip in front of Isabel your peck with Mrs. President...Context 
    Juan: Are you blackmailing me?
    Andrés: Um... yes. Have a nice day! (slams the door shut in Juan's face)
  • Book Dumb: When Emilio decides to take a shot at studying in college, he starts with José Miguel's school books and is puzzled by the fact that the unknown quantities in equations are represented with letters: that's mixing Language and Maths to him! He only passes the access test by cheating so blatantly that he has to capitalize on the professor not knowing his name to get in, and unsurprisingly ends up flunking out.
  • Born in an Elevator: When Natalia is pregnant, influenced by the father of her child, Yago, she insists that she wants to give birth at home. Juan Cuesta and Isabel eventually manage to talk her out of it... only for the elevator to get stuck when they were about to take her to the hospital.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Natalia Cuesta.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Emilio's "¡Un poquito de por favor!" ("A little bit of please!").
    • Concha's "¡Váyase, señor Cuesta, váyase!" ("Leave, Mr. Cuesta, leave!").
    • Juan Cuesta's "This, our... [whatever he was talking about]".
    • Belén occassionally finished her arguments with Emilo by telling him "¡Vete un poquito a la mierda!" (approximately "Go for a little while to the shit!", but a better idiomatic translation would be "Go fuck yourself a bit!")
    • On one episode, when they needed passwords, they used their catch phrases.
    • In the final season, when Higinio Heredia was named president of the community, Concha shouts in a neighbors meeting "Leave Mr. Heredia, leave!", promptly excusing herself saying that she only wanted to test how it sounded. Marisa and Vicenta quickly point out that it sounded much better with Cuesta. She says it again, but really meaning it, on the series finale (more on that in the Screw This, I'm Outta Here entry).
  • Cat Fight: Lucia and Natalia engage in one over the former suspecting the latter's trying to seduce her boyfriend.
  • Chocolate Baby: Rocío's skin is much darker than that of her white parents, with has led to her father believing that her mother cheated on him and got pregnant as a result. She blames it on some 'recessive gene' from her family, an explanation he clearly doesn't buy.
  • Citizenship Marriage: On an episode, Vicenta introduces Néstor, a suave Cuban man much younger than her, as her husband-to-be. When she reveals that Néstor is paying her €3,000 to marry her and get the citizenship, the whole thing descends into hilarity as other neighbors want that cash.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Carmen has a tendency to become obsessively jealous over her partner for no real reason... and she will go on a rampage and wreck your entire house if you ditch her.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Marisa takes this role for her sister Vicenta when she starts to wander too far from reality.
  • Coming-Out Story: Most of the homosexual characters in the show go through this at some point.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Discussed at a point of the series when Emilio has to fake his death and asks his friends for a death story the people around him can tell to the insurance company specialists. Paco comes up with a ridiculously elaborate one, which José Miguel quickly points out that no one would buy.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lucia's father, owner of a real estate agency. He almost deprives the neighbours of their homes twice in order to make money; unsurprisingly, they suspect him in the Grand Finale even when for once it's not his fault.
  • Crowded-Cast Shot: The neighbor community meetings, specially the emergency ones. Only property owners are allowed; they still get pretty loud and hectic though.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Throughout the series, Rafael shows contempt for two of Lucía's three boyfriends: while he likes Carlos, he sees Roberto as a bad cartoonist and a good-for-nothing overall, and Yago and him hate each other's guts, being respectively a pro-environment activist and the CEO of a shady real estate developing company.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Constantly invoked in the video club by the guys.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In one episode, the entire neighborhood becomes hooked up on a telenovela, which they can watch thanks to Roberto helping them steal Lucía's cable, and Paco starts downloading it from the Internet. When Lucía learns about it and cuts off the cable, causing the neighbors to miss the final episode, Paco asks them for a lot of money and an emergency community meeting is held to pass a split contribution to pay him. Lucia is shocked by the neighbors' plan and immediately reveals to them that there is a major flaw in that plan, only to be completely ignored by them.
    Lucía: Don't you see that we could pay months of cable for everyone with that money?
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Emilio sings a brief bit of the theme song on an occasion.
  • Dragged into Drag: When Fernando's Drag Queen father can't do a performance due to illness, he asks him and Mauri to fill in for him. Neither of them is exactly brimming with enthusiasm over it.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Paloma, who falls from her apartment window and is put in a coma. After negotiations with the actress completely failed, she was killed off for real.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening sequence has the characters parodying this, lip synching the a cappella theme. Dancing included. [1]
  • Driven to Suicide: Paloma's father seems to be really tired of feeling completely subdued by his wife, who has the same Hair-Trigger Temper and strong personality as their daughter. His failed suicide attempts become a Running Gag for the only episode featuring them.
  • Enter Stage Window: Mariano occasionally uses a ladder to climb to the window of the first floor.
  • Erotic Dream: Lucia has these about Juan Cuesta, and they are so traumatic to her that they make the main plot of the episode.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: When he allows the crew of a porn movie to rent apartment 2-B behind Armando and Concha's backs, Emilio looks around and admits that he's questioning his sexuality after looking at the, um, attributes of the lead actor (who is only shown from the waist up when naked).
  • Exact Words:
    • When he first meets Belén, Pedro introduces himself as an accountant. Soon after, Belén goes to the company Pedro works in for a job interview... and is surprised to find him in the boss's office. It's then explained that while he indeed is the accountant, he did not mention that he is also the owner and does various other jobs in the company.
    • When Rafael moves to apartment 3-A after his daughter Lucía leaves in the least season, he learns that there is no elevator and offers to pay for one. However, when the new elevator is installed, it turns out that it needs a key to run, the only copy of which is in Rafael's possession. He promptly clarifies that, while he said he would pay for the elevator (and did), he never said it would be for everyone.
  • Fake Charity: Parodied. The neighbors claim that the rummage sale they have organized to get rid of everything they've been shutting away in the attic is a charity fundraiser simply because they think they'll sell more stuff that way. They don't even bother with thinking of a cause to pretend they're supporting.
  • Fake Shemp: In Paloma's few and brief appearances after waking up from her coma, a different actress is used, mimicking Loles León's voice and always being either filmed from behind or entirely offscreen.
  • Finale Title Drop: Heartbreakingly delivered by Marisa:
    Marisa: Vámonos, que aquí ya no hay quien viva.Translation 
  • Floorboard Failure: There's one in the series finale. Justified since the main plot of the episode is that the building has been badly damaged by termites and it might have to be demolished.
  • Flying Under the Gaydar: Mauri isn't actually very flamboyant, but during the first season, he is constantly told by Fernando to watch out for his mannerisms, for fear of being outed. The couple also tried to pass as football fans so Armando (who already knew they were gay, as their bedroom is below his) wouldn't suspect.
  • Foreign Remake: The show has been remade in France, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. Effectively making it a Multinational Show. A US version by ABC, with Ben Silverman and Sofía Vergara as executive producers was due to start filming in 2011, but fell into Development Hell.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Averted with Belén and Alicia.
  • The Ghost: Paco's girlfriend, Lourdes. We mostly know about her from hearing other characters talk about her (when they do, chances are the conversation will include some snark about her alleged ugliness) and the one time she appears onscreen, on her wedding day with Paco, we don't get to see her face courtesy of the bride veil.
  • Gilligan Cut: Used a bazillion times, and more than half are with Emilio and Belén. One says "We are not going to have sex again! Never!" Cut to both sighing satisfied in bed.
  • Girl Posse: Lucía, Belén and whoever she's rooming with. Also, Radio-Patio: Marisa, Vicenta and Concha.
  • Glad I Thought of It: After Lucía invites the neighbors to her wedding and gives them a list of very expensive gifts, Gregorio, the administrator, suggests choosing one gift and splitting the expenses. Juan Cuesta tells him to shut up because the issue is outside of his responsibilities, only to immediately suggest the exact same thing.
  • Good Old Ways: Community president, Juan Cuesta, insists on running the building with the good old ways, and opposes any changes to the community agreements, even if they are years old.
  • Grammar Correction Gag: Juan Cuesta reduces the grade of one of his students in an exam because the kid spelled his own name wrong. Also, he once got arrested because a policeman caught him correcting the typos of a graffito.
  • Grave Robbing: A variation. When the video rental club is sold and a funeral parlor sets up shop in its place, the neighbors plot to steal one of the corpses to get them to leave the building. Unsurprisingly, the video club is back by the next episode.
  • Has Two Mommies: Ezequiel. His biological parents, by way of artificial insemination, are lesbian woman Bea and gay man Mauri, so by the end of the series he has two mommies (Bea and Ana) and two daddies (Mauri and Fernando).
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Lucía's favorite method of dealing with breakups.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Juan with Andrés and Emilio. Lucía and Belén. Roberto and Josemi, too, although they have more of an Odd Friendship due to the age gap.
  • Hidden Wire: Juan Cuesta wears a miniature microphone during a meeting with a local drug lord he had trouble with earlier in the episode (and after whom the police is now). Naturally, the mic disconnects the second the gangster pulls Juan's shirt to intimidate him.
  • Honey Trap: Rafael tries to invoke it in a last-ditch attempt to sabotage his daughter Lucía's wedding with Roberto, since he never really liked him. He hires a prostitute to lure Roberto out of his bachelor party and sleep with him so that he then can show the pictures of it to Lucía. It doesn't work, as Roberto had already decided against attending the bachelor party, leaving his friends to hold it in his honor, and the prostitute ends up sleeping with Mariano, who said he was the groom just to score. The wedding goes off the rails anyway, as Roberto kissed Ana that night and Radio Patio finds out.
  • Hot for Student: Carmen for Emilio, when he goes to college (although Emilio is in his thirties, so it's not THAT unappropriated).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episode titles follow the formula of "Once Upon a [Whatever]".
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • The Radio Patio trio could come up with nicknames for pretty much any other character. For instance, they referred to Carlos and Roberto as the "Baby Gays" the time they lived together in apartment 2-B. Occasionally, the neigbors fire back referring to them as "The Powerpuff Girls" or "Flora, Fauna and Merryweather"
    • Nieves started using "Bolkshevik" as Álex's nickname after Isabel revealed that his father was not Andrés, but a Polish activist.
  • ...In That Order: On an episode, the boy Mauri and Fernando have adopted as their son turns out to be an Enfant Terrible who steals the radio from Juan Cuesta's car. The neighbors are not too pleased:
    Concha: I'm going to call the social services before this kid kills and rapes us all!
    Emilio: Well, as long as it's in that order...
  • In Vino Veritas: On an episode, Juan Cuesta arrives home very late, drunk, and meets Concha and Marisa on his way up the stairs:
    Concha: Cuesta, this stairwell isn't big enough for both of us.
    Concha: Hey!
    Marisa: Come on, you handed that one to him.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Very often when the homosexual characters are involved.
  • Local Hangout: The video rental club.
  • Love Letter Lunacy:
    • Belén and Alicia's plan to drive Amador away so that Emilio is brought back as the doorkeeper involves this, since Marisa, Concha and Vicenta are all smitten with him. They send fake love letters from Amador to the three old women so they become much more forward with their advances, and seeing Marisa in lingerie in his bed is the breaking point for Amador, who promptly resigns and leaves.
    • When the video club gang learns that José Miguel has a crush on a classmate, they start sending him fake love letters pretending to be her. When she learns about the incident, she agrees to pose as José Miguel's girlfriend in front of them.
  • Love Triangle: The main one is Lucía/Carlos/Roberto; once, Lucía was even engaged to both of them (later, Yago joins in as the Third-Option Love Interest). Juan/Isabel/Andrés, Mauri/Abel/Diego and Belén/Carlos/Emilio are other examples. Also, Belén/Emilio/Rocío and Belén/Emilio/Carmen; in both relationships he cheats on his girlfriend with Belén.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Juan Cuesta's "This, our [often the word here is community, but admits plenty of variations]" and Andrés Guerra's "[whatever the conversation was about] is crap". The former was parodied in a The Lord of the Rings-inspired Dream Sequence by Roberto:
    Gandalf!Juan Cuesta: In this our Fellowship of the Ring, there is no place for stupid disputes.note 
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • After finding out that Paloma is aroused by the idea of sex in public places, Juan and her end up having sex in the meter box room... which becomes an unexpectedly popular love nest among other neighbors afterwards.
    • Invoked by Don Gustavo, the headmaster of the school Juan works in, who has a habit of sending on a trip to the zoo teachers who he thinks really need to get laid.
  • May–December Romance: At a point of the series, Belén falls for an entrepreneur called Pedro Peñafiel, much older than her. They end up marrying... only for him to die on their wedding night.
  • Metaphorgotten: Before her wedding with Roberto, Lucía discusses with her friends how Carlos kissed her the night before and she's now in doubt. Belén tries to explain her situation with a soccer simile that breaks down very quickly.
  • Mid-Life Crisis Car: Discussed. When Juan tells Isabel that he wants to have a son with her, Isabel suggests buying a new car instead, "one of those absurd 4WDs".
  • Mythology Gag: When Cuesta mentions that the neighborhood's patron saint is Thomas Aquinas (Santo Tomás de Aquino), Emilio briefly hums the show's theme song ("Aquí no, aquí no...").
    Cuesta: Emilio, leave the jokes for the bar.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Specially Mariano.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The trio from apartment 1-A can show some genuine badassery when the situation calls for it. On an episode when Concha was away on vacation, Marisa and Vicenta hired a caretaker through an ad in the newspaper. When said caretaker turns out to be a burglar who ties them up in bed and cuts off the house's phone line so they can't call the police, they manage to free themselves and it's him who wakes up tied up in bed the next morning.
    Marisa: You messed with the wrong oldies, pal.
  • Never Win the Lottery: Rare example in that the ticket is legit and it gets cashed. The prize money is later stolen though, but, even more surprisingly, the police catch the thief.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: The man who talks really fast keeps changing jobs; this is what allows him to be one of the most memorable Running Gags.
  • No Bisexuals: Except for Mauri, the major queer characters (Fernando, Diego, Bea and Ana) all used to be hetero before their coming-out and afterwards are constantly referred to as either gay or lesbian, with any possibility of them hooking up with someone of the opposite sex being treated as returning to the hetero camp and not a case of them being attracted to both genders. Mauri seems to openly reject the idea that there could be such a thing as bisexuality.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Pretty much the whole building, but the most prominent ones are Marisa, Concha and Vicenta, who spend most of the series living together in apartment 1-Anote  and ended up having three spyholes on their door.
    Bea: (sarcastically) Please say that louder, they didn't hear you from apartment 1-A!
    Marisa: (from two floors below) Yes, we did! Thank you!
  • Only Has Same-Sex Admirers: Carmen is straight and finds really annoying that girls want her, but boys don't (with the known exceptions of ex-boyfriend Emilio and ex-husband Benigno).
    Carmen: Now I understand why I can't score with the guys: I have a lesbian face!
  • Only Sane Man: Mauri is the only one who thinks that Superagus is a stupid story.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During a Vacation Episode in the last season, Isabel, Juan, Natalia and Yago go on holiday to the Canary Islands, leaving Josemi and Pablo alone at the house. When Isabel calls them to see how things are going, her stepson finishing the call with a rare "I love you" makes her think something's off. And indeed it is: the stepbrothers are throwing a party and things start going off the rails soon after.
  • Operation: Jealousy: A variation on the first season: Alicia, tired of fruitlessly chasing Fernando, attempts to seduce Mauri instead to make Fernando jealous. It doesn't work, but Mauri and Fernando do end up having a verbal confrontation over the incident.
  • Overly-Long Gag: During an episode, Natalia leaves the Cuestas' house and moves to apartment 3-B. Juan and Paloma go upstairs to search for her, but Alicia appears instead saying Natalia told her to tell them that she didn't live under their roof anymore. Juan orders Natalia to come out before he can count to five... but he resumes the count when she doesn't. At the end of the episode, the camera cuts back to Juan, whose count is now well past 500. Alicia appears again and offers him a sandwich out of pity.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: With the exceptions of Emilio and Paco, both of whom worked inside the building, most characters were only seen at work if it was relevant to the plot in some capacity. Case in point: Roberto was a cartoonist, and although his drawing table was seen in the background of his apartment, he seemed to hardly ever actually use it.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Played for Laughs. On an episode, Mr. Oguma, Fernando's Japanese client, pays a visit to him and Mauri. When Oguma offers all his entourage — including them — to sleep with prostitutes, which he will pay for, Mauri only accepts after being warned by Oguma's interpreter that he would be offended by a refusal. So all Mauri and his prostitute do — other than a head-between-legs variation of the Fake-Out Make-Out when Oguma enters the room to see how things are going — is have a good time discussing recipes.
  • Primal Scene: At a point of the series, Belén starts giving private lessons to make some extra cash. Cue one of the kids arriving early and catching her mid-lovemaking with Emilio.
    Emilio: No one ever taught you to knock on the door?
  • Put on a Bus: Several characters leave the series over the years, though it's worth noting that most of the cast continued through to the end.
    • Fernando left Mauri's house at the end of Season 1 to work in London. Unlike most of the other cases cited here, he would make sporadic appearances visiting Mauri in Seasons 2 and 3, before rejoining the regular cast for the last two seasons.
    • Armando and his kids leave the building at the end of the first season to live with his new fiancée.
    • Paloma leaves the series in the season two finale under tragic circumstances, when she accidentally falls out of her apartment window during a fight with Isabel. She has been in a coma ever since and finally passes away off-screen in season five.
    • In the 17th episode of the third season, Alicia leaves the building to live with her boyfriend Ricardo in New York.
    • In the 28th episode of the third season, Nieves leaves the building because of the failure of her relationship with Andrés. She makes brief cameos in Seasons 4 and 5.
    • In the 29th episode of the third season, Alex leaves the building to work as a valet in Ibiza.
    • In the tenth episode of the fourth season, Andrés leaves the building to start a new life elsewhere.
    • In the 13th episode of Season 4, Carlos leaves the building and checks into a psychiatric hospital to overcome his depression.
    • After Andrés leaves her, Carmen leaves the building in the finale of Season 4 to live with her parents.
    • Lucia and Roberto also leave the series in the finale of Season 4, but they go their separate ways: Lucia leaves the building to work at an NGO, Roberto returns to Puerto Banus to continue his work as a cartoonist.
  • Race for Your Love: Well, sort of. Carlos races to Lucía's and Roberto's wedding to tell her Roberto cheated on her the night before.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: After years taking a lot of crap from almost every neighbor as president of the community, Juan Cuesta finally snaps on the last season when the neighbors vote against allowing him to finish the already overdue remodelling of his house and gives them a short, but scathing, "The Reason You Suck" Speech before storming out of the room.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: At a point of the series Emilio temporarily stops being the doorkeeper and as his replacement comes Amador, an old, soft-spoken man. Vicenta, Concha and Marisa all show interest in him, and the latter is the one who takes it the farthest: entering the doorkeeper's lodge (it doesn't even have a door, after all) and sneaking into Amador's bed in lingerie. The poor fellow quickly resigns and leaves the building, never to be seen again.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Right after Paloma's funeral, a vacuum cleaner seller reveals to Juan that he was a secret lover of hers for many years... and still has the nerve to try to sell him a vacuum cleaner after that.
    • Emilio is caught cheating in the university access exam — the headset through which Juan Cuesta fed him the answers pretty much falls under the Incredibly Obvious Bug category — and the professor supervising the exam warns him that he will be disqualified for it. Then this happens:
    Emilio: Excuse me, do you know my name?
    Professor: No.
    Emilio: Okay... (puts the exam in the middle of the pile of previously presented exams) go search for it. (runs out of the classroom)
  • Running Gag: Just to cite a few:
    • Whenever Juan Cuesta mentions the name of his "master and mentor", the late former community president Bartolomé Méndez Zuloaga, Marisa will remind everyone within earshot that she had sex with him.
    • That bald man who talks very fast and won't stop changing jobs.
    • If Belén and Emilio are bickering, a Gilligan Cut to them smoking post-intercourse cigarettes is very likely.
    • Rafael trying to make his stoic butler laugh, and failing miserably every time.
    • Vicenta annoying Marisa by reminding her that her husband Manolo left her. Manolo later reemerges and dumps Vicenta after a really brief relationship, which allows Marisa to get some measure of revenge.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In the series finale, the neighbors are yet again revolting over the proposed split contribution to pay the anti-termite treatment the building needs, and community president Higinio is unprepared and unwilling to deal with the crisis:
    Concha: Leave, Mr. Heredia, leave!
    Higinio: You bet I'm leaving! I quit!note 
  • Series Continuity Error: In season 2, when Mauri meets Bea's brother (who is a priest, and unaware that she's a lesbian) he hints that she's never even had a boyfriend before. But by season 4, Bea's ex-husband (whom she married before realizing she was a lesbian, and whom she's technically still married to because the divorce papers were never signed) shows up in a desperate attempt to reconcile with her.
  • Sextra Credit: Defied by Carmen, who makes it clear to Emilio that the fact that they are dating while he is her student will have no effect on his grades.
  • Shouldn't We Be In School Right Now?: Josemi lampshaded the time when he skipped school to accompany Emilio in his first day at college, saying that he was "playing truant to attend classes". And this is the closest we ever got to actually seeing him at school.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This exchange:
    Lucía: Alba, woman to woman, tell me that there isn't morbidity to being with a guy that was gay!
    Alba: I don't know... is there?
    Lucía: A lot! You brought him back from the dark side. Only Luke Skywalker ever pulled that off with his father, and it took him three movies!
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: When Bea and Ana first get together, they start constantly making out and saying how much they love each other, which annoys Belén, Ana's roommate, to no end.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Rosa, one of Bea's girlfriends, is this to Mauri.
  • Skip to the End: On Belén and Emilio's makeshift wedding on a piece of waste ground, it's an unusually hot day and Father Miguel decides to "proceed with the abbreviated version" to avoid a mass sunstroke.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Emilio and Belén are seen like this after most of their Gilligan Cuts. It even gets lampshaded on an episode when smoking is banned in the building and Emilio claims to miss the post-sex cigarette.
  • Stalking Is Love: Defied. As Carlos found out late in the series' run, if you break into your ex-girlfriend's house, you're far more likely to receive a restraining order than to rekindle the relationship.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Carlos at his worst. At a point, the guy grew so obsessed with seeing Lucía again that he crawled from his apartment to hers — he was living at the 2-B at the time —, which landed him a restraining order.
  • Start My Own: Fernando, following Mauri's advice, sets up his own firm after the firm he previously worked for fired him for coming out.
  • The Stoic: Moisés, Rafael's butler. A Running Gag comes out of this, with Rafael telling him jokes in vain attempts to make him laugh.
    Moisés: (dead serious) I got it, sir. Another pun.
  • Take That!:
    • Spanish politics are a frequent target of the characters' snark. Take, for example, this one from Isabel shortly after she and Andrés moved into the building:
      Andrés: Another community meeting? We meet more often than Congress in here!
      Isabel: And it's just as useful.
    • The Spanish national soccer team's reputation for underperforming (keep in mind this was before their 2008-12 dominant run) also got quite a few barbs aimed their way:
      Lucía: What surprises me is that there are five tests here instead of two.
      Josemi: Maybe they are there as a distraction. Or as filler.
      Álex: Just like Spain at the World Cup.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: In the Turn of the Millennium, Spain still wasn't particularly open to homosexualty yet. Fernando found it out the hard way when he finally came out to his firm partners... and the promotion he had just received turned into a firing. Double subverted in that the firing letter turns out to be a prank from a co-worker, but once that is cleared up, he learns that his boss doesn't consider homosexual people "normal" and decides to resign.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Carmen usually deals with breakups and romantic rejections by way of property-damaging rampage. Emilio and Fernando suffer it at different points of the series.
    Emilio: (hidden in the patio while hearing Carmen wreck everything in the doorkeeper's lodge) She must be getting tired, the breakings are more separated now...
  • The Bus Came Back: Fernando eventually came back and resumed his relationship with Mauri.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Yago's introduction as Lucía's new crush was the beginning of the end of her Love Triangle arc with Carlos and Roberto. They stayed together until she left the building and he moved on with Natalia.
  • Title Drop: Done in jest during the first season.
  • Two-Timer Date: Mauri messes up with his new phone and sends a date text message to Diego that was instead meant for Fernando. Too embarrassed over the mishap to cancel, he ends up meeting both of them simultaneously at the same restaurant... and, unsurprisingly, getting caught.
  • Vacation Episode: Also doubles as a Beach Episode.
  • Welcome Episode: The first episode is when Lucía and Roberto move into their new apartment.
  • Widowed at the Wedding: Downplayed. Pedro dies from a heart attack on his and Belén's wedding night.
  • World of Snark: Everyone delivers some snark at some or other point. Isabel is a particularly notable example.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Juan Cuesta's victories are few, far between, and never lasting.
    • When he finally fulfills his lifelong aspiration of being appointed head of studies at his school... turns out it's because the place is going to close down in the middle of the term and the headmaster needs someone with a certain gift of gab to explain it to the parents without making them too mad.
    • When the neighbors file a Frivolous Lawsuit against him because he sucks at playing the piano and they want him to stop, the lawsuit is quickly dismissed, but the moment he gets home from court, ready to celebrate his victory, Isabel admits to him that she hates it too and outright threatens to throw herself out the window if he plays one more note. Juan gets the message.
    • And the most egregious of them all: with the never-ending remodeling of his house finally completed, termites are found, the building's no longer safe, the neighbors have to leave and the show ends.

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