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Series / La rosa de Guadalupe

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La rosa de Guadalupe ("The Rose of Guadalupe") is a Mexican, religion-themed telenovela/drama series produced by Carlos Mercado Orduña for Televisa. It premiered in 2008 and has been in broadcast since.

The titular Guadalupe refers to Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Mexican title for the Virgin Mary. She's considered one of the most important symbols that represent Mexico, and the one that best represents mestizaje: the combination of Virgin Mary, brought to Mexico by Spanish Catholics, and Tonantzin, who represents Mother Earth in Aztec Mythology and Nahua religion (Tonantzin, in Nahua, means mommy).

Each episode presents a self-contained story, and its formula is pretty much the same every episode:

  • The protagonist is facing a difficult situation.
  • A friend, parent, or family member becomes aware of the protagonist's problem, and offers their help. They're often a devout Catholic and either have a small shrine dedicated to the Lady of Guadalupe, or a small statue or image of her.
  • When the conflict reaches its Darkest Hour, they will pray wholeheartedly to the Lady of Guadalupe in hopes that she can help them solve the protagonist's problem. As this happens, a white rose will mysteriously appear in front of any image of the Virgin, which means she's heard their prayers.
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  • The protagonist will find the white rose.
  • Cue a series of events that lead to their problem being solved. We know this has happened because a light breeze blows on the face of the protagonist, as an Ethereal Choir plays in the background.
  • The protagonist learns An Aesop which they narrate to the audience, and the white rose vanishes just as it came.

There is some Truth in Television: Over 80% of Mexicans are Catholic, and the Lady of Guadalupe is an important icon in Mexico. Her basilica in Mexico City is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and third most visited sacred site. Mexican historians and writers have said Mexicans are Guadalupan before they're Catholic.

Obviously, there are no white roses that appear out of nowhere when people pray to her, but it's common to offer her white roses.


The show has been met mostly with negative reception by viewers and critics alike: usually because of its lack of proper acting, writing and directing as well as its cliché-filled storylines, not to mention some episodes have an awful lot of Critical Research Failure regarding certain social groups.

Most Catholics specially dislike the way it portrays the Virgin of Guadalupe, claiming the series does not do her any justice and treats her as if she were a product brand.

Nevertheless, like many other of its kind, the novela is thoroughly enjoyed by lonely stay-at-home wives and drama aficionados.

La rosa De Guadalupe contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: A common element in telenovelas, this one is no exception. A good deal of episodes are about rude, negligent parents who treat their children like crap. However, in most cases, they eventually realize their mistakes and undergo under a Heel–Face Turn.
    • In "Llamar la Atención", we have Melissa's controlling, abusive neglectful mother. Not only doesn't care what Melissa thinks or needs, if she is not as talented and successful as her tennis prodigy of a sister, Miroslava, but also never really cared about her for the same reason and for being dull in comparison of Miroslava.
  • Aerith and Bob: On one hand, you have standard Hispanic names like José, Pedro, Luis or Miguel, and on the other, you have names that are either from other languages (Ian, Liam, George) or outright taken from unusual sources like mythological characters (Andromeda).
  • Alpha Bitch: A recurring type of antagonist. Lucrecia from the episode "A los Chavos También" ("Guys too") is a good example, as well as her mother.
  • An Aesop: There's always one every episode, which is narrated to the audience by the protagonist as the episode ends.
  • Arc Words: "Busca el Sol" ("Look for the Sun") in the episode of the same name.
  • Armored Closet Gay: In "Dos destinos", Vicente, one of Horacio's bullies is revealed as this. The former is also revealed to bully the latter because he has unrequited feelings for Horacio, repressed by his upbringing under his sexist father.
  • Attempted Rape:
    • In "Cosplay, Salvemos al Mundo", Perla is nearly assaulted by Germán, a male bully who finds her Namiko Moon cosplay attractive and develops an unhealthy obsession on her because of it.
    • In "Abrazo de Oso", Graciela was in the receiving end of this from Fabián, who stabs Cristian with a cutter and forced him to watch the scene. However, Cristian gathers enough strength to stand up and pull Fabián off her and to beat his head against a wall. Afterward, Cristian collapses to the floor due to having his liver pierced after being stabbed.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: América from "Una Buena Estrella" is initially this, but then Took a Level in Kindness towards the end of the episode.
  • Big Bad: Most if not all episodes have at least one antagonistic character that is usually the cause of the protagonist's suffering.
  • Big Fun: Cristian from "Abrazo de Oso" is this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The chapter Busca el Sol ends this way. Ian is ultimately able to blurt out the truth of what happened to him and his friends the day the sicarios kidnapped them to his dad. His father promptly calls the police, who successfully locate the hideout of the thieves and arrest them. Unfortunately, this also results in Ian's friends, who had performed a Face–Heel Turn a moment before, ending with tragic fates. Callixto is fatally wounded by a shot from a policeman's gun and dies from blood loss after he tried to protect the sicarii, and Andromeda is taken away from her mom to a reformatory.
  • Bland-Name Product: Often overlaps with Fictional Social Network. Examples include (but not limited to) Social Book and Globo or Gloob.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: As of 2013, the story will end with the protagonist (or a major supporting character) glancing at you and the audience as he (or she) tells the moral of the story.
  • Camp Straight:
    • In the episode "Dos destinos", a guy named Horacio has effeminate mannerisms, but he has a relationship with a girl named Alondra.
    • In the episode "Juego de Niños" from season one, a boy named Daniel is bullied for listening to Lady Gaga and generally being effeminate, but he gets in a relationship with his best friend Josie in the end.
  • Captain Ersatz: "Namiko Moon, envoy of the Genesis" and "Hiroshi-San, gladiator of the Horoscope" from the infamous episode "Cosplay, Salvemos al Mundo" (Cosplay, Let's Save The World) are both very blatant versions of Sailor Moon and Goku respectively, with a bit of Miku Hatsune and Saint Seiya thrown in for good measure.
    • The protagonists of the episode "Amor Distinto" (Different Love) have been accused of looking like live-action versions of the two main characters from In a Heartbeat.
  • Chocolate Baby: "Un Corazón No Tiene Color" (A Heart Has No Color) features this.
  • Computer Virus: In "Virus del Policía", Joel and his friends stumble upon a ransomware virus passing as a warning from the Policía Federal Cibernética (Federal Cybernetic Police) while watching porn. Being inexperienced teenagers, they mistake it for the real thing.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ivette from the episode "Flor de Loto". She was kidnapped by a human trafficking organization to use her as a sexual slave until they were caught by policemen and she got rescued and returned safely to her family. The memories of the whole thing still haunt her.
  • Deus ex Machina: What the novela gets its name from. When the characters are in their Darkest Hour, one of them will pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe asking for help. The virgin will then make a mysterious white rose appear in front of any image of her, as a sign that the petition has been heard. At the end, after everything goes back to normal, the rose vanishes just as it came.
  • Deal with the Devil: In the episode "Un Momento de Vida", Rosaura, being the huge Belieber she is, posts on her social network account that she will give her virginity away in exchange for a Justin Bieber concert ticket. It backfires horribly: not only does the ticket given to her turn out to be fake, but Rosaura also ends up losing her virginity for real and anguishes for a while until the gynecologist tells her that luckily, she didn't get pregnant.
  • Domestic Abuse
    • Lucrecia from "Tambien a los chavos.", appears to be very snooty towards Ismael, often resorting to violence for no meeting her abusive expectations, even for smaller reasons, and hardly had any faith on him. When Ismael's mother confronted her for her abuse (twice), Lucrecia instantly accussed Ismael of ratting her out with his own mother and began to abuse him.
    • Ana María, from "Siempre en el Corazón", suffers of this in hands of her ex-husband Jose, who treats her and, following their divorce, their children like crap for not meeting his expectations. It is later revealed that he never really gave a shit about his family, even going far to kick them out of their house just for confronting him about his affair with and hairdresser once they find out.
    • Karina from "Siempre Alertas" is often a victim of this in hands of her self-centered, abusive boyfriend, Marcos, who she blindly is in love with. Whenever she accidentally upsets him, even for smallest mistakes, whenever she tries to get his attention, Marcus begins to scream at her and doesn't want anything to do with her, and hardly had any faith in her. When a man in Karina's neighborhood stared at her while the couple were walking home, he instantly accussed her of being an easy girl and flirting with other men while she was still dating him. Even both her best friend and godmother think he is not even worth to date Karina.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The episode "La Mona" features a girl named Ingrid wanting to go to perreo parties, and ends up inhaling the eponymous drug (in this case, thinner) by goading from her cousin Quena. After routinely inhaling mona, Ingrid ends up suffering a stroke that leaves her in a wheelchair, possibly for life.
  • Every Episode Ending: Almost all episodes end with the affected character(s) receiving a wind on the face, explaining the moral to the audience which ends with the episode's name, and the white rose given by the Virgin vanishes.
  • Emo Teen: The episode "Soy Emo" revolved around this subculture.
  • Hollywood Nerd: In the episode "La niña que veía mariposas", Maggie is picked on for being ugly and has an only friend named Eloisa.
  • Ironic Echo: In the episode "Te va a salir el Payaso" (Clown's gonna get you), a guy named Erwin and his buddies disguise themselves as clowns to scare people and seek thrills while telling their victims that "¡Te va a salir el payaso!" (The clown's gonna get you!). At the end of the episode, when Erwin and his friends are cornered by a furious mob at a store, one of the youngsters tries to scare the crowd with a fake gun. Then, one of the mob members reveals he has a very real gun and menacingly says "¡Ahora sí les va a salir el Payaso!" (Now the clown is gonna get YOU!) before fatally shooting the boy who was trying to scare them.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Whether the girl is too young, or is financially unstable, or the father wants nothing to do with her, the girl somehow always "sees the light" and never aborts the baby. One episode even had a talking fetus.note 
  • Karma Houdini: Not unlike good ol' Jack Chick, this show strongly believes that even the most wicked persons can be redeemed and be able to see the light if they are faithful devotees of The Lady of Guadalupe. Of course, the most awful sinners deserve punishment, and therefore the opposite of this trope happens.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: As mentioned above, the worst of the worst sinners will always receive a well-deserved punishment for their heinousness, albeit this isn't always the case.
  • Lighter and Softer: The series is noticeably tamer than its spiritual predecessor, Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real. While both tackle similar themes, Mujer was infamous for being more serious and hopeless as well as having Downer Endings whereas in La Rosa, no matter how grim things get, episodes will almost always have a happy ending (rather with some Bittersweet Ending exceptions).
  • Little Miss Con Artist: In "Fraude Cibernético", Elisa's best friend, Cristina, is implied to be one. The latter influenced the former into conning people to get a new phone.
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: Some people have attempted to visit the websites that appear in the show's episodes, most notably the (a FarmVille parody) website from the episode of the same name.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Carina from "Amigas por siempre", is madly in love with her manipulative, abusive boyfriend, Abelardo that she refuses to see how much of a two-faced, douchebag he actually is, despite her best friend, Yuridia tells her, to the point of dismissing her and hardly had any faith in her. When Abelardo kisses Yuridia and spouted lies that she likes him, in a ploy of drifting the two friends apart, Carina instantly accused her the latter of trying to steal the former from her, while failing to notice that Yuridia was grabbed by him and ended their friendship, and no longer believes a word she says, believing it to be lies. The truth does get through her eventually after Yuridia shows her a video she just recorded of Abelardo cheating on her with another classmate.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: In the chapter "Sufrir no es un destino", Amalia constantly gets molested by her mother's boyfriend, Genaro, and she gets in the defensive, but her mother believes her to be disrespectful towards him. To make things worse, Amalia hits him in the head with a beer bottle, when he tried to rape her, while he was drunk, while her mother was asleep. When she woke up, the mother accuses Amalia of trying to kill Genaro, refusing to listen to her explanation, believing it to be lies. Even threatening to send her to jail if he succumbs to his injury and dies, which led Amalia to run away from home.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Horacio from "Dos destinos", who due to his effeminate mannerisms, is bullied by his classmates and scolded gravely by his mother, thinking he's gay.
  • Monster Clown: In the chapter "Te va a Salir el Payaso", a youngster named Erwin and his friends dress up as creepy clowns to scare people in order to seek thrills.
  • No Sympathy: There are some rather jarring examples in this series, and not even from the wrong-doers the victims have grudges against, either; in several episodes, the victim's situation would not have gone from bad to worse if everyone else involved, including the victim's loved ones and friends, weren't so quick to assume the worst about the victim. Some especially egregious examples include:
    • The victim, from "Ver pasar las nubes", was practicing for a Dance Contest with her classmates and recorded a video of it. Her father and grandmother's first assumption is that she was dancing like a slit, and scream at her for that without giving her a chance to explain, they even lock her in her own home for life.
    • The victim, from "Siempre Alertas" is stared by a neighbor of hers who is constantly staring at her. Every time he passes through her. Her abusive boyfriend's first assumption is that she is an easy girl who flirts with other men and screams at her for it without giving her a chance to explain. Her mother is not exempt from this. The victim is in a depressed state because her boyfriend dumps her whenever she upsets him. Her first assumption is that she is being dramatic and begins to scream at her about that. (Rather than being concerned that she is miserable and crying.)
    • The victim from "Las Zapatillas de cristal no existen", got in a sexual relationship with her crush, who already had a girlfriend, which resulted in her being pregnant, which also resulted in being rejected by said crush. Upon finding this out, Her parents' first assumption is that she is a slut and scream at her for that. (Rather than being concerned that she is miserable and crying.)
    • The victim from "Me das un abrazo", was filming an announcement video for a school play about AIDS, in the video, he portrays an AIDS patient. His classmates' first assumption is that he has AIDS and would infect anyone if he comes close to them, and they, even his parents, begin to scream and turn their backs on him for that without giving him a chance to explain his side of the story.
    • The victim from "Modelo de Amor" suffers from bullying at school by her Sadistic Teacher and suffers abuse by her maternal grandmother and father, which is one of the reasons why she is unable to focus at school, she even screws up at behaving. Her father and teacher's first assumption is that she is a brainless moron and misbehaved, and they begin to constantly scream at her about that without giving her a chance to explain.
    • The victim from "Cero Negativa' suffers from an illness after receiving a blood transfusion following an accident she suffered, while running away from a harasser. When her classmates found out about her illness, their first assumption is that she would infect any of them, and turn their backs on her for that. The only one who doesn't, besides her parents, is the boy who is in love with her.
  • Parental Neglect: In "Llamar la Atención", Melissa's parents, especially the mother, care way more about their tennis player daughter than about their elder daughter, and they always favor Miroslava over Melissa.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: In late 2010/early 2011, Kalimba (a popular Mexican singer and performer) faced charges for, allegedly, raping two minors. Not long after, there was an episode based vaguely on his case.
    • Many episodes are based on then-current events, trends and online memes.
  • Sadist Show: What else can you call a series that seemingly enjoys portraying today's youth as very stupid, overly naive, superficial, unpleasant, and in constant need of being saved by divine intervention?
  • Sadist Teacher:
    • In the episode "El Maestro Malo", the eponymous teacher Gastón is a sadistic Jerkass who gleefully humiliates a child for stuttering and another one for struggling with math. He even gets the other kids to bully those students for the heck of it.
    • Sarahí from "Aprendiendo a Educar" has a particular dislike toward Ana and enjoys tormenting her pretty much all the time. She will also happily punish her students even for the most insignificant mistakes.
  • Show Within a Show: "Con fuego en la piel" from "Fraude Cibernético".
  • Slut-Shaming: Most girls, who either were victims of rape or got pregnant with their child after having sex with their partner without protecting themselves first, are often victims of this, their peers began to demonize them for those incidents, and don't want anything to do with them.
  • Stage Mom:
    • Gina from "Miss Chiquitita" exhibits the traits of one. She is a failed beauty queen who pushes her 8-year-old daughter Esmeralda into beauty pageants to live her failed dream. It doesn't help Esmeralda actually started to like it, which made it easier for Gina to manipulate her.
    • Ariana from "La niña modelo" is also a failed model who pushes her 8-year-old daughter Nicole into modeling, but unlike the first one above, she takes it one step further by having Nicole model skimpy outfits and bikinis for a photographer named Ever. She ends up landing herself in hot water when the police convicts her and her ex-husband for child pornography involving Nicole.
  • Strictly Formula: As detailed above. Every episode follows the basic formula of: the protagonist has a problem; friend/parent/family member finds out about that problem; the problem gets worse; they pray to the Lady of Guadalupe that the problem gets resolved, thus spawning a white rose; protagonist finds the white rose; a series of events solves their problem; protagonist explains the Aesop they learned that episode, and the white rose disappears.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: In the episode "Virus del Policía"(Police Virus) Joel and his friends use homework as an excuse to watch porn together in his room.
  • The Theme Park Version: Many of the themes touched on the show are done in a very superficial way. The Cosplay episode being just one example.
  • Totally Radical: Thanks to the terrible writing, expect the kids or teenagers to use outdated slang, with some Gratuitous English mixed in for good measure.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Cristina from "Fraude Cibernético" influenced Elisa to pass as "Anabel Domensains", a character from a Show Within a Show named "Con Fuego en La Piel" and con unsuspecting people out of their money.


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