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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: América from "Una Buena Estrella" (A Good Star) 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.
- 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 FaceHeel Turn a moment before, ending with tragic fates. Callixto is fatally wounded by a shot from a police'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: Social Book, Globo or Gloob, etc.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: As of 2013, the story will end with the protagonist glancing at you and the audience as he (or she) tells the moral of the story.
- 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.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Ivette from the episode "Flor de Loto". She was kidnapped by an 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 turns out to be fake, but Rosaura also ends up losing her virginity for real.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Sadist Show: What else can you call a series that seemingly enjoys portraying today's youth as very stupid, 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 children in his class for learning issues, even getting the other kids to bully those students.
- Strictly Formula: As detailed above. Every episode follows the basic formula of: protagonist has a problem; friend/parent/family member finds out about that problem; 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 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.