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Los Espookys is a horror comedy series created by Fred Armisen, Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega, all of whom also star in the show. Notable for being HBO's first Spanish-language TV series, it's set in a dreamy, unspecified Latin American country and follows a group of friends — kindhearted gore enthusiast Renaldo, mysterious chocolate empire heir Andrés, headstrong and practical Úrsula, and scatterbrained, "indestructible" Tati — as they turn their love for horror into a weird freelance business of providing fake scares to those who need it. Meanwhile, Renaldo's uncle Tico works as a valet parking attendant in Los Angeles, where he goes through decidedly more mundane adventures until he happens upon a potential opportunity for his nephew and his friends.

It was given a pilot order in November 2017, under the title Mexico City: Only Good Things Happen, then given a full season order in July 2018. The first season ran for six episodes in June and July of 2019. After the first season finished airing, it was renewed for a second season, which finished filming in early 2022. On December 2, 2022, it was announced that the show had been cancelled after two seasons.

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This show provides examples of:

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    A-E 
  • Actor/Role Confusion: Tico gets his niece an autographed poster for the movie Coraline, but he had it signed twice because the first time he thought Dakota Fanning made a mistake when she signed her own name instead of "Coraline".
  • All Issues Are Political Issues: One of Melanie's staff members thinks the mirror that was delivered to the office is some kind of political statement. When another staff member thinks they should get rid of it if that's the case, she cheerfully decides that maybe it's just a mirror.
  • Analogy Backfire: Andrés' parents take complete control of his finances to convince him to marry Juan Carlos, calling it a Britney Spears type situation. When Andrés makes the same comparison to his friends, Úrsula points out that it's not really the same thing because Britney Spears earned her own money, whereas Andrés' parents are basically just withholding his allowance.
  • Answer Cut: Andrés starts to consider marrying Juan Carlos because his parents are threatening to cut him off if he doesn't. Úrsula tells him that, though she has to work her ass off and sometimes can barely pay the bills, she has her independence, and she asks him if it's worth living a life of luxury if he has to do it under his parents' total control. Cut to Andrés telling Juan Carlos he's agreed to get married.
  • Appeal to Tradition: Andrés is sick of how every ribbon-cutting ceremony is the same, but Juan Carlos tells him that they can't change traditions because the whole point of having traditions is for them to be the same every time.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Seeing how disappointed Renaldo is working for Bianca Nova, Jacqueline points out that Bianca only got to be an iconic director thanks to the army of people like Renaldo who helped make her vision a reality but never got any real recognition for all their hard work. She asks Renaldo if he just wants to be a gear in Bianca's machine or if he wants to make his own thing that he can be proud of. Renaldo grabs his photo of Los Espookys and quits the movie.
  • Arranged Marriage: Downplayed at first. Andrés, heir to a chocolate company, is encouraged by his parents to marry Juan Carlos, heir to a cookie company, so that their families' brands can join forces. It later turns out that Andrés' parents arranged the Meet Cute that got them together in the first place so they could set up an arranged marriage but make Andrés think that it was his idea.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Father Francisco doesn't like Father Antonio because he's so young and handsome that all the orphans like him better, leaving Father Francisco feeling like there's no place for him at the orphanage anymore. Plus, Antonio's lips are too glossy.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When forced to play the role of the creepy butler in the inheritance scare, Renaldo's performance is too over-the-top to be scary and he breaks character at the end by standing upright when he's supposed to be a hunchback. In response to criticism, Renaldo reminds the others that he's not an actor, and if he were an actor, the role would've been out of his range.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Tico and Renaldo speak both English and Spanish, so they occasionally have conversations in different languages because Tico is more fluent in English while Renaldo is more fluent in Spanish.
  • Bland-Name Product: Hierbalite is a multi-level marketing company that sells health supplements like real-life company Herbalife. The fact that Hierbalite is a pyramid scheme designed to put people in debt and it has the overall meaningless motto of helping customers "lose, gain, or maintain weight" serves as a Take That! to fad diet products.
  • Blatant Lies: Andrés startles Juan Carlos awake, causing Juan Carlos to shout "Everybody hates me!" He then says that he was having a dream where everyone loves him.
  • Bookends:
    • In episode one, Renaldo mails a fake severed head to Uncle Tico in Los Angeles. At the end of episode six, when Renaldo returns from visiting Tico, he brings the severed head back home with him.
    • When Renaldo first goes to meet Andrés in episode one, Andrés offers him some chocolates, but Renaldo says he doesn't want any. In episode six, when Andrés' parents tell him that he's putting Valdez Chocolates in danger by not marrying Juan Carlos, Andrés says that he doesn't want any more chocolate.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Renaldo's to-do list in episode four consists of "Buy mirror, abduct Melanie, walk Frutsi, get visas."
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of episode three, Pepito hires Los Espookys to dress up as monsters for some kind of sexual fantasy, so they storm out of his house in disgust. At the end of the episode, Úrsula arrives at her apartment to find a rose on her doormat. She sniffs the rose, only to recoil in horror when she sees the note that it's from Pepito.
  • Broken Pedestal: Renaldo is ecstatic when he's hired to work on a movie with his idol, horror film director Bianca Nova. Except the movie has no budget and is being filmed entirely in Uncle Tico's apartment, and Bianca is a Control Freak who constantly berates everyone for not being able to execute her lofty ambitions. After she gets mad at him for being unable to do special effects without Úrsula, she hits a sore spot when she mocks him for not being named Reynaldo.
  • Brutal Honesty: Renaldo apologizes for not bringing a gift to Andrés' wedding, but Andrés assures him that he would've hated it anyway.
  • Butt-Monkey: A creepy man named Pepito is supposed to take part in the inheritance scare, but the other participants vote to kick him out of the competition before they're even in the building. Later, Pepito hires Los Espookys to pretend to be monsters for him, but they leave once they realize he hired them to fulfill a fetish.
  • Captain Obvious: Water's Shadow tells Andrés that he is at a crossroads, having to choose between obeying his family and living a life of luxury with Juan Carlos, or giving that up for a life of freedom and creativity with his friends. Andrés, who's been dealing with this dilemma for five episodes by this point, sarcastically responds "I'm at a crossroads? I had no idea."
  • Catfishing: Úrsula assumes that the man Tati has been dating online is catfishing her because he uses a picture of a cartoon prince instead of a real photo. When Tati meets him in person, he turns out to be Duke Felipe of Spain, a man so handsome that every other woman in the restaurant starts throwing themselves at him. He was using a fake photo because he wanted Tati to love him for him, not for his status. But Tati was fully expecting a cartoon prince, leaving her feeling hurt and betrayed.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: A Running Gag has Renaldo always running out of minutes on his cheap cellphone plan whenever he tries to give good news to his friends.
  • Childhood Friends: Renaldo and Andrés have been friends since the fourth grade.
  • City with No Name: Tico resides in Los Angeles, but otherwise no location is ever given a name, not even the country that the rest of the characters live in.
  • Color-Coded Speech: Spanish-speaking characters have English subtitles with white text, while English-speaking characters have Spanish subtitles with yellow text.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Los Espookys try to come up with something unusual that they can send to Gregoria Santos to get on her supernatural gossip show, Tati suggests sending a computer.
    • Los Espookys need to send someone back to the coastal town to fake another sea monster sighting, so Tati volunteers to go. But instead of dressing as the sea monster, she dresses as Marilyn Monroe and poses for pictures with people while saying "Yabba dabba doo!" Teresa Lobos doesn't really care that it's not a sea monster because people seem to like it.
    • Andrés says that his friends will be able to take care of him when he gives up his inheritance to be his own person. Úrsula tells him that she can't take care of him, because she doesn't have the money to support him financially, but he thinks she means that she doesn't know how to take care of him and he reassures her that she can do it.
  • Comically Small Demand: Water's Shadow agrees to tell Andrés the secret of his origin. In exchange, she asks that he watch The King's Speech because the only way she can see it is if he sees it.
  • Compliment Backfire: Tico thanks his coworkers for helping him sneak into the Hollywood "it" party by comparing them to the mice from Cinderella. They get offended that Tico gets to be Cinderellla while they're stuck being mice.
  • Continuity Nod: In episode three, Teresa Lobos tries to pay Los Espookys in restaurant vouchers for their work making a fake sea monster. When Dr. Contreras hires Los Espookys in episode six, Úrsula tells him upfront that they don't accept vouchers as payment.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The demon residing in Andrés' soul introduces itself as "Water's Shadow, the shadow of the water." Or, even more blatantly in Spanish, "Sombra del Agua, la sombra del agua”.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu??: Gregoria Santos claims that Satan calls the Mira Esto studio every day and she always hangs up on him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ignacio Ferracuti doesn't want his son Ignacio Jr. to inherit his fortune because Ignacio Jr. never responded to the fun emails Ignacio forwarded to him. Ignacio also died for similarly petty reasons. His nurse, Esperanza, slowly poisoned him because he didn't give her a teddy bear with a balloon like he gave to the other nurses.
  • Don't Be Ridiculous: Úrsula asks Juan Carlos if his family business, Juan Carlos Cookies, is named after him or if he's named after the business. Juan Carlos scoffs at the question because of course he's named after the business.
  • Doppelgänger: Melanie gets trapped in a mirror world that contains living reflections of people. Reflections are said to be petty and jealous, but Melanie is so self-centred and rude that her reflection's pettiness manifests as doing nice things for people behind Melanie's back.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: As Renaldo wonders how he can make his friends care about their horror business, the normally scatterbrained Tati tells him that he needs to tailor the job to their wants and needs. As Renaldo thanks her for the advice, Tati reverts to her usual spacey self and doesn't understand what he's talking about.
  • Entertainment Above Their Age: Renaldo started watching horror movies at a young age and would imitate the makeup and practical effects to scare the children who bullied him about his name.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The woman who hires Los Espookys for the inheritance scare plot is called the Mysterious Woman throughout the episode. At the end, she reveals her name is Dinora Jueves on the condition that Los Espookys don't ask her to reveal any more personal information about herself.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Even though he's the CEO of Hierbalite, Mark Stevens handles all of the company's debt collecting himself because he just loves harassing and stalking people. He goes so far as to hold Tati at knifepoint to get Úrsula to pay off Tati's debt to the company.

    F-L 
  • The Faceless: To highlight the emotional distance between them and their son, Andrés' adopted parents always have their faces obscured in some way, such as when his mother wears a hat with a large, floppy brim, or when his father sits behind a desk with a glass jar full of chocolates in front of him.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: When trying to make a dramatic exit via helicopter from Renaldo's house, Melanie stumbles and drops a bunch of green cards from her purse. She tells Renaldo to keep them because they're apparently no good once they touch the ground.
  • Fake Charity: Sonia posts videos on the website Go Fund Me featuring bizarre sob-stories like how she was supposedly hit on the head by a crashing plane and how a tornado stole her TV in order to scam money out of people.
  • Faked Kidnapping: In exchange for getting Los Espookys work visas for the United States, Melanie wants them to fake a kidnapping so she can take a longer vacation. They plan on using a trick mirror to pretend to trap her in another dimension, but Andrés buys an actual cursed mirror that she gets trapped in for real.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After signing the guest book at Andrés' wedding to Juan Carlos, Tati starts signing her name everywhere. Úrsula sees this, then spots the priest with his notebook and calls Tati over. In the next scene, the priest sees that Tati signed the marriage certificate instead of Andrés, and Juan Carlos is forced to marry Tati to avoid looking like a fool in front of the wedding guests.
  • Flashback Effects: Flashbacks switch from widescreen to fullscreen presentation, and the video quality looks like VHS recordings.
  • Flat Character: Discussed. Andrés notes that the neurotic and uptight Dr. Lucrecia brought her husband to help with her experiment because she was worried about not coming across as well-rounded.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tati randomly blurts out in episode one that she cheated on her husband despite not being married. Episode six reveals that Tati is a Non-Linear Character who experiences the past, present, and future at the same time, so she was referring to her marriage to Juan Carlos, which hadn't happened from anyone else's perspective at the time.
    • Episode two opens with Los Espookys watching an old horror movie directed by Bianca Nova. In episode three, Renaldo reveals that he was inspired by that movie to get into horror makeup and Uncle Tico meets Bianca outside a movie premiere.
    • Renaldo's mother tells his sister Beatriz to get a job in episode two, and Beatriz is later seen looking at an ad for the product Hierbalite while Tati looks over her shoulder. In episode three, Beatriz joins the Hierbalite pyramid scheme and convinces Tati to start selling with her.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A sign in the coastal town is covered in posters asking for information about the wig that used to belong to the town's old tourist attraction. Underneath the missing wig posters are missing person posters of the woman who was brainwashed into becoming Gregoria Santos #8.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: When shopping for the mirror for Melanie's fake abduction, Andrés gets approached in the store by Tati, who says that it's just the two of them because Renaldo is busy and Úrsula is selling Hierbalite. Not comfortable with it just being the two of them, Andrés says that he's running late even though he's standing right in front of her, which Tati just accepts as true. Once Andrés "arrives", they end up bonding and become closer friends in later episodes.
  • Funny Background Event: Juan Carlos asks Úrsula to leave the room because he feels like she's sucking the energy out of him. As Juan Carlos starts talking to Andrés, Úrsula makes mocking hand gestures at him while she backs out of the room.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Andrés drinks from a gem-encrusted juice box while lounging in the pool.
  • George Jetson Job Security:
    • The producer at Mira Esto is hiding something from Gregoria Santos relating to a beach, so when an employee causes Gregoria to have flashbacks by mentioning a beach, the producer fires the other employee on the spot.
    • Melanie fires Jessica for telling her that bangs would be a good idea. Jessica takes it in stride and acts more like she's being kicked off a reality show than losing a job.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Andrés tries to use a gold rope ladder to escape from his room when he gets cold feet about marrying Juan Carlos.
  • Good Bad Girl: Carmencita is extremely sweet, good-natured, and sings a song that quotes the Bible. She's also very eager to have sex with Renaldo. When he rejects her advances, she is disappointed but accepts his reasons. She later has sex with Úrsula, and is similarly amicable when Úrsula says she's not interested in being in a relationship.
  • Hero of Another Story: When Alexandra from the U.S. Embassy meets with Los Espookys in a dinner, she's wearing a disguise. Not because she doesn't want to be seen with them, but because she's on her way to spy on her boyfriend to see if he's cheating on her. Tati wants to hear more about it, but the others want to get on with their own plot.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: Los Espookys' first job is to perform a fake exorcism to make Father Francisco look good, so they use all the classic cliches, such as having Tati levitate and projectile vomit on Father Antonio.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Duke Felipe offers to pay off Tati's debt to Hierbalite to get her and Úrsula out of trouble, but Tati says that she and her sister are proud women who would rather work hard than let him waltz in and solve all their problems. Úrsula's expression behind her begs to differ.
    • Juan Carlos says that he and Andrés have to project perfection throughout their wedding ceremony, meaning that no matter what happens, even if an earthquake strikes, they have to pretend that everything is exactly as they planned it. When Úrsula has Tati sign the marriage certificate, making Tati and Juan Carlos legally married, Juan Carlos stubbornly goes along with it rather than admit to the guests that something went wrong.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Úrsula makes a disparaging comment about Tati's online boyfriend, so Renaldo points out that Tati is right there. Úrsula says that Tati only pays attention when someone says "Listen", and Tati immediately says "Yes?"
  • Idiot Ball: Renaldo sends a fake severed head to Uncle Tico with a note explaining its purpose, hoping that Tico sees the note before he sees the head so that it doesn't startle him. Except Renaldo pinned the note to the head's ear, so Tico ends up seeing the head and panicking before he sees the note.
  • Imagine Spotting: After a flashback to Renaldo's childhood, Tati mentions that she's never seen him as a kid before and she compliments the shoes he was wearing. Considering Tati experiences all of time at once, she may have actually been seeing it.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Tico doesn't want anyone looking in the box containing the fake severed head, so he draws question marks on the box, thinking that will somehow stop people from looking inside.
    • Bianca can't get Anne Hathaway to play the lead character Sara in her movie, so she hires her best friend and mortal enemy Jacqueline Webster to play Anne Hathaway playing Sara. They both insist that Jacqueline can't just be herself playing Sara because they need a big-name star to make talkshow appearances.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Andrés is glad that Renaldo's new office doesn't have a framed group photo of them, only for him to notice midsentence that there is such a photo on a workbench.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Tati starts wondering what she's doing with her life, so to get off the topic, Andrés tells her that some people think that the journey is more important than the destination, then tells her definitively that he's consoled her.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Pony, the salesperson at the mirror store, offers to sell ecstasy to Andrés and Tati. When they don't react, Pony brushes it off as a joke, then walks away grumbling that not even Tati wants to buy ecstasy anymore.
  • Kitsch Collection: The coffee table in Renaldo's house is decorated with his mother's collection of ceramic dog statues to go along with her obsessive love of her pet dog Frutsi.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Tati plays the role of an orphan for Los Espookys' fake exorcism. During the scene, a nun notes that they need to start paying more attention to the children because she doesn't recognize this one.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After spending weeks harassing Úrsula and Tati over their Hierbalite debt, Mark Stevens gets their cheque, triumphantly leaves their apartment, and gets hit by a car driven by the Mira Esto producer. The producer doesn't notice and drives right over him as she plots to turn Úrsula into the next Gregoria Santos.
  • Late to the Realization: In Tico and Bianca's movie script, a woman doesn't realize the valet is a werewolf until after she's started berating him for losing her car keys.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When she sees Renaldo's card with "Los Espukys", Melanie tells him that if he wants an international audience, it's got to be two Os.
  • Legacy Character: Gregoria Santos, host of Mira Esto, behaves in an almost robotic fashion when not on set and has no memories of her past aside from being discovered on a beach. Gregoria Santos is actually a fake identity imprinted onto the host through unknown means, and hosts are regularly replaced when they start getting too aware of their old identity. The current host is the eighth version, and the producer wants to turn Úrsula into the ninth.
  • Little Green Men: Dr. Lucrecia hires Los Espookys to dress up as stereotypical green-skinned, black-eyed, naked-but-no-genitals aliens to justify the research grant she's been getting from the government to study extraterrestrial life.
  • Long List: Teresa Lobos, mayor of the coastal town, tries to pay Los Espookys in vouchers for a local restaurant, then tries to justify it as a fair payment by rattling off a list of all the menu items they serve. Despite the restaurant sign featuring shrimp, she doesn't mention any seafood.
  • Loophole Abuse: To get around her boss's rule that she can't talk to her friends at work, Úrsula gives Renaldo an impromptu dental exam so that they can talk while she's examining him.
  • Low Count Gag: Dr. Contreras can't remember the number of the insomnia patient he needs Los Espookys to help him with. He flips through his files until he finds that it's patient number one.

    M-R 
  • Magic Mirror: Andrés buys a mirror with a demonic-looking frame for Melanie's fake abduction even though salesperson Pony tells him it's cursed. Melanie gets sucked into it and ends up trapped in a mirror dimension.
  • Mayor Pain: Teresa Lobos is mayor of a coastal town and only cares about fixing the town's most important tourist attraction, an owl wearing a small wig. The wig was lost before she became mayor, and she ran on the campaign promise that she would find it. Having not found the wig, she comes to the bigger city where Los Espookys live to buy a replacement, and it takes a lot of convincing for Renaldo to get her to agree to a new tourist attraction, a fake sea monster sighting. After their plan is a success, she tries to pay them in restaurant vouchers instead of actual money, which are useless to them because the town is a four-hour drive away.
  • Meet Cute: Despite how awful Juan Carlos is, Andrés knows that he's a decent guy deep down inside because they first met in a rainstorm and Juan Carlos offered to share his umbrella. Andrés later learns that his parents set the whole thing up, including making fake rain, to get the two of them together.
  • Mistaken Identity: Tico sneaks into a Hollywood party and gets mistaken for the famous conceptual artist Ulbrecht who's taking the art scene by storm. Tico plays along to avoid getting kicked out, but the deception continues outside the party and eventually he starts appearing at art panels.
  • Mood Whiplash: After viciously threatening Úrsula if she doesn't pay her debt to Hierbalite, Mark Stevens switches to a cheery customer survey asking her how effective his threats were.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Though Los Espookys' business is focused on setting up fake supernatural events, genuine supernatural elements are slowly introduced over the course of the series, which everyone accepts as completely normal. Things like Melanie getting trapped in a cursed mirror or Tati experiencing all of time at once are treated like common occurrences.
  • Never My Fault: Tico's daughter Sonia records a video at the dinner table where she complains about someone calling her a bitch. Tico tries to get Sonia to stop, causing Sonia to lash out at him. When Tico's wife leaves the table to eat on her bed, Sonia claims that she left because of Tico's behaviour.
  • No Budget: In-Universe example. Renaldo gets hired to work on his hero Bianca Nova's latest movie, but it's a no budget affair being filmed in Tico's apartment. The script is three pages long and they only have a single copy, and they have to hire a woman to play Anne Hathaway playing the lead because they couldn't get the real Anne Hathaway.
  • No Peripheral Vision: During the flashback to the day Andrés met Juan Carlos, Andrés failed to notice the machine that was causing the fake rainstorm that his parents used to drive the two of them together.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Renaldo mentions that Uncle Tico is the only person in the world who's ever parked two cars at the same time.
    • When Melanie hires Los Espookys to fake abduct her, she giddily says "I'm getting abducted! And this time it's fine because I organized it."
    • Andrés suggests faking Melanie's abduction by pretending to trap her in a magic mirror, then he notes that this is the first time he's made that suggestion where it's actually relevant.
    • Pony warns that they need to make sure that Melanie's reflection doesn't escape the mirror world, reminding Andrés of the time that happened to him. Andrés corrects that it was his shadow, not his reflection, that everyone was looking for at that party.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Father Antonio plans to take the orphans out for ice cream, but Father Francisco won't let him unless he fills out the proper paperwork. Francisco thinks that being the priest who's responsible with his paperwork will make the children like him more.
  • On One Condition: In episode two, Los Espookys are hired by the estate of an eccentric millionaire, Ignacio Ferracuti, who wants to leave his fortune to whoever can spend the whole night in his "haunted" mansion. The group uses special effects to produce fake hauntings, which the Mysterious Woman in charge of the contest claims are the ghosts of people who died because they were too poor to afford the handrails sold by Ferracuti's company.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: Renaldo's business cards feature the slogan "We're not ghostbusters... It's different."
  • Playing the Victim Card: Tico's daughter Sonia is incredibly abrasive to everyone around her and swears like there's no tomorrow. Then she posts videos online complaining about how everyone is so rude to her and calls her a bitch.
  • The Reveal:
    • Season 1 Finale:
      • Andrés’s adoptive parents are his biological parents! They gave him up for adoption and THEN adopted him.
      • Also, his marriage to Juan Carlos is an arranged marriage, but his adopted/biological parents managed to simulate the sensation and experience of a genuine romance during their dates.
      • Tati is capable of experiencing the past, present, and future all at once.
    • Season 2 Episode 3: The reason behind Andrés’s self-centered nature? Because of his sword-shaped earring that was broken from a small sculpture of a knight. It magically represses any sense of guilt and self-doubt… No, really.
    • Season 2 Finale: All of those visual clues and Wham Shots throughout the season related to the mystery surrounding Karina’s ghost and her death? They were all Red Herrings! She is very much alive. She wanted to go public with her affair with President la Guardia, but he drugged her, kidnapped her, and faked her death in order to silence her. While she was kidnapped, she modeled for all of those silhouettes seen throughout the season. She has also developed a toxic relationship with la Guardia as she can finally spend more time with him now that he lost the election.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Dr. Lucrecia is angry that Los Espookys aren't wearing T-shirts that say "UFO" while dressed as aliens. Andrés thinks that aliens wearing shirts that mention their mode of transportation would look ridiculous and asks if she'd wear a shirt that says "car". She answers that she would, in fact, wear a shirt that says "Kia Picanto".
  • Rousing Speech: Renaldo gives a speech to the others about how they have to work together as a group if they want to impress Gregoria Santos. Úrsula then points out that all of them like the idea of sending a fake severed head, so there was no need for the speech.
  • Rule of Symbolism: During Úrsula's audition at Mira Esto, the producer looks at a photo of a woman who looks a lot like Úrsula wearing a shirt that says "Evil Twin". The woman in the photo had been brainwashed into becoming the most recent Gregoria Santos, and the producer plans to turn Úrsula into the next one, making Úrsula into a sort of "good twin" to the woman in the photo because she hasn't been brainwashed yet.
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    S-Z 
  • Sexy Priest: Father Antonio is young, fit, charming, and has stolen the hearts of all the orphans away from the much older Father Francisco.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: The Mysterious Woman wants to have a monster chase the guests of the haunted house down a hallway full of doors, specifically calling out Scooby-Doo. Renaldo knows it's not feasible, but he tells her that they can't because there are too few guests left.
  • Sea Monster: In episode three, Los Espookys help Teresa Lobos, the mayor of a coastal town, bring in tourists by setting up sightings of an octopus-like sea creature played by Tati.
  • Serious Business: Valet parking is treated very seriously, what with Tico's lifelong dream of parking cars for a living and guests at a Hollywood party having extremely specific requests for where and how the valets are supposed to park their cars.
  • Sham Supernatural: Los Espookys plan fake exorcisms, haunted houses, sea monsters, or whatever other phony supernatural occurrences their clients need.
  • Shame If Something Happened:
    • Andrés keeps the dentist from hassling Úrsula by pointing out that the dentist makes a lot of money from kids getting cavities thanks to Valdez-brand chocolates, so it'd be too bad if Valdez started making sugar-free chocolate instead.
    • Andrés' parents force him to agree to Juan Carlos' marriage proposal by noting that they're the ones who provide his lavish lifestyle and it would be too bad if that got taken away from him.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Dr. Lucrecia wants one of the fake aliens for her experiment to look like E.T. When Renaldo tries to clarify what she means, she just keeps insisting that she needs it to be like E. T. and doesn't understand how she can be any clearer.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Mira Esto, a gossip show that discusses alleged supernatural incidents, such as a spider in a tattoo shop spinning a web in the image of the Virgin Mary.
    • Renaldo's love of horror was inspired by the film The Woman with No Eye directed by Bianca Nova.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Upon learning that Ignacio Ferracuti has died, Melanie's biggest concern is if she should change her hairstyle before attending the inheritance scare. During the event, she's too busy fretting about the fact that she hates her new bangs to notice any of Los Espookys' hauntings.
    • When Melanie gets sucked into a mirror dimension, her male staff member's concern is who will tuck the staff in at night.
  • Sleazy Photoshoot: Úrsula once took part in a goth photoshoot in a cemetery where she was handcuffed and sat on a gravestone. Then the mother of the person who was buried in that grave showed up and the photographer ran away, leaving Úrsula behind to be berated by the mother.
  • Snowball Lie: Tico tells his co-worker Manny that his Mistaken Identity lie is "snowballing" and getting too elaborate to maintain, but Manny doesn't understand what he means because he's never seen snow.
  • South of the Border: Though the show seems to be set in Mexico and Mexico City in particular, the president and flag are from no existing country.
  • Stealth Insult: Juan Carlos hides putdowns for Andrés in their conversations, such as specifically calling Andrés' hands tiny when asking for his hand in marriage.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When asked what she's going to do if she wins the Ferracuti inheritance, Sister Raquel says she's going to buy things for herself like tickets to see the Pope in person, Versace products, and diamond rosaries. The Mysterious Woman then enters and remarks how noble it is that Sister Raquel is participating so the money will go to the orphanage. Sister Raquel very sheepishly agrees with her, then sneaks out in embarrassment.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Tico stops Bianca from jumping off an overpass in despair over the current state of her life. When Tico later tells Renaldo that he met Bianca, Renaldo asks what she's like and Tico says that she's healthy, normal, level-headed, and there hasn't been any drama.
    • In the flashback to when Andrés was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Valdez, they hide the fact that they're his birth parents by emphasizing that they've never seen this baby before in their lives.
  • Swapped Roles: When Ulbrecht, the artist Tico has been impersonating, comes face-to-face with him, Tico assumes that Ulbrecht wants to abandon the glamorous lifestyle and trade places with him for real. Tico politely declines because he's quite happy in his mundane life as a valet. Ulbrecht instead warns Tico to stop impersonating him unless he wants to get hit with a lawsuit.
  • Symbiotic Possession: Andrés discovers that he has a demon called Water's Shadow living inside his body. Considering his obsession with his mysterious origin and desire to be special, he's quite pleased with the arrangement, especially since she doesn't ask him for much in return.
  • Take That!:
    • Andrés asks Alexandra if he can bribe her to expedite Los Espookys' work visas. She notes that this is the U.S. Embassy, so of course they can.
    • After Andrés goes through an annoying amount of effort to watch The King's Speech to appease Water's Shadow, Water's Shadow says that it wasn't a bad film, but she probably won't think about it ever again, so it wasn't really worth all the trouble.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Úrsula points out an error made by her boss at the dentist's office, so he starts berating her in front of a patient because he's the doctor and she's just a lowly assistant. When she says she doesn't have to put up with this, he smugly asks her if she's going to quit. She does, much to his surprise.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Tico tries to stop Bianca Nova from jumping off an overpass by telling her that it'll be a hassle for someone to have to come clean up the body in the middle of the night. Then he tries the much more effective method of telling her how his nephew is a big fan and could probably help her make another movie.
  • Technical Virgin: Carmencita moves after every time she has sex with a new person, reasoning that if she moves somewhere where no one knows her past, then she can still claim that she's a virgin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Melanie's employees don't understand why it hurts to touch broken glass or what the "red stuff" that comes out afterwards is.
  • Translator Microbes: Melanie, who can't speak Spanish, places a translation pendant in her ear to understand Los Espookys when they come to her for a meeting.
  • The Un-Reveal: Andrés speaks to Sister Raquel, the nun who was on duty the night he was abandoned at the orphanage, to get some answers about his past. Unfortunately, she was too busy watching a telenovela at the time, so she never got to see who his birth parents were.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Mark Stevens hides the insidious nature of Hierbalite behind brightly colored ads and packaging, and gives off an upbeat, good-natured public face that is the exact opposite of his cruel, vindictive personality. When Úrsula tries to warn Beatriz that the company is a scam, Beatriz fully believes that Mark Stevens is too nice a guy to ever do anything bad to her.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: The water demon in Andrés' soul has exaggerated cheekbones that look like a fish's gills. Downplayed because despite being a demon, she's more of a nuisance than villainous.
  • Wham Episode: Season 1 Episode 5: If episode 3 only teased the possibility that supernatural phenomena existed in the absurd world of Los Espookys, this episode confirms it with the cursed mirror being legitimately magical. Ambassador Melanie Gibbons is trapped in a mirror dimension, but manages to escape… with her doppelgänger escaping with her into the real world.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The final shot of season 1 episode 3: The first appearance of Water’s Shadow - a water demon - indicating that supernatural beings exist in the show’s world.
    • In Season 2 Episode 2, Water’s Shadow decides that she needs a new purpose in life not related to being a water demon. It’s revealed halfway through the episode that new purpose is interning at Ambassador Melanie Gibbons’s embassy.
  • Whole Costume Reference: The dress Tati wears to Andrés' wedding is based off the one Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards. After she marries Juan Carlos, she dresses in Jackie Kennedy's pink suit and pillbox hat.
  • Work Off the Debt: If Úrsula can't pay the Hierbalite bill, Mark Stevens threatens to put Tati in a work-without-pay facility, which will either be in one of his offices or at a factory with toxic chemicals and dangerous machinery. Tati moans that she doesn't want to work in an office because she's not made for a nine-to-five job.
  • Write What You Know: In-Universe, when Tico and Bianca start writing a movie about a werewolf, Tico suggests that the werewolf should be a valet parking attendant like himself.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Valdez Chocolates markets its products using fictional characters that have been slightly altered, like Mickey Moose and Harvey Potters. They receive a cease-and-desist letter regarding their newest product, Charlie Wonka.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After Úrsula quits her terrible job at the dentist's office, she returns home feeling triumphant, only to discover that Tati put them in debt to the Hierbalite scam.
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