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Series / The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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Left to right: Illya Kuryakin, Napoleon Solo and Mr. Waverly.

Napoleon Solo: My name is Napoleon Solo. I'm an enforcement agent in Section 2 here. That's operations and enforcement.
Illya Kuryakin: I am Illya Kuryakin. I am also an enforcement agent. Like my friend Napoleon, I go and I do whatever I am told to by our chief.
Mr. Alexander Waverly: Hmm? Oh, yes. Alexander Waverly. Number 1 in Section 1. In charge of this, our New York headquarters. It's from here that I send these young men on their various missions.

A one hour dramatic series which ran from September, 1964 through January, 1968 on NBC. Created by Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe with limited assistance from Ian Fleming. Fleming contributed the last name of the main hero, "Solo" (originally the name of a throwaway gangster from Goldfinger and its movie adaptation), and a minor character, April Dancer, who appeared in the main series in only one episode. (This episode was a Poorly Disguised Pilot for the spin-off, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.) The series also owes a lot of its style, especially in its "innocent gets caught up in international intrigue" conceit, to Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest.

One of the very first shows to capitalize on the spy craze of the early 1960s, the series featured the adventures of two enforcement agents of a multinational law enforcement and intelligence organization: the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Their mission: an ongoing struggle against wrongdoers who threaten world security, especially their recurring nemesis, an organization known as THRUSH, which strives for world domination. The series's unique gimmick was that just about every episode involved an "innocent civilian" in the week's plot. Sometimes the civilian was a willing volunteer in U.N.C.L.E.'s machinations against its opponents, but other times the innocent was merely a passerby who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and thereby became involved in the plot (i.e., a Heroic Bystander).

Robert Vaughn was billed as the star, cast as the American, Napoleon Solo, U.N.C.L.E.'s top enforcement agent. His sidekick, Russian native Illya Kuryakin, was intended by the producers to be merely an occasionally recurring minor character, but fans became so smitten with David McCallum's portrayal of Kuryakin that he almost immediately became a series regular, was billed as a co-star early in the first season, and rose to equal billing with Vaughn by the second season. Completing the regular U.N.C.L.E. contingent was veteran character actor Leo G. Carroll, cast as Alexander Waverly, U.N.C.L.E.'s chief in their New York City headquarters.

Almost as popular as the stars were the various items of high tech (for the early-to-mid-60s milieu of the show) spy equipment used by the U.N.C.L.E. agents in their various missions; the most iconic of which became their communications devices (disguised as cigarette cases in the first season, changing to pens in the second through fourth seasons) and their pistols, the "U.N.C.L.E. special," which by the addition of a barrel extension, stock, telescope, and extended magazine could be converted into a cool looking carbine. (It's famous today as the alternate mode of Megatron from Transformersnote ). The gun itself was so popular it actually got its own fan mail, up to 400 pieces per week - many addressed to "The Gun" - at the show's height of popularity.

The first season (broadcast in black and white because NBC had not yet transitioned to all-color broadcasting) is thought by many fans to be the best in the series' run. Producer Sam Rolfe left the series at the end of that season, frustrated with receiving too little credit for the series' success. Subsequent producers failed to understand the unique factors which made The Man From U.N.C.L.E. popular. Gradually, under the influence of the campy 1966 series Batman the series attempted to be an outright spy spoof and wound up ranging into farce, but less-than competent execution resulted in the show's hemorrhaging viewers. Still, at its peak the show was popular enough to inspire a Spin-Off, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., about the adventures of U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer, and a host of U.N.C.L.E. novels.

Nostalgia for the show in the early 1980s led to the production of a Reunion Show, The Return of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair. In the late 1980s The A-Team, which had cast Robert Vaughn as a regular, cast David McCallum as a guest star in a fifth season Homage episode titled "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair".

The big-screen adaptation was in Development Hell for close to two decades (at one point Quentin Tarantino was interested in the project) but, was eventually released on August 14, 2015, directed by Guy Ritchie. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) stars Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, with Hugh Grant as Mr. Waverly.

The Tropes from U.N.C.L.E.:

  • The '60s
  • Adam Westing: In the 1983 TV movie, George Lazenby has a cameo as as "J.B.", an unnamed spy wearing a tux who drives a weaponized Aston Martin DB5.
  • Affably Evil: Emory and Edith Partridge from "The Gazebo in the Maze Affair". They're a perfectly nice elderly couple who once conquered a South American nation... and now run their small English village with an iron fist... and just happen to have a torture chamber in their mansion, which they use on Napoleon and Illya as they plot to destroy U.N.C.L.E. While Emory finally loses his composure when a local girl dares to defy him, Edith remains sweet, bubbly and deadly to the end.
  • Artifact Title: The title remained The Man from U.N.C.L.E., notwithstanding the fact that Ensemble Dark Horse Illya Kuryakin was raised to co-star status even while the series was only a few episodes old, thus causing the focus of the series to be on two men.
  • As You Know: Frequently, though the one in "The Fiddlesticks Affair" probably takes the cake:
    Illya: To our mission! May we successfully proceed to the vault beneath the gambling casino, where THRUSH keeps its entire treasury for Western Hemisphere operations.
    Napoleon: While we decimate THRUSH's ability to carry out their operations by destroying the 55 million dollars in their vault.
  • Backwards-Firing Gun: "The Adriatic Express Affair" had a pistol which fired backwards AND forwards, so that the assassin would take out her target and at the same time inadvertently silence herself for good.
  • Badass Bookworm: Illya Kuryakin holds a Masters degree from the Sorbonne and a PhD in quantum physics from the University of Cambridge. Several episodes also show him geeking out in the U.N.C.L.E. labs between field missions, often wearing a pair of tinted large-framed glasses to boot!
  • The Bad Guys Win: "The Fiery Angel Affair."
  • Bang, Bang, BANG: Averted, in that the U.N.C.L.E. Special handgun was noticeably less noisy, even when not using a silencer, than the standard run of Hollywood handgun.
  • Beautiful All Along: In the second season episode, "The Nowhere Affair". THRUSH wants to stimulate Solo's libido in the hopes that might reverse the Easy Amnesia induced by the "Capsule B" Solo took before THRUSH captured him. Hot THRUSH scientist Mara makes the transformation from geeky to hottie by the statutory means: removing her glasses and letting her hair down (though the rather fetching bikini she wears in one scene certainly doesn't get in the way). Various innocents-of-the-week also demonstrate this trope, especially when given access to U.N.C.L.E.'s costuming budget.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Happens fairly often; usually Solo is in James Bondage when Kuryakin will swoop in at the nick of time (though the opposite, Solo saving Kuryakin from an almost certain Death Trap, happens often enough).
    • Just one example: The second season episode "The King of Diamonds Affair", when Kuryakin arrives to save Solo, the innocent of the week, and a villain-turned-hero who are strapped to cannons with lit fuses:
    Napoleon Solo: Next time, try not waiting til the last minute.
    Illya Kuryakin: Next time try not to go that far up the Amazon.
  • Bitter Almonds: In the first season episode "The Project Strigas Affair," Illya faked his own suicide and scented his "corpse" with bitter almonds...
  • Bond One-Liner: Dropped, usually by Napoleon Solo, after a THRUSH mook has been dispatched.
  • Bottle Episode: "The Waverly Ring Affair". While most episodes are set in exotic locations and have many scenes filmed outdoors, this one is set in New York City and takes place almost entirely indoors, particularly at U.N.C.L.E. headquarters.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The entire school-full of teenaged girls who get sicced on Solo near the end of "The Her Master's Voice Affair."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the first few episodes of the first season, Solo, Kuryakin and Waverly would introduce themselves to the audience at the beginning of each episode and give a brief account of their jobs.
  • Breakout Character: David McCallum/Illya Kuryakin, as part of his arc from minor recurring character to Ensemble Dark Horse to co-lead with Robert Vaughn/Napoleon Solo.
  • Bridge Bunnies: The hiring practices of UNCLE include a lot of beautiful women communications experts. Lampshaded in The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E, a TV movie made fifteen years after the series, when our heroes gripe over the lack of pretty girls working in U.N.C.L.E's new headquarters.
  • Buddy Cop Show: Solo and Kuryakin are Vitriolic Best Buds who are the two top agents for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Used to prevent a knifing in the second season episode, "Alexander the Greater Affair, Part II".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In the fourth season episode "The Summit-Five Affair", U.N.C.L.E.-Northeast head Harry Beldon is pretty much set up as a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. He's a flamboyant playboy who arrives at his Berlin headquarters garishly dressed, in a chauffeur-driven limousine, while drinking champagne with two beautiful women (at least one of whom is married, since Beldon tells her "remember me to your husband"). Something which is remarked on:
    Illya Kuryakin: Hmmm. Harry Beldon... Everything a cautious, unobtrusive, successful secret agent shouldn't be, except he's successful.
    • However, it turns out that Beldon is a THRUSH double agent, which raises the question to what extent he was truly a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and to what extent his apparent competence was a function of his being a THRUSH mole.
  • California Doubling: Southern California stands in for pretty much everywhere.
    • This is often not quite as egregious as on other shows, considering that back in the 1960's, MGM still had its large complex of soundstages which could be (and were) expertly dressed to resemble most required locations. It was more jarring, though, when the show had to do location shooting. One blatant example comes in "Alexander The Greater Affair" (as noted, this was the only episode not to begin with "The"), where Southern California is expected to: stand in for Northern Virginia. Possibly justified if one interprets this as SoCal standing in for the Blue Ridge Mountains, which can easily be seen from the western fringes of the Washington suburbs.
  • Captain Nemo Copy: "The Shark Affair" featured Robert Culp as Captain Shark, who has a ship he is filling with experts in a variety of occupations. His intent is to have a colony able to restart civilization after the nuclear holocaust destroys it. His intentions may be honorable, but he is kidnapping people to join his colony, and using violent means to keep them in line. The fear of nuclear war is justified, as this was 1964.
  • The Casanova: Napoleon Solo.
    • In the third season episode "The Galatea Affair", The Teaser shows Solo and Kuryakin being forced to jump into a canal in Venice to escape a THRUSH attempt to kill them. In the first scene, Mr. Waverly then explains that Solo has contracted pneumonia from that swim, and assigns The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.'s sidekick Mark Slate as Kuryakin's partner for that episode. The rest of the episode sets up the Girl of the Week as Mark Slate's Love Interest. However, during The Tag at the very end of the episode, Solo swoops in and steals the Girl Of The Week away from Slate. Inspires a great Deadpan Snarker moment from Slate and Kuryakin:
      Mark Slate: Napoleon doesn't waste any time, does he?
      Illya Kuryakin: Yes. Just like he's never been away.
  • They do a variation on this in "The Summit-Five Affair" when they need to fake a fight, knowing they will be heard but not seen. They put enough emotion into their voices to be convincing, but their body language and facial expressions are so deadpan it's hilarious (especially Illya's at the beginning of the fight because Napoleon didn't clue him in beforehand).
  • Character in the Logo: It shows Napoleon standing next to a globe.
  • The Charmer: Napoleon Solo.
  • Chick Magnet: Both Napoleon and Illya are this, but in different ways. Napoleon does it by being charming and flirtatious; Illya by being remote and mysterious. And of course it doesn't hurt that they are both very easy on the eyes.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Napoleon basically bounces between The Casanova, The Charmer, Chivalrous Pervert, and Handsome Lech depending on the episode you're watching and the needs of that particular story.
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Compilation Movie: Every two-part episode of this series was reedited into a series of theatrical movies which were initially released in Europe, and later to American television. In each case, additional footage was shot. Amongst the movies were - To Trap a Spy, The Spy with My Face, One Spy Too Many, One of Our Spies Is Missing, The Spy in the Green Hat, The Karate Killers, The Helicopter Spies and How to Steal the World.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Gold Key Comics published a comic book that outlived the parent program by about a year. In the 1980s a short-lived UNCLE comic was published, but featuring the agents in the (then) present day.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the third season episode "The Hula Doll Affair", the entrance to THRUSH Headquarters in New York is an upper-class haberdashery, in contrast to the working-class Del Floria's Tailor Shop which serves as the entrance to U.N.C.L.E. Headquarters. Solo, as he is captured by Oregano (a THRUSH operative), remarks on the contrast:
      Napoleon Solo: Very ingenious. Am I to assume I'm in THRUSH Headquarters?
      Oregano: When we reach the 13th floor.
      Napoleon Solo: Mmm. That haberdashery shop...
      Oregano: What about it?
      Napoleon Solo: It's quite impressive. I wish U.N.C.L.E. could afford that.
    • And in the third season episode "The Pieces of Fate Affair", U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer (who first appeared in the second season episode "The Moonglow Affair", and who was then appearing in the Distaff Counterpart Spinoff The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.) gets a mention.
  • Cool Car: In the second season, a few episodes set in Europe found Solo and Kuryakin driving classic Mercedes-Benz roadsters. In the third and fourth seasons, the show introduced what became known as the "U.N.C.L.E. car", a concept car developed from the Bertone Pirana.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: U.N.C.L.E. headquarters is located behind Del Floria's Tailor Shop, while another entrance is via The Masque Club. U.N.C.L.E.'s "Section VII: Public Relations and Propaganda" had a charity fundraising group as a front.
    • Played with/spoofed in the third season episode "The Hula Doll Affair", where, in contrast to the entrance to U.N.C.L.E. Headquarters—a run down, working-class tailor shop—THRUSH's New York Headquarters is entered through an elegant, upper-crust haberdashery. Solo even comments on the contrast (see Continuity Nod, above).
  • Creator Cameo: In the first season episode "The Giuoco Piano Affair", series co-creator/executive producer Norman Felton, series co-creator/producer Sam Rolfe, associate producer Joseph Calvelli, and episode director Richard Donner all have cameos as guests at a party hosted by episode guest star Jill Ireland (then-wife of series co-star David McCallum).
  • Credits Gag: The end credits of every episode in Seasons One, Two, and Three bore this acknowledgment: "We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement without whose assistance this program would not be possible." For whatever reason this acknowledgment was dropped from the end credits in Season Four.
    • One might venture the in-universe explanation that U.N.C.L.E. was so displeased by the campy direction the show took in the third season that it withdrew its support, which would also explain why the series was cancelled before it had finished its fourth-season run!
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The death of an Innocent (a young woman) due to a betrayal by a double agent is what caused Illya Kuryakin to resign from UNCLE, according to "The Fifteen Years Later Affair."
  • Darker and Edgier: Inverted before reaffirmed; the series starts out as an action-packed, often very violent spy show, before turning into a comedy in Season 3, then reverting to Darker and Edgier for its final season.
    • Also applies to the theatrical versions made of several episodes.
    • And the 2015 film adaption which is far more towards the Dirty Martini end of the Spy Fiction scale.
  • Deadly Dodging: In the second season episode "The Virtue Affair" (and a few other episodes), Napoleon Solo, faced with two mooks, each approaching from opposite ends of a corridor, dodges out of the line of fire just in time for the mooks to gun each other down.
    • Played with in the third season episode "The Five Daughters Affair, Part II". Solo and Kuryakin, creeping down a corridor of a THRUSH complex, are menaced by one THRUSH mook ahead of them and two behind them. The mook in front of them sprints towards them, then leaps at Solo as if to tackle him. Solo quickly hits the floor, and the leaping mook takes out the two mooks following the heroes.
  • Deadly Remote Control Toy:
    • In "The Mad, Mad, Tea-Party", a mysterious man uses a model airplane to bypass the security measures at the headquarters of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. The remote toy manages to drop a harmless bomb containing a taunting message.
    • In the appropriately-named "The Deadly Toys Affair", a remote-contolled model airplane designed by a boy genius (Jay North) provides the Macguffin to start the plot, as Solo and Kuryakin need to protect the boy from being recruited by THRUSH.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Illya Kuryakin in several episodes. Usually when in the hands of THRUSH or another villain. E.g.:
    [Solo is deep undercover in a THRUSH laboratory, while Kuryakin has been captured by THRUSH mooks and is in a holding cell]
    Napoleon Solo [on his communicator]: Open Channel D. Control, this is Sheep's Clothing. Come in, Control. Open Channel D. [sotto voce] Jammed. How about Channel F? Is there anything new on Channel F?
    Illya Kuryakin: Not much. What's new with you?
    Napoleon Solo: Illya, is that you? What are you doing on Channel F?
    Illya Kuryakin: Don't be presumptuous. You called me.
    Napoleon Solo: Where are you?
    Illya Kuryakin: I'm tied up right now.
    Napoleon Solo: I get the feeling you're not telling me everything.
    Illya Kuryakin: Well, Miss Francis and I were detained by the THRUSH welcome wagon.
    Napoleon Solo: Ah, you've been captured.
    Illya Kuryakin: It's amazing how you grasp the picture with such unerring clarity.
    —"The Sort of Do-It-Yourself Dreadful Affair" (third season)
  • Death by De-aging: "One of Our Spies Is Missing" involves a biochemist who has discovered the secret of restoring youth, which he uses to restore a retired famous statesman Sir Norman Swickert back to vitality to carry on his career. However, the process puts a considerable strain on the body, with him warning if used to much the machine will "turn you into a boy, a dead boy." He later uses the same process to commit suicide rather than risk his technology being controlled by THRUSH.
  • Death Trap: Almost anything to avoid just shooting our heroes. The two-part episodes almost always use a Death Trap to set up the Cliffhanger between the first and second parts, but the single episodes have their share of death traps, too (often, only one of either Solo or Kuryakin was the target of the Death Trap, thus setting up a Big Damn Heroes moment for the other hero).
  • Denser and Wackier: Season three saw a change of style that resulted in the amount of comedy being increased in response to the "camp" craze made popular by Batman (1966) and Get Smart. This approach saw ratings decline, so the fourth season went back to basics.
  • Depending on the Writer: Illya is usually fairly indifferent to heterosexual romance (and sometimes even implied to be a Celibate Hero) — but when Alan Caillou is writing him, he suddenly becomes interested in girls.
  • Dirty Communists: Subversion, in that U.N.C.L.E. had agents from both the West and Soviet Bloc working together against common threats.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The Girl from U.N.C.L.E..
  • Dolled-Up Installment: "The Bridge Of Lions Affair," based on Henry Slesar's novel The Bridge Of Lions (Slesar got "story by" credit).
  • Downer Ending: Usually averted, but there are a few exceptions - "The Minus X Affair," "The Fiery Angel Affair" and the Series Finale "The Seven Wonders Of The World Affair."
  • Easy Amnesia:
    • In the second season episode "The Nowhere Affair", Napoleon Solo takes "Capsule B", a drug which induces "total amnesia" for a period of "at least 72 hours", when faced with imminent capture by a pair of THRUSH mooks.
    • And in the third season episode "The Pieces of Fate Affair", the innocent-of-the-week suffers partial amnesia when she's grazed in the head by a bullet during a THRUSH assassination attempt.
  • Enemy Mine: U.N.C.L.E. having agents from both the West and the Soviet Bloc working together against common threats; also in the Expanded Universe U.N.C.L.E. novel The Dagger Affair by David McDaniel, which had U.N.C.L.E and THRUSH uniting against a common threat.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Count Zark. Dear God, Count Zark.
    • And he's irritated at not being taken seriously.
  • Everybody Lives: "The Project Strigas Affair" is a rare episode where there's not a single punch thrown or shot fired, and where no one gets killed though Kurosov's fate doesn't look rosy at the end.
  • Expanded Universe: At the height of its popularity, the show inspired 23 published (and one unpublished but distributed via samizdat among the fandom) tie-in novels and a Comic-Book Adaptation.
    • A thriving Fan Fiction community continues to create new U.N.C.L.E. adventures to this day, with several sites dedicated to archiving these works.
    • invoked The late David McDaniel, who wrote what many fans consider to be the best of the 1960's tie-in novels, The Dagger Affair, created much of the Fanon for the series, including the unofficial-but-generally-accepted full name of THRUSH.
  • Fanservice:
    • In several episodes, U.N.C.L.E. Bridge Bunnies would be tanning in two-piece bathing suits under sunlamps in U.N.C.L.E. headquarters(!) when receiving incoming communications from Solo.
    • The Compilation Movie One Spy Too Many (compiled from footage of the second season two-part season opener, "Alexander the Greater Affair (Parts I and II)") included an additional romantic subplot (not included in the original series episode) featuring actress Yvonne Craig as a relative of Mr. Waverly's who is also an U.N.C.L.E. communications Bridge Bunny. In one scene she does the "tanning under a sunlamp in Headquarters" routine in a very skimpy bikini (probably too skimpy to have passed Broadcast Standards in 1965 when the episode first aired).
    • In the second season episode "The Indian Affairs Affair", the innocent civilian of the week is an "Indian princess" (i.e., daughter of the chief of a Native American tribe) who is a student in New York. We first see her dancing in a club in a Stripperific American Indian-inspired costume (complete with feathered war bonnet).note 
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity (which was never actually spelled out in the show; it's from one of spinoff novels).
  • Futuristic Jet Injector: Hyposprays are mentioned in the Universe Compendium The Dagger Affair.
  • Ghostapo: In the Season 1 episode "The Deadly Games Affair", a former SS scientist attempts to reanimate Hitler (who, however, was not directly named).
  • Girl of the Week: Usually Napoleon Solo's balliwick, though the occasional episode gave Illya Kuryakin a love interest. And once in a blue moon Mr. Waverly will step in and sweep the Girl of the Week away from Solo (usually Played for Laughs when that happens, and always at the end of the episode).
  • Gone Horribly Right: The serum that race car driver Lucia Nazarone takes in "The Girls from Nazarone Affair". It's meant to accelerate the healing process, and it allows Lucia to survive being shot point blank. However, the process doesn't know when to stop. It just continues speeding up Lucia's metabolism until all her Life Energy is used up and she dies (again, and permanently this time) from Rapid Aging.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: U.N.C.L.E., although it's unclear as to exactly how closely it's tied to the government.
    • According to both canon and Fanon, U.N.C.L.E. is an independent international organization, created shortly after the United Nations, and designated to take care of problems that the latter organization can't. The in-house United Nations newsletter once printed a Fan Fiction short piece where a U.N. employee, exploring the tunnels below the Secretariat building, ran into Napoleon Solo!
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Inversion of the classic personality types with dark-haired Napoleon being more the laid-back and easygoing one and blond Illya being the more brooding and cynical one.
  • Handguns: the U.N.C.L.E. Special. Possibly a "handgun on steroids", it can convert to a carbine (by addition of a stock, telescopic sight, and barrel and magazine extensions), and fires regular bullets, sleep darts, and in at least one episode ("The Indian Affairs Affair") fired a "communicator dart" which allowed Solo to converse, via his communicator, with some THRUSH hostages.
    Chief Highcloud: There is another of your men outside. He talked to us with this. [hands Kuryakin an object]
    Illya Kuryakin: Communicator dart. Fired it through the window, I suppose?
    Chief Highcloud: Yes.
    Illya Kuryakin: Yes, my friend is always showing off.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Occasionally the U.N.C.L.E. agents manage to subvert a THRUSH operative into working for them (e.g., the second season episode "The Arabian Affair", where Solo informs a THRUSH minion who is due to retire that THRUSH liquidates retired minions to insure their perpetual silence), whereas other times the villain comes over to the good side for his own reasons (e.g., the second season episode "The King of Diamonds Affair", and the third season episode "The Concrete Overcoat Affair, Part II").
  • Heroic Bystander: In many episodes, the innocent civilian is just someone who, by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, manages to get caught up in U.N.C.L.E.'s operations.
    • Example: the first season episode "The Hong Kong Shilling Affair", where the episode's innocent becomes involved in the adventure when he attempts to "rescue" that week's Femme Fatale (who, unbeknownst to him, was really in no need of rescue).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the climax of "The Love Affair", Solo and Pearl Rolfe, disguised as Brother Love's monk-like Mooks, load the grenade-like Time Bomb that Love was planning to use on them and a Kidnapped Scientist into Love's helicopter. Then they remove their hoods and wave at him as he takes off. Love has just enough time for an Oh, Crap! reaction before his own bomb blows him out of the sky.
  • Hollywood Atlas: Sometimes to an embarrassing extent.
  • Human Chess: Happens in "Alexander the Greater Affair, Part 1"; Alexander's staff are the pieces, and he and Napoleon call the shots. Alexander is embarrassed when Napoleon checkmates him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • Every episode was explicitly titled "The __________ Affair."
    • Every individual act within the episode was subtitled, usually by a brief quote from dialogue within that act (exception: Season Four, when the producer, director, and writer credits replaced the first act subtitle).
    • All but two of the Compilation Movies' titles are snowclones involving the word "spy" or "spies": To Trap a Spy, One of Our Spies Is Missing, etc.
  • Idiot Ball: In the fourth season episode "The Test Tube Killer Affair", Napoleon Solo is trying to convince the innocent-of-the-week (a young American woman on a grand tour of Europe) that the THRUSH agent she is hot for really is a dangerous criminal. The writers then apparently pass the Idiot Ball to Solo, as he tells her that he is going to place a phone call to his superiors, and she is not to move until he returns. And of course, she immediately sprints away the minute Solo turns his back on her.
    • Possible inversion, however, since Solo stays very close on her heels as she runs away, and he and Illya immediately tail her as she attempts to meet her THRUSH beau, raising the possibility (never explicitly stated in the episode) that Solo may have purposely allowed her to escape.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the third season episode "The Jingle Bells Affair", the chairman of a Communist nation (a thinly-disguised counterpart to recently ousted Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev) is a target of assassins. The innocent-of-the-week leads the chairman on a merry chase over the rooftops of New York City, all the time under fire by the assassins. Even though the assassins have a clear shot, and the chairman and the innocent are not moving very fast, not one shot even comes close to them. Possibly justified, in that this episode was Played for Laughs (as indicated by the title, it was the show's only Christmas Episode), and the lead assassin is pretty much characterized as an incompetent bungler.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the first season episode "The Never Never Affair", Napoleon Solo demonstrates Improbable Aiming Skills when he manages to shoot a THRUSH agent while bound to a chair, forcing him to aim the pistol with his hands tied behind his back. Also, in the third season episode "The Super-Colossal Affair", a crime syndicate mook manages to disarm Solo by shooting Solo's pistol out of his hand while Solo is running away from him.
  • Instant Sedation: Often used by both U.N.C.L.E. and THRUSH when a character needs to be incapacitated without killing him/her. Most common varieties: various forms of tranquilizer darts (the U.N.C.L.E. Special handgun was early established as being capable of firing "sleep darts" as well as conventional bullets, but on at least one occasion THRUSH operatives have used similar darts to capture a target of their interest) and knockout gas (often thrown, grenade style, in spherical glass containers).
  • James Bondage: In practically every episode.
  • Job Title
  • Karmic Death:
    • In the third season episode "The It's All Greek to Me Affair", the estranged husband of the innocent-of-the-week is a convicted criminal who's escaped from prison, and who spends most of the episode threatening to kill his estranged wife's meek, milquetoast schoolteacher boyfriend, and (near the end of the episode) abuses an inoffensive shepherd boy in order to retrieve the valuable U.N.C.L.E. code he'd stolen but lost earlier in the episode. In the climactic fight scene, the estranged husband (who is fighting with his estranged wife's boyfriend) winds up accidentally stabbed to death by the THRUSH Central representative to whom he had hoped to sell the U.N.C.L.E. code.
    • Similarly, the fate of THRUSH operative Randolph in the third season two part episode "The Five Daughters Affair". In the course of the episode he seduces Dr. Simon True's widow, Amanda, only to tell her that he did not love her but was only using her to procure Dr. True's formula, he smacks around Amanda before ordering her killed, and he smacks around several of Dr. True's stepdaughters and his daughter. Needless to say, he is killed when Solo and Kuryakin sabotage the THRUSH plant built to use Dr. True's process on a large scale.
  • Light Is Not Good: Robespierre, the villain of "The Virtue Affair". He's obsessed with "virtue" and thinks that white is its representative color, so everything associated with him is white: his outfit (including his Eyepatch of Power!), his Mooks' uniforms, his furniture, etc. However, his plan to restore virtue to France is to destroy its wine-making districts—with a nuclear missile.
    • Evil Costume Switch: When Robespierre is about to launch the nuke, he switches to an all-black outfit to mourn all the innocent people he'll be forced to kill in order to save France from itself.
  • Live-Action Escort Mission: Inverted in the first season episode "The Four-Steps Affair", where Solo and Kuryakin are tasked to prevent THRUSH from kidnapping the 10 year old leader of an Asian country. The boy, far from being spoiled, is at least as (if not more) mature and worldly wise than his caretakers.
  • MacGuffin: The second half of the third season was especially MacGuffin filled: e.g., the stolen U.N.C.L.E. codes in "The It's All Greek to Me Affair", the explosive hula doll in "The Hula Doll Affair", the THRUSH historian's diaries in "The Pieces of Fate Affair", the Project Quasimodo filmclip in "The Matterhorn Affair", the dress with the THRUSH coded pattern in "The Hot Number Affair" (Season 03, Episodes 21-25 inclusive), and Dr. Simon True's gold-extraction-from-seawater formula in the two-part "The Five Daughters Affair" (Season 03, Episodes 28-9).
  • MAD: "The Man From A.U.N.T.I.E." Naturally a lot of trope referencing here - arriving at his mission, Napoleon thinks "The first thing I have to do is look for a typical, average, run-of-the-mill citizen to help me in my adventure! That's become a kind of cute trademark in this series!"
  • Mighty Whitey: The whole point of "The Indian Affairs Affair".
  • The Mole: "The Waverly Ring Affair" is about the search for a THRUSH infiltrator inside U.N.C.L.E., with an agent who'd been framed as the traitor clearing his name by becoming a Fake Defector.
  • Mooks: Metric tons of 'em, employed by THRUSH or whatever other Nebulous Evil Organization is U.N.C.L.E.'s opponent of the week.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the second season episode "The Bat Cave Affair", Napoleon Solo is escorting the episode's innocent to Europe as they investigate some developments in the plot. A scene on the airliner cuts in just as the inflight movie is ending, revealing a The End card which shows that the inflight movie was One Spy Too Many—which is in fact one of The Man From UNCLE compilation movies (basically, One Spy Too Many was composed of the two parts of the second season opening episode, "Alexander the Greater Affair (Parts I and II)" plus added footage).
      Clemency McGill: That was a right fine movie. Do you like spy movies Mr. Solo? Napoleon?
      Napoleon Solo: I'll tell you, they're alright if you like light entertainment. I just think they're... pretty far-fetched.
    • And in two third season episodes: 1) in "The Hula Doll Affair", Napoleon Solo receives a message to go to 555 Felton Avenue (which turns out to be the location of THRUSH's New York headquarters), while 2) in "The Cap and Gown Affair" a "Felton Hall" is named as one of the buildings on the Blair University campus. Norman Felton (as noted above) was one of the creators (as well as executive producer) of the series.
  • Never Trust a Title: Most of the theatrical releases of the two-part episodes have titles that don't match the plots very well.
    • "To Trap A Spy": Is about thwarting an assassination.
    • "One Of Our Spies Is Missing": The missing person is not a spy, and does not work for UNCLE in any capacity.
    • "One Spy Too Many": Isn't even about espionage, it centers around a man who for some reason believes that deliberately breaking the Ten Commandments will make him Alexander the Great.
    • "The Spy With My Face": The title actually fits the plot for once, as a Body Double is a key element of the story.
    • "The Spy In The Green Hat": There is a character in a green hat, but he isn't a spy, only shows up in the last quarter of the story, and does more harm to his own side than to UNCLE. The film concerns a plot to alter the global ecosystem, with a B-Plot about Napoleon being forced into a Shotgun Wedding by the Mafia.
    • "The Karate Killers": More accurate than average, as the villain does have a team of martial artist mooks, but they aren't really relevant to the plot other than as someone for Napoleon and Illya to fight every 10-15 minutes. The film concerns tracking down the concealed research notes of a recently murdered scientist.
    • "How To Steal The World": Is about brainwashing, not theft.
    • "The Helicopter Spies": Centers around a cult and a Kill Sat. Helicopters only appear in two scenes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the third season episode "The Jingle Bells Affair", Chairman Georgi Koz is a thinly disguised counterpart to recently ousted Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev (including a scene where Koz, practicing a speech to be delivered to the UN, removes his shoe and bangs it on the desk).
    • And in the fourth season episode "The Fiery Angel Affair", Angela Abaca bears a distinct resemblance to Eva Peron.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: "The Foxes and Hounds Affair" ends this way. UNCLE and two antagonistic THRUSH agents are all trying to get their hands on a Mind Reading device. One of the THRUSH agents tricks his opponent into blowing herself up... but unfortunately for everyone, the machine is destroyed with her.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: A variant in "One Of Our Spies Is Missing". At the end of the episode, both of the inventors of the de-aging machine are dead, and the machine is destroyed, but UNCLE recovers their notes. Then, in the final scene, Solo reports to Waverly that the notes were encoded in a way that only the dead scientists could understand, so there will be no reproducing the machine any time soon.
  • No Swastikas: Averted in the second season episode "The Indian Affairs Affair"; when Illya Kuryakin goes undercover on an Indian reservation, he wears a Indian headband adorned with swastikas.
    • Which is Truth in Television, as the swastika is an ancient good-fortune symbol among American Indians (corresponding to its traditional pre-Nazi status in a great many other cultures).
  • "No Peeking!" Request: In "The Take Me to Your Leader Affair", Illya asks Illya to turn around while he takes out the elastic out of his underpants, so he can use it as an improvised slingshot.
  • Not With the Safety On, You Won't: In the first season episode "The King of Knaves Affair", Napoleon Solo disarms a woman accosting him in his hotel room when he notices that she hasn't checked the safety catch. Also pulled by Illya Kuryakin in the third season episode, "The Her Master's Voice Affair."
  • Pistol-Whipping: Done fairly often during the series, as one of the ways a character can be incapacitated without killing him.
  • Pocket Rocket Launcher: In the tie-in novel "The Monster Wheel Affair," a Gyrojet pistol is used by the Big Bad of the book . It's noted that it's a pretty strange gun for him to be carrying, a sure sign of overkill, and then dismissed by Napoleon Solo as more proof of the man's megalomania.
  • Playing Drunk: In one episode, Ilya harasses a girl while pretending to be drunk so that Napoleon Solo can step in and rescue her.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The second season episode "The Moonglow Affair", a Poorly Disguised Pilot for the Distaff Counterpart Spinoff The Girl from U.N.C.L.E..
  • Prince and Pauper: In the third season episode "The Galatea Affair", U.N.C.L.E. agent Mark Slate is tasked with teaching working-class Bronx-native bar performer Rosie Shlagenheimer to pass for THRUSH minion Baroness Bibi De Chasseur (both roles played by Joan Collins).
  • Punch-Clock Villain: While throughout the series viewers are shown uniformed THRUSH forces (with the implication that they're regularly paid), in the second season episode "The Arabian Affair" we actually see a THRUSH minion carrying a lunch pail and punching a time clock while leaving the job.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The Reunion Show, The Return of The Man From UNCLE: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Illya is Blue (ironic given his Russian heritage) to Napoleon's Red Oni.
    • However, the film adaption of the series made in 2015 reverses their Oni roles, making Napoleon the more reserved and analytical one (Blue) and Illya more emotional to the point of having outbursts of uncontrollable rage (Red).
  • Red Scare: THRUSH as a thinly disguised variant of SMERSH, a real-life counterintelligence agency of the USSR.
    • And the resemblance to "Th' Russians" might not be entirely coincidental either!
  • Red Shirt: Usually THRUSH Mooks also double as Red Shirts, usually being mowed down like grass by Solo and/or Kuryakin's gunfire. Occasionally, though, U.N.C.L.E. personnel wind up being Red Shirts (e.g., in the fourth season episode "The Test Tube Killer Affair", the THRUSH agent shoots at an U.N.C.L.E. helicopter with a machine gun, causing it to explode and kill both U.N.C.L.E. agents on board).
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Leo G. Carroll played Alexander Waverly in both The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.; Robert Vaughn appeared as Napoleon Solo in the The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Mother Muffin Affair", while Noel Harrison appeared as Mark Slate in the third season The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Galatea Affair". These episodes were broadcast on the same week on NBC.
  • Retired Badass: "The Odd Man Affair" features Albert Sully, a middle-aged former U.N.C.L.E. agent who doesn't feel alive unless he's in immediate danger. He forces Napoleon and Illya to let him impersonate a terrorist by claiming to be an expert on the man, but he's lying and has to seek help from an old girlfriend he worked with during World War II. Albert eventually proves his worth when he kills a terrorist leader who's trying to assassinate him with the leader's own bomb.
  • Reverse Polarity: In the second series episode "The Minus-X Affair", a THRUSH scientist explains that all she needs to do to create an incapacitating drug from a sensory-enhancement drug is to "reverse the chemical process" used to create the original drug.
  • Riding the Bomb: The climax of the third season episode "The Super-Colossal Affair" found Illya Kuryakin riding and defusing a 10 ton stink bomb which was part of a crime syndicate plot to render Las Vegas uninhabitable.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Illya Kuryakin seems to spend a disproportionate amount of time being bound and tortured, and in general if plans go awry it will be Kuryakin who'll bear the brunt of the inconvenience.
    • Subverted in the fourth season episode "The Summit-Five Affair", where it is Napoleon Solo who bears the brunt of a brutal interrogation (bordering on torture) by an apparent THRUSH double-agent within U.N.C.L.E.'s Berlin office who appears to be attempting to cover his tracks.
    • And inverted in one episode where Kuryakin impersonated Identical Stranger Maximilian Nexor, a fascist Secret Police type ... torturing Napoleon Solo. The act in which this happened was titled, "How to Strain a Friendship."
  • Shoe Phone: Much of U.N.C.L.E.'s spy equipment was disguised as mundane items. Their phones were concealed in pens.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Used occasionally when U.N.C.L.E. agents need to get past a locked door. Not the preferred method (that would be to use special devices to manipulate the lock and open it, or to use explosives/incendiaries to blow out/burn out the lock; these are usually concealed in the heel of the agent's shoe).
  • Shotgun Wedding: Seems to happen to Solo with alarming regularity, although he always manages to get out of it.
    • We see a literal shotgun in two third season episodes: In "The Concrete Overcoat Affair, Part I" (Season 03, Ep. 11) Napoleon Solo, thinking he is being pursued by THRUSH minions, hides underneath Pia Monteri's bed. After he is discovered under the bed, Grandmama Monteri comes into the bedroom with a shotgun, tells Pia to go to the closet and get Grandmama's old wedding dress, and tells Solo that she's sending for the parish priest. In "The Apple a Day Affair" (Season 03, Ep. 27) Nina Lillette's grandpa (who is carrying a shotgun in every scene he appears) finds her in a "compromising position" with Solo, so he proceeds to call the local preacher...
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Survival School Affair," three U.N.C.L.E. agents-in-training are suspected of murdering a fellow trainee. One of the trainees is Melissa Hargrove, named after regular series writer Dean Hargrove. She didn't do it.
    • "The Love Affair" has a character named Pearl Rolfe, after Sam Rolfe.
    • In "The Cherry Blossom Affair," Cricket Okasada is dubbing a scene from an episode of Dr. Kildare into Japanese. Dr. Kildare is another TV series produced by Norman Felton and Arena Productions.
      Illya Kuryakin: "Uh...isn't that that Doctor...what's his name??"
  • Sinister Minister: Brother Love from "The Love Affair" is an evangelist who preaches peace and love... when he's not helping THRUSH kidnap scientists to build the 1965 equivalent of a Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Nelson Riddle's Batman-esque music for "The Concrete Overcoat Affair" sticks out like a sore thumb among the rest of the show's scores. Unsurprisingly, Riddle was the only composer for the series who was never used again - in fact, Norman Felton never used him again on any of his shows (although his music was tracked into other episodes where, given the campy comic tone of the third season, it fit all too well).
  • Special Guest: Especially during its heyday, the show was able to draw a lot of high-powered talent as guest stars. Among those who made guest appearances included Eve Arden, Joan Blondell, Ted Cassidy, Joan Collins, Yvonne Craig, Joan Crawford, Robert Culp, Ivan Dixon, James Doohan, Harold Gould, James Hong, Allen Jenkins, Patsy Kelly, Richard Kiel, Martin Landau, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh, Herbert Lom, Jack Lord, Ricardo Montalbán, Leslie Nielsen, Leonard Nimoy, Carroll O'Connor, Jack Palance, Eleanor Parker, Vincent Price, Cesar Romero, Charles Ruggles, Kurt Russell, Telly Savalas, William Shatner, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, Terry-Thomas, Rip Torn and Fritz Weaver.
  • Spy Fiction: Mostly Martini Flavored. The constant use of the plot of an innocent bystander being dragged into the situation provides it with some Bathtub Gin.
  • Spy School: The U.N.C.L.E. Survival School (in the fourth season's "The Survival School Affair")
  • Spy Versus Spy: U.N.C.L.E. vs. THRUSH, of course.
  • Stock Footage:
    • In one truly egregious example, the show had one favorite clip of a large World War II era bomber, possibly being used after the war as a target drone, being hit by an antiaircraft missile. Whenever the series required an aircraft to be shot down—whether it be a single engined private plane, a multiengined jet aircraft, or a helicopter, whether it was shot down by a lucky rifle shot, antiaircraft artillery, or a missile—they would splice in this clip for the inevitable "airplane explodes in midair" scene.
    • In the fourth season, the series had one favorite stock aerial photograph of a coral island, which stood in for several island locations in several episodes: the Caribbean island location of Club Thanatopsis in "The THRUSH Roulette Affair," the remote island location of U.N.C.L.E.'s Survival School in "The Survival School Affair," and the island of Irbos in "The Man from THRUSH Affair."
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: "The Deadly Games Affair."
  • Sugary Malice: In "The Gazebo in the Maze Affair," the villain's wife, Edith Partridge, initially appears to be a sweet, if not-entirely-there, old lady who is oblivious to her husband's evil. It soon becomes apparent that she's pulling many of the strings, and she tortures the heroes — and gives her husband instructions on how to torture them "properly" — without ever changing her sweet manner.
  • Super Cell Reception: Our heroes rarely, if ever, have reception problems with their communicators. In the 1960s. If the communicators cease to function, either by internal breakdown or by external interference, it's because the plot requires it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In The Return Of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair Solo and Kuryakin answer to another dignified English gentleman in the form of Sir John Raleigh (Patrick Macnee), due to Leo G. Carroll having passed away in 1972.
  • Tap on the Head: Also common: "karate chop to the neck"; both being ways U.N.C.L.E. agents will non-lethally incapacitate enemies when necessary (or vice versa).
    • In the third season episode "The Pieces of Fate Affair", Mr. Waverly infiltrates THRUSH, and is required while undercover and in disguise to whack Kuryakin over the head with a cane to temporarily disable him. Played for Laughs in The Tag:
      Illya Kuryakin: I hate to interrupt this happy scene, but I wish to register a complaint. [to Mr. Waverly] Was it necessary for you to hit me quite so hard with your cane?
      Alexander Waverly: Ah, yes. Uh, I'm sorry about that, Mr. Kuryakin. But, uh, well, I did have to gain their confidence, didn't I?
      Illya Kuryakin: Of course, but I still have the lump.
  • Theme Naming: In "The Children’s Day Affair", two of the villains' Mooks are a pair of brothers named Tom and Huck.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: In the occasional episode, U.N.C.L.E. would often be called in to thwart somebody's attempt to initiate a Fourth Reich.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Illya Kuryakin.
  • Trap Door: Played Straight in the second season episode "The Bat Cave Affair".
  • Throw 'Em to the Wolves: It's unclear if the child in "The Four Steps Affair" is intending this or Turn the Other Cheek:
    [Solo and an U.N.C.L.E. strike team have managed to free the boy lama Miki, but the leaders of the THRUSH plot to kill the boy have fled. Solo prepares to pursue them]
    Miki: Wait! [Solo stops] Are those two not already finished? You know their faces. Their own organization will know they've failed. Surely they could not be running to any sort of freedom.
  • Tragic Villain: Miss Partridge in "The Her Master's Voice Affair," who was forced into participating in the THRUSH scheme of the week in an attempt to save her beloved school from closing.
  • Tricked into Escaping: The villains of "The Children’s Day Affair" let Napoleon and Illya escape by car in hopes that they'll lead THRUSH to the U.N.C.L.E. conference they plan to attack. They also plant a bomb in the car to kill them once they've outlived their usefulness. Napoleon and Illya figure out what's going on and blow up the THRUSH agent tailing them with his own bomb.
  • Tyke Bomb: In "The Children’s Day Affair", the students at a Swiss boys' school are trained to become THRUSH agents.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: First season episode "The Bow-Wow Affair"; Leo G. Carroll played both U.N.C.L.E. chief Alexander Waverly and Waverly's cousin, Quentin Lester Baldwin.
  • Unified Naming System: Maybe; there's some dispute as to the canonical status of the name "THRUSH" as an acronym, since, the expansion of "THRUSH" (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity) was never stated in the series itself, but was used only in several Expanded Universe U.N.C.L.E. novels.
    • The production team and MGM never raised any objection to the acronym.
    • Several novel and Fan Fiction authors have made use of a gag whereby various THRUSH fronts have names whose acronyms are the same as the evil organization's name.
  • Un-Paused: In "The Brain Killer Affair", Illya is zapped with some kind of hypnosis device just as he's about to make a call on his cigarette-case radio. When Napoleon snaps him out of the resulting catatonic state hours later, he immediately starts talking into the radio.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Robespierre, the rich politician villain of "The Virtue Affair". He and his henchmen are clothed in immaculate white suits, and the heroes have to stop him from launching a deadly missile.
  • A Villain Named "Z__rg": Count Zark from "The Bat Cave Affair."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Napoleon and Illya. Their friendship appears to be based on snark, one-upmanship and saving each other's lives.
  • The Watson: Illya Kuryakin at the climax of the third season episode "The Five Daughters Affair, Part II":
    [THRUSH operative Randolph, having gotten Dr. Simon True's seawater-to-gold extraction formula away from U.N.C.L.E., is gloating before Solo and Kuryakin]
    Randolph: Imagine, tons of gold, tons! Pouring into our storage vats. [Kuryakin raises his hand] Yes?
    Illya Kuryakin: Won't this Midas-land master plan defeat its own object? With gold as plentiful as dust, won't it lose its value?
    Randolph: We will control its rate of release, don't you worry.
    Napoleon Solo: We won't.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Capt. Shark in "The Shark Affair", who resorts to piracy, theft and kidnapping in order to preserve a group of human survivors from the nuclear holocaust he's sure is coming. Even Solo seems sympathetic to his intentions, though not his methods.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: The boy ruler in "The Four Steps Affair", complete with Little Professor Dialog.
  • Written-In Absence: In the third season Required Spinoff Crossover, "The Galetea Affair". In The Teaser, Solo and Kuryakin are attacked by THRUSH agents while on the Venetian canals, and Solo winds up diving into the canal to save his life. In the first scene of Act I, it's mentioned that Solo has caught pneumonia as a result of his swim in Venice, and is on sick leave recovering; for that reason Mr. Waverly teams Kuryakin with The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.'s partner, Mark Slate. The episode's Girl of the Week is built up for the entire episode as Slate's Love Interest, only to have a recovered Solo appear in The Tag to sweep her off her feet and away from Slate.
    • Also in the fourth season episode "The Survival School Affair" (the only episode of the series in which series co-lead Robert Vaughn did not appear at all), where Napoleon Solo's absence is brushed off by a mention that Mr. Waverly had given him another assignment.