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Western Animation / Maya & Miguel

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What they will do next, you never can tell!

Maya & Miguel (2004-2007) is an American educative animated 65-Episode Cartoon about the misadventures of 10 year-old Hispanic siblings. As the Expository Theme Tune states, they are "brother and sister and best friends as well." The series seeks to make Hispanic culture more familiar to the youth audience and also teach some Spanish words in the process.

Maya Santos is an energetic preteen girl of Hispanic descent who can't resist helping people with their problems even when not asked to; this invariably causes trouble but her brother Miguel, despite pointing that out, always ends up helping her anyway. Everything ends well by the end however. The series seems set in the real world; the only unusual sight is how Maya's hair bobbles glow whenever she has an idea, but that seems to be visible only to the viewers.note  Her catchphrase is "Eso es!" ("That's it!")note 

Other characters in the series include their parents, their grandmother, their diverse group of friends (which include a white boy with only one arm) and Paco, a talking parrot.

Tropes seen in the series:

  • 24-Hour Party People: The kids at birthday parties in "Surprise, Surprise" and "The Red Jacket".
  • All Just a Dream: In “Cherry Chipper Sisters”, Maya and her friends must drive the Cherry Chipper Mobile to rescue Paco and everyone forces Maya to drive and Maya tries to convince them they can’t and they force her over and over again until Maya wakes up and it was a dream and Paco was safe.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Maya can be this to Miguel—they're twins, but Miguel's the older twin (by three minutes).
  • Big Brother Mentor: In "I Got to be Mi-guel", Tito thinks Miguel is cool and wants to be like him (much to Maya's jealousy), so Miguel teaches him (which annoys Maya).
  • Catchphrase:
    • "¡Éso es!" (That's it!)
    • "What about Paco, what about Paco?"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Given her impulsive nature, Maya tends to fall under this often.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Miguel frequently serves as this to Maya, trying to talk her out of her latest Zany Scheme and having to help her clean up the fallout.
  • Cool Old Lady: Abuelita Elena. She is Maya and Miguel’s grandmother who offers a lot of advice to them when they need it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: While Sinister Sombrero is El Guamazo Lopez's nemesis, outside of the ring he's really a nice guy who loves romance novels.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "The Letter", upon finding a letter on Miguel's desk for Esperanza, Maya thinks Miguel likes her and does what she can to make Esperanza like her brother. But it's only after the plan succeeds that she learns the whole story: Miguel reveals the letter is really from Andy, and he was helping him write the letter because Andy doesn't speak Spanish, which is why the letter was on Miguel's desk in the first place.
  • Earth Day Episode: The show has one where Maya, Miguel and their friends convert an empty lot into a community garden, while their cousin Tito encourages people to use paper or reusable bags instead of plastic.
  • Everybody Cries: In "Chrissy's Big Move", Maya, Maggie, and Chrissy spend 20 minutes in Maya's bedroom crying over Chrissy and her family moving away to Hong Kong.
  • Feather Fingers: Paco’s wings can sometimes act as hands.
  • Feud Episode: "The Big Fight" (with Miguel and Theo: they were having a remote-controlled car race that goes wrong, and they blame each other) and "Friends Forever?" (with the girls over a book report and Miguel was teaching Theo and Andy soccer skills for the same position on the same team).
    • In the former, Maya prevented picking sides as it usually happens in such type of episode.
  • Five-Token Band: Maya & Miguel (half-Mexican/half-Puerto Rican), Theo (smart African-American), Andy (blonde white kid born with one amputated arm), Maggie (fashionable Chinese), and Chrissy (somewhat naive Afro-Dominican).
  • Half-Identical Twins: Maya and Miguel look almost alike, except Maya wears pink lipstick.
  • Head Pet: Paco occasionally sits on Maya's head.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: During a montage where Miguel tells Maya all the times her ideas have made things worse, one of the clips is her "helping" an old lady across the street. The lady was actually waiting for a bus, and Maya's "help" caused her to miss it.
  • Hot for Teacher: Miguel has a crush on the substitute teacher, Ms. Cisneros, in "Crushed".
  • Ignore the Disability: Downplayed in Andy's debut, but still present enough to affect the plot.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In one episode, Miguel angrily wishes that Maya had never been born and that he was an only child; he then proceeds to have an Opinion-Changing Dream that makes him realize that for all her faults, Maya has done a lot of good for the people around them and that he loves her.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: When Maya, Tito, Cesar and Freddy search for the "chupacabra" in "Tito’s Pet", they walk into the living room of Maya’s apartment, which is when Maya and Tito utter this trope verbatim.
  • Large Ham: Every one of the kids has moments of this given their usual antics.
  • Lyric Swap: A lyric in the theme song, "He leads with his head and she follows her heart", was changed to "They make a great team as they each do their part" because it was considered sexist.
  • The Moving Experience: "Chrissy's Big Move" focuses on Chrissy facing the possibility of moving away to Hong Kong.
  • Name and Name: This show does indeed revolve around Maya and Miguel Santos.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "I Got to be Mi-guel", Miguel accidentally left the keys inside the pet shop while trying to teach Tito how to be cool.
    Maya: Miguel!
    Tito: Not cool.
    Abuela: Definitely not cool.
  • One-Steve Limit: Subverted, that there are two Melissa Rosas. One is a famous actress/pop star/fashion designer, and the other is Chrissy's cousin.
  • Remember the New Guy?: An unnamed boy is with the Santos family while they play soccer in "The Biggest Thanksgiving Ever".
  • "Say My Name" Trailer: One commercial had a montage of Miguel saying "Maya" and Maya saying "Miguel" repeatedly, with the last two parts being Say My Name.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: In "I Got to be Mi-guel":
    Miguel: (takes the keys before Maya could) I'm the oldest!
    Maya: Yeah, by three minutes.
  • Sickeningly Sweet: Miguel's Valentine's Day costume is practically made of this; his horror at having been chosen to wear it for the entire day is pretty justified.
  • Signed Language: In the episode where Tito befriends a new kid who happens to be deaf, the rest of the cast asks him questions about his disability and ASL; when it's Andy's turn, he asks if he can sign with only one hand and is told that "yes but some signs will be hard to understand.", which is true as many ASL signs require both hands unless you're finger-spelling the words.
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: 65 episodes in one season, which trickled out over the course of three years.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: "Tito's Mexican Vacation":
    Chrissy: Maya, have you ever heard the expression "less is more"?
    Maya: That is so weird. Miguel said the same thing to me just this morning.
  • Talking Animal: Subverted. At first it's easy to jump to the conclusion that Paco is this. Contrary to what you thought while reading this page up until now, Paco is as quiet as Scooby-Doo and can't say anything longer than a 3 or 4 word sentence, and even viewers are surprised to find this out.
  • Third-Person Person: Paco the parrot refers to himself as Paco.
  • This Is My Side: In "A House Divided", Maya and Miguel split the apartment in half with tape. This results in not being able to use the bathroom, walking to school without an umbrella, and working on a project together on separate sides of the apartment.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Paco's girlfriend, Min, gives off a Luminescent Blush when Miguel tells her the poem Paco wrote for her in "Cupid".
  • Token White: Andy is one of the few white characters on the show.
  • Unwanted Assistance: In one episode Paco tries to help, only ruining things.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: "Cupid", where as Maya prepares herself for the best Valentine's Day ever, Miguel is horrified to learn that he has been chosen as the official Cupid of the school this year, and must deliver valentines throughout the school.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Maya has a tendency to meddle in people's lives and often acts before she thinks, but her heart is always in the right place.
  • We Want Our Meddler Back: When Maya and Miguel make a bet that prevents Maya from helping others with their problems, Miguel decides to try his hand at helping fix problems. The results are so bad it's outright stated that Maya does a better job of helping even if things tend to blow up in her face.
  • Write Who You Know: In-Universe example in "The Adventures of Rabbit-Bird Man", where Maya, Tito, Maggie, Chrissy, and Theo help make Miguel's comic book Rabbit-Bird Man for a contest. Each of them creates their own character: Tito Tollo (Tito), The Fashionista Police (Maggie and Chrissy), and Robo-Theo (Theo).
  • You Meddling Kid: Maya, who just has to get involved in other people's business regardless of whether they've asked and without considering if her involvement is wanted or necessary.