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Western Animation / Totally Spies!

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Here we go!note 
Here we go, we're getiin' out on the road 'till we stop
And then we'll shop!
So one, two, three now, baby
Here we go! (Go, go...)
Here we go, here we go!
On a mission, undercover and we're in control
Here we go, here we go, oh-oh!
We're Totally Spies, so we'll get on with the show!
Here we go, here we go, here we go!
— Theme song from seasons 1 and 2, sung by Moonbaby

Totally Spies! (2001-2008, 2013-2015, 2024-) is an animated show produced by French company Marathon Media. Three action girls—Alex, Clover and Sam—are (totally) spies and also regular high school (later college) students working for the World Organization of Human Protection (more commonly called "WOOHP" for short), an ultra-top secret spy agency that fights global crime. In each episode, the girls battle the plans of some variety of supervillain with an axe to grind while also dealing with their personal lives, including their collective rival, Mandy (who's their classmate in both high school and college). Like Kim Possible, Totally Spies! mines both spy and teen clichés.

The show is notable for being one of the first Western-made animated series to employ selected Japanese Visual Arts Tropes, such as Cross-Popping Veins and the Sweat Drop, under the assumption viewers were already familiar with them, as opposed to employing them to evoke the anime style like Teen Titans. In fact, the shows' creators have mentioned that The Dirty Pair, which was massively popular in France in their youth, was a big influence on the show.

In short: Charlie's Angels meets Sailor Moon. Or perhaps more appropriately, The O.C. meets Dirty Pair.

The show totally received a movie, as well as a Spin-Off (The Amazing Spiez!). It began airing on Universal Kids on June 24, and full episodes and the movie can be watched on the show's official YouTube channel.

In January 2022, six years after the last season, Thomas Astruc (yes, that Thomas Astruc), one of the original writers for the series, announced the show would be returning again with a seventh season, along with a new writing staff taking over. A teaser for the seventh season was released on September 7, 2023. The revival premiered in France on May 12, 2024 for Gulli, with a Cartoon Network and Discovery Kids release date being scheduled for another time.

Totally Spies! contains examples of:

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  • Aborted Arc: The beginning of the three-part season three finale "Evil Promotion Much?" has a B-plot that centres around Alex trying the "Rabbit diet," where she eats nothing but carrots. This is never brought up again throughout the whole three-parter, not even near the end.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Sam's mother gets Jerry's name wrong at least twice throughout "Totally Busted!", calling him names like "Gerri" or "Harry".
  • Action Dress Rip: They do this a lot when wearing long skirts.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • You can practically mark it off on a checklist for every episode. One or more of the girls experiences a personal issue that could be easily solved with a little extra thought. They go on a mission that somehow relates to whatever the personal issue is. They learn from said mission how to overcome the issue. Cue scene in the last thirty seconds of the episode showing they haven't actually grown or learned anything.
    • There are multiple episodes where Britney joins the team and Alex gets jealous and thinks she's trying to take her place.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The other two girls tend to call Sam "Sammy" or Alex "Al", and all three girls occasionally refer to Jerry as "Jer".
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • One episode has "C.H.A.D." (Computer Homeworld Analyzer and Defender), designed by the girls' classmate who was a victim of "bullies of snobs." Then, it misinterpreted his wishes to actually hurt them and nearby civilians, to the point it hacked missile bases to destroy his old schools.
    • G.L.A.D.I.S. is usually just annoying, but not evil. However, in one episode, (at an office Christmas party that Jerry pretty much dragged the three protagonists too) she becomes homicidal after Alex spills punch on her cabinet. Jerry later admits, embarrassed, that he programmed her by downloading the intelligence from the brain of an insane Evil Genius who is in prison for trying to start World War III, and when they question the inmate, they find out that he's allergic to cranberries (which make him "even crazier than usual"); Clover realizes that the punch was cranberry-flavored. The Spies are forced to accept the madman's help before G.L.A.D.I.S. carries out his original plan, which involves tricking the world's superpowers into launching its nuclear arsenals at each other.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: This is a favorite route of the girls for breaking in, clearly thanks to Male Gaze.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Subverted with the aliens in "Aliens!" It turns out that Dr. Hawking was the real villain.
  • Aliens Speaking English: But they're actually better at French.
  • All Webbed Up: The girls are briefly cocooned by a giant robot spider in one episode.
  • Alpha Bitch: Mandy. Her cousin Mindy as well, but it takes five seasons for her to show up.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Japan uses a different anime-styled theme song titled "Sweet Dynamite" and "Summer Breeze" by Matsushita Moeko as the ending theme.
    • While the original theme is already in English (and aired as such in most countries), Cartoon Network usually aired an instrumental version for the American broadcast. While unconfirmed, there is speculation that this might have to with the fact that it is an edited version of the somewhat risque "Here We Go" by Moonbaby, and the network worried children would look up the original song.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Literally said by Geraldine when she attacked Jerry and a stray puppy Alex found.
  • Angels Pose: The transformation sequence the Spies do in the theme song.
  • Animation Evolution: Season 7 features a shift from traditional animation to being animated with puppet rigs.
  • Animesque: Complete with chibis, speed lines, sweat drops, and the like.
  • Annoying Laugh: Mandy's cackling is so horrible that it could attract goats.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the culprit in "Matchmaker" is busted, a crowd of angry women scream, "Tear off his head!", "Rip out his heart!", then Mandy shouts "Cut up his credit card!"
    • In "Space Much", when the girls' Nanny rescues them in her ship, this happens:
    Myrna: I am very disappointed. Letting an inferior villain such as that get the better of you. All I can say is that I'm glad I will be the Nanny and not your WOOHP superior, and if I'm not mistaken, there are three spies in this van who forgot to floss today!
  • Art Evolution:
    • Very noticeable from about Season 3 onward (like how the girls — and everyone else — finally got belly buttons to go with their assortment of midriff-baring outfits).
    • The Animesque tendencies were toned down over time; by Season 4, the only aspects that remained were the hair highlights and the action lines. Though it made a minor comeback in Season 6 in the form of chibis.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • When he's busted with the crime of keeping all the celebrity passengers hostage forever, Captain Hayes set the futuristic Bling Jet's speed to 90 million miles per hour, a velocity so intense, he claims, it would reverse the rotation of the Earth and make Bling Jet go back in time, which is pretty much impossible since, while 90 million mph is way above re-entry speed threshold (also, see Faster-Than-Light Travel), it doesn't even scratch lightspeed, which is pretty much the only limit that would have to be beaten to go back in time (the Bling Jet's purported time-traveling speed would clock in at a "measly" 25,000 miles per second, while lightspeed is about seven times faster).
    • The infamous laser scene. Needless to say, light doesn't work like that!
  • Ash Face:
    • Happens to Sam in the episode "Alex Quits" when she trips into an electric fence.
    • Has happened to Clover twice; once in an Imagine Spot in the episode "A Thing For Musicians", and again when Alex blows open the door of a plane right next to her in "Shrinking".
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: There is an episode in which Mandy and Clover are enlarged by the Villain of the Week. There's even a shout out to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman when Mandy straddles a freeway overpass.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In "Baddies On A Blimp", Alex is about to fall out of the window in the cockpit that was used before to remove gas, claiming she's out of reach of the one gadget she can use to return inside. Sam is about to pull her back up before one of the convicts attempts to use his nail propulsion to attack her. Sam turns toward said villain away from Alex to make a witty comment about how they're throwing sharp weaponry around in a blimp, despite the fact that they're not battling on the outside of the blimp and only in the cockpit. This, of course, results in Alex nearly falling out into the ocean and only being caught in midair.
  • Badass Adorable: The main trio.
  • Bad Future: Downplayed. Travelling twenty years into the future finds that the place is okay, although Mandy has become evil and is trying to make it a Bad Future. The girls - or rather, their adult version - are able to apprehend her like any other villain, and the Set Right What Once Went Wrong part simply means keeping Mandy the way she is.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In "Mandy Doll Mania" Sam, Clover, and Alex are captured with this method by Seth Toyman using remote control Mandy dolls.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The openings for the 3rd and 4th seasons depicts the girls smiling and enthusiastic for their WOOHPings and missions; in the show proper, they're almost always anything but.
  • Balloon Belly: Clover, Jerry, Shirley Rogers, and others in "Passion Parties".
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: The main trio are teenage girls from Beverly Hills with a lot of stereotypical girly interests, so naturally they get to wear lots of midriff-baring outfits.
  • The Baroness: Rosa Klebb type.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: In "Dental? More Like Mental!" and "Evil Graduation".
  • Bedlah Babe:
    • In "Aliens", the girls dressed themselves in Arab outfits.
    • Also in "Queen for a Day", where Clover was in disguise as the queen, and Sam and Alex were dressed as servants.
  • Between My Legs: Shows up fairly often in the show, usually of the girls (or Jerry).
  • Beware the Silly Ones: All of the villains usually have dorky themes and a screw or two loose, but a lot of them have come very close to dealing global level damage before they were stopped.
  • Big Ball of Violence: In "Planet Of The Hunks", between the three girls.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Clover in "Passion Parties", where she gets comically obese and is still an attractive girl.
  • Big Fancy House: Sam's mansion is frequently seen in the earlier seasons.
    • Clover's mansion is also seen in a few episodes, particularly in "Zooney World".
    • The girls' beach house is pretty fancy as well.
    • Milan Stilton, the evil socialite heiress from "Evil Heiress Much?", lives in a mansion that is pretty much full of pink.
  • Big "NO!": Eugene lets out one when his mother finds out about his plan to break girls' hearts.
  • Black Screen of Death: Used just about every time the girls are attacked.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The villains always have an ulterior backstory for their plans that they spend a lot of time monologuing about. And of course, they use elaborate death traps instead of just shooting the spies.
  • Bound and Gagged: One of the main girls is captured and tied up once an episodes and we often see innocent bystanders in varying states of captivity.
  • Bowdlerize: Some versions of "Queen For A Day" cuts out the part where Alex says, "Forget what I said, the desert sucks no matter how you cross it!"
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The original has only one bragging line on the theme tune, but some dubs have increased it. This excerpt is taken from the Brazillian dub:
    "We are elegant and charming. On the missions, we always find out the plot. We are so smart and so strong."
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to Sam more often than not. It also happens to Clover and Alex, though much less often.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At least once. In the beginning of the series finale, the girls ask the viewer to wish them luck in their coming adventure.
    • It's a recurring thing with special episodes like "Totally Busted!" and "Evil Promotion, Much?", where the girls gives the viewers a recap of the last episode and asks them to wish them luck in the current one.
    • In the third and fourth season, the girls and sometimes Jerry (and at one point, Mandy) talk about what they've learned from the episode.
  • Breast Expansion: In one episode, Alex takes a muscle-enhancement drug to defeat a villain, which also causes her bust to visibly grow several times larger (Although at one point she did appear to have a completely masculine chest, which is more accurate to real life; breasts are largely fat tissue, thus a woman who starts working out heavily is going to lose size as it burns off.).
  • Bring It: A fed-up Alex says this to a bully at the end of "Spy Gladiators", which is appropriate considering the spies just finished a really dangerous mission full of gladiators even tougher than said bully.
  • Broke Episode: "Dental? More Like Mental" is one for Mandy, who suddenly takes a school bus, buys clothes from charity, eats homemade sandwich and sells her old clothes, although it's later revealed that she isn't actually broke, as her mom took away her privileges due to her bad grades. She gets them back in the end due to her improved grades.
  • Bubble Shield:
    • A recurring gadget is the "Bubble Protection Bubble Gum," a stick of bubblegum that can be blown into a giant protective bubble for safety.
    • In order to defend themselves from a remote controlled wedding dress about to crash into them, Sam busts out the "Escape From Trouble Bubble Wand," blowing a bubble to keep them safe from the crash.
  • Buffy Speak: The show takes place in California, what did you expect.
  • Butterfly of Doom: In "Futureshock!" Mandy breaking a nail during cheerleading practice leads to her becoming a dictator in the future.
  • Butt-Monkey: Clover and Alex sometimes.
    • Given her Jerkass attitude, Mandy has also become this, usually at the end of any episode.
  • Cain and Abel: Jerry and Terence.
  • California University: Beverly Hills High School in the first four seasons and Malibu University (more commonly called "Mali-U") from the fifth season onwards.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: "Mime Your Own Business" reveals that Alex is terrible at keeping secrets. It starts off with her telling Sam's science teacher that Sam is buttering him up so he'll give her extra credit, and then she blabs to a boy that Clover has the hots for him. When Sam and Clover confront Alex about this, they talk about other times she couldn't keep her mouth shut, like when they had to cancel a party because Alex told their neighbours about it, or when she told Clover's English teacher that Clover copied one of her essays off the internet. Then when Alex tries to deny this, she accidentally lets it slip that Clover lost Sam's favorite CD. Then after being Woohped, Sam compliments Jerry's tie, only for Alex to admit that Sam thinks that Jerry's taste in clothing is hideous. Sam and Clover decide to test Alex by telling her a secret and make her swear not to tell anyone about it. Alex is able to keep her mouth shut until the very end of the episode where she blurts it out. The secret? G.L.A.D.I.S has a crush on Jerry's photo copier.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Hoo boy. Many of the guys the girls face off against demonstrate this. Especially Terence ("Evil leaders first!").
  • Cardboard Prison: In truth, the four facilities used by WHOOP to detain criminals are pretty secure; prisoner transport, however, not so much, especially when Jerry puts the trio in charge of that.
  • Cat Girl:
    • "Wild Style": Clover gets turned into one after the evil fashion designer Helga Von Guggen injects her with a serum.
    • "Nine Lives": Alex gets turned into a half-human half-cat after being scratched by the cat-obsessed professor Feline Dion, who turned herself into a cat girl.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The entire series.
    • Give the spies a hairdryer and they'll save the world with it. Sometimes because it shoots tornadoes.
    • Occasionally subverted, because they don't always use every gadget they're given in an episode. Although sometimes, there's a Plot Tailored to the Party just to make sure they do.
    • Also lampshaded in one episode, where Sam mentions they never needed the Laser Nail File, and right after that Clover breaks a nail.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Jerry and occasionally G.L.A.D.I.S. will take time to inform the girls of their gadgets at load out.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Sometimes old gadgets show up in later episodes (either Jerry, or the girls themselves have saved and stockpiled items for later use.)
  • Childish Villain, Mature Hero: While the girls aren't exactly paragons of maturity (being teenagers and later young adults), they are lightyears ahead of most of the bad guys in the maturity department, as the latter are mostly adults who are willing to ruin and take lives over petty grudges and desires.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The girls' suits.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mindy and Britney are completely absent from Season 6 and no explanation is given for either. Mindy's absence is especially jarring as she was in nearly every episode of Season 5.
    • Though Mindy had already vanished without explanation in the previous season’s finale, with Mandy apparently back to being a solo act.
  • Clear My Name:
    • One episode aptly titled "The Fugitives" has the girls being framed for a string of bank robberies. They have to dodge Jerry and the rest of WOOHP while trying to find the real culprit who turns out to be an old enemy from before the series started, who blamed the team for getting severely injured to the point where half of his body had to be replaced with cybernetics... and created an army of evil clones as part of his revenge.
    • "Malled"'s b-plot involved Mandy framing Clover for shoplifting by slipping a bottle of perfume in the latter's purse when she isn't looking. Fortunately, Jerry is able to provide video evidence that clears Clover.
    • In "The Return of Geraldine", Clover is framed for plagiarizing Sam's paper, trashing Alex's car, and stealing gadgets from WOOHP. As the title implies, these were done by returning villain Geraldine as part of her revenge.
    • In "Virtual Stranger", the girls are framed of causing messes and other such nuisance behavior that causes the other people in their dorm to seriously consider kicking them out (to the point of forming an angry mob). Sam is able to find photo evidence that Mandy and Mindy were the real culprits, as part of a smear campaign to get the penthouse dorm.
  • Clip Show:
    • The appropriately named episode "The Elevator", where the spies reminisce about highlights of previous episodes while trapped in a malfunctioning elevator.
    • They ended up having another one near the end of season five in the episode "So Totally Not Groove-y," though it ended up having more of an active plot than the first one.
  • Clothing Damage: Plenty. In "Wild Style", Clover's Forced Transformation leaves her clothes in tatters afterward.
  • Clownification:
    • The episode "Mime Your Own Business" had Jazz Hands, a talkative mime who used an accordion to turn people into voiceless mimes, including two of the girls, who had to find other ways to communicate (Sam used a voice box and Alex used a hand puppet). The accordion ends up used on him in the end.
    • In season 5, Jazz Hands got an entire arc (one of the four in total) about him wanting to turn everyone on planet in mimes with special machine and bombs.
    • The episode "Clowning Around" features Bozette Slapstick, an evil clown who intends restore the legacy of clowns forcefully. She successfully clownifies most of Tokyo, Mandy and Clover, and almost manages to clownify the entire world before being stopped at the last second.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Sam = Green, Alex = Orange/Yellow, Clover = Red, Britney = Blue.
  • Combat Stilettos: Sam, Clover and Alex have high heel boots as part of their standard uniforms. However it doesn't prevent Alex from complaining that an armour she is wearing as a disguise is harder to walk in than her high heel shoes.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Clover when trying out the widespread cookie craze in Passion Patties. She eventually can't help scarfing them down. To be fair, the episode's villain made them to be not only extremely delicious, but dangerously addictive.
  • Continuity Nod: Much of the season 1 episode "Aliens" is focused on Alex's poor driving skills, although she manages to pass her road test at the end of the episode. In the season 3 episode "Space Much?" Alex brings her driving skill (or lack there-of) up again.
    Alex: I barely passed driver's ed! How does WOOHP expect me to fly a rocket?!
  • Cool Old Guy: Jerry, and he can be surprisingly cooler when he has to be.
  • Cool Plane: The monstrously large and luxurious Bling Jet plane from "Evil Airline Much?".
  • Corporal Punishment: In "The Granny", the titular villain smacks a ruler on a bank clerk's hands to immobilize her. It works.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: This happens to Clover's intern, Tara, due to Clover's influence. She's not seen recovering.
  • Costume Porn: Whether on missions, at school, going to the mall, or even time traveling, the girls are guaranteed opportunities where they get to showcase 2000s era fashions and the occasional throwback to another period.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Whenever Jerry needs the trio, a trapdoor opens and they're sucked through a tunnel, eventually landing in his office. Somehow, he seems to have these things installed everywhere in Beverly Hills they could possibly be.
    • Before most missions Jerry gives the spies a bunch of random gadgets that he could not have foreseen being useful, but somehow they all are.
  • Credits Montage: Just the first two seasons. The third and fourth seasons featured a random character talking to the viewer (see The Tag).
  • Crossover: With Martin Mystery.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: The girls get these a lot when they make each other angry or if Mandy does it instead.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: It's amazing to wonder how the villains in the show (mainly the ones who were ordinary citizens before they went crazy) got their hands on the technology they used.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Not that they're ever reluctant to undo it, but the Forced Transformations inflicted on the girls often seems to work to their advantage in some way.
  • Damsel in Distress: Clover is one of these. Of all the main trio, she gets captured or trapped the most often.
  • Dated History: The World Trade Center is visible in the NYC skyline in “The Eraser”, which first aired in December 2001. This episode is also Harsher in Hindsight because while battling with a villain shortly before hand, Sam says, “Who’s flying the plane?”
  • Death Trap: "This machine will forcefeed you cookies until you explode!" And several other absurd — yet creative — versions of this Trope used by villains.
  • Demon Head: Happens to Sam and Martin Mystery in episode "Totally Mystery Much?"
  • Denser and Wackier: Season 6 has a more parodic and self-aware tone to it.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • The intelligences and hormone levels of the three main girls can range wildly from episode to episode. Sometimes Alex is a pure Cloudcuckoolander, other times she's the Only Sane Woman between Clover and Sam. Sam can range from being the no-nonsense Only Sane Woman to being just as ditzy and boy-crazy as Clover.
    • How capable the girls are in a fight varies as well. Some episodes have them easily take on dozens of henchmen, while other times they can be easily overpowered by virtually anyone.
    • How boy-crazy is Clover? It can vary from being fairly level-headed to having ADHD-levels of distractibility whenever there are multiple guys around.
    • Jerry can range from being a true Benevolent Boss, to a goofy Ditzy Genius, to acting like an exasperated Grumpy Old Man.
    • In the first two seasons of the show, Mandy was more likely to come off as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold—she's still sometimes portrayed as that in the later seasons, but not as much as she was early in the series.
  • Designated Victim: If you know the villain's Evil Plan, it's easy to tell which protagonist will be hit hardest by it:
    • Plots involving brainwashing or hypnotizing always strike Sam hardest, with her status as "the smart one."
    • Plots involving Forced Transformation of victims or other body alterations almost always target Clover, with her being the most concerned about fashion, beauty and her appearance of the three girls, whether whether it's being shrunk, turned into a Cat Girl, fattened up by highly-addictive cookies, turned into a muscular figure skater by nanomachines, or even having her legs stolen and replaced.
    • Alex and Clover take turns being the one who gets kidnapped, though Alex, being the most athletic, is often tied up or locked in a cell as a restrained hostage (and this is considering that it tends to happen to all three of them at least Once per Episode).
  • Didn't Think This Through: In one episode, Mandy is allowed to be a spy for WHOOP. But since Jerry just allowed her to be a spy without any type of training (while the main trio had already been trained), Mandy just ended up being a hindrance to the girls and the mission. Mandy even ends up being scared and begged to be released from WHOOP (she also gets her memories about the experience wiped as well).
  • Disappointed by the Motive: A Running Gag throughout the whole series was super villains looking to cause mass death and destruction as a result of Evil Is Petty... which also meant that more than once the girls reacted to the villains' Motive Rant with a "THAT is why you're doing THIS?"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Most of the villains fall under this; becoming evil because their girlfriend dumped them, not being accepted into a club or organization, or because things just don't go the way they want to in life. Seriously, just because a (mostly) minor inconvenience occurs, it isn't enough to actually make someone bad. It's Averted in Tim Scam's case, and possibly the Dude.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Used as a background gag in Season One's "Wild Style" once as a couple of guys walk into each other due to being focused on Sam.
    • "The Suavest Spy" is an episode where the spies have a mission to watch a charming and attractive jewel thief and they just always get distracted while doing that due to his good looks, and taken even further when him and Clover dance at a ball, he's also stealing the key to the world's most valuable jewel using Clover's gadget, yet she doesn't even notice due to being too excited to dance with him.
    • This particular gag returns much later in Season 6's "Trent Goes Wild". A girl walks into a tree because she was too busy staring at a hotter version of the titular Trent.
  • Distressed Dude: Counting this show and The Amazing Spiez! spin-off, Blaine and Dean both get their fair share of scenes where they end up bound and gagged.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Mostly because of the Undercover rebranding in season 3.
    • With few exceptions, the spies would not return to Beverly Hills until the very end of an episode, with the B-Plots subsequently being so brief and having such little impact on the rest of the episode that they often amounted to padding.
    • The spies' roles were a little more "detective"-esque, often involving collecting vital information by speaking to key eyewitnesses and gathering clues.
    • Whenever someone found out the Spies’ identities, it would conveniently be during mind altering schemes, with the girls using the villain’s machine to wipe the memories of whoever found out. From season 3 onward, WOOHP serves as its own Memory-Wiping Crew.
    • Two early episodes imply that WOOHP answers directly to the US Government, with the President offering to promote Jerry in one subplot. Later episodes make WOOHP a bit more international in scope.
    • WOOHP had a less technological design to its locations, and lacked characters such as G.L.A.D.I.S..
    • There were no recurring plot threads.
    • And of course, Alex and Jerry had different voice actors.
  • The '80s: A villain has a ray that turns people a few years younger, and their clothes into 80s fashions.
  • Embarrassing Ad Gig: The sub-plot of "Starstruck" involves Clover competing against Mandy for a spot in an ad. The role ultimately goes to Mandy, which bums Clover out until she sees it's a picture of Mandy wearing a massive hamburger suit. She even sees Mandy on the phone demanding to have it taken down.
  • Embarrassing Slide: In the episode "Shrinking", Jerry shows the Spies footage of various landmarks being shrunken and stolen around the world. In-between, however, is a clip of himself waterskiing and waving to the camera, to which Jerry reacts in the expected way.
  • Enemy Mime: "Jazz Hands".
  • Enforced Method Acting: In-universe, this is Marco Lumière's modus operandi. (He's also very comfortable with this becoming Fatal Method Acting.)
  • Enlightened Antagonist: Parodied with one of the episodic villains, Yin-Yang. He is a Feng Shui guru who intends to rearrange the continents into a yin yang image, which would obviously have catastrophic consequences for the world. Lampshaded when he captures the protagonists and tells them that his Chinese tea "will remove their fears of a new natural world order", and Alex points out that he's pretty nice for a villain... and then it turns out that he LITERALLY intends to drown them in a large cauldron of hot tea.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: How most of the episodes end. Sometimes it's at another's expense, mostly at either Clover or Mandy's or both.
  • Evil Is Petty: A lot of the villains fall under this. The movie villain Fabu takes it up past eleven; he wants to destroy Earth because somebody pulled his pants down in public and humiliated him as a child.
  • Expy:
    • Marco Lumière is a (more) unhinged version of Tim Burton.
      • This may also be a bit of the creators actually DOING the research, as the Lumière Brothers were the inventors of film over in France.
    • And Jerry strongly, strongly resembles Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth as he appears in many comics depictions, particularly during the 70's — present (despite being more in the Bunny-Ears Lawyer side at times).
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In "The Yuck Factor", the Spies fought a trio of villains who tried to take over WOOHP from inside Jerry's brain.
  • Female Fighter, Male Handler: Sam, Clover and Alex have an older male handler, Jerry.
  • Feud Episode: Quite a few:
    • "Abductions", between Sam and Clover.
    • "It's How You Play the Game", between all three girls.
    • "Planet of the Hunks", between Clover and Sam & Alex.
    • "Evil Bouquets Are So Passe", between Sam and Clover.
  • Fiction 500:
    • In "Evil Heiress Much?", the girls are on a mission to save the top four richest people in the world. The kidnapper? The world's fifth richest person.
    • Felicity Fences, the Spoiled Brat villain from "Planet of The Hunks," is the daughter of a trillionaire who has his own private island resort, Proasis, and her dad even gives her a robot gladiator that costs over a billion dollars.
  • Film Felons: At least once. Marco Lumière justifies this in being a batshit insane filmmaker.
  • Final Boss:
    • For the first Series Fauxnale, "Totally Dunzo", Jerry's mom accidentally consumes a Psycho Serum as a result of Jerry's experiment to reverse the villain gene and becomes a villain.
    • For the second one, Auguste in "So Totally Versailles!" as he plans to rule France and then the entire world.
  • First-Name Basis: Jerry's the only one of the main characters to have his full name known ("Jerald James Lewis"). The full names of Sam, Clover and Alex aren't revealed (Sam's real name is "Samantha" and Alex's real name is "Alexandra") in the series and Mandy's full name is never revealed (though her real name is apparently "Mandy" rather than being short for "Amanda" or "Miranda").
  • First-World Problems: A rare combination of this being used intentionally and unintentionally. While the girls' obsessions with fashion, shopping, and the like is sometimes addressed as ultimately frivolous, the show itself doesn't seem to know quite where the line is drawn. Thankfully this is usually shown whimsically enough not to make the girls unlikeable.
    • The girls are often faced with relatable problems that young girls in the audience might have to deal with - except that they're all extremely well off and often have every advantage. Mandy's mother is at one point able to purchase a whole store chain to please her daughter.
    • One episode shows the Spies have no idea how to make hot chocolate, and end up dumping packets of chocolate powder in their mouths by mistake.
    • One episode sees Sam going on a hunger strike as a form of protest partly to help the school lunch lady, mostly for a guy she likes. At no point does the episode warn about the health risks involved, nor why it's unwise shouldn't do something so drastic to impress a boy, but Sam doesn't even feel any negative effects at all; the only issue raised is the gross grumbling noise of her stomach.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Some outfits with feathers show up, such as Sam wearing a green feather boa with her evening dress in "A Spy is Born", and Clover wearing a pink feather boa with her dress in "Starstruck".
  • Forced Transformation: This tends to happen to the heroines a lot. In fact, if this weren't a kids' show, the Body Horror Trope would probably apply rather often. Alex even does it to herself on purpose in one episode, chowing on the villains' muscle-enhancing "Bulk Bars" so she can outfight them. Another episode Sam had her right hand turned into a crab claw, but she was the lucky one as Alex and Clover were turned into a full fish girl and elephant girl respectively.
  • For the Evulz: Sometimes this is another motivation for the villains. For example, Dr. Gray used his device to swap his patients' personalities because he was sick of listening to their problems...and it was fun toying with people's lives.
    • Another example is Tuesday Tate, who wanted to create an army of "perfect" models to destroy the modeling industry after a lion ate her leg off in a circus-themed modeling shoot gone wrong. How would she create this army? By using a machine to swap body parts from other people. Alex asked why she couldn't just use it to steal a new leg. Tuesday replied that she could... but to her, this kind of plan sounded more fun.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: "Matchmaker" is one of the few episodes not to feature Jerry summoning the girls to WOOHP for a new mission. It's also one of the few where Clover solo has to save the day.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: What happens when Britney joins the team.
  • Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle: A variant appears in a training simulation the spies undergo in the first TV movie.
  • The Freakshow: In the episode "Freaky Circus Much?", the villain is a four-armed ringmaster who was once known as the Octopus Boy in his youth. He wants to turn the people he captures into half-animal freaks and make them perform in his show because he feels that today's standards for carnivals have eroded the tradition.
  • Freudian Excuse: The villains the girls face all have one in some form or another. The usual is that they had a profession, suffered an accident or got fired (or both), blamed the world for their predicament and wanted to get revenge on the world in a major form of Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Almost every single villain the spies face has some level of Freudian Excuse that they use to justify their villainous plans. It even gets to the point where Clover (easily the one most apt to break the fourth wall) drops this gem: "Finally, an evil villain who isn't bitter about being dissed or something..." when it seems like that trend will be broken. However, the spies themselves have zero sympathy for the tragic backstories of the villains they face. Clover gives a classic example. (As shown on the video example)
    Sunny Day: If I'm mean, then what do you call the owners of Bronze-Me-Baby, who fired me at first wrinkle?!
    Clover: Ugh! That's beyond harsh, Sunny. But maybe you should get over it?
  • Friendship Favoritism: In "Truth Or Scare", Mandy tries to force Alex to choose between Sam and Clover; the latter two compete for her (Alex's) affection. At the episode, Alex says that despite her childhood stuffed toy turtle (named Ollie) being her favorite, she would never choose between the two of them, causing the girls to cry Tears of Joy.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The World Organization Of Human Protection (more commonly called "WOOHP" for short)
    • And then later in the series, some of the spies' reoccurring enemies form the League Aiming to Menace and Overthrow Spies (or "LAMOS," much to their chagrin).
    • A fifth season episode reveals that WOOHP has a sister organization called "WOOAP," which stands for the "World Organization of Animal Protection."
  • Future Badass: The "Future Shock" episode shows that after WOOHP shut down, the girls decided they loved spying too much to give it up just because Jerry decided to retire—they continued spying by forming their own independent spy agency.
  • Generation Xerox: Remember the girls from the old spy team? Also, the girls and Mandy all look pretty much identical to their mothers, just younger.
  • Genius Bruiser: Frankie "The Dude" Dude from "I, Dude" speaks and acts like a Totally Radical Surfer Dude, but was smart enough to build a submarine and laser cannon powerful enough to destroy large amounts of ice from Antartica that created tsunamis powerful enough to destroy corporate establishments that had been built on the "gnarliest surfing beaches".
  • Genius Ditz: Stacy from "Evil Roommate" needed to steal the intelligence of smarter students to pass her classes, yet she was at least smart enough to build an intelligence transfering machine in the first place.
  • Genre Blindness: Sadly rampant.
    • Lenore Von Scham from Starstruck believes that her favorite spy show is real and plans to kill the actor playing the main villain. Despite thinking she's with the good guys, she never seems to consider that feeding her enemies to piranhas or cutting them in half with a laser is something a villain might do.
  • Genre Shift: At least for the video games. The first couple of games were simple platformer games, while Totally Spies: Totally Party is, of course, a party game. Totally Spies 4: Around the World is a point-and-click adventure game and Totally Spies: My Secret Diary is a virtual diary.
  • Gibberish of Love: On three separate occasions.
    • From "The Incredible Bulk":
    Alex: (to the gym instructor) I'm—Alex, and I don't know anything!
    • From the credits of "Mime Of Your Business":
    Sam: (to us) Today's topic is... how a smart girl can impress a boy! As You Know, the brain is the major organ of the central nervous system and the control center for all of the body's activities. The brain is also an important tool that can be used to show that special someone that there is more to you than meets the eye!
    Clover: (offscreen, to Sam) Sammy, it's your new hunky boyfriend Vincent!
    Sam: (on the phone) V-Vincent! Ah, m-me, was waiting, you-call your phone to—me—thing—call, me? (snaps out of it) Uh-!! (to us) Hey, even a smart girl like myself can have a brain freeze every day!
    • From "The Suavest Spy":
    Clover: (to the villain Kyle) You're such a dance gooder—I mean... you're such a good dancer.
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: Subverted in "Passion Patties." The Happy Girls developed extremely addictive cookies that cause people to become extremely fat in a matter of hours. However, the person running it was the actual culprit—the scouts simply thought they were selling normal cookies that just happened to be that good.
  • Gladiator Games: In "Planet of the Hunks", an evil spoiled rich girl puts a handsome boy into her personal area to fight (or be killed) should she ever gets bored with him.
    • The aptly-titled "Spy Gladiators".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In "Game Girls," "Silicon Valley Girls," and "Aliens."
  • Grand Finale: The end of the 5th season; Totally Dunzo, was very much this, with WOOHP being bought out and then shut down, and all of the villains becoming good. Five years later, the show was brought back with a soft-reboot Season 6 with the girls still being spies but in college and most of the past criminals/villains being around doing evil stuff, seemingly ignoring the events of Totally Dunzo.
  • Gratuitous French: Clover has a habit of doing this, if only for the style. One episode reveals that, at most, her knowledge of French is pretty basic: she and Alex find an uncannily handsome pool cleaner guy who only speaks French. Every time he speaks, the girls get lulled about him (after all, Everything Sounds Sexier in French), but it's only with Jerry translating for them at the end that they know: all that he was talking about was the quality of the water in the swimming pool, and all that stuff (therefore, too technical for just Gratuitous French). Luckily enough for them, he had already switched to work for Mandy, whose comprehension of the language was about in the same level.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The premise around Season 4's "Déjà Cruise". In the episode, the girls take a vacation on the WOOHP cruise ship, which gets hijacked by bad guys and eventually ends up sinking somehow, after which the girls wake up in their room and start the loop over. They break the loop by learning to co-operate with their fellow agents on board instead of telling everyone to stand back while they handle it. The whole thing is, of course, a training exercise set up by Jerry, and the entire ship is in on it.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence:
    • In "The Incredible Bulk", the villain's plot revolves around health snacks that bulk up rival bodybuilders to the point their bodies explode.
    • "Super Nerd Much?" has Arnold as the Villain of the Week sapping the coolness of people around him thanks to a misplaced MacGuffin; one such person causes Arnold's muscles to grow drastically from his previously nerdy physique.
  • Growling Gut:
    • Sam goes on a hunger strike to protest the school replacing the cafeteria staff with an automated machine. Her stomach growls loudly several times over the course of the episode and annoys Clover and Alex.
    • In later seasons, this has also happened to Alex more than once.
  • Hand Gagging: The spies do this to each other quite a bit.
  • Heart Symbol: Commonly seen floating around the girls (or in their eyes) when they locate the Boyfriend of the Week. And sometimes around each other too.
  • High-School Dance: A very common b-plot.
    • At the end of "The Getaway", the girls return in time for the school dance... but its theme is a Hawaiian luau with volcanoes, something the girls are not so fond of.
    • In the subplot of "Stuck In The Middle Ages With You", the girls compete against Mandy for the best costume at the annual Halloween dance.
    • In "Green With N.V.", the girls bicker over who gets to invite David to the Sadie Hawkins dance, only for him to choose Mandy instead. The girls decide to take Jerry along with them, thanks to the villain's mind-controlling perfume.
    • "Matchmaker" is all about the school's Valentine's Day Dance.
    • "Head Shrinker Much?" features Sam learning how to tango for a school dance in the b-plot.
    • "Evil Ice Cream Man Much?" also features a school dance in its b-plot.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: On their missions, the girls wear neon bright jumpsuits (even if they don't actually need to) and rarely make any attempt to hide or disguise their identities. Actual sneaking around, while not uncommon, happens about as often as barging headfirst into any objective. They aren't really spies in the traditional sense; it's more of a case of Not Wearing Tights.
    • Many episodes have them going undercover at whatever location they're investigating wearing clothes that fit the location and, rarely, fake credentials if they can't get in by walking though the front door. They never actually hide their identity and often use their real first names as part of whatever fake identity they're using. It's only later once they break in to snoop around or after their cover is blown do they wear the highly visible suits.
    • The Movie reveals it was Clover who designed the outfits, before actually getting the gist of spying. To her credit, that's the most stealthy she could come up with (she also thought of superhero and Sailor Senshi outfits).
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "Evil Heiress Much?", Sam, despite herself being a rich Beverly Hills girl who loves shopping and lived in a Big Fancy House before moving to the beach house, despises the extravagant lifestyle of the world's richest people for no apparent reason other than because the plot says so, who later becomes the victims in her mission. After saving them, she asks them for a private island and a yacht to go to said private island in return.
    • In "Truth or Scare," Sam and Clover assure Alex that Mandy's harsh words will never disrupt their friendship, and then the two of them start competing for the status of Alex's best friend anyway.

  • I Broke a Nail: This is enough for Mandy to be evil. (Well, truthfully, breaking her nails leads her feel flawed as a cheerleader, take up broadcasting class so no-one will see her hands, be a success, become Drunk with Power, and become evil in the future.) After finding this out, Sam solves the problem with some Super Nail Enhancing Polish (which Jerry just happened to have.)
    • Also, in the fifth season finale, Mandy breaks one of her nails again, and she ends up getting so upset over it that it causes to pass out.
  • Identity Amnesia: In "Totally Dunzo", when Mandy goes into shock after breaking a nail, she has a different personality when she regains consciousness. She still knows who she is. The only difference is she's now a nice person.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: To a strange and progressively lazier degree. Starting with Season 3, most episode titles followed the theme of "Theme Of The Episode" Much? (eg, "Super Agent, Much?") mimicking the girls' valley girl way of talking. Many later episodes would simply take the theme of the episode and slap 'Evil' onto the start (eg, "Evil Pizza Guys.")
  • If You're So Evil, Step on That Rat
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Happens to Alex at least once, and to Clover way too many times to count.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In both sides. Luckily it does not affect the protagonists...
  • Inconvenient Summons: The girls usually end up subject to this when called for a mission.
  • Instant Costume Change: In "Passion Patties", Jerry sends the trio to their assignment using capsule-shaped rockets that charge their clothes on the way. (Clover, who's already having a bad day, emerges with the shirt on backwards.)
  • In Medias Res: In "Virtual Stranger" Man Hands, Neat Freak and Walking Tornado are out for revenge against the spies, but for the viewers this is their first and only appearance outside of season 5's opening.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Certain episodes featured an instrumental version of Moonbaby's "Here We Go", with a different arrangement.
  • Intentional Heartbreaker: Eugene Snit from the Season 2 episode "Matchmaker", who, having had his heart broken by his girlfriend on Valentine's Day a year previously, vowed to do the same to every single girl in the Beverly Hills High. Using stolen technology to posse as numerous different individuals and admirers, he seduced every single girl, then planned to stand them all up at the big Valentine's Day dance.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the episode "The Anti-Social Network", Mandy discovers that a mysterious source has created a social network called Mandybook in her honor. She's thrilled, especially when she gets over 100,000 followers within the first hour. But things quickly go downhill when her followers literally start to follow her, and not in a good way. It's revealed the person behind this was a old classmate named Telly Hardwire, who created Mandybook in an attempt to create an army to kill Mandy, after she refused his Internet friend request back in their school days at Beverly Hills High. When Mandy learns this, she's disgusted, calls him pathetic, and says he should just get over it. Mandy is a snobby and mean person, but she's right that he wants revenge over a petty reason. What makes it worse is that it's implied that Telly and Mandy never met face-to-face before this episode, meaning that the only thing she ever did to him was say no to his Internet friend request. Then Telly reveals that he plans to get revenge on everyone who rejects his friend requests, showing that Mandy is right that he's truly a petty and pathetic person.
  • Karma Houdini: Ariel from W. O. W., unlike the other villains in the show.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In "Evil Valentine's Day", we cut away to the girls' disgusted reactions when Jerry and Myrna kiss. Good thing too; there would've been a lot more Fan Disservice.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: When asked how Clover was able to get tickets to an event in one episode, she says:
    "Oh it was easy! The manager of the arena has a cousin who lives next door to a guy who's best friends with a man who's married to a childhood classmate of a mother of a guy I know from the football team. I just flirted with him and he got the tickets for me." (Alex's brain breaks.)
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Is it me, or does the way we get WOOHP'd sometimes defy the laws of physics?"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Too many times to count.
  • Latex Perfection:
    • Taken to ridiculous lengths at the end of the Season 3 finale, "Evil Promotion Much?" After Terence is incarcerated, he rips off a mask revealing Jerry's face underneath. He then tells the guard watching him to release him with a very convincing acting. So is done. "Jerry" then knocks out the guard and tears off yet another mask which reveals that it was indeed Terence all along. In short, he was technically wearing his own face over a mask of Jerry with no prejudice to the features of "his own" face.
    • There's also the first half of "Escape from WOOHP Island" where Britney, while looking completely normal, was actually Willard in disguise. This was only found out when Clover's phony skin care products started melting "her" face. Granted, one of the girls notices that something's "different" about her, but you'd never have seen that coming.
  • Leitmotif: Anytime there's a beach or vacation setting, the same piece of music plays.
  • Life Drinker: The big bad of one episode uses some kind of magic stone to absorb youth from kids, resulting in this trope. As soon as aforementioned magic stone is destroyed, No Immortal Inertia is triggered.
  • Lighter and Softer: Season 7 has a noticeably more kid-friendly approach, with the introduction of Kid Appeal Characters such as the Spies' new miniature drones, and characterizations being changed to appeal to a younger audience (i.e. Sam developing a strong affinity for gaming, and Clover's boy-crazy tendencies being all but completely removed).
  • Limited Social Circle: The only people Sam, Clover and Alex regularly interact with at their school (outside the three of them), is Mandy and, to a lesser extent, their nerdy classmate Arnold. Any other classmate they were seen talking to would be gone by the next episode, never to be seen or mentioned again (except for maybe the occasional boyfriend that would last about 2 or 3 episodes). Possibly justified in that their lives as spies would realistically get in the way of them having normal social lives.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with their spy jumpsuits, but averted with their civilian outfits.
  • Longrunner: Been running for twelve years straight.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: This happens in "Nature Nightmare" when the girls are fighting over a gadget.
  • Lots of Luggage: In "So Totally Versailles! (Part 1)", Mandy's luggage, which she claims to have her entire wardrobe there, is so overpacked, that it causes major turbulence on the plane.
  • Luminescent Blush: Happens all the time.
  • Mad Artist: Quite a few of the villains' plans are centered around artistic expression (or attaining mainstream recognition that they feel they've been denied) rather than getting rich or achieving world domination. The first season alone features a mad filmmaker, a mad game designer, a mad fashion designer, a supermodel stitching together "perfect models" from stolen body parts, and an animatronics expert seeking to turn the entire world into a theme park.
  • Makeup Weapon:
    • The Chameleon Eye Shadow allows the wearer to turn invisible.
    • The Cherry Lip Bomb is capable of dissolving a surface (i.e. glass) on contact.
    • The Compowder (later renamed X-Powder) is a compact mirror that analyzes things and also serves as a mobile phone to call Jerry. After the rename/update, it could also change the spies' clothing and project their appearance as holograms.
    • The Expandable Mascara Brush can turn into a pole to be used for vaulting.
    • The Expandable Mini Makeup Mirror is a small, compact mirror that can grow to the size of a briefcase.
    • The Exploding Lipstick is a gold tube of lipstick that's used as an explosive.
    • The Frequency Blocking Body Spray is a lavender-scented cologne or perfume designed to block electronic frequencies.
    • The High Gloss Moisturizing Lip Stalk has a built-in tracking device.
    • The Laser Lipstick is mainly used during the first two seasons for infiltration and escaping from traps, which had a few subtypes in the CLALG (Combination Laser and Lip Gloss), Precision Lip Balm Laser, Ruby Red, and Ultra Energy Laser Lipbalm.
    • The Lip Balm Smoke Bomb creates a smokescreen.
    • The Lip Stick and Super Sticky Lip Gloss release a sticky adhesive.
    • The Lipstick Microphone Camera is a tube of lipstick that contains a camera (capable of thermal imaging and zooming in and out) and a microphone.
    • The Molecular Separating Perfume disintegrates whatever it touches when sprayed.
    • The Nanotechnology Eye Shadow creates X-ray sunglasses when the user blinks three times.
    • The Ode de Grenade releases a perfume-esque, super-concentrated essence of sweet Egyptian rosehip.
    • The Oxygen Lipstick allows the wearer to breathe underwater when applied to their lips.
    • The Perfume Atomizer Stun Spray releases a spray that temporarily stuns its victim.
    • The Wonder Makeover Kit is a heart-shaped mini-computer that provides the spies with the desired appearance after being programmed thanks to its automated applicator.
  • Male Gaze: About half the camera shots are focused on the girls' busts as they are about to speak or when they crash into each other. In the other half, the camera is often focused on their legs or butts as they are lying on the floor or fighting.
  • The Men in Black: The WOOHP agents.
  • Marilyn Maneuver:
    • Few times done by girls when they fly through tunnels to the WOOHP.
    • In episode "Forward to the Past" done by Alex when girls get shot at and are sent flying to the fountain.
    • In episode "Evil G.L.A.D.I.S. Much?" done by a random pedestrian when Clover lands WOOHP jet next to her.
  • Mind Control: Sam is put under mind control by villains so often in the series that near the end it was practically a running joke. (One has to wonder if all that screwing around with her brain could be doing some serious harm in the long run.)
  • Misplaced Retribution: All the villains in Totally Spies are known for turning evil for minor inconveniences that are not it enough to actually make someone bad in real life. However, Eugene Snit from the Season 2 episode "Matchmaker" takes the cake. His girlfriend dumped him on Valentine's Day the year before, so he decide to get revenge by installing dating booths that helped him to gather information on a girl's ideal boyfriend in Beverly Hills High. He then used a holographic disguise device that allowed him to change into that ideal boyfriend. Then he seduced all the girls at Beverly Hill High and stood them up by not showing up to the dance to break their hearts. So instead of seducing his ex-girlfriend and breaking up with her to break her heart, Eugene decides to seduce and break the hearts of a bunch of girls that had nothing to do with his breakup. What made this worse was he did not even go to Beverly Hills High; his school is the Institute for Gifted Teens. While it still would have been petty and cruel, it would have made more sense for him to seduce and break the hearts of the girls at his own school.
  • Mistaken for Badass: In "Evil Coffee Shop Much?", Jerry hires Mandy as a spy because he thinks she somehow snuck into WOOHP HQ when in actuality she was just accidentally WOOHP'd along with the main girls and fell behind the couch.
  • Modesty Towel: One episode has Jerry summon the girls early in the morning and recording their interactions with a camcorder. At one point, he does a close up on Sam, who happens to be in a towel in the process.
  • The Movie: A prequel released in (at least) French theaters in 2009. The movie recently aired on Cartoon Network.
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: Sam does this with her Expandable Cable Bungee Belt in Season 5's Miss Spirit Fingers.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Every single male character that is Tall, Dark, and Handsome and serves as Clover's crush of the week.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All three main characters are attractive women that wear tight & shiny catsuits and subjected to varying degrees of Male Gaze.
  • Mummy Wrap: Given the show's pattern, it was inevitable the Egyptian themed villain in "I Want My Mummy" does this to the girls and their associate. A similar trick is done to them in "Evil Mascot".

  • Negative Continuity: The show has a bit of a problem with this since it's been running for so long and circulating writers.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted; the girls are able to interact with their adult selves safely in one episode that involves Time Travel.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Mandy's attempts to sabotage the girls' efforts in Do You Believe In Magic? leads them to winning a photography contest.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Alex is the nice one, Clover is the Lovable Alpha Bitch (in contrast to the series' Alpha Bitch Mandy), and Sam is the leader and mediator. Their suit colors help to determine who's which.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: This show was particularly bad with this. In fact, one episode centered around a number of knockoffs of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, etc., and the villain was Milan Stilton.
    • Season 6 adds Donald Trump, Celine Dion, Vera Wang, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber to the mix.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: At the end of the episode where Alex gets muscular after ingesting a muscle growth formula, her boyfriend of the week (politely) dumps her because he doesn't date girls more buff than him. She doesn't take that too well.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite being called spies, the girls have been assigned on more than one occasion to do work more suitable for detectives instead.
  • Noodle Incident: Mandy became a celebrity at some point between seasons 5 and 6. It's never explained how.
  • No Sympathy: In "Celebrity Swipe!" Mandy repeatedly blows auditions due to Oinky's interference. The talent scout seems to blame Mandy for the stage collapsing under her, and later he blames her for breaking out in laughter in the middle of an acting audition when he could clearly see Oinky licking her foot.
  • No Time to Explain: Happens quite a lot whenever one of the girls wakes up from being brainwashed. It's practically just code for, "You were mind controlled, but you're better now," at this point.
  • Not Good with Rejection:
    • On three separate occasions there's guys who had Clover in a I Have You Now, My Pretty situations who were like this, kidnapping her when she refused to be their "queen/wife".
    • In "Matchmaker" the villain Eugene is bitter for being rejected by a girl on Valentine's day so he hatches a plan where he uses a device to disguise himself as the ideal boyfriend for the female's at Beverly High School. He plans to make them fall in love with him and then dump them at the Valentine's day dance in order to get revenge on all women. However, Clover stops him before he can dump the girls and reveals his ruse.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: "WOOHPersize Me!". Mind control music played backwards negates the control.
  • The Nudifier: The clothes-shrinking ray in "S.P.I." is a milder variation.
  • On Three: In "A Spy is Born Part 2", Sam tells Clover and Jerry to open the door on three. Clover asks if they should wait for "Go". Sam and Jerry are annoyed and the former clarifies: "Three! Who said anything about "go"?!"
  • Open Secret: The supposedly top-secret WOOHP-headquarters is located in a large, glass-paned office building smack-dab in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. Also not an attempt to be Hidden in Plain Sight as the WOOHP logo is displayed clearly on the side of the building, and its roof is in shape of a giant "W." How it hasn't been taken out by twenty enemy missiles by now is a mystery.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Wanted criminal Tim Scam was able to pretty much take over WOOHP by using an alias that was literally just his name backwards. And he had it clearly written on a name badge just in case there was a slight chance no-one would figure it out.
  • Parental Neglect: Jason, the Big Bad in "Zooney World" who's actually a kid, hypnotizes every kid in the world through his TV show because his father always refuses to spend time with him.
  • Personality Swap: Done in the episode "Totally Switched". Clover's personality is swapped with Jerry's by use of a crazy psychologist's behavioral adjusting amulet.
    Clover: Oh… good heavens.
    Jerry: No freakin' way!!
    Sam: O...kay, this is the weirdest moment ever.
    • Revisited in "Totally Switched Again!" with the same villain.
  • Physical Attribute Swap: The Villain of the Week of one episode runs an agency that kidnaps supermodels and uses a contraption that switches their body parts with other women's. First we see Clover's long, slender legs replaced with stout, muscular legs complete with wide-childbearing hips; then the brace-faced owner of the large legs gets her freckled complexion and frizzy red hair switched with Alex's sleek, raven bob and Sam's peaches-and-cream complexion and smile.
  • Piano Drop: Only used for a dramatic sound effect in "Spy Vs. Spy"; a piano falls out of the sky and smashes into nowhere.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: In "So Totally Versailles", the girls and Mandy wear 18th century style grand dresses, loaded with flounces and ribbons.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Although none of the characters have that as their main color, it still shows up a lot.
    • Milan Stilton, the heiress villain in "Evil Heiress Much?", has most of her stuff in pink, including her hair, her jewelry, and her mansion.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Salty Schooner and his crew from "WOOHP-Ahoy!".
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Occasionally, a completely improbable situation pops up, demanding the use of a gadget that would be unused otherwise, or an otherwise useless gadget gets a highly unusual use (such as the super-spicy gum used by Alex that allowed her to sweat enough to slip tightly-tied ropes off her, despite the fact that she was still wearing her spysuit).
  • Plot Armor: In Season 6, Episode 19, "Clowning Around", this trope is made the most notable part of the climax.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Two of them:
    • Ariel is a Straw Feminist and misandrist who seeks to eliminate all men and inferior females (women who were not the "chosen ones") gain their place as the true rulers of the world. The obvious flaw in such an act (how to avoid humanity's extinction if such a plan succeeded) is never mentioned.
    • The Black Knight is a man descended from a lineage of (presumably evil) kings and would still have been royal, if not for one certain king in England in the Middle Ages; his attitude towards Clover clearly suggests he regards women the way they did back then. (Ie, he's a chauvinist.)
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Clover's wide knowledge about pop culture is often useful in her missions.
  • Potty Emergency: A throwaway gag in "Game Girls" has Clover hoping that the hotel she and Sam are traveling to has nice bathrooms; "that's another improvement to be added on KURT's makeover list".
  • Power Outage Plot: This show had an episode where they were stuck in an elevator because of a power outage. It was a Clip Show episode.
  • Power Trio:
  • Pretty in Mink: Several outfits have fur trim, to the girls' parkas, to a competitive cheerleading squad wearing fur-trimmed dresses (representing Alaska).
  • Punny Name: As is to be expected for a comicbook-y/superspy series, there were quite a few. Alien expert Sagan Hawking deserves a special mention.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The spies pull these on Jerry on several occasions in an attempt to convince him to do something for them.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • In season 5 Jerry had G.L.A.D.I.S. dismantled due to her attitude. (The real life reason for this was fans didn't like her.)
    • This is the most frequent method that keeps Sixth Rangers from being mainstays in the cast. Britney in particular ends up on it three times.

  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: In one episode, even the heroines are very surprised at how well Jerry can handle himself in a fight.
  • Really Gets Around: A PG version with Clover as she constantly throws herself at any cute guy that crosses her field of vision.
  • Rearrange the Song: When the first season aired on Cartoon Network, it used an instrumental version of Moonbaby's "Here We Go".
  • Recorded Audio Alibi: A variation is used by Tim Scam to sell his ruse that Jerry had retired in "The New Jerry", each time they tried to call him they recieved a short video of Jerry playing golf, claiming he couldn't help them as he was retired and then hanging up. Which this initially fools them, after watching several times the girls realise the video is exactly the same each time and thus its fake.
  • Red Shirt Army: Or rather, Black Suit Army. The lower-ranking WOOHP agents certainly qualify.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Presumably; although there's never been any story on how the trio started at WHOOP, all recruited spies are similar age. (And "attitude"? An understatement.)
  • Retcon: Season 6 actively rewrites the continuity as it pleases. Aside from the elephant in the room of WOOHP even existing, just a few examples include:
    • Alex's father looks completely different (and has a given surname to boot).
    • Clover and Blaine are suddenly and inexplicably exes.
    • One villain has a grudge after "serving his time" even though when he was last seen he Heel Face Turned and didn't serve any time at all.
    • The girls' mothers don't know about them being spies despite learning this in the Season 4 finale which also had them become reserve spies.
  • Revenge: A primary motivation for a majority of the villains, usually for petty reasons.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: In "Evil Promotion Much?, Part 2" when the spies find out Jerry has a twin brother.
    Sam: Since when do you have a twin?
    Alex: Since birth. Even I knew that one.
  • Rich Boredom: Felicity Fences's motive.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: G.L.A.D.I.S., despite not having a human body.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Geraldine has one in the episode "Return of Geraldine".
  • Rogues Gallery: While the girls tend to face one-episode villains whose motives range from understandable to dubious to downright pathetic, they do manage to accumulate a sizable list of recurring foes over the course of the series. This list includes Terrence Lewis, Tim Scam, Helga Von Guggen, Geraldine Husk, Myrna Beesbottom, Jazz Hands, Boogie Gus, Candy Sweet, Diminutive Smalls, Sebastian Saga, Hayes, Dr. Grey, Granny, Dr. Gelee, Manny Wong, Violet Vanderfleet, Willard, Marco Lumiere, and to a lesser extent Mandy and Arnold Jackson.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Though she was slightly inept, episode 12 has the queen of Lyrobia jumping into action along side Alex & Sam when Clover is kidnapped.
  • Rule of Cool: All the gadgets Jerry gives the girls; the show would be nothing without it.
  • Running Gag:
    • The U.P.W.A.T.I. underwater breathing suit. Whenever it pops up in the gadget roster, one of the girls always responds with "Up-whatie?"
    • Also this situation: "[If we're all here]... Who's piloting the plane?!" Common in Season 1.
    • Jerry summons the girls on missions at random times, more often than not when they're at school. They are usually comically sucked in through various machines and devices, though other times they fall through [1]s, even if they're walking on a sidewalk.
    • Every time Mandy sees the girls in their spy suits (which is a lot in Season 6), she will make some sort of comment on them.
  • Sailor Fuku: The president's daughter wears one in "First Brat".
  • Satellite Love Interest: A lot of the girls' Temporary Love Interests were this.
  • Sauna of Death: The girls are locked in one by their brainwashed mothers.
  • Scare Chord: Parodied in "Super Mega Dance Party Yo!"; Sam and Alex hear a sudden banging noise from a piano accompanied with a scream from Clover... only for the scene to cut to Clover having gotten stuck in the piano after she foolishly climbed into it in the first place.
  • Secret Test of Character: The events of Deja Cruise turns out to be one. Jerry wanted the girls to ask the passengers for help. They then get back at him by making him clean back home.
  • Self-Censored Release: The theme song is an edited version of "Here We Go" by Moonbaby (later covered by Girls Aloud) with some lyrics changed to suit the show. The original is kind of risque... which might explain Cartoon Network airing an instrumental version as a theme, as to avoid children looking up the full song... If you're wondering why such a song was used, XENOMANIA, the production company behind the song, worked on the series' music.
  • Sensual Spandex: The girls' catsuits, as they are skintight and shiny.
  • Series Fauxnale: Two of them! The third season finale "Evil Promotion Much", which was originally intended as the series finale. The fifth season finale (which actually provided closure for most of the main plotlines) becomes this when the show is brought back for a sixth season.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: The episode "Evil G.L.A.D.I.S. Much?" has Sam, Clover and Alex wearing these at the WOOHP Christmas party. The girls were not pleased...that their outfits were red, when fuchsia was the appropriate color that year.
  • Shoe Phone: Compact Phone, actually.
  • Shrink Ray: Resizing gadgets were used recurrently by both WHOOP and villains. The dilemma for less than three episodes involved one or all of the girls being stuck shrunk and needing to reclaim this device from the bad guy so they could grow back.
  • Sixth Ranger: Britney.
    • Mandy, surprisingly, at one point.
  • Sleep Cute: Between the three leads. Really.
  • Spider Tank: Episode "Spies Vs. Spies". At one point the protagonists are tied to a giant web. A large spider robot crawls over them and sprays them with a liquid material which hardens into a cocoon. Clover breaks them out with liquid nitrogen breath spray applied to the cocoons.
  • Spin-Off: The Amazing Spiez!, which is more like a continuation of TS with a younger cast. Sam, Clover and Alex make an appearance in one episode.
  • Spy Catsuit:
    • The uniform worn by the trio spies is a shiny plastic catsuit. The stealth part of the trope is usually subverted, as each suit is of a unique bright color. At other times, the suits can change appearance to look like more ordinary clothing, subverting the skintight aspect of the trope.
    • In one episode, one of their gadgets was a "literal" catsuit, a skintight black suit with cat ears on the hood. It was specifically designed to give the wearer the nimbleness of a cat.
  • Square-Cube Law: In the episode "Shrinking", a villain named Diminuative Smalls shrinks himself and his siblings down to about half their original height but become much stronger because of this law.
  • Status Quo Is God: The show would usually flip back to status quo whenever Clover, Alex or Sam got a boyfriend. Clover's longest relationship was a long-distance relationship with a fellow WOOHP agent who was reassigned to WOOHP's Australian division, afterwhich he was never seen or mentioned again until they officially broke up in Season 6, and while they were together Clover still fawned over and flirted with other guys like usual.
  • Sticky Situation: In a couple of episodes. "Creepy Crawly Much" in particular.
  • Stock Footage: A pan of the crowd applauding and cheering in "Black Widows" is repeated quite a few times during the episode.
  • Strictly Formula: Meet villain of the episode, girls having some problem in their personal lives, Jerry calls and explains the situation, go on mission, meet villain, one or all girls get captured, one or all of them gets mutated / brainwashed etc, break free, confront villains, beat them, change back to normal. End episode. Sometime the plots factor into the daily life problems, sometimes not.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The girls' mothers look exactly like them, even moreso as the show went on.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: If they need to wear something for extreme environments, it will still look fashionable.
  • Super-Deformed: e.g. Martin Mystery (for which this is much more common) in "Totally Mystery Much?".
  • Superstition Episode: In one episode Alex breaks a mirror, complete with a My God, What Have I Done?, and is convinced she'll have seven years of bad luck.
  • The Sweat Drop: Ddes it quite frequently.

  • The Tag: Starting in Season 3, a character addressed the viewer during the closing credits, often talking about something related to the theme or events of the episode.
  • Teens Love Shopping: All the girls, especially Clover, love to shop for clothes at the mall.
  • Teen Superspy
  • Temporary Love Interest: Practically every episode gives at least one of the girls one. And every time one of them actually gets with a guy they're right back to being single by the next episode due to one of the following reasons:
    • He turned out to be a villain.
    • He dumped her or she dumped him for some superficial reason (or not).
    • Mandy steals them away (Clover is the usual victim of this one).
    • Snapback.
    • Clover's longest relationship was her long-distance relationship with fellow WOOHP agent Blaine, who was Reassigned to Australia. He officially broke up with her in Season 6.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Clover along with a great number of others put on several hundred pounds over the course of a few days from eating "Passion Patties". She turns into a "588 pound sumo spy" according to the episode's official description. Scratch that; Clover and Jerry put on that much over the course of a day! Bittersweet put on that much in a few seconds after being forcefed her concentrated additive. Luckily, an antidote was made to undo this.
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: Baby Dean is portrayed this way in a flashback in the first part of "Evil Promotion Much?".
  • Time Travel: By now about 3 different methods are readily available to the team.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In one of the early episodes the girls are sent back in time to the dark ages. Clover is, at least for a little bit, able to hail Jerry on her communicator despite him not being born for hundreds of years.
    • In another time-travel episode, Sam and her future-self debate the Temporal Paradox of how their older selves can currently exist in the future if their younger selves traveled through time, thereby never existing to be able to age into their future selves.
  • Title Drop: Happens occasionally in certain episodes, but one doesn't happen for the show's name itself until the 6th season
  • Title Montage
  • Title, Please!: Only on American prints of Season 1 (The International versions of Season 1 epsiodes have different title card with epiosde title and background that changed between episodes). Season 2+ featured the name of the episode superimposed over the Totally Spies! logo.
  • Token Minority: Britney, Caitlin, and (possibly) Alex.
  • Transformation Conventions: The two times one of the girls has been turned into a half-human hybrid, she has become a Cat Girl; Clover in "Wild Style" and Alex in "Nine Lives". The reason is not only that cats are animals associated with feminity (something each member of the trio has in spades) but also that they are spies. Spies, like cats, must be stealthy, graceful, and agile.
  • Un-Cancelled: A sixth season started in 2013, five years after the fifth season's intended Grand Finale.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: While on the job the trio wear the same color-coded jumpsuits, in their "spare time" not only have a seemingly endless wardrobe, they love to go shopping as well. Apparently they have rich parents. And they do live in Beverly Hills, which in fiction never has anyone with less than upper class income.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Sometimes, the girls are captured this way.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "Matchmaker" and, more obviously, "Evil Valentine's Day."
  • Valley Girl: Like, duh.
  • Villains Never Lie: The spies don't believe Terrance when he says Jerry is his twin brother (though he did have surgery to alter his appearance) and when he and Jerry got caught cheating on an exam Jerry lied and let Terrance take the fall. Jerry confirms both are true.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In "The Yuck Factor".
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: A Freudian Trio of Beverly Hills teenage girls who can't ever complete the school exams required to go into traditional wage labour live a double life as spies who cooperate to avert villainous global destruction by stopping Class 1 global apocalpyses as a result of successfully preventing Class 0 societal apocalypses from permanently happening.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Let's say three-to-four fifths of these happen per season.
  • Walk the Plank: In the episode, "WOOHP-ahoy", a hi-tech WOOHP ship is captured by pirates who aim to use a heat-ray to heat up the Sun and melt the ice caps. Sam and Clover are captured and made to walk the plank into the boiling sea, but they manage to turn the ship around, thus turning the ray away from the Sun and cooling the ocean (also they never fall).
  • We Can Rule Together: The Great Kandinsky to his grandson in episode "Do You Believe in Magic?". When it doesn't work he hypnotizes him.
  • We've Got Company: Said more than once.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!:
    • In one episode, Sam saves Mandy's hair from getting messed up in an Art class they were taking. While it was a Pet the Dog moment for Mandy to be grateful, Mandy becomes more clingy towards Sam and always declares that her and Sam are best buddies, much to the latter's chagrin. The episode just ends with Mandy's memories wiped (due to Mandy finding out about Sam, Clover and Alex being spies and her wanting to tell everyone at their high school) and her being a jerk again.
    • In "Super Sweet Cupcake Company", Mandy's Heel–Face Brainwashing from the titular cupcakes causes her to become extremely energetic, but despite the default Mandy having no redeeming qualities, they think the brainwashed Mandy is too overbearing and prefer her acting like a jerkass.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jerry's response to Sam, Clover and Alex seemingly becoming bank robbers is to basically plant chips in their brains—but after the girls are proven innocent and he shows up to apologize to them, the girls (obviously but understandably still angry and while pelting him with snowballs) make it extremely clear to their boss that it's going to take way more than just apologizing to make up for what he did to them.
  • Wolverine Claws: One of the gadgets used by the girls is a pair of gloves with retractable claws.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Madison's nanny makes it clear what will happen to her if her father doesn't release her husband from prison.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The girls were apparently 10 in the 80's. That would point them in their 30's by the time the show aired.
    • Alternatively, the show could be set from the mid-to-late 1990s, just equipped with Anachronism Stews.
    • No it was most definitely the 2000s—the girls were probably around ten or so in the mid to late 1990s. In fact, even well into the 1990s, some parts of the United States were (fashion-wise) still kind of stuck in the 1980s. Plus, the outfits the Sam, Clover and Alex normally wear tend to mimic 2000s-trends when they aren't dressing 60s-mod or bohemian.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In "Solo Spies", after Sam says her goodbyes to her friends, the three all try to rush into one last Group Hug... only to be WOOHPed into different directions from each other.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: Came up on an episode that featured Jazz Hands, a mime who turned evil after people mocked him for being a bad accordion player. He's fond of mime-themed Death Traps, like the time he tied up Clover and Alex in an "invisible mime rope" and started to slowly lower them into a vat of flesh-eating mime makeup. Alex tries cutting the invisible rope with a miniature buzz saw, but the saw gets deflected and ends up shearing off some of Alex's hair instead. Just when everything seems hopeless, the girls' assistant, Jerry, shows up in Jazz Hands's hideout and finally manages to untie the pretending to untie the rope. ("What better way to untie a mime rope than with mime?")
  • You're Not My Type: Clover has stated on numerous occasions that she is not interested in dating nerds, preferring strong, muscular, and handsome men. And while Clover is not a bully that openly looks down on and picks on nerds, she makes it clear she's not interested in them and sometimes even resents when it seems that she's a geek magnet. In "The Iceman Cometh" and "Totally Mystery Much?", where Daryl and Martin Mystery were interested in her, she turns them down because they're nerds; ironically, the events of the episodes cause Clover to reconsider her thoughts on dating them, only for them to reject her because they lost interest in her.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: "A Spy Is Born", has a similar Cliffhanger. You see that the girls have captured a rogue filmmaker, and that he's been put on a plane... and then you see in the final scene that he's escaped and captured Alex. Cue part two of the season finale...Which comes after a truckload of episodes before that (which confused a lot a fans).


The Suavest Spy

Kyle Katz is way too smart for this cartoon's own good.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AntiClimax

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