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YMMV / Tintin

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  • Acceptable Professional Targets: Jolyon Wagg is an insurance salesman.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: While not outright hated, and in fact many people interested in comic books would know about it, Tintin never made the big scene in North America compared to Europe and other continents. In the USA it's considered more of a niche thing rather than the big cultural impact it is in Europe. It's probably due to the fact that in the USA comic books are mostly known for either being comic strips or being about superheroes, so Tintin rather feels out of place.
  • Animation Age Ghetto:
    • These books are often placed in the children's section in the library, and Nick Jr used to air the Tintin cartoons (which were clearly intended for children). Granted; this is a very mild example seeing as the books are probably "PG" rated at most, a rarity given their original target audience. However, this is a bit more of an instance where it's not "Too violent", "Too gory", or "Too sexy" for children, as it is "Too complex" for children. Several of the books (Namely the first few and the last one) are actually political satire, something most kids actually wouldn't really understand. However, children could still enjoy many of them for the adventures, later (mis)interpreting the political satire and history nods as a Parental Bonus.
    • However, Tintin in the Congo and Tintin in the Land of the Soviets were almost never stocked period, and when bookstores did carry them, they most definitely didn't place them in the kids' section. Some didn't think they were missing much from the Congo at least.
      • In Europe they did sell the Congo and Soviets albums alongside the other books in bookshops though. But rather, they sold the whole Tintin collection apart from the kid's section, so...
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  • Badass Decay: General Alcazar could fit in this category. He seems pretty badass until you learn who wears the brightly colored pants in his marriage.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Broken Ear has one where an absent-minded professor leaves his house wearing his wife's overcoat and holding a cane like an umbrella, when he comes across a parrot and mistakes it for a person when it speaks. It is a parrot that Tintin is trying to recapture, but there is no interaction with any of the other characters in the story while this vignette is going on, and it adds nothing to advance the story (the parrot has already been shown speaking, so it's not even that). Hergé in his fondness for absent-minded professors probably just wanted to throw in a moment of comic relief.
    • In the same book, after the two bad guy falls from the boat and drown, there's a panel showing them being Dragged Off to Hell by three little black devils, which is really out of place for the genre of the series.
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    • Tintin in Tibet has a short sequence, where Tintin hears something moving up a tree and gets a soggy fruit thrown into his face. Then the story just continues, before we even get to know who threw that fruit at Tintin. Of course it could just be a fruit dropping off.
  • Bizarro Episode: Flight 714 starts out normal enough, when Tintin and his friends are kidnapped by Rastapopulus's henchmen and kept prisoners on a small Indonesian island. But it soon become clear that something weird is going on, and it turns out that aliens have been coming to the island for millennia. And yeah, everybody except for Snowy forget all about the adventure due to Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • Broken Base: Is The Castafiore Emerald an entertaining diversion, a deliberately silly chamber piece that trades in the high stakes and tension of the rest of the series for humor and character work? Or is it a pointless exercise in wheel-spinning, a waste of the heroes' and the readers' time? You can find both views expressed very eloquently here and here.
  • Complete Monster: Roberto Rastapopoulos is Tintin's Arch-Enemy. Debuting as a seemingly benign film producer, Rastapopoulos is in reality the ringleader of an international drug cartel that utilizes a poison to drive his enemies, interlopers, and any disloyal minions insane. When his operations in Cairo and India crumble, Rastapopoulos kidnaps the Maharajah's son and attempts to crush the boy and Tintin with a boulder, only to apparently fall to his death. Revealing to have survived in China, Rastapopoulos orders the execution of Tintin and Mr. Wang's family, to be beheaded by Mr. Wang's own drugged son. He later returns as the ringleader of a slave trafficking ring, abducting Muslims under the pretense of granting them safe passage, only to later sell them off. Discovering Tintin's interference, Rastapopoulos shows no regard for the lives of innocents in his attempts on Tintin's life; he arranges for a bomb to be planted in Tintin's passenger plane, and later orders a submarine to torpedo the slave ship Tintin had commandeered. In his final appearance, Rastapopoulos attempts to rebuild his fortune by stealing Lazlo Carreidas's own using a truth serum. But when accidentally injected with said serum, he gleefully reveals his plan to have most of his minions killed off once he claims Carreidas's fortune. Driven by Greed, Rastapopoulos truly lives up to his self-proclaimed moniker as "devil incarnate".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Captain Haddock, who became even more popular and well-loved than Tintin himself.
  • Estrogen Brigade: There's quite a large female fandom of these comics, and while many enjoy the adventures and comedy, others have admitted to find Tintin and the Captain rather swoon-worthy, even if the comic book's art style is the opposite of erotic. Hmm. Must be all the endangering and tied-up situations they get involved in.
  • Fair for Its Day: The portrayal of some people (Native Americans, Japanese, Africans) was alright for its day, they wouldn't fly today. Worth noting that Hergé thought these were bad back then, and redid these. It's hard to appreciate that in some cases, the portrayal was actually positive for the time. (Such as the Native Americans in Tintin in America.)
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The first book, Land of the Soviets, usually isn't counted as part of the series continuity by most fans. Tintin in the Congo is also not acknowledged by some, owing to the rather embarrassing elements of its storyline - although others grudgingly accept it as canon due to the fact that Tintin in America is actually a direct follow-up to the events of Tintin in the Congo.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Rastapopoulos in Flight 714 is dressed in fancy pink-shirted cowboy garb. Hergé himself said that he wanted to ridicule him and make him a "luxury cowboy" (sic).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Most of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets are laughably crude anti-communist propaganda, with Soviet agents planning to blow up all the capitals of Europe and red soldiers trying to drown Snowy For the Evulz. Some scenes of the oppression in Stalinist Russia, however, rings painfully true, for instance when Tintin helps a kulak hide his grain from the bolscheviks. It has been estimated that half a million kulaks were killed and 1.8 million people starved to death due to forced collectivization and confiscations of grain in the early thirties.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Llamas are even-toed ungulates.
    • While under the influence of truth serum, jerkass billionaire Carreidas in Flight 714 goes on at tedious length about his first evil act - stealing a pear as a child. Stealing pears was also St. Augustine's (354-430) first step on the path of sin, according to his famous Confessions.
  • Growing the Beard: After the first two books, the series picked up in terms of story quality. Cigars of the Pharaoh was the first story that attempted to be a cohesive storyline rather than just being a loose collection of set pieces based around a particular country, although Hergé himself considered the following story, The Blue Lotus to be the point where the stories really started to get good.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Tintin's hunting of an elephant and a rhinoceros in the original, black-and-white version of Tintin in the Congo, not least because of how the populations of both animals have dwindled in the years since the release of that version.
    • The plane hijacking in Flight 714 and the real life hijacking of Flight 370 are so similar it's speculated the latter was inspired by the former.
    • The ending scene from Tintin and The Blue Lotus, where Japan withdraws from the League of Nations along with its mistreatment of Chinese became a Foregone Conclusion to its entry in World War II, along with the later years of the Second Sino-Japanese War when reading it now. In particular, the book also represents the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, and ends shortly before Japan starts committing serious atrocities against the Chinese.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The references to "coke" in The Red Sea Sharks. At the time it was widely used to refer to as a derivative of coal, but nowadays "coke" usually refers to either Coca-Cola or cocaine. The latter interpretation makes Haddock's shocked reaction to Tintin's question if their ship is carrying any coke look particularly hilarious.
    • In The Castafiore Emerald, Bianca Castafiore gives Haddock a violent and ill-tempered, red-feathered pet parrot named Iago. Only applicable to the English translation, though; in the French version the parrot is named Coco.
    • Also in The Castafiore Emerald, Captain Haddock, a character with black scruffy hair and beard, falling down the stairs...
    • In The Blue Lotus, the Japanese are depicted as being an oppressive and militaristic force of evil, while the Chinese are portrayed in a generally very positive and wholesome manner. Nowadays, most writers would likely have the two swapped around.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Tintin's relationship with Captain Haddock gives many readers this impression. Neither character shows any interest in women throughout the series (Haddock actively prefers to avoid the company of women, and states this repeatedly), and as soon as Haddock is restored to Marlinspike Manor, Tintin immediately moves in with him, and lives there thereafter.
    • Less obviously, Tintin and Chang from The Blue Lotus and Tintin in Tibet.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Happens at the start of the first Tintin story, Land of the Soviets, as the train that Tintin is taking to the USSR gets blown up by a bomb, and all the passengers and crew are apparently killed (except for Tintin and Snowy, who survive... just because, really).
  • It Was His Sled: Everybody knows that Roberto Rastapopoulos is more than just a movie director...
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "HA HA HA, OH WOW", an edit of two panels from Destination Moon of Captain Haddock laughing at Prof. Calculus's plans to build a moon rocket.
    • "Caramba! Encore raté!" ("Caramba! Missed again!") from Broken Ear, whenever a plan fails or a target is missed.
    • The catchphrase "Je dirais même plus..." (To be precise...).
    • Many of Haddock's Catch Phrases, e.g. "Thundering typhoons!" or "Blistering barnacles!".
    • Among French commentators, Captain Haddock's bandaid in The Calculus Affair is sometimes used as a comparison to any particularly sticky scandal that may plague a politician and that just won't go away.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Once the colonialist propaganda was excised from later editions of Tintin in the Congo, it actually became popular in parts of Francophone Africa, most egregiously, in former Belgian Congo itself. (Those caricatured natives? Obviously they represent that other tribe; Tribe A is often perfectly fine with mocking Tribe B, vice versa, and they're both often fine with mocking Tribe C.) However, others don't see the editing as enough.
    • It happens on almost every country that Tintin has been to. Peruvians adore the Temple of the Sun storyline for portraying their country and the Incan culture mostly accurate and not romanticizing the spanish conquista. Similarly, Tintin is also liked a lot in China and Tibet.
  • Not So Crazy Anymore: In "Destination Moon", Captain Haddock spends a lot of time mocking Professor Calculus for saying that travel to the moon is possible. When the book was published, in 1953, this was understandable, but after 1969, HADDOCK seems like the crazy one...
  • One-Scene Wonder: The insane Italian driver Arturo Benedetto Giovanni Giuseppe Pietro Archangelo Alfredo Cartoffoli da Milano from The Calculus Affair.
  • The Scrappy: Jolyon Wagg is considered annoying by both the in-universe characters and the readers.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Young readers who have seen many adventure comics/cartoons find Tintin to be cliché.
  • Shipping: In the draft of Alph-Art that Hergé left incomplete upon his death, Tintin investigates the murder of an art expert and initially accuses the victim's assistant, Martine Vandezande, of being in league with the killers. In Yves Rodier's unauthorized ending, Martine invites Tintin to meet her parents over dinner. Fortunately for the sanity of Tintin fans everywhere, Rodier didn't show whether Tintin accepted or rejected the invitation.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Usually trying to be averted, but if there is some, it is there BIG TIME. For instance, Tintin in the Congo. Where he does everything dissonant known to 21st century man: Blowing up a rhino by drilling dynamite holes into it, shooting an ape to use his skin as camouflage, all the way down to teaching native children imperialist Belgian ideology. Fabulous, eh?
    • Or portraying Japanese as many a big-toothed Jerkass in The Blue Lotus.
      • Note that The Blue Lotus came out during the brutal invasion and occupation of China by Imperial Japan, who committed horrific atrocities on the civilian population, such as the Nanking massacre. As such, that unflattering depiction is a scathing indictment of Japanese imperialism at the time and no different from similar depictions of Nazi Germany. For comparison, in the The Crab with the Golden Claws, there is a sympathetic Japanese character, who appears in the very beginning and the very end, who is not caricatured and is not a Jerkass of any sort, nor is he aligned with Imperial Japan.
      • If only Herge had shown as much disdain for Belgian imperialism in Tintin in the Congo. Although to be fair, that one was mostly forced onto him by Executive Meddling.
      • The main reason for the representations of the normal Chinese and caricatural Japanese in Blue Lotus was due to a Chinese student offering to help Hergé with his research precisely because he was afraid of the stereotyping being as bad as Congo. Hergé put him in the story as Tchang in thanks.
    • Or about everything in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.
    • Or in The Shooting Star (published during WWII, when Belgium was occupied by Germany), where Tintin's expedition's nemesis is a certain American industrialist called Blumenstein. In the later versions, the country was renamed Sao Rico and Blumenstein was renamed Bohlwinkel (which incidentally is also a jewish surname, but Herge supposedly did not know this at the time).
    • Or when the world was allegedly going to end in the same album, and two stereotypical Jews are seen talking about it, one of them saying that would spare him paying a debt to another Jew. Those were erased from post-World War II editions.
    • Or (apparently) Tintin landing in the British Mandate of Palestine in Land of Black Gold, as it was replaced with a Qurac-esque nation in later editions.
    • Or some of Captain Haddock's insults, such as "Aborigine" and "Tribe of Polynesians".
  • Values Resonance: On the other hand, while the stories are old and filled with antique prejudices of the era, a lot of the messages found in them can also be found engaging and relevant today:
    • The criticism of Japan's invasion of China in The Blue Lotus.
    • While the Captain's alcoholism was often treated as a joke, it was also shown as a hindrance for the characters in their adventures, and a big part of Haddock's development throughout the series is to learn to not be so dependent on the drink.
    • Portraying the Incas and their descendants as rightfully wary of foreigners due to the past with the Spaniards, and criticizing the exploitation Europeans have done on Peru and its rich culture in The Seven Crystal Balls / Prisoners of the Sun. It's exemplified the best in the scene that opens the first book, where the gentleman sitting next to Tintin calls out the desecration of Rascar Capac's tomb, and later the scene where Tintin saves Zorrino from being bullied by two presumably Spaniard men.
    • Believing in the Roma's innocence and not supporting the Thompson's racist accusations in The Castafiore Emerald.
    • Not caring for either Alcazar or Tapioca's regime in Tintin and the Pícaros, since at the end of the day both leaders still abandon the poorer sections of the population to cater to their own whims and to the richer classes.
    • And in general, after the stories of Congo and America, Herge just put a lot more of research into his stories, making the world and characters come off as unique and realistic. Considering how many modern authors nowadays barely do a thing of research and leave their token characters to be mere stereotypes, that is more impressive to consider.
  • Villain Decay: Rastapopoulos to a tee. In his earlier appearances, he is a powerful, deceptive and menacing chessmaster. Flight 714 sees him reduced to a pathetically short-tempered pink cowboy who can't think even one step ahead (he's still pretty evil though, as he is quick to tell us). His dragon Allan falls prey to this too, becoming nothing more than a dumb and cowardly henchman. Note that this was done on purpose; Hergé deliberately decided to ridicule his villains at this point.
  • Vindicated by History: While it was never poorly received in the States and Canada, it was pretty obscure owing mostly to its very limited run. (Meaning you had to hope your library had copies or pay pretty steep prices in online auctions.) After its reprints in The New '10s, it's now one of the few Franco-Belgian comics some people in North America can even name.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page.

Ellipse-Nelvana animated series

See here.

2011 Film

See here.

Other adaptations


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