Asterix

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These Tropers are crazy! (Ils sont fous ces tropeurs!)


Astérix is the protagonist of a French comic book series, written by Rene Goscinny and drawn by Albert Uderzo (and both written and drawn by Uderzo after Goscinny's demise in 1977), and now translated into over 100 languages and published around the world.

The Astérix comics take place in the year 50 BC. The Roman Empire has all but conquered continental Europe, except for a few pockets of resistance. One of those pockets of resistance is a small but plucky village in Armorica, Gaul (Brittany, pre-medieval France), which has held back the Romans thanks to a Super Strength-granting magic potion. The village happens to be the home of our hero, a small but plucky Gaul named Astérix. Along with his loveable lug partner, menhir (monolith) delivery-man Obélix (who fell into the cauldron of magic potion when he was a baby, which caused it to have a permanent effect on him), and the other inhabitants of the village (including Chief Vitalstatistix, Getafix the druid (the only person who knows how to make the potion), Fulliautomatix the blacksmith, and Cacofonix the tone-deaf bard), Astérix gets into all manner of adventures, which usually involve foiling the schemes of the Romans (and Caesar himself).

The stories are published as "albums" (the term graphic novel being newer than the series, which began in 1959) and typically alternate between two themes. In many of the books, Astérix, Obélix and Dogmatix, sometimes accompanying or accompanied by another character, go on an adventure somewhere (these are often have titles of the format Astérix in...). These plots allow for the most satire of different cultures and nationalities. In the second type of plot, a new plan by the Romans or an unexpected threat from outside brings danger and excitement to the village. These plots allow character development of the various villagers and their relationships.

Occasionally, a small (and very persistent) band of pirates (a parody of another comic series, Barbe Rouge) makes a cameo appearance; their ship was scuttled by the potion-enhanced Gauls in an early story -- since that initial appearance, they are usually seen either paddling frantically away from any Gauls they encounter, or coming across the Gaulish warriors during an incidental encounter and getting scuttled—again (or even scuttling their ship themselves to minimize damage).

Part of the appeal of the series is probably the variety of humor, which includes slapstick fight scenes, plenty of wordplay, thinly-veiled social commentary, and Iron Age and Roman antiquity versions of just about every European stereotype you can imagine.

Probably has the best translations of any comic-book ever; they're smart enough to keep the basic story while making new puns in the appropriate language.


Tropes used in Asterix include:
  • 3D Movie: Asterix: The Land of the Gods
  • Accidental Marriage: Happens to Obélix in The Great Crossing. To The Chief's Daughter, of course.
  • Acrofatic: Obélix, easily. As a side effect of the magic potion, he's also an insanely fast runner who can do acrobatics easily, since his weight is not a big deal.
    • One of the more hilarious examples is when he tries to teach Dogmatix how to do tricks, such as playing catch using giant rocks instead of a stick.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Laughing Boar, from Astérix in Britain (Or "Le Rieur Sanglier" in the original version, parodying English word order).
  • Affectionate Parody: The pirates are a parody of different pirates from another comic series, Barbe Rouge (or Redbeard). Suffered the Weird Al Effect as Astérix became far more popular.
  • Altum Videtur: Frequently. Justified, in that it is set after the Roman conquest. Several of the albums have also been translated to Latin, which is partly this, partly a subversion, and part justified as studying aids.
  • Amusing Injuries: Sustained by all manner of Roman legionaries, bandits, pirates, etc.
  • Anachronism Stew
    • The Romans tend to wear segmented plate armor (called lorica segmentata by historians today) whereas it was invented during the Imperial period, after Julius Caesar's time. However, the correct alternatives are also shown (chain mail for legionaries and Greek-style cuirasses or breastplates for officers)
    • In Asterix and the Golden Sickle, seeing an inn thrashed by Asterix and Obelix, a Roman compares it to Pompei ... which won't be destroyed before another century.
    • For example, Astérix and the Banquet has a mail wagon with the modern logo of La Poste. The Michelin Man also appears in the international version of Astérix in Switzerland (replacing the Gaulish warrior-like mascot of French service station Antar in the original French version).
    • Astérix is once seen slicing potatoes (and the legionaries peeling them) in a time period when they hadn't been introduced to Europe yet. (Potatoes didn't reach Europe until the 15th century)
      • Astérix in Britain shows a sequence of Astérix peeling potatoes; this is addressed in the audio book adaptation read by Willie Rushton, which includes a brief sequence describing an occasion when Astérix and Obélix accidentally discovered the New World in one of their sea voyages, discovered the tubers, and decided to bring them back to the village.
      • In Astérix in Belgium, we witness the invention of French (actually Belgian) fries.
    • During their voyage to Palestine in Astérix and the Black Gold, Astérix and Obélix are seen leaving Jerusalem by the Lions' Gate: this gate wasn't built until AD 1517.
    • The Flavian Amphitheatre, also known as the Colosseum, which features in Asterix the Gladiator and some animated adaptations (notably the one where Asterix and Obelix become gladiators), wasn't built until 70 AD.
    • The Gothic footsoldiers in Asterix and the Goths sing about Alaric leading the Visigoths to Rome, which didn't happen till the end of the Roman Empire.
  • Animated Adaptation: Eight of them so far, of varying quality. Technically only seven are straight-up adaptations; The Twelve Tasks of Astérix is the only Astérix film so far (live-action films included) to have been written directly for the screen.
    • Sometime in the early 2000s there were ideas for a weekly Asterix series but Uderzo refused - he didn't want the character to become a recurring TV hero.
  • Anti-Villain: Julius Caesar, who is often treated surprisingly sympathetically as a man of honor, though in a few stories he is clearly a Magnificent Bastard.
    • His portrayal was based on how he appears in the Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, required reading for Latin students back when everyone did Latin at school.
  • Art Evolution: Take a look at the earliest appearance of Astérix and Obélix in Astérix the Gaul. Now pick your jaw up off the floor. Happened again with the movies -- from Astérix Versus Caesar onwards, they were of much better animation quality, and it happened again with Astérix and the Vikings. They had shading, for Toutatis' sake! Shading!
    • A bit of it happens even within the very first book. Take a look at Caesar in the first page of Astérix the Gaul, then flip to his appearance in the last two pages. Notice some little differences?
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Native American dialogue in Astérix Conquers America is a random assortment of North American place names that were taken from various Native American languages, resulting in quotes such as "Minnesota Manitoba. Miami!"
  • As You Know: Seems like once a book, they have to remind us that Obélix isn't allowed to drink any magic potion because he fell into a cauldron full of the stuff when he was a baby. Eventually turned into a Running Gag (even Lampshading it, with Obélix remarking "We'll never hear the end of it!").
    • To the point that the expression "il est tombé dedans quand il était petit" i.e. "he fell into it when he was a child", meaning that someone found his calling/passion/hobby while very young, has become very common in French.
    • In some of the later books, such as Astérix in Spain, when the subject of the potion comes up Obélix just grumbles, "Of course I don't get any because gnagna gnak...", counting on the reader to know the now-familiar backstory.
  • Badass Mustache: About all the Gauls, and they're damn proud of them.
  • Badass Normal: The Vikings. They can go toe to toe with Astérix and Obélix, even with the latter having drunk magic potion.
  • Berserk Button
    • Don't call Obélix fat. Or hurt his canine pet, Dogmatix. Or Astérix.
    • While we're at it, never harm a tree in front of Dogmatix, either, or you'll be facing double jeopardy: The little canine will sink his teeth into your buttocks, after which Obélix will bash your face in for upsetting his dog.
    • Cacofonix's singing acts as a Universal Berserk Button for the entire village, too. Especially Fulliautomatix.
    • Geriatrix may be a feeble old guy, but make ga-ga eyes at his young hot wife, and he might stick his walking stick up where the sun don't shine.
      • Also, do NOT call him old. He's only 93!
    • Don't ever mention the Gaulish Village that still holds out against the invaders (or its invincible occupants) in front of Julius Caesar. You will find yourself in the circus - and in those days that didn't mean trapezes and clowns.
      • Or you'll end up leading a military expedition against this village. Most generals would prefer the circus.
    • Hurting either Astérix or Obélix is equal to signing your own get-thumped-in-the-face-by-the-other warrant.
    • For that matter, steer clear of the whole village, just to be on the safe side. The Gauls will send their two best warriors to hunt you down to the ends of the Earth.
    • Don't mention Alésia (the last stand of the Gauls).
    • Never criticize the freshness or aroma of Unhygienix's fish. Since a lot of the gauls will agree with you, and they fight rather chaotically, doing this almost guarantees the Big Ball of Violence. Lampshaded in Astérix and the Soothsayer, where the soothsayer was able to appear prescient by predicting a fight, and two happened minutes later (over the freshness of the fish whose entrails he had been reading).
    • A big part of all the humor in the series, really. Especially Astérix and the Roman Agent (which could be called A Guide To Berserk Buttons In The Astérix Universe).
  • Big Ball of Violence: Liable to get big indeed when the whole village gets involved in the fight.
  • Big Eater: Obélix, totally.

Astérix: For starters, two boars!
Obélix: And two for me!

    • Taken to its ultimate extreme in The Twelve Tasks of Astérix. Obélix polishes off a three course feast whose first course consists of... a boar with fries, a flock of geese, several sheep, an omelet made with eight dozen eggs, a whole school of fish, an ox, a cow, two calves ("because to separate ze family...zat would not be right!"), a huge mound of caviar (...and the little toast that goes with it!), a camel, ("and before we start on the main course") an elephant stuffed with olives... he's still hungry when the cook finally admits defeat!
      • Obélix then goes on to eat the beast that he and Astérix have to confront in the next task.
  • Big Fun: Also Obélix.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Obélix and Astérix.
  • Big Little Man: In The Twelve Tasks of Astérix, one of the tasks is to fight Cilindric the German. Astérix and Obélix are taken to an arena where there's an enormous pair of doors...which open to reveal a very short judo expert.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A great many names. For example, the character Okéibos, an athlete with a thuggish appearance is "Okay boss" in a French accent.
    • The original French versions are a delight to those who can read the language: the characterizations and use of language speaks volumes about how sophisticated metropolitan Paris views the French regions, and how the French view their neighbors around Europe. This is done in ways which are not obvious or signposted in the translations. Regional dialects around France are signaled by variant more phonetic French in the captions; Languedoc is treated as carrot-crunching yokel country, for instance, and the appalling ways France's neighbors mangle the language is depicted in tortured and fractured French in the captions. A parallel would be the accents and intonations used in WW 2 comedy Allo, Allo.
  • The Blacksmith: Fulliautomatix
  • Blood Knight: The entire village. The definition gets more complicated when one notices that, without the magic potion, they are very reluctant to fight. They seem to like a Curb Stomp Battle more than a real fight...
    • They seem to love real fights too. Just look how their arguments about the fishes usually ends up. The reason why they become so reluctant about fighting when they're out the magic potion is because they know they don't stand a chance against the highly-trained and highly-armored Roman army without it.
    • The one who really enjoys a fight is Obélix. Since the effects of the potion are permanent on him, he may seem just a big bully, but in his twisted, childish way he seems to genuinely appreciate the legionnaires he beats up. Also, in one particular issue, the Romans managed to get a hold of a cauldron of magic potion. Obélix seemed more eager to fight than ever.
    • In fact, most of the "barbarian" peoples seen apply as a rule, being various shades of fight-happy Proud Warrior Race Guys just itching to pummel somebody into paste at the slightest excuse (usually roman legionnaires).
  • Bloodless Carnage: No matter how many swords and axes are carried into battle, the Gauls will always knock out the Romans with their fists.
  • Blood Sport: Rugby, as described in Astérix in Britain, is a very simple game: "Each team may do just about anything to bring the ball behind the other team's goal line. The use of weapons is prohibited, unless agreed in advance." And it gets even more violent when magic potion is involved.
    • The gladiatorial scenes, obviously.
  • Book Ends: Subverted. Many fans got the impression that Astérix and the Falling Sky was going to be the last album since the cover is remarkably similar to that of Astérix the Gaul, mirror-reflected. Uderzo then stated it was not the case -- and a short story collection, Astérix and Obélix's Birthday: The Golden Book appeared in 2009.
  • Bound and Gagged: Near guaranteed to happen to Cacofonix at the end of every book starting with Astérix and the Golden Sickle (the second book in the original French).
    • With Cacofonix, this trope is usually subverted or averted if he does something good, or if the plot of the story bears greater precedence. Examples of subversions include Astérix and the Normans, where Fulliautomatix is tied up because Cacofonix taught the Normans what they set out to learn—fear; and Astérix and the Chieftain's Shield, where instead, Vitalstatistix has had to abstain under threat of violence from his wife. Examples of complete aversions include The Mansions of the Gods, in honor of his role in clearing the tenants out of the eponymous apartment block; Astérix at the Olympic Games, although he is clearly nervous about sitting next to Fulliautomatix and his hammer; Astérix and Caesar's Gift, in a reflection of the new sense of unity in the village; and Obélix and Co., where he is buried under a menhir.
    • Astérix and the Roman Agent is a special case of the series inverting and playing this trope straight. During the first banquet, somewhere in the middle of the book, there's an implied Imagine Spot where Cacofonix is the only person who was not bound and gagged, representing him being the only person completely oblivious to Convovulus' efforts to sow dissent in the Gaulish ranks. In the final banquet, although he is bound and gagged, he is still sitting at the banquet table rather than under his tree or next to his house.
    • In short, Cacofonix is left unbound and ungagged on an average of once every four books.
  • The Boxing Episode: Astérix and the Big Fight
  • Braids of Barbarism: Obelix, amongst others.
  • Brains and Brawn: Subverted for laughs by Obélix (and Idéfix) in Astérix and the Normans; Uderzo then gives it the first degree in The Great Divide.
  • Break the Haughty: Happens to an entire garrison of troops in Obélix and Co.. These troops had only just arrived from Rome and were high on morale. Unfortunately, they also ended up as Obélix's birthday present as a direct result of Astérix deliberately provoking them into marching on the village. The subsequent thrashing by Obélix and Dogmatix left them in the exact same manner as the troops they relieved. Caesar did not take their battle report well.
  • Briefer Than They Think: All of Asterix's adventures are set within the period between the conquest of Gaul and Julius Caesar's assassination, a grand total of six years (50-44 BC)
  • Butt Monkey: Anyone wearing a Roman legionnaire's uniform is likely to be one.
  • Canis Latinicus: Most of the Roman characters' names.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Obélix.
  • Catapult to Glory
  • Catch Phrase
    • Obélix's line "These Romans are crazy!", often used by other characters, or with another ethnic group substituted for the Romans. (French: "Ils sont fous ces Romains!") In the Italian translation, it is "Sono pazzi questi Romani", punning on SPQR, the Roman initials.
      • In Astérix the Legionary, Obélix has to utter "We Romans are crazy!" as they have just joined the Roman army.
      • In 'Asterix and the Olympic Games' the Gauls suddenly decide to adopt Roman citizenship in order to enter the games causing a nearby Roman to say 'These Romans are crazy!' Later on, when Obelix fails to understand a plan that's been cooked up, he comments 'Since Asterix and Getafix went Roman, they went crazy too'.
      • The Dutch version has become a fairly well-known phrase outside the albums, due to it sounding rather less conventional and more endearingly comical. It goes "Rare jongens, die Romeinen!", roughly translating to "(What a bunch of) weird guys, those Romans!".
    • "Who are you calling FAT!?"
    • Each time the Pirates are scuppered, they (Barbe Rouge, Pegleg and the black guy) have a similar dialogue as they float in the wreckage berating each other. Generally, Pegleg will make some comment in Latin, the black guy puns on it, and the captain tells the other two to pipe down. Rather hilariously, they actually swap roles at least once.
    • "'Join up', they said. 'It's a man's life', they said."
  • Captain Obvious: Obélix, very much. "You know, Astérix, I think we've been scammed."
  • Cat Fight: Subverted and defied. Even though the women in the village are not as battle-happy and quarrelsome as their husbands, if a fight occurs things can get physical . In that case, expect them to use any weapon at hand (fishes, rolling pins, baskets...) to pummel each other senseless. Most times, the men will try to separate them instead of sitting back and watch.
  • Cash Cow Franchise
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Caesar's spy in the animated version of Astérix and Cleopatra. He can even shapeshift into building stones or other scenery elements.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Played with in Astérix at the Olympic Games
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: in Asterix and Caesar's Gift, a legionary who's about to be discharged and get some land as all veterans at the end of the service is caught insulting Caesar. Caesar punished him with the eponymous gift: THE GAULISH VILLAGE.
    • It's not the first time Caesar uses them as a punishment: in Asterix in Corsica, he mentions to the Roman governor of Corse that if he fails at bringing the tax income of the island to Rome he'll get reassigned to guard a certain Gaulish village...
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: In Astérix and Cleopatra, Obélix is asked to cut three slices from the cake. He cuts out two normal-sized slices and takes all the rest as his own piece. ("Well, I did cut three slices, didn't I?")
    • Since the cake was poisoned (To the point where in the animated version the recipe consists of things that are either toxic, unpleasant, both, and some orange juice - the cake didn't even have eggs or flour in it; also, smoke shaped like skulls come out of Obelix's ears afterwards), it's probably just as well.
  • Darker and Edgier: Some stories, most notably Astérix and the Laurel Wreath, though it depends a lot on black comedy.
    • The overall least comedic book in the series has to be Obélix All at Sea. Obélix turns to stone after another overdose of magic potion and there are genuine concerns raised that he may be dead. We get a very depressing scene where Astérix sits by the lifeless Obélix's bed while Getafix unsuccessfully tries to find a cure. The book also includes possibly the only time in the series where Astérix's life is actually put in genuine danger by Roman legionnaires (they knock him unconscious and prepare to throw him overboard while Obélix watches helplessly... at first). As noted below, it's also probably the only instance in any Astérix book where the antagonist dies.
  • Death Glare: The Corsicans are really good at this.
  • Deranged Animation: In Astérix et le coup du menhir, when the druid is testing potions in his crazy state on a Roman soldier, the following series of scenes are not only deranged, but also contains crazed human experiments. Said roman was transformed into animals, shrunk down almost to be eaten by a worm and finally forced to float in the air forever.
    • The cave scenes in the Twelve Tasks.
  • Did Not Do the Research: This is subverted: the authors did do the research on several matters but they deliberately took some liberties to make the series more entertaining (for instance, they knew that not every Gaulish man had a name ending with "-ix", but Theme Naming is fun).
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Obélix at times. The door gag comes into mind.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Unhygenix the fishmonger.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The villain behind the sickle-trafficking gang in Astérix and the Golden Sickle: He appeared time and again before the reveal? Check. Was he Beneath Suspicion? Check. It is a surprise both to the heroes and the audience? Check. Does it make sense with the general theme of that album? You bet, because this is the only way the not so bright members of the sickle-trafficking gang could get away with an operation like this for so much time.
  • Door Step Baby: Astérix finds a baby on his doorstep at the beginning of Astérix and Son. It turns out he's Caesarion (full name "Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar"), son of Cleopatra and Caesar.
  • Dreadful Musician: The villagers have even used Cacofonix as a weapon. And as a rainmaker in Astérix and the Magic Carpet.
  • Drunk on Milk
  • Dub Name Change: A lot, at least from French to English, most likely to keep the understandable humor of each Punny Name intact. For example:
    • Assurancetourix → Cacofonix
    • Panoramix → Getafix (notable as while the name change makes sense since it indicates his role, the original french name would have been just as serviceable in English)
    • Idéfix → Dogmatix
    • Cétautomatix → Fulliautomatix
    • Abraracourcix → Vitalstatistix
      • It happens in pretty much any translation to different degrees. In Spanish most of the main characters names keep the same phonetic reading, but the spelling is different (The names displayed above are all examples), but when it comes to supporting characters the Spanish translators came up with punny names that followed the same style as the names in the original French (the Gauls names ending with "-ix", the Roman names ending with "-us", and so on).
  • Dumb Muscle: Played with. Obélix isn't really that dumb, he's just slow, childish and carefree, but has proven to be quite smart on occasion (for example, in Astérix and the Normans, he figured where the absent Cacofonix was, much to everyone's surprise) but he acts as the "dumb" foil to the usually smarter "straight man" that is Astérix.
    • Occasionally, a straight example of this type will appear as an opponent for Astérix and Obélix.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first album "Asterix the Gaul" had a very oddly drawn Asterix, Obelix, Panoramix and Cacophonix. Obelix doesn't say his famous line "These Romans are crazy" yet and hardly appears in "Asterix the Gaul" at all. Dogmatix is still absent for the first five albums.
    • In "Asterix and the Goths" the Goths (Germans) are depicted as villains, while later albums show them in a more sympathetic light.
  • Engrish: "What he says?"
  • Expressive Accessory: Asterix's helmet; the wings droop when he's depressed, twitch when he's excited, etc.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: When a Corsican asks you if you like his sister.
  • Feud Episode: Asterix and the Roman Agent, in which Caesar sends an agent, Tortuous Convolvulus, to the Gaulish village. He is a natural troublemaker who can cause dissension and stir up fights between anyone, and soon nearly the entire village is feuding. Even Asterix and Obelix get angry at each other... for about four panels.
  • Finger-Poke of Doom: Obelix frequently does this.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: A "hotdog" joke that was used in The Great Crossing is reused in Astérix and the Falling Sky (this is in the French version).
  • Flower From the Mountaintop: The main plot for Asterix in Switzerland.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: As shown in the page image of the trope, this is the Gauls' signature move after everyone in the village has gotten their share of the magic potion. The lead characters (especially Obelix) also occasionally do it with unfortunate sentries when getting into one of the Roman camps, though then, the Megaton Punch is the traditional approach.
  • Full Boar Action: It's the Gauls' favorite food. Obélix isn't fond of places who don't have it, or cook it wrong.
  • Funetik Aksent: Most populations talk this way.
    • For instance, Egyptians speak in hieroglyphics, and Goths speak in Gothic Script. Britons keep the word order switched around ("Ici nous sommes" for "Here we are"). Ibers litter their otherwise normal speech with "Ay, ay, ay!"s and "Olé!"s.
  • Funny Background Event: Frequently.
  • Genre Shift: Astérix and the Falling Sky, which departs from the usual historical themes into Science Fiction. Many fans see it as a definite Jumping the Shark moment.
  • Gentle Giant: Obélix
  • German Dialects: There isn't almost any that Astérix hasn't been translated into yet. There are even dialect versions of some of the movies.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Getafix. Only in the English version though, his original name is the innocuous Panoramix.
    • In Astérix and the Laurel Wreath, Vitalstatistix visits his brother-in-law Homeopathix, whom he dislikes. He gives him one of Obélix's menhires as a "gift", presumably for the Nth time...

Homeopathix: But my dear chap, where am I going to put all these menhirs of yours?
Vitalstatistix: (grinning evilly) You really want me to tell you?
Impedimenta: VITALSTATISTIX!

  • Giftedly Bad: "The Cacofonix" was one of the proposed titles for this trope.
  • Gigantic Gulp: Obélix drinks wine straight from the barrel. This combines badly with "Can't Hold His Liquor".
  • Give Chase With Angry Natives: A boar comes up with a plan to dodge the Gauls: lead them across a Roman patrol.
  • Gladiator Games: Astérix the Gladiator
  • Graceful Loser: Caesar
  • Grand Finale: Astérix and Son was intended to be this, with the village burning down, Caesar making peace with the Gauls and his agreeing to rebuild their village as thanks for protecting his son. However, the series continued after that.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: This is Obélix's standard move for fighting not only Romans.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Normans wanted to find out about fear. They succeeded.
  • Guile Hero: Is thumping a viable solution? Nobody. Is thumping not a viable solution, or insufficiently poetic? Asterix.
  • The Gump: Obélix seem to be the fault of some historically known accidents, like the missing nose on the sphinx or the broken part of the grand Colosseum (which did not exist in 50 BC).
  • Happy Rain: At the end of Astérix and the Magic Carpet, Cacofonix's rain-inducing voice finally finds a suitable use.
  • Heroic Dolphin: Astérix gets saved by a dolphin in the sea in Astérix and the Actress.
  • Hero Stole My Boat: During Astérix and the Banquet, Astérix and Obelisk steal a boat with its owner in it to get across to the next town, despite the person's protests that he had just gotten a good room with full-board. When they reach their destination, the poor sap has to haul his boat back via land.
    • Specifically they go from Nicae (Nice) to Massilia (Marseille), which are 97 miles (156 km) apart. Poor guy.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Astérix & Obélix
  • Historical Domain Character: Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Brutus are the main ones.
  • Historical In-Joke: Lots of them.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Obélix & Co, the Romans plan to undo the village's social structure backfires when one roman citizen wants in on the craze, resulting in unrest in Rome and the devaluing of their currency, the sistertius.
  • Homages
    • In Astérix in Belgium, a full-page panel depicting a banquet is an altered version of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting "The Peasant Wedding".
    • In another album, the pirate crew recreates "The Raft of the Medusa" after their Nth ship is sunk by the Gauls. "We've been framed, by Jericho!"
    • Astérix and the Soothsayer manages to sneak a recreation of "The Anatomy Lesson" by Rembrandt.
    • The whole plot of Astérix and the Banquet was inspired by the Tour de France bicycle race (it even borrows the name for the original French title: Le Tour de Gaule d'Astérix), and uses some plot points from Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.
    • Done ad nauseam in the 50th anniversary book.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Astérix and the Banquet has an used chariot dealer selling Astérix and Obélix a spanking-new ride with a strong black stallion... only problem is, the chariot falls apart within a few minutes, and the strong black stallion turns out to be a weakly white horse painted black, its paint washing off when it starts to rain.
  • Horny Vikings: Astérix and the Normans
  • Hot-Blooded: Obélix. He is very sensitive, and very quick to anger.

Caesar: Look at you! You have become decadent! All you think about nowadays is eating and sleeping!
Senator: (waking up) What? It's lunchtime already?

  • I Surrender, Suckers: According to the comics, Vercingetorix surrendered to Julius Caesar not by laying his weapons at Caeasar's feet but by laying them on Caesar's feet.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Obelix uses it on a corrupt ferry captain in Asterix and Cleopatra.
  • "Join the Army," They Said
  • Karma Houdini: Tortuous Convolvulus
  • Killed Off for Real: Arguably, Admiral Crustacius in Astérix and Obélix All at Sea. As a rule, characters are never killed in the Astérix books, but his fate, namely being trapped in stone form (supposedly for good, unless Getafix pays a visit) in the middle of the Circus Maximus's ring, is the nearest the series comes to genuinely offing a character.
    • Being trapped in stone form is a better fate than being torn limb from limb by lions, or being butchered by the Gladiator's swords.
    • Not to mention based on Obélix's experience, he doesn't appear conscious or aware of his surroundings either.
    • Surreptitious and Dubbelosix are shown smeared with honey and running from bees in the arena at the end of Asterix and the Black Gold. Though played for laughs, this was a genuine, and cruel, means of execution under some of the later emperors.
    • Laurensolivius, the avant-garde impresario in Asterix and the Cauldron, was thrown to the lions, as were the legionaries in Asterix and the Goths who mistook Ubiquitus and Monotonus for captured Goths and tried to take the credit.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Many times Obélix has wanted to just bash their way through a problem and Astérix has had to convince him to do the smart thing.
    • Once, Obelix forgot they were there to parley.
  • Lethal Chef: The Britons and their food boiled with mint sauce.
    • And their warm beer.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Obélix. He's strong and nearly invulnerable, but he's also pretty fast. He is occasionally portrayed as being more of a Mighty Glacier, however.
  • Live Action Adaptation: Three of them so far, most notably featuring Gerard Depardieu as Obelix (other members of the main cast have been changed around often). They boast high production values and have been successful at the box office, but they have been received mostly poorly by critics and "hardcore" fans, who have often decried the use of rough humour compared to the one found in the books. Apparently Uderzo, dissatisfied with the first two movies as well, supervised the production of the third, but it didn't save it from receiving the "top" prize of the French equivalent of the Razzie Awards in 2008. A fourth movie is coming in Autumn 2012.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Histrionix and Melodrama in Asterix and the Great Divide.
  • Low Speed Chase: In Asterix in Lutetia, Asterix and Obelix are chasing an ox cart on a Roman highway, but since the cart goes at a leisurely walking pace, they easily catch up with it. Yet the ironic caption for the panel is "And the breathtaking chase begins!" Obelix stops the cart by dovetailing it and stopping in front of it, which obviously is not impressive at all when done at 5 MPH.
  • Man Child: Obélix
  • Man in the Iron Mask: In The Movie Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar, Julius Caesar is locked in an iron mask and thrown into a dungeon by the traitorous Detritus.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Tortuous Convolvulus.
  • Megaton Punch: Justified by the fact that the people who do these punches are under the effect of the magical potion.
    • Except for Obélix, who is not allowed to because, etc.
    • Obélix once drinks (three drops of) the potion in Astérix and Cleopatra in order to enhance his strength even more to move a solid stone door. He sees no difference, yet he keeps asking for potion subsequently anyway.
      • Fridge Brilliance moment: Since drinking more potion while under the influence of the potion turns you to stone, it's likely Getafix just gave Obelix drops of water and used a Placebo Effect to trick Obelix.
      • The Animated Adaptation attempts to explain it by having him complain that now that he finally got to taste the potion, the amount was so small that he didn't have time to really find out what it tasted like.
  • Metronomic Man-Mashing: Astérix himself has been known to do it, though Obelix uses it more frequently.
  • Mighty Glacier: Played straight in Astérix the Gladiator, when the gladiator trainer dodges Obélix's punches easily. However, Obélix is usually more of a Lightning Bruiser than a Mighty Glacier in most of the other books in the series.
    • By the looks of that scene Obelix wasn't even trying; his "punch" is drawn completely differently from every other punch he makes in the same album.
      • Since the trainer actually asked him to punch him, he was probably trying to play by the rules and didn't expect the other one to avoid the punches: after all he is asking for them, isn't?
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Geriatrix
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Frequently used by the Romans to spy on the Gauls. In one episode a Roman soldier disguises himself as a tree and Hilarity Ensues when an owl begins to stalk him.
  • Mook: Boy howdy the Roman legionnaires. Whether it's by the Goths, the Gauls, or civil wars, they always wind up either unconscious and piled onto each other or with Amusing Injuries.
  • The Movie: Several Astérix films, both animated and live-action, have been produced.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: From Asterix in Corsica: he's Boneywasawarriorwayayix, not Boneywasawarriorpomtiddlypom (In French, he's Ocatarinetabellatchtchix, not "Ocatarinetabellaploumploum").
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Romans get to the point where they recognize Asterix and Obelix's names, and are understandably terrified of them. Asterix in Britain has Asterix appear and call out to the Romans, whereupon the entire contingent huddles together, talking nervously about him, and how Obelix must also be nearby - much to the exasperation of the Roman commander.
    • Pretty much any mention of the village or the indomitable Gauls will cause a cringe from someone, at least in later albums.
    • The Pirates in particular will run (or rather, sail - when they don't scuttle) away like madmen at the first mention of Gauls in the area.
  • Napoleon Delusion: One of Psychoanalytix's patients Astérix and the Big Fight suffers from this. Of course, Bonaparte didn't live until centuries later, so no-one knows who the man thinks he is.
    • Not a delusion, but in Asterix in Corsica, chief Ocaterinettabellachichix suddenly strikes a Napoleonic pose and starts talking about "my grumblers" and "the eve of Osterlix". Later he sends Caesar a message that "the Corsicans will only accept an emperor if he is a Corsican himself."
  • National Stereotypes: The populations that Astérix and Obélix encounter are affectionate parodies of nearly every French and European stereotype around. (Less affectionate in the case of the Germans, who are depicted as goose-stepping, pickelhaube-wearing Goths, complete with banners reminiscent of the Third Reich, though later books have a few examples of more sympathetic German characters. Like the German(ic) "tourists" in Spain.)
    • Lampshaded in the preface to the English edition of Asterix and the Britons, where the writers point out "if we were Britons satirizing the Gauls, we might say they all wore berets, ate frog's legs and snails, and drank red wine for breakfast. We might add that they had hopelessly relaxed upper lips, and that phlegm was not their outstanding characteristic."
    • Asterix in Corsica conscientiously piles on every single "Corsican" cliche known to French culture, after warning in the preface that this is what they are going to do.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: In Astérix in Britain.
  • Noble Demon: Caesar
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Cleopatra looks like Liz Taylor, Dubbleosix is Sean Connery, Preposterus is Jacques Chirac, Toun is Mickey Mouse...
  • No Indoor Voice: Centurion Nebulus Nimbus, in Astérix and the Big Fight.
  • No Name Given: Geriatrix's wife. Uderzo even lampshades that she is not supposed to be named. A woman needs her secrets.
    • Despite this, in the Parc Astérix Theme Park in France, her impersonators sign her name as "Taillefine" ("thin waist"), which also happens to be the name of a popular brand of fat-free yogurts.
  • Noodle Incident: Nobody ever explains exactly what happened to the Roman tax collector who dropped by the village at some indeterminate point before Astérix and the Cauldron, but whatever it was the Gauls did to him, he never came back.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Present in all English dubs of the movies, with a few exceptions.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Obélix, see Dumb Muscle.
  • Offhand Backhand
  • Oh Crap:
    • The Gaulish-Gothic interpreter has a great one, when Getafix reveals to the Goth chief that he speaks Gothic.
    • The soothsayer of the animated Astérix and the Big Fight has one, too, provoked by a Roman centurion. The centurion says all Gaulish soothsayers are to be arrested, and gives him a test to see if he's the real deal, which the soothsayer insists he isn't... he flips a coin, asking heads or tails. The soothsayer replies "Neither", smiling in his belief that this would be impossible. Naturally, the coin gets stuck in the neck of an amphora, and the soothsayer has a grand old Oh Crap moment.
    • This was taken from a nearly identical moment in Astérix and the Soothsayer. In this case, the captured soothsayer is told to guess the outcome of a dice roll. He picks VII[1] and thinks he's safe due to "never having been lucky at gambling". Cue the dice reading VII followed by a panicking soothsayer desperatly trying to cover his ass.
      • Specifically, he tries to cover his ass saying that if he really had predicted that the dice would read VII, he would have said VIII so he would have been set free. Near the end of the comic, the enraged optione asks him to guess the dice roll again. He predicts VIII. The dice read VII. Cue a very confused optione and the Centurion telling the Soothsayer that he's being too showy and he has to lay low.
    • The Pirates have a Mass "Oh Crap" moment whenever they realize that that one group of Gauls is on board the targeted vessel.
      • Their captain gets a priceless one in the Asterix in Britain movie, when he sees the entire Roman fleet heading towards them.
  • Oh My Gods: Since in those days, all religions in Europe were polytheistic.
    • Joked about early in Astérix and the Soothsayer, where the Gauls are said to have hundreds of gods, and created a code number system to simplify things.
    • Also played with in Astérix and the Magic Carpet, when the two fakirs start cursing each other while in the magical equivalent of a Blade Lock. Astérix says something like "If they are going to call upon all of their thirty million deities they'll be at it for a while."
    • Also played with in Astérix and Cleopatra, where a conversation between the Gauls, Edifis, and a Roman Centurion has every statement by any party end with "By <Random god of relevant culture>". At the end of the conversation, Artifis looks up and says to his assistant Crewcut "Do you think we can go home now, by any chance?".
  • Once an Episode:
    • All end in a big meal party at night. (Except for Astérix and Son: the village has been destroyed, so Cleopatra hosts a banquet on her barge.)
    • Cacofonix gets tied up and can not be part of the party; there are a few exceptions (most notably Asterix and the Normans in which Cacofonix basically saves the day for once, so he deserves it).
    • The pirates get their ship trashed (though not always).
    • Romans are bashed lots.
    • Obélix, magic potion, cauldron, baby, blah blah blah.
    • Vitalstatistix falls off his shield.
    • Fulliautomatix makes a disparaging comment about the quality of Unhygienix's fish, which causes a fight to break out.
      • This one even gets lampshaded in Asterix and the Soothsayer. Asterix commented that any time people discuss the fish, a fight breaks out. Unhygienix claimed this wasn't true. Fulliautomatix said that it wouldn't happen if the fish was fresh. A fight breaks out.
  • Only Sane Man: Astérix and usually Panoramix/Getafix.
    • It's worth noting that Chief Vitalstatistix tries SO hard to fit this trope. He fails.
    • Convolvulus from Astérix and the Roman Agent.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The fun-loving, chaotic Gauls versus the Roman Empire. The True Neutral Helvetians also cop their share of problems.
  • Painting the Medium: Astérix and the Goths features a "Gaulish-Gothic translator", but all that is different between the two "languages" is that the Goths speak in a Gothic letter type, so they're still speaking the same language. At one point Getafix (who has been captured by the Goths to get hold of the Magic Potion) is shown to master the Gothic language (shown by using the Gothic font in his speech bubble), exposing the interpreter as a liar.
    • The Egyptians of Astérix in Egypt speak in hieroglyphs which, where possible, correspond to what they're saying in a B-Roll Rebus / Visual Pun way. Obélix's shaky attempt to speak the language look like children's drawings.
    • Norsemen talk with diacritics, spelling all their wørds strångely -- even their dog bårks in diacritics. Astérix tries to duplicate this but puts the diacritics on the wrong letters.
    • Greeks talk in angular letters. (and unlike the above examples, the Gauls understand them, so it's probably just an accent)
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: In a mini-comic, there is a particular spirit of Spring whose job it is to push up the plant stems and so on and so forth.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Other than get their ship sunk.
    • Well, they do try to do what pirates do, but they always happen to pick the ship that has Asterix and Obelix (or in Asterix and the Olympic Games, the entire Gaulic village) on board, resulting in the usual Curb Stomp Battle and subsequent sinking of their ship. In Asterix and Cleopatra, Redbeard even displays a moment of Genre Savvy when he decides to no longer attack any Gaulic, Roman or Phoenician ships, because they always have the gauls on board... Guess who are on the Egyptian ship that the lookout just spotted...
    • By way of variety: At the end of "Caesar's Laurels", they appear as the captives in Caesar's triumph after his "campaign against the pirates". In LES DOMAINES DES DIEUX it is revealed that they were in the slave work gang.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: pretty much any "barbarian" people is some shade of this. Those nominally under roman control tend to have their own Undefeatable Little Village.
    • A list: Gauls, Normans, Germans, Iberians, Britons, Corsicans, Belgians...
    • Spoofed in Asterix and the Black Gold, where, when lost in the middle eastern desert, they encounter a succession of warbands from different regional ancient peoples... who all happen to be at war with at least one one of the other warbands encountered. And except from clothes/armor, they all look the same.
  • Punny Name: Absolutely everyone who isn't a historical figure, and some who are (such as Pontius Pirate in the English translation). Impressive when you think they had to make new puns in every different translation.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: Most of the classical antiquity cultures presented in the series are actually just stand-ins for modern nations.
  • The Quisling: Cassius Ceramix, chief of the Gallo-Roman village of Linoleum in Astérix and the Big Fight.
  • Rage Against the Author: At the beginning of The Golden Book, Albert Uderzo ages his characters by fifty years, thinking it would be funny. Obélix registers his disapproval with his fist.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In Astérix in Corsica, it's explained that the island's garrisons are a dumping ground for hopeless elements of the Roman Legion. Also, at the end of Astérix the Gaul, a displeased Caesar reassigns an officer to an outpost in Mongolia(!) (Brutus gets the same treatment in Asterix and Son). In Astérix vs Caesar, an overeager young officer is transferred to a post in the Sahara, as punishment for an unauthorized raid that captured Vitalstatistix's niece Panacaea, which his centurion (correctly) believes that the Gauls will consider grounds for levelling the camp.
  • Rebus Bubble: Whenever anyone swears.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Relax-O-Vision: Particularly savage fights take place off-panel.
  • The Right Hand of Doom: Verses the Persian from The Twelve Tasks Of Astérix.
  • Rugby Is Slaughter: Even before you give the players Magic Potion.
  • Running Gag: Fulliautomatix hitting Cacofonix when the latter tries to sing, Obélix being very sensitive about his weight, and others.
    • It gets hilarious when, in Astérix and the Chieftain's Shield, Astérix and company leave the village quietly, without informing the rest of the Gauls and avoiding a big farewell feast. When Fulliautomatix notices their departure, he quickly runs to Cacofonix's house, wakes him up, tells him about the company setting off, waits until the bard gets up, takes his harp and attempts to sing -- and then he proceeds to the traditional bashing of Cacofonix!
    • Even more hilarious is when, in Astérix and the Secret Weapon, Cacofonix gets ready to leave the town because he's offended they have brought another bard to teach the kids, and Fulliautomatix, feeling guilty, agrees to let him sing if he stays. Then Cacofonix takes Fulliautomatix's hammer and starts beating the hell out of him while shouting "No, you won't make me sing!!" (When Fullautomatix bashes Cacofonix, he usually shouts "No, I won't let you sing!!")
      • In the French version, "Non, tu ne me feras pas chanter!", which also means "No, you won't blackmail me!" (blackmail in french is "chantage", so the relevant verbs are essentially one and the same).
    • Rotten fish. See Shamu Fu.
    • Whenever Brutus appears, he's toying with a knife, sometimes hurting himself by accident. Caesar never sees anything suspicious about his behaviour.
  • Scenery Porn: Uderzo has a great hand when drawing ancient Rome, Athens or Jerusalem. Made Up to Eleven in Astérix in Corsica: Uderzo and Goscinny were so impressed with the scenery of the island when they vacationed there that they decided to make this album just to put it in.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: In Astérix and the Black Gold, the village runs out of magic potion for lack of petroleum, an essential ingredient. Astérix and Obélix set off to the Middle East in search of it, but return empty-handed. However, Getafix had just substituted equally efficient beetroot juice instead. There's an Ironic Echo of Getafix and later Astérix having a stroke.
  • Shamu Fu: When the village gets into a fight, it's often started by Unhygienix's thrown fish.
  • Shield Surf: Vitalstatistix uses this as his primary conveyance of choice. Once an Episode he falls off.
    • Or the shield bearers are in a hurry and rush out without him on it. Or he forgets to duck and hits his head on the lintel, since he's standing at least five feet in the air.
    • On one occasion, he's in the middle of having a bath when a Roman consul arrives wishing to speak to him. His wife won't allow him to dodge having a bath, so his shield bearers are forced to carry him out in the bath.
  • Shields Are Useless: The only characters who ever use them are the Romans, and given that they're fighting Astérix...
    • In big fights involving the entire village, there's inevitably at least one Roman being bashed with his own shield.
    • Vitalstatistix hits people on the head with his shield whenever he's involved in a village brawl, but never uses it for defense.
  • Shout-Out: There are actually so many it would require its own page...
    • In Astérix in Britain, the heroes come across "four very famous bards" who look like The Beatles.
    • In Astérix in Belgium, they are warned of Caesar's arrival by the Thom(p)sons of Tintin fame; the courier being sent out to notify the clan leaders all over Belgium of this event is none other than cyclist Eddy Merckx (sans bike); and then there's the kid who's quite reminiscent of the famous Manneken Pis statue in Brussels in more than just his appearance.
    • There's also a character (a druid/Roman spy who has a prominent role in Astérix's Odyssey) who looks like Sean Connery... and is named Zerozerosix (Dubblosix in the English version).
    • In Astérix and the Flying Carpet, one of the villains expresses the desire to be "Rajah instead of the Rajah" (Goscinny created both comics).
    • The live action adaptation of Asterix and Cleopatra gives one to Star Wars, among other things. The scene? A Roman military camp, where a centurion has just suggested retreat to the resident field general due to a humiliating first defeat at the hands of the Gauls. The general's response? Swiftly choking the centurion while berating him for his lack of faith in a deep, echoing voice, after which he quips: "When the Roman Empire finds itself under attack... The Empire Strikes Back!". We also see the general's cape and helmet from the back for a second or two in an homage to the classic backshot of Darth Vader's helmet, while a quick snippet of the imperial march ominously plays in the background. There are MANY more.
  • Shown Their Work
  • Siege Engines: The Romans sometimes bring siege engines to battle. It doesn't turn out too well against the Gauls, but somewhat effective against the Belgians before Asterix and Obélix take them out. They were also effective in Asterix and Cleopatra before Cleopatra reprimanded Caesar for attacking the palace.
  • Significant Anagram: The names of the two alien races in Astérix and the Falling Sky, Tadsilweny and Nagma are anagrams for "Walt Disney" and "Manga", respectively.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Cacofonix is the musical equivalent of Uwe Boll.
  • The Snark Knight: Asterix in the first movie adaption.
  • Something Completely Different: Besides having a Darker and Edgier tone than usual, Astérix and the Laurel Wreath takes place entirely outside of the Gaulish village (save for the very last page) and features none of the usual characters other than Astérix and Obelix (save for a couple of scenes with Vitalstatistix and Impedimenta during the How We Got Here portion of the story).
  • Speech Bubbles: Speech bubbles turn green as characters are influenced by the seeds of discord sewn by Convolvulus in Astérix and the Roman Agent.
    • When a character is deemed to be speaking with particular (and often sarcastic) pleasantry, the speech bubble is always decorated with flowers.
    • When a character is speaking coldly, icicles form at the bottom of the speech bubble.
    • And in one truly strange example, the tax collector that Astérix robs in Astérix and the Cauldron speaks in forms:

Tax Collector: Are you:
A: Ordinary passersby?
B: Motivated by friendly intentions?
C: Bandits?
Astérix: Give us your money if you don't want to get thumped!
Tax Collector: Are you:
A: Ordinary passersby?
B: Motivated by friendly intentions?
C: (checked) Bandits?

  • Spiked Wheels: Dubbleosix's chariot in Astérix and the Black Gold.
  • Status Quo Is God: The village is destroyed in Astérix and Son, but by the end of the story, Caesar promises to rebuild it as thanks for the Gauls protecting his son.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: The Britons' defining cultural trait.
  • Stout Strength: Obélix. He's the most "well-covered" but also the strongest character.
  • Straw Feminist: Bravura in Astérix and the Secret Weapon. Although she makes some valid points.
  • Super Serum: Getafix's potion.
  • Symbol Swearing: All the time, leading to a great gag in Asterix the Legionary where the interpreter translates Centurion Purpus' expletives into Gothic and then back again.
  • Take That: The Nagma in Astérix and the Falling Sky are intended to be a swipe at Japanese comics in general. In contrast, the Tadsilweny are a not-so-subtle Affectionate Parody of Americans, and as such are treated much more sympathetically than the Nagma.
    • The contribution album Uderzo croqué par ses amis also had a swipe against manga, the page showing the village surrounded by the camps was changed to depict Europe being invaded by "manga".
    • Asterix and the Secret Weapon was pretty much one big Take That to the Feminist movement.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Astérix in Switzerland opens with with the Roman governor varius Flavus poisoning the food of Quaestor Vexatius Sinusitus in an attempt to dispose of him before Sinusistus can uncover Flavus' embezzlement.
  • Tap on the Head: Frequently.
  • Teeth Flying: The humorous version.
  • Terrible Trio: The pirates (with the captain, lookout and wooden-leg guy as the trio part).
  • Theme Naming: The ending of most of the characters' names, depending of their ethnicity.
    • Gauls (including Belgians and Corsicans) -ix; Britons -ax;[2] Romans -us; Normans -af; Danes -sen; Greeks -os and -as; Goths -rik...
      • Gaulish women: -ine (Falbala/Panacea is an exception, perhaps she's from a more Romanized family?); Roman women: -a; Egyptians and Phoenicians: -is;[3] Iberians: Spanish-type double names combined by an "y".
      • Truth in Television: Still today, many Frisians and Danes have last names ending in -sen.
    • Lampshaded somewhat in Astérix and the Normans: Astérix reports to the chief that the Normans have landed, and Obélix adds that amusingly, they all have names that end in -af. The chief then lists several of the Gaul's names, all ending in -ix.
  • Third Person Person: Caesar

Centurion: He's great!
Caesar: Who?
Centurion: Er... you.
Caesar: Oh, him!

    • Based on the fact that he wrote his memoirs in third person in Real Life.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like
  • Throw the Dog a Bone
    • On three occasions, Cacofonix actually saves the day. The villagers' response? Rather than tie him up (as they usually do to keep him from playing his music during victory celebrations), they tie up Fulliautomatix to keep him from hitting him.
    • Cacofonix also attended the feast in Astérix the Gaul and Astérix and the Chieftain's Shield, even though he did not contribute anything to help save the day.
      • He didn't try to sing (as far as the readers could tell). That was good enough.
    • Also, at the end of Astérix and the Cauldron, the pirates get the gold-filled cauldron after having been unfairly accused of stealing it and beaten up by Astérix and Obélix when in fact they were actually trying to go legit. Even the narrator exclaims, "And for once the pirates are happy!"
  • Time Skip: Astérix and Obélix's Birthday: The Golden Book has a scene that takes place 50 years after the normal timeline of the books, depicting the characters as old men.
  • Token Romance: While this never happens in the actual books, it is surprisingly common for the various film adaptations to add some sort of unnecessary romance subplot. To count those:
    • Astérix Conquers America: Astérix and Obélix are tempted to stay in America because of a beautiful Native American chieftain's daughter. In the book, said daughter was fat and ugly and was one of the main reasons they decided to leave.
      • She was somewhat fat, but hardly ugly. Obélix was just terrified by the prospect of romance, let alone marriage.
    • Astérix and Obélix Take on Caesar: Obélix's attraction to Panacea is a subplot. This is taken from the books, but it is played much more seriously here.
      • In fairness, Panacea is played by Laetitia Casta which might explain why she has magical doubles of herself, a plot point which wasn't in Astérix the Legionary (the book from whence Panacea comes).
    • Astérix: Mission Cleopatra: Astérix is given a love interest in the form of Cleopatra's handmaiden Givemeakis (who was not there in the book).
    • Astérix and the Vikings: Justforkix is given a love interest in the form of Chief Timandahaf's daughter Abba.
    • Astérix at the Olympic Games: The whole plot is altered so that the Gauls enter the Olympic games to help a Gaul named Lovesix to win the heart of the Greek princess Irina, or else she'll have to marry Brutus. Irina and Lovesix are little more than Shallow Love Interests for each other.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Obélix will often ask for wild boar in completely unfitting situations.
  • Tsundere: Cleopatra acts like one towards Caesar.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Geriatrix is (canonically) 93 years old, and yet his wife is the sexiest woman of the village.
    • Sexiest married woman; there's the drop-dead gorgeous Panacea, but she's not a regular villager, and not married (yet).
      • I beg to differ on the grounds of Astérix and the Actress.
    • Regardless, Panacea (known as Philharmonia in some English versions) does not fit this trope - when she does get married, her husband is young and attractive (i.e. with Heroic Build and Lantern Jaw of Justice, which aren't used that often otherwise).
  • Undefeatable Little Village: The town where Astérix live is probably the Ur Example of this trope.
  • Unfortunate Names: Nefarius Purpus' name in the Latin translation (and therefore likely his true name) is Milesgloriosus.
  • The Uriah Gambit: Crismus Bonus's sentence.
  • Too Important to Walk: Chief Vitalstatistix is carried by two shield bearers. Frequent RunningGags are made of the facts that he's rather overweight and his bearers are of different heights.
    • There's the additional running gag in which he falls off the shield for some reason at least once per story.
    • There was one story where Vitalstatistix's shield bearers quit, and he appointed Asterix and Obelix as their replacements. Since the height difference between them is even greater than the usual shield bearers', this didn't work out so well.
    • Also, whenever Cleopatra suddenly shows up some place, she's always sitting on a gigantic golden sphinx-shaped chair on wheels pulled by slaves flanked by dancers and trumpeters. She has at least once referred to one such appearance as "dropping by incognito".
    • A chief of a Gallo-Roman village has four shield-bearers. When he turns his back on someone, the shield-bearers also turn so that they may leave - which leaves him facing the person he turned his back on.
  • Villain by Default: Roman Prefects are invariably corrupt, greedy, scheming and decadent.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Astérix and Obélix have an argument or falling-out pretty much Once Per Episode. It never takes long for them to make up, though.
    • The entire Gaulish village have been known to brawl with each other when they're bored and no Romans or other outside foes are available.
  • Wallpaper Camouflage: The spy in the animated Asterix and Cleopatra.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?:

Impedimenta: If anyone were fool enough to write the story of our village, you can bet they wouldn't call it The Adventures of Vitalstatistix the Gaul!

    • There's also the moment in Astérix and the Cauldron, where Obélix wants to tell stories about his and Astérix's adventures to raise money, but Astérix sees no monetary value in it.

Obélix: We could call it The Adventures of Obélix the Gaul and...
Astérix: Oh, shut up.

  • William Telling: Subverted in Astérix in Switzerland by the arrow hitting the bull's eye of the intended target, when it looked like it might have hit the apple on the kid's head. The eyewitnesses feel disappointed, but can't explain why.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Julius Caesar's secret weapon in Astérix and the Secret Weapon is an all-female army, intended to exploit the Gaulish code of chivalry against striking women.
  • You No Take Candle
    • In Obélix and Co., Caius Preposterous has to resort to this, when his attempts at giving a straight explanation of how economics work to Obélix fails. Obélix gets the impression that all businessmen speak like that, which is how he explains the economic system to the people he hires.
    • The Nagma in Astérix and the Falling Sky speaks in stereotypically broken English, as Obélix helpfully points out.

Obélix: He doesn't talk like us, either! He talks funny!

  • Zorro Mark: In Astérix and Caesar's Gift, Astérix duels with a Roman and carves a Z into his tunic. With dialogue lifted from Cyrano De Bergerac. The English translators lifted dialogue from Hamlet instead, as they felt the audience would not be sufficiently familiar with Cyrano.
    • The Roman also brags that he served in the Pontifex Maximus' Guards, footnoted as "A sort of Cardinal of the period."
  1. the most frequently occuring dice roll. Roman era soothsayers apparently don't have good grasp of the laws of probability.
  2. plus -os and -ix for some
  3. with some -et in the translation