El Tigre

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El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera (2007-2008) is a popular animated series on Nickelodeon created by a husband and wife team, Jorge Guitirrez and Sandra Equihua. It is about a 13-year-old Mexican boy, Manny Rivera, who has a magical belt that turns him into costumed superhero El Tigre (Spanish for 'The Tiger'[1]).

Unsure of whether he's destined to be a hero like his father, White Pantera, or whether crime is his true calling, like his grandfather Puma Loco, Manny refuses to pick one side over the other. He alternately contributes to and opposes the seedy goings-on of his town, Miracle City (described in the opening sequence as "a spicy cesspool of crime and villainy") with the aid and companionship of his best friend, Frida Suarez.

Although Manny is mainly good to appeal to young viewers, he frequently disobeys his honest and heroic father and partakes in "bad" acts (e.g. buying the tattoo maker, kicking the crutch that kept Casa De Adios up and thus demolishing it).


Tropes used in El Tigre include:


  • Action Mom: Well, Maria with her Plata Peligrosa powers, anyway.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: A bunch of reccuring girls that Manny keeps trying to impress (he fails most of the time.)
  • Amusing Injuries
  • Animal Theme Naming: El Tigre, Puma Loco, White Pantera, etc.
    • Also the Aves family, Lady Gobbler, Voltura, and Black Cuervo.
  • Anticipatory Breath Spray
  • Anti-Hero: Manny is a Type III.
  • Anti-Villain: Grandpapi is a Type I.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny!: Frida suffers from this constantly.
  • Audible Gleam
  • Badass Family: His grandfather, father, and his mother at some point have all shown impressive superpowers. In 'A Grave Escape' it seems superpowers are mandatory in the Rivera family.
    • Point of fact it appears that the Rivera family has alternating generations of heroes and villains. Puma Loco (villain)'s father was Justice Jaguar (hero), whose father was the Mighty Cheetar (villain) and so on and so forth back to the first El Tigre who went insane trying to decide whether to be good or bad.
    • Actually, almost all of the super villains in this series have villainous family members. The Aves family, the Chipotle scientists, Sartana and Django, General Chapuza and Che, etc. Sergio and El Oso are first generation villains, but it seems traditional for the younger villains to be the successors of their parents.
  • Badass Mustache: Raul, and the Mustache Mafia.
    • Also, Rodolfo, under his mask.
  • Bad Future: In 'A Grave Escape', El Tigre I is shown to have gone insane due to not knowing which way to head (good or evil). Some fans believe Manny will do this.
  • Beautiful All Along: Played straight in "Mustache Love" when the ugly Sophia loses her unibrow and is suddenly beautiful (though she still sounds and acts the same). Subverted with Manny who looks pretty much the same without the mustache, but Sophia finds him repulsive.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call a Rivera a coward. Bad, bad idea.
    • Also never tell a zombie they cannot dance.
    • Also never ever harm Manny around his mother. Just don't.
    • Never call the Golden Eagle Twins' Zeppelin a blimp.
    • If you hurt Frida when Chief Suarez is around, pray for mercy.
  • Better as Friends: Much to Rodolfo's chagrin, his ex-wife Maria keeps insisting that they should remain Just Friends.
  • Between My Legs: Of Maria in the episode "A Mother's Glove".
    • Also of El Oso in "Sole of a Hero" and El Tigre in "Fistful of Collars"
  • Big Bad: Sartana of the Dead.
  • Big Fancy House: Most of the 'casas' on the show.
  • Big No: In a lot of episodes, mostly done by Manny/El Tigre.
  • Blood Knight: Plata Peligrosa, out of control.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Every time a villain snatches his belt, Manny is helpless.
    • This happens to all the Rivera men in 'No Belt, No Boots, No Bero', due to court order. The alternative was time in an onion mine.
  • Brought to You by The Letter "S": The letter T on the El Tigre belt.
  • Bumbling Dad: Rodolfo is a good father, but he's a bit of a dork sometimes. Especially in the presence of his lady love, Maria.
    • As a crime-fighting maverick, on the other hand, he's the real deal.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: Spoofed; "Mrs. Chequita! Pushing a baby carriage! Pulling a box full of kittens!"
  • Burping Contest: One between Manny and Zebra Donkey (in fact, this example provides the page quote) and once between Manny and Frida, who tried to pass their belches off as "a study on the effects of excess gas in the human body" (or something like that) for science class.
  • By-The-Book Cop: Frida's father, Police Chief Suarez.
  • By the Power of Grayskull: "EL TIGRE!!!"
    • And so on for pretty much every other hero/villain with an alter ego.
  • Cardboard Prison: A Running Gag, which is frequently lampshaded by El Oso. This is also a plot point in one episode, where Manny's mother decides that the revolving door on the prison is ineffective and tries to rehabilitate criminals instead.

El Oso: "Can we speed this up, I want to break out in time for dinner!"

  • Card-Carrying Villain: Every villain on the show, especially Puma Loco.
  • Catch Phrase
    • "It's a fact!" "Vendetta!" "SWIIIINE!"
    • White Pantera's "Okay, be good!" Which, almost always provokes Manny to do the opposite.
      • Also: "UNCLEAN!"
    • Let's not forget, "THIS, I SWEAR!"
    • Carmelita Aves/Voltura often insists that she broke up with Rodolfo/White Pantera. When reminded that he broke up with her, she cries out "AS IF I COULD FORGET"
  • Chew Toy: Manny. Not an episode goes by that he goes through some slew of Amusing Injuries, sometimes impossibly over-the-top amusing injuries, and the universe seems to enjoy putting him through the wringer for humor's sake. If the episode calls for someone to go through extreme bad luck, you can be it will be Manny (and in fact several episodes almost entirely deal with hilariously bad things happening to him over and over). Frida sometimes gets it merely through being around him as well.
  • Clark Kenting: Parodied. When not superheroing, Radolfo wears a "disguise" of a unassuming brown suit, fedora and glasses that he doesn't need, just like Clark Kent. Despite everyone in the city knowing who he is, and that he's the superhero White Pantera. Also, note that he does so while wearing his superhero mask underneath the glasses.
  • City of Adventure: Miracle City.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Rodolfo frequently does this to Manny.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grandpapi
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: Maria's Plata Peligrosa glove which gives her an exponentially increasing danger mania (coupled with desire to not remove the glove) the longer she wears it.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Manny's entire family gets their super powers from articles of clothing or accessories:
    • Manny's El Tigre belt buckle.
    • Rodolfo's Bronze Boots of Justice.
    • Puma Loco's Golden Sombrero of Chaos.
    • Maria's Plata Peligrosa glove.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Did you know that Manny is voiced by Alanna Ubach, who played the maid in Meet The Fockers? Now you know.
    • ...Oh God.
      • ...then you don't wanna know what she did in Hung...
  • Cyborg: The Chipotles each have a metal left arm and an electronic right eye, so they might count.
  • Dating Catwoman: Puma Loco with Lady Gobbler, then Rodolfo with Carmelita/Voltura, and then Manny with Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo...it seems to be genetic.
    • For added humor, Lady Gobbler is Voltura's mother, who is Zoe's mother, paralel to Puma Loco, White Pantera and Manny.
      • And for even more humor, it's the cat-themed protagonist Rivera family dating the bird-themed antagonist Aves'.
  • The Dead Can Dance: The Zombies of Zombietown are excellent dancers, and it is a great insult to tell them otherwise.
  • Deface of the Moon: Sartana does this with her mystic guitar in "The Good, The Bad and The Tigre" to carve her own face.
  • Deflector Shields
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The Golden Eagle Twins.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Pretty much every time Manny goes El Tigre in the school library.
  • Distaff Counterpart: La Tigressa Frida Suarez.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Sartana of the Dead. Take a guess at what her theme is.
    • Also, pretty much every character on the show, if you have any understanding of Spanish.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Puma Loco draws the line at hurting your own family. Also, Don Baffi doesn't mess with true love.
    • All of the super villains present were horrified when El Tigre gave Dr. Chipotle Sr. a wet willy.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombietown, and particularly the occasion where Frida begins to succumb to the zombie on her head.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: El Oso.
  • Evil Laugh: Every villain, of course. And for a hero, Plata Peligrosa has a pretty good evil laugh.
  • Evil Versus Evil: All the time. Generally, it's a way for Manny to have evil episodes but still not seem too bad.
  • Executive Meddling: Sketches of El Tigre's third season, which never did exist, can be found on deviantArt.
  • Expressive Hair: Manny's white tufts as El Tigre react to his moods. It spikes up when he's angry, and droops when he's sad.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: The Mustache Mafia
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Both parents have done it, though White Pantera's was interrupted by almost drowning.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Dr. Chipotle Sr. and Dr. Chipotle Jr.
  • Genki Girl: Frida. In fact, viewers in Asia are labeling her the "Latina Suzumiya Haruhi".
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Santana, Django and the rest of the undead skeleton army.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Manny has a big scar over his left eye.
    • So... good or evil?
    • The trope page mentions that scars of that type can go both ways. Much like Manny.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Or possibly Translation Convention. Stills sounds odd.
  • Hartman Hips: Carmelita/Voltura, Maria (especially as Plata Peligrosa)...
  • Heart Symbol: Rodolfo when his undying love for Maria is especially close to the surface.
  • Hebephile: Senor Siniestro seems to be one of these to those who don't know he's really the thirteen-year-old Sergio. That includes (or consists entirely of) the audience.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: Manny could've been the poster boy of this trope.
  • Heroic RROD: Maria's Glove which makes her particularly Ax Crazy the longer she wears it.
  • Henshin Hero: Manny uses a special belt to transform from his secret identity to his superhero form. He also only possesses his super powers while in his superhero form.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Sartana and Django are Wuya and Jack Spicer.
  • Hot Librarian: Maria.
  • Hot Mom: Maria Rivera, again, plus Voltura (Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo´s mom) and Carmela Suarez (Frida Suarez´s mom).
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Maria with the Glove of Power. A flashback even shows she first got it when mystic items of power were getting passed around at a college party and she decided to experiment.
    • Also parodied with Frieda and bubble-wrap.
  • I Can See My House From Here: As Manny and Frida dangle from The Golden Eagle Twin's blimp(Zeppelin!)

Frida: AHHHHH! Hey, i can see my house from here. AHHHH!

  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: On one memorable occasion the shot of Manny shatters and falls away to reveal the next scene.
  • If I Can't Have You: This is both Sergio's and Diego's response to realizing that Frida could never be with one of them.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Frida.
  • I Taste Delicious: Dr. Chipoltle Jr.'s guacamole monster apparently likes to eat itself. With nachos.
  • Just Eat Him: In one episode Sartana creates a huge bone monster that eats the Riveras and Frida, but they manage to bust their way out using the Caliente Catapult of Carnage. In another, a gigantic creature called the Dragonworm devours Manny (who happens to be the last ingredient that will make the Dragonworm "invincible"), but Rodolfo beats the tar out of it, believing it to be fake until he rescues Manny, and finds he's covered with real dragon spit. In another, Manny intentionally jumps into the gullet of Dr. Chipotle Jr.'s guacamole monster in order to destroy it from within using some kind of all-powerful guacamole.
  • Karma Houdini: The Golden Eagle Twins. Two twins who take advantage of their superhero fame to scam the locals into getting whatever they want. Despite Manny and Frida beating em in a fight and destroying their zeppelin ("IT'S NOT A BLIMP"). The city still supported then none the wiser to their true natures. What more Manny ended up getting imprisoned for a statue of them that was the destroyed in the fight.
  • Lampshade Hanging "It's like you kicked a puppy... a lost, unemployed puppy... with a cold."
  • Leitmotif: A few beyond general themes - Manny has the main theme, naturally. Grandpapi has a theme from Carmen that generally plays when a scene is about him.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Longing Look
  • Look Behind You!: Parodied.

Dr. Chipotle, Jr.: Look, a thing!
Frida: Where? (Turns around, then realizes Chipotle ran away) Aw, man!

  • Love Cannot Overcome: Maria is unable to see her husband Rodolfo constantly in mortal danger... this is a little strange considering that she herself used to be a superheroine.
  • Mama Bear: Maria.
  • Masked Luchador: Several characters wear outfits somewhat reminiscent of this, including El Tigre and especially White Pantera.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Manny just can't remember the Chipotles' name. He's called Dr. Chipotle Jr. everything from Dr. Tomatilla to Dr. Chimpanzee. It's never clarified whether he's doing this on purpose or not.
  • Necromancer: Sartana of the Dead, who is a skeleton herself. In fact, anyone who manages to get her mystic guitar can raise the dead, as shown in 'Zebra Donkey'.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: A Rivera trait.
  • Not So Different: Manny and Django, to the point that some fans have theorized Django being Manny in an earlier life.
  • Opening Narration: "Miracle City! A spicy cesspool of crime and villainy..."
  • Opposed Mentors: Manny had his dad, the hero White Pantera, and his grandfather, the villain Puma Loco.
  • Papa Wolf: Most of White Pantera and Puma Loco's most badass moments stem from the need to protect Manny.
    • Chief Emiliano Suarez, Frida´s dad, too.
  • Power Glows: Manny summoning the Tiger Spirit.
  • Police Are Useless: For a long time it seemed like Chief Suarez was this. Villains were constantly busting out of jail and Manny or Rodolfo had to put them back. Then the Mustache Mafia threatened his daughter and he proceeds to spend several hours beating the shit out of them.
    • The rest of the force, however, play this straight.
  • The Power of Love: Played with at the end of "Zebra Donkey".
  • Prehensile Hair: Manny's sentient mustache Raul, as well as Sophia's sentient monobrow.
    • The Mustache Mafia too, of course.
  • Raised by Wolves: Parodied and subverted with El Oso. He was, technically, raised by bears, in that his whole life he followed around a family of bears that wanted nothing to do with him and tried with extreme failure to copy them. This included trying punching a beehive open to get the honey inside (and getting stung for his trouble), trying punching water in order to catch fish (and getting attacked by a fish for his trouble), and trying to scratch his back on a tree like the others by punching a twig (and getting smashed by a fallen tree... inexplicably). The bears, incidentally, spend the whole time trying to get rid of him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All the villains on the show. Including the child villains.
  • Rocket Punch: El Tigre thankfully never combined with the Wolverine Claws.
  • Running Gag: Manny's desire for a jetpack and Maria hyperventilating when faced with something stressful. One episode also treated Sartana capturing Frida as one of these.
    • "Curse you, Dr. Eugene L. Butterman!"
    • A specific store called Manuel's Jewelry always getting robbed whenever there's a crime spree, and often when there isn't as well. The gigantic diamond display on the top of the store will also invariably be destroyed somehow.
    • Manny really needs that T-Belt... because his pants fall down at the slightest provocation, revealing Goofy Print Underwear.
    • Raul the World's Greatest Mustache ending every episode he's in by ripping off of Manny's face in the most painful way possible. Lampshaded by Frida in his last appearance.
  • Sadist Teacher: Vice principal Jacal
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Puma Loco bribing the football referee.
  • Secret Identity: Sergio/Senor Siniestro, Diego/Dr. Chipotle Jr., and Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo all have separate civilian and villain forms. Diego is the only one whose villain form is his default, as we only see his disguise in one episode.
  • Shout-Out: Just in case you didn't know, Frida and Manny's names are based on real-life Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and hubbie Diego Rivera.
    • Someone on production must be a Street Fighter fan, because a few characters from the games can be seen as background students at Manny's school in some episodes. This troper managed to spot Chun-Li, Cammy and Remy (from Third Strike).
      • The name Super Macho Fighters II should make that clear enough.
    • Frida's puppet show: "So then the rabbit said to the hunter, 'No, I'm a duck.'"
    • One episode has Manny and Frida visit El Oso's lair, where his twin brother is watching "tv" - really a rock with a crude picture of Yogi Bear drawn on it.
      • Later in the same episode, Manny and Frida try to lure a group of bears to follow them with a picnic basket. It works.
    • Sartana of the Dead's first name sounds suspiciously similar to that of another latin guitarist.
    • The episode in which Raul, the world's greatest mustache first appears has Manny enjoying the adult life, including working at stapling some very important TPS reports.
  • Shut Up, Kirk: The Silver Sombrero angry at the monster that ate Manny for not letting him finish his speech.
  • Slasher Smile: Several of the villains, but especially the Titanium Titan, who rarely doesn't have his face stretched into a jagged, toothy, creepy grin.
  • Spaghetti Western: Invoked. Manny's school, Leone, is named after Sergio Leone, director of the Dollars Trilogy. Likewise, Django and Sartana of the Death are named after two protagonists from the genre.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Rodolfo's former sidekick, Titanium Titan, is completely obsessed with Rodolfo.
  • Stock Sound Effects: There's a few that you're bound to hear at least once an episode, including certain anime-style slashing sounds, an Audible Sharpness sound that's often used before something explodes, and a couple of commonly-used fart sounds that accompany everything from a garbage truck dumping out shredded trash goop, to a robot dog farting out a battery.
    • There's also a "warping" sound effect used for laser and the like which got a lot of memorable use in the old Fantastic Four animated show. In the sixties.
  • Stuffed Into a Locker: A recurring nerdy kid who always gets picked on by the bullies, and the goodies too.
  • Superhero
  • Super-Hero Origin: 'Mother of All Tigres'.
    • Also the episode that reveals Maria was once a superhero.
  • Theme Naming: The superpowered characters who do not have a Spanish word in their names and/or aren't named after an animal can be counted on one hand. All of the Rivera men we've seen so far (good, neutral, or evil) are named after a big cat of some kind.
  • Third Person Person - The Chipotles.
  • Trademark Favorite Food - Churros to Frida.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Pretty much everyone.
    • Manny/Tigre: EEEEL TIGRE!
    • Rodolfo/White Pantera: WHIIIITE PANTERA!
    • Puma Loco: PUMAAAA LOCO!
  • Tsundere: Zoe Aves/Black Cuervo pretty much sums it up.

Black Cuervo: You're so stupid. I hate you! How come you never call me?

White Pantera: You took advantage of a lady's feelings? UNCLEAN!

  1. Or just "tiger"; Spanish is more liberal when it comes to definite articles than English