Tintin

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Tintin and Snowy.

The Adventures of Tintin, originally titled The Adventures of Tintin and Snowy, is a seminal Belgian comic series and has had considerable influence on the development of graphic narratives in Europe and around the world.

Briefly, Tintin was invented by Georges Remi (AKA Hergé, from his initials backwards, R.G., spelt phonetically in French) as a cartoon character for Le Petit Vingtième, the children's supplement to Le Vingtième Siècle (The Twentieth Century), a conservative, Catholic newspaper in Belgium. The character was developed from Totor, a boy scout character Hergé had previously drawn for Le Boy-Scout Belge. The first adventure was published in 1929 and concerned the young hero, supposedly a reporter for Le Vingtième, accompanied by his dog, Snowy (Milou in French), visiting Soviet Russia and revealing the various iniquities of the Communists, as seen by conservative, Catholic, Belgian eyes.

The second adventure took the hero to the Belgian Congo, and was in a large part a defense of colonialism, despite the fact that the Belgian administration in the Congo was so brutal that even other European imperial powers denounced it. In 2007, the UK Commission for Racial Equality called for it to be banned in the UK for racism (it is sold with a band warning the reader of its content within). It should also be noted that Hergé himself labeled it as "bourgeois and paternalistic."

As the first two stories were basically clumsy propaganda pieces, they have never been much admired by fans, and even the creator admitted their flaws. However, from the third adventure, Tintin in America, onwards, the blatancy of the propaganda was reduced and the inventiveness of the adventures increased so that the series has been enjoyed by readers young and old the world over.

Most of the adventures concerned the (eternally) young hero investigating some event or trying to do someone a good turn and, as a result, falling into adventure. The adventures range from thwarting criminals to treasure hunts, from spy stories to a voyage to the moon.

The real world frequently impinges upon the stories, with many identifiable events from real life being presented with only a few slight changes of name, for example the Grand Chapo (real life, Gran Chaco) war in The Broken Ear, and the Sino-Japanese war in The Blue Lotus.

Eventually the real world was to catch up with the series in a more serious manner. Two stories from the late '30s, King Ottokar's Sceptre and the original version of The Black Island, as well the opening chapters of The Land of Black Gold (later revised and republished), show a possible buildup to war with villains who look suspiciously like Nazis. War, of course, came, and Belgium was occupied. Hergé made the decision to continue his work under the occupation to provide entertainment for his countrymen. To escape the Nazi censor, his stories in this period are fanciful high-adventure yarns with no reference to war at all. (The Crab with Golden Claws, The Shooting Star and the treasure hunt stories, Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure.) These stories' fantastic quests and pulp adventures would influence later stories who would include such high-adventure elements even as the stories themselves would return to real-world inspired elements. However, after liberation, Hergé was accused of being a collaborator for publishing in a collaborationist newspaper. Worse, The Shooting Star had a very obvious Jewish-financier stereotype villain. His work was interrupted for a time.

After his name had been cleared, Hergé continued his stories in a magazine titled Tintin. The stories were now much more tightly scripted than the earlier examples, and included some new characters, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus (Tournesol in French, meaning Sunflower), who had been introduced in the wartime adventures, as well as two clownish policemen, Thompson (with a 'p', as in 'Philadelphia') and Thomson (without a 'p', as in 'Venezuela') who had appeared earlier. (The original French version used "Dupond" and "Dupont" - pronounced the same in French.)

The stories continued, with returns to various settings previously visited, and sudden appearances by a large supporting cast, and included a very well-researched mission to the moon, tending toward the 'Hard' end of Mohs Scale of Sci Fi Hardness. The last completed adventure was published in 1976. Hergé was working on a twenty-fourth adventure, Tintin and Alph-Art, until his death in 1983.

The third Indiana Jones film's story was adapted from a Tintin script Steven Spielberg was writing.

There were two animated series:

  • In the 1960s, a Télé-Hachette and Belvision production that is considered of poor quality by fans.
  • In the early 1990s, there was a much better received French-Canadian series (coproduced by Ellipse and Nelvana), which was much more faithful to the original works and had an awesome theme.

...four animated films...:

  • A lively and faithful stop motion-animated feature film based on The Crab With The Golden Claws made in 1947, whose only copy is kept at the Tintin museum in Brussels and shown to paying visitors. In 2008 this was ported to DVD and released in France and Europe by Fox-Pathé.
  • Tintin and the Sun Temple (1969), by Belvision and made from the combined storyline of The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun. Usually agreed to be the best of Belvision's Tintin productions, and the only one that Hergé himself had any significant involvement with.
  • Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (1972), by Belvision with an original storyline.
  • The Adventures of Tintin (2011), a 3D animation based on The Secret of the Unicorn. More details on its respective page.

...two live-action films:

  • Tintin and the Golden Fleece (1961), with an original storyline. Starred Jean-Pierre Talbot as Tintin.
  • Tintin and the Blue Oranges (1964), also an original storyline. A plot based on French poet Paul Eluard's line "Earth is blue like an orange".

...as well as:

...two radio series by the BBC in 1992-93, a Dutch musical in 2001, and a theatre adaptation of Tintin in Tibet in 2007/2008.

A feature film has now been released, the first of three directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson and written by Steven Moffat[1] and Edgar Wright, entitled The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. It features Jamie Bell as Tintin, Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock, and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson, and was made through the use of Motion Capture by WETA. It was released in 2011 and is a combination of the plots of The Secret of the Unicorn, The Crab with the Golden Claws and Red Rackham's Treasure. A sequel is due in 2014 and is rumoured to be based on The Calculus Affair and written by Anthony Horowitz.

Tropes used in Tintin include:
  • Absent-Minded Professor: A number of them before Professor Calculus became a regular character and Trope exemplar.
  • Actor Allusion: Of sorts. Professor Calculus' look is based on Professor Auguste Piccard, famous physicist and balloonist at the University of Brussels. When Bianca Castafiore is introduced to Calculus she mistakes him for a famous balloonist.
  • The Ace: This was Tintin's original character concept.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: In Flight 714, Haddock mistakes the billionaire's dapper right-hand man for the billionaire himself.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The Nelvana from The Nineties animated series is considered of superior quality and more well known nowadays. It's also often well known because it would sometimes air on Nick Jr. or Nickelodeon. How many cartoons would teach the kids about drug-smuggling?
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Belvision animation adaptations added more plot elements, some of them which could actually be considered an improvement to the original stories, such as the Bird brothers returning to interfere with the Red Rackham treasure hunt.
  • Alliteration: Haddock's Unusual Euphemisms.
  • Addiction-Powered: Give a few drops of alcohol to a tired Captain Haddock, and he'll be good as new.
  • Admiring the Abomination: In The Shooting Star, Prof. Decimus Phostle is excited about the upcoming end-of-the-world meteor, saying such absurdities as "It will destroy the world tonight. Tomorrow, everyone will know my name for discovering it!"
  • Al Capone: Seen in Tintin in America.
  • The Alcoholic: Captain Haddock.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: The last challenge in Explorers on the Moon.
  • Americans Are Cowboys: Tintin in America had many Americans dressed as either Chicago mobsters or cowboys. Somewhat justified, as the cowboy era was not long dead. The trope is Played With in the same book, however: A city is built overnight in an area that used to be pretty Wild West. The next morning, Tintin finds himself the only person in the city still wearing his cowboy outfit, and receives a chiding from a police officer who tells him to put on something proper.
  • America Saves the Day: In Red Sea Sharks.
  • Amusing Injuries: A large portion of the series' humor comes from Captain Haddock tripping or hitting his head.This is lampshaded in Destination Moon.

Prof. Calculus: I'd swear you do that on purpose!

  • Ancient Astronauts: Flight 714.
  • Animated Adaptation: Two animated series, as noted above, as well as the spin-off film The Lake of Sharks. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's new trilogy is a computer-animated adaptation.
  • Art Evolution: It's especially obvious with the first two, but you can spot some from The Blue Lotus onwards, wherein his art became less caricaturish. Originally this was a gradual change, but readers of the color editions are unlikely to notice much of a difference, because Hergé eventually went back and redrew all the volumes except Soviets.
  • Artistic License: Biology: While Herge usually did his research, once he made a blatant mistake: Tintin, the captain and Skut are shipwrecked on the ocean, and Tintin suggests that they drink sea water to survive. Yes, Tintin, who usually knows everything. And to make things worse, the captain only objects to the taste, not the fact that drinking salt water would only make them more thirsty. Haddock of all people should know this due to being an experienced sailor. However, they do refer to the studies a Dr. Lombard did on sea water diet so it may just be that Science Marches On.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A doomsday prophet in The Shooting Star announces that the end of the world is nigh, and that those who survive the cataclysm will suffer from "pestilence, famine and measles." Granted, measles is a much more serious disease than most people think it is, but odds are it isn't going to be the main thing you're concerned about in the face of Armageddon.
  • Ascended Extra: Colonel Jorgen. In his first appearance in King Ottokar's Sceptre he was a pretty minor character who disappeared halfway through the book and was never mentioned again. But he was the Big Bad in Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Mitsuhirato talks like this, notable because he follows all the Japanese stereotypes - buck teeth, glasses, big ears, untrustworthy, uses bad pronunciation - in a comic series that is notable for being very ahead of its time in terms of racial attitudes (well, except that one nobody ever mentions). The Crab with the Golden Claws has a distinctly more PC portrayal of the Japanese, as Bunji Kuraki from Yokohama is a key character there, 100% on the side of justice.
  • As You Know: Usually the exposition is at least a little more subtle, but during Dawson's first appearance in The Blue Lotus, he tells a gathering of his friends "Since I'm Chief of Police of the Shanghai International Settlement, that shouldn't be difficult".
  • Author Existence Failure: Hergé died partway through his work on Tintin and Alph-Art; the unfinished draft has been published as part of the regular series of Tintin albums.
  • Badass Adorable: Tintin himself. Who knew that such a baby-faced innocent could be so agile and deadly with his fists?
  • Badass Beard: Haddock.
  • Badass Bookworm: Although he is a short, wiry reporter with no muscles, Tintin is rarely (if ever) bested in a fair fight, even when his enemy is twice his size. He is also an excellent shot. During his visit to America he single-handedly laid waste to crowds. During his visit to India he subdued an attacking tiger and restrained it in a straitjacket despite being caught by surprise. During his visit to Russia he killed a bear with his bare hands. It has been stated that he has at least a working knowledge of judo and western boxing.
  • Badass Longcoat: Tintin often wears a trench coat.
  • Badass Mustache: General Alcazar. To a (much) lesser degree, Kûrvi-Tasch (used as an Unusual Euphemism by Bordurians) and the Thompsons (who are accused of copying Kûrvi-Tasch's. Their response is to claim they've been wearing them since they were born. More precisely, they were worn bearing them).
  • Badass Spaniard: General Alcazar
  • Banana Republic: San Theodoros, Nuevo Rico and Sao Rico. In Tintin and the Picaros, it is even stated that General Alcazar's titular faction is financed by a...banana company.
  • Banned in China: Surprisingly averted with Tintin in Tibet, likely because it's politically neutral. Played straight in a number of markets when publishing Tintin in the Congo, however...
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: A number of characters adopt this attitude towards Tintin—most notably Captain Haddock (though he'd never say it outright).
  • Bedouin Rescue Service: A couple of times.
  • Be Quiet Nudge: Tintin to Haddock in The Calculus Affair.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The normally mild-mannered Professor Calculus has at least two; being told he's "acting the goat", and having his hat knocked off by the Jerkass millionaire Carreidas.
    • Haddock being deprived of his whiskey, especially in earlier volumes.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Calculus, when hitting the aforementioned Berserk Button. He lifts and hangs a guard twice his size on a coat rack in Destination Moon.
  • Big Bad: Roberto Rastapopoulos, a Moriarty/Blofeld-type recurring bad guy. Many of the other villains in the Rogues Gallery work under him at some point.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: A yeti portrayed as a gentle giant.
  • The Big Guy: Captain Haddock is a big man, and though he isn't especially skilled in a fight, those he does hit stay hit. He once ripped a wooden chair in half with his bare hands when angered. While the director of the space center was still sitting on it.
  • Binocular Shot
  • Black Bead Eyes
  • Black Blood: When Tintin gets shot in the shoulder in The Blue Lotus.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to the bad guys only. Except in Prisoners of the Sun, where Haddock is attacked.
  • A Boy and His X: (Boy and his dog)
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Secret of the Unicorn ends with Tintin telling his fans to read about his next adventure in Red Rackham's Treasure.
  • Breakout Character: Captain Haddock was originally intended to be a one-off, but ended up as Tintin's trusted companion.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Captain Haddock's difficulties with sticking plaster in The Calculus Affair are briefly referenced in Flight 714.
    • In Destination Moon, Thompson/Thomson believe there to be a skeleton sneaking around the moon project, due to a misunderstanding involving an x-ray machine. In Explorers on the Moon, when The Mole has been revealed and is being interrogated, they break in with a vital question: The skeleton, Wolff. Was that you?"
  • Brother Chuck:
    • King Muskar XII of Syldavia, who is inexplicably absent from later stories involving that country, even when his appearance would be expected (Destination Moon and/or Explorers on the Moon) or useful (The Calculus Affair). This is possibly a reflection of Real Life politics in Eastern Europe before and after WWII: Former monarchies were replaced with communist governments.
    • The Maharajah of Gaipajama never shows up nor is referred to again after The Blue Lotus.
  • Busman's Holiday: These guys can't go anywhere without falling into adventure. This was lampshaded in Cigars of the Pharaoh when Tintin said "This was supposed to be my vacation."
  • Butt Monkey:
    • If there's a way for a character to have a humourous accident or injury, it'll happen to Captain Haddock. In the Red Sea Sharks, he gets hurt 32 times in all! Eventually everyone Lampshades this.
    • Thompson and Thomson. In contrast to the Captain, they generally bring about their own misfortune through their clumsiness.
    • Several other main characters get the Butt Monkey treatment. Even Calculus and Snowy. This site even records the countless examples!
  • Canine Companion: Snowy.
  • The Cat Came Back:
    • Bianca Castafiore for Captain Haddock.
    • The annoying bit of sticking-plaster in The Calculus Affair, also for Captain Haddock.
  • Catch Phrase:

Captain Haddock: "Blistering Barnacles!", "Thundering Typhoons!"
Tintin: "Great snakes!", "Crumbs!"
Thompson/Thomson: "To be precise..."
Bordurian thugs: "By the whiskers of Kûrvi-Tasch!"
Syldavian thugs: "By the sceptre of Ottokar!"
Rastapopoulos: (upon hearing bad news) "Diavolo!"
Mitsuhirato: "Flaming Fujiyama!", "Suffering Samurais!"

    • In the original French, Captain Haddock's catchphrases were "Tonnerre de Brest!" and "Mille sabords!" (literally, "Thunder of Brest!" and "A thousand portholes!").
    • In the Dutch translations, Captain Haddock's full catchphrase was "Honderdduizend bommen en granaten!" (literally, "A hundred thousand bombs and grenades!").
    • Even the German one can be re-translated nicely into Hundred thousand howling hounds of hell!
    • And in each translation, the phrase can be extended indefinitely, giving rise to such beauties as "Billions of bilious blue boiled and barbecued barnacles!" or "Mille milliards de mille millions de mille sabords!"
    • The Thompsons' catchphrase is for one of them to state something and then the other to say "To be precise:" and repeat it, but often not quite get it right. For example:

Thompson: You forget, my friend, in our job there's nothing we don't know!
Thomson: To be precise: we know nothing in our job!

  • Caught in a Snare: In Cigars of the Pharaoh, Tintin steps into a snare intended to catch tigers. He might have been able to free himself if he weren't in a straitjacket at the time.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: In Prisoners of the Sun.
  • Celibate Hero/Chaste Hero: He was created as a role model for Catholic Boy Scouts, remember?
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first two Tintin adventures (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo) are outright comedies where the action is often completely surreal and played for laughs (for instance Tintin killing a rhino by drilling into it's hide and dropping in a stick of dynamite.) The third adventure (Titin in America) was transitional with a lot of off the wall comedy still mixing with the plot before the series finally found it's familiar mood of realistic action adventure with Cigars of the Pharaoh. There was still comedy but it was far more down to earth and character driven.
  • Chained to a Railway: In Tintin in America.
  • Character Development: For both Tintin and Hergé by The Blue Lotus
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • The Thompson and Thomson duo provided a bit of slapstick but weren't comedically incompetent in their first appearance in Cigars of the Pharaoh, later on they become the main source of slapstick and visual humour in the series.
    • Tintin himself was very cruel to animals and condescending to natives in his earliest adventures, in contrast to his more humane attitude in the rest of the series.
  • Character Title
  • Chased by Angry Natives: This happens in the Belvision animated series, even though natives were not even shown in the original Red Rackham's Treasure.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In The Castafiore Emerald
  • Cliff Hanger: Lots! Especially during the period when the stories appeared in newspapers. Hergé was a firm proponent of the "suspense en bas de page", stating that each page should end in a cliffhanger. It was later (lovingly) lampooned by humoristic authors of the French/Belgian school.
  • Climb Slip Hang Climb: The Ellipse-Nelvana animated version of Tintin in America adds this to a scene that had averted it in the book.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The piece of sticking plaster in The Calculus Affair. When Captain Haddock tosses it off, it sticks to someone else, who in turn shakes it off. And so it goes all over the bus, before coming to the Captain's cap. It then follows him aboard the plane, eventually makes its way to the cockpit (causing the pilots to momentarily lose control), lands on the Captain again by the end of the flight, is thrown away at the police station, only to return yet again on the captain's clothes in the hotel room!!
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Professor Calculus in Red Rackham's Treasure. In the other books, they toned it down considerably.
  • Cold War
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Intentional or not, all the hunting scenes in "Tintin in the Congo".
  • Comic Book Time: Nobody ages, even though the technology, fashion and politics of the world around them progress from the 1930s to the 1970s.
    • In fairness, Tintin does get a proper pair of pants for "Picaros" and "714" (at long long last).
  • Commie Nazis: The country of Borduria.
  • Confused Question Mark: They pop up frequently.
  • Continuity Nod: Several in the books, a number of which were cut from the animated version.
  • Contrived Coincidence: These happen constantly. A classic example occurs in Cigars of the Pharaoh: as it turns out, the gang which Tintin has been tracking down is based in India. At this stage Tintin has not had any inkling of an Indian connection, but when he makes his escape by plane from an Arabian town he fortuitously chooses to fly in that direction, and crash-lands right outside the town where they have their headquarters. In India.
  • Convenient Eclipse: In Prisoners of the Sun.
  • Cool Old Guy: Captain Haddock.
  • Cool Ship: The Moon Rocket, Lazlo Carreidas' plane, the UFO that briefly appears, The Unicorn.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Rastapopoulos, Carreidas, not to mention every single one in Tintin in America.
  • Cowboy Episode: Tintin in America (at least the bits that don't involve gangsters).
  • A Crack in the Ice: In Tintin in Tibet, Tintin falls into a crevasse during a blinding snowstorm. He climbs his way out two hours later, after having found in the ice cave below a stone on which Chang had carved his name.
  • Crapsack World:
    • America in Tintin in America. Crime runs rampant, and meat producers put dogs, cats and rats in the meat.
    • The Soviet Union in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.
  • Creator Breakdown: Tintin in Tibet, though it ended up being one of his best stories anyway. See the Heartwarming page.
  • Creator Cameo: Several brief scenes. He never says or does anything besides sometimes drawing on a sketch pad. He's also apparently Tintin's neighbor in this version of the stories, as his name appears on the mailbox next to Tintin's in their apartment building.
  • Culture Equals Costume: The Thompsons' 'disguises', are the worst possible mismatches that can ever be considered for camouflage, since they are in the habit of travelling through countries in ludicrously outdated/sterotypical traditional costume.
    • Nowhere more hilarious than The Blue Lotus, where they come wearing 17th century Manchu era clothes, complete with pigtails and fans!

Thompson: [with nearly the entire town parading behind them laughing] Don't look now, but something tells me we're being followed.

    • In Destination: Moon they even wear costumes from the wrong country:

Thomson: Greek costumes? But we specifically ordered the tailor to make us Syldavian ones...
Thompson: I told you he didn't seem very bright.

  • Dead Man Writing: Wolff in Explorers on the Moon.
  • Deconstruction: The Castafiore Emerald, Flight 714, and Tintin and the Picaros are deconstructions of the series in general.
    • The Castafiore Emerald is a intentional Random Events Plot where Tintin and Haddock stay at Marlinspike Hall for nearly the entirety of the story. It's full of anticlimaxes such as how Haddock's attempt to escape Castafiore by going to Italy is foiled by an accident, the Roma community plight is immediately solved by Haddock’s generosity, Haddock never has the chance to make An Aesop about tolerance because of little distractions and the emerald’s thief turned to be a harmless magpie.
    • Flight 714 has Tintin and Haddock involucred by a Contrived Coincidence into a plot to blackmail a millionaire, recurring villains Rastapopoulus and Allan suffer intentional Villain Decay by being depicted ridiculous and stupid, all of them would have died in an eruption but are saved by aliens, and only Snowy remembers how they were rescued, for everyone else, was a Shaggy Dog Story.
    • Tintin and the Picaros: Tintin, the Gentleman Adventurer, no longer enjoys adventure and refuses the call for some days, almost all the supporting cast is in San Theodoros when the protagonist go there, Haddock cannot drink alcohol, and the worst Is that Tintin, instead of his plus fours, now wears bell bottoms! the second to last panel shows that San Theodoros has had a Full-Circle Revolution and all it was a Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Dem Bones: The Thompsons suspect a living skeleton is hanging around in Destination Moon because they saw each other through an X-ray panel and they end up arresting a real (non-living) skeleton in a doctor's office. Much later in Explorers on the Moon, they interrupt Wolff's dramatic interrogation by asking him "vital questions": "The skeleton, Wolff. Was that you?" and "To be precise, were you the Wolff, Skeleton?"
  • Depth Deception: A spider in The Shooting Star.
  • Deus Ex Machina: All the time, though much more predominant in the first three books than later on, as they were defined by their episodic format and reliance on CliffHangers. This ranges from jumping off of a cliff to find a ledge to having the Mooks mistakenly use knockout gas instead of poison gas. Hergé used to say "I was often thinking all the week about the way I could get Tintin out of the trap I had thrown him into on previous Wednesday".
  • Did Not Do the Research: It should be noted that from The Blue Lotus onwards, these errors were quite rare, since Hergé was quite big on showing his work, but the following stand out:
    • Hergé himself admitted that he committed a "huge blunder" when he made the Incas in Prisoner of the Sun not knowing about eclipses and being freaked out by one. In real life, the Incas had fairly advanced knowledge of astronomy, and knew about eclipses.
    • Hergé also acknowledged that the boat he drew in "The Shooting Star" was unrealistic and it couldn't possibly sail.
    • The ferocious jagged-toothed gorilla in The Black Island. (Unless the bad guys did this to him.)
    • Tintin in the Congo is made of Did Not Do the Research meets Unfortunate Implications.
    • Land of the Soviets was mainly just a standard issue anti-Communist propaganda fed to Hergé by the writing staff of Le Vingtième Siècle, namely his boss Norbert Wallez, who himself took it from just one book written by a former Belgian consul. It had so much hilariously inaccurate stuff that the fact that some of what was featured there turned out to be accurate was most probably just a coincidence.
    • The Black Island has British policemen routinely carrying guns. The art was later corrected for the English translation.
    • The TV series version of Explorers on the Moon has the characters mentioning entering the magnetic field of various astronomical objects as if magnetic forces were more relevant than gravity.
    • The first colour edition of Land of Black Gold had Tintin in British Mandate Palestine, which was implied to be oil-rich, and feature an emirate somewhere in it.
    • An In-Universe example: Thompson/Thomson have used disguises to try to fit in, but end up standing out even more due to not having done the research when acquiring costumes (in The Blue Lotus, they buy very stereotypical Chinese outfits and are actually followed by a group of Chinese people laughing at them. In Destination Moon, they show up in Syldavia wearing 19th-century Greek costumes).
  • Dinosaur Doggie Bone: In King Ottokar's Sceptre.
  • Discreet Drink Disposal: Captain Haddock pours his glass of Sani-Cola in a potted plant at the beginning of Flight 714 to Sydney, which then wilts dramatically and dies within seconds.
  • Dissimile: Thomson without a p, as in Venezuela.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: The Calculus Affair. And the characters would have liked to in Tintin and the Picaros too.
  • Doctor Dolittle: Only in the earliest stories. In Tintin in America, Tintin and Snowy actually have a conversation or two.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Many of the comics written in The Thirties reflected the many political upheavals that the world was going through at the time, giving the general feeling of Gathering Storm leading up to The Second World War. The political references ended when the Nazis invaded Belgium and the comics were subject to censorship, at which point they became largely escapist adventure stories.
      • The Broken Ear references the Gran Chaco War.
      • The Blue Lotus provides a thinly-veiled account of the Mukden Incident and the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
      • King Ottakar's Sceptre has a fascist-sounding group called the Iron Guard planning on overthrowing the government of an Eastern European monarchy. And their leader is called Müsstler.
    • As a later example, San Theodoros, a South American country whose main political officers (e.g. the Bordurian Colonel Sponsz) are all from a European dictatorship led by a man with a mustache and delusions of grandeur. Hmmmmm, where have I seen that before?
  • Doting Parent: Emir Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab of Khemed is this to his son, Abdullah. He even threatens to cancel Arabair's flight route to his country, and expose their owner's involvement in slave trading, because they refused to heed his son's request... to have Arabair planes perform aerobatics before landing in Khemed.
  • The Dragon: Allan (his last name was Thompson in the French version) to Omar Ben Salaad (initially) and Rastapopoulos later.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In "The Shooting Star" Tintin dreams he is visited by Philippulus the prophet who then shows him a picture of a gigantic spider, claiming it is life size! Later in the story he actually meets Philippulus again and he discovers an island where a spider has grown to gigantic size due to the radiation of a comet.
  • Dream Sequence: Many and surreal! Sometimes scary, other times amusing moments - sometimes both at the same time...
  • Drives Like Crazy:
  • Drunken Song: Tintin and Haddock sing one of these after inhaling wine-fumes in The Crab with the Golden Claws.
  • Dub Name Change: Virtually every translation of the works gives new names to the characters. This was done a lot to preserve Punny Names (and create a few new ones). A full list can be found here.
    • Tintin's name is the same in the original French, but pronounced differently, but is known as Kuifje (lit. 'little quiff') in Dutch and Tim in German.
    • Thompson & Thomson's names are generally real names in the relevant language with a difference of only a letter or two between them.
      • French: Dupond & Dupont in French
      • Dutch: Janssen & Jansen in Dutch.
      • German: Schulze and Schultze.
      • Spanish: Hernandez y Fernandez (also used in Basque)
      • Afrikaans: Uys & Buys.
    • Snowy was originally Milou in French, after an ex-girlfriend of Hergé's, and becomes Struppi in German and Bobbie in Dutch.
    • Calculus's original name was Tournesol, or "Sunflower"—the English translators decided that this sounded silly and gave him a Punny Name instead. He's called Zonnebloem in Dutch, which also means Sunflower.
      • Tournesol's first name is an alliterating, one that has long gone out of fashion, Tryphon. This pattern tends to be emulated in most translations, thus it's Cuthbert Calculus in English, Balduin Bienlein in German, Teofilus Tuhatkauno in Finnish. In Dutch it is Trifonius Zonnebloem though.
  • Eagle Land: The America portrayed in the books is a combination of this and Gangsterland and Injun Country.
    • General Alcazar's overweight, haircurler-wearing, shrill-voiced shrew of a wife was apparently based on a particularly virulent KKK member.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Snowy can talk and Tintin can understand him in Tintin in the Land of Soviets, Tintin in the Congo and Tintin in America. As for a long time the third one was the only one of the three available in print, and it only happens in a few panels, it seems all the more a Non Sequitur Scene.
    • The Thompsons are quite competent in their first appearance in Cigars of the Pharoah. Their comedic ineptitude seems to set in as soon as they go over to Tintin's side.
  • Ear Trumpet: Professor Calculus uses one in Destination Moon (which gets switched out at one point for the Captain's pipe). For the actual trip, he uses an earpiece that allows him to hear perfectly. Needless to say, later volumes return him to his hard-of-hearing state.
  • Easily Forgiven: Tintin never mentions the fact that General Alcazár tried to have him executed in The Broken Ear in any of their subsequent encounters. Yes, he was set up, but Tintin didn't know that.
  • Easy Amnesia: Calculus in Destination Moon.
  • Egopolis: The capitals of San Theodoros and Borduria.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Tintin in Tibet.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When we first meet Haddock, Tintin manages to make him cry by asking him what his mother would think of him drunk.
  • The Everyman: Tintin himself. His name is quite appropriate, as it is a somewhat outdated colloquialism for "nothing" in French.
  • Everything's Better with Llamas: The Running Gag with Haddock and the llamas in Prisoners of the Sun.
  • Everything Is Better With Monkeys:
    • The apes in Congo (which leads to infamous silly scenes).
    • Ranko the gorilla in Black Island (though of course he is not actually a monkey).
    • The monkeys in Red Rackham's Treasure.
    • The yeti in Tintin in Tibet.
    • The monkey with the Rastapopoulous-like nose in Flight 714.
    • The monkeys in Tintin and the Picaros.
  • Everything Is Worse With Bears:
    • Tintin has an unfortunate encounter with bears in Destination Moon. At first, he is covered with cuddly bear cubs who want to get their paws on his lunch (sandwiches with honey), but he goes Oh Crap when he sees the mean-looking parents coming.
    • Captain Haddock finds a nice cave to sleep in up in the Andes in Prisoners of the Sun—too bad it contained a vicious-looking bear. His expression upon being tapped on the shoulder by the bear is priceless.
  • Everything Is Even Worse With Sharks:
    • Both inverted and subverted in Red Rackham's Treasure, Haddock almost gets his hand bitten off by a shark and then we discover the famous shark submarine designed by Calculus. Later Tintin ventures underwater in his seadiving suit and has to face a shark who swallows a valuable chest and then the rum bottle that Tintin had been using as a Improvised Weapon.
    • The Red Sea Sharks, despite the English title, actually features just one shark. It swallows a bomb that was meant to be planted on the side of a ship, unintentionally saving the lives of everyone on board and blowing itself up in the process.
    • Likewise, the Lake of Sharks animated movie (although this wasn't written by Hergé) only features one shark, which is seen in an aquarium tank at the very beginning of the movie.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Between Rastapopoulos and Carreidas in Flight 714 while they are under the effect of the truth serum.
  • Evil Twin: in King Ottokar's Scepter, Alembick's twin brother takes his place to steal the sceptre.
  • Executive Meddling: The earliest adventures, which appear out of place when one knows the entire series, were the product of Hergé just doing what he was told by his boss at Le Petit Vingtième, the Abbé Norbert Wallez, who was quite intent on using the comic strip as propaganda. After the first adventure, Hergé wanted to send Tintin to America immediately because he really wanted to write about Indians. Abbé Wallez however insisted he first write a story that would encourage readers to emigrate to the Belgian Congo. Wallez also liked to meddle in the private lives of his employees, setting up Hergé with his secretary and officiating at their wedding!
  • Explosive Cigar: This is Abdullah's favourite prank to pull on others.
  • Face Heel Turn: Pablo in Tintin and the Picaros
  • Fainting Seer: Mrs. Yamilah from the The Seven Crystal Balls.
  • Fascist but Inefficient: The nation of Borduria.
  • Father Neptune: Captain Haddock
  • Females Are More Innocent: The comic ran for five decades and in that time Tintin only met one female villain who was just aiding her husband.
  • Flowery Insults: Captain Haddock specializes in them.
  • Framed for Heroism: In The Crab with the Golden Claws, Captain Haddock charges a whole band of desert raiders alone. They flee, and he believes for a moment that they did because they were scared of him. In fact, reinforcements were arriving behind him.
  • Franco Belgian Comics
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted; Haddock is shown drinking whiskey and characters are frequently shown being intoxicated.
  • Full-Body Disguise: Done in The Broken Ear, where Tintin successfully disguises himself as a waiter. A black waiter.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Tintin and the Picaros
  • Funetik Aksent: Played straight, and also a variation where some languages (especially the native one in The Broken Ear/Tintin and the Picaros) are phoneticised versions of strong dialects - Marollien in the original, and Cockney or Yorkshire in the English translation.
  • Fungus Humongous: The giant popping mushrooms on the titular Shooting Star.
  • Funny Background Event: Not humorous, per se, but every episode of the Nelvana cartoon would have an animated version of Herge in the background, usually as part of a crowd scene or just simply walking by.
  • The Generalissimo: Tintin has encountered several of these, notably General Alcazar (although he becomes relatively more heroic later) and General Tapioca.
  • Gentle Giant: The Yeti.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Most notibly in The Castafiore Emerald. Word of God says it was an attempt to write a story where nothing actually happens.
  • The Ghost:
    • Marshal Kûrvi-Tasch, the dictator of Borduria. Being the ultimate higher-up of such villains as Colonel Sponsz and Musstler, he could be considered the real Big Bad of King Ottokar's Sceptre, The Calculus Affair and Tintin and the Picaros, but never throws in a personal appearance—all we ever see of him is the occasional statue.
    • General Tapioca barely manages to avert this status. Despite being an apparently brutal dictator and the enemy of General Alcazar, he wasn't actually seen in The Broken Ear or The Red Sea Sharks. He finally appeared in person in the last completed book, Tintin and the Picaros.
  • Giant Spider: Suggested in Shooting Star. Tintin sees what seems to be a giant spider through a telescope as he looks at the titular shooting star. It is revealed to just be a regular spider walking across the magnifying lens of the telescope. Later on in the book, Tintin actually does encounter a giant spider, mutated by Green Rocks.
  • Gilded Cage: Tintin and the Picaros. Also the Bordurian hotel in The Calculus Affair.
  • Giving Them the Strip: The pickpocket in The Secret of the Unicorn.
  • Going in Circles: The Thompsons in Land of Black Gold.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Afflicts both Snowy and the Captain in the presence of whisky. Also subverted when Tintin uses booze to either rally the Captain or get him to agree to something.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Plenty of textbook examples, from Haddock's full beard to Thompson & Thomson's trademark "cop thick mustache", plus a long collection of typical villain-ish hairdos and beards, especially with Borduria where the curvy moustache is very recurrent, to the name of the dictator and the country flag. Averted with Professor Calculus, who is a rare example of good goatee (though a bushy one).
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Several recurring villains (Dr. Müller, Allen, etc.) have been seen smoking, usually cigarettes. On the other hand, there's Captain Haddock and his ever-present pipe.
    • And Tintin himself never smokes and regularly turns down cigarettes when he is offered one.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: The Balkan outfits in King Ottokar's Sceptre.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck: Averted and at the same time not even played. The characters almost never swear, save for a few old slangs or stuff that's "Rude" but not necessarily a curse word. There is a "Damn" in the english version of "Castafiore Emerald". However, Captain Haddock's swearing tirades of "Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles" were never a cover-up for swearing...it's just funny.
  • Great White Hunter: Tintin in the Congo
  • Handcar Pursuit: Tintin does this in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. The handcar breaks just as he is about to catch up.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: There are a few old slangs that might get a few chuckles today. notably one instance where a character says "Clever dick", in reference to a police officer.
  • Heel Face Turn:
    • The Thompsons start out as Tintin's enemies (Cigars of the Pharaoh), but eventually form a friendship with him.
    • Dr. Krollspell in Flight 714.
    • Skut in The Red Sea Sharks.
    • Pablo in The Broken Ear. He turns evil again by the time of Tintin and the Picaros.
    • This is played with in the case of Nestor: he initially helps the bad guys, but only because he believes that Tintin himself is the actual villain.
    • Rastapopoulos is a jerk at the beginning of Cigars of the Pharaoh, but later apologizes and is nice for the rest of the book, although his kind nature is really an act to throw Tintin off the trail.
    • The Incans in Prisoners of the Sun; notably Huascar, who started making the turn far earlier in the book than the rest of them did.
    • The Mole in Explorers on the Moon.
    • Ranko the Gorilla in The Black Island is a nonhuman example.
  • Henpecked Husband: General Alcazar of all people.
    • Which leads to an amusing moment in the Nelvana series when he leaves behind a note for his wife when he starts his revolution.

"P.S. Due to the revolution, I will not be home in time to cook dinner."

  • Heroic Dog: Snowy
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Mole in Explorers on the Moon, who throws himself out the airlock in an attempt to ensure that the rest have enough oxygen for the return trip. It's a case of Sneaky Departure, too.
    • Haddock attempts one in Tintin in Tibet.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Tintin and Haddock.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
    • The BBC Radio Series had a number of voices you might have heard before:
      • Richard Pearce (Tintin), is also the voice of the British Dennis The Menace
      • Leo McKern (Haddock, 1st series)
      • Lionel Jeffries (Haddock, 2nd Series)
      • Andrew Sachs (Snowy)
      • Miriam Margolyes (Castafiore in the final episode)
      • Stephen Moore (Calculus)
    • The Japanese dub of the 90s TV series, oddly enough, have some voice actors from the Dragon Ball series in the cast: Tintin is Trunks and Ky Kiske. Capt. Haddock is Raoh and Sheng Long. Dupond & Dupont are Karin-sama and maybe the most hilarious casting gag is General Alcazar is Chairman Patrick Zala!
    • In Brazilian Portuguese, the 90s Nelvana and 2011 film Tintins are Ma-Ti.
    • When the Belvision series got dubbed to English they got Paul Frees (Boris Badenov from Rocky and Bullwinkle) to voice Captain Haddock, Thomson, and Thompson
    • In the game based on the Spielberg/Jackson film, Tintin is Anders.
  • His Name Is--: Cigars of the Pharaoh, The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Hollywood Healing: You can't keep these guys down! Tintin is more than enough proof. He has survived big falls, several gunshots and hits to the head, chloroform, near-drowning and too many fights to count..
  • Hollywood Mirage: Land of Black Gold.
  • How Unscientific: While most Tintin stories don't feature any sort of supernatural elements there are a few times this trope pops up. A yeti and floating monks appear in Tintin in Tibet, aliens are present in Flight 714 and an unusual substance found on a meteorite defies physics in The Shooting Star. Both Seven Crystal Balls and "Prisoners of the Sun also contain elements that are supposedly magic in origin such as a psychic's vision and a curse of a curse, as well as a fireball that appears out of nowhere and vanishes along with an Incan mummy.
  • Humiliation Conga: Allan and Rastapopoulos in Flight 714.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Hergé wasn't allowed to have cursing in the books, so he had Captain Haddock do this instead. It repeated itself so many times that it became not only a Running Gag, but a character trait.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: In Cigars of the Pharaoh, a fakir has the power to hypnotise people.
  • Hypocritical Humour: We will NOT add this one to the tropes on this page...... Er, I mean, it would be absolute hypocrisy to claim we don't need a separate page to list some of the examples.
    • Tintin in Tibet - Every time Captain Haddock tells Tintin he's not going to come with him...he goes.
    • In The Shooting Star Captain Haddock is the President of the Society of Sober Sailors.
  • Identical Twin ID Tags: Thomson and Thompson.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    • The knife-throwing villain from The Broken Ear has terrible aim, which becomes a plot point later on.
    • General Alcazar's soldiers, also from The Broken Ear. Pablo even lampshades this while he and Tintin are being shot at during their prison break:

"Take no notice! They shoot like a bunch of drunks!"

  • Inevitable Waterfall
  • 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).
  • Insane Equals Violent: Played with in Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Blue Lotus. Poison darts drive people insane, and the resultant madmen are childlike, silly and harmless...except for that one guy who develops a fixation with decapitation.
  • Insistent Terminology: Remember, Professor Calculus isn't deaf. He's just "a little hard of hearing".
  • Inspector Javert: In some episodes Thompson and Thomson embody a particularly incompetent example of this trope.
  • Insulted Awake: Captain Haddock awoke Professor Calculus from amnesia by hitting that Berserk Button. The insults weren't even directed at him, which makes it even funnier (the Professor apologises later).
  • Intergenerational Friendship: All of Tintin's friends are either much older or much younger than he is.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Max Bird and Trickler. In the Belvision animated adaptation, they are captured after they show up again during the treasure hunt.
    • The Fakir, but only in the redrawn version of The Blue Lotus. In the original serial, he is mentioned as having been recaptured right before Tintin heads to Shanghai.
    • Miller, the ominous Big Bad of the two moon books is given no comeuppance. In fact, the characters don't even know he exists at the end of the story.
  • Kitsch Collection: The Kleptomaniac in The Secret of the Unicorn keeps a collection of stolen wallets, alphabetically sorted, along with date of theft, which he proudly boasts of assembling in 3 months!! To show the magnitude of how often they've been pickpocketed, every single one of the 3 dozen or so wallets under the letter T belongs to the Thompsons! Actually saves the day when he pinches Max Bird's wallet with the two parchments in it
  • Knife-Throwing Act: General Alcazar in The Seven Crystal Balls.
  • Laughably Evil: In Flight 714, both Allan and Rastapopoulos are less serious and more funny. The latter also has funny scenes in Tintin and the Lake of Sharks.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Al Capone appears in person (the only person to do so), and Hergé has several Creator Cameos (particularly in the Animated Adaptation. Numerous other real people appear thinly disguised (such as Jacques Bergier in Flight 714) or in the background. Other well-known thinly disguised real life persons are gun-runner Henry de Monfreid (who saves Tintin in The Cigars of the Pharaoh) and arms dealer Sir Basil Zaharoff (here called Bazaroff), who sells guns to both sides in The Broken Ear.
  • Literal Cliff Hanger: Many times, not surprising considering the number of regular CliffHangers. In Tintin in America, for example, Tintin survives by getting caught on a bush and finding a natural tunnel to the top of the cliff through blind luck.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Most don't know that Hergé intended the Tintin series to be a series of adventures chronicled by Tintin. Most don't know what he does for a living, or assume he's a Reporter Who Never Reports Anything, not knowing that the books are his reports!
  • Live Action Adaptation: Two of them.
  • Lost at Sea: Tintin, Snowy, Haddock and Skut find themselves stranded on a raft in The Red Sea Sharks; more unusually, Tintin, Snowy and Sophocles Sarcophagus are set adrift in coffins in Cigars of the Pharaoh. (The coffins in the latter example actually appear to be stone sarcophagi, but seem to float perfectly.)
  • Master of Disguise: Tintin, but see Paper-Thin Disguise below.
  • Mayincatec: The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun. (Based mostly on the Inca.)
  • Meaningful Name: A "picaro" is a picaresque rascal/hero, while Tintin's Dutch name, Kuifje, lierally refers to an odd tuft of hair like the one the hero sports.
  • Men Are Generic, Women Are Special
  • Men Are Uncultured: While hiding from the police at the opera: "Captain, wake up, it's over!" With a disapproving glare from the neighboring Grande Dame no less.
  • Micro Monarchy: The tiny kingdom of Syldavia.
  • Mind Control Device : Used in Flight 714 with many Mind Manipulation capabilities including Hypnotic Eyes, Mind Probe, and Fake Memories.
  • Mind Your Step: The Castafiore Emerald.
  • Mistaken Confession: In Flight 714, the millionaire Laszlo Carreidas is injected with a truth serum in an attempt to force him to reveal the details of his Swiss Bank Account. But instead of revealing the relevant details, Carreidas engages in boastful rants about his underhanded exploits, much to the annoyance of his captors. Hilarity Ensues when Rastapopoulos, the mastermind behind Carreidas' capture, is accidentally injected with the serum in a struggle.
  • Mister Danger: The villains of several stories, specially the ones set in Africa, Middle East and China.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Not that they aren't, but In a deadly game of cat and mouse between the protagonist's ship and a submarine, Captain Haddock accidentally gets the ship stuck going astern (backwards). When this results in a torpedo barely missing the ship, the villains marvel at the captain's tactical genius.
  • The Mole: Wolff in Explorers on the Moon.
  • Mood Whiplash: Done deliberately a few times. For example, in "Land of Black Gold", Dr Mueller makes a dramatic "they'll never take me alive" comment, turns the gun he took from Abdullah on himself - cut to Tintin looking horrified and shouting "don't do it" - then back to Mueller whose face is now covered in ink, Abdullah's gun turning out to be a realistic-looking water pistol for one of his pranks.
  • The Movie: Tintin and the Lake of Sharks, and now the two upcoming Peter Jackson films.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood:
    • Bianca Castafiore gets people's names wrong, especially Haddock's
    • Often Haddock gets his own back by referring to her as "Castoroili", or (behind her back) "Catastrofiore".
    • "The name's Harrock, ma'am. Captain Harrock'n'roll!"
    • There's also a Running Gag about Marlinspike Hall receiving phone calls intended for a "Mr. Cutts the butcher", due to a similarity in phone numbers.
  • The Namesake: The titular sharks only show up at the end of The Red Sea Sharks, which may explain why the English title translation is an outlier for an adventure everyone else knows roughly as "Coke on Board". The signficance of the title in The Broken Ear also takes a while to come into focus.
  • National Stereotypes: Too many to name
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: While it later became an analogy for Commie Land, pre-war Borduria (King Ottokar's Sceptre) is clearly a fascist dictatorship, right down to using German built Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter planes. Dr. Müller (The Black Island and others) and Dr. Krollspell (Flight 714) have also been suggested to be Nazis/ex-Nazis. Ironically, when the real Nazis occupied Belgium, they banned The Black Island because it was set in Britain, their enemy, while King Ottokar's Sceptre was still allowed, despite having an almost obvious Nazi-analogue.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While deputising for the ill General Alcazar in The Broken Ear, Tintin turns down an offer from an American oil company on the grounds that it would require starting a war with a neighboring country. Later, after Alcazar turns on him, Tintin flees to the country in question using a stolen armored car... and ends up causing the war with that country, after they mistake it for an act of aggression by Alcazar's government.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Snowy.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kûrvi-Tasch, the dictator of Borduria, is a thinly veiled Expy of Josef Stalin, right down to the thick moustache.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: There is hardly any romance or a hint of sexuality of any sort in the whole series beyond chaste crushes. Word of God states that he wanted to avoid Shipping in his stories. The fact that there is only one recurring major female character also plays a role.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Revealed to be the case with the moon rocket in Destination Moon, which becomes more than a little problematic when its inventor, Professor Calculus, gets amnesia.
  • Noodle Incident: How Captain Haddock got to Khemed in time.
  • No One Could Survive That: Regularly.
  • No One Should Survive That: All the time.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: At the end of Red Rackham's Treasure, Capt. Haddock and Tintin buy Haddock's ancestral home, the luxurious Marlinspike Hall, with Prof. Calculus' help and find Sir Francis' treasure. From this point on Haddock and Calculus live there as wealthy gentleman, with Tintin visiting them so often that Marlinspike starts to operate as home base during adventures.
  • Number One Dime: Haddock and alcohol, also his hat.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Tintin pulls this in The Blue Lotus to get away from his captors after they inject him with an insanity-inducing serum called "Rajaijah juice" (which had actually been replaced with harmless colored water).
  • Odd Couple: Tintin and Haddock. The former is a neat, organized teenaged/young adult, chaste hero and morally upright. The later is a bad-tempered, middle aged sailor, an alcoholic (while not always drunk, he's incapable of drinking water or non-alcoholic drinks), prone to spouting (made up) profanities at the slightest provocation. They Fight Crime!
  • Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The earliest albums went: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo, Tintin in America and... Cigars of the Pharaoh. From that point on, though, the "Tintin in Geographic Location" formula was discarded for many years until Tintin in Tibet.
  • Off-Model: A big problem with the Belvision series; the animation director apparently took a lot of liberties with Hergé's character designs, often giving the characters a bizarre and overly cute look. Some of the animators worked against this, however, meaning that occasionally you see sequences that look almost as if they could be taken directly from the books. Fortunately, Tintin and the Sun Temple and Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (which both had higher budgets and a better director) don't suffer this problem nearly as badly.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The helicopter pilots rescuing Tintin and the other people on the raft in Flight 714. Making this even more frustrating, the rescue scene was actually drawn: however, Hergé noticed Flight 714 had two more pages than usual and thus decided to remove the two pages showing the rescue.
    • Spoofed in Land of Black Gold. We never learn what happened to Haddock on his mission or how he arrived in Khemed... other than that it's "simple and complicated" at the same time.
  • Older Than They Look: This applies to Herge's character design, because Tintin doesn't even look old enough to drink, yet he's in his early 20's.
  • Old Shame: Hergé considered the first two Tintin stories, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo, to be this. Given that they're essentially anti-communist/colonialist propaganda, it's easy to see why. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, is so badly written and drawn that even the most eager anti-communist would have difficulty enjoying it. It's the only one not updated to colour. Many of the printers agree with this, as Tintin in the Congo is rarely published; and Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is rather rare. In the UK they're the only Tintin books not sold in the children's section, and Tintin in the Congo comes with a foreword about the racial stereotypes.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Calculus. Almost all the Tintin books he appears in depict him as a physicist, though admittedly he has unrealistically wide array of knowledge in various specialist fields.
    • Justified in that making his fortune in Red Rackham's Treasure would have allowed him to move from inventing to larger projects.
  • One Degree of Separation:
    • Pretty much every single living Tintin antagonist which had appeared up till that point turns up in either major or minor roles in The Red Sea Sharks, including Dawson (The Blue Lotus), Bab El Ehr (The Land of Black Gold), General Tapioca (various), Dr. Müller (The Black Island), Rastapopoulos (The Blue Lotus) and Allan Thompson.
    • The unfinished Tintin and Alph-Art was poised to bring back some one-off characters as well, such as the Bird Brothers and Ivan Sakharine, although Hergé passed away before the plot was developed enough to explain why.
  • One for Sorrow, Two For Joy: The Castafiore Emerald
  • One-Hour Work Week: Tintin is supposedly a journalist. This is rarely mentioned, and the only time he is ever seen writing an article or explicitly doing actual journalism is in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. See Literary Agent Hypothesis above, though.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In Cigars of the Pharaoh, Tintin tells somebody that his name won't mean anything to them, but back home, they call him "Tintin". It could simply mean that Tintin didn't expect anybody to have heard of him all the way out in Egypt. Some fans, however, take this to mean that Tintin is just a nickname.
  • Opium Den: The titular Blue Lotus.
  • The Other Darrin: In the BBC radio Productions, Haddock is voiced by Leo McKern (yes, THAT Leo McKern) in the first 6 episodes and by Lionel Jeffries for the remaining 6. Nestor changes to a new actor in the second half as well, and Castafiore changes actresses every time she appears.
  • Outdated Outfit: The Thompsons have tried a few times to blend in when investigating in a foreign country... but their outfits were often too "folkloric", and on at least one occasion, the national dress of the wrong country. Far from blending in, they've been known to attract crowds come to laugh at them. Nowhere more hilarious than The Blue Lotus, where they come wearing 17th century Manchu era clothes, down to the pigtails and fans! The result...

Thompson (with nearly the entire town parading behind them): Don't look now, but something tells me we're being followed...

  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Tintin. This was subverted a few times (The Broken Ear, The Blue Lotus) by when the suspiciously-dressed person wasn't Tintin.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Thomson and Thompson are the two standout examples.
    • The chief of police in Temple of the Sun, although it's more a case of his being unable to do anything against the Inca.
  • Post Script Season: Hergé apparently considered Tintin in Tibet to be the true finale of the series, with the following three books mostly being vehicles to experiment with his characters. Tintin and Alph-Art may have gotten things back on track somewhat, judging by the preliminary work Hergé did.
  • Power-Up Food: Captain Haddock gets re-energized by alcohol. On one occasion, he is instantly brought to full health from critical life support by just hearing the word "Whiskey"!
  • Punny Name: Almost too many to list, but notable examples include:
    • Captain Haddock
    • Jolyon Wagg
    • Kûrvi-Tasch
    • Mr. Cutts the Butcher ; his original name is "Sanzot", which is read exactly like the French phrase "sans os" ("boneless")
    • Professor Calculus
    • Mr. Bolt the Builder
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Subverted in Land of Black Gold, as Tintin and Haddock both refuse Muller's demand that they put down their guns even though he has Abdullah hostage.
  • Putting on the Reich: Borduria, not incidentally.
  • Qurac: Khemed.
  • Ransacked Room: In The Secret of the Unicorn.
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: The dream and nightmare sequences in "Tintin" are notoriously surreal and downright creepy:
    • In "The Cigars Of The Pharao" Tintin is locked inside an Egyptian tomb and put to sleep with sleeping gas. He then dreams several strange images combining recent people he met and Egyptian artwork.
    • In "The Crab With The Golden Claws" Tintin dreams he is turned into a bottle, which Haddock is planning to uncork.
    • In "The Shooting Star" Tintin dreams he is visited by Philippus the prophet who then shows him a picture of a gigantic spider, claiming it is life size!
    • In "The Seven Crystal Balls" Tintin and his companions all have the same nightmare: that they are visited by the Inca mummy Rascar Capac who enters their bedroom by night and then throws a crystal boll on the floor.
    • In "Tintin in Tibet" Haddock dreams he meets Professor Calculus, who claims he has lost his umbrella. Haddock then tells him he's got a lot of umbrella's with him, but has no idea where they came from. Calculus is angried by his answer and tells him: "You lie! It's red pepper." Then Haddock suddenly wears Calculus' clothes, while Calculus wears those of Haddock. Now grown to enormous size Calculus hits Haddock on the head with an umbrella, claiming it's "Checkmate!"
    • In "The Castafiore Emerald" Captain Haddock dreams he is listening to an opera singing parrot while he is seated completely nude in an audience consisting of nothing but parrots.
  • Real Villains Wear Pink: Rastapopoulos, in "Flight 714". Which makes him look like an evil Camp Gay cowboy. According to Word of God, this was to let him appear as a ridiculous person.
  • Reality Subtext: The political situations in various parts of the world often loom heavily over the fictional storylines. This is especially prevalent in the books written just prior to the Second World War and the Nazi occupation.
  • Rebus Bubble
  • Red Scare:
    • Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (most notable example, however Hergé thought it was so poorly written you could barely tell this.)
    • This trope re-emerges (albeit very subtly) in Tintin in Tibet, where Tintin's friends from The Blue Lotus inexplicably no longer live in China (which had become a communist state between the events of the two books), but in Hong Kong.
    • Also in The Calculus Affair, which features Borduria as a Soviet satellite state.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The Mole in Explorers on the Moon throws himself out the airlock so that the rest of the explorers will have enough oxygen to get back to Earth. Considering that they just barely make it back alive (and still need supplemental oxygen administered), his sacrifice probably did make the difference.
  • Engineer Exploited For Evil: Calculus, notably in The Calculus Affair
  • Retcon:
    • Done a few times with the redrawn versions of the color stories. For instance, the Thompsons are inserted into the first panel of Tintin in the Congo, while a previously anonymous smuggler is turned into Allan in Cigars of the Pharaoh. The original version of Land of Black Gold didn't occur in a generic-looking fictional Arabic country, but in British Mandate Palestine.
    • The Belvision cartoon series did this numerous times, inserting characters into stories where they had not yet appeared in the original albums. To wit, Professor Phostle is deleted from The Shooting Star and replaced by Professor Calculus, who had not been introduced yet in the book.
  • Riddle for the Ages: How Captain Haddock rescues Tintin in Land of Black Gold.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Several storylines.
  • Rogues Gallery: A nonsuperhero example, but it still counts when you consider that guys like Rastapopoulos, Allan, Colonel Jorgen, Colonel Sponsz, General Tapioca and Dr. Müller all served as recurring antagonists.
  • Rule of Funny: The identical Thompson and Thomson will be played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the new movie, who look nothing alike. But it absolutely doesn't matter, considering the movie is being made with Performance Capture.
  • Running Gag: Many throughout the series.
    • Haddock's drunken shenanigans
    • Calculus being hard of hearing/his Berserk Button (being called a goat).
    • Thompson/Thomson injuring themselves.
    • People calling Marlinspike Hall trying to reach Mr. Cutts, the butcher.
  • Ruritania: Syldavia and Borduria.
  • Scale-Model Destruction: Calculus' ultrasound device in The Calculus Affair is tested on a model of New York.
  • Second-Person Attack: The Ellipse-Nelvana version is fond of this.
  • Seppuku: Mitsuhirato's death.
  • Shaggy Dog Story:
    • The Castafiore Emerald. This is deliberate as Hergé created the story as an experiment to see if he could maintain suspense in a story where not much happens.
    • The Calculus Affair is about Syldavians and Bordurians trying to kidnap Calculus to get their hands on the micrographs of his plans for a sonic weapon, while Tintin and Haddock try to rescue him from both groups. In the end, it turns out Calculus forgot and left the micrographs on his dressing table before leaving Marlinspike Hall, and they were there all along.
  • Shown Their Work: A few mistakes aside (one self-admitted mistake was about the Incas not knowing their astronomy), Hergé did do his research in most books from The Blue Lotus onwards.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Thomson and Thompson, despite apparently not being related.
  • Slice of Life: Supposedly, Flight 714 was supposed to be this but Hergé decided otherwise. The Castafiore Emerald comes off as more Slice of Life than anything else in the series.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Bianca Castafiore is the only recurring female.
  • Sneaky Departure: Frank Wolff in "Explorers on the Moon" sneaks out and sacrifices himself to save oxygen for the rest of the team.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: In Prisoners of the Sun, this is how the Incas plan to light the fire that will burn the protagonists at the stake.
  • Space Is an Ocean: sort of, the nautical-minded Captain Haddock threatens to maroon the Thom(p)sons on a desert star while in space.
  • Space Is Noisy: Deliberately refuted in Explorers on the Moon. The animated version by Belvision embraced this trope, however: while the meteor was silent in the original comic, in the cartoon there is a meteor shower that makes a lot of noise!
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • If you are a criminal mastermind and, by some stroke of luck, Tintin hasn't come there specifically to foil your plan, he will still manage to unknowingly do the one thing that will either derail your intricate plot or reveal the existence of that plot so that he can start intentionally derailing it. Basically, if you're running a criminal enterprise and you hear that Tintin is within a hundred miles, just shut everything down and leave the country for a few months. It's all you can do.
    • The pickpocket in The Secret of the Unicorn also qualifies.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • The Villains in the Broken Ear Episode of the second animated series
    • Mitsuhirato in the Blue Lotus episode of the same series.
  • Spoiler Title: Following the Cliff Hanger ending to Destination Moon, the Narrator rhetorically asks whether Tintin and his fellow astronauts will survive their trip into space. Then implores the readers to read Explorers on the Moon. Of course, the gag is that they very nearly die on the way back to Earth, surviving only due to a Redemption Equals Death Heroic Sacrifice, Plot Armor notwithstanding.
  • Spoonerism: Thomson and Thompson, BIG time! Way too many examples. Lampshaded in Explorers of the moon, only to result in more of it.

Thompson: This man has insulted us, and we demand an apology.
Thomson: Quite right, this man has apologised to us and we demand an insult
Thompson: No you great oaf, you're back to front
Thomson: Oh? You mean, we've insulted this man and we owe him an apology?

  • Submarine Pirates: The submarine from Di Gorgonzola's slaver gang in The Red Sea Sharks.
  • The Syndicate: Two major rivals in Tintin and America. Also in Cigars of the Pharaoh & The Blue Lotus.
  • Tap on the Head: Lots of characters get easily knocked out without lasting harm.
  • Technology Marches On: Calculus mentions inventing Colour television in The Castafiore Emerald.
  • The Door Slams You: Happens to Nestor in The Seven Crystal Balls, the Thompsons in The Broken Ear and Tintin himself in Flight 714.
  • The Theme Park Version: In-universe, this is how the Thompsons see the world, dressing up in the most ridiculous folkloric disguises thinking they'll blend in.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Jolyon Wagg. First him, then his extended family, then his entire race club...
  • Those Two Guys: Thomson and Thompson.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: More than one villain gets accidentally shot during a Gun Struggle. Tintin makes several absolute rulers promise to give their enemies fair trials, much to their annoyance. Played for laughs in one scene where the deposed dictator of a Banana Republic and his successor are in tears over Tintin's lack of respect for "tradition" in not allowing one to put the other in front of a firing squad.
  • Ticker Tape Parade: The end of Tintin in America.
  • Timmy in a Well: Snowy does this a lot, most notably in Tintin in Tibet.
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: Haddock and Loch Lomond whisky.
  • Trampoline Tummy: Tintin jumps on a fat man's tummy to get over a wall in Cigars of the Pharaoh.
  • Translation Convention: The translators of the English version in particular went to a lot of effort to nativise the setting to Britain, and altered, among other things, a Merovingian burial ground to a Saxon one. Since a lot of the humour was derived from Punny Names, this was pretty much necessary. Of course, it clashed terribly with cars driving on the right-hand side of the road, policemen in Belgian uniforms etc.
  • Truth Serums: Flight 714. Subverted, as the serum proves to work far better than intended. It results in Carrideas confessing his entire life history of how he became a Corrupt Corporate Executive and possibly even a Bigger Bad than Rastapopoulos. It also results in a hilarious Engineered Public Confession from Rastapopoulos where he planned to exterminate everyone when it was over and the two of them arguing over who truly represents the devil.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Thomson and Thompson. Their incompetence varies from "harmless and amusing" to "screwing up big time" (especially in the Moon arc). Nobody but Captain Haddock seems to realize they are the worst detectives in the galaxy, and they are consistently given important cases all over the world.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Break Captain Haddock's whiskey bottle or claim Professor Calculus is acting the goat at your own risk.
  • Unusual Euphemism: A large amount courtesy of Captain Haddock's very wide and colourful vocabulary; but the best is probably "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles!" (Would you like a "thundering typhoon" with that?)
  • Updated Rerelease: Hergé redid Tintin in the Congo later, excising as many Unfortunate Implications as he could.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Done numerous times by nearly the entire main cast.
  • Vague Age: Tintin is either in his teens or his early twenties. Hergé just said that "he is young".
  • Vapor Trail: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.
  • Velvet Revolution: Tintin and the Picaros (Type 2).
  • Villain Ball: In "Flight 714", the villainous Spalding makes a call while Tintin, in a rare subversion of what he normally does, is tying his shoes. Believing that Tintin was spying on him, he makes up a lie about calling his grandmother, which gets Tintin suspicious. If he hadn't of lied, Tintin would've never suspected anything.
  • Visual Pun: Quite often.
    • In Red Rackham's Treasure Captain Haddock buys the Daily Reporter and is alarmed to see that word has leaked out on his treasure hunt. Just then he bumps into a large pole featuring an ad that reads "Read the Daily Reporter, for news which hits you".
    • In The Calculus Affair, Captain Haddock yells at the Bordurian spies saying "I've got my eye on you", before bumping into a pole and having a spectacles shaped signboard fall on him that reads, "See Clearly with Bettaspecs"
    • Visual puns tend to fall on Haddock a lot. In The Shooting Star, Haddock is storming out of an oil agency in Reykjavik after being told there's no fuel for his ship available anywhere in Iceland; he shouts "On your own head be it!", slams the door, and jars the company's signboard loose—which promptly falls on his head.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Captain Haddock and Chester.
  • The Wild West: Apparently co-exists with 1930's Chicago in Tintin in America.
  • Write Who You Know: For The Blue Lotus Hergé created a young Chinese boy Chang Chong-Chen (Zhang Zhongren in modern pinyin) inspired by his real-life friend Chang Chong-jen (Zhang Chongren) who he consulted on Chinese language and culture for the story. Chang also appears in Tintin in Tibet.
  • Yellow Peril:
    • Alternately averted and played straight in The Blue Lotus. The Chinese are depicted in a sympathetic fashion, but the Japanese are caricatured warmongers with huge eyeglasses and horse-like teeth. At the time the Japanese were engaged in an extremely brutal occupation of China and Hergé did not disguise his sympathies. Nor did he pull his punches in depicting the Western-run Shanghai International Settlement as brutal, corrupt, and racist.
    • Averted later on. The Crab with the Golden Claws features a non-caricatured Japanese Interpol agent trying to bust an opium ring. Tintin in Tibet is also free of Yellow Peril.
  • You Didn't Ask: In the Ellipse-Nelvana animated version of The Calculus Affair:

Haddock: You didn't tell me you couldn't drive a tank!
Tintin: You didn't ask!