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  • Adaptation Decay: The animated film from The Seventies, and even more so the animated shorts made in The Nineties.
  • Anvilicious: Of course, this is due to it being a product of its time, during the time period when South American nations were often ruled by military dictatorships.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: This, with a dream sequence starring what appear to be Moon inhabitants discussing the "bestiaplanete" ("bestial planet", or "planet filled with beasts", as in "stupid people") nearby. Mafalda even reacts with an "?". (later, they were featured in another strip after the Apollo 11 mission)
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome:
    • Mafalda's jetpack.
    • Mafalda's succesful guerilla tactics to get her dad to buy a TV.
    • Miguelito asks Manolito his opinion about where do babies come from.

 Susanita: Ha! Look at who you're asking! Those subjects are too deep for this moron!

Manolito: ...Frankly, Miguelito, birth and death don't concern me. I'm interested in life, not in its ends. (leaves)

(Beat)

Miguelito: (to Susanita) HA!

 Mafalda: Have you ever heard about the voice of our concience?

Miguelito: Yus.

Mafalda: So how's yours-

Miguelito: APHONIC!!

    • Susanita gets jealous when she hears that Mafalda will have a brother.

 Susanita: Crap... here she comes.

  • Mafalda is squashed dead under a falling balcony, while Susanita looks with a triumphant smile.*

Mafalda: Hi, what are you doing?

Susanita: Oh, just thinking...

  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming:
    • Ángel, the 'terrorist for happiness'.
    • Manolito is moved to tears when the other kids congratulate him for his commitment to his dream.

  Manolito: *pushes all of the others* YOU MOVE ME, STUPIDS!!

    • This exchange between Susanita and Mafalda:

 Mafalda: How can we be friends, when we can't stand each other?

Susanita: Well, between you and a complete stranger... I'd rather spend the rest of my life not standing you.

(They hug each other)

    • Guille talking to Mafalda about his loneliness.

 Guille: Mafalda, everyday, when you go to school... what do I do with the little hole inside me when you're not here?

(Their parents turn on the lights and find them hugging and crying)

  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Susanita's rants against the poor wouldn't be out of place in an Ayn Rand book.
  • Growing the Beard / Art Evolution: Mafalda spends a lot of the first strips being incredibly rude to her parents. She becomes much more likeable with the introduction of Felipe and Manolito, and the Nakama is fully formed with the arrival of Susanita. By the time Miguelito is introduced, the strip has really hits its stride.
  • Harsher in Hindsight / Hilarious in Hindsight: A strip where Manolito asks if school teachers still hit their students, Felipe replies that's no longer true, and Manolito, with a wide smile, exclaims "Now students hit their teachers?", something (sadly) common now in real life...
    • In one strip, Mafalda wondered why a woman couldn't be president. A year after its cancellation, Isabel Martinez was sworn President, and Cristina Fernandez was elected in 2007.
    • One that definitely qualifies as the first: the Norway strip. Mafalda wonders why nobody talks about Norway and concludes that "violence has a bigger rating than codfish". In July 2011, we had Norway terrorist shootings/bombings.
  • One-Scene Wonder: While most adults react to Mafalda's questions or bizarre metaphorical statements with awkwardness, terror and/or annoyance, one elderly locksmith manages to outsmart her:

 Mafalda: Good morning! I'd like a key to happiness, please.

Locksmith: [smiling] Certainly, miss. Do you have the original?

Mafalda: [Thinking to herself, visibly mystified] Clever ol' codger!

  • The Scrappy: Libertad is seen as this by a lot of people, due to her character being little more than a Soapbox Sadie on steroids. The strip was canceled shortly after her arrival, so her character was never fleshed out. She’s the character with the least appearances in other media.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • With Susanita and Mafalda: Your friends might have different ideas and opinions, but that doesn't mean they don't love you.
  • Too Good to Last: Damn right. It should be noted that Quino himself called it quits, as his commitment to the strip and how much of his time it took was driving him crazy.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Both Manolito and his father Don Manolo are based on the stereotype Argentinians had of the Spanish immigrant workers: dumb, brutish and greedy, though hard-working. Manolito's older brother is a milder example, as he looks a lot like them and is seen working in their store, and later is Put on a Bus by working abroad. [1].
  • Values Dissonance: While Mafalda's second-wave-like ideas on women's rights were advanced by the standards of The Sixties, they come as more rude and stuck-up than well-intentioned to modern readers and third-wave feminists. Specially when tells her Housewife mother Raquel that she's "useless" and "merely average" because she chose to raise Mafalda at home than juggle with work/college and motherhood (once comparing her disfavorably to Libertad's working Hot Mom, to her very face). See The Woobie.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: After finishing the strip, Quino went to do political and satirical caricatures. Quino himself has often had a mild left wing streak.
  • The Woobie: Raquel veers into this territory whenever Mafalda scolds her for having dropped out of college to marry Ángel (going so far as calling her "frustrated" and "average"). A particular painful strip had Raquel finding her old pieces of sheet music while cleaning and reminiscing about her piano teacher who thought Raquel would become a great pianist... then, with a sad face thinking "That poor woman... (beat) Poor her?"
    • Another one is when Mafalda has a dream about having the power of flight... and sees Raquel sadly waving at her from the ground, chained to her laundry machine. Thankfully, it's followed by a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Mafalda wakes up, quietly goes to her parents's room and gives the sleeping Raquel a kiss on the cheek before going back to sleep.

Notes

  1. Notice however that author Quino is himself the son of Spanish immigrants, so it could also be a sample of Take That Me
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