No Contaban Con mi Astucia
~ Chapulín Colorado Catchphrases

El Chapulín Colorado (English:The Red Grasshopper) is a Mexican television series that ran from 1972 to 1981 and parodied superhero shows. It was created by Roberto Gómez Bolaños (Chespirito), a Mexican comedian and TV producer, It was first aired in Mexico by Canal de las Estrellas in 1970, but then was aired across Latin America and Spain until 1981, alongside El Chavo, which shared the same cast of actors. Both shows are incredibly enduring as they still are constantly re-run, and have won back some of their popularity in several countries such as Colombia, where it has aired in competition with The Simpsons (which has a character based on him).

The name translates literally in English as "The Red Grasshopper" (the word chapulín is of Nahuatl or Aztec]< origin, and a current part of Mexican Spanish). It is also known in Brazil as "Vermelhinho" ("Little Red") and "Polegar Vermelho" ("Red Thumb") in allusion to the famous fairy tale character Tom Thumb.


The show's success was largely due to the fact that it embodied many aspects of Latin and Mexican culture, while making a critique on the unrealistic, under the sheets of a bed or the like. He would be immediately recognized (regardless of the time or place—one episode took place in the Planet Venus, for example) causing him to boast, only to stumble and fall right away. For some reason, Chapulín is believed by people to be a great superhero, but they usually end up disappointed when they realize he is actually puny and timid. Despite this, Chapulin did try his best to help, and all his adventures ended well (though sometimes by sheer good luck or outside help.)

Seemingly parodying Superman's "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive" introduction, Chapulín was introduced as follows in the show's opening, reinforcing the idea of a barely powered hero:

Más ágil que una tortuga, más fuerte que un ratón, más noble que una lechuga, su escudo es un corazón... ¡Es el Chapulín Colorado!
(More agile than a turtle, stronger than a mouse, nobler than a lettuce, his shield i
s a heart... It's the Red Grasshopper!)

Equipment and weapons

  • Chipote Chillón (Squeaky Mallet), also known as Marreta Biônica (Bionic Hammer) is Chapulín's primary weapon. It is a red and yellow hammer, which not only pulverizes his enemies, but also faithfully returns to his 
  • hands with a simple whistle, like a boomerang or Thor's Mjolnir.
  • Antenitas de Vinil (Little Vinyl Antennae) are two red and yellow antennae on the top of the hero's hood. The antennae are connected directly to his body's nervous system, allowing him to have direct control of its powers, including: detect presence of criminals and dangerous situations in general, decode and translate various languages and secret codes, capture readings of toxic or hazardous materials, receive requests for help and activate special electronic bio-resources in the Chapulín's body. The latter allows Chapulín to activate his Antenitas de Alta Velocidad (High-Speed Antennaes), dramatically increasing his speed and allowing him to fight on equal terms with fast foes (to the point of casually deflecting bullets).
  • Pastillas Chiquitolina (Tinyish Pills) are special pills that, when swallowed by Chapulín, reduce him to a size of about 20 cm tall to pick enemies off guard or to access hard-to-reach locations. The effects of the pill last an average of 10 minutes, and at the end of time Chapolin returns to his normal size. A common joke on the show is that Chapulín's enemies often insinuate that the use of this equipment makes no difference at all, in allusion to the hero's short stature in his normal size (for example, when he explained the use of the pills to his nemesis Tripaseca before using it, he sarcastically remarked: "Well, then you should already have taken one of those, Chapulin!").
  • La Chicharra Paralizadora (The Paralyzing Horn) is a bicycle horn that, when aimed at a person or object and sounded once, would freeze it immediately in mid-air. Sounding the horn twice makes the frozen person or object free again. Another running joke on the show is the lack of mastery of Chapulín with this weapon, which is usually activated in the worst possible time and embarrasses both the hero and his allies.
  • In one episode, it's revealed that Chapulín needs to use glasses, but he usually doesn't put them in his adventures because The Superhero Union forbids the use of glasses in service.