Charolastra: Meaning, Origin And Curiosities

“Charolastra” is a term used to describe a friendship relationship that has lasted several years. This expression arose in Alfonso Cuarón’s 200 film Y tú mama tambien . In this film the charolasters are played by the actors Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna.

They became the representative figures of the term, being friends who share important events throughout their lives. According to some Internet users, “charolastra” results from the union of the words “charro” and “astral”, which means “space cowboy” and refers to the Clash song, Should I stay or should I go?

This expression has permeated Mexican slang to such an extent that it is even synonymous with words like “carnal” and “bro”, although its connotation is deeper because it implies complicity and loyalty, as well as a closer relationship. Currently it has remained an expression that in itself is almost like an institution of Mexican culture .


“Charolastra” results from the conjunction of the words “charro” and “astral”, which is an idiom of the expression space cowboy , a free interpretation of the lyrics of The Clash song, Should I stay or should I go?

However, some Internet users infer that it is rather a reference to the musical piece  The joker , by Steve Miller.

In Mexican slang, “chalorastra” is the definition of a relationship of almost brotherhood between two friends who have known each other for a long time.

In fact, it is also used as a synonym for words like “carnal”, “bastard” and “bro”, which are words that describe this type of relationship between men.

Another meaning, more attached to the approach of the film, has to do with the fact that a “charolastra” serves to qualify a person who is lazy but who, even so, is governed by a series of principles or parameters, which are raised by the protagonists during production.


The word appeared for the first time in Alfonso Cuarón’s 2001 film Y tú mama tambien , as a way of describing the relationship between Tenoch Iturbide (Diego Luna) and Julio Zapata (Gael García Bernal), friends who knew each other since childhood and They have shared a series of adventures since childhood.

The film places a particular emphasis on their friendship, since it is the main element of the whole plot.

In addition, its dynamic begins as a common camaraderie that is gradually transformed due to the arrival of a third person who will change the situation between the two.

It is worth mentioning that one of the most interesting aspects of the production is the so-called Manifesto of the Chalolastras, a kind of commandment that dictates the pattern of friendship between Tenoch and Julio.

Manifesto of the Charolastras

The following are the principles of brotherhood and friendship that best describe the concept of this word. These are taken from the movie previously mentioned:

– “There is no greater honor than being a charolastra.”

– “Everyone can make a kite out of his ass.”

– “Pop kills poetry.”

– “A ‘touch’ a day is the key to joy” (some believe it is a metaphor about marijuana use).

– “You will not fuck the old woman of another charolastra”.

– “Fuck the one who goes to America” (referring to a Mexican soccer team ”.

– “Do not marry a virgin.”

– “Let morals die and long live the jacket” (this last word refers to masturbating).

– “I count on who goes to America” ​​(it is important to mention that soccer is a particularly important issue in Mexican society).

– “The net is cool but unattainable.”

– “The culero that breaks with any of the previous points loses the quality of a charolastra” (“culero” is an expression that indicates that a person has bad vibes or bad luck).


Some curious facts related to the term and the film are the following:

-Some qualify it as a Mexican slang for “space cowboy” or space cowboy .

-Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal have been friends since childhood. The two met on the set of the 1992 Mexican novel El abuelo y yo . From that moment they began a friendship that continues today.

-Both appeared in the film Rudo y Cursi , and years later they founded a production company for films and other audiovisual materials.

-In light of the previous point, it is worth mentioning that the film reunited these actors again, this time as brothers who have talent to play soccer. This production meant the celebration of the fans, who feel a strong attachment to these “charolasters”.

-A term in English that could also be similar to this type of relationship is bromance , an expression also popular in digital slang and that serves to describe that deep and somewhat complex relationship between two men.

-With regard to the film Y tú mama tambien , it is considered a cult production in Mexico thanks to a series of cultural elements exalted in the country. Even at the time of its premiere it was classified as an adult-only film until, thanks to a demonstration of naked young people, the censorship was allowed to be relaxed.

-The surnames of the characters involved are a kind of reference for important characters in Mexican history.

-According to statements by Diego Luna, Tenoch and Julio are based on the relationship of the brothers Alfonso and Carlos Cuarón, who were also the scriptwriters of the film.

-It is the fourth highest grossing Mexican film in the country.

– «Charolastras» is a term that, since its appearance, has become popular in everyday Mexican speech. Even with the incursion of memes and other resources of jokes and satires, the word has been used to describe those legendary relationships in popular culture, such as Batman and Robin.

-This expression can also be found in the production of the Molotov group, in the song “Here Comes The Mayo”, which was also part of the soundtrack of Y tu mama tambien .


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