An extensible multi-ply tissue paper product having high tensile energy absorption (TEA); high liquid absorbency; and, preferably, high tensile strength efficiency. The product comprises plies which are preferably embossed and discontinuously adhered together. The product has high tensile energy absorption by virtue of having substantial extensibility in the machine direction which, preferably, results from its constituent plies having substantial MD extensibility induced by having undergone wet and/or dry foreshortening during their manufacture. The product has synergistically high liquid absorbency by virtue of at least two plies of the product having sufficiently different stress/strain properties that one ply will sufficiently constrain unadhered portions of the other ply from being elongated in the plane of the paper when wetted that such unadhered portions of the constrained ply will pucker in the Z-direction as its foreshortening-induced internal stresses are relieved. Preferably, the constraining ply is high bulk, wet-microcontracted tissue paper, and the other ply is dry-foreshortened tissue paper: e.g., dry-creped tissue paper. Also, the plies of preferred embodiments preferably have nominally equal MD extensibilities at rupture. Such preferred products have high tensile strength efficiency which is manifested by their having monomodal stress/strain characters. Embodiments of the invention such as two and three ply paper towels are especially useful for spill wipe-up applications.