Clue (game)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The classic Fair Play Whodunit mystery, where you have to discern Whodunit, where he done it, and with which weapon he... done it with.

Created in 1949 in Britain, Cluedo (Clue in North America) is the iconic mystery board game. Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in North America) has been murdered in his own mansion and the six people that were present are now considered suspects. Players take the role of any of the six suspects and receive cards containing illustrations of the suspects, the rooms or the weapons. One card of each category is placed in an envelope. To play, the suspects must enter a room in the mansion and make a suggestion such as, "It was Miss Scarlett in the kitchen with the lead piping." A different player can reveal a card that matches the suggestion to disprove it. To win the game, a player must make an accusation that matches all three cards contained in the envelope. If the accusation is wrong, the player must sit out for the rest of the game. Note that a player can accuse his own character if he believes himself to be the murderer. It doesn't make much sense if you think about it, though they could have had amnesia, leading to a Tomato in the Mirror moment.

The popularity of the game has caused it to be remade into a plethora of different locations and decades over the years. It was popular enough to have its own film, book series, video game adaptations, a game show and a Teen Drama miniseries on The Hub. A sequel was released in 1988 (and re-released in 2018) called Clue Master Detective, basically the same game but larger, with more suspects, weapons, and rooms. The film itself (starring Tim Curry) is considered a cult classic. It has also had many Film Fic style adaptations, such as with characters from The Simpsons, Disney villains, and Dungeons & Dragons characters replacing the main cast.

Compare Ten Little Murder Victims, And Then There Were None.

Tropes used in Clue (game) include:

This board game contains examples of

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Prof. Plum
  • Apron Matron: Mrs. White
  • Ballroom Blitz: The murder has a one in nine chance of being this.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: An obscure character that showed up in older versions was a shy kindly school teacher named Miss Peach.
    • Miss Peach also shows up in the Master Detective set as either Boddy's Long-Lost Relative or a grifter (it's never made clear).
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience
  • Designated Victim: Dr. Black / Mr. Boddy
  • Eagle-Eye Detection: A necessary tool to weed out the killer, especially in the SNES video game version (you'll need pen and paper for that one).
  • Femme Fatale: Miss Scarlett
  • Gender Equal Ensemble: Three men (Green, Mustard and Plum) and three women (White, Peacock and Scarlet)
  • Great White Hunter: Col. Mustard
  • Guile Hero: Wadsworth
  • The Killer in Me: Your character has a one in six chance of this trope.
  • Knife Nut: A potential murder weapon. Many questions have been asked how knife wounds can't be immediately distinguished from the various blunt weapons or gun.
  • Lady in Red: Miss Scarlett
  • Market-Based Title: "Clue" in North America, with Miss Scarlett losing a "T", Rev. Green being defrocked and the distinguished Dr. Black reduced to dull Mr. Boddy.
  • Meaningful Name: The six suspects have their last names associated with the color they're wearing (peacocks are blue, scarlet is a shade of red, and so on). And of course, there's Mr. Boddy. The British victim, Dr. Black, is sometimes illustrated as wearing black.
    • Depending on what version you're playing, there may be various characters added in besides the main six. Such as Emily Peach, or Graham Slate-Grey.
  • The Movie: One in that rare genre, board-game-to-movie adaptations. What next, Man to Queen: A Pawn's Journey"?
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miss Scarlett
  • Novelization: There's a series of books based on the game. All of them give clues in the story and invite the reader to try to guess who did whatever crime occurred in the story. The crimes ranged from figuring out who stole something, to figuring out who ate a piece of pie, to (at least once per book as the Grand Finale) trying to find out who murdered Mr. Boddy. Status Quo Is God in these stories, so Mr. Boddy would always somehow survive and the criminal would either be forgiven or undiscovered entirely.
  • Old Dark House
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: During the dinner scene in the Clue VCR Mystery Game.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Cluedo" is a pun on "Ludo" (an abbreviation of the Latin for "game"), the British name for the game known to most of the rest of the world as Pachisi (or Parcheesi, or Sorry!).
  • Race Lift: For a while in the 90's Miss Scarlett looked Asian.
  • Red Herring: Sometimes wily players will suggest one of their own cards in their investigation in an attempt to mislead the other players into thinking he/she doesn't have it.
  • Retool: Every few years there is a new attempt to modernize the setting. It rarely ever lasts long.
  • Secret Underground Passage
  • Sequel Hook: In the miniseries.
  • Sinister Minister: Rev. Green in the original version.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: When the winning player realizes that they were the actual culprit.

The book series provides examples of the following

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Plum
  • Catch Phrase
    • Colonel Mustard: I challenge you to a duel!
    • Mrs. Peacock: How rude!
  • Concealing Canvas: Mr. Boddy's safe in the Study is hidden behind a duck painting.
  • Grande Dame: Mrs. Peacock
  • Hurricane of Puns
  • Killer Robot: In one story, Mr. Boddy gets a robot butler. One guests uses it to their advantage by ordering to kill another guest.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: One of the mysteries revolved around the guests trying to figure out the password to the display case that held Mr. Boddy's latest treasure. It turned out to be, of course, "swordfish."
  • Punny Name: Mr. Boddy's relatives, when they're mentioned, usually have these, such as his aunt Annie Boddy and his cousin Noah Boddy.
  • Retcon: There was a book series where each book contained many short stories; each story was an activity, planned by Mr. Boddy for his color-coded guests, which would form the basis of a puzzle for the reader to solve. In the final story of each volume, Mr. Boddy would be killed...then the foreword of the next volume would be written by Mr. Boddy, explaining how he survived his supposed death at the end of the previous volume.
  • The Scrooge: Mr. Green.
  • They Killed Kenny: Mr. Boddy is killed in the final chapter of each book, then explains how he survived in the introduction of the next book.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Mr. Boddy was born on Friday the 13th. One story, set on Friday the 13th, involved the guests developing various phobias.
  • With Friends Like These...: In the books Boddy is fully aware that his friends regularly try to kill him on multiple occasions. The problem is he's too terrified to not be friends with them if this is how they treat him on friendly terms.