History Main / TheButlerDidIt

14th Sep '17 7:00:49 PM GrammarNavi
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-->'''Daffy''': A likely story. I see it all now. You and the upstairs maid. 'Do the old boy in,' you said. '[[ArsenicAndOldLace Elderberry wine]] and old lace,' you said. And then, 'the quick getaway,' you said! [[LargeHam Rio di Janeiro, tropical nights, romance and a heavy bank account!]]

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-->'''Daffy''': A likely story. I see it all now. You and the upstairs maid. 'Do the old boy in,' you said. '[[ArsenicAndOldLace '[[Theatre/ArsenicAndOldLace Elderberry wine]] and old lace,' you said. And then, 'the quick getaway,' you said! [[LargeHam Rio di Janeiro, tropical nights, romance and a heavy bank account!]]
9th Sep '17 11:20:52 PM BattleMaster
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* Inverted in ''VisualNovel/MaxsBigBustACaptainNekoraiTale'' in the murder-mystery chapter: the butler is the victim.
4th Sep '17 8:13:38 AM WaterBlap
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* ''VideoGame/TheSexyBrutale'': Just about the only deaths that ''aren't'' directly or indirectly caused by the staff are [[spoiler:Willow and Lucas.]]
5th Aug '17 7:52:23 AM JackG
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[[folder: Fan Works]]
* ''It Was Your Blood, Part Spoof''. Lieutenant Data is called on to solve a mystery in his Sherlock Holmes persona, and starts with the usual suspects. On asking if the butler did it, he's informed that the [[TechnologyMarchesOn transporter chief has an alibi]].
[[/folder]]
4th Aug '17 9:58:56 PM ZacksQuest
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* A subtle version of this in the Fighting Fantasy gamebook ''[[Literature/HouseOfHell House of Hell]]''. The butler, Franklins, [[spoiler:was the demon the cult was worshipping right under his master, the cult leader's, nose, and the FinalBoss of the story.]]
29th Jul '17 11:05:39 AM XFllo
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* A hilarious play on this trope appears in the Czech movie ''Film/AdeleHasntHadHerDinnerYet''. In Czech, this trope is known as a phrase "The garderner is the murderer!" a clichéd solution to pulp detective stories. What a surprise when the actual culprit of the original curious disappearance is a man who is known as "The Garderner", the most mysterious criminal mastermind of the century. And his most loyal minion is his butler/chamberlain.
23rd Jul '17 8:14:18 PM FF32
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* In Frank Tieri's run of ''ComicBook/BatmanAndTheOutsiders'', ComicBook/TheRiddler, investigating a rich man's murder, declares the butler the killer by directly quoting this trope, calling it "the greatest cliché of all".



--> (Panting) ''Dutchess--kittens--in trouble! Butler did it....''

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--> (Panting) ''Dutchess--kittens--in ''Duchess--kittens--in trouble! Butler did it....''
10th Jun '17 5:38:46 PM Az_Tech341
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The butler is the avatar of the most unlikely suspect that turns out to be guilty because the author wasn't creative enough to come up with a better way to surprise the reader. It's the mystery writer equivalent of the {{Asspull}}, except that you can see it coming a mile away, making it, for modern readers, TheUntwist. Ironically, because this trope is so well known, when an ''actual'' butler is involved he rarely "did it", or when he did then it's often a parody and PlayedForLaughs.

The expression "The butler did it" was probably coined by novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart, although it's likely to be a real-world example of BeamMeUpScotty. The earliest ''verified'' explicit statement of disapproval dates to S.S. Van Dine's 1928 essay [[http://gadetection.pbwiki.com/Van+Dine%27s+Twenty+Rules+for+Writing+Detective+Stories "Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories"]] (it might be noted that these rules would disqualify the authors who defined the genre, including Creator/WilkieCollins, Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, and Creator/ArthurConanDoyle - indeed, rule 20 says that a good mystery should not include certain types of clue that Doyle introduced into the mystery genre on the grounds that [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny they were now overused]], and would more accurately be titled "20 Rules for Writing a FairPlayMystery"). [[http://www.straightdope.com/columns/030926.html This]] article explores in detail the origin of this strange semi-existent trope. It's possibly related to the RealLife stereotype that, if something goes missing in a home, the hired help likely stole it.

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The butler is the avatar of the most unlikely suspect that turns out to be guilty because the author wasn't creative enough to come up with a better way to surprise the reader. It's the mystery writer equivalent of the {{Asspull}}, except that you can see it coming a mile away, making it, for modern readers, TheUntwist. Ironically, because this trope is so well known, when an ''actual'' butler is involved he rarely "did it", or or, when he did then did, it's often a parody and PlayedForLaughs.

The expression "The butler did it" was probably coined by novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart, although it's likely to be a real-world example of BeamMeUpScotty. The earliest ''verified'' explicit statement of disapproval dates to S.S. Van Dine's 1928 essay [[http://gadetection.pbwiki.com/Van+Dine%27s+Twenty+Rules+for+Writing+Detective+Stories "Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories"]] (it might be noted that these rules would disqualify the authors who defined the genre, including Creator/WilkieCollins, Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, and Creator/ArthurConanDoyle - indeed, rule 20 says that a good mystery should not include certain types of clue clues that Doyle introduced into the mystery genre on the grounds that [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny they were now overused]], and would more accurately be titled "20 Rules for Writing a FairPlayMystery"). [[http://www.straightdope.com/columns/030926.html This]] article explores in detail the origin of this strange semi-existent trope. It's possibly related to the RealLife stereotype that, if something goes missing in a home, the hired help likely stole it.
29th May '17 6:24:33 AM Morgenthaler
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* During the very early [[ImperialJapan Meiji era]] (around 1865-1868), a butler from Yokohama named Shokichi led a gang that violently robbed his employer's house and killed the master's son. While the other robbers were "simply" [[OffWithHisHead beheaded]], Shokichi himself was ''crucified and speared''; this is because he ''was'' the servant of his victims, so he was considered the lowest of the low.

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* During the very early [[ImperialJapan [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Meiji era]] (around 1865-1868), a butler from Yokohama named Shokichi led a gang that violently robbed his employer's house and killed the master's son. While the other robbers were "simply" [[OffWithHisHead beheaded]], Shokichi himself was ''crucified and speared''; this is because he ''was'' the servant of his victims, so he was considered the lowest of the low.
2nd May '17 5:12:49 PM Gamermaster
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* In ''Manga/{{Ojojojo}}, Gramps claims he took the missing picture from Haru's photo album, when in reality [[spoiler: Akane]] took it.

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* In ''Manga/{{Ojojojo}}, ''Manga/{{Ojojojo}}'', Gramps claims he took the missing picture from Haru's photo album, when in reality [[spoiler: Akane]] took it.
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