History Main / TheButlerDidIt

21st Sep '16 1:39:32 AM PaulA
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* Creator/RaymondChandler, in his short-story "Trouble Is My Business", has the butler do it. An interesting spin on this trope, as Chandler has PhilipMarlowe (or John Dahlmas, depending on what version you're reading) and the butler share drinks and a laugh over being the only "average joes" involved in the case. Of course, that's over when Marlowe figures everything out.

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* Creator/RaymondChandler, in his short-story short story "Trouble Is My Business", has the butler do it. An interesting spin on this trope, as Chandler has PhilipMarlowe (or John Dahlmas, depending on what version you're reading) Dalmas (changed to Literature/PhilipMarlowe in some reprintings) and the butler share drinks and a laugh over being the only "average joes" involved in the case. Of course, that's over when Marlowe Dalmas figures everything out.
15th Sep '16 7:59:30 PM Argon2
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* In ''Anime/Danganronpa3'', the ([[FlockOfWolves most important]]) traitor turns out to be that housekeeper who was going around serving tea to everyone in the first episode.
10th Sep '16 4:44:18 AM Bissek
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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, EdgarAllanPoe, and Creator/ArthurConanDoyle). [[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 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, EdgarAllanPoe, and Creator/ArthurConanDoyle).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 they were now overused). [[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.
7th Sep '16 11:08:17 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* ''Film/{{Clue}}'' (1985): [[spoiler:In one of the endings, "Wadsworth" murdered the singing telegram girl, but then it turns out he's really Mr. Boddy; and the "it" that started the whole thing was Professor Plum murdering "Mr. Boddy" (really Mr. Boddy's butler, much to Plum's disappointment).]]
** Also, in the ''Clue'' VCR game, the butler (and narrator) is ''named'' Didit. In this case, though, he's not a suspect.
*** Except for his own murder, which he faked to push the guests over the edge of their paranoia.
*** Or so he claims. ObscurusLupa seemed to disagree.
** In the {{lost|episode}} fourth ending, [[spoiler:he actually is the butler and murdered everyone out of a sick need for perfection, and reveals he poisoned everyone and locked the doors, then tries to escape in a police car, only to be mauled by a doberman.]]

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* ''Film/{{Clue}}'' (1985): [[spoiler:In one of the endings, "Wadsworth" murdered the singing telegram girl, but then it turns out he's really Mr. Boddy; and the "it" that started the whole thing was Professor Plum murdering "Mr. Boddy" (really Mr. Boddy's butler, much to Plum's disappointment).]]
** Also, in the ''Clue'' VCR game, the butler (and narrator) is ''named'' Didit. In this case, though, he's not a suspect.
*** Except for his own murder, which he faked to push the guests over the edge of their paranoia.
*** Or so he claims. ObscurusLupa seemed to disagree.
**
]] In the {{lost|episode}} fourth ending, [[spoiler:he actually is the butler and murdered everyone out of a sick need for perfection, and reveals he poisoned everyone and locked the doors, then tries to escape in a police car, only to be mauled by a doberman.]]



** The cast is separated between "above stairs" characters (the upper-class guests of a shooting party) and "below stairs" ones (their servants). During the first part of the movie, it's revealed that every single above stairs character has a reason to murder the future victim, [[spoiler: but he's murdered by a below stairs character, whose motivations are revealed in the second part of the movie. Basically, it's not "the butler did it" but "a servant did it".]].

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** The cast is separated between "above stairs" characters (the upper-class guests of a shooting party) and "below stairs" ones (their servants). During the first part of the movie, it's revealed that every single above stairs above-stairs character has a reason to murder the future victim, [[spoiler: but he's murdered by a below stairs below-stairs character, whose motivations are revealed in the second part of the movie. Basically, it's not "the butler did it" but "a servant did it".]].



** Following the trope, the detective who investigates the murder questions the servants, but only on their masters. Later, knowing nothing of the servants, he explains that all of them are free to leave as there's no reason to suspect them. This is justified in the movie by the class mindset of the characters and the way they treat their servants (at best, like wallpaper that serves food).
*** However, [[spoiler: this detective is presented as a total idiot. His assistant does investigates below stairs, but only comes up with the conclusion that the butler didn't do it (which is pretty good compared to his boss).]]

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** Following the trope, the lead detective who investigates the murder questions the servants, but only on their masters. Later, knowing nothing of the servants, he explains that all of them are free to leave as there's no reason to suspect them. This is justified in His less classist underling ''does'' suspect the movie by the class mindset of the characters and the way they treat their servants (at best, like wallpaper that serves food).
*** However, [[spoiler: this detective is presented as a total idiot. His assistant does investigates below stairs,
servants, but only still comes up with the conclusion that the butler didn't do it (which is pretty good compared to his boss).]]nothing.
4th Sep '16 3:05:30 AM JackG
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* ''ComicBook/WhateverHappenedToTheCapedCrusader''. In "The Gentleman's Gentleman's Tale", Alfred claims to be the Joker, having created the RoguesGallery with the help of actors he knew from his stage days before he became a butler, in order to keep Bruce Wayne diverted from his personal demons. The story opens with this trope being given in a murder mystery play.
2nd Sep '16 2:06:09 PM Morgenthaler
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* Early hints in the first episode of ''VideoGame/CovertFront'' hint at the butler, Manfred, having done ''something'' to his master. [[spoiler:At the bequest of his superiors in the [[ImperialGermany Imperial]] hierarchy, as it turns out]].

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* Early hints in the first episode of ''VideoGame/CovertFront'' hint at the butler, Manfred, having done ''something'' to his master. [[spoiler:At the bequest of his superiors in the [[ImperialGermany [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany Imperial]] hierarchy, as it turns out]].
1st Sep '16 1:21:04 PM erforce
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* ''Film/HomeAlone 4'' subverts and averts this trope. The main character belives that the butler of his dads rich girlfriend helped two burglars (his old enemys) get into her high tech Mansion. He made quite a mess driving them away so everybody belives its just an excuse (he was about 9 years old). It turns out it was the , erm, nice housekeeper who is revealed as one of the burglar's mum.

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* ''Film/HomeAlone 4'' ''Film/HomeAlone4'' subverts and averts this trope. The main character belives that the butler of his dads rich girlfriend helped two burglars (his old enemys) get into her high tech Mansion. He made quite a mess driving them away so everybody belives its just an excuse (he was about 9 years old). It turns out it was the , erm, nice housekeeper who is revealed as one of the burglar's mum.
28th Jul '16 8:47:58 PM FordPrefect
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* At the [[PeaceConference Congress of Vienna]] the British delegation took the trouble to [[GenreSavvy bring it's own service staff along.]] Quite properly because as it happend a large number of pages, waiters, cooks and of course butlers were reporting to Austrian intelligence.

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* At the [[PeaceConference Congress of Vienna]] the British delegation took the trouble to [[GenreSavvy bring it's its own service staff along.]] Quite properly because because, as it happend happened, a large number of pages, waiters, cooks and of course butlers were reporting to Austrian intelligence.
28th Jul '16 8:47:29 PM FordPrefect
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* According to tradition, ninja performed assassinations under the guise of household servants. But if actual common household servants had murdered their lords, reporting such a thing would expose a glaring vulnerability in house security -- much safer to blame someone expertly trained in such a stealth and infiltration. [[FridgeLogic Makes you wonder how many ninja assassinations there ''really'' were]].

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* According to tradition, ninja performed assassinations under the guise of household servants. But if actual common household servants had murdered their lords, reporting such a thing would expose a glaring vulnerability in house security -- much safer to blame someone expertly trained in such a stealth and infiltration. [[FridgeLogic Makes you wonder wonder]] how many ninja assassinations there ''really'' were]].were.
24th Jul '16 4:41:22 PM pinkdalek
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* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "The Robots of Death" - with its plot structure and art-deco set design implying 1930s murder mysteries - the crew refuse to believe a ''service robot'' could possibly be behind the murders, as they are blinded by their lifestyle from noticing how ubiquitous robots are. Since they're robots, the fact that they're ThreeLawsCompliant is a justification.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheButlerDidIt