Created By: Melkior on June 7, 2013 Last Edited By: randomtroper89 on December 2, 2013
Troped

Hide The Evidence

Someone hides evidence of an event, crime or mischief making, whether they did it or just want to protect someone else.

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It happens on nearly every crime show you can mention, although it also appears in other genres. Someone has committed a crime, or has been up to mischief, or has been doing something embarrassing or simply private. So they hide the evidence of what they've done.

Because this is a common trope, it should to be limited to examples where hiding the evidence is either the whole point of the work or a key point in the work.

Do not list all the works by the author or all the works in a series otherwise this trope will be too long. Listing all such examples will not add any value to the trope. Instead, list the author known for this trope or the first work in a series known for this trope along with a single example.

Supertrope to Eat the Evidence.

Examples

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    Film 
  • The premise of Weekend at Bernie's and its sequel is that two office workers have to conceal that their boss died on Friday until the following Monday, in order for their promotions to go through.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of Malcom In The Middle had Lois starting housecleaning, only to start finding various pieces of long-hidden evidence from her family's various escapades. By the time she's done, she's recovered enough evidence to incriminate her husband and her sons for years and years.
  • In an episode of Psych, Gus finds his boss (who he had earlier told off and submitted a resignation letter to) dead with the resignation letter in hand. So he stumbles about trying to cover his tracks only to make the crime scene a mess. He recruits Shawn to help wipe away the evidence that he was there, but it means the two have to solve the case and get a confession before Lassiter catches on that Gus was involved in messing up the scene. It's then complicated even further when they realize someone had tampered with the scene before Gus and they accidentally implicate Henry and Juliet in Gus's mess by admitting what happened, to them.

    Literature 
  • Occurs regularly in most of Agatha Christie's works, usually because the hider found evidence that could point to his/her Love Interest as guilty. Often ends with the happy couple both proven innocent (generally they don't believe in the other's guilt, but think the police might).

    Video Games 
  • In Heavy Rain, Shelby and Lauren must wipe away their fingerprints after investigating the clock store to avoid being associated with Manfred's murder. If you miss any, Shelby's investigation is hampered by being dragged in to the station to explain why he was there. This also ends up being the motivation for Shelby visiting all the families of the Origami Killer's victims and collecting their clues.
  • In Fahrenheit, after committing the murder in the opening scene, you, as Lucas, are tasked with cleaning up or hiding the evidence. In the next scene, you, as Carla or Tyler, have to uncover said evidence all over again. In a twist, the main piece (the knife) is hidden by Lucas off-screen, so the players have to actually look for it in the second scene.

    Western Animation 
  • In a Halloween Episode of South Park Stan's mom ends up burying several bodies in the basement in order to hide Stan's seeming murder spree; but it wasn't him, it was a killer goldfish.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • June 7, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    The premise of Weekend At Bernies and it's sequel is that two office workers have to conceal that their boss died on Friday until the following Monday, in order for their promotions to go through.

  • June 11, 2013
    Melkior
    Updated description to deliberately limit the trope because it's otherwise too common.
  • June 11, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    While you're here, you should probably list some sub-tropes. Such as Eat The Evidence.

    I'm currently sponsoring a YKTTW called "Sauce The Evidence", where one destroys something by spilling a staining substance on it.
  • June 11, 2013
    Chabal2
    Occurs regularly in most of Agatha Christie's works, usually because the hider found evidence that could point to his/her Love Interest as guilty. Often ends with the happy couple both proven innocent (generally they don't believe in the other's guilt, but think the police might).
  • June 11, 2013
    Chernoskill
    On the contrary, do we have a trope about planting evidence (Seen in Cop Land, for example)?
  • June 11, 2013
    sunlitgarden
    Video Games:

    • In Heavy Rain, Shelby and Lauren must wipe away their fingerprints after investigating the clock store to avoid being associated with Manfred's murder. If you miss any, Shelby's investigation is hampered by being dragged in to the station to explain why he was there. This also ends up being the motivation for Shelby visiting all the families of the Origami Killer's victims and collecting their clues.
  • June 11, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    One episode of Malcom In The Middle had Lois starting housecleaning, only to start finding various pieces of long-hidden evidence from her family's various escapades. By the time she's done, she's recovered enough evidence to incriminate her husband and her sons for years and years.
  • June 17, 2013
    Melkior
    We seem to have the minimum of three examples but I'd like a few more contributions before launching the trope.

    One issue I think needs to be discussed is whether there should be an index of crime works where "Hide the Evidence" is the major theme or they should be listed here. I'm thinking perhaps list them above the individual examples?
  • July 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    "Most of the works of Agatha Christie" is not a valid example. You have to give at least a few examples on how she actually uses this trope.

    EDIT: Wait, Agatha Christie is listed in two different places on the page?
  • July 2, 2013
    Melkior
    ^ Oops. I need to work on this page some more. But first I need to think about whether or not the page should have separate sections for works/authors and individual examples (or whether there's a better way to do the whole thing).
  • July 8, 2013
    Melkior
    I've reworded the description about how to handle authors or a series and removed the double mention. Hat the trope if you approve. Suggest an alternative if you don't.
  • July 8, 2013
    captainpat
    No point in limiting the trope to those cases. No Trope Is Too Common. A character hiding evidence is not something that would ever be considered People Sit On Chairs.
  • July 8, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In a Halloween Episode of South Park Stan's mom ends up burying several bodies in the basement in order to hide Stan's seeming murder spree; but it wasn't him, it was a killer goldfish.
  • July 18, 2013
    Melkior
    This trope has enough examples but no hats. If it's ready, I'd like some hats. If you think it shouldn't be a trope or it's not ready, please comment with an explanation.
  • July 21, 2013
    Melkior
    I'm getting ready to launch this trope. This is probably your final chance to comment or dispute it before launch.
  • July 21, 2013
    Koveras
    • In Fahrenheit, after committing the murder in the opening scene, you, as Lucas, are tasked with cleaning up or hiding the evidence. In the next scene, you, as Carla or Tyler, have to uncover said evidence all over again. In a twist, the main piece (the knife) is hidden by Lucas off-screen, so the players have to actually look for it in the second scene.
  • July 21, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    On an episode of Psych Gus finds his boss (who he had earlier told off and submitted a resignation letter to) dead with the resignation letter in hand. So he stumbles about trying to cover his tracks only to make the crime scene a mess. He recruits to Shawn to help wipe away the evidence that he was there, but it means the two have to solve the case and get a confession before Lassiter catches on that Gus was involved in messing up the scene. It's then complicated even farther when they realize someone had tampered with the scene before Gus and they accidentally implicate Henry and Juliet in Gus's mess by admitting what happened to them.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=d1x5u60pnlcpm1s6no21q17j&trope=HideTheEvidence