Seen It a Million Times How Did We Miss This One? Missing Supertrope
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
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.