[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/without-a-clue_6721.jpg]]

''Without a Clue'' is a 1988 comedy film, the premise of which is that Dr. Watson (Creator/BenKingsley) created the fictional character Sherlock Holmes so that he could solve crimes incognito. His published case journals were so popular that he was obliged to hire an out-of-work actor, Reginald Kincaid (Creator/MichaelCaine) to play Holmes. However, he soon discovers that Kincaid is a bumbling, gambling, womanizing drunkard who takes all the credit for solving crimes.
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!!This film provides examples of:

* AffectionateParody: the whole damned thing.
* AshFace: this happens to Holmes as a result of tinkering with Watson's experiment.
* AtTheOperaTonight: The final showdown takes place in a theatre.
* TheArtfulDodger
* BadBoss: [[spoiler:Moriarty abandons Sebastian to be arrested at the end.]]
* BatDeduction: A mysterious number is given, and Sherlock Holmes uses a few long and complicated leaps of logic to deduce that it means a specific warehouse. [[spoiler:At the end Holmes and Watson explain to the person who left the clue how they figured it out, leading to a sudden CrowningMomentOfFunny - the victim reveals that the number was simply the address of the warehouse he was being held at.]]
* BecomingTheMask
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Lestrade and his men try nobly at the end, but end up failing miserably and having to dive for cover when the fake Leslie pulls a gun on them.]]
* ChekhovsGun: Kincaid's production of 'The Shadow Of Death' allows him to finish the case, although it was for totally the wrong reasons.
* DiagonalCut
* TheDragon: Sebastian.
* DidYouDie: Reginald does a variation where he folds it into his own telling.
* ExternalRetcon
* FakeUltimateHero
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Watson]].
* FemmeFatale
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Sebastian has a knife scar down one side of his face.
* HiddenDepths: After messing up for most of the movie, Holmes proves to be quite skilled at fencing at the showdown, holding his own against Moriarty.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Sherlock Holmes is actually an incompetent stooge that fronts for Watson, the true detective.
* KnifeNut: Sebastian's preferred weapons are switchblades and throwing knives.
* LosingAShoeInTheStruggle: Happens to a [[{{Mooks}} Mook]] Kincaid fights with.
* {{Narm}}: InUniverse, the reaction to Kincaid in The Shadow of Death.
-->'''Reginald Kincaid:''' The Shadow of Death. The gripping drama was the last play presented at the Orpheum. It closed after only one night, but not without garnering some praise. Harris in the Daily Telegram said, 'In an otherwise dismal evening, Reginald Kincaid provided some welcome laughs.'
-->'''Wiggins:''' 'Welcome laughs'? You said it was a gripping drama!
-->'''Reginald Kincaid:''' Well that doesn't matter now, does it?
* NoNameGiven: [[spoiler: Lysette Anthony's character masquerades as Leslie Giles for most of the movie, but her real name is never revealed. The credits list her simply as Fake Leslie.]]
* RailingKill: Sebastian sabotages the balcony railing of Holmes' hotel room, causing it to break when Holmes leans on it. Subverted in that he survives the attempt.
* RedHerring: The Windermere events.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Holmes and Watson running away as the theater is about to explode.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Moriarty's {{Mooks}} prove entirely unwilling to die for their boss in the burning theater, and promptly [[IncrediblyLamePun exit stage left]].
* SherlockHolmes
* SherlockScan: Played with in so many ways.
* SomeonesTouchingMyButt: Holmes is able to deduce the identity of the groper, because he did it. Then he does it again.
* SuicideAsComedy: After believing that [[spoiler: Watson is dead]], Kincaid tries to hang himself, and of course [[BungledSuicide bungles it]].
* SureLetsGoWithThat: [[spoiler:After realising they've both completely misunderstood the clue the printer left for them, Watson quietly tells Holmes not to worry; he'll change their deduction for the Strand story on the case.]]
* TakeMyHand: Watson has to rescue Holmes as he dangles from a sabotaged balcony.
* TheDitz: Holmes. Also Lestrade.
* TheWatson: Holmes again. At least, for most of the movie. Explicitly ''not'' Watson.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: [[spoiler:The real Leslie Giles.]]
* UnsettlingGenderReveal
--> [[spoiler: '''Real Leslie:''']] You're disappointed, aren't you?
* UsefulBook:
-->'''Holmes:''' "I have a Bible! It's at my bedside." [gets it out from under the leg of his bed that it was keeping from wobbling]
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