[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Mousetrap_WLRP_2606.jpg]]

A 1952 play by Creator/AgathaChristie adapted from her 1947 radio play, "Three Blind Mice". Since its opening night in London Soho, the play has been running ''continuously''. It holds the world record for longest running show (of ''any'' type) of the modern era.

The plot takes place in a guest house called Monkswell Manor, run by a Mr. and Mrs. Ralston. They've only just inherited the house, close to where Mrs. Ralston grew up, and they're excited about the arrival of their very first guests. On their first night running the guest house, however, the Ralstons and their four odd lodgers are snowed in during a blizzard. The radio announces that a serial killer is on the loose -- one who uses the children's song "Three Blind Mice" as a {{Leitmotif}}. And the more and more time passes, the more and more reason there is to believe that the killer may be inside Monkswell Manor. When one of the guests indeed ends up murdered, suspicion starts falling on anyone and everyone in the manor. Suffice to say, there are a ton of twists which unfold slowly over the entire course of the tale. [[DoNotSpoilThisEnding And that's all we're going to say.]]

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!!This work features examples of:
* AssholeVictim
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: The actors swear the audience to secrecy about the ending. Doesn't stop the ending from going out in public.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Christopher Wren and Miss Casewell. See FreudWasRight below for more on Wren, and Casewell can be this or TheLadette based on script interpretation.
* BluffingTheMurderer: Subverted. 'Nuff said.
* TheButlerDidIt: A theatreland joke tells of a cab driver who, dropping his passengers off outside the theatre showing The Mousetrap and feeling angry about not getting a tip, yells "The butler did it!" and drives off. [[DontExplainTheJoke The joke relies on you knowing that]] [[AvertedTrope there isn't a butler in the play.]]
* ClosedCircle: By snowstorm.
* ConvictionByContradiction: Deconstructed.
* CutPhoneLines: Done by the murderer to further isolate the guesthouse from the outside world.
* DoNotSpoilThisEnding: To the point that no film adaptation (or any other adaptation, for that matter) can be made while the play is still running. Mass market publication of the script is not allowed in the United Kingdom either. Since it's been running for ''sixty years'', it's likely no adaptation will ever see the light of day. As a matter of fact, TVTropes ain't spoiling either. Got that?
** There's a much nastier variation of the joke from TheButlerDidIt above; in it, the cab driver has actually ''seen'' the play, and he yells out the name of the actual culprit while driving off.
* EveryoneIsASuspect
* FauxShadow: Virtually every character gets it at some point, always done very well.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Averted. It will not be licensed for a film until the English run of the play is over. And that play has been running for ''60 years'', [[WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory and still not any sign of slowing. Wiiiiaaaooo!]]
* FreudianExcuse
* TheLadette: Miss Casewell.
* LongRunner: It has run since its opening, and is in fact the longest running theatrical production ''period.''
* MetaGuy: Type B: Paravicini. He frequently names conventions of the "cosy" crime fiction genre, proving to be quite GenreSavvy. These include highlighting the dangers of not knowing the guests, commenting on the convenience of the isolation of the characters, and asking Trotter not to spoil the "ending" (reveal the murderer), as the last scene/reveal is always the best scene.
* MinimalistCast: Due to the entire play taking place in ''a single room'' in the middle of a snowstorm.
* OldDarkHouse
* RedHerring: As with any good mystery, there is one.
* RunningGag: Early in the play when a new character arrives at the house the description of the killer's clothes is given, usually as they take each item off.
* SnowedIn: During the entire play.
* SplitPersonality. Hinted at.
* SuspectIsHatless: The radio description of the killer is actually pretty good, except for the fact that it could potentially describe ''every single character in the play''.
* ThisIsReality
* {{Troperrific}}: Too bad we can't prove it without major, [[DoNotSpoilThisEnding forbidden]] spoilers. Even putting this here at all was pushing it.
* WhamLine: It involves guns. And that's all we're going to say.
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By the way, the murderer is [[spoiler:not to be revealed on this wiki.]] %% No, really. No spoilers at all.
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