[[quoteright:207:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cluefinders1_3414.jpg]]
{{Edutainment Game}}s from the Learning Company in which the eponymous {{Kid Hero}}es have exploits which more-or-less fit into the {{adventure}} show genre of TheNineties, collecting AlphabetSoupCans on {{Fetch Quest}}s since OnlySmartPeopleMayPass. The main characters are:

* Joni Savage: TheLeader Specifically, a [[FieryRedhead Fiery]] RedHeadedHero and a FearlessFool, although the latter died down when {{Chickification}} set in.
* Santiago Rivera: TheLancer, MrFixit and a WeekendInventor.
* Owen Lam: TheMcCoy SurferDude, who talks in a TotallyRadical way.
* Leslie Clark: [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Girl]] given to SesquipedalianLoquaciousness. Owen's {{foil}}. They seem to be in the early stages of UnresolvedSexualTension, but, of course, we'll [[NotAllowedToGrowUp never find out if it goes anywhere]].
* [=LapTrap=]: RobotBuddy, DeadpanSnarker and CowardlyLion. Has the form of a floating laptop.
* Socrates: TeamPet, who only appears with any prominence in the fourth grade game. Amazingly, both an example of RememberTheNewGuy and ChuckCunninghamSyndrome.

The games are aimed at kids aged 8 to 12, with specific games for third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders (having been a follow-up to ''ReaderRabbit'', another Learning Company series, which is aimed at kids aged up to 7). In addition, there are four other games devoted to mathematics, language arts, logic and miscellaneous subjects.
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!!Tropes:

* AccidentalMisnaming: This conversation in ''3rd Grade''.
-->'''Joni:''' ''(in regards to collecting sneeze berries)'' Listen Bingo.
-->'''Bongo:''' Bongo!
-->'''Santiago:''' Bongo?
-->'''Bongo:''' Bingo!
* AdultsAreUseless:
** Nobody can solve the mysteries except for a gang of children.
** In ''4th Grade Adventures'', adults were befuddled by problems that the [=ClueFinders=] solve easily.
** [[spoiler: However, Fletcher Limburger seemed to be able to reach the Lost City ''long'' before the [=ClueFinders=] did...just not the way the Numerian people intended, likely he flew over the walls.]]
* AllMythsAreTrue: [[ScoobyDooHoax Subverted]] twice, applied once, and [[RealAfterAll double subverted]] in the same two games.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Several times over, both with aliens proper and with other things. Partially averted in ''5th Grade''--[[spoiler:the aliens use BlackSpeech, the written form of which is a CipherLanguage, but their computer speaks and understands English perfectly well.]]
* AlphabetSoupCans
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler: Malicia's fate is to be trapped inside the amulet, which the kids then bury.]]
* AttackReflector: [[spoiler:It's a good thing the group keeps Laptrap polished; in ''Reading'', his reflective underside is as good as a mirror at blocking magic.]]
* BeneathTheEarth: ''6th Grade'''s setting, occupied by what amount to non-alien PlantAliens. Visitors beware--it's also a FisherKingdom of the "physical modification" type, slow-acting but thought to be permanent.
* BigEater: Owen.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: Thought to be the villain who stole TheShangriLa's treasures in ''Math''.
* BrokenBridge: All the time on a small scale. See also ClosedCircle.
** Lampshaded in ''5th grade'':
---> '''Owen''': "Why is it that wherever we go, we always find large pits to cross?"
* {{Chickification}}: Joni, though admittedly this mostly involved her abandoning her FearlessFool tendencies.
* ChekhovsGun: It's a good thing that Laptrap yells at Owen for using him as a mirror in ''Reading''!
** Also don't forget the whole ring in ''4th grade''.
* ClingyMacguffin: The ring in ''4th Grade''. [[spoiler:[[MacguffinDeliveryService Until Loveless steals it.]]]]
* ClosedCircle: ''5th Grade'', ''6th Grade'', ''The Incredible Toy Store Adventure'' and ''Reading'' have game-wide examples. ''5th Grade'' deserves special notice in that everyone on the island is trapped, having tried and failed to get off for generations--they say [[GeniusLoci it doesn't want them to leave]].
* CollectiveGroan / FirstNameUltimatum: In the opening of ''3rd Grade'':
-->'''Fletcher Limburger:''' Well.... peanuts, anyone?... that's what folks are saying— and there's an old superstition about a monster and a lost city.
-->'''Santiago:''' Superstition!
-->'''Leslie:''' Lost city?
-->'''Joni:''' Monster?!
-->'''Owen:''' ...peanuts?
-->'''All:''' '''''OWEN!'''''
* ConvectionSchmonvection: When she kidnaps them, Malicia keeps Leslie and Santiago imprisoned in a cage over a lava pit. They're just fine afterwards.
* ContinueYourMissionDammit: In 6th grade, Owen and Leslie will talk about how you are taking awhile during one challenge. But it's a reading comprehension challenge... come on guys, really?
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Check the map at the end of ''5th Grade Adventures''. "Sorry! But we are now, trapped, inside!"
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** In ''Search & Solve Adventures'', a villain forces RidiculouslyHumanRobots to work as her slaves, keeping them in line by [[DeniedFoodAsPunishment denying them new batteries]].
** In ''Reading'', the kids are told to [[spoiler: throw a magical amulet into a volcano, [[LordOfTheRings for only then could it be destroyed.]]]]
** [=LapTrap=] is a shiny yellow piece of technology whose trademark characteristic is constant worry. [[StarWars C-3PO]], anyone?
* TheDragAlong: [=LapTrap=].
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Leslie and Owen both get these at the beginning of ''3rd Grade Adventures". Owen is distracted from the group's mission by food, setting up his BigEater tendencies and Leslie remarks that she remembers reading about the lost city their pilot mentioned.
* EvilIsNotAToy: [[spoiler: The fourth game's villain learns this the hard way.]]
* EvilLaugh: Parodied/subverted:
-->"I swallowed my mint."
* FacePalm: Santiago gets one at the end of ''5th Grade Adventures''.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Near the end of the 4th Grade Game, [[spoiler:Loveless is turned into a mummy by Set. ''And he's still alive afterward.'']] Seriously think about the implications of that when you feel like having some nightmares.
* FearlessFool: Joni in the earlier games, played as a RunningGag.
* FetchQuest
* FiveTokenBand: Joni is white, Santiago is Hispanic, Leslie is black and Owen is... [[AmbiguouslyBrown some variety of Asian]]. Possibly of Chinese extraction, judging by his last name, but this was never really confirmed in-game.
* GaiasVengeance: ''6th Grade'''s plot comes about because of [[spoiler:waste dumped in the water supply.]]
* GenerationXerox: The apparent reason why the human residents of the island in ''Grade 5'' still act and dress like they're from the time periods when their ancestors wound up there.
* GentlemanThief: Crime has caught up with the one in ''Grade 5'''s game; he's in a stockade. He buried a lot of cryptiles in a patch of {{Man Eating Plant}}s, and given your need is willing to loan you the maps.
* GiveMeYourInventoryItem
* GodsHandsAreTied: Of all the series to parody this...''Grade 4'' introduces Egyptian gods towards the end, who provide the main characters with magical boons to help them [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu defeat Set]]. Said gods would fight him themselves, but the passage leading to him is marked with a sign: "You must be under this height to defeat the forces of Chaos." (And the height is forty feet, no less!)
* HammerAndSickleRemovedForYourProtection: Inverted, sort of. ''Math Adventures'' is obviously set in Tibet, but the game insists on describing the setting as "high in the Himalayas".
* HijackedByJesus: The 4th grade setting, though not as badly as in some other series. It helps that Set was fairly evil even in the old myths.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: That amulet Malicia really wanted? Now she's stuck with it--or rather, inside it. Forever.]]
* HyperspaceArsenal: You can carry anything in "the backpack" -- including bridge planks in the 6th grade game.
* InnocentCohabitation: Though not mentioned in the games for several reasons, [[AllThereInTheManual the Wiki]] tells us that Santiago stays at the Savage residence whenever his parents are out of town. This is compounded by the fact that Joni's college professor parents are frequently out of town...leaving the 2 12-year-olds alone in the house together.
* InterfaceSpoiler: Owen's ContinueYourMissionDammit will come off as this, unless you saw a scene that could be missed by using the WarpWhistle earlier.
* LampshadeHanging:
** During the spelling catwalks challenge:
---> '''Owen''': Why is it that wherever we go, we always find large pits to cross?
** They also Lampshaded the use of {{Fetch Quest}}s in ''Search and Solve Adventures''.
* LetsSplitUpGang: Every main game except ''4th Grade''.
* LighterAndSofter: Interestingly, the grade 4 game is this even compared to the grade 3 game, and has much more of a sense of humor.
* LimitedWardrobe: Characters dress the same in every main game except ''Grade 4'' and ''Math''.
* LostWorld: In the 3rd game.
* {{Mayincatec}}: The Numerians in ''3rd Grade''. Justified, since they're fictional.
* MeaningfulName: Joni's last name, befitting her wild personality.
* MrFixit: Santiago.
* MythologyGag: Upon meeting the sarcastic sphinx, Leslie says, "It seems somewhat odd that we would encounter a character like this in an Ancient Egyptian pyramid." He then replies, "Who were you expecting? ReaderRabbit?"
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Sir Alistair Loveless III in ''Grade 4''. Also a PreppyName.
* ObviouslyEvil: Even without the name, the above-mentioned Alistair Loveless might just as well be walking around under a neon sign reading "BAD GUY". Humorously enough, even ThatOtherWiki observes in its article on the game that there's something [[{{Parody}} off]] about him. "In one scene, he [[EvilLaugh cackled manically]] for a long time in the typical villain fashion, before coughing and explaining that he swallowed his mint."
* OmnicidalManiac: Malicia in ''Reading''. As you might expect, she's completely bonkers.
* ParrotExposition: Once in a while.
* PeopleJars: In ''5th Grade'', the [[spoiler:aliens keep humans and animals in a type of these before they eat their brains.]]
* PrincessClassic: In ''Reading'', the alien princess is both this and TheAloner, though she's holding up comparatively well. [[spoiler:For a reason: she's the villain in disguise, trying to take advantage of the MacguffinDeliveryService.]]
* RealAfterAll: In the first game.
* RedHeadedHero: Joni.
* TheReveal: Every main game except ''4th Grade''. [[OddballInTheSeries Noticing a trend]]?
* RiddleOfTheSphinx: ''4th Grade''; can't have an Egyptian setting without one of these! Somewhat subverted in that the Sphinx talks like [[TheMarxBrothers Groucho Marx]], and knows you'll outwit him [[BreakingTheFourthWall because he's read the game script]].
* RobotBuddy: [=LapTrap=].
* SacrificialPlanet: In ''Mystery of the Missing Amulet'', the game's eponymous MacGuffin, the Amulet of Life, was responsible for completely reducing the planet Millenia into a dying wasteland. At the end of the game, the evil sorceress Malicia says that once she finishes off Millenia with the Amulet, she's going to drain life from the Cluefinders' home planet, Earth, next.
* SchizoTech: One can't help but wonder how ''Grade 3''' s "Numerians" built a computer a thousand years ago.
* ScienceFantasy: It's never entirely certain what the series is, though it generally leans more towards ScienceFiction (with ''4th Grade'' as a noticeable exception). Interestingly, all the games with proven SpeculativeFiction elements also use PlausibleDeniability.
* SeriesContinuityError: In ''Mystery Mansion Arcade'', when [[spoiler: Miss Rose]] is revealed to be one of the villains that have captured the team, Joni makes a comment about how "the pollution must have made you evil again". All well and good and a perfectly reasonable explanation. Problem? Joni is the only [=ClueFinder=] who doesn't remember the events of ''6th Grade Adventures'' where the character was introduced along with the pollution issues. Though this could be justified by [[SecretKeeper Joni being the only person the other three told]].
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Nearly all of Leslie's dialogue.
* ShoutOut:
** [[{{Kaiju}} Mathra]] is an obvious reference to Film/{{Mothra}} of ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' fame.
** There is a flower that quotes ''Theatre/MyFairLady''.
** 3rd grade has the [[Music/TheBeatles talking plant quartet with British accents]]. They call their swamp home "Liverpuddle". This section of the game has [[WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine colorful animations and the design of the talking plant quartet]] as well.
** Also in 3rd grade, the guardian of the Chamber of Illusions speaks almost exactly like Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone. It even uses the phrases "picture if you will..." And quotes the show's opening.
** The Civil War lady in 5th grade mentions that [[GoneWithTheWind "tomorrow is another day"]] and how she adores [[AStreetcarNamedDesire "the kindness of strangers."]]
* TakeYourTime: A form of GameplayAndStorySegregation here; obviously you wouldn't want to get put under a time limit when you're trying to do long division!
* TalkingAnimal: Several.
* ThatsNoMoon: ''5th Grade'''s island is a bit unusual, to say the least. [[spoiler:It's a spaceship, and the aliens have been [[ToServeMan harvesting human brains.]]]]
* TotallyRadical: Nearly all of Owen's dialogue.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay:
** The vending machine in ''Search and Solve'' and the Gates in ''Reading''. This is actually the entire point; it's to test out your hypothesis. This doesn't stop it from being frustrating for people of ''any'' age.
** Those who had played games like Mastermind or ''{{Lingo}}'' would be will familiar with the gates challenge in reading...however, you have to ''GUESS'' what letters are in the correct or incorrect places, since like Mastermind, you're told how many letters are correct and are in the right/wrong spaces, but you aren't told which ones.
** The gate challenges in ''3rd Grade'''s Monkey Kingdom are very much like this especially on CHALLENGE difficulty. Oftentimes the appropriate addition, subtraction, multiplication AND division tiles will all be visible and you just stand there throwing sneezeberries at them hoping that they're correct. But once you know where the letters are, you can just hit them, even if the numbers don't match up.
* {{Unobtainium}}: Cryptiles in grade 5.
* UnwinnableByDesign: The mentioned TrialAndErrorGameplay mini-games can be made unwinnable. If the jams in the vending machine puzzle are clustered to one area and your guesses are all on the other side...you run out of guesses and can't win that game. In the gates challenge, you can easily run out of guesses considering you know ''how'' many letters are in the right or wrong places...but you don't know ''which ones they are''.
* WeirdnessMagnet: These kids can't even go out into their backyards without finding trouble.
* XanatosSpeedChess:
** Malicia in ''Reading'' [[spoiler: tricked Joni and Owen into assembling the Amulet of Life for her, then when she tried to grab the completed amulet from them, got the wrong one, but she fortunately already had Leslie and Santiago imprisoned in her mountain so naturally, Joni and Owen would walk right on up and bring the amulet to her anyways to rescue their friends.]]
** The BigBad of ''Mystery Mansion Arcade'' also has this, where [[spoiler: the mysterious villain, none other than ''Carmen Sandiego'' who has organized it all traps the villains after they fail, and the kids even ask, "Wait, did she want to catch us, or ''them''?]]
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