* ArchivePanic: Going for a solid 12 seasons and about 265 episodes puts the show in this category, to say nothing of the four spinoff movies and the novel series that (as of 2014) numbers somewhere in the 40s and is still going at a rate of two new books a year.
* AwardSnub: Angela Lansbury: 12 Years, 12 Emmy nominations, not a single win.
* CrossoverShip: Nearly a canon example. The end of the ''Series/MagnumPI'' crossover teased Jonathan Higgins and Jessica, although it never went past Higgins quite obviously crushing on Jessica, to her amusement. It was also added to at the end of the syndicated version of the first part, "Novel Connection".
* CrowningMomentOfFunny:
** In "My Johnny Lies Over the Ocean", Jessica manages to trick the murderer into exposing themselves by pretending to be drunk during the confrontation. It also crosses into a CrowningMomentOfAwesome when [[spoiler:her niece and another passenger manage to help her expose them.]]
* EarWorm: The famous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BfbDEYY6t4 theme song.]]
* HilariousInHindsight:
** "It's a Dog's Life": Cherie Currie's character is named Echo. [[http://www.poplifeart.com/cherie_currie1.jpg Guess what brand of power tools Currie endorses as a chainsaw artist?]]
** In "It Runs In the Family", Emma [=McGill=], also played by Lansbury, laughs off returning to singing because her voice has "... more cracks than [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast an old teapot."]]
** Jessica's full name is Jessica Beatrice Fletcher. She's involved in murder mysteries. [[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Guess who else is named Beatrice and involved in murder mysteries?]]
* {{Narm}}: The infamous drive-by swording sequence from "The Celtic Riddle".
* NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize:
** Occasionally subverted. In fact, many guest stars turned out to be allies of Jessica's or a RedHerring, while a character played by a much less famous person was the actual killer.
** Played straight in "A Very Good Year for Murder", where [[spoiler:the family patriarch played by Eli Wallach]] was the murderer.
* OlderThanTheyThink: The 1959 film version of ''Theatre/TheBat'' shares many elements with ''Murder, She Wrote'', such as mystery writer going to a small town while writing her next novel and getting wrapped up in a real murder mystery.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Kathryn Morris was in one of the TV movies three years before ''Series/ColdCase'' premiered.
** George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles both appeared in episodes (separately) eons before ''Series/{{ER}}'' made them famous.
** A young Creator/CourteneyCox played Jessica's husband Frank's great-niece, whose wedding sparks the plot of the two-parter "Death Stalks the Big Top."
* [[SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct She Really Can Act]]: Lois Chiles, considered by critics to be a rather flat presence in films like ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' and ''Literature/DeathOnTheNile'', improves considerably in "The Return of Preston Giles" - so much so that when she [[spoiler: fatally shoots Giles]] at the episode's end, she's almost chilling.
* TheScrappy:
** Dorian in [[ClicheStorm "Night of the Headless Horseman"]]. He brings Jessica over so she can pose as his mother and does several stupid things no human being should ever do in his position under any circumstance - like trying to score a relationship with his crush, Sarah, who happens to be the daughter of [[{{Jerkass}} a snobbish, stuck up man only concerned with "pedigree" and being high class]]. [[BadBoss Oh, and he's Dorian's boss.]] Dorian is also an [[ThisLoserIsYou extremely unlikable caricature of the typical, orphaned loser nerd]] that can't speak his mind and attends a prestigious school.
*** To be fair though, the writers at least seemed to know this, since at the episode's end Dorian [[spoiler: ''doesn't'' [[DidNotGetTheGirl end up with Sarah]].]]
** ''No one in this galaxy'' likes Marty from "Showdown in Saskatchewan."
*** Well, when you [[YourCheatingHeart cheat on your wife (with whom you have a son)]], lie to your girlfriend about having a wife and kid, ''and'' [[ArsonMurderandJaywalking name your son Buster]], what did Marty expect? Marty should consider himself lucky that his girlfriend didn't tell his wife what he was up to...
* TheWoobie: Kimberly, the granddaughter of the wealthy Henry in "Test of Wills." She's the only one who is truly upset when her grandfather is murdered, because she's arguably the only member of the family who really loves him, and then [[spoiler:her fiancé is also murdered. Her fiancé is exposed post-mortem as having been blackmailing her aunt, and meanwhile, her grandfather turns out to have faked his own murder just to see how the family would react. Not to mention the cruel words her grandfather had to share in his fake will alongside having to deal with a domineering bitch of a mother who doesn't give a shit about what she wants and is using her to get the grandfather's money.]] It's hard to blame her for the way she ends the episode. She essentially becomes a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds when it turns out [[spoiler: she accidentally shot her fiancé when she was trying to kill herself and tried to pin the blame on her grandfather and later her aunt. When she comes forward to Jessica with the truth she breaks down in tears over what happened, and is prepared to face whatever consequences there might be when she goes with Jessica to the police. At the very least, she's officially turned her back on her family and might have a chance for real happiness now that's out of such a toxic home life.]]
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