Series / Murdoch Mysteries

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"Perhaps someday, everybody will be as fascinated with pathologists and police detectives."
Detective William Murdoch

Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian detective series set in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Toronto, based on a series of novels by Maureen Jennings. The series centers around William Murdoch, a detective in the Toronto constabulary with an interest in using then-unorthodox/unknown forensic techniques for catching criminals. Murdoch is assisted by Constable George Crabtree and Doctor Julia Ogden, The Coroner. His boss Inspector Thomas Brackenreid is usually skeptical of Murdoch's methods but doesn't complain too much, just as long as they catch the criminal in the end.

For five seasons, the series was broadcast by Citytv. The fifth season was supposed to be the last, however, rival broadcaster CBC picked up the series in 2011 and has been broadcasting new seasons since; beginning with the sixth in 2012. In the seventh season, The character of Dr. Emily Grace was added to the main cast. A tenth season was announced in 2016. Outside of Canada, the series has aired on Ovation TV in the United States, under the title The Artful Detective.

The series was preceded by a trilogy of TV movies in 2004, which were more direct adaptations of the Murdoch Mysteries novels. With Peter Outerbridge as Murdoch, Keeley Hawes as Dr. Ogden and Colm Meaney as Inspector Brackenreid. Overall, they were much darker and grittier than the TV series.

The series now has a Character sheet and Recaps.


Murdoch Mysteries provides examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: This order is given in "Murdoch Ahoy" when the cruise ship starts sinking.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: In "Stairway to Heaven", a small society meets annually and plays faro for the chance to die in controlled circumstances and be revived in an effort to learn about the afterlife. One of the players extols the pure chance of the game allowing everyone to have the same chance of winning, but it turns out one of the players cheated with marked cards.
  • Abusive Parents: Murdoch's father is an abusive alcoholic (or so Murdoch thinks, he was never abusive); after his mother's death, Murdoch spent the rest of his childhood in the custody of a Jesuit order.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The series differs markedly in several respects from the original Maureen Jennings novels. In the novels, Murdoch tends to solve his cases more through legwork and talking to suspects and witnesses, rarely if ever acting as the Science Hero he is on the show. On the show, Crabtree is usually the one who does most of the legwork, whereas in the novels he usually only appeared to gather up a jury. On the show, Brackenreid is a good-natured Boisterous Bruiser, but in the novels he's a pompous, arrogant Jerkass who views Murdoch with disdain and is even implied to be somewhat bigoted against the Catholic Murdoch. Oh, and in the novels, Murdoch's father was abusive, no two ways about it.
  • Adult Fear: When Bobby Brackenreid gets kidnapped, his parents are scared out of their minds. They have to consider the worst, and investigate a pederast that a witness said she saw near the crime scene.
  • After-Action Patch-Up:
    • Late in "The Prince and The Rebel", Julia is shown tending to Murdoch's wrists after he had been tied up by the kidnappers.
    • In "The Murdoch Identity", Murdoch, suffering from Identity Amnesia, gets shot in his arm. Anna Fulford hides him in her pub and takes over when he's cleaning his wound. Later, she helps him to find a sanctuary in her church, and she then re-bandages his wound. They end up kissing, but the kiss brings out memories of a certain Julia, so Anna is only his might-have-been love.
    • At the end of "Midnight Train to Kingston", Murdoch is seen to have survived his jump from the bridge in pursuit of James Gillies and Julia treats his injuries (including reducing a dislocated shoulder). Murdoch, Julia and Brackenreid discuss whether or not Gillies survived his fall (clearly possible since Murdoch did), and Crabtree joins them to tell them they can't find Gillies or his body.
    • In "Kung Fu Crabtree", after they fight off a trio of black-clad ninjas, Crabtree notices Wu Chang (the man he was supposed to be arresting) has a deep cut on his arm and takes him to see Dr. Grace for treatment. While there, Crabtree and Dr. Grace get to know Mr. Wu a bit better, including that fact that he isn't one of the Boxers (of the recently ended Boxer Rebellion) as a Chinese detective claimed.
    • In "The Devil Wears Whalebone", Julia struggles to get out of a suffocating corset, falling and breaking her arm. Dr. Emily Grace later gives Julia a once over, including a stethoscope check and putting Julia's arm in a support and sling.
  • Agent Mulder:
    • George is the first one to suggest that vampires, ghosts, werewolves, Martians, Venusians, or an Egyptian curse might be responsible for the crimes they're investigating.
    • Dr. Grace firmly believes in ghosts and the after-life, and that it's possible to prove it with science.
  • Agent Scully: Brackenreid is typically the one to shoot down Crabtree's ridiculous suggestions whenever he thinks the supernatural is involved. He also does this to Murdoch when Murdoch is dealing with a case that has two suspects each confessing to a murder and each convinced they're the reincarnations of two people who died several decades ago. Brackenreid reminds Murdoch that he should ignore all that nonsense, and "follow the money" instead. That turns out to be the key to cracking the case.
  • Agree to Disagree: Constable George Crabtree says once they have searched the crime scene "stem to sternum". Detective Murdoch corrects him that the expression is "stem to stern", but George insists on his wording and that they will have to agree to disagree. Murdoch just lets it be.
  • The Alibi: Murdoch and his colleagues frequently have to cope with these. One suspect, a university physics professor, actually uses the word "alibi" to Murdoch and the detective finds the word choice remarkable (as does the Inspector when he hears of it).
  • Alice Allusion: The season 4 finale "Murdoch in Wonderland" abounds with references and allusions to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The characters go to a costume party to honour the late Lewis Carroll. Detective Murdoch is dressed as the Mad Hatter and Dr. Julia Ogden is Alice. The party guests play croquet, drink "potion" from flasks and together write a non-sense mirror-flipped poem. Murdoch gets drugged and has disturbing visions of falling down a hole and being too big to enter a door.
  • All Gays Love Theater: The B-plot of "Republic of Murdoch" revolves around this. Theatre buff Inspector Brackenreid proudly anticipates seeing his elder son perform in an amateur theatrical production (bragging to Murdoch about family talent), but afterward he is disturbed that his son portrayed a female character (Lady Bracknell from Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, as it happens) and "seemed to embrace the role." He consults Dr. Ogden and asks her to talk to the boy and find out if he is, in Brackenreid's words, "a nancy boy". Young John does meet with her and says he knows what his father is thinking and insists he isn't gay. He soon visits his father at the station, sporting a black eye and a split lip. Brackenreid learns from John's teacher that he picked the fight with a much-larger boy, and Dr. Ogden suggests John is desperate for the inspector's approval. In the end, Brackenreid has a fatherly chat with his son, reassuring the boy that he can pursue his true interests and still have his parents' love and approval.
  • Alliterative Name: Henry Higgins
  • Alliterative Title: Murdoch Mysteries
  • All Part of the Show:
    • The production of La Bohème in "Murdoch at the Opera". Knowing that she will be arrested for murder after the performance, Rosa Hamilton takes a fatal dose of poison and plays out Mimi's death scene, expiring after singing Mimi's last words. The audience isn't any wiser for it and applaud wildly; the other singers only realise she has died after the curtains have fallen.
    • Inspector Brackenreid also notes that most of the audience thought this was the case when a corpse fell down on the stage during a production of Macbeth in "Body Double".
  • Alone Among the Couples: In the season five finale, Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree appear to be the only ones without a partner for a New Year's Eve policemen's ball. Constable Higgins gets a date and Inspector Brackenreid spends the evening with his wife. William Murdoch is alone as his star-crossed lover is married, and George Crabtree asked Doctor Grace out, but she had other plans. They consider not going at all, but they decide to mark a new century with a celebration. Subverted as both beautiful doctors Emily Grace and Julia Ogden make an appearance.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Murdoch displays some social anxiety and a number of characteristics of Asperger Syndrome. His interests tend toward a specific type of scientific bookishness, coupled with a mechanical aptitude, as opposed to literature or sport (though he has recognized quotations from Shakespeare and played sports well enough on occasion). At times, he is an adult version of the "little professor" explaining things to his boss Brackenreid and the various constables, among others. He often fails to understand the popularity of things like fads, fictional movies and spectator sports, and certain forms of humour leave him cold (making him an excellent straight man). Later in the series, he speaks positively of the anonymity of living in a hotel, since it allows him to avoid "useless" conversations with his neighbours. Some of his personal conversations (even those with his beloved Julia) end abruptly when he sees something that brings his mind back to his current case, and he hastily takes his leave to follow up an idea, with the others reacting to his sudden departure. All that said, his colleagues and friends seem to regard him as merely a bit unusual. Even Julia tells him, "You're not the only one who lives inside your head." The ambiguity is partly justified in that the series is set some four decades before Hans Asperger published his studies. It must also be said that Murdoch's continual studies (and the deep concentration to pursue them) have provided him with a highly useful expertise, though when asked about this in court, he merely replied, "I am an expert, yes."
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • As James Gillies and his best friend Robert Perry depart from the police station for the first time in "Big Murderer on Campus", James touches Robert's back in a manner which may suggest that there is a greater intimacy between the two of them. Brackenreid wonders out loud, "Just good pals, or something more?" Even less ambiguous by Season 7, where Gillies kisses a struggling Murdoch straight on the lips. However, it could have been just his strategy to shock him as it was his last shot at escaping.
    • Mr. Carducci in "This One Goes to Eleven" is a dandy and has many flamboyant mannerisms, of note, James Pendrick comments that Carducci "...takes an interest in young, male painters".
    • Katie in Sweet Polly Oliver episode "Victor, Victorian" seems highly interested in the fact that Julia is "an unwed doctor living alone", mentions that marriage leaves her "bored and unhappy" and has no qualms about inviting Julia into the secret club. The inevitable betrayal by Julia gets the doctor a disapproving glare from Katie and called "you rat" (not unlike the reaction by Jeffrey when his gay tennis club is busted by Murdoch, in whom he had taken an interest in "Till Death Do Us Part").
    • After the bombing at the start of "War on Terror", Constable Crabtree and Dr. Grace are canvassing the neighbourhood shops when the doctor tries on a hat at a milliner's establishment. The fastidious milliner scolds her sharply for even touching the merchandise, then immediately turns to fawn over the constable, encouraging him to try on a hat and urging the reluctant Crabtree to come to his new shop's opening gala moving sale. As they're walking away, Emily observes that George's forceful manner was more successful at getting the man to give them information than anything she could do. Later, Emily slyly says the shopkeeper would be disappointed to know George is attracted to women.
  • Amoral Attorney: The Crown Prosecutor in "Hangman", who does everything to make sure the defendant gets hanged, even the obviously innocent ones.
  • Anachronism Stew: The story seems to be set in a "greatest-hits of Late Victorian/Edwardian Era" world. Season 5 is explicitly set in 1899.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Murdoch is attacked by one while investigating the ratting barn in "Let Loose the Dogs".
  • Animal Assassin: In "Evil Eye of Egypt", a cobra placed in a sarcophagus bites the first person opening it.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling:
    • Julia's younger sister, Intrepid Reporter Ruby, who irritates her older sister by flirting with Murdoch.
    • Averted with Murdoch's younger sister Susannah.
    • It emerges in Season 3 that Murdoch has a half-brother, Jasper, who is initially deeply annoying to Murdoch, but only because he's the only one who can't see how similar the two are.
  • Area 51: After Murdoch and Company stumble into a US/UK secret airship research facility in the middle of Ontario (on "Concession 51", no less!), the station house four team noted that it's probably smarter to relocate the research station to the deserts of New Mexico.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In the third episode of the series, Murdoch gets the killer to confess by gently noting, as the victim was a trained boxer and capable fighter, if things got heated, self-defense would be permitted. The killer understands and writes out a full confession, intent on claiming self-defense as his justification. Inspector Brackenreid is frustrated by this, but then Murdoch reminds the inspector of the light-loaded bullets used in the gun, which have to be specially tampered with to make a more muffled sound but still deadly up close. Having these clearly shows premeditation and not a necessity to kill on the spot. Murdoch is sure to make this clear to the prosecutor, so he could use it against the killer's defense.
  • Asshole Victim: Quite a few of the victims were cruel, mean, abusive, or otherwise disturbed individuals who made life hell for their killer, or whoever the killer was protecting. Even Brackenreid has noted on occasion that they deserved it, and the Constabulary usually makes an effort to ensure this is considered at trial.
  • Autopsy Snack Time:
    • In "Murdoch Air", Crabtree is devouring a hot hamburger in a morgue, and Dr. Grace is horrified that he is eating hot meat with bread. Later in the episode, she's enjoying a hamburger, too, while presenting a body and post-mortem results to Murdoch — who curls his nose at the idea of a hamburger.
    • In "Victoria Cross", Crabtree is eating a hard boiled egg while watching Dr. Grace working on a corpse when she removes a prosthetic glass eye from the corpse's stomach. It makes for a striking visual.
    • In "Loch Ness Murdoch", there is a heat wave in Toronto, and George Crabtree eats a piece of ice in the morgue. He stops for a moment and has Dr. Grace assure him that it was fresh. He then continues and crunches it. Later in the same episode, George and Emily enjoy a new summer treat in the morgue: delicious flavored ice balls in cups.
  • Baby Trap: The killer in "Loch Ness Murdoch" was a man who killed his fiancée because she lied to him about being pregnant. Said fiancée also drove his one true love to suicide by gloating about having seduced him.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • Episode "Belly Speaker", in which the puppet-wielding suspect deceives everyone (including Murdoch) and ultimately escapes justice. There is no indication that he was ever caught afterwards. However, given his reasons for doing so and the truth later coming out about his twin brother, it's hard to not feel even a bit sympathetic.
    • The episode "Werewolves". Although Murdoch and company prevent the killer from killing the last Asshole Victim he targeted in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, the killer's actions also led to the surviving victim being arrested by the Toronto police for his own crimes.
    • Subverted in "Last Train To Kingston". Although James Gillies manages to outsmart Murdoch and company and escape, he apparently gets himself killed by jumping off a railway bridge into a shallow river.
  • Baseball Episode: Station House 4 prepares for a baseball match with another station house in the two-parter "Stroll on the Wild Side". Brackenreid and his counterpart share a long-lasting rivalry (they make a bet on the outcome), and Inspector Brackenreid is so determined to win this year he drafts Crabtree to secretly film the rivals' practice session. Later, Crabtree examines stills from the film trying to fathom the drop of the pitcher's spitball. Murdoch reads a book about the game, and uses science to help Crabtree find out how to hit the spitball. George tries to show Higgins how to throw a pitch and accidentally breaks a window in the office, prompting Brackenreid to reassign George as the pitcher. All the officers and constables look dashing in their baseball shirts and caps.
  • Batman Gambit: In the Season 2 finale, while Murdoch goes to British Columbia in pursuit of the Killer of the Week, Brackenreid targets the Corrupt Corporate Executives who hired him. Brackenreid visits one of them on the pretext of updating him on the case, saying that they're closing in on the murderer, who's nicknamed "Accidental Al". The inspector mentions in passing that Al has a nasty habit of turning on his employers when things start heating up, and then leaves. This spooks the executive enough that he calls one of his cronies to discuss the case... not realizing that Crabtree has tapped his phone line and is listening to their conversation.
  • Beach Episode: "Loch Ness Murdoch" starts with Dr. Ogden and Inspector Brackenreid at the beach during a heatwave, with other characters joining them later.
  • The Beard: This appears a few times in the series due to laws against homosexuality in the period:
    • In "'Til Death Do Us Part", the murder victim has a best friend who is gay and yet got married for social reasons. His wife proves to be aware of his feelings but also says he has treated her well by giving her a secure home and a child. The victim himself was also getting married to satisfy family members and inherit half the family business.
    • In "Monsieur Murdoch", the hotel owner and brother-in-law of the missing woman turns out to have married for this reason. His wife tells Murdoch and his French counterpart that she knew what she was getting into when they married.
    • The husband of the victim in "Murdochophobia" admits that both he and his wife were gay and had a mutually beneficial arrangement in their sexless marriage. He says he was also fond of his wife and had no desire to lose his social cover, so he had no reason to want her dead.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: In "Let Loose the Dogs", Murdoch investigates a murder that centres around a ratting contest. The victim turns out to have been doping the dogs.
  • Beta Couple: Constable Crabtree and Dr. Grace seem to be heading in this direction in season 5. George kisses Emily passionately and quite thoroughly in "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom".
  • Big Bad:
    • Sally Pendrick in season 3. It becomes clear in the season's finale who was responsible for several high-profile crimes.
    • James Gillies in Seasons 5 & 6. A creepy sociopath who escaped the noose several times. He committed his first murder just because he could and For the Evulz, and it has become a challenge for him to measure his abilities with Detective Murdoch. He actually says to Murdoch, "I don't like to be bested."
  • The Big Board: So many chalkboards:
    • Detective Murdoch has a big blackboard in his office in Station House Four. He uses it for collecting leads, visualizing crime scenes, or explaining his ideas of new forensic methods. He sometimes sticks there photos of victims, reports of related older crimes, newspaper articles and so on. In some cases when he's away from his office (Anna Fulford's pub in Bristol in "The Murdoch Identity", the train bar car in "Midnight Train to Kingston", the local inn in "All That Glitters"), he borrows a chalkboard for this purpose.
    • A chalkboard also makes an occasional appearance at the city morgue. Sometimes it has drawings and notes from an unrelated case, but Dr. Grace uses it to show her work with blood typing in "Tour de Murdoch".
    • Crabtree uses the backside of Murdoch's board in "Loch Ness Murdoch" to lay out his investigation of the "Miss Purity" pageant. He turns it around to reveal his work, but Brackenreid tells him to turn it back to the notes on the "monster" inquiry.
    • In the B-plot of "Murdoch Takes Manhattan", Brackenreid and Crabtree are investigating a murder at a private club of "puzzlers" and Crabtree suggests making a chart and using Murdoch's chalkboard. Brackenreid tells Crabtree to get a chalkboard for him. Later, Brackenreid gets frustrated and pushes over the board, which in turn breaks his bottle of scotch. Even so, Brackenreid's Imagine Spot that breaks the case shows him back at that board erasing one line of the chart that so frustrated him earlier.
    • George Crabtree's ultimate wedding present to Murdoch is a small chalkboard for his home, seen in William and Julia's suite at the Windsor Hotel.
  • Big Damn Kiss
    • Julia and William kiss passionately in "Twentieth Century Murdoch", the season 5 finale.
    • George dares to kiss Emily in "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom" when there is a possibility they will all die due to a terrorist's gas attack.
    • Emily violently kisses Lillian Moss in "Toronto's Girl Problem".
  • Binge Montage: George's role in one investigation is to get drunk with locals so that they can steal from him a part of a treasure map and reveal themselves. George drinks, dances, sings and is forced to kiss a fish. Good times.
  • Bitter Almonds:
    • In "I, Murdoch", Dr Ogden identifies that the Body of the Week has been killed with prussic acid because of the scent of bitter almonds.
    • In "Murodch at the Opera", Dr. Grace describes smelling the aroma of bitter almonds coming from the corpse of the young opera singer. Later, after the culprit prima donna takes poison and dies onstage, Crabtree brings out a wine glass he found and Murdoch himself sniffs it and says, "Cyanide."
  • Black Comedy: Several characters employ dark humour to deal with the frequent deaths and other sad circumstances they encounter, including:
    • Dr. Ogden makes jokes on occasion, including holding up a skull she's been boiling and quoting Shakespeare's Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio!" In "Hangman", she addresses the exhumed corpse of a judge, cracking wise that "a month in the ground hasn't done your health any good."
    • Dr. Grace is also very prone to this. On being presented with a headless corpse in "Murdoch in Toyland", she quips about it being a former resident of Sleepy Hollow, "Ichabod Crane, perhaps." When she and Murdoch are investigating a vibrating electrical chair in which a man died, she sits in it as Murdoch is trying the controls; her reaction (and his) are very much Played for Laughs.
    • Constable Crabtree, speaking of a new grave a convent of nuns planned to use for one of their members, jokes about the fact that her place had been already taken by the murder victim of the week.
    • Murdoch flirts with this once in "Stroll on the Wild Side" when Constable Higgins describes how the tram car murder victim was seen conversing with another man who exited the car before it left the station. Higgins says the second man may have been "just seeing him on his way," and Murdoch remarks on the turn of phrase. Higgins stares at Murdoch blankly.
  • Blinded by the Light: In "Convalescence", a weakened Murdoch turns the tables on his attacker by slipping his experimental night-vision goggles on her head. Designed to work in near darkness, they amplify the normal light in the room to the point where she is blinded.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: One young woman's body is found ditched in a river and it appears that her blood has been drained. The team finds out that she was pregnant and tried to induce a miscarriage by eating insecticide, and combined with some strange oil and pills, it did induce the miscarriage. She suffered bleeding severely from her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and other parts... She died an agonizing death.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Late in "Murdoch and the Temple of Doom", Dr. Iris Bajali steals the Holy Grail from Station 4 and runs into the driving thunderstorm, pursued by Murdoch. He calls out to her to stop her, and she explains how she can fund her research with the sale of the much sought-after Grail. He tells her it belongs to God, she shouts back, "There is no God," and is struck and killed by a lightning bolt.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Double Subverted when Murdoch investigates the bombing of a clothing store that seriously injures Crabtree and Higgins. At first it seems like a group of anarchists that are hosting firebrand Emma Goldman are responsible, and then a Marxist activist tries to cake credit for the bombing. However, Crabtree eventually finds that the owner of the building the clothing store was in bombed his own building to try and drive out his tenant, the owner of the clothing store, so he could sell the property to a large company. Later in the episode, a second bombing occurs, and this time one of the anarchists is responsible.
  • Book Ends:
    • "Hangman" opens with an execution scene in a prison, with Murdoch, another detective and the crown prosecutor among the witnesses. Near the end, the scene returns to the same room, with the crown prosecutor being hanged.
    • At the start of the season 5 premiere "Murdoch of the Klondike", Murdoch tosses his police badge into a creek to symbolize how alienated he is from his old life. However, after saving his landlady from the noose and catching a murderer, Murdoch decides to return to Toronto. His decision is symbolized by Jack London giving him back his badge, which Jack had fished out of the creek.
    • Early in "The Murdoch Sting", Brackenreid is refilling his office scotch decanter and waves the bottle under Murdoch's nose, praising the aroma and asking if Murdoch finds it appealing. Murdoch replies that he hasn't had a drink in years and doesn't intend to start now. Near the end of the episode, Murdoch goes to the same decanter, pours two glasses and actually drinks his fairly quickly, having decided to propose to Dr. Ogden.
  • Boot Camp Episode: The B-plot of the episode "Murdoch Air" involves the veteran Inspector Brackenreid re-enlisting to fight against the Boers in South Africa. After a rather rocky start, his experience and leadership skills (mentoring a younger fellow recruit on how to use a bayonet) prompt the drill instructor to offer to falsify his age on his enlistment papers. Brackenreid negotiates for a full decade deduction on the records, but later changes his mind after his wife insists he be the one to explain his decision to their two young sons.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "Convalescence", Mrs. Kitchen is kept bound and gagged while the criminals search her house for the missing loot.
  • The Boxing Episode: In "The Knockdown", Murdoch investigates the murder of a black prizefighter on the night he defeated a local white boxer.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", several men whose brains have been damaged by Dr. Luther Bates's experiments run amuck in the streets of Toronto, causing property damage and threatening innocent bystanders. The Constabulary subdues them all with fishing and dogcatching equipment.
  • Broken Pedestal: Often for poor Inspector Brackenreid. High-talent has a knack for making a monster out of the divas that the inspector so admires, first in "Body Double" with Stella then in "Murdoch at the Opera" with Rosa, both of whom have committed murder.
  • Buried Alive: Julia, in "Murdoch in Toyland". Murdoch manages to rescue her in time.
  • The Butler Did It: Played with in the episode "Downstairs, Upstairs". The butler proves to have an alibi for the murder of his employer, but he knows who did it and suffocated his late employer's mother to keep her from revealing that information.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Various officers take this role:
    • Murdoch himself is very devoted to following evidence and doing a thorough job of investigating. Inspector Brackenreid will occasionally criticize him for this, saying things like, "I know you have only two speeds, Murdoch: slow and dead slow." For his part, Murdoch will sometimes express objections or discomfort with Brackenreid's propensity to use his fists to get information, though such hands-on methods were commonly accepted at the time.
    • Brackenreid himself will take a stand on regulations and the law when one of Murdoch's new-fangled methods seems to push the limit, or when Murdoch is taking a long time to do his job. He'll mention habeas corpus if someone is in custody too long without a charge.
    • Percival Giles, particularly when interacting with Murdoch and Brackenreid. After the escape of Ava Moon, he is routinely critical of Murdoch and Brackenreid's methods. When they go to another jurisdiction and remove a corpse back to Toronto, he insists they return the body to the other department and write letters of apology to the other cops and coroner.
  • California Doubling: Set in Toronto but filmed in Cambridge and other smaller downtowns across Ontario as none of the streets of modern Toronto looks like 1890s Toronto. Averted in "Ghosts of Queen's Park", which did indeed film inside the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park.
  • The Cameo: By Big Name Fan Stephen Harper, at the time of shooting the Prime Minister of Canada.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: In "Murdoch of the Klondike", Murdoch has left behind his job as a Toronto police detective having released a murderess who was wronged by the justice system years earlier, in part due to his scrupulous honesty and is prospecting in the Klondike. During the long summer night, he's sitting at a campfire with another prospector who comments on the hour (it's about one o'clock in the morning), and they have this exchange:
    Prospector: What do you think, mister? What do you think's worse, endless day or neverending night?
    Murdoch: It would depend on your state of mind, I suppose. The day can consume your thoughts. The night, your thoughts consume you.
  • Camping Episode:
    • "Murdoch of the Klondike" begins this way. Murdoch has left Toronto after releasing murder Ava Moon from jail having given up his urban police career to pan for gold. His appearance and even speech patterns are more those of a scruffy cowboy than an articulate urban man. He camps near his claim and goes to town with the other miners, where he learns of the arrest of a hotel owner for murder.
    • The investigation in "All That Glitters" leads to one of these, with Murdoch easily returning to his lumberjack and miner garb (to Crabtree's astonishment), while Crabtree is the urban Fish out of Water, bringing his own pillow from home and overreacting to the sounds of wildlife in the night.
  • Canadian Accents: In the original TV movies, only Murdoch speaks with a (slightly anachronistic) neutral Canadian accent, while everyone else talks with varying shades of Irish, Scottish, English, French, and other European accents — historically accurate considering Canada's history of immigration. The TV series tones this down, but not by much.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: It's pretty clear to anyone that Murdoch likes Dr. Ogden, but he cannot get himself to say it. When he tries to propose to her late in "The Murdoch Sting", he still has this problem (despite having had a fortifying drink of Brackenreid's scotch beforehand); he stops himself and starts again when he tries to ask the question before Julia stops him and flees into her house.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse: The Victim of the Week in "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch" is carried out of the Toronto Paranormal Society rolled up in a rug.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Murdoch is apt to say, "I have an idea," when he wants to use a new invention or technique to solve a problem, gather needed evidence or catch a culprit. When asking Constable Crabtree for an update on his inquiries, he says, "What have you, George?" or "George, what have you?"
    • Brackenreid shouting "Bloody hell, Murdoch!" whenever Murdoch does something he can't comprehend. He also calls Murdoch "me old mucker" at least Once per Episode, and calls Constable Crabtree "buggerlugs". And while he has "many aphorisms", his motto is, "Follow the money."
    • Agent Myers has "I can't tell you that; it's top secret." Also, he invokes "national security" so often that Murdoch comes to anticipate him and says it first.
    • James Gillies, that sick, sick bastard: "I'm flattered."
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Double Subverted in the episode "The Kissing Bandit", wherein Murdoch tries to catch the title character by installing an exploding dye pack in with the money the bank will give the Bandit. It fails to catch the Bandit because the Bandit is actually reporter Paddy Glynn, who saw Murdoch explain the plan, but it does help identify the Costume Copycat who murders an innocent woman.
    • Played straight in another episode, when an apprentice hangman shows Murdoch and Dr. Ogden the physics of hanging. If the rope's not measured and tied correctly, the person being hanged can either end up being slowly strangled, or end up being completely decapitated. Guess which one applies to the murderer of the week when he goes to the gallows. (Note that he was hanged by said apprentice (for the murder of a judge) and he had implicated the hangman's boss in that crime, which strongly suggests the new hangman did it on purpose.)
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • A few times, since in at least two episodes there have been brief mentions of escaped convicts that usually don't have anything to do with the case, only for the criminals to show up near the end.
    • More often than not, the inconspicuous witness is the murderer (unless it's Ze Americans). Murdoch tends to arrive on the scene of the crime to find nothing but a body and a dozen people with something to hide. Naturally, he points the finger at the closest Angry Guy with a Grudge only to find that the real murderer is the whimsical old lady, the guy in the wheelchair, or the uppity university snob with an extreme interest in applied physics.
    • Militant Irish dockworker Mick O'Shea is suspected of murder and viciously beaten by Brackenreid in the interrogation room. When he and several of his mates are arrested for causing a riot several episodes later, they ambush Brackenreid and beat him to within an inch of his life.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At the start of "Mild Mild West", Murdoch demonstrates that he knows how to use a lasso at a carnival game. Later he uses a lasso to capture a fleeing suspect.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Merry Murdoch Christmas", featuring appearances by The Krampus as the villain and Santa Claus himself (played by Ed Asner).
  • Circus Episode: "Blood and Circuses", in which a traveling circus has a tiger get loose in the town and is found to have partially eaten the trainer. Of course, things aren't as straightforward as that...
  • Clear Their Name: A couple of examples:
    • Murdoch's landlady is accused of murder in "Murdoch of the Klondike", and Murdoch has to prove her innocence.
    • "The Murdoch Trap" centers around Murdoch, Brackenreid and Crabtree trying to prove Dr. Ogden's innocence when she's framed for Darcy Garland's murder.
  • Closed Circle:
    • "Stairway to Heaven" is set at a lodge on an island during a heavy thunderstorm. Detective Murdoch arrives soaking wet and tells everyone there that the ferry to the mainland won't operate again until the storm lets up, so he and Dr. Grace have to work the murder case entirely onsite.
    • "Friday the 13th 1901" starts as a "hen party" (a batchelorette party) on an island over a weekend. The boatman isn't scheduled to return for several days, the only boat on the island is found to have a gaping hole in it, and the period setting means there's no communications technology. Thus Drs Ogden and Grace have to take the lead in solving the problem of the ax-wielding killer.
  • Clueless Detective: Murdoch is very good at his job, but his counterpart at Stationhouse #3, Chester Macdonald, is aptly described by Brackenreid as an "obvious dunce". His shoddy investigation of a murder leads an innocent man to be nearly hanged, and Murdoch ends up having to clean up his mess.
  • Coffin Contraband: In the aptly-named "Confederate Treasure", a large amount of gold was stolen from the Canadian government during the American Civil War. However, the conspirators all had their own agendas and in the resulting Gambit Pileup the gold was presumed lost when the ship carrying it sunk. More than three decades later, the police discover that the mastermind behind the theft was Genre Savvy enough to switch out the gold before the sea voyage and hid it in a coffin. The coffin was then buried in a cemetery but the mastermind died before he could dig it up.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Mr. Pendrick gets tortured in the season 6 première "Murdoch Air" when the American agents want to find out how to control his Pendrick Aero which they have stolen.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Dr. Julia Ogden is a prime example of one. She will attack you from behind or use her skill with scapels to mortally injure you (see "Snakes and Ladders") if you attack her or someone she cares about.
    • Dr. Emily Grace takes after her mentor. In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", when she was grabbed by one of the "zombies", she stabbed him in the hand with her hatpin, and in "Friday the 13th 1901" she hit Julia's ax-wielding attacker from behind with a bottle.
    • Anna Fulford in "The Murdoch Identity" is quite handy with a frying pan, and later in the same episode she shoots one of Murdoch's captors and pistol whips one in the back of the head.
    • In "Victoria Cross", Murdoch himself comes upon a killer approaching Julia and her patient (an eyewitness to his earlier robbery and murder), and grabs the guy's arm from behind without further ado—no flashing the badge or issuing a verbal order to stop.
  • The Comically Serious:
    • Murdoch can easily fall here, always staying quite serious even in the most bizarre situations. Inspector Brackenreid once asks Crabtree if he'd ever seen him laugh.
    • Terence Myers, who is utterly straight-faced while being comical at the same time.
  • Continuity Nod: The online CBC mystery game A Nightmare on Queen Street involves a Psycho Psychologist who is a murder suspect but is in fact innocent. When he appears in the TV series in "Murdoch of the Living Dead", he alludes to the events of A Nightmare on Queen Street and how Dr. Ogden got him fired from the hospital he worked at because of that case.
  • Conviction by Contradiction:
    • A number of upper-class families are plagued by burglaries, and the sons of several of the families accuse a caravan of gypsies of being responsible. Brackenreid initially arrests the gypsies, but he later realizes their innocence when he notices the flaws in the boys' story. He then subverts this trope by not arresting the boys right away, but instead setting up a sting that confirms their guilt.
    • Crabtree does this while investigating the B-plot of "Murdoch of the Klondike". A murder victim's widow says something that makes Crabtree suspicious, and while he's interviewing her at her house she gets a phone call that makes him even more suspicious. This doesn't make Crabtree arrest her, but it does lead him to trace the call and arrest the hired killer she was talking to, who confesses and provides proof of his employer's guilt.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to take a trip down Niagara Falls, is touring with the barrel she rode down the falls in. When her barrel is stolen during an appearance in Toronto, she enlists Crabtree's help. Crabtree discovers that the thieves are a group of university students who stole the barrel as a prank. The boys plead with Crabtree not to arrest them, since the scandal would lead to their being disowned by their families. In lieu of arresting them, Crabtree punishes the boys by forcing them to clean the entire stationhouse from top to bottom, and he insists they write a letter of apology to Ms. Taylor.
  • The Coroner: Drs. Julia Ogden; Llewellyn Francis; Emily Grace
  • Couldn't Find a Pen:
    • In "Bad Medicine", the Victim of the Week writes the letters "W Y" in his own blood on a rock after he is shot in the back with an arrow.
    • In "Snakes and Ladders", the killer writes the words "TRY TO STOP ME" in his victim's blood at the sites where he dumps their bodies.
    • In "The Murdoch Appreciation Society", Murdoch uses his ultraviolet light to check for blood stains at a scene and finds the phrase "BLUE SKY" also written in blood.
  • Costume Copycat: The Kissing Bandit is a Lovable Rogue and Gentleman Thief who becomes something of a folk hero in Toronto. Later, the Kissing Bandit seemingly turns cold-blooded when he shoots a woman he'd kissed during one of his previous robberies. Murdoch has caught the real Bandit and has him in custody when the shooting takes place, and so Murdoch realizes that the Bandit who supposedly killed the woman is in fact an impostor disguised as the real one.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): In "Murdoch Ahoy", a drowning Detective Murdoch is saved by Dr. Ogden using CPR. Lampshaded by Inspector Brackereid who didn't understand what she was doing and later joked that while his best man was drowning, she was only using it as an opportunity to kiss Murdoch.
  • Cramming the Coffin: In "The Black Hand", Murdoch is investigating the shooting death of a businessman from New York City when he learns of a sudden change in the funeral arrangements for the dead man. He and Constable Crabtree visit the mortician, and Crabtree notices the body seems to be rather high in his coffin. The cops find the coffin has a false bottom concealing another dead man the fiancé of Anna Fulford, who stole counterfeit money from an organized crime outfit.
  • Creepy Doll:
    • "Belly Speaker": The belly speaker's puppet was very disturbing. The fact that it was manufactured to look like its owner, complete with different colored eyes, added to the creepiness factor.
    • In "Me, Myself and Murdoch", the constables found a rag doll without an eye found in a Creepy Basement. It was buried there with a chopped up skeleton.
    • "Murdoch in Toyland": Detective Murdoch was taunted by a series of dolls with recorded messages as a part of Criminal Mind Games scheme. Lampshaded by Inspector Brackenried: "I know it's supposed to be adorable, but to me it just looks bloody creepy."
    • In "Friday the 13th 1901", Julia gets locked in a cold storage cellar and finds a childish drawing and a doll, which triggers her memories of James Gillies who kidnapped her and buried her alive. She is later reminded of this again when going over the Gillies case file and looking at a photo of one of the dolls.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Subverted. A suspect was seen talking with a victim on a train and he admitted he liked her a lot. They found he has home-made jewellery made of human hair of multiple people, and the victim's hair is among them. However, she gave it to him voluntarily while she was alive. Jewellery from human hair was still seen as very weird, but he was not her murderer.
  • Criminal Mind Games: In "Murdoch in Toyland", Detective Murdoch is left a series of talking dolls designed to give him just enough clues to reach the next one, and also to make him overthink things and miss more blatant clues.
  • Cruel Mercy: In "Midnight Train to Kingston", Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are among those on the train taking James Gillies to be hanged. At one point, they're discussing the situation, and Julia speculates that it might be better for Gillies to rot in prison instead, suggesting that a life sentence would be "crueler".
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Murdoch develops several innovations for crime-fighting that could make him a wealthy man if he patented them. It's subverted in one episode when Murdoch develops a polygraph lie detector device, and Crabtree tries to persuade a wealthy businesswoman to invest in it. The device works exactly the way it's supposed to, but it doesn't register anything since all the people Murdoch is testing it on are telling the truth and are all innocent. Thinking the device is worthless, the businesswoman (played by Canadian Dragon's Den regular Arlene Dickenson) loses interest and walks off.
  • Da Chief:
    • Inspector Brackenreid to Murdoch and the rest of Station House 4.
    • Brackenreid's superior, Chief Constable Stockton. Since Murdoch is very much a By-the-Book Cop, Stockton tends to exert pressure on him and on Brackenreid to make a quick arrest or back off of VIPs, never mind the evidence.
    • Stockton's successor, Chief Constable Giles. Like his prececessor Stockton, he tends to show up when Murdoch is investigating important cases, usually warning Brackenreid and Murdoch to be discreet and not stir up too much trouble. And he hasn't forgotten Murdoch's role in Ava Moon's escape from jail and implies that any further slip-ups will cost him his badge.
  • The Dandy:
    • James Gillies is an impeccably dressed young man of fashion. He's also a stone-cold Manipulative Bastard who enjoys setting up elaborate revenge plots on anyone unlucky enough to get in his way.
    • Mr. Carducci in "This One Goes to Eleven". He has a neatly trimmed beard, twirly-styled hair, and wears several fashionable suits in addition to owning a walking stick. He is impeccably gentlemanly throughout the episode until the reveal.
  • Dashingly Dapper Derby:
    • Murdoch wears a Homburg, but Brackenreid often wears a Derby. The mistake in Brackenreid's costume is that men did not regularly wear a derby with a morning coat until after World War I.
    • While Crabtree is temporarily promoted to acting detective, he gets a derby, too.
  • Daydream Surprise:
    • Used frequently from Murdoch's perspective, mostly involving Doctor Ogden and kissing. In one daydream Murdoch saw his older self camping with his wife and son. While Murdoch sees and seems to know the identity of the wife (he smiles when he sees her), the audience doesn't.
    • Doctor Ogden's point of view: When the case involving a "Hemo Erotic vampire" is solved, she imagines herself to be lifted up and seated on a table by the wall by Murdoch, and the two start to make out violently. The imagination involves Julia's fiancé Doctor Darcy Garland walking in on them.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Season 7 has two: the Girls' Night Out Episode "Friday the 13 1901", in which a Closed Circle meant Dr Odgen had to play detective, and "Kung Fu Crabtree" in which, as the title suggests Crabtree took the lead, because Murdoch was caught up in a Story Arc related B-plot.
    • Season 8 has "Crabtreemania", which keeps the focus on Crabtree even though Murdoch is involved in the investigation as well, and ends with him being offered a detective position.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As noted below under Sherlock Homage, Murdoch is one of these from time to time. Late in "The Murdoch Sting", he comes upon Eva Pearce standing in a pond desperately searching for the corpse she hid there. He addresses her and says, "What are you doing? You'll catch your death." Bear in mind, this is in a time and place where there is a death penalty for murder, and his listener has just been caught red-handed.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Dr. Julia Ogden has a heated discussion with the ghost/memory of her deceased father — just as she is autopsying him. She has two other discussions with him later as she's investigating his death.
  • Death Faked for You: For Anna Fulford by the Toronto Constabulary, no less. She is pursued by a powerful criminal organization who want her dead as a revenge for her fiancé's actions. They stage her murder when they know a member of the organization is watching and they arrange a new identity for her as well.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Constable Worsley gets his first lines of the show in the season 9 finale, and gets shot minutes later.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: While Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are quite ahead of their time, the setting is definitely not; classism, racism, sexism and homophobia are rampant, and Murdoch & Co. even run into the odd anarchist, eugenicist, and virulent anti-papist (Real Life turn-of-the-century Toronto was under the complete control of the Orange Order, every mayor up to 1955 was a card-carrying member). Inspector Brackenreid isn't above beating up a suspect during interrogation to try and get answers. Going in the other direction, abortionists were treated as complete pariahs, even by Murdoch until Ogden shook him out of it. The attitude that birth control interferes with a man's right to control his wife is accurate to the time, too.
    • Brackenreid provides a very interesting subversion when he ridicules the idea of eugenics as nonsense while it was still a popular idea in the scientific community.
  • Demonic Dummy:
    • The ventriloquist's dummy, Mycroft, in "Belly Speaker". Subverted at the end.
    • The dolls in "Murdoch in Toyland" also probably qualify.
  • The Dentist Episode: The B-plot of "Invention Convention" revolves around Inspector Brackenreid's aching tooth and his avoidance of the dreaded dentist's drill. His wife books him an appointment and accompanies him, but he has Constable Higgins interrupt with a vague work excuse to summon him away. Meanwhile, he's been using cocaine and heroin to dull the pain, with mood swings and drowsiness ensuing. Constable Crabtree comes upon Higgins outside the dentist's office and sends his colleague away on the errand Murdoch had just assigned him. Then he enters the dentist's office, tells the inspector that he isn't needed right away, and picks up a nearby apple, taking a bite as he leaves. Brackenreid is heard hollering in agony in the background as Crabtree pauses outside the dental office. Later in the episode (once the pain has subsided), Brackenreid grudgingly praises Crabtree for his guts in acting as he did.
  • Desecrating the Dead: In "Winston's Lost Night", Winston Chruchill speaks out against the desecration of the tomb of Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi in response to someone in a gentlemen's club who praised the action. The story was that Kitchener had ordered the act in revenge for what the Mahdi's troops had done to General Gordon, and the Mahdi's skull was taken from his tomb so Kitchener could "use it as an ink pot." It turns out that this act, carried out by Chruchill's friend Reginald Mayfair, was the motive for Mayfair's murder by one of the Mahdi's former soldiers, who happened to be working in a bar where Churchill and Mayfair were drinking.
  • Determined Widow: Elizabeth Bryant from the episode "Murdoch of the Klondike" runs one of the two hotels in a formerly booming mining town in the Yukon. Murdoch returns to the town from his claim site to find she's been arrested for killing a rival hotel owner. She asserts her innocence, and when she learns he was once a police detective, she wants his help to clear her name—so much that when he initially refuses, she berates him from her cell, shouting "You're NOTHING!" at him as he leaves. Later, after he's bailed her out of jail and started to investigate, she learns he suspects a friend of the deceased who's buying up mining claims and she goes to physically confront the man in a local hotel barroom. Murdoch finally has her return to jail so he can investigate without her "help". In a quieter conversation, Murdoch asks her why she stays, and she cites the fact that her husband is buried there and insists the hotel provides enough of a living for her. She even flirts openly with Murdoch, hoping he'll stay with her, but he demurs.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The end of "Election Day". Poor, poor Crabtree. While still at awe over his Detective promotion (which he admitted never thought would actually happen), he made an almost spur of the moment proposal to his girlfriend Edna. Which she accepted. Later, while he, she and her step-son Simon (who is fond of Crabtree, and vice-versa) were having dinner together and planning for the future, Edna's husband and Simon's father showed up completely out of nowhere. For the entire season he was missing and presumed dead. The episode ended with them having no choice but to break things off suddenly and completely, with Crabtree going so far as to actually say it's better for her and Simon that way.
  • Diplomatic Immunity: Subverted in "24 Hours To Doomsday", when Allan Clegg is seemingly protected from being charged with murder because he's become the U.S.'s ambassador to Canada. His diplomatic immunity is revoked after the Prime Minister of Canada informs the U.S. President of Clegg's plan to start a war between their countries by firing a rocket at Manhattan.
  • Disconnected by Death: The Victim of the Week in "Big Murderer on Campus" is shot while on the phone to one of his colleagues.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the episode "Murdoch in Ladies Wear", Eva Pearce has this effect on Murdoch, particularly when he interviews her at the station. Dr. Ogden later describes to him and Inspector Brackenreid how Eva took control of the interview, and Brackenreid himself mentions feeling a similar effect when he spoke with her. Later still Murdoch is on Dr. Ogden's couch describing a vivid dream he had about himself and Miss Pearce. Murdoch isn't pleased to find himself thus affected.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • In "The Prince and the Rebel", Murdoch and Prince Albert Victor are taken captive by the prince's aide and held hostage by Irish terrorists. They are rescued by Inspector Brackenreid and most of the rest of Station Four's contingent.
    • In "Murdoch Air", inventor James Pendrick is rescued by Murdoch from his kidnappers, American agent Alan Clegg and his associates. Murdoch starts a smoky fire as a distraction, and together they use the inventor's stolen plane to escape.
    • Murdoch is rescued from "The Murdoch Trap", literally a cage in a lair set up by the infamous James Gillies, by Inspector Brackenreid and Constable Crabtree, backed by most of the rest of the men of Station Four. He's carried out by his colleagues since he's unconscious from carbon monoxide pumped into the room.
    • Late in "Murdoch Ahoy", Murdoch is helping to rescue the ship owner's daughter from a cargo hold fast filling with water when a falling trunk knocks him out and he sinks below the water. Dr. Ogden goes to his rescue, aided by Inspector Brackenreid.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Murdoch quite frequently solves crimes by using the limited resources of his time to get at a primitive version of a contemporary technology that would be quite familiar to the audience. Other conversations address some of the unforeseen consequences of new technologies. There's even at least one plot that strongly recalls what for the audience is a series of historic events. Some examples include:
    • Murdoch and Nikola Tesla collaborate on a portable audio broadcasting unit to record a criminal conversation (in essence, a wireless wiretap) in "Power". In one of their conversations, Tesla suggests moving images could also be sent over the air, and when Murdoch says such a thing would be a "telekinetiscope", Tesla replies that the word is too long and suggests "television" instead.
    • Murdoch comes up with a number of portable light sources, including one that shines UV light (helpful for detecting blood evidence) and bicycle lamps powered by the cyclist's pedaling.
    • Murdoch explains chemiluminescence to his boss Inspector Brackenreid and concocts an early version of luminol.
    • Early efforts to obtain ballistics evidence involve firing guns into a full rain barrel and comparing bullets. Later in the series, Murdoch seems to have learned that the water could deform a bullet, so he fires weapons into soft materials (suspended sandbags backed by hay bales) to obtain bullets for comparison.
    • After doing some reading on Mongol warriors and silk, Murdoch designs a bulletproof vest. He later sends Crabtree to his tailor to have one made to fit him, which the constable wears in "Big Murderer on Campus" and "Murdoch on the Corner".
    • In one episode, the evidence is underwater in Lake Ontario, so Murdoch essentially invents a rudimentary version of sonar to find it.
    • The episode "Murdoch.com" revolves around women being lured to their deaths by a sexual predator... on the telegraph lines.
    • Crabtree's line: "Why, it's like a spiderweb!... It could even be world-wide!"
    • There is a "digitized" and "faxed" photograph Murdoch and his Surete colleague obtain via telegraph in "Monsieur Murdoch".
    • Among the inventions mentioned in the episode "Invention Convention" are an analytical engine (a precursor to modern computers), a machine specifically for sending email (they call it "i-mail"), and sound-activated switches. Crabtree even notes the ease of turning off lights by clapping his hands!
    • In "Journey to the Center of Toronto", Murdoch builds and sets up a series of small seismographs to help the men of Station 4 track an underground boring machine used in a series of thefts.
    • After some curious metal filings are found on a corpse and at a crime scene, Murdoch hits the books and fabricates a silencer in "The Black Hand". Crabtree hangs the lampshade by suggesting "muffler" and "silencer" as names for the item.
    • "Back and to the Left" starts with two government officials in an open-air vehicle when there's gunfire and one of them dies from a gunshot wound to the head. The entire event is photographed and filmed. It soon appears at least one shot came from an upstairs window of a nearby warehouse. A man is identified in the papers as the shooter and is shortly thereafter killed. Murdoch and Dr. Ogden go over the evidence and find the evidence of the bullet trajectory doesn't line up, the phrase "magic bullet" is used, and they conclude there was a second shooter. Sounds rather like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, doesn't it?
  • The Doll Episode: "Murdoch in Toyland" has Murdoch come across a series of creepy dolls with recorded messages that give him just enough clues to find the next one, all planted by a killer to torment him, and also to make him overanalyse things and miss more blatant clues.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Crabtree and Higgins do enjoy donuts during hideouts.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Dr. Ogden, Dr. Grace and the rest of the "Fearsome Four" advocating for women's suffrage run one of their members in the 1902 provincial election. They don't have a prayer of winning, but they surprisingly get several dozen men to vote for their candidate anyway as a show of support.
  • Doorstop Baby: George Crabtree was left at a church's door.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Season 3 concludes with Julia ending her relationship with William and leaving Toronto for Buffalo. To add insult to injury, William — having decided to propose to Julia — rushes to the train station just in time to see her train pulling away. It's more Narm than anything else, since the train is still moving so slowly that he could have easily ran and climbed aboard, and even if it wasn't he could have just taken the next train.
    • Season 4's conclusion, where it looks like William's future in the Toronto constabulary is under threat and Julia goes through with her wedding to Darcy despite still being in love with William.
    • Season 7 ends with Inspector Brackenreid brutally beaten, possibly to death. This happened immediately after Murdoch and Dr. Ogden were finally engaged and happy, in a severe case of Mood Whiplash.
    • Episode 8x07, which ends with Chief Constable Giles and Constable Hodge both in jail.
    • The end of season 8. Crabtree is arrested and charged with the murder of Edna's husband, and both she and Simon are missing.
  • Down to the Last Play: This comes up a couple of times:
    • The police games in the episode "The Great Wall" is said to be a tie between Station 4 and Station 5 going into the final event (a tug-of-war between both teams). One of the men on the Station House 5 team loses his footing, giving Station House 4 a brief shot at winning, but Murdoch is distracted by seeing a clue that solves the murder case he's been investigating and Station House 5 wins the event.
    • The baseball game at the end of "Stroll on the Wild Side" is tied 8-8 when Murdoch comes to bat with Inspector Brackenreid on base. Despite the distracting presence of a member of the Black Hand, Murdoch hits the home run that brings both of them home to win the game.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Late in "Murdoch and the Temple of Death", Murdoch pursues and corners a killer (who is carrying an artifact thought to be the Holy Grail) atop a cliff. Murdoch tells the man not to jump, but the guy asserts the power of God in the Grail will protect him, then turns and jumps to his death. Murdoch looks over the edge at the corpse and hears a clap of thunder, despite the rather light sky above him. This one overlaps with A Storm Is Coming, since the next shot is of the city of Toronto in a thunderstorm.
  • Dream Intro: "Murdoch Air" opens with Murdoch in bed dreaming of his and Julia's wedding. She balks at the word "obey" on her vows, he turns and jokes to the guests about negotiating that part, then there's a pounding sound and Julia thinks it's her first husband Darcy. In fact, Constable Crabtree is pounding on Murdoch's bedroom door. Murdoch wakes up and Crabtree urges him to hurry up and come see the flying machine in the sky over Toronto.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mr. MacFarlane, whose business is about to be bankrupt and his insurance fraud gets exposed. He refuses to be saved from his sinking cruise ship and goes down with her.
  • Dr. Jerk: Murdoch regards Dr. Francis this way. Others more or less agree, but see that both men have their point.
  • Drowning Pit: In "Murdoch Ahoy", a bomb exploded on a cruise ship and the deck is filling with water. The space can't be sealed because of a broken mechanism. Amy MacFarlane is trapped there.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played for laughs and Deliberate Values Dissonance. Brackenreid has a tendency to fall for the latest in patent medicine and has taken Laudanum, morphine, cocaine, and Heroin, all for innocent pain management problems. Murdoch delivers the contemporary anti-drug Aesops, which sounds hilariously weak and nonsensical as the negative properties of addictive drugs was not well-known at the time.
  • Due to the Dead: Devout Roman Catholic Murdoch always crosses himself when he first comes upon a corpse, whether it's at a reported crime scene, or when someone dies in his presence (such as "Back and to the Left", "Stroll on the Wild Side" and "Tour de Murdoch"). Additionally, he does this at funerals such as the cop's memorial-cum-wake at the bar in "The Great Wall" and the graveside service for the long-dead Canadian government official in "Confderate Treasure". The gesture outs him as a minority Catholic in a Protestant-controlled city, so it is more of a big deal than it seems on the surface. On occasion, other characters do this: the hotel manager in "Return of Sherlock Holmes" performs it when a guest is found dead, and Crabtree tries to imitate his boss at that graveside in "Confederate Treasure".
  • Eagleland: Varies between Mixed and Type 2, the latter particularly where the American government is concerned. Brackenreid has a very low opinion of Americans, and the still rather recent American Civil War is often spoken of quite disparagingly just for having happened. Not only that, while Clegg and Meyers are Not So Different in their methods, the former is usually the Designated Villain whenever both appear, while Meyers is at worst an Anti-Hero.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In the episode "Invention Convention", Murdoch realizes they don't need a cipher to read the random string of code — it is actually made of substituted letters. If one actually decodes the message, it reads "It is essential that we are all seen to be watching the speech at the instant the machine fires. We have precisely twenty seconds between when the device is triggered and when the shot is fired. Should the machine be discovered it is imperative that we stick to the plan." This trope might be averted since there are a few spelling mistakes, and it almost reads as nonsense in the middle, but whoever wrote the code was assuming the message wouldn't be read anyway.
    • In the episode "Glory Days", there's a crate of "Big Bang" brand dynamite visible near a train that was held up, supposedly by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • Enfant Terrible: Dorrie in "Dial M for Murdoch" who is responsible for murdering a boy, attempting to takeover a jewelry-theft ring, and is only a child himself. Murdoch speculates as to whether Dorrie simply lacks a conscience.
  • Especially Zoidberg: In the episode "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?", Inspector Brackenreid finds out that his wife (who's been giving him a hard time about his drinking) and other ladies from Temperance League participate in bloody gambling, so he orders Constable Crabtree to arrest everybody in the bloody den.
    Constable Crabtree: Sir? What? Even your wife?
    Inspector Brackenreid: Especially the wife!
  • Establishing Shot:
    • In the form of tinted stereoscopy photos (a type of 3D photography popular in the 1900s).
    • Later in the series establishing shots of the city of Toronto, reconstitued in CGI, are common.
  • Eternal Sexual Freedom: Largely averted. Julia's abortion is a major point of contention for devoutly Catholic Murdoch and it nearly destroys their budding relationship. Similarly, Julia's push to teach birth control methods to women is met with hostility and she is forced to put the issue to rest when it threatens to harm Darcy's career.
  • Eureka Moment: A common occurrence. Lampshaded in "Convalescence" when Crabtree is standing for Murdoch as acting detective. Having reached a seeming dead end in the case, Crabtree starts staring The Big Board. When Higgins asks he what he is doing, Crabtree says that whenever this happens to Murdoch, he stares at the board and everything suddenly falls into place. He then adds that it is not as easy as Murdoch makes it look and all he is getting is a headache.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the episode "The Great Wall" the officers of Station 5 are openly racist and contemptuous of the Chinese population, and actively harass Murdoch when he insists on conducting a proper investigation rather than convict the elderly shopkeeper they think is guilty. When the true murderer is exposed and also revealed as a pedophile who raped a young girl, they openly express disgust even though the victim was Chinese.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: In "Convalescence", Murdoch complains about his food. His landlady can't cook, but her stand-in seems to be even worse. Even a mouse will not eat it. He later finds a dead mouse (this one was probably very hungry), and realizes that his meals are being poisoned.
  • Everybody Did It: In "Body Double", the first murder was committed by only one person the leading lady of a theatrical company, but the coverup (which involves a second murder) is arranged by all of the acting company.
  • The Exile: Series 5 begins with Murdoch prospecting for gold in the Yukon, having left Toronto and the police force after his actions in the season 4 finale.
  • Expy:
    • In-Universe, Sherlock Holmes is one for Murdoch. And in Real Life Murdoch is one for Sherlock Holmes.
    • Michael Seater has stated in this featurette that James Gillies is the Moriarty to Murdoch's Holmes.
    • Sally Pendrick can be read as one for Irene Adler Norton, the only woman to defeat Sherlock Holmes. Both women were singers, both had scandalous pasts that involved photographic evidence, and both initially defeated their sleuths (before the sleuths ultimately figured things out).
  • Face Palm: George has two glorious face-palms in "Murdoch au Naturel" when he is forced to infiltrate among a group of nudists.
  • Face Your Fears: Dr. Ogden's treatment of people who suffer from various phobias, though she exposes them gradually.
  • Failures on Ice: A practice session for a curling match in "Friday the 13th 1901" features this trope as George assesses his colleagues' skills. Higgins and Jackson have particular trouble on the ice.
  • Fair Cop:
    • Detective Murdoch is Tall, Dark and Handsome. Quite a few women in-universe take a liking to him.
    • George Crabtree is cute and has his fair share of admirers. Especially when he publishes his novel and enjoys a moderate success.
    • Henry Higgins is very handsome and has a sweet smile. Pity that he's a minor character.
  • Fake Crossover: "Republic of Murdoch" features Murdoch and Crabtree pursuing a murder suspect to Newfoundland and, as the title would suggest, said suspect appears to be an identical ancestor of Jake Doyle. Obviously, due to the time difference, the two shows don't technically crossover themselves. This episode is followed by the Republic Of Doyle episode "If the Shoe Fits", where Yannick Bisson guest stars as the Identical Grandson of Murdoch.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Cecil Fox, who was sentenced to death by hanging, sits up on the autopsy table and grabs Julia. He had a tracheotomy tube and a helpful hangman who used a short rope so he would be seen to be hanged yet actually survive.
    • James Gillies. He made a deal with a dying person who was hanged instead of him, and he made his escape.
    • Amy MacFarlane pretends she committed suicide. She loves a Native American man and her wealthy parents would never agree to the match. The plan goes awry because it coincides with her dad's insurance fraud.
  • The Film of the Book: The first-season episode "Let Loose the Dogs" is a direct adaptation of one of series creator Maureen Jennings' original novels.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Shockingly, Murdoch — who is the smart one — tastes a mysterious white substance found on the crime scene. It's plaster.
  • First Girl Wins: This one is played with involving Constable George Crabtree and Edna Garrison. They meet in the very first episode of the series ("Power") when she's an animal rights activist protesting the planned electrocution of a dog to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current. The demonstration is sabotaged and a woman dies. George has to investigate Edna, who is found to have incriminating device plans, and the suspicion comes between them—at one point George says, "That ship has sailed." Several seasons pass, during which George has a budding romance with Dr. Grace that also fizzles out, partly over George's class insecurities. Edna reappears in the eighth season having married a soldier with a young son; she's recently received an official letter telling her she's a widow, and over the course of the season she and George rekindle their romance. Late in the season, after learning of his impending promotion to detective, he proposes marriage to her and she accepts. Just when the trio is discussing their new family life over dinner, Edna's first husband suddenly reappears and things go downhill fast.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Murdoch will occasionally address Constables Crabtree and Higgins by their first names, but he generally addresses others as "Constable" or by their surnames (such as "Jackson" or "Hodge"). This seems to denote the closer relationships he has with them, particularly in Crabtree's case. Rank may also have something to do with it, since he never uses Inspector Brackenreid's first name, but always either uses "Sir" or Brackenreid's title. Brackenreid always calls his detective "Murdoch" or the endearing phrase "me old mucker" and never uses "William".
    • Detective Murdoch and Dr. Ogden tend to address and refer to each other by their titles in professional settings when strangers are involved or on business matters, and they revert to first names when discussing personal matters. Among other things, Murdoch seems sensitive to the need to underline the coroner's professional credentials for people who might be wondering what a woman is doing asserting authority at a crime scene.
    • The first time Dr. Grace is giving Murodch a briefing (with Dr. Ogden), she notices Murdoch calls her mentor "Julia" and he corrects himself. Julia doesn't seem to mind.
    • Murdoch is observing Crabtree interrogating a culprit near the end of "War on Terror" (a first for the constable) when Dr. Grace stops by and joins him at the window. She calls George by his first name, and it's Murdoch's turn to notice the sudden familiarity. Later in the morgue, she tells George to call her "Emily" and they discuss the meanings of her first name.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the episode "Murdoch in Toyland", Murdoch and Inspector Brackenreid descend the stairs of a church basement and Brackenreid comments, "It's like a tomb down here." Seconds later, Murdoch turns on a light and they find a headless corpse.
  • Foe Romance Subtext:
    • This exchange between James Gillies and Murdoch in "Midnight Train to Kingston":
    Gillies: For the last time, this is it for us. Doesn't that make you just... a little bit sad?
    Murdoch: No.
    Gillies: Not even a teensy bit?
    Murdoch: (shakes his head)
    Gillies: Come now, Detective. You and I share something, something... special. I'll miss you, you know that. (grabs Murdoch by the collar and kisses him)
    • There's a prop that foreshadows this in "The Murdoch Trap": a film projector has a nearby placard that says, "Turn Me On". The film is of Gillies himself addressing Murdoch.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Dr. Julia Ogden's sister Ruby is introduced when she is revealed to be a magician's assistant to Harry Houdini, much to Julia's chagrin. While Julia has become a doctor and a coroner in Toronto, Ruby has gotten into popular journalism and travels the world, becoming romantically involved with the married H.G. Wells at one point. The two sisters sometimes bicker over their differences, with Julia making remarks about her sister's tendency to spend time with sultans and such. Ruby retaliates at one point by calling her sister "Jules" (an old childhood nickname Julia no longer likes) and lamenting her sister being a stick-in-the-mud, particularly critiquing the slow-motion courtship between her and William.
  • For the Evulz: James Gillies orchestrated the murder of one of his college professors simply to see if he could. Murdoch caught him for it, and it all went downhill from there.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine — George Crabtree
    • Choleric — Thomas Brackenreid
    • Melancholic — William Murdoch
    • Phlegmatic — Julia Ogden
  • Foregone Conclusion: Dr. Ogden and Dr. Grace join a suffragette movement advocating for women's right to vote. They run one of their members as a candidate in the 1902 provincial election, but she has no chance of winning. It's not all bad, though, as they convince several dozen men to vote for their candidate.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Murdoch at the Opera", the opera company's manager observes that while the dead singer was the understudy to the star, the younger woman was unlikely to go on in the lead role of La Bohème because the diva would sing on her deathbed. At the end of the episode, the diva, who was also the culprit, took poison and sang her final scene in the opera on a bed as she was actually dying.
    • In "Murdoch on the Corner", a seemingly crazy beggar talks to himself incessantly, and one of his early phrases is "She's the one!" It turns out the culprit in a series of murders is a woman, an apparently kindly pastor's widow.
  • Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: George once brought back a parrot from a murder scene that keeps spouting insults in French (in the French dub, it's in Italian). As well as giving hints about the murderer.
  • Freudian Couch:
    • Detective Murdoch usually lies down when he has a hypnosis session with "his favourite head doctor" Dr. Roberts, who is a pioneer in mental health care in Toronto.
    • Dr. Ogden becomes a psychiatrist between seasons five and six. She even went to Vienna to consult Sigmund Freud himself. In "Murdoch in Ladies' Wear", Murdoch is on her couch to recount a troubling dream he had about suspect Eva Pearce; he is distressed to have found Eva desirable when he's in love with Julia and investigating Eva for murder.
    • The trope is played for laughs when Inspector Brackenreid comes to see Dr. Ogden and he's lying on a couch in her office, talking about some random stuff. She reminds him that he wished to speak about something important. Inspector immediately rises up and asks her to see his son who he's afraid might be a "sissy".
  • Full-Name Basis: Whenever a historical figure appears, their full name is used as much as possible just to make sure it's clear who they are.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: The episode "Murdoch and the Temple of Death" includes a hunt for the Holy Grail. After much effort, including defeating several traps in the titular building and pursuing a man who killed for it, Murdoch and Dr. Iris Bajali retrieve a ceramic cup. Murdoch and Brackenreid consult a local museum expert about the find, and there's a bit of disappointment when it is shown to have a hidden Christian symbol, making it too new to be the actual Grail. Constable Crabtree suggests the apparent first-century pottery exterior conceals the real Holy Grail, and Murdoch dismisses the idea of breaking so ancient an artifact just to test Crabtree's theory. The cup is donated to the museum, and later a staffer is shown accidentally knocking it to the floor, breaking the clay exterior to reveal a metal cup inside. The episode closes with the metal cup back on a shelf suggestively bathed in a shaft of light.
  • The Gay Nineties: A social reformer wannabe mentions horrible music she thinks they call Ragtime to George in "Murdoch au Naturel".
  • Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: "Friday the 13th 1901" has two plots: Julia and Emily go to an island with several women friends for a weekend "hen party" (a bachelorette party) for one of the friends, while the guys of Station 4 play in a curling match on a bet. Brackenreid urges Murdoch to get involved in a effort to remedy the detective's depression over Julia's rejection of his marriage proposal, and true to form, Murdoch studies the game and invents a sliding shoe for the team. Meanwhile, the doctors' enjoyment of food, alcohol, tobacco and camaraderie are rudely interrupted by an axe murderer.
  • Gentleman Thief: "The Kissing Bandit". He's polite and gives the money he stole to orphanages.
  • Girl in a Box: Amy MacFarlane is tapped on her head and put into a large trunk on a ship.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Julia Ogden went through an abortion while she was a medical student. She didn't want to get married and give up her dream to have a career. She nearly died from complications and it left her barren.
  • Gonna Need More X:
    Crabtree: We'll need a bigger blackboard.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Lots of this, particularly in any scene where the characters dress up formally. The basic style of dress and hair seems to be early 1890s, with excursions into the 1900s (see the Anachronism Stew entry above).
  • Gypsy Curse: Cleverly subverted when Brackenreid is running for Toronto City Council, his opponent starts gaining ground on an anti-immigrant platform. A rash of high-class thefts breaks out, and Brackenreid's backers urge him to arrest a caravan of gypsies to brandish his own anti-immigrant credentials, despite the fact that there's no evidence. The gypsies' leader curses Brackenreid to never realize his ambitions, and the curse seems to come true when Brackenreid realizes the real thieves are the son and friends of his lead backer. Brackenreid immediately arrests the son and his friends, and voluntarily drops out of the race, releasing the innocent gypsies in the process. In one of the episode's final scenes, the gypsy leader offers to lift her curse, and Brackenreid tells her not to, saying it wasn't a curse in the first place. The gypsy leader only wryly smiles, saying that she must be losing her touch, before thanking Brackenreid and telling him that he's "one of the good ones".
  • Hand or Object Underwear: George in "Murdoch au Naturel".
  • Hands-On Approach: Inspector Brackenreid is taught how to shoot by a sexy female gun-slinger.
  • Hangover Sensitivity:
    • In "The Green Fairy", the usually non-drinking Murdoch spends an evening drinking absinthe. The following day is hard.
    • After a night of drinking (with Annie Oakley), Inspector Brackenreid ends up hungover. Murdoch seems to be subtly disapproving, the way he's talking a bit louder than usual or slamming the door, to Brackenreid's pain, but as Murdoch earlier got the blame from Mrs. Brackenreid for Brackenreid's drinking (he left his scotch in Murdoch's drawer because his wife knew his hiding places), it's justified payback.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: In "Rich Boy, Poor Boy", Inspector Brackenreid's wife comes to the station, distraught at their son's abduction. Brackenreid and Murdoch instantly go to the park, and at one point Brackenreid stops in his tracks, staring blankly into space. Murdoch has to speak to him several times to get his attention on the measures they're taking to find the boy, then Brackenreid snaps back to reality and says, "I said let's get on with it!"
  • He's Back: In the Season 4 finale, Murdoch lets a Sympathetic Murderer go free and is suspended from the Toronto Constabulary. Murdoch takes a leave of absence and goes to pan for gold in the Yukon. His alienation from his old life is symbolized by his throwing his badge away, his Perma-Stubble and the rough mining clothes he wears. When his landlady is framed for murder, however, Murdoch tries to clear her name. We then see him clean-shaven and wearing his old detective's suit and his cherished Homburg hat. In one of the final scenes, he decides to return to the Constabulary, which is symbolized by him getting his badge back.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Inspector Brackenreid is, surprisingly, a big opera and William Shakespeare fan. He also demonstrates a talent for painting.
    • Crabtree is frequently not only sensitive to others, but also surprisingly open-minded. And he's not just a copper, but a moderately successful writer too. His care and concern for animals such as dogs or horses is very modern and very sweet.
    • Constable Higgins is revealed to speak French, since his mother comes from the Gaspee peninsula (in Quebec).
  • High Voltage Death:
    • In "Power", Toronto City Council are entertaining the idea of abandoning direct current electricity for the city in favour of the new alternating current. Two murders are committed connected to the current wars, and both of them involve electrocution.
    • In the aptly-titled "High Voltage", the Victim of the Week is a salesman found dead in his product: a chair with electrodes designed to send a small amount of current through the body of the person sitting in it. The man was in fact electrocuted, and once Murdoch determines the device was tampered with, he sets out to find out who did the tampering and why.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Several well-known figures make appearances, including:
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • Murdoch mentions the phrase "The Call of the Wild" to Jack London.
    • Brackenreid keeps trying to tell Arthur Conan Doyle a story about "the hound of the Highlands".
    • In a later appearance Doyle is given the basic plot of "The Empty House" from a man who believes himself to be Holmes.
    • H.G. Wells is inspired by a eugenicist engaged in horrible animal experiments to write "something on an island".
  • Hit Me, Dammit!:
    • At the end of "Murdoch.com", Inspector Brackenreid attempts to get Crabtree to punch him to make up for his manhandling of Crabtree while he was unwittingly suffering from cocaine withdrawal. Crabtree, understandably reluctant to strike his commanding officer, eventually just lightly taps Brackenreid on the shoulder and says that they can call it even.
    • Murdoch goes undercover with anarchists and needs to talk to Inspector Brackenreid. When they are both on the street after a second bombing, Murdoch tells the inspector, "Shove me!" Brackenreid takes the hint and shoves Murdoch against a nearby wall a few times to cover their quick chat, then Brackenreid sends Murdoch on his way with a threat to arrest him.
  • Hollywood Costuming: Look for 21st-century-style makeup on female characters.
  • Homage: The episode "Anything You Can Do" pays tribute to the Due South episode "Hunting Season". In addition to being Mounties, Sargeant Jasper Linney's personality and physical build are quite similar to Constable Benton Fraser's. Linney discovers that Murdoch — with whom he shares many traits in common — is his half-brother. This is very much like Fraser's situation when he learns that Constable Maggie Mackenzie — who is essentially a female version of himself — is actually his half-sister. Both pairs of half-siblings share a scene with their respective biological father.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: It's eventually revealed that the "aunts" who raised George are actually prostitutes who were allowed to use a parish house by the local pastor on the condition that they run a respectable establishment. Although Murdoch initially expresses unease at this revelation, he can see that they provided a loving environment for George and that George loves them in return. Later, George elaborates on the hard lives they led as "dock girls" before the arrangement was made and contrasts it with the way they have looked out for one another since it began. In reply, Murdoch observes the now-deceased reverend was a wise man.
  • Hospital Hottie:
    • Doctor Ogden. The show is set well before doctors were wearing scrubs; she performs her duties in Gorgeous Period Dress.
    • Dr. Emily Grace is a very attractive lady doctor. She works in the morgue and wears beautiful outfits.
  • Hot Scoop: Ruby Ogden. Her first appearance on the show involves her playing magician's assistant to Harry Houdini.
  • How We Got Here:
    • "Anything You Can Do..." opens with Murdoch, his father and a Mountie in an abandoned building being shot at by several people (the exact number is the subject of some debate among the characters). Then the action shifts to some days earlier when Murdoch is called to a suspicious death on his home turf and meets the Mountie, Sgt. Jasper Linney. From there, the story goes back and forth between events in Toronto and the situation in that abandoned town, which proves to be in Linney's jurisdiction.
    • "The Murdoch Trap" opens with Murdoch lying unconscious on the floor of what proves to be a cage. After he comes to, he finds a hanging mannequin that looks like Julia with a recording of her voice playing and is greeted by his captor James Gillies. The story goes back to events a week earlier and then alternates between that backstory and Murdoch's present predicament.
  • Human Popsicle: Dr. Roberts is frozen alive with hopes that Huntington's disease could be cured in the future.
  • I Call It "Vera":
    • A replacement for missing Detective Murdoch in "The Murdoch Identity" is a tough detective who calls his gun Betsy. Not to be confused with his dog Betty.
    • In the Fish Out of Temporal Water Spin-Off The Murdoch Effect, Present Day Crabtree calls his gun "Aunt Daisy", a parody of 1900s Crabtree's large number of florally named aunts.
  • I Can't Dance: This is a Running Gag for a time in the series. Inspector Brackenereid gives Murdoch two tickets to a dance and when Murdoch is initially reluctant to take them, his boss makes a crack about dancing not being against Murdoch's religion. Murdoch takes lessons so he can escort Dr. Ogden, and she attends the same school to improve her own skills. Both of them need the help: Murdoch steps on her feet and has to remind her not to lead. In a later episode, when Higgins says Murdoch will waltz in and have the information for which the constables are wearily searching fingerprint cards, Crabtree retorts that Murdoch doesn't waltz: "Believe me, I've seen him try."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The writers are quite fond of using anachronistically modern expressions for episode names, at times with dropping the name of the eponymous hero.
    • The episode about a serial killer who seduced women on line — telegraph lines, that is — is titled "Murdoch.com".
    • The one about a man who was murdered on an elevator is called aptly "This One Goes to Eleven".
    • The episode where Murdoch wakes up to find himself in the wrong country, with no memory of how he got there and everyone trying to kill him is of course, named "The Murdoch Identity" (the episode even included a character called Treadstone).
    • Added Alliterative Appeal is employed from time to time: "Victor, Victorian", "Me, Myself and Murdoch", "Monsieur Murdoch", and "Evil Eye of Egypt".
    • The template for a title troped as The Joy of X is also used quite often: "I, Murdoch" (I, Noun), "Me, Myself and Murdoch" (Me, Myself and X), "Dial M for Murdoch" (Dial X for Y), and "Murdoch in Wonderland" (X in Wonderland).
    • Many of the titles are also references to films, including "Dial M for Murdoch" (Dial M for Murder), "On the Waterfront" (an exact quotation of a film title), "Friday the 13th, 1901" (from the horror film franchise), "Victor, Victorian" (Victor/Victoria) and even "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?" (from the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?).
    • Books don't get left out either. Aside from "A Study in Sherlock" (which introduces David Kingsley and alludes to the first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet), there's "Crime and Punishment" (referring to the novel of the same name) and "The Devil Wears Whalebone" (referring to The Devil Wears Prada).
    • Some titles touch on rock and pop music bands and songs: "Twisted Sisters" (Twisted Sister), "Barenaked Ladies" (from the Canadian alternative band of the same name), "Glory Days" (see the song by Bruce Springsteen) and "Summer of '75" (alluding to the song "Summer of '69" by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams).
  • I Have Many Names: It's hinted that Terrence Myers isn't his actual real name, just one of the aliases he uses when doing government work. However, it's what he uses when dealing with Murdoch and company.
  • Imagine Spot: Murdoch typically does one of these Once per Episode whenever he cracks the case. Other characters, such as Inspector Brackenreid, Dr. Ogden or Jasper Linney have also experienced them themselves, or actually joined Murdoch in his (the first time Played for Laughs when the character randomly poked his head into the frame, to Murdoch's surprise). In the latter cases, they've even appeared alongside Murdoch when they have the same realization he does.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Discussed in "Mild Mild West", where Murdoch notes a shot taken from 50 yards away from the victim would have required the shooter to have remarkable aim. Which is also a bit of artistic license/Reality Is Unrealistic: while this is certainly the case for a pistol of the era (which were generally accurate out to 25 yards), rifles of the day had an accurate range of 150 yards or more. And by the time they ascertain the shooter's position, Murdoch and Julia have already determined that the fatal shot was fired by a rifle.
  • Improvised Weapon: These crop up from time to time, including:
    • In "'Til Death Do Us Part", the murder weapon turns out to be a processional cross that was in the room where the victim and his killer were arguing.
    • In "The Murdoch Identity", when Anna Fulford and Murdoch are confronted by his two armed pursuers in her pub, she tells Murdoch to duck before using a frying pan to hit one of the gunmen in the head.
    • In "Downstairs, Upstairs", the household objects used to kill include a fireplace poker and a chair cushion.
    • A geologist's pick has twice been used to kill, in "Dinosaur Fever" and "Murdoch of the Klondike".
    • In "Murdoch Ahoy", a man proved to have been stabbed to death with a specialized screwdriver.
    • In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", Dr. Grace uses her hatpin to stab a "zombie" that grabbed her arm.
    • In the B-plot of "The Death of Dr. Ogden", the victim is found with the murder weapon, a red snooker ball, jammed in his mouth.
    • Played for Laughs by Constable Crabtree in "Crabtreemania" when he finds himself suddenly in a professional wrestling match. After he fails to get the better of his opponent (including using a martial arts move he learned the previous season), his sweetheart Edna gives him a folded chair, which he uses to hit his opponent on the head and knock him out. George then hoists Edna onto his shoulder in victory to receive the cheers of the crowd.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: In "Murdoch Air", James Pendricks finds a microphone hidden in his lab, that's about the size of an alarm clock. Of course this is justified by the time period, since even for spy tools miniaturization had yet a long way to go.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Often invoked by Inspector Brackenreid. He thinks he deserves one to celebrate when they're successful, and he often feels he needs a shot to calm himself down.
    • Inspector Brackenreid once suggested it to Dr. Ogden. It was when Detective Murdoch and she had a falling out, and he began a relationship with a young widow.
    • In the final episode of series 4, Murdoch himself suggests he needs one and that the Inspector could use one as well. Brackenreid knows it's a big deal because Murdoch drinks only very, very rarely.
    • In "High Voltage", Julia tells Emily and Lillian of her decision not to stand as a candidate in the provincial election, to her hearers' intense disappointment. After Julia leaves, Lillian says she knows of a bar that serves women, and Emily immediately expresses a desire to go there.
    • After Dr. Ogden cuts ties with Miss Hamilton over the latter's demands for censorship, she visits Dr. Grace at the City Morgue, in part to apologize for allying with Hamilton's Temperance League in the first place. (Dr. Grace had advised against it.) She produces a bottle of whiskey from a hidden compartment in a desk and the doctors quickly down three shots each.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "The Murdoch Appreciation Society", the real murderer is a bit too eager to point toward the man he's trying to frame (his ex-professor who fired him from university), and tells Murdoch they have to stop him before he can strangle another person. Murdoch is prompt to note that he never revealed the victim was strangled.
  • Insufferable Genius: True, James Pendrick is a brilliant inventor, but he's also an eugenicist and acts rather arrogant, bordering rude towards Murdoch until his wife tries to frame him and get him executed.
  • In the Hood: In "Bad Medicine", the killer conceals their identity in grim reaper costume with a large hood.
  • Internalized Categorism: The culprit in "Future Imperfect" the fiancé of a judge's daughter believes wholeheartedly in eugenics and the eugenics movement. During the last interrogation, Murdoch confronts the man with the information on how his own family tree is full of criminal types, how the victim discovered this information, and how it might or might not have ended his engagement. The man says he isn't worthy of his fiancée, confesses his guilt and wants to be hanged, saying, "Put an end to my mongrel blood."
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Late in "The Murdoch Sting", Murdoch literally goes down on one knee and tries to propose to Dr. Ogden. At first, he interrupts himself while trying to pop the question, but then she interrupts him to say, "I can't!" before fleeing into her house. He doesn't know this at the time—indeed, he knocks on her door and calls out to her—but she's gotten a letter purportedly from arch-nemesis James Gillies threatening death if she marries Murdoch or tells him of the threat.
  • Intoxication Ensues:
    • The victim's absinthe in "The Green Fairy" was drugged. She and her lover were intoxicated by it, and when she was too sedated to defend herself, she was murdered.
    • Detective Murdoch's potion drink at the Alice in Wonderland party was drugged, and he became a little belligerent and didn't feel good, as he normally doesn't even drink. The experience ended in full Mushroom Samba mode.
    • In "Murdoch.com", Brackenreid attempts to quit drinking through the use of the Gold Cure. However, it is eventually revealed that the main ingredient of the cure is not gold, but cocaine.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Paddy Glynn frequently pops up at the Toronto Constabulary during the fourth season looking for a Big Scoop and usually irritating Inspector Brackenreid in the process. Late in the season, he's unmasked as the Kissing Bandit, a thief who has been robbing banks and giving the money to an orphanage and kissing women during the robberies. He tells Murdoch and Brackenreid that he did it to make the news instead of just reporting on it.
  • In Vino Veritas:
    • Murdoch asks Brackenreid for a drink before confessing his compromised principles in "Murdoch in Wonderland".
    • In the B-plot of "Staircase to Heaven", Brackenreid and Crabtree are in the station house guarding a prisoner due to flooding at another station when they share some whiskey. Their conversation turns to the subject of Murdoch (who is on an island investigating a murder), and they confide to each other things about their colleague that they find annoying, including the fact that he never seems to have a hair out of place. Crabtree mentions the detective's repeated advice to "look for the small details" as a particular irritant, and Crabtree later notices such a detail that tips him off to the presence of an infamous criminal trying to kidnap their prisoner to prevent him from testifying in court.
  • Ironic Echo: In "High Voltage'', Inspector Brackenreid learns from the mayor (and fellow Freemason) that Dr. Ogden is planning to run for office in the coming provincial election. The mayor warns Brackenreid this will have bad professional consequences for Detective Murdoch (because he is now her husband), and later Brackenreid warns her about such consequences in an effort to convince her not to run. After she objects to his interference in the decision, he takes Murdoch aside to have the detective order his wife not to run. Murdoch supports his wife's plans and tells the inspector so, concluding with the words, "This matter is closed," before turning the topic to the current murder case he's working on. Later, Julia arrives at the morgue where Emily and Lillian are looking over campaign posters and tells them she has decided to withdraw her candidacy. Emily tries to talk her out of it, especially since her husband is an enthusiastic supporter. Julia firmly refuses, closing with the words, "This matter is closed."
  • Ironic Fear: Dr Odgen's colleague laughs at her for treating phobia with small exposure, and thinks that her patients' phobias are ridiculous (they're feathers, horses, spiders and playing the violin in public). It's later revealed he's hugely afraid of spiders as well.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When Brackenreid and Crabtree find Gillies' hiding place in "The Murdoch Trap", the latter extends his hands out as if allowing himself to be handcuffed, but it turns out that Gillies has a small gun concealed beneath his right sleeve. Before he can use it, though, Crabtree shoots him in the shoulder with his rifle.
  • It's Always Sunny in Miami: Or in Toronto. With a few exceptions, it's almost always bright and sunny on the show. Even overcast days are rare, and winter seems practically non-existent.
  • It's Personal:
    • For Inspector Brackenreid, when his son is kidnapped and held for ransom.
    • Murdoch experiences this when he discovers Julia has been kidnapped and the perpetrator he's got in custody won't tell him where she is.
    • Murdoch also experiences this to a certain degree when it looks as if his estranged father might be the killer in "Let Loose the Dogs".
    • For Crabtree, when his heterosexual life partner Higgins is injured in an explosion. He works the entire case himself and spends his free time reading to Higgins at his bedside.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Murdoch and Crabtree essentially say this when they bring the others to the yard where the dirigible had been based in "The Annoying Red Planet".
  • It Will Never Catch On: Frequently.
    • Including several occasions where Murdoch or Crabtree invent entirely new policing methods or technologies (like sonar or the concept of pixels and digital transmission of images — with a telegraph), only for Inspector Brackenreid to dismiss them.
    • In one episode Crabtree explains how he used tracing paper to follow a telephone line, and find out where the call came from. Nobody's interested.
    • Even Murdoch gets in on the game, when he scoffs at Crabtree's idea of a board game (basically, Clue).
    • The episode "Murdoch Night in Canada" is all about how paying people to play ice hockey will never catch on, and if it does, the game will be ruined. The chief constable also assures the Wellingtons' owner that one thing he doesn't have to worry about is Americans buying his players, because they'll never be interested in hockey.
    • Murdoch and Crabtree question Inspector Brackenreid's decision to invest his wife's prize money from bridge in shares from a company producing a carbonated soft drink. The soft drink in question? Coca-Cola. In the same episode, Murdoch questions Crabtree's choice of potentially interesting firms: General Electric and Ford are on the list...
    • Said word for word by Brackenreid about automatic sprinklers in "Murdoch in Toyland".
    • Even Crabtree of all people get into the game when a bored Higgins hopes for a machine to match finger-prints. To which Crabtree loudly exclaims: "No machine will ever replace the eye of a trained policeman!"
    • When Murdoch is introduced to coffee for the first time, he makes a face and wonders why anyone would drink that stuff while there's tea available.
    • Murdoch scoffs at the idea of a tower in Toronto with a bulged area near the top for viewing in "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom".
    • In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective Murdoch", Charlotte suggests she could play a lady detective in James Pendrick's moving picture. Brackenreid and Pendrick both laugh their heads off and rubbish the notion that a woman could become a police officer.
    • In the same episode, Murdoch is overall rather dismissive of the idea that cinematograph could ever become a widespread mode of entertainment.
    • Averted in most conversations between Crabtree and Dr Grace, who at one point tells him "You should write all these ideas down!" when he suggests the pizza salesman could use his bicycle to take the product directly to people's homes.
    • In "Tour de Murdoch", Dr Grace discovers a fourth blood type, which has elements of both Type A and Type B, and which she therefore calls Type AB. Murdoch suggests Type D would be simpler (Type O at this point was called Type C), and Crabtree agrees!
    • Murdoch does this to himself in the interactive spin-off A Nightmare on Queen Street. The instructions for the player's L.A.P.T.O.P. (Levered Action Portable Truth Overview Protector) state that it contains "a miniaturized motion picture projector that features my own innovation, synchronized sound. (A novelty to be sure. I don't imagine it will catch on.)"
    • In "From Buffalo With Love", this happens to Brackenreid for once. During the trip to Buffalo, he visits a restaurant and, when told they're out of food, says he's hungry enough to eat the chicken wings they were about to throw out (because nobody would eat chicken wings when they could have the rest of the chicken). He declares they're delicious with a spicy sauce, but everyone else is horrified, even the restaurateur, who murmurs to his wife "The Canadians are eating our garbage!"
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • At the end of Season 3, Dr. Ogden moves to Buffalo because she can't have children and knows Murdoch wants a family. She even marries another man, Dr. Darcy Garland, at the end of Season 4.
    • At the end of Season 5, Darcy says he's not going to stand in the way of Julia getting back together with Murdoch. Then he changes his mind in season 6, because drama.
    • Late in season 8, Edna's supposedly deceased husband returns just as she and George and her stepson are talking over their new life together as a family. (George proposed marriage after spending much of the season courting her, and she accepted.) Shortly afterwards, she and George meet, and he tells her to return to her husband and "be happy" rather than worry about his feelings.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Murdoch is dreaming of finally marrying Julia in the opening of "Murodch Air" when Constable Crabtree pounds on his door to summon him.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: On occasion, Brackenreid physically assaults suspects for information.
  • Jerkass: Randall Townsend from "Great Wall". First off, he's a racist. Secondly, he's a pedophile (having raped a small girl and trying to justify it when exposed). Finally, he is willing to let his victim's elderly grandfather take the fall for killing his partner (the partner, himself a racist, was disgusted by Randall's actions and tried to confront him). He only avoids being an outright monster because he did genuinely try to save his partner.
  • Karmic Death: Dr. Luther Bates has an innocent woman strangled to death by one of the men who his experiments had turned Brainwashed and Crazy, and tries to do the same to Murdoch. Murdoch flashing his shiny badge at the man distracts him due to his fascination for shiny things (he had previously appropriated his victim's shiny crucifix) and he lets Murdoch go. All of the other men end up running amuck in the streets of Toronto, but the one Murdoch showed his badge to tracks down Dr. Bates and subjects him to the same gruesome fate he intended for Murdoch. Given all the shit he pulled during the episode and A Nightmare on Queen Street, he more than deserves his fate.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: George Crabtree. He owns at least one dog and one cat and his first priority tends to be animals.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: After an evening of consuming absinthe, Murdoch and Julia end up making out on a blanket. Subverted in this case; neither regret their actions on the morning after and consequently pursue a relationship.
  • Knight Templar: Becoming frustrated at how many guilty people were getting acquitted, the Crown Prosecutor of Toronto starts using false witnesses, planted evidence and murder to send innocent men to the gallows. He more than gets what he deserves at the end of the episode. When he's about to be hanged, he raves about how God will forgive him, since he was doing the Lord's work.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Detective Murdoch is always delighted or thrilled to meet famous inventors and scientists, but he absolutely fan-boys over meeting Marconi who is setting up wireless telegraph in Newfoundland. Cute.
  • Lady in Red: Late in "Twentieth Century Murdoch", it's New Year's Eve 1899 and Julia is slowly getting ready to accompany her husband Darcy to a private party hosted by one of his colleagues. Darcy chides her as she's fussing with jewelry to go with her dark, long-sleeved gown (they're long overdue at the party), then he tells her she should be with whom she chooses that night and leaves the room. She next appears at the constabulary's New Year's gala ball in an off-the-shoulder red dress with a beaded fringe, together with a red feathered hair ornament. After telling William about her decision to become a psychiatrist, he expresses doubt that she came there to tell him that, and she blurts out that she and Darcy have separated. Moments later, they're kissing, framed in a doorway with fireworks exploding in the sky around them. (She wears it again in Season Six, Episode 2, albeit in flashback.)
  • Latex Perfection: In "The Murdoch Trap", it's revealed that Gillies had used a latex mask of Dr. Ogden's face to impersonate her.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Late in "Big Murderer on Campus", Murdoch is in a university classroom giving a lecture on the "applied physics" of execution by hanging. The lecture turns into a means of pressuring one of the accomplices to a murder into confessing against the other—the soon-to-be-infamous James Gillies.
  • Legally Dead: The titular scam in "The Murodch Sting" turns on this point of law. A wealthy bank official goes missing and does turn up dead, but there's no evidence to charge the suspect Eva Pearce with his murder. Murdoch and company persuade the suspect that she's due to inherit half the banker's substantial estate, then close the investigation with the man still officially missing, forcing the banker's heirs to wait seven years to collect. The idea is to catch her in the place the body was found, since if she killed the guy and hid his body there, this demonstration of the guilty knowledge would clinch the case against her. Despite her best efforts, it works and Murdoch catches her in the act of searching the pond for the body.
  • Lethal Chef: Mrs. Kitchen, Murdoch's landlady, definitely cannot cook. In one episode, Mrs. Kitchen's friend's food is even worse — even mice won't touch it. It's actually poisoned, though not lethally, to keep Murdoch feverish while they try to retrieve some stolen things.
  • Lie Detector: In the episodes "Still Waters" and "Invention Convention", Murdoch has a device of his own invention called a pneumograph which, as the name suggests, measures the suspect's breathing. Instead of the lights, his machine has blue liquid that rises in a spiral-shaped tube. Despite not having any of the other measurements of a polygraph, it appears to be nearly infallible ... providing Murdoch is asking the right questions. Murdoch himself is the subject when he first demonstrates it for his colleagues, a demonstration very much Played for Laughs. Of course Dr. Ogden walks in, and the questions get very personal, and Murdoch is embarrassed by the accuracy of his own invention.
  • Liquid Courage: Near the end of "The Murdoch Sting", Inspector Brackenreid advises Crabtree to make an effort to win back Dr. Grace's affections. Murdoch is in the room, and after Crabtree leaves, he declares he too will take the inspector's advice and (in his own case) propose to Dr. Ogden. Murdoch then goes to Brackenreid's decanter, pours two glasses (one for himself and one for his boss), and quickly downs his own drink. It turns out he probably needed that drink, since Julia refuses him before can finish due to threats against their lives.
  • Lobotomy: In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", psychiatrist Dr. Bates is revealed to have been performing lobotomies through the nose on criminals and violent/ill-tempered men. Though a couple of his patients became docile through the procedure, more of his "patients/victims" ended up even more violent than before.
  • Locard's Theory: Early in "Bad Medicine", Constable Crabtree speaks a bit despairingly of the culprit's escape from a murder scene without a trace. Murdoch reassures him thusly:
    Murdoch: The laws of physics dictate that any time two objects make contact, trace materials are exchanged. Therefore, a killer always leaves a calling card.
  • Locked Room Mystery: These occasionally turn up in the series:
    • In "Houdini Whodunnit", a bank guard is found dead inside a vault secured by a time lock. Oh, and the vault has been robbed of a large amount of money too.
    • In "The Annoying Red Planet", Detective Murdoch asks Constable Crabtree why he was summoned to a scene where a man's body is hanging high in a tree. Crabtree draws Murdoch's attention to the lack of any footprints on the plowed earth for some twenty feet or so from the tree.
    • In "Big Murderer on Campus", a university professor is shot to death through a window, but the quadrangle where the shot came from was full of milling students at the time and no one saw a shooter.
    • In "Blood and Circuses", Station 4 has the entire surviving troupe of circus performers staying in the locked cells while the murder of the lion tamer is being investigated. One member of the troupe has a cell to himself and is stabbed to death in the night, and the weapon is nowhere to be found.
    • In "The Tesla Effect", a man is found dead inside a room with the door jammed shut with a chair. There's no obvious weapon, and aside from some curious blistering, no clearly fatal wounds. His body is later found to have been, as Dr. Ogden incredulously describes it, "cooked from the inside".
    • In "The Black Hand", a man is shot to death on a streetcar. The severity of the wound and the lack of a blood trail mean he couldn't have been shot anywhere else, but no one heard the shot.
    • In "Invention Convention", an inventor is shot in the head while accepting an award. The shot came from an impossibly high angle, and there were a dozen or more witnesses who saw no shooter.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • In the series 2 finale "Anything You Can Do...", Murdoch discovers that the Mountie he is working on a case with is in fact his half-brother, the product of an affair their father had before marrying Murdoch's mother.
    • In season 2, George, who was a Doorstop Baby meets his birth mother.
    • Murdoch's long-lost father turns up as a murder suspect in "Let Loose the Dogs".
    • Murdoch has a long-lost sister who turns up as the Reverend Mother of a convent where a fake priest has been killed.
  • Lost Love Montage: Used very briefly in series 1 when Murdoch is thinking of Liza, his dead fiancée.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: Happens in the hundredth episode "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!" Best man George Crabtree discovers he's lost the bride's ring just before leaving for the church on the big day. An exasperated Brackenreid goes in search of the tardy George (who has been searching for it), and when told of the reason for Crabtree's absence the Inspector says they'll borrow his wife's ring if need be just to finally get the job done. Constable Higgins comes to the rescue, having retraced his friend's steps and finding it had fallen into George's typewriter.
  • Lovely Assistant: Ruby Ogden to Harry Houdini in "Houdini Whodunit".
  • Low-Speed Chase: The B-plot of "Murdoch Takes Manhattan" culminates in one of these. Constable Crabtree tries to make an arrest and finds himself ordered at gunpoint to drive a kidnapper and his victim. Dr. Grace, Inspector Brackenreid and Constable Jackson take another car to pursue them, and at one point Brackenreid orders Jackson to bail out so they can go faster and catch up. It's justified by the technological limits of the period cars.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Sally Pendrick has used technology stolen from Nikola Tesla to develop a microwave death ray. When he goes to try and stop her from selling the weapon, Murdoch asks Dr. Tesla to develop some sort of protection. Tesla comes up with a shield made of polished silver and aluminum that Murdoch places in front of him on the coach he rides. The shield more than proves its worth when Sally Pendrick fires the death ray at Murdoch. Not only does the shield protect him, but it actually reflects the microwaves back at the gun, instantly destroying it.
  • Magician Detective: In "Houdini Whodunnit", Harry Houdini fills this role, helping Murdoch to work out how a bank vault was robbed without any tampering with the lock.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The season 2 finale has a contract killer that specializes in this.
  • Make Up Is Evil: A subtle one occurs in "Till Death Do Us Part". When Eunice is first seen, she is complaining that she remains pale no matter how much she pinches her cheeks. Later, after she is revealed as a con artist and a murderer, she is applying bright red lipstick.
  • Malaproper: Constable Crabtree mispronounces something or messes up a phrase from time to time, especially in the early seasons. Detective Murdoch sometimes corrects him, but once George Crabtree dismisses him and says that they will have agree to disagree as to what the correct expression is, Murdoch stops doing it. The best instance was probably when George repeated after Murdoch that haemo-goblin is the substance causing a chemical reaction.
  • Mama Bear:
    • A wealthy philanthropist is beaten to death with a shovel. The killer is his wife, who turned into this trope after she found out he was molesting their adopted daughter.
    • Enid Jones is a sweet, young and innocently-looking lady. But do not, ever, try to endanger her son.
  • Man Bites Man: One patient of Doctor Bates who has been lobotomised is called "a biter". He nearly attacks and bites Dr. Grace and later is seen (in a Gory Discretion Shot) killing Doctor Bates, attacking him like a wild animal.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Detective Murdoch's eyes fill with tears when Julia tells him that her abortion left her barren. She also strongly implies that she wants to end their relationship because she knows how much William wants to have a family.
    • Murdoch cries when his sister tells him she has to return from Toronto to Montreal, and that she's terminally ill, so that they are not going to see each other any more.
    • Inspector Brackenreid is on the brink of tears when his son got kidnapped and his kidnappers apparently killed him. He holds them because he doesn't want to cry in front of other people, but his eyes are full of tears and he's very, very shaken.
    • At the end of "The Murdoch Trap" when Murdoch brings Gillies' filmed confession and the judge orders the noose removed from Julia's neck, Murdoch embraces Julia and tears are visibly streaming down his face.
  • Market-Based Title: The Artful Detective on the US network Ovation.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: In "The Murdoch Sting", Murdoch and company pull one of these to get the culprit Eva Pearce to incriminate herself in a murder, and it really is a case of all hands on deck. Brackenreid solicits the help of one Cassie Chadwick, who claims the culprit has impersonated her to get engaged to the murder victim. Constable Higgins impersonates an attorney, Dr. Grace portrays the murder victim's floozy girlfriend, and she even drags in Leslie Garland at one point when his unexpected entrance threatens to blow the whole set-up.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: When Inspector Brackenreid arrests a bunch of gypsies for theft for political gain despite there being no evidence of the gypsies' guilt, the leader of their caravan puts a curse on Brackenreid for him to never achieve what he most desires. Later in the episode, Brackenreid finds that the one of the actual thieves is the son of the man bankrolling his run for Toronto City Council. Despite his backer's efforts, Brackenreid decides Screw the Money, I Have Rules! and has the son and the rest of the thieves arrested, dropping out of the election in the process. Once the gypsies are released, their leader offers to lift her curse, but Brackenreid says that there was no curse to begin with... despite the fact that once the gypsy leader cursed him, his political ambitions fell apart.
  • Meaningful Look:
    • Dr. Emily Grace and Constable George Crabtree are walking at the beach, and a new-playboy-in-town Leslie Garland catches Emily's eyes. They share a long look. There seems to be an interest on both sides and a clear attraction on Leslie's side. George doesn't notice because he's busy describing Emily how he invented a new beach game (basically a flying disc).
    • In "Murdoch in Ragtime", Emily Grace and George come to spend an evening in a bar and they meet Leslie Garland. Leslie and Emily attempt playing ragtime together on the piano. This time George notices them and he keeps looking at them, somewhat worried.
  • The Men in Black: Terrence Meyers is the late 19th-century Canadian equivalent of this trope. He always shows up when something shady is happening and he's connected with the country's leaders.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Of the supernatural variety. In "A Merry Murdoch Christmas", Brackenreid claims to have encountered the Krampus, a holiday demon from Bavaria and the Tyrol, as a boy in Yorkshire and that he is now terrorizing the episode's victims. It's one of the culprits in disguise.
  • Molotov Cocktail: The killer uses one to start a fire in the brothel as a distraction while he commits a murder in "The Green Muse".
  • Monochrome Apparition: In the episode "The Ghost of Queen's Park", there are several mysterious deaths in a building near Queen's Park that look like murders. People report seeing a ghost that is blue and glows. The ghost was a woman who wanted a revenge for her mother's death. She looked exactly like her mother and her adoptive father was a scientist who experimented with radium. She rubbed herself with it, and radium is luminescent, glowing a faint blue.
  • Mood Whiplash: Possibly the worst case in the series so far happened at the end of "24 Hours Til Doomsday". Murdoch had another adventure with James Pendrick (via the "flying suits") and foiled the plan with the rocket. Pendrick's own rocket was forced to be dismantled by the Canadian government due to pressure from the USA, and while Pendrick was lamenting this fact, Terrance Meyers was snooping around. He trapped himself inside and set it to launch, ensuring his death since one of Pendrick's suits was needed to later jump out and survive. His last moments shown onscreen were futilely screaming for help with Murdoch and Pendrick far away on the ground below, too late to do anything.
  • Moral Guardians: Miss Hamilton in "Murdoch au Naturel", who browbeats George into painting over French Revue posters that shows women's ankles and wants him to raid a nightclub playing "vulgar music called ragtime". Then when George returns from his undercover work at the nudist colony, she walks in on a conversation between him and one of the nudists about how restrictive clothes are.
    Miss Hamilton: Heathens! Reprobates! Miscreants! Degenerates! This city is doomed with moral guardians like you!
Miss Hamilton returns in "Murdoch in Ragtime", still trying to get the Blind Pig shut down. When the suffragist "Furious Four" ally with the Temperance League before an election, she wants the candidate to support banning books, and she states she'd like to burn Mark Twain's works.
  • Mushroom Samba: One alcoholic drink served in a flask at the Alice in Wonderland costume party is drugged. Unfortunately, Detective Murdoch drinks it and has unsettling visions of the grinning Cheshire Cat, falling down a hole or being too big to enter a door. It turns out it was just a prank, and not directed at Detective Murdoch.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Terrence Myers is a lying, scheming Manipulative Bastard, but he is a loyal Canadian. He gets noticeably hot under the collar when an American secret agent starts trying to throw his weight around during an undercover mission in Toronto.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: In "Unfinished Business", Murdoch plays a recording of a man's deathbed confession of murder, and Dr. Ogden recognizes the details of an unsolved case the two of them worked on early in their careers. As she retrieves the case file, Dr. Ogden expresses regret that she couldn't find enough evidence to solve the woman's murder. Later, Murdoch re-investigates the woman's husband, who objects to the scrutiny along with his equally indignant brother. It turns out the brother made a murder pact with the confessed killer to kill his sister-in-law and Murdoch sincerely apologizes to the widower for suspecting him.
  • Mystery Writer Detective:
    • George writes The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs during season 4. By "Evil Eye of Egypt" in series 5 it has been published and he's on the publicity trail for it.
    • Arthur Conan Doyle appears a couple of times in the first season. Both Doyle and someone who "lives" the role of Sherlock Holmes show up in Season 6.
  • Myth Arc: For the first two seasons the episodes were mostly self-contained. Season 3 has one dealing with the Pendricks.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Used in "Murdoch au Naturel", with George going "undercover" in a naturist colony and unwittingly running into Julia there, much to their mutual embarrassment. George quickly covers the plumbing with a hand towel, but then lamely says he's been swimming in the cold river. "Ohhh?" Julia responds. Later, a still-naked Julia saves George's life, only to have Murdoch and Brackenreid rush in to catch her in the altogether, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Naughty Birdwatching:
    • In "Child's Play", Murdoch is demonstrating his new invention 'the circumscope' (a periscope) to Crabtree and commenting on how usual it will be for surveillance. Crabtree agrees as he uses it to ogle a woman in corset who is leaning out of a window to beat a rug.
    • The Victim of the Week in "Big Murderer on Campus" is shot while using a telescope to spy on a coed undressing.
  • Near Death Clairvoyance: The aim of the society in "Staircase to Heaven". Murdoch experiences it for himself.
  • Never Found the Body:
    • In the Season 3 finale, after a chase and explosion, the accomplice's body is found, but not Sally Pendrick. As of yet this has had no effect on the story, as Season 4 returned to the self-contained episodes format.
    • In "Murdoch in Toyland", after managing to escape his own hanging, attempting a psychologically disturbing plan of revenge and getting caught by Murdoch again, the police wagon carrying James Gillies back to prison plunges over a bridge into a river. While the bodies of the driver and the guard are found, Gillies' is not.
    • The same character dives into another river at the end of "Midnight Train to Kingston". Murdoch is particularly (and understandably) anxious about the lack of a corpse. They find the body seven episodes later.
  • Never Lend to a Friend: Played for Laughs in "The Spy Who Came Up to the Cold", when Higgins hides Crabtree's fancy new pen because George bought it rather than repay a small loan to him. Crabtree argues that Higgins borrowed from him a year earlier to get a uniform item and hadn't repaid that loan. The two trade insults while working the case.
  • New Year Has Come: Season 5 concludes with the characters celebrating the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise:
    • Murdoch employs a newspaper in this fashion while staking out the intersection of Carlton and Parliament in "Murdoch on the Corner". Constable Crabtree has been flamboyantly spending new-found money per Murdoch's instructions, and Murdoch drops his paper to urge Crabtree to go home so they can wait for the killer to follow him there.
    • Brackenreid hastily grabs a newspaper from the station's front desk in one of his efforts to hide from temperance crusader Miss Hamilton in "Murdoch Au Naturel".
  • Not the Nessie: The monster resembling a prehistoric serpent is just a fabricated machine created to scare off people from the beach.
  • Obfuscating Disability: In one episode "Bad Medicine", the killer turns out to be someone who pretended to be a stroke victim so he would avoid suspicion.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: A frequent obstacle in Murdoch's investigations. While Brackenreid trusts his record and abilities enough to give him considerable leeway, his superiors are not so generous, and frequently interfere with Murdoch's efforts to thoroughly investigate the case by attempting to force him to drop or pursue lines of investigations. Overlaps with Screw the Rules, I Have Money! once public figures become involved.
  • Officer O'Hara: The stationhouse is pretty evenly divided between the Irish and Scots.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • The Crown Prosecutor of Toronto is outraged when Murdoch and Brackenreid accuse him of murder, and threatens to use his influence to ruin their careers. When Murdoch presents him with proof of his guilt, he immediately turns to this trope and then suffers a Villainous Breakdown.
    • Subverted by Timothy Beaton when Murdoch confronts him. His grandfather and his lover both have this reaction when they see Murdoch, but Timothy merely curses Murdoch for his cleverness.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Murdoch is approaching early middle age, while James Gillies is a young man who studied at college until Murdoch caught him. He's easily Murdoch's match in smarts, despite his comparative youth.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: Lots of lovely beach wear was seen in "Loch Ness Murdoch", worn by both gentlemen and ladies.
  • The Olympics: Though no episode has yet followed characters to the actual Olympic Games, training for the Olympics gets an occasional mention in the series, and an Olympic tryout forms one subplot:
    • "Still Waters" focuses on a rowing team at a country club and rivalry for a place in the men's eights team: a wealthy club member demands the talented gardener give up his seat in the boat, but the coach and the other team members know they need the gardener (who holds every rowing record at the club) to have a shot at qualifying for the Olympics. Guess who dies?
    • "Twisted Sisters" starts with a couple of cross-country runners finding the body of a dead woman just after a training run. Dr. Grace learns from one of the runners that a club is sending a croquet player to the 1900 Olympics, leading to a subplot in which she contests the spot (she was city-wide croquet champion two years running).
    • After the curling match between his team and some members of Station 4, Leslie Garland praises Murdoch's innovative sliding shoe and asks if his club can use them in the upcoming nordic games. Murdoch is pleased to consent. Garland goes on to express the hope that those games will grow and become a "winter Olympics".
  • Once per Episode:
    • Murdoch nearly always pulls aside his jacket to reveal his badge pinned to his vest when identifying himself as a member of the Toronto Constabulary. Sometimes, he'll ask someone a question and when they want to know why he's asking (no doubt because they think he's just a nosy parker civilian), cue the badge flash. At other times, flashing the badge while announcing himself is his opening move when meeting someone. In "All That Glitters", he starts to do this when asking questions of a hotel clerk in a small frontier town, seeming to have forgotten he's not wearing the badge (or his city suit, for that matter). In "This One Goes to Eleven" and "Stairway to Heaven", the badge peeps out from under his jacket while he's doing something else that requires he move or raise his arms; this may be because in those stories, no authority-invoking introduction is really needed (he was on a security detail for a Rembrandt painting in one case, and he was recognized by his colleague Dr. Grace when he entered the scene in the other).
    • At a crucial point during the episode, Murdoch will have an Imagine Spot that shows him "witnessing" the crime as it's taking place. In "The Murdoch Identity", he dreams one of these while having a nap on Anna Fulford's sofa as well as having small ones rather like fragments of memory in part since he's suffering the after-effects of a brain injury. Jasper Linney, Brackenreid and Dr. Ogden have each shared the Imagine Spot with him once, Brackenreid and Murdoch each have their own (solving the same case by different routes) in "Murdoch at the Opera", and in the Season 7 finale Brackenreid takes Murdoch's place in the Imagine Spot while solving the B-plot case.
  • One of Our Own: The show can handle this plot gracefully.
    • In "The Great Wall", a constable from Station Five is murdered, but the case is assigned to Detective Murdoch from Station Four. The whole constabulary still consider themselves to be a family and things get pretty ugly when the evidence leads to someone from the police force.
    • "Murdoch in Wonderland": A man is found murdered at a Lewis Carroll costume party. All clues point to the Hatter, which was Murdoch... He himself demands a detective from a different station house as none of his colleagues could be objective. But the constables of Station Four stay involved, as well as Murdoch's superior Inspector Brackenreid.
    • In "Let Loose the Dogs", Murdoch's father is a murder suspect. Murdoch doesn't want the case, but his boss refuses to reassign it. Interestingly, Murdoch is prejudiced against his father because they have serious issues.
    • In the penultimate episode and the finale of season 6, Julia Ogden is under investigation when Darcy Garland is murdered. Their partiality gets questioned, but the team can work the case.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • At the end of "Murdoch in Wonderland", before confessing to releasing Ava Moon, teetotaler Murdoch asks Brackenreid for a drink.
    • This builds up in "Murdoch in Toyland" as the culprit's actions begin to get under Murdoch's skin, a fact Brackenreid lampshades. When Brackenreid says he can't hear anything on a recording, Murdoch testily insists he can. When the inspector is slow on the uptake after Murdoch explains the cancellation of sound waves, the normally-deferential detective snaps the goal at his boss: "A clean recording!" When he finally confronts the culprit James Gillies, Murdoch has to be restrained from punching him in the face not once but twice: once by Constable Crabtree in the hotel room and once by Inspector Brackenreid in the station house interview room.
    • In "The Murdoch Trap", when the suspended Murdoch and (also suspended) Brackenreid are joined by Crabtree at the Inspector's dining table to plan their re-investigation of the case against Dr. Ogden, the regular tippler Brackenreid is drinking tea, and he promises to drink nothing stronger until the case is solved. Murdoch thanks him for the gesture, and Brackenreid urges Murdoch to hurry up and solve the case because he's sick of drinking "bloody tea."
    • In "Republic of Murdoch", Inspector Brackenreid's son John suddenly visits his father at Station House 4 sporting a black eye and an split lip. The boy has learned that his father thinks he's gay, and he picked a fight with a much-larger boy to prove his prove his masculinity to the anxious inspector.
    • In the B-plot of "Kung Fu Crabtree", Brackenreid goes to a hotel room and is greeted by an anxious Dr. Ogden and an equally tense Murdoch holding a gun. Brackenreid reacts to the sight of the gun and realizes things are serious, since Murdoch rarely uses or even carries a firearm. He then learns that Julia has been getting death threats against herself and Murdoch purporting to be from their nemesis James Gillies.
  • Oop North: Inspector Brackenreid, like his actor, is from Yorkshire.
  • Opera Gloves: As a standard accessory to late Victorian and Edwardian women's formalwear, these are seen frequently in episodes where such dress is worn.
    • Julia, who has just been called to a crime scene from an evening at the theater, wears black Opera Gloves — which she immediately takes off to examine a body — in the first season's "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch". Also in the first scene of the same season's "Child's Play".
    • All the ladies at season 5's Policeman's Ball are wearing gloves.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Several characters feel this way about "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", altough most are pleased with the final result of the work.
  • Papa Wolf: Inspector Brackenreid is a devoted father and family man... and God help you if you threaten his boys.
  • Paranormal Episode: These come up from time to time in the series:
    • In "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch", Arthur Conan Doyle is in Toronto to give a talk on spiritualism and invites Murdoch to meet a psychic Doyle finds compelling. Some of the psychic's information has a mundane explanation, but Murdoch is troubled to think she knows intimate personal details about his dead fiancée.
    • The psychic returns in "Bad Medicine" and goes undercover at a hospital-cum-institute that studies people with unusual brain conditions. There's another seance to attempt contact with a young woman patient who died some years previously, and the psychic is troubled by a vision of Murdoch's impending death.
    • "The Curse of Beaton Manor" revolves around a wealthy family with a history of early deaths. Some of the servants report hearing ghostly sounds and seeing an apparition of a deceased illegitimate half-brother.
    • In "The Ghost of Queen's Park", a local politician falls to his death at the provincial parliament building, and the night watchman swears a ghost is responsible. Other workers in the building also report seeing a ghost, and Crabtree is keen to follow the ghostly line of inquiry.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Murdoch believed that his drunk father beat his mother, which indirectly led to her death. It wasn't true. He spent most of his childhood being raised by Jesuits in a Catholic school.
    • George's mother left him on a doorstep for a couple to look after.
    • Julia's mother is apparently dead, and Julia has a rather estranged relationship with her father.
  • Picture-Perfect Presentation: The episode "Dead End Street" features a dissolve from a painstakingly detailed diorama of the street to Murdoch and Crabtree walking up the real one.
  • Pocket Protector:
    • In episode "Anything You Can Do", a bullet hitting Murdoch is stopped by an English poetry analysis book that he borrowed from Dr. Ogden.
    • In "Glory Days", Bat Masterson receives a bullet in the chest from a derringer, but it is stopped by his sport columnist notepad.
  • Poetic Serial Killer:
    • One mysterious killer kept disguising himself as personification of death or grim reaper, and was killing off people working in prestigious facility researching human brain. His victims caused the death of his fiancée and did not feel responsible because... that's science for you. She was just a case study for them.
    • An Indian guide kills men who accidentally wounded him in the chest and left him stranded.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad:
    • "We don't call people 'retarded' anymore, it's insensitive. The polite term is 'moronic'."
    • Julia tells William not to use the word "sodomite", because the correct term is "homosexual".
  • Prima Donna Director: James Pendrick in "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch". He keeps changing the script at the last moment against the wishes of the writers, give a meager pay to his staff while insisting the movie is done in time, fires the main actor because he was wounded by a bullet and cannot recover in time, etc. Of course he's the one financing the movie, so it isn't like he has any higher-up to rein him in.
  • Produce Pelting: The vaudeville episode "The Keystone Constables" features this. Crabtree, Higgins and a young W.C. Fields are among the targets.
  • The Profiler:
    • Dr. Roberts is a psychiatrist who runs an insane asylum in Toronto. Murdoch sometimes consults him when he needs to know about the psychology of a killer.
    • Later in the series, Dr. Ogden studies psychiatry and provides Murdoch with psychological perspective on criminals and witnesses.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Georgina Reilly's name appears in the opening titles in Season 7.
  • Promotion to Parent: Only hinted at in one episode, but a conversation between Murdoch and Brackenreid suggests that the latter lost his parents at a young age, and had to take care of his four younger siblings.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Crabtreemania" has Constable Crabtree investigating a murder at a 1900s local wrestling stable, and being shocked to discover that the sport may in fact be faked. He ends up in the ring with a wrestler who is not faking, and only makes it out when his girlfriend hands him a folding chair...
  • Public Secret Message: In the episode "A Study in Sherlock", David Kingsley (a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes) insists Moriarty communicates with his gang via coded obituaries in the local paper. Murdoch and Brackenreid are dubious, but as with much else in the case, the young Sherlock proves to be correct.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: In "Belly Speaker", a drunken Arthur Conan Doyle attempts to start a Bar Brawl. After punching out two drinkers, he is confronted by a huge black man. He delivers several punches to the face with no effect.
  • Pungeon Master: Constable Crabtree is apt to do this on occasion, with his superior Detective Murdoch supplying a raised eyebrow or an admonitory "George!" For example, in "Love and Human Remains", when he and Murdoch are discussing the glass eye of one of the victims, George talks about getting "insight" into the case, and on getting his orders from his boss, he responds, "I will look into it."
  • Quest for Identity: The series 3 opener finds Murdoch in England with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He spends the episode recovering his memory while on the run from criminals out to kill him.
  • Race for Your Love: At the end of series 3, Murdoch rushes to the train station to propose to Julia before she leaves Toronto; he arrives in time to see her train pulling away.
  • Real After All:
    • In "The Curse Of Beaton Manor" Murdoch scolds George that voodoo is not real. It is revealed that Timothy Beaton used pufferfish poison (from Haitian voodoo) to induce a near-death state and thus 'come back' from the dead. At the end of the episode the final Beaton suffers a fatal heart-attack from being pierced by a Voodoo Doll.
    • The Holy Grail in "Murdoch and the Temple of Death" is also strongly implied to be the real thing. The killer jumps off a 60-foot cliff thinking it will save him, despite Murdoch telling the man to stop, and as Murdoch looks down on the man's corpse, a thunderclap sounds (seemingly in daylight) and Murdoch reacts to it. Later, Dr. Iris Bajali steals it from the station house and flees with Murodoch in pursuit; he tells her it belongs to God, and when she shouts back, "There is no God," she is struck by lightning and dies. Later still, a museum staffer accidentally knocks it over and disposes of the clay outer layer, leaving a metal chalice standing on the shelf that appears bathed in a (heavenly?) shaft of light.
  • Recurring Character:
    • Canadian government spymaster Terrence Meyers seems to show up at least once per season. At least until he's trapped in a rocket being launched into space with no way out.
    • Mr. Pendrick, a genius inventor, who appeared first in season 3.
  • Red Scare: Subverted in an episode where Murdoch investigates the bombing of a clothing store. A Marxist activist tries to claim credit for the bombing, but he's really just trying to get attention for himself and his cause.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Not to the extent of superheroic achievements, but Murdoch is actually an author of several extremely useful inventions (e.g. sonar or the fax machine) he could have patented or manufactured. Lampshaded in "Invention Convention": Crabtree brings Murdoch's version of a polygraph to an inventor's fair and spruiks it as the "Truthizer". His attempt to sell it to a potential buyer backfires when the buyer sees Murdoch use it on several murder suspects, all inventors themselves and all of whom quickly figure out how it works (and are all innocent anyway). Though the polygraph does what it's supposed to, the buyer is unimpressed and changes her mind, much to Crabtree's disappointment.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • The plot of the season 2 finale "Anything You Can Do" involves a Toronto mining company that plans to defraud wealthy investors by using fake ore samples to make it seem as though a specific place in British Columbia is rich in gold and ready to be exploited. Chances are that this was inspired by the Bre-X scheme, which involved the Bre-X company swindling using ore samples artificially salted with gold to make it seem as though their site in Indonesia had a massive gold deposit. The exposure of the scam made national news in Canada, and Bre-X collapsed in 1997 after acquiring over $6 billion in capital from investors.
    • Season 7 episode "Unfinished Business" features a pair of prominent Toronto brothers, where one is accused of illegal behaviour, and the other appears to be the smarter, more controlling of the two who always bails his brother out and enables him. Of course they were businessmen and not Mayor and Councillor, but it does seem to be a remarkable coincidence and probably a reference to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford who have been in the international news frequent due to their antics in 2013 and 2014.
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase: In "Murdoch In Toyland", Murdoch and Crabtree are trying to determine if one of the criminals Murdoch has brought to justice, or one of their friends or relatives, is the one playing the Criminal Mind Games. They use Murdoch's blackboard to list just about all of the criminals he's confronted in many of the show's first several seasons, along with notations if they were hanged, imprisoned or escaped justice.
  • Romancing the Widow:
    • In series 2, Murdoch pursues a relationship with Enid Jones, a widowed single mother he meets while investigating a case.
    • And in series 8, George follows suit with the similarly-named Edna.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding: In "Convalescence", Mrs. Jones takes an opportunity to feed sick and injured Murdoch.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: In "Invention Convention", an inventor accepting an award is shot in the head by a complicated device using parts that implicate several other inventors. Turns out the victim stole ideas and tech from the inventors and built the device to euthanize himself and prove himself superior to his rivals.
  • Runaway Fiancée: Doctor Grace is one. Her ex-fiancé has not gotten over it.
  • Running Gag:
    • Crabtree's aunts, all named after different flowers and plants. Fifteen identified: Aunt Amaryllis, Aunt Aster, Aunt Azalea, Aunt Begonia, Aunt Briony, Aunt Clematis, Aunt Dahlia (though George managed to pronounce just "Dahl—"), Aunt Hyacinth, Aunt Iris, Aunt Ivy, Aunt Lily, Aunt Marigold, Aunt Nettle, Aunt Petunia, Aunt Primrose. We finally meet them in season 7. As it turns out, they're all prostitutes who George's preacher father gave a safe place to live at the rectory. They're delighted when George visits them while he and Murdoch are in Newfoundland on a case.
    • Murdoch's own tendency to explain his findings or the results of an experiment in excessive detail, with Brackenreid expressing annoyance with all the technical jargon and demanding he cut to the chase.
    • If there's a particularly embarrassing assignment or line of inquiry required for an investigation, there's a good chance that poor Crabtree is going to be the one called on to do it.
    • Characters who are put into a compromising or otherwise embarrassing position as part of an investigation will often give one of their colleagues' names instead: When Murdoch is sent to infiltrate a club secretly made up of homosexuals, he uses Crabtree's name. Crabtree, in turn, identified himself as Higgins when ordered to join a nudist colony.
    • Crabtree again: His tendency to run off on tangents about minor trivia when relaying his findings to Murdoch or Brackenreid. Dr. Grace often does this, as well.
    • Crabtree yet again with his leaping to supernatural explanations. If someone is going to bring up ghosts, vampires, werewolves, or some other sort of monster as a possible culprit, it's George.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: This is how James Gillies reveals himself to Murdoch in the tribunal just after Julia Ogden gets condemned to death for the murder of her husband, engineered by Gillies.
  • Saying Too Much: When a boy asks which criminal they are transporting in "Midnight Train to Kingston", Constable Higgins replies, "Just a man who needs to be hanged." The boy then says, "Is it James Gillies?", and all the passengers in the car begin to panic. Brackenreid later berates Higgins for his stupidity.
  • Say My Name: Whenever something weird happens in his police station — like when he finds the artists of a whole circus crowding there — Inspector Brackenreid can easily guess who's the culprit.
    Brackenreid: MURDOCH!!
  • Scenery Censor: Lots of it at the nudist colony in "Murdoch au Naturel". But also averted in that we get to see several of the nudists clearly from behind.
  • Science Hero: Murdoch uses science to solve crime, either by adapting new scientific discoveries for police work, or by coming up with his own unique inventions.
  • Science Marches On:
    • Intentionally invoked in the episode set at University of Toronto, where currently outdated scientific concepts (luminiferous aether) and laughably basic ideas (single/double molecular bonds) are presented as revolutionary and cutting-edge... because they were at the time.
    • Inspector Brackenreid is not a scientist, but he is remarkably ahead of his time in considering the idea of eugenics to be nonsense while it was still a popular theory.
    • An out-of-universe example leads to a couple mistakes in "Dinosaur Fever:"
      • A prominent location in the episode features an Albertasaurus on display in the gallery of a museum, where the victim's body is discovered in its jaws. However the animal is displayed in the modern horizontal walking position. In the late-19th/early-20th centuries, the skeleton would have been mounted upright in a kangaroo-like posture.
      • Additionally, sketches of a Triceratops and Stegosaurus are visible in the background of one scene, and their forelegs are clearly drawn directly underneath their bodies, which is based on current (post-1980s) research. At the time the episode is set, these animals were believed to have splayed stance, much like a lizard.
  • The Scottish Trope: The Trope Namer is a minor plot point "Body Double," and Brackenreid mentions the curse directly.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Inspector Brackenreid is recruited by a group of businessmen to run for a position on Toronto's City Council, with the intent that he'll back their efforts to build a subway system in Toronto in exchange for their getting him elected. Brackenreid starts out strong, but when his opponent gains ground with an anti-immigrant platform, Brackenreid's backers try to respond. They get the inspector to blame a rash of break-ins in the area on a caravan of gypsies, and Brackenreid arrests several of their men. However, his conscience nags at him, and when he investigates the thefts further he finds that the people responsible for the break-ins are the son of his chief backer and the son's friends. When Brackenreid tries to turn the gypsies loose and arrest the son, his backers try to talk him out of it. They try to entice him by reminding him of the perks of office when he gets elected, which prompts Brackenreid to remind them that they're skirting dangerously close to trying to bribe a police officer. He arrests the backer's son and drops out of the race.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right:
    • When William decides to unlock Ava Moon's cell and let her escape in the series 4 finale. Brackenreid bends his own convictions to hide Murdoch's actions.
    • After escaping the US agents with Pendrick's prototype plane in Season 6 first episode, Murdoch and Pendrick are arrested by Terrence Meyers and his goons, who want to use the plane for military operations. Pendrick promptly destroys his prototype, though Meyers threatens him with a trial for high treason.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: It's very common for members of the upper class to use their money and influence to protect their interests and interfere with Murdoch's investigations, to say nothing of using their position to advantage in their personal and professional lives. Classism is also rampant, with working-class and poor suspects often being looked down and assumed guilty because of their social standing. Even the police are subject to this, and are often insulted for their lower-class roots.
    • For example, in "Murdoch Night in Canada" a wealthy suspect with a past history with Dr. Grace has used his wealth and influence to avoid convictions for several altercations, to say nothing of assaulting her when she rejects his attempts to rekindle their relationship.
    • In "Downstairs Upstairs" the victim is a wealthy head of household who used his position to essentially rape his female servants, creating the circumstances of his murder.
  • Secret Handshake: In "Victor, Victorian", Freemasons Brackenreid and Crabtree introduce Detective Murdoch to the head of their lodge just after a sudden death has taken place during an initiation ritual. The head of the lodge shakes hands with Murdoch, who doesn't complete the secret handshake. Crabtree explains why the head of the lodge knew Murdoch isn't a Mason, and the man soon quizzes Murdoch on his religious beliefs. For once, being a "papist" isn't quite a liability, since the lodge head says that's better than being a "stupid atheist".
  • Self-Deprecation: In "Republic of Murdoch", after Jacob Doyle escapes from Constable Crabtree by hitting the constable in the head with a length of board, Crabtree sheepishly reports to Murdoch how the man got away. Murdoch is concerned for his colleague, but Crabtree dismisses this worry by saying, "He got me in my least vulnerable spot."
  • Self-Parody: "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch" — the episode and the story within the story are both this, at least out of the early 20th century context and standards.
  • Serial Killer: Several times. On season 6, the team realizes it's a recurring thing and extremely serious. They call them "sequential killers". Dr. Ogden is interested in the psychological issues.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target:
    • Constable Crabtree proposes this as the explanation for the multiple deaths in "Murdoch on the Corner". He posits a long-standing feud between two neighboring shopkeepers is the real motive, and that one of the antagonists killed the other people merely to cover his tracks. Murdoch and Brackenreid suggest this to the man in an interrogation, and the man tells them they are crazy.
    • The true explanation for the serial deaths in "Twisted Sisters". A man is being blackmailed by a woman who works for him, and during their argument she hits her head. The man knows she was involved in another death some years earlier (along with several other women), so he disposes of his blackmailer and the other women to divert suspicion from himself. While he's at it, his actions point to a Persian university professor who had been romantically involved with the young white woman who had died years ago, and his own secret involves his interracial marriage.
  • Sexy Back: When Murdoch learns that Julia was once arrested for Skinny Dipping, he imagines this. Vividly.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: Used at the end of "The Curse of Beaton Manor", ending with a zoom on a woman piercing a Voodoo Doll.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: In "Belly Speaker", the victim and his son who's a ventriloquist both have mismatched eyes, one blue and one brown. The son's Demonic Dummy, modeled after him, has mismatched eyes as well. It's later revealed that he had a twin brother who also had such eyes, but with the colors inverted.
  • Sherlock Homage: Detective William Murdoch has the stellar record of solving cases (which he himself cites in his promotion interview in "The Glass Ceiling"), as well as being an autodidact (self-educated) whose studies are largely scientific. He keeps a selection of reference books in his office, but is also known to send out for research materials—or even conduct experiments—when needed. In an episode revolving around a talented "idiot savant", Julia speaks of him as also being disconnected from his emotions to no one in particular as she stands by her office phonograph, while William himself is standing in the background. On occasion, he can be a first-class Deadpan Snarker: a particularly good example (from "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!") is his epic takedown of a judge who's convinced a woman killed her husband—the same judge mistakenly thought the same thing about Julia, and Murdoch points this out to his face. He generally avoids alcohol due to his father's alcoholism. As noted under Expy, other characters echo those of Doyle's stories: Crabtree is the mundane assistant who also pens fiction (like Watson); medical services and expertise come from Drs Ogden, Francis, Grace and Roberts; various people (including Constables Crabtree and Higgins and Inspector Brackenreid) act as The Watson in having things explained to them; and James Gillies and Sally Pendrick bear striking resemblances to two of Holmes' most famous adversaries (Professor Moriarty and Irene Adler Norton).
  • Sherlock Scan: Early in "A Study in Sherlock", Murdoch is responding to an armed robbery and is distracted by a bearded man commenting on a dead robber's cirrhosis of the liver. When the constables bring along a man they found with a mask and a safe deposit box, the bearded man speaks up again, noting the red marks on the bridge of the man's nose and the fact that one hand is markedly cleaner than the other before stating he works a machinist. He goes on to state the nearby machine shop's shift change happened half an hour after the robbery, so he cannot possibly be involved in the crime. Murdoch demands to know how he knows all this, and the man peels off his false beard and introduces himself as Sherlock Holmes. Murdoch is later chagrined to learn the man was right about all the details.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Ruby Ogden, for William and Julia. When she returns in series 4, she is clearly disappointed that Julia has chosen to marry Darcy over William.
    • George ships William×Julia and has trouble understanding why they're not together.
    • Even Brackenreid only smiles tolerantly at the end of Season 5 when the morally uptight Murdoch is framed in an open door, highlighted by fireworks, lip-locking with the still-married Julia.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Ruby Ogden frequently flirts with George Crabtree and some scenes have alluded to their chemistry. Murdoch's vision of the future in "Twentieth Century Murdoch" includes his eight year old son casually referring to "Uncle George", which could suggest marriage between Ruby and the constable.
    • Dr. Grace and Crabtree are teased in season 5.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Crabtree is showing a wealthy investor one of Murdoch's inventions with the hope that she'll buy into it. When the device appears to fail (although it actually works correctly — it just didn't detect anything Murdoch was looking for), the investor walks off with the words "I'm out." This is the collective Catch Phrase used by the investors on Dragon's Den when they show they're not interested in a business pitch, and the investor is played by Canadian businesswoman Arlene Dickenson, who is a regular on the CBC's version of the show.
    • When a headless body is found in "Murdoch in Toyland", Dr. Grace jokes that perhaps it's a resident of Sleepy Hollow, maybe Ichabod Crane, referencing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
    • Emily Grace bought tickets to see a theatre adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and George, having read the book, enthusiastically told her the whole thing, never realizing that she wouldn't want to.
    • In "Tour de Murdoch", Chippy Blackburn tries to come up for a nickname for Murdoch. His suggestion? Detective Gadget.
    • The first episode of Season 3, in which Murdoch wakes up in a strange place with no memory of who he is, is called "The Murdoch Identity" and involves a character named Treadstone.
    • The title of the online episode Nightmare on Queen Street uses the same font as the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, though the episode has nothing to do with a ghostly serial killer.
    • Friday the 13th, 1901 is a Shout-Out to Friday the 13th and has Julia and Emily visit a purportedly haunted island.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare:
    • In "Body Double", a partially decomposed body falls onto the stage of the Grand Theatre during a performance of Macbeth.
    • Dr. Ogden quotes "I knew him, Horatio." from Hamlet when she examines a skull. She laughs heartily at her little joke. Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree are rather disturbed by her morbid sense of humour.
  • Shovel Strike: The Victim of the Week in "Child's Play" is struck down with a shovel.
  • Sibling Triangle: For one episode, there was a Love Triangle involving Detective Murdoch and sisters Julia and Ruby Ogden. When Ruby realized how deeply Julia feels for him, she became Shipper on Deck and started to support their relationship.
  • Skinny Dipping: In "Houdini Whodunnit", we learn that Julia was arrested for skinny dipping as a student. This has an interesting effect on William.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Murdoch does this to fool a killer after he realises his substitute landlady is trying to kill him in "Convalescence".
  • Slow-Loading Internet Image: Played with, for one case, Murdoch needed a photograph of a kidnapped woman, but the closest photo is in Paris, France. So Murdoch had the Paris police overlay a grid on the photo, assign a number to the scale of grey in each grid square, then telegraph the number to Toronto (i.e. a jury-rigged fax). The final "paint-by-number" job took two days to do, slowing yielding more clues until the case was solved, when the entire painting was done.
  • Smithical Marriage: A hotel clerk in "The Knockdown" tells Murdoch "We get a lot of Mrs. Smith and Mr. Jones here. This is not exactly the Queen's Hotel."
  • Smug Snake: Doctor Luther Bates. He's convinced his unethical experiments are for the betterment of the human species, and that he'll gain recognition for them one day. Under accusation, he denies everything while sporting the smuggest smirk you can imagine. When Murdoch finally corners him, he tries to kill the detective, still as proud of himself as ever. His demise is suitably karmic.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom:
    • Only the Sniff-sniff part happens with various coroners who examine organs while performing an autopsy. It appears it was a standard thing to do and sometimes the smell helps to crack the case. Sometimes even the Nom-part occurs.
    • Dr. Ogden's sister Ruby is visibly disturbed when she watches her sister do it, who tells her she shouldn't be such a mouse.
    • Dr. Grace hands Constable Crabtree a sample of substance from a dead body. He looks at it, sniffs it and then tastes it. He comments that is looks like soot, smells like sotd and tastes like soot. Dr. Grace is surprised that he's in the habit of tasting soot, and George tells her he used to clean his aunt's chimney and was once destined to do so for a living.
    • Murdoch opens a stick of dynamite used to stage a train robbery, tastes the contents and says, "Flour."
  • Speak in Unison: Most often Played for Laughs, though a notable serious example comes in "Crime and Punishment" when Dr. Grace raises the possibility that Dr. Ogden may have actually shot her estranged husband. Murdoch, Brackenreid and Crabtree all reject the idea in unison and quite loudly.
  • Spinning Paper: "Kissing Bandit Strikes Again!"
  • Spin-Off:
    • The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, a 13-part web series based on the mystery novel Crabtree's written.
    • A second web series was made to coincide with Season 5, The Murdoch Effect, which features William in a Fish Out of Temporal Water situation, winding up in present-day Toronto with modern-day versions of his colleagues. The episodes are currently available on the official Ovation YouTube channel.
    • The third web series, A Nightmare on Queen Street features a dark murder mystery with an interactive component where the viewer can help investigate the murder with the use of Murdoch's Levered Action Portable Truth Overview Protector (a.k.a. LAPTOP).
  • Spoiler: Dr. Emily Grace doesn't appreciate when her boyfriend George Crabtree tells her the whole plot of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She bought tickets to see an initial public reading, and he has read the book and enthusiastically tells her what happens, never realizing that she wouldn't want to hear it all just then. She even asks him to "alert me the next time you're going to spoil something."
  • Squirrels in My Pants: During an investigation, Crabtree brings a ferret to follow a blood trail (he couldn't find a bloodhound). It works, but not before the critter shortly slips inside the leg of Murdoch's pants.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers:
    • Murdoch and Dr. Ogden, with a brace of Romantic False Leads each, and various other impediments. At the end of season 3, Dr. Ogden leaves Toronto because she can't give William children; as of season 4 she's returned, but become engaged to another man while in Buffalo. Though she marries Darcy at the end of season 4, by the end of season 5 the marriage is over and she and William rekindle their relationship.
    • An unfortunate couple of lovers appear in "Let Us Ask the Maiden". They were not allowed to get married because they were of various social class and religion. The man was the murder Victim of the Week.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • In Season 2 Crabtree meets his birth mother. She hasn't been seen since.
    • Season 9 has done this in spades. Crabtree is freed and back at Station 4 but reprimanded and most likely will stay a constable permanently, Edna and Simon are gone and on the run, Dr. Grace moves away to England and Dr. Ogden is back working at the morgue. Aside from Murdoch and Ogden's marriage, the show has mostly reverted back to the format of the early seasons.
  • Steam Punk: A couple of episodes toy with this, before the season 3 finale goes full-tilt into it with Tesla's microwave death ray. In season 5, "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?" and its rocket-shaped car nicely fit as well.
  • Stick Em Up: In "The Murdoch Identity", Murdoch returns to a house in Bristol, England, in order to find out why two men there have been pursuing him (and shot him in the arm). As he's looking over photos and maps on a wall, he hears someone coming, hides behind the door, and seizes a smoking pipe. When one of his pursuers enters the room, he jams the pipe stem into the back of the guy's neck and acts as if it's a real gun.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The monster in "Loch Ness Murdoch" is a huge serpent-like creature resembling a certain dinosaur species. Turns out it's Not the Nessie.
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: "Unfinished Business" has this as a cold case, reopened when one of the conspirators makes a Deathbed Confession, but leaves Murdoch with the impression he killed his own wife, which he can't have done. When Murdoch realises what happened, he even suggests they may have met on some form of public transport.
  • Suicide by Cop:
    • An older Jewish doctor commits the Suicide by State variation in "Let Us Ask the Maiden" when he makes sure he will be arrested and executed. He shoots his fiancée's father in front of Detective Murdoch, Inspector Brackenreid and a couple of constables, which means he gets the noose. He did it because his future father-in-law murdered his employee who was also his daughter's lover. He loved the girl more than anything and he wanted her to be free from both of them — her evil father and himself.
    • The Poetic Serial Killer in "Werewolves" met his end when he tried to attack the investigators. Inspector Brackenreid shot him dead with a rifle, and was quite shaken by it, claiming it was the first time he killed anybody on duty as a police officer. This was the killer's Batman Gambit, not having any more reason to live after he'd gotten his revenge.
  • Suicide by Sea: In episode "Loch Ness Murdoch", a woman walks into Lake Ontario with weights in her dress, because her fiance has left her for another woman.
  • Summation Gathering: Murdoch has Crabtree summon the family and staff of the Jenkins household for one of these at the end of "Downstairs, Upstairs".
  • Swapped Roles: Constable George and Inspector Brackenreid in "Loch Ness Murdoch". Ordinarily, George is very willing to believe in all kinds of outlandish things, like Martians and zombies, and ordinarily, the Inspector is rather impatient about this. In this episode, Inspector Brackenreid is the one who believes in a gigantic predatory "lake monster", and George is the one who dismisses the possibility of such a creature.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: A woman basketball team's worth. And back then, cross-dressing was considered quite scandalous. Julia in drag even initially fools Murdoch and Crabtree. When George realizes who he's talking to, he exclaims, "You look like a man...! A very pretty man!"
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Early in "The Murdoch Identity", Detective Slorach is joining Station 4 to help find the missing Murdoch when he's distractedly playing with Murdoch's desk chair while the others are trying to bring him up to speed on the case.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: A wealthy philanthropist is found beaten to death in his stable yard with a shovel. The killer turns out to be his wife, who killed her husband after she found out that he was molesting their adopted daughter.
  • Table Space: Between Julia and Darcy, when he tells her to give up her push for teaching contraceptive methods to women for the sake of his reputation.
  • Take a Third Option: The episode "Werewolves" features a young First Nations man who wants to become a police officer, but is stuck working in the stables at Stationhouse #4. He uses his tracking skills to help Murdoch and company track down a killer, and Crabtree says to Brackenreid that he should make the man an officer. Brackenreid agrees that he'd make an excellent cop, but the racism of turn-of-the-century Toronto would never allow it to happen. Undeterred, Crabtree gives the man the card of one of his friends who works for Pinkerton's, the American private detective agency.
  • Take That, Audience!: A friendly jab the end of "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch."
  • Take-That Kiss: Gillies plants a big one on Murdoch's mouth in "Midnight Train to Kingston".
  • Taking the Heat: At the start of season 9, Crabtree has gone to jail for the murder of Edna Brooks's husband, putting in a plea of "uncontested" because he doesn't want to perjure himself by pleading guilty. He refuses to discuss the case, even with Murdoch, until evidence starts appearing that she didn't commit it either.
  • Taking You with Me: While Timothy Beaton is going to hang for murdering two of his half-brothers, he manages to kill the third surviving half-brother by getting his cousin to use voodoo to induce a fatal heart attack in the man.
  • Tarot Troubles: In the episode "Blood and Circuses", Murdoch is investigating the death of a circus lion tamer and is particularly frustrated by the fortuneteller's refusal to answer questions directly. The woman prefers to communicate using her cards and refers to their predictive power, despite Murdoch's objections that he doesn't believe in such things. Crabtree insists her prognostications are valuable, and eventually Murdoch goes along with her conversational style to get information out of her. Interestingly, her cards sometimes need to be taken literally: as the deaths continue among the circus performers, she produces first the magician card and later the Queen of Swords, which refer to people involved in the murders. Murdoch also gets two contradictory predictions about his love-life, which the fortuneteller explains away by saying the future isn't fixed.
  • Tears of Blood: The Victim of the Week in "Shades of Grey" starts bleeding from her eyes after taking an overdose of pennyroyal oil to induce an abortion.
  • The Teetotaler: Detective Murdoch doesn't normally drink any alcohol at all as he wants to keep his head clear. Moreover, he avoids alcohol because his father is an alcoholic. Notably averted in "The Green Muse" when Murdoch spends an evening getting drunk on absinthe in order to figure out how it would affect the mind (he really does do it For Science!). Murdoch also knocks back a whiskey with Branckenreid after releasing Ava Moon, slams one before making one of his marriage proposals to Julia, and sips a glass at his bachelor party.
  • Temporary Love Interest:
    • Anna Fulford. Murdoch first meets her in "The Murdoch Identity" while suffering amnesia in Bristol, but remembers Julia before their relationship can go anywhere. She returns briefly in season 4, but has to go into witness protection when her dead fiancé's criminal gang target her. The Bus Came Back again briefly in series 5, but Murdoch was forced to fake Anna's death to help her escape this time.
    • Enid Jones for Murdoch. She is a capable woman who used to work as a telegraphist. She's a widow and has an eager ten-year-old son who is fascinated by science stuff and by Detective Murdoch. Murdoch was impressed that she was able to build a telescope.
    • Telephone operator-cum-lady detective for George. Even though it lasted only one episode. She was very spirited and spunky.
    • Edna Garrison/Brooks for George again. A character who he had a brief date with in Season 1, and who then returned in Season 8. At the start of Season 9, she goes on the run with her stepson once she realises he's the one who killed his abusive father.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Used by Karl Schreiner in "Invention Convention". Dying of cancer, he develops a device featuring components from the creations of his rival inventors at the convention that shoots him in the head as he's making his speech after winning the Eaton prize for best invention. In killing himself, he prevented himself from suffering further and almost successfully managed to frame all his rivals for his death.
  • That One Case: In the aptly-titled "Unfinished Business", Murdoch plays a recording of a man's deathbed murder confession for Dr. Ogden. He's puzzled because the corpse he and his colleagues found by following the man's directions doesn't match other vivid details in the man's statement. Dr. Ogden recognizes the details of the corpse match an early case she worked on; she finds the case file in her old office and expresses regret that she couldn't solve the woman's murder.
  • That Poor Plant:
    • In "The Tesla Effect", Crabtree sees a dead fern at the crime scene and makes a joke about its "death by bachelor", then he touches it and comments on its unusual warmth. A trail of similar dead plant life outdoors leads Murdoch and Tesla to the place where a microwave ray cannon was stored and tested.
    • In "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom", Murdoch is ordered to investigate a film of a man killing a dog with a lethal gas. Investigation of the site where the film was shot turns up a large area with dead plants; Murdoch and his consulting expert discuss how powerful the gas appears to be based on the size of the affected area.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs:
    • In "Murdoch in Ragtime", Leslie Garland uses Dr. Grace's first name the first time they're together in The Blind Pig. She calls him on it ("Awfully forward, Mr. Garland "), yet he does it again after her objection. Later, the courtship progresses, she doesn't mind his brashness so much and he tells her, "Call me Leslie."
    • In "The Murdoch Sting", Eva Pearce calls Detective Murdoch "William", then asks if he minds the familiarity. He does mind and addresses her as "Miss Pearce". Eva deliberately oversteps the boundary again to defy him.
  • They Do: Detective William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden finally marry in the 100th episode of the series (in season 8), after years of Unresolved Sexual Tension, his difficulties in declaring his feelings, some distance over Julia's past abortion, career opportunities in other places, her decision to marry another man, the implosion of that marriage, the murder of her husband (for which she was convicted and eventually exonerated)...this couple really did earn it.
  • This Bear Was Framed:
    • In "Child's Play", the Victim of the Week is murdered by a blow to the head with a shovel. Horses are then stampeded over the body to make it look like he was trampled to death.
    • In "Werewolves", the killer wears a glove with a spring-loaded trap studded with wolf teeth to rip out the victims' throats, making it look like a wolf attack.
  • Those Two Guys: Crabtree and Higgins often fall into this when they're paired up.
  • Thriller on the Express: The tense "Midnight Train to Kingston" episode.
  • Throwing the Fight: The Victim of the Week in "The Knockdown" was supposed to throw a prize fight in the 31st round. He decided to change the script (having placed a large bet on himself) and won in the 30th. He was murdered later that evening.
  • Time Travel: Part of the plot in "Twentieth Century Murdoch" revolves around a time machine. A man gets involved in a couple of incidents (a suicide attempt and a shooting) and claims he went to the future, saw the events and went back to intervene. He also wants to save a boy from being trampled by horses, and Constables Crabtree and Higgins later go to the street intersection and witness events unfold just as the man said they would. Soon word gets around, and people are lining up and paying for trips to the future. Murdoch is initially skeptical despite the testimony of other paying travelers, but when the scientist suggests he try the device, Murdoch takes him up on the offer. What Murdoch sees (including himself married to Julia in 1912 and an eight year old boy who introduces himself as "William Murdoch Junior") changes his mind, and he's soon closeted in his office with the scientist, with his blackboard covered in equations. It turns out to be a hoax using a form of shock therapy to show the user the future they want to see and the scientist is using the money to finance a cryogenic chamber for his half-brother Dr. Roberts, who has Huntington's disease.
  • Title Drop: Both for the series and episode's titles in "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch". Crabtree comments that aforementioned title for the movie-whithin-a-show is too much of a mouthful, and suggests "Murdoch Mysteries" instead.
  • To the Pain: Before Mr. Pendrick gets tortured, his tormentor gleefully talks about how he knows that Mr. Pendrick dislocated his shoulder and how that type of injury never recovers fully.
  • True Companions: Murdoch, Julia, Crabtree, Brackenreid, and later Dr. Grace. They stand by and trust one another almost without question, and are willing to go to the limits for one another. Notably, when Julia was framed for murder and Murdoch was suspended for pursuing his investigation in defiance of Chief Constable Giles, Brackenreid willingly gets himself suspended by standing up for Murdoch and telling Giles off. He and Crabtree then join Murdoch's clandestine efforts to clear her name, with Dr. Grace also providing assistance in dismantling the evidence against her (which is instrumental in getting Giles to quietly support their investigation).
  • Turn in Your Badge: Chief Constable Giles suspends both Murdoch and Brackenreid for their efforts to clear Julia of her estranged husband's murder. They set up shop in Brackenreid's dining room and are joined by Crabtree to continue their investigation.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Some episodes involve two cases. Crabtree and/or Brackenreid are usually the ones to handle the B-plot while Murdoch investigates the main case.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: The title character first mentions his father Henry during an interview for a promotion, but only to say the man worked as a fisherman and that they've lost touch. In a later episode, Murdoch and Constable Crabtree discover the man unconscious at a murder scene, and viewers learn that Henry has been an alcoholic for years and that William thinks his father is responsible for his mother's premature death. In a subsequent encounter, William investigates a shady land deal that's tangled with mining and murder only to have his father's name come up, and learns he has a half-brother that Henry fathered with a woman to whom he was not officially married.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: UST is an apt description of the relationship between Detective William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden, particularly in the first several seasons. Each of them in their own ways contributes to the difficulties; William seems somewhat lacking in social skills (such as dancing) and has trouble telling Julia how he feels, while Julia is torn by her professional ambitions and ambivalence over motherhood in the face of his desire for a family. This is made worse by the Victorian/Edwardian setting and the necessary restraint needed by social standards of the time, as the UST is just as strong (if not stronger) whenever their on/off relationship is actually on. It is at its highest possible level during season five when Julia is married to another man, but the UST is eventually resolved when her husband pulls an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy and tells her to be with William. Julia and William rekindling their romance closes the season. In season 6, the tension is back as they are together but unwilling to commit adultery when Julia goes through the unavoidable scandal of her divorce, capped by the murder of her husband, for which Julia is initially convicted! Eventually in season 8, They Do, but boy howdy have they earned it.
  • Uptown Girl: George experiences this with Emily Grace. Though he wants to invite her to the policemen's New Year's Eve ball, he observes that she's probably used to far finer parties and feels justified in his opinion when she later turns down his invitation. Happily, this is later averted when she does join him at the ball and announces that she finds him more interesting than the people at the party she was planning on attending. George views Emily as higher on the social chain than he is, even though Emily's former fiancé, the cad, told her she was a mere working-class girl.
  • Values Dissonance: All over the place due to the setting, as the series largely averts Politically Correct History:
    • Casual racism towards blacks, Jews, the Irish, Chinese, etc., a sharp divide between social classes, sexism, the treatment of homosexuals, and religious intolerance are openly on display. More progressive characters do call attention to the unfairness of it, but other characters are allowed their prejudices without losing sympathy, and these attitudes are presented as simply how the world is.
    • Heroin, opium, cocaine, and other drugs are all used medicinally with nary a blink.
    • Eugenics is still considered a serious science, despite having been discredited. What makes it this as well of Science Marches On is its close ties to concepts of racial and class superiority; one murder was committed by a man whose fiance's father disapproved of their marriage because of his "lesser" pedigree.note 
  • Vigilante Execution: Happens at the end of "Let Us Ask the Maiden". Knowing that the real killer will get off due to lack of evidence, one suspect shoots him in front of the police and allows himself to be arrested. He believes that his arrest (and probable execution) will free his fiancee to marry the man she truly loves.
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live:
    • Late in "Unfinished Business" (Season 7, Episode 12), Julia gets a photo of her and Murdoch kissing in an alley (which she and viewers recognize happened after they attended a recent opera performance) together with a letter apparently from James Gillies. The letter threatens that if she marries Murdoch, he'll die, and if she tells him about the letter (and the threat), they'll both die. This starts a subplot over the next several episodes in which she tries to resolve the problem herself to keep Murdoch safe. At one point, she applies Murdoch's methods and finds the room where the photo was taken. In that room, she also finds a second photo of Murdoch taken inside his office with a second note threatening death if she continues her investigation.
    • In the two-parter "On the Waterfront", Brackenreid recalls in Flashback a day when his wife Margaret gave directions to two men driving a wagon. The inspector called sharply to his wife from his wheelchair on the front porch, and Margaret didn't seem to understand what he was fussing about. The men were the O'Shea brothers, who had beaten Brackenreid nearly to death (hence his presence at home in the wheelchair). They don't speak to Brackenreid directly, but one of them does tip his hat to the inspector.
  • Villainous Crush:
    • Sally Pendrick gives Murdoch a nude, abstract painting of herself in "This One Goes to Eleven". See also the character page.
    • Arlene Dennet in "Bloodlust" has one on Detective Murdoch. She tells Murdoch to call her by her first name, clings onto Murdoch several times, stabs herself in the neck to be near him, and tells him a 'secret' that he must vow not to tell because vows are "sacred as say a vow of fidelity between lovers" (cue Murdoch looking around uncomfortably). Made even more squick in that it doubles as a Precocious Crush since Murdoch is investigating the murder of a popular girl at a boarding school. Wonder who did it?
  • Violence Detector: Murdoch performs this a couple of times with a(n anachronistic) luminol-like compound:
    • In "Dead End Street", he uses it to find blood traces in the culprit's cart months after the cart was used to transport the victim's corpse.
    • Murdoch confidently breaks out the sprayer again in "Murdoch Night in Canada". Only problem, he tests this on hockey sticks, forgetting that hockey players don't go easy on each other. The sticks are covered in blood traces, making it impossible to tell which one was the murder weapon.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In the episode "Republic of Murdoch", Constable Crabtree gets friendly with some Newfoundland locals while bragging about an old treasure map he wants to sell in a scam to trap a killer. After an extended drinking session featuring the potent local rum, he awakes the next morning embracing a fish wrapped in his jacket, then vomits behind a bush while Murdoch and local man Jake Doyle are watching for the culprit to arrive at the location marked on the map. Murdoch seems concerned for his colleague, but Doyle comments that Crabtree can't hold his liquor, and George replies that he's merely out of practice.
  • Warts and All: Early in "Winston's Lost Night", Inspector Brackenreid is unhappy that the great Winston Churchill is locked in one of the station's cells, and he effusively praises Churchill's book as "stirring stuff". As he learns of Churchill's apparent alcohol-induced blackout and aristocratic ways (including traveling with servants and his treatment of Crabtree as another of his servants—asking the constable to fetch his hat and stick) and gets insulted by Churchill for requesting an autograph, Brackenreid begins to write him off as another "toff". Eventually, Brackenreid quotes from Churchill's book (to the author's delight) to talk down a murderer threatening to kill Churchill, and Churchill apologizes for his insulting comment on the autograph book and asks to sign it.
  • The Watson: Crabtree, Brackenreid, Dr. Ogden and Dr. Grace all play this role at different times in different episodes. Later episodes have Constable Higgins do this, especially when Higgins is trying to understand why Murdoch wants something done. Murdoch and Brackenreid often rely on Crabtree to do much of the legwork in interviewing witnesses, looking into interesting leads, and so forth.
    • Jack London also serves as one for Murdoch in "Murdoch of the Klondike".
  • Wedding Ring Removal: In the episode "The Tesla Effect", as Murdoch and inventor/businessman James Pendrick are discussing how and why his wife Sally Pendrick framed Pendrick for murder and masterminded an art theft, Pendrick removes and looks at his wedding ring before placing it on a table.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: A young Winston Churchill wakes up in his hotel room after a drunken night on the town... and finds his roommate's bloody corpse on the floor next to him. He's arrested under suspicion of murder, and Murdoch and Crabtree solve the case by accompanying him as he retraces his steps from the night before.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Murdoch receives one from James Pendrick after mistakenly arresting him for murder. Again.
    • A historical version occurs when Winston Churchill becomes a suspect in the murder of his friend. While retracing his steps with Murdoch and Crabtree, Churchill remembers talking about how he criticized Lord Kitchener for wanting to dig up the Mahdi's corpse and use his skull as a penholder. This is a reference to The River War in the late 1800s, and also ties into the real murderer and his motive for killing Churchill's friend.
    • When Murdoch's landlady is arrested for murder in "Murdoch of the Klondike", she reacts this way when she learns that Murdoch used to be a policeman but isn't trying to help her. He later rouses himself to do it.
  • When Elders Attack: In "Convalescence", Murdoch's elderly landlady Mrs Kitchen has been get imprisoned for several days while criminals search her house. When a weakened Murdoch passes out while fighting one of the criminals, Mrs Kitchen picks up Murdoch's crutch and whacks the crook over the head with it, knocking her out.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole?: Rather frequent.
    • The victim in "Me, Myself, and Murdoch". The prime suspect for his murder is his daughter, who has multiple personalities that resulted from her seeing her father hack up her mother with an axe, when she was a child. The man got another woman to marry him and pose as his original wife, and throughout the years he's been abusing his daughter and locking her up in the basement where he dismembered her mom. The murderer is his stepson from his first wife, who ran away as a kid and came back years later disguised as a farmhand, who was suspicious of why another woman was posing as his mother, and axed his stepfather to death. Inspector Brackenreid even said he would do his best to avert the death penalty for the stepson, saying about his stepfather, "Bastard bloody deserved it."
    • In season 4, the victims of "All Tattered and Torn" are three men that were guilty or accomplice of raping a young woman and escaped justice years ago. The murderer is a former cop who was obsessed by the case and executed them.
    • In season 6, three young women are beaten and murdered by drowning. You feel less sympathetic when it is discovered that they accidentally killed another girl by repeatedly submerging her in cold water to "cleanse" her of her love for her Persian teacher, and that one of them was also blackmailing her employer with threats of publishing news of his marriage to a Native woman in the newspaper.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?:
    • In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective Murdoch", Murdoch is baffled by the idea of a moving picture based on his cases.
    • In "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch", Arthur Conan Doyle suggests that forensics may one day be the future of entertainment. Murdoch says the public would find it "too dull and too bloody".
  • Whoopee Cushion: In the episode "The Keystone Constables", Murodch is introduced to one of these by one of the vaudeville performers he's investigating. At the time, Murdoch doesn't seem to get the joke (or many of the other jokes, for that matter), but he later makes his own whoopee cushion and tricks Julia into sitting on it. Murdoch not only laughs heartily at Julia's reaction, he's also very pleased that his version worked so well.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?:
    • In "Victor, Victorian", Brackenreid and Murdoch need someone to infiltrate a women's basketball team. They first glance at Crabtree, who promptly tells them he's not gonna wear a dress (again). Then Dr. Ogden comes in.
    Murdoch: Julia, have you ever played basketball?
    Dr. Ogden: Yes, as a matter of fact, I have. Why do you ask?
    • In "Murdoch Au Naturel", Brackenreid and Murdoch are discussing the difficulties they're having with getting information from a group of naturists (whose private nudist colony is where a corpse turned up). They have the bright idea to send in someone undercover, and since the naturists have already met Murdoch, he and Brackenreid turn to Constable Crabtree, who objects. Cut to Crabtree entering the colony ''sans'' clothing.
  • Wicked Cultured: James Gillies is impeccably dressed like a fashionable turn-of-the-century dandy. Don't let his youth fool you, though — he's arguably one of the smartest antagonists Murdoch has ever faced.
  • Widow's Weeds: The series is set in Victorian-Edwardian era (late 19th and early 20th century) Toronto, Canada, so many characters who have deaths in their families observe this, and many widows keep their mourning black for years after the deaths that prompted the clothing change. Just after her husband Dr. Garland is murdered in "Crime and Punishment", Dr. Ogden doesn't immediately adopt black clothing, and during his interrogation of her, Giles calls her out on it: "How very modern." Julia does wear widow's weeds after this, particularly when she's planning to meet Darcy's parents at the train station and in court during her murder trial.
  • William Telling: In "Mild Mild West", Lightning Wilcox's sharpshooting act has him shooting the hat off his partner's head and then a bottle out of his hand.
  • Wire Dilemma: Subverted in the episode "Murdoch Ahoy", when Inspector Brakenreid asks Murdoch how he knows what wire to cut, and Murdoch says it doesn't matter. Early 1900s bomb design didn't extend to having wires that would activate it if cut.
  • With Due Respect:
    • In "The Glass Ceiling", Inspector Brackenreid gets desperate to find a killer who's threatening him and orders the constables to strong-arm every known criminal they can find to get information on the man. Detective Murdoch uses the phrase "with all due respect" to point out that such heavy-handed tactics are unlikely to work and urges they follow the evidence instead of going after every criminal in the city.
    • In "Loch Ness Murdoch", Inspector Brackenreid has a very unusual moment and insists he saw a Stock Ness Monster. Detective Murdoch suspects that Inspector's love of whisky might be responsible and hints at it "with all due respect". But Inspector knows bloody well what he saw. Besides, it was ale—who'd drink whiskey at the beach?
  • Witness Protection:
    • At the end of the episode "The Black Hand", Murdoch explains to Anna Fulford that she needs to leave Toronto because the Black Hand has a contract on her for the theft of counterfeit money her fiancé committed. He gives her a manila envelope with the details of a new life and background for her, telling her they cannot have further contact. She doesn't stay gone, but returns to work as a librarian in Toronto in the two-parter "Stroll on the Wild Side", and Murdoch is aghast when he recognizes her. Eventually, the Black Hand proves to be back in the person of Mr. Falcone, and she has to disappear more permanently this time.
    • In "From Buffalo With Love", the murder victim turns out to have been relocated to Toronto by the Buffalo police after testifying against Falcone. The Toronto constabulary are rather put out they weren't informed, especially since they have experience with the Black Hand.
  • Working the Same Case:
    • In the episode "Buffalo Shuffle", Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are investigating the death of a child patient at Julia's hospital in Buffalo, NY. They go to the home of a nurse who may know something about the boy's death, where they are surprised by a local Buffalo police detective investigating the death of the same nurse (her body having washed ashore).
    • In the episode "Murdoch on the Corner", Inspector Brackenreid is investigating the death of a pastor who was beaten to death with a blunt instrument, while Murdoch is trying to find a "sequential killer" who dispatches their victims with a single gunshot. It eventually becomes clear the same killer is responsible, and the deviation from the pattern in the pastor's case is a clue as to the motive.
    • One season 6 episode has Inspector Brackenreid investigating the apparent suicide of a prisoner who seems to have hung himself in his cell and who was one of the Inspector's old Army friends. Meanwhile, Murdoch and Crabtree are investigating a robbery in which the shop owner was brutally murdered. They eventually find that both cases are related.
    • "The Murdoch Appreciation Society" starts with Murdoch investigating a murder victim found in a park, while Crabtree is on another case, the theft of a cadaver at a medical institute. The victim and the corpse end up being one and the same.
  • Worst Whatever Ever: In one episode, Henry is assigned to figure out a sentence from a piece of destroyed paper. The equipment to help him provided by Detective Murdoch looks like proto-Scrabble. However, Henry is not impressed and declares it "the worst job ever".
  • Writing Indentation Clue:
    • In the episode "Buffalo Shuffle", Murdoch uses graphite shavings from a pencil sharpener to raise some letters from a sheet in a notebook. He only finds some characters, so the meaning of the clue isn't readily apparent.
    • In the episode "High Voltage", Murdoch asks a hotel desk clerk about the occupant of a hotel room, and the clerk finds the relevant page from the hotel register is missing. Murdoch uses this method and a camera to recover a signature from the register's next page.
  • Written-In Absence: Dr. Ogden leaves Toronto for a job at a children's hospital in Buffalo at the end of series 3. She's still in Buffalo at the beginning of series 4, but returns to Toronto and her old job halfway through the series.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: "A Merry Murdoch Christmas" has elements of this with Inspector Brackenreid acting like the Scrooge or Grinch of the episode; however, he is obsessed with the Alpine holiday demon Krampus rather than Dickensian Christmas ghosts and there is also a "Miracle on 34th Street" plotline.
  • You Just Ruined the Shot: In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", Murdoch and Crabtree see a young woman aggressed by two men on the street, and immediately intervene. Turns out it's part of the movie shot by James Pendrick. One has to wonder how they missed the filming crew, which was only hiding Behind the Black.
  • Young Future Famous People: The series features numerous examples of either contemporary famous or soon-to-be-famous people, including:
    • In one season six episode, the Wright Brothers are interviewed (offscreen) three years prior to the Kitty Hawk flight.
    • Winston Churchill - at the time newly famous for his actions in, and accounts of, the Boer War - is a murder suspect in another episode.
    • Amateur painter Brackenreid sells one of his landscapes to a young Tom Thomson a decade or so before his rise to fame.
    • In the Election Day Episode a young girl who is inspired by the suffragist movement's female candidate note  turns out at the very end to be Agnes Macphail, who did in fact become one of Ontatio's first two female MPPs and later Canada's first female MP.
    • One season three episode features a young Harry Houdini still making a name for himself. In the same episode, Ruby Ogden is describing her journalistic work to Crabtree, mentions her interview with a firebrand named Vladimir Lenin, and warns the constable to "watch out for him".
    • The season 8 episode "Keystone Konstables" features Higgins and Crabtree going undercover as vaudeville performers. They share a bill with a young W.C. Fields, who bombs as a juggler before getting the idea to try Deadpan Snarker comedy.
    • The season 5 premier "Murdoch of the Klondike" features a young Jack London coming to Murdoch's aid in a bar fight when Murdoch is investigating a murder in the Yukon. Jack then serves as Murdoch's Watson for the rest of the episode, and gives Murdoch back his badge when Murdoch's about to return to Toronto. Murdoch unwittingly returns the favor when he uses the phrase "the call of the wild", inspiring Jack to write the book of the same name.
  • Your Other Left:
    • Murdoch calls this out to Constable Crabtree while plotting the bullet trajectory in "Big Murder on Campus".
    • Murdoch says this to Crabtree when he is directing him as they attempt to reconstruct the position of the rifleman in "Dead End Street".
    • In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", the right-handed version of this gag appears at a movie theatre as Murdoch has Crabtree sit in the seat of the murder victim and turn his head as if reacting to the film. Crabtree even speaks abashedly of confusing his right and the detective's.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: "The Murdoch Trap" opens with Murdoch unconscious in what proves to be a cage. He comes to hearing the voice of Julia repeatedly saying, "I forgive you, William," and he sees a mannequin that looks like Julia in a black dress hanging by the neck outside his cage. There's also a phone with a placard that threatens death if used and a film projector with a similar placard that says, "Turn Me On".
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