Created in 1949 in Britain, Cluedo
in North America) is the
iconic mystery board game. Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in North America) has been murdered in his own mansion and the six people that were present are now considered suspects. Players take the role of any of the six suspects and receive cards containing illustrations of the suspects, the rooms or the weapons. One card of each category is placed in an envelope. To play, the suspects must enter a room in the mansion and make a suggestion such as, "It was Mrs. Peacock
in the kitchen
with the candlestick!
" A different player can reveal a card that matches the suggestion to disprove it. To win the game, a player must make an accusation that matches all three cards contained in the envelope. If the accusation is wrong, the player must sit out for the rest of the game. Note that a player can accuse his own character if he believes himself to be the murderer. It doesn't make much sense if you think about it,
though they could have had amnesia
. Another way to look at it is they actually get away with the murder and escape
The popularity of the game has caused it to be remade into a plethora of different locations and decades over the years. See Themed Stock Board Game
. It was popular enough to have its own film
, book series (each chapter therein involves Mr. Reginald Boddy and his color-coded guests participating in some activity or another, which would form the basis of a puzzle for the reader to solve, and the final story always involves Mr. Boddy's murder), video game adaptations, a game show, and a Teen Drama miniseries
on The Hub
. The film itself (starring Tim Curry
) is considered a cult classic. There is even an unofficial inversion of the game, Kill Doctor Lucky
Compare Ten Little Murder Victims
, And Then There Were None
This board game contains examples of:
The book series provides examples of the following:
- Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Plum.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Subverted. Mr. Boddy installs what appears to be one of these in his Ball Room in one chapter, but the dangers, which appear to kill five of the six suspects, are in fact all Hollywood special effects, and nobody is actually harmed (in fact, the five who "died" willingly go through the ride a second time afterward and love it). Except for Mrs. Peacock, who was the last one left in the car and was so distressed by the incident that she spent the rest of the weekend in bed.
- April Fools' Plot: The first book has a chapter set on April Fool's Day, in which Mr. Boddy and the guests all play pranks on each other.
- Backwards-Firing Gun: "Midnight Phone Calls" has a chapter titled "The Guest Who Couldn't Shoot Straight". While hunting an escaped rhinoceros, the six guests are armed with revolvers, two that only shoot to the left, two that only shoot to the right, and two that work normally. At the end, one of the first four revolvers is pointed directly at the rhino, but apparently hits one of the other guests instead. (As usual, it turns out the "victim" isn't really dead - the bullet hit his own revolver's handle, and he fainted from fear.)
- Bookcase Passage: The second book features one in the study. It's also linked to one behind the fireplace and one behind the red chair, but doesn't say if it's linked to the one leading to the Kitchen.
- Catch Phrase
- Colonel Mustard: I challenge you to a duel!
- Mrs. Peacock: How rude!
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Pretty much everybody in their own way, but especially Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum.
- Concealing Canvas: Mr. Boddy's safe in the Study is hidden behind a duck painting.
- The Ditz: Professor Plum.
- Easily Forgiven: Everyone, all the time.
- Femme Fatale: Miss Scarlett, to the point where Mr. Boddy uses the trope name to describe her in one introduction, adding that "she takes it as a compliment".
- Grande Dame: Mrs. Peacock
- Hurricane of Puns: Oh so many, in practically every chapter.
- Jackass Genie: Mr. Boddy owns a crystal ball with one of these in it. The genie hates the guests, and is always rude to them and gives them scrambled answers when they ask (such as anagrams of "Get lost" and "Fooled you"). When they smash the crystal, the genie gets loose and goes around knocking out most of them.
- Killer Robot: In one story, Mr. Boddy gets a robot butler. One guests uses it to their advantage by ordering it to kill another guest.
- Lethal Chef: Book 3's chapter "Bad Taste" has the guests deciding to make lunch for Mrs. White and Mr. Boddy, and while all their creations are horrible, one of them is nearly fatal. Fortunately, Mr. Boddy had bottles of stomach medicine on hand.
- Not Quite Dead: EVERYONE who "dies" in this series turns out to be this. Except for poor Pitty-Pat, Mr. Boddy's pet bird who died in the first chapter of the first book.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: One of the mysteries revolved around the guests trying to figure out the password to the display case that held Mr. Boddy's latest treasure. It turned out to be, of course, "swordfish."
- Punny Name: Mr. Boddy's relatives, when they're mentioned, usually have these, such as his aunt Annie Boddy and his cousin Noah Boddy.
- The Scrooge: Mr. Green.
- Secret Path: Mr. Boddy has multiple secret passages in his mansion, most prominently the two that between the Kitchen and the Study, and the Conservatory and the Lounge, also featured in the board game. Others are discussed throughout the series, though they're usually only used in one chapter and forgotten about.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Mr. Boddy is killed in the final chapter of each book, then explains how he survived in the introduction of the next book.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Mr. Boddy was born on Friday the 13th. One story, set on Friday the 13th, involved the guests developing various phobias.
- With Friends Like These...: In the books Boddy is fully aware that his friends regularly try to kill him on multiple occasions. The problem is he's too terrified to not be friends with them if this is how they treat him on friendly terms.