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Tabletop Game: Clue
aka: Cluedo

Created in 1949 in Britain, Cluedo (Clue 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.

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:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Prof. Plum, in most versions.
  • Apron Matron: Mrs. White.
  • Ballroom Blitz: The murder has a one in nine chance of being this.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The naming scheme partly does this.
  • Corrupt Church: Rev. Green (the implications of this don't sit well for American audiences, supposedly, which is why he's turned into a Corrupt Corporate Executive "Mr. Green").
  • Designated Victim: Dr. Black / Mr. Boddy.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Many iterations of Clue were made based on popular franchises including The Office, 24, Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Sponge Bob Squarepants, Scooby-Doo, Alfred Hitchcock, Sherlock Holmes, The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror, and The Haunted Mansion.
  • Eagle Eye Detection: A necessary tool to weed out the killer, especially in the SNES video game version (you'll need pen and paper for that one).
  • Economy Cast: Supplementary material and adaptations in other media will frequently try to explain why there are six and only six suspects in a Big Fancy House where only one man lives that should have multiple servants at any given time. The most common is something to the effect of: Mr. Boddy was an eccentric millionaire who inherited the house from his parents but has no surviving family. One weekend, while the rest of the servants had the weekend off (with the exception of live-in maid Ms. White), he decides to throw a private party for his closest friends. While there, they become trapped in the house by a thunderstorm knocking trees over the road, blizzard, etc. While they're isolated on Boddy's estate, only then does one decide to kill him.
  • Femme Fatale: Miss Scarlett
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It is possible for a player to accuse themself; this is obviously to prevent the game from becoming unwinnable for that player.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Three men (Green, Mustard, and Plum) and three women (White, Peacock, and Scarlet).
  • Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter: Some players giggle at the implications of things like "Miss Scarlett with the candlestick in the Hall..."
  • Grande Dame: Most versions of Mrs. Peacock.
  • Great Yellow-hued Hunter: Col. Mustard.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In recent editions, Mrs White is depicted as a young woman. Granted, she doesn't look exactly "sexy", but considering that her older incarnation was an overweight Apron Matron...
  • The Killer In Me: Your character has a one in six chance of this trope.
  • Knife Nut: Possibly. It is one of the ways Mr. Boddy could be killed off.
  • Lady in Red: Miss Scarlett.
  • Market-Based Title: "Clue" in North America, with Miss Scarlett losing a "T", Rev. Green being defrocked, and the distinguished Dr. Black given the pun name Mr. Boddy.
  • Meaningful Name: The six suspects have their last names associated with the color they're wearing (peacocks are blue, scarlet is a shade of red, and so on). And of course, there's Mr. Boddy. The British victim, Dr. Black, is sometimes illustrated as wearing black. Depending on what version you're playing, there may be various characters added in besides the main six, such as Emily Peach or Graham Slate-Grey.
  • The Movie: One in that rare genre, board-game-to-movie adaptations. What next, ''Man to Queen: A Pawn's Journey"?
    • Not so rare. Ouija, Monopoly, Candy Land, Risk, and even another adaptation of Clue are all in development, and Battleship came out in 2012. However, it is rare in that the 80s Clue is generally considered a good movie.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miss Scarlett.
  • My Card: Parodied in the VCR Mystery Game. Mr. Green hands Professor Plum a card that says "Lyman Green, business."
  • Novelization: There's a series of books based on the game. All of them give clues in the story and invite the reader to try to guess who did whatever crime occurred in the story. The crimes ranged from figuring out who stole something, to figuring out who ate a piece of pie, to (at least once per book as the Grand Finale) trying to find out who murdered Mr. Boddy. Status Quo Is God in these stories, so Mr. Boddy would always somehow survive and the criminal would either be forgiven or undiscovered entirely.
  • Old Dark House
  • Pretty in Mink: Miss Peach (an expanded character in some versions), wears a white fox wrap in the VCR Mystery Game.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: During the dinner scene in the Clue VCR Mystery Game.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Cluedo" is a pun on "Ludo" (an abbreviation of the Latin for "game"), the British name for the game known to most of the rest of the world as Pachisi (or Parcheesi, or Sorry!).
  • Punny Name: Mr. Boddy - Body
  • Race Lift: For a while in the '90s Miss Scarlett looked Asian.
    • In some recent editions, Mr. Green is black.
  • Red Herring: Sometimes wily players will suggest one of their own cards in their investigation in an attempt to mislead the other players into thinking he/she doesn't have it, and/or decrease their chances of being shown a card they've already seen.
  • Re Tool: Every few years, there is a new attempt to modernize the setting. It rarely ever lasts long, and it inevitably reverts to the Genteel Interbellum Setting.
  • Secret Underground Passage
  • Sequel Hook: In the miniseries.
  • Sinister Minister: Rev. Green in the original version.
    • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The North American version made Mr. Green an oil tycoon, making his name into a subtle pun on his wealth.
  • Southern Belle: Miss Peach (an expanded character in some versions), is portrayed as this in the VCR Mystery Game. A Meaningful Name, since Georgia (the state, not the country) is famous for its peaches.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The VCR Mystery Game includes a dinner scene in Boddy mansion where almost all of the guests end up poisoning something that is served at dinner.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: When the winning player realizes that they were the actual culprit.
  • Tontine: In the VCR Mystery Game version, Mr. Boddy does a variant in his latest will where the last surviving person among those who attended the reading would claim the entire inheritance. Naturally, all sorts of attempted murders occur.

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.
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alternative title(s): Cluedo
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