''The Real Inspector Hound'' is a play by Creator/TomStoppard, first produced in 1967. The play revolves around two critics, Moon and Birdboot, attending the opening night of the titular PlayWithinAPlay (a transparent Creator/AgathaChristie spoof) before gradually getting sucked into the action themselves.

* AsYouKnow: Parodied to the hilt. ''All'' the characters in the PlayWithinAPlay indulge in this.
-->"I'm a friend of Lady Muldoon, the lady of the house having just made her acquaintance through a mutual friend, Felicity Cunningham"
-->"Major Magnus, the crippled half-brother of Lord Muldoon who turned up out of the blue from Canada"
* BilingualBonus: The French phrases that one of the characters rattles off while playing cards translate to something you might hear at a ''roulette'' table: "No more bets ... red and black ... zero!"
* {{Calvinball}}: The game of "Pontoon Bridge" in the play-within-the-play. When Birdboot ends up replacing Simon in the game, he has no idea what the other three players are doing, but when he throws a card down and shouts "And ''I'll call your bluff!''", Magnus groans and Lady Muldoon congratulates him; after another even more bizarre round, he tries it again with similar results.
* ChekhovsGunman: Played with.
* ClosedCircle: The play-within-the-play is a murder mystery of the "isolated house cut off by bad weather" variety.
* CutPhoneLines: In the play-within-the-play, the murderer cuts the phone wires of Muldoon Manor. It fails to prevent the phone from ringing again later in the scene after the play reboots.
* LesserStar: Moon is only the deputy critic (to Higgs) and feels bitter about that - he gets his own CharacterFilibuster on the plight of the understudy. Still at least he isn't Puckeridge - the understudy's understudy.
* MetafictionalTitle: ''The Real Inspector Hound'' is the title of both the play itself and the play-within-the-play.
* MrExposition: Mrs Drudge can hardly open her mouth without emitting poorly-shoehorned-in exposition.
-->I'm afraid there is no one of that name here, this all very mysterious and I'm sure it's leading up to something, I hope nothing is amiss for we, that is Lady Muldoon and her houseguests, are here cut off from the world, including Magnus, the wheel-chair-ridden half-brother of the ladyship's husband Lord Albert Muldoon who ten tears ago went for a walk on the cliff and was never seen again.
* OldDarkHouse: Muldoon Manor in the play-within-the-play.
* OnceMoreWithClarity: Done with a twist in the second act. Within the first act of the show on stage, there are several non-sequitur lines by the characters. In the second act, when [[spoiler:Birdboot, and later Moon, join the cast onstage]], these events are replayed again with expanded dialog that alternately makes more sense and comes off as even more non-sequitur.
* OneSceneTwoMonologues: The early conversation in which Moon reflects on the plight of the understudy theatre critic while Birdboot explains his designs on the play's leading lady.
* RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear: Every telephone conversation in the play-within-the-play.
* ShoutOut: The whole play is a parody of ''Theatre/TheMousetrap'' with references to ''Literature/TheHoundOfTheBaskervilles'' dotted throughout.
* ShowWithinAShow
* StrawCritic: Moon is an incredibly anally retentive over-analytical type who insists on comparing the play they are watching to the works of Creator/JeanPaulSartre. Birdboot is a Dirty Old Man who gives high praise to any actress he fancies seducing.
* StylisticSuck: The whole of the PlayWithinAPlay.
* TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat: The radio announcement in the play-within-the-play. (Made doubly fun by stage directions which suggest that the radio voice be pre-recorded for the show.)
-->'''Radio voice:''' The killer has been spotted in the vicinity of isolated Muldoon Manor.\\
'''Mrs. Drudge:''' Muldoon Manor?\\
'''Radio voice:''' Yes, Muldoon Manor.
* WhamLine:
-->'''Birdboot:''' [[spoiler:''[examining the dead body on stage]'' It's Higgs.]]