The musical provides examples of:
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Both the songs Never The Luck and Off To The Races come out of nowhere and add nothing to the plot, and neither does "Wages of Sin." It was just a popular song for Angela Prysock.
- Crack Pairing: The 2013 Broadway revival album includes the "Perfect Strangers" reprise, whose participants are selected by the audience each night. Setting aside the fact that the evening's murderer is ineligible as they've already been clapped off in irons, there are 21 possible combinations (three women and seven men). How did those in charge of recording the album decide to work in this song? By dividing the lines up among three of the crackiest pairings possible: Deputy & Puffer, Neville & Helena, and Durdles & Rosa. They knew their audience.
- Crowning Music of Awesome ("The Name of Love"/"Moonfall" (Reprise))
- Deconstruction: of The Soprano if Rosa is elected murderer, since her situation causes her to lash out violently after years of passivity.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Jasper, on and off the stage. The script even mocks the idea of choosing such an "obvious" culprit for the murderer, and includes a Fake Out confession song even if he isn't picked.
The book provides examples of:
- Nightmare Fuel: A fair portion of the book, but the scarab Drood puts in Wilkie's chest and the spirits (or whatever they are) that live in Wilkie's house, particularly Other Wilkie, are probably the shining examples.