YMMV / The ClueFinders

  • Adaptation Displacement: A possible inversion in that there are two mystery books featuring the ClueFinders but more people have heard of the games.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Strangely enough, an In-Universe example. At the end of Mystery Mansion, Owen questions whether Carmen Sandiego was trying to trap the Cluefinders and trapped the other villains when they failed her, or if she wanted to trap the other villains the whole time.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The Evil Laugh in 4th Grade.
  • Designated Villain: Ms. Rose in Mystery Mansion. In 6th Grade, she averted this since she was an Anti-Villain. note  In Mystery Mansion, Joni seems to know that Ms. Rose is acting evil because of pollution and Ms. Rose confirms this. Yet after their adventure, none of them attempt to help Ms. Rose get back to her normal self.
  • Ear Worm: The Goo Song.
  • Genius Bonus: They contain loads of references to famous historical figures, scientific concepts, stories, and other things that the kids playing probably don't recognize. For example, the Goo Lagoon in 3rd Grade is full of references to famous British characters, such as The Beatles and Eliza from Pygmalion.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: LapTrap is just one letter away from being a completely different yellow Robot Buddy.
  • Narm:
    • The voice acting in Incredible Toy Store Adventure, since the voice actors wouldn't sound like actual children, they hired new voice actors. Let's just say... Narm and Dull Surprise abound...
    • One of the stone heads in Reading can be unintentionally funny, if you feed him the wrong answers. You must feed it the correct answer. But if you give it a wrong answer, it sounds like it's throwing up or choking. It actually does help cut down its creepiness though.
  • Ship Tease: Some people take the interactions between Santiago/Joni and Owen/Leslie in the early games as this, particularly the latter since they seem to be engaging in G-rated Unresolved Sexual Tension. A case can also be made for Joni's interactions with Owen in later games since she seems to only get annoyed with him in Reading but that's only because he's smitten with the princess they're supposed to helping.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Despite the fact that Carmen Sandiego's role as the mastermind behind the plot of Mystery Mansion Arcade is supposed to be a surprise, that doesn't stop her from being listed in the credits, which can be viewed before the game is even completed.
  • Technology Marches On: The kids keep in contact with each other using "videophones" invented by Santiago. At the time the games were made, commercial camera phones did not exist in North America and regular cell phones were not widely used by children anyway.
  • Toy Ship: Any possible romantic combination of the ClueFinders since Joni and Santiago remain 12, Owen 11 and Leslie 10.
  • Ugly Cute: Ficus, an ally of Leslie and Owen in 6th Grade is an eyeless plant creature... who's actually pretty cute.