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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* This is the basic premise in the mystery comic strip ''ComicStrip/LanceLawson''. In each installment Lance outright states who the culprit is, and the reader is challenged to guess what tipped Lance off to their guilt.
[[/folder]]


'''Lou:''' That was an episode of ''Columbo'', chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one.\\

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'''Lou:''' [[Recap/ColumboS02E01 That was an episode episode]] of ''Columbo'', ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one.\\


'''Lou:''' That was an episode of Columbo, chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one.\\

to:

'''Lou:''' That was an episode of Columbo, ''Columbo'', chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one.\\



* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', [[VillainProtagonist the main character]] is secretly an infamous mass murderer and the series follows his attempts to avoid suspicion from police and a few genius detectives.
* The [[LongRunners long running]] anime ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' does these occasionally to mix things up. Although showing the audience the crime itself is rare, often there's only one likely suspect from Conan's point of view, and he has to figure out how they set up a false alibi.

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* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', [[VillainProtagonist the main character]] is secretly an infamous mass murderer and the series follows his attempts to avoid suspicion from the police and a few genius detectives.
* The [[LongRunners long running]] long-running]] anime ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' does these occasionally to mix things up. Although showing the audience the crime itself is rare, often there's only one likely suspect from Conan's point of view, and he has to figure out how they set up a false alibi.



* ''Film/LesDiaboliques''. Alfred Fichet is investigating (on his own time) Michel's disapperance, who was killed by his wife and mistress. Alfred Fichet is the inspiration for ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', too.

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* ''Film/LesDiaboliques''. Alfred Fichet is investigating (on his own time) Michel's disapperance, disappearance, who was killed by his wife and mistress. Alfred Fichet is the inspiration for ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', too.



* ''Film/{{Frequency}}'' has shades of this. Although, it's less a howcatchem than a howproveit. The main characters find out who the killer is fairly early on...the problem is, they only find this out by collaborating over a 30 year time gap (they can communicate via ham radio). So, they somehow have to prove who the killer is to the cops, with evidence the cops will actually believe.

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* ''Film/{{Frequency}}'' has shades of this. Although, it's less a howcatchem than a howproveit. The main characters find out who the killer is fairly early on...the problem is, they only find this out by collaborating over a 30 year 30-year time gap (they can communicate via ham radio). So, they somehow have to prove who the killer is to the cops, with evidence the cops will actually believe.



** Although in ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal'' the investigators locate the assassin by pusuing a line of investigation based on [[spoiler: a false assumption regarding his true identity]].
* ''Captain Leopold Incognito'' had the variation that the villain (and reader) knew Leopold would be making an undercover investigation, but did not what identity he would be using.

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** Although in ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal'' the investigators locate the assassin by pusuing pursuing a line of investigation based on [[spoiler: a false assumption regarding his true identity]].
* ''Captain Leopold Incognito'' had the variation that the villain (and reader) knew Leopold would be making an undercover investigation, investigation but did not what identity he would be using.



* Occurs in the first two ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' books alongside regular whodunnits. In ''Terrier'', it's obvious early on that Crookshank is the one behind the fire opal disappearances, but they have a hard time finding proof. Everyone in ''Bloodhound'' also knows that Pearl Skinner is behind the counterfeits, too, but in addition to evidence they also have a Lord Provost who's ''terrified'' of her.

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* Occurs in the first two ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' books alongside regular whodunnits. In ''Terrier'', it's obvious early on that Crookshank is the one behind the fire opal disappearances, but they have a hard time finding proof. Everyone in ''Bloodhound'' also knows that Pearl Skinner is behind the counterfeits, too, but in addition to evidence evidence, they also have a Lord Provost who's ''terrified'' of her.



** This is also played with in some cases. The exact nature of the mysteries vary to the point where what exactly ''is'' the mystery differs between each episode. Sometimes it's "who did it", and sometimes it's "how do they catch them", but sometimes the mystery ends up being "how did they do it?" or "why did they do it?". In most cases it tends to be a combination of two or more of these, but exactly which question is the primary focus differs every time.

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** This is also played with in some cases. The exact nature of the mysteries vary varies to the point where what exactly ''is'' the mystery differs between each episode. Sometimes it's "who did it", and sometimes it's "how do they catch them", but sometimes the mystery ends up being "how did they do it?" or "why did they do it?". In most cases it tends to be a combination of two or more of these, but exactly which question is the primary focus differs every time.



* Episode six of ''Literature/TheConditionsOfGreatDetectives'' is played this way. When interviewing murder suspects, the cast decide instantly who he was and the murderer, though never out-right confessing, doesn't deny that he was the murderer. The rest of the episode is Tenkaichi trying to figure out his trick: [[spoiler: he never manages to]].

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* Episode six of ''Literature/TheConditionsOfGreatDetectives'' is played this way. When interviewing murder suspects, the cast decide decides instantly who he was and the murderer, though never out-right confessing, doesn't deny that he was the murderer. The rest of the episode is Tenkaichi trying to figure out his trick: [[spoiler: he never manages to]].



* Another example was the case against Al Capone. It wasn't a question of proving he was behind any particular crime, as everyone knew he was. It was a case of finding a case where his direct involvement in illegal activities could be proven, since he could otherwise claim any particular crime was one of his minions getting out of hand. Eventually they got a conviction... for tax evasion.

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* Another example was the case against Al Capone. It wasn't a question of proving he was behind any particular crime, as everyone knew he was. It was a case of finding a case where his direct involvement in illegal activities could be proven, proven since he could otherwise claim any particular crime was one of his minions getting out of hand. Eventually Eventually, they got a conviction... for tax evasion.


* The first murder in ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa'' is an unintentional example, as the victim literally [[CouldntFindAPen writes the killer's name in their own blood,]] but upside-down, and in enough of a way that the non-native English speaking cast mistakes it for something else entirely (as a Japanese audience would most likely assume as well.) Western players, however, would see the clue for what it is right away, and thus the mystery for them is more about ''how'' the killer did the deed, [[TropesAreNotBad which is a far more compelling mystery]].

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* The first murder in ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa'' ''VisualNovel/DanganronpaTriggerHappyHavoc'' is an unintentional example, as the victim literally [[CouldntFindAPen writes the killer's name in their own blood,]] but upside-down, and in enough of a way that the non-native English speaking cast mistakes it for something else entirely (as a Japanese audience would most likely assume as well.) Western players, however, would see the clue for what it is right away, and thus the mystery for them is more about ''how'' the killer did the deed, [[TropesAreNotBad which is a far more compelling mystery]].

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* The ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Defiance" starts with a political extremist sending a suicide bomber to stop a foreign diplomat from signing a treaty with the United States. (He fails.) The extremist in question is then shown to be a college professor for the diplomat's daughter; therefore, when she's kidnapped, it's no surprise when Team Gibbs finds out that he's responsible. It ends up {{Subverted}}, however, when the guy is found dead, revealing that there's another player involved with his own motives.
* The ''Series/NCISNewOrleans'' episode "Mind Games" starts by showing a serial killer finishing off her latest victim. When Team Pride discovers said victim, Gregorio calls an FBI profiler she studied under -- who is revealed to be the serial killer. Once she realizes that Gregorio is on the case, she decides to go after her, and Team Pride has to race against time to save Gregorio.


** Most of the time, the show plays with this trope. We usually see the crime as it happens, but we don't always know the killer's identity or motivations. In the episode "What Happens in Mecklinberg," the killer is always wearing a pig mask until the BAU figures out that the killer is [[spoiler: a woman]], at which point, the killer never puts the mask on again.

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** Most of the time, the show plays with this trope. We usually see the crime as it happens, but we don't always know the killer's identity or motivations. (Or in some particular episodes, we don't even know ''what's really going on'' because it's shown from the killer's point of view...meaning that if he thinks the puppet is a person, his mother is still alive, or the gangsters he's fighting are demons, we see that too, until everything's explained.) In the episode "What Happens in Mecklinberg," the killer is always wearing a pig mask until the BAU figures out that the killer is [[spoiler: a woman]], at which point, the killer never puts the mask on again.


[[caption-width-right:255:[[FrameUp Someone like... him!]]]]

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[[caption-width-right:255:[[FrameUp Someone "Someone like... him!]]]]him!"]]]]



[[folder:Live Action TV]]

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[[folder:Live Action [[folder:Live-Action TV]]



* Tex Avery's MGM cartoon "Who Killed Who?" plays this for laughs. The cartoon starts off with a live action figure explaining how the medium of the animated cartoon will depict a murder in demonstrating how crime does not pay. When the cartoon detective captures the suspect and unmasks him, it turns out to be the live-action guy.

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* Tex Avery's MGM cartoon "Who Killed Who?" plays this for laughs. The cartoon starts off with a live action live-action figure explaining how the medium of the animated cartoon will depict a murder in demonstrating how crime does not pay. When the cartoon detective captures the suspect and unmasks him, it turns out to be the live-action guy.

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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Tex Avery's MGM cartoon "Who Killed Who?" plays this for laughs. The cartoon starts off with a live action figure explaining how the medium of the animated cartoon will depict a murder in demonstrating how crime does not pay. When the cartoon detective captures the suspect and unmasks him, it turns out to be the live-action guy.
[[/folder]]


'''Lou:''' That was an episode of ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one.\\

to:

'''Lou:''' That was an episode of ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', Columbo, chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one.\\

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** Most of the time, the show plays with this trope. We usually see the crime as it happens, but we don't always know the killer's identity or motivations. In the episode "What Happens in Mecklinberg," the killer is always wearing a pig mask until the BAU figures out that the killer is [[spoiler: a woman]], at which point, the killer never puts the mask on again.

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[[quoteright:255:[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frank_sahwit.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:255:[[FrameUp Someone like... him!]]]]
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* A advertisement for ''A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder'' states that the musical is "not a whodunnit, rather how-does-he-do-it at times".

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** Monk figures out the who before the how so often that one of his recurring catchphrases is "I don't know how he did it, but he did it."


The "mystery" for the viewer is not "whodunnit" but "howcatchum." We know who, what, where, when, and why, perhaps in more detail than the detective will ''ever'' know. For the viewer, the question is: how will the detective solve what appears to be a perfect crime?

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The "mystery" for the viewer is not "whodunnit" but "howcatchum." We know who, what, where, when, and why, perhaps in more detail than the detective will ''ever'' know. For the viewer, the question is: how will the detective solve what appears to be [[ThePerfectCrime a perfect crime?
crime]]?

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