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The ClueFinders team
- Badass in Distress: Any time she ends up captured by the threat of the game.
- The Big Gal: Along with Owen, she's one of the more physical members of the team. Often charging headfirst into danger.
- Blind Without 'Em: She can't see without her glasses.
- Catchphrase: "I dunno, but we're gonna find out!" and "Let's go, Santiago."
- Character Tics: In idle animation in many of the games, she wrinkles her nose and glares at the player or plays with one of her braids.
- Crazy-Prepared: Infrequently but when she is this trope, it's pretty impressive.
- Fearless Fool: Initially. She grows out of it.
- Fiery Redhead: More controlled than the average but she does have a temper.
- The Leader: She's this to the Cluefinders.
- Meaningful Name: Her last name, befitting her wild and hotheaded personality.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The Energetic Girl to Santiago's Savvy Guy.
- Team Mom: Mild case as she tends to make sure her friends are okay (which includes such things as making back up food supplies for picnics and knocking sense into Owen) and really doesn't like it when they're put in danger.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Despite her rough-and-tumble appearance and personality, Joni's quite enamored with the Egyptian jewelry in the tomb they visit in 4th Grade Adventures, or at least until the ring won't come off.
- Designated Victim: He shares the role of being the standard kidnapping victim with Leslie, especially when they're paired up. Primary evidence for this trope is "Toy Store" where Santiago and Leslie get shrunk and trapped in a bubblegum machine after being played up as rescuing Joni, Owen and Laptrap (who had gotten shrunk with the cable car the group rode to the titular store in and then got kidnapped, albeit unintentionally, by the game's villain).
- Exposed to the Elements: Inverted. His standard outfit of a hooded sweatshirt over an undershirt and blue jeans has been worn in every game save Math Adventures (where it would have been this trope given said game takes place in the Himalayas) and 4th Grade (where he switched the sweatshirt for a t-shirt), meaning he's worn said sweatshirt in such locales as South America (3rd Grade), a tropical island (5th Grade) and San Francisco (6th Grade).
- Foil: To Joni.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He's the expert in all of the tech and even programs their floating computer buddy.
- Humble Hero: While he doesn't exactly say Think Nothing of It, he tends to shy away from compliments on stuff that hasn't been proven to work yet.
- The Lancer: He functions somewhat as the second-in-command of the team and his calmer personality contrasts with Joni's impulsivity and passion. He comes with a side of the tech side of The Smart Guy.
- Mr Fix It: He can fix up any broken invention or mechanical marvel.
- Nice Guy: The majority of his inventions are either to further the crew's mission or just to be helpful in general.
- Not So Above It All: Has two major moments of this over the series: telling Joni, quote, "I guess this (taking a ring from the Egyptian tomb they visited) makes you an international jewel thief" in 4th Grade Adventures and participating in the pizza topping argument at the beginning of The Mystery of Microsneezia.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The Savvy Guy to Joni's Energetic Girl.
- The Big Guy: The least brightest and also one of the most physical capable members of the team. Sixth Grade even has him leaping about a cliff-side to crack boards up.
- Big Eater: Especially when there's pizza.
- Idiot Hero: Notably the only one in the main cast.
- The Load: He offers the least obvious contribution to the team aside from being the Plucky Comic Relief.
- Opposites Attract: Has a G-Rated version of this with Leslie.
- Sunglasses at Night: Given he never takes off his signature shades, this is bound to happen.
- Surfer Dude: Skateboarding is more his game but he does remark "Dude, where's my board?" when a tsunami interrupts the group's sailing trip in Fifth Grade. Plus his dialogue does evoke this trope.
- The Rival: To Fletcher as they're both totally radical.
- Totally Radical: Most, if not all, of his dialogue.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza. According to his character card, his favorite saying is "I never met a pizza I didn't like".
- Badass Bookworm: Unfortunately doesn't often get to showcase the first half of the trope. That said, in 6th Grade Adventures, she's a crack shot with a slingshot.
- Birds of a Feather: Her dynamic with Santiago.
- Foil: To Owen.
- Girly Girl: Sort of. While not the stereotypical one, Leslie is considerably more feminine than Joni.
- Grandaddy's Girl: She very obviously adores her grandfather when he appears in 5th Grade.
- Magic Skirt: Nary a Panty Shot to be found. Granted, this may or may not be due to the fit of the skirt but it's hard to tell.
- Not So Above It All: Participates in the pizza topping argument at the beginning of The Mystery of Microsneezia.
- Out of Focus: In a unique way. She's the character with the least games as a playable character to her name (since she's only playable for about half of 5th Grade and Toy Store and only truly has 6th Grade to her name as the whole group was playable in 4th Grade).
- Shorter Means Smarter: While it's hard to tell, she is the shortest team member and definitely the smartest.
- The Smart Girl: According to background information, her first word was "encyclopedia." As an older child, she is quite a bookworm.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Leslie tends to talk in long words, probably as a reflection of how smart she is.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Bubble gum in The Mystery of Microsneezia.
- Cowardly Lion: Constantly petrified by the threats the adventures bring the gang into but he's quite fond of and protective of the kids, to the extent that his sudden lack of care for their safety in The Mystery of Microsneezia is a major flaw in S.N.A.I.L.'s disguise that winds up unmasking him completely.
- Deadpan Snarker: Never misses an opportunity to snip at pretty much anyone he thinks is being less than intelligent. Owen is the most frequent target but all of the kids have gotten some of his snark.
- The Eeyore: Tends to always look on the gloomy side of things.
- Informed Species: His nickname is "The Turbo Turtle". You'd probably never would have guessed otherwise...
- Omniglot: Though this could be justified by him being a computer.
- Robot Buddy: Was originally meant to serve as a military bot but a flaw in the programming turned him into this, originally for Joni's uncle and eventually for the Cluefinders.
- Token Robot: The robotic member of the team.
- You Don't Look Like You: Has a more Disk-Shaped appearance in 4th-grade.
Villains of note
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Appears to be a nice and helpful pilot, but when the kids find the keys to the lost city of Numeria, his offer to take Joni and Santiago there leads to them being abandoned in the middle of nowhere.
- Evil Is Hammy: More so in Mystery Mansion but has his moments in Mystery of Mathra as well.
- Evil Poacher: Steals animals purely for profit and when there's even a chance Joni and Santiago are onto him, he abandons them in the middle of the jungle, several feet in the air.
- Punny Name: A fletcher is someone who makes arrows. Limburger is a kind of cheese and sounds similar to "Lindbergh", the last name of a famous airplane pilot.
- Unexplained Recovery: How he escaped the island to show up again in Mystery Mansion.
Sir Alistair Loveless III
- Card-Carrying Villain: He has no trouble admitting that he's a "villain" and "an evil man...up to no good."
- Dastardly Whiplash: The wardrobe is a bit updated (top hats and bowlers are pretty passé nowadays, etc.) but otherwise he fits very well into this archetype.
- Evil Eyebrows: His eyebrows are so evil, they curl upwards.
- Evil Laugh: He does at least one in almost every scene he's in.
- Mummy: Gets turned into one by Set. He's gotten better as of Mystery Mansion Arcade.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Loveless"...you think this is a bad guy? (Completely right, as he will admit.)
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Martinet seems to be channeling a bit of Vincent Price in his performance. Loveless looks like Price himself as well.
- Obviously Evil: Even without the name, he might just as well be walking around under a neon sign reading "BAD GUY". Humorously enough, even The Other Wiki observes in its article on the game that there's something off about him. "In one scene, he cackled manically for a long time in the typical villain fashion, before coughing and explaining that he swallowed his mint."
- Preppy Name: Noble title? Check. Old-fashioned first and last name? Check. Roman numeral at the end? Check.
- Unexplained Recovery: No longer a mummy in Mystery Mansion.
SetThe ancient Egyptian god of chaos.
- Cold Ham: He's very dramatic, despite hardly raising his voice at all.
- Evil Gloating: He spends pretty much all his screentime doing this. In fact, this is what allows the ClueFinders to get the drop on him while he's distracted.
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: He's the evil god of chaos, and he has yellow sclerae with no pupils.
Dr. Horace Pythagoras, Joni's uncle
- Distressed Dude: The 3rd Grade Adventures starts with him being kidnapped by Mathra, which brings the Clue Finders into it. Mystery of Microsneezia features a similar plot, with the Clue Finders having to go to the titular island to rescue him after he sends Joni a distress signal.
- Honorary Uncle: Implied to be one to Santiago since he's just as enthusiastic about greeting the boy as he is his niece and Santiago is just as relieved as Joni that he's all right.
- Only Sane Man: He's the only member of his team not to believe Mathra is behind the animal disappearances.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He's practically a male Joni in appearance, down to the eyeglasses.
Socrates, Joni's dog
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After his appearance in "4th Grade", vanishes until "Reading" and then never appears again.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: He's the first one of the team to realize that Alastair Loveless is a bad guy, saying that "he smelled like trouble."
- Remember the New Guy?: Is introduced as Joni's pet and all the characters are familiar with him. The audience on the other hand has never met him before.
- Talking Animal: Averted despite coming from an island of these. His thoughts are audible to the player, but not to the characters in-universe.
- Team Pet: Technically, by virtue of being the pet of the team leader.
Captain Clark, Leslie's grandfather
- Doting Grandparent: Appears to have this kind of relationship with Leslie.
- No Name Given: His first name is never revealed.
- Anti-Villain: Yes, she wanted to attack and enslave the humans but it was only because the humans were poisoning her people's water supply. She releases and cures her prisoners once the water is clean again.
- Cool Old Lady: Implied.
- Damsel in Distress: Subverted. When Leslie finds her crutch in the underground world of the plants, she thinks she's been kidnapped. Actually, she's the plant leader.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Even prior to Mystery Mansion she seemed to have a screw loose and would cycle between acting concerned about Joni's Transflormation and smugly taunting the protagonists about it.
- Walking Spoiler: As you can see, discussing her involves a lot of reveals.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her plots for world domination are only due to a polluted water supply.
- Mr. Exposition: Explains what's happening and what they need to do to Owen and Leslie once they get underground.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Or in this case, the master thief that came out of nowhere.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Justified. It's to keep everyone from finding out her true identity.
- Face-Revealing Turn: The figure is hidden behind a swivel chair in the shadows. When the chair does turn around it's the Lady in Red herself.
- Unexpected Character: So that's where Carmen Sandiego has been all along!
- Walking Spoiler: Almost all the tropes here have white spaces for good reasons.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Maybe. Could be the reason why she sent the other villains into their traps after they failed.