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Literature / The Westing Game

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It's not what you have, it's what you don't have that counts.

A murder-mystery epic Newbery Award winning novel by Ellen Raskin about sixteen heirs who compete to win a $200 million inheritance from the late Samuel W. Westing. Westing, for his own reasons, has set up a game of his own, set in a very large, cushy building where the heirs and their families are basically trapped into staying; the only clues he gives the players are seemingly nonsensical words printed on paper towel squares. Figure out the clues and the answer should be obvious... but maybe not.

The book inspired a 1997 TV movie starring Ray Walston and Ashley Peldon. HBO Max also greenlit a Westing Game TV show in September 2020.


This book contains examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage:
    • The subtext behind Angela Wexler and Dr. Denton Deere's engagement is that Grace hand-picked a brilliant doctor for her perfect daughter, who went along with it because she's The Good Daughter.
    • It's outright stated that Westing's wife Crow did the same thing with her daughter and a politician, which led to the daughter's suicide.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Westing attends the will reading and sessions of the Game in the guise of one of the heirs.
  • Batman Gambit: The "trial" to prove Crow's innocence in both Westing and Sandy's deaths is actually an attempt by Turtle to gather all the information she needs to win the game. Ford eventually realizes this, but as she isn't privy to all the clues or Turtle's thoughts she isn't able to figure out what Turtle does.
  • Berserk Button: Don't pull Turtle's braid unless you want a good hard kick in the shin. And never talk down to Chris in front of his brother Theo.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Angela is the bomber.
    • Madame Hoo is the thief.
    • Jake Wexler is the bookie.
    • Sandy is The Chessmaster behind the entire situation.
  • The Big Race: Doug's track meet, which occupies more of his attention than the Game does.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Inverted with Turtle, who is extremely protective of her shy older sister Angela. She freaks out when she thinks Theo knows Angela's the bomber, so Turtle takes the blame for all the bombings to protect Angela. On the other hand, Angela cares a great deal for Turtle too, and gets herself hurt when she yanks the third bomb away from Turtle's face.
  • A Bloody Mess: When the first bomb goes off, Mrs Theodorakis appears to be covered in blood, but it's just tomato sauce.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Flora Baumbach's car's hood also comes open in traffic, a few pages after another heir follows a (false) lead to check under the hoods of the vehicles in Sunset Towers' parking lot. Guess they didn't secure Flora's properly afterwards.
    • Otis shouting "Boom!" to scare people teaches Madame Hoo this word, which eventually becomes Team One's totally-random answer.
    • Jake Wexler, the podiatrist, is also a bookie, though this is only mentioned in passing once or twice. At the end of the book, Ford pulls strings to have him appointed to a government panel determining whether to set up a state lottery. The epilogues reveal that he later becomes State Gambling Commissioner, and finally the state crime commissioner.
    • Sydelle injures her leg (again) just in time to attend the heirs' reunion on crutches.
  • Call to Adventure: The whole plot gets kicked off, after everyone has moved into Sunset Towers, by Otis Amber, prompted by Sandy/Westing, telling Turtle, Theo, and Doug the "ghost story" about the Westing House, thus encouraging them to go explore it and find Westing.
  • Captain Obvious: Sydelle, when trying to get someone to admit to being a twin.
  • Cassandra Truth: "It's not what you have, it's what you don't have that counts." No one even thinks about that until the final meeting, and they still misinterpret it, and yet it was completely accurate. The goal of the Westing Game was to deduce the fourth alias used by Sam Westing, three of which were known acquaintances of all the players, although the players didn't know those people were alter egos of Sam's. Once the winner of the game figured out what the real goal was, it was very easy.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Otis Amber exclaims "Boom!" at random times to scare people after the first two bombings.
    • "Purple waves."
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Otis Amber. A fellow who at first seems to just be a rather ditzy delivery man (or "boy", as he's first introduced even as he's also noted oxymoronically to be an old man), turns out to have Hidden Depths in his love for Crow and participation in her soup kitchen, then is revealed by Judge Ford to be a private detective, when she looks one up in the phonebook to investigate the heirs, who also was hired by Barney Northrup to locate all the tenants for Sunset Towers, and also was hired years ago by Westing himself.
    • Sandy/Barney Northrup. A fellow who at first seems to be either a kind and helpful doorman who once worked in Westing's factory or the smarmy real estate agent who sells everyone their apartments in Sunset Towers turns out to be the same person, and also Sam Westing.
  • Chess Motifs:
    • Sixteen heirs, or eight pairs, which Theo notices is the same as the number of pawns in a game of chess.
    • Sam Westing, as well as being The Chessmaster, is reputed to be extremely skilled at the actual game of chess.
    • Judge Ford recalls that during her final chess game with Sam Westing, he tricked her into letting him checkmate by giving her the opportunity to take his queen. She later draws a parallel between the "Queen's Sacrifice" and the Westing Game, since exposing Crow as a murderer would distract most of the heirs from the real objective.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
  • Collector of the Strange: Flora Baumbach's late daughter collected fabric swatches from her mother's dress shop.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Invoked in-story by Sydelle, who always paints her crutches to match her clothing as a form of attention. Played for particular relevance when she dressed in the colors of the U.S. flag to sing "America the Beautiful".
  • Consummate Liar:
    • Westing.
    • Turtle.
  • The Coroner: Sikes, who is an important accomplice to Westing's scheme.
  • Death by Newbery Medal:
    • Turtle has to face death: first by finding Westing's (fake) dead body, then by witnessing the (fake) fatal collapse of her doorman friend Sandy, and finally (as a grown woman) by staying at the bedside of the (really) dying Mr. Eastman.
    • The deaths of James Hoo, Berthe Crow, and Otis Amber are mentioned as well during the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. They all died of old age, and not much emotional hay is made of their passing.
  • December–December Romance: Otis Amber and Crow, who are both in their 60s-70s and who end up getting married near the end of the book.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Prior to the final meeting of the game, Jake and Grace Wexler fill out their forms under the influence of alcohol, causing Jake to list his position as "bookie" and Grace to include her Embarrassing Middle Name. Or so they assume. Paying careful attention (the narration explicitly says Doug writes down "miler" as his position on the form, but the form when read says something different) reveals the forms were altered.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: This is heavily implied to be the reason why Angela became the bomber— nobody, least of all her own mother, ever treats her like a person, making all of her decisions for her and limiting their conversations to compliments ("How pretty you look, Angela"). The only exceptions are Turtle, Sydelle, and Crow, and they're largely spared from her bombing campaign for it. The trope is lampshaded by Judge Ford, who unthinkingly refers to Angela as "a pretty young thing" and then realizes how dehumanizing she, and everyone else, has been to her.
  • Disability Alibi: Sydelle teases Chris that maybe he's the one getting away with murder, since his neurological disability gives him the perfect alibi. Keep in mind that because of his condition, Chris is paraplegic, has extremely poor motor control, and a severe Speech Impediment. Needless to say, he loves the attention.
  • Eat the Evidence: Turtle consumes their clues after she and Flora have memorized them.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: Sam Westing.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Grace Wexler has a tendency to list her maiden name as "Windsor" instead of "Windkloppel." Sam Westing also had "Windkloppel" as his last name before he changed it for commercial reasons.
  • "Eureka!" Moment:
    • Sydelle realizing the clue words formed "America the Beautiful".
    • Ford realizing Westing had played them with the "Queen's Sacrifice".
    • Numerous Red Herring examples occur also as the various pairs have "breakthroughs" with their clues that they think are the answer. (Examples: "Ed Purple-fruit!", Turtle thinking the clues are the names of stock options they should invest in, Theo thinking the clues form Amber's name and the chemical formula for an explosive...)
    • Turtle has a very quiet one during the trial, when she realizes both that the will actually said "the one who finds the fourth" and what this actually means, thus solving the Westing Game.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Judge Ford has an internal one when she is quizzing Turtle about the planting of the fourth bomb. She correctly deduces that Turtle is protecting someone, and initially suggests that it's the least likely person the judge can think of: Turtle's older sister Angela. Turtle's extreme denial shocks Ford, who thinks to herself "Angela couldn't be the bomber, not that pretty young thing" ... and then realizes that she just referred to a grown woman as a "thing." Ford proceeds to reflect on her - and everyone's - interactions with Angela, and realizes that people treat her like a dressed-up doll, complimenting her on her looks or clothing but never talking to her like a person or peer.
  • Exact Words: In Sam Westing's will addressed to the heirs, he says that he didn't die of natural causes but instead "my life was taken — by one of you!" The heirs all take this to mean that one of them killed Westing, but note that Westing never actually said that he was murdered or even that he's dead — what he really meant was that he gave up his life as Sam Westing to become Sandy McSouthers. Or, alternatively, that his "life" was his daughter Violet, whose suicide his ex-wife (Crow) had unintentionally provoked.
  • Exposition Party: The dinner party Ford throws for all the heirs reveals a lot about each of them to the reader, even as they're trying and largely failing to learn much of any use about each other.
  • Faking the Dead: Sam Westing. TWICE.
  • Flat Character:
    • Mr. and Mrs. Theodorakis, who barely appear and, outside one Backstory conversation, have hardly any lines.
    • Doug Hoo doesn't have much character either, aside from resenting his dad's constant nagging to "go study".
  • Game Between Heirs: The main premise. Samuel W. Westing chose sixteen people apparently at random as his heirs; the book opens with them summoned to hear the reading of the will. He leaves everything to the winner of the puzzle he calls The Westing Game. Who will win?
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Subverted; Turtle and Angela seem to be the textbook Smart One and Popular One, respectively, but they're closer to each other and probably understand each other better than anyone else, and Turtle probably has more friends than Angela, while Angela is very smart herself, enough to get into medical school. Turtle is one of the few characters (along with Pulaski, Ford and Westing) who works out that Angela was the bomber after Angela pulls an about-to-explode bomb away from Turtle and towards her own face. Turtle then claims to be the bomber to protect Angela (it helped that everyone else suspected her anyway), going as far as to plant the fourth bomb.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The winner never tells anyone else that the game was won, nor what the answer was.
  • Haunted House: The Westing mansion, supposedly.
  • Hidden Purpose Test: The entire will. On the surface it is about giving away the Westing fortune, and claims to be about solving Sam Westing's murder/bringing the killer to justice. In actuality it's testing the heirs to see who is smart enough to figure out not just the obvious clues but the real purpose, and helping all of the characters to change, grow, and achieve better lives.
  • Jerk Jock: Downplayed, as Doug Hoo is nice to his mom and seems friendly with Theo, but he's often a smartass towards his dad and treats Turtle quite poorly, even going as far as to intentionally provoke her by yanking on her braid before running away.
  • Insufferable Genius: Dr. Deere starts off as one, insisting on diagnosing all the guests despite only being an intern. He gets better.
  • Irony: For the entire book, Grace claims she is the only true heir of Sam Westing. With her maiden/middle name having been "Windkloppel", the same as Westing's real name, it seems she, and by extension Angela and Turtle, are the only actual blood relatives among the heirs. (In fact, Westing/Sandy/Eastman calls Grace "my niece" during the epilogue.)
  • It Amused Me: The entire plot amused Sam Westing. As just one example among many, although he chose sixteen people as his "heirs" who (seemingly) had nothing to do with him or each other, he rather tongue-in-cheekly calls them his "sixteen nieces and nephews" in the will...even though most of them were the wrong age, or race! However, Westing does call Grace "my niece" in the epilogue.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: The "trial" conducted to prove Crow's innocence consists of a judge dressing in native African garb (because Ford had decided to let her hair down and be Not So Stoic) and a prosecuting attorney who is both an annoying little girl and (it's believed) a confessed bomber, in a courtroom that's just an apartment. Lampshaded by Ford herself.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Although no one wins the game or inherits the fortune (except Turtle), everyone's lives become better for having been part of it and the Character Development they gained from it. As Chris said of the Odd Couple pairings, "Everyone was paired with the perfect partner, given exactly who they needed", though they didn't know it at the start.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Westing set up the game to give this to all the players.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Grace Wexler provokes one when she decides to rename James Hoo's restaurant "Hoo's On First". James understandably complains that his restaurant is on the top floor of the tower, and that people who come looking for Hoo's On First might just assume that the Theodorakis coffee shop (which actually is in the lobby) is it.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: Kicking shins is a major emotional defense mechanism for Turtle, which becomes important to the plot because several clues involve people limping.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Every character has a role to play.
  • Location Theme Naming: Windy Windkloppel and his various aliases scattering to the four winds... WESTing, NORTHrup, EASTman, and McSOUTHers.
  • Madness Mantra: "purple waves" supposedly was for the ghost story told at the start of the book.
  • Meaningful Name: "I am Berthe Erica Crow. I am the answer and I am the winner."
  • Missed the Call: It's revealed that Sydelle Pulaski was the "mistake". The intended heir was a person named Sybil Pulaski, but the PI screwed up and found Sydelle instead.
  • Mistaken Identity: Angela's Arranged Marriage echoes Violet Westing's, which at one point causes The Ophelia Crow to think she is Violet, and to treat her like a daughter all the same. Considering Grace may actually be related to Westing after all, this may not be far from the truth.
  • Never One Murder: Westing's suspicious death kicks the plot into action, followed by Sandy's death later. Subverted, as there was really only one "victim", and he didn't actually die either time: both deaths were staged as part of the Game.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Mess with Turtle's braid and you'll get a good kick in the shin. The fact that she lets Flora braid her hair is a key indication of how much Turtle comes to trust and care about her Game partner.
  • Nonindicative Name: The windows of Sunset Towers face east, the direction in which the sun rises. Lampshaded in the very first sentence.
  • Not So Stoic: J.J. Ford deliberately embraces this trope so people will take her seriously.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Sydelle Pulaski tries this with her crutches in order to get attention, but anyone who pays close attention to her at all realizes that her limp is faked. She also asks Chris Theodorakis, who uses a wheelchair, if he has any ability to use his legs at all - ostensibly to see if he's a possible suspect in Westing's death, but actually to draw the normally isolated boy into a conversation he'll enjoy.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Otis Amber, who is actually a private detective working for more than one person.
    • Sandy McSouthers, who is actually one of Windy Windkloppel's multiple alternate identities.
  • Odd Couple: The players are paired up, usually with someone they seemingly have nothing in common with.
  • Odd Friendship: The result of several Odd Couple teams.
  • One Degree of Separation: While at first it seems none of the heirs have anything in common, or even a reason to be heirs, it turns out every character or their family does have a connection to the Westings.
    • The Wexler family are actually related through Grace.
    • The Theodorakis family are connected through Theo and Chris's father, who dated Violet Westing.
    • Flora Baumbach made Violet's wedding dress.
    • Judge Ford's family worked for Westing and he put her through school.
    • The Hoo family connection is that Mr. Hoo was a competitor who blamed Westing for stealing his invention.
    • Crow was Westing's wife.
    • Otis Amber had worked for Westing as a detective.
    • Sandy McSouthers supposedly worked at the Westing factory.
    • Sydelle Pulaski is the lone exception, having been included after she was confused for a friend of Crow's named Sybil Pulaski.
  • Only in It for the Money: Applies to most of the heirs at the start (once they find out why they have been summoned, that is). By the end, most of them have realized other things are more important, to the point that very few are that upset they lost the game. It doesn't hurt that each pair receives $10,000 at the beginning and end of the game just for playing.
  • Only Sane Man: Ed Plum seems to think he's this when compared to the heirs, particularly when Ford and Turtle call their gathering a "court" to which he must submit the rest of the will before fleeing Sunset Towers. Among the heirs, Dr. Deere often acts like he's this; if anyone actually is, though, it's Judge Ford.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Turtle starts clinging to Flora Bambauch as her mother figure, feeling ignored by Grace.
    • Crow grows to see Angela as a daughter substitute.
  • Playing Sick: Sydelle Pulaski and her "wasting disease."
  • Pretty in Mink: Grace Wexler during the reading of the will.
  • Private Detective: Judge Ford hires one to investigate the other heirs, in hope of figuring out what Westing was up to. The detective is Otis Amber, who's secretly been working for Westing (under two names) as well as Judge Ford.
  • Rear Window Witness: Not a crime, but Chris is a witness to Sikes going into the Westing House just before Westing's body is discovered, thanks to his bird-watching.
  • Red Herring: A number of them many planted by Sandy/Westing himself.
  • Running Gag: Many, such as Dr. Deere incorrectly and/or sententiously diagnosing people's illnesses, Sandy winking, Sydelle's crutches, "Boom!", Turtle kicking shins, "Windkloppel"...and every one ended up being relevant and important!
  • Scare Dare: Turtle accepts one to stay overnight in the Westing mansion.
  • Scars Are Forever: Angela keeps the scar she gets from shielding Turtle from the third bomb.
  • Secret Message Wink: Sandy the doorman playfully winks at his game partner Turtle whenever he secretly references a past clue that might help them solve the game, and she loves it when he does. This turns out to be important when he winks as he appears to be dying, revealing that he isn't actually dead, his identity as Sandy is fake and he wanted to pull his character out of the game.
  • Small Reference Pools: Used by the characters; except for one joke vote, everyone thinks the quote "May God thy gold refine" comes from either Shakespeare or the Bible. It's actually from a lesser-known verse of "America the Beautiful", and is a clue.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Sam Westing, Judge Ford, Theo and T.R. Wexler, the only person ever to beat Westing at his own game.
  • Snowed-In: The inhabitants of Sunset Towers are snowed in for several days early in the Game, leaving them with a lot of time on their hands to ponder the clues and get paranoid about each other.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The closest thing to a pure literature example.
  • Speech Impediment: Because of Chris's neurological disorder, he frequently stutters or has difficulty forming words or complete sentences at all. This sometimes causes others to mistakenly believe that Chris is mentally disabled as well — which is a Berserk Button for his brother Theo.
    Theo: My brother is not an infant, and he's not retarded, so please, no more baby talk.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Sandy's limp, when Turtle knew she had never kicked him gave away he was actually Barney Northrup.
    • When Theo has Doug spy on the chessboard for him to learn that his secret opponent is actually Sandy. Not only is this fact in and of itself strange since Sandy had claimed not to know how to play the game, but Theo's supposed winning move is actually Westing's classic "Queen's Sacrifice", thus letting Ford realize who Sandy was.
  • Stepford Smiler: Angela Wexler and Flora Baumbach
  • Sticky Fingers: One of the inhabitants of Sunset Towers steals random objects throughout the novel. Madame Hoo is the thief, in hopes of raising money for a return to China. She confesses in the middle of Turtle's trial, having misinterpreted it as being connected to her activities, and returns the things she stole.
  • Switched at Birth: Discussed, after Turtle makes herself look like the bomber to protect her sister, Grace tells her husband that she believes the hospital must have mixed up the children to have ended up with Turtle. Jake actually calls her out on this by suggesting this exact reasoning could've been why she supposedly made the bombs.
  • Taking the Heat: The bomber was Angela, but Turtle willingly takes the blame to protect her sister.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: At several points during the will reading, the will responds to the reactions of the heirs. Apart from a couple of interruptions that were staged by Westing himself in the role of Sandy, no explanation is given beyond the implication that Westing had studied them all closely enough to predict their reactions.
    • "Sit down, Grace Windsor Wexler!"
    • "Sit down, your honor, and read the letter this brilliant young attorney will now hand over to you."
  • Themed Aliases: The big reveal surrounds someone's aliases selected by this trope: Windy Windkloppel chose the aliases "Sam Westing", "Barney Northrup", "Sandy McSouthers" and "Julian R. Eastman".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Turtle and Angela Wexler, respectively.
  • Too Clever by Half:
    • Turtle. Including when she outsmarts herself, such as assuming the clues are stock options and the will's directive to "Buy Westing Paper Products!" is to be taken literally.
    • Sydelle makes similar mistakes at times.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: James Hoo eats plenty of chocolate bars during the course of the novel, because of his ulcer. Jake Wexler becomes quite fond of the Hoo restaurant's spareribs.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The back cover proclaims that only two people have all the clues to the mystery: a Westing heir and you (the reader). This gives away the fact that one of the heirs is secretly Sam Westing himself.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Barney Northrup and Sandy McSouthers are the same man, who is also Sam Westing and Julian Eastman.
  • The Unfavorite: Turtle is ignored and insulted by her mother because she's not an obedient girly girl like Angela.
  • Unfortunate Name: Windkloppel, which neither Grace Wexler nor Sam Westing cared to admit to. Ed Plum's otherwise-inoffensive name gets him singled out as a suspect by one of the teams.
  • The Unreveal:
    • During the reading of the will, Sandy McSouthers makes a joke, cutting off the lawyer before the last word in the third section is read. We never do find out what the last word is... because there is no last word; the will actually reads, "The one who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the... FOURTH;" referring to the fourth identity of Westing himself.
    • The cross necklace Turtle takes with her to ward away vampires when she explores the Westing House gets lost and left behind; as a result it's later assumed to be one of the items stolen by Madame Hoo. Turtle sees it, inexplicably, held in the hands of Westing's corpse at the reading of the will, but no one else notices it. It's never mentioned in the article about the discovery of Westing's body, and after it being noted as not among the returned items, it's forgotten about completely.
  • Wedding Bells... for Someone Else: Angela spends the book unsure about her upcoming marriage to Dr. Deere. At the end, all of the characters attend a wedding implied to be theirs until it's revealed to actually be for Otis and Crow, as Angela had called off the engagement. (It is stated that she does marry Deere later, but on her own terms.)
  • Wham Line: "Please place your gun in the custody of the court."
  • What an Idiot!: Invoked in-story, and self-inflicted, when Ford realizes that she (and everyone but Turtle) had fallen for Westing's "Queen's Sacrifice" again, this time in a non-chess setting.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The last three chapters detail significant events the heirs experienced during the twenty years after the solution.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Grace Wexler spends a large part of the story making elaborate preparations for the wedding of her daughter Angela, unaware that Angela is having major second thoughts. In the end, the preparations are instead used for the wedding of Crow and Otis Amber.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess:
    • Bordering on Gambit Roulette. Westing pretty much manipulated everyone, but as Sandy points out he did make at least one mistake by including Sydelle Pulaski. Of course, Westing is Sandy...
    • Turtle's "trial" suggests she's developing a talent for this, too.

Tropes unique to the 1997 TV movie include:

  • Adaptational Backstory Change:
    • Otis has a grudge against Sam Westing for taking credit for one of his inventions, similar to James Hoo's reason in the book for mistrusting Westing.
    • Sydelle Pulaski used to work as a secretary for Sam Westing, giving them a stronger connection than their book counterparts.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Downplayed; while Turtle is still the one to put together all the clues and figure out both that the clues were implicating Crow, but that the real mystery was who the "Fourth" was, she no longer is involved in trading on the stock market and it takes a discussion with Sydelle to realize that her sister is the bomber.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Mr. Hoo's first name changed from "James" to "George".
    • Grace's maiden name has changed from "Windkloppel" to "Klopplehoff". She also doesn't use a fake maiden name, and admits to Turtle that she felt disgusted when Sam Westing dropped that name.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Sandy McSouthers acts less innocent in this version—as one example, note how more certain he sounds that the will means one of the players murdered Westing.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Grace doesn't treat Turtle as The Unfavorite.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Otis doesn't act as naïve as he did in the book.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Sam Westing was the one who forced his and Crow's daughter into the Arranged Marriage, and made Crow the prime suspect of the game because he felt bitter at her, for not trying to cancel the marriage before their child became Driven to Suicide.
  • Adapted Out: The movie lacks Madame Hoo, Theo Theodorakis, and Flora Baumbach (pairing Turtle with Chris as a result). It also changed some of the remaining heirs' personalities and motivations.
  • Ascended Extra: Ed Plum replaces Dr. Deere as Angela's fiancée.
  • Demoted to Extra: The increased focus on Turtle and Chris makes this affect all the other heirs to a degree, but Jake Wexler, Doug Hoo, and Dr. Deere in particular don't even get to play the game. Dr. Deere only appears once in the whole movie.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Turtle realizes that the clues could form a song by putting the words "fruited" and "plain" together.
  • Flash Forward: As Turtle and Mr. Eastman discuss how positively the game seems to have impacted the heirs' lives and relationships, he lets Turtle know what bright futures he hopes they will all have (eg, Angela graduating medical school, Chris becoming a champion chess player, Otis and Crow getting married), and asks Turtle to tell him when they come true.
  • The Summation: Turtle gives one to Julian Eastman, explaining how she figured out his alter egos, with clips of the movie illustrating for the viewers.


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