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It's Curtains is a short-term murder game in the style of Dangan Roleplay and Trustfell with a musical twist: all characters involved will be from various musically-inclined canons. That means stage musicals, movie musicals, musical episodes of TV series and more—if it's a musical, it's welcome!

Round 1 began on October 10th, 2016 and the final log went up November 28th, 2016. After a three-and-a-half-year break, Round 2 began on June 28th, 2020, and Round 3 ran in 2021. These three rounds mark the first story, and while a fourth round has been announced, it's intended to be in a different continuity.

The main blog for It's Curtains may be read on Dreamwidth here, and the blog for deceased characters interacting with the world of the dead here.


This game provides examples of:

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    All Rounds 

    Specific to It's Curtains Round 1 
  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: For both Anna and Natalie, though not remembering their canon love interests at first helps. Not the case for Seymour, sadly for Winslow, but in the very last week, Seymour remembers his girlfriend's dead, and he eventually realizes and admits that even if he does still love the departed Audrey, he returns Winslow's feelings too.
  • Accidental Truth:
    • Billy H's Last-Second Word Swap in this thread. He makes up a fake superhero... named Batman.
    • Seymour initially posits, without any confidence whatsoever in the very first meeting with him, that the Balladeer was Forced into Evil and is as much of a captive as they are. This turns out to be accurate.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Hans makes a snide comment on the age gap between his ex and her new boyfriend (18 and 30), even though there was even less of a problem with that in his day; he's just being petty.
  • Alto Villainess: Averted — since there's no one below a mezzo-soprano in the female cast, you can't play guess-the-killer with Genre Savvy. (Not that that would matter anyway, given the RNG.) Lovett was one, though.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Yes, soup cakes like the one Astarte makes in Week 4 actually exist. They're a lot better than they sound, too, and far from the weirdest cakes out there (a few recipes from the early 1940s include salt pork).
  • Ambition Is Evil: The Management equates ambition with willingness to kill. They lure The Mole in with promises of a way to a better life and, if Max is any indication, did the same with the stage crew.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Seymour in the final trial, trying to convince Winslow not to try self-sacrifice and offering himself as another option.
    "No you don't. I can't let you sacrifice yourself! I can't let the last thing I love die—!"
  • Anti-Love Song: Anna's "So What" after Hans dumps her. She didn't consider the two of them to be an item anyway.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The picture diary of previous cast member Mark Cohen. Anna finds it in Javert's room and reads all about the previous show.
  • Arc Words:
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Anna gives one to Hans in the fifth afterparty, confronting him about having grown a feeling.
  • Armour-Piercing Slap: Anna delivers one to Cain at his confession.
  • Asshole Victim: Gabe accidentally died from his own trap to kill Hime. Darla was also this, though she wasn't targeted for being a bad person.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Astarte's secret motive was a verse from Genesis. Cain, possessing her, leaves torn-up pages of Genesis around after he kills Javert.
  • Badass Boast: The Cast's declarations during the "Rainbow Riot" vandalizing the box office. Well, most of them.
  • Ballad of X: Most of the Balladeer's songs, even if they aren't ballads.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Everyone in deadland, which Javert and Judas comment on. The Round 0 dead, aside from Judas, were able to move on to their afterlives after Judas's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Bastardly Speech: Hans tries to save his reputation like this a few times. Anna always cuts him off at the pass.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Heather/Natalie/Anna group.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Javert, with no crimes to prosecute, wishes for his purpose back, and then the motives and murders start coming... For extra Dramatic Irony, the first is a wish motive.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Three different couples each have one right in the final trial.
  • Big Entrance: The Balladeer for almost every motive. The mastermind outdoes him in the final trial, heralded by music and lights and pretending to be The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Big Secret: To see who might have had incentive to kill after the secrets motive, everyone is made to give up their greatest secrets. Though it does have an ill effect on some of their reputations, specifically Hans's and Darla's, their secrets don't actually bear on the case. This even applies to the culprit. Gabe didn't so much kill for his secret as because he liked becoming real, wanted to stay that way, and thought he could get away with it.
  • Blackmail: There's a secret motive and a mole-reveal motive, both of which are these.
  • Bland-Name Product: The furniture polish is Vow instead of Pledge.
  • Bleak Level: While investigations are never happy, the final one starts talking about real murders (and links one — a tape of a famous assassination). To make it worse, albeit unintentionally, the tag in question initially forgot the Content Warnings; this is joked about later.
  • Body in a Breadbox: Darla's body is found stuffed into a washing machine.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Many of the characters' contributions to the final Reprise Medley are from their canons, but weren't their own songs originally; for example, "The Last Change" was Usagi's song even if it was associated with Astarte's important scenes, "Seventeen" belonged mainly to Veronica and had nothing to do with Heather McNamara, and while Hime took part in "Ima Koko Kara," in canon she only had one solo line in it.
  • The Bore: The Pirate King is definitely not this, but tries to be such intentionally for a week so that the Management will find the exercise too dull to continue. It doesn't work one bit.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Natalie/Jezebel.
  • Break The Game Breaker: Astarte is able to regain her Transformation Trinket provided that it doesn't work.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody seems to believe poor Astarte about her weird life. Jezebel gets this, too, but as she's physically obviously a demon, it helps matters.
  • Central Theme: Can be read as "There's nothing wrong with a happy ending" and "There's a difference between healthy self-acceptance and being stuck in a prescribed role, refusing to change." On a meta level (fittingly), there's a third: "Character Development is a good thing and a roleplayer doesn't have to play everyone as static Flat Characters to avoid being called OOC." With this and the Mastermind's attitude towards happy endings in murdergames, the Central Theme could just be "Take That!, Anoncomms."
  • Casting a Shadow: Someone in management has this power and uses it for executions. At least, that's what it looks like.
  • Character Signature Song: Many of the characters sing their own from their canons. It's also the first indication that some of the Round 0 cast joined the crew, as a stagehand appears in the climax of Case 5 quoting "How Bad Can I Be."
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The book To Kill a Mockingbird, for Astarte. Natalie recommended it to her in Week 3. She was going to read it after finishing The Stand in Week 5, and was just about to that Thursday night... only to realize that she doesn't remember reading it, or even going to bed for that matter - only that she woke up the next day...
    • For a more general example, in week 5 Billy H. began making plans (with Natalie) to build a blow torch. Two weeks later in the final investigation, he's finished it and uses it to open a locked door.
  • Counterpoint Duet: Valjean and Javert's song in the intro log about how they don't recognize one another but are each assured of the other's identity thanks to the playbill.
  • Cry into Chest: Anna does this to her boyfriend Billy when they find Javert dead.
  • Culture Clash: In the end, D-ne and Hime expected a Japanese-style Denny's, which is very different from the American ones the Liminal Denny's is based on.
  • Curse Cut Short: "And it hasn't gotten me LAI—" Cue the door swinging open.
  • Cute Kitten: The "Grizabella Plush" item.
  • Darkest Hour: Week 4 begins with a depressing Halloween party and most of the characters remembering their own Darkest Hours from canon, such as Seymour being eaten, Eliza losing her son, and everyone close to Heather apparently killing themselves.
  • Dark Reprise: "The Ballad of Hook (Try it and See)" and "Time After Time (Reprise)" are both this. One is an execution song reversing the roles of singer and subject, the other is a sad reflection on better times.
  • Death Equals Redemption: D-ne, the first culprit, starts her execution defiant and quickly becomes desperate. The Balladeer gives a Wham Line that sends her into a Heel Realization, and she just gives up and wishes the surviving cast members luck.
  • Death Wail: Anna at the second body discovery and again at the fourth.
  • Declaration of Protection: Hime promises Anna that she'll protect her and the others instead of running away, and Anna swears that she'll do the same. It doesn't work out for Hime, who's lured out after a fake victim and killed.
  • Demand Overload: Referenced In-Universe with the "Ultimate Treasure" item: tickets to Hamilton.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Heather is not taking being trapped well; after the very first murder, she decides that everyone should comply and stop trying to escape, and after the second, she says there's no point even in that.
    "No! Don't you get it? Even if we make it out of here, there's no guarantee we'll make it out there!"
    • Seymour has his own when he remembers dying to the monster he created, as does Eliza during the same week, recalling her son's death.
    • Javert has one when Eliza dies.
  • Diegetic Music: Jezebel's and Natalie's Duet Bonding songs, but not the Dark Reprise from the following week. Also, "Party Has Come" and, depending how you read it, "Without You."
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Hime first assumes that the Pirate King is this sort of pirate.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Most of the characters were flat-out offended by the money motive.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Natalie at the third afterparty.
    Natalie: Remember earlier when I said you were a really bad liar? I take it back.
    Billy Harris: Huh? Why? I mean, not that that's not a good thing, but it's kind of, uh. Well, you just said.
    Natalie: I am retracting that statement because you're not just a bad liar. You are, like, the worst liar I have ever met.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being pushed to the side and belittled every time she can't handle a situation, Astarte finally claws her way back to the surface and forces her Superpowered Evil Side to shut up in the third investigation.
  • Doing In the Wizard: The execution shadows are just stage crew members in black robes.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Natalie snaps at Astarte when she tries to apologize for concluding that Gabe was the second culprit.
  • Dresses the Same: Hans's biggest concern as Halloween approaches is accidentally matching his grudge-holding ex.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Very common once the bar opens.
  • Dual Wielding: Anna, of all people, ends up dual-wielding a frying pan and a kitchen knife in one scene.
  • Duet Bonding: Natalie and Jezebel singing pop love songs.
  • Due to the Dead: Afterparties. Eliza also starts making a memorial quilt, and eventually, Anna makes a large memorial.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Defying Gravity" is a crucial part of the final trial, as is a Reprise Medley that takes place in both the living and dead worlds at the same time.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Eliza about the box in the second trial.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: A few are made at Billy Flynn's expense.
  • Exact Words: As he always does, Hook in his MTB uses these insistently to try to prove his innocence when he's guilty as sin.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Seymour trying to turn Winslow down by saying he doesn't like him that way, just as a really good friend who's too nice to him and understands him and whom Seymour wants to run away with and live happily and... wait, that means he is in love with Winslow, doesn't it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Once she realizes who the killer likely is, Astarte only asks the Balladeer for time before the vote to ensure her other self would be made to confess. Cain, of course, is the exact opposite.
  • Faint Inshock: Eliza faints at the first body discovery.
  • invoked Fan-Preferred Couple: Jezebel starts reading supernatural teen romances and complaining about the main pairings. In one, she ships the lead with her best friend instead.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Everyone's stories about their worlds, all together, overwhelm the more normal cast members.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Jezebel decides to write Fix Fic of the Trope Namer.
  • Filk Song: Most of the songs, though some are used unaltered.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Almost the entire cast. Within the first few days, Astarte sees something is very wrong and goes around surveying everyone for what year they're from.
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    • Done by each of the culprits from cases 1-4. D-ne knew Valjean was old and when she could catch and overpower him, Gabe identified that Hime was naive and would believe any cry for help, Hook knew that Darla had a sweet tooth and would take advantage of anyone offering to cook for her, and Cain knew of Javert's despair over Eliza and his trust in Astarte.
    • The heroes end up doing it in the fifth case. Specifically, they know the Management does everything for the sake of an interesting show, and they argue that screwing the Cast over would make the audience ragequit.
    • The players even get to pull one in the final trial. When they realize that the Leading Player can read their commentary and use it against them, they create a private chatroom just for the players of the 11 survivors (10 player characters plus Ascended Extra The Balladeer) to plot. The name of the private chat? The (mobile) Box Office.
  • Flipping the Bird: When Billy Harris has run out of patience, he vandalizes the lobby by burning a large middle finger into the wallpaper. Fromme later gives the double deuce when she's leaving the show.
  • Food Slap: When Hans tells Anna what he tried to pull at home, she throws her drink on him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Wow, a garden and even a bakery alongside the usual kitchen and bar? There's someplace to eat on every floor! Sure enough, there's also a motive where each floor is sealed off.
    • The Balladeer is an Identical Stranger to Billy Harris. They use this to Twin Switch a few times, and when Billy sees that the Balladeer is holding back in the fifth trial out of fear of the Management, he takes on the Balladeer's identity so that the latter will feel free to tell the truth as "Billy."
  • Foul Flower: After learning more about the Man-Eating Plant back home, Seymour starts to suspect every plant in the Opera House of being one of these. He gets better.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: One of the discoveries in the final investigation made no sense to the Cast, but was aimed at the players behind them. The Leading Player has the password to the mod account.
  • Frame-Up: The Management's stage crew frames Seymour for killing Natalie.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Anna channels her fanon cousin to rescue her boyfriend from a stagehand.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: Hans reveals that the Management always refers to the mastermind as "they." He concludes that the only reason that the crew would have to do that would be to protect the identity of the mastermind because that person must be a woman.
  • Genuine Imposter: In the fifth trial, we have Billy Harris pretending to be the Balladeer pretending to be Billy Harris, so that the Balladeer can pretend to be Billy Harris pretending to be the Balladeer. Phew!
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Anna starts out not remembering being engaged to Hans (or, for that matter, dumping him) and gets into Ship Tease with Billy Harris.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: In the fourth trial.
    Dark Cain: Evil? So relative. You could never understand.
    Anna: No. I don't understand. And I don't want to. Ever.
  • Grief Song: "Javert's Discovery," "Time After Time (Reprise)," "Without You" — okay, this is a musical with a lot of death, these are going to be everywhere.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted. In the fights Billy and Anna take part in, he has a laser and she has a frying pan.
  • Hair Color Spoiler: Anna's white streak is gone, so she must be post-canon.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Dark red Hans and light blond Balladeer.
  • Here We Go Again!: When Hans finds bloodstains in a late investigation, he grumbles that they'll have to do yet another strip search.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • At the fifth body discovery, Anna, coming downstairs with a pie for Natalie, stops and goes near-unresponsive. With the shock plus the strain of the motive, she can't even register that someone is dead.
    • At the end of the trial, it's Billy Harris who's shellshocked, and Anna who's helping him back to his room.
  • Heroic Suicide: The Showrunner tries to bait one of the cast members to do it in the final trial. Judas took the bait last time.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Very much averted with Fromme. She's the only one of the Round 0 stagehands who doesn't make a Heel–Face Turn. The Cast tries to get through to her, but her Card-Carrying Villain demeanour disgusts them, and she just goes home instead.
  • Hot Consort: Billy H. and the Balladeer. Natalie would count, too, were Jezebel not a Fallen Princess.
  • Humble Pie: The events in Week 3 that lead to Hans's canon misdeeds being exposed to the Opera House. His reputation takes a dive, though he tries to preserve his image until very late in the game, and he's forced to deal with the fallout, reflect on what he's done, and actually change throughout the remainder of the story.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Seymour's entry in the program is peppered with plant puns.
  • "I Am" Song: Darla's "Haven't You Noticed" about being a child star. Javert's "Reflection" also has elements of this.
  • I Believe That You Believe It: Raoul's response to Astarte's story of "angels" in the Silver Millennium. He notes that he feels this way about most of what she has to say.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Merchandise Booth sells suspicious meat pies. As to whether they're made of people like in the Shout-Out source material, no one's saying.
  • Immoral Reality Show: Seems to be the reason the participants are called "actors."
  • Impersonating an Officer: D-ne in the first murder, attempting to frame Javert.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: The Balladeer, posing as Billy Harris, isn't as affectionate towards Anna. Subverted when it's actually Billy pretending to be the Balladeer pretending to be Billy.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: A Running Gag is Anna insulting Hans and bringing up his past misdeeds when he's still right there, even after his Heel–Face Turn. Well, he did deserve it.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: Deconstructed; food from the Merchandise Booth is still fresh despite no apparent source, but in this game, the Cast gets grossed out thinking about it and most of them decide not to eat anything from out of there.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Hans when he sees Javert's body.
  • The Insomniac: Almost everyone in the locked-doors motive, especially those who don't take the opportunity to nap in the mobile box office under management's noses.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: Heather sees the Immoral Reality Show they're in as something akin to this, concerned more at first with what the people back home will think than the unreal-seeming threat of actual death. Of course, being from The '80s, she predates online video streaming, but the principle is the same.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Pretty much a requirement when a character from that metacanon is present, and it's finally more or less fulfilled in the third trial, where Astarte uses it as a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner (well, pre-voting).
  • Ironic Hell: After Seymour remembers dying, he and Heather start to wonder if the Opera House is this. Time will tell if they're right or wrong, but he later starts thinking he was wrong.
  • Irony:
    • Dark Cain, posing as Astarte, calls for a strip search in the first trial; this accomplishes nothing. A few weeks later, that same person is guilty themselves, and strip searches have now become commonplace; a strip search exposes his guilt.
    • Hans's predicament in the final trial. The one whose villainous reveal in canon came from denying Anna True Love's Kiss has actually learned to love and Anna herself pushes him to try and save the Balladeer with a kiss. And he actually tries!
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: One piece of final investigation evidence is completely useless to the Cast, but crucial to the Dénouement, where the Balladeer uses it to log into the mod account, gaining the Leading Player's powers.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The pictures Anna finds in Javert's room include a selfie of the previous occupant, Mark. He notes along with the photo that he's heard that worlds after his time like them, but doesn't think his world would take to the practice.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Winslow when he finds that Seymour's taken.
  • I Warned You: The Balladeer said his bosses would give up if they didn't get any results, but the cast just had to start taking the incentives.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Yes, Darla was a terrible person and got what was coming to her. Her killer is still portrayed and received as pure evil for it, though, due to falling for a money motive, targeting Darla because she looks like a child instead of for her personality or deeds, and killing the sympathetic Eliza as well.
  • Kill It with Fire: Billy Harris's response to the trapped-on-one-floor motive is to try to build a blowtorch.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the second case, with the help of a wooden cow tied to a dressmaker's dummy. The dummy, set as bait, is grabbed and flies down the stairs just as the Booby Trap goes off, then hits the culprit.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Billy Harris, making more of a mess when he tells Natalie about his world's superheroes and is trying and failing to keep out the part where he ended up being a supervillain. He stops himself at the end by saying, "I'm not really a leader or anything. Not like Ba—"
  • Laundromat Liaisons: A lot of threads, especially early on, when the pre-industrial and/or too-rich-for-this characters are learning how to use the washers and dryers.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Balladeer, in his introduction, seems to be commenting not only on the cast's circumstances but also on the murdergame genre's popularity. This turns out to be crucial to endgame, where it turns out that he actually was hinting that he's completely aware that this is a Journal Roleplay.
    " have no idea how many people watch things like this."
  • Left for Dead: When Eliza's hit with the teapot, it doesn't kill her right away. Hook dumps her in the cold storage room first.
  • Let's Duet: Listing all the examples would take over the page.
  • Little "No": Hans at the Balladeer's death.
  • Love Epiphany: Seymour at a very inconvenient time.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: Billy H. worries that this might happen until Anna assures him that there's nothing wrong with their relationship.
  • Love Triangle: Hans tries early on to win Anna back while she's falling for Billy Harris. Winslow starts to show interest in Seymour, who has a girlfriend back home, even if he's worried that she might not have been saved in the end like he was. Finally, Anna discovers that there was another love triangle within the previous cast.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: Billy Harris doesn't believe in magic, just superpowers. Hans thinks they're the same thing.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: The Balladeer describes the Management's world-crossing, time-bending powers as "stage magic."
  • Make a Wish: The first motive.
  • The Makeover: Heather offers these as a "charitable service."
  • Married at Sea: ...Kind of. There's no actual boat involved, but during the final trial, when they're hoping to provide a distraction, Billy H. and Anna ask The Pirate King to perform a quick ceremony. PK throws evidence in the air in exultation at the "I Do's."The gesture is more symbolic than anything, but the participants don't have any intent of consummating until after they get married "for real" anyway.
  • Medal of Dishonor: A Tony Award is among the generic Merchandise Booth items. Given that "acting" in this "production" means taking part in a Deadly Game...
  • Medley Overture: The first log with the Balladeer has many of the characters all singing their own songs at once, rewritten for the situation.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: The survivor pool takes a break to hold a wedding for Billy Harris and Anna. Right in the middle of the final trial. Just to tick off the mastermind. She's delighted.
  • Mistaken Identity: In case 5, Billy H. tries to invoke this by claiming to be the Balladeer so that the real one can tell the truth about what he saw. It gets complicated when the Balladeer not only goes along with it, saying Fromme only thought it was him in the box office, but tries to get himself executed as "Billy" so the real one can take on his identity and spy for the Cast. Billy has no intention of sacrificing the Balladeer, and the truth comes out at the end of the case.
  • The Mole: It slowly begins to seem that there is one among the Cast. Even the Balladeer didn't know about it. In week 6, the Management confirms it; it turns out to be Hans.
  • Moment Killer: The Showrunner's Big Entrance in the final trial interrupts Hans's attempt at giving the Balladeer True Love's Kiss.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the first trial when D-ne is tearfully confessing and the Pirate King goes to teach her his own song. And it's heartbreaking.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Hans goes ahead with his Halloween party with the justification that the most recent victim was looking forward to it and would have wanted it to go forward.
  • Murder Ballad: "Murder! Murder!" courtesy of Javert. Machine Gun Song Battles are also this, twisted, as they have the culprit trying to deny what they did.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: In backstory, Music Meister killed Mark because he was dating Mag. Of course, it didn't end well for MM...
  • The Musical: Both in the sense of applicable canons (though Musical Episodes are welcome) and the game itself being a text-based musical where characters still break into song.
  • Musicalus Interruptus: Happens fairly often.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Cain sure thinks this of killing his host body. Granted, back home, that was true.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Seymour reacts poorly to remembering the end of his canon in Week 4. Billy Harris does the same about his own, plus his attempt to save the Balladeer.
  • Necessarily Evil: After the third case, Seymour asks the others if voting for the culprit is this or if some people deserve to die.
  • Necromantic: Seymour and Hans become this, aiming to find a way to revive their respective love interests, after the realization that the Management can bring people Back from the Dead. Hans later discovers that the Balladeer was already revived.
  • Never Say That Again: Natalie's reaction when Jezebel makes a cheesy pun.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Natalie offers this explanation when Jezebel is disappointed by a poorly-written romance novel and asks why the protagonist would give a second thought to her Domestic Abuser.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Raoul and the Pirate King, who form an Odd Friendship.
  • No Place for Me There: Many of the characters end up feeling this about the worlds they came from.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Billy H. stands up to Hook when he's mocking Anna and Natalie in the second trial.
  • Not as You Know Them: Valjean and Javert are thrown by one another's appearances, being taken from different performances by different casts.
  • Not Me This Time: In Week 5, both Seymour and Winslow suspect that their canons' respective villains are behind everything.
  • Not So Above It All: When Billy H. works up the nerve to snark back at Hook, Billy F. and Eliza are stifling their laughter and attempting to look dignified.
  • Odd Name Out: The fifth execution song is called "Connect" rather than fitting the Ballad of X pattern.
  • Oh, Crap!: Natalie and Astarte, followed by everyone else in Case 4, when they realize Astarte can't remember a very substantial length of time prior to that case's investigation.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: D-ne whenever she's cornered.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with the two Billys (Chicago and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog).
  • Opposites Attract: Sweet and hopeful Jezebel with sarcastic pessimist Natalie, nervous wreck Seymour with proactive and angry Winslow, and worldly, downtrodden dork Billy Harris with sheltered princess Anna.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: A lot of what goes on when trials and meetings turn into arguments. Hans does it constantly. The Leading Player, especially in her letters and notes, is a master.
  • Pass the Popcorn: The Leading Player suddenly has popcorn during the final trial when Billy Harris and Anna decide to get married on the spot.
  • Persona Non Grata: Once the truth comes out, Anna bans Hans from ever returning to her country.
  • A Plague on Both Your Houses: The fourth culprit curses the living and vows to come back to haunt them before he dies.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: During week five's execution, the Balladeer begged the Management to spare Astarte and only kill Cain. Sadly, it didn't work.
  • Please Wake Up: Astarte does this when she finds Hime, whom she hoped would live, dead. A few weeks later, Anna does it to Natalie after the latter's been shot.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Max walking into one of the pictures in Mark's collection obscures J.I.'s identity.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: To real life. Billy Harris calls a would-be thief "some kind of uninspired Stephane Breitwieser copycat," while the person in question has no idea who that is.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jezebel when Natalie is found dead right after their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Precursors: A major part of the plot is the cast discovering a game like theirs has happened before to different participants.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Averted. Poor Balladeer.
  • A Rare Sentence: Used in OOC text on occasion when more serious characters like Javert or Billy refer to case 1's "arm thing" or case 2's dummy made of a dressmaker's dummy torso, fake head, wig, dress, and "stunt cow" on wheels.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Used twice, both by Anna. First it was when Astarte revealed she's not human in Week 1. The second time was in Week 3 with Hans's reluctant confession of his secret.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Encouraged! Most songs are taken or adapted from musicals, and those that aren't are still preexisting songs.
  • Redemption Rejection: If you read it over again, the thread linked here is D-ne rejecting her chance to turn back before she kills.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Anna/Billy in Week 3. In Week 6, Billy H. proposes to Anna and Jezebel kisses Natalie after they bond over cute movies and no sleep. During the final trial, Billy H. and Anna get married.
  • Reprise Medley: Just like in the Medley Overture, the final trial has one with the survivor pool and the dead singing different songs, usually from their own canons but not always.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Astarte imagines the Balladeer having one. Doubles as Chekhov's Gag, as the culprit of Case 4 acidentally leaves a plush one behind as a clue.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Raoul finds a hidden letter that's riddled with spelling mistakes.
  • Running Gag: Gross mid-twentieth-century food, jokes about Hook and syphilis, and Anna insulting Hans in front of his face.
  • Rustproof Blood: Averted, especially in case 5, which notes dry, brown blood specifically.
  • Sacred First Kiss: HANS, of all people, gets nervous and ends up reluctantly admitting that for all his pretenses of being a romantic, he's never actually kissed anyone and certainly didn't want to ruin his first one trying to save his amnesiac crush in front of a bunch of other people.
  • Saying Too Much: Hans, when denying that he's grown a feeling.
    "Feelings like that are a waste of time! There's no such thing as "true love," that's why no one could ever love m-- I mean, you..."
  • Say My Name:
    • Javert departs from his usual habit for Valjean in the song where they meet each other and permanently, after Valjean dies.
    • Astarte's "HIME!" when she finds the younger girl's body.
    • Billy Harris calls out "ANNA!" when it looks like Cain's getting the upper hand when they start fighting in the courtroom.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Billy Harris when a ghost dumps rum on him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Balladeer tries to run off with Hans in the final trial to defy the Leading Player.
  • See You in Hell: Non-maliciously, the first killer thinks this to Jezebel, who actually does live in literal Hell.
  • Setting Introduction Song: Part of the function of "Willkommen."
  • Shout-Out:
    • Before the second case, the victim-to-be sets up a scene with Halloween decorations, between a spider dressed as a farmer and one that's lost a limb. This was intentional, as the Mozu/Yang case also involved what looked to be two victims and turned out to be a Mutual Kill via Laser-Guided Karma.
    • The fourth case has an apparent suicide of someone who had sworn to protect the others, plus a scene in the tea room with one chair at a table with tea set out for two, one of the cups being drugged. If it's not intentional, it's a pretty good coincidence.
    • A double shout-out in the Week 7 meeting log title: "Do you hear the people sing? Because they're all pissed off."
    • Tons of flat-out stated shoutouts in the final trial, considering that it got even more meta than the rest of the game had already been. Makes sense, as murdergame veterans like to invoke specific characters to describe things like the Meridiana clause or the Norman clause.
    Balladeer: They almost drove that one game into the ground, they wanted to show mercy so bad. And look at the Pokémon guy.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Cain was constantly told this. Major examples being:
    • Jezebel deflects Cain's claim that she isn't who she thinks she is or just isn't real in the fourth trial and tells him that he has no idea what's in store for him.
    • The Balladeer stops Cain's Kill 'Em All pontificating during the vote by using a Vaudeville Hook during the fourth trial.
    • Before that, in Case 3, Astarte shuts the same person up during another of his monologues, clawing her way back to control of the body.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Referenced with Gabe's and Natalie's titles.
  • The Song Before the Storm: "Without You," where Hans mourns the Balladeer and decides to leave a message to future cast members in case this cycle repeats, set the night before the final investigation.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Plastic spiders are among the Halloween decorations.
  • Stealth Insult: Common. "Will (Billy Flynn) ever give out compliments that aren't backhanded?" his narration asks. The answer is yes, at least in Case 4.
  • Stunned Silence: When Jezebel finds Natalie dead, she can barely form words.
  • Stutter Stop: Billy Harris in case 5 when he reveals that he's actually the Balladeer, the two of them having done a Twin Switch at a very inconvenient time. Or not.
  • Stylistic Suck: Astarte's artwork throughout the round and the group's mural in Week 7.
  • Swirlie: Winslow seems to threaten this when he and Billy Harris are playing Good Cop/Bad Cop.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Astarte is the best example in the round. While D-ne, Gabe, and Hook were all willing to kill the rest of the cast to escape, poor Astarte truly believed she was innocent until the trial started and the truth slowly came out.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Anna and Hans despise each other for most of the story, but still have to work together to solve the murders.
  • They Do: Billyanna. When we say "they get married," we mean "they get married on the spot, with the Pirate King officiating, right in the middle of the mastermind trial."
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Said in regards to the Leading Player.
    Hime: That's her? She looks so normal!
    Judas: That woman is a monster.
  • This Is a Drill: There's a murder in backstory with a power drill as a weapon.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The trend of killing off the innocents shows no sign of stopping.
  • Trash of the Titans: Astarte doesn't know how to clean her room. Her Superpowered Evil Side also doesn't know how to clean a victim's room after ransacking it.
  • Truce Zone: Javert and Valjean declare the Opera House one as long as the former gets to arrest the latter afterwards.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Addressed In-Universe when Hime tries her hand at abstract painting for the dead's message to the living because she thinks everyone will find it deep and meaningful. Natalie thinks otherwise.
  • True Love's Kiss: Anna suggests that Hans, whom she knows has changed enough to actually do it this time, try to save the Balladeer with one and bring back his memory.
  • Truth-Telling Session: The fifth afterparty turns into this.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Early on, Anna tries hard to never be seen crying, having been raised with instructions to always be composed. Later, she stops trying altogether, especially after Natalie's encouragement.
  • Twin Switch: Billy H. and the Balladeer switch places once so that Billy can investigate and the Balladeer can have fun. Later, they pretend they've done it again.
  • Understatement: At the second motive announcement.
    Astarte: My mother is dead.
    Natalie: Sorry. That sucks.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: When the game gets really meta, this is discussed In-Universe. The game mechanic in question? Unhappy endings...
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Everyone, thanks to the Costume Shop being available from day one and having premade outfits along with sewing room supplies.
  • Uptown Girl: Billy is always nervous that his status or lack thereof will pose a problem if they return to Anna's home.
  • Vaudeville Hook: The Balladeer stops the fourth culprit's monologuing by catching them with one and dragging them onstage.
  • Villain Song: The culprit's part of any execution song.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: The Balladeer's part of any execution song.
  • Volleying Insults: Billy Harris versus Captain Hook in the second and third trials.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Jezebel and Natalie talk about the "start of something new" after they've sung the song of the same name. Plenty of characters also speak lyrics from their own canons.
  • Welcoming Song: "Willkommen" is this before and during its transition to a Medley Overture. It also has an aborted reprise in the final trial.
  • We Used to Be Friends: How the Balladeer describes his relationship with the rest of the Management, particularly the mastermind.
  • Wham Line: The Balladeer likes to give these in executions.
    • Case 1: You took a life for this?/Kinda like you took hers, too.
    • Case 2: One day they brought me here/So I could live in safety.
    • Case 4: I hoped this wouldn’t happen — did you hope it would?
    • Case 5: He didn't even wait for the execution for this one: "...Okay, Billy. I think... I think that's enough." And then he does it again...
    • Final Trial: Did you think the moderators were ever on your side?
  • What Would X Do?: Astarte has a number of people run through her head when she wants to know what she can do to help Seymour after his Heroic BSoD.
  • What Year Is It?: The Cast fills out a survey to answer this early on, once they realize that they're all Fish out of Temporal Water.
  • Wistful Amnesia: The Balladeer is revived after he's shot, with his memories wiped, and is convinced that he's his own understudy, but he starts to show signs of remembering the Cast in the final trial.
  • Working with the Ex: Anna despises Hans for good reason, but the two of them have to learn to work with one another and everyone else to survive.
  • You Are Not Alone: Hans, of all people, tells this to a despondent Javert in week 5. Billy Harris also tells everyone this at that week's afterparty.
  • You Bastard!: The Leading Player, a villain who embodies meta, calls out the players and spectators for keeping the murdergame genre alive with all its suffering — and praises them for their good intentions towards Character Development, playing for fun, and dedication to happy endings.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Despite the friendly Balladeer actually discouraging active participation in the Deadly Game, there will still be a murder every week.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Part of what motivates Cain in Week 4, alongside the motive, is that he no longer needs to possess Astarte.
    • Once the Cast figures out that there's a mole, the Management orders the mole to kill someone, making either them or the entire Cast no longer useful. He doesn't fall for it, but people die anyway.
  • You Monster!:
    • Seymour says this about himself when he remembers what he did in canon. Astarte, sympathizer to actual monsters, just gets confused.
    • Billy Harris and Astarte herself say it at the third trial's culprit confession.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Anna has quite the culture shock at women wearing pants. She then proceeds to go through moral anguish at her fascination and ends up deciding to wear pants herself.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Billy Flynn in the fifth trial, when he decides to filibuster the trial and point out the contradictions in how Management is treating the case. His narration makes it clear that this is what happens when you try to put feelings aside and then stop.
    This entire goddamn game, he has been operating under the notion that law doesn't get to have feelings in the courtroom.
    Now? Now he's pissed off.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The Nightman was this in backstory. His trial lasted five minutes.

    Specific to It's Curtains Round 2 
  • Alternate Self: The Mole is an alternate universe counterpart of the Phantom. This wasn't planned, but it later became a meme: "Sometimes... you app the mastermind."
  • Be Yourself: The Central Theme, specifically, "be the messy, troublesome true version of yourself rather than the ideal you that others would be happier with."
  • Came Back Wrong: In the finale, the SQUIP revives the dead, all infected with itself and cheerily denying their problems. The survivor pool has to put them back to rights to proceed.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Phantom answers to someone calling himself "the Wizard," who eventually becomes Round 3's Big Bad.
  • Trail of Blood: How Victim 1 of Round 2 is discovered.

    Specific to It's Curtains Round 3 
  • Central Theme: Much like Round 1 was a Take That! to anoncomm culture circa 2016, Round 3 can very easily be read as a celebration of murdergame genre tropes that people outside the community regularly pooh-pooh, such as found family, resolving love triangles with polyamory, and forgiving even the least sympathetic culprits. This works especially with the Wizard's obsession with restoring everything to before the crossover "tainted" it scanning easily to cries of ruining canon.
  • Climactic Battle Resurrection: The climax has Peregrine's flare gun opening a crack in the multiverse for everyone, dead and alive, to sing and cast off the tragic narrative assigned them. The show of love not only proves the Wizard wrong, it allows everyone to come back to life and frees them from the prison they were trapped in.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Rina takes Varian on a joyride in the old car he fixed up deliberately to freak him out in "revenge" for accidentally injuring her and proceeding to Mercy Kill her. She has no licence, no training, and no idea what she's doing. The highlight is driving screaming through the corn field, hitting the scarecrow and sending it flying.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: The Grand Finale ends not only with the dead performing a medley of their own canon songs (a Call-Back to what the dead of Round 1 did), but an actual music video produced by the players and mods posted for it, which reaches the living as well as the survivors of all previous rounds.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Characters studying the way narrative magic works come up with a theory they call "Augmented Story Structure," completely missing that it shortens to "ASS."