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Tabletop Game / Clue

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I think Professor Plum Described Clue Here, in the office, with the laptop!

Created in 1949 in Britain, Cluedo (Clue in North America) is the iconic mystery board game. Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in North America) has been murdered in his own mansion and the six people that were present are now considered suspects. Players take the role of any of the six suspects and receive cards containing illustrations of the suspects, the rooms or the weapons. One card of each category is placed in an envelope. To play, the suspects must enter a room in the mansion and make a suggestion such as, "It was Mrs. Peacock in the kitchen with the candlestick!" A different player can reveal a card that matches the suggestion to disprove it. To win the game, a player must make an accusation that matches all three cards contained in the envelope. If the accusation is wrong, the player must sit out for the rest of the game. Note that a player can accuse his own character if he believes himself to be the murderer. It doesn't make much sense if you think about it, though they could have had amnesia. Another way to look at it is they actually get away with the murder and escape.

The popularity of the game has caused it to be remade into a plethora of different locations and decades over the years. See Themed Stock Board Game. It was popular enough to have its own film, book series (each chapter therein involves Mr. Reginald Boddy and his color-coded guests participating in some activity or another, which would form the basis of a puzzle for the reader to solve, and the final story always involves Mr. Boddy's murder), video game adaptations, a game show, and a Teen Drama miniseries on The Hub. The film itself (starring Tim Curry) is considered a cult classic. There is even an unofficial inversion of the game, Kill Doctor Lucky. Most recently, a comic book adaptation was announced for June 2017 from Hasbro partner IDW Publishing (though like fellow game-based comic Dungeons & Dragons, it's not part of the Hasbro Comic Universe).

Compare Ten Little Murder Victims, And Then There Were None.

This board game contains examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Plum, in most versions.
  • An Axe to Grind: Several versions feature an axe as a weapon.
  • Apron Matron: Mrs. White.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The sequel for the VCR game, starting in pointing to the title screen to know their location.
  • Cool Gun: The original guns in the British edition(s), a Dreyse M1907 and a gold Walther PP.
  • Colorful Theme Naming: Every suspect is named for the color of his or her token.
  • Corrupt Church: Reverend Green (the implications of this don't sit well for American audiences, supposedly, which is why he's turned into a Corrupt Corporate Executive "Mr. Green").
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The North American version made Mr. Green an oil tycoon, making his name into a subtle pun on his wealth.
  • Designated Victim: Dr. Black / Mr. Boddy.
  • Detective Mole: It's possible for one of the players to be the murderer. Strangely, they won't know it and still win by finding evidence to convict themself.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: A few of the male characters (Mustard and Plum in particular) have been seen smoking pipes in some versions.
  • Dub Name Change: Well, more like "Localization Name Change." A few different characters and other elements had their names changed between different versions, particularly between the UK and US version(s): Murder victim Dr. Black became Mr. Boddy; his home, Tudor House, became Boddy Manor; Reverend Green became Mr. Green; the Spanner and Dagger became the Wrench and Knife, etc.
    • And, of course, there's the name of the game itself. The UK name, Cluedo, is a portmanteau of the words "clue" and "ludo" (Latin for "I play"). Ludo is also a cross-and-circles type board game in the UK. However, due to that game's obscurity in the US, Parker Brothers opted to go with the simpler Clue.
  • Eagle-Eye Detection: A necessary tool to weed out the killer, especially in the SNES video game version (you'll need pen and paper for that one).
  • Economy Cast: Supplementary material and adaptations in other media will frequently try to explain why there are six and only six suspects in a Big Fancy House where only one man lives that should have multiple servants at any given time. The most common is something to the effect of: Mr. Boddy was an eccentric millionaire who inherited the house from his parents but has no surviving family. One weekend, while the rest of the servants had the weekend off (with the exception of live-in maid Ms. White), he decides to throw a private party for his closest friends. While there, they become trapped in the house by a thunderstorm knocking trees over the road, blizzard, etc. While they're isolated on Boddy's estate, only then does one decide to kill him.
  • Femme Fatale: Miss Scarlett
  • Fortune Teller: Madame Rose. She is implied to fall into the Phony Psychic territory though.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It is possible for a player to accuse themself; this is obviously to prevent the game from becoming unwinnable for that player. This is lampshaded rather humorously in the Sega Genesis version.
    Miss Scarlett: I win! I win! I'm going to jail... but I won!
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Three men (Green, Mustard, and Plum) and three women (White, Peacock, and Scarlet).
  • Ghostly Goals: The early 2000's computer version (distributed in boxes of cereal) had the Murderer, Location, and Weapon cards secreted away by Mr. Boddy's ghost (a pair of hands glowing with blue fire).
  • Grande Dame: Most versions of Mrs. Peacock.
  • Great White Hunter: Colonel Mustard.
  • Harder Than Hard: The Detective difficulty setting in the SNES/Genesis video game adaptations. In lesser difficulties, when you make a suggestion, it tells you a fact about the person, weapon, or room you guessed (e.g. if you guess "Mrs. Peacock with the knife in the Ballroom", you'll get something like "The knife was in the Library"). In Detective difficulty, it just basically tells you that your guess was wrong (e.g. that same guess would get you something like "Mrs. Peacock was NOT in the Ballroom"). Expect to tear your hair out trying to solve the murder with hints like that.
  • High-Class Glass: Some editions depict Colonel Mustard wearing a monocle.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In recent editions, Mrs. White is depicted as a young woman. Granted, she doesn't look exactly "sexy", but considering that her older incarnation was an overweight Apron Matron...
  • Improbable Weapon User: Lead Pipes, Candlesticks, and wrenches don't exactly come to mind as murder weapons.
    • Improvised Weapon: However, in a pinch, they can inflict enough blunt force trauma to kill a person.
  • The Killer in Me: Your character has a one in six chance of this trope.
  • Knife Nut: Possibly. It is one of the ways Mr. Boddy could be killed off.
  • Lady in Red: Miss Scarlett, who's characterized as a beautiful seductress.
  • Meaningful Name: The six suspects have their last names associated with the color they're wearing (peacocks are blue, scarlet is a shade of red, and so on). And of course, there's Mr. Boddy. The British victim, Dr. Black, is sometimes illustrated as wearing black. Depending on what version you're playing, there may be various characters added in besides the main six, such as Emily Peach or Graham Slate-Grey.
  • The Movie: Clue is a screwball comedy based on the American version of the game.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miss Scarlett.
  • My Card: Parodied in the VCR Mystery Game. Mr. Green hands Professor Plum a card that says "Lyman Green, business."
  • Never Say "Die": Several of the Themed Stock Board Game adaptions of the game mentioned below replace the murder aspect with other mysteries. The weapons are replaced with evidence of some sort. Some versions have the "suspect" be the actual victim of the crime while the "weapon" is a representation of the criminal or some important object.
    • The Big Bang Theory: Who betrayed Sheldon in some nerd related way and where?
    • The Haunted Mansion: Which Mickey Mouse character was spooked by which Haunted Mansion ghost and where?
    • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Which Mickey Mouse character disappeared in the Hollywood Tower Hotel with which prop and in which room?
    • Scooby-Doo: Which member of the Scooby-Doo cast (and Mrs. White)note  was kidnapped by a Scooby-Doo monster and where?
    • The Golden Girls: Who ate the cheesecake, where, and what evidence did them leave there? (Two faceless males are used along with the four title characters.)
  • Non-Indicative Name: In many editions, the weapon referred to as the Revolver is actually a semi-automatic. The original "Revolver" in the game's 1949 edition was a Dreyse M1907 (in the UK) and a Colt M1911 (in the US). It has been an actual revolver in some versions, however (particularly Passport to Murder and the 50th Anniversary Edition).
  • Non Standard Game Over: If all players accuse incorrectly, the game ends with no winner. Therefore, the last player standing must collect all the evidence before accusing to avert this.
  • Novelization: There's a series of books based on the game. All of them give clues in the story and invite the reader to try to guess who did whatever crime occurred in the story. The crimes ranged from figuring out who stole something, to figuring out who ate a piece of pie, to (at least once per book as the Grand Finale) trying to find out who murdered Mr. Boddy. Status Quo Is God in these stories, so Mr. Boddy would always somehow survive and the criminal would either be forgiven or undiscovered entirely.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: All the characters in the VCR Mystery Game, ranging from the crime they committed prior to the events of the game, using Madame Rose as a battering ram to escape from a time bomb, to surviving 14 days from Tangiers to Burma in poverty.
  • Old, Dark House: Mr. Boddy's mansion.
  • Pretty in Mink: Miss Peach (an expanded character in some versions), wears a white fox wrap in the VCR Mystery Game.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: During the dinner scene in the Clue VCR Mystery Game.
  • Poison Ring: In the Clue VCR Mystery Game.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Cluedo" is a pun on "Ludo" (an abbreviation of the Latin for "game"), the British name for the game known to most of the rest of the world as Pachisi (or Parcheesi, or Sorry!).
  • Punny Name:
    • Mr. Boddy - Body.
      • In the US Spanish editions/rules, he's Señor Cadáver!
    • In the editions where Green is a banker instead of a priest: Green/greenback.
  • Race Lift:
    • For a while in the '90s Miss Scarlett looked Asian.
      • Actually some editions of the American version did make Miss Scarlet an Asian Dragon Lady and she was known as "The Mercenary of Macao". This in turn led to her casting in the VCR game as Asian.
    • In some recent editions, Mr. Green is black.
  • Red Herring: Sometimes wily players will suggest one of their own cards in their investigation in an attempt to mislead the other players into thinking he/she doesn't have it, and/or decrease their chances of being shown a card they've already seen.
  • Re Tool: Every few years, there is a new attempt to modernize the setting. It rarely ever lasts long, and it inevitably reverts to the Genteel Interbellum Setting.
  • Secret Underground Passage: There are two connecting diagonally the rooms in each corner. How they don't intersect is anyone's guess.
  • Sequel Hook: In the miniseries.
  • She's a Man in Japan: A few characters change sex in foreign versions. A particularly major example is Chile's. Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum are female, and Mrs. White and Miss Peacock are males.
  • Sinister Minister: Reverend Green in the original version.
  • Southern Belle: Miss Peach (an expanded character in some versions) is portrayed as this in the VCR Mystery Game. A Meaningful Name, since Georgia (the state, not the country) is famous for its peaches.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The VCR Mystery Game includes a dinner scene in Boddy mansion where almost all of the guests end up poisoning something that is served at dinner.
  • Themed Stock Board Game: Many iterations of Clue were made based on popular franchises, including The Office (US), 24, Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Sponge Bob Squarepants, Scooby-Doo, Alfred Hitchcock, Sherlock Holmes, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and The Haunted Mansion.
    • For April Fool's Day 2015, ThinkGeek created a mock-up for a fake Game of Thrones version, with 35 possible suspects and weapons.
      • Defictionalization: Game of Thrones did eventually receive an actual Clue adaption. The game components are less ridiculous with a double sided board and twelve suspects. The game is two to six players however.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: When the winning player realizes that they were the actual culprit.
  • Tontine: In the VCR Mystery Game version, Mr. Boddy does a variant in his latest will where the last surviving person among those who attended the reading would claim the entire inheritance. Naturally, all sorts of attempted murders occur.
  • Updated Re Release: 1988's Clue: Master Detective, which gives background information on the game and characters (both in the game and around the world), as well as new characters (all of whom show up in the VCR game), new weapons and new rooms.

Alternative Title(s): Cluedo