Dead Little Roosters is an interactive Locked Room Mystery web series created by Rooster Teeth. The show is a Spiritual Successor to Ten Little Roosters and Eleven Little Roosters, but the storyline is not connected at all to the prior two series. However, the cast members are playing caricatures of themselves like Ten Little Roosters, with references to Rooster Teeth peppered throughout.
Written and directed by Fiona Nova and Josh Flanagan, the series is about ten guests who have been brought to the Nicodemus estate and are told they stand to inherit a vast fortune. But before further details are known, their mysterious benefactor is shot dead. With the guests being the main suspects, they are confined to their rooms as the investigation is carried out, but unfortunately for them, the murderer also has it out for the guests as well.
Dead Little Roosters premiered on January 8, 2021, and while the first episode is free to the public to watch, the remainder of the show is behind their First paywall. Be aware of spoilers below.
The official website can be found here.
Dead Little Roosters contains examples of the following tropes:
- Aborted Arc: As every character is set up with their own subplot, each death pretty much cuts off whatever they were doing/planning on doing, even if it seemed like something that was going to be a big deal.
- Hannah's split personality, which seemed like something that would have played a big role in setting her up as a Red Herring, is nixed by her death in the second episode.
- Michael too was set up as a Red Herring, being the only person with a key who was regularly sneaking out of the room, with Lindsay growing increasingly suspicious of him. His death in episode three cuts off this mystery, as well as the Love Triangle being set up between him, Lindsay, and Fiona. Subverted in episode six, as it was revealed that he was well aware of Fiona's feelings for Lindsay, stole her love notes, and passed them off as his own before his death. Lindsay didn't have any idea, and in their paranoia, became convinced Fiona was the killer and stabbed her with a sharpened lollipop.
- Advertised Extra: Barbara is featured heavily in the trailer, but she's the first victim through a poison dart to the neck.
- All for Nothing: Yssa tries to present Alfredo's killings as this to his face by pointing out that the addendum wasn't written by Nicodemus. Alfredo points out that he was the one that wrote it in the first place, and had different motives for the killings.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Fiona breaks in the Jones's room to declare her love for Lindsay now that Michael is dead, but a paranoid and suspicious Lindsay believes Fiona is the killer and stabs her in the stomach with a sharpened lollipop.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- As the narration goes between the different storylines between the guests, Alfredo suddenly cuts in and says there's too much going on. He says it's lazy storytelling and demands the story focus on one line for the time being. He's actually talking to Trevor, who's in the room with him doing the narration.
- While everyone is bothering Hannah with ideas for new shows, Fiona pitches an interactive murder mystery show, then winks to the camera, which is one of the only ideas Hannah is on board for.
- As Michael is being attacked by the platypus, Lindsay addresses the camera about the animal's venomous spurs.
- Call-Back: The first episode ends with Barbara arming herself with the intent to kill the murderer, only to die to poison before she gets the chance. The same thing happened with Burnie in Ten Little Roosters.
- The second episode has Hannah referring to Lindsay's TLR death by asking why she couldn't die to a puma.
- Cassandra Truth: Lindsay confesses to killing Fiona to Jessica, but she doesn't notice and puts down Fiona's death as diabetes instead.
- Continuity Reboot: To the previous Little Roosters murder-mysteries; while Ten Little Roosters and Eleven Little Roosters reused personalities as the cast, it was established that the shows were in-continuity with one-another and there was just an Identical Stranger situation going on, and had plenty of references to the prior events. This time, it's inferred that those were in-universe shows Rooster Teeth put out, and this show is treated as a clean slate, complete with Barbara, Michael, and Lindsay returning, alive and well.note
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*: As Yssa reads through her icebreakers, she coughs and accuses Michael and Lindsay of being the killer.
- Demoted to Extra: Barbara in comparison to their role in the previous Little Roosters show, as they're the first to die this time. In Ten, they were the killer and thus lived until the last episode, and Eleven she played the protagonist solving the murders. This is mitigated by the fact they also play Gambo, one of her characters from Good Morning From Hell.
- Deal with the Devil: Blaine apparently got their job at Rooster Teeth thanks to a bargain with the demon Gambo. They actually exploit their contract here to ensure their survival, as the bargain was for Blaine to get a job at Rooster Teeth, become shredded, and one day become Mister Universe; as he's still not completed the last task, Gambo ensures that Blaine will be unharmed until that's done. Unfortunately for Blaine, having the name Universe fulfills this contract. His mom marries a man named Brad Universe and Blaine takes his last name, making Blane Mr. Universe. He dies shortly after. Even more unfortunate, it was all a hallucination from drinking spiked whiskey, as Jessica reveals in the episode after.
- Female Gaze: Parodied, with Ify's pitch for a gender-flipped Charlie's Angels show about "thicc boys in slow motion", which Hannah is excited to green light.
- Forced to Watch: Yssa is unable to save Eric from being strangled by the monkey-masked murderer and can only watch.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Ify is killed by being cut in half with Crescent Rose.
- Impeded Messenger: In episode four, Ify has the police hand out emergency meeting buttons to the survivors, only to shut them off when they keep getting hit for non-emergencies. So when Fiona has a valid reason to hit it (the killer sneaking up on Ify, who's livestreaming), it doesn't work, and she fails to warn Ify before he's cut in half
- Lemony Narrator: Trevor narrates the storyline and occasionally makes remarks about the course of the story. He also gets roped into the narrative when he appears in one of the video calls. Michael immediately calls him Alfredo's twin. He's also in league with the murderer for the money and gets killed in episode seven.
- Locked Room Mystery: Each of the murder suspects have been confined to their rooms after the victim's body was found. The security guard also lost the room keys so no one can get out.
- Lame Last Words: Hannah groans why she couldn't get killed by a puma instead before dying.
- Love Letter: Fiona confesses her love for Lindsay through long Purple Prose notes. While it's implied Lindsay reciprocates, their replies are much briefer than Fiona. Then it turns out Michael had secretly intercepted and altered the notes to Lindsay before he was killed.
- Lost in Character: The narration implies that Hannah got too much into character during Red vs. Blue: Zero that she developed a murderous bent.
- Of Corpse He's Alive: Lindsay pretends Michael's still alive to the remaining guests, and nobody seems the wiser. They are also shown quite possibly losing their mind as they recreate their anniversary with his body.
- Police Are Useless: Jessica ostensibly is supposed to be investigating the crimes, but all she does is announce who the victim is. She even sits down at the crime scene and talks to Nicodemus's body. Subverted when she reveals that Blaine's whiskey was spiked with hallucinogenics, finally acknowledging that a murder had happened. She also fires the killing shot that takes down Alfredo once and for all.
- Posthumous Narration: While Trevor is the main narrator of the story, Nicodemus's effects/words are read in his voice. Michael narrates the altered love letter he stole from Fiona as Lindsay recreates their anniversary.
- Red Herring: A phone number in Yssa's room is flashed on screen. When dialed, the viewer is chastised by the Old Men for thinking the number is a clue.
- Revenge: Alfredo's motive for killing Nicodemus. Nicodemus cleaned out the Old Men's fortunes through gambling, and as their child, he's hellbent on getting that fortune back.
- Sanity Slippage:
- Blaine becomes increasingly unhinged until his death, which is later revealed to be the result of hallucinogenic spiked whiskey, which exacerbated his delusions and lead to his death.
- It's implied that Lindsay becomes more paranoid and losing their grip on reality as they've caught Michael slipping in and out of their room. Their mental decline is further exacerbated after his death as they pretend Michael is still alive and posturing his body to the other guests. In their paranoia, they become convinced Fiona is the murderer and kill her. And when they are confronted with the real murderer, they believe that they've turned Michael's body into armor, when in reality, using him as a Human Shield. The murderer easily disposes of them before going to the next target.
- Skewed Priorities: While the intended purpose of Ify's emergency buttons is to ostensibly have everyone be aware of the danger they're in, some of the guests have other things in mind. Fiona uses it to express how upset she is that Lindsay doesn't seem to reciprocate her feelings, and Blaine is more concerned with staying fit.
- Shout-Out: In episode four, Ify hands out buttons that call emergency meetings. Ify's death at the end of the episode refers to the same game, due to the bone sticking out of each half of his body.
- Show Within a Show:
- Yssa summons Jeremy to help her suss out any liars and clues. The rest of the episode plays out like a game of Chump. Unfortunately, he fails to find any clues and declares himself the chump.
- Eric attempts to record an episode of Face Jam, but he doesn't seem to notice that Michael is dead and Lindsay is posing with his body.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: Blaine's whiskey was spiked with hallucinogenics, which meant his whole storyline was actually a drug-induced drunk hallucination that lead to his death.
- Time Bomb: Hannah dies by a timed moonball bomb.