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MURDER! *lightning strike*

Markiplier is dead... What was supposed to be a lively game of poker with close and trusted friends has taken a sinister twist. Someone has murdered Markiplier and now it's up to you to find out whodunit! But be careful... because can you really trust anyone in these blood-stained halls?
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Who Killed Markiplier? is a 4-partnote  Web Series created by Mark Fischbach. It was first hinted at near the beginning of October, when cryptic images and videos started to appear on his social media pages. The first episode was released on his channel on October 10th of 2017, with the final part being released on Friday, October 13th, 2017. In this series, the viewer is encouraged to play the part of the District Attorney and is privy to a murder mystery surrounding the death of the actor Markiplier.

Since the end of the series, more installments have been made taking place in the same universe, forming an overreaching plot:

  • Interview #69 - Benjamin Butler: Roughly a year after the events of the series, Benjamin the Butler answers questions for his interviewer (the viewer of the stream), hoping to appeal to them so he gets hired.
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  • Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstache: After the events of Who Killed Markiplier, The Detective has never forgiven The Colonel for what happened in that mansion. After countless close calls, Abe's finally cornered the madman as his latest persona... Wilford 'Motherloving' Warfstache.
  • DAMIEN: After the events of Who Killed Markiplier, Damien finds himself lost in the woods.

TROPES! *lightning strike*:

    open/close all folders 
    Who Killed Markiplier? 
  • Accidental Murder: Colonel William accidentally shoots you on top of the balcony when you try to take away the gun he just shot Abe the Detective with.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Benjamin the Butler gets one in his interview livestream where we learn about his history, his relationships with the other Who Killed Markiplier? characters, and his whereabouts after the events of Who Killed Markiplier?.
  • All There in the Manual: The names of all the characters were revealed on Mark's Twitter.
    • A lot of information about Benjamin, as well as info about the history of Who Killed Markiplier? was revealed in his interview livestream here.
  • And I Must Scream: The District Attourney gets trapped in Markiplier Manor by Damien/Celine (Darkiplier), unable to do anything. Forever.
  • Arc Words: Murder
  • Badass Mustache: Colonel William sports quite a bushy one.
  • Bad Boss: According to the Colonel, Mark was "a tough son of a bitch to work for". This is the case because he was being corrupted by Markiplier Manor.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: In one of Chef's scenes:
    Chef: Last night, after I got rid of all of the evidence… of that delicious meal I prepared… and wiped down all the fingerprints… from those filthy dishes… and sopped up all that blood… I retired to my room at 1 am…
  • Big Bad: Markiplier Manor, surprisingly.
  • Big Fancy House: Markiplier Manor
  • Big "OMG!": Detective, when he finds Mark's dead body.
    Detective: Did anyone hear that lightning?— OH MY GOD! THERE'S BEEN A MURDER!
  • Binge Montage: You have one in episode 1. It foreshadows everything that happens afterwards. Mark elaborates on this here.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Markiplier Manor. It's sapient and capable of teleporting its residents
  • Book-Ends: The first and last character that speaks to you is Colonel William.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Abe the Detective
  • Cain and Abel: Mark and the Colonel grew up together and are practically brothers. Mark came to despise the Colonel after he ran off with his wife and devised an elaborate Thanatos Gambit to get revenge on him. Downplayed since Mark was being corrupted by Markiplier Manor.
  • Call-Forward: The Butler says "Bonjour!", just like he did in A Date with Markiplier, which takes place in the present day.
  • Canon Character All Along:
    • Colonel William is revealed to be Wilford Warfstache before he went insane.
    • Damien, Celine, the DA and Markiplier Manor all fuse into the being that would become known as Darkiplier.
  • Catchphrase: "Bully!" for the Colonel.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: In episodes 3 & 4, the story shifts from a simple murder mystery and starts to include elements of arcane arts, the Upside Down, Colonel William's mental breakdown and transformation into Wilford Warfstache, and the creation of Darkiplier
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Colonel William.
  • Companion Cube: Chef's "Little Buddy". He even kisses it in episode 1.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Mark's other skits, such as A Date with Markiplier and Markiplier TV.
  • Deconstruction: Of traditional detective mysteries like Clue, and the trope Ten Little Murder Victims. It has everything - a murder, a manor, stereotypes in characters, and yet, it is so, so different...
  • Darkness = Death: The Upside-Down is a inky black void, and it's where people who die in Markiplier Manor go, awaiting resurrection.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mark's wife, Celine, ran away with one of his best friends, the Colonel. So he makes an elaborate plan to emotionally manipulate him into murder and steal his body. Somewhat justified trope since he's been infected by an evil house entity.
  • Downer Ending: Colonel William goes insane, beginning his eventual transformation into Wilford Warfstache, and Damien, Celine, and the District Attourney merge with the Evil Entity and become Darkiplier.
  • Expy: Colonel William is this of Hunter Van Pelt and Colonel Mustard.
  • Eldritch Location: Markiplier Manor.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Damien's hair is normally slicked back and clean cut. After his transformation into Darkiplier, he sports an unkempt fringe haircut.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Damien and Celine merge into Darkiplier in order to escape the Upside-Down, but in the process turn into a being that only has the worst traits of the two of them.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Damien and Celine fuse into Darkiplier, a tortured being that only accentuates the worst parts of them, and the District Attorney is trapped in Markiplier Manor, unable to do anything. Forever.
  • Featureless Protagonist: We don't see much of the District Attorney, only their hands. Subverted at the end of episode 4, but at that point, their body has been shifted to look like Damien's.
  • Foil: Chef and Benjamin. Chef is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who has been working for Mark for 25 years. Benjamin on the other hand is a Nice Guy, but can be a bit of an asshole at times, and he's been working for Mark for a relatively short time, evidenced by Mark telling Abe that "he's a new guy."
  • Four Is Death: It's a murder mystery that's four parts long (if not counting the Jim segments).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Damien says "Let me in" at the end of episode 4 in the Upside-Down, he and Celine flicker twice, with only the red aura of Celine visible over Mark's dead body.
  • Fusion Dance: Of the Composite kind. Celine performs a Merger of Souls including her, Damien and the District Attorney in episode 4, creating Darkiplier. Gone horribly wrong as Damien and Celine are unknowingly fusing only the worst parts of themselves, and the DA is forced out immediately post-process.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Colonel William goes insane seeing the Manor bring the District Attourney come back to life. It's what causes him to develop the identity of Wilford Warfstache.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Once Celine enters the story at the end of episode 2, the story shifts from a murder mystery to one involving the arcane arts and the origin stories of Warfstache and Darkiplier.
  • Hanlon's Razor: Mark IRL describes Asshole Mark as "a heartbroken idiot" in regards to his Thanatos Gambit. Averted when it comes to Markiplier Manor.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Your invitation says "Y/N District Attorney".
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Chef's name is Chef.
  • Killed Offscreen: We don't actually see Markiplier die.
  • Kill the Cutie: Damien is the nicest character in the entire series, and he dies in the manor in order to advance its plan.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: At the beginning of episode 4, Chef and Benjamin realize that they will inevitably die if they stay much longer, so they leave as soon as they can.
    Chef: I've spent 25 years cooking for these uppity fucks. I'm not about die for 'em! I quit! BITCH!
    Benjamin: We need to leave this place. There's only death here now.
  • Kubrick Stare: Darkiplier gives one to the District Attourney at the end of episode 4.
  • Large Ham: Colonel William and Abe the Detective.
  • Laughing Mad: Colonel William at the end of episode 4.
  • Madness Mantra: The colonel did it the colonel did it the colonel did it the colonel did it the colonel did it the colonel did it the colonel did it
  • Manipulative Bastard: Markiplier Manor. Crosses into The Corrupter. Where do you think Darkiplier got it from?
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Asshole Mark is played by Mark IRL, who is most certainly not an asshole.
  • Meaningful Name: All the characters, sans Mark, Chef, the District Attourney and the Evil Entity/Markiplier Manor has some form of this.
  • Nice Guy: Damien and Benjamin
  • Not Quite Dead: Abe the Detective after Colonel William shoots him.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Everyone in the Manor can do it, but the Colonel makes it the most obvious, according to Mark in this livestream.
  • Odd Name Out: Chef's name is Chef, and is the only character who's name is their profession.
  • Origin Story: For Wilford Warfstache and Darkiplier.
  • Plot-Inciting Infidelity: A major factor in starting off the plot is the fact that, years ago, Celine cheated on her husband, Markiplier, with the Colonel.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Mark's, obviously.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The Jim Twins.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Celine, the red, is temperamental and impulsive, while Damien, the blue, is reasonable and calm. Even their dead spirits appear red and blue, respectively.
  • Revenge: The cornerstone of Mark's entire Thanatos Gambit.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The Detective's office is a Downplayed example of this
  • Rule of Empathy: Averted. Damien, the nicest, most sympathetic character dies and becomes part of Darkiplier.
  • Rule of Three: Parodied in the first episode:
    Chef: Last night, after I got rid of all of the evidence... of that delicious meal I prepared, and wiped down all the fingerprints... from those filthy dishes, and sopped up all that blood... I retired to my room at 1 am...
    • Played straight with the "life" quotes.
      • Markiplier: Life is for the living
      • Damien: Life is ours to choose
      • Colonel: Life needs a bit of madness
  • Running Gag: Lightning striking whenever somebody says "murder".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Evil Entity is bound to Markiplier Manor, and while it is extraordinarily powerful, is limited to the Manor. At least until it fuses with Damien and Celine and steals the body of the District Attorney.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Damien and Colonel, respectively
  • Shout-Out: There's 2:
    • Chef's "Little Buddy" has a camera system that is a based off the cameras in Five Nights at Freddy's.
    • Mark (the real one) said in his "I EXPLAIN EVERYTHING" stream that the Upside Down was an homage to Stranger Things.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Colonel William wears an ornate safari outfit and a pair of fancy glasses. Fitting, considering who he was based off of. Once he goes insane and becomes Wilford Warfstache, he dons the iconic outfit he's worn in every other one of his appearances.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Markiplier is only present for episode one and a bit of episode 4 , but his death is what causes the rest of the story to happen.
  • Starts with a Suicide: A Suicide by Cop, to be exact. In order to go through with his revenge plan, Mark needs to die, and sets everything up so that the Colonel kills him.
  • Stop Saying That!: Celine orders everyone in episode 3 to stop saying "murder".
    Celine: And don't say that word.
    Chef: What word? Murder?
    Celine: Yes! That word!
    Benjamin: Well, murder is a rather accurate description of what occur—
    Celine: Do you not see the lightning?!
  • Suicide by Cop: In order to go through with his revenge plan, Mark needs to die, and sets everything up so that the Colonel kills him.
  • Tempting Fate: Mark, in episode 1 says "And who knows? I could be dead tomorrow!" Subverted as dying is a core part of his Revenge plot.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Abe has a moment in episode 2.
    Detective: You knew I was onto you and you were trying to whack me off before I could finger you!
    Detective: As the murderer!
  • The Roaring '20s: Who Killed Markiplier? ostensibly takes place in the 1920s. Possibly 1928 as in Benjamin's interview livestream, he states he was born in 1900, and Tyler was 28 in 2017, when Who Killed Markiplier? was filmed.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Celine (And the District attorney depending on the viewer) are the only female characters present.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Mark was stabbed 37 times, poisoned, beaten, strangled, drowned, and shot, in that order. Subverted as it is revealed in a stream that rather than these injuries being the cause of his death, Markiplier committed suicide multiple times in many ways. He was resurrected by the house each time.
    Mark: [The Detective] said "In that order." Not all at the same time. Not even all at the same day. That's just happened to him.
  • Token Good Teammate: Damien, according to Mark IRL, is the only character who had a "human" reaction to Asshole Mark's death
  • Trauma Conga Line: Colonel William goes through one. He loses Damien, Celine and his own sanity all in the same day.
  • True Companions: Mark, Colonel and Damien used to be this, but they broke up according to Damien in episode 1.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Anyone who enters Markiplier Manor is one to the Manor itself.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about Darkiplier without spoiling the entire ending.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 4. You go into Abe the Detective's office after the entity guides you there and you see that it's a Room Full of Crazy with evidence incriminating the Colonel and Celine. Colonel walks in and sees this, and is led to believe Abe set everyone up. When he finds Abe, the two have a standoff which results in Colonel shooting Abe and then you. You wake up in the Upside-Down and see Damien and Celine in there with you, saying that they have a plan to get out. You agree to the plan and are sent back to the real world. William sees this and comes to the conclusion that death has no meaning, since everyone will come back eventually, and believes that this was all a joke on him set up by Damien and Celine. He goes off to find them and loses his mind, gaining the identity of Wilford Warfstache. Meanwhile, you grab Damien's cane, and your hand transforms into his. You look into the mirror and see a brand new entity: Darkiplier. Darkiplier snaps his neck, gives you a cold Death Glare, and leaves, trapping you in Markiplier Manor for all eternity. God damn...
  • Wham Line: "It was all a joke!", courtesy of Colonel William, beginning his descent into insanity and eventual transformation into Wilford Warfstache.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of episode 4, when you look into the mirror and see Darkiplier staring right back at you.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Celine, while married to Mark, ran off with Colonel William. This is what causes Mark to set up an elaborate revenge plan that involves the Colonel killing him.

    Side Stories 

Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstache

  • Art Shift: As confirmed by Markiplier in “Wilford ‘MOTHERLOVING’ Warfstache FULL BREAKDOWN”, where he answers many questions from fans, the change in color when our two protagonists meet is to show their conflicting personalities.
  • Decoy Protagonist: While the video might be titled after our favorite eccentric murderer, it actually focuses on Abe and his realization of the world around him.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the end, Abe finally decides to let go of his grudge with William, deciding to have fun and dance with him at the party.
  • Film Noir: The video uses this style to convey Abe’s perspective. When Wilford shows up, the colors shift from white and black to full color. During a later scene back at Abe’s place, the room is in color, but the colors are all muted.
  • Funny Background Event: When Abe holds Wilford at gunpoint, one of the floor dancers takes longer to notice and upon discovering the scene unfolding, promptly backs away.
  • Identity Amnesia: When Abe confronts him about the events that transpired during "Who Killed Markiplier?", Wilford appears to not understand his questions, only properly remembering when Abe calls him a murderer.
  • Noir Episode: This episode serves as this for the supplementary material. At least in the beginning.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While at first it appeared he was without remorse, later in the video Wilford admits he is genuinely sorry for what he's done and wants to help Abe when he's not able to make sense of the world around him.
    Abe: Am I crazy?
    Wilford: No! No-no. No, no, no, no! My friend, you are NOT crazy. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you're crazy.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Wilford continues to do this whenever he is off-camera, which freaks out Abe.
  • Sequel Hook: During his interrogation, Wilford sees something he refers to as "The Train" which he mentions he and Abe took part in. When Abe isn't able to recognize it, Wilford outright tells him it "probably hasn't happened yet".
  • Shout-Out: Wilford’s story about the train is a reference to Murder on the Orient Express.

DAMIEN

  • All There in the Manual: Mark's "WHY KILLED MARKIPLIER" stream has him explaining many of the aspects of the video, answering many questions posed by viewers.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Although the description outright states it takes place after "Who Killed Markipler", it's unknown when exactly it takes place. It's implied through the echoes of "Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstache" when Damien is dragged under the ice and the many tree stumps in the ending that its been a very long time, possibly decades.
  • Arc Words: Its time to wake up.
  • Art Evolution: Since this is an animation rather than live-action, there are noticeable differences compared to the live-action installments, mostly with the character models. For instance, Damien has longer hair and a beard, making him look visibly different from Mark.
  • Berserk Button: It's clear that Celine remains a huge one for Mark.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mark ends up undoing all of Celine's work to keep Damien safe. As his purgatory breaks down around him, Damien accepts that things will never go back to the way they were before. With that, he offers to take Celine's place so that he can start setting things right and so she can finally get some rest, knowing full well that he'll be irreversibly changed by it.
  • Empathic Environment: The place were Damien and Mark end up reacts to Mark's emotions, becoming more red and glitchy the angrier he is.
  • Evil Plan: While most of the specifics remain unknown, Mark's plan for Damien is to make him the "villain" of the "story" to his "hero".
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Stinger has "Damien's" movements shown in glitchy split second frames before he actually makes them.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Damien is stuck in a loop of collecting wood, going home to Celine, watching Celine leave, and going to sleep.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Mark gets all of 5 seconds to greet Celine before she embeds her axe in his chest.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Damien has forgotten the events of "Who Killed Markiplier", being unable to recognize Mark for a few seconds when he finally sees him again. It's only toward the end where he begins to remember everything.
  • Never My Fault: Mark refuses to believe that Celine ran away because of him and thinks that everyone is "ungrateful" for his gifts.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Per Word of God, Wilford Warfstache's influence, represented by the pink flower, has begun breaking down the purgatory Damien resides in. While this allows Damien to remember everything, it also has the consequence of allowing Mark to manipulate it and bring Damien to him.
  • The Stinger: The end credits abruptly glitches back to the now-destroyed cabin. "Damien" is then seen slowly emerging from the cabin, the video and audio heavily glitching as he does. The final shot is Damien's face close up, heavily resembling Darkiplier.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Damien calls out Mark for setting up the events of "Who Killed Markiplier" and betraying all of his friends.
    Damien: You took our lives! You betrayed me! You betrayed William! You even betrayed Celine!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Its clear that by the time of the story, Mark has become deluded into thinking that he is the "hero" of the story and that Damien will make a great "villain" for him. Word of God states that he is unable to process that he is in the wrong and that this isn't something Damien wants.
  • You're Insane!: Damien realizes just how crazy Mark has become when he starts talking about his "story" and tells him to his face that he is out of his mind.
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