Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / And Then There Were None

Go To

  • Accidental Innuendo: Non-sexual example. When Rogers's body is found Ms Brent demands to know where he is (she's hungry dammit!). They say Breakfast'll be delayed and...
    Ms Brent: If I had a butler like Rogers, I'd soon get rid of him...
  • Author's Saving Throw: Several in the 1945 film.
    • Vera and Lombard live, and are innocent in the film. This was to address the fact that the film would have been seen as too dark.
    • In the novel Vera should have been cleared from suspicion from Wargrave's "murder", as she was the only one with a 100% solid alibi. In the movie the scene takes place during a blackout where Vera is actually the prime suspect for screaming.
    • Advertisement:
    • Lombard's idiot move of lunging at Vera while she's armed is removed and replaced with him trying to talk her down. Oh, and it works.
    • Theres no logical way Vera or Lombard could have murdered Blore in the book. In the movie both are shown to have been in separate rooms, meaning either one could have done it (Not only from a character standpoint but the audience's)
    • Ms Brent's insanely avoidable death is replaced by her insisting on being alone (and getting killed). (Which was also pretty avoidable, but at least everyone else doesn't look like an idiot.)
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Harry Alan Towers film adaptations are full of such moments. For example, in the 1965 movie, Lombard and the butler get into a random fistfight that lasts about one minute before the judge says "Now, now, that's enough"... and it is. It is promptly forgotten, and never brought up again. (It was hilariously used as fodder for the godawful trailer)
    • Advertisement:
    • Or the 1989 movie. There are several moments that fit this trope, but one that stands out in particular is the usual "Marston plays the full rhyme on the piano" scene that is usually in each adaptation (and ends up being crucial to introducing the rhyme to the audience)...except instead of actually playing the rhyme, Marston plays a few seconds of "Mad Dogs and Englishmen". Why? No one knows. And no one spends their time speculating on it, either.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: A massive aversion reveals itself upon rereading. You can actually systematically eliminate several suspects if you pay close enough attention.
    • Blore is pretty much eliminated as a suspect at the end of his first POV section, thanks to the narration practically telling us it's not him.
    • It is virtually impossible for Vera or Armstrong to have murdered Wargrave.
    • It isn't at all possible for Lombard or Vera to have murdered Blore or Armstrong.
    • Putting together the above, an attentive reader would realize that none of the final four are possible culprits.
    • Advertisement:
    • And finally theres actually narration from each character at one point in the Final Five (Chapter 12). Including the killer. If you can piece together who's thinking what segment, you get an interesting clue...
      • Quote one is Vera or Wargrave being suspicious of Armstrong. Since Vera was suspicious of Armstrong before, and Wargrave was being chummy with Armstrong earlier, Vera seems the most likely (Confirmed by later events)
      • Quote two is attributable to Lombard, since he's used the exact same terminology before.
      • Quote three is Armstrong's or Wargrave's. They suspect Vera.
      • Quote four is Blore's. He references "Judgement day" because of an incident in chapter 1.
      • Quote five is likely the killer's. They think about who's next and think that "It's got to work, it's all planned." Thanks the the above, you can now assume Wargrave or Armstrong is the killer.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The opening theme to the game. Whether you love or hate the game, hell, even if you hate it, you can't deny that the theme does an excellent job of capturing the creepy atmosphere.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Good god Phillip Lombard in the book and 2015 BBC adaptation only. Many seem to ignore the fact that he left his men to die, excusing it for Values Dissonance (Granted that was certainly in play). Many like the fact that he's the only one to outright confess his crime, tries to keep everyone alive, and is the only one to make sure no one can murder him without everyone else realizing he's the killer. The fact that he outright guesses the killer's identity correctly doesn't hurt. For this reason, the stage play and most of the film adaptations make him innocent of the crime; in the stage play, he actually tried to save the men rather than leave them to die, and in the 1945 film he died a week before the mystery and his friend Charles Morley impersonated him.
    • The actual killer. They are trying to off a group of murderers after all...
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Lombard, for being the Only Sane Man and one of the most interesting characters.
    • Emily Brent has actually become one over the years.
    • Rogers from the 1945 version. His death is also the best choreographed, so that helps.
  • Fanfic Fuel: So much of it.
    • What if someone else was the killer? We've seen it be Wargrave, and we've seen it be a random actress, but how could the story work if someone else was the culprit?
      • Several small-scale theater adaptations have run with this. Alternate killers have included Brent, Blore, Ms Rogers, Armstrong, and Fred Narcott for example.
    • What if different characters survived? What if the order of death was different? What if the protagonist wass someone completely different?
    • What if real life or fictional murderers were put in this scenario?
    • What if certain characters turned out to be innocent?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A General MacArthur, written before World War II. As such, when the book was adapted into a play in 1943, MacArthur's name was changed to McKenzie.
    • The rather large amount of moments where Emily Brent is implied to be the killer (or otherwise noted to be creepy) becomes this, when in the Video game, she IS the killer.
  • It Was His Sled: All the guests are responsible for the deaths of someone while managing to escape the justice, Judge Wargrave is the killer and everyone is dead at the end of the novel. It's safe to say that someone who didn't already read the book should finish it before browsing its tropes. Of course, given that this is one of Christie's most famous books, this isn't surprising.
    • Vera Claythorne actually murdered the person she was accused of murdering. This was a semi-large twist in the book given her status as the Final Girl but pretty much everyone knows it.
  • Lost in Imitation: Nearly all English-language film adaptations of this book have the 1945 film's fingerprints all over them, from Anthony Marston playing the nursery rhyme on a piano to Vera and Lombard's romance to Vera's shooting of Lombard turning out to be faked and Wargrave taking poison instead of shooting himself like he does in the book.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Judge Lawrence John Wargrave, aka U. N. Owen manages to craft the ultimate Locked Room Mystery and only his desire that someone appreciate his genius allowed the mystery to be solved. Wargrave, deep down, is an admitted sadist with a bizarre sense of justice and only enacts his cruelties upon the guilty and evil. When he realizes he is fatally ill, Wargrave has nine unrepentant criminals lured to an island with him where he begins murdering them, and avoids suspicion by luring a doctor there into helping him to fake his own death, then murdering said doctor as well. Wargrave proceeds to eliminate his other victims, pressing the final main character who had manipulated a child in her care to his death into suicide. Wargrave ends his plan by committing suicide in such a way that obscures the way he died, with only a written confession in a bottle thrown into a sea revealing the truth.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Let's just say that if the internet had existed when the book was first published, or if Agatha Christie had lived long enough to see the internet, she would have done a lot of head-desking at the discovery of how fans found some of her most intentionally despicable murderers to be sympathetic.
    • Christie was fond of having a sympathetic character turn out to be a murderer, because these types of characters tend not to be suspected by the reader. However, the notion that fans would still find these characters sympathetic after their guilt had become clear beyond a doubt would certainly make her mind boggle.
    • Emily Brent drove a pregnant teenager to suicide due to her own religious values. Her death however indicates she's feeling some repressed guilt. In a conversation with Vera, she mentions that she was very repressed as a child. That same conversation also contains some (possibly unintentional) Values Resonance (For 1945 anyway)
    • See here for a summary
  • Mis-blamed: Rene Clair, director of the 1945 film version, received a lot of criticism for changing the ending of the book. A lot of people did not realize that the basic idea for the film's ending came from Christie herself, having changed it upon adapting the novel for the stage in 1943; Rene Clair simply brought about the Adaptational Alternate Ending in a different (and more convoluted) way.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Has its own page.
  • Narm:
    • Vera Claythorne's internal monologues in the book seem like this to some, though worth noting is the fact that she's going through Sanity Slippage.
    • The scene where everyone let out startled ejaculations.
    • Anthony Marston's demise in the game.
      • A lot of the game can be incredibly narmy, mostly because of the cheap, limited animation and sometimes very poor voice acting.
    • Rogers' reaction to the death of his wife in the 1989 film. And his own death.
  • Not His Sled: Nearly all adaptations completely change the book's ending to the point where the 2015 BBC adaptation actually following through with the original ending feels like a Meta Twist. The video game adaptation goes one step further and changes the identity of the killer, retaining Wargrave's faked death plan to make it appear that he's still the killer to players familiar with the book until he turns up 100% dead later on.
    • Ironically, this twist has itself become a case of It Was His Sled thanks to the sheer amount of movies and plays that use this.
    • In the video game, a random actress pretending to be Ms Brent did it.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Averted in the original novel, and to a certain degree in Agatha Christie's stage version and the 1945 movie as well, but the Harry Alan Towers adaptations put much more focus on the romantic subplot between Vera and Lombard than on the actual mystery itself.
    • The video game has this in spades. Witness the thrilling love triangle of Lombard, Vera and our Protagonist.
  • Ron the Death Eater: A rare non-fanfic example. Lawrence Wargrave is generally much more unhinged in adaptations that contain the altered ending
    • Armstrong has a lot of haters. To see the reason, look no further than his What an Idiot! entry below
  • Values Dissonance: Has its own page.
  • Values Resonance: From Emily Brent of all people. When Vera handwaves Lombard's murder of the natives, saying they were just Natives, Emily retorts that "Black or White, they are our Brothers". This is somewhat negated though, by the fact that Vera's reaction indicates that this is (supposed to be) a sign of Emily's insanity.
  • What an Idiot!: Has its own page
  • The Woobie:
    • Many, many fans find MacArthur to be the most sympathetic of all the guests. He was pretty much dead before he came to the island.
    • Armstrong committed a terrible accident that caused his patient's death, which not only haunted him and brought him to an island to be killed, he ends up becoming the killer's fearful pawn. Toby Stephens plays his woobie status Up to Eleven in the 2015 adaptation.
    • Likewise, Ethel Rogers was pretty much pressured into murdering her former employer by her domineering husband, and had to live with the guilt until she was ultimately murdered for the crime she didn't want to commit. This was why the killer chose to give her a relatively painless death.
    • Beatrice Taylor was fired by Emily Brent after getting pregnant and commited suicide after even her family had rejected her.
    • Whether by Vera or (in some adaptations) not, poor young Cyril was betrayed to his death by someone he loved and trusted.
    • In the original, Hugo Hamilton as well. Wargrave coaxes the story of Cyril's death while the latter is Drowning My Sorrows on a boat. Hugo is completely shocked about what Vera did for him, and regretful that his refusal to marry her encouraged her to murder his nephew.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The game has Vera dressed in a bright fuscia sleeveless dress which would have looked pretty scandalous in 1939, especially for a would be secretary/former governess. It doesn't help that her outfit is very bright compared to the subdued color schemes of the other characters, and a large portion of the game rooms.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: