Hasbro's Clue has become the quintessential murder-mystery solving game since it was first released in 1949. In this popular whodunit, players try to figure out which of the colorful characters committed a murder, what weapon was used to commit the crime, and what room they committed the crime in. Yet, no matter how many rounds you've played, you probably never realized that these Clue game characters are more than a colorful token on a board, but have their own fascinating backstories that complicate the mystery even more.
The Original Clue Game Characters
According to the rule booklet included in the original Clue board game, there were seven original characters within the game, six of which were playable. Since the popular mystery board game has been around for decades, you're probably familiar with at least a few of the game's more infamous characters - or at the very least, Tim Curry's electric performance as the film version's fictional character, Wadsworth. Take some time to dive into some of your favorite Clue characters' personas and see which one you think committed the crime.
Mr. Boddy, aka the man who brought the entire group together. Over the years, Mr. Boddy's backstory has changed, but originally he was said to be the owner of either Tudor Manor or Boddy Mansion. After inviting his closest friends to his home for an evening, including Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White, Mr. Boddy ends up dead, presumably at the hands of one of the people in attendance.
This character is represented by the yellow token. Mustard is your typical adventurer with a rich military background. Colonel Mustard (his first name in the British version of the game is Michael) continues to practice archery and shooting by frequently hunting for sport. He's a dashing and handsome man with a proud demeanor appropriate for his heritage. He loves to challenge people to a duel if they cross him, and he isn't afraid to speak his mind. A bachelor, Colonel Mustard, is smitten by both Mrs. Peacock and Miss Scarlet. He's a tough man to accuse, so you had better be right if you do.
Blanche White, whose à propos token color is white, is the manor's maid and isn't exempt from any accusations. Unfortunately for her, Mrs. White's character is often reduced to the old biddy or old crone stereotype. She has nothing to her name and takes her domestic duties very seriously. If something is out of place, she had better not know about it, or else you'll incur her stern side.
Professor Plum is represented by the game's purple token. He would be the smartest man on the planet if he wasn't so scatterbrained. Slightly balding and middle-aged, Peter Plum can't remember where he's been for the last five minutes of any part of any day, so how could he remember if he murdered Mr. Boddy or not? He's a simple, intelligent man and good-natured at heart, but he likes to steal his own things. That's because he's just absent-minded enough to do so!
Mrs. Peacock is a widow who dresses all in blue and is represented by the blue game token. Her latest dead husband's estate is almost dried up because of her attempts to maintain an extravagant lifestyle. She's proper and has excellent manners, but are these manners just a tool to disguise her past? A past that's filled with martricide four times over. So what are her connections to Mr. Boddy, and could he be her fifth victim?
Mr. John Green, represented by the green pawn, is a smooth talker. His dad is a lowdown thief, and his mom tells fortunes wherever and whenever she can. Despite his secular upbringing, Mr. Green found a calling in spirituality. This manifested in him setting up traveling tents and asking people to donate money for the less fortunate. However, just like his criminal parents, he intends to keep all the money for himself. During his travels, "Reverend" Green met and had certain dealings with Mr. Boddy, but did Mr. Boddy have something on the Reverend that could prompt him to take him out?
Represented by the red piece, Miss Scarlet is the typical femme fatale of the suspects. Not only is she supremely aware of her beautiful, but she'll also use it to her advantage. At a young age, she received all sorts of attention from the men in her life, resulting in a dangerously jealous mother. Interestingly, Miss Scarlet believes that her mother's hiding massive amounts of wealth and since her mother won't share this money with her, the younger Scarlet has taken to dating wealthy bachelors instead. She jumps from one to the next without a thought, hoping her beauty and charm will carry her through into the next will. Could Mr. Boddy be a past love affair gone wrong?
Updated Clue Characters
In 2008, Hasbro updated the board game Clue and revised many of the characters' backstories in order to give them more modern personas.
- Jack Mustard - Mustard is a former football player who tries to get by on his former glory.
- Victor Plum - Plum is a billionaire video game designer who is embracing his new popularity.
- Diane White - White is a former child star desperate to find fame again.
- Kasandra Scarlet - Scarlet is an A-list movie star whose past haunts her.
- Jacob Green - Green has a lot of connections and is always willing to help people out - for a price.
- Eleanor Peacock - Peacock is from a wealthy family and uses her status and money to earn popularity.
Hasbro Makes Room for a New Character
In 2016, Hasbro took a daring risk and said goodbye to their first Clue character since the games inception. Their unfortunate victim? Mrs. White. Of course, Mrs. White's untimely demise wasn't in vain, as it was strategically organized so that the company could make room for a new character called Dr. Orchid.
To step outside of stereotypes, Dr. Orchid is the first female character in the game that has both a career and a Ph.D. A scientist specializing in plant toxicology, Dr. Orchid, who appears to be of Asian decent, has ties to the Boddy family. With a rich backstory, Orchid was educated in Switzerland until an accident left her being raised by Mrs. White. This new character, with her ties to the murder victim and links to the original crew, adds a new angle to an already fun family game.
Who Did It?
While the characters may have changed from board game to board game, Clue's premise remains the same. Every character has the means and motive to commit the crime, and it's your job to not only embody one of those characters yourself but also to uncover who committed the murder first. Thanks to the crafty way the game is constructed, no two sessions are alike; and if you feel like you've aged out of playing Clue, then the characters can still provide you with inspiration for a Halloween costume or two.