10 Murder Mystery Genre Rules He’s Breaking

There are several aspects of Only murders in the building that adhere to the rules of the murder mystery genre. Season 1 ends with a massive plot as viewers discover that Jan killed Tim Kono, there are multiple red herrings everywhere, and the three main characters are determined to solve the case.

But as fans dive into Season 2 of the hit Hulu series, it’s clear the show ignores certain tropes that are often part of murder mysteries. Each episode of Only murders in the building goes beyond certain conventions of the genre.


ten The killer deserves empathy

Jan smiling in the elevator in Only Murders in the Building

The “Sympathetic Murderer” trope is sometimes used, and viewers often feel empathy towards them based on their motive or story. It’s more fascinating than just introducing an evil villain who doesn’t have much else to do.

Season 1 of Only murders in the building has fun characters, huge shocks, and a fully formed January villain. There’s no way you can feel bad for Jan or feel like she did the right thing because she knew exactly what she was doing. When Mabel Mora, Charles Hayden-Savage, and Oliver Putnam learn of Jan’s existence, they definitely feel nothing but shock and disgust.

9 There are two killers

Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building Season 2

Perhaps the most famous example of the murder mystery trope of having two killers is the first Scream film as Billy Loomis and Stu Macher are the team pursuing Sidney Prescott and the people of Woodsboro. It was a big deal at the time because no one thought there would be two Ghostfaces.

This murder mystery rule is called “Two Dun It” and is often a big surprise because it can be hard to guess. While it remains to be seen if there will be two murderers in Season 2, Jan worked alone when she murdered Tim.

8 Anyone could be a suspect

Charles and Amy talk in Only Murders In The Building

The “everyone’s a suspect” trope might work best among them. When it’s impossible to tell who’s good or bad, it’s fun to keep watching a thriller or a horror movie or a TV show.

As Charles, Mabel, and Oliver continue to investigate murders at their own residence, some characters are clearly not murder suspects. Viewers know the trio are innocent and that Cinda Canning and Oliver’s son, Will, did not kill Tim.

seven The death was not voluntary

Only murders in the bunny building

Sometimes when the killer is revealed in a detective book, movie, or TV show, they didn’t want to kill the victim. This revelation is often accompanied by a long monologue explaining what happened.

Since when did viewers find out that Jan murdered Tim, who is one of the greatest Only murders in the building plot twists, she makes it clear that she wanted to kill him, the show doesn’t use this trope. Jan and Tim had an affair and Jan thought he was unfaithful and wanted him gone. It also seems likely that Bunny Folger’s killer wanted to pursue her.

6 A mystery on a train

Mabel Multicolor Sweater Only Murders In The Building

There’s a popular mystery trope called “Thriller on the Express” and the story takes place on a train. Pretty little Liars uses this trope in the Season 3 episode “This Is A Dark Ride” when the characters celebrate Halloween on a spooky train.

Only murders in the building doesn’t use that trope and keeps the mystery of the Arconia, a perfect setting since Charles, Oliver and Mabel have incredibly huge, beautifully decorated apartments that are fun to watch.

5 The killer is upset to have been discovered

Jan in Only Murders In The Building Episode 9

The series also breaks the often-used murder mystery rule: when the main characters find out about the killer, the killer feels like they could have kept their crime a secret. This trope is called “You Meddling Kids”.

Instead of being upset, Jan is happy to share what she did, and she doesn’t seem upset at all. It even seems like Jan wants to be found out because she doesn’t think she’s done anything wrong and she wants Charles to know all about it.

4 An intelligent and competent journalist

Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short in Only Murders in the Building season 2

There are many great characters in Only murders in the buildingfrom podcaster Cinda to Detective Williams, but the show breaks the rule of having a reporter dig into the mystery and try to solve the crime.

Instead, the trio are the ones playing that role, interrogating the people of Arconia and gathering evidence. They share what they learn with their podcast’s passionate fans. The audience discovers the clues at the same time as the characters, which makes it more fun.

3 someone else is killed

Tim Kono on his phone in Only Murders in the Building

Several murder mysteries feature a big murder that the story focuses on, and then one or two other characters are killed throughout the story. It proves that the main characters are in danger and it looks like the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Season 1 focuses on Tim’s murder and Season 2 on Bunny’s tragic death, and although fans learn that Mabel’s friend Zoe Cassidy died years ago, it happened. in the past.

2 The characters are together in the country

Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building season 2

Many mysteries focus on characters in a remote city setting, such as a meeting or a party at a country house. It’s called the “Ten Little Murder Victims” trope. It can be scary to watch because the characters don’t have an easy way to escape.

While the many sympathetic Only murders in the building the characters all live in the same building, they don’t travel far from New York or spend time in a country house.

1 The story is told from the perspective of the killer

Jan smiles while wearing a red blouse in Only Murders in the Building.

Sometimes a mystery will be told from the perspective of the killer, whether fans find out right away or later. It’s an interesting trope because it’s often shocking.

Although fans will learn more about Jan, and it seems likely that the killer in season 2 will as well, both seasons focus on the three main characters, with some episodes sharing the stories of underage players.

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