A running gag, or gag reel, is a series of jokes and/or cliches that runs throughout Criminal Case and happens frequently. The purpose of this is to make the player have a laugh or have a "déjà vu" feeling.
This page lists the most common and/or prominent running gags in the game.
On occasion, the player's partner—specifically either Jones, Amy, Frank, or Jack—will fall in love with or have a crush on a suspect at some point in the game. Later, however, the person with whom they fell in love will either be revealed to have something wrong with them or end up in a tragedy as described herein:
- Jones falls in love with Alice August, but later discovers that she is guilty of Trixie Velvet's murder.
- Jones has a strong liking of Rachel Priest and cares for her as a friend, but her attempt to expose a criminal endeavor costs Rachel her life.
- Jones falls in love with Isabella Fairchild, who eventually admits her wrongdoings at the climax of the murder investigation of Andrew Ashworth.
- Amy has a crush on Zack Taylor until she finds out that he is gay.
- Amy's ex-boyfriend, Bobby Prince, eventually turns out to be the horrific slayer of a pilot.
- Amy has a liking of Mikey Bolero, who is found guilty of the murder of an acrobat.
- Frank has deep feelings for Veronica Blade, who is ultimately found guilty of the premeditated electrocution of Peggy Pascal, the unlawful utilization of Colonel Spangler's weather-controlling machine, and the willful destruction of property through Hurricane Yves and Hurricane Zelda, thus confirming her as the person liable for the largest crime spree in Jazz Town.
- Frank has a mild liking of Luz Lucha, who is ultimately revealed to be the murderer of a movie producer.
- Frank opts to step down from the police ranks to pursue a romance with a femme fatale named Velma Bannister, who ultimately turns out to be a fraud before being arrested for plotting the theft of a rare diamond, and later becomes the killer of a movie producer.
- Frank is attracted to Grace O'Brien, who is then found guilty of the murder of a croupier.
- Jack falls for Asal Hawaa, a spy for Mossad. After repeatedly flirting with her and disrupting their mission together, Asal tranquilizes Jack to neutralize him. After this, they actually get in a relationship with each other. Even after she assassinates Nick Kringle, Jack forgives her. Later, however, Jack and Asal break up in the aftermath of the murder investigation of a SOMBRA scientist.
Frank's drinking problem
- Frank attempts to drink out of his flask and even offers the player a little bit of his favorite whiskey before they have to go back to the scene of the murder during a murder investigation. Shortly after, Chief Marquez catches him in the act and gets mad at him for drinking in the job, after which she orders the team to backtrack before the City Maintenance removes vital evidence from the scene.
- Frank is ordered to do civic duty in the forest after he is caught drinking in court during the trial of Steve Bundy.
In almost every Pacific Bay case, Roxie makes jokes about the victim's death as soon as she is done with the autopsy. These jokes are either a twist on how the victim died, or something related. For instance:
- Upon finishing the autopsy of Valerie Green's body in What Dies Beneath, Roxie makes a comment about the irony of divers drowning.
- In The Ice Queen, Roxie states that Becky Walden's death was "cooler" than the Tiki Shack bar, mocking the fact that Becky was frozen with liquid nitrogen.
- In Death by Moonshine, Roxie says that there was a "happy hour" in the morgue after having to autopsy Sammy Duncan's body.
- In Smoke and Mirrors, Roxie claims that the method used to murder Vanessa Kimmel was cool, to which Frank responds that the victim might disagree with her. Roxie then replies saying Vanessa could not possibly disagree as her mouth was stitched shut by her killer.
- After having to autopsy Ling Zhang's body in Heartless, Roxie exclaims how her heart moved in excitement due to the body's state—making fun of the fact that Ling's heart was literally removed.
- When she is done autopsying Clifford Grady's body in Cloudy with a Chance of Murder, Roxie jokes how it was a "cut-throat" murder, making fun of how Clifford had his neck sliced open.
- After successfully autopsying the corpse of Dinah Cooper, a cabaret dancer who was found hung up like a puppet in Hanging by a Thread, Roxie clearly intends a pun when she remarks: "Our victim must have really been hung up about something before she died."
- In Leap of Death, Roxie says, "This was the best thing since sliced bread", joking about how Anjulie Cruz was sliced in half.
- In The Hunger Planes, Roxie says she likes her meat medium-rare, mocking the fact that Harry Hugo was roasted alive over lava.
- After autopsying the body of an artist named Fabrizio Gallardo in The Ship of Dreams, Roxie makes a joke about how Fabrizio's last vision ought to be a "blast", given that a flare was found thrust in his eye socket.
- In Smart Money, Roxie says she'd "bet her bottom dollar", joking about how Ernest Turing was suffocated to death with dollar bills. When she points out how much money there was, Roxie also remarks, "The victim wasn't keen on becoming a piggy bank."
- In Killer Takes All, Roxie says that she had heard of a poker face, but never a "Croupier-Stick Face", an obvious pun on the fact that Alfie McNaulty was stabbed in the eye with a croupier stick.
In almost every case of World Edition, Lars tells a knock-knock joke related to the analysis to the player and their partner. Jack usually welcomes the joke and plays along, while Carmen gets annoyed and angry at it. For instance:
- In The Impossible Dream, Lars does his first knock-knock joke upon analyzing Princess Sofia's crown, ending with "Eiffel down and broke my crown!" Rather than saying "I fell", Lars says "Eiffel".
- In I Spy a Mummy, Lars does another knock-knock joke after analyzing Afif Wahab's blood on a golden ankh, ending with "Ankh if you love your mummy". Rather than saying "honk", Lars says "ankh".
- In Horseback Mountain, Lars wants Carmen to accompany him with his knock-knock joke about a vacuum mug containing salty tea. When Carmen refuses, he does both parts by himself, ending the joke with "Anais cup of salty tea". Rather than saying "a nice", Lars says "anais".
- In Plagued by Death, Lars tries to tell a knock-knock joke, but Jack insists that he simply tell the stained cloth's analysis result. Later, when Lars is feeling better after getting sick from the virus, he tries to tell a knock-knock joke, but Jack hugs him before he can say anything. Lars claims the joke would end with "Disease me, Lars". Rather than saying "this is me", he says "disease me".
- In Dead in the Water, after analysis of a jade vase, Lars lets his daughter June tell a knock-knock joke (although she does all five parts of it) that ends with "A vase choice you made in coming to see my dad!" Rather than saying "wise", June says "vase".
- In Speak, Friend, and Die, before giving the results of the analysis of a blue substance, tells a knock-knock joke that Sanjay interrupts. He ends the joke with "Larval always find a way!" Rather than saying "love will", Sanjay says "larval".
- In Out of the Blue, Lars tells a knock-knock joke about the orange crystals he analyzed. He ends the joke with "Orange crystals" after Jack said "Orange Chris who?".
- In The Circle of Death, Lars tells a knock-knock joke involving the blood sample he was sent. He ends the joke with "A face-scinating sample of blood it was you sent me, <Name>!" Rather than saying "fascinating", Lars says "face-scinating".
- In Murder, He Wrote, rather than telling a knock-knock joke, he asks "who isn't there", as Angela was revealed to be the SOMBRA mole.
- In Total Eclipse of the Heart, after analysis of black seeds, Lars ends his (incomplete) knock-knock joke with "Chili out!", replacing "chill" with "chili".
- In Cheaters Never Win, upon analyzing some hair, Lars tells a joke that ends with "The Harris in the bowl". Much to his chagrin, Michelle finishes the joke before he can. Rather than saying "hair is", Lars says "Harris". Later, Michelle tries telling her own joke.
- In Up in Smoke, Lars says "Your ex-plosion has been caused by the white crystals you picked up on the latex gloves!" He says "ex-plosion" rather than "explosion".
- In God Save the Prince, Jack disguises as a British policeman after London's police asked the Bureau to patrol Westminster Lane.
- In The Impossible Dream, Jack disguises as a member of the Promethian Cult to get Cassandra Papadakis to reveal that she is a member of the aforementioned cult and to get Archibald Gilchrist to reveal that he killed Jacqueline Proust.
- In The Parting Shot, Jack disguises as a rebel leader in order to meet Seamus Cummings. Later in the case, Jack disguises as Seamus to meet Sultan Mahmoud and see if he knew about Seamus' death.
- In Countdown to Murder, Jack disguises as a cosmonaut to enter the Kazakh launch site after Natasha Romanova placed a lockdown on launch site.
- In Bloodywood, Jack disguises as Om Padmasana to convince Lars to stop him from being one of Om's followers.
- In Oh! Crazy Kill!, Jack disguises as a K-pop idol to see what SILVERee would say about the strange activity at a karaoke bar where SILVERee performed daily.
- In Speak, Friend, and Die, Jack disguises as an elf to investigate strange activity at the set of the Ringed Lord.
- In Total Eclipse of the Heart, Jack disguises as Adolfo Herrera so he could intercept a meeting between the now-deceased Adolfo and Zoila Huanca.
- In Up in Smoke, Jack disguises as a woman after Chockas D.Lux claimed that he could not make a passable female disguise.
- In Double Trouble, Jack disguises as Niilo Virtanen to deceive the latter's assassin while inspecting the Bearing Straight factory.
Dick's scientific studies
- In Welcome to Concordia!, upon entering his lab, Dick is examining the victim's stomach despite having been greeted by Maddie and the player.
- In In the Line of Fire, Dick is testing an intravenous medicine on himself and asks if he can lend the player's arm.
- In A Murder Carol, Dick plans to check how long alcohol remains in the bloodstream after consumption.
- In Shear Murder, Dick notes that he did not sleep for three consecutive days in order to give information on his sleep deprivation study.
- In In the Name of the Father, Dick tries some psilocybin mushrooms in hopes of finding their side effects.
- In The Talking Dead, Dick is seen stitching himself up, and upon Maddie asking him as to why he has not stopped self-experimenting, he replies by saying that sacrifices has to be made for science.
- In Sweet Revenge, Dick asks if Isaac and the player have brought back chocolate from the Rochester Chocolates factory as he is doing research on its curative powers.
- In That Sinking Feeling, Dick initially appears to feel like vomiting due to his evaluating of his resistance to nausea.
- In Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Dick is shown to have facial wounds after cutting a rope to have a glass sheet fall on him, helping him prove the killer's dominant hand.
- In Out of Steam, Dick is seen taking arsenic in order to build up his resistance against poisons.
- In Sinners and Saints, Dick is high once more due to his taking of "shamrock smokies", as well as having found a way to become sober using a special mixture of coffee made by Viola.
- In Blue Blazes, Dick concocts a gel that is able to delay the heat impact of fire, and goes on to test it on his left arm.
- In Death is a Cabaret, Dick has a scalpel embedded in his neck due to him trying out his new formula of anesthesia, since the victim was subdued by a pseudo-anesthetic prior to being disemboweled. Later, after learning that Irving Blackmoor does not sedate his patients during surgery, Dick claims that even he would not do that due to having tried it on himself.
- In Giving up the Ghost, Dick discovers the formula Ernest Picklebrain used on Aurora Osborne to make her glow. He is then seen in public, causing Constable Ramirez to be frightened.
- In Apprehend Me If You're Able, Dick reveals that he learned that someone can survive after losing two liters of blood, and that he once tried to lose three liters, but became unconscious as a result.
- Dick is caught stealing pills and mistaken as a patient, causing him to be interned as a result in Doctor, Interrupted.
- In Turn for the Worse, Dick is seen throwing a knife, presumably at himself, to test out how Lynn Hart was stabbed.
- In The Machiavellian Candidate, when Dick points out that Lissa Avery was poisoned by French wine, Maddie asks if he tasted it due to Dick's constant self-experimentation. An amused Dick declines.
- In The Swan Song, Dick tries to be as flexible as a ballerina for experimental purposes. Whilst attempting to do pirouettes, his neck became stiff.
Sometimes the game's characters will say something that may indicate an awareness that they are in a video game:
- After Joe Stern becomes a suspect again in Burned to the Bone, Jones recalls him being a suspect in Corpse in a Garden, saying the given name of the case.
- After finding a broken webcam in the Grimsborough University's library in At the End of the Rope, Jones shows distraught and expresses how everything breaks so easily in Grimsborough.
- In the case Troubled Waters, Jones and the player find Patricia P. Harris' book, which is also named Troubled Waters. Jones mentions that the book's title could be the name for their case.
- In Heartless, Hannah says that it is hard for her to believe that Amy and the player have to deal with this many murders every week, pointing out that there is a new case every week.
- In Spineless, Frank questions how suspects always systematically tear up photos everywhere.
- In Murder, He Wrote, Michelle says she will be astonished if there is no fresh corpse in every new country she visits, pointing out how there is a case in each visited country in World Edition.
- In Blood Bath, Charles tells Maddie that she is "looking rather ravishing today". In response, Maddie says that she looks the same every day, pointing out that her character model rarely ever changes.
On occasion, the player's partner may become victim of (sometimes dangerous) jokes by different suspects. Here are some instances:
- Jones is subject to several jokes after he mistakes costumes when assisting to the Grimsborough Sci-fi Festival, dressing himself as a superheroine reminiscent of Wonder Woman.
- Taylor Kirby throws a pot of blue paint on Jones' head while he and the player are summarizing details about Aaliyah Banks' death.
- Jones is hit in the head by a brick thrown by Opera Phantom while standing in the Opera during the murder investigation of an opera director.
- Shawna Knox makes fun of Frank's Hawaiian shirt during the murder investigation of a young restaurant waiter after he questions her tobacco-chewing habits.
- Shelly Dulard deliberately litters Amy when she stands near her steamboat during the murder investigation of a banker.
- Asal Hawaa slaps Jack after he kisses her to plant a bug on her during the murder investigation of a SOMBRA agent.
- Doña Amarga gets mad at Carmen and attempts to hit her on the head with an umbrella after Carmen examines her wallet during Michelle's murder investigation.
- Charles is stoned by a group of Luddites during the murder investigation of a Luddite.
- Dick is accidentally interned at Gryphon Sanctuary after being mistaken for a patient during Irving Blackmoor's murder investigation.
Throughout the game, the player may occasionally encounter references to Internet memes. Here are some of the instances:
- Grumpy Cat can be spotted at least seven times in the game:
- In Under the Knife's "Pew" crime scene.
- In Bomb Alert on Grimsborough's "Hot Dog Stall" crime scene.
- In Anatomy of a Murder's "Exhibit Display" crime scene.
- In The Wollcrafts' Creature's "Graves" crime scene.
- In Killing Me Softly's "Drum Kit" crime scene.
- In The Reaper and the Geek's "Festival Main Hall" crime scene.
- In The Poisoned Truth's "Exhibition Room" crime scene.
- A poster of Uncle Sam can be seen in the "City Hall Entrance" crime scene in All the King's Horses.
- Trollfaces have also been used several times:
- The symbol can be seen in Blood on the Trading Floor's "Trading Floor" crime scene as the collectable object "Eye".
- The player can encounter the symbol at the middle-right area of the "Workshop Window" crime scene in The Ghost of Grimsborough.
- The symbol can be spotted again in the "Showcase" crime scene in The Poisoned Truth.
- The symbol reappears in the "Military Bootcamp" crime scene in The Root of All Evil.
- The symbol appears once more in the "Ivywood Sign" crime scene in The Young and the Lifeless.
References to Grimsborough
- In the "Ice Cream Kiosk" crime scene in Shark Attack!, "Jones" is written on the star embedded in the sidewalk.
- In the "Plaza Stairs" crime scene in Dead Girl Rolling, the player can find a tree trunk with Jones' name carved on top of a heart symbol.
- There are two Easter eggs involving Grimsborough PD members in The Ice Queen:
- In the "Beach" crime scene, the player can find a seaplane with a "We miss you Jones" banner.
- In the "Gift Shop" crime scene, the player can find a US postal stamp with Chief King's face on it.
- When the player examines Susie Pickley's book, Constance Bell can be seen credited as the author of the book.
- Judge Hall is mentioned by Judge Dante during Ray Westman's trial, suggesting that he could impress her with that murder trial in the Annual Judge Convention.
- After the player recovers Ramirez's notebook for him during the Additional Investigation of Spineless, a drawing of Jones eating cookies can be spotted on the bottom of the page at the right-hand side.
- In the "Looted Station" crime scene in Of Rats and Men, a portrait of Jones can be seen.
- Also in the aforementioned crime scene, a poster of Freddy Stewart's corpse can be noticed.
- Rachel Priest can be seen on a TV screen in the "Distillery" crime scene in The White Peaks Project.
- Along with Clifford Grady doing a weather forecast, the unnamed sports announcer holding a microphone, and Tiffany Neng, Jones can be seen on a flashing television screen, in the crime scene "Mayor's Office" in Uncivil Rights.
- In In Plain Sight, there is a picture of Jones pinned to the board on the wall in the "Break Room" and "Coffee Table" crime scenes.
- Constable Ramirez could be a reference to Ramirez, as well as being his ancestor.
Throughout the game, the player can find various references to famous media titles. Below are some of the instances:
- There are references to Magical Ride and My Shops—two other games by the creators of Criminal Case—in the "Square's Entrance" and "Square Steps" crime scenes in The Kiss of Death, and in the "Overgrown Garden" crime scene in Anatomy of a Murder.
- In At the End of the Rope, once the player unlocks the tablet, there can be seen four apps, one of which is Criminal Case, a nod to the game itself. This is possibly intended as a shout-out because the actual iOS release for the game was on the 28 August 2014, whereas the case was released on the 18 July 2013, which was over a year before.
- In the "Festival Main Hall" crime scene in The Reaper and the Geek, there is a head that resembles a Creeper from Minecraft.
- In the "Bridge Entrance" crime scene featured in Blood and Glory, the player can spot the logo of Half-Life spray-painted on a wall. Also stuck into the same wall is a crowbar, which is the iconic weapon of said video game series.
- There are some references to the popular Facebook match-three video game Candy Crush Saga:
- Andre Roche is shown to have a tattoo on his neck featuring five block lines and the words "cut here", which is a rip-off of the tattoo sported by Trevor Philips, one of the three protagonists of Grand Theft Auto V.
- In To Die or Not to Die, during Phineas Fine's arrest—specifically after he reveals the reason as to why he killed Jacob Dawks—Jones remarks: "This is madness!" Phineas then responds, "This is theater!" This is a spoof of the popular "This is Sparta!" scene from 300, a 2006 American epic war film.
- The video Jones is seen to be watching in the opening cutscene of The Wollcrafts' Creature is a reference to Charlie Bit My Finger, a 2007 viral video that is famous for formerly being the most viewed YouTube video of all time.
- In the "Festival Main Hall" crime scene in The Reaper and the Geek, there is a poster in the background which says "The God of the Rings"—an obvious parody of the popular book/film series The Lord of the Rings.
- There are various references to the popular American crime drama television series Breaking Bad:
- In the "Students' Desks" crime scene in Spring Break Massacre, the "Mysterious man" on the projector screen strongly resembles Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. Furthermore, the subtitles on the projector screen, which reads "Robbing a train", is a reference to "Dead Freight", the fifth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, which features a train heist sequence.
- In the "Gas Station Shop" crime scene in Burying the Hatchet, on a unit is a sticker of the element abbreviations "Br" and "Ba"—the logo of Breaking Bad.
- In the "Tattoo Parlor" crime scene in Death on Wheels, the player can see a magazine cover which advertises a TV show called "Burning Mad" and features a parody of Heisenberg on the cover.
- In the "Plaza Stairs" crime scene in Dead Girl Rolling, the player can spot a "Br" symbol and a "Vamonos Pest" poster which are obvious references to Breaking Bad.
- In the "Saloon Terrace" crime scene in Open Wounds, there is a wanted poster which features the portrait of a man bearing a striking resemblance to Heisenberg.
- Most of Crystal Death's plot orbits around the aforementioned show.
- The "Mining Shaft" crime scene in There Will Be Blood is full of references to the Indiana Jones franchise.
- There are several cases whose titles pay homage to popular songs, novels, or movies. For example, Ashes to Ashes is a reference to David Bowie's popular song of the same name.
- In the "Deep Coral" crime scene in What Dies Beneath, the player can spot a clownfish and a blue surgeonfish, which are references to Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo.
- During the trial of a notorious serial killer known as "The Puppeteer", Judge Dante sarcastically remarks that he thought the Puppeteer was "some toy that came alive at night and killed people, but turned back into a doll by day." This is a reference to the popular horror movie franchise Child's Play featuring the fictional living doll, "Chucky".
- Sven Blattner bears a disturbing resemblance to Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
- While reporting the result of a young actress's autopsy in the first case of Ivywood Hills, Roxie tries to conciliate a discontented Frank by utilizing the popular tagline "Why so serious?"—which originated in the 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight.
References to Pretty Simple
The game contains several references to Pretty Simple, the development team of Criminal Case. Examples:
- In Good Cop Dead Cop:
- There is a pizza box marked "Pretty Pizza" in the "Third Floor" crime scene.
- The result after searching through a drawer is a box of cigarettes labeled "Pretty Lights".
- In the "Escalator" crime scene in Fashion Victim, there is a shopping bag with "Pretty Store" written over it.
- Also in the aforementioned crime scene, "Pretty Pizza" makes an appearance as a logo on a calendar standing on the table.
- In the "Main Street" and "Hot Dog Stall" crime scenes in The Last Supper, a license plate with the text "PRT - SMPL" can be spotted.
- A license plate depicting the same text can be seen in the "Stewarts' House" crime scene in the following case.
- In The Summoning, Nathan points out that the cause of death is pretty simple.
- The "Raised Beds" crime scene in The Haunting of Elm Manor has a Chinese lantern with "簡単", the Japanese term for "simple".
- Connor Sullivan is slain with a knife that has "Pretty Simple" engraved on its blade.
- In the crime scene "Pet Beauty Parlor" in Dog Eat Dog, there is a poster advertising pet grooming called "My Pretty Pet".
- In the "Comic Book Shop" and "Bookshelves" crime scenes in Killing Me Softly, there are many merchandises of a comic book superhero called Captain Simple. The owner of the franchise Captain Simple is "Pretty Corp."
- When the player is piecing back a torn poster in The Reaper and the Geek, the poster turns out to be that of Captain Simple.
- In Dead Man Running, Madison Springer informs that "Simple Sports Drinks" sponsors the Grimsborough University's football team.
- When the player is piecing back a webcam in At the End of the Rope, the words "Pretty Webcam" can be observed.
- In the "Festival Main Hall" crime scene in The Reaper and the Geek, there is a t-shirt which has the logo of Pretty Simple on it.
- The gymnastic beam in the "Training Facility" and "Training Mats" crime scenes in Marked for Death is created by a company called "Pretty Strong".
- In the "Terrace" crime scene in Troubled Waters, a champagne bottle bears the title "Pretty Simple".
- In the "Sun Chair" crime scene in A Shot of Beauty, a pink smartphone with Pretty Simple's logo set as its background picture can be seen.
- In The Ice Queen, a box of "Pretty Lights" cigarettes reappears in the "Campfire" crime scene.
- When piecing back Odette Kamarov's mobile phone in Murder-Go-Round, the player can notice that the mobile brand's name reads "PrettyPhone".
- In the "Temple Interior" crime scene in Under the Skin, the player can spot a rock with a "Pretty Simple" graffito on it.
- It is stated that travel writer tourist Paula Mahler has a guidebook called Pretty Planet.
- It is mentioned that actress Felicia Steppingstone earned her fame after winning the reality show Pretty Simple Life.
- In Deadly Legacy, Phillip Hatchman is shown drinking a bottle of wine during his interrogation. The bottle's tag reads "Pretty".
- When Roxie gives her autopsy report on Randolph, she notes that the killer eats a candy called "Pretty Pieces".
- In Smart Money, it is found that the killer reads comic books. The Killer's Profile image for this depicts the Captain Pretty comics, which is an obvious reference to the aforementioned comic book superhero named Captain Simple.
- In Death by Martini, Jeremy Bowman is seen holding a suitcase with "PS" labels over it, standing for Pretty Simple.
- Off with Their Heads features a news magazine named Pretty Fair and a coffee cup with the inscription "Pretty Coffee".
- In Going the Distance, Thomas Moulin has the "Pretty Simple" sponsor logo on his rally jumpsuit.
- In the Avatar Shop, two rewards—both being for males—have a PS hallmark on them: Striped Cardigan (from the Classic Shop) and Hip-Hop Cap (from the Elite Shop).
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