Mr. Green: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
(According to the “real” ending, Mr. Green is not who he pretends to be, but let’s go with the character he’s acting as for the majority of the story.)
Mr. Green is nervous and chatty and prone to random conceptual leaps—“Mrs. Peacock was a man?!” He’s had to live his whole life under a pretense, acting out a part that everyone wants to see. He’s the one chosen to distract the cop, making up idle conversation while the others hide the bodies. He connects the dots during dinner conversation that all of them work in the government, and wonders what it could mean. In the real ending, he’s first to arrive at the conclusion that Wadsworth is really Mr. Boddy. He slaps Mrs. Peacock because it seems like a good idea at the time, and he’s kind of awkward in his own body, often falling prey to clumsiness.
Best Suggestion: ENFP
Wadsworth: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
Wadsworth has one goal for the evening—to dispense with his accomplices and tighten the noose on his blackmail victims. For this he invents a whole evening of shadowplay, a complex plan to push his dinner guests toward murder. He assigns each of them colorful names, possibly related to how he visualizes their individual personalities in his imagination. Or maybe as if he’s picturing them as pawns on a gameboard. Though he’s confident of his plot, he can become just as panicked as anyone else when the environment changes too quickly—when the lights go out, he mistakes a shower faucet for a doorknob. He walks, or rather runs, the company through the night’s events, appearing to have solved the crime when actually he already predicted what everyone would do. For all his foresight, he fails to react in the moment when Mr. Green gets the drop on him and ends his crime spree.
Best Suggestion: INFJ
(Not really sure that Wadsworth is actually an Ni-user, but I think this paints a decent portrait of the cognitive function as if he were.)
Miss Scarlet: Extraverted Sensing (Se)
Miss Scarlet’s the least panicky and frightened of any in the group (at least at first), unintimidated by her eerie surroundings and seemingly eager to see what plays out. She uses her sultry good looks to her advantage—when her car breaks down on the way up to the mansion, she shows a little leg to an oncoming car and hitches a ride. She isn’t shy at all about her line of work, and when everyone else is protesting their innocence, she proudly owns up to running an escort service. She sees nothing wrong in profiting from the world’s oldest profession, catering to the very natural needs all men have. She’s smart and capable, but sometimes misses the point of the absurd wordplay in conversation (“Why would he want to kill you in public?”).
Best Suggestion: ESFP
Yvette: Introverted Sensing (Si)
I hate to use the servant as the example of Si, but bear with me here. Yvette is a stand-in for the many trusty stewards in old-fashioned murder mysteries, knowledgeable and competent and attentive to detail. They’re studied experts at various handy skills. They’re the ones who have been around forever and know every nook and cranny of their home. They know its history, too, and all the good, juicy stories about the locals. Yvette gathers information for her employers (both Mr. Boddy and Miss Scarlet), and she’s trusted to execute the careful steps of Wadsworth’s plot. She tends to the order of the house, and has a great deal of seasoned experience in her, um, profession. She’s afraid of the dark, and grows more anxious and terrified as the evening spirals beyond the expected plan.
Best Suggestion: ISFJ
Mrs. Peacock: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
Mrs. Peacock is determined that everyone have a good time, despite the mysterious circumstances of their invitations, and breaks the ice with dinner conversation to cut through the silent awkwardness. She’s a great hostess, a skill she used to throw parties that kept her husband socially connected with the right people. She depends on appearing socially respectable, expressing disgust at Green and Plum’s alleged sexual deviancy while denying her own crimes. She’s loud and expressive with her feelings, and constantly blurts out things she shouldn’t without thinking. When the Evangelist comes to the house, Peacock rushes to hurry him away, for fear that he will become another victim in the rash of murders.
Best Suggestion: ESFJ
Mrs. White: Introverted Feeling (Fi)
Mrs. White is seething with rage from within—flames on the sides of her head!–but you’d never know it to look at her cool, icy exterior. She’s vain and self-absorbed and believes men should be as disposable as Kleenex, tossed away when she’s done with them. She feels no remorse after the death of her husband, just happiness at having her own life back. She recognizes Yvette as the woman who cheated with her husband, but denies she was jealous. In fact, she hated Yvette and waits for the right opportunity to strangle the life out of her.
Best Suggestion: ISFP
Colonel Mustard: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
Col. Mustard organizes everyone into search parties and tries to get control of a chaotic situation. He’s a military man who wants to do things by a strict, military standard, especially when everyone else is freaking out. He understands that if they split into pairs, one of them might be paired with the killer and thus get killed themselves, but it seems like a simple way to find out who the killer is. This is war, after all, and they have to win despite the risk of casualties. He directs the piling of the corpses on the sofas, pointing out the optimal way to get them to fit when the others struggle to position them properly. He demands straight answers from Wadsworth about who is in the house, and gets frustrated with the complicated replies.
Best Suggestion: ESTJ
Professor Plum: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Professor Plum analyzes people for a living, and tends to reduce them to a series of logical principles. After Mrs. Peacock rambles on at dinner, he picks apart her behavior and diagnoses her with a form of insecurity. When the others are trying to figure out which of the weapons they were given was used to kill Mr. Boddy, Plum reasons that it might have been something else entirely—poison! In the “real” ending, Plum is the one who kills Mr. Boddy (who’s actually Mr. Boddy’s butler posing as Mr. Boddy; it’s complicated), but his plan is needlessly complex, first faking Boddy’s death and then sneaking back when no one is looking to kill him for real a second time.
Best Suggestion: INTP
How do you solve a mystery like the cognitive functions?
CLUE is packed with colorful characters, and while I don’t think proper typings are possible, they each make good stand-ins for the individual cognitive functions. So, rather than write full profiles for this series, I’ll cover the dominant function for each suspect in the house. Consider it a fun primer on the functions (and for more straight-forward, academic descriptions of the functions, click through the links below).
Granted, these are comically exaggerated examples, but think of it as holding your detective’s magnifying glass up to a specimen to get a good, close look. It’s as easy as 1 + 1 + 2 + 1…or 1 + 2 + 2 + 1…Never mind!
(With apologies to my IxxJ readers, I confess that I stretched a bit for the Ni and Si characters, but I hope it’s still informative and entertaining.)
Info on cognitive functions:
Understanding the 8 Cognitive Processes
MBTI Resources Index
MBTI-Notes: Overview of Cognitive Functions