Pop Culture Characters that have Shaped the Escape Room Experience

We all love a good detective story. Bursting with mystery, intrigue and the thrill of the chase, we can’t help but be captivated by the inner workings of everything from the detective’s mind to the criminals that have thwarted them for so long. 

Everything from handling evidence to investigating the scene of the crime is enough to get most of us hooked from the start. Throw in a fun, sometimes quirky backstory and some of the most memorable sleuths from TV, film and books, and you’ve got yourself a winning formula. 

Here are some of our favourite pop culture characters that have helped shape the Escape Room experience:

Sherlock Holmes TV cast
Bennedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, Pic credit: BBC

Sherlock Holmes

A sleuthing hero and perhaps the most well-known detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes is the creme de la creme of pop culture characters. He has appeared in countless films and television productions over the years and has been brought to life by some of Holywood’s finest, from Benedict Cumberbatch to Robert Downey Jr. 

But what is it about Holmes that has left audiences captivated for years? Well, he is ridiculously clever, charming and incredibly relatable. Plus, teamed up with Watson, he is pretty much unstoppable. 

First appearing in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novelette, A Study in Scarlet in 1887, Holmes has been popular from the start and will continue to inspire and entertain generations to come. 

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot
David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot

Curious, brilliant, and the self-professed “greatest detective in the world” undoubtedly belongs on this list. Hercule Poirot may be instantly recognised by his spectacular moustache and unwavering detective skills, but it is his lovable, dry wit that has placed Agatha Christie’s sleuth in the hearts and minds of the public. 

Poirot may have first appeared in Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920, but he has continued to be reimagined in countless film and television series since his debut. From Kenneth Branagh’s retelling of The Murder of the Orient Express to the classic BBC series with David Suchet in the titular role, Poirot is one pop culture character that is here to stay. 

Nancy Drew TV Cast
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew

There’s no one like Nancy Drew. Famed as the girl detective who could pick a lock, tap Morse Code in high heels and play the bagpipes, Drew has inspired generations of readers since she was first introduced as a “pretty girl of 16” in The Secret of the Old Clock in 1930. 

Well known for her plucky attitude, zest for life and fearless approach to authority, there’s no wonder that Drew has continued to dominate the pop culture scene. With her recent reincarnations as Riverdale’s Betty Cooper, Veronica Mars and V.I. Warshawski, she’s as relevant today as ever. 

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple
Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

Miss Marple

Another entry from the world’s best-selling novelist and the most translated author comes Miss Marple. Agatha Christie’s gentle genius may have been an elderly spinster, but she knew how to handle herself and crack a case. 

Helping to shape not only how the world saw “Englishness” but giving power and a voice to an unlikely heroine. Miss Marple is regarded as one of Christie’s greatest accomplishments. 

Christian Bale as Batman
Christian Bale as Batman


Yes, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, may be a titular, formidable character for the DC Universe, but he is perhaps one of the greatest vigilante criminal investigators of all time. 

He may throw some punches and not always put criminals behind bars in the most legal ways. However, Batman still needs to use cunning, stealth and decipher complicated puzzles and codes to reach his end goals. 

Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars
Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars

Quintessential teen sleuth Veronica Mars is a character that has shaped the modern-day detective story. Fearless, inquisitive and captivating, Mars continuously shows that her limits haven’t been reached when it comes to her detective skills!

The pop culture phenomenon has inspired numerous series revivals, film spin-offs and even novels based on the ingenious character herself. 

Denzel Washington as Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins
Denzel Washington as Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins

Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins

Los Angeles based private eye Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins is a hard-boiled detective and WWII vet who takes no prisoners. Solving cases throughout the 1940s to the 1960s, Rawlins’ adventures offer a unique perspective of the African American experience. 

Created by Walter Mosley, Rawlins’ mysteries combine traditional conventions of detective fiction while exploring social injustice and racial inequality. Immortalised on-screen in Devil in a Blue Dress starring Denzel Washington, Rawlins has become more than just a literary hero. 

Warren Beatty as Dick Tracy
Warren Beatty as Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy

There are few other sleuths that live up to the tough detective archetype like Dick Tracy. Making his debut in 1931 in the Detroit Mirror, Chester Gould’s intelligent police investigator became an instant favourite amongst readers.

From newsprint to screen, Tracy’s gripping stories have stood the test of time. While Warren Beatty famously brought the character to life in the 1990 film adaptation, Tracy has been described as a “ghoulishly entertaining creation” and an “outrageously funny American Gothic.”

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher
Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher

Jessica Fletcher

She has been described as everything from the “sweet older lady” to one of the “greatest detective minds of all time.” Yet, this seemingly mild-mannered novelist always gets the job done! 

Murder, She Wrote’s heroine Jessica Fletcher, was never afraid to get to the bottom of the story while holding down a full-time career. Played by the delightful Angela Lansbury, Fletcher is one sleuthing mind you wouldn’t want to cross!

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

Hard-drinking private eye Jessica Jones stands out from the pack. Yes, she’s another superhero, but it is her imperviousness to damage and her super-strength that adds to the intrigue! 

Introduced by Marvel nearly twenty years ago. This comic book renegade has earned recent notoriety played by Krysten Ritter in the Netflix adaptation. With other appearances in the likes of The Defenders and with talks of the actress reprising the role in later screen adaptations, Jessica Jones deserves the limelight. 

There are so many reasons why these pop culture heroes have stood the test of time. Mastering guile, skill and approaching every case with a fresh perspective. From Sherlock to Nancy Drew, you can see how these sleuths have helped shape the Escape Room experience over time. Who would you team up with?