I was seriously addicted to Encyclopedia Brown stories when I was a kid. Someone brought up the books on a discussion board, and I was amazed that I could still remember the ending explanations.

"How can he know the knife was short if it was still buried in the watermelon?"

"He was punched in the chest yet he put his glasses on right after the bully ran away!"

"The happy baby is dancing on a hot car hood that was just driven for hours."

"The guitarist without pads on the tips of his fingers is the fake. Guitarists develop calluses on the tips of their fingers after years of playing."

Were you a fan, and can you still remember the endings?


Ryan Schroeder

I remember one about a girl faking a tear. EB caught her because the she eyedropped the fake tear on the outside of her eye instead of near her nose, where real tears come from.

There was also one about a bookkeeper, had something to do with a word with pairs of letters...


I remember one about ... shoot, ALL i can remember is the end? The mean kid said he was sitting and eating cherries and E.Brown got on his hand and knees and searched the grass to find cherry pits or stems. NOTHING! It was a lie! And I remember one about a rigged contest where they had to reach in and find a marked ping pong ball, and they used a thermos to keep it cool so they could find it. E.Brown noticed the thermos!


The cheating marathoner who was caught because his thighs didn't show signs of running.


I was a total E. Brown fan. Unfortunately, I remember so little of the stories as to be useless.

I do remember following my parents around and accusing them of various misdeeds based on, what I felt, was sound Encyclopedia Brown evidence.

"You say that you've not baked any cupcakes, but clearly there are jimmies stuck in the floor. J'accuse!"


(1) he's really tall and his sister's really short: he didn't drive the car last because the driver's seat is pushed all the way to the front!

(2) he didn't really invent 100% frictionless roller skates because the wheels did eventually stop spinning!


When I was about 8 my mom bought me a whole set of EB books and though I thought it was a lame birthday present (I wanted a new bike), I gave it a try one day.

So I randomly grabbed one from a series, picked out a story in the middle and read it. The solution to the story was that a guy claiming to have not done a crime due to being left handed was proved by EB to be right handed, because EB saw that he shaved the right side of his face cleaner than his left.

I closed the book and told my mom I would never read another EB story again.

I mean seriously, how in the fuck is an 8-year-old supposed to know how grown men shave?! I'm glad I kept my promise too, never read another ever again.


I remember the one where the girl couldn't have been at cello practice, because she was wearing a pencil skirt. Good old E. Brown.


I don't remember the actual stories, but I read a lot of Encyclopedia Brown when I was his age.

Andy Baio

I read them compulsively, but the only one I (barely) remember involved the first letters of the calendar months spelling "JASON."


Ok, I remember one involving Bugs Meany (who else?) and some rare penny, and the way that Brown knew Bugs had the penny was the way he had put condiments on his hot dog? WTF? I remember almost word-for-word...

"Bugs took a sip of his soda, and threw the last bite of his hot dog into the trash can."

"E. Brown knew that people put mustard, _then_ sauerkraut on a hot dog. Bugs put lots of sauerkraut on first to hide the penny!"

That one always struck me as really lame.


1) Someone stole some money and said they put it in a book between pages 57 & 58 (or something like that, odd page first) which EB said was bulolshit because odd page followed by even page is on two sides of the same piece of paper.

2) The kid who won the sour drink contest cheated by sucking on ice cubes to numb his taste buds.

3) The one where EB discovered his "sister" as really his brother by wearing shoe mirrors and seeing a penis.


I can't remember the endings, but I loved those books. I remember one about a guy using stilts with wooden feet (or something like that).

I'm not ashamed to admit that I also loved the Hardy Boys..haha.


I remember those books. I have a set of them now in their original binder as well as a few separates. I will pass them on to my son when he is old enough. The other books that I loved where Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. Great books as well.


I read just about every one of those books, but the only one I can remember is where Bugs Meany was charging kids to see his amazing act, "hypnotizing" lobsters to remain still, and maybe balance something on them (ping-pong balls?).

Anyway, the jig was up when Encyclopedia Brown noticed that the lobsters were bright red -- they were dead! Because live lobsters would be a dark brownish-red color instead.

Andre Torrez

Some of the memorable EB stories bugged me too. Like the one where the red headed woman had only pink clothes in her closet. Red heads like to wear complimentary colors like green, apparently. That annoyed me.

Quinn: I loved the Hitchcock books too! But, being pre-Internet, the books were difficult to find.


how did the semi get under the bridge? he let most of the air out of the tires. I LUVED IT.


I loved those stories too. Though one of the stories I remember was totally unfair for a kid's logic, which involved drips of paint that were longer and more widely spaced apart, thereby proving that the culprit was running, or something. There's no way I could have deduced that at 9 years old.


I vaguely remember a couple of endings, but the one that sticks in my mind (and craw) was one where someone had a broken left arm, and claimed to have pulled something out his left pocket while running, and EB deduced that he was lying becuase he would have had to use his right hand and its impossible to pull something out of your left jean pocket with your right hand while running. I didn't believe it so I actually tried doing it, and while it was difficult, I was able to do it.

And I've been a jaded, cynicle bastard ever since. I mean, seriously: if you can't trust Donald J. Sobol in this world of ours, who can you trust?

Rock Steady

This is great.

* One where Bugs claimed some special lamp broke when it fell out of the back of a truck when the driver stopped short. EB knew that Bugs broke it, because when a car stops quickly, stuff gets thrown to the front, not the back.

* One where EB proved some chick was lying about being in the water (diving for golf balls, I want to say), but he knew she wasn't because she was filing her nails, and EVERYONE knows that nobody files their nails right after being in the water.

The ones that involved social norms (like the nail filing one above) rather than science were definitely rip-offs. Someone on Defective Yeti mentioned the one where a man dressed as a woman and a woman dressed as a man were caught because the man (dressed as a lady) sat with his back to the the restaurant. Any nine-year-old who knew that one needs some serious deprogramming.

Dave Bug

Bugs's sword couldn't have been from the Civil War. Prior to the second Battle of Bull Run, the first would have just been known as the Battle of Bull Run, not, as enscribed on the sword, "The Battle of Bull Run."


ah that one about double letters...
two sets of double letters in a row
that's all i remember


yah, like there was some quiz that involved three sets of double letters question and he revealed something about the bookkeeper b/c she would HAVE to know the answer to that question!


I would like to know your first name that you used for your books ?


the one about the girl diving for golf balls where the girl said she didn't get in the water at all, but the skin on her fingers was wrinkly.

There was another one where there was a robbery at a party and the guy who robbed the lady claimed he left before the robbery which happended when they brought out the seven layer cake. But the cake was frosted so he would have no way of knowing how many layers there were unless he was there when the robbery occurred.

There was also another one where someone money was stolen at a laundromat and meany said that he saw someone open the top lid of a drying machine and hide the money inside, but drying machies open from the front, not the top.

there was another one where someone lost a dollar, and she said she folded it in half 8 times and put it away, but it's impossible to fold a piece of paper more that 7 times by hand


One was a diary and dairy thing, about a scaveger hunt, another was someone swimming but didnt have prune hands, a baby dancind on a "hot car lid",...........

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