Who would have thought that the hardest working private detective on television would be a 17-year-old girl? Probably not many people and yet, that's exactly how it was back when Veronica Mars first premiered on television. When Veronica wasn't busy going to school and solving major cases like murder of her best friend Lilly Kane or the Neptune High School bus explosion, she was uncovering the worst of the worst secrets hidden within the seedy underbelly of Neptune, the California seaside town she called home. Veronica was the person everyone went to for help with everything from missing dogs to missing parents, and Veronica managed to solve nearly every one of those mini-mysteries by the end of each 45-minute episode. I know — as if you needed another reason to think that Veronica was the coolest high schooler to walk the planet.
But, what actually makes up a standard Veronica Mars mystery? Each episode varies wildly, but there's definitely an intricate, specific formula to the cases that Veronica solves week after week. Whether the case is trying to find out whether a sketchy teacher or a gossipy student is telling the truth about an affair, or the identity of Mac's real birth parents, Veronica's method is pretty consistent — which is clearly how she succeeds in finding out the truth time and time again.
Here's a graph of how almost all Veronica Mars mini-mysteries play out, because there's always a method to Veronica's madness.
Image: Warner Bros.; Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle