Name of a popular series of educational computer games produced in the late 80s. Each game focused on using deduction, figuring out clues, and figuring out where to go next. The games were seen as an excuse to teach your kids geography without having to open a book. The game was adapted into two tv game shows- "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" (1991-1996, best known for the ending song of the same name performed by the band Rockapella
) and "Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?" (1996-1998). There was also an animated series that aired on Fox from 1994-1998.
The character of Carmen was never really explored in either of the game shows. In the animated series (which used to be avaliable to watch at Yahooligans!
c. mid-late 2005), her history was fleshed out. She's best known for wearing a red trench coat, a matching fedora with a yellow band (which also conceals either her left or right eye depending on what piece of art you're looking at), and high heeled shoes.
Since Carmen Sandiego stole anything she could (statues, landmarks, rockets from Nasa), her name has become an almost stand by. If you wanted to make a joke, you would blame her for something you've had stolen or misplaced.