The Return to Monkey Island mop puzzle might be one of the first in the game, but true to form, it can be a little elaborate if you're playing on hard mode. While Return to Monkey Island does provide a hint book that you can get from the International House of Mojo, it's not always specific about puzzle steps, and you might not want to check it constantly.
Here I'll explain every step in the mop puzzle, so you can get your very own mop and earn your place on LeChuck's crew. This guide will feature some minor story details, so if you want to do it all yourself or puzzle it out, it might be better to steer clear. I've laid out the steps below, as well as a gallery of screens you can cycle through to see some of the harder steps and item locations.
How to solve the Return to Monkey Island mop puzzle
If you want to sign on to LeChuck's crew as a swabbie and leave the island of Mêlée, you're going to need two things: a mop and a disguise. You can find a mop in the kitchen of the Scumm Bar, but the cook won't let you use it. Instead, you're going to have to go to great lengths to make your own.
Here's what you need to do step-by-step:
1. Try to get a job on LeChuck's ship by talking to the Quartermaster
2. Read the Carla re-election poster by the docks to find out her slogan
3. Try to borrow the mop from the cook at Scumm Bar
4. Grab the tangled string on the pier next to the Scumm Bar's kitchen
5. Read the plaque on Carla's statue in Low Street to get a location
6. Buy the knife and the forgiveness frog from the International House of Mojo, also on Low Street
7. Head to the Governor's Mansion and try to borrow the 'Ingredients' book
Now, you're going to have to pen an apology to Carla using the forgiveness frog and feather quill in your inventory. You'll have to choose a series of phrases, but the third and fourth phrases change each playthrough.
The first two phrases are always:
Sorry for losing the book I borrowed…
The third phrase is the slogan on her re-election poster, and the fourth phrase is the location mentioned on her statue's plaque. The last phrase doesn't seem to matter, but I used:
I promise to do better in the future.
Give the finished frog to Carla and she'll let you borrow the 'Ingredients' book.
Where to find the mop tree
Now you've got the Ingredients book from Carla, here's what you need to do:
1. Give the book to the cook at Scumm Bar
2. Use your knife to carve a sliver from his mop now he's distracted
3. Give the sliver of wood to Wally at Maps-n-More on Low Street
Wally will give you a map showing where to find the mop tree. Enter the deep-dark forest near the Museum of Pirate Lore and open the map. The correct path is marked by one of three plants: a flycatcher, a purple flower, or some glowing mushrooms. It's important to note that the plant order changes with each playthrough, so you'll need to get your own map. Follow the route shown and then use your knife to carve the mop tree.
The final step is to combine the tangled string with the carved handle in your inventory, and voila, you've got your very own mop. Now you just need that disguise.