Good topic David. And I liked your pick of Beth Chadwick and the light bulb.
I hate to bring up Etude in Black....well.....I really don't HATE to bring it up...I actually LOVE bringing it up as often as I can!! But anyway...it is in the last scene when Columbo says to Alex that he saw him pick up a flower at Jenifer's apartment...and Alex says he doesn't remember doing anything like that....Come on!!! Columbo SAW him do it!!!
Nelson Hayward in Candidate For Crime telling the tale about getting shot at in the hotel room. Columbo actually seemed a bit angry that Hayward thought he was dumb enough to fall for that.
My favorite lies are the ones where the murderer tries to convince Columbo that some strange action on their part was due to "shock" or "pure instinct". Examples: Ken Franklin opening his mail, Dr. Mayfield winding his clock, or Bart Keppel turning on the tape recorder. Columbo doesn't buy those excuses for a second.
I vote for Joe Devlin's showing up at the pier and then trying to tell Columbo he's there because he got interested in the code numbers on the paper and started investigating the murder himself! LOL!
The heater was busted on the plane
Which caused the windows to fog up
Which caused Tommy to have to open the window(s)
Which caused suction to suck all the charts and maps out the window(s)
Which supposedly explains why there are no ashes in the pilot's briefcase
. . . especially in a non-pressurized cabin as I'm sure that little crate didn't have.
Another good one is Jose Ferrer's assumption that a criminal would know the chemical formula for heroine.