%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1299122219073280100
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:330:[[Franchise/SherlockHolmes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/basil_7127.jpg]]]]

A staple of MysteryFiction and DetectiveFiction, the Great Detective relies on powers of deduction and educated thought to solve crimes. The Great Detective is usually an AmateurSleuth or a PrivateDetective (because PoliceAreUseless). Some of these detectives will have an ArchEnemy that will be [[EvilCounterpart their equal, but in a different light.]]

The Great Detective tradition originates with Eugène François Vidocq, a RealLife criminal-turned-detective and founder of the [[LesCopsSportif French Sûreté]]. Vidocq pioneered many of the scientific methods of detective work which would later become common in fictional detective stories.

The first GreatDetective in fiction was Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's C. Auguste Dupin. Poe rejected the Vidocq model in favor of a more fantastic kind of detective. Later, the Dupin model was further codified by Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's SherlockHolmes, the most famous example to this day.

In Japan, where the Golden Age of detective fiction never quite ended, this type of character is called "Meitantei".

Compare: HardboiledDetective and LittleOldLadyInvestigates. Contrast with GentlemanThief, Will often be accompanied by TheWatson.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Shin'ichi Kudo/Conan Edogawa, of ''DetectiveConan''. Also, Heiji Hattori who is on pair with him. Both are considered as the "Meitantei of East [Shin'ichi] and West [Heiji]", respectively. "The Sleeping Kogoro Mouri" is ''believed'' to be one, but it's actually Conan who solves the cases. However, the filler character Heihachiro Shiota was known as the "Legendary Great Detective" and was Kogoro's teacher.
** "The Gathering of the Detectives" arc introduced five other Meitantei besides Shin'ichi/Conan/Sleeping Kogoro. One of them is [[Manga/MagicKaito Kaito KID's]] rival Saguru Hakuba.
** Other detectives like Sera Masumi and Tooru Amuro, [[spoiler:who is actually the Black Organisation member Bourbon]], are introduced late in the manga, but they are not on the same level as Shin'ichi and Heiji. That underlines these two as the real Meitantei of the series. The only character who is shown to be greater than Shin'ichi is his father Yusaku. However, Yusaku does not work as a detective, he's instead a writer.
* Oddly enough, Loki, Norse [[TricksterArchetype trickster]] god, in ''MythicalDetectiveLokiRagnarok''.
* Subverted in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', where Manjoume has declared himself Super Detective Manjoume Thunder on a few occasions. He's miserable at it, but it doesn't stop him.
* L in ''Manga/DeathNote'', who later reveals that he is the world's ''three'' greatest detectives, by use of pseudonyms. [[spoiler:After his death, L is succeeded by]] Mello and Near (L-M-N, get it?), [[spoiler:two younger proteges trained in the same school/institution that produced L]].
* Houtarou Oreki of {{Hyouka}}, though [[HumbleHero he thinks otherwise.]]
* Practically everyone in ''TanteiGakuenQ'', but specially people like [[GeniusDitz Kyuu Renjou]], [[ChickMagnet Ryu Amakusa]], [[UnflappableGuardian Professor Morihiko Dan]] and [[spoiler: Professor Dan's niece]] [[PluckyGirl Sakurako Yukihira.]]
* Chiko in ''Manga/TheDaughterOfTwentyFaces'' is this, although her powers of deduction aren't really used to help the ''law'' per se...
* Hajime Kindaichi from ''TheKindaichiCasefiles''.
* Inspector Lunge in ''{{Anime/Monster}}'' seems heavily inspired by Holmes. Working on cases seems to be his entire life and he is shown repeatedly to be unable to stop, even using his forced vacation to continue the investigation.
* ''[[SherlockHound Meitantei Holmes]]'', a FunnyAnimal adaptation of SherlockHolmes (called ''SherlockHound'' in the US), created by (of all people) Creator/HayaoMiyazaki.
* ''Anime/AgathaChristiesGreatDetectivesPoirotAndMarple'' is a 2004 anime teaming up Literature/HerculePoirot and Literature/MissMarple through the device of Marple's great-niece Mabel West. Aimed at older teens.
* ''KarakurizoushiAyatsuriSakon'' (aka ''Doll Puppeteer Sakon''). Sakon is a student and a traditional ''bunraku'' performer (a style of traditional Japanese theatre employing very detailed life-sized puppets). In his spare time, though, he is an AmateurSleuth. And his partner in his investigations is his red-haired, loud-mouthed puppet, Ukon.
* ''SteamDetectives'', the story of Boy Detective Narutaki and his endless fight against the various mad scientists and masked villains that are trying to take over Steam City.
* Subverted by ''MajinTanteiNougamiNeuro'', which appears to be a typical Meitantei about a genius teenage-girl detective specialising in ParanormalInvestigation ... but in reality, she's merely the slightly dense puppet of Neuro, a creepy-but-brilliant demon from Hell who "eats mysteries".
* In ''RozenMaiden'', [[ShowWithinAShow there's a]] puppet FunnyAnimal one called Meitantei Kun Kun. Shinku is a fan.
* [[MiraiNikki Akise Aru]] is the best non-diary holder after all.
* ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}'' gives us Victorique the ElegantGothicLolita GreatDetective. [[spoiler:Her brother]] Grevil, meanwhile, is ''[[FakeUltimateHero reputed]]'' to be this.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Solf J. Kimblee is the evil version of this. He may be a PsychoForHire mass murderer, but he's also a brilliant detective.
* In ''{{Aria The Scarlet Ammo}}'', a VERY NON-CANONICAL descendant of Sherlock Holmes comes from the young {{tsundere}} Aria. She obviously takes up the mantle.
* ''LightNovel/KamisamaNoMemochou'' gives us Alice, the GreatDetective for the NEET detective team.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}}. Yes, he is a top martial artist. Yes, he is a great chemist. But first, he's the world's greatest detective.
* The ductile detective, ComicBook/ElongatedMan. He's just as good as Batman, if not better, but is often overlooked because he's not a gritty, mean, tragic origin guy, nor has he had several movies and TV shows about him.
* And thirdly, there's this faceless [[{{The Question}} guy]]. He's straight up ace detective and lacks the gadgets and powers of the two above. He's also been referred to as the world's second greatest detective.
* The Spirit qualifies as both brainy investigator and two fisted gumshoe; his aide Ebony White has moments of brilliance as well.
* Oh and then there's also [[ComicBook/{{Robin}} Tim Drake]], who Batman has said will one day surpass him, in addition to being one of two people Ra's al Ghul calls "Detective." So some nice recommendations for the position.
* FunnyAnimal + DetectiveAnimal + EverythingIsBetterWithMonkeys + This Trope = [[TheDCU Detective Chimp]]. He likes reminding people that Franchise/{{Batman}} is merely the world's greatest ''human'' detective.
* John Constantine the ''{{Hellblazer}}'', although with the word [[OccultDetective "occult" right before "detective"]].
* Gabriel Webb from ''TheMazeAgency''.
* Abraham Moth from the graphic novel ''The Woman in Red: Son of SherlockHolmes''.
* German example: ''ComicStrip/NickKnatterton''.
* Simon Archard from ''ComicBook/{{Ruse}}'', who is best described as "''totally'' not Sherlock Holmes, honest."

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's C. Auguste Dupin.
* [[TheInspector Gregory Temple]] of Literature/JohnDevil by Creator/PaulFeval
* Literature/MonsieurLecoq created by Creator/EmileGaboriau who was a direct influence on Sherlock Holmes
* Literature/SherlockHolmes, the TropeCodifier as far as modern audiences are concerned.
* Literature/ErastFandorin, the popular fictional Russian detective created by Boris Akunin. He is actually teamed with Literature/SherlockHolmes in one novella but [[spoiler:neither is able to "prevail" over the other]]. See TheOtherWiki for more information...
* ''Anyone'' in detective fiction from the time of Sherlock Holmes until the type was [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] in ''Trent's Last Case'' in 1913. Furthermore, in a genre-wide example of FountainOfExpies, such characters tended to be thinly veiled copies of Holmes.
* Harry Salt, the main character of ''Literature/{{Incompetence}}'' certainly qualifies. Granted, damn near everybody else in the book is completely useless at what they do, but he is able to piece together a reasonably accurate account of a murder despite the fact that the files contradict each other.
* HerculePoirot.
* The ''Literature/BasilOfBakerStreet'' series by Eve Titus. TheFilmOfTheBook, ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'', is by [[DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney]].
* Peter Wickham, aka The Sleuth, in the {{Steampunk}} {{Superhero}} novel ''The Falling Machine'' by Andrew P. Mayer, is SherlockHolmes crossed with [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] without the bat symbolism.
* Literature/NeroWolfe
* The title character of the ''Literature/MediochreQSethSeries'' has 'being a Great Detective' as a ''superpower''.
* Commissaire Adamsberg (in Fred Vargas novels).
* Literature/LordDarcy, who can best be described as "Sherlock Holmes in a Victorian world with magic".
* Literature/NickCarter, a DimeNovel detective.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', being a modern update of SherlockHolmes.
* And the modern update [[InSpace in America]], ''Series/{{Elementary}}''
* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' is this in {{Toku}} form.
* Adrian {{Monk}} is one despite also being a DefectiveDetective.
* Madame Vastra in ''Series/DoctorWho'', who is the InUniverse inspiration for SherlockHolmes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* Alanik Ray, [[{{Ravenloft}} Ravenloft's]] SherlockHolmes expy, is even called "the Great Detective" in-universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Subverted in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' with the character Luke Atmey. As far as the player can tell, he devotes his life to his detective work, especially to cases involving a [[PhantomThief master thief]] named Mask☆[=DeMasque=]. By the end of the case, we find out [[spoiler:that he's been the mastermind behind everything Mask☆[=DeMasque=] has ever done, blackmailing the thief into heists and then taking advantage of them to improve his image in the public eye. He goes so far as to murder someone, then allow himself to be accused of being the thief himself to avoid this information getting out.]]
** That's arguably a deconstruction, since Luke [[spoiler:explicitly states ''twice'' he felt himself so great he needed to deliberately create an adversary that could match him. But, he maybe was just an AttentionWhore.]]
** [[spoiler:Considering that his name is "Look at me", and his theme is called "I just want love" (named after the pun in his Japanese name, Aiga Hoshiidake), he may be an AttentionWhore.]]
** While it's not his official job title, due to the absurd amount of evidence he uncovers it can be argued that Phoenix himself fits the trope.
** There's a reason the Miles Edgeworth game is called ''Ace Attorney Investigations'' when he's technically a prosecutor; all he does is detective about. He even has a [[http://www.awkwardzombie.com/comic1-030110.php special power]] that's making logical deductions by connecting known facts.
* ProfessorLayton from the series of the same name - although the extent to how awesome he really is doesn't come into play until near the end of the first game.
** [[InsistentTerminology He's not a detective, he's an archaeologist]]!
* Alfendi Layton from Professor Layton Spin off, ''VideoGame/LaytonBrothersMysteryRoom''
* Erika Furudo from ''UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' is a parody of the archetype: a Great Detective with ten times the brainpower of SherlockHolmes and one-tenth the social graces of SherlockHolmes. So convinced is she that crimes will happen wherever she goes, that she actually begins her investigation into the murder before anybody has been murdered. In [=EP7=], however, Willard H. Wright is a truly great detective.
* The cast of ''GuiltyParty'', though the most classically GreatDetective-ish of them is their patriarch, The Commodore/Dorian Dickens.

[[/folder]]


[[folder:WebComics]]
* In ''Webcomic/MonsieurCharlatan'', Isidore Charlatan's BackStory.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: WebOriginal]]
* Ryney from TheMysterySphere certainly applies, though he is BrilliantButLazy.
* Dramatic Detective of ''{{LIS_DEAD}}'' claims to wear this mantle, and shows some deductive skill to back it up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Speaking of Vidocq, there is a club aptly named [[http://www.vidocq.org/ The Vidocq Society]]. Made up of volunteers, they take on cold cases and many law enforcement agencies send them cases to review. Want to join? Well, you have to be an expert in some field of forensics to start off. Oh, and you have to be invited to join, pay $100 in member dues every year and attend at least one meeting yearly (meetings are every third Thursdays of the month, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

[[/folder]]
----