!!''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' (the original stories)

* AcceptableReligiousTargets: Mormons are given a bad rap in "A Study in Scarlet". The story even indicates that Young has a group of secret killers who murder other Mormons for any act they deem religiously wrong or just speaking out against their faith in any way. In Doyle's defense, though, only Brigham Young's original polygamist followers get this treatment, not every Average Joe on the street who follows the religion. He also apologized for that portrayal.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Nearly every interpretation of Sherlock Holmes is different from the last. The base character seems to be as a cool, brilliant, straight-laced and classy hero-for-hire (sort of like the Basil Rathbone version), but later adaptations have branched into two (equally accurate but not mutually exclusive) interpretations: the BunnyEarsLawyer Sherlock Holmes, who is a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} while being disturbingly competent (see [[Film/SherlockHolmes the Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr. version]] or Disney's animated ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'') or an anti-social {{Jerkass}} who is highly manipulative and insensitive, often out of lack of understanding rather than malice (see ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' and ''Series/{{Elementary}}''). Naturally, expect a great deal of overlap within these two fields, but most interpretations will lean towards one or the other.
** Watson's portrayal varies a great deal between adaptations. Apart from the fact that they portray him on a sliding scale of both competence and assertiveness, his original characterization can be interpreted in many different ways due to the fact that while Watson's narration often uses descriptors and adjectives and explanations to color the readers' view of Holmes or of events where Watson is more of a passive observer, he usually simply reports his own actions with very little elaboration or descriptive flair, simply letting the actions stand on their own. Therefore, the exact flavor of his behavior is in many scenes a mystery -- see his very short, prosaic descriptions of actions that could easily have been highly charged if he had phrased them differently, like responding to a villain's casual warning that he's armed by seizing a chair in order to beat him up, or dashing up to blow out an attacking dog's brains at close range without hesitation. People can (and have) characterized Watson's demeanor as anything from a quiet observer on the sidelines simply taking note of Holmes's actions, to an impulsive and hotheaded semi-bodyguard who enthusiastically sticks his nose into everything while taking stock.
*** Tying into this, some may question whether the bumbling renditions of Watson such as that of Nigel Bruce are the most incompetent or the most sane. While more cerebral renditions of Watson are quicker to lose patience or judge Holmes and his eccentric methods, the more buffoonish ones are more passive, smart enough to know Holmes will figure everything out and usually playing OnlySaneMan while the more skeptical cast question or try to intervene.
** Mycroft Holmes. Holmes scholar Ronald A. Knox takes his blundering in "The Greek Interpreter," despite his intelligence, as proof that Mycroft was secretly a criminal in league with not only the villains of "The Greek Interpreter'' but with Moriarty as well, and that he acted as a double-agent on behalf of his brother.
** Even outside of shipping circles, some interpret Holmes disinterest in women coupled with his intense relationship with Watson as him being a closeted homosexual. See HoYay for the evidence supporting this.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: Holmes's return in "The Empty House", and the revelation that he'd survived Moriarty's attack in "The Final Problem" and just gone into hiding for a while.
* AwesomeEgo: Sherlock Holmes is very full of his own intellect, and loves flattery -- and the readers tend to love him for it.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Irene Adler, who only appeared in one story of the original tales, but is popular among those who wrote Holmes-based novels, TV and movies, especially for a [[PromotedToLoveInterest Promotion To Love Interest]].
** Moriarty is another example, being a BreakoutVillain.
** There are many others. Some include Shinwell Johnson and Kitty Winters, the supporting characters from ''The Illustrious Client'', or even Mr. Barker, Holmes's mysterious one-time rival from ''The Retired Colourman''.
** Let's not forget the Yarders, who unfortunately get flanderized fairly often in published pastiches, but who can also get a lot of screentime and downright ''magnificent'' characterization in {{Fanfiction}}.
** The most prestigious Holmes fan club is named for the Baker Street Irregulars.
** Yet another example is [[ColonelBadass Colonel Sebastian Moran]]. He appears in only one story (The Adventure of the Empty House), some occasional mention here and there and a play, but thanks to some fairly badass background details and actions, he really struck a chord with readers. While little more than a VillainOfTheWeek in the story, he has since grown to a far larger character in other Sherlock Holmes works, often serving as the EvilCounterpart to Watson (such as in ''A Game of Shadows'').
* FairForItsDay: Although Doyle often reflected the prejudices of his day, he nevertheless occasionally displayed ridiculously liberal values, as in "The Adventure of the Yellow Face", in which [[spoiler:a husband immediately and without reservation accepts and loves his wife's mixed-race child from a previous relationship]].
* FanWank: One of the older, best-established, and most erudite examples, and still going strong. People have written ''dissertations'' that are, essentially, Holmes FanWank that's ShownTheirWork. Trying to work out inconsistencies in the canon is known within the fandom as the Sherlockian Game, among other names. The less intrusive and more elegant a proposed fix is, the better regarded it is.
* GeniusBonus: Holmes calling Maths Professor Moriarty "The Napoleon of Crime" gets a whole new dimension when you know that the original UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte's second career choice was mathematician. So in a way, he was the Moriarty of world leaders as well.
* HilariousInHindsight: In "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor," Holmes expresses a hope that the U.S. would rejoin the U.K. An...eccentric position when the story was written, but with the popularity of [[Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia USUK]], [[FanPreferredCouple he has plenty of support on that,]] [[{{Shipping}} albeit in a different sense]]. An additional layer of hilarity is that this is one of the goals of ''the villain'' in the 2009 Holmes film.
** ''The Disappearance of Lady Frances [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carfax_%28company%29 Carfax]]''.
* HoYay: So much we had to [[HoYay/SherlockHolmes give it its own page.]] ''Someone'' involved here knew which side their fandom is buttered on...
* IconicCharacterForgottenTitle: Most of the novels did not have Sherlock Holmes in the title.
* MagnificentBastard: Moriarty is one of the most iconic. Sherlock has damn good reason to call him "The Napoleon of Crime."
* MemeticBadass:
** Irene Adler, the woman who went up against the best detective in London, if not the world, and managed to outsmart him.
** Watson himself, with Three Continents, a Mustache, and a Handgun.
** Sebastian Moran. The exact point where this was established is when Holmes mentioned he once crawled up a drainpipe to kill a cornered, wounded, man-eating tiger, just one of a number of exploits.
* NightmareFuel: Now with [[NightmareFuel/SherlockHolmes its very own page, again!]]
* ParanoiaFuel:
** The Mormons in ''A Study in Scarlet'', able to make [[UnPerson Un-People]] at will, and get past every barrier you can put between them and you.
** Likewise, the [[spoiler:Ku Klux Klan]] from ''The Five Orange Pips''.
** A less sinister example: Holmes' deductive abilities arguably go from "cool" to "creepy" in the first chapter of ''The Sign of Four'' (that is, the second novel) when he studies Watson's watch for a minute, then proceeds to give a summarized biography of Watson's elder brother, whom he hadn't known ''existed'' before he started.
* SavedByTheFans: Doyle ''tried'' to kill off Holmes when he got tired of the character. People didn't take it well, so he was brought back. Although [[MoneyDearBoy it wasn't the complaints that led him to bring Holmes back]]...
* TorchTheFranchiseAndRun: The reason for the downer ending in ''The Final Problem''. Doyle had simply got tired of writing Sherlock Holmes stories and wanted to move on to do historical novels. He managed to ignore the backlash for a decade before going back to writing Sherlock Holmes stories when it became clear that his historical novels just aren't selling, but not before producing the classic that is ''The Hound of the Baskervilles'' two years before returning to writing ''Sherlock Holmes'' stories full time.
%%* UnfortunateImplications: While most examples here would be FairForItsDay, some have objected to the thuggish portrayal of a black goon in "The Three Gables", considering that Doyle handled race much more maturely in "The Yellow Face" (although, to be fair, the man in question is a ''criminal'' - if he'd been a respectable black man, Holmes would've probably been politer to him).
* ValuesDissonance: Sir Arthur's depiction of the Mormons as a ReligionOfEvil in ''A Study in Scarlet'' was completely uncontroversial at the time (Jules Verne also did it in ''Around the World in 80 days''), whereas his portrayal of the KKK as a murderous secret society in "The Five Orange Pips" was not. [[AcceptableTargets Nowadays, it's the opposite.]]
** One sailor is prepared to accept that Holmes is really being honest with him... because he's white.
* TheWoobie: Holmes himself, mostly for his overall loneliness; see the ending of ''The Sign Of Four'', after Watson has resolved to [[spoiler:move out and marry Mary Morstan]], and Holmes is left alone in stiff-lipped British quiet desperation.

!!''Series/SherlockHolmes'' (The TV series starring Creator/JeremyBrett)

* CharacterRerailment: The series rescued Watson from the "fat bumbling idiot" depiction of many previous adaptations.
* DorkAge: Briefly, when the production team decided to retool the series from hour long episodes to feature-length ones: "The Master Blackmailer", "The Last Vampyre" and "The Eligible Bachelor", the latter two bearing absolutely no resemblance to anything Conan Doyle ever wrote.
* PeripheryDemographic: Both the producers and the star, Jeremy Brett, were surprised to learn that their TV series was very popular with kids, who seemed to see the lead character as a SuperHero. As such, Brett got permission from the granddaughter of Arthur Conan Doyle to have Holmes beat his cocaine addiction and bury his needle.
* SeasonalRot: Beginning with "The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes" the series began to decline. For the first few seasons, the production team had cherry picked the best and most well known stories to adapt, now they were left with average to mediocre ones, and some of the episodes began to derail from their source material. Special mention goes to "The Last Vampyre" and "The Eligible Bachelor" which were the final feature length episodes which bear '''no''' resemblance to the ''short'' stories they were suppose to be based on.
* TearJerker: The ending of "The Adventure of the Crooked Man". [[spoiler: While Nancy and Henry are cleared of any wrongdoing in the Colonel's death, it's hinted that Henry is dying...so even though the former lovers are now free to be together, Henry's holding the locket with their silhouettes with a saddened expression implies that they won't be together..]]

!!''Film/SherlockHolmes'' (the 2009 film starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law)

* AcceptableEthnicTargets: The ginger midget is a [[TokenMinority twofer]].
* AccidentalInnuendo: "Gently, gently, Watson. Be gentle with me!" No way is this one accidental. Not with Downey playing Holmes.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
** The musical score by Hans Zimmer is so wonderfully eclectic. Who knew a harpsichord could sound so epic?
** "Rocky Road to Dublin" played by ''The Dubliners,'' played over Holmes' pit fighting scene, and again over the ending credits.
** The film's distinctive piano tones? Done by Zimmer and his crew taking an old piano and doing "hideous things" to it just to get it [[StylisticSuck as out of tune as he wanted]].
* CrazyAwesome: Holmes, who else?!
* EarWorm: The main theme, which pops up over the course of the film in different styles (from Creator/HansZimmer, ''of course'').
* FandomRivalry: With the similarly recent and contemporary audience-aiming ''{{Series/Sherlock}}''.
* GeniusBonus:
** The revolver that Holmes leaves behind causing Watson to say "He left it there on purpose" to the dog? It's a [[StealthPun Webley Bulldog]].
** Also, the revolver he uses as the base for his [[HollywoodSilencer homemade silencer]]? A [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagant_M1895 Nagant M1895]] revolver. [[ImproperlyPlacedFirearms It's a Russian gun that wasn't made until four years later]], but it's also the only revolver that ''can'' have a silencer put on it in real life.
** Holmes credits Adler on "Scandal ruins engagement between Habsburg Prince and Romanov Princess," a subtle reference to the original story, a ''Scandal in Bohemia'', where Irene Adler plays a major role. Bohemia, of course, was part of Austria-Hungary, ruled by the House of Habsburg.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** In-universe. At the end of the first movie. Irene tease Holmes that he'll miss her which he agrees. Then came the opening of the second movie and Holmes later learning of her fate...
** Irene also drugs him in the first film, and he doesn't realise at first. [[spoiler: She dies by drinking poisoned tea]].
* HilariousInHindsight: Stephen Fry flirted with Hugh Laurie on ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie''. Laurie went on to play Series/{{House}} (who was based very heavily on Holmes), and Stephen Fry went on to play Mycroft. [[{{Squick}} Does that make it incest?]]
* HoYay:
** Already a major part of fanon regarding Holmes and Watson, but the movies intentionally play it up as much as they can. Check HoYay.SherlockHolmes for extensive details.
** In the run-up to the film's release, Downey trolled the media by making remarks in an interview implying that the film would have heavy homoeroticism between Holmes and Watson, making it sound as if they might even end up shagging on screen. This provoked at least one conservative pundit to publicly show his total ignorance of the existence of {{Yaoi Fangirl}}s.
* MagnificentBastard:
** Lord Blackwood.
** And [[spoiler:Moriarty]].
** A case could be made for Holmes as well, particularly with the examination of one of Dredger's comrades in Watson's room. Holmes knows exactly how to pique Watson's interest, tricks him into supplying the answer to a question, and when he leaves to investigate a factory by the wharf, conveniently leaves his revolver behind, knowing that Watson will follow him to see that he has it. Watson realizes this as well. "He's left it there on purpose."
* MisBlamed:
** Many aspects of the film (i.e. Holmes and especially Watson - stereotyped as a bumbling sidekick - as action heroes, Holmes as a bohemian) which were criticized as being unfaithful to the original stories actually are (relatively) faithful to them - it's PopCulturalOsmosis of [[LostInImitation less faithful adaptations]] that makes these aspects seem especially out-of-place. (Still, one mustn't discount the undeniable CharacterExaggeration in this interpretation.)
** The movie also lacks Holmes's deerstalker hat, calabash pipe and the "Elementary, my dear Watson!" catchphrase, all of which are extremely common in adaptations of ''Literature/SherlockHolmes''. As its name implies, the deerstalker was made for hunters, not for everyday city wear. It's only mentioned twice in the stories[[note]]not actually called a "deerstalker", but it's the only hat that fits the description, and thusly illustrated[[/note]], worn by Holmes appropriately in the countryside, while most contemporary illustrations show Holmes using a straight billard pipe - the calabash came from an early stage adaptation whose lead chose the pipe so his mouth would not be obstructed. Despite this both become part of his IconicOutfit wherever he goes. As for "Elementary, my dear Watson!", Holmes [[BeamMeUpScotty never said the exact phrase]] in the stories.
* OlderThanTheyThink: ''Film/{{Vidocq}}'', a 2001 French film, has many features similar to the first movie. Its protagonist is Eugene Francois Vidocq (1775 - 1857), a real-life French [[ReformedCriminal criminal-turned-investigator]] who is often called the first PrivateDetective of all time. Instead of using established "canon" material, it pits Vidocq against a supernatural killer who ostensibly uses magic to murder his victims and has ties to the very top of Parisian society. Recycle these ideas [[RecycledInSpace IN LONDON]] and you've got this film.
* {{Squick}}: The slaughterhouse sequence. How they showed pigs being sliced in half and getting a PG-13 rating is a mystery worthy of Holmes. Perhaps slicing up pig carcasses, as opposed to living pigs, is fair game for the censors.
** That scene was made more disturbing for many by the sounds the band saw made while cutting through the meat. In addition to the usual mechanical whizzing a saw would make, the effects team added the shrill sound of a pig squealing in pain or terror to the saw noise. The overall effect of the sound was brilliantly subtle and made the scene even more uncomfortable to watch than it would've been normally.
* TaintedByThePreview: There was much wailing and rending of garments on the news that Creator/RobertDowneyJr. and Jude Law had been cast as the leads in, and Guy Ritchie was to direct, a ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' movie. Holmesians all around the world were wary, mainly because Downey Jr didn't look like Holmes as he was described and illustrated in the books at all, but some maintained a let's wait and see attitude. Furthermore, Guy Ritchie's previous films, style and recent lack of notable success inspired worry. Then the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQbmFAE5WI trailer]] came out, that made Holmes seem more like if ''Series/{{House}}'' and ''Film/IronMan'' had a baby in Victorian times than the real Sherlock Holmes and everyone ''but'' the fans were happy. Some gave up [[InkStainAdaptation and feared the worst]] and some preferred to [[NeverTrustATrailer Wait and See]]. [[BrokenBase Heated Arguments arose]] and every new clip and trailer served to make the matters worse, but some minds were changed. Then the movie came out, and while opinions on how good of a story it was differ, most agree that Downey and Law did a great job as Holmes and Watson while others put them amongst the most beloved like Brett and David Burke/Edward Hardwicke. One thing to note though is that very few and maybe no Holmesians claimed that it was ruined since the 123 year old Fandom has seen worse, a lot worse, this decade alone (see: ''Case of Evil'').
* TheUntwist: The identity of Irene Adler's employer ([[spoiler:Professor Moriarty]]) is this to a lot of people. Given that we are actually told early on that he's a professor, it's possible that the director intended it as a [[GeniusBonus Fan Bonus]] so that it would be obvious only to fans.
* WTHCastingAgency: At first, people are skeptical about choosing [[Creator/RobertDowneyJr the guy]] who played Creator/CharlieChaplin, [[Film/IronMan Tony "Iron Man" Stark]] and [[Film/TropicThunder Kirk "a dude playin' a dude, disguised as another dude" Lazarus]] as Holmes. Being the skilled actor he is, he ''nailed'' it. Downey Jr. ''himself'' was at first puzzled as to why they wanted him for the part.

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