- It's a bit of Black Humor, but funny in an ironic way that after pushing the 'present day' of the story forward 120 years, one of the few things they didn't have to change was that Watson was still injured in Afghanistan.
- John's very quick to agree to join Sherlock for an investigation:
Sherlock: You're a doctor. In fact, you're an army doctor.
John: ... Yes.
Sherlock: Any good?
John: Very good.
Sherlock: Seen a lot of injuries then. Violent deaths.
John: Well... yes.
Sherlock: Bit of trouble too, I bet.
John: Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime. Far too much.
Sherlock: ... Wanna see some more?
John: Oh God yes.
- John tried several times to ask Anthea out. And it's a hilarious No Sell.
- Sherlock's parting remark and excuse for dashing off from his first meeting with John: "I think I left my riding crop in the mortuary." Especially when you remember that we saw what Sherlock was doing with a riding crop in a mortuary (and it was still weird and wrong and slightly disturbing) but John has absolutely no context for this remark whatsoever.
- This is the Hypocritical Humor joke that just gets bigger the longer you think about it: Sherlock sees through everything and everyone in seconds. What's incredible, though, is how spectacularly ignorant he is about some things....like himself. At the beginning of "A Study In Pink", Sherlock's idea of his own worst habits are playing the violin when he's thinking, and sometimes not talking for days on end. He seems to have left out such cute little habits as:
- Storing body parts in the fridge and eyeballs in the microwave,
- Keeping a human skull on the mantlepiece,
- Potentially having a stash of presumably illegal narcotics on the premises,
- Shooting up a smiley face on the wall when bored,
- Apparently not needing to sleep for days on end (and not letting anybody else sleep either),
- Attention-seeking and expecting to be entertained every time he's bored (which happens quite often)
- Rudeness of both the blatant and snarky varieties,
- Spreading his personal belongings absolutely everywhere, including commandeering the kitchen table (and fridge),
- Treating his flatmate's few personal belongings as if he has a God-given right to use them without asking.
- Pissing off the police so much that they'll conduct (fake) drug busts as retaliation.
- Occasionally walking around the house in just a bedsheet.
- Refusal to answer the door and phone, even though they are usually for him.
- According to Sherlock's forum and John's blog, Sherlock also communicates with John online if he's feeling too lazy to walk upstairs to speak with him in person, insults him on a public website, threatens his personal belongings because he's bored and seems not to have done any housework, at all, in two months. But yep. That violin sure is an annoying habit, Sherlock.
- The text scene in the beginning of "A Study In Pink". Wrong!
- Doubly so because Sherlock is not even present at the press conference and he still knows exactly when to simultaneously send this message to every single journalist's cell phone.
- "Yes, but if they are murders, how do people keep themselves safe?" "Well, don't commit suicide." note
- After correctly deducing that John was a returning soldier whose sibling is a soon to be divorced drinker we get this:
John: Harry and Clara split up three months ago. They're getting a divorce. And Harry is a drinker.
Sherlock: Spot on, then. I wasn't expecting to get everything right.
John: Harry's short for Harriet.
- What really sells it is the wide eyed look Sherlock gets as he actually stops walking for a second and then ruefully confirms that the "brother" is actually a sister. You can practically see Sherlock going over the hints that would've told him that.
- Sherlock's creative cookery:
Donovan: Are these human eyes?
Sherlock: Put them back!
Donovan: They were in the microwave!
- In "A Study in Pink", John learns the hard way that doing what Sherlock says without question will inevitably have some weird consequences:
John: Sorry- what are we doing? Did I just text a murderer?
- Sherlock abruptly revealing that two of the police officers are having an affair.
Sherlock: I knew from your deodorant.
Anderson: My deodorant?
Sherlock: It's for men.
Anderson: Well of course it's for men, I'm wearing it!
Sherlock: So is Sergeant Donovan.
(Blood drains from Anderson's face)
Sherlock: Phew, I think it just vaporized...
- This over his shoulder to Anderson:
, don't talk out loud, you lower the IQ of the entire street."
- Sherlock just can't and won't miss any chance to bully Anderson just for fun:
Sherlock: "Shut up everybody, shut up! Don't move, don't speak, don't breathe, I'm trying to think. Anderson, face the other way, you're putting me off."
Anderson: "What, my face is?"
Lestrade: "Everybody, quiet and still. Anderson, turn your back."
Anderson: "Oh, for God's sake..."
Lestrade: "Your back! Now, please!"
- Another gem involving Anderson:
Anderson: Rache! German word for revenge. She could be trying to tell us-
Sherlock: Yes, thank you for your input. (slams door in Anderson's face)
- YMMV, but even better if you've read the first story, because it actually did mean revenge in "Study in Scarlet."
- After Mycroft gets John's attention by calling every phone he walks past on the street.
John: You know, I've got a phone. I mean, very clever and all that... but, uh, you could just phone me. On my phone.
- Responding to John, who's just noticed that he's wearing three nicotine patches on one forearm:
Sherlock: It's a three-patch problem.
- Of course, if you think about it, it's a nod back to the original, in which Holmes sometimes measured the time it took him to solve a case in tobacco pipes he had to smoke through.
- John's response to Sherlock's first use of his mighty Sherlock Scan, which tells him Watson had served in Afghanistan;
Watson: That was... amazing!
Sherlock: You think so?
Watson: Of course it was, it was extraordinary. It was quite extraordinary.
Sherlock: That's not what people normally say.
Watson: What do people normally say?
Sherlock: "Piss off."
- Sherlock and the cabbie are discussing Sherlock's "fan."
Cabbie: You're too modest, Mr Holmes.
Sherlock: I'm really not.
- A case of Insistent Terminology:
Sherlock: I'm not a psychopath, Anderson, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research.
- This is in the weird no-man's-land that is both funny and quite sad-
Mrs. Hudson: Just have a sit down and rest your leg.
John Watson: DAMN MY LEG! Sorry!
- Sherlock and John are sitting in a restaurant on a stakeout, and it turns out Sherlock is a favorite of the waiter, who he had proved was committing a burglary at the time of a triple murder.
Angelo: He cleared my name.
Sherlock: I cleared it a bit.
Angelo: But for this man, I'd have gone to prison.
Sherlock: You did go to prison.
- At the thumbs-up gesture, John stops protesting about not being Sherlock's date and instead gives a defeated, politely mumbled "thanks..."
- The scene from the unaired pilot is also pretty funny, as well as being sweeter than the above scene, with Angelo actually hugging a nonplussed Sherlock and promising to personally cook whatever they ordered himself.
- The unaired pilot has an hysterical scene where Sherlock throws a glass of white wine in his own face (John's reaction is gold), then asks Angelo using the code "headless nun" to throw him out onto the street for being drunk. Angelo obliges in the most enthusiastic "And STAY OUT!" way possible. It's a pity this never made it into the series, as Sherlock's subsequent fake-drunk stumbling about in front of traffic is hilarious.
- After the chase after the cab, Sherlock and John arrive back at Baker Street, breathless and giggling:
John: That was ridiculous. That was... the most ridiculous thing I've ever done...
Sherlock: And you invaded Afghanistan...
- Lestrade getting into Sherlock's flat by doing a drugs bust.
Sherlock: I'm not your sniffer dog!
Lestrade: No. Anderson's my sniffer dog.
Sherlock: Wh— Anderson, what are you doing here on a drugs bust?!
Anderson: (smug) Oh, I volunteered.
Lestrade: They all did. They're not strictly speaking ON the drug squad, but they're very keen.
- Sherlock and Lestrade at a crime scene.
Lestrade: I didn't say anything.
Sherlock: You were thinking. It's annoying.
- Sherlock responds quite reasonably to Watson and Lestrade's confusion regarding one of his deductions:
Sherlock: Dear god, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
- Sherlock seems to think repeating the word "Rachel" is going to enlighten the whole room:
Sherlock: Ha, look at you lot, you're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.
Sherlock: What's wrong?
John: I just met a friend of yours.
Sherlock: [taken aback] A friend?
John: Well, an enemy.
Sherlock: [calmly] Oh. Which one?
John: Well, your arch-enemy, according to him. Do people have arch-enemies?
Sherlock: Did he offer you money to spy on me?
John: ... Yes.
Sherlock: Did you take it?
Sherlock: Pity. We could've split the fee. Think it through next time.
John: Have you talked to the police?
Sherlock: Four people are dead. There isn't time to talk to the police.
John: So why are you talking to me?!
Sherlock: Mrs. Hudson took my skull...
John: ... So I'm just basically filling in for your skull?
Sherlock: Relax, you're doing fine.
- Made funnier by the fact that Sherlock sounds rather forlorn when talking about the skull, and taking a longing look at where it used to sit.
- The reveal that the man who calls himself Sherlock's "archenemy" is actually his brother.
John: So when you say you're concerned about him... you really are concerned about him?
Mycroft: Yes, of course.
John: And when he says that it's a childish feud...it really is a childish feud?
Mycroft: [sighs heavily] He's always been so resentful. You can imagine the Christmas dinners...
John: Yeah... no. God, no.
- The last two lines become darkly funny in "His Last Vow" when Sherlock drugged his family.
- The entire ending to A Study in Pink is pure genius. Here are a few gems that stand out:
Sherlock: Why have I got this blanket? They keep putting this blanket on me.
Lestrade: Yeah, it's for shock.
Sherlock: I'm not in shock!
Lestrade: Yeah, but some of the guys might want to take photographs...
Sherlock: (sighs) So the shooter? No sign?
Lestrade: Nope. He got away before we got here. But a man like that could've had enemies, I suppose one of them might have been following him, but...we've got nothing to go on.
Sherlock: Oh, I wouldn't say that...
Lestrade: Okay, give me.
Sherlock: The bullet they just dug out of the walls is from a hand gun...[goes on to explain every detail at a thousand miles per second] You're looking for a man probably with a history of military service, and...nerves of steel...[ catches sight of John and realizes who the killer is]...Actually, you know what, ignore me.
Sherlock: Ignore all of that. It's just the...the shock talking. [Starts walking away]
Lestrade: Where are you going?
Sherlock: I just need to... talk about...
Lestrade: But I've still got questions!
Sherlock: Oh, what now? I'm in shock! Look, I've got a blanket!
Sherlock: And... I've just caught you a serial killer...more or less.
Sherlock: Are you all right?
John: Yes, yes, of course I'm all right.
Sherlock: You have just killed a man.
John: Yes, I...[pause] That's true, isn't it? [Another pause] But, he wasn't a very nice man.
Sherlock: No. No, he wasn't really, was he?
John: No. And frankly, a bloody awful cabbie.
Sherlock: [Smiles] That's true, he was a bad cabbie. You should have seen the route he took to get us here!
John: [laughing] Shh, we can't giggle, it's a crime scene, stop it!
Sherlock: Yeah, well, you're the one that shot him, don't blame me.
John: Keep your voice down!
Mycroft: Did it ever occur to you that we belong on the same side?
Sherlock: Oddly enough, no.
Sherlock: Good evening, Mycroft. Try not to start a war before I get home, you know what it does to the traffic.
John: So, dim sum?
Sherlock: Mmm. I can always predict the fortune cookies.
John: No, you can't.
Sherlock: Almost can. You did get shot, though?
John: ... Sorry?
Sherlock: In Afghanistan. There was an actual wound.
John: Oh, yeah. Shoulder.
Sherlock: Shoulder! I thought so.
John: No, you didn't.
Sherlock: Left one?
John: Lucky guess.
Sherlock: I never guess.
John: Yes, you do.
John: What are you so happy about?
John: What's "Moriarty"?
Sherlock: I have absolutely no idea.
- Also this bit at the end of the unaired pilot:
Mrs. Hudson: Sherlock! What have you done to my house?
Sherlock: [matter-of-factly] Nothing wrong with your house, Mrs. Hudson, which is more than can be said for the dead serial killer on your first floor.
Mrs. Hudson: What?!
Sherlock: Good news for London, bad news for your carpet. Good night, Mrs. Hudson.
John: [laughs] Good night, Mrs. Hudson.
- This brilliant snarky comeback of John's, after a mysterious menacing man has intimidated and kidnapped him into a dark, abandoned parking garage:
Mycroft: If you asked, [Sherlock], he'd probably say his "arch-enemy", but he does love to be dramatic...
John: Well, thank God you're above all that.
- This pairs so perfectly with Sherlock and John's later conversation on the way to Angelo's: "That's the frailty of genius, John, it needs an audience," Sherlock rants, and John only responds with a glance and a soft, eloquent " ... Yeah."
- John—who's already beginning to register that Sherlock's thought processes are shall we say other than ordinary—pointing at the mantel with his stick and saying with interest, "That's a skull." And Sherlock's response, "Friend of mine. —When I say 'friend' ... " Trailing off, as if even Sherlock "Not good?" Holmes realized in mid-speech that there was no possible good ending for this sentence.
- Mrs Hudson fussing about her 'herbal soothers' during the drugs bust is particularly hilarious in hindsight after series three, when we learn she used to work in her husbands drug cartel and the 'pressure point' Magnassun identified was marijuana.
- The occasional shoutout to the original novels, where Mycroft is described as being "stouter" than his younger brother.
Sherlock: Putting on weight again?
- The gag about Mycroft's supposed weight problem crops up occasionally on other seasons, more notably in The Sign of Three.
- The whole dramatic lead up to the cabbie shooting Sherlock, with the dramatic music and shots and all. Then the cabbie pulls the trigger...to reveal the gun's a lighter.