Watson summarizing what the newspapers had to say about the murders: each and every one of them blames the government for it (the Daily Mail even recommends keeping a closer watch on foreigners, nothing has changed in over a hundred years).
"The Case of Charles Augustus Milverton:" Lestrade comes and gives Holmes a description of one of the men seen fleeing Milverton's residence the night he was murdered. Holmes laughs at the vagueness of the description and declines to take the case. "Why, that might even be a description of Watson..."
The Case of the Red-Headed League features an in-story example; a combination of Jabez Wilson's twist of luck where the League suddenly closes on him, his showing of the sign informing of said closure to Holmes and Watson, and his absolute dead-serious face when retelling the tale proves too much for both Holmes and Watson to bear, and they burst out laughing.
This is actually a particularly good example of Doyle's deftness with prose. Wilson's elaborately detailed and dramatic retelling of his mysterious experiences, witch are punctured by a note saying nothing but the phrase "The Red-Headed League Is Dissolved." It also delves into the realm of Inherently Funny Words.
This exchange from "A Scandal in Bohemia" is funny enough, but I found it absolutely hilarious upon reading the story after seeing the Guy Ritchie film because it sounds exactly like the kind of thing the Robert Downey, Jr. version of Holmes would say:
Holmes: If this young person [Irene Adler] should produce her letters for blackmailing or other purposes, how is she to prove their authenticity?
Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein: There is the writing.
Holmes: Pooh, pooh! Forgery.
Grand Duke: My private notepaper.
Grand Duke: My own seal.
Grand Duke: My photograph.
Grand Duke: We were both in the photograph.
Holmes: Oh, dear! That is very bad!
Even funnier if taken in modern context, since modern readers will expect Holmes to reply to the last one with this:
Holmes gets a lovely little bit of snark in against the King of Bohemia later in the story, after the King declares (of Irene Adler), "Is it not a pity she is not on my level?" "Indeed, from what I have seen she is on a very different level from your Majesty."
Holmes' Last-Second Word Swap in The Adventure of the Norwood Builder. "Arrest you! This really is most gratiómost interesting. On what charge to you expect to be arrested?" Even funnier when you try to picture the look on his face (it isn't described so you've got free rein here)...
Holmes' snark is legendary for a reason. Case in point, in The Boscombe Valley Mystery:
"We have got to the deductions and the inferences," said Lestrade, winking at me. "I find it hard enough to tackle facts, Holmes, without flying away after theories and fancies."
"You are right," said Holmes demurely; "you do find it very hard to tackle the facts."
Shoscombe Old Place gives us this memorable line: "a boxer, an athlete, a plunger on the turf, a lover of fair ladies, and, by all account, so far down Queer Street that he may never find his way back again." Ah, were we ever *that* innocent?
It should be noted that being "down Queer Street" was a euphemism for being financially hard up, and was unrelated to either the original meaning (strange, peculiar, etc.) or the modern meaning (homosexual) of the word Queer.
At the end of "The Copper Beeches" Watson writes a throwaway line in which he expresses his disappointment at Holmes losing interest in Miss Violet Hunter "...once she had ceased to be the centre of one of his problems". Ladies, gentlemen, I give you Watson the Matchmaker!
Watson saying, "...and I shot its brains out" when talking about shooting a dog (don't worry, the dog was attacking a human).
At one point Holmes and Watson are heading to a concert — or "off to violin-land," as Holmes puts it.
The opening paragraphs of "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual," where Watson describes how Holmes lives, saying that he himself is no neat freak, but
when I find a man who keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece, then I begin to give myself virtuous airs. I have always held, too, that pistol practice should distinctly be an open-air pastime; and when Holmes in one of his queer humours would sit in an arm-chair, with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges, and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R. done in bullet-pocks, I felt strongly that neither the atmosphere nor the appearance of our room was improved by it.
The bit in The Hound of the Baskervilles where Watson finds Holmes and immediately notices that he's managed to "contrive" a Perma Shave while hiding out on a moor.
How about the realization that Holmes was essentially stalking Watson across the moor?
The various things that Mr. Frankland accomplishes, including closing a forest from picnickers due to litter, opening a right of way in front of someone's front door, on their property, imprisoning someone for trespassing for shooting on their own land, and several others. One day, the villagers praise his name, the next they burn him in effigy.
The best part is the quick bit of Hypocritical Humor where he accosts Watson to crow over his opening of the right of way, hailing it as a triumph of the rights of the common man over the tyrannical landowner, then without any sense of irony announces he's kicked the picnickers out of the woods in his next breath. He goes on to state his intention to sue the police for not doing more to stop the effigy-burnings.
In "The Valley of Fear," after finding only one dumbbell in the victimís home, Holmes is alarmed.
ďOne dumb-bell, Watson! Consider an athlete with one dumb-bell! Picture to yourself the unilateral development, the imminent danger of a spinal curvature. Shocking, Watson, shocking!Ē
The best part of this is that that one dumb-bell was actually the linchpin holding the entire case together and that was just his sarcastic way of hinting it to the local police.
The end of The Dying Detective. After the villain confessed, thinking Holmes was dying anyway, he is arrested, but claims that it's his word again Holmes's. Unbeknownst to the villain, Watson has been hiding in the room the entire time.
Sherlock: Good heavens! I had totally forgotten him. My dear Watson, I owe you a thousand apologies. To think that I should have overlooked you!
The entirety of "The Dying Detective" gets much funnier upon a second reading, once you know that Holmes is only pretending to be ill. In particular, the delirious Holmes trying to get Watson to fetch him a doctor before the oysters take over the world.
In The Reigate Puzzle, Holmes needs to cause a distraction so he can slip out of a room unnoticed. He achieves this by knocking over a bowl of fruit and blaming Watson.
In the same story, Holmes's declaration that Watson's suggestion of a countryside holiday is a rousing success— because they've found themselves in the midst of a murder investigation.
The local inspector reacting to Holmes's usual odd behavior when on a case by suggesting that he's not quite gotten over his illness.
"I don't think you need to alarm yourself," said I. "I have usually found that there was method in his madness.
"Some folk might say there was a madness in his method," muttered the Inspector.
In The Adventure of the Illustrious Client:
"Friday!" he [Holmes] cried. "Only three clear days. I believe the rascal wants to put himself out of danger's way. But he won't, Watson! By the Lord Harry, he won't! Now, Watson, I want you to do something for me."
"I am here to be used, Holmes."
"Well, then, spend, the next twenty-four hours in an intensive study of Chinese pottery."
Holmes asking Watson to make some deductions about a cane left by a potential client. Watson obliges, and Holmes warmly congratulates him and thanks him for his help. Watson is chuffed... until Holmes clarifies:
Holmes: I am afraid, dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth.
Holmes apparently deducing the exact breed of a dog by its teeth marks, only to then reveal that he could see the dog itself outside the window.
An eccentric client getting a bit over-excited about the shape of Holmes's skull, to the point where he wants to fondle it and take it home with him to the point of being really creepy.
Mortimer: Would you have any objection to my running a finger along your parietal fissure? A cast of your skull, sir, until the original is available, would be an ornament to any anthropological museum. It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.
The Sign of (the) Four gives us Watson's Malapropisms: he relates the story of how, upon seeing the head of a rifle poke into his tent in Afghanistan, he proceeded to shoot it to death with a tiger cub, and also recommends to the hypochondriac client to take plenty of strychnine (essentially a poison) but to caution against excessive amounts of treacle (which is mostly harmless). Extra hilarity points for being informed of his errors only after the entire story occurs, when "he" is writing it!
Also, Toby the dog, while leading Holmes and Watson on the trail of creosote (because the suspect they're following stepped in it), accidentally latches onto the trail of a creosote merchant and instead leads them to an entire stockpile of the stuff in a back alley. The incredibly proud look he gives them, complete with eagerly wagging tail, when he finds it sends both men into hysterical laughter.
Watson indulges in various snarky interludes in various stories when he nonchalantly describes Holmes's eccentricities, the funniest probably being the intro to The Musgrave Ritual — his opinion of Holmes shooting the initials "VR" (for Victoria Regina) into the sitting room wall with bullets is simply to inform his reader that in his opinion, target-practice should be an open-air pasttime, and that the VR didn't really improve the room's atmosphere.
In the beginning of "The Adventure of the Dancing Men," Holmes, after some long hours wrapped up in a chemical experiment, suddenly notes that Watson does not intend to invest in South African securities. When Watson reacts with shock, Holmes wheels on him and demands that he admit to being entirely taken aback and goes so far as to say he ought to make Watson put it in writing, as once Holmes explains himself, Watson will declare the matter as absurdly simple. Watson insists that he'll do no such thing, and so Holmes leads him through the inferences that led him to the revelation. Watson's response?
"How absurdly simple!"
Granada TV series
At the end of "The Copper Beeches", this conversation that follows Watson reading aloud his canonical journal entry:
Watson: There, Holmes. Your verdict? Holmes: An admirable account, Watson. Watson: Oh, you don't think I've put too much color and life into it? Holmes: *turns around in his seat to face Watson* Oh, my dear friend, I humbly defer such considerations to your excellent literary judgment. *turns back to the camera so that Watson cannot see his face* Watson: *proudly smiles* Good! Holmes: *gives a sarcastic, Fascinating Eyebrow look to the camera*
"You are always in a disputatious mood when you choose that pipe!"
Jeremy Brett's depictions of Holmes as a hyperactive misfit in general (i.e. jumping over the sofa to call Watson back into the room during "The Red-Headed League"). Portraying Holmes as quirky is nothing new, but Brett's were incredibly well done.
At the end of another episode Holmes is so hyped up at having solved a case neatly that he actually jumps for joy shouting "Wha-hey!"
In "The Resident Patient", Holmes tore his office up and flung papers all around trying to find some information. Watson came in and calmly went to a file box and showed Holmes the information he was looking for.
In "The Greek Interpreter", when Holmes, Watson, and Mycroft are rushing to catch the train the murderers are on, the following exchange occurs:
Sherlock:Mycroft! Mycroft: I'm not built for running, Sherlock!
And then, a moment later when they're in the compartment, Sherlock is calmly smoking a cigarette... right next to the sign that says "Smoking is Strictly Prohibited in this Compartment."
At the beginning of "A Scandal in Bohemia" Watson offered his hand to the king-in-disguise and was ignored. At the end of the episode, the King offers his hand to Holmes, who turns away — and Watson steps in, gives a sharp shake and a very polite nod, and waves the man out.
In "The Six Napoleons", Lestrade is waiting in the sitting room for Holmes and Watson to return, looking bored out of his mind...until he catches sight of the papers on the table beside Holmes' chair and so nonchalantly starts to finger through them...and while this is going on Holmes watches him through the half-closed doorway, waves Watson over so that he can see, and then Holmes and Watson quickly duck back down the hall and "enter" loudly, giving Lestrade the chance to stop snooping and act all innocent when they come in.
Holmes giggling when he hears Shinwell Johnson's nickname "Porky" for the first time in "The Illustrious Client".
The bit during "The Red Headed League" when Holmes and Watson both double over laughing at the client for his seemingly ridiculous story.
Although this trooper doesn't usually like using the word "hell" in conversations, I did laugh out loud in "The Master Blackmailer" when Holmes screamed out,
Holmes: Mrs. Hudson, why did you tidy up for me? Where the hell are my shoes?!?
Irene is in her hotel room when she hears a noise at the door. She rolls her eyes and opens it to reveal Holmes failing for the second time to pick a lock.
The first time Holmes fails to pick a lock is at Reordan's place, courtesy of Watson's foot.
Holmes having wine splashed into his face as he incorrectly analyzes Mary's last relationship and remaining completely motionless in blank shock for about a minute afterward. And then nonchalantly resuming his meal when Mary and Watson depart.
Gets funnier via Fridge Logic...there's only one meal served, indicating that Holmes expected that the encounter would end with him offending Watson and/or Mary, causing them both to walk out.
Following up on the false nose bit, the part shortly after, when he jumps out of the window doing a silly shriek and a crash is heard off-camera. He then shouts for Watson and Watson looks out of the window to see that Holmes has fallen through the roof of the coal shed. Watson proceeds to roll his eyes, shut the window, and walk away.
Irene Adler turning the tables on a pair of would-be muggers.
Holmes ramming the carriage of Irene's mystery employer while disguised as a hobo with an eyepatch, soot-stained teeth (by chewing a piece of coal) and disheveled clothing.
Holmes compliments a hereto silent Watson on his value as a companion, and is then sucker-punched by Watson.
"Take Watson." "I intend to." Followed by Holmes' scoffing.
"I'm in the process of inventing a device that muffles the sound of a gunshot!" "It's not working."
From that same scene, Watson opening the curtains and letting sunlight in, and Holmes yelling out in pain.
The hammer scene. Holmes is running from Dredger the Frenchman, who has armed himself with a massive sledgehammer. Holmes fumbles around for a weapon, and produces an ordinary hammer. Both take a moment to compare their armaments, followed by Holmes pathetically chucking his at Dredger. It just bounces off.
It's made funnier by the fact that the shot is shown from the side to make sure we know just exactly how small Holmes and his hammer are by scale compared to Dredger.
Holmes is transported blindfolded from the pen to the Temple of the Four Orders headquarters:
Sir Thomas: Mr. Holmes, apologies for summoning you like this. I'm sure it's quite a mystery as to where you are, and who I am Ö
Sherlock Holmes: As to where I am, I was, admittedly, lost for a moment, between Charing Cross and Holborn, but I was saved by the bread shop on Saffron Hill. The only baker to use a certain French glaze on their loaves Ė a Brittany sage. After that, the carriage forked left, then right, and then the tell-tale bump at the Fleet Conduit. And as to who you are, that took every ounce of my not-inconsiderable experience. The letters on your desk were addressed to a Sir Thomas Rotherham. Lord Chief Justice, that would be the official title. Who you really are is, of course, another matter entirely. Judging by the sacred ox on your ring, you're the secret head of the Temple of the Four Orders in whose headquarters we now sit, located on the northwest corner of St. James Square, I think. As to the mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered to blindfold me at all.
Sir Thomas: Yes, well Ö standard procedure, I suppose.
When Irene makes a surprise visit to Holmes' room, he tries to be sneaky as her back is turned about slamming a picture of her on his desk face-down. What he intended to be subtle winds up being hilariously awkward.
Made even funnier by the scene where she leaves and he scurries off to find where she's going but first takes the time to slam the photo down again.
Watson letting out the flies Holmes had spent the last six hours trapping inside a glass tube.
Holmes' discussion with Watson about and subsequent exchange with Mrs. Hudson:
Holmes: There is only one case which intrigues me at present...the curious case of Mrs. Hudson, the absentee landlady. I've been studying her comings and goings, and they appear most...sinister...
Mrs. Hudson: [long-suffering] Tea, Mr. Holmes?
Holmes: Is it poisoned? Nanny?!
Mrs. Hudson: There's enough of that in you already.
Holmes: Don't touch! Everything is in its proper place, as per usual... Nnnnnanny...
From the same scene: "He's killed the dog...again."
Also from the same scene:
Watson: Holmes, as your doctor...
Holmes: [Gladstone]'ll be fit as a trivet in no time.
Watson: AS YOUR FRIEND! You've been in this room for two weeks; I insist, you have to get out! Holmes: There's nothing of interest for me. Out there. On Earth. ...At all. Watson: So you're free this evening?
Watson: The Royale?
Holmes: My favorite.
Watson: Mary's coming.
Holmes: (pause) Not available.
Watson: You're meeting her, Holmes!
Holmes after Dredger escapes and the fight in the shipyard causes a giant ship under construction to be launched prematurely: "Watson...what have you done?"
At Blackwood's tomb, Holmes is informed that the police are in the process of exhuming Blackwood's coffin. Said police constables are currently standing back as far from the tomb as they can, each one looking very, very nervous.
Holmes: I see. At what stage of the process? Contemplative?
Watson: When do I complain about you setting fire to my rooms?
Holmes: Our rooms.
Watson: The rooms. When do I complain that you experiment on-on my dog?
Holmes: Our dog.
Watson: *stammering with rage* The dog!
The same scene, later, when Holmes suggests that they go away to his brother Mycroft's estate...making it clear that he means he and Watson.
Watson: Holmes, if I were to go to the country it would be with my future wife! Holmes:[jealously] Well certainly, if we must have her along... Watson: No! Not you! Mary and I! You are not — Holmes: Not what? Invited? Why would I not be invited to my own brother's country home? Watson, now you're not making any sense! Watson:You're not human!
There's a Call Back to this scene in the trailer for the second movie.
And right before the above, this from Watson:
Not that it's any of my business, but I would advise you to leave. The case. Alone.
When Lord Coward is trying to find Holmes in the smoke, talking about Blackwood's plans, and it turns out that Holmes has been sitting in a chair behind him, casually smoking his pipe.
At the end, when Watson and Mary climb up the stairs and into Holmes' room to discover him hanging from the ceiling from a noose. Mary has the decency to look shocked, but Watson simply drones "Don't worry, suicide's not in his repertoire, he's far too fond of himself for that," then proceeds to poke him, whereupon it is revealed that Holmes got comfy enough in his harness to fall asleep.
A subtle, but still hilarious moment. When Watson asks Holmes if he knows where his rugby ball is, Holmes replies 'no, not a clue' in a tone of voice that indicates he knows exactly where it is and won't be telling, and indeed may have even hidden it himself.
Holmes and Watson are investigating Luke Reardon's house when two Mooks come in, about to set fire to the place. Holmes correctly deduces what the Mooks are there to do. One of the Mooks calls for Dredger. Cue heavy footsteps approaching. Then we cut to a shot of Holmes and Watson watching as Dredger enters the room. Seeing Dredger, Holmes' expression stays pretty much the same; Watson, on the other hand...
Also, this line:
Holmes: (points to Dredger) Meat... (points to the two other Mooks) ...or potatoes?
And the fight that follows, accompanied by the music that plays.
A mook there died simply by having Dredger thrown on top of him.
Holmes and Irene are about to disarm Blackwood's device when, behind them, Watson is thrown across the way. Then enters Dredger, who spots Holmes and Irene. Irene fires two shots at Dredger, the last one hitting Dredger's hat before she runs out of ammo. Dredger approaches, removes his hat and calmly asks (in French) "Did you...miss me?", taking a moment to study his hat between that last line. Holmes then matter-of-factly tells Irene, "I rather wish you hadn't done that, Irene."
Following that, Watson grabs Dredger from behind and shouts at Holmes to "Nut him!" Holmes proceeds to run up to Dredger, jump up into the air and head-butt Dredger. Holmes then stumbles backward; the look on his face was priceless.
And then Holmes tries throwing a punch at Dredger, only to miss, slip and fall on his back.
When Clarkie comes by to get Holmes, Holmes asks, "What's Lestrade done now? Lose his way to Scotland Yard?"
Following on that, after Holmes is informed of Blackwood's apparent resurrection, this exchange:
Watson: You're not taking this seriously, are you, Holmes?!
Holmes: Yes! As you should. (Watson stares and scoffs) This is a matter of professional integrity! No girl wants to marry a doctor who can't tell whether a man is dead or not!
When Dredger finally takes away Holmes's newest toy:
Dredger: (in French) Run, little rabbit, run.
Holmes: (in French) With pleasure. *takes off*
The scene in the slaughterhouse, where Holmes tells Watson to save his ammunition, then flips out and empties his gun in the direction of Blackwood's voice about two seconds later.
Watson: (with a "you have got to be kidding me" expression) What was that about saving bullets?
During the fight scene near the end, when Holmes has a bit of trouble fighting a Mook, he shouts at Irene: "WOMAN! SHOOT HIM! NOW, PLEASE!"
Oh, and he calls Irene "WOMAN!" again after she makes off with a piece of Blackwood's device.
Holmes: *to Blackwood in a very conversational tone* My, what a busy afterlife you're having.
Dredger and Holmes comparing...Hammer Sizes, and then Holmes, in desperation hurling his hammer into Dredger's chest...to absolutely no effect.
Watson's surgery with an old military man is constantly interrupted by Holmes' target practice in the other room. They've previously been discussing how Watson will be moving into a new place with his soon-to-be wife, leading to this exchange:
Patient:[Cautiously] Oh, and by the way, your roommate. Won't be moving with you, will he? Watson:[With furious determination]No he won't.
Clarkie trolling Sherlock on the way to Sir Thomas's manor.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
When Watson returns to Baker Street and opens the door to Holmes' room, he finds himself in the middle of a lush jungle. Complete with wildlife.
Sherlock Holmes: Watson, might I suggest we use an alternative exit?
Dr. John Watson: Is there something different about you? [Holmes turns towards the camera, revealing that he is wearing a large false beard]
Sherlock Holmes: I'm under observation.
Dr. John Watson: As you should be.
Watson attempting to shake Mycroft's hand, only to be met with a very blunt "No."
The lively fight music during Holmes and Simza's fight with the Cossack. Particularly the moment where Holmes crashes through a wall and knocks all of Watson's winnings to the floor, then gets up and runs off. Watson looks around and realizes that he's surrounded by hungry gamblers:
Watson: Now wait a minute. [Everyone immediately lunges forward trying to get whatever loose money they can get]
Sherlock Holmes in drag. That is all. In fact, the entire train sequence where he bickers and wrestles with Watson, either in drag or half naked.
Dr. John Watson: How can we make this more manageable?
[Cuts to the group travelling on horses through the woods past the camera as Ennio Morricone's theme from "Two Mules for Sister Sara" plays in the background. A few seconds later, Holmes rides by, strutting on a little pony!]
Sherlock Holmes: Where's the fire?
Even better: he still manages to get ahead of everyone else by the end of the trip.
Actually, ponies are more well-suited to traversing rugged, mountainous terrain (which is the kind they are going through) than horses, due partially to their lower center of gravity.
Of course, it still went much slower. The real reason Holmes ended up ahead: He couldn't get the pony to stop!
The horses slowing down, and one stumbling on a small cliff, then Holmes hailing them from atop the cliff where his pony has not slowed down.
After Holmes is revived by the adrenaline shot, the very first thing he reveals is that he had a nightmare about the pony.
Holmes fighting the Cossack:
Madame Simza Heron: Time is up. I have other clients. [Holmes gets up and starts to leave, but suddenly goes over to Simza and whispers in her ear]
Sherlock Holmes: Though you may not have detected the whisp of astrachan fur snagged on a nail over my left shoulder. You couldn't have failed to notice the overpowering aroma of herring pickled in vodka, in tandem with a truly unfortunate body odor. There's a man concealed in the rafters above us: a Cossack - renowned for their infeasible acrobatic abilities, and are notorious for moonlighting as assassins. So it's safe to presume that your next client is here to kill you. [smiles] Anything else? [Simza does not answer, thinking about Holmes' implication] No? [Holmes starts to leave, but suddenly turns around and pulls out an umbrella]
Sherlock Holmes:[voice-over; in slow-motion] First, pillage the nest. [He hooks the umbrella handle around the Cossack's knee and pulls on it, causing him to fall out of his hiding place] Clip wings. [Holmes strikes the assassin a blow with the umbrella that knocks a throwing knife out of his hand and twists it] Now, blunt his beak. [delivers hammer blows to each side of the face, then ducks to avoid a return blow] Crack eggs. [delivers a kick to the groin; the assassin pulls out a knife] Scramble. [Holmes knocks the knife aside] Pinch of salt. [jabs the umbrella into the chest, then deflects another oncoming knife] Touch of pepper. [jabs the assassin with the umbrella tip] Flip the omelet. [performs a judo throw that causes the assassin to flip over him and land on his back] Additional seasoning required. [The assassin tries to stand up but Holmes strikes him across the face, knocking him down] Breakfast is served.
Sherlock Holmes: Come with me. I need you alive. Now! [They leave the room just as the Cossack's eyes open, revealing that he is wearing protective lining]
On the way to catch a train, in the presence of Holmes (who is disguised as a porter), Moriarty asks Moran if he has time to "indulge his little habit." Moran says "yes". The scene immediately cuts to Moriarty feeding pigeons.
Moriarty's lecture tour is also one of these if you've read the stories. In The Valley of Fear, Holmes notes that Dynamics of An Asteroid "ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said there is no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it." So those crowds of people lining up at the book signing in Paris to tell Moriarty how good his book was and get his autograph? They don't understand a word of it. They're just trying to look smart!
And Moriarty is presumably aware of this, since when Holmes requests his autograph he wryly asks "Have you actually read the book?"
Moriarty's extended metaphor involving Schubert's The Trout is absolutely hilarious if you know the fourth stanza, which turns the entire scene from a cat-and-mouse-game torture metaphor into a Masochism TangoYandere flirting metaphor.
The moment Moriarty realises that Holmes managed to swap his notebook, full of clues related to his criminal empire, and replaced it with another notebook in which Holmes drew a shark eating a fisherman. When I saw the "Be careful what you FISH for" comment, I nearly broke down laughing.
Especially because if you look hard enough, the shark is smoking a pipe making it clear who's eating whom.
The conclusion to Holmes and Moriarty's inevitable final conflict is improbably funny. Holmes grabs Moriarty, Watson walks in and the three of them freeze for a split second — then Holmes and Moriarty tip neatly over the balcony into the Falls. It's a macabre version of Holmes' trademark pratfall/escapes.
At an auction, Holmes needs to defuse a motion-sensitive bomb for Dr. Hoffmanstahl, so he gets up and says: "One million pounds! (Everyone gasps in horror and looks at him; his pipe causes a tapestry behind him to burst into flames) Oh and, uh, by the way, Fire...FIRE!"
Holmes' note to Watson to get him to save him:
"Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same."