Ho Yay / Sherlock Holmes

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     The Stories 

  • Sherlock Holmes and his biographer/only friend/soul mate Watson. It's blatant enough even without the exceptionally slashy Granada TV series starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke/Edward Hardwicke. "My very intimate relationship" indeed. Brett noted in interviews that he was playing the relationship as that of an old married couple.
    • Wait, wait, "Edward Hardwicke"? "Hardwicke"?!
    • In that vein, Decoding the Subtext, a book-length analysis of Holmes and Watson's relationship throughout the entire canon.
    • The Dying Detective
      Holmes: "There are the wheels, Watson. Quick, man, if you love me!"
    • The Adventure of the Three Garridebs. Watson getting shot was Holmes' Berserk Button.
      Watson: It was worth a wound — it was worth many wounds — to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.
    • The Adventure of the Empty House
      Watson: "Certainly a gray mist swirled before my eyes, and when it cleared I found my collar ends undone and a tingling aftertaste of brandy upon my lips. Holmes was bending over my chair, his flask in hand."
    • The Adventure of the Speckled Band
      Watson: Holmes was for the moment as startled as I. His hand closed like a vice upon my wrist in his agitation.
      • When Holmes gets scared he holds Watson's hand. If that isn't Ho Yay I don't know what is.
    • Spoofed here. Holmes gets quite excited when he solves a case.
    • Perhaps picking up on some UST, one old Epileptic Tree was that Watson was a woman.
    • Another theory is that it's Holmes who was the woman... and if Watson didn't notice that he's not much good as either a detective or a doctor, frankly...
    • Either that or one was covering up the gender of the other in order to prevent shocking Victorian society to complete apoplexy. The thought of a woman involving herself in murders, blackmail scandals and crimes? The scandal!
      • Coupled with, if we still accept the UST, the thought of an unmarried man and woman living together in sin.
  • And don't forget that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to finish his writing career right after publishing A Study in Scarlet. It was a chance meeting with one Oscar Wilde that inspired him to continue the whole Holmes business. Take that as you will.
  • In "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", Watson reveals that he moved back in with Holmes because Holmes asked him to. However, Holmes used his own money and got a distant relative to secretly buy Watson's medical practice, something Watson didn't know about until years later. Holmes really, really wanted his Boswell back...
  • "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton". All of it. From holding hands to a willingness to share a prison cell together, the entire case is full of Ho Yay moments.
  • From A Study In Scarlet, Sherlock likes it when Watson thinks he’s clever.
    Watson: My companion flushed up with pleasure at my words, and the earnest way in which I uttered them. I had already observed that he was as sensitive to flattery on the score of his art as any girl could be of her beauty.
    • Holmes and Watson use the word "intimate" to describe their relationship no fewer than three times between "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes." (Once when Watson describes his time with Sherlock as "the years of our intimacy", once when Sherlock calls Watson his "intimate friend"-to a client!-and another time by Watson, though I can't remember the exact wording.)
  • Ladies and gentlemen, may I direct your attention to Howard K. Elcock's delightfully slashy illustration at the beginning of The Illustrious Client. Holmes and Watson are pictured relaxing and smoking together after having enjoyed a Turkish bath. No, really.
  • From The Resident Patient:
    Watson: "My dear Holmes!" I ejaculated.
  • Watson is often just as prone to singing the praises of attractive men as of attractive women. In particular, he seems rather taken with Holmes's eyes. And his hands.

     The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) 
  • Deliberately invoked by Holmes, who claims to be gay, and in a relationship with Watson, to get out of marrying a Russian countess. Watson is not amused, and fumes about the potential scandal, before calming down and remembering that it's only a rumor, and he has women on three continents who can vouch for him. Holmes, however, is less than forthcoming about whether there are any women who can vouch for him.
    Watson: I hope I'm not being presumptuous, but there have been women in your life?
    Holmes: The answer is yes... you’re being presumptuous.

     The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975) 
  • Moriarty with both his dragon and with Gambetti.
  • Sigerson and Stanley Sacker, when they grab each other's bare bottoms and dance together out of the room.

     Sherlock Holmes In The Twenty Second Century 
  • The first episode, where Holmes says he misses Watson "more than I care to admit."
  • The multiple times a villian threatens Watson, prompting rare looks of concern on Holmes part.
  • Holmes, in a female disguise, flirts with Watson and actually gets a blush out of him. Seriously.
  • Holmes' comment that he and Watson are "off to urgently waste some time."

     The 2009 Movie Version 
  • Holmes and Watson, Holmes and Lestrade, Holmes and Lord Blackwood...
    • Let's just go with Holmes/Everyone.
    • Holmes and Watson naturally get the lion's share of the attention here, since their literary counterparts might just be the most slashed characters in all of fiction. Even before the movie aired, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were being continually asked about/criticized for alleged homoerotic undertones, which they vehemently insisted were not their intention (Jude Law once stated something along the lines of, "They can have a horribly codependent relationship without there being something sexual involved").
    • The film was even lampshading this in the trailers. Scenes of domestic bickering between Holmes and Watson, followed by Irene Adler saying 'They've been flirting for hours'? We see what you did there.
    • And when the movie actually came out, well... it didn't exactly silence any critics, let's put it that way. From Holmes spending most of the movie trying to break up Watson's engagement, to the old married couple bickering about setting rooms on fire and testing anesthesia on the dog, to Holmes almost losing it when Watson gets injured in an explosion and then disguising himself in order to sneak into the hospital where Watson's being treated and treat him himself... and then being confronted by Watson's fiancé who says "I know you care for him just as much as I do", all the way down to Watson's glib comment, upon seeing Holmes again after Holmes had gone on the run from the police, that "You look gorgeous"... well, you don't have to look very far for the subtext.
    • Not to mention all the touching that goes on. Holmes resting his arm on Watson's thigh while sitting at his feet, trailing his hand across Watson's shoulders, standing chest to chest... just to name a few. And all the awkward silences when the topic of separation comes up.
    • There's also Holmes falling asleep against Watson's back, them arguing about who owns what ("our dog" vs. "THE Dog") and Holmes inviting Watson out to his brother Mycroft's estate for essentially a "fix our marriage with a weekend getaway" trip.
      • The "want to go to the opera?" scene. That was totally a date.
    • "My tongue will be completely useless to you, Watson." "Worse things could happen."
    • Speaking of Holmes lines begging to be taken out of context: "Be gentle with me, Watson."
    • Holmes: (takes off Watson's belt) Don't get excited.
    • Not to disregard this particular quote:
      Holmes: (illustrating a point) Take Watson.
      Mary: I intend to.
      Holmes: (unhappy "bitch plz" laugh)
    • And let's not forget Holmes's habit of stealing and wearing Watson's clothes....
    • Pointed out in the Sherlock Holmes in 5 seconds. video.
      "This movie's a decent yaoi fanfiction."
    • There's some subtle Fridge Brilliance Ho Yay in the scene in the attic. Holmes and Watson share an awkward moment of reconciliation. There's a long drawn out pause. After the scene cuts, Holmes has changed his clothes.
      • Alternatively, Holmes may have taken off his overshirt because it's rumpled and gross.
    • At one point Holmes and Watson call each other "Old Cock" and "Mother Hen" respectively.
  • It's notable that the Orphaned Punchline to the joke Holmes tells in prison is "So the barman says, 'May I push in your stool?'.
  • The diamond ring Mary, Watson's fiancee, is wearing at the end of the film, given to her by Holmes to replace the one he dropped earlier. The implication is that its made from the jewel Holmes took from Irene Adler — so does this mean that symbolically all four characters are married now?
  • The part where Blackwood and Holmes are talking right before the former's execution. Blackwood is right behind Holmes, whispering in his ear when he says, "I need you.' Or something along those lines.
  • Don't forget how Lord Coward seems to worship Blackwood. Anytime Blackwood speaks, Coward is certain to be looking adoringly at him.
  • According to the trailers, sequel will be taking Ho Yay Up to Eleven. The second trailer is particularly slashy.
    • And it does not disappoint. Between Holmes's obvious unhappiness at Watson's wedding, to the entire sequence on the train to Paris (but especially after Mary gets thrown from the train), to them slow dancing before the climax... Up to Eleven is putting it mildly.
  • There is a certain behind the scenes video that shows Ritchie asking Law and Downey to 'please stop queening it up' here.

     Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) 


     The Granada TV Series 

  • Despite being one of the most faithful adaptations ever filmed, the show does make one large alteration to the canon: Watson never gets married. There are practical reasons for doing this, namely allowing the show to adapt whichever stories it liked, in whichever order it liked, without having to keep track of which ones Watson was married in or not. (Not that this bothered Doyle much.) However, the practical upshot is that, in the show, Watson remains a “confirmed bachelor”, living with Sherlock Holmes his entire life. Aw!
  • I dare you to watch Jeremy Brett as Holmes and say that he's not absolutely smitten with both of his Watsons.
  • In The Norwood Builder, when Holmes disguises himself as a tramp and talks to the ex-army sergeant living rough in the woods near the house. The sergeant tells him all about the ex-sailor who "shared his billet" and then disappeared after telling him about the warm welcome he got at the builder's house, and acts more like a spurned lover than an abandoned friend.
  • The Speckled Band... Holmes and Watson spend the night in a little cabin, to observe a house. Holmes says that he feels guilty for putting Watson in danger by having him here, and is obviously grateful for his presence. Then, when Watson falls asleep, Holmes wakes him as gently as possible by touching his shoulder.

     The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson 
  • The Soviet Holmes series is slash catnip. The first two episodes alone have: Holmes asking Watson on a date, Watson telling Stamford "there is much attractive about Sherlock Holmes" (despite suspecting Holmes of being a criminal mastermind at the time), the infamous Underwear Boxing Scene, and Holmes and an injured Watson cuddling in a cab.

     BBC Radio 
  • In "The Devil's Foot", when Holmes and Watson are near death from the drug, their hallucinations apparently involve reciting Wagner's Tristan und Isolde to each other:
    So let us die and never part,
    Together for the rest of time,
    No more waking, no more fearing,
    Nameless, endless, loving, sharing