- Deadpan Snarker tendencies
- Being a Badass Bookworm, often with martial arts skills
- In more modern portrayals, appearing vaguely non-neurotypical.
- Substance abuse issues
- Being a Celibate Hero
- Hyper Awareness or unusually keen senses
- Wearing a deerstalker hat or smoking a pipe (sometimes producing them out of nowhere)
- Having a sidekick, who may be a Watson homage
- Having an Evil Counterpart, who may be a Moriarty homage
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Anime and Manga
- L in Death Note is his world's greatest detective. (Also second and third best, via aliases.) He's an eccentric, unsociable, Badass Bookworm genius with an Ambiguous Disorder.
- The main character of Detective Conan (aka Case Closed) is Jimmy Kudo, a teen detective who is forcefully given a poison that reverts him into a child rather than killing him, is this in spades. He is a snarky teen detective with an insanely keen eye for detail, who uses alcohol to temporarily revert back to his adult form on occasion, and has an extensive amount of otherwise esoteric knowledge. Hell, most of the promotional art for the series has him wearing a deerstalker cap and pipe◊. Also, his pseudonym as his child self is Conan Edogawa, a combination of the names Sherlock author Arthur Conan Doyle and Edogawa Ranpo, who was arguably his Japanese equivalent.
- Victorique in Gosick is an undersocialized, snarky, Insufferable Genius Badass Bookworm and a brilliant detective. She even spends time with a Nice Guy Audience Surrogate who functions as her Watson. Unusually for the trope, she's a cute, petite teenage girl.
- In episode 5 of Mnemosyne, Mishio Maeno assumes a Holmes-like persona while investigating Rin, using the catchphrases like "Elementary!" and referring to an imaginary Dr. Watson in inner monologues.
- In episode 6 of Rosario + Vampire, Kurumu and Yukari dress up as Sherlock and Watson, respectively, while interrogating Ginei about his framing Tsukune for being a Peeping Tom.
- Jo, Zette and Jocko: In one album a maharajah asks for a detective to solve a case. When the man enters he refuses to believe that he is a real detective for he is not dressed up like Holmes, forcing the detective to do so in order to convince him.
- Shamrock Bones in the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe.
- Nero: Detective Van Zwam is clearly derived from Holmes. He is super intelligent, has senses that nobody else has (for instance: he is able to discover all kinds of absurdly detailed information about suspects from just looking at a cigarette stub) and much like Holmes he once died during a story, "De Gouden Patatten", but was revived by readers' support. In the color albums creator Marc Sleen also gave him a Sherlock Holmes hat at one point.
- Suske en Wiske: Lambik dresses up as Sherlock Holmes in De Woeste Wespen, with Jerom taking the role of his sidekick Watson. Naturally Lambik's detective skills are extremely bad.
- Tintin: Tintin shares many similarities with Holmes by being an intelligent Chaste Hero and Badass Book Worm solving crimes, while Captain Haddock is somewhat of a Watsonian sidekick. Hergé was a Sherlock Holmes fan too.
- In The Casebook of Tigger Holmes, Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh intentionally styles himself after Holmes (though he can't get ahold of a deerstalker, and has to make do with a sou'wester instead). Kanga is Mrs. Hudson, the other characters take turns acting as Watson, and it all takes place in a world full of Casual Kink.
- The Great Mouse Detective: Basil is a detective mouse living beneath Holmes' appartment in Baker Street, London. His sidekick Dawson is, of course, an anagram of Watson. See lit entry below.
- Shanghai Noon: While Chon Wen and Roy O' Bannon are waiting in front of Arthur Conan Doyle's door they are dressed in similar clothing as Holmes and Watson. As Doyle sees their silhouettes he is stunned.
- Daryl Zero in Zero Effect is a clear Sherlock Holmes expy, and the film itself is a Whole Plot Reference to "A Scandal In Bohemia." Zero is extremely eccentric and socially awkward but a brilliant detective, and, like Holmes, uses drugs and plays a stringed instrument.
- Basil of Baker Street is a Rare Rodent Example. He's a Badass Bookworm Great Detective who even wears a version of Sherlock Holmes' Iconic Outfit and has a doctor for a sidekick. It's a bit of an Invoked Trope in Basil's case, since Sherlock Holmes is a real person in this universe and Basil is a fanmouse who lives in his wainscotting.
- Lord Darcy is essentially Sherlock Holmes in a world where magic exists. He has better social skills than Holmes, and is not a Celibate Hero, but ticks most of the other boxes.
- The Name of the Rose has William of Baskerville. They're even described similarly as tall, gaunt and sharp nosed, the main difference is that William wears eyeglasses and is a monk.
- The Solar Pons stories by August Derleth and Basil Copper, which were pastiches of the Sherlock Holmes stories with the serial numbers filed off. Most of the characters were the same as Holmes characters except for their names.
- Zavant Konniger, a Badass Bookworm Gentleman Detective who solves mysteries alongside his manservant/sidekick in Warhammer Fantasy spinoff novels.
- Osgood Sigerson, the world's greatest detective in Daniel Pinkwater's Snarkout Boys books, is a straightforward parody of Sherlock Holmes. Sigerson even uses theater makeup to make himself resemble Holmes as played by Basil Rathbone.
- Nero Wolfe plays with this trope, since while he's definitely a Holmes Homage he's less Sherlock and more Mycroft. While he has as many nods to the Great Detective as any other other classic mystery investigator (and there's a persistently popular fan theory that he's Sherlock's son with Irene Adler), his general laziness, obesity and stubborn refusal to leave his house or break his routines for all but the most diabolical of situations are more reminiscent of the older Holmes than the younger.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor throws on a deerstalker cap and greatcoat in such an homage in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", as he tries to solve the mystery. Clearly he had other Holmes tendencies going for him: the intelligence, the eccentricity, the snarkiness, having a quirky sidekick...
- Gregory House of House is not technically a Great Detective, but he does solve medical mysteries. House also has the snark, the genius, the substance abuse issues, and a nicer Heterosexual Life-Partner who's a doctor. Bonus points for House and Wilson's surnames being a Shout-Out to Holmes and Watson.
- Monk. Adrian Monk has excellent observational and deductive skills, but also has severe OCD, germophobia, and several other phobias which all make him very socially awkward. His Watson-analogue is a nurse/caretaker (Sharona in the first season, Natalie in later seasons) primarily concerned with helping Monk function in society. Captain Leland Stottlemeyer is the Lestrade-analogue, a by-the-book cop who makes the actual arrests, who often doubts Monk's logic and pursues the wrong suspects until the episode's end proves Monk correct. (As the series went on, Stottlemeyer came to trust Monk more.) There's even a Mycroft-analogue—Adrian's brother Ambrose, who's agoraphobic and hasn't left his house in years—and a Moriarity analogue (sort of)—Dale "The Whale" Biederbec.
- Detective William Murdoch of Murdoch Mysteries has the stellar record of solving cases (which he himself cites in his promotion interview in "The Glass Ceiling"), as well as being an autodidact (self-educated) whose studies are largely scientific. He keeps a selection of reference books in his office, but is also known to send out for research materials—or even conduct experiments—when needed. In an episode revolving around a talented "idiot savant", Julia speaks of him as also being disconnected from his emotions to no one in particular as she stands by her office phonograph, while William himself is standing in the background. On occasion, he can be a first-class Deadpan Snarker: a particularly good example (from "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!") is his epic takedown of a judge who's convinced a woman killed her husband—the same judge mistakenly thought the same thing about Julia, and Murdoch points this out to his face. He generally avoids alcohol due to his father's alcoholism. Other characters echo those of Doyle's stories: Crabtree is the mundane assistant who also pens fiction (like Watson); medical services and expertise come from Drs Ogden, Francis, Grace and Roberts; various people (including Constables Crabtree and Higgins and Inspector Brackenreid) act as The Watson in having things explained to them; and James Gillies and Sally Pendrick bear striking resemblances to two of Holmes' most famous adversaries (Professor Moriarty and Irene Adler Norton).
- Samson En Gert: In one episode the character Octaaf said he would investigate a case, because he is an expert amateur detective. As he leaves Gert tells Samson: People still think that by wearing a Sherlock Holmes outfit they are automatically eligible to be a great detective. Cut to the next scene, where Octaaf re-enters the house, dressed up as Holmes!
- Sesame Street's Sherlock Hemlock, a Holmes Expy on a kiddie level.
- Hemlock is also a parody of this trope, as a Holmes homage who is also a Clueless Detective.
- Alanik Ray, an elf detective from Darkon, is the Ravenloft D&D setting's Holmes Expy.
- Zohls, the Empyreal Lord of determination, investigation, and truth. She is perceptive, logic-driven, and suffers from Intelligence Equals Isolation. The creators' notes even describe her as "Sherlock Holmes, the deity!"
- The Sleepless Detective Prestige Class and the Investigator class are focused on solving mysteries, as the names suggest, and have strong Holmesian influences. (Except for the Mastermind archetype, which draws more from Moriarty or Mycroft.)
- Looker from Pokémon. His general design is similar to Sherlock, he shows Hyper Awareness, and while he's not a Private Detective (he's a police agent) but he uses it as a cover-up at least once.
- Looker also shares several traits with the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who.
- The Professor Layton series has much of its cast fill similar roles to Holmes characters; Layton himself is Sherlock, Luke is Watson, Inspector Chelmey is Lestrade, and Don Paolo is Moriarty. The prequels replace the latter two with Inspector Grosky and Descole. Luke also once mentioned that he's read the Holmes stories several times over.
- In the second The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing game, the protagonists meet in Borgovia's Merchant district a beggar guarding his master's house. The house has a "221 B" panel. Said master was Borgovia's greatest detective and died by falling in a waterfall when fighting his archenemy.
- The Maid Of Fairewell Heights: The Great Detective costume has a deerstalker hat.
Elementary, my dear Watson.
- When selecting "The perp went into this room!", when solving a mystery in Artie's room, where you wear the Great Detective costume, Marshmallow responds with:
- "You are NOT Sherlock Holmes." - A Phenomenon Explained, written by Jess Nevins, explains this trope as a psychological condition called the "Great Detective Syndrome" and details the lives of those afflicted by it throughout the history of the Wold Newton Universe, many of whom predate Holmes himself.
- On Arthur Fern imitates her favorite mystery detectives, mostly Sherlock Holmes along with Agatha Christie's Marple and Poirot, when called upon to solve a mystery or crime. Meanwhile Buster goes for the Film Noir Hardboiled Detective angle instead.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "Avatar Day", Sokka and Katara are tasked with gathering evidence to help Aang, and Sokka feels the need to pull out a Sherlock hat (either an anachronistic deerstalker or its Far East equivalent) and a Bubble Pipe for his investigation.
- In one episode of Babar, Zephyr puts on a deerstalker hat and walks around with a magnifying glass when he helps Babar find his stolen crown.
- The Great Piggy Bank Robbery': While investigating a case Daffy Duck encounters Sherlock Holmes and quickly tosses him aside, because I'm on the case!
- Cyril McFlip, Russell's Secret Identity in Littlest Pet Shop (2012).
- Looney Tunes spoofed Holmes in "Deduce, You Say", with Daffy Duck as Clueless Detective Dorlock Holmes and Porky Pig as his Hyper-Competent Sidekick Watkins.
- In the Peanuts animated special It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown Snoopy dons a deerstalker hat and Meerschaum Bubble Pipe to play detective in order to find Woodstock's missing nest.
- Phineas and Ferb: In Elementary, My Dear Stacy, Candace, while in England, reads the entire Holmes canon, and then decides to 'bust' her brothers Holmes-style, dressed in deerstalker and cape, and dragging along her friend Stacy.
- Super Snooper and his sidekick Blabbermouse on the Quick Draw McGraw show.
- The Simpsons: In the second part of the Who Shot Mr. Burns? episode Sideshow Mel reaches the conclusion that Smithers must be innocent. While he ponders over the clues he lits a Holmesian pipe and orders Krusty (the Watson in this case) to come along with him to the police station.
- Sheerluck Holmes in VeggieTales is a parody of this trope. He's not terribly competent without his Watson-analog.