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  • Ability over Appearance: Although Watson being a woman was written into the show's DNA from the start, her ethnicity was determined wholly by the choice casting of Lucy Liu; Colorblind Casting at its finest.
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Gregson isn't in "Paint It Black". It's the first episode in which one of the four major characters doesn't appear. He's also not in "Serves You Right to Suffer" (see Directed by Cast Member below for the reason why).
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    • Watson doesn't appear in "Rip Off" as she's in Copenhagen with her boyfriend having agreed to visit with him in the previous episode.
  • Acting for Two: Natalie Dormer effectively has to play three different characters: Irene Adler in flashbacks, Irene Adler in the present with PTSD, and Moriarty. Of course, the former two don't actually exist.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • One of the drugs that Sherlock was addicted to is heroin. Jonny Lee Miller played a junkie in Trainspotting.
    • In "The Long Fuse" Lisa Edelstein's character is revealed to have paid for business school by working as an escort. Edelstein had a recurring role in the first season of The West Wing as a law student paying tuition by working as an escort.
    • Joan's brother in "The Leviathan" is called Oren, named after Lucy Liu's character O-Ren Ishii of Kill Bill.
    • Moran is a big Arsenal fan; Vinnie Jones used to be a professional footballer. Holmes' disdain for this could also be a nod to the fact that Jonny Lee Miller supports Chelsea, Arsenal's long-time rival.
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    • In "Snow Angels", Sherlock sarcastically says that his companion "holds several black belts" to a security guard wielding a knife, a reference to Lucy Liu's talents in martial arts.
    • In "Dead Man's Switch" Sherlock says to Gregson "You have daughters, do you not." The writers' Twitter feed state that it was a nod to Aidan Quinn, who has two daughters.
    • Again in "Dead Man's Switch" we have a blackmailer called Henry 8, referencing Henry VIII of England. Natalie Dormer, who plays Irene Adler, had her first major role in television as Anne Boleyn, the second Henry VIII spouse in The Tudors.
    • In "All In The Family" we learn that Joan Watson was born and raised in Queens, NYC. Lucy Liu too.
    • "The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville" is not the first time we've seen Jonny Lee Miller in a prom dress.
    • Sherlock, just like his actor, is a major fan of football.
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    • In season 2, Holmes encounters US government agents, and has to deal with a group of hackers who want him to wear a dress. Some things never change for Zero Cool/Crash Override.
      • In season 3, they culminate the Hackers allusions by casting Fisher Stevens, "The Plague," as the antagonist of an episode.
      • In Hackers, Miller played a smart guy who hates big, powerful corporate and government interests and spends a lot of time on the Internet. All of which describe Holmes.
    • In "Bella" Holmes mentions doing things 'in the cause of science.'
    • Oscar Rankin's sister is named Olivia, a reference to Olivia Benson; Michael Weston played her half-brother, Simon Marsden.
  • Actor-Shared Background: In "All in the Family" we learn that Joan Watson grew up in Queens, NYC. Lucy Liu did too.
  • Adored by the Network: Season 6 was initially 13 episodes and was thought to be the final one due to low ratings. But CBS ended up extending the season to 21 episodes and ordered a seventh season for the show.
  • Cast the Expert: For "Rekt in Real Life", they cast actual professional gamers that Joan and Sherlock question while investigating a murder of one of their own.
  • Directed by Cast Member: As of the sixth season each of the four main cast members has directed at least one episode.
    • Lucy Liu has directed an episode in each season starting with "Paint It Black" in season 2. Her subsequent episodes are "Female of the Species" from season 3, "Turn It Upside Down" from season 4, "Moving Targets" from season 5, "The Adventures of the Ersatz Sobekneferu" and "The Visions of Norman P Horowitz" from season 6.
    • "Serves You Right to Suffer" from season 5 is directed by Aidan Quinn, which explains why his character Gregson doesn't appear in the episode (although he's mentioned a few times).
    • Jonny Lee Miller directed the sixth season episodes "Give Me The Finger" and "The Uncanny Valley of the Dolls".
    • Jon Michael Hill made his directorial debut for the series with the sixth season episode "The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out".
  • Fake American: Sherlock occasionally does this while trying to obtain certain details, like the locations of persons of interest. Jonny Lee Miller's accent is surprisingly flawless... but then, anyone who saw Eli Stone, the fifth season of Dexter, or Hackers would already know this.
  • Fake Brit: Morland Holmes, Sherlock and Mycroft's father, is played by Australian actor John Noble.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • In "Lesser Evils", a Ukrainian immigrant is played by an American actor with a bad accent.
    • Kurt Yoder in "Paint it Black" is Swiss and played by American actor Gale Bertram.
    • In the French version, Holmes is dubbed by Shawn Spencer.
  • I Knew It!:
    • That in the episode "M.", the "M." wouldn't stand for "Moriarty" but "Moran", although really it stands for both.
    • In-Universe, Sherlock knew that Joan stayed on, despite his father's orders.
    • Let's face it, how many people truly believed that Irene was dead?
    • Many were also screaming called it at Irene being Moriarty.
  • Scully Box: Joan wears a lot of Combat Stilettos due to the height difference between Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller (5'2 and 5'10 respectively).
  • Throw It In!: The bit in "Snow Angels" where Holmes gives some cash to the homeless vet, advising him to find a hotel to stay in during the blizzard, was improvised by Jonny Lee Miller because Sherlock is not without some compassion.
  • What Could Have Been: Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, initially wanted to cast Rupert Friend as Sherlock. But after seeing the actor's audition tape, he decided to cast Friend in another pilot he was doing, Homeland.
    • The pilot episode had Manny Perez playing Detective Javier Abreu, originally meant to be the fourth regular on the show. But when the pilot was picked up for a series, Perez was unable to commit to it, and so he was replaced with Jon Michael Hill as Detective Marcus Bell.
    • Season 6 was originally meant to be just 13 episodes. But CBS unexpectedly ordered 8 additional episodes, which ended up being placed between episode 11 and the two-part finale.
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