- Anvilicious: This movie has some extremely in-your-face and anachronistic jabs at Donald Trump.
- Audience-Alienating Premise: Sherlock Holmes has already been parodied to hell and back, so a low-brow, narrow and redundant parody will not draw in many viewers these days (particularly since the film it's parodying the most came out nearly a decade prior). Not helping matters is the growing disinterest in Will Ferrell's typecasting as a hyperactive manchild, or the fact that John C. Reilly was costarring; they'd already starred in two other films together for Sony/Columbia (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers), causing many to dismiss Holmes and Watson as a blatant attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle.
- Bile Fascination: Quite a few people went to see the movie purely after hearing just how bad it supposedly was. Needless to say, many were not disappointed.
- Memetic Mutation:
- "Not even Netflix wanted it!"Explanation
- Due to the film being released near the very end of 2018, many have joked that critics were filled with regret that they already made their worst films of the year lists before seeing this film.
- The film also gained plenty of attention for the numerous reports of people walking out of the movie long before the credits rolled.
- Snark Bait: The film was Not Screened for Critics and (predictably when this happens) garnered overwhelmingly negative reviews in retaliation, and even managed to score a whopping 10%note on Rotten Tomatoes, among the worst scores of 2018. The critical consensus reads, "The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson", and the audience score was consistently well below 30%. To add insult to injury, it was reported that Netflix opted out on adding it to their catalogue when Sony offered the movie to them (Netflix had done a similar thing with The Cloverfield Paradox). There were reports of audiences flat-out walking out of cinemas showing the film before the 30-minute mark had passed, and Steve Coogan publicly admitting to being ashamed of his involvement in the film. The film went on to win Worst Picture at the Razzie Awards.
- Tainted by the Preview: The trailer for the film wasn't exactly well-received, due to the presence of many unfunny gags.
- WTH, Casting Agency?: Ralph Fiennes as Moriarty is a match made in movie casting heaven. Unfortunately, he was used in a lowbrow parody of Sherlock Holmes as opposed to a more serious adaptation of the works. The fact that he doesn't have much screentime doesn't help.
YMMV / Holmes & Watson