Anti-Hero: Type III. Sherlock solves crime for fun, not justice. He's well aware that he's not very heroic, to the point of telling John that there's no such thing as heroes and if there was he wouldn't be one.
Badass Longcoat: Sherlock sports a nicely tailored, expensive woolen one. In real life, the coat costs £1,350.
Berserk Button: Don'thurt or insult Mrs Hudson. Sherlock does not take it well. Specifically, he looks at you and starts planning kill shots, then beats you senseless and throws you out a window... five times.
Break the Haughty: Happens to Sherlock in the climax of both "The Great Game" and "A Scandal in Belgravia". In the first, he dismisses the lives put on the line by Moriarty, ecstatic about the puzzles set before him and the pleasure of unraveling the mystery of Moriarty's overall plan. But then Moriarty puts John's life on the line. And it turns out that the entire game was not what Sherlock had guessed, and was only used to get Sherlock out in the open so that Moriarty could get rid of him and John. Then in "Scandal in Belgravia," Irene Adler played Sherlock for a fool and got valuable government information from him for Moriarty and a terrorist cell. Also as it turned out, Moriarty did not consider Sherlock his greatest enemy and considered his brother the greater threat, nicknaming Mycroft "The Iceman" and Sherlock "The Virgin". All of this coldly revealed by Irene Adler right in front of him and Mycroft!
In "A Study in Pink", is too lazy to lift his hand about three inches to grab the phone John offers him, forcing John to actually place it in his palm. Sheesh. However this may be less Sherlock being lazy and more him being a Manipulative Bastard- testing how much bossing around John is going to take from him.
In "The Great Game," while fiddling with instruments, Sherlock asks Watson to hand him his (meaning Sherlock's) phone, which was in his jacket. The one he was wearing.
In "A Scandal in Belgravia" gets John to skype him a view of crime scene because he doesn't want to get out of bed. Then can't be bothered to get dressed when summoned by the Queen.
Brutal Honesty: Sherlock's M.O. Used in several settings- one time he might comically extort someone with sensitive information, the other John chews him out for being rude and tactless.
"His Last Vow" takes this Up to Eleven, when he tells John that he shouldn't be surprised that his wife, Mary has turned out to be a former assassin.
John:You. What have I ever done? Hm? My whole life, to deserve you? Sherlock: Everything. John: Sherlock, I told you. Shut up. Sherlock: No, I mean it. Seriously. Everything. Everything you've ever done is what you did. John: Sherlock, one more word and you will not need morphine. Sherlock: You were a doctor who went to war. You’re a man who couldn’t stay in the suburbs for more than a month without storming a crack den, beating up a junkie. Your best friend is a sociopath who solves crimes as an alternative to getting high. That’s me by the way, hello. Even the landlady used to run a drug cartel. Mrs. Hudson: It was my husband's cartel. I was just typing. Sherlock: And exotic dancing. Mrs. Hudson: Sherlock Holmes. If you’ve been YouTube-ing — Sherlock: John, you are addicted to a certain lifestyle. You’re abnormally attracted to dangerous situations and people, so is it truly such a surprise that the woman you’ve fallen in love with conforms to that pattern? John:But she wasn’t supposed to be like that. Why is she like that? Sherlock:Because you chose her.
Bunny Ears Lawyer: Averted. No matter how many times Sherlock proves himself to be absolutely brilliant, he will still be known as the "freak" or "psychopath" down at Scotland Yard. Lestrade defends him as much as he reasonably can, but admits that he wouldn't accept Sherlock's help if he had any choice.
This ultimately causes him to be arrested in the Reichenbach Fall. He just appears too odd to be trusted.
Determinator: If John or any of his other friends are in danger, he will not stop until they are safe again. Especially shown in "The Empty Hearse"; when John is trapped in a fire, Sherlock speeds towards the place where he's held on a motorcycle, taking all the possible shortcuts along the way. This extends to cases as well- as John puts it, he will outlive God to have the last word on something.
Dissonant Serenity: The only time he ever really panicked was when he was about to fake his own death, and even then, he knew what he was doing.
Ditzy Genius: Justified as Sherlock only keeps important information in his "hard drive," which does not include tact, common sense, or the idea of heliocentrism.
Inferiority Superiority Complex: As Sally Donovan explains to John Watson, Sherlock isn't paid for his help to the police. The payoff for him is brain exercise, but also the feeling of importance it gives him. He even goads Lestrade into admitting that Scotland Yard needs his detective skills. He is offended when John casts doubt on the claims made on his website, and anxious to prove that he really is as clever as he says. The cabbie, calling him "stupid", nearly talks Sherlock into a suicidal game, and Sherlock is clearly hurt by Sebastian's remark in "The Blind Banker" that his fellow students at university hated him. His reaction to John calling his deductions "amazing" and "quite extraordinary" seem to indicate he hardly ever hears praise for his abilities. As he has (up until this point) no real friends, it's inferred that one-upping people with his brilliance is the only way he can feed what seems to be extremely poor self-esteem.
Insufferable Genius: He really can't help himself, not even after getting tossed out of a courtroom where he's the star witness and into a prison cell for showing off.
Intelligence Equals Isolation: Zig Zagged. It's hard to say what came first, Sherlock's incapacity of social interaction, or his aversion of it. Although Mycroft seems to have encouraged distance to others, his friendship with John proves that he is neither above nor averse to relationships with other people as long as it does not hinder his work.
Jerkass Facade: He is a rude and insufferable genius on the outside, but there are hints to a kinder nature even before he met John. He already struck up a working relationship with Lestrade, and he manage to win the affection of Angelo and Mrs. Hudson after he solved their cases, plus his casual acquaintance with Mike Stamford. While he may call himself a sociopath, it's implied that this is simply an act he puts on in order to function better as a detective.
John: There are lives at stake... Sherlock. Actual human li... Jus-just so I know, you care about them at all? Sherlock: Will caring about them help save them?
John: Nope. Sherlock: Then I'll continue to not make that mistake.
Lack of Empathy: Subverted. While the fact that he solves crimes for fun would seem to invoke this, we later find out otherwise in his first meeting with Moriarty, when it's made clear he does indeed care about the lives of innocents, despite his claim otherwise.
Mad Scientist: He keeps a human head in the refrigerator and human eyeballs in the microwave, both of which are being used in "experiments". Enough said.
Man Child: Especially when he's bored or irritated.
Sherlock: (on the "drugs bust") This is childish.
Lestrade: Well, I'm dealing with a child.
Manipulative Bastard: Definitely has his moments, which can range from tricking a victim's distraught family members into giving him information or conniving his way into making John answer his phone… when it's in the front pocket of a jacket he's wearing.
Married to the Job: Ambiguous (a?) sexuality aside, this is the reason he gives for why dating (or human social interaction in general) isn't "his area". You can count the number of people close to him in any sense on one hand.
Memetic Outfit: The deerstalker gets this treatment in-universe, to his exasperation.
"Why is it always the hat photograph?"
Motor Mouth: It's entirely possible that Cumberbatch does not need to breathe; for example, just listen to his explanation of Watson's phone or much of "Hounds of Baskerville".
In one interview, Gatiss comments on the extreme length of the deduction in Baskerville; apparently, on Cumberbatch's script he actually wrote "Sorry, Benedict" next to it.
Must Have Nicotine: It's impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London nowadays, so Sherlock confines himself to patches. It just might end up being "a three-patch problem".
Goes absolutely haywire in "Hounds of Baskerville" when he's detoxing, turning the entire flat upside down and outright begging John to give him a cigarette.
Sherlock Scan: Demonstrated brilliantly. Even John admits he is impressed.
The Sociopath: Played with regularly. Sherlock has all the classic signs of a sociopath: a general lack of empathy; self centered behavior; total disregard for laws; regular use of fake charm, lies and manipulation to achieve his goals; he even goes so far as to call himself one. Ultimately subverted however, since when push comes to shove Sherlock really does care about his friends.
Adorkable: Doctor Watson. Martin Freeman's support of Woolly Hat Day.
Badass Adorable: Whether it's shooting a guy dead under improbable odds, sassing back criminal masterminds who've kidnapped him or ordering around CIA agents who have a gun to the back of his head, chances are he'll be doing it in a cardigan. Also is strongly implied to be one of those people who starts celebrating Christmas in October.
Berserk Button: Actually punches out the superintendent of Scotland Yard because he called Sherlock a "weirdo".
Blood Knight: John Watson keeps having battle flashbacks. As Mycroft correctly deduces, John isn't traumatized by combat so much as he misses it. He is somewhat in the closet about it.
Boring Yet Practical: Prefers to use diaries and cameras to record data instead of bizarre memory techniques. Also prefers to call the police using a phone instead of a gun, and would like Mycroft to call him instead of kidnap him.
Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: A variant; John says "Nothing ever happens to me" to his psychologist's suggestion that he blogs everything that happens to him. And then a couple of scenes later, he meets Sherlock…
Not So Stoic: In The Hounds of Baskerville, the audience finally sees what happens when John freaks the everloving hell out. It's not pretty. We later find out he was drugged with a chemical that makes the subject extraordinarily suggestible and induces panic, but still.
The Stoic: Although John is more in touch with his emotions than Sherlock is (generally), he's remarkably stoic under pressure. He shows no emotion about shooting someone dead in A Study in Pink, he endures being a bomb mule under sniper range in The Great Game with intense calm, he holds together extremely well, and recovers very quickly, after being threatened with execution in A Scandal in Belgravia, and in The Reichenbach Fall, he refuses to publicly grieve for Sherlock. And by 'publicly', he won't even cry in front of his therapist or Mrs Hudson.
The Sociopath: Has even fewer emotions and less genuine feeling than Sherlock, but hasn't hit Moriarty levels, so far. Mycroft outright declares his belief that caring isn't an advantage, whereas Sherlock takes a moment to wonder whether there's something wrong with the two of them for not feeling empathy the same way other people do.
The Spymaster: According to Sherlock, he "is the British Government," in addition to a number of foreign agencies that Mycroft supposedly controls.
Unwitting Pawn: He gave Sherlock's life story to Moriarty (who he knows is dangerously obsessed with his brother) in exchange for something that, it turns out, never existed in the first place. Whoops.
The Chessmaster: In Series One, he's behind every case Sherlock investigates. In Series Two about the only one he wasn't involved in was an actual accident.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: As Scandal shows, if it comes down to a choice between baiting Sherlock Holmes and his actual job, he'll pick the job. After all, crime is a heavily trust-based business.
Taken up to eleven in "The Reichenbach Fall", where he plays - and wins - Xanatos Roulette with both Holmes brothers, and even forces Sherlock to fake his own suicide or risk John, Lestrade, and Mrs. Hudson's deaths.
Driven to Suicide: Zig-zaged. Looks suicidal when he realises that in destroying Sherlock, he's actually won, and now has nobody who will pose a challenge to him anymore. Then changes his mind and says he'll manage. Unfortunately Sherlock then convinces him that as long as Sherlock has Jim alive, Sherlock can also stop Jim's plan. Moriarty promptly shoots himself in the head to make sure Sherlock can't beat him.
South Paw: If you watch closely, when Sherlock hands him a cup of tea he gives it with the handle on the right side and Moriarty irritably turns it around to pick it up.
The Sociopath: A genuine example, unlike Sherlock. Jim Moriarty couldn't give a damn about how other people (if anything, it matters to the extent that it affects other people), is manipulative and deceitful as hell, and would rather blow people up than shake their hand. He teeters between amused indifference and cold ignorance when it comes to people dying at his hands. He also resents his enemies for not living up to his standards, especially if he already has a respectable predisposition about them (namely Sherlock himself). He also has zero qualms about harming children.
The Unfettered: Ultimately a deconstruction. Having absolutely no empathy and no limits, Jim's one and only concern is to try and stave off his endless boredom...even if that means putting his own plans and well-being at risk to do it. Best illustrated in the second series finale where Moriarty gleefully shoots himself in the head for no reason other than he thinks it's the best way to "win" his game with Sherlock and believes that with Sherlock dead his life will have no further meaning.
Unwitting Pawn: Makes one out of Molly Hooper, Sally Donovan, and arguably the entire British legal system and tabloid press in "The Reichenbach Fall". Such is his Manipulative Bastardy that he even makes pawns out of the Holmes brothers themselves.
Victory Is Boring: As Sherlock points out, there is nothing that Moriarty can't already steal or buy. No problem presents a challenge for him. And Jim absolutely can't stand it.
Vocal Dissonance: Taken up to eleven. Jim rarely uses the same tone of voice for too long. Despite always dressing with razor-sharp style, Moriarty normally speaks with a really high-pitched voice. However, even after you get used to him talking like this, there are terrifying moments where he breaks this tone and explodes with rage.
You're Insane!: Sherlock says this to Moriarty in The Reichenbach Fall.
"Do you know the problem with a disguise, Mr Holmes? However hard you try, it's always a self-portrait."
Adaptational Badass: In the original stories, Irene Adler's impressive feat was simply seeing through Holmes' ruse and having the good sense to skip town while she has the chance. Here, she manages to con him into decoding top-secret, vital information which she then passes along to Moriarty, ruining Mycroft's day. It takes a last-second epiphany for Sherlock to recover himself and make up for his own royal fuckup.
Big Bad Wannabe: For all of Irene’s alleged cleverness, it’s still clear that she wouldn’t have gotten away with as much without Moriarty’s assistance.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She may not have been a sweetheart when she was introduced but by the time the episode ends, it’s revealed that she’s complicit in terrorist plots and Moriarty’s willing accomplice.
Bond Villain Stupidity: Honestly, Irene, how difficult would it have been to choose four random numbers? Even Sherlock points that out to her.
Brains and Bondage: A dominatrix who caters to the highest echelons of society. The only person to get several over on Sherlock Holmes.
Easily Forgiven: She was perfectly willing to extort the British government for millions, enlist the skills of a psychopath, aid in a terrorist plot, and her manipulation and betrayal of Sherlock yet she still gets saved by Sherlock in the end and lives without any apparent consequences or moral development.
Unusual Euphemism: At one point, her occupation is described as "recreational scolding".
Woman Of Wealth And Taste: The phone everybody was fighting for in "A Scandal in Belgravia" was a Vertu Constellation Quest smart phone, with a price tag of £17,300. There was more than one reason she was fighting tooth and nail to get it back.
Distracted by the Sexy: Molly's Christmas dress in Scandal causes Lestrade to need to pick his jaw back up off the floor.
Donut Mess with a Cop: When Sally startles Lestrade in his office at the beginning of "Reichenbach", it's to find him with his feet up on his desk, classily stuffing his face with a doughnut and talking with his mouth full.
Hero of Another Story: Cast by Moffat and Gatiss specifically because Rupert Graves gave off this trope when he played the role.
Lawful Good: In-universe, while he briefly seems to contemplate that Sherlock might be a fraud, he shows up to speak to Sherlock first before returning with a warrant to arrest him. Even then, he warns Sherlock and John in advance, causing John to lampshade this.
As You Know: Her screen-name is "Marie Turner" which is her friend's name (Mrs. Turner, next door, with "the married ones"). Becomes a Running Gag on Sherlock's site and John's blog where every time she comments, she immediately double-posts a reminder: "It's Mrs. Hudson, by the way."
With the exception of the one time Mrs Turner herself actually commented.
Badass Grandma: Played CIA agents, police officers, and even Watson himself in Scandal by faking tears and sneaking Irene's phone out in her bra.
Berserk Button: Is officially Sherlock's, considering he throws her attacker out multiple windows.
Don't lead her on, or let her find out about your marriage from Sherlock.
Catch Phrase: "I'm your landlady, dear, not your housekeeper!"
Cloudcuckoolander: She's cheerfully oblivious to most of Sherlock's strange living habits. Or she simply doesn't care (or at least she didn't until she found the thumbs in the fridge.)
Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Hudson is one of a select few who can tolerate Sherlock for extended periods of time, gave Sherlock a special deal on the apartment (as thanks for helping her out with getting her husband executed), and keeps some kind of "herbal soother" in her apartment that she doesn't want the cops to know about.
She also pretends to be much more of a fragile old woman than she actually is when captured by the Americans in order to hide the fact that she has the phone they're looking for. When Sherlock throws the guy out the window, her first reaction is simply that her bins are getting dented.
G-Rated Drug: Her "herbal soothers" she doesn't want the drugs bust to find.
Informed Deformity: Her notorious hip has come up multiple times, and yet, she's never seen limping or otherwise uncomfortable because of it, and she seems to have no trouble going up and down the stairs in 221B.