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Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)

File:Sherlock 7537.jpg

  "Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs Hudson, is on!"

  • Adaptational Villainy
  • Allergic to Routine
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In addition to being hated by pretty much the entire police force sans Lestrade, in The Blind Banker it is revealed that all his classmates hated him when he was in school.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subverted, hard. John is still in disbelief that Sherlock has apparently never had a "girlfriend, boyfriend, a relationship of some kind, ever."
    • Not to mention Moriarty's nickname for him is "The Virgin".
    • Even Mycroft mocks his brother:

 Sherlock: Sex doesn't alarm me.

Mycroft: How would you know?

  • Ambiguous Disorder
  • 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 Baritone
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Badass Longcoat: Sherlock sports a nicely tailored, expensive woolen one. In real life, the coat costs £1,350.
  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt 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!
    • Happens to him again in "The Reichenbach Fall."
  • Brilliant but Lazy:
    • 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.
  • Byronic Hero: Embodies all the major traits of this trope.
  • Catch Phrase: "Obviously."
    • "Not Good?"
    • "The Game is on!"
  • Celibate Hero
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Creepy Good
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Defrosting Ice King: Over the course of Series 2.
  • 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.

 "I upset her? Me? It wasn't ME who upset her!"

    • Also, don't insult, threaten or hurt Mrs. Hudson in front of him.
  • Faking the Dead: At the conclusion of "The Reichenbach Fall".
  • Fan Nickname: In-universe, he gains several.
    • "Hatman" from the press, due to wearing a deerstalker to hide his face.
    • "The Reichenbach Hero" for his most famous case to date.
    • "Sir Boasts-A-Lot", which Moriarty alludes to while telling a fairytale.
  • Forgets to Eat: Cumberbatch purposefully lost weight to highlight this.
    • From the unaired pilot:

 (John and Sherlock are in a restaurant)

John: Aren't you going to eat?

Sherlock: What day is it?

John: ...Wednesday.

Sherlock: I'm okay for a bit.

  • Good Is Not Nice: As he tells Moriarty in The Reichenbach Fall, "I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them."
  • Grammar Nazi: Just a bit, yeah. Though it's also likely he was deliberately correcting the prisoner in Minsk just to test his control of his temper.
    • In all likelihood he was also doing it to irritate the guy making the errors while confessing to murdering his girlfriend.
  • Gray Eyes: Type 2.
  • Guile Hero: To an extent, not that he can't handle himself in hand to hand as well.
  • Heroic BSOD: Hits it in "The Hounds of Baskerville", when he experiences fear and doubt for what likely could be the first time.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Literally.

 "We've got ourselves a serial killer. I love those, there's always something to look forward to!"

  • Incompatible Orientation: With just about anyone.
  • 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.

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
  • 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.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Black suit, grey coat, dark shirt, blue scarf, black leather shoes. And now, a word from the fashion coordinator.
  • 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.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Sherlock's stolen security guard hat.
    • The deerstalker in "A Scandal in Belgravia", which also doubles as a Mythology Gag.
  • No Social Skills: Yet again, high-functioning sociopath here..
  • Odd Friendship: With John.
  • Pet the Dog: His apology to Molly for verbally tearing her apart on Christmas, complete with a sincere kiss on the cheek.

  Sherlock: Merry Christmas, Molly Hooper.


 Sherlock: I'm not a psychopath, Anderson, I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.

  • The Spock: John even calls him "Spock" in "The Hounds of Baskerville."
    • Is actually pretty hilarious, considering Benedict Cumberbatch plays Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek: Into Darkness.
  • Sticky Fingers: John's laptop, Lestrade's warrant card, an ashtray from Buckingham Palace, and Mycroft's clearance ID.
  • The Stoic: Most of the time, especially compared to those around him at crime scenes or during an investigation.
    • Not So Stoic: Whenever John is genuinely threatened or in danger. Strap a bunch of bombs to or point a gun at the good doctor's head, and Sherlock's cool mask will evaporate in two seconds flat.
      • When Mycroft tells Mrs. Hudson to shut up, Sherlock snaps at him.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • The Unfettered: Most of Scotland Yard seem to think he's this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets this a lot when he says or does cruel things to people around him. John valiantly attempts to avert or correct Sherlock's social issues whenever possible.
  • The Wonka

John Watson (Martin Freeman)

File:Watson 8407.jpg

  "How— oh, never mind."

  • 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".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: They have bad days like everybody else. John's killed people.
  • 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.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder
  • Combat Medic: He is a military doctor, after all.
  • Curse Cut Short: Almost every episode. Most memorably in 'The Great Game', when he opens the fridge in 221B and finds himself staring at a severed head inside.
  • Determinator
  • Deuteragonist
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Frequently. At Buckingham Palace, he gets so carried away imagining that he nearly drops the fine china.
  • Foil: To Sherlock. Pretty much an obligatory aspect of his character.
  • Friendly Sniper / Improbable Aiming Skills: Once shot a guy through two windows, in another building. With a pistol.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Sherlock is consistently unimpressed with the case titles John comes up with.
  • Hospital Hottie
  • If It's You It's Okay: When he tells Irene he's straight, she implies this.
  • Incompatible Orientation / Married to the Job: He's starting to catch this from being around Sherlock; none of his girlfriends have been able to put up with their adventuring for long.

 Jeanette: My friends were wrong, you know. You're a great boyfriend - and Sherlock Holmes is a very lucky man.


 Sherlock: You've seen a bit of trouble too, I bet.

John: Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime, far too much.

Sherlock: …Want to see some more?

John: Oh, God, yes.

  • Logging Onto the Fourth Wall: His blog documenting his and Sherlock's adventures, which is widely read in-universe, can be found here.
  • Morality Pet: For Sherlock, letting him know whenever he's said or done something "not good".
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: In "A Scandal in Belgravia," John H. Watson finally reveals his much-speculated upon middle name: Hamish.
  • Nice Guy
  • 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.
  • Odd Friendship: With Sherlock.
  • Only Friend: To Sherlock — and everyone who knows Sherlock is amazed that he's even managed that much. And as Sherlock almost affectionately points out in "The Hounds of Baskerville":

 Sherlock: I don’t have friends. I've just got one.

  • Only Sane Man: Frequently. Especially when Mycroft and Sherlock are yelling at each other and playing tug-of-war with a bedsheet protecting Sherlock's modesty. In the middle of Buckingham Palace.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As seen in A Scandal in Belgravia, where Sherlock learns it's not a good idea to hit him. John hits back. Hard.

 John: (has Sherlock in a headlock) You ought to remember, Sherlock, I was a soldier! I killed people!

Sherlock: You were a doctor!

John: I had bad days!

  • Reaction Shot: John is boss at these.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Sherlock's blue.
  • The Southpaw: Played with. Sherlock identifies him as left-handed in "A Study in Pink", but he consistently shoots and throws punches with his right hand. Possibly cross-dominant.
    • Guns are asymmetric so unless he has a left-hand designed gun, he'd NEED to shoot right-handed to accommodate the safety,sight and grip.
    • Martin Freeman is left handed, so he definitely qualifies.
  • 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.
  • Straight Man
  • Throwing Off the Disability: His limp is psychosomatic, meaning that he can lose it when he forgets about it.
  • Unfazed Everyman: He adjusts remarkably quickly to the weirdness that comes with being Sherlock Holmes's sidekick.

 John: We've only just met.

Mycroft: And since yesterday you've moved in with him and now you're solving crimes together. Might we expect a happy announcement by the end of the week?


  "How— oh, never mind".

  • What the Hell, Hero?: If Sherlock's getting one of these, chances are good that John will be the one lecturing him.

Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss)

File:Mycroft 9807.jpg

  "All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock."


 John Watson:(wondering what they're doing in Buckingham Palace) Here to see the Queen?

(Mycroft walks in)

Sherlock Holmes: Oh, apparently yes.

(Sherlock and John giggle like children)

  • Ascended Extra: Originally just a cameo, Mycroft is central to most of the happenings of Series 2.
  • Badass Bureaucrat
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Quite literally, in fact. Mycroft's command of seemingly every surveillance camera in London under the vague name of the "government".
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Typical for the character, he can even outdo Sherlock when it comes to deductions, but he dislikes legwork.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Formerly Fat: Gatiss claims Mycroft was on a lot of yo-yo diets.
  • Genre Savvy: When John asks why Mycroft doesn't trust his own subordinates, Mycroft points out that they all spy on people for money.
  • Guile Hero: It comes with the territory of being a Knowledge Broker and The Spymaster.
  • Ice Queen: A true male example - Moriarty's code name for him is "The Iceman". Mycroft's feelings only extend to Sherlock's well-being; everyone else is expendable.
    • Not to mention that Sherlock's "queen" joke [see Ambiguously Gay above] combines with this to form a rather interesting pun.
  • Insufferable Genius: Though to a lesser degree than his brother.
  • Kick the Dog: Sherlock doesn't like it when people insult Mrs. Hudson, remember? Mycroft telling her to "shut up" wasn't the wisest idea.
  • The Kindnapper: To John, usually when he's concerned about Sherlock.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother
  • Lonely At the Top: He is seen sitting alone doing nothing on Christmas Eve in A Scandal in Belgravia. Of course to him it may be a special luxury to do so.
  • My God, What Have I Done?
  • Parental Substitute: Besides his "constant" worrying about Sherlock, it's made fairly clear in Scandal that Sherlock regards him as this:

 Mycroft: (pouring tea) I'll be "mother.

Sherlock: And there's a whole childhood in a nutshell.

  • Pet the Dog: Regardless of how they interact, he does genuinely care for Sherlock, and respects Watson.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man
  • 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.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • 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.
  • Waistcoat of Style
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Will do just about anything in the interests of British national security (as well as keeping his little brother safe), up to and including assassinations.
  • The Wonka: Though certainly to a lesser degree than his younger brother.

Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott)

File:Moriarty 7062.jpg

 "Every fairytale needs a good, old-fashioned villain."

  • Ambiguously Gay: Keeps up his Camp persona after revealing his identity to Sherlock. As always, it's hard to tell what really motivates him.
  • Always Someone Better: What motivates him to take down Sherlock.
  • Ate His Gun
  • Ax Crazy: Being a little-known mastermind on whom criminals rely would be bad enough, but he's madly destructive to the literary Professor Moriarty's noted control.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Westwood, to be precise.
  • Berserk Button: When Sherlock proves to be anything but a match for him face-to-face, or otherwise disappoints him, Jim Moriarty actually loses it (however briefly).
  • Beware the Silly Ones
  • Big Bad: Every major villain or antagonist on the show has answered to him.
  • Camp Straight
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Is openly proud of being reprehensibly evil. He even gave Sherlock his card.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When he's not giggling.
  • Death Seeker: Ominously, Jim shares Sherlock's excruciating boredom with the world. In fact, he seems to be nearing the end of his tether.
  • Diabolical Mastermind
  • Dies Wide Shut
  • 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.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Sherlock, naturally.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Makes him even creepier.
  • For the Evulz: Has no real reason behind his cruel Evil Plan except that he is a psychopath and he "got bored". Remarkably like our hero, in fact.
  • Giggling Villain
  • Knight of Cerebus
  • Large Ham: In conjunction with his high-pitched voice and mannerisms, it works to make him continually appear on the very edge of psychotic madness.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Doesn't ignore a sharp suit if he can get away with it.

  [Straightens suit] Westwood!

  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Mood Swinger: Holy crap.
  • The Napoleon: Of Crime!
  • Never My Fault: Subverted somewhat. Moriarty owns every bad thing he ever did, with an almost sickening level of pride.
  • Not So Different
  • Obfuscating Stupidity
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: A mild example, but news coverage about his trial and formal testimony indicate that "Jim" really is short for "James". Given any other choice, it's "Jim".
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Type C.
  • Shadow Archetype: He's Sherlock if our protagonist had decided to commit crimes rather than solve them to pass the time, and didn't have the moral guides of John, Mrs Hudson and Lestrade.
  • Sissy Villain: How Jim liked to portray himself to Sherlock, at first.
  • 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.

 Moriarty: You're just getting that now?


Irene "The Woman" Adler (Lara Pulver)

File:Irene Adler 2828.jpg

 "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.
  • Brainy Brunette
  • The Chessmaster: Outplays both Holmes brothers, at one point.
  • Cultured Badass
  • Dark Action Girl
  • Dominatrix
  • 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.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
  • Faking the Dead: Twice.
  • Femme Fatale
  • Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: In- and out-of-universe. It comes with the job.
  • Fun with Subtitles: When Sherlock does his trademark scan, a subtitle floating beside the clue says what he's noticed. When he first meets Irene, all his scans get is "???????".
  • Jerkass
  • Karma Houdini: For all the havoc and damage she caused, she still gets to survive in the end.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Identifies as gay (with a willingness to "scold" men in a professional context) — with one niggling exception.
  • Mata Hari: One of her many tricks for stealing blackmail material.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Naked on Arrival: Pulls this on Sherlock to defeat his trademark scan. Can't tell anything from a person's clothes if they're not wearing any, right?
  • Show Some Leg: Or, you know, the whole package.
  • Silk Hiding Steel
  • Smug Snake: especially in the last ten minutes.
  • 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.
  • Whip It Good: Introduced holding a riding crop, which features extensively in her website's photos, and uses it for reasons very different from Sherlock's.

Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves)

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  "Well, don't let it get to you, I always feel like screaming when you walk into a room. In fact, so do most people."

  • Big Good: In-universe. Moriarty of all people, even compares him to King Arthur.
  • Busman's Holiday: How he becomes involved in Hounds.
  • Butt Monkey: Is apparently one to the rest of the police force, over his support of the "fraud" detective Sherlock Holmes.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • 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.
  • Fair Cop
  • Friend on the Force: To Sherlock. The only one.
  • Give Me Back My Warrant Card
  • 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.
  • Manipulative Bastard: "What, this? This is a drugs bust."
  • Must Have Nicotine: Shows off his own patch to Sherlock.
  • No Name Given: All we get in the series is "G" for his first initial, but Word of Gatiss says his name is "Greg".
    • Later confirmed in "The Hounds of Baskerville", when Sherlock mocks him for going undercover to spy on him with a lame alias of "Greg".

 John: That's his name.

Sherlock: Is it?

Lestrade: Yes! If you ever bothered to find out!


Detective Sergeant Sally Donovan (Vinette Robinson)

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  "Are these human eyes?"


Anderson (Jonathan Aris)

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 "Never mind that, we found the case! According to someone, the murderer has the case, and we found it in the hands of our favourite psychopath."

  • Bad Cop, Incompetent Cop: It's unclear if he's actually good at his job or not, since all we hear is Sherlock trashing him. In the original pilot, Lestrade seems to treat him better.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Sherlock only has to sniff him to figure out he's having an affair with DS Donovan.
  • Butt Monkey: Sherlock can't stand him, and as such, treats him horribly.

 "Anderson, don't talk out loud, you lower the IQ of the entire street."

  • Gratuitous German: Apparently knows enough to tell Lestrade and Sherlock that "Rache" is German for revenge.
  • Lab Rat: An in-the-field version, as he's a crime scene tech.
  • Last-Name Basis: We've never learned what Anderson's first name is.
    • Mark Gatiss jokingly said it was "Sylvia" on his twitter.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Gets his affair with Donovan exposed at a crime scene by Sherlock.

"Anthea" (Lisa McAllister)

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  • Girl Friday: To Mycroft.
  • The Nameless: Her name is never given; she introduces herself to John in "A Study in Pink" as "Anthea", but cheerfully admits that it isn't her real name.
  • Sexy Secretary

Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey)

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 "I know what that means, looking sad when you think no-one can see you."

  • Butt Monkey: Verging on Chew Toy at times, with the way Sherlock treats her.
  • Closer to Earth: The only one to see Sherlock's suicidal behavior in "The Reichenbach Fall", and ultimately the one he trusts to help fake his death.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: She worries about becoming one on her blog.

 OMG! I nearly just wrote 'At least Toby will never leave me'. I am becoming a Mad Spinster!


Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs)

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 "I'm your landlady, not your housekeeper."

  • 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.
    • As of Christmas 2011, she now signs under 'Mrs. Hudson'. John and Sherlock got her a computer for Christmas.
  • 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.
  • Gossipy Hens: In the un-aired Pilot, Sherlock says, with genuine appreciation, that little old ladies are better than security cameras.
  • 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.
  • Morality Pet: To Sherlock and John.
  • Shipper on Deck: She assumes that John and Sherlock are a couple, and won't be persuaded otherwise.

Sarah Sawyer (Zoe Telford)

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Detective Inspector Dimmock (Paul Chequer)

Harriet "Harry" Watson

  • The Alcoholic: Harry's a known alcoholic, but has tried to quit various times according to John's website.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Is very protective of John on the forums of his website.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Invoked by Sherlock, while deducting who John's phone belongs to, he assumes that Harry is a boy; turns out that it's Harriet, but she does happen to be a lesbian.
  • Tomboyish Name: During his investigation of Watson's phone, Sherlock notices the name "Harry" on it. Turns out it's Watson's sister, Harriet.
  • The Unseen: While mentioned in the show, Harry has yet to show up. She is, however, a frequent poster on John's blog.
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