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Original Arthur Conan Doyle Canon

  • A Study In Scarlet: Watson meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time, in a college medical lab as the latter is squeeing over, apparently, inventing luminol.
    • The list Watson makes entitled "Sherlock Holmes: His Limits".
    • Watson finds out that Holmes doesn't know that the earth travels around the sun. Holmes proceeds to act patronizing and give him the memorable "brain attic" speech. The response is classic Watson:
  • "The Case of Charles Augustus Milverton:" Lestrade comes and gives Holmes a description of one of the men seen fleeing Milverton's residence the night he was murdered. Holmes laughs at the vagueness of the description and declines to take the case. "Why, that might even be a description of Watson..."
  • The Case of the Red-Headed League features an in-story example; a combination of Jabez Wilson's twist of luck where the League suddenly closes on him, his showing of the sign informing of said closure to Holmes and Watson, and his absolute dead-serious face when retelling the tale proves too much for both to bear, and cause Holmes and Watson proceed to break out in rapturous laughter.
  • This exchange from "A Scandal in Bohemia" is funny enough, but I found it absolutely hilarious upon reading the story after seeing the Guy Ritchie film because it sounds exactly like the kind of thing the Robert Downey, Jr. version of Holmes would say:

 Holmes: If this young person [Irene Adler] should produce her letters for blackmailing or other purposes, how is she to prove their authenticity?

Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein: There is the writing.

Holmes: Pooh, pooh! Forgery.

Grand Duke: My private notepaper.

Holmes: Stolen.

Grand Duke: My own seal.

Holmes: Imitated.

Grand Duke: My photograph.

Holmes: Bought.

Grand Duke: We were both in the photograph.

Holmes: Oh, dear! That is very bad!

    • Even funnier if taken in modern context, since modern readers will expect Holmes to reply to the last one with this:

 Grand Duke: We were both in the photograph.

Holmes: Photoshop.

    • Holmes gets a lovely little bit of snark in against the King of Bohemia later in the story, after the King declares (of Irene Adler), "Is it not a pity she is not on my level?" "Indeed, from what I have seen she is on a very different level from your Majesty."
  • Holmes' Last-Second Word Swap in The Adventure of the Norwood Builder. "Arrest you! This really is most grati—most interesting. On what charge to you expect to be arrested?" Even funnier when you try to picture the look on his face (it isn't described so you've got free reign here)...
  • Holmes' snark is legendary for a reason. Case in point, in The Boscombe Valley Mystery:

 "We have got to the deductions and the inferences," said Lestrade, winking at me. "I find it hard enough to tackle facts, Holmes, without flying away after theories and fancies."

"You are right," said Holmes demurely; "you do find it very hard to tackle the facts."

  • Shoscombe Old Place gives us this memorable line: "a boxer, an athlete, a plunger on the turf, a lover of fair ladies, and, by all account, so far down Queer Street that he may never find his way back again." Ah, were we ever *that* innocent?
    • It should be noted that being "down Queer Street" was a euphemism for being financially hard up, and was unrelated to either the original meaning (strange, peculiar, etc.) or the modern meaning (homosexual) of the word Queer.
  • At the end of "The Copper Beeches" Watson writes a throwaway line in which he expresses his disappointment at Holmes losing interest in Miss Violet Hunter "...once she had ceased to be the centre of one of his problems". Ladies, gentlemen, I give you Watson the Matchmaker!
  • This troper couldn't help but bust out laughing at reading Watson saying, "...and I shot its brains out" when talking about shooting a dog (don't worry, the dog was attacking a human).
  • At one point Holmes and Watson are heading to a concert -- or "off to violin-land," as Holmes puts it.
  • The opening paragraphs of "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual," where Watson describes how Holmes lives, saying that he himself is no neat freak, but

 when I find a man who keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece, then I begin to give myself virtuous airs. I have always held, too, that pistol practice should distinctly be an open-air pastime; and when Holmes in one of his queer humours would sit in an arm-chair, with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges, and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R. done in bullet-pocks, I felt strongly that neither the atmosphere nor the appearance of our room was improved by it.

  • The bit in The Hound of the Baskervilles where Watson finds Holmes and immediately notices that he's managed to "contrive" a Perma Shave while hiding out on a moor.
    • How about the realization that Holmes was essentially stalking Watson across the moor? This troper had to close her book, she was laughing so hard.
  • In "The Valley of Fear," after finding only one dumbbell in the victim’s home, Holmes is alarmed.

 “One dumb-bell, Watson! Consider an athlete with one dumb-bell! Picture to yourself the unilateral development, the imminent danger of a spinal curvature. Shocking, Watson, shocking!”

  • The end of The Dying Detective. After the villain confessed, thinking Holmes was dying anyway, he is arrested, but claims that it's his word again Holmes's. Unbeknownst to the villain, Watson has been hiding in the room the entire time.

  Sherlock: Good heavens! I had totally forgotten him. My dear Watson, I owe you a thousand apologies. To think that I should have overlooked you!

Granada TV series

  • At the end of "The Copper Beeches", this conversation that follows Watson reading aloud his canonical journal entry:

 Watson: There, Holmes. Your verdict?

Holmes: An admirable account, Watson.

Watson: Oh, you don't think I've put too much color and life into it?

Holmes: *turns around in his seat to face Watson* Oh, my dear friend, I humbly defer such considerations to your excellent literary judgment. *turns back to the camera so that Watson cannot see his face*

Watson: *proudly smiles* Good!

Holmes: *gives a sarcastic, Fascinating Eyebrow look to the camera*

  • In "The Greek Interpreter", when Holmes, Watson, and Mycroft are rushing to catch the train the murderers are on, the following exchange occurs:

 Sherlock: Mycroft!

Mycroft: I'm not built for running, Sherlock!

    • And then, a moment later when they're in the compartment, Sherlock is calmly smoking a cigarette... right next to the sign that says "Smoking is Strictly Prohibited in this Compartment."
  • At the beginning of "A Scandal in Bohemia" Watson offered his hand to the king-in-disguise and was ignored. At the end of the episode, the King offers his hand to Holmes, who turns away -- and Watson steps in, gives a sharp shake and a very polite nod, and waves the man out.
  • In "The Six Napoleons", Lestrade is waiting in the sitting room for Holmes and Watson to return, looking bored out of his mind...until he catches sight of the papers on the table beside Holmes' chair and so nonchalantly starts to finger through them...and while this is going on Holmes watches him through the half-closed doorway, waves Watson over so that he can see, and then Holmes and Watson quickly duck back down the hall and "enter" loudly, giving Lestrade the chance to stop snooping and act all innocent when they come in.
  • Holmes giggling when he hears Shinwell Johnson's nickname "Porky" for the first time in "The Illustrious Client".

Guy Ritchie film series

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

  • "Madam, I need you to stay calm, and trust me, I am a professional. Underneath this pillow lies the key to my release." Said while handcuffed to a bedpost, entirely naked, and the pillow is the only thing covering his privates.
  • Irene is in her hotel room when she hears a noise at the door. She rolls her eyes and opens it to reveal Holmes failing for the second time to pick a lock.
    • The first time Holmes fails to pick a lock, courtesy of Watson's foot.
  • Holmes having wine splashed into his face as he incorrectly analyzes Mary's last relationship and remaining completely motionless in blank shock for about a minute afterward. And then nonchalantly resuming his meal when Mary and Watson depart.
    • Gets funnier via Fridge Logic...there's only one meal served, indicating that Holmes expected that the encounter would end with him pissing off Watson and/or Mary, causing them to walk out.
  • When visiting Blackwood in his cell, Holmes snarks the ever-living shit out of him in this exchange:

Holmes: My only wish is that I could have caught you sooner. You see, five lives might have been spared.

Blackwood: Those lives were a necessity. A sacrifice. Five otherwise meaningless creatures called to serve a greater purpose.

Holmes: I wonder if they'd allow Watson and me to dissect your brain - after you hang, of course! I'd wager there's some deformity that might be scientifically significant, then you too could serve a greater purpose.

  • "Is that a--" "False nose? No."
    • Following up on the false nose bit, the part shortly after, when he jumps out of the window and a crash is heard off-camera. He then shouts for Watson and Watson looks out of the window to see that Holmes has fallen through the roof of a shed. Watson proceeds to roll his eyes, shut the window, and walk away.
  • Holmes compliments a hereto silent Watson on his value as a companion, and is then sucker-punched by Watson.
  • "Why are you always so suspicious?" "Shall I answer chronologically, or alphabetically?"
  • "That's not Blackwood!" Holmes' expression is priceless.
    • "Now we have a firm grasp...of the obvious."
  • The woman who tells Watson's future. "What of the warts? Are they extensive?!"
    • Lace doilies giving up the game.

 Holmes: Doilies.

Watson: Lace -- doilies? Holmes, does your depravity know no bounds?

Holmes: No.

  • If you know much about the fandom, particularly the shipping: Watson to Holmes: "You look gorgeous..."
  • "Take Watson." "I intend to." Followed by Holmes' scoffing.
  • "I'm in the process of inventing a device that muffles the sound of a gunshot!" "It's not working."
    • From that same scene, Watson opening the curtains and letting sunlight in, and Holmes yelling out in pain.
  • The hammer scene. Holmes is running from Dredger the Frenchman, who has armed himself with a massive sledgehammer. Holmes fumbles around for a weapon, and produces an ordinary hammer. Both take a moment to compare their armaments, followed by Holmes pathetically chucking his at Dredger. It just bounces off.
  • Holmes, after proving he knows exactly where he is and who he's speaking to despite having been blindfolded until about thirty seconds earlier:

  As for mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered to blindfold me at all.

  • When Irene makes a surprise visit to Holmes' room, he tries to be sneaky as her back is turned about slamming a picture of her on his desk face-down. What he intended to be subtle winds up being hilariously awkward.
    • Made even funnier by the scene where she leaves and he scurries off to find where she's going but first slams the photo down again.
  • "Wear a jacket." "You wear a jacket!"
  • Right after Holmes owns his opponent in the Curb Stomp Battle boxing match, the Stunned Silence is broken only when one man indignantly shouts: "Where did that come from?!"
  • Watson letting out the flies Holmes had spent 6 hours trapping inside a glass tube.
  • Holmes' discussion with Watson about and subsequent exchange with Mrs. Hudson:

 Holmes: There is only one case which intrigues me at present...the curious case of Mrs. Hudson, the absentee landlady. I've been studying her comings and goings, and they appear most...sinister...

Mrs. Hudson: [long-suffering] Tea, Mr. Holmes?

Holmes: Is it poisoned? Nanny?!

Mrs. Hudson: There's enough of that in you already.

Holmes: Don't touch! Everything is in its proper place, as per usual... Nnnnnanny...

    • From the same scene: "He's killed the dog...again."
    • Also from the same scene:

 Watson: Holmes, as your doctor...

Holmes: [Gladstone]'ll be fit as a trivet in no time.

Watson: AS YOUR FRIEND! You've been in this room for two weeks; I insist, you have to get out!

Holmes: There's nothing of interest for me. Out there. On Earth. ...At all.

Watson: So you're free this evening?

Holmes: Absolutely.

Watson: Dinner?

Holmes: Wonderful.

Watson: The Royale?

Holmes: My favorite.

Watson: Mary's coming.

Holmes: (pause) Not available.

Watson: You're meeting her, Holmes!

 Watson: Holmes, what is that?

Holmes: (in French) I don't know.

  • At Blackwood's tomb, Holmes is informed that the police are in the process of exhuming Blackwood's coffin. Said police constables are currently standing back as far from the tomb as they can, each one looking very, very nervous.

  Holmes: I see. At what stage of the process? Contemplative?

 Watson: When do I complain about you practicing the violin at three in the morning, or your mess? Your general lack of hygiene, or the fact that you steal my clothes?!

Holmes: Urm, we have a barter system...

Watson: When do I complain about you setting fire to my rooms?

Holmes: Our rooms.

Watson: The rooms. When do I complain that you experiment on-on my dog?

Holmes: Our dog.

Watson: *stammering with rage* The dog!

    • The same scene, later, when Holmes suggests that they go away to his brother Mycroft's estate...making it clear that he means he and Watson.

 Watson: Holmes, if I were to go to the country it would be with my future wife!

Holmes: [jealously] Well certainly, if we must have her along...

Watson: No! Not you! Mary and I! You are not --

Holmes: Not what? Invited? Why would I not be invited to my own brother's country home? Watson, now you're not making any sense!

Watson: You're not human!

 Watson: Get that out of my face.

Holmes: It's not in your face; it's in my hand.

Watson: Get what's in your hand out of my face.

      • There's a Call Back to this scene in the trailer for the second movie.
    • And right before the above, this from Watson:

  Not that it's any of my business, but I would advise you to leave. The case. Alone.

  • When Lord Coward is trying to find Holmes in the smoke, talking about Blackwood's plans, and it turns out that Holmes has been sitting in a chair behind him, casually smoking his pipe.
  • At the end, when Watson and Mary climb up the stairs and into Holmes' room to discover him hanging from the ceiling from a noose. Mary has the decency to look shocked, but Watson simply drones "Don't worry, suicide's not in his repertoire, he's far too fond of himself for that," then proceeds to poke him, whereupon it is revealed that Holmes got comfy enough in his harness to fall asleep.
  • A subtle, but still hilarious moment. When Watson asks Holmes if he knows where his rugby ball is, Holmes replies 'no, not a clue' in a tone of voice that indicates he knows exactly where it is and won't be telling, and indeed may have even hidden it himself.
  • Holmes and Watson are investigating Luke Reardon's house when two Mooks come in, about to set fire to the place. Holmes correctly deduces what the Mooks are there to do. One of the Mooks calls for Dredger. Cue heavy footsteps approaching. Then we cut to a shot of Holmes and Watson watching as Dredger enters the room. Seeing Dredger, Holmes' expression stays pretty much the same; Watson, on the other hand...
    • Also, this line:

  Holmes: (points to Dredger) Meat... (points to the two other Mooks) ...or potatoes?

    • And the fight that follows, accompanied by the music that plays.
  • Holmes and Irene are about to disarm Blackwood's device when, behind them, Watson is thrown across the way. Then enters Dredger, who spots Holmes and Irene. Irene fires two shots at Dredger, the last one hitting Dredger's hat before she runs out of ammo. Dredger approaches, removes his hat and calmly asks (in French) "Did you...miss me?", taking a moment to study his hat between that last line. Holmes then matter-of-factly tells Irene, "I rather wish you hadn't done that, Irene."
    • Following that, Watson grabs Dredger from behind and shouts at Holmes to "Nut him!" Holmes proceeds to run up to Dredger, jump up into the air and head-butt Dredger. Holmes then stumbles backward; the look on his face was priceless.
    • And then Holmes tries throwing a punch at Dredger, only to miss, slip and fall on his back.
  • When Clarkie comes by to get Holmes, Holmes asks, "What's Lestrade done now? Lose his way to Scotland Yard?"
    • Following on that, after Holmes is informed of Blackwood's apparent resurrection, this exchange:

 Watson: You're not taking this seriously, are you, Holmes?!

Holmes: Yes! As you should. (Watson stares and scoffs) This is a matter of professional integrity! No girl wants to marry a doctor who can't tell whether a man is dead or not!

  • When Dredger finally takes away Holmes's newest toy:

 Dredger: (in French) Run, little rabbit, run.

Holmes: (in French) With pleasure. *takes off*

  • The scene in the slaughterhouse, where Holmes tells Watson to save his ammunition, then flips out and empties his gun in the direction of Blackwood's voice about two seconds later.

  Watson: (with a "you have got to be kidding me" expression) What was that about saving bullets?

  • During the fight scene near the end, when Holmes has a bit of trouble fighting a Mook, he shouts at Irene: "WOMAN! SHOOT HIM! NOW, PLEASE!"
    • Oh, and he calls Irene "WOMAN!" again after she makes off with a piece of Blackwood's device.
  • Holmes: *to Blackwood* My, what a busy afterlife you're having.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

  • When Watson returns to Baker Street and opens the door to Holmes' room, he finds himself in the middle of a freaking jungle. Complete with wildlife.
    • Then, he doesn't even bother trying to find Holmes and just sits to casually read the paper and does his best to ignore the fact that Holmes is continually shooting him with blowdarts.
    • And when Holmes reveals where he is and what he's wearing.
      • "I'm not going out with you dressed like that."
  • Holmes kills the dog. Again. Don't worry, he gets better.
    • "How many times are you going to kill my dog?!"
  • Sherlock Holmes in drag. That is all. In fact, the entire train sequence where he bickers and wrestles with Watson, either in drag or half naked.
  • The Oh Crap moment when a Mook accidentally drops an armed grenade into a bag full of grenades.
  • After Watson rescues Holmes from Moriarty with the aid of a very large cannon, he's looking through the resulting rubble for Holmes:

  Holmes: Take your time.

    • And a little while later:

 Watson: Holmes, how did you know I'd find you?

Holmes: You didn't find me, you collapsed a building on me.

    • And just prior to all this, Moran's reaction when Watson first uses the cannon.

  Moran: That's not fair.

  • After Watson revives Holmes with the serum Holmes gave him as a wedding present, Holmes is a bit, well, frantic:

 Holmes: Who's been doctoring me?

Watson: I have.

Holmes: Why is my ankle itchy?

Watson: Because there's a large piece of wood stuck in it.

  • The little "Be careful what you fish for" cartoon that Holmes gives to Moriarty, as well as the shit eating grin Moriarty wears as he visibly struggles to refrain from just throttling Holmes.
  • The very last scene in A Game of Shadows is a twofold moment of hilarity; one, for Holmes' excellent reveal of himself, and two, the audience reaction to seeing him in camouflage is priceless. This troper has seen this film twice and both times, the audience has reacted with absolute ecstasy.
  • Mycroft + nudity + Mary = Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Mycroft introducing himself to Mary as "the other Holmes" after she had just been pushed off a moving train into a river by Sherlock. She reacts with horror that "there's two of you?!"
    • The best part of that is the implication that Holmes has killed his old wife.
    • The dancing, while Holmes downs a bottle of hooch.
  • Holmes asks Watson to dance with him at the ball. Watson doesn't even blink an eye at this and immediatly takes his hand. It's so they can spy on the other guests, but still.
  • The awesome moment after Watson's winnings at the party get knocked to the ground and every person in the vicinity eyes them before diving madly to grab what they can.
  • Two words: Hungover Watson.
    • Especially the look on his face at the first bagpipe notes...
    • And his little tug of war with Holmes trying to take his coat-blanket.
  • Holmes commandeers a pony while everyone else has full-grown horses, and still manages to get ahead of everyone else by the end of the trip.
    • Actually, ponies are more well-suited to traversing rugged, mountainous terrain (like the kind they are going through) than horses, due partially to their lower center of gravity.
    • Of course, it still went much slower. The real reason Holmes ended up ahead? He couldn't get the pony to stop.
    • "They're dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle."
    • The horses slowing down, and one stumbling on a small cliff, then Holmes hailing them from atop the cliff where his pony has not slowed down.
    • And the entire sequence is scored by Ennio Morricone's typically epic theme from Two Mules for Sister Sara. Somehow, this just makes it funnier.
    • After Holmes is revived by the adrenaline shot, the very first thing he reveals is that he had a nightmare about the pony.
  • Holmes fighting a man and describing it as a recipe for an omelette. Best moment goes to "crack eggs" (followed by a swift kick to the junk.)
    • It was at that point that this Troper's theater burst into laughter.
      • That entire sequence was very clever, especially "Flip the omelette" (judo throw) and "Additional seasoning is required" (a final blow to cossack's head as he tries to get up again). Breakfast is served.
      • And then Sim subverts the whole thing by throwing knives at the Cossack.
  • On the way to catch a train, Moriarty asks if he has time to "indulge his habit." The minds of people familiar with the stories immediately jump to Holmes' well-known vice, cocaine. Moriarty's turns out to be... feeding pigeons.
  • Moriarty's lecture tour is also one of these if you've read the stories. In The Valley of Fear, Holmes notes that Dynamics of An Asteroid "ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said there is no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it." So those crowds of people lining up to tell Moriarty how good his book was and get his autograph? They don't understand a word of it. They're just trying to look smart!
    • And Moriarty is presumably aware of this, since when Holmes requests his autograph he wryly asks "Have you actually read the book?"
  • Moriarity's extended metaphor involving Schubert's The Trout is absolutely hilarious if you know the fourth stanza, which turns the entire scene from a cat-and-mouse-game torture metaphor into a Masochism Tango Yandere flirting metaphor.
  • The moment Moriarty realises that Holmes managed to swap his notebook, full of clues related to his criminal empire, and replaced it with other notebook in which Holmes draws a shark eating a fisherman. When I saw the "Be careful what you FISH for" comment, I nearly broke down laughing.
  • The conclusion to Holmes and Moriarty's inevitable final conflict is improbably funny. Holmes grabs Moriarty, Watson walks in and the three of them freeze for a split second -- then Holmes and Moriarty tip neatly over the balcony into the Falls. It's a macabre version of Holmes' trademark pratfall/escapes.
  • "Oh and by the way, Fire...FIRE!"
  • Holmes' note to Watson to get him to save him:
    • "If convenient, come at once. If inconvenient, come all the same"
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