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Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/Dr. John Watson
Alternative name(s): Holmes/Watson, SH/JW, H/W
Gender category: m/m slash
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Most popular pairing in Sherlock Holmes fandom.
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The relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson is the most popular pairing in Sherlock Holmes fandom. Fannish interest in the pairing has increased recently following the Sherlock Holmes 2009 film and the BBC's 2010 TV series Sherlock.

Speculation that Doyle's Holmes was gay or bisexual has been rampant for many decades. Thomas Bragg's thesis "A Mere Appendix: The Reclaiming and Desexing of Sherlock Holmes" (Univ. of Florida, 2004) makes an interesting circumstantial case for Doyle's Holmes as an aesthete of ambiguous sexuality, then later as a more "masculine" and unemotional character.


The blog With Love, S.H. features an extensive archive of essays extrapolating the slashy subtext of each of the Holmes stories, as well as a timeline of the Holmes/Watson Relationship.

2009 Film

One of the major sub-plots of the 2009 film is that Holmes wants to stop Watson from getting married and from moving out of 221B. (Something about the homoerotic subtext, and wasn't there something else about RDJ insinuating that he played Holmes as gay?)

BBC TV Series

Main article: Sherlock/John

The Sherlock (BBC) TV series somewhat toys with the possibility of a romantic relationship between Sherlock and John; notably, there is a dinner conversation where Sherlock thinks John is coming on to him, so Sherlock gently explains that he is "married to his work"; a number of other characters assume that the two are a couple, such as Mrs. Hudson thinking that they might share a bedroom.


While Sherlock Holmes fandom is one of the oldest, most venerable fandoms, and mainstream besides, Holmes/Watson is rare enough online that it continues to qualify as a Yuletide fandom.

There is an archive of Holmes/Watson slash called Sacrilege! (founded in 1998 and still being updated) which features a number of stories by various authors, including what ship manifesto refers to as the classic H/W slash story: Irene Adler's Absurdly Simple.




H/W vids are multiplying now that the new Sherlock Holmes (2009) film is out; Robert Downey Jr. has that effect on people! The Sherlock (BBC) TV series already has a ton of vids out as well.


General Sherlock Holmes slash:

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