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Date Started: March 2013
Related: Fawnlock
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Tunalock is the term for fanworks in which Sherlock Holmes is a tuna (yes, the fish). The trend was started by villain-in-training on Tumblr[1], possibly with this March 5, 2013 post.

The Tunalock Tumblr tag dates to March 5, 2013, with villain-in-training's post, but seems to have made a slow start and only gained momentum in April. #Tunalock appeared on Twitter in early April 2013. The AO3 "tunalock" tag was created on 2013-04-16.

Tunalock is part of a larger trend in Sherlock (BBC) fandom of making fanworks in which John and/or Sherlock are portrayed as animals. See also Fawnlock and Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch. However, in an April 2013 meta essay, tumblr user not-the-very-button explained that,

Tunalock is a direct response to the hatred the Sherlock fandom receives for their AUs and it is brilliantly satirical. (See also: Pinecone!lock)

Anyone with half a brain can look at Tunalock and see it for the joke that it clearly is.

Tunalock is a fish in a scarf that flops around London solving crimes with his trusty human, Dr. Watson, by his side. He’s anthropomorphic. He has the brain of Sherlock Holmes in the body of a tuna fish. How is that not the funniest shit you’ve ever heard of?[2]

thisfishyisonthemove recalled,

It all started as a stupid joke in katzensprotte’s live stream (thats me hurdedurr) when taikova had a hungry and went and made herself a tuna sandwich. the-villain-in-training and me started to talk about an AU then where Sherlock was a tuna and voila! Tunalock was born. Vi was also the first to draw really adorable and cute tunalock fanart. johnnybooboo then at some point drew a bit of a porny thing… just a bit though I think… I don’t remember… and people got mad angry… which made teabeforewar and me draw a porny thing too, because fuck the haters…[3]

In 2015 an FFA anon commented,

Tunalock was specifically invented to irritate people who don't like things like fawnlock. It was a joke, and a pretty good one, because AU-haters took the bait, hook line and sinker, all puns intended, and started shrieking at us. It was great.[4]


See thisfishyisonthemove for more.


  1. according to johnnybooboo
  2. not-the-very-button. Why I Love Tuna!Lock: A Sane Member of The Sherlock Fandom Makes a Stand, posted to tumblr on April 11, 2013. 885 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived.
  3. When did all this start and why? response to anon ask April 15, 2013. archived.
  4. 2015-04-30 comment in Fail_Fandomanon.
  5. 392 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived.
  6. 33,956 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived.
  7. 3,970 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived.
  8. 29,980 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived
  9. 949 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived
  10. 22,302 notes as of 18 January 2016. archived