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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