Sherlock, Watson, and Mycroft in Sherlock series.

Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain and the Memes Are Chaotic Goodness

Finally, our time to bring chaos to the world of Holmes has come. With the ushering in of 2023 comes one of the most exciting bits of news for me personally: Sherlock Holmes is now part of the public domain. Yes, that means that all those mystery stories you’ve thought up in your love of Sherlock and John Watson can now become a reality.

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When copyrighted work has been around long enough, it enters the public domain, meaning no one has exclusive rights to it anymore—anyone is free to get creative with it, for profit or not. Think about your William Shakespeare adaptations that fully cut parts of the show out or change the settings and adapt it to something like The Lion King. Creators can do as they please with the property without permission—with the case of things like Sherlock Holmes, you don’t have to fight the wills of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate in the way that other adaptations have had to.

Personally, I’m excited that it could mean we get a fun Sherlock Holmes adaptation in the world of Enola Holmes now. But it also means that everyone has exactly one thing on their mind, and they’re right to think it: Sherlock Holmes can finally smooch John Watson.

The minute that the modern era became obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, one thing was constantly talked about: Holmes’ relationship to his best friend and roommate, John Watson. It really is the “oh my god, they were roommates” meme but with sexual tension. Made so much more prevalent with things like the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies and the BBC series Sherlock, we all just wanted to see John and Sherlock admit that they wanted to smooch each other.

It was a huge part of the SuperWhoLock era, and there were plenty of people who wanted all the male characters from all three franchises to smooch, but it is important to note that your fanfics including the Doctor do not carry over into this public domain deal.

The memes don’t lie

The thing is: Everyone is making the same joke, and that joke is that whoever is the first to do it is the winner—mainly because for years we’ve all talked about how John and Sherlock would probably have made out with each other at this point if anyone else was in charge of telling their story, and now, well, we have the chance to do so.

It’s truly what everyone wants. And we’ve had so many years of wishing and hoping that someone would let them smooch that now that this is anyone’s game, it’s going to be a fascinating time to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

The game is truly afoot, and the time has come. Let John and Sherlock smooch. If you have to, let Irene Adler be their third, and maybe Mary Watson and Irene actually fall in love with each other. Point is that there should definitely be one gay John and Sherlock show or movie in the works already, and if not, what are we even doing here?!

Make Sherlock Holmes Gay 2023.

(featured image: BBC)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.