For over 135 years, Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved characters in all of literature, film and television. The character made his debut in 1887 through author Arthur Conan Doyle's detective novel "A Study in Scarlet." This story introduced the dynamic duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and they continued gaining prominence through short stories published in The Strand Magazine. By 1927, Conan Doyle had published four novels and 56 short stories about Holmes and Watson, with the bulk taking place between 1880 and 1914. Most of the stories are narrated by Watson and feature the characters' shared residence at 221B Baker Street, London.
As of the 1990s, there were over 25,000 films, television shows, stage productions and publications portraying Sherlock Holmes. He was even given the title of the most portrayed literary human character in film and television history by Guinness World Records.
Within the last few years, we've seen numerous adaptations of the character—notably the 2010s film series starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson and the 2010 television series starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson. There's also 2018's "Holmes & Watson" starring Will Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson, the 2018 animated film "Sherlock Gnomes" starring Johnny Depp as Holmes and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Watson and the 2020 film "Enola Holmes" starring Millie Bobby Brown as Holmes' younger sister.
There are currently numerous other Sherlock Holmes projects in the works, including a spin-off show coming to HBO Max. Take a look at some of our favorite Sherlock Holmes tattoos inspired by the literary legend in the gallery below, then let us know your favorite adaptation of these characters in the comments section on social media.