Defensively Heterosexual John Watson

Defensively Heterosexual John Watson

Part of a series on Sherlock. [View Related Entries]

Updated Apr 24, 2013 at 01:53PM EDT by Brad.

Added May 07, 2012 at 03:10PM EDT by vex.

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Defensively Heterosexual John Watson is an advice animal image macro series featuring a photo of the character Dr. John H. Watson (played by Martin Freeman) from the BBC television series Sherlock. The captions depict Watson as being overly self-conscious about his sexual orientation and relationship with the protagonist character Sherlock Holmes, which has been a recurring trope in the television series and a well-known slash pairing within the fandom.


On October 24th, 2010, the BBC aired the Sherlock episode “A Study in Pink”, in which a waiter mistakenly assumes Watson and Holmes are on a date while they’re investigating a murder case at a restaurant. After Watson vehemently denies they are a couple, the incredulous waiter brings a romantic candle to the table. The episode spurred shippers in the fandom to pair Watson and Holmes as a couple in fanfiction and fan art.

On January 16th, 2012, the first “Defensively Heterosexual John Watson” Quickmeme[1] submission was uploaded with the caption “‘Confirmed bachelor John Watson’ / what the hell are they implying?”, in reference to how Watson is often assumed to be homosexual in the television series.


On January 17th, 2012, Tumblr [2] user abatchofcumber posted an image macro with the caption “‘If anyone out there still cares -- I’m not actually gay.’ / LOL”, which received 70 notes within three months. The meme remained dormant until April 7th, when the Quickmeme page was submitted to the /r/Sherlock[5] subreddit by user IFeastOnYerDownvotes in a post titled “Defensively Heterosexual John Watson Memes.” The post received over 180 up votes and 12 comments within one month. On April 8th, a compilation of image macro examples was submitted to Internet humor site FunnyJunk[3] by user edna.

The following day, Tumblr[6] user djpilapitiya published a series of notable image macros, which received over 6,550 notes within one month. The meme has continued to spread on Tumblr[7] under the tag “#defensively heterosexual john watson.”

Notable Examples

The shipping joke involving Holmes and Watson has been also adapted into animated GIFs and other image macros.

Search Interest

Not available.

External References

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Recent Images 28 total

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