Canon Thursday: Most Hated Sherlock Holmes Tropes

The Holmes-verse is loaded with tropes, those trappings that accompany the detective wherever he goes. Some of them are from the stories, such as the pipe and tobacco slipper, others, like the deerstalker hat, were added by Paget, the original illustrator, and still others, like the idea of Watson being genuinely stupid, were added by later adapters.

Somewhat ironically, I chose to write a novel about one of my most-disliked tropes–Irene Adler. Of course, Irene appears in one canon story and warrants mention elsewhere, but the way subsequent writers have characterized her and Holmes’s relationship with her often makes me shake my head. That’s why I chose to write a story of my own, because I was itching to tell Irene’s story the way I thought it should be.

Today’s Canon Thursday question is, what is your most hated Holmes trope? Is it the overuse of the word “Elementary,”   the ubiquitous earflap hat, Irene Adler as a master criminal, or a Watson so silly he can hardly tie his own shoes? The possibilities are nearly endless. Let me know what drives you nuts in the comments.

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