John Watson’s 5 Most Heroic Moments

Sherlock John

Written by Lauren Shultz

As much as we all love Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. After all, the dynamic duo wouldn’t be so dynamic without the kind doctor around to aid the brilliant detective. I think we all know what would happen to Sherlock if John wasn’t there. John protects Sherlock, let alone everyone else in the show, and does it in the most amazing ways possible. These are some of John’s most heroic moments on Sherlock so far.


5. Irene Adler isn’t dead

irene and john


John Watson: No.

Irene Adler: It’s for his own safety.

John Watson: So’s this: tell him you’re alive.

This entire conversation with Irene Adler proves John’s over-protectiveness for Sherlock. He knows, or at least thinks he knows, that Sherlock cares for Irene Adler (in his own way) and John can’t stand seeing Sherlock hurt, physically or emotionally. It may not seem important at first glance, but this woman’s entire life is focused on manipulating people. John comes in and makes sure that doesn’t happen to his best friend.


4. Saving Private Bainbridge and Major Sholto

wedding major sholt


There are a few times in this show where we get to see Dr. Watson instead of John. One is example is when Sherlock finally figures out (with a little help from Mary) how the “Mayfly Man” had committed his seemingly-impossible attempted murders. But how does that help Sherlock? He doesn’t know how to save Major Sholto and he panicked when he realized that Private Bainbridge was still alive. That’s where John comes in, as he always does throughout the show. When Sherlock is at a loss, usually when it comes down to actually helping someone, John takes over. He fills in the gaps that Sherlock has, which is what makes them such a perfect pair. As said so eloquently by Sherlock in his best man speech; “I will solve your murder, but it takes John Watson to save your life.”


3. Killing the taxi driver

john in study in pink


I don’t know about you, but if someone who I had just met killed someone who was trying to kill me and saved my life, I would consider him a hero. John had only met Sherlock the day before but he still follows the taxi driver, searches for Sherlock throughout the entire building, and finally shoots the criminal to stop him from killing Sherlock. In short, John risks a life sentence for first degree murder, among everything else that goes along with killing someone, for an acquaintance? There had to have been an instant connection between John and Sherlock for John to have done something as drastic as this. Plus, John’s natural heroism, of course.    


2. Forgiving Sherlock

sherlock and john empty hearse


Two years. Two full years passed before Sherlock finally came back from the dead. And during all that time he left John completely unaware and heartbroken. John watched his best friend fall to his “death“ and yet two years later gets a surprise visit from you-know-who. Finding out Sherlock had faked his death after such a long period of grief seems unforgivable. But John lets it go, and only after a few days they’re back together solving crimes again. How does he do it? It seems practically impossible. But John cares about Sherlock, and he needed him back in his life again. What’s more, John knows that Sherlock needs him just as much.


1. Forgiving Mary

john and mary hlv


John really does a lot of forgiving, doesn’t he? But then that’s what makes him amazing. Mary has lied to John about her entire identity, not to mention the fact that she almost killed Sherlock. Everything John thought he knew about his wife was completely wrong. That would be enough to emotionally damage someone permanently; and for a while, it does. It takes John months to come around, but the important thing is that he does. He chooses to do the right thing in one of the most painful situations anyone could ever be in. And that’s braver than anything that anyone who was just a hero could have done.


Bonus: John’s Sarcasm


“Oh no, Christmas is cancelled!”

“I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking but it’s usually subtext.”

“I’m Sherlock Holmes, and no one can compete with my massive intellect!”

“Sort of. It sat there and I shouted abuse at it.”

“Did we just break into a military base to investigate a rabbit?”

You can’t talk about John’s heroism without mentioning his other defining feature: his sarcasm. John’s sassiness brings the perfect amount of humour into the show – it’s a major reason Sherlock is so successful. John’s sarcasm, Sherlock’s purple shirt, and, of course, the amazing actors and writers.


Have we left out your favourite heroic John moment? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s