A Friendship for the Ages
"The greatest strength of the Sherlock Homes stories is the great friendship that lies at the heart of them."
The Sherlock Files The Official Companion to the Hit Television Series by Guy Adams

This friendship is so unusual in its closeness that people in the world of the show and in the real world of the viewers have wondered if there wasn't "something more to it." Of course, there isn't anything more than such a great friendship: a true gift from God, the Infinite, the Fates or whatever it is that sends some of us so much more than others.

Two fans have written essays on this: Then there is are student theses:
  • "Despite his best efforts, John is unable to make a connection [to the women he dates at least through 2012] that can eclipse his friendship with Sherlock.... There is a mutual reliance between Sherlock and John, where one cannot function in society without the other.
    "John... offers humanizing companionship, often reminding Sherlock of the consequences associated with his detective work and providing a model for stable sociability in society.
    "Upon viewing the infamous 221b Baker Street, both men agree to be flat mates. This is the beginning of their friendship. Throughout the rest of the series, John accompanies Sherlock on all of his cases, blogging about the happenings consistently and defending Sherlock’s honor against those who try to tarnish his name. The loyalty between these two men is carefully crafted throughout the series, representing the friendship from the original stories, with much greater emphasis on the reasons why these men need each other.
    "For John, the relationship with Sherlock is rehabilitative.... Using the cases, John finally has a perspective for not only his blog, but his personal life as well.
    "Although it was Sherlock who held the title of consulting detective, John was also a crucial part of the business that Sherlock conducted. After all, it was his blog that brought new clients to 221b Baker Street. His work as a professional, assisting Sherlock in his detective work, serves as John’s contribution to society. He is able to find value in his idle life and become more than a burden to society. John provides a humanizing balance to the sometimes over-rational mind of Sherlock." — from A Study in Sherlock: Revisiting the Relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson by Rebecca L. McLaughlin
Sherlock is Surprise to Learn John Considers Him his Best Friend

From "The Sign of Three"
I never expected to be anyone's best friend.

The Friendship

From the beginning their friendship has played with something additional

Masterpiece Theatre released this scene where John learns Sherlock has a girlfriend.

When Sherlock refers to a case John asks, “What sort of case?”
“Too big and dangerous for any sane individual to get involved in.”
“You trying to put me off?”
“God, no. I’m trying to recruit you.” — source "His Last Vow"

Characters: Sherlock Holmes || Dr. John H. Watson || The Friendship between Sherlock & John || Mycroft Holmes || Sherlock & Mycroft || Mrs. Hudson
Irene Adler || Mary Watson (nee Morstan) ||  DI Greg Lestrade || The Holmes Family Dynamics || 221 Baker St. || St. Bartholomew's Hospital || Sherlock's Coat

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