22 Fan Theories About Fictional Detectives That Really Make Us Wonder

List Rules

Vote up the theories that have you ready to solve the case.

Fans always seem to love a good mystery, and what would a mystery be without a great detective. Detective stories have always driven the narrative in a powerful way and are the crux of any mystery. From unanswered questions to character quirks, some passionate fans managed to come up with some interesting theories surrounding a few of the most well known fictional detectives.

Check out these fan theories about fictional detectives, and don't forget to vote!


  • 1
    263 VOTES

    Sherlock Holmes Suffers From Hyperthymesia In 'Sherlock'

    From Redditor u/pgibso:

    Watching Sherlock, we see numerous times Sherlock activating a perfect memory to solve cases. With a blink he's scanning backward in time- tracing over images, faces, data information with computer like precision.

    There is a moment in the show I won't spoil when Watson begs Sherlock to try and remember if he'd ever read a manual to remember how to stop something that was going to kill them. Like a manual. As a viewer again, it's amusing but hardly realistic it would seem.

    There are even moments when this "gift" has played against him being unable to turn this influx of information, off so to speak.

    It's a fun conceit but always played like a bit of fantasy in the show- an artistic license for a show about a very sharp mind.

    As it turns out there is a real-world condition Hyperthymesia also known as HSAM or Auto Biographical Memory. There are only a handful of people alive that carry this trait, NPR covered the topic only a few weeks ago

    It states that not only are people that are affected by HSAM have photographic memories, but are in fact so intact and fully memorized they actually contend with the persons mind for the present "Like Time travel" even down to feelings and sensations of that moment. As in, their memories are so strong it requires focus to actually remain in the present rather than sink back into them.

    It offers a realistic explanation for Holmes' character would explain his characteristics even beyond crime solving.

    263 votes
  • 2
    250 VOTES

    Holt Has Been Secretly Mentoring Boyle In 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

    From Redditor u/bigd1ckvic:

    It's no secret that Holt was mentoring Peralta to be a better detective in the 1st season, and later when he reveals to Amy Santiago that he's been secretly mentoring her via small acts throughout the series. This got me thinking what if he had been doing this with other detectives throughout the series we never noticed. Hitchcock and Scilly are lost causes, but Boyle has much room for improvement as well as his idolization of Jake which could get in the way of his detective work. In season 2 episode 9, Holt asks Boyle to teach him how to cook a meal for his anniversary with Kevin, where Holt is a terrible chef but eventually is revealed to be a culinary genius. At first I thought this was a classic b99 gag but then I remembered season 1 episode 9 "Sal's pizza" where Jake and Boyle investigate a burnt down pizza shop. In this episode it is revealed Holt not only reads Boyles food reviews but also knows his terminology ("mouth feel"). From I deduce that Holt knows all of Boyles dos and don'ts in the kitchen and was hence doing all the wrong things in the kitchen so Boyle would show some authority and stick up for himself to make him a better detective

    TLDR: Holt is purposely being annoying in the kitchen to help stop Boyle being everyone's punching bag.

    250 votes
  • 3
    191 VOTES

    Blanc Knew Most Of The Truth From The Very Beginning Of 'Knives Out'

    Blanc Knew Most Of The Truth From The Very Beginning Of 'Knives Out'
    Photo: Lionsgate

    From Redditor u/res30stupid:

    Blanc was aware of the fact that Marta had something to do with the crime from the very beginning. The first thing he knew when he met her was that she had a spot of blood on her foot from when Harlan's throat was slit. And, as you should notice, he knew about the fact Marta puked when she lied, something that no other suspect brought up during the initial interrogation so it was included on the anonymous note sent to hire him.

    He knew almost immediately his client was the murderer. As he pointed out, there was no need to hire him, just to tell the intel to the police... unless the killer knowing that information would compromise them and make them the prime suspect.

    There's a common story trope called the Detective Patsy, where the murderer hires or brings in a detective to solve a murder they committed, either as a fall guy or as a means of deflecting blame from themselves onto another suspect.

    Ransom is clever, but he isn't that clever, since he came up with a near-identical murder scheme as his grandfather used to exonerate Marta. And as he stated, he worked for Harlan for a summer so he knows what it means involving story structure. Unfortunately for him, he didn't quite figure out that the Detective Patsy scheme never works since the detective often figures out that his being hired was itself suspicious, which is precisely what Blanc's been obsessing over since we've met him.

    Blanc knew he was being used to frame Marta and didn't raise his suspicions with the police to keep her out of jail until he could zero in on his client.

    191 votes
  • 4
    143 VOTES

    Shawn Really Does Have A Supernatural Power In 'Psych'

    From Redditor u/TheZenMann:

    So, we all know that Shawn isn't really Psychic. What he does have is brilliant powers of deduction and a very good memory. But he also has something that I most of the time just didn't think about. He has extremely good vision. In the Spanish soap opera episode, he spotted a hair from across the room in an evidence bag. Another time he was able to clearly read from a small cellphone even though he was standing quite a distance from the phone. In fact I think he does it on almost every episode. So, similar to how Gus has the supersniffer, he has the supervision.

    143 votes
  • 5
    170 VOTES

    "Batman" Is A Nickname That Other People Came Up With In 'The Batman'

    From Redditor u/BadnameArchy:

    It seemed to me like in this movie, Batman calls himself "Vengeance" to other people (until his revelation at the end, probably). It's how he identifies himself to the muggers, and Catwoman and Penguin both call him that and make fun of him for it. So it's probably how he introduced himself to both of them, too. I also can't recall anyone calling him Batman to his face. The Riddler addresses his notes to "the Batman," and Gordon uses the Bat Signal, so people know he uses a bat as a symbol, but it doesn't seem clear that he actually calls himself "Batman." It seemed to me like he identifies himself as "Vengeance," and "Batman" is a name that started among the public (maybe even as kind of a joke) and spread virally because he dresses like a bat, not something Bruce Wayne came up with.

    I think it works thematically, too. At the end of the movie, Bruce realizes that he needs to stand for more than vengeance, so he adopts a more positive image that's helpful to the public. It could also act as a good (theme-appropriate) way for him to switch from literally calling himself vengeance, to identifying as Batman. In essence, becoming the Batman most of us associate with the character.

    170 votes
  • 6
    134 VOTES

    Rosa Diaz From 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Is A Former CIA Agent

    From Redditor u/grambocrackah:

    This theory pieces together some of the very few things that we know about Rosa:

    1. She's highly secretive, to the point that even her closest friends know very little about her.
    2. She trained and competed as a ballerina and gymnast in her youth, probably traveling frequently
    3. She's incredibly fit, highly advanced in hand-to-hand combat, a skilled driver and pilot, and proficient with the use of several different weapons.
    4. She moves apartments regularly and always in secret.
    5. She maintains several different identities, even once claiming that "Rosa Diaz" is not her real name.
    6. She has a bug-out plan in place if she ever needs to escape the city/state/country.
    134 votes