Top Ten Fictional Detectives

The greatest fictional detectives/investigators of all time.

The Top Ten

1 Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is basically shorthand for "brilliant detective" at this point. He's one of the most frequently adapted characters in all of fiction, and for good reason: he's a pretty good detective (and also never craps, according to something my brother used to say to me a lot). He's a mostly emotionless, calculating, analytical, deduction-obsessed super genius who solves crimes out of no sense of justice, but more or less to prove how brilliant he is. Practically every fictional detective has drawn upon Sherlock Holmes as an influence since. Modern audiences have THREE separate Sherlock Holmes being made - CBS's Elementary, BBC's Sherlock, and the Sherlock Holmes Shirtless Karate movies. But there's apparently one detective even greater than Sherlock. It's...

Sherlock is obviously the best detective since his is the most well known, he wouldn't have gotten to number 1 without his observational skill and his powers of deduction.

WHY the heck is Benedict Cumberbatch's picture up there instead of the iconic silhouette?!

This makes me a bit angry. (Don't get me wrong, I love Benedicts portrayal; I just think the classic should always come first)

Most translated book in the world save the Bible. - Silverfroststorm

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2 L Lawliet L Lawliet L Lawliet, exclusively known by the mononym L, is a fictional character in the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata .

L took a case where the murder weapon was unknown to man (not to mention also one of the deadliest fictional weapons ever), the killer himself was a brilliant sociopath with influence over the police, and that anyone in the entire WORLD was a possible suspect, and he still figured out who the killer was in less than a year. Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes was struggling to catch a dog with paint on his face and Batman couldn't figure out who was the Holiday Killer, even though that could've been solved quite easily if he would just preform basic forensics on Alberto Falcone's "corpse". Enough said.

Death Note (2006 Anime)

L (also known as: Hideki Ryuga, Ryuzaki, Eraldo Coil, and Deneuve, at times when he's not going by a single letter) is the (fictional) world's greatest detective - constantly at odds with Light Yagami, aka a mass murdering genius megalomaniac known as "Kira." While he looks like an antisocial weirdo who eats wayyy too much candy, L's actually the most brilliant person alive - constantly analyzing and deducing things, and catches onto Light's out-of-control murder spree pretty quickly, although before he can do anything about it... Well, don't wanna spoil anything here (even a several years old manga), so just go check it out for yourself.

Wasn't expecting to see my boi L up so high, but at the same time I feel he deserves it. He is the worlds greatest detective and has solved some of the most difficult cases of the 20th century. enough said

He is the BEST detective EVER!

3 Batman Batman Batman aka Bruce Wayne is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27.

"The World's Greatest Detective" is appropriately the world's greatest detective. He solves his crimes through a variety of ways: headbutting, using his cave's supercomputer, punching, kicking, dangling thugs off of roofs, punching more, and occasionally throwing things. Well, usually at least. Sometimes he actually does do detective work - trying to determine the true identity of the Holiday Killer, the identity of Hush, and... Well, there's more, but even the times he did do detective work, it was a lot of punching and gadgets solving things for him. Still, the results speak for themselves - he's put away more criminals than pretty much any other detective in history. Sure, most of them escape regularly, but that's really more of an Arkham Asylum security issue.

In my opinion he is the worst detective ever...

Well, there's not really any deducting in Batman... - Silverfroststorm

Batman is a master in all martial arts, he has the same IQ as Albet Enstein, he beat the god superman, he can come up with a solution to any problem in less then a minute, he is a billionaire with the top gadgets and be vechiles. He can beat pretty much anyone, he can maintain his pain and not fell it. He had the biggest rogues gallery in all of comics, and the best mythos out of all comics. He also has the title "world's greatest detective" which should make him the top of this list - Thevcrewgeeks

4 Hercule Poirot Hercule Poirot

Of course the famous detective poirot should make this list he is way smarter than batman and he should be 2 to Sherlock Holmes

No one comes close to the greatest detective of all time with the little grey cells!

He is the best fictional detective of all time.
He can solve a case without leaving the room.
No one can beat the gray cells of hercule poirot

Ok he smart alright alrealdy

5 Shinichi Kudo Shinichi Kudo

Way better than...Batman

Who thinks Batman have more intelligence than Kudo...
Where is Yusaku Kudo / Booker Kudo he is slightly smarter than his son...

One of the best detective
Should be second
Sherlock is his idol he deserves first spot

Who thinks John Constantine is better than him!?
If I would like to choose :-
5. Batman
4. Hercule Poirot
3. L Lawliet
2. Shinichi Kudo
1. Sherlock Holmes

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6 Rorschach Rorschach

Rorschach solved a lot of mysteries - who was behind the murder of costumed heroes, what was the secret behind Dr. Manhattan's supposed cancer victims, who was locked up in here with whom, etc. But his greatest achievement was (probably) solving the mystery of how to ruin world peace. Pretty impressive for a guy who calls blood "human bean juice."

7 John Constantine
8 Scooby-Doo
9 Tintin

Totally tintin he boss he cool and smart for a kid!

10 Bruce Wayne Bruce Wayne

What's the difference between Batman and Bruce Wayne? O_O - Goku02

The Contenders

11 Inspector Gadget
12 Fox Mulder
13 Professor Layton Professor Layton
14 Dana Scully
15 The Doctor
16 Max Payne
17 Lord Peter Wimsey
18 Watson
19 Sam Spade Sam Spade Sam Spade is a fictional private detective and the protagonist of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel, The Maltese Falcon. Spade also appeared in three lesser-known short stories by Hammett. Spade combined several features of previous detectives, most notably his detached demeanor, keen eye for detail, and more.
20 Will Graham
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List Stats

200 votes
45 listings
4 years, 49 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Sherlock Holmes
2. L Lawliet
3. Batman
1. L Lawliet
2. Batman
3. Sherlock Holmes
1. Sherlock Holmes
2. Batman
3. L Lawliet

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