Top Ten Fictional Detectives

The greatest fictional detectives/investigators of all time.

The Top Ten

1 Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Referring to himself as a "consulting detective" in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs ...read more.

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)

He is the best detective in fictional world

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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 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

His stories are so great and creative. Poirot is a very funny but smart character, and he deserves to be in the top 3

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

He has the greatest stories

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4 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. In film, he has been portrayed by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael ...read more.

"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

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 Adrian Monk

Adrian Monk is definitely in the top 5. He is considered to be like Sherlock Holmes in the show. He solves so many impossible cases. He is one of the most famous detectives.

7 Miss Marple
8 Columbo Columbo

He is always smarter than the average crook, pretends to be dumb just to mess with everybody's mind, and has an awesome voice. Peter Falk is the best! Oh, and just one more thing...I like the way he says "Oh, and just one more thing..."

20 what? Are you joking? He should be at the top on this list!

9 Inspector Gadget
10 Scooby-Doo

Um, not a detective. - MrKite

Amazing guy.

The other comment says it all. Has busted literally THOUSAND of criminals. Saved millions of dollars from schemes and plots. Is able to deduce who someone is using a single obscure detail. Oh yeah, and he’s a DOG. Suck on that Batman

The Contenders

11 Rorschach Rorschach Rorschach is a fictional anti-hero who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. He first debuted in the graphic novel Watchmen, published from 1986-1987. Rorschach was created by writer Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

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."

He should be in the top 5

12 Tintin

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

13 Philip Marlowe Philip Marlowe
14 Bruce Wayne Bruce Wayne Bruce Wayne is a fictional character appearing in the American comic books published by DC Comics. He is a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, Bruce swore vengeance against ...read more.

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

15 John Constantine
16 Fox Mulder

This guy is highly intelligent

17 Jessica Fletcher
18 Dana Scully
19 The Doctor

Come on guys vote he's the doctor

20 Professor Layton Professor Layton Professor Hershel Layton is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Professor Layton fictional universe, created by Level-5.
21 Jack Reacher
22 Max Payne
23 Lord Peter Wimsey
24 Will Graham
25 Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks)
26 Dick Grayson Dick Grayson
27 Barbara Gordon Barbara Gordon
28 Skulduggery Pleasant
29 Watson
30 Conan Edogawa Conan Edogawa
31 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 ...read more.
32 Kyoko Kirigiri Kyoko Kirigiri
33 Shuichi Saihara Shuichi Saihara

Shuichi’s basically the Ultimate Detective.

34 Remington Steele
35 Laura Holt
36 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker Charles "Charlie" Parker, Jr., also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

From the 13 book series by John Connolly

37 Lei Wulong

A hilarious, funny, clumsy Jackie Chan clone who investigates everyone he needs to and is so obsessed with his police job, that it is all he does

38 Looker
39 C. Auguste Dupin
40 The Shadow

The Shadow knows!

41 Chacha Chaudhary

His brain works faster than computer.

42 Inspector Clouseau

Would have been really disappointed if Jacques didn't receive mention. Gotta go pump up the parrot and take a long walk off a short pier.

43 Jim Rockford
44 Victorique de Blois Victorique de Blois
45 Keisuke Itonokogiri
46 Alex Cross
47 Dipper Pines Dipper Pines Dipper Pines is the main character in Gravity Falls which the show aired from 2012 to 2016. He is the brother of Mabel Pines
48 Shawn Spencer
49 Felu Da
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List Stats

300 votes
49 listings
5 years, 7 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Sherlock Holmes
2. Batman
3. L Lawliet
zxm
1. Batman
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Rorschach
Thevcrewgeeks
1. Batman
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Adrian Monk
Tony21mike

WRemix
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