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"Really the best thing about the smirk is that it demonstrates that literally a single pixel can serve as shipping fuel. It was worth it for that scientific demonstration alone."

So you're watching a show, and you want to see what it would be like if two of your favorite characters end up in a relationship. As you become more invested in your "ship," you may start writing Fanfic, drawing Fan Art, and defending your ship against those imagined by other fans.

Shipping Goggles is when a viewer interprets the smallest, most ambiguous canonical evidence in favor of their ship of choice. Maybe that glance lasted just a little too long, or that remark in that conversation could be interpreted as innuendo. The ship in question can range from one that seems entirely plausible but doesn't yet have clear canon evidence, right up to a Crack Pairing between characters who are bitter enemies, or live in different universes, or whose sexuality or circumstances makes any relationship between them extremely unlikely. Reasons for putting on Shipping Goggles vary; sometimes it's just wishful thinking, sometimes it's to defend the ship against other competing ships, and sometimes it's Just for Fun.

Note that as with everything Tropes Are Tools, although this can be bad in some situations. Many shippers would admit to doing this to some extent; in fact, having your own interpretation of Canon is part of the fun of Shipping. However, it can become Fan Dumb when people try to force their ships on others. Not to mention what happens when such fans are Running the Asylum...

A subtrope of Epileptic Trees. Creators aware of their fans' Shipping Goggles can play to it with a Ship Tease; this can be interpreted as Fan Service or just cruelty in suggesting a relationship that isn't going to materialize. Sometimes, the shipper turns out to be right. Other times...

Caution should be used not to confuse every case of Fan Yay Gaydar as Shipping Goggles -- if fans believe a character is gay, it is not necessarily because fans want to ship them or Rule 34 them. In a much more basic way, it can be an Alternative Character Interpretation and/or a relatable (possibly unintentional) Audience Surrogate.

Examples should generally go on one of the other Shipping Tropes pages, like Crack Pairing -- particularly dubious interpretations may be listed here though.

Has nothing to do whatsoever with the Goggle Five (shipping them to each other, however, is another story).

Shipping Goggles are available on Trope Co™.

Examples of Shipping Goggles include:


Anime and Manga

  • Axis Powers Hetalia fans love doing this and in fact, part of the fun of being in the fandom is to put on the Shipping Goggles while reading about real-life history and seeing pairings there, even ones that would be considered crack or have never been hinted at in Hetalia canon.
    • Some militant Turkey/Greece fans say that there's definite proof that Turkey and Greece desire each other in the anime episodes where they interact. Even though most, if not all, of their interaction in these episodes revolves around getting Japan's attention. But according to these fans, Turkey shouting things at Greece like "You don't know how well Japan and I get along!" and asking Japan which one of them he likes more means that he just views Japan as a friend, whereas Turkey glaring at Greece for a while means that he secretly lusts after him (and definitely not that he's mad at Greece for taking up the attentions of the one he greeted cheerfully at the beginning of the episode, or anything like that).
    • By far the most prominent example of this in Hetalia fandom is the PruCan ship. The ship went from an obscure Crack Pairing to one of the fandom's most popular pairings almost overnight, even though the only canon interaction Prussia and Canada have is a single panel during Prussia's April Fools blog where Prussia accepted a bottle of maple syrup from Canada, which almost certainly was not meant to be anything other than two characters briefly interacting together considering that Prussia interacted with many other characters during the same blog to a similar degree. Many PruCan fans take the crackiness of their ship in stride and ship them for reasons unrelated to canon, but some others are convinced that PruCan is canon and leap on the tiniest bits of "evidence" for them, such as claiming that Prussia and Canada both being on the fourth manga volume cover (along with seven other characters) meant that the manga was going to show them together (which didn't happen) or that one of Prussia's songs was addressed to Canada even though Canada is not mentioned anywhere in the lyrics.
      • Many Canada ships make use of this trope to some extent, because notoriously-invisible-to-others Canada is about the only character you can say "X looked at him = X must care a lot about him to not ignore him" and not have it sound completely ridiculous. Additionally, many France/Canada shippers say that the webcomic where France recognizes Canada and points him out to other characters indicates that France is the only nation that recognizes and respects Canada all the time, even though there's a manga strip where France is included among the nations who don't notice Canada's presence during a meeting, pretty much borking the "all the time" claim.
    • In an odd twist, this is actually used to bash another character. In the Gakuen Hetalia PSP game, the more believable way to have the "invisible" Canada appear in the game at all due to the Visual Novel game mechanics was to have the "lead female", Seychelles, notice his presence once or twice and talking to him. Naturally, rabid fangirls jumped at this to use it as "evidence" that Seychelles as a "total Relationship Sue who whores herself around to all the males and so she must diiiiie for getting in between our ships"... nevermind that she doesn't seem to notice him that much either, or that she also interacts with females like Liechtenstein or Hungary, or (more importantly) that Canada would not be seen in-game if she didn't ever see him.
  • Bleach: Some fans do this, most knowingly, but some not. Most often, it appears under an argument like this; "X/Y's panel is bigger than X/Z's! X/Y is obviously canon!"
  • CLAMP fandom is practically handed a pair of Shipping Goggles during initiation. Not at all helped by how often they deliberately tease the fans for the lulz.
  • The Digimon fandom had a truly bizarre case of this in Mimi and Matt/Yamato - as they didn't do any of those things, or even interact at all. They weren't too friendly or too deliciously antagonistic or even bizarre enough of a pair to be interesting. They didn't avoid each other - seven kids and seven Mons means one kid just never wound up talking to that one other; it happens. Didn't stop fans from being extremely rabid, to the "pair one with someone else in a fanfic, I dare you" level. No one's sure why. [1]
  • Gundam Wing. Yaoi Fans interpret every line, every glance, every everything in the series as "definitive proof" that the boys are all shagging one another off-camera and they despise the girls with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Never mind the fact that basically everyone in the series tries to get the standard het couples together (unless you count Trowa and Quatre too), with half the cast specifically trying to get Heero and Relena to admit their feelings.
  • Lucky Star: Hiyori Tamura is a satire of a chronic Shipping Goggles wearer who just can't stop shipping people in her own universe, even she feels guilty about that.
  • Naruto shippers, rather notoriously. You pretty much have to do this to seriously ship any of the three most popular ships, because otherwise there isn't a whole lot that strongly suggests any of the feelings are reciprocated. Many, many, many lengthy essays have been written from all sides about how so-and-so is subtly hinted at secretly being in love with someone, flabbergasting anyone who reads manga more casually/normally. Honestly, it's kind of heartbreaking considering how Kishi is widely criticised for depicting young women as single-mindedly love-obsessed, and yet so many female fans get so caught up in the romance they seem to forget the more prominent themes and relationships.
  • One Piece shippers often break apart unimportant details in color spreads and the storyline to "prove" that Oda is trying to hint at their OTP. Never mind that Word of God is that No Hugging, No Kissing is enforced, and Oda has trolled the shippers before. The anti-shippers probably have a right to be annoyed.
    • As in many stories with huge Ensemble Casts, there are bases of fans for the shipping of minor characters. One particularly interesting example is Wyper, a Proud Warrior Race Guy, being paired with Conis, a girl coming from the people that kicked his ancestors off their homeland. The characters have a maximum of three panels of interaction and people like to give them a Romeo and Juliet-like relationship in After Action Report stories, but with a happier ending.
    • Many Zoro/Robin shippers squee over how during Enies Lobby, it was the key Zoro retrieved that got Robin from her shackles, and hence use this as evidence that they are meant to be....despite the fact he would've done the same for any of his other friends, the two have barely interacted since then, and Robin has had way more important character development with Luffy and with Franky, which was what was really at the forefront of the story at the time, and hence it's unlikely Oda wanted that bit to be remotely important.
  • Lots of Soul Eater shippers will insist that there is some form of connection with Crona and Kid, to the point where this only seconds the main couple of the series: Soul and Maka. In general, the coupling is so strong, even though in canon both Anime and Manga versions Crona and Kid have virtually no dialogue, and barely speak to each other, often not in the same scene altogether, or on opposite sides of the good guy bad guy spectrum.
    • Part of this issue when reading around on message boards is that while Soul and Maka are basically a couple and Weapon/Meister, and Black*Star and Tsubaki are Meister/Weapon and virtually inseparable, Kid's two partners are a crazy Yandere and a prep who are both far too old for him, and Crona doesn't really have a weapon, just talking blood.
  • The Pokémon fandom had this in spades, especially in regards to the main popular couple, Ash/Misty. The original official AAML website had a very long hint list that consisted of just about every interaction between the characters in the whole show, no matter how small, as well as some hints invented by the dub (Like the american only Misty's Song). It got so bad that Pokeshippers actually split into two designations, with fans wearing full on goggles reffered to as "gakishippers", with the other Pokeshippers considering themselves more sophisticated and intelligent for being able to recognize the "true" hints.


Literature

  • Harry Potter probably has enough goggles to fill an entire page, but probably the best example is from what has been dubbed "The Symbolic Flight" from Prisoner of Azkaban. This theory states that because Harry and Hermione flew together on Buckbeak together and without Ron, that they are destined to be together - ignoring the fact that Ron was only not present because he broke his leg earlier.
    • The die-hard Harry/Hermione shippers are fairly infamous for this -- even after the series finished, they kept on writing essays on the supposed Subtext between the two and how JK Rowling had ruined the series by not hooking them up. This isn't helped by the films turning Ron into the Plucky Comic Relief Sidekick and giving Harry and Hermione plenty of shiptastic scenes, until Half Blood Prince.
    • In response to the infamous mugglenet interview where Rowling commented on "anvil-sized hints" supporting Ron and Hermione, many Harry/Hermione shippers started claiming there were shipping crate/warehouse/other objects larger than an anvil sized hints for Harry and Hermione, yet rarely offer up an examples other than ridiculous things like "The Symbolic Flight" or the fact that "Hermione's Patronus is an OTTER".
  • Little Women: Jo starts viewing Beth and Laurie with Shipping Goggles. Even taken in context, the narrator is obviously mocking the practice. Yes, in 1869, rabid shippers were already frustrating authors enough to earn a Fandom Nod, no Internet required.
  • Sherlock Holmes - It's gotten to the stage where the term "I'd be lost without my Boswell" has been so charged with Ho Yay overtones that you forget that the real Boswell was Dr Johnston's biographer, and it's not just a weird nickname Holmes came up with.


Live-Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Many fans of Buffy/Faith do this. Examples include a devoted website of people who claimed that Faith wanted to sleep with Angel just so Buffy would break up with him - leaving Buffy free for Faith.
    • Back when Buffy/Spike was the Fan-Preferred Couple, they were constantly on the receiving end of this. Then they shacked up and the entire thing became redundant.
  • ICarly: Shippers of the Sam/Freddie pairing fandom are well known for their 'secret Seddie', where they considered any form of interaction, chatting, talking, Sam hitting Freddie, fighting, both having the colors red and blue OR purple on, mentioning the other or just being in the same room together as blatant evidence that they are going to become a canon couple. They examine the 'evidence' so minutely in a show where the creater has repeatedly said is about the comedy and not about the Shipping.
    • The fact that the show does CONSTANTLY devote entire episodes to taking advantage of fans love of shipping, only to fake them out, does make the "not about shipping" things really hypocritical.
  • Law and Order: Oh, wow, Law and Order. The winner has to be SVU, which, while supporting numerous popular ships, has never had anyone together, ever.
  • Merlin: The slashers of Merlin/Arthur are eager to point to every single interaction between them as evidence that the two of them are attracted to each other/in love/sleeping together/destined soulmates. In this two-second clip (slowed down so you can see it properly), the act of Merlin catching Arthur's head as he falls over becomes Merlin "definitely stroking Arthur's hair."
  • Robin Hood: An interesting case is Guy and Marian from the BBC series. Naturally there was plenty of Ship Tease between them despite the Foregone Conclusion of the Official Couple, though some Guy/Marian shippers took their desired pairing to ludicrous extremes, all of which is based on a misinterpreted scene. At the end of the first season Guy and Marian’s wedding is aborted after Marian realizes that Guy has lied to her about the circumstances of the king’s return and her father’s safety. Having already been physically prevented from leaving, she uses her wedding ring as a knuckle-buster to punch him out and facilitate her escape. However, the shippers argue that according to 12th century law, the very act of Marian putting on a wedding ring in front of a clergyman meant that she was legally married to Guy. This is not true, and entirely the invention of a G/M shipper, and in the following season neither Guy nor Marian act as though they have any marital obligation to one another. The relationship is never consummated, Marian gets engaged to Robin Hood, and the fact that Guy and Marian are not married is so obvious that no one even bothers to mention it. However, the hardcore shippers watch the rest of the show insisting that Guy and Marian are legally married, discussing all their interactions under the assumption that they are husband and wife, and refering to Marian as "Guy's wife". They have changed the entire context of the story in order to validate their ship; done even in the face of events transpiring that demonstrate that they are very clearly NOT married (such as Guy repeating his proposal of marriage). The absurdity of this theory cannot be measured, and the gusto with which shippers hold to it is really quite disturbing.
  • Star Trek the Original Series: Even if you are not a slash fan, thanks to the fans it is a little hard to watch it now without seeing some of the accidental gayness of it all, even if you believe this was not what the writers intention. And even that whole "not what the writers intended" thing takes a battering when Gene Roddenberry himself says that "We certainly believe the affection was sufficient for [a romantic relationship], if that were the particular style of the 23rd century."
    • "Day of the Dove" has a mind-whammied Chekov going into a fury because he believes the Klingons killed his brother. Sulu's the only person who knows Chekov well enough to know he has no siblings. As far as shippers are concerned, case closed.
  • Community lampshades this in "Paradigms of Human Memory" with the Jeff/Annie ship. Annie is wearing shipping goggles, and sees them as having UST. Jeff on the other hand...

 Jeff: It's called chemistry. I have it with everyone.

    • Annie's claims of the UST that she and Jeff have are followed by a "tribute" video, mainly consisting of them looking at each other-- but in slow motion. Jeff thinks this is ridiculous and says one could make a video like that of, say, Pierce and Abed. Cue tribute of Pierce and Abed looking at each other-- in slow motion.

 Abed: Yeah but Jeff let’s be honest. There’s more between you and Annie than there is between me and Pierce.

Pierce: How dare you!

  • Supernatural provides a case of how Shipping Goggles might be in play early on, and then the writers catch on to it and start adding more explicit and deliberate Ho Yay to toy with the fans (e.g. Dean/Castiel).
  • This was also even more the case in Torchwood, where Jack/Ianto was a very popular fan pairing beginning very early on ("Looks good in a suit!") but which evolved into canon later on.
  • People who support Sheldon/Penny from The Big Bang Theory despite the fact that 1. Word of God says it ain't gonna happen (as has Kayley Cuoco herself) 2. Sheldon basically being simply not interested in romance of any sort 3. All of his crazy quirks making a relationship basically impossible. However, since he's sometimes regarded as the Breakout Character and Leonard is likewise considered an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, so this will not stop ever.
  • Despite the ship being explicitly torpedoed in the pilot episode of the show, hardcore Ted/Robin shippers for How I Met Your Mother can blow the aforementioned Guy/Marian fangirls out of the water with their ability to completely rearrange the entire context of the show and reinterpret every vastly important and meaningful plot point that has had a hand in leading Ted to the titular mother in order to find a loophole that would allow Robin to be the mother, even if it completely destroys the entire purpose and meaning of the story.

Video Games

  • The Ace Attorney fanbase goes to a whole new level with ships that are practically nonsensical. Fortunately, there's rarely Ship-to-Ship Combat over it.
    • A few lines between a woman who will do anything to win a case offering emotional support after the trial, and a woman who is so incredibly co-dependant that she needs someone to guide her in being able to do ANYTHING at that point, led to the huge following of Franziska/Adrian.
    • Despite deliberate Ho Yay between Phoenix and Edgeworth, neither character shows romantic feelings for the other at any point. There's a certain level of respect and trust, but they're shown to not socialize and often go months without talking to each other.
    • The same can be said for Phoenix X Maya, as the two act like brother and sister and have no romantic feelings for each other, but some fans ship them together anyway.
      • Parodied by Maya's cousin Pearls, who ships Phoenix and Maya, treats anything that Phoenix does for Maya as a great symbol of his love for her (despite that he would do the same for most people he knows) and gets mad at any girl (or at Phoenix himself) that gets any attention from Phoenix.
  • Kingdom Hearts shippers. Organization XIII spend most of their time doing villainous stuff, but apparently fangirls are more into which members are having sex together than any of the stuff that's in the actual games.
    • They also focus on the romance behind the sex, completely ignoring the whole "no hearts" thing that forms the entire basis of the Organization's motivation as characters. Even Roxas clearly has no idea about romance in his interactions with Axel in 358/2 Days, and Axel's obsessive and questionable behavior toward him later actually drives him and Roxas apart rather than give them any shot at being together.
    • Similarly, Sora/Riku shippers throw out any concept of platonic love and interpret any form of emotion between Sora and Riku as UST. Some have even claimed that the inside artwork of an audio CD released only in Japan featuring Sora and Riku standing on a heart meant they loved each other, completely ignoring the fact that the heart is Kingdom Hearts' symbol and shows up everywhere (and that the game uses the heart to represents one's emotions and soul than romantic love).
      • They also keep on bringing up the reunion scene where Sora expressed more emotion at seeing Riku than Kairi, as if this one scene alone somehow outweighs all of the less-than-subtle Ship Tease Sora and Kairi have received, such as them both drawing pictures of sharing Papyu fruit together (which is said to be a symbol of living happily ever after) and Sora imagining himself slow-dancing with Kairi in the same way Official Couple Jack Skellington and Sally do - not to mention the fact that Riku's clearly interested in Kairi.
    • A mild example of this cropped up with Birth By Sleep, where Terra/Aqua shippers insist that the scene where Terra, Aqua, and Ven reunite in Radiant Garden is proof that Ven regards Terra and Aqua as his parents and ships them together. Nevermind that when Ven says "Parents", he is notably irritable over being seen as just a little kid, and ignore how Terra and Aqua, when confronted with the notion of them as Ven's parents, they casually laugh it off. These are clearly unimportant details and mean nothing at all. And that's only in the Japanese version, in the English dub they're simply referred to as "grown ups".
  • Pokémon gets more than its fair share of this. Every character is shipped. All of the ships have names. If they don't, they will soon.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog. Take one character. Take another character. No matter what, supporters already exist. NO EXCEPTIONS. This wouldn't be noteworthy, except for the minor detail that this approach can also be extended to the Archie Comic and the Storybook series.
  • Team Fortress 2 - To the point where there is a large section of the fanbase that doesn't even play the game, preferring to spend all their energy on pairing the characters together in every way possible. Although most of pairing supporters don't actually bother to use examples from official material, hence the lack of Ship-to-Ship Combat, the trope still applies in full force for the more fanatical contingencies of the Sniper/Spy fanbase, who do insist that things such as the Sniper-Spy dual update and Meet the Spy are "evidence" of its being canon.
  • Touhou is strictly No Hugging, No Kissing, but the truly gargantuan shipping community surrounding it hasn't let it deter them. Probably the best example is how both Marisa and Reimu are depicted to have accumulated massive harems solely because they befriend people at a rate that would make even Nanoha jealous. Granted, a lot of the pairings are pure crack and not meant to be based on any interactions in the series, but there are plenty that are.
  • In Soulcalibur IV, newcomer Hilde meets up with series' lead Siegfried in her ending after vanquishing Nightmare. He sees it fitting to die for his transgressions in the past (such as being the former host to Nightmare/Soul Edge) and requests for her to kill him, but Hilde simply walks up to him and absolves him of his sins. She also proceeds to give Siegfried this semi-flirty smile at her ending's close. Cue the fandom being given its favorite new pairing. Compare this with Kilik and Xianghua, who do receive a hefty amount of Ship Tease in their appearances together (to the point that they have a Together in Death Heroic Sacrifice in Xianghua's ending from IV) and are the closest thing this series has to an Official Couple (until V, that is). [2]


Web Comics

  • The Dreamer: Bea and Alex.
  • Homestuck. The fandom is pretty nuts about shipping. It absolutely does not help that the author himself has posted fanart of Bro/Mom and Col. Sassacre/Lil' Cal. There is an element of Ship-to-Ship Combat, especially by John/Karkat shippers (more on that below), but it's very rarely overwhelming, making an oddity in that ships are usually well tolerated.
    • The Rose/Kanaya ship in particular is treated by shippers as something obviously and undisputably canonical. Apparently, simply admiring someone you barely know means you both want to screw each other. Frustratingly, it's just about the only popular ship for either of them, not to mention Rose has never shown any indication she's interested in women.
    • Parodied in this flash, where Karkat, after reading a letter filled with Innocent Innuendo, imagines this between Rose/Kanaya and Dave/Terezi.
    • John/Karkat is one of the most popular ships in the fandom, and one of the most divisive. In canon, Karkat has displayed a crush on John, but seemingly got over it, whereas John has had overwhelming evidence that he's completely straight [3]. Talking about it openly in a strongly positive or strongly negative manner is good Flame Bait.
    • Karkat/Nepeta shippers went crazy when the two where simply shown STANDING together in the [S]Roxy: Sleepwalk flash.


Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender is known for its devoted shippers, but "Zutarians" (fans of Zuko/Katara) are downright infamous - or, in pro-Zutara communities, encouraged - for their use of Shipping Goggles, to often unbelievable levels. Including but not limited to: claiming Zutara is proved by Oma and Shu wearing blue and red robes respectively in the storytelling scene of "The Cave of Two Lovers" (ignoring the fact that they're wearing blue and orange); scenes in a season three trailer that showed Katara backing away from Aang's attempt to kiss her and another right after where she hugs Zuko, despite that fact that they're wearing different outfits in different settings at different times of day; the colors of the red and blue dragons that each try to tempt Zuko during a fever dream (they're supposed to be his uncle and his sister); and taking the creepy, sarcastic line where Zuko tells Katara he'll save her from the pirates in "The Waterbending Scroll" completely seriously.
    • There was even a pro-Zutara documentary series on Youtube whose videos were over three hours long combined; the documentary analyzed every single scene from the series featuring either character, plus every scene featuring either character's canon love interest. These scenes were then broken down to "prove" that Zutara was objectively correct, and seemed to imply that shipping Zutara was the show's main purpose.Some of the claims in the documentaries are quite astounding; for instance, there is a brief (lasts less than half a second) scene in which Zuko leans back and rests a hand on Katara's back in order to prevent her from slipping from the back of the giant shrew-creature that they're riding. The only reason she's there in the first place is because Zuko tied her up and threw her over the animal's back, but apparently this tiny act of "concern" was tantamount to true love and that the animators wouldn't have bothered putting it in unless it meant something.
  • Teen Titans: The fandom has a tendency to indulge in this trope, almost always with any possible combination of the Five-Man Band.
  • The Kim Possible fandom has the incredibly popular Kim/Shego ship, which was born entirely out of this trope.
  • The Powerpuff Girls had two notorious examples:
    • Rowdyruff Boys/PPG, for which the Internet Backdraft reached such astronomical heights that Craig McCracken himself regretted ever introducing the RRB. The bizarre thing was that unlike the other examples on this page, there was NOTHING to cling to. The Boys were repulsive, violent, and stupid, they hated cute girls, they spend nearly the entire episode mindlessly fighting, and when the girls showed them affection, it made them explode. Ultimately, Him brought them back and they had a few episodes...where they kept on doing pretty much the same things they did in their debut before eventually just kinda fading out.
    • Professor Utonium/Miss Keane. On the face of it, this was never all that plausible: He was a shy intellectual who had trouble understanding women, she was a dedicated public servant with a bossy streak, and neither had much of a social life. But since the show didn't have much in the way of admirable adult role models, it was probably inevitable that the fandom would demand they give a shot at a relationship. Which they eventually did. Said "relationship" consisted of several weeks of gooey baby talk over the PPG hotline, during which the PPG's home became a total mess and they couldn't respond to any emergencies, and it ended when Utonium learned that Keane had a cat. Seriously.
  • Due to the multifaceted personalities, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has inspired ships for every possible pairing of main (and even minor) characters. Pairings within the mane six alone are enough to stir fan discussion for days, with longs lists of specific scenes used in support of an argument, and even entire episodes for specific pairings ("Fall Weather Friends" for Applejack/Rainbow Dash, "Look Before You Sleep" for Applejack/Rarity, "Green Isn't Your Color" for Rarity/Fluttershy, "Hurricane Fluttershy" for Rainbow Dash/Fluttershy, et cetera).
    • One of the most bizarre and amazing examples on this page is Bon Bon and Lyra, two Recurring Extras often placed next to each other due to their complementing colours, who somehow became the most popular pairing in the fandom; indeed, pairing them with anypony else is almost considered Heresy. Even the show's staff themselves acknowledged this phenomenon, placing them together in the official Comic Con poster and giving them Funny Background Events in "Secrets of My Excess" and "Putting Your Hoof Down".
  • South Park fandom has this in spades concerning Stan and Kyle. The show makes it pretty clear that they are Heterosexual Life Partners and only consider one another as close as brothers. That said, that close friendship has led to a lot of romantic shipping.
    • In later seasons, episodes like "Guitar Queer-O" plays like a breakup/makeup movie, and lines like Stan's drunken "But Kyle, I love you" only served to reinforce the Shipping Goggles.
  • I'm Gonna ring that bell. And I'm gonna ring yours. *wink* Talk about a very bad case of Accidental Innuendo!
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar up until until the montage in "Kaboom And Kabust", the only people who shipped King Julien and Rico were those who had no other pairing, mostly because they had never even talked before. After that though, those Shippers slammed on their goggles and made a big deal of it even though the only thing Rico was attracted to in that montage was blowing things up.
  • Very common in Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom:
    • Klance fans were the first to make their viewpoints known, seeing the constant arguing between Keith and Lance as sexual tension and latching onto the idea of them falling madly in love with each other. They soon became so locked into their wishes that they insisted Klance would become canon and even started threatening the writers to try to make it so! Even the obvious Allura/Lance moments and the more intense Keith and Shiro scenes would be somehow twisted into Keith and Lance subtext. They still continue to insist Lance loved Keith, and that his feelings for Allura were "compulsory heterosexuality."
    • Sheith fans had their goggles on just as tight, but didn't become as bad until around season 7. At most, they felt like the intense scenes between Keith and Shiro could be read as romantic, especially when Keith did tell Shiro he loved him during their fight. They started taking the most benign comments from the writers or the clickbaity titles of articles written by people not on the staff as "evidence" that their ship was going to be, without a doubt, endgame. Then season 8 dropped, focusing more on Lance/Allura and the ongoing plot than any scenes of Keith and Shiro staring into each other's eyes, and ultimately ending with Shiro getting married to his Communications Officer Curtis, and all hell broke loose. To this day, Sheith fans continue to treat their bond like a great and epic love story "ruined by evil queerbaiting writers" when in truth, their bond could literally be read any way. Lauren Montgomery even outright said their bond was open to interpretation!
    • Pidge/Lance shippers were pretty chill until season 7, when Lance freaked out at the idea of Pidge being tortured by Zethrid and Ezor (which, y'know, he'd have done over anyone. Even Keith). Suddenly, every moment they ever shared together totally meant they were going to be endgame, even though Lance was canonically in love with Allura and Pidge had zero interest in romance.

Notes

  1. One possible explanation is Pair the Spares: in many a series, fans will latch onto the lead male and lead female in a series unless there's overwhelming evidence for another appealing pairing with one of the two, and that happened with Tai(chi) and Sora. The next-most-leading guy and girl are the Matt and Mimi.
  2. Note: These two are also a Fan-Preferred Couple.
  3. Briefly, there's his direct statement that he wasn't a homosexual, his pretty blatant Ship Tease with Vriska (and Rose), and his alternate universe counterpart having married and fathered a child
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