Shipping Torpedo
In-universe anti-shipper.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-08-03 16:08:42 sponsor: bwayrose7 (last reply: 2013-08-25 08:05:24)

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Two people are circling each other romantically, or perhaps are already together. Other characters in the story smile fondly at the couple and ship them. And then there's a spoilsport. He does not like the two people together, makes his opinion known, and clearly hopes that the ship will sink. This may be for a variety of reasons:

  • He's secretly (or not-so-secretly) in love with one of them.
  • There's a Love Triangle with in-universe Ship-to-Ship Combat, and he ships one of them with somebody else.
  • He thinks one or both of them simply aren't good for each other.
  • He just doesn't like one or both of them.

And there may be other reasons too. If it progresses far enough, may result in attempted Relationship Sabotage. Related tropes may include Overprotective Dad and My Sister Is Off-Limits!.

Contrast Shipper on Deck.

Compare Moment Killer, when the interfering party only ruins a certain moment and/or may not be intentional; and Ship Sinking, when a ship is sunk by the writers, not characters.

Considering that this trope shows up at least as far back as Shakespeare, it is Older Than Steam, if not even older.

Examples

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • Saeki from Strawberry Shake Sweet is very opposed to Julia and Ran's relationship and continuously tries to sabotage it--ostensibly out of fear of a scandal that will end all three of their careers. That she is the Token Straight Girl in a Cast Full of Gay probably has something to do with it, too...

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[[folder:Film (Animated)]]
  • Shows up a lot in the films in the Disney Animated Canon, usually courtesy of the villains.
    • The Stepmother in Cinderella wanted to keep Cinderella away from Prince Charming because she hoped he'd choose one of her daughters.
    • In Tangled, Mother Gothel tries to break Rapunzel's faith in Flynn to keep Rapunzel dependent on her.
  • Briefly happens in Anastasia, when Vlad worries about Dmitri and Anya's budding romance. He quickly shifts to a Shipper on Deck, though.

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[[folder:Film (Live-Action)]]

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[[folder:Literature]]
  • Lots of examples from Jane Austen's novels
    • In Emma, most people think that Emma and Frank Churchill belong together. The only one who thinks that Frank doesn't deserve her is Mr Knightley.
    • Lady Susan: Reginald's whole family is horrified when they find that he's in love with Lady Susan who is a beautiful woman, but evil and rotten to her very core.
    • In Northanger Abbey, General Tilney heavily ships his son Henry and Catherine Morland because he thinks she's a rich heiress. When he finds out it's not true, he throws her out of their house and forbids Henry to think of her.
    • Persuasion: Before the novel begins, Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth got engaged, but Anne broke it off. Her family was against their marriage, especially her dear godmother Lady Russell.
    • Pride and Prejudice:
      • Miss Bingley and Mr Darcy actively break up Jane Bennet and Mr Bingley. She's a snob who ships him with Miss Darcy. Mr Darcy thinks Miss Bennet doesn't love him.
      • Mr Darcy doesn't like that George Wickham flirts with Elizabeth. He's jealous and he knows that Wickham is not an honest man.
      • Mrs Gardiner, Elizabeth's aunt, advises against Elizabeth's possible relationship with Wickham because neither of them has independent fortune.
      • Darcy reveals that he found out that his sister nearly eloped with a man but luckily he stopped them.
      • Lady Catherine is furious when she hears rumours that her nephew Mr Darcy is love with Elizabeth Bennet.
    • In Sense and Sensibility, Edward Ferrars' family ships him with wealthy Miss Morton and they are against him courting Elinor Dashwood. Edward is however secretly engaged with much poorer and less genteel woman, which is even worse for them and poor Edward is disinherited.
  • Scarlett in Gone with the Wind is decidedly this way towards Ashley and Melanie, since she believes Ashley is her true love.
  • A handful in Harry Potter:
    • Ron is not a fan of anyone dating his sister Ginny. It even takes him a little getting used to the idea of his best friend Harry dating her.
    • Ron vehemently tries to torpedo Hermione/Viktor Krum, although at this point he Cannot Spit It Out as to the real reason why.
    • In flashbacks, Snape towards Lily and James.
    • In a more humorous example, this is initially Mrs. Weasley's reaction to Bill and Fleur.
  • Alec Lightwood of The Mortal Instruments isn't a fan of Jace/Clary at first, since he has feelings for Jace himself. But once he falls in love with Magnus, he calms down about it.

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[[foldercontrol]] [[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • The Buffyverse is full of this:
    • Xander was king of this trope: he loathed Buffy with Angel because he's in love with Buffy; was a Torpedo to Spike/Buffy because he dislikes Spike and thinks he's bad for Buffy, and anti-shipped Wesley/Cordelia for all of the above reasons.
    • Pretty much everyone was against Spike/Buffy- even the two of them on occasion.
    • On spinoff Angel, Wesley isn't fond of Fred's relationship with Gunn and less so of her flirtation with Knox, and the Squick that accompanies the pairing of Connor with Cordy makes it unpopular in-universe and out.
  • Doctor Who: The trope is played for laughs whenever Captain Jack Harkness is around by the Doctor, given that Jack is a Lovable Sex Maniac and an Extreme Omnisexual. It became a running gag that the Doctor would torpedo Jack to avoid the relationships between companions, ex companions, etc and Jack.
  • Gilmore Girls is rife with this.
    • Lorelai is against Rory/Jess, instead shipping the rival Rory/Dean. Later, is against Rory/Logan thinking her daughter can do better.
    • Richard and Emily vehemently torpedo Luke/Lorelai and Rory/Dean, to the point of Relationship Sabotage.
    • Marty is in love with Rory and thus not a fan of her and Logan
    • In a humorous example, Taylor initially opposes Luke and Lorelai's relationship out of a fear of what the breakup would do to the town. He even draws up maps for division in event of a breakup.
  • Heartwarmingly subverted on Castle, when everyone assumes Gates would flip out if she discovered Rick and Kate's relationship. Turns out she's as big a Shipper on Deck as the rest of the cast.
  • Lily from How I Met Your Mother is this for many of Ted's girlfriends, as he has a habit of thinking horrible women who aren't looking for a meaningful relationship and who invariably dump him are "the one", and Lily winds up actively sabotaging several of his relationships. Ted does not take this revelation well, especially when it slips out that Robin was one of the girlfriends in question.
  • Degrassi The Next Generation:
  • Quinn from Glee for Finn and Rachel.
  • Eric True Blood is an Anti-Shipper for Sookie/Alcide (and probably other Sookie shippings?), given that in the fifth season he hypnotizes Alcide into feeling disgusted by Sookie's touch.
  • Several characters from The Big Bang Theory are anti Priya/Leonard shippers:
    • Raj because he doesn't want Leonard dating his sister.
    • Her parents because Leonard isn't Indian.
    • Amy, Bernadette and Penny want Leonard/Penny to happen/think Priya is out of line for trying to change Leonard and demanding he stop being friends with Penny.
    • Sheldon doesn't like her because she's mean to him and challenged the Roommate Agreement to help Leonard.
  • House of Anubis had many, at least one for every couple on the show. Most infamous, though, would probably be Joy, who made no secret of her love for Fabian or her dislike for him and Nina dating.
  • Prince Charming and Snow White get this a lot on Once Upon a Time:
    • Charming's Jerkass father will take any chance in either world to separate the two, for a variety of reasons but mostly stemming from a vindictive streak after Charming refused to make a marriage alliance because he was in love with Snow.
    • Regina wants to prevent Snow from getting a Happily Ever After after a mistake by a young Snow led to the death of her own One True Love.
    • While cursed, pretty much everyone is against Mary Margaret and David pursuing their inexplicable feelings.
  • On Graceland Paige and Johnny are pressuring Mike to break up with Abby. Their reasons are mostly pragmatic since Mike, Paige and Johnny are undercover federal agents and Abby is a civilian who does not know what they do for a living. Abby could inadvertently do something that would break Mike's cover and get him and the others killed. In turn, Mike always lying to Abby about his life and job is no basis for a real relationship and they want to save Mike from the heartbreak.
  • In Game of Thrones Catelyn Stark displays visible disapproval of her son Robb's starting relationship with field nurse Talisa Maegyr due to his existing betrothal. And hell, she's right...(In the books it's already too late.)
  • In the Firefly episode "War Stories" it's revealed that Mal used to feel like this about Wash and Zoe, since relationships among crew members complicate things.

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[[folder:Theater]]
  • Eponine of Les MisÚrables is this towards Marius and Cosette, due to her own unrequited love for Marius.
  • Anita from West Side Story tries to sink Tony/Maria because she believes Tony is a dangerous, murderous boy who will break Maria's heart.
  • The major conflict in Much Ado About Nothing comes from Don John's attempt to wreck Claudio and Hero's relationship. Partly to embarrass his Shipper on Deck brother, but mostly For the Evulz.

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[[foldercontrol]] [[folder:Webcomics]]
  • Girl Genius: Gilgamesh Wulfenbach and Tarvek Sturmvoraus are this to each other, since they both love Agatha), considering their backgrounds it gets put on hold at least until they can leave the battlefield where they were at the moment. Also they are inside a deadly architecture construct with a sadistic predisposition.
  • Larisa is this for a while in Sandra and Woo between Sandra and Cloud, until she realises she values her friendship with Sandra more than she wants Cloud as her boyfriend.

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[[foldercontrol]] [[folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Spectacular Spider Man: Sally Arvil hated that popular, cheerleader Liz was in a relationship with geeky, science nerd Peter because it upset the social balance of Midtown High. Her reaction to their break up was to declare "finally", echoing Mary Jane's reaction to Gwen and Peter getting together.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Suzie always does everything in her power to break up her brother Jeremy's relationship with Candace.

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