[[quoteright:276:[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/katara_parings.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:276:Katara is paired with everyone!\\
[[CrackPairing Yes]], even [[TeamPet Appa and Momo.]]]]

->''"I'm beginning to think he ''doesn't'' want me to ship him with everypony."''
-->-- '''WebAnimation/SilverQuill''' ''[referring to [[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Big MacIntosh]]]''

When {{shipping}}, some fans have OneTruePairing that they cannot bear to break (or several of those), but some have just a Launcher Of A Thousand Ships character. It's the character that goes with ''everything'', or, in this case, everyone. Actually, come to think of it, [[CargoShip everything]].

For example, if someone in the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fandom says his Launcher is Snape, he will happily read {{Fanfic}}s featuring the Snape/Harry ship as well as fanfics with Snape/Hermione, Snape/Lupin, Snape/Lily, or even [[CrackPairing exotic pairings]] such as Snape[=/=][[Franchise/TheLordOfTheRings Legolas]] or Snape[=/=][[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Megatron]]. Anything goes as long as the Launcher is included.

There is also a tendency for the entire fandom to consider a character a Launcher Of A Thousand Ships; notably, the ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' fandom almost always refers to Peter Petrelli this way, given that he's paired up with damn near everybody in the show, including Nathan (his brother), Claire (his niece[[note]]not helped by the fact that Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Peter, and Hayden Panettiere, who plays Claire, dated for a while, spurring a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSf2sOPtzOs Terrance/Philip tribute video]][[/note]]) and even [[ScrewYourself his own future self]].

Also known as the "ship launcher", the "fandom bicycle" (everyone gets a ride), the "cargo container" (gets shipped to everyone), or the "little black dress" (looks good on anyone). The last shouldn't be confused with the LittleBlackDress trope, which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.

This usually has to do with WishFulfillment: either the character is a lusted-after character and everyone likes to pair them with whoever reminds them of themselves, or the character is relatable and the fans see them as some sort of AudienceSurrogate and they are paired up with different characters that the fans lust after so they can project themselves onto this character. If there are enough of these in one work, it becomes a case of GottaShipEmAll.

The TropeNamer is [[Theatre/DoctorFaustus Christopher Marlowe's version]] of the legend of {{Faust}}. In reference to [[Literature/TheTrojanCycle Helen of Troy]], Faust asks, "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships/And burnt the topless towers of Illium?" [[IThoughtItMeant No relation to]] the Music/RachelPlatten single "1,000 Ships".

* LauncherOfAThousandShips/AnimatedFilms
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/AnimeAndManga
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/ComicBooks
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/{{Film}}
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/{{Literature}}
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/LiveActionTV
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/{{Music}}
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/ProfessionalWrestling
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/{{Theatre}}
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/VideoGames
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/WebOriginal
* LauncherOfAThousandShips/WesternAnimation