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Actor Shipping
This is what happens when fans want the actors who play certain characters on a show to get together because their on-screen chemistry just makes them look so gosh-darn cute. If someone actually has the gall to suggest this to an actor personally, expect an irritated I Am Not Spock response to follow.

There are generally three kinds of real-person shippers: the ones who know that it's all just fiction and ship it for fun/because it's hot, the ones who think there really is some UST to be had but know that it most likely won't ever get resolved (and proceed to ship it for fun/because it's hot), and the ones who truly believe that the people in question are copulating like bunnies when the cameras are off. A fan of the latter type is known derogatorily in some circles as a "Tinhat" and can often be recognised by their conspiracy theories about evil PR people/network execs/whatever forcing the two actors to keep their relationship a secret.

In either case, sometimes these ships will actually set sail. Cue delighted Squee, and maybe an I Knew It.

Can be part of a Real Person Fic.

Romance on the Set is when this happens for real.

See also Real-Life Relative.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime And Manga  

     Film  
  • Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson from the Twilight film series are subject to this, though there may actually be precedent for it. Rumor has it that Pattinson only auditioned for the role of Edward Cullen in the first place so he'd have an excuse to hit on Stewart. This plan backfired once Twilight fans recognized him in public.
    • For a Les Yay example, many fans have started shipping Kristen Stewart with Nikki Reed after seeing various videos of them kissing each other
    • It's safe to say that Pattinson and Stewart were officially together, though in an interesting turn of events, she ended up having a relationship with the director of another film she worked on. It's unlikely that there was any pre-shipping of that relationship, though.
  • Titanic fans continue to ship Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet even though Leo's been with various other women since and until Kate had been married with two children. Of course, Kate professing her 13-year love for Leo THEN thanking her husband during the 2007 Golden Globes before the audience, Leo giving her a ring with a secret inscription carved inside as a present, and Kate's failing marriage with director Sam Mendes after shooting Revolutionary Road with Leo does NOT help matters.
  • Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, who dated (and were briefly engaged) after they did The Notebook.
    • This moment from the 2005 MTV Movie Awards ensured that people will never stop shipping them!
  • Certain people in the Harry Potter fandom ship Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
    • They both have hilariously different feelings about their onscreen kiss in ''Deathly Hallows''.
    • Even more fans ship Emma and Tom Felton ("Feltson"), to the point of absolutely hating Tom's girlfriend. The biggest tinhats are convinced she's an evil bitch who, for example, dragged Tom from an awards show where he was presenting with Emma because she was jealous.
    • Many fans films ship Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch (Neville and Luna, respectively), on the basis of them being very close friends and also being adorable.
    • Dan and Tom are also a fairly popular pairing, what with their adorable friendship and all. They are both apparently quite aware of this.
  • Tobey Maguire confirmed that there was some of this chemistry between him and Kirsten Dunst on the Spider-Man set. He's married (to someone else) since.
    • And in the new film reboot, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are getting shipped too by the press. In this case, though, they actually are together.
  • Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical. That one actually set sail... and went strong for five years until their breakup in December 2010.
  • Because their chemistry was so natural in Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart's then-wife was certain he was having an affair with Ingrid Bergman. As the story goes, however, the two only met once off the set to have lunch and discuss their issues with the script (both were unhappy with the "unrealistic dialogue").
    • Bogart actually did fall in love with and marry his frequent costar Lauren Bacall. They stayed together until the end of his life.
  • Shipping William Moseley and Anna Popplewell from The Chronicles of Narnia is one way some fans get around the Brother-Sister Incest problem of shipping their characters.
  • Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto of Star Trek.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, as of the new Sherlock Holmes movie. Like Pine and Quinto above, their interactions during interviews really do not help matters.
  • Brad and Angelina. That ship set sail since 5 years ago and so far has produced 5 little boats.
  • Bogart and Bacall. Their chemistry was so potent that studio execs recut The Big Sleep to include more scenes of them together.
  • A Vocal Minority of The Lord of the Rings fans were (and in some cases, still are) very passionate about their belief that Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan were/are in a committed romantic relationship that the movie studio and publicists forced them to hide by taking on fake girlfriends—these fans' detractors were the ones to coin the term "tinhat" for this phenomenon. Less prolific but just as passionate were those who believed that Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom were in an identical situation.
    • Dom and Billy Boyd, being wonderful friends, also had their share of shippers... and still have, in spite of still being very close friends. They even have a portmanteu.
    • According to (dwindling) subset of Bloom's fans, he has had a torrid affair with just about every male co-star he has ever appeared with. Not surprisingly, his female co-stars haven't enjoyed the same speculation with the exception of Kirsten Dunst. Even the tabloid media jumped on the "Blunst" bandwagon.
    • Not to mention the Sean Bean and Viggo Mortensen shippers, who are still apparently going extremely strong. Never mind that Bean is notoriously heterosexual and married (and divorced) for the fourth time recently...
  • An astonishing number of people seem to ship Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep, even though they are both happily married (to Keely Shaye-Smith and Don Gummer, respectively) and have been for quite some time. On the other hand, they quite obviously adore each other, and Pierce once referred to Meryl as "that gorgeous blonde I had a terrible crush on in drama school"...
  • The A-Team: Liam Neeson/Bradley Cooper, Bradley Cooper/Sharlto Copley, and Sharlto Copley/"Rampage" Jackson. Like the Sherlock Holmes and Star Trek examples above, the fact that they all act adorably buddy-buddy in interviews and the fact that Sharlto and Rampage basically became Heterosexual Life-Partners during filming only encourage this thinking.
  • Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are Heterosexual Life-Partners in real life, which, combined with the Ho Yay in all of their films, makes them easy prey for this trope.
  • Andrew Garfield and Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network. The amount of character bleed from their characters and Andrew's proclamation of love for Jesse in this interview did not help.
  • Just days after Thor was released, people started prompting Chris Hemsworth/Tom Hiddleston on the Kink Meme and that ship is still gaining momentum. (Never mind that Chris is married. To a woman.)
  • Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, who played Magneto and Professor X respectively in X-Men: First Class. While doing interviews promoting the film, they sang to each other and talked about how they would fly all over the world spreading love to the hapless populace if they had super powers. James' tendency to talk about how their characters should have had sex and gotten married did not help one bit.
    • McAvoy has even made up ship names of his own ("BoyVander", "McAbender" and suggesting the already widely-used "FassAvoy" in the same interview) wherein he claims to have had sex with Fassbender FOUR times. And when the interviewer asks him if Fassbender is a tender lover, he hilariously replies that he's "left to take care of [himself] after." He also frequently acknowledges the "sexy" quality to Fassbender's portrayal of Magneto; in one infamous interview, he amends "not that I'm drawn to that," and Fassbender jumps in with "a little bit," and McAvoy agrees "a little bit, on Tuesdays." Cut to the Tumblr fangirls celebrating every single Tuesday with zesty vigor. It's "McFassy."
    • Let's not forget this little gem.
      Interviewer: Extraordinary chemistry between you and Michael [Fassbender]. Can you talk a little about how you developed that onscreen?
      James McAvoy: We had sex every morning, and that helped make the chemistry!
    • The original Professor X and Magneto, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, have their shippers too, as the two are friends in real life, have appeared on stage together, and, of course, Ian McKellen is actually gay.
  • The Avengers is certainly gaining steam with its cast. One stand-out would be Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) with Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), certainly aided by the fact the two are (as of this writing) single close friends IRL and that their interviews together can seem especially flirty.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel from (500) Days of Summer, so very very much. Fans will not stop about how good their onscreen chemistry was, they did a ukelele duet for a YouTube video and Ellen DeGeneres has told Gordon-Levitt that he and Deschanel would make a good couple. However, Deschanel was engaged to musician Ben Gibbard at the time of filming, though they have since married and divorced.
    • According to someone in the know, they actually did briefly date a long time ago. Gordon-Levitt seems to be pretty quiet about his romantic relationships, though, so you won't find it in the news. And anyway, he currently has a girlfriend.
  • Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson got their own fanbase after playing Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. During filming of Catching Fire, the second film in the series, another shipper base grew around Hutcherson and Sam Claflin, who plays Finnick Odair. Fuel was added to that fire when Claflin talked in an interview about the scene where Finnick gives Peeta CPR and said "My mouth touching his was a beautiful moment. It'll live with me for the rest of my life. We're meant to be together." Nor did it help when Jennifer Lawrence commented on the bromance and called it "annoying".
    • Ever since working together in Silver Linings Playbook, Serena and American Hustle, some fans would ship Jennifer Lawrence with Bradley Cooper. Never mind that Bradley's old enough to be her dad.
    • Lawrence and Hutcherson seem to enjoy teasing their shippers a whole lot. They constantly talk about how close they are, reference being in each other's bedrooms at all hours of the night watching movies, Lawrence repeatedly mentioning how she broke down crying when she read the script for "Mockingjay Part 1" (because Hutcherson is barely in it), talking up their "special kind of platonic love" and so forth. Their relationship seems more sibling like than anything else, with a strong dose of Platonic Life Partners.
    • Meanwhile, fewer fans seems to ship Jennifer Lawrence with her real-life boyfriend, Nicholas Hoult, whom she met while filming X:Men: First Class (notable also considering how much people ship Mc Avoy from the same film).
  • Fans of Pitch Perfect rabidly ship Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow due to the Les Yay between Beca and Chloe. It doesn't help that Anna admitted in an interview that filming the shower scene between Beca and Chloe took so long that she's memorized Brittany's body.
  • Ever since Les Miserables (2012), some fans would ship Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe since these two happen to be best friends in real life not to mention, their blatant display of bromance in public.

     Literature  
  • Many mutual fans, based on video, blog and pictorial evidence of the two hanging out together, had shipped story-teller Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer before they officially came out as a couple.

     Live-Action Television  
  • The Office(US) stars John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer have said in interviews that they would sometimes encounter excited fans exclaiming "Oh my god! You got married in real life!?" when they have lunch together. To their dismay, each is happily married with children to other people, who were sometimes present for these encounters.
  • Game of Thrones: Many avid Renly Baratheon/Loras Tyrell fans ship Gethin Anthony and Finn Jones together. Both actors fuel the Ho Yay with public displays of affection, by jokingly admitting that they're gay for each other in this interview clip, and Finn had some... interesting comments in the Feb. 2013 issue Gay Times magazine which make some people strongly suspect that he has a serious man crush on his co-star.
    GT: Did you have to go a few times for that scene [in Season 2]?
    Finn Jones: "Oh all the time, I remember," he howls with laughter. "One point in the scene we were really getting into it, and I just turned around to him and I went 'Gethin in the next take,' dead seriously,' really grab my dick this time, really go for it. ' And then just out of the corner of my eye, I saw the camera guys going..." he pulls a concerned face. "I realised 'Oh shit, maybe we're going for it a bit too much.' " He cracks up laughing again. "But it's good, it's good to be on that level to be able to really get into the moment."
    • Gethin's Twitter response to another section of Finn's GT interview is absolutely precious!
    GT: Naturally we have to ask how good a kisser Gethin is.
    Finn Jones: "I've got to say that I don't dig beards that much, I think without the beard he'd be a nine out of ten? But with the beard... I've got quite a soft face, and it can kind of give you a bit of chafage, but I would say, no disrespect Gethin, but if you lost the beard a nine, with the beard probably a five."
  • In Smallville, there is apparently enough Allison Mack/Tom Welling (Chloe Sullivan / Clark Kent) Actor Shipping for sites to make rules against it. Fans also Squeed a bit when Allison says she likes scenes with her crying into Tom's chest because it is comfortable in the Truth commentary.
    • However, in a later interview Allison was quick to maintain that while Tom and her know each other very well, they are not personal friends outside work after some hurtful rumours about co-star Kristen Kreuk (Lana Lang) started spreading after Tom Welling got married.
    • Allison, Allison, you need to stop saying things like this.
    Allison Mack: Sexiest person in the show? Oh my God, Tom Welling! I've had a crush on him since the Pilot! I've never seemed to get over it. (Comic Con 2009)
    Allison Mack: Yeah! Tom Welling is awesome. The only complaint that I have about Tom.. is that he is a man of steel. Like he's super dooper strong guy. Like he's a big you know... manly man. [...] Well, my head comes right up to his chest. And he's got a very strong chest. (noises frm the audience, so Allison turns to them, "Yeah, I know.")
    Allison Mack: [...] My heel caught on the end, and I went toppling into Tom. He was like, 'Oh, are you a little drunk?' No, I'm just clumsy!
  • It must be something about Clark Kent... In the show's heyday, there was a sizeable sub-set of LoisAndClark fandom that shipped Dean Cain/Teri Hatcher (Clark and Lois, of course). This brought with it a strong streak of hate for Teri's then husband, Jon Tenney, even after he and Hatcher had a daughter.
    • An element of surrealism was added to the mix when Tenney played a character in a 4-episode arc that included strong elements of a Love Dodecahedron. Tenney's character, Ching, was the bodyguard of Zara, the betrothed wife-to-be of Clark/Superman, courtesy of an arranged marriage that he knew nothing about, fully intending to marry Lois. Ching loved Zara, who loved him in return, despite him being a lowly guard; regardless, they both felt it was their duty for her to marry Clark, who loved Lois. So Tenney's character was preventing Cain's character and Hatcher's character from marrying, in addition to Tenney being married to Hatcher; cue much cursing and outpourings of Tenney-hate on various forums.
    • Similarly, there was a lot of flak directed towards Mindy McCready when she became engaged to Cain while the show was on the air, and to Samantha Torres when she and Cain had a son in 2000.
  • Friends: Matthew Perry/Courtney Cox have a pretty big fanbase due to their chemistry and close friendship. The shipping wasn't as prevalent during the actual show as Courtney was Happily Married to David Arquette, but after the couple split up 'Matteney' fans grew exponentially, regularly fueled by Cox guest starring on Perry's show, photo's of them snuggling during breaks, their habit of crashing each others interviews (in Courtney's case to kiss Matthew on stage) and Matthew throwing around comments like "I just wanted to make her laugh all the time" and "she's a very beautiful woman" and making sexual jokes about their relationship: "would Courtney be the bike?" and even a skit on Ellen joking that they're a couple. Its not helped by When Courtney's guest starred on Matthew's show there were photos of them practically snuggling during breaks. Tumblr exploded.
  • There is a not-insignificant subset of fans who ship William Shatner with Leonard Nimoy. This is not surprising, considering that the characters they played launched Slash Fic as a concept.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has "Sariza", short for Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku who play Buffy and Faith respectively. Given the amount of pure tension (and some UST too) the characters have to each other it's no wonder. Doesn't help that Eliza Dushku admits to liking Buffy/Faith. Ohh, let's not forget those suspicious videos and Sarah jumping on Eliza on set "just to lighten up the mood".
  • Anna Paquin, who plays Sookie Stackhouse, is married to Stephen Moyer, who plays Vampire Bill Compton on True Blood.
  • Skins has this big time. Some 90% (conservative estimate) of Naomily shippers are also Lily Loveless/Kathryn Prescott shippers (and LilyKat know it and Ship Tease to hell and back), and the actors playing Effy and Cook briefly dated. The LilyKat tinhats even have a neat Reality Subtext to play with; Naomi's Anguished Declaration of Love in the S4 finale included the statement that it took her three years to be able to speak to Emily after she first saw her, which ties in with the fact that Lily and Kat first met at an acting class three years before they joined the show... Lily and Kathryn have stated many times that they did not speak to each other while in the acting class (despite each having lead roles) because they were shy and didn't think they'd have anything in common ...
  • In Heroes fandom, nobody thinks anything of 'shipping the hell out of Milo Ventimiglia/Hayden Panettiere (who did date in real life for a while), Milo Ventimiglia/Kristen Bell, Milo Ventimiglia/Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto/Hayden Panettiere, Zachary Quinto/Milo Ventimiglia, Zachary Quinto/Sendhil Ramamurthy, Zachary Quinto/Dania Ramirez and Zachary Quinto/Kristen Bell. Let's face it, the fandom ships the entire main cast in some way or another. Zachary Quinto has been described as having chemistry with anyone and everyone, so combined with the above mentions of Zoe Saldana and Chris Pine, he's as either a Real Life Launcher of a Thousand Ships or a Memetic Sex God.
  • Both main shipping sects in iCarly, Creddie (Carly/Freddie) and Seddie (Sam/Freddie), like pairing up Miranda Cosgrove/Nathan Kress (Niranda) and Jeanette McCurdy/Nathan Kress (Jathan) respectively. The Jathan side of things got so heated by people constantly tweeting the pair about being in love or dating or being best friends that eventually Nathan stopped following Jennette and specifically mentioned his real girlfriend was his best friend, Jennette told the world her worst pet peeve was dating rumours, and made it clear that the two of them are only friends, and nothing more. More rare, but some people like Jeanette and Miranda. Jeanette/Jerry Trainor (who plays Spencer), shows up pretty regularly in the various Kink Meme communities the show has or is part of.
  • Victorious, an iCarly sister show, has this. The main pairing is Elizabeth Gillies and Ariana Grande, due to their extremely close friendship stretched back over a decade and more despite being only teenagers, and the fact they keep doing things like photographing the other sleeping next to them in the same bed and posting the pictures online.
  • Many fans of The Vampire Diaries ship Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev in real life, both due to their chemistry onscreen as Damon and Elena, and due to their obviously close friendship offscreen. Later confirmed to be more than a "close friendship". The same happens for Steven McQueen and Malese Jow, the actors for Jeremy and Anna.
  • Doctor Who's David Tennant and Billie Piper are a popular subject for the same reasons as above. Freely declaring their love for each other in public, kissing during the credits of their "Doomsday" commentary, and mentioning each other randomly in interviews even when not talking about DW doesn't help...despite the fact that both are now married with children to different partners.
    • Similarly, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan's chemistry on and off screen has many fans pairing them.
      • Fans of the pairing have claimed the 'secretly married' tag on tumblr. The tag is full of mostly posts of the two of them, sprinkled very rarely with other couples.
    • And then there is David Tennant/John Simm. Who were spotted partying together just after Tennant had broken up with Sophia Myles, and quite a few events after that. It really doesn't help that they were talking about their own Doctor/Master spinoff on The End of Time commentaries.
    • After Alex Kingston's infamous, "Oooh, I could just kiss you all night!" and Matt Smith's response of "And I you, Ms Kingston!" on the last-ever episode of Doctor Who Confidential (for "The Wedding of River Song"), Matt/Alex exploded as a pairing.
  • Very common in Supernatural Real Person Fic; the relevant nickname is "J2" or J-Squared. This is the common ship name for Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. This is because, in the earliest seasons, it was impossible to make an In-Universe ship of any durability that had neither Original Characters nor incest. J2 or Jared/Jensen appears to be the most popular ship within Supernatural fandom.
    • The shipping for J2 heated up even more than before because Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki lived together for quite a while and the whole cast tends to be very...tactile in interviews/con appearances etc. A small but highly visible minority of the J2 fans have, unfortunately, taken over from The Lord of the Rings Domlijah fans as the most notorious example of a real-person-slash fandom convincing themselves that the people involved are genuinely dating and thinking that it's gay rights activism to try to bully them out of the "closet".
    • Other ships or pairings include Jensen/Misha (Cockles), Jared/Misha (Mishalecki), Jared/Richard, Jensen/JDM, Jared/Jensen/Misha... You get the picture?
  • Wizards of Waverly Place fans who ship Jalex (Justin/Alex) have the tendency to ship Delena (David Henrie/Selena Gomez).
  • Glee is rife with this. There's the popular pairing of Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz (McHalowitz), there's the potentially "canon" pairing of Mark Salling and Naya Rivera, there's Cory Monteith and Lea Michele shippers, there's people who think Naya Rivera and Heather Morris (HeYa) are as close as their characters... And then there's Chris Colfer, who may qualify as the Glee RPF fandom's Launcher of a Thousand Ships, since there's maybe two male cast members he hasn't been paired with. And his on-screen dad is not one of them. Then there's the fact that Ryan Murphy has allegedly banned sex in the cast's trailers, suggesting that there's been sex to ban... Sorry, Glee cast, but it's not our fault you're twelve ridiculously attractive young people.
    • Two male co-stars Chris hasn't been paired with? I can't think of one. Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, Chord Overstreet, Kevin McHale, Harry Shum Jr, Darren Criss, Max Adler, Matt Morrison, Jonathan Groff, Mike O'Malley...
    • One of Chris Colfer's castmates has described him as "like a magical creature." The fic wrote itself. Incidentally, the castmate in question was Darren Criss - who plays Blaine, who has spent most of the show having almost indecent eyesex with Kurt in practically every episode. The fic wrote itself - several times over.
      • Too bad Darren is actually straight... not that that would stop the fangirls.
      • After The Big Clinch in "Original Song", Chris and Darren were asked about their kiss. Darren's response? "He doesn't go by numbers, he gets hieroglyphics!" and teased, "It takes two to tango!" Deadpan Snarker Chris was a bit less fanboyish (giving Darren a 10 out of 10, but himself a 12), but had commented that "Damn, Darren! I need a cigarette now!" in a separate interview. Also, Darren is quite obviously a Kurt/Blaine shipper.
      • Darren Criss LOVES to fuel the shippers. After spontaneously kissing a shocked Chris onstage during the Glee Live tour, he talked about how in that moment he was "consumed with my love for Chris Colfer". He later describes it as "fun" and says he "just couldn't help it". His costars jokingly say that if they got married, Colfer would become Chris Squared. Darren's reply? "It could happen. Never say never."
      • Darren is one of the most classic examples of Camp Straight ever.
    • The Monfer (Cory Monteith / Chris Colfer) ship really stands out even among the HUGE amounts of pairing that Chris launches.
    • There are also a lot of people who ship Lea Michele with Jonathan Groff (even though the latter is gay) since their Spring Awakening days. Hilariously, one of those people happens to be Lea's own father, who according to Lea has offered Jon "millions" to marry her. Lea often calls Jon the "love of her life" and, when asked by a fan at a Glee event when she and Jon were gonna get married, promptly responded "hopefully soon".
    • Don't forget the Lea/Dianna shippers. They are hardcore.
    • Dianna knows what people are thinking: "Everybody is convinced that Lea and I are in a relationship."
    • And then, of course, there is Mark Salling and Chord Overstreet. Mark named them Sallingstreet. Among several other suggestive tweets is co-star Kevin McHale saying they were "cute - it's like watching schoolgirls flirting". Chord claims "he [Mark] asked me out, but I turned him down. I like them clean-cut". Speaking of clean-cut, "Colferstreet" is another popular couple. Then again, so is Chris/every male cast member.
    • There are also Max Adler and Darren Criss, also known as Marren or Adiss. I'll let this show one of the reasons why.
    • Some fans refer to the boys on the show as Amber's Harem, referring to Amber Riley. Kevin McHale has professed numerous times his love for Amber (and his desire to see a little Mercedes/Artie action), which has led to McRiley.
    • Other ship names: Kevin/Naya are Keya or McVera (the also call each other 'bee'); Kevin/Dianna Kevanna; Lea/Dianna Achele; Lea/Cory Monchele.
    • Heather Morris and Naya Rivera started out as a "twoshot". Naya thinks meeting Heather was the work of fate. Doesn't help that when Naya Rivera had a Facebook, there was one very affectionate picture of the two laying on the couch, Heather on top of Naya. There are other, more suggestive pictures as well, interviews were they fawn over each other, jokingly saying "we make out all the time", ass slaps exchanged throughout Glee Concert, Naya Rivera wanting Santana to get Brittany pregnant, the list of fuel goes on. Heather also thinks Naya "is a good kisser" way before "Heart" aired...
      • The Brittany/Santana couple started because fans began speculating on their relationship on and off scene. In other words, "Heya" invented "Brittana", not the other way around.
    • Kevin McHale and Grant Gustin also get this a lot, due to their constant tweets declaring their love for each other. What makes it better is that what kind of love is ambiguous (or as ambiguous as Grant describing his and Kevin's relationship as "true love" in a tweet).
  • There's a small sect of people who ship Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos, purely based on the immense amount of chemistry they had in Battlestar Galactica. Olmos has said that if McDonnell wasn't married, they would be married to each other. Take that as you will.
  • Oddly enough, some Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans think that Elliot and Olivia's actors have more chemistry than their characters. But they are the E/O tinhats.
  • Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick, playing the Gossip Girl couple Blair and Chuck, get a lot of this. Their shippers call them De Leight Ed.
    • Ironically, Blake Lively and Penn Badgely did not get so much of this, even though they played the season one alpha couple Serena and Dan and the actors were living together in real life.
    • Leighton and Blake are also shipped; they're known as Bleighton.
  • Noel Fielding and his Heterosexual Life Partner Julian Barrat get a ludicrous amount of this, probably due to them being Very touchy feely with each other and the fact that the characters for which they are best known (Howard and Vince from The Mighty Boosh) have a crazy amount of Unresolved Sexual Tension between them.
  • JAG: There was/is a lot of shipping among fans, often in the form of fanfiction, to different degrees with the two leads: Harm and Mac (or in some cases even the actors).
  • The A-Team: Dirk Benedict/Dwight Schultz. Face/Murdock is already a hugely popular pairing in the fandom, but these two love to play up the Ho Yay aspects of their friendship during interviews—just in the past few years, when they are in their 60s. They seem to get a huge kick out of it.
  • Most of the characters from the BBC Merlin series, but particularly Colin Morgan (Merlin) and Bradley James (Arthur).
    • In fact, Bradley's shipped with all his co-stars. Among the fanbase there is much speculation, interest, insistence, rivalry and (naturally) shipping wars concerning whether he's dating Katie McGrath, Colin Morgan, Angel Coulby, or all three. This is not helped at all by the actors themselves, who obviously adore the guy, and are constantly hugging, tickling, teasing, heckling, play-fighting, or sitting on his lap during roller-coaster rides.
    • Not to mention Bradley's quite large affection for Colin, as he films Colin the most from all his co-stars, teases him and likes to act like a show-off in front of him. He also says he views him as tiny and fragile, in spite of the fact that Colin is only two years younger than him. In one interview he even says Colin is his favorite co-star and that a little piece of his heart goes to him.
      • In fact, Bradley appears to be more attached to Colin than vice-versa (well, this could be more obvious in Bradley's case because Colin is more introverted), as Bradley himself declares he always goes to Colin during breaks from shooting scenes, because he likes to 'play with Colin'. At one point he even suggested they will grow old together.
      • He seems to have moved on a little bit, and is currently besotted with his Knights of the Round Table, admitting to a man-crush on Tom Hopper (Percival) and blowing a kiss to Santiago Cabrera (Lancelot) after Katie mentioned that they and Guinevere had a "great love story."
    • Mackhopp (Eoin Macken/Tom Hopper) seems to be getting quite popular amongst Merlin fans, especially the Perwaine (Percival/Gwaine) fans. Their conversations on twitter and pictures which have spread on tumblr have fuelled the ship.
      • Eoin Macken/Alex Vlahos has also leapt in popularity courtesy of Twitter.
  • Craig Horner and Bridget Regan, the two leads from Legend of the Seeker, were heavily shipped, probably because of their general adorableness in their joint interviews.
    • Bridget is now married with a kid, crushing the dreams of their shippers everywhere.
  • Castle fans seem to really ship Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic together to the point of calling it "Stanathan." It really didn't help that when Stana was asked in so many words whether she makes out with Nathan behind the set, she more or less evaded the question... It should be noted Fillion already has a girlfriend, and in recent months it appears Katic has become rather interested in Mark Polish, her costar in the 2011 indie movie "For Lovers Only." Mark Polish has a wife and son, though, so it's unlikely that pairing will happen, and there's not much evidence to suggest that Stana's interest in him was anything but professional. She's much more lively and playful when being interviewed jointly with Nathan as opposed to her "strictly business" demeanor with Mark.
  • Firefly:
    • There are some Browncoats (Fan Community Nickname) who ship Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin. Their characters Mal and Inara had a lot of Unresolved Sexual Tension.
    • Some Firefly fans ship Sean Maher and Jewel Staite. They enjoyed willTheOrWontThey and finally, They Do in the movie Serenity. The Actor Shipping ensues despite several obstacles: 1. She was married and is straight, and 2. He is gay and has a family with his significant other. Not that a thing like that can stop fans from shipping them. Not that they aren't helping things by teasing the fandom at times.
  • There is a strong following of the BBC program Sherlock who ship the leading actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively). The fact that the two are close friends and are, as of Winter 2011, filming both the second season of Sherlock and the Peter Jackson version of The Hobbit together, definitely adds fuel to the fire.
    • There was an interview in The Guardian in which Benedict said that Martin is helping him pick out his clothes.
    • There's no denying the fact that during the filming of the first season of Sherlock, Benedict broke up with his girlfriend of over ten years, Olivia Poulet.
    • And let's not forget the BAFTA's of 2011, where the two of them rather excessively gushed all over each other - in separate interviews, no less. Martin thanked Benedict in his acceptance speech, while Benedict in his own interview said he and Martin adore each other and then very awkwardly rushed to point out that said adoration was completely platonic.
    • To many, Benedict's apparent distress with any gay rumors makes him Ambiguously Gay.
    • In his recent MTV interview, Benedict spent an excessive amount of time to gush over Martin - again. He remarked how great was to hang out with him on the set of The Hobbit and how brilliant Martin will be as Bilbo. Nothing especially shippy, you'll say - but the interview is quite short and Martin is practically all Benedict talks about.
    • Martin has said in an interview that they would have no problem kissing on screen.
  • Farscape and Stargate SG-1's Ben Browder and Claudia Black, who are good friends in real life, have the onscreen chemistry of several nuclear warheads - see this fanvid, or any of a hundred others, for proof - and who reportedly practiced their kissing scenes on set so often their fellow cast and crew didn't even notice after awhile, but who are both happily married and not to each other. Browder has been married to actress Francesca Buller (a Farscape alum several times over) since 1989, and Black got married right before the shooting of the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries. This has not stopped the shippers whatsoever.
  • Many Soap Opera fans did this to their Super Couples in their heyday. And sometimes the actors themselves take the initiative: General Hospital's second super couple, Frisco Jones and Felicia Cummings, married on-screen in 1986. Their actors, Jack Wagner and Kristina Crump, married in 1993.
  • Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny of The X-Files fame got shipping treatment a lot. Hell, they were still getting it a decade after the end of the show. It happened in 2012 that Ms Anderson had broken up with her long-term boyfriend, and Mr Duchovny's marriage to Téa Leoni had been over as well. Many a rumour spread again, despite the fact that one of them lives in Great Britain and the other in the States. In addition, fan-cut videos involving their characters, but also their real-life appearances, are very popular, and comments like "How those two never ended up together I'll never know" or "Thumb up if you think Gillian and David ever did it" abound. Needless to say, their chemistry on the show was legendary.
    • In late 2013, they did a joint Reddit AMA—where their 'proof' picture is the two of them lying on a hotel bed. Twenty years after the X-Files first aired, and still going strong.
  • Downton Abbey has Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, who play the Earl and Countess of Grantham and practically ship themselves. It's the third time in their careers that they've played husband and wife. Tumblr went crazy over this particular ship.
    Interviewer: So do you stay married even though he loses the money?
    Bonneville: Yes.
    McGovern: Shh! We can't tell!
    Bonneville: Sorry! I thought you meant off set.
  • Sleepy Hollow has fans shipping leads Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. The fact that they're so gosh darned cute together doesn't help.
  • The Teen Wolf fandom is rife with this, the main couples seem to be Dylan O'Brien/Tyler Posey (due to them being very close on and off screen, and actually living together when they filmed s1) and Dylan O'Brien/Tyler Hoechlin (due to them playing the fandom's most popular ship, Stiles/Derek, and them being quite touchy feely with each other.)

     Politics 
  • In the male-dominated world of politics, it comes as little surprise that the reasonably attractive Sarah Palin has become a Launcher of a Thousand Ships. She seems to end up most often with Mitt Romney and Joe Biden. Of course, she's married and has kids, but the whole enterprise was pretty Tongue In Cheek to begin with.
  • The male political Launcher of a Thousand Ships seems to be former Obama Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel. He gets shipped with fellow politicians like Obama and Joe Biden, with pundits like Anderson Cooper and Jon Stewart, and even with fictional characters.
  • While covering the Euro debt crisis on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update", Seth Meyers tongue-in-cheekly declared himself a shipper for German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy, dubbing it "Germance" (that is, Germany and France): "How great is this pairing? They couldn't look more like a German woman and a French man if they were cartoons in a Tintin book."

    Sports 
  • Figure skating shipping and RPF has a huge, passionate and cut-throat fandom, especially big on the slash.
  • Beach volleyball players aren't generally shipped, but three-time Olympic gold medalists and superstars of the sport Misty May and Kerri Walshnote  broke that mold just like they broke all the others. Over the course of three Olympiads, they became probably the most popular athletic femslash ship outside gymnastics. It helps that they are ridiculously affectionate with each other, openly state that while their athletic partnership may be over (thanks to Misty's retirement) their other partnership most certainly is not, and cheerfully call said partnership a marriage.
  • Tennis fans have been having fun for years with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have been known to be on very good terms with each other, with Rafa especially occasionally fanboying his rival, and the Spanish media even officially proclaiming them "sports married." (When they have an argument in public, on the other hand, the media starts crying about a "rift."). The Guardian also briefly forayed into tennis shipping when Andy Murray, then split from his longtime girlfriend, and his fellow Brit Laura Robson first ventured into mixed doubles together, and were adorable at it, though things were hindered by Robson having barely turned 16, and it seems to have died down after Murray and his girlfriend reconciled.

    Theater 
  • The Takarazuka fandom does a lot of this. Apparently wanting two actresses to get it on doesn't figure into said fandom's long, long list of things that are disrespectful, as long as you don't use vulgar language while you're at it.
  • Due to being the original Glinda and Elphaba in Wicked, certain fans ship Chenzel, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. Despite the fact Idina is married with kids. This video (specifically when she kisses Kristin before her own husband, Taye Diggs...) They have their tons of Les Yay, due to their close friendship, which reaches Ambiguously Gay proportions.
  • Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon have been the subject of several rumors, due to their chemistry onstage and the fact that they're often cast together.
  • The cast of almost every modern ensemble musical gets a great deal of this, but American and its tour definitely stands out. In the original cast there's real life couple Leslie Mc Donel and Van Hughes, who are both on tour. The shipping isn't as crazy as in other fandoms, but there are definitely wild supporters of Alysha Umphress and Theo Stockman.
  • Patti Lu Pone and Mandy Patinkin have been best friends since Evita, and have a show that they tour together. As a result, a lot of fans seem to ship them, despite the fact that they are both married.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Abandon ShippingShipping TropesAnchored Ship
Abridged Arena ArrayAudience ReactionsAdaptation Displacement
Cargo ShipYMMV/That Guy with the GlassesAnimation Age Ghetto

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