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Die for Our Ship

Shipping leads people to be very mean at totally awesome characters.

Sometimes, a character is hated simply for their own characteristics — because he's annoying, because he came in after the show Jumped the Shark, because she's a raging Mary Sue and gets too much attention, or because he's the replacement of a fan favorite. The list goes on. But sometimes, a character — even one who was tolerated or even loved before — can become hated for a plot-related reason completely outside of their character: Shipping.

When Shipping comes into play, a character can wind up as viciously hated as any Scrappy — sometimes to the point that even people who have never even heard of the work or even the genre he or she appears in knows how much of the fandom hates this character — simply because he or she dared to get in the way of somebody's One True Pairing. As far as these fans are concerned, this character, and anyone else who gets in the way of their OTP, should Die For Our Ship.

This shipping-based Hatedom takes a variety of forms. Hate shrines. Death Fics. Revenge Fics of varying degrees of cruelty and sadism. Fics where the formerly sweet and loyal character cheats on the heroine with her two best friends and proceeds to murder her teammates, just so she can be with the Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or the Stalker with a Crush, the actual villain, her cousin, or even her brother, or whomever else the fan prefers. The list goes on, and they're all over the place. The fans (and the fanfic writers) in question often claim some other justification for treating the character this way, but really, let's not fool ourselves here: shipping and jealousy on behalf of a ship is the cause and the core of all this hatred.

Can we get a little MST3K Mantra here, please?

This is especially virulent when the 'ship the fans want is on the wrong side of Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends. Paradoxically, this character is as likely to actually be part of an Official Couple as not. Beware if you're a girl and people ship your male best friends as Yaoi Guys, or conversely, if you're a boy and you hang around girls who Yuri Fans ship together. Not all yaoi/yuri fans do this, but it's quite common; fans of heterosexual pairings, for whatever reason, only seem to strike when characters actually fall in love. It does not have to be mutual however.

All of the main characters in Harem Series run the risk of suffering this to varying degrees depending on their popularity in order to rationalize a fanfic author's 'ship, though the most likely haremette to suffer this is the lead female since she's most often the girl who wins. After all why should there be any hatred for the other characters if the author's OTP has been made canon? The Unlucky Everydude male lead rarely takes take the brunt of hatred since he'll usually compose one-half of an author's OTP. It generally only happens if fans have a preference to a Yuri Genre pairing with another member of the harem or if there's another more interesting male character around. In series with a prominent Betty and Veronica Love Triangle, the introduction of a Third-Option Love Interest will often result in the new love interest getting hit with this hard, as shippers on both sides of the triangle put aside their differences and unite against the newcomer.

The Clingy Jealous Girl is an odd example, as she usually loses but is given the same amount of hate from the fandom. Yamato Nadeshiko aren't free of bashing either, which increases a thousandfold if her love rival is deemed "cooler" or "less girly and therefore stronger" by female fans. Tsundere are vulnerable either way: if she's too tsuntsun she'll be called "Jerkass, man hater, wife/husband beater", and if she's too deredere she'll be seen as a victim of Chickification regardless of it truly happening or not.

One of the most unusual victim magnets is the Chaste Hero, whose simple non-information makes figuring things out mostly guesswork. Any Bishōnen, especially tough guys and the Ensemble Darkhorse, will also incite Ship-to-Ship Combat over whom he should be with, whether it be a Betty and Veronica in-series or a Mary Sue in a Self-Insert Fic.

It isn't even restricted to fictional characters either: real-life celebrities' love interests have become targets of hate too!

Ron the Death Eater is often a result of this. This isn't limited to the fanbase either; when the writer wants to get rid of a threat to the Official Couple in a similar way, they're Derailing Love Interests.

This type of character bashing is usually associated with militant fans of the Fan-Preferred Couple, and indeed some of the most infamous examples do come from them. However, this does not mean that canon shippers are always all oppressed martyrs. Unless the series is totally finished, certain canon shippers have a tendency to be rather territorial. It's common for the fans of the "victim" pairing to commit Die For Our Ship in return, and it can get just as nasty even if it did start out for the sake of potshotting.

A subtrope of both Shipping and Alternative Character Interpretation. Note: although many fans actually believe these types of theories, other fanfic writers may simply use this trope dispassionately as a plot device to enable an alternate pairing in a story.

Beware before you proceed, as the examples are sure to contain spoilers for whoever wins, or be particularly infuriating. But please, remember that like all Fan Dumb, most of these examples are strongly Vocal Minorities and not all shippers of the discussed pairing are "militant" or "rabid".


This page has gotten long enough to need subpages:


Crossover ShipShipping TropesDry Docked Ship
Ms. FanserviceSliding Scale of Character AppreciationComplete Monster
Default Setting SyndromeAudience ReactionsDirector Displacement
Designated VictimDouble StandardDomestic Abuse
Designated VillainBad Writing IndexDistress Ball
Designated HeroScrappy IndexDiscredited Meme
You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm AngryImageSource/Western AnimationFan-Preferred Couple

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