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Launcher of a Thousand Ships
aka: Fandom Bicycle
Katara is paired with everyone. Yes, even Appa and Momo.

I'm beginning to think he doesn't want me to ship him with everypony.
Silver Quill referring to Big MacIntosh

When shipping, some fans have OTPs 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. Come to think of it, everything. For example, if someone in the Harry Potter fandom says his Launcher is Snape, he will happily read Fanfics featuring the Snape/Harry ship as well as the Snape/Hermione ship, or Snape/Lupin ship, or the Snape/Lily ship, or even exotic pairings such as Snape/Legolas or Snape/Megatron. Anything goes as long as the Launcher character is included.

There is also a tendency for the entire fandom to consider a character a Launcher Of A Thousand Ships; notably, the 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 own brother), Claire (his own niecenote ) and even 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 Little Black Dress trope which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

This usually has to do with Wish Fulfillment: 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 Audience Surrogate, and they are paired with different characters that the fans lust after so they can project themselves onto this character.

Compare: Memetic Sex God, wherein the fandom believes that the character could score with not just everyone in the series, but everyone ever.

The Trope Namer is Christopher Marlowe's version of the legend of Faust. In reference to Helen of Troy, Faust asks, "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Illium?"


Examples:


Incest Yay ShippingShipping TropesThe Matchmaker
Junk RareYMMV/HomepageLawful Evil
Last Plan StandingJust for PunLet's Duet
Junk RareYMMVLawful Evil
I Was Quite a LookerImageSource/Western AnimationLegendary in the Sequel

alternative title(s): Fandom Bicycle; Shipping Magnet
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