In Air Gear The Ikki Minami/Kururu Sumeragi ship was hit by Oh!Great and took on water fast as of Chapter 327, since after gently thanking Kururu for her hard work, he chooses Ringo Noyamano as his "link turner" and Battle Couple partner.
Yasuko/Kyouko had its share of shippers, despite Yasuko's often cold behavior toward Kyouko. This ship finally sank for good when Yasuko starts studying in England and apparently begins a relationship with her roommate, who also happened to be the co-star of the School Play Yasuko played the lead in. The last smidgen of hope of Kyouko still winding up with Yasuko (or maybe even another girl) gets blown to smithereens when Kyouko is set up to get back with her fiance, Kou.
And after many chapters of confusion, Akira finally decides to dump Fumi after all. Since Shimura has a reputation of never fixing break-ups, this pretty much spells the end for that one.
Any fan with an interest in seeing Momo and Captain Aizen get together had their ship sunk when Aizen almost fatally wounds her in a poignant Kick the Dog moment as the first act in his Face-Heel Turn betrayal of the entire Soul Society.
Ships of Orihime with Grimmjow and Ulquiorra have officially been sunk. Orihime's (currently onesided) feelings for Ichigo are still there and have remained there all the time, and Ulquiorra has been dead for a while already. Grimmjow is still missing, though according to Kubo there's a chance he'll be back in the last manga arc... and he's strongly implied to be the Arrancar who finished Quilge Opie.
414 also killed the hopes and dreams of Gin X Aizen.
As of 416, Gin is dead. And that is the final nail in the coffin for Gin x Rangiku. Some would argue that Death Is Cheap, but considering that a whole Time Skip has passed and there's still not a single mention of Gin after all of that...
During the initial run of Cardcaptor Sakura, they very intentionally did this after one artist misunderstood and drew Tomoyo being infatuated with Sakura's brother Toya, making her behavior later get a Retcon of being because she thought he resembled Sakura, the real object of her affections. The ladies got a good laugh out of this later.
In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Fay D Flourite/Chii gathered a small but vocal fanbase. While this ship was pretty much doomed from the start in canon, due to Chii already having a canon soulmate in Hideki from Chobits, the ship was mostly based on a very misleading episode in the notorious Canon Discontinuity anime, 'Date With a Magician', in which Fay takes Chii out on a 'date' and Chii appears quite infatuated with him by the end of the episode. Also the two's affectionate behavior at the very beginning of the manga. The ship was officially sunk by CLAMP in the manga, however, when it was revealed that Fay had purposefully created Chii to look just like his deceased mother for her to protect and watch over his dead twin brother Yuui's body. People often forget that Syaoran's mother was Sakura too, but Sakura/Syaoran had been well known since Cardcaptors, so people don't think it is wrong..
×××HOLiC sinks practically every pairing to a certain degree by the end of the story. Watanuki/Himawari and Watanuki/Doumeki (and Doumeki/Watanuki/Himawari) all get sunk when it's revealed that Himawari now has a husband, and that Doumeki marries Kohane. But Kohane also was in love with Watanuki, so that under-the-radar ship got sunk as well in the process. Watanuki now has a Single-Target Sexuality of sorts for Yuuko. Then there's Yuuko herself who died 3/4 of the way through the series. Basically, come the last chapter, no one gets to be with the person they love the most.
In episode 18, the three alternate crushes are swiftly dispatched all at once during a tennis match, becoming increasingly miserable as Tomoya's unconscious behavior makes it crystal-clear what the Official Couple is. (There's always the Visual Novel, and the special episodes where Tomoya hooks up with Tomoyo or Kyou instead.)
The Visual Novel is not much less merciless, especially if you consider that more than a good third of the game (After Story, the canon sequel to the School Arc) is devoted entirely to Nagisa. Even if you ignore that third, the game still leans towards Nagisa.
Code Geass had not one, not two, but three serious shipping candidates for protagonist Lelouch (Ho Yay aside). Each and every one was deliberately and emphatically torpedoed.
Lelouch/Kallen: Sunk late in the second season after many Ship Teases and Moment Killers, when Kallen pours her heart out to Lelouch, and he doesn't respond at all, standing there with a blank look on his face, which leads her to believe that he doesn't care. In Kallen's character poem, which came with the DVD, she states that if he had said he loved her, even if it had been a lie, she "would even follow [him] to hell", and acknowledges that this is probably the reason he didn't answer her. Given that he was about to embark upon the path to world domination, only to have himself assassinated to facilitate world peace, it makes sense he'd want to distance himself from her.
Lelouch/C.C.: Sunk (or at least badly damaged) by Word of God around the end of the first season, when Yukana (C.C.'s seiyuu) said in interviews that the love C.C. feels for Lelouch is purely motherly and not really romantic. They still did a little Ship Tease for the fans when an amnesiac C.C. seems to develop romantic feelings for Lelouch during the second season.
The possible Suzaku x Kallen ship, which may never have been meant to set sail from the get go, considering that Kallen truly despises Suzaku and has tried to kill him on many an occasion. But what really sunk the ship was when Suzaku decided to use Refrain on her, and then decided against it at the last minute, opting to drug her instead. Then in the next episode, just to make sure the ship stayed sunk, they had Kallen use a 7 hit combo to beat the tar out of him.
The possibility of Suzaku x Euphemia was sunk when Euphemia died after being shot by Lelouch in Episode 23 of Season 1.
Just for laughs, an episode had Daisuke doing his best to impress Hikari... and V-Mon trying to ship himself with Tailmon. It didn't ended well for them, and at the end of the series, both of them had given up on their crushes and moved on.
Elfen Lied: Fan favourite couple Lucy/Kouta seemed to have some floating in the anime, but when the Manga arrived to the part of having Kouta remember that she killed his family, all hopes came crashing down and he ended up with Team Mom Yuka — and this is after Lucy's death, much to the rage of some fans.
The first anime of Fullmetal Alchemist had one of these where essentially everyone was screwed. There was a lot of contention between Ed/Winry and Ed/Rose factions, but both ships were sunk with a single torpedo when Ed was shunted into another reality. OUR reality.
Future GPX Cyber Formula: The Kaga/Kyoko relationship had enough Ship Teasing in Zero and Saga to hint at their relationship, and in the final episode of Sin, it looked like they may finally get together (they even kissed!), but then Kaga retiring from Cyber Formula for good and going to America on an airplane, with Kyoko walking away disheartened dashed all hopes of them being together.
Gundam Wing: The sequel novel Frozen Teardrop, written by the show's head author, has gone and put coffin nails in a few ships already.
Wu Fei/Sally: Sally has a daughter named Kathy, but not with Wu Fei (Kathy is his subordinate in Preventer).
Duo/Hilde: Between the show and the novel they got married, got divorced, had a son, and Hilde died off-"camera" with Duo never remarrying).
Heero/Relena: He spent the last 30-odd years in cryogenic stasis, and while Relena was also in stasis, the entire reason he was revived is to kill her...
A Zigzagging Trope in regards to Trowa/Quatre: At first Trowa (now Doktor T) was seen spending time with Quatre's little sister Catherine, and there was no word about Quatre. Then Catherine is also seen with Trowa Phobos, a young man trained by Trowa and Catherine Bloom... and also "Milliardo's" assassin., and her brother Quatre is now known as Instructor Q and Trowa's partner in building new Gundams. Neither of the two are married, and in the meantime, Trowa Phobos and Catherine are seen getting closer...
Super Robot Wars Z does a better job at sinking the Shinn and Stella pairing partially by having Shinn and Luna's relationship not be so badly fumbled so that it lives up to Fukuda's claims that theirs was the ONLY pairing experiencing true love. In Setsuko's route, provided Stella is saved, one of Shinn's first lines when she comes on board is to tell Luna he considers Stella like a sister.
The heavily hinted at Dearka/Miriallia ship from SEED was also sunk in Destiny in an even more unsatisfying way. One scene where Athrun mentions he met Dearka on the PLANTs, and Miriallia's reaction is 'oh, him ', and the next scene when she arrives on the Archangel and Murdoch asks her about what happened between them, and she says 'I dumped him'. All off-screen, of course. In a bizarre semi-subversion though, some fans of the ship were actually excited about this, as it meant that the couple had gotten together at one point. To this day there is a great deal of Fanon that interprets their relationship as one of those bickering on again, off again things.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, by pre-releasing the character designs of the three Generational Protagonists from the very start, is a unique case where any and all other possible pairings involving the first two main protagonists (aside from the obvious Flit/Emily and Asemu/Romary) are essentially killed off before they even begin - or for that matter, before the series has even started airing in the first place - due to the obvious need for Flit's son and grandson to have their mothers' respective hair colors come the next generation.
Gunslinger Girl. Despite Ship Tease comments from cyborg Triela on how she feels for her handler Hilshire, the latter hooking up with prosecutor Roberta Guellfi appears to have killed off even a strictly platonic romance, with them instead reverting to their surrogate father/daughter dynamic. It doesn't help that Triela was Genre Savvy enough to realize that a good part of her feelings might be instilled by her training/brainwashing, thus decided to not pursue them.
Harukanaru Toki No Naka De: The manga, apart from the popular (and author-preferred) Akane/Yorihisa ship, had quite a bit of fans of Akane/Tenma, Akane/Yasuaki, and to a lesser extent Akane/Akuramnote of course, there are plenty of other guys, but these seem to be among the most popular. The last one was technically doomed by defaultnote via Akuram being the main villain and not even being a possible choice in the game until its remake version, and Akane becoming determined to defeat Akuram proved the ship to be too fragile to survive. Then the story continued going in the Yorihisa direction, firmly established when the incident with a not-fully-conscious kiss occurred. Even after Tenma was implied to have given up, the dramatic tension went on, since there was still a small possibility left that the manga might at least go for an open ending... until all alternate ships were sunk (or at least severely damaged) in the finale when Akane took Yorihisa to "our" world. Of course, Haruka being a franchise derived from a Dating Sim, it was bound to upset somebody...
Hellsing: Any Ship with Seras Victoria other than Seras/Pip. Word of God states that that "if Seras wasn't a vampire and Pip wasn't a mercenary, they would be the perfect couple, everybody would be envious of". See also their entry on the Official Couple page.
InuYasha repeatedly attempts to sink Sesshomaru/Rin. Rin became a Shipper on Deck for Sesshomaru and Kagura, and the manga clearly portrayed that kind of thing as being ridiculous when the characters all found out that Miroku had proposed to an eleven year old girl to bear his child when she got older, and everyone was disgusted, even though Koharu had returned to Miroku when she was grown up. The shippers had their ship completely destroyed when the final chapter came out and it turns out that they not only never get together, Rin had also left Sesshomaru's side — with both parties consenting. The ship still goes strong, but hey, you tried.
Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl: The anime adaptation did this in a rather cruel way. After Hazumu gets her girl, and the final episode had aired, an OVA came out. Hazumu and Yasuna had broken up, because the latter wanted to be independent; which makes no sense since that didn't mean she had to break up with Hazumu. At the end of the episode, Hazumu and Tomari gain a Relation Ship Upgrade and get married. The OVA seems to be pure fanservice for the shippers, since most strings had been tied and the ending did nothing.
K-On!: Fans who had picked up on the chemistry between Yui and Azusa were very disappointed when in the movie, Azusa gets very upset when she suspects Yui might have feelings for her. But honestly, the fact that Azusa's emotional outburst from the manga got rewritten to be aimed at the whole groupinstead of just Yui should already have sounded some alarm bells.
Mahou Sensei Negima! sinks all the most popular ships at the clearly rushed end. Negi tells Asuna who he likes and it's apparently someone surprising and definitely not her. Nodoka and Yue later indicate that they were both rejected, Evangeline is still after Nagi, Chisame is a NEET and even less popular options like Shiori and Anya seem to be shot down with their failure to even appear.
Mai-Otome: Arika/Sergay gets torpedoed when in Episode 22, Sergay admits that he had feelings for Arika, but that he will put them aside to follow Nagi's orders to capture or kill her for Nina's sake, and Arika also acknowledges that she will do what she must. At the end of the series, Sergay loses his memories and lives on a remote farm with Nina, enabling Nina to establish a new and presumably romantic relationship with him as a mature woman, without Sergay remembering or even encountering Arika.
Sayaka / Boss: Early on Boss was very infatuated with Sayaka who was totally smitten with Kouji. However, Sayaka's reaction during one of the finalr arcs of the manga suggests maybe Boss had one chance... but he did not take it. So he (romantically) cared no longer or he valued his friendship with Kouji too for trying anything with Sayaka.
Kouji / Erika: Erika was a enigmatic, amnesiac girl showed up one day in the Institute. There was a certain chemistry between Koui and her... but it went nowhere since it was revealed she was anandroid. And then she got murdered.
Tetsuya / Misato: Misato was Boss' cousin and a secondary character during Mazinger Z last season. She also showed up in the Great Mazinger manga penned by Gosaku Ota. Even though he liked Jun, Tetsuya found himself attracted to her, but then she got brutally murdered by Marquis Janus. Tetsuya himself died shortly after commiting a Heroic Sacrifice.
Kouji / Hikaru: In one episode it was told Kouji was infatuated with Hikaru but he never tried anything with her out of respect for his friend Duke. Cue Duke's sister Maria Grace showing up in the next episode (and keep in mind it was Sayaka who was meant to show up instead of her).
Duke / Hikaru and Kouji / Maria: Both pairings kind of sunk at the end of the series when Duke and Maria left Earth, forcing themselves to leave their friends behind for the sake of rebuilding their homeworld.
Not long after stabbing Karin, Sasuke tried to kill Sakura in cold blood not once, not twice, but thrice. The last two attempts occured within about five minutes of each other. But it refuses to go down. Sakura is shown thinking of Sasuke in a negative light, when a Iwagakure shinobi confessed his love for her, got rejected, and then comments that the one she love must be a great person. On the other hand, Sasuke verbally apologized to Karin after her jailbreak, and she still have the hots for him.
Chapter 614 sunk the possibility of either Neji/Hinata or the relatively-popular Beta CoupleNeji/Tenten, specifically because Neji is now dead.
The manga devotes quite a bit of time to shifting Kaworu's status with the rest of the cast. Namely, Shinji makes it vocally clear he can't stand Kaworu (as opposed to latching onto him like in the anime), while Rei instantly susses out what he is and tells him to stay far away from her.
Rebuild 3.0 sinks pretty much every single ship involving Shinji, after delivering piles of Ship Tease for them. Rei is long-gone, Asuka says he is just a kid, (due to now being technically twice his age), and Kaworu dies rather horrifically.
Aiko makes it ambiguous as to whether she likes Anrima or not, but they begin dating after Ojamajo Doremi Dokka~n! However, Aiko mentions in Ojamajo Doremi 16 that they've broken up.
Marina and Kimura break up in Ojamajo Doremi 17 offscreen. It's not explicitly mentioned, but when you read the context of how it's implied, you can reasonably guess that they drifted apart in pursuit of their dreams, which matter more to them than their relationship.
Eiichiro Oda must be a least somewhat aware of fandom's shipping tendencies since he apparently had the foresight to launch a couple of good sized torpedoes at the potential Luffy/Hancock ship. Special note needs to be taken of Luffy explicitly rejecting her proposal of marriage after the time skip. You really can't get much more straightforward than that.
He also seems to have issues with the Zoro/Nami ship's popularity in Japan. The ship's main basis is the so-called "sexual tension" indicated by their fighting, yet it's shown that he's not even attracted to her, to the point that his lack of interest is almost a running gag, dating back to the Alubarna onsen scene when he and the non-human Chopper were the only ones to not bother peeping at Nami and Vivi.
And Sanji/any woman period. Several times.
Ouran High School Host Club has minor Ship Tease for many different Haruhi pairings, but especially for Haruhi/Hikaru, to the point that many shippers of said pairing began to hope that it may become canon (although it was pretty obvious which pairing Haruhi would end up in), but that ship was sunk when it's confirmed in the manga that Tamaki and Haruhi would be together, and Hikaru gives up on her.
The anime seems to attempt to sink Tracey/Misty every single time they appear onscreen together. Misty outright says Tracey is not her boyfriend twice in the Chronicles dub.
Takeshi Shudo, a former chief writer of the anime, managed to sink all Ash Ketchum ships from beyond the grave with his blogs. While it's not as if the current writers of the show are bound by that, the very nature of the show makes it unlikely to change.
In Queen's Blade, though Irma and Echidna had a canonical Teacher/Student Romance in the backstory, in the present, Irma is no longer interested in Echidna, making it very clear to her that when Echidna chose to up and leave Irma in the middle of the night, she ended their relationship permanently, leading to Old Flame Fizzle when they cross paths again.
Ranma/Nabiki: The story "Nabiki, Ranma's New Fiancee" saw Ranma's engagement transferred to Nabiki by Akane after a temper tantrum on the latter's part. Nabiki promptly spends the rest of the story indulging her Chaotic Evil side, emotionally tormenting Ranma and selling him off to dozens of people (including, in the manga, a scene designed to showcase that the other members of Ranma's Love Dodecahedron are villains by having Nabiki offer to auction him off to them, only for them to decide that they can just kill her and take him), in between attempts to offer to let Akane, Ranma or both pay her to get her to switch the engagement back to Akane. When Ranma approaches her and asks her out on a date, Nabiki decides that things have gotten too boring and promptly arranges for Ranma and Akane to make up.
Ranma/Ryoga: In the "Koi Rod of Love" story arc, Ryoga acquires a magical fishing rod that will cause anyone he "catches" to fall in love with him for cheap, and promptly tries to use it on Akane, only to accidentally catch Ranma. When he realises why Ranma is acting so weird, Ryoga is so disgusted that he promptly bundles the (presumed) sleeping Ranma up and carries "her" deep into the woods, digging a grave and planning on killing Ranma in his/her sleep so that he can then bury the body out here, thus allowing him to woo Akane and, more importantly, getting Ranma to stop flirting with him. While he initially finds himself unable to do it when Ranma tells him that "she" is willing to let him do it, he promptly resumes trying to kill Ranma when she takes that hesitance for a sign of affection. When Ranma is finally cured, he promptly beats the snot out of Ryoga and is shown deriding him as a disgusting pervert in the finale.
Ryoga/Ukyo: "Oh, Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love! Let My Love Be Forever!" was the story used to sink this Ship in the manga. Ukyo makes plans to see Ranma and Akane go through a haunted tunnel whose resident spirits exist to break up loving couples, with a reputation that those split up by the tunnel are cursed to never repair their broken relationship. However, to get in, she needs to partner up with Ryoga. Seeing how Ryoga and Ukyo act much like they themselves do (bickering and squabbling over Ryoga's bungling), Ranma and Akane jump to the conclusion that they are a couple (and seem to approve, amusingly enough), as do the ghosts who wind up ignoring Ranma and Akane's Belligerent Sexual Tension to focus instead on "breaking up" the seemingly-reconciled Ryoga and Ukyo. In the manga, the story ends with Ryoga and Ukyo vehemently blaming each other for things going wrong. Wether it means the curse struck or not, for the entire rest of the series they hardly spoke to each another again. The anime, however, hits a somewhat different note — while they are eventually forced apart, they are shown taking turns saving each other from the monsters, getting a Back-to-Back Badasses moment in the process, and the story doesn't end with them yelling at each other but collapsing and being teased as lovebirds by practically all of Nerima. Many people have seen the episode as promoting the couple, which can make the original manga something of a shock to someone who saw the anime first.
Shampoo/Mousse: It's hard to say that this ship was ever sunk, as Mousse was pretty much always portrayed as a Stalker with a Crush, but the second-last story of the manga has Mousse give up a chance to make Shampoo his devoted slave (which is rather jarring, seeing as how all of his Establishing Character Moments are about how amoral and obsessed he is with getting Shampoo's "love", even declaring he would happily participate in a rigged fight if it would get him Shampoo's hand)... with the next panel showing the freed Shampoo glomping onto Ranma and thanking him for saving her, acting as though Mousse isn't even in the room.
Nabiki/Kuno: While this was never officially shipped, it was (and is) a common Fan-Preferred Couple, as Kuno is rich and gullible, while Nabiki really likes money and enjoys messing with people for her own amusement. The result is a Ship TeaseFiller story in both the manga and the anime, both of which end with the idea being made fun of. In the manga, Kuno and Nabiki end up momentarily falling under a literal Umbrella of Togetherness and Nabiki promptly demands that Kuno pay her money for being there with her, and is horrified that she charged such a (relatively) small amount when they are set loose. In the anime, a wandering fortune teller predicts that Kuno will marry Nabiki... while the horrified Kuno tries to reluctantly go along with what he believes is foretold, he finds himself unable to give up his perverse lust and ends up with a beating from all three girls after announcing he's figured out that he will wed Nabiki as his official wife and keep Akane and Ranma-chan as concubines. He then discovers that the prediction was totally wrong, because Sasuke accidentally used the wrong firewood in the mystic flames, and goes berserk, savagely attacking both of them off-screen as the end credits roll for putting him through such an experience.
Strawberry Panic! ended in disappointment for many Tamao x Nagisa and Yaya x Hikari fans to say the least.
The creators of Tiger & Bunny like to play around with this. Episode 4 reveals Karina's crush on Kotetsu, a Widower Hero with a kid. She doesn't find out about his wife and daughter until ep.9, upon which she seems to abandon pining for him. But following a Love Epiphany in ep.14, she realizes she can't help her feelings. The 25th episode shows Karina apparently deciding that she wants to Romance The Widower after all (take a look at the picture on the trope's main page), but then...the series ends. Kotetsu's utter obliviousness throughout the story frustrated a lot of fans, to say the least. However, the creators' later comments that "her crush was meant to be depicted as hopeless" did little to deter some shippers.
Wandering Son had two ships sunk the chapter they were first shown. Two children became infatuated with Takatsuki and Chiba in chapter 97, only for around page thirteen the mangaka stating they'll get married in thirteen years.
When Komachi and Nuts's mutual attraction became undeniable in the middle of episode 26, you could practically hear the maniac screaming from the Coconuts and Karen/Komachi shippers. (Meanwhile the Rin/Nuts shippers just kind of whimpered.)
The adverts for the sequel, GoGo, announced Syrup was going to be shipped with Rin. Next thing you know, he forms some kind of bond with Urara, especially in episode 18 (and the very couple-hinting scene near the end. Cue the collective Squee from the Syrup/Urara fanbase.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Though usually the writers don't bother to sink shippings, in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds they seemingly felt like doing so. Pretty unusual case though, subverting the common First Girl Wins. Mikage Sagiri was the very first female character introduced in the show, crushing on Jack Atlas since the very beginning. Still she got pretty much dismissed by him in episode 30, and eventually was completely (and pretty harshly) turned down by him in episode 45, in favor of a girl who appeared an entire season later.
Zoids: Chaotic Century: The Thomas/Fiona ship was sunk in episode 51, after Van went missing after being defeated by Raven. Irvine told Thomas that Fiona loved Van, and after this point, Thomas stopped flirting with Fiona.
Zoids: New Century: The Bit/Leena ship was sunk in the third episode. After Harry challenged Bit to a Zoid battle, Bit was horrified when he realised that Leena would go to the winner. After Bit defeated Harry, he told him that he could have her.
Subverted (or maybe just poorly executed) in Fairy Tail. Jellal informs Erza that their relationship can't happen-he's gotten a fiancee over the time skip. However, it's quickly revealed to the audience that Jellal completely made that up in order to discourage Erza in a guilt complex guided of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. Doesn't help that they were in the middle of kissing when he decided to try and call things off either.
Played with in Magi - Labyrinth of Magic, shippers of Alibaba x Morgiana were dissapointed when it seemed Alibaba started dating Toto while he was in Reim but as it turned out Alibaba was just lying in order to keep from disappointing everyone over the fact he couldn't get a girlfriend and Toto's blushing face was because she was drunk. So the only ship sunk was the one that was supposedly doing the sinking.
Another one that Ian killed was Sonic/Fiona and Tails/Fiona, the former of which hooked up near the end of Ken Penders' run. Some had theorized that Ken had done so due to the fact that Sonic and Fiona were a couple in a fan comic Ian had done before coming to Archie. Ian promptly sunk it by having Fiona reveal that she only fell in love with him because she thought he'd be the same as his Evil Twin, Evil Sonic. Fiona, then, sunk Tails/Fiona by telling him how gullible he was to think he felt that way about her and backhanded him. Interestingly, Sonic's relationship with Fiona would be a point with a small falling out between Sonic and Tails.
Sonic Universe Issue 58's off-panel◊ takes a jab at Silver/Blaze. Blaze burns Marine's paper, with Marine complaining that she's "sinking her ship".
There was huge May/Brad shipping. At least until she discovered he hates mutants and people with superpowers. From this time she can't even stand five minutes near him. Tom DeFalco was playing Will They or Won't They? for years, and sink it in one issue. And it worked!
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in the comics based on the DCAU - Ivy crashing the Joker and Harley's wedding leads Harley to dissolve their friendship once and for all. And in Gotham City Sirens #24 the Les Yay between Harley and Ivy is acknowledged and weaponized by Harley against Ivy when Ivy tries to "save" Harley from the Joker's influence. Near the end of the issue, Selina turns on Ivy as payback for one of Ivy's attacks in the past.
Blackest Night sinks Kyle Rayner/Donna Troy, with both Kyle and Donna taking great pains to explain to Jade how utterly not interested in each other they are.
In Ultimate X-Men the Nightcrawler/Colossus ship was brutally sunk when it was revealed in issue 67 that despite being persecuted for being a blue demonic mutant and otherwise being one of the purest nicest guys on the team, Nightcrawler is suddenly a homophobe with a creepy obsession with Dazzler.
Back in the mainline Marvel Universe, Jim Shooter wrote a romantic sublot for Colossus in the middle of Secret Wars for the express purpose of finally putting an end to the Kitty/Colossus relationship, a longstanding point of complaint by Shooter (for good reason — his concern was not with the relationship itself, but with the fact that Kitty was at the time 14 and Colossus was 19, and so was concerned with reasonable worries about how the relationship would be perceived by Moral Guardians.) The followup issue of Uncanny X-Men was Claremont taking the plotline and running with it.
In X-Men Forever, Kitty starts to have romantic feelings for Gambit. Gambit turns her down, pointing out that at the time this is going on, she is going through a massive amount of mental and physical trauma concerning her assimilation of Wolverine's claw and powers, and that she is not thinking straight.
Mixed with Die for Our Ship. So Devin Grayson doesn't like Dick/Kory and prefers Dick/Babs? Easy way to solve it: she makes Kory a shrill bitch to favor Babs. And then it gets worse.
Beast Boy and Raven was sunk before it really got started. Fans had been shipping the couple almost as soon as the animated series got off and running. Not long after Geoff Johns took over the Titan comic book, he made it pretty clear he was a Gar and Raven fanboy and after a year of teasing, put them together in 2005. Infinite Crisis and 52 came and went, and one timeskip later courtesy of One Year Later, and Gar and Raven were broken up. Once Johns left, other writers teased the two getting back together for a few more years, and eventually they DID get back together in Teen Titans #100... but then the New 52 relaunch happened, rebooting the timeline and placing Gar on The Ravagers, another team entirely (alongside his other love interest Terra). However, in the last issue of The Ravagers, Terra is captured by Deathstroke and Beast Boy is left for dead, but Raven finds him and takes him to the Teen Titans to stop Trigon.
Within the New Titans run, Marv Wolfman played with Terra II and Damage having feelings for each other, but quickly sunk the ship by the end of the series (with Damage feeling too put upon by Terra). Terra II also had feelings for Beast Boy, but he rejected her advances due to her resembling the original girl who betrayed him (although some fans still wanted to pair them together, regardless). Meanwhile, in the same run, any chances of Gar continuing to be paired off with his non-superhero girlfriend Jillian were sunk (and Jillian vanished forever) after Terra II got into a catfight with her and threatened her life to "stay away".
Wonder Girl and Superboy were the Official Couple throughout most of volume 3, but after Kon died for a time, Adam Beechen and Sean McKeever both had the intent of a Robin/Wonder Girl pairing... which wound up sunk itself and not lasting long. Kon then returned from the dead, but the Superboy/Wonder Girl ship wound up sunk when they broke up in JT Krul's run.
Robin (Tim Drake) and Secret from the Young Justice comic. Robin/Secret fans kept on sending letters to the editor about how they want them to end up together, despite the fact that Robin was never interested in any of his female team members and it looked like Secret's crush was unrequited. Finally, Peter David addressed the 'pairing' in issue #30, where Secret finds out about Robin's girlfriend Stephanie Brown, stalks her back to her house and attacks her in a jealous rage. After that, Robin kept being oblivious to Secret's feelings for him and she ended up being unstable and went over the dark side in the last few issues — which resulted in her attacking Stephanie for the second time. If this isn't ship sinking I don't know what it is.
Marvel has attempted to break up Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson many times. They tried The Clone Saga, then they tried killing MJ in a plane crash, but neither worked for long. Then the infamous One More Day storyline broke them up for good, when they had been married for roughly twenty years in real time, so Spider-Man could back to being a swinging bachelor. Or at least that's what Marvel claimed; in practice they missed the "swinging bachelor" part by setting him up with Relationship Sue Carlie Cooper.
Every new creative team of Runaways since Vaughn and Alphona's departure from the series has made sure to sink at least one ship during their run. Joss Whedon sank both Nico/Victor by having Nico willingly step aside to let Victor pursue Lillie McGurty, and put a good-sized hole in Nico/Karolina by having Xavin finally stop trying to pretend to be male all the time. Later, Terry Moore all but obliterated Karolina/Xavin, by having Xavin take Karolina's place when she was accused of war crimes. Kathryn Immonen apparently tried to sink Nico/Chase by having Chase get hit by a car after possibly running into Gert, but then the series was cancelled. Nico/Karolina took another broadside, after the Runaways appeared in Avengers Academy, which led to Karolina hooking up with Julie Power.
An issue of Hawkeye seems to do this to all three of his most prominent romantic relationships: he cheats on Jessica who breaks up with him, finally signs divorce papers for his marriage with Bobbi, and Natasha is thought of as his work wife.
Readers of At Soul's Edge, one of the numerous adaptations of the original plot of Baldur's Gate, were apparently suggesting the heroine would make a good match with Edwin, who hadn't even appeared in the story so far. The author disagreed. So Edwin made his appearance - the characters happened upon his hanging, which was executed without interruption.
Subverted in Kyon Big Damn Hero. Kyon has accepted he has some feelings beyond friendship for all girls in the SOS Brigade but has refused to take the initiative on any of them (his Arranged Marriageand the kisses received from all of the girls from the brigade adding extra pressure doesn't help). Yuki comments "It is not ... mutual" when Kyon stayed to comfort her (Yuki had to save Kyon of something that makes her afraid). After Kyon's answer, who believed she was talking about their relationship and even had to give himself a Better as Friends inner monologue, Yuki explains that she really wanted to say is her own actions aren't on par of what she expected Kyon to do.
In White Devil of the Moon, Nanoha/Yuuno is ruled out as an option when it is mentioned that Nanoha and Yuuno have drifted apart over the years because of how busy they were at their respective jobs. Later, Nanoha/Mamoru gets sunk when Nanoha's date with him goes poorly, and after visiting the moon and rejecting her past life as Princess Serenity, Nanoha and Fate kiss.
The Elder Scrolls: Equestria. Depending on your point of view, it might have one of the most heartwarming ship sinks out there. Shae confesses that she loves Caro. The feeling is mutual, and they share an embrace... but the narration makes it clear they do so as friends and nothing more. And given that's their most intimate interaction in the whole story, we can consider that ship dead and buried.
For people who haven't read the books, the scene in Jurassic Park III between Ellie's kid and Alan was a major blow when we discover he is not the father.
Star Wars did this with Luke and Leia. Lucas strung the fans along until the third movie and BAMM! sprang the family relations card.
If you liked the weird romance between Stu and Jade in the first Hangover film, the sequel will disappoint you.
In Tamora Pierce's Provost series, the Beka/Rosto ship favorite is sunk in a big way when she ends up falling (really quickly) for a completely new character, Farmer, effectively nulling all the delicious ship flaunting from the first and second books. While the new Love Interest is perfectly acceptable (even likable), the fandom is still in hysterics.
Louis and Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles. After becoming super religious after a death in the family, Anne Rice had all Vampire Chronicles fanfiction removed from Fanfiction.net, had Lestat date the Queen for awhile, then pawned Louis off to a witch with Lestat's blessing. She also did this to Marius, who ended up with neither Armand nor Pandora.
In Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, despite the vocal Laurence/Emily Roland shipping presence on Deviant ART, this ship is sunk when Emily displays clear romantic affections for Demane in Crucible of Gold. Not that the ship wasn't creepy to begin with.
In Twilight's first three books, Bella comes to love Jacob and even agonizes over whether to choose him or Edward. Although it's pretty obvious she'd end up with the vampire, there is some tension in the third book. At the very least, the huge Jacob fandom hoped for some sort of relationship before the inevitable. Then the ship was totally torpedoed in the fourth book when Jacob imprints (soul-mate, true-love, only-one-for-him recognition) on Bella's infant daughter. Bella's infant daughter.
It almost seems like Louisa May Alcott wrote the first sequel to Little Women deliberately to sink the Jo/Laurie ship ("I won't marry Jo to Laurie to please anybody," she wrote in her diary); Jo March's marriage to Professor Bhaer in Little Women is a confirmed Authorial Take That to Jo/Laurie shippers. Alcott showed NO mercy to her fans' demands of having Jo marry Laurie — a Like Brother and Sister speech, an Ill Girl who chases all thoughts of other love from Jo's mind, Jo marrying her other best male friend and beta-reader (the aforementioned Bhaer) when she's "back", and a Last Minute Hook Up for Laurie with Jo's little sister Amy. According to the Introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of the book, Louisa May Alcott wrote the following to a friend, Alf Whitman:
J. K. Rowling had to do this thrice for the Harry/Hermione ship. First, in an interview about the possible pairing, Rowling said she didn't think they were suited for each other. Secondly in Half Blood Prince, with Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron becoming canon (and then the internet exploded). To drive the nail in the coffin, the last book has Harry giving the "Like Brother and Sister" speech to Ron, right after a scene in which Harry and Hermione appear as an evil illusion intended entirely to enrage Ron into attacking Harry. And it uses frequent Harmonian arguments, at that.
The films tried to sink H/Hr a lot sooner and more explicitly than the books note from the awkward handshake between Ron and Hermione at the end of Chamber to Hermione grabbing Ron's hand during the "Harry with Buckbeak" sequence in Prisoner, but it was made hard by the screenwriter Steve Kloves being a confessed Harmonian. The aforementioned Like Brother and Sister speech gets an awkward mention in Half-Blood Prince, but is nowhere to be found in Deathly Hallows. This, summed to the fact that Ginny's character was... well, grossly derailed in the later movies, and many of Ron's (and other people's) heroic scenes were given to Hermione, left much of the movie-only audience thinking Hermione and Harry were being set up as a couple.
Some Sirius/Remus shippers think that JKR paired up Remus with Tonks solely to disprove the first ship (despite Sirius being dead at the time, and the entire premise of this argument only makes sense if you assume that there are No Bisexuals). The Pottermore Lupin biography, on the other hand, led to much more legitimate wailing and gnashing of teeth by Wolfstar shippers, when it omitted any mention of Remus/Sirius at all from the story of Lupin's life.
Luna/Neville took a torpedo after Order of the Phoenix was published. When asked about the seeming rapport that the "two misfits" of the Order had, JKR said that she had no plans to make that a pairing, noting that she thought Luna was far too weird for Neville's comfort levels. Word of God post-series sunk it even harder, as Neville and Luna end up with different people. The last movie makes Luna/Neville canon, one of the few major book/movie relationship differences - until even that got sunk, when Matthew Lewis (who plays Neville) stated that the film's pairing was just a "summer fling", and that both characters did eventually move on to their canon pairings.
Draco Malfoy and his fellow Slytherin girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson. Rowling stated that Draco went on to marry Astoria Greengrass, a Slytherin girl two years his junior who never appeared in the books.
Percy Weasley and Penelope Clearwater; according to Rowling, Percy married a woman named Audrey who also was not seen in the books.
A possible relationship between Minerva Paradizo and Artemis Fowl seems particularly well-sunk, as she is barely mentioned in the two books since her introduction. In order to send the ship straight to the bottom, Colfer said on Twitter that she would not be appearing in book 7, as she was "involved with a skier in the Alpes Maritime at the moment and only has eyes for him."
Fan-favorite pairing, Artemis Fowl II and Holly Short, is treated rather inconsistently by Colfer. They kiss in book 6 and book 7 is very focused on Artemis's feelings for Holly, with the book description itself playing up "embarrassing professions of love to a certain feisty LEPrecon fairy." yet Colfer has said, as the final book approaches, that Artemis and Holly will not end up together.
Trouble/Holly was torpedoed in the eighth book, when it's revealed that they were thrown out of a crunchball match on their third date and promptly broke up. And then Trouble started dating Lili Frond, and has been for a while, apparently.
Very common in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as the authors are split into two major factions: those who approve of Jedi in love, and those who disapprove of Jedi in love. Since any author is allowed to write about any character, an anti-love author can respond to any pairing with the power of canon behind them. The marriage between Leia and Han is untouchable, but any other Jedi who fall in love will — without exception — fall to the dark side, die, suffer the loss of their love interest, go insane, and/or worse.
The New Jedi Order novels Conquest and Rebirth built a lot of potential romance between Anakin Solo and his childhood friend Tahiri Veila, right down Anakin giving Tahiri her First Kiss, except that in the next novel Star by Star Anakin is killed.
Though it is a Crack PairingJayxStick of Warrior Cats accumulated quite a fandom. In The Fourth Apprentice, Jayfeather breaks the stick. Word of God says that JayxStick was a romance and therefore it had to be doomed like many other romances in the series.
Much to the surprise and sadness of the series' fans, Inkdeath brutally took down Meggie and Farid, who had already achieved Official Couple status in the previous book. Instead, they paired Meggie up with some inventor guy who hadn't even been mentioned in the previous books and had almost no importance to the plot. Then they made it seem, intentionally or not, as though Meggie picked him instead Because Destiny Says So.
Many fans of the Skulduggery Pleasant series watched the buildup of ship hints between Tanith Low and Ghastly Bespoke with growing enthusiasm. Then, in the fifth book, when it was beginning to seem like Ghanith would become canon... a Remnant possessed Tanith (possibly for good), leading her to run off with Billy Ray Sanguine. The shippers were displeased.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay kills off Katniss/Gale with authority when President Coin orders a False Flag Operation, which Gale had previously suggested, that kills Katniss' kid sister Prim. Observant fans will notice that the ship begins to sink as early as the first half of Catching Fire when Katniss follows up her scene of seemingly choosing Gale by going to bed and wishing Peeta was there to hold her. It takes another serious blow in Mockingjay when Katniss declares that if she can't have Peeta she wants to kill Snow and then die herself, rather than move on and be with Gale.
Mommy and Hunter are two points of a Love Triangle in The Fire-Us Trilogy, but are so incredibly squicked out after receiving The Talk that they can hardly even bear to look at each other for most of the third book. In spite of this, by the end it appears that their freindship, at least, is almost certainly salvageable.
GONE Caine and Diana had a pretty passionate- and large - fandom, in spite of, or perhaps paritally because they were are both villains in love, and appeared to be redeeming each other and bringing out the humanity in the other, especially in LIES...Then Caine spends the next book lying to Diana for sex, betraying her, threatening to rape her and then bragging to the entire town about it. Diana then leaves him when she realises she's pregnant, and doesn't want Caine anywhere near her baby.
Bridget Jones: Anyone hoping for Bridget to end up with Daniel Cleaver had their ship sunk at the end of the second book, where Mark Darcy asks her to move abroad with him. Bridget/Mark was then sunk by the third book where Bridget is Mark's widow after he died five years previously ( and by the end of the book, Bridget is common-law married to another man and has adopted his children), causing fans to become furious when the news leaked on the internet before the book's release.
The Reveal of Peter and Claire being related came almost immediately after the Peter/Claire ship was reaching full-steam.
And during the finale of Season 4, Hiro's girlfriend Charlie who was sent back in time is revealed to have grown old, married and had a family. Even Hiro himself admitted that the relationship was wonderful while it lasted, but otherwise done.
Sam/Dean was sunk when the two of them reacted with disgust at the fanfics of them that shipped them with each other.
Dean/Castiel was sunk by CW exec Chad Kennedy and various other writers, causing a massive outrage in the Destiel fandom.
Any and every ship is in the crosshairs on this show, particularly if it involves a woman. It's hard to say whether this is Pandering to the Base, a Take That to shippers, something of both, or an incidental side effect of the fact that most non-Winchesters tend to die rather quickly.
On Glee, Finchel (Finn/Rachel), once one of the most popular ships in the fandom, was instantly sunk by the sudden death of Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, from a drug overdose. Monteith's girlfriend and Rachel's player, Lea Michele, and producer Ryan Murphy both agreed to also kill Finn off in the show, and the entire cast honored Monteith and Finn's character in a special memorial episode. In the episode, Rachel also laments that she had always planned on marrying Finn and having kids with him, but now she would never get the opportunity to, verifying that Finchel was indeed planned as canon before Monteith's demise.
The Buffyverse as a whole has a weird relationship with Buffy/Angel in that it keeps pulling out things to get in the way of Buffy/Angel and make it seem more and more likely that they will never end up together, but still maintains that the two of them have a frankly invincible mutual attraction when in close proximity to each other. First, they have sex and Angel turns evil. Then Buffy kills evil!Angel and sends him to hell, just as he's transformed back into good!Angel. Then he comes back but can't stay with her because he feels like she'd be wasting her life with him, and so leaves town. Then, on Angel, the two come to a very serious (almost physical) confrontation over what to do about Faith when she escapes to LA, seriously hurting any kind of lingering friendship. Over the next few years they barely interact and are paired off with other love interests. Despite all this, Joss teases the possibility of future Buffy/Angel in the Season 7 finale with a funny cookie metaphor (she wasn't ready for a relationship at the moment). And finally, in the Grand Finale of the Season Eight comics, they are both endowed with superpowers by the universe so that they can have crazy, flying sex in order to create a new, "better" universe, which they then abandon to save their friends, but which comes back after them with a vengeance, possesses Angel, and makes him murder Giles right in front of Buffy's eyes. Now an un-possessed Angel is being rehabilitated by Faith, and Buffy can't even bring herself to look at him anymore. You'd think this would kill the ship forever, but who can tell with this series.
Buffy Season 8 issue #15: Buffy isn't Willow's type. Damn!
In the episode "Band Candy" Giles and Joyce have sex while under the influence of candy that causes them to act like teenagers. It kills any and all sexual tension between them, despite the fact that Giles is effectively Buffy's surrogate father.
In "Graduation, Pt. 2", Wesley and Cordelia (who have been infatuated with one another since they met) finally kiss. The kiss is awkward enough to wipe out half a season's worth of chemistry, and when the two of them end up on Angel together, they hardly ever so much as flirt again and they end up with a Like Brother and Sister relationship.
Willow/Xander sinks after Willow finally chooses Oz (who she previously cheated on with Xander). Cordelia refuses to forgive Xander for the cheating, so Xander/Cordy is also out. Willow/Oz got sunk when Oz gets Put on a Bus and when Willow chose Tara over him when The Bus Came Back.
Buffy/Riley when she catches him essentially seeing vampire prostitutes in Season 5, followed by him giving her an ultimatum and then literally leaving the show when she didn't agree to it, followed by him showing up again in Season 6 with a wife. Then again, considering who Riley is, this was seen more as a good thing than not.
After Spike returns in the 5th season of Angel, he decides not to chase after Buffy who he hears is in Rome, as he realized she really didn't love him and thought that his death should have been closure for them. "The Girl In Question" makes it obvious that both Spike and Angel still harbored feelings for Buffy, despite her not wanting to be in a relationship. In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 comics, he tells her that he is really done, as it's clear that she doesn't want a relationship with him, and he even tries to set her up with another guy.
The new series of Doctor Who is a strange mixture of both ship teasing and sinking, resulting from the change of focus to the relationships between the characters while still being influenced by the No Hugging, No Kissing policy of the original series.
The best and most well-known example is Rose, who after spending two seasons as effectively the Doctor's interstellar love interest was trapped in an Alternate Universe with no hope of return. The end of season 4 has them briefly reunited, but then the Doctor fobs her off with a clone and leaves her again, in a spectacular example of confirming and sinking a ship simultaneously.
The Eleventh Doctor's first series effectively shoots down the much-teased Doctor/Amy pairing in the series finale when Amy and Rory marry, and River hints that she is or will be the Doctor's wife. With the very unexpected revelation that River Song is the daughter of Amy and Rory in series six, the Doctor/Amy ship is very, very thoroughly sunk.
"The End of Time, Part 2" sank Martha/Tom Milligan, which had become a popular Ship Mates to Doctor/Rose and was canon in the revived series four, by showing that Martha had married Mickey.
"The Power Of Three" utterly sank the Doctor/Alistair ship of the classic series. (Barring rule one.)
Doctor/Romana, one of the most popular pairings of the original series, was thoroughly sunk when the new series made the Doctor the Last of His Kind. Some fans still hold out hope, though.
Doctor/Jack seemed like a legitimate possibility between Jack and the Ninth Doctor - they flirted a lot (and it wasn't entirelyGay Bravado), and even snogged at one point. However, while Jack maintains interest, the Doctor loses all of his due to a combination of 1) him regenerating into someone with a personality that does not enjoy adversarial flirting and 2) Jack getting Touched by Vorlons in such a way that time doesn't work normally on him, which the Doctor can sense and seems to find very disturbing.
Star Trek: Enterprise spent its first two seasons establishing a fairly obvious ship between Captain Archer and T'Pol, only to sink it in Season 3 by having her unexpectedly take up with Trip Tucker. After the finale though, in which Trip is killed and there's a certain amount of Ship Tease in Archer and T'Pol's last scene together, everything's up in the air again. This should have sunk Trip/T'Pol except that the large amount of hostility towards the finale led to the post-series novels effectively declaring the episode Canon Discontinuity and having Trip and T'Pol live Happily Ever After.
Even though they still tease the pairing, the House/Cameron fans were crushed when "Kids" and "Love Hurts" happened. In the former, Cameron telling House that she would only come back to work if he would go out on a date with her was seen as blackmail, and in the latter their distastrous date consists of small talk, an extremely misguided Cameron and House eventually telling her that she doesn't love him — only pities him because he's crippled and emotionally damaged.
The Cameron/Chase ship, after being an Official Couple for two years, got sunk in season 6. She effectively declared that she considered Chase mentally incompetent.
In Kamen Rider Den-O, if Hana being de-aged didn't derail Ryotaro/Hana shippers, revealing that she was his niece surely did.
Firefly devotes an entire episode to having Wash suspect Zoe of having feelings for Mal, and being repeatedly proven wrong.
In Scrubs, the end of the third season and beginning of the fourth season seems to sink JD and Elliot forever. There's JD realizing he only wants her because he can't have her, and the final torpedo seems to come in "My Common Enemy" with JD's quote, "That's when I realized that Elliot and I had absolutely no romantic feeling for each other anymore. No matter what the situation. It was a little sad, but maybe it meant we could be friends today". It was stated definitively by Word of God that J.D. and Elliot were not supposed to end up back together but both the fans and the actors liked the pairing too much to let it go. The ship is revived at the end of the sixth season and gets back into Ship Tease before they finally get together in the eighth season. Rather nicely for the trope, though, is that they expressly comment on the fact they were both too immature to work as a couple and spending several years as Just Friends allowed them to grow up. The ninth season/spinoff shows them married with a baby on the way.
In the first episode, after playing up the Ted/Robin romance, they revealed that Robin would be the honorary aunt of Ted's children, thus killing any future relationship before it begins. This ship was finally sunk in the episode "Symphony of Illumination" (Season 7), where it is revealed that Robin cannot be the mother of Ted's children. Subverted; the finale reveals that the mother died six years before Ted tells the story to his children. After that, Ted considers to move on and relink his relationship with Robin.
The finale sunk Barney and Robin. They divorce three years after their wedding because Robin travel a lot for her work. They never went back together.
Poor Guy/Marian shippers. It was always doomed considering that the show was called Robin Hood, but then Guy went and killed her. If that wasn't enough, after his Heel-Face Turn he eventually admits to Robin that: "she was always yours." Then Robin dies and is reunited with Marianin Heaven, at which point she tells him that she's his wife: "now and forever." So Guy is presumably parted from Marian even in death. Could a ship possibly get more sunk than this?
For the very few people shipping Robin/Kate, Robin's Together in Death with Marian sinks that one too. Just prior to the scene, Kate tries for a Last Kiss from Robin, but he deliberately turns his face away and she has to settle for a Last Hug.
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, in the fourth episode, hints on the eventual Ryuunosuke-Mako pairing, with Ryuunosuke being the first visual victim (of the opposite sex anyway) of Mako's Cooldown Hug, first eater of her cooking, and they slept on the same futon TOGETHER. When Ryuunosuke wants to finally officialize it, Mako sent down a torpedo to the ship before it even sailed. And afterwards, they never get a pair-episode again and Ryuunosuke never bothers to mention it again.
The popular Masumi/Natsuki ship in GoGo Sentai Boukenger was sunk when both actors stated in an interview that they considered the characters' relationship akin to a father and daughter. They never became an Official Couple, although it was hinted that they might.
Nanami and Isshu were an Official Couple in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, but when the show got a reunion movie titled 10 Years Later (and actually made ten years after its initial run), the characters were no longer together and Isshu has become a playboy. In the crossover movie with Hurricaneger's successor Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, Nanami turned down a date with Isshu, so the ship may have been sunk as early as that.
Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger has Amy, Yayoi and Meeko as potential love interests for Daigo; so his Last Minute Hook Up with Amy sank the other two ships. Nossan and Candelira were also shown to be attracted to each other, but the final episode sinks this when she chooses not to stay with him.
The Burn Notice episode "Where There's Smoke" is devoted to two things. The first is Fiona saving the client from kidnapping/murdering Mexicans while being kidnapped herself and generally being a badass. The second is hammering in the point that Jesse has absolutely no chance of getting between the big Tsundere love of Fiona and Mike. Maddy even takes Jesse aside and talks to him specifically to makes sure he knows it.
Dollhouse: Claire and Topher ia ship at the beginning of Season 2, when Claire enters his room and forces herself onto him. He protests, she works out her emotional issues due to being a doll and being too afraid to give up the body to whoever had it before, and then she admits she hates the smell of him.
Sarah and Shaw. First, it was revealed that Sarah killed Shaw's wife for her "red test" to become a member of the CIA. Then, when Shaw decided to betray the CIA and tried to kill Sarah, Chuck killed Shaw with three bullets to the chest. It didn't take, but still...
More drastically, this was done to Morgan and Anna, who were heading toward being an adorable Beta Couple...then she was used very sparingly in the second half of Season 2, then fired altogether in Season 3. In one of the most crushing, aggravating moments in shipping history, Anna returned in a special appearance at the end of Season 3, for thirty seconds, JUST for Morgan to shoot her down and dump her for good. This episode was hyped as the "return" of Anna.
Sheldon/Penny has never been anything but a 'fandom' ship. This hasn't stopped the cast and crew trying to sink it through Word of God. Actress Kaley Cuoco was asked about the Sheldon/Penny ship, and replied that if they ever did date, she'd end up killing him. Jim Parsons commented that he would be confused if the writers went for Sheldon/Penny and that he didn't see it happening EVER. When Leonard and Penny broke up briefly it brought hope to the Sheldon/Penny shippers, but the third season finale and especially when Priya came along showed that Penny's romantic interest would only be with Leonard.
Sheldon then entered into a relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler. The same episode they made their relationship official Sheldon tried to ask Penny out on a date to make Amy jealous. The resulting conversation has Penny shoot down any concept of romantic feelings between them.
Penny: (regarding a story of a guy she liked) You are not the guy. Sheldon: Are you sure? It would explain so much. Your constant presence in my apartment, your baffling dalliance with Leonard just to be near me, the way you call me 'sweetie' all the time Penny: I call everyone sweetie. Sheldon: ...you tramp! Penny: Look, all I'm saying is strap on a pair and go talk to Amy. Sheldon:A pair of what? Roller skates? Penny: (Beat) Oh sweetie, you are SO not "the guy."
A small version of this may have just occurred on the FX show Justified between Raylan and his ex-wife Winona in "Hatless": Winona's husband gets into trouble with some bad men over land and Raylan comes to her rescue to ensure she won't be hurt. The potential for Big Damn Heroes is completely averted since Winona doesn't want to leave the house, especially since her husband is MIA. Later, she explains why she chose her new husband over Raylan (even though Raylan is tougher, funnier, and better looking) and still goes back to him at the end of the episode despite his bad decisions that endangered her. If there were any Winona/Raylan shippers, they're probably feeling pretty bad right about now. Happily, the ship has been temporarily unsunk as of "Father and Sons", but the two still have loads and loads of problems to deal with in the meantime.
30 Rock: Tina Fey has often said in interviews that Liz/Jack will never ever happen. Didn't stop them from being accidentally married for the duration of an episode, though. The ship was fully sunk in the seventh season, when Liz married someone else. A few episodes after that, in "Florida", Jack and Liz actually discuss how stupid it would have been for them to get together.
Many fans ship Mac/Stella, but it was sunk when Melina Kanakaredes did not return for season 7.
After this, the pairing of Mac with Stella's replacement Jo became popular with some fans; but was sunk when the show ended with Mac proposing to his girlfriend Christine. According to Word of God, it could have gone the other way: one idea considered if the show had continued longer was that the next anniversary episode would show Mac's wedding, ostensibly to Christine but with a Bait and Switch reveal that he was marrying Jo instead.
Naomi and Cook's bantering developed into an Odd Friendship, but some Nookie shippers (mainly those on the Everyone Is Bi horse) saw plenty of UST there, despite the fact that Naomi's Single-Target Sexuality is firmly pointed in Emily's direction. The book tried to sink it with some very impassioned statements from Naomi; the show finally managed it.
Cook: I'm never going to get to bone you, am I?
Naomi: No. I love someone.
Cook/Effy was sunk when Effy addresses Cook as "a friend".
Olivia has said that she's straight, thus pissing off the Alex/Olivia shippers. Stephanie March, however, has saved the Alex/Olivia ship from sinking. She has said that she has not discounted the possibility of an Alex/Olivia romance in her own mind, and, in fact, finds it quite possible that they have been quietly in love for years.
Popular Beta Couple George/Alex (to Elliot/Olivia) got sunk when after years of debate, George was canonically confirmed to be gay.
The producers of Passions decided to pair Luis with Fancy and then they decided to Sheridan with Luis' lackluster brother Antonio. Needless to say, Sheridan and Luis fans were NOT happy .
Season 3 hammered some nails into the coffin of Arthur/Morgana, establishing that they are in fact half-siblings.
After the show had hinted at Merlin/Gwen in series one, the ship was sunk in the following series when Gwen falls in love with Arthur and Merlin meets Freya.
And, of course, let's not forget the Fan-Preferred Couple Merlin/Arthur. I mean, we knew it was never going to happen, but even after Arthur falls in love with Gwen, there's still hope for a unspoken unrequited love story from the side of his servant, right? Enter Merlin, Arthur/Gwen Shipper on Deck. He ships it more than the couple does. In fact, he acts like a kid in a candy store when they start being romantic. Whenever a threat to the pairing emerges, he becomes rabid fan-girl in the throes of Die for Our Ship. Nothing's gonna sink the Merthur ship, but it's leaking pretty heavily.
The awkward attraction between Wakana and Philip is both ruined and justified with the revelation that she is his long-lost, barely remembered sister. It's the reason they seem to feel drawn to each other but romance would be a bit...awkward.
Even more painful was the sinking of Bill x Sookie. She tries to stop him from drinking the blood of Lilith by reasoning that their legitimate love should make her meaningful to him. He retorts by chewing her out before drinking the blood anyway.
Bill: For all you know, everything I did was an act, calculated to elicit a certain response.
Sookie: But you are unique among all the vampires I've ever met. You are capable of love, and sympathy!
The end of iOMG, 10 episodes after Sam revealed she had a crush on Spencer, pretty much sunk what little chance the Sam/Spencer ship had. Then Spencer reminded Sam of the crush in a later episode.
Sam/Freddie shared their first kiss, then looked sunk as Carly/Freddie happened in "iSaved Your Life". Then "iOMG" happened, made the Sam/Freddie relationship canon... until they sunk the ship by spending 3 episodes showing how bad they are as a couple. "iPear Store" then sank it even deeper by having Freddie go on a massive rant against Sam and her personality after she spent the entire episode ruining a job he just got.
Carly/Freddie was torpedoed, split in half, sunk followed by dropping depth charges on the wreck after "iSaved Your Life" ended with the pairing breaking up, never referencing the relationship and then having Sam and Freddie get together in "iOMG". When Sam and Freddie broke up it gave hope to the shippers. "iOwn A Restaurant" saw Freddie ask Carly if it was 'too late for you to love me' which re-floated the wreck, and then the finale "iGoodbye" had Carly initiate a kiss with Freddie.
The writers sunk the Justin x Juliet ship by turning her into an old lady. Then they dropped depth charges on it by having Harper pretend to be Juilet and tell him to move on, Alex repeating 'Juilet's never coming back', Justin dating an OC Stand In at the last minute, and Old Lady Juliet looking on and approving of this. The Icing on the Cake? The plot was used up in 15 minutes, so the second half was nothing but the first half repeated. The episode served no further point than to make fans forget about Juliet. (Then Juliet returns AND is a young girl again in "Wizards Vs. Everyone", with no logical explanation what-so-ever. Huh?)
The writers had a few torpedos left, so they sunk Justin X Harper too, by having Harper tell Justin that she was in love with his sidekick, Zeke.
La Femme Nikita (the original TV show, not the 2010 remake) ends Season 4 with Nikita saying to Michael "I don't love you. I never did", and walking away without looking back.
Chloe Sullivan/Lex Luthor used to be fairly popular, until an episode where after it's revealed that Chloe is a mutant, Lex kidnaps her and has his scientists perform sadistic experiments on her. Naturally, the ship became noticeably less popular after that.
For years, a rather vocal contingent of fans wanted Clark to end up with Chloe. Chloe eventually moved on to other relationships, and many former Clark/Chloe shippers got on board with these new ships. Then the Grand Finale finally showed, in no uncertain terms, that Clark married Lois, and Chloe got married to someone else (heavily implied to be Oliver) and had a son, as seen in the final scene Distant Finale.
Stargate Atlantis: Sheppard/Weir is sunk when she turns into a replicator, and Teyla/Sheppard when she becomes pregnant with a random off screen guy no-one had ever seen before. The Katie Brown/Rodney McKay coupling is sunk when Rodney makes it known he's thinking about proposing, but isn't sure to go through with it. This makes her think he wants to break up, and she goes back to Earth.
Stargate Universe: If Eli being symbolically shown as Chloe's 'brother' in ''Cloverdale'' didn't do enough to convince viewers that pairing was sunk, Epilogue torpedoed it then dropped some depth charges on the wreck just to be sure. The killing blow may have been Eli entering a relationship with Ginn. Most Eli/Chloe fans had long given up any real hope of seeing them together, so when Eli did find someone, they jumped ship.
The writers took perverse delight in zig-zagging this trope, long after the majority of its fandom had stopped caring about Jack/Kate vs Sawyer/Kate. If Kate was interested in one of them, it was only a matter of episodes before a plot twist drove them apart and seemingly killed off the ship for good... only for it to be resurrected next season when Kate fled the other one's arms. The rival Fan Dumbs fell for it every time, going both sides through a cycle of gloating and trolling the supposedly dead/sunk ship, only to retreat and grumble about "endgame" when their own ship was pushed aside. Jack/Kate ended up as endgame, but Sawyer/Kate fans seemed angrier about Sawyer/Juliet.
Sun and Michael's mutual interest was killed dead after Jin was humanized and Sun fell back in love with him.
Ben's interest in Juliet was revealed to be very much one-sided. And creepy.
Daniel/Charlotte was the rare ship not to get a revival in the sideways timeline. The two interacted briefly but did not "flash" off each other like so many other pairings, both platonic and romantic. Although neither were seen in the afterlife, so theoretically they could eventually get together.
Power Rangers Zeo contains a Ship Sinking so big that it still can cause arguments in the fandom over 15 years after it actually happened. Kimberly, offscreen, sends Tommy a Dear John letter.
Game of Thrones has created certain pairings that are exclusive to the show rather than the book.
One such pairing is Irri and Rakharo, two background Dothraki characters who shared plenty of Belligerent Sexual Tension despite not really interacting in the books. Promotional material for the second season confirmed that Irri had a thing for him. The season two premiere also had a heartfelt scene that inspired quite a lot of shipping between Daenerys and Rakharo. The second episode just as quickly crushed any hopes for both ships by killing off Rakharo, who is still alive in the books.
The sinking of the very popular Dany/Jorah ship was moved to the middle of season two. In the books, Dany becomes aware of his attractive at the beginning of A Clash of Kings and didn't spurn his affections until the next book. The ship's popularity can be attributed to Iain Glen, who is much more handsome than Jorah's book description.
As a political satire, The Thick of It isn't exactly famous for exploring personal relationships, yet the tensions between Nicola Murray and Malcolm Tucker in Series 3 led to shipping by many fans. In series 4, however, Nicola Murray goes from a minister to Opposition Leader, where she is awful. The ship-sinking happens when Malcolm's irritation with Nicola messing up (yet still ultimately appreciating her work as a minister) is replaced with utter contempt and hatred for her incompetence dooming the entire party, and culminates in him orchestrating her political downfall. It is VERY clear that the love/hate relationship between the two is now just hate.
The pairing of Joy and Fabian seemed to be doomed to be the titanic. No matter how much Joy tried, Fabian kept rejecting her advances as he loved Nina. Then Joy went kind of crazy to get his attention and temporarily became the most hated person in the house and arguably to viewers of the showas well for the duration of season 2. In season three, when Nina was finally out of the way, she still got rejected and Fabian didn't even attempt to sugar coat it. So, basically, if you shipped Joy and Fabian, there was really no chance to set sail. Which is alright, with the addition of Joy and Jerome's pairing, which is wildly popular and has managed to stay afloat.
The creators stated at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 that Emma/Regina ("Swan Queen") would never happen (although they have said one thing and done another before). The Swan Queen ship later took a torpedo to the hull when Robin Hood was revealed to be Regina's "soulmate".
Emma/Graham ("Gremma") was completely torpedoed with Graham's death at the hands of Regina. Word of God has also dictated that once a fairy tale character dies in Storybrooke, they're gone forever, destroying any future chances of Gremma.
Emma/August ("Wooden Swan") was thoroughly sunk when the Blue Fairy turned August back into a very young Pinocchio.
Mulan/Aurora ("Sleeping Warrior") was sunk when Mulan was to confess her feelings for Aurora to the princess, only for Aurora to announce that she was happily pregnant with Philip's child. Heartbroken, Mulan joined Robin Hood's Merry Men. Not surprising, however, since Philip broke Aurora's sleeping curse with "true love's kiss".
Henry/Peter Pan was completely obliterated when it's revealed that Pan is Rumple's father, Colin, and therefore Henry's great-grandfather.Squick.
Several longer-term relationships of the main gang have been sunk. Phoebe/David was temporarily sunk early on, when he went to Minsk and permanently sunk at the end of the series when she picked Mike over of him. The hated Ross/Emily ended with their messy divorce.
Richard/Monica was sunk very thoroughly bit by bit: Started in the Season 2 finale when they split up over wanting/not wanting children but as they still loved each other there was some wriggle room. Sunk a bit more in Season 3 when she got over him, dated several other guys including her Second Love who she considered marrying. Further sunk in Season 5 when Monica and Chandler fell for each other and Monica flat out said she felt nothing for Richard and loved Chandler more than anyone else ever before. Sent to the bottom of the ocean in Season 6 when Richard returned and asked Monica to marry him, (devastating Chandler), only for Monica to turn around and stage her own proposal to Chandler.
This also extends to relationships between the main cast: Joey/Rachel decided they were Better as Friends and the purely Ship Tease Joey/Phoebe ended when she married Mike.
Revenge ended any chance of Daniel/Emily happening when Daniel shot Emily after learning she had faked her pregnancy to get him to marry her instead of breaking off the engagement for Sara. They stayed married for a while, until reports of the fake pregnancy leaked and Daniel was able to press for divorce without worrying that Emily might try to name him as the shooter.
The Good Wife tried to sink the Fan-Preferred Couple of Will/Alicia several times through the years, but finally managed it with Will's sudden death in a courtroom shooting about two-thirds of the way through Season 5.
There was some undeniable shipping in BIONICLE's early years, such as Macku/Hewkii, Jaller/Hahli, Matau/Nokama and Roodaka/Sidorak (from the latter's perspective, at least), not to mention all the fan preferred couples. These were declared non-canon when the creators ruled that the characters are incapable of feeling romantic love, seeing as they're artificial. Most of these relationships, no matter how blatant, were written off as close friendships (with some scenes outright ripped from canon), and the would-have-been marriage between Roodaka and Sidorak was revealed to be strictly political, with both viewing the other as a tool to gain power (and Sidorak also got killed). Kiina and Mata Nui were the only official "couple", but that ship sank when the latter transferred his soul into a mask. This was mostly Executive Meddling: according to LEGO, kids find romance icky, and given the subject matter (toys), the story writer agreed.
At the end of Xenosaga, the obviously romantic subtext between Shion and KOS-MOS is abruptly shoved aside when Shion ends up with Allen, the series' resident Butt Monkey. In a case of Throw the Dog a Bone, KOS-MOS and Shion can't be together, but will be in another Reincarnation. So hey, he gets to be with her since she can't be with her soul-mate.
Many people were so surprised to find out Ky Kiske is now unofficially married to a Gear and fathered a son. Ky/Jam supporters got an ouch there and for some reason, Ky/Dizzy fics are starting to pop up more often.
It turns into an "AAAUUUGGHH!!!" with Accent Core Plus, where they put more Ky/Dizzy Ship Tease.
Weep for Dizzy/Testament. Because at least Sol/Ky fans got a consolation prize thrown at them, what with Ky's son Sin having Sol as his mentor. But Testament? Nooooooo...
Hazama/Trinity was sunk in Phase Shift 4when Terumi manipulated her into lifting Mind Eater, and then he proceeded to kill Nine and Trinity before tossing them into the nearest cauldron.
While Goemon/Omitsu are the de facto Official Couple of Ganbare Goemon, there's an instance of Goemon/Yae teasing that's almost directly followed by sinking in Kuru Nara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage. Partway through the game, an injured Goemon is too weak to take the medicine brought to him by his friends, resulting in an impending Medicine Kiss scenario. A flustered Yae states that "Goemon's life is an irreplaceable thing!" ... So she has an obliging Ebisumaru perform the task instead - No Yay, indeed! (Just to rub it in, the conversation following that scene has Goemon and Yae make it very clear that Omitsu is the one he's truly concerned about.)
In Baldur's Gate II, there's plenty of interaction and fondness and loyalty between Imoen and the main character...and then, boom! Half-siblings. (Didn't stop some people, and was even referenced in-game.)
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World intentionally creates and sinks a ship as a distraction. the "Love Letter" Raine gives Regal was actually a note asking him to keep an eye on Emil's personality changes
Playfully done in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, with the "Unwanted Suitors" event. Zelda and Samus fight off a long approaching stream of invisible Luigis and Captain Falcons, and since Samus/Falcon was the most popular het pairing in the fandom before Brawl came along...
Some WarCraft fans interpreted an interlude in Arthas: Rise of the Lich King as sinking the Thrall/Jaina ship. The official sink is pairing Thrall with a Mag'har shamanka in The Shattering. In the Tides of War novel Jaina and Thrall's friendship falls apart and Jaina starts a relationship with Kalecgos. As of World of Warcraft patch 4.2 Aggra and Thrall are now life mates (married, for you non-orcs) and Aggra is pregnant. The complete and final nail in the coffin came with Mists of Pandaria, wherein the destruction of Theramore Isle has caused Jaina to become fervently racist against the Horde, orcs in particular, encouraging Varian to rally his guardsmen and slaughter the present Horde leaders, her "friend" Thrall among them during their choosing of a new Warchief after the turmoil following Garrosh's defeat.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn sank Ike/Elincia pretty hard. Not only did they lack the chemistry and Ship Tease of the previous game, but Ike's ending has him taking off either alone or with Soren or Ranulf, while Elincia's only ending is with Geoffrey. Granted, lack of paired endings doesn't mean other ships are Forever Sunk, but in this case it all but seals this pairing's lack of presence.
An odd (and cruel) example is in the first series. Nyna/Camus doesn't work out because he dies. But then in Fire Emblem Gaiden, he is now with a women named Teeta. This would leave Hardin/Nyna and they're married at the end of the first game. Sadly, even that is sunk in the third game when it is revealed Nyna had been faking romantic love for Hardin for the sake of their kingdoms and he soon falls victim to Love Makes You Evil and Brainwashed and Crazy. And when Camus (under the alias Sirius) saves Nyna from Medeus' hypnosis, he makes his intentions clear that he will go back to Valentia and live with Teeta instead. Hence, two ships for Nyna are sunk, and her ending implies that she never gets over Camus....
Ike/Soren took a hit thanks to the Canon WeldingAwakening... Priam is in some fashion a descendant of Ike. Then again, given that his sister Mist does have an option to marry at the end, it allows Intelligent Systems to use Ike's popularity while still giving some level of Fanservice. note If you consider that Marth is still cosnidered as the hero Anri's descendant despite descending from Anri's brother instead, this theory makes quite a bit of sense.
Awakening also has Chrom/Cordelia, which has the sad, sad honour of being sunk by the game mechanics themselves. Cordelia is all but stated to have an unrequited crush on Chrom, but she's one of the few women he can't marry and in fact, they can't even support!. And it got even worse in the DLC, where the developers finally gave Cordelia a conversation with Chrom, which is filled with awkward moments... and ends with Cordelia sinking the ship herself!
A minor but otherwise important one happens in regards to Eliwood's wife in Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seals. While he can marry either Ninian, Fiora, or Lyn in the prequel, Blazing Sword, a support conversation Roy has with Marcus in the former implies that his mother probably isn't Lyn. The reason? Marcus mentions that Eliwood gave his wife her favorite flower "from the snowy highlands," and the only snow area on the continent is the country of Ilia. This makes it far more likely that Roy's mother is either Fiora (a Pegasus Knight; they're all from Ilia) or Ninian (An ice dragon who was born and raised in Ilia), compared to Lyn, who is a native of the Sacae Plains. Even then, the game leans Ninian as the closest to Eliwood's canon wife, and the novelization of Blazing Sword puts them together.
Though some fans actually like Bowser and Peach together, that ship sunk in Super Paper Mario when it was revealed that the marriage of Bowser and Peach was the first step to summoning a massive black hole that would devour all existence.
Joker/Shepard is torpedoed too, what with him getting together with EDI, although he does admit he'd totally date her in another universe.
James/Shepard doesn't happen either. (Honestly, FemShep's options in the game are pretty limited if she's heterosexual.) James/Shepard shippers are thrown a bone in the final DLC, Citadel, but he only agrees to a drunken one night stand after repeatedly insisting that he's not interested in her for numerous reasons. By the end of it, Shepard is basically sexually harassing the guy.
Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 have the option of the player doing this to themselves, romancing someone then getting them killed in certain spoilerific scenes.
Much rage erupted among fans who ship Heavy/Medic when the WAR update gave the Demoman the Medic-specific domination quote: "DOMINATED! And I've been shagging your wife!" It is possible, though that Demo was drunk as hell when he said this.
Similarly, one of the Soldier's new domination quotes over the Sniper is: "I'll send condolences to your kangaroo wife." Given that this is, well, the Soldier, fans are much less inclined to take this as evidence that the Sniper is not secretly snogging the Spy senseless.
The Demoman/Soldier pairing came courtesy of Valve pre-sunk as the Excuse Plot for the WAR update was that the Administrator was out to destroy their friendship.
"Meet The Pyro" reveals that the entire teamis terrified of Pyro, which makes the most of the Pyro-related pairings now rather unlikely.
Prior to the game's release, some Final Fantasy XIII shippers had taken to Snow/Lightning which was Jossed hard by canon since Snow's engaged to Lightning's sister and Lightning really hates Snow.
In the trailer for The Passing, an expansion campaign for Left 4 Dead 2, Francis (L4D1 Survivor) and Rochelle (L4D2) see each other; Rochelle randomly says that she hates stairs. Francis, who has a meme of hating everything, says with genuine interest "Oh my god... you hate stuff too?". Rochelle says she hates various things, with Francis happily agreeing with her. Then she crosses the line and says "I hate your vest!", to which "I don't think this is gonna work out."
After Metroid Fusion, many, many fans had shipped Samus with Adam Malkovich. Now that Other M is out, the writers have fired a Super Missile at said ship with this single line: "Because I was so young when I lost both of my parents, there's no question that I saw Adam as a father figure."
Many a Mudshipper (Isaac/Mia) weeps at the revelation that Matthew is the product of Valeshipping (Isaac/Jenna).
Mud and Flame (Garet/Jenna) were far from the only casualties of the sequel. Whole squadrons were scrapped to make way for Generation Xerox.
The Touhou fandom, due to ZUN's Shrug of God and the lack of an Official Couple, usually doesn't have to worry about this. Usually. Aya/Momiji shippers got a nasty kick in the pants when Double Spoiler reveals that there's actually a bit of bad blood between the two. This has not stopped the fanart from rolling in the slightest, though, some deciding to simply take their shipping in a bit of a different direction.
In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Word of God confirming the split timeline sinks every single Link pairing. At the end of Ocarina of Time Zelda sends Link back in time to when he was a child. This creates two timelines, the "Adult Timeline" where Link defeats Ganon and where most of the game took place, and the "Child Timeline", the timeline only briefly seen during the ending where Link is a child again. In the "Adult Timeline", Link ceases to exist and it eventually leads into The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker while the "Child Timeline" eventually leads into The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. While technically Link can still be paired in the "Child Timeline", the versions of the characters you meet during the game are the "Adult Timeline" versions. Not only do none of the shipping options happen, none of Link's friends ever see him again after the ending. Furthermore, in Wind Waker, Tetra is supposed to be a direct descendant of OOT Zelda, which implies that in the Wind Waker timeline, OOT Zelda did eventually marry someone who wasn't Link. And whatleads toThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past naturally makes any romantic relationship involving OOT Link impossible there as well.
In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten near the beginning we get a nice comment courtesy from your friendly neighborhood Werewolf Fenrich, that implies something may or may not happen between main character Valvatorez and Action Girl Fuka. It turns out nothing happens between the two and Fuka ends up shipping Valvatorez and Artina. And even if you do get Fuka's epilogue, she ends up sinking her own ship by choosing not to pursue Valvatorez, knowing that she would have to deal with Artina and Fenrich and break the "friendship rule" if she did.
Dragon Age II gives you a chance at playfully flirting with one of your companions, Aveline. This of course is during the beginning of the mission where you have to play match maker with the guy she's actually interested in.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Word of God says that Amy will keep chasing Sonic, and Sonic will keep running from Amy, but they'll never get together with each other or anyone else.
The Kilik/Xianghua shippers were teased when the latter's replacement and daugher Leixia appeared wearing Kilik's Dvapara-Yuga necklace. However, it sunk HARD when it was revealed Xianghua married the Ming General Yan Wujin. Guess who Xiba's parents are, though.
Tira's story profile appears to have sunk the Nightmare/Tira pairing. The story itself seems to lend (more) credence to Tira/Soul Edge, though.
Professor Layton: Azran Legacies effectively sunk every popular ship that has been introduced in the prequel series. Descole is Layton's older brother, and Bronev is Layton and Descole's father. And Claire? That ship was confirmed and burned at the same time! And boy… did it burn.
Prior to the release of Bioshock Infinite, Booker/Elizabeth was a popular pairing. Anyone who continued to ship them in-game would have been in for a nasty surprise the ending reveals Elizabeth is Booker's daughter.
The rather popular Athena/Kensou may have been sunk in KOF XIII. If you fight as the Women's Team and find the Psycho Soldiers in the Story Mode, Athena straightforwardly rejects the idea of dating Kensou and says he's her "companion" when asked about it by Mai, and later cuts off Kensou when he attempts to declare his feelings in public. Some might argue that she was in "He Is Not My Boyfriend" mode, but she again stops him from confessing in their pre-fight talks. And it must be noted that Athena seems to be heading towards Celibate Heroine, since as an Idol Singer she can't exactly date anyone or her career will be damaged by "scandals" (She uses this to avert going out with Benimaru, too.)
KOF also seems to have sunk Athena's Unrequited Love for Kyo Kusanagi. Not only their pre-fight talks don't really sound Ship Tease-y, but one of them (with NESTS!Kyo) alludes to Kyo's girlfriend Yuki, whom Athena is in good terms with. The semi-canon KOF:KYO manga/game and 2000 CD drama also shoot it down; in the first Athena's initial interest in Kyo switches to them interacting in more friendly terms after she learns of Yuki and befriends her, and in the second Athena finds a missing Kyo and begs him to come back home... but while Kyo listens to her, he refuses to come back home since he doesn't want his friends and family to be targeted by NESTS, and shows her a talisman that Yuki gave him as they speak.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni sunk one popular couple - Ange x Amakusa - in the EP6 tea party by revealing that Amakusa was just getting close to Ange to use her as bait to lure out Kasumi. Once he's killed Kasumi, he shoots Ange. And he doesn't even do it out of any particular strong emotion, which could still be worked off of for shipping purposes, but simply because She Had Outlived Her Usefulness. EP8 sinks it even further: In the end of the "Trick" ending, Ange shoots him. In the head.
The first half heavily implies at a future romance between Cyanide and Skids. Then the author took a closer look at them, decided that they actually weren't compatible, and hooked Cyanide up with the female Ronnie. To clear away any doubt, Skids says outright that Cyanide isn't his type, is revealed to have a long-time crush on Harley (which is ultimately futile, as Harley is happily with Mikhael), and is paired up with Tybalt at the end. Many fans did not take this well, as lampshaded in this comic.
Fuhr did this again in later comics, with the added gut punch that a canon couple (Fox and Collin), formerly seen as unshakeable due to their best-friends-as-well-as-lovers status, were split up in the gap between Friendly Hostility and Other People's Business - with one of them marrying someone else in the time between. This time, however, she told readers that they were free to label the later comic as an Alternate Universe and pretend everyone in Friendly Hostility got a happy ending - Cy and Skids, on the other hand, were lampooned The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style: in the creator's mind, they would never be together. A small mercy for F.H. 'shippers, but a mercy nonetheless.
In Tower of God Twenty-fifth Baam spends a great time chasing after Rachel, who left for the eponymous tower. He finally finds her and since she can't go on without him, he tries to take her along with him. This had a reasonable amount of ship tease. Then she pushes him into an abyss, it is revealed that she has been psychotically obsessed with getting away from the world she and Baam had lived and is shown to be scared of Baam himself, who is getting stronger by the minute. We discover how she has been leading him on all along and how both were used as pawns in Headon's and Yu Han Sungs plan. Shipping between the two stopped immediately after that.
General Protection Fault sunk any chance of Nick/Trudy not only by having Nick get together with Ki, but by having him permanently reject her after learning of her plans in Surreptitious Machinations ("I can't love someone I can't trust.") Todd gets this twice, with a grown-up Sidney in the Bad Future (who stays behind to let him go back in time, getting captured and executed), and an amnesiac Mischief, (who regains her memories while forgetting her feelings for him, much to his dismay).
Two of the (at the time) most popular pairings were destroyed by revealing that both of the pairings involve ectobiological siblings. In the words of the author: "Also I think I ruined a solid year's worth of perfectly good shipping with recent revelations. WHOOPSEE DAISEE"
And another ship or two (John/Dave and John/Karkat) have been sunk by John's admission to Karkat: EB: i am not a homosexual.
Any hopes that Eridan and Feferi would get together were cruelly crushed on the 01/22/11 update.
In a less dramatic fashion, Nepeta/Karkat was simultaneously confirmed as canon and then sunk when it was brought up as being a one-way crush of Nepeta's.
Apparently, Hussie has done enough of this that he feels a need to parody it in a pesterlog between Jade and John.
Hussie's proven himself such a master of the art of Ship Sinking that he manages to confirm a ship being canon via it's sinking.
Kanaya's hatred of Gamzee was speculated by some to be a Blackrom (in-spite of the Incompatible Orientation). When asked Kanaya confirms her hatred is not romantically linked, and in an interactive Gamzee tells Rose "[he wouldn't] even give that dayglow chainsaw bitch - [his] time of day in any quadrant."
In Kevin & Kell, the Toy Ship of Nigel and Coney was first sunk when he and Catherine Aura went back in time at the end of the Y2K storyline, raised when they returned to deal with Rudy's webcomic, and sunk again when the two of them left for the human world to maintain the balance. While Nigel still harbors feelings for Coney, his mother does not allow him to contact her and hopes he will forget about her.
In Penny and Aggie, Sara broke up with Daphne for reasons including, though not limited to, wanting to get with Lucy, her Reality Show costar. However, Lucy eventually made it clear she wanted to be Just Friends.
Schlock Mercenary introduced 19-year-old Lieutenant Ventura at the beginning of the previous arc. She started to get along a bit too well with commander Andreyasn until his girlfriend showed up to sink that ship in a very clear and precise manner. At the end of the arc, she pretty much singlehandedly promoted a Red Shirt to Mauve when he saved her life, and the subsequent affection she showed him because of it. That ship was sunk early next arc when said Mauve Shirt assured his fellow crewmates he doesn't like little girls.
Readers have lost track of all the times that the Something Positive Davan/PeeJee has been sunk, unsunk and then resunk. Word of God says the person PeeJee's is based on has only one request regarding the comic: The Davan/PeeJee ship NEVER sails. In the immortal words of that famed philosopher James Storm: Sorry bout your damn luck, shippers.
Gee Boi Turbo item has the boss of the Dark Elves going to a Gaia-centric anime convention and finding... compromising... fanart of himself with Devin.
Kuro: Seriously, guys... this isn't canon.
That's not even as blatant as how they sunk the Meredith X Ivan Ship.
Lex: Ivan! Hey Ivan! Why was your opposite self married to Meredith? Don't you like her? Ivan: Well, yeah, I love her very much. Lex: Then why— Ivan:Because she's my cousin. (awkward silence)
Linkara/MarzGurl was sunk for good when Lewis's girlfriend, Iron Liz, became a part of his show. Though most fans seem to like Liz, so this isn't the problem it would be in other fandoms.
Because of the Double Standard with Chick chasing Todd being seen as cute but Todd chasing Lupa being seen as creepy, Lindsay had to announce on facebook that she and Todd decided at the very beginning the characters were never going to get together. For bonus points, she also had the Chick go through Sanity Slippage to sink it even further.
Pretty much everyone who watched Team Starkid's original production Starship hopped on the Taz/Up (Tup) ship from the second song of the musical. However, since then the Team has at least attempted to sink the ship by pointing out their age difference, something usually ignored in fanfictions/fanvids/fan-anything. Lauren Lopez (paraphrased) remarked "She's like...sixteen...and he's like...eighty." Most fans regard this as an adorable exaggeration and the ship is still sailing strong, despite a few holes.
The finale may as well have been titled "Sorry, Shippers". What's worse is the fact that the episode was also Terra's Back from the Dead moment, making BB/Terra the ship so nice they sank it twice.
In issue fifty-one of Teen Titans Go!, Terra's brother Geo-Force, when looking for his sister, gets one good look at the Schoolgirl and shouts, "It's HER!" then comments that she looks happier than she's ever been before. Afterwards, he and Beast Boy leave, as Terra/The Schoolgirl watches them go, a knowing smile on her face... so yeah, the 'ship's so nice, they sunk it thrice.
Teen Titans Go! still let a little Ship Tease pass through every once in a while though. For the Valentine's Day issue, in the non-canon bottom gags, Terra and Beast Boy are as friendly as ever.
While Blackarachnia/Optimus was fairly obvious in Transformers Animated, "Predacons Rising" killed off any hope of Sentinel/Blackarachnia. He isn't just disgusted by her, he actively wants to murder her.
The head writer of Code Lyoko confirmed in an interview that there was no romantic affection between Odd and Aelita, and that their relationship was purely platonic, like the cousins that they pretend to be.
Glenn Eichler of Daria has admitted in interviews post-show that he never intended from the beginning for a Daria/Trent relationship to actually be possible. Some fans took the creation of Tom Sloane as an example of Ship Sinking, but the sinking had already been in action before Tom's conception. Coincidentally, the episode in which Tom was introduced, "Jane's Addition" was also the one that sunk the Daria/Trent ship. The conversation the two have near the end about Trent's failure to provide the music for their school project, is basically stating the reason why the two can't be together ("not good with deadlines" indeed).
It seems the writing team absolutely HATE the Katara/Zuko (Zutara) pairing. They've tried to torpedo the pairing via canon a few times... once just outright teasing them with a scene that looked like Katara was going to lead Zuko to the path of righteousness, but immediately dumping him once Aang shows up to rescue her and further destroying it by having Zuko head back to The Dark Side... and when Zuko finally goes good for real? Katara threatens to kill him if he betrays them again and means it.
Mike and Bryan confirm in the commentaries for the third season DVD box set that it was all about the Kataang and Maiko from the beginning, noting that "[the Zutarians] are probably mad right now". In the "Sozin's Comet" novelization interview, according to Mike, Zutara was "never intended" while Bryan said, "Come on, kids! "Zutara" never would have lasted! It was just dark and intriguing."
The writers parodied the Zutara ship in "The Ember Island Players" (an episode explicitly meant to be a humorous nod to the fandom in general), where the versions of the Gaang in the play behave exactly how the most rabid Zutarians would like them to — "Katara" is dreamily nursing a crush on "Zuko" while she and "Aang" gleefully declare themselves to be Like Brother and Sister. The reactions from the real characters had both Zuko (disgusted) and Katara (incredulous) rapidly putting as much space between them as they could, while Aang became even more depressed.
The "Avatar Extras" pop-up commentaries on Nicktoons Network had "Kataang Wins!" pop up at the end of the final episode.
"The Headband" is an entire episode dedicated to sinking Zutara. In the A-story, Katara exhibits real crushiness towards Aang and jealousy when he dances with a Girl of the Week. Then, the two of them Kataango. In the B-story, dorky-cheeseball-in-love Zuko shows off the true extent of his dweebery when on a romantic picnic with Mai, and they Maikout.
Creator Michael DiMartino: "One thing you can always expect from Avatar is a little romance...and Bolin is really trying to find his way in life and love, which leads him into an awkward relationship with Eska. Asami will always be a friend. I don’t think there’s romance in the cards for them."
In the the Book 2 finale, Mako/Korra ("Makorra"), made an Official Couple in the Book 1 finale, was unexpectedly sunk when Mako and Korra agreed that they weren't right for one another, and broke up "for real this time". To some shippers, however, Makorra began sinking as soon as the first few episodes of Book 2, when Korra and Mako struggled with fighting, Korra's Avatar duties, and the gradual souring of their romance. According to rumors, there will also be no Makorra in Book 3, effectively sinking the ship for the forseeable future.
Also in Book 2, Bolin/Eska ("Boleska") was sunk two times : first when Bolin got fed up with Eska's abuse and fled on the night of their wedding, and a second time in the finale, when they realize that their reconciliation was a thing that happened in the spur of the moment and that their relationship wouldn't work despite their feelings for each other.
While it might not sink the ship completely, The Spectacular Spider-Man's Spider-Man and Blackcat are now unlikely to ever have a relationship. Let's just say alone time with the girl whose father killed your uncle, the closest thing you had to a real father would be awwwwwkward.
The Futurama episode "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" torpedoed Fry / Amy.
Season four's "Stop Team Go" features Shego being turned good by a Mirror Morality Machine and immediately becoming best friends with Kim. It's like a gift to KiGo shippers for their support and promotion of the show, and even has the Ship Tease-baiting line of Shego saying "You know, Kimmie, I couldn't tell you this when I was evil, but—" Right then, she's flipped back, flies away crowing with her partner in crime, the machine is smashed to pieces and Kim and Ron pretty much say "Shame, but maybe it's for the best". It's as if the Word of God was saying "Well, wasn't that fun? But no. No, it's just not going to happen".
They sunk KiGo with The Movie... Then revived it with the last seasons teases, and sunk it again rougher then before with the finale.
In The Venture Bros., any hopes of progression for Brock/Molotov may have also been sunk after "Operation: P.R.O.M." Not only does Molotov claim she's in love with Monstroso, she crosses the Moral Event Horizon once again by threatening to have all of the people Brock cares about murdered by her Black Hearts if Brock doesn't let her go. Oh, and she fell off of a cliff in a limo and may be dead... And promptly floated back to the surface again in Seasons 5 when it is revealed in the opening minutes of the first episode that they Never Found the Body after that car explosion, Monstroso and Molotov are still alive, only for Monstroso to be taken by The Investors, and Molotov was a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent.
In Justice League, Batman/Wonder Woman was sunk before the series had even started, with Batman Beyond showing that Bruce stayed a bitter, lonely man into retirement age.
Bruce: When I was young, women used to throw themselves at my feet all the time. Terry: What did you do? Bruce: Step over them. Terry: Smooth. Bruce: I thought so.
Batman Beyond also sunk the Dick Grayson/Barbra Gordon ship. She ended up married to some guy who had never even been mentioned before this series. After she dated Bruce.
In the The Fairly OddParents "Wishology" trilogy, Trixie being Timmy's love interest during the three movies effectively did this for Timmy/Tootie shippers. The ship did eventually recover, and Timmy ends up with Tootie at the end of The Movie (and unlike "Wishology", with no status quo ending).
The Total Drama Action special might have done this for Trent/Gwen shippers: not only do the two have no one to one interaction at all in the special (significant enough in itself) but Gwen admitted she finds Duncan attractive while Trent has already begun dating different girls.
Total Drama World Tour did it to the Courtney/Duncan ship. Dropped a thermonuclear warhead on the ship before doing a Colony Drop on the ashes.
Heather/Alejandro also seems to be sunk, after Heather chose the prize over his love, sealing her decision with a Groin Attack. Fortunately for fans, they went through a Relationship Upgrade in All Stars.
And before, relatively popular pairings in fandom like Heather/Harold and Heather/DJ (both had some Ship Tease in previous seasons) were also sunk. The first in the first TDWT Aftermath and the second in Newfoundland.
And then come Total Drama All Stars where the Gwen/Duncan ship was officially torpedoed when Gwen broke up with Duncan because their relationship was no longer thrilling, not to mention he still showed signs of being interested in Courtney. Then the season just proceeds to beat the ashes of the already sunken Courtney/Duncan ship by showing that Courtney has completely moved on at this point, having no interest in Duncan whatsoever and instead pursuing a relationship with new comer Scott.
Three seasons were spent alternately teasing and sinking Finn/Bubblegum, with Finn sporting an enormous Precocious Crush on her but Bubblegum not showing any romantic interest in him, despite them getting progressively closer over the seasons. "Too Young" is the pinnacle, with most of the episode depicting them having adorable bonding moments, only to swerve into a sinking ending. The ship was cut in two with the "Incendium"/"Hot to the Touch" two-parter and Finn's new crush on Flame Princess, then sinks to the bottom of the ocean when Finn states in "Burning Low" that he doesn't have feelings for Bubblegum anymore.
Finn/Marceline was often proposed as an alternative to Finn/Bubblegum. Cue the episode "Go With Me", which shows they do not have any romantic feelings for the other.
The canon Finn/Flame Princess ship was sunk in "Earth and Water" when she breaks up with him for breaking her trust, and in "The Red Throne" FP once again rejected Finn and reiterating that she's no longer interested in him.
After Finn & Flame Princess broke up, the Finn/Princess Bubblegum ship is refloated in "Too Old"… only for it to be torpedoed yet again as Bubblegum once more chastises Finn for his immaturity, and Finn realises that their age difference is more than just a number.
And then this Finn/Flame Princess shipping is sunk further with the events of "The Red Throne", ending with Cinnamon Bun declaring his love for her. Whether or not this is just platonic is up for debate however.
The flashback scene where Doofenshmirtz takes Linda on a date (which ended badly) was intended to sink the idea that Doof is Phineas' father.
"Minor Monogram" sinks Vannesa/Johnny.
ThunderCats (2011): Although Cheetara and Lion-O had a lot of Ship Tease moments, that ship was thoroughly sunk in Episodes 12 and 13 when it's revealed that Tygra had a crush on Cheetara since childhood and Cheetara returned his feelings but put her duty to Lion-O above her feelings for him, topped off by Cheetara and Tygra sharing their first kiss in front of a shocked Lion-O!
In Transformers Prime even after a rather rough first encounter with each other in the episode Metal Attraction, Airachnid and Breakdown were shipped following a line from Breakdown that even though he felt she was domineering and her extra arms were weird, he found himself intrigued by her. Come the Season 2 episode Crossfire however, she kills him. Because he was willing to kill her under orders. Ship sunk indeed.
Even canon ships aren't safe, when Young Justice kicked off it's second season with Miss Martian suddenly kissing Lagoon Boy, even though she had been dating Superboy in the first season. Granted, a lot can change in five years, but the show hadn't told anybody about that part until afterwards.
We'll never know for certain what the writers for The Powerpuff Girls thought about the fans clamoring for a relationship between Professor Utonium and Miss Keane. What is certain is that they were determined not to let romance take over the show. Utonium and Keane did hit it off, but proceeded to spend nearly the entire episode doing nothing at all but exchange baby talk. Worse, they did it over the PPG emergency line, meaning that the girls couldn't respond to crises (which quickly made the city an extremely unpleasant place to live). They finally broke it off because Keane owns a cat, and Utonium, thanks to a harrowing encounter with one in the past, can't tolerate the presence of one.
Played with in-universe in the season 3 premiere of Superjail!: After the relationship between Lord Stingray and the Mistress falls through, Jared and Charise conspire to have the Warden and Mistress sleep together so that Superjail can be restored to glory (and that they themselves might have a chance at being together if their bosses are). The potential is sunk when the Warden proves to have no clue what to do, and Alice winds up sleeping with the Mistress instead. The Mistress then decides she doesn't need a lover, and relinquishes Superjail back to Warden, further undoing the assistants' hopes and plan. The fans that had shipped Warden and Mistress together wound up distraught, while a few others had decided to latch on to shipping Mistress/Alice instead.
On T.U.F.F. Puppy, the episode "'Til Doom Do Us Part" is dedicated entirely to sinking the Dudley/Kitty ship.
A lot of ApplePie shippers were worried that the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode, "Pinkie Apple Pie" was going to sink their ship before it aired by establishing that Pinkie Pie and Applejack were cousins (distant cousins, but cousins nonetheless). In the end the episode established that they might be related. The Pinkie/Big Macintosh ship is also affected by this.