"Hold on, I have to appease the shippers now."
Many fans 'ship.
These fans often do it all the time
(context or no) especially in certain demographics
. Producers, especially those who keep their finger on the pulse of the audience, not to mention their eye on the fan fora
, know this. So, they decide to tease the fans with hints about possible romantic entanglements, and thereby build that emotional attachment between the show and the audience as much as they can. If the writers are particularly impish, they'll tease a relationship that either never comes up or takes a hard right just as it gets going. Like a sudden death.
See also: Will They or Won't They?
, Never Trust a Trailer
, Tonight Someone Kisses
, Literally Falling In Love
, Implied Love Interest
. Probably the cruelest method of Ship Tease is the Moment Killer
. Contrast Ship Sinking
Not to be confused with Striptease
Examples with sub-pages
Examples without sub-pages
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- In the Peanuts series Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty are often shipped. To make things better in the cartoon and theater adaption, Peppermint Patty sings a song to Charlie when he asks what is love. The title? Poor Sweet Baby.
- The final page of the final story in Volume 5 of Empowered shows the scantily-clad eponymous character giving the likewise scantily-clad Sister Spooky a big hug. She also appears to be stroking Spooky's hair.
- Usagi Yojimbo:
- Nico and Karolina from Runaways, especially in the first issue after Terry Moore's run ended. After a game of "truth or dare" leads to Karolina stealing a magic staff from a bunch of white supremacists. Nico tells her "You pretty much always amaze me" with the two of them staring at each other. When pressed on whether Karolina, Victor or Chase is the better kisser, she eventually snaps and admits "Karolina". This is despite that they never actually got beyond Almost Kiss... as far as we know. Oh, and it ends with her chiding the boys for being "such 'phobes" while she and K have Intertwined Fingers.
- Runaways and Young Avengers both do this pretty often, but their Civil War crossover really went crazy with it. Tommy calls Nico hot, Nico calls Eli cute, and Victor calls Cassie an angel after she saves his life (he didn't think people actually did that). On top of that, the Tommy/Kate/Eli Love Triangle and the Vision's crush on Cassie are more apparent than ever.
- The title character and Michelle in Cerebus the Aardvark. They get along reasonably well, and there are mild implications that something intimate may have happened, but nothing comes of it and they eventually part on cool-but-not-completely-unfriendly terms.
- Demon Knights does this relentlessly with Exoristos and Shining Knight.
- Not even going over the amount of Ho Yay in Sam And Max, the titular duo is constantly a: being "mistaken" for a couple, or b: having a character trying to get them dating, or c: being told that they are destined to be together.
- Batgirl 2009:
- Damian comments that he was "really hoping to meet Cassandra. She sounds wonderful." Steph immediately worries what will happen when Damian hits puberty. (One wonders if the writer remembered that Damian and Cassandra are technically siblings.)
- In a Streets of Gotham, Damian asks Dick if Katana is seeing anyone. When Dick points out that Katana is a grown woman while Damian is only a child, he shrugs it off.
- Dick Grayson generates this every time he shows up in a book that stars a female character. His appearances in Supergirl and Power Girl are very notable among the shipping fandom.
- My Little Pony Micro Series:
- In Issue #3 Rarity brought a picture of Spike with her to sleep with... and of Applejack as well, leading to this interesting Twitter conversation with Price and Cook, unaware of the fandom's fascination with shipping.
- The Nightmare Arc might as well be called "Secret of My Excess, Part 2" for all the Spike X Rarity moments. For one thing, Spike brings the Fire Ruby, plus Spike is one of the only two characters who could cause a reaction on Nightmare Rarity (the other is her sister Sweetie Belle) and it's Spike who delivers the final line that releases Rarity from the Nightmare's grip. The last panel of the arc's final page also speaks volumes.
- In Issue 9, Big Macintosh practically has to fend off all of his female admirers— Sweetcream Scoops (who has been stalking him for several issues), Bon Bon, Fleetfoot (who gets an entire splash page and an alternate cover featuring her marriage fantasy about him), and even Princess Luna practically throw themselves at him. Zecora also follows him around, although if she's actually interested in him, she's at least more subtle about it than the other girls.
- In Kick-Ass, for better or for worse, a lot of the scenes between Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are framed from an odd angle where it looks like one is kissing the other (the dialogue bubbles dispel the notion, but the imagery is there), in addition to the two being about as close as anyone in the comic can be. The very large age difference may put it into No Yay territory, but Hit-Girl being both more mature and more experienced may not, so it's a YMMV/perception thing.
- In Paperinik New Adventures despite Donald Duck supposedly being in a relationship with Daisy (not that she ever appears) but he has several seemingly romantic moments with Xadhoom and Lyla. In the sequel Pk2, he has this with co-worker Tempest Gale.
- In the second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill and Mantis have several moments, starting from early on. However, since the series was cut short, and the change of writers with the next series, nothing came of it.
- In the Megas XLR and Touhou crossover Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness, there is a shiptease between Jamie and Patchouli. In the credits Koakuma has to slap Jamie to make him stop hitting on her.
- In Kyon Big Damn Hero, Kyon has had Ship Tease with every female character he's not related to. And one of his cousins, though that's one-sided. To be fair, though, he has that in canon, too.
- There are subtle hints of ship tease between Fluttershy and Shamrock in Ace Combat The Equestrian War.
- Evangelion 303: There was plenty teasing, mainly between Shinji and Asuka in the earlier chapters (such like Shinji staring at her bottom when she wore tight short pants or Asuka making excuses for sleeping in her bed) and between Rei and Kaworu later.
- Fate Stay Night: Ultimate Master has some ship tease between Ben and his Servant Avenger, very much in the same way as Shirou and Saber have in the original source material. Examples include both acting like a Battle Couple, Ben being clearly stunned by how beautiful she looks and Avenger insisting on sleeping in the same bed as him for better security measures.
- Child Of The Storm has a lot of this, possibly, in part, thanks to its Trolling Creator.
- Most prominently, Loki/Sif, who, though Everyone Can See It and despite numerous shippy moments, even sharing a New Year's Eve kiss, haven't got together.
- Harry/Gwen Stacy is teased slightly, after they chat and when she gives him a kiss on the cheek in thanks for being nice to Peter Parker, who'd twisted his ankle. This elicits a Luminescent Blush, which Thor teases him for.
- Harry Dresden/Gemma Simmons, of all things, was repeatedly teased in chapters 43 through 45. Even Bob remarks on it.
- Though, as of chapter 61, it seems to have been subsumed by Dresden/Wanda Maximoff, the latter of whom slyly notes that he 'wears the hell out of a leather duster' and has a history of dating members of the Trenchcoat Brigade.
- Though she does agree with Carol (and most of the fandom) that Clint her ex has amazing arms.
- Despite repeated Word of God insistences that they're Just Friends, the idea of a Harry/Carol ship is constantly lurking. This is probably because he's the first straight guy her age to treat her like an actual person for years - like, after she hit puberty - if not ever and she's the first girl his age to treat him like an actual person rather than a freak/saviour in pretty much ever.
- Chapters 58 through 61 have hinted at Uhtred/Jean-Paul.
- Equestrylvania drops hints of Rainbow Dash/Shatterstorm and Applejack/Soarin'.
- In the BlazBlue fanfic based off Help Me Doctor Hazama called Disaster Piece Theatre, there is quite a lot with Ragna and Noel. It is also heavily implied that there would be a fanfic that would delve more into it.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Heart of Azazel, there is some huge teasing involving Rick and Twilight. According to his profile, he grew closer and closer to the mare as time went on. And then Discord came around, and made a big mistake corrupting Twi. As Rick, devastated by the loss of something so important to himself, realized how much of a mess he's made out of his life and dedicated his life to using chaos for selfless acts. And to a lesser extent, in the next one, Rainbow Dash and Vergil.
- There is some Teasing for Izzy and Mimi in the Tamers Forever Series.
- In Forward, there are a number of scenes that tease River/Jayne. The author does, however, twist these around quite a bit, and one of the most tense moments between the two is ruined by a realization that psychic mind-manipulation was involved.
- Chapter 40 of The Tainted Grimoire teases Luso/Kanin in it's climax and conclusion.
- You Got HaruhiRolled!:
- The writer has some fun with this. He is believed to be the first person to ship Fujiwara/Kuyou, and has since turned it into a Running Gag that the pairing is very much one-sided. Chapter 84 is devoted to the Anti-SOS Brigade and deliberately has a lot of moments where Kuyou is affectionate towards Fujiwara. Fujiwara, who regards Kuyou as an Abhorrent Admirer at best and a rapist at worst, promptly Breaks The Fourth Wall and implores the author to stop it.
- He has also parodied the concept when Kyon becomes a pervert and starts propositioning every female character in the show, as well as some of the men. They all give him a slap in the face.
- Viral and Tsuuma in Tengen Toppa Gurren Solvernia.
- Imperfect Metamorphosis has no explicitly stated pairings whatsoever, but loves to drop hints regarding popular fandom pairings such as Marisa/Alice, Yukari/Yuyuko, Kaguya/Mokou, and Yuuka/Wriggle. There is also something developing between Rumia and Rin Satsuki, though what exactly is difficult to determine given the general Mind Screw nature of their relationship.
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories written by FF.net author Zarius tease the fanon pairings of Donatello/Irma and Leonardo/Lotus, and tries it's luck at a unique pairing by hinting at April/Michelangelo.
- Fallen King has Ryou and Tea, but in a twisted way as he uses it against her and her friends.
- In The Kobold Necromancer's fic TDWT: Reducks Redux, pretty much everything that's been published has been dedicated to this trope. Ezekiel/Bridgette, Ezekiel/Izzy, Ezekiel/Lindsay, Courtney/Duncan/Gwen, Gwen/Tyler, Harold/Bridgette, Harold/Lindsay, Cody/Sierra and Noah/Katie. Also Alejandro/Leshawna, Bridgette and girls in general, but that's sort of his schtick anyway.
- The Equestrian Wind Mage: While primarily shipping Luna and Vaati, with some side flirtation between Rarity and Maulgrim, readers have also picked up hints of attraction between Twilight and Nigellas (though Word of God is that that last one was unintentional).
- Despair's Last Resort is filled with this, as the author wanted to keep all relationships ambiguous. The ones that are hinted at the most are Ayame/Hikaru, Shigeru/Naomi, Satoshi/Takara, Masaru/Takara, one-sided Kazumi/Shizuka, and Shuuya/Miyako. It's also hinted that Shizuka was involved with someone during their year at Hope's Peak from the 78th Class, but she can't remember if she was in love with him or if they were close friends.
Film - Animated
- NXT season 3 had two sets of male pros with female rookies. The first set Goldust and Aksana were given a storyline involving a Citizenship Marriage while the second set AJ Lee and Primo got a more subtle tease. One episode had them trying to find a private place for an unrevealed reason, AJ loved to celebrate winning matches by jumping on Primo's shoulders, when she was eliminated from NXT she broke down crying in his arms and they finally kissed on the last episode.
- Similarly from the second season there was Layla and Kaval who also had an onscreen kiss.
- Billy Gunn & Chuck Palumbo teased a gay relationship with each other, going so far as to declare each other "life partners" and showering each other with affection.
- Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle were involved as Just Friends in a love triangle with Stephanie's husband Triple H. Steph was originally planned to leave Triple H for Angle, but Trips used his creative control to stop it.
- Stephanie McMahon and Eric Bischoff initially were duelling General Managers of Raw and SmackDown in 2002 and got an onscreen kiss during a Big Lipped Alligator Moment of a Halloween party. There had always been a bit of friendly Foe Yay between them.
- Trish Stratus got this a lot. She had it with Jeff Hardy twice, another time with her bodyguard Tyson Tomko, during a Stalker with a Crush storyline with Mickie James (that one she did kiss) and then there's Viscera.
- Trish and Lita were involved in some teasing with Christian & Chris Jericho that was ultimately revealed to be an example of The Bet. This lead to an 'intergender' feud between the two pairs, followed by a Heel-Face Turn for Jericho when Trish made her own Face-Heel Turn as Christian betrayed Jericho with her help.
- Melina and John Morrison got a little tease during a backstage segment in 2010 obviously meant as a Mythology Gag to echo their off screen relationship. They had been an actual on screen couple years before but had been separated onto different brands and this quietly disappeared. So the segment was this trope at the time.
- Alberto Del Rio and Rosa Mendes got one during a segment at the TLC PPV.
- Melina and Alicia Fox actually kissed on TV. Ditto for William Regal and Zack Ryder, although that was meant as comedy.
- Kaitlyn and Derrick Bateman's "friendship" on NXT was this at first but they quickly became an Official Couple.
- Kaitlyn's done this quite a bit. She's had Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes and Hornswoggle. Funnily enough, her BFF AJ locked lips with the last two as well, and AJ is with Dolph Ziggler as of December 2012.
- LayCool were a lesbian couple for as much as PG television would allow. Getting each other matching necklaces, always hugging each other and attending Couples' Therapy. Then Michelle had to blow it all by saying they weren't a couple.
- Billy Gunn and Chyna had this going on when the former returned in 2000 to console her after her break-up with Eddie Guerrero. In Kayfabe interviews he would describe Chyna as "absolutely gorgeous" and they were shown to be very close. However whenever asked they would insist they were Just Friends. It never amounted to anything other than a friendship, though the 2001 Royal Rumble did have a very couple-y moment between them when Chyna was getting wheeled out on a stretcher.
- Maryse and The Miz frequently throughout 2009. Maryse however was clearly just being The Tease, hoping to manipulate him into helping her. Miz sunk the ship at Night of Champions and pretty much told her to go to hell. However in real life the ship is sailing just fine for both of them.