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Ship-to-Ship Combat
'Tis what you get when Avatar fans go mad.

Casey Jones: Not even close, Zip-neck. Professor and Mary Ann. Happily ever after.
Donatello: Heh! No way, Atomic Mouth. Gilligan was her main man. They'd be married and have six kids by now.
Casey Jones: Gilligan was a geek, Barfarooni!
Donatello: You're the geek, Camel Breath.
Casey Jones: Dome Head.
Donatello: [feels his head for a bit] Elf Lips.

AKA Shipping Wars. Nothing to do with naval warfare (or space warfare for that matter). Or UPS vs. FedEx.. Or the A&E Reality Show based on the rivalry between a handful of independent truckers.

Many fans ship. Some of them have a distinct ship that they like over all others, while some of them support several, sometimes contradictory, pairings. Some of them like to debate a pairing while keeping in mind its status in canon, while some of them discuss it believing their pairing is canon (or, in the case of those who argue over what's going to happen like they think they're be pooling money for a bet, will inevitably be). Now throw in the power of the Internet to connect everybody (and everybody's opinions) with everybody else...

Shippers tend to become emotionally invested in their pairings, and Internet shipping discussions can be quite difficult to keep peaceful. All too often, they can't help but devolve into heated quarrels where preferences are insulted, ad hominem attacks are thrown, and comparisons to Nazis are made (though, to be sure, the latter aspect is just as capable of arising from any subject of Internet disagreement currently known to exist).

These Flame Wars are known as Shipping Wars: verbal arguments between people with different opinions about romantic relationships between fictional characters, though sometimes it can include real person fiction. There are those who bash whoever doesn't like their ship of choice, those who bash whoever likes a certain ship, and those who do both, usually basing their attacks on how canon/Fanon the discussed ship is. The fact that most ships really aren't canon and will never be is usually ignored. Particular hatred for a pairing or a character who gets in the way of a pairing manifests in the form of Die for Our Ship. Alternatively, fans might pair that character with another character, getting him or her out of the way of their favorite ship. This creates "alliances" between different shippers called Ship Mates.

Common victims include Platonic Life Partners, Heterosexual Life-Partners, and Lovely Angels. On one hand, lots of fans see Subtext, hints, and evidence where there really isn't; on the other, if there is some degree of subtext, other fans will adamantly refuse to see it and insult those who do. The Draco in Leather Pants also tends to be paired up a lot, and Shipping Wars erupt when deciding to whom he belongs.

Please note: someone just simply stating their opinion about whether they like a pairing or whether they think it's canon or not isn't Ship To Ship Combat or a ship war, that's just having a discussion. Or even when someone makes fun of a pairing. It's when the fans of a certain pairing start actually attacking and insulting the fans of another pairing that it becomes Ship To Ship Combat, such as if someone says they don't like a certain pairing or doesn't think it's canon and the fans of that pairing become enraged and start attacking that person for their opinion.

Trope Co., we'd like to order an emergency supply of MST3K Mantra, please.


Examples


Ship TeaseShipping TropesThe Ship's Motor
Serious BusinessInternet Backdraft"Stop Having Fun" Guys
Ships That Pass In The NightYMMV/Home PageThe Ship Yard
Ships That Pass In The NightYMMVThe Ship Yard
Selkies and WeresealsImageSource/InternetSidetracked by the Gold Saucer
Perky Female MinionImageSource/Western AnimationShip Sinking

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