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Shiptease
"Hold on, I have to appease the shippers now."
Tommy Oliver, Truncated Power Rangers

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.

Probably the cruelest method of Ship Tease is the Moment Killer.

Some fans in an attempt to shame showrunners into pairing up the male leads (this is especially true of Supernatural and Sherlock) have renamed the Ship Tease as "Queerbaiting" and declared that it is discriminatory toward LGBT viewers. Take this with however many grains of salt you wish.

See also: Will They or Won't They?, Subtext, Fanservice, Never Trust a Trailer, Tonight Someone Kisses, Literally Falling In Love, Implied Love Interest.

Contrast Ship Sinking.

Not to be confused with Striptease (see here for that).


Examples


She Is Not My GirlfriendThis Index Is Not My GirlfriendStrictly Professional Relationship
Romantic False LeadRomance ArcCaught in the Rain
Ship SinkingShipping TropesShip-to-Ship Combat
Breaking the Fourth WallOverdosed TropesBig Eater
Ship MatesJust for PunThe Ship Yard

alternative title(s): Ship Teasing; Shipping Fuel
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