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Playing With: Fan-Preferred Couple
Basic Trope: A character pairing that is not official but is often preferred by fans.
  • Straight: Bob and Alice are the Official Couple in the series, but Ted and Alice have a rather vocal fanbase.
  • Exaggerated: Fans think that the pairing of Ted/Alice is perfect in every way and that Bob/Alice has no merit whatsoever, while the storyline insists that Bob/Alice is meant to be.
  • Downplayed:
    • The show could probably go either way but seems to be leaning toward Bob/Alice. Most shippers could go either way but would prefer Ted/Alice.
    • Bob/Alice and Ted/Alice have relatively equal support, but Ted/Alice fans are more aggressive because they aren't getting what they want.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Fans universally agree that Ted/Alice would be a horrible pairing, fully supporting the official pairing.
    • Ted/Alice was originally the Official Couple of the series but due to Executive Meddling, namely the producers thinking that Bob/Alice would be more popular, that route was chosen. The writers still wanted Ted to be with Alice, so they tried to make the Ship Tease as subtle as they can to avoid it being cut.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • Ted/Alice may have been the original intention, but the writers liked Bob/Alice a bit more.
    • Ted/Alice did become an Official Couple but then they broke up later on because the writers did not want to do anything with that pairing anymore. However, fans still liked that pairing and the reason(s) why Ted and Alice broke up was very poorly received.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Bob/Alice is the Official Couple, but is broken up in favor of Ted/Alice. However, the way Ted/Alice gets a Relationship Upgrade is clumsily done, causing the pairing to lose popularity and many fans to jump ship to Bob/Alice. Then Ted/Alice gets broken up, too, leaving Alice single and with so many Ship Tease moments afterwards with both Bob and Ted that the popularity of Bob/Alice and Ted/Alice in the fanbase varies wildly from week to week.
  • Averted: The fans are perfectly fine with Bob/Alice.
  • Enforced: Derailing Love Interests (regardless of whether if it works for or against the pairing)
  • Lampshaded: "Don't you think that the fans, being as devoted as they are, would understand how out of character a pairing like this is?"
  • Invoked: Bob/Alice is the Official Couple but Ted/Alice has more Ship Tease.
  • Exploited: The show starts Ship Teasing Ted/Alice to keep the punters interested, even though Bob/Alice remains the endgame pairing.
  • Defied: Word of God may try to give Ted/Alice some Ship Sinking (though it often doesn't work).
  • Discussed: "You know, Alice, a lot of people feel that Ted is a better match for you than Bob".
  • Conversed: "Yeah, I know that Bob/Alice is the canon pairing of the series, but I've always been more partial to Ted/Alice."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Ted's fanbase is a case of Draco in Leather Pants who would actually be a terrible choice for Alice. Basically, if you think Bob is bad for Alice, then Ted is a lot worse.
    • The writer gives the fan-base what they want, by having Alice cheat on Bob with Ted.
  • Reconstructed: The writer realizes that some fans see Alice's relationship with Ted as much more organic than her relationship with Bob and that the fanbase is merely taking that relationship to a logical conclusion. As a result, the writer allows the fans to make up their own minds who Alice ended up with after the finale.

Back to Fan-Preferred Couple, it's way better than Official Couple! (And sexier too.)

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