Playing With: Ho Yay
Basic Trope: Two same-sex characters, often canonically heterosexual, are shipped by the fans after one tiny hint of Homoerotic Subtext.
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- Bob and Charlie, while canonically straight, have been known to hold hands, hug, and exchange flirty banter. They are subsequently shipped.
- Alice and Carol doing the above with each other, with the same result.
- By the fans: Bob and Charlie are simply friends. The fans go wild trying to find subtext in innocuous pieces of dialog between them, and they quickly become the Fan-Preferred Couple despite each of them being part of a Heterosexual Official Couple.
- By the show creators: Bob and Charlie's "subtext" borders on plain text, with a lot of "questionable" scenes, like them taking long steamy baths together where they compare "assets", all while the show creators constantly insist on telling us that they're completely, categorically, unequivocally, without a shade of doubt, 100% heterosexual.
- Downplayed: Bob and Charlie are openly gay in canon, so a few fans decide to pair the two despite the fact that they're just great friends.
- Justified: The show is full of so much Homoerotic Subtext that fans are surprised that they haven't yet been paired in canon. It doesn't help that most of these fans are girls.
- Subverted: Bob is exchanging flirty banter with Charlie. The fans don't like it.
- Double Subverted: ... but then they change their mind.
- Parodied: ???
- Zig Zagged: The subtext results in a Broken Base.
- Averted: It is clear in the work who is straight and who is gay, with no confusing subtext.
- "We want to attract a Periphery Demographic of Yaoi Fangirls, so we'll add in romantic subtext between the two male leads." a.k.a. queerbaiting
- Although Bob and Charlie aren't intended to be any kind of romantic couple, the actors portraying them have clear chemistry and they play it up for a laugh. When the fan-base responds approvingly, the producers decide to just go with it.
- Guy-on-Guy Is Hot; For Les Yay: Girl-on-Girl Is Hot.
- The author makes it clear that Bob and Charlie are heterosexual and just close friends, both in text and Word of God, but deliberately gives them a lot of physical closeness in order to get across the message that you shouldn't see homosexual subtext everywhere.
- Lampshaded: Charlie: "Bob, are you hitting on me? Careful, you know how fandoms are."
- Invoked: Faux Yay
- Exploited: Bob and Charlie pretend to be mutually attracted to each other to get their clingy girlfriends off their backs.
- Defied: Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
- Discussed: Interviewer: "Considering the exceptionally close relationship between yourself and Charlie, and the rumors about you two, would you provide a comment for us? Bob: "Uh... I had not been aware of the rumors, though I was told Charlie had encountered them, uh..."
- Conversed: "And scenes like that are precisely why I ship Bob/Charlie. Now for the grand finale... Yay 60s!"
- The creator is disgusted and stops interacting with his fandom because of the shipping.
- Bob and Charlie live in a setting that is oppressive to gays, and because of this, views any close male/male friendship with suspicion, making it hard for Bob and Charlie to be friends.
- Reconstructed: The creator makes up with the fans, and all is well, and includes more Homoerotic Subtext in later epsiodes.
- Played For Laughs: Bob and Charlie are actually straight. However, everyone around them is intractably convinced that they're gay, with the result that women that they're interested in reject them because they believe them to be gay, gay men keep hitting on them, and everyone encourages them to take those final steps out of a closet they aren't actually in. This causes them quite a bit of frustration.
- Played For Drama:
- Bob and Charlie's close relationship cause them both to neglect Alice and Carol, their respective Love Interests. This leads Alice and Carol to leave them, and Bob and Charlie have a falling-out, only to ultimately reconcile and go back to being close, but with added bitterness.
- Bob and Charlie initially play it for comedy by trying to seduce a girl and having a threeway with her, and then they never speak to each other again.
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