Playing With: Ship-to-Ship Combat
: The fanbase goes to war
over which two characters should be together.
- Straight: The fans who think that Alice and Bob should be the Official Couple argue with the fans who think that Alice and Chris should be the Official Couple.
- Turns out that there is no actual evidence in the canon material supporting either couple since Alice is asexual, so both sides rely on Insane Troll Logic to support their claims.
- There are strident and vocal fans for every possible combination of the characters, whether they've met in canon or not.
- Downplayed: The two camps disagree, but agree to strict rules that forbid actual fighting on the forum.
- Justified: There are lots of evidence for both Alice/Bob and Alice/Chris, with Word of God being incredibly vague on who Alice will ultimately end up with, leading fans to become very defensive of their preferred pairing.
- Inverted: Virtually the entire fandom wants to see Alice/Bob as the Official Couple. Or they support Bob/Alice/Chris.
- Double Subverted:
- ...But then canon gives them more fuel and they renew their feud.
- ...Except for a die-hard portion of the original shippers.
- Shippers on both sides agree that pairing Chris off with Bob was bad... except for Yaoi Fangirls. Thereby, creating even more arguments.
- Parodied: A third faction joins in, shipping Alice/Cake.
- Zig Zagged: Most episodes function like a No Hugging, No Kissing series, and during those periods fans tend to calm down. But then there's an episode where Alice and one of the boys have a nice, Ship Teasing moment...
- Averted: Alice/Bob and Alice/Chris supporters agree from the start that it'd be silly to go to war over their ships and remain polite and civil to each other.
- Enforced: "The fans are starting to lose interest. We need to add some more Ship Tease between Alice and Chris to keep the Flame Wars coming!"
- "I think I've gone crazy, Bob. Lately I keep getting this strange feeling that people on the internet are arguing about our love lives".
- The characters are a Five-Man Band who spend one episode in an Adventure Town where all the locals believe they're romantically linked and have raging arguments over who is better off together.
- Invoked: The publisher intentionally plays up the shipping wars by having the marketing and merchandising campaigns revolve around "Team Bob" and "Team Chris".
- Exploited: The author deliberately fans shipping flames to troll the audience.
- "You know what? Let's not argue over which fictional characters should swap fictional bodily fluids".
- The author's Official Couple is not disputed or contested.
- There is light-hearted bickering over who should be with who, but all possibilities are respected.
- Conversed: "An argument over which pairing is better". "It really is a battle with no winners".
- The feud is brought into the series itself. Supporting characters fight nastily over who Alice should be with, which creates a rift between Bob and Chris that wasn't there before and makes Alice reluctant to choose either of them.
- The author hits a writer's block due to the Unpleasable Fanbase. Eventually, the series will end and none of the ships will set sail due to the fear of backlash by the Fan Dumb.
- The author ends up Pandering to the Base, focusing on the shipping aspects instead of the actual story, leading to a sharp decline of quality in the work.
- In response to all the bickering and fandumb, the author sinks ALL the ships.
- The author, or someone close them, prowls the fandom and its internet presence like a U-Boat, seeking out the most popular 'ships to give them their day in the canonical sun, and then a merciless torpedoing. The fans react to this Speak of the Devil/Be Careful What You Wish For treatment either abandon shipping altogether (or even the series), or doing it in secret.
- The series takes a weird metafictional turn, as competing factions of incomprehensible creatures from a higher plane of existence meddle with the characters' minds, because the love lives of Alice and Bob and the rest are inexplicably important to them.
- Played For Laughs: While the battle goes on, an audience builds up. Bets start taking place and people start going for popcorn.
- Played For Drama: An Alice/Chris shipper is hospitalized after being beaten up by a gang of militant Alice/Bob shippers.
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