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.
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...
There is light-hearted bickering over who should be with who, but all possibilities are respected.
"So Bob is the Dogged Nice Guy and Chris is the bad boy. And both of them like the same girl. Yep, there's absolutely no way that the fans won't become divided over these two radically different choices. And you just know that there's a Bob/Chris faction out there somewhere".
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.