Shipping / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Despite the show being focused on friendship and very little romance outside of seeing a few married couples, shipping is quite popular. Especially Les Yay Shipping, probably due to there being so few males.

  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Soarin' and Spitfire, the two Wonderbolts to get the most attention in the series, were a fairly popular shipping for fans in the beginning, among the shippings both characters are involved in anyway. After the events of "Rainbow Falls," which saw Spitfire briefly grab hold of the Jerkass Ball and almost kick Soarin' off the team, several members of the fandom that used to ship them together have since steered clear from it as far away as they can.
    • While not explicitly canon, the comics showing Iron Will having a wife and kids has caused many to abandon the Fluttershy/Iron Will pairing.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: It's not at all uncommon for Celestia, Fluttershy, or Pinkie Pie to get paired with Discord.
  • Broken Base: As in any fandom, some fans think everypony should be gay or lesbian, some get angry if a character is anything but heterosexual, and some get angry that shipping exists at all, citing the fact that it's a kids' show and that Lauren Faust specifically invoked No Hugging, No Kissing. And even more only subscribe to filly/adult pony ships or incestual ships. Most bronies will be okay with both homosexual or heterosexual pairings.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Soarin' scarfing down an apple pie at the Grand Galloping Gala led to the ship of Soarin' x pies.
    • Rarity x "Tom", a boulder nearly twice her size which she is hypnotized into believing is a diamond.
    • Big Mac and "Smarty Pants".
    • Twilight Sparkle is sometimes shipped with books. Starting with "Castle Sweet Castle", Twilight has been shipped with pancakes.
    • "Tom" x Boulder (Maud Pie's pet rock).
    • "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" has Pinkie Pie hitting on a statue of the Gryphon king Grover.
    • A scene in the first part of "The Crystaling" where Starlight Glimmer is eating popcorn while Spike tells about how he saved the Crystal Empire is started getting some fans shipping her with a bag of popcorn.
  • Crack Pairing:
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Double Standard: Lesbian ships are popular while male/male ones are not very popular.
    • A lot of this has to do with the general paucity of male characters in general; there are very few male characters with any significant characterization, and two of them (Mr. Cake and Shining Armor) are married. That leaves Spike (underaged, and has a canonical crush on Rarity), Big Mac (who now has a canonical girlfriend), and Discord (an ancient chaos god), along with a tiny number of marginally characterized supporting cast members (and it doesn't help that Braeburn, one of the few male supporting cast members from the early seasons that fans really liked, is Big Mac's cousin - though it is still probably the most popular male gay ship anyway).
  • Dry Docked Ship:
    • Many people in the fandom say that Discord is Celestia's ex.
    • And with Keep Calm And Flutter On It adds even more fuel to it with Celestia actually giving him a shot in redemption.
      • And Twilight's Kingdom just dumped a blazing road flare on that puddle of gasoline, with Discord's giving that bouquet to Celestia at the end.
      • "Make New Friends But Keep Discord" throws in a little more when Celestia admits she deliberately invited Discord to the Grand Galloping Gala to liven it up, though she has a well-known penchant for ruining the gala.
    • Some also say similar things about Rainbow Dash and Gilda.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Being a highly popular show, will naturally have fans (besides the het examples above) hating characters for their Les/Ho Yay Ships as well. Miss Cheerilee is less than liked by the Car Mac or other Big Macintosh/anyone else fabs.
    • Flash Sentry was hit by loads of fandom flak before he even got a name (even before the movie came out, bringing with it every last ounce of Ship Tease you'd expect). Just seeing official artwork of him standing next to Twilight was enough to spark enough shipping rage to last a decade.
    • Zephyr Breeze is beginning to get this from a lot of FlutterDash shippers due to his crush on Rainbow Dash.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Twilight Sparkle and the Great and Powerful Trixie is a popular ship. Oddly enough, they hardly interact with each other directly in "Boast Busters".
    • "Magic Duel" gives these shippers plenty of fuel. The ending even has the two becoming friends.
    • You would think that with his grotesque form that Discord would not get a lot of shipping. You'd be wrong. Doesn't help that at one point he strokes Twilight's cheek. Discord/Celestia seems to be gaining the most steam, probably because of them being ancient enemies and both being reviewed Trolls (even though canonically, Celestia is more of a downplayed version of The Prankster than a troll).
    • Apple Bloom/Diamond Tiara for the Toy Ship variety.
    • Braeburn/Little Strong Heart also comes up, playing up the Romeo and Juliet angle as well as the fact that they were two of the more level-headed characters on both side of the conflict who wanted to try to work out a compromise before pies were discharged.
    • Also Shining Armor and Queen Chrysalis, although this is mainly one-sided as she was using magic to hypnotize him in the actual show.
    • Some people have been pairing Twilight Sparkle with King Sombra, even when they haven't downright confronted each other like other examples.
      • Twilight Sparkle being paired up with the villains is also a considerable ship as well. Especially Discord.
    • Nightmare Rarity attacked her friends with visions of their own nightmares. But with Spike, she gave him a marriage proposal. People noticed.
    • There is some serious In-Universe Foe Yay between Daring Do and Ahuizotl. When Rainbow Dash notices, her squee is rather awkward.
    • Shipping Applejack with one or both of the Flim Flam brothers (usually Flim) isn't unheard of.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • Applejack and her Brother Big Macintosh have been shipped since the earliest days of the fandom, helped by the fact that Big Mac was the first and for a time the only stallion who even had a name, let alone any characterization.
    • Fueled heavily by Twilight's possessive behavior in the first half of A Canterlot Wedding, there's a noticeable following that pairs Twilight Sparkle with her brother, Shining Armor. The fact that Shining Armor ultimately marries Princess Cadance does little to deter these shippers, who resort to alternate universes, polyamory, or just straight-up cheating to keep the siblings together.
    • Celestia and Luna sometimes get this, being two of the ageless in the series, due to the fact they'd rarely have anyone to turn to but each other. Ever since Luna's return, there's also been talks by Celestia about how happy she is to have Luna back.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Braeburn has been shipped with Applejack and Big Macintosh, sometimes together.
    • Ever since Babs Seed has been introduced as Apple Bloom's cousin, fans have shipped them together.
    • Big Macintosh and Marble Pie, Pinkie's twin sister have been shipped since their interaction in "Hearthbreakers" although they are implied to be distant cousins.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
  • Mayfly–December Romance/Teacher/Student Romance:
    • A very common ship is the seemingly immortal Princess Celestia and her student, the decidedly mortal Twilight Sparkle.
    • Another very common ship is with Twilight Sparkle and Princess Luna, the younger sister of Princess Celestia. The fact that Luna and Twilight do not have the Mother/Daughter-esque relationship that Celestia and Twilight do takes away some of the squick from the relationship, but we also know that Luna is more than one thousand years old.
    • Also, Spike and his relationship with almost any pony (most usually Twilight or Rarity) since he'll live hundreds of years and they won't.
    • Discord, a likely immortal trickster spirit, and Fluttershy, a decidedly mortal pony.
  • Mind Game Ship: One of the many reasons that Discord is a Launcher of a Thousand Ships.
  • Official Couple:
    • Shining Armor and Cadance
    • Mr. and Mrs. Cake
    • As of season 7, Sugar Belle and Big Mac
  • OTP:
    • Lyra Heartstrings/Bon Bon, two background ponies that are often seen with each other when Lyra is up to her wacky antics. Of all the shipping pairings in this fandom, there seems to be some unwritten law of fanart/fanfiction that these two are not to be shipped with anypony but each other.
    • How extensive is this? The first reaction to any other pairing is cries of "Lyra is cheating on Bon Bon!" and vice versa.
    • Then there's the background scene in "Putting Your Hoof Down" where Lyra is seen sitting at a table looking bored, only to perk up when Bon Bon arrive. Or the fact that Bon Bon's saddlebags have Lyra's Cutie Mark on them...
    • The episode "Slice of Life" showed them as very close, even talking about how close they are, and making half-lidded eyes at each other. Word of God insists they're just best friends, but it doesn't take a thick pair of Shipping Goggles to see the pairing there.
      • Lyra/Doctor and Bon Bon/Caramel are slowly picking up popularity, perhaps in an attempt to create more hetero-ships or shake things up a bit.
      • The repeated emphasis on "best friends" (which is mentioned several times) has become an inside joke among some fans of the pairing, who try to paint it as a euphemism.
    • Octavia/Vinyl Scratch is almost the fandom's second OTP. It's kinda like a Straight Man and Wise Guy sort of relationship.
    • Doctor Whooves/Derpy is also popular.
      • Helped by the fact that they were seen meeting up with each other in the Hearts and Hooves Day episode.
  • OT3:
    • Discord/Nightmare Moon/Queen Chrysalis thanks to an official villains poster.
    • Applejack and The Flim Flam Brothers are another popular one.
    • If you're into princest, there's Celestia/Cadance/Luna. With the addition of Twilight Sparkle as the 4th, that gives us the "Alicorn Tetrarchy": Celestia/Luna/Cadance/Twilight.
    • For those who don't want Twilight left out of her brother's marriage equation, there's also Shining/Cadance/Twilight.
    • All three CMC for a Toy Ship OT3
    • After the events of "The Cutie Map" Pinkie Pie, Cheese Sandwich, and Party Favor have all started to be paired together, if the latter two aren't portrayed as romantic rivals.
    • Sunset and the two Twilights.
    • For all of Twilight's counterparts, there's Trixie/Sunset/Starlight.
    • Ember/Spike/Thorax, especially after "Triple Threat".
  • Settle for Sibling: The premise behind the Spike x Sweetie Belle pairing.
  • Shipping: For pairings that don't fit anywhere else:
  • Shipping Goggles: Most of the pairings mentioned in this folder? Only Spike/Rarity (usually Played for Laughs in-show) and Big Macintosh/Cheerilee (which was resolved ambiguously enough to tease future possibility) have any factual basis whatsoever in-canon. Some of them haven't even met! Just shows how much the fans look into this show.
    • There's even a fanfic called Shipping Goggles that parodies all this.
    • The Japanese fandom was particularly big on this. Look Before You Sleep was tagged "Yuri" on Nico Nico Douga at one point.
    • The four which tend to be most "pushed" by the show are AppleDash (Applejack + Rainbow Dash), FlutterDash (Fluttershy + Rainbow Dash), RariJack (Rarity + Applejack), and Flarity/RariShy (Fluttershy + Rarity). These are easily the most common pairings of characters in episodes, and when the group ends up in pairs, it is VERY likely that Applejack will end up with either Rarity or Rainbow Dash, and whoever she doesn't end up with will probably end up with Fluttershy. Every one of these pairings has had at least one episode which focuses on them, and several have had multiple episodes which featured them pretty strongly. These episodes are always purely platonic in nature, but it doesn't stop the fans at all.
      • RariJack shows up extremely often, and is the most popular mane 6 ship that *doesn't* involve Rainbow Dash. It first showed up in "Look Before You Sleep", where the two characters spent the entire episode being catty towards each other, stoking the fires of shippers believing they had extreme UST. In "The Best Night Ever", the only two of the mane six who interact significantly outside of the beginning and ending are Applejack and Rarity, when Applejack gives Rarity free food because her date sucks. "Sisterhooves Social" found Applejack giving Rarity advice on being a good big sister. They ended up defending the Crystal Heart together in "The Crystal Empire", and the end of the episode also gave the shippers this. Rarity was the one to help Applejack in "Magical Mystery Cure". They try to keep Discord away from Twilight in "Three's A Crowd". And then they got another episode of being extremely catty towards each other in the form of "Simple Ways". They ended up setting out into the fair together in "Trade Ya", and yet AGAIN get in an argument and try to prove that they're the better friend to the other, as well as being very catty at the end of the episode, and in "Applejack's Day Off" when the two decide to go to the spa together. Several of the writers have admitted that they enjoy writing the two together because their personalities bounce off of each other so well, which probably only adds fuel to the fire.
      • FlutterDash also shows up frequently, possibly because the two are childhood friends, as established in "Cutie Mark Chronicles". Fluttershy is the only person who can initially go to cheer on Rainbow Dash in the Best Young Flyer's competition in "Sonic Rainboom", and very frequently supports Rainbow Dash in her endeavors. In "May the Best Pet Win", Fluttershy is so overjoyed with Rainbow Dash wanting a pet she tries to pick her up and carry her off - unsuccessfully, because Fluttershy is not a very good flier. "Hearth's Warming Eve" had them as Commander Hurricane and Private Pansy in a play, dressed up in Greco-Roman type armor. Rainbow Dash pulls Fluttershy out of bed in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" (embarassing her in the process about the fact that she is naked under the sheets, despite the fact that she is ALWAYS naked) to get in line early for cider, and lets her stand in front of her in line for the stuff, despite desperately desiring it. "Hurricane Fluttershy" turns this around, with Rainbow Dash urging Fluttershy to be the best she can be. Rainbow Dash saves Fluttershy in the changeling fight in "A Canterlot Wedding", and when she helps her up, the overlap of their noses combined with a "swoosh" sound effect led many with shipping goggles to believe that Rainbow Dash had given her a little kiss on the nose to reassure her. "The Crystal Empire" found Rainbow Dash dragging off Fluttershy in order to compete with her in jousting, then going easy on her after a round because Fluttershy was scared. Well, a bit easier - she has a reputation to maintain, after all. Fluttershy was the one to help out Rainbow Dash in "Magical Mystery Cure". And finally, in "Trade Ya", she spends the entire episode helping out Rainbow Dash instead of doing what she came there to do, and in the end gives up her own opportunity to trade (and indeed, offers to give up several months of her life) in order to make Rainbow Dash happy... only for Rainbow Dash to realize that is a totally horrible idea because Fluttershy is way more important to her than any old, rare book.
      • AppleDash is another very common grouping for the characters, particularly because they're the two most athletic characters. This results in them competing against each other on several occaisions, most notably "Fall Weather Friends", where they spend the entire episode in an athletic competition with each other, and in "Castle Mane-ia", where they are trying to determine which of them is the most daring pony - and where, when Rarity accidentally grabs Rainbow Dash through the wall, Rainbow Dash assumes that Applejack put her hoof around her shoulders because she was scared. The fact that both are tomboys definitely doesn't help things, given the various stereotypes around tomboys being lesbians, and it is only further reinforced on many occaisions where the two end up helping each other out and the innumerable arguments and smaller competitions they get into, from the hoof-wrestling match in "Ticket Master" to the argument they have over leaving Twilight behind in "Princess Twilight Sparkle". Rainbow Dash pulls Applejack into a picture in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" (which some folks decided was a kiss, because the camera flashed as Rainbow Dash pulled Applejack towards her, grinning). Rainbow Dash at first tries to help out Applejack in "The Crystal Empire" before she is sent away to be a distraction.
      • Flarity is the last of the four most common pairings, and comes up on many occaisions. "Green Isn't Her Color" features them going out to the spa together on a regular basis, and Rarity getting jealous of Fluttershy getting all the attention that she so craves - and feeling terribly guilty about it and wanting to protect her from scorn when things DO eventually go badly for her. The much later "Filli Vanilli" has Rarity in a supportive role, encouraging Fluttershy, with her beautiful voice, to join the Ponytones quartet, and then later helping her make up excuses to sing more often, even while hiding away backstage due to Big Mac's sore throat. Rarity tries to teach Fluttershy how to stand up for herself in "Putting Your Hoof down". The two go into the castle together in "Castle Mane-ia", and despite Rarity having a very poor reason for going out there, Fluttershy sticks with her (though Fluttershy is a bit of a doormat - if she had a middle name, it would be "Welcome").
      • An honorable mention must go to PinkieDash (Pinkie Pie x Rainbow Dash), not because of its prevalence (though the two do end up enjoying hanging out with each other on several occaisions) but because in both "Griffon the Brushoff" and "Wonderbolts Academy", Pinkie Pie is very eager to spend time with Rainbow Dash; in the former, she wants to hang out with Rainbow Dash all the time, even when Rainbow Dash is trying to hang out with her old friend Gilda (who, for her part, seems very eager to spend one on one time with Rainbow Dash - a fact to which Rainbow Dash is completely oblivious), and in the latter, she is very worried about Rainbow Dash forgetting about her forever, and spends all her time checking the mailbox constantly for a letter from Rainbow Dash.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Discord/Chrysalis is quickly gaining steam despite the only thing connecting them is their ability to shapeshift and their threat to Equestria.
    • Spike gives an Almost Kiss to Applejack while fantasizing about Rarity in "A Dog And Pony Show", and now the AppleSpike pairing has become highly popular.
      • The massage Spike gives Applejack in "Spike At Your Service" has just added more fuel to this fire.
    • Soarin' once bought an apple pie from Applejack. This alone is the basis for the rather popular Applejack/Soarin' ship.
    • Rainbow Dash briefly saving Soarin's life in "Sonic Rainboom" and his pie in "The Best Night Ever" has automatically made the two of them into a popular couple. The picture of them together at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding" only adds fuel to the fire.
      • Saving Soarin' again in "Rainbow Falls" and then talking to him later has also added some fuel.
    • Also on the Soarin' ship is Braeburn, who has, as far as can be determined, never even been in the same city as Soarin', much less met him.
      • Spitfire and Braeburn is also very popular among the fandom, even though Spitfire's had the same amount of of screentime with Braeburn (ie, none whatsoever) that her teammate has had.
    • Twilight/Trixie has quite the fan following, even though they barely, if ever, spoke to each other in "Boast Busters."
      • Of course, nowadays season 3 has given the shippers all of "Magic Duel" to play with, too.
    • Vinyl Scratch and Octavia have never appeared in the same scene, episode, or even city together. They do share a trading card that suggests that maybe they know each other somehow, but that's not a lot to go on. Doesn't stop people from shipping them.
      • They did appear together briefly in only one scene in the fifth season episode "Bloom and Gloom", but it was in Sweetie Belle's nightmare, so it might not count. In the 100th episode "Slice of Life", it turns out that they're both roommates.
    • Nightmare Rarity only appears in an arc of the comic. Spike's adult self only appears for only part of a single episode of the television show. Despite not even appearing in the same medium, Nightmare Sparity is widely considered the most metal ship in the franchise.
    • Cheese Sandwich only appeared in one episode and will likely never appear again as he was voiced by a celebrity guest, yet the pairing Cheesepie (Cheese X Pinkie Pie) is still quite popular.
    • "Mauxie" (Maud Pie x Trixie) is a pretty popular ship. The only thing they have in common is that Trixie spent a short time working on the Pie family's rock farm.
    • Opalescence's slap slap nuzzle to Tank has led to fans shipping the two together.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Try and ship Lyra Heartstrings with someone besides Bon Bon, or vice versa. It may not end well...
    • When the episode synopsis of "Hearts and Hooves Day" was released, Twimac and Fluttermac (and perhaps Caramac) shippers started to go on the war path due the the possibility of Big Mac/Cheerilee becoming canon. The episode ends with a very ambiguous Maybe Ever After.
      • Although the Caramac shippers were still on the warpath after the CMC song about finding Cheerilee a date showed Caramel with a girlfriend. It doesn't help that even for those who don't pair him with Big Mac, Fanon in general tends to portray Caramel as a coltcuddler.
      • The Season 5 episode adds more fuel to "Big Mac Shipping" fire in the form of Pinkie's twin sister (and quite possibly a distant cousin of Big Mac), Marble Pie.
    • The Hub released an image of "A Canterlot Wedding" that shows what looks likes to some as Rarity flirting with Fancy Pants. Spike/Rarity shippers began to mobilize the fleets.
      • Although that might be neutralized by another picture that shows Spike dancing with Rarity's little sister Sweetie Belle. Then again, it might add more fuel to the fire in the eyes of the Spike/Rarity shippers.
  • Toy Ship:
    • The fandom really likes to pair up Spike with Apple Bloom.
    • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Spike has apparently been paired off with each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and some of their classmates in certain parts of the fandom.
      • The fact that Spike and Sweetie Belle were shown dancing together at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2" helps. In many stories he gravitates toward her after being rejected by Rarity, or being reminded that he has no chance with Rarity in the future with explanation.
      • Apple Bloom is also shipped with Featherweight, Diamond Tiara (mixed with Foe Yay), and Snips, as mentioned below.
    • Snails/Twist has gained some popularity for the combined Adorkable factor.
      • Snails/Diamond Tiara has a bit of a following.
      • Twist/Truffle Shuffle, stemmed from "Hearts and Hooves Day".
    • And now Apple Bloom/Snips is gaining some steam, ever since "The Cutie Pox".
    • Pipsqueak/Dinky for some reason has become popular. Theme Pairing, perhaps?
    • Scootaloo and Rumble as well.
    • Shipping any of the CMC's together is pretty popular, as is shipping all three together.
      • Snips/Snails have also been shipped together.
    • Since she got her cutie mark in "Bloom and Gloom", Babs Seed has been shipped with Snips.
    • Apple Bloom has recently been shipped with Tender Taps from "On Your Marks" by fans.
    • After "The Times They Are A Changeling", it didn't take long for fans to ship Spike and Thorax together. At the very least, this means slashfics involving pairings with the Mane Cast in them probably won't leave him out anymore.
    • It's pretty common for fan works to portray Silver Spoon as having feelings for Diamond Tiara. Sometimes Diamond returns her affections, sometimes she doesn't.
    • Sweetie Belle and Button Mash, a background pony who's canon interaction with Sweetie Belle is limited to a single scene where she sings at him, saying he's too old for Cheerilee. One ask blog, one fan-animation and one parody of a parody later, Button Mash became one of the most popular shipmates for Sweetie Belle.
    • It didn't take long for Princess Flurry Heart to be shipped with Pound Cake after her introduction.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Shipping/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic