Clarke/Bellamy (a.k.a. Bellarke) from The 100 has always been the show's most popular pairing, even though, unlike in the original books where they're a canonical couple, the closest they ever came to an onscreen coupling in the show was a kiss on the cheek. A testament to Bellarke's enduring popularity is how they still have more fanfics on Archive of Our Own than the canonical Clarke/Lexa ship even after the show sunk any chance of Bellarke happening with Bellamy's death and the series finale confirming Lexa to be Clarke's greatest love.
American Horror Story: Asylum: Bananun (Lana/Sister Mary Eunice) is far more popular than the canon pairings of Lana/Wendy or Lana/Marion. This despite how little they interact, and that Sister Mary Eunice is a nun that is possessed by the Devil for most of the show. The most common reasons are the very minor Les Yay between them fallowing the possession, Paulson and Rabe having great chemistry, and the brief interactions that they had before Sister Mary Eunice is possessed. It is quite popular on Archive of Our Own and Tumblr, and only grew in popularity in the years fallowing the end of the season.
American Horror Story: Coven: Foxxay (Misty/Cordelia) is the most popular ship from the season, and easily out ranks the canon Hank/Cordelia. This is mainly due to the Les Yay between the two, and the chemistry between Paulson and Rabe. The ship easily outranks all others from the series in terms of numbers on Archive of Our Own, and is still quite popular on Tumblr and YouTube to this day. It also resulted in many fans in shipping the two actresses as well. This continued into American Horror Story: Apocalypse where the two are reunited after Michael resurrects Misty.
American Horror Story: Freak Show: Though this season has less shipping than most, Jimmy/Maggie seems to be the only one that fans really hung on to, having retained a small but loyal following years later despite Maggie's controversial reputation at the time the season aired. Most of the fanbase is located on Tumblr and YouTube. Where it is very much more popular than the endgame ship, Jimmy/Dot. Mostly due to the fact that their actors were engaged for a while, and Maggie's Character Development through the season being caused by their relationship.
American Horror Story: Roanoke: Most fanfiction about the season doesn't feature Shelby paired up with her canon husband Matt. Instead, most of it features her and Audrey surviving the events of the season and getting together. This is mainly due to the fact that they are the reunion of Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe in the show, whose characters from previous seasons fans already shipped together massively, as well as Audrey being the actress who played Shelby in the In-UniverseShow Within a Show. While the season as a whole doesn't have much fanfiction compared to others, most of what is out there is Shelby/Audrey.
Oliver Otto and Cooper Bradford are shipped together very strongly for how much of a bromance they have and the fact that they have more chemistry than Oliver had with Alice, Gina or Brie when he was with any of them.
Olivers pairing with Gina is much preferred over his pairing with Alice or Brie.
Those not interested in the Oliver/Cooper ship and yet still want Cooper to become part of the Otto family pair him with Olivers sister Taylor and hope that Taylors current relationship with Dumb Jock Trip Windsor comes to an end soon for it. The pairing would also mean that Oliver and Cooper become brothers-in-law.
The The Astronaut Wives Club fandom seems to have really latched on to the pairing of Max and Louise, particularly given Alan's characterization early in the series.
Riley/Danny seems to be this for the Baby Daddy fandom so far. Part of it seems to be that unlike most characters similar to Danny (tall, handsome, super successful), he's actually a really down to earth character who clearly loves and prioritizes his friends and family over the visages of wealth. For reference, the lowest salary of a pro-hockey player is about half a million dollars so Danny doesn't need to live with his brother because of money issues. The back story reveals he liked Riley even when she was "Fat Pants".
Most Better Off Ted viewers ship Ted with Veronica over Designated Love Interest Linda, despite the fact that Veronica is The Stoic who has no interest in a romantic relationship with Ted. It helps that they have already had sex without it getting weird, plus they get along well even though Veronica is Ted's boss and Veronica gets along well with Ted's daughter Rose.
Annie and Liam have become this in the Sequel Series to Beverly Hills, 90210. It's weird because they experienced Foe Yay in Season 1, became friends in Season 2, started dating in Season 3 with a few breakups in between and broke up in Season 4 and fans want them back together.
Birds of Prey (2002): Despite the fact that Helena Kyle ultimately gets together with Detective Jesse Reese towards the end of the show, most fans prefer to pair her with her friend and mentor, Barbara Gordon. This is mostly due to the chemistry between the two's actresses, the fact that Reese doesn't exist in the comics, and the Les Yay between them. As well as the absence of Barbara's canon love interest, Dick Grayson. This only increased following Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019), where the two were the only ones from the show to return. The pairing dominates what little shipping fanfiction there is of the show.
A decade before the term "shipper" was coined, many viewers of the 90s sitcom The Brittas Empire felt that Gordon Brittas would have been better off with his Hyper-Competent Sidekick Laura than his nervous alcholic wife Helen.
Broadchurch: Alec/Ellie has always been the fandom's most popular ship, even back in Season 1 when Ellie was still married. Though they didn't end up together, many fans like to imagine that they eventually became a couple after the show's end.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A vocal part of the fandom pairs Zelda Spellman and Lilith/Madam Satan together over the canon interest of Father Blackwood and the Dark Lord respectively. That is despite how little they have actually interacted in the two seasons. This is especially true with their other love interests Adam for Lilith and Mambo Marie for Zelda. On Archive of Our Own they have the most fanfiction of any pairing, even topping any with the actual lead, Sabrina by a good margin.
Cobra Kai: One look at Archive of Our Own shows that Daniel/Johnny is easily the fandoms dominant ship, despite Daniel being married to Amanda and Johnny having a thing with Miguel's mom, Carmen. Though this was already present for the films, the ship really exploded after the show introduced the franchise to a whole new generation. Their rivalry is the center of the show, and they share a lot of Foe Yay during both this and the movie. The pairing is also quite popular on Tumblr and other fanfiction websites.
Lilly and Scotty from Cold Case, who had a clear Unresolved Sexual Tension in the early seasons (even lampshaded by John Smith, who bluntly asks Scotty, "You get a piece of that? Bet you think about it from time to time.") Lilly and Stillman also have their fans.
Jeff and Annie from Community evoked this reaction. The various Season 1 DVD commentaries indicate that the pairing was a natural evolution of the characters and actors chemistry and also a reaction to the growing popularity of the pairing among the shippers. In the 2011 E!Online poll they were named the 2011 TV's Top Couple narrowly beating out the more well known TV pair of House and Cuddy from the Fox series "House".
Before they became an official couple in Season 4, The Troy and Britta pairing fit this trope as well mostly as a result of being Ship Mates with Jeff & Annie.
Abed and Annie have a small but vocal fandom. It helps that the character's actors Alison Brie and Danny Pudi are real life best friends and have a good rapport. However, Brie has gone on record as not fully supporting the ship herself.
A lot of people ship Kiera with Kellogg in Continuum due to Foe Yay and Belligerent Sexual Tension; however, it's largely one-way as Kiera is keeping faithful to her husband from 2077. As of season three, Kellogg is dead and Kiera is with a new time-traveling character.
All the Coupling fans wanted to see Jeff and Jane hook up. They were supposed to in the 4th series, but then Richard Coyle (Jeff) quit the show, and was replaced by the man who would "Mount Jane...I'm not giving you instructions."
Going by the sheer amount of shipping videos and fanfictions that popped up within months of the show's release, fans of Cursed really like shipping Nimue with the Weeping Monk (who aren't just enemies, but don't even directly interact in the first season). Shippers cite an interest in the similarities between the two characters; both grew up being treated as monsters/outcasts and both have shoddy fathers. As of this writing, Archive of Our Own has more than double the amount of stories pairing Nimue and the Weeping Monk, compared to stories with the canon pairing of Nimue and Arthur.
Dawson's Creek: Had Dawson and Joey in the first season, but they were quickly overtaken by Joey/Pacey who retained fandom support for the duration of the show. It was ultimately settled when Joey/Pacey become the official couple in the series finale.
Within Doctor Who, one of the most popular pairings is the Doctor/the Master, with Three, Four, and Five with their respective Masters are most common, and the age of both characters goes a long way to explaining their popularity. During the time of Ten's tenure, there was also a dedicated fanbase for shipping him with his respective Master. The introduction of the female version of the Master, known as Missy, who openly referred to the Doctor as her boyfriend in one episode and snogs Twelve in another (something not even Clara ever did) has created another fan-preferred pairing. Since Series 12 there has been a rise in shipping the female Thirteenth Doctor with yet another incarnation of The Master, once more a man. Other popular 'ships for Thirteen include her companion Yasmin 'Yaz' Khan and Captain Jack Harkness.
Isobel Crawley/Dr Clarkson was this for quite a long time. It was eventually revealed to be one-sided but still proves more popular than the on-and-off ship of Isobel/Lord Merton.
Despite Matthew dying at the end of the 2012 Christmas special, Mary/Matthew remains much more popular than the other possible Mary ships that the writers have tried to introduce.
Atticus Aldridge and Rose MacClare is by far the most well recieved and popular ship involving Rose. Bonus points that it occurred at the time where many consider Rose was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap and that they actually got married.
Joseph Molesley/Phyllis Baxter, given the fact that they are always together, are both Ensemble Darkhorses almost universally loved by the fanbase, and the fact that they are sensible, incredibly kind people, to the point where nobody really ships them with anyone but each other.
Jax and Emma in Every Witch Way, to the point where fandom literally voted in their preference to make them the show's official couple.
The Event has Vicky and Sean. Perhaps helped by the fact that Sean's fiancee is Leila, who gets herself captured at every conceivable opportunity and gets more competent characters killed off by being around her! The series itself implies that Vicky is attracted to Sean, so there is some basis for it.
There are too many to list in ER, but the most popular are Carter/Abby and Luka/Sam.
The show Faking It seems to be trying to sell Karma/Liam as much as Karma/Amy. Pretty much no one is rooting for the first ship. So far every single fanfic is Karmy and Katie Stevens and Rita Volk seem to ship it themselves. Those that do sometimes pair Liam with Shane.
Before the series even premiered, people were shipping the main characters Karma and Amy together. Being a fictional couple In-Universe helps.
On Frasier, Niles/Daphne was always infinitely preferred to Niles/Maris, even though Niles and Maris were married. This preference was largely due to the reason Maris remained The Ghost throughout the show's run: her actions were so horrible and psychotic, and her appearance so bizarrely described that the writers deemed it impossible to ever write dialogue for or cast a character of her level of monstrosity. (Niles and Daphne eventually became the Official Couple). To give you an idea how much the fans preferred this couple, Niles leaving his second wife days after they eloped and Daphne abandoning her fiance at the altar were viewed as positive things because it meant Niles and Daphne were finally getting together.
Some fans wanted Phoebe to end up with David the Scientist Guy instead of Mike. The odds were definitely in his favor, what with being Phoebe's First Love, and almost refusing to move to Minsk for his research, showing just how much he loved her. It didn't help that throughout the storyline where Phoebe was torn between the two, David acted like a gentleman towards his rival, while Mike was a complete douche to him in return. Mike comes across even worse when we later find out that he was already in a relationship at the time as well! And he proposed to Phoebe on the other woman's birthday, no less! (He probably didn't know, but still, dick move.)
Many fans (and even the actors themselves!) would have liked to see Joey and Phoebe get together in the end. Sadly the writers thought it would be too cliche (not to mention the fact that they had to free Joey up for the spin-off that Matt LeBlanc signed on for that Lisa Kudrow didn't.)
Chandler/Monica were originally meant to be a quick fling but were so popular with the audience that the writers developed the relationship and eventually married them.
Chandler/Joey are a popular couple. Their relationship is laced with Ho Yay.
One of the most popular non-canon pairings within the Firefly fandom is River/Jayne, spurred on by the series' overall theme of Opposites Attract in the three canon romances/relationships and held aloft by more than a little Foe Yay and Belligerent Sexual Tension. The fact that as of the end of Serenity, River and Jayne are the only two characters who are still alive who aren't already paired up ( save Zoe, who is still grieving over Wash) further fuels this reaction.
Despite a 27-year age difference between the characters, 73 percent of Foyle's War-related fanfics found on Fan Fiction.net as of the beginning of 2012 romantically pair Christopher Foyle and his driver Samantha Stewart. Many fans argue that their relationship on the show is more father/daughter, but Foyle on occasion gently lets the audience know he finds Sam very attractive, and although he initially thinks her somewhat intrusive (and over time is often amused by her youthful exuberance), he quickly begins to admire her ingenuity and allows her to be involved with the solving of cases, treating her for the most part in an egalitarian manner unusual for a man of his generation and time. Add to that a lot of chemistry among the two actors, and fans want RST.
Girl Meets World: Riley Matthews and Maya Hart each have their own definitive love interests (with Riley having Lucas Friar and Maya having Josh Matthews), but despite that and massive support for the pairing of Lucaya (Maya/Lucas), support for Rilaya (Riley/Maya) was even bigger thanks to the chemistry of Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter (brought about by their real life friendship). This has also led to many shipping the two actresses.
Glee: The Quinn/Rachel, or "Faberry", pairing is easily in the running as the biggest Fan-Preferred Couple from the series despite Rachel being paired with Finn for most of the show. The pairing won the 2012 E!Online poll for favorite couple and the 2012 Zimbio Couples March Madness poll, notably beating out Brittany/Santana and Kurt/Blaine, two of the show's most popular canon couples, in both polls.
During the first few seasons of The Good Place, Eleanor/Tahani was far more popular than any other pairing in the fandom, buoyed by Eleanor's Stupid Sexy Flanders moments with Tahani in Season 1 and Tahani being shown as one of the people Michael tried to set up as Eleanor's soulmate in Season 2's second episode. The pairing gradually petered out after the first two seasons as it became increasingly clear that Eleanor/Chidi was going to be the endgame couple in canon, but it still has fans who prefer it to Eleanor/Chidi.
The idea of a Vanessa/Rufus pairing has gained a lot of fans, going so far as many people speculating that she is currently dating Dan only to be close to Rufus. Word of God has sunk the ship but since when has that stopped shippers? For those not in the loop, Dan is not Rufus's brother, as one might guess from that entry; Dan is Rufus's son. Vanessa and Dan are both eighteen or nineteen; Rufus is... well, actually, it's hard to tell, because the timelines are all messed up, but he's the father of a nineteen year old boy, who was conceived in wedlock, so... yeah.
As of the Season 3 premiere, a lot of people prefer Carter/Serena over any other Serena pairings, including the original alpha couple.
Jim Gordon and Leslie Thompkins in Gotham. As well Oswald Cobblepot and Edward Nygma.
While Nick is all but engaged to his live-in girlfriend Juliette in Grimm, the fandom loves to pair him off with Monroe instead.
Hannah Montana: Though Miley and Lilly end up with Jesse and Oliver respectively, most fans ship them together. This is due to the fact that their friendship is the main focus of most episodes, including the premier and final episode. The movie also put greater focus on their relationship than Miley's designated Boy of the Week. On both Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction Dot Net, Liley fanfiction dominates canonical fanfiction, as opposed to ones based on Miley Cyrus that are often falsely slotted with the show's.
Many Happy Endings fans like the idea of Dave and Penny together, even though Dave is back together with Alex.
Nathan Wournos and Audrey Parker of Haven are pretty much the fandom's OTP, despite the fact she practically pushed him into another girl's arms, they don't know much about each other's personal life and at least on one occasion she flirted with a man he despises right in front of him. On the other hand, Nathan's curse of not being able to feel anything seems to be negated by Audrey, which led to a bit of Ship Tease when he kissed her doppelganger to reveal her nature.
In the new Hawaii Five-0 fandom, Steve×Danny is the most popular pairing by far.
In Heroes Peter and Claire had a lot of chemistry, leading to a lot of shipping, even after they were revealed to be related. It turned out to just be the actors though, as they are currently were dating.
Highlander: There are a surprisingly large contingent of Duncan/Methos shippers in the fandom.
Darren and Nancy are very much this in HollyOaks. Callum and George also have their fans.
For most of the fifth season of House, fans preferred Thriteen and Kutner to the Official Couple, Thirteen and Foreman. This probably resulted from many fans' interpretations that Thirteen and Kutner were previously being set up as a potential couple, the common sentiment that the Thirteen/Foreman get-together came out of nowhere, and just the fact that Foreman was easily the least popular character at the time. The pairing did eventually gain some popularity, especially once Kutner died.
At the time, there was a circulating theory that the writers' originally intended for Thirteen and Kutner to get together, but when they became aware that Kal Penn was planning on leaving the show, they stopped setting up Thirteen/Kutner and started setting up Thirteen/Foreman instead. This is supported by the fact that Thirteen and Kutner initially had a lot of scenes alone together and abruptly stopped having them shortly before the show started setting up Thirteen and Foreman.
House/Wilson has always been popular, and House/Cuddy was more popular than official couples House/Stacy and Lucas/Cuddy in Seasons 2 and 6, respectively.
The House of Anubis fandom fell for the UST filled Nina and Fabian early on, and shipped them ravenously in the following seasons, even after Nina had left the show. Helps that they also became an Official Couple at the end of Season 1, and then again at the end of Season 2.
At the end of the first season, many fans seemed to like the idea of the pairings being Nina/Fabian, Amber/Alfie, Mara/Mick and Patricia/Jerome, which paired everyone except Joy (who, as a result, would be paired with future character Eddie), and was basically how things ended at the end of that season, anyways. By the second season however, things became much more complicated in the shipping world
Barney/Robin is the most popular ship overall, which caused a quandary for the showrunners as they had planned from the start for Ted/Robin to be the surprise endgame couple with the show hinting at several points that Ted still had lingering feelings for Robin well after their breakup to foreshadow this, but most people believed Robin was only meant to be a Romantic False Lead for Ted because the first episode had established that she was not the titular mother of Ted's children and really liked the chemistry between her and Barney. The final season, which was built entirely around Barney and Robin's wedding, seemed to give the fans what they wanted... until the final episode revealed that Barney and Robin divorced, Tracy (the titular mother) died, and Ted wanted to figure out if his children would be okay with him pursuing Robin again after Tracy's death.
Ted/Tracy is one of the strangest examples of this trope to date. It initially seemed to be an inversion of this trope as it appeared to be a Foregone Conclusion that Ted and whoever they chose to reveal as the titular mother would become the Official Couple but many fans were skeptical that the show would be able to make the couple popular with fans after nine seasons spent dragging out the mother reveal. However, when Tracy was finally introduced, she became a fan favorite and the unexpected Ship Sinking reveal in the last episode that she had died in the time between Ted's flashbacks and his present-day conversations with his children did nothing to stop her from remaining the most popular pairing option for Ted.
Inspector Thomas Lynley and Sergeant Barbara Havers of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries are shipped far and wide in the (admittedly small) fandom (including by the star of the show himself, who once declared that he'd have liked to see the series end with Lynley and Haversholding hands and walking into the sunset). Although Lynley himself spent much of the series involved with and even married to his university BFF Helen Clyde, when she dies in series 5, all sorts of possibilities are left wide open. Couple that with a not-insignificant amount of subtext - including the fact that Lynley's relationship with Barbara, despite its difficulties, is far healthiernote for a given value of healthier, given how screwed uptheyare than his relationship with Helen ever was, the fact that Lynley will leave Helen behind to go running off with Barbara without a second thought, that they call each other their reason to get up in the morning, and the hug - and there's a good reason Lynley/Havers is, quite simply, the only pairing in the fandom.
The IT Crowd has Jen/Roy, which was teased a little bit in the first season but never really went anywhere after that, but the fans still expressed that they wanted them to get together in the series finale.
Jake/Heather in Jericho, despite the Word of God's preference for Jake/Emily. (Considering that Jake and Emily were exes at the start of the series, you would think this was the last direction you expected the writers to go.)
Kevin and Macy were very popular in the first season of Jonas due to the both of them being able to accept and understand each others' quirks, not to mention the fact that Kevin was the first of the brothers to tolerate her Loony Fan tendencies. Many fans didn't like it when Macy's personality was changed to make it more compatible with Nick's in the second season.
Kamen Rider Double features Akiko and Terui as the Official Couple. Akiko divides the fanbase between those who like her and those who find her too loud and annoying, and a common opinion expressed on fanboards is that Terui should have got together with guest character Lily, played by fanboy favourite Nao Nagasawa (also known as HurricaneBlue.)
Haruto and Koyomi in Kamen Rider Wizard had a lot of "moments" together, with Haruto explicitly stating that Koyomi is his own "last hope." As of the end of the show, it can't happen because Koyomi is Dead All Along and finally destroyed, leaving the Hope Ring for Haruto and asking that she be left to rest in peace. It still enjoys huge fan following and is even supported by Haruto's actor, who referred to their shopping trip in episode 14 as a "date."
In Kamen Rider Kiva, Yuri Aso first falls in love with Jirou before Otoya wins her heart. Otoya later abandons her for Maya, and most fans want Jirou to have won out, despite the fact he attempted to rape Yuri.
On The King of Queens, Deacon was dumped by his wife Kelly (the real life reason being that Kelly's actress accepted a role onAlias), and during this time, the writers very briefly Ship Teased him with Holly. This consisted entirely of one scene, and was never mentioned again, but evidently a lot of fans liked the idea, as Holly/Deacon seems to be a popular pairing in the fandom. However, Deacon and Kelly eventually reconciled (once the actress returned from ABC).
Bobby Goren and Alex Eames of Law & Order: Criminal Intent blur the lines between this and Official Couple. While nothing romantic was implied to have happened between them, it is made explicitly clear that there is nothing they would not do for each other. That line, however, was most likely crossed when Alex quit her job after having to fire Goren, leaving certain "possibilities" wide open.
In the later seasons, shipping Benson with ADA Barba seems to be more popular than shipping her with her canon love interest Cassidy. Given the near-constant lingering gazes, gentle touches, blatant concern for each other, late-night drinks, and sizzling chemistry — and the fact that actors Raul Esparza and Mariska Hargitay also ship the two characters together — this is not surprising.
Line of Duty added Jo Davidson to the cast in season 6, partnered her professionally with long-term character Kate Fleming, and created a shipping explosion — before the season was even over more than two-thirds of stories on Archive of Our Own were Jo/Kate.
While Jack/Kate did have its fair share of shippers in Lost, a majority of fans preferred Kate/Sawyer.
The Magicians (2016) most popular pairing from the begining is Eliot/Quentin, and is vastly preferred over Quentin/Alice.
Payson and Sasha from Make It or Break It have over four times the fanfiction written about them than canon couple, Summer/Sasha
The Mentalist had Lisbon/Bosco as a canonical one-sided romance, which, while having the small issue of Bosco being married, also has the much bigger problem of being universally hated because most fans are Jane/Lisbon.
Merlin has Merlin/Arthur. The couple was popular from the very first episode and it grew more and more until hundreds of fans began to watch the show for the main reason that Merlin and Arthur looked really good together. On every youtube that the two appear together in, most comments are about the homoerotic subtext in their relationship, about how they are secretly lovers/married, etc. This is sometimes extended to shipping their actors, Colin Morgan and Bradley James. But while many people dislike the Official Couple Arthur/Gwen, people do like Gwen herself, an so Lancelot/Gwen are another fan favourite, often appearing as Ship Mates with Arthur/Merlin.
In The Middleman, the Middleman and Wendy, despite the fact that the Wordof God has stated this pairing would never be allowed as long as the original creator remained in control of the show.
The Mighty Boosh: Despite the fact that a) Howard and Mrs. Gideon were never a couple, and b) it was obvious that she was never meant to be a serious contender for Howard's affections, it doesn't stop fans from hating her, probably because she distracted from the UST between Howard and Vince. Many breathed a sigh of relief when she did not appear in the other two seasons. The writers themselves, who play the characters, actively encouraged the pairing, and intentionally wrote vast mounts of Ho Yay into their interactions, to the point they even fell in love and kissed in the next to final episode. Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt claimed they were originally going to write in a sex scene, but decided to save that for if they ever decided to make a movie.
Rayna and Deacon on Nashville became this more or less from the pilot, helped by their emotional history (e.g. his being the father of her firstborn).
David/Colby. It seems like half of the NUMB3RS fandom ships these two. The other half ships Charlie/Colby.
While Official Couple(s) Ryan and Marissa and (especially) Seth and Summer are very popular in The O.C. fandom, many fans continued to ship Marissa with her short lived bisexual love interest Alex, long after she had dropped off the face of the Earth. It is also never made clear whether or not Taylor and Ryan ended up together, but the fans are nearly unanimous that they did.
Andy/Erin. Apart from Michael's absence, this was one of the main criticisms many had for the final season, as many critics and viewers hated how Pete's inclusion ruined three seasons' worth of relationship building between Andy and Erin (on top of putting Andy through an especially blatant Derailing Love Interests treatment in order to facilitate Erin getting together with Pete, who became The Scrappy among not just Andy/Erin shippers, but also non-shippers who found him to be a bland and boring Jim clone with no character of his own besides being a Satellite Love Interest for Erin). Even Word of St. Paul from Erin's actress coming out in support of Erin/Pete has done little to make the fans abandon the pairing.
Another popular ship involving Andy is Andy/Kelly. As this video points out, they share a number of similarities - both are rather immature and enjoy pop culture, even playfully interacting with one another, with a number of Kelly fans finding it a much more fun alternative to her toxic relationship with Ryan.
Emma's son Henry and Cinderella's stepsister Drizella (aka Ivy), ship name "Hivy" or "Step Believer". General consensus is that Drizella/Ivy has far more chemistry with Henry than Cinderella does (it helps that Drizella seems closer to Henry's age and has a major case of Adaptational Attractiveness) - many fans speculate that Ivy is secretly in love with Henry and tried to curse his heart to stop him from getting with Ella because she wants him for herself, and some fans even believe that she will pull a HeelFace Turn because of him and break her own Dark Curse by kissing him.
Passions: At one point, many fans of Ethan and Theresa got so disgusted with Ethan's behavior, they began actively clamoring that Theresa be paired with his brother Fox.
Sam and Harrison is more popular than Brooke/Harrison, though still overshadowed by Sam/Brooke.
In Pretty Little Liars, while the endgame pairings are contested none are nearly as polarizing as Emily's whose fan preference is split pretty evenly between Paige(Paily) and Alison(Emison). Emily has dated both of them, both pairings have the same number of stories on fanfiction.net (1.1k) at the moment and despite the show ending, the ship war is still going strong. Emison stans go out of their way to write inflamatory comments about Paige and Paily on tumblr and the wiki while the majority of reddit fans seem to hate Alison and Emison.
Private Practice has Pete and Violet as of now, Cooper and Violet in Season 1, later Cooper and Charlotte until recently.
Addison and Sam, until recently when he started getting indecisive. Addison and Jake, on the grounds he actually likes kids and her.
Also, Naomi and Gabriel.
In Psych, Shawn/Lassiter used to be the biggest pairing a few seasons back. It lost some of its popularity when Shawn/Juliet became the Official Couple, but is still by far the fandom's most written-for pairing.
Many fans of Pushing Daisies wanted to see Ned hook up with Olive. After all, Ned had a Dark and Troubled Past and might have been happier if he had a woman that he actually could touch.
The only Official Couple in the entire Red Dwarf series was Lister/Kochanski, yet they are almost universally despised by the fandom - mainly due to Kochanski's role as Replacement Scrappy . The most popular ship in the show is Rimmer and Lister. On Fanfiction.net, they have 243 fanfictions to Lister/Kochanski's 12. Funnily enough, Rimmer was the character Kochanski replaced.
Bridget/Andrew is this for Ringer fans. They technically are a couple, but fans are rooting for them to be a completely honest couple where Andrew knows that Bridget is Bridget.
Riverdale: So far the most popular ships have been ones that, ironically, do not include Archie or his eternal Betty and Veronica dilemma. Betty/Veronica are shipped togethermore than either seems to be shipped with Archie. Betty/Jughead is also massively more popular than the traditional Archie/Betty. Betty/Jughead's popularity has only gained popularity since becoming official. Many are hoping that the show abandons the classic Betty/Archie/Veronica love triangle all together to instead focus on building other relationships.
Go to FanFiction.Net, and you will see that almost every Rizzoli & Isles story is Jane/Maura. It's not hard to see why these two are constantly being shipped, with all the heavy-duty Les Yay and whatnot.
The Guy/Marian ship on Robin Hood ended with one half of it murdering the other. Doesn't stop the shippers.
Evan is engaged to Paige on Royal Pains, but most fanfiction you'll find will pair him up with Divya.
As the series progressed, the character Jeremiah is introduced into Hank Med and almost instantly fell in love with Divya. Unfortunately, due to the relationship she was in at that moment (and Jeremiah's own awkwardness) Divya remained Oblivious to Love. It's even lampshaded in a series premiere commercial Most fans still would've preferred Divya would've ended up with Jeremiah than Raj in the finale.
In the short-lived Ruby & the Rockits, the favorite couple is Ruby and Jordan despite them being cousins. The fact that it's canon from Jordan's side doesn't help.
Sam & Cat: Fallowing this show's premier, the originally fairly small Crossover Ship, Puckentine (Sam/Cat) blew up. To the point of arguably overshadowing the popular canon ship of Robbie/Cat. This is due to the running babysitting business together, being roommates, and a bunch of Les Yay. Most of the fanfiction about the show feature the two getting together. This got to the point to the point that it started to rival Seddie (Sam x Freddie) in terms of fanfiction.
In Sanctuary, Helen/Druitt is canon; however, Helen/Tesla is more favored both in and out of universe, especially by Tesla.
Saved by the Bell has Zack and Lisa. This even got a nod in the show where they dated for one episode, though the episode seemed to focus more on Screech's intense jealousy and the effect it had on his friendship with Zack than the actual relationship between Zack and Lisa. And then everyone acted like it never happened.
Scrubs: JD/Cox is the most popular ship in the fandom, despite the fact that JD and Elliot end up together and Dr. Cox has been in a stable relationship with his ex-wife since Season 2. It's also kind of ironic because canon-wise, JD and Turk are the ones who have a lot of Ho Yay.
In The Secret Circle, Faye/Diana is more popular than Faye/Jake to a ridiculous extent based on all the Foe Yay. Wetpaint recently ran a "who should Faye be with" poll. Only Lee and Jake were mentioned in the title and the article itself, but the poll also included Diana. Diana won with over 87% of the vote, and on Archive of Our Own they have over twice as many fics as the next most popular pairing.
Many fans of Sesame Streetlike the idea of Elmo and Zoe together. There's no romance in canon due to their young ages, however the series pushes Elmo and Abby as friends more than Elmo and Zoe. Most of the fans likely outgrew Sesame Street before Abby appeared or early into her run.
Most fanfiction you see about the show Shake it Up will be Cece/Rocky.
The Shannara Chronicles has found out what happens when you give a boring male lead (Wil) two much more interesting love interests (the bisexual bandit Eretria and the princess Amberle) — the fandom just ships the two girls together en masse. The show leaned into this in the second season, giving Eretria a new female love interest and having her and Wil Better as Friends. Princess Rover is still the most popular ship, despite the fact that Amberle is dead.
Effy/Cook was way more popular than Effy/Freddie ever was, though there was enough of both to lead to Ship-to-Ship Combat.
Mini/Franky aka Minky was easily the most popular ship of the third generation (with the possible exception of Beta Couple Rich/Grace), though, like the example above, it's not so universal that there isn't someShip-to-Ship Combat.... with Mini/Alo. But pretty much nobody liked Franky with her canon love interest, Matty. As a result, there was a huge fan outcry when Word of God said not to expect anything Minky in Series 6.
Fans of the US version seemed to prefer Tea and Tony together.
Though Clark has a lot of popular ships, the one that easily wins out is his pairing with Lex Luthor. It even out ranks the canon ones of him with Lana and Lois in terms of numbers on Archive of Our Own. This mostly due to how close they grow in a relatively short time at the beginning of the show. While that closeness would eventually fade, it would be replaced with intense Foe Yay between the two. The ship would survive long after Lex dies, and continues now despite the show having ended awhile ago.
Chlollie—the pairing of Chloe with Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) was hugely popular, to the point that in the DVD commentary for "Lazarus", producer Holly Henderson makes special note of the fan campaigns in favor of it, particularly when fans sent in thousands of sporks to the SV offices, in reference to a particular Chlollie moment. When they first met, Chloe was clearly wowed by Ollie, and fans immediately jumped aboard the idea of shipping them in fanfic and fanart, especially once they started working together in the Justice League. In Season 9, the showrunners warmed up to the idea, and put them together due to fan demand.
In South of Nowhere fanfiction, Kyla/Carmen is just as possible... or probably more than Kyla/Aiden.
On Stargate Universe, the Eli/Chloe shippers seem to be far more numerous than the Chloe/Scott shippers, despite the latter being canon. The single most common complaint about the episode "Light" is that Chloe and Scott's sex scene in that episode came out of nowhere. It doesn't help that Eli is the audience surrogate for the first few episodes, or that Scott had another potential love interest (Lt. James), or that before they had sex, Chloe and Scott had had just one scene with just the two of them, while Eli and Chloe spent much of "Darkness", the episode prior to "Light" together.
Most of them have given up by now, due to a combination of three factors: 1) Eli and Chloe's friendship gets just as much screentime as Scott and Chloe's relationship, 2) Any realistic chance of the ship happening vanished sometime between "Incursion" and "Cloverdale", and 3) the rise of Eli/Ginn caused many Eli/Chloe shippers to jump ship.
On Stargate Atlantis the two most popular pairings were John/Elizabeth and John/Rodney. Neither of them were concluded by the writers. The originally intended John/Teyla pairing fell by the wayside as the John, Elizabeth & Rodney triangle shared stronger chemistry and the writers losing interest in relationships changed the intended dynamics. The triangle was sunk after Rodney got together with Jennifer Keller and Elizabeth was captured by replicators. Keller was a heavily disliked character upon her introduction and John became darker and guilt-ridden after Elizabeth's disappearance and never ended up in any official couple, leading the Rodney, John, Elizabeth ships to retain popularity throughout the run of the show.
Keller/Ronon was a lot more popular than the canon Keller/Rodney.
Stargirl (2020): Courtney/Yolanda is probably the biggest ship for Courtney, definitely moreso than Courtney/Cameron, her current "canon" ship. It helps that Courtney's canon love interest in the comics is Billy Batson, whom is almost definitely going to be Adapted Out due to SHAZAM! (2019), while her alternative love interest Al Rothstein/Atom Smasher has also been adapted out due to appearing in Black Adam (2021). Additionally, given that Cameron only appeared in five out of the first thirteen episodes, he and Courtney haven't shared nearly the amount of screentime or emotional connection that Courtney and Yolanda have.
Kirk/Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series is one of the most famous examples of this trope. It was the first slash pairing that became popular enough to inspire slash-dedicated fan conventions and fanzines and codified the use of the "/" symbol to distinguish a romantic pairing from a friendly one. Virtually all shipping fics for the series are dedicated to it and you'd be hard-pressed to find a TOS fan who ships Kirk or Spock with anyone other than each other.
Star Trek: Voyager had one in The Doctor and Seven of Nine. This ship was actually teased at in the show, developed, then out of nowhere was derailed for the universally reviled Chakotay/Seven pairing that capped off the series in its final season. (Speculation is that this was a last-ditch effort to make up for Chakotay's lack of character development and sub-par writing. As a consolation prize for the actor, snogging Jeri Ryan is not exactly terrible, but this derailed not one but two highly popular Fan Preferred Couples — Doctor/Seven, and Janeway/Chakotay.)
DS9 had a large following for Garak/Bashir. However, once the studio realized that, they forced the writers to phase the Ho Yay out of their relationship and Bashir ended up with Ezri (in the re-launch novels, they break up).
Also, O'Brien/Bashir, which seemed to gain the Ho Yay Garak/Bashir was losing.
Odo/Kira started as this. Rene Auberjonois, almost from the very start, played his character as having deep but unrequited feelings for Kira, which was noticed by the showrunners and given more and more importance in the storyline, and the fans took the ball and ran with it. Though Nana Visitor fought the decision to make them canon in Season 6, fearing it would have negative repercussions for both characters if his feelings were requited, she was ultimately satisfied with how they were handled, and so Odo/Kira has remained a Star Trek fan mainstay ever since.
Trip and T'Pol being teased as an odd mutation of the Official Couple during the 3rd and 4th seasons of Enterprise became a fan favorite. Both times the writers seemed to settle their relationship it was too late in the season and got overshadowed by other plots, and had seen an abrupt ending soon after, the first teased a possible future, the second did as well despite Trip's death. A death which the Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch novels couldn't retcon away fast enough; the literally did it on the first page.This website is dedicated to fan fiction based on the pairing.
Zigzagged with Nancy, Steve and Jonathan. Throughout the first season, fans were inclined to prefer Nancy with Jonathan rather than her jerky boyfriend Steve and were upset that Nancy stayed with Steve in the season finale. Then in the second season, Nancy's relationship with Steve disintegrates and she finally hooks up with Jonathan. Steve, having gotten some Character Development and taking more than a few levels in kindness, treats it as I Want My Beloved To Happy, which ironically caused a group of fans to believe Nancy should've given Steve a second chance and Steve befriending and helping the kids well helped matters.
A number of fans find Mike and his Puppy Love obsession with Eleven more than a little annoying and actually wish Eleven could be paired with one of the other kids like Lucas (who gives her the Bridal Carry) or Max since it's shown they were getting close in Season 3. Eleven also has moments with Eight/Kali, her Foil and Evil Counterpart.
There are those in support of Madwheeler (Mike/Max) ending up together because of their fighting about El strongly coming off as Belligerent Sexual Tension.
Steve/Robin supporters, even with the reveal that the latter is gay, hope that it will then be revealed that she is actually bisexual so they can still be together after all.
For the first three seasons, Sam/Dean (or "Wincest") was the most popular ship in the fandom by a wide margin. Part of this was that there were basically no other recurring characters to pair them up with in these early seasons that weren't father figures or women who always ended up dead, evil, and/or hated by many fans, but part of it was also that Sam and Dean's relationship was consistently depicted as the most important thing in both of their lives with them willingly giving up everything else to save each other's lives on multiple occasions. The ship's popularity was even acknowledged in-universe in a season 4 episode where Sam and Dean learn that fanfiction has been written about them and are hilariously squicked out by it.
Starting in season 4, Dean/Castiel (or "Destiel") exploded in popularity and eventually took Sam/Dean's place as the fandom's most popular ship. Like with Sam/Dean, it attracted fans with its depiction of an emotionally intense relationship between two good-looking males who regularly risked everything to protect one another and made heartfelt declarations about how much they needed each other, but unlike Sam/Dean, it wasn't an incestuous ship and it had the added draw of being an Interspecies Romance between a human and an angel which made it more widely appealing to viewers. It became so popular that it's been the most written-for pairing on Archive of Our Own from all fandoms since 2015 and it got a Shout-Out in a season 10 episode where the characters attend a fan convention that includes a fan putting on a Destiel-centric play.
Super Sentai: Most series feature Ship Tease between the Red and Pink Rangers (or Red and White, if there is no Pink) so in any Sentai where they do not get together, they are likely to be the Fan-Preferred Couple instead. The most prominent example is probably Hikari Sentai Maskman, which has a large fanbase in Indonesia and the Philippines because official dubs of the show were aired there. These fans often state on fansites and blogs that they would have preferred Momoko to be Takeru's love interest, rather than the canon Takeru/Iyal (which later broke up due to Iyal's duties as the new Tube leader). Which is kinda weird since Takeru and Momoko hardly speak to each other or share any screen time.
On the American adaption of Mahou Sentai Magiranger, the fan preferred couples seemed to be Yellow/Pink and Green/Blue. Both were mostly disrailed towards the end of series, but remain popular in fandom.
Back in Japanese fandom, in Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, while Ban eventually got a girlfriend from The Movie and Umeko gets on with Sen-chan, the spare-pairing between Hoji and Jasmine is slightly a bit more popular than their other options. It helps that Hoji and Jasmine were perceived as the most 'pro' and 'senior' of the team, respectively, and that they had some history; never mind that Hoji nearly embarked on a relationship with another woman (though they were rather tragically torn apart due to Hoji killing her younger brother who was the criminal of the week).
Masumi/Natsuki is universally popular among fans of GoGo Sentai Boukenger, and despite never quite reaching Official Couple status, it gets as much praise and fanworks as the canon Akashi/Sakura.
The ship was later sunk when both actors stated in an interview that the characters had a family-like relationship.
Nanami/Isshu was hugely popular with fans of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger and became an Official Couple on the show, but was sunk by the reunion movie 10 Years Later (released in 2013, ten years after the show's end), in which they have split off-screen and Isshu is now a playboy with many girlfriends. It's done nothing to kill off the ship's fanbase, thus, they're now a Fan-Preferred Couple instead.
Also in Kyoryuger, Nossan/Candelira became incredibly popular with fans after Brave 41 revealed that they had begun to develop feelings for each other (this was also the impetus for Candelira's HeelFace Turn.) However, they became this trope at the end of the series when the ship was left unresolved.
Kyoryuger seemed to have an unusual abundance of fan-preferred couples; additional pairings that got traction over the season, but were sunk or otherwise unresolved, include Souji/Amy, Daigo/Meeko, and Souji/Rin (the manager of the kendo club at Souji's school), though Souji/Rin was eventually acknowledged as canon in the 100 Years Later feature.
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger had an overwhelming amount of fan support among both Japanese and overseas fans for the pairings of Takeru/Mako, Takeru/Kotoha, and Chiaki/Kotoha (and later in the show, Genta/Kaoru), although nothing came of any of these.
Scott/Issac is well preferred to Scott/Kira or Scott/Allison.
While Malia/Kira is far more popular than Malia/Stiles or Malia/Scott.
The show 10 Things I Hate About You did plan on having Cameron and Bianca eventually getting together, but was cancelled before they could. Still you will find very little Bianca/Joey fanfiction. The fact that they actually did get together in the original 1999 movie doesn't hurt either.
Jackie and Hyde on That '70s Show. An interesting case, since the writers actually made the two a couple in later seasons... only for them to break up and cause them to slip right back into preferred territory with even more fans then before. Danny Masterson (Hyde's actor) has even tweeted saying he doesn't understand to this day why they didn't end up together.
That's So Raven: Despite Raven being with with Devon, most of the fanfiction about the show features her getting together with either of her best friends. When the show was still airing Eddie was the preferred partner for Raven due to the Ship Tease between the two, including a kiss. However in the years since Chrave (Chelsea x Raven) has become the dominant pairing. Due to the Les Yay between the two. This became more evident after Raven's Home premiered. Which saw Raven and Chelsea as two divorced moms raising their kids together while Eddie has yet to be mentioned. Leading to Chrave being basically the sole pairing in the fandom.
Oh, 30 Rock and the long, convoluted history of Jack/Liz. Tina Fey has been saying No Hugging, No Kissing since the first season, but the ship remains as popular as ever. The show is just so determined not to put them together, giving both a series of love interests which never last. 30 Rock long ago started outright spoofing the idea of Jack/Liz, but this just came off as extra quirky Ship Teases, at least to the shippers. Eventually, they just went out and gave them an Accidental Marriage, although it only lasted one episode. The whole episode was basically just a big Lampshade Hanging, saying that "we know you want Jack and Liz together, but we're not doing it." In the last season, Liz gets married (for real, this time) to someone else. And a few episodes later in "Florida", the final nail in the coffin of Jack/Liz occurs when Jack and Liz discuss why they never had a romantic relationship and agree they were always Better as Friends.
Many Three's Company fans over the years have expressed disappointment that Jack and Janet didn't get together in the end.
The Tribe: Both Jay/Ebony and Jay/Trudy were more popular than the designated endgame couple Jay/Amber. Most of the fandom seems to actually quite dislike that pairing for various reasons.
In True Blood, despite the fact that they barely even get to speak between their affair in the first season and their hookup at the end of the third, the pairing of Sam and Tara generates much more squee than either does with their other Love Interests.
Ever since "Escape from the Dragon House", fans have been dying to see Sookie/Eric happen. Recently though the fanbase seems to be divided on whether Bookie should be reintroduced, or if it's Sooric all the way.
To make matters worse, there's also Alcide who a large section of the fandom (And TV Guide) ships Sookie with.
The pairing of Pam/Tara has progressively become very popular since the beginning of Season 4. Humungous amounts of squee erupted after the Season 5 finale.
Fans of 24 were rooting for Jack/Renee almost the moment she showed up. Which led to the fanbase nearly rioting after she was bridge dropped in Season 8.
Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks. Not only fans, but also writers wanted to develop their relationship further in the second season (Mark Frost, the producer, said that it was gonna be the next big thing in the show after the exposure of Laura's murderer). According to Robert Engels, the producer-writer, the script was changed because of Lara Flynn Boyle, who was dating Kyle MacLachlan at the time. Later Kyle MacLachlan tried to justify the decision, that Cooper would not date a high-school girl. However he hooked up with Annie Blackburn, who was only one year older than Audrey (Heather Graham, who portrayed Annie, is in fact five years younger than Sherilyn Fenn). Sherilyn Fenn was disappointed with the changes. In 2007 documentary "Secrets from Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks" she stated: "I was not interested in Kyle as a man, but Audrey loved him. I was really into being in those scenes and i thought we had fun chemistry, so... I don't know, I guess chalk it up to unrequited love".
Danny and Lacey in Twisted! was this before the show even started airing.
Tess/Karen is quickly starting to become this as well.
It did not take long for fans of 2 Broke Girls to latch onto the pairing of Caroline/Max.
Damon and Elena from have always been a fan-favorite. The producers pretty much switched the endgame to Damon/Elena instead of Stefan/Elena due to the popularity of the relationship and the flash forward in the series finale reveals they stayed together until they died.
Even though after Season 4, Klaus moved to another show and both he and Caroline are getting an incredible amount of Ship Tease with other characters, the majority of the fans still want to see these two together.
TheOriginals: Hayley and Elijah were the fan-preferred couple. The writers disagreed and had Elijah let her die. Fans weren't happy.
Legacies: Hope and Josie both had a crush on each other during their pre-teen years, and this, as well as the Les Yay between them, led to the ship becoming extremely popular. It's arguably the most popular ship in the show's fandom. The pairing dominates most fanfiction sites, and is easily more popular than Hope/Landon or any of Josie's ships. This is not helped by the two's actresses encouraging shippers, and saying that they would love for the ship to become canon.
Veronica Mars and whomever she wasn't with at the time. She's with Duncan? The fans wanted Veronica/Logan. She's with Logan? The fans wanted Duncan back. Not to mention those who wanted her to get together with Weevil or Wallace. Mac and Cassidy were quite popular too, before and after the Season 2 finale.
Eventually the "canon" true pairing of Veronica & Logan took over the show and the fandom, to the point where the crowd funded movie was built around Logan & Veronica getting back together.
Victorious: Despite Jade being in a relationship with Beck, most fans prefer to pair her with her female co-stars. For most of season 1, Jade was paired with Cat due to their unlikely friendship and their actresses real life friendship. However, that pairing, along with every other, was soon overshadowed by the one between Jade and Tori, due to the two's tense rivalry that drives the plot of most episodes. Along with Tori often going out of her way to help Jade and Jade often going to Tori for help. It got to the point that phrases including their ship name started trending worldwide on Twitter, and it still dominates fanfiction to this day.
Warehouse 13's fan preferred couple is without question Myka/HG, though there are Pete/Myka shippers as well.
Andy and Nancy, from Weeds, although their case is a complicated one. It's been made canon that Andy is in love with her and that she may or may not reciprocate his feelings and they have a tendency to act like a couple regardless of whether or not they're in other relationships at the time, but the two haven't gone past a Fake-Out Make-Out and most fans believe they'll never happen on the show. Still, that doesn't stop them from being countless times more popular than any of their canon relationships.