Abandon Shipping is a fandom trope referring to when an event, or series of events, leads to a Shipping fandom to abandon a pairing en masse, irrespective of the ongoing canon or non-canon status of the pairing in the work.
Some Shippers are die-hard. They'll go through everything; Fire, Ice, Lightning, nuclear explosions, you name it, but they're still sticking by their One True Pairing no matter what. Even death is only a minor setback, thanks to the Alternate Timeline.
Then there are the other types who, when a new plot development occurs and changes what we knew about one of these characters, leap off the ship and swim for shore (or, most likely in this metaphor, towards another boat) without even bothering to grab a lifejacket. Maybe it's because a character had a deep dark secret that severely makes people question their ability to even be in a relationship. Maybe they're really siblings, otherwise blood-related, or maybe there's some sort of other aspect to their relationship that suddenly Squicks people. Maybe it is revealed a character has an Incompatible Orientation. Some will even drop a pairing because the fans are rabid. Or maybe shippers have just plain lost interest, with a pairing not suddenly being disliked, but rather another pairing suddenly becoming much more appealing. Whatever the case, when it suddenly seems like the former Shippers have dropped off the face of the Earth, they have Abandoned Ship.
There are also notable subversions, though. What would seem like a cause to Abandon Shipping to any outside observer not only doesn't have that effect but actually makes the Shippers fight harder for it. This is especially the case where theories about who will end up with who are Jossed or declared invalid by Word Of God. And of course, there are those who are into more fringe pairings like Incest Yay Shipping, for whom such revelations might endear those fans to the pairing even more. Also take note of those within Shipping fandom for which shipping isn't serious business, and simply have fun shipping for shipping's sake. This group never cared about the actual viability of their pairing to begin with, so unless they lose interest on their own, they'll remain on that ship regardless of what comes.
See Ship Sinking for when the creators of a work introduce something into the canon of a work that is explicitly intended to stop the development of a pairing, to break up a pairing, or to destroy any likelihood of that pairing becoming canon. Ship Sinking is not at all guaranteed to cause Abandon Shipping though. Shipping Bed Death is when this occurs because the shippers got their wish and then found their dream wasn't what it was cracked up to be.
Compare No Yay, which can lead to this if it's not there one moment and then shows up with little warning in the next.
Please don't use this page as a way of complaining about pairings you don't like. While no citations are needed, any instances of Abandon Shipping should be verifiable through observation of fanworks and fan communities and not just hearsay.
- Ironically, for a run that was entirely based on their development as a couple, Batman (Tom King) ended up doing this to Bruce/Selina, and arguably for Bruce and shipping in general. This is mainly due to Bruce's behavior after Selina ditched him at the altar, where he started acting like an Unintentionally Unsympathetic Jerkass that abused the members of his family in frankly unforgivable ways as a way of handling his grief. This got him labeled as toxic, and the general idea was that if he was going to treat his kids like this when faced with a personal loss, then Selina was right to leave him, because what would stop him from doing the same with her eventually? The same process applied to other ships with Bruce, and many now seem to think that Bruce shouldn't be in a romantic relationship with anyone until he resolves his issues.
- ElfQuest: Ember hooked up with Mender once she reached puberty. The fandom generally liked him until he went off to fight in the war and was replaced by Ember's second love interest, Teir - who came literally out of nowhere. Now, the original authors and the guest artists/writers alike all collectively prefer Teir over Mender now... the fandom, predictably, is much more split on the subject, evenly between forgetting Mender even existed, and seeing Teir as an abhorrent Creator's Pet.
- The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: A lot of people stopped shipping Brainstorm×Perceptor and Brainstorm×Nautica after it was revealed Brainstorm was a Decepticon spy.
- After the release of The Book of Life, a lot of fans speculated that Manolo Sanchezs great grandmother Anita was the wife of one of his late ancestors, Jorge. They all quickly jumped ship once Word Of God revealed that they were actually siblings.
- Prior to the release of Frozen there was a good amount of speculation whether Kristoff or Hans would be Anna or Elsa's love interest. Many shippers understandably shipped Anna with the handsome Hans. The film spectacularly killed it off at the end, with Hans revealing to a dying Anna that he had lied about loving Anna and was just after the throne. Nevertheless, that killed the ship for most fans. Oddly enough, Hans and Elsa are still an extremely popular ship despite them having no positive interactions and the fact Hans had always planned on killing Elsa. He left her sister to die and would have killed Elsa if not for Anna doing a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Early on, when all the fandom knew of Vanellope was her name, the Wreck-It Ralph fanbase shipped her with Ralph. As it turns out, Vanellope is a cute little nine year old girl. The fanbase immediately stopped shipping them and instead preferred a big brother-little sister, or even father-daughter, friendship.
- Harry Potter: Although readers of the books were already clued in by the time the first film came out, the decision to pair Ron and Hermione off (which started to become evident in the third film) caught those who assumed Harry and Hermione were destined for shipping a little off guard. Not that this was viewed as a serious problem by some shippers.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Steve/Tony used to be the most popular pairing in the MCU, mainly due to its longstanding comics fandom. However, supporters of the ship slowly abandoned it over the course of Phase 2, mainly due to a lack of interaction and Steve developing more meaningful relationships with other characters. This was mainly because of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Steve's relationship with his best friend Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier had so much Ho Yay that it outright eclipsed any interaction he had with Sharon Carter, his official love interest, and making Bucky look like he was Steve's love interest (not at all helped by Sharon being Demoted to Extra in the film). His chemistry with Sam Wilson and Natasha did not help either. This eventually reached a fever pitch with Captain America: Civil War, where it was made clear that, when it came down to it, Steve would choose Bucky over Tony. Steve/Tony took a huge hit, and while still a major popular ship, the film has more-or-less cemented Steve/Bucky as the Fan-Preferred Couple of the MCU, as it's all but been established that Bucky is the most important person in Steve's life and the person he'd do anything for.
- A lot of Clint ships were abandoned after Avengers: Age of Ultron, where it was revealed that he's happily married with two kids and a third on the way.
- Likewise, a lot of people abandoned all shipping of Thor in general after the Love Triangle mess between him, Sif, and Jane in Thor: The Dark World. The once-huge Thor/Loki ship also became moribund after the one-two punch of Avengers: Infinity War killing off Loki and Avengers: Endgame not bringing him back and also showing that Thor had grown fat in the meantime.
- Many people thought that T'Challa and Killmonger's interactions in the trailers for Black Panther (2018) had excellent Foe Yay Shipping potential, not hurt by comparisons of their relationship to Xavier and Magneto. Then the movie came out, and while it certainly wasn't enough to stop everyone, they were revealed to be first cousins.
- Avengers: Endgame caused a lot of people to abandon all Steve ships after Steve traveling back in time to the forties to grow old with Peggy made it nigh-impossible to pair him up with anyone other than Peggy without going hard into Alternate Universe Fic territory. Steve's most popular shipping options of Tony and Bucky respectively being Killed Off for Real and staying behind in the modern day in the same film didn't help.
- Star Wars: The revelation in Return of the Jedi that Luke and Leia were siblings did kill off the idea of them as a couple... for a while. Since then many grown-up fans have resumed shipping them. This happening in the past is why some people were hesitant to start supporting Kylo/Rey from The Force Awakens, who have some interesting interactions in the film. Some were under the impression that Rey might be Kylo's sister or cousin due to the popular theory that she was in some way related to the Skywalker family (either through Han/Leia or Luke); however, once the next movies revealed it was not the case, more people ended up boarding the 'Reylo' ship.
- Within the A Court of Thorns and Roses fandom, you'd be hard-pressed to find any remaining Tamlin/Feyre shippers following A Court of Mist and Fury, especially after Tamlin allies with the King of Hybern to try and get Feyre back, when his controlling and entitled behavior drove her away.
- The Harry Potter fandom has several examples:
- When the book series began, the natural assumption of many was that Harry and Hermione were destined to be a couple (owing to the trope that the lead male and lead female characters in such storylines are often paired up), but within a few books, it became obvious that Rowling was pairing Hermione with Ron instead, although, as noted below, Rowling did play with readers' expectations when Lavender was brought into the picture.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
- After the events of the book, previously vocal Harry/Cho Shippers appeared to Evanesco.
- In the fandom's early days, Percy/Penelope was probably the most popular ship that didn't include one of the Golden Trio or Draco; after all, it was the only romance between side characters who weren't old or dead. Percy's FaceHeel Turn made a lot of people turn away from it, even aside from the fact that Penelope hadn't been mentioned since the third book.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
- Ron/Lavender Brown used to be a popular Beta Couple among supporters of Harry/Hermione (that is, when he didn't fall victim to Die for Our Ship), which changed when it became canon in the sixth book and turned Lavender into the Stalker with a Crush. They broke up on very bad terms and from then on, Ron was more commonly shipped with Luna Lovegood among those who don't support the canon Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny.
- Believe it or not, Sirius/Narcissa was moderately popular during the "Three-Year Summer," probably because it was a significant part of The Draco Trilogy, an extremely influential fanfic. Then Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix revealed that they're cousins (and Sirius died, to top it all off), which made the ship vanish overnight.
- Of the "Next Gen" characters, the most popular ship was Scorpius/Rose. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child makes it one-sided canon, but ironically made many fans jump to Scorpius/Albus, due to Ho Yay and portraying Rose as a massive Jerkass.
- The Heroes of Olympus: After Nico came out as gay in The House Of Hades, all heterosexual ships involving him were promptly abandoned.
- The Hunger Games: The Katniss/Gale ship was pretty much torpedoed in Mockingjay when Katniss first decides that since she can't have Peeta she wants to die, not considering Gale an option, and her sister Prim later gets killed in a trap designed by Gale.
- Song of the Lioness has an example within the story itself. Tamora Pierce realized that her planned ending of Alanna marrying Prince Jonathan wasn't really what Alanna wanted (to the point that Alanna forced Pierce to rewrite it) and wrote them breaking up after Jonathan proposed to her and he displayed an incredibly Entitled to Have You attitude. Instead Pierce paired Alanna off with her Gentleman Thief friend George Cooper and introduced Rebellious Princess Thayet for Jonathan.
- Warrior Cats:
- Many shippers abandoned Whitestorm/Bluestar when it was revealed that he was her nephew. The ship was even dubbed 'Denialshipping'.
- Similarly, Hollyleaf/Breezepelt shippers jumped ship after it was revealed the two characters were half-siblings. Well, SOME people jumped ship.
- Bramblestar/Squirrelflight, which was once very popular, has since fallen out of favor with many fans in recent years due to their lack of proper communication, relationship drama, and Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome. Additionally, more fans have started seeing their relationship as abusive or toxic, and simply want them to split up.
- In Magic: The Gathering, the character of Tamiyo was introduced in the original Innistrad block with little to nothing known about her. All that was really known was that she was a blue-aligned Planeswalker who was researching Innistrad's moon. It became popular to pair her up with Jace, simply due to her being, at the time, the only other monoblue Planeswalker who wasn't evil. However, when the second Innistrad block came around, she was revealed to be a Happily Married mother of three, thoroughly sinking the ship.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Trucy and Apollo tend to gather shippers early on in the game due to their quirky antics and how they team up to solve cases. However, at the very end of the game it is revealed that Trucy and Apollo are in fact half-siblings, thus causing many fans to reject the pairing. To add insult to injury, there's also the fact that Trucy and Apollo are never seen learning the truth of their heritage, though a scene in the credits of Spirit of Justice indicates they will soon be told of it.
- Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is a massive example. Due to the exact characterization and relationships between characters being unclear before the release of the game, a lot of ships sprung purely built on Gotta Ship 'Em All mentality. When the game came out and revealed many things fans believed were incorrect, there was a colossal exodus of shipping. Specific examples include Rantaro/Kokichi and Kaede/Maki, both of which didn't interact as much in canon as the official art and screenshots implied (partly because Rantaro and Kaede die in the first chapter), as well as Kokichi/Himiko and Kokichi/Keebo, both had extremely unpleasant canon interactions, with Keebo and Himiko vocally hating Oma.
- One of the more popular ships from Virtue's Last Reward, Sigma/Phi, was thoroughly abandoned following the reveal in Zero Time Dilemma that Phi is Sigma's daughter.
- Red vs. Blue: During seasons 9 and 10, Agent Carolina had three major pairings associated with her: York/Carolina (which was somewhat canon), Director/Carolina, and Tex/Carolina. The last episode of Season 10 reveals that the Director is her father, and thus Tex is an AI based on her father's memory of her mother. A mass exodus from both those ships ensued.
- RWBY: The show had the potential pairing between Blake Belladonna and her former White Fang partner (and leader of the group) Adam Taurus. Even though Adam hadn't been in the series outside of the "Black" trailer, people still held a candle for this pairing. That ship sank quickly come Vol. 3, Episode 11 "Heroes and Monsters", when Adam, upon showing up, goes full Yandere on Blake, vowing to destroy everything she holds dear and starts by stabbing Blake in the stomach, lopping off Yang Xiao Long's arm, and then tries to decapitate Blake as she shields Yang. This holds further importance come Volume 4. Despite not having a single appearance outside hallucinations, Adam is further vilified as characters discover that he gave Yang PTSD, physically abused Blake off-camera prior to her abandoning him, is attempting to get the current Supreme Leader of the White Fang to join the villain cabal, and when that looked to fail, planned her death and usurpation... so he could launch a terrorist campaign. In the eyes of the FNDM, Adam has gone from Broken Bird Woobie to evil in the span of a year despite not being in the show. It's telling that Blake/Adam shipping changed its name, from Tauradonna to Animal Abuse.
- When the pilot for Hazbin Hotel, was uploaded onto YouTube, there was a popular ship between Angel Dust and Valentino. In the music video ADDICT, Valentino is implied to be sexually abusing Angel, causing the ship to die instantly.
- In Drowtales:
- Ariel/Sarnel was a secondary but still popular ship after he stands up for her when they're both children and eventually end up in the same squad together. It was quietly abandoned later on when a flashback post-timeskip showed how their families tried to set them up on a date and the two had No Sparks. The fact that Ariel proceeded to hook up with her (female) Victorious Childhood Friend Faen and Sarnel got together with Shala, another member of their squad, pretty much ended any possibilities for the pairing, though a few still hold out that Ariel/Faen/Sarnel might become a One True Threesome and/or Chosen Conception Partner situation due to drow society (and for that matter, Faen) actually encouraging such arrangements.
- Mel'arnach/Snadhya'rune is an example of a canon ship being abandoned after later revelations. It had been implied early on that the two were Star-Crossed Lovers because of their feuding families and then later confirmed by Mel herself, but when it was later all but stated by Zhor, who is more or less Mel's husband, that Snadhya'rune is using Mel and effectively keeping her as a pet and a status symbol, not to mention manipulating her into being completely emotionally dependent and stealing her genetic material to conceive a child without Mel's knowledge the ship was effectively scuttled and just about all the fanwork produced since then of the two has emphasized just how unhealthy their relationship actually is.
- The Girl Genius fandom had a variant, in that shippers didn't ditch a pairing due to one of the characters doing something unconscionable, but simply because a better one showed up. When Tarvek and Bangladesh interacted, Bang's schoolgirl glee at seeing Tarvek again earned the pairing a lot of fans. Two days later, Bang met Vole, and everyone immediately jumped to that ship. To quote one of the posters on our own forums: "I support this ship. I support this ship so much it will not displace water. I support this ship so much it will be a skyship."
- When it was revealed that Dave/Rose and John/Jade would be incest because those pairings are siblings, the ships dropped off the face of the internet. They do still exist to some mild extent, but the addition of many new characters since then such as the Trolls has made such pairings irrelevant.
- There is a case where canon events did not deter shippers at all. John has directly stated he's not interested in men and later said he wasn't interested in any romance at all. Despite this, John/Karkat and John/Dave remain two of the most popular ships in the series.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent:
- Some people had second thoughts about the Emil/Lalli pairing because they felt that Lalli's means of getting Emil out of the influence of the troll spirit's Compelling Voice was unnecessarily aggressive and highlighted the unhealthy parts of their interaction.
- An unusual case in this one: it's noted the amount of Reynir/Tuuri fics dropped significantly after the developments of Chapters 13 and 14 where Tuuri is bitten by a troll and is separated from Reynir in case she was infected by the rash so she didn't pass it to him hindered what could be done in canon-compliant fics, which allowed alternate pairings like Sigrun/Tuuri and Reynir/Onni to flourish in their stead, giving the impression that this happened to the Reynir/Tuuri pairing.
- Gaia Online has a shipping scene. As a result, this has happened a few times.
- The first was with Love Triangle between Ian, Sasha, and Gino. There used to be debate between Sasha X Ian, and Sasha X Gino supporters as to who she should go with. However, when she took yet a third person who was already in a love triangle of his own to a Halloween ball, everyone decided Sasha was Too Dumb to Live and abandoned ship. Since then, Ian has shown only passing interest in Sasha, and Gino has become hilariously inept at dating.
- In 2007, Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Louie was introduced, and promo art showed Perky Goth Moira as his love interest. Naturally all of the fangirls leapt on Louie/Moira... until the animated plot updates came out. The relationship was so convoluted that even Gaia abandoned ship.
- Around this same time, it was revealed that Louie, Ian, and Gino were all related (Louie and Ian are brothers, and they are both Gino's half-brothers). Upon this revelation, those that shipped these three in some form or way eventually abandoned ship.
- Critical Role once saw a decent amount of shipping-related fanart and fanfiction involving Caduceus Clay, one of the party's clerics in the second campaign. However, later on in the campaign, it's revealed that Caduceus is in-canon both asexual and aromantic, so any shipping involving him naturally died down after that.
- Meme House: Madeline/Bulk Bogan was a popular ship with the Twitch Chat. This ended in Part 7 after she stabbed Bulk to death.
- MiraRaes Royal Family: Kaleo and Alice May were a reasonably possible ship until Kaleo went Yandere and attacked Caspian.