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Crack Pairing

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"Do you hear the fandoms sing,
Sing about love that isn't there,
Between the people that we know will never lay their feelings bare."
Do You Hear The Fandoms Sing?

Shipping beyond all bounds of sanity. There are official couples, there are couples drawn from more-or-less subjective subtext, and there are clearly non-canon pairings that still kind of make sense... and then there are pairings that make you go "What?" Characters who are shipped together despite barely even having a relationship in Canon. Sometimes they haven't even met in canon. Sometimes they don't even belong to the same 'verse (that's what Crossovers are for, after all) or to the same species. Sometimes they aren't even both carbon-based lifeforms.

Crack pairings range from the making-you-scratch-your-head-in-puzzlement weird, to the gouging-your-own-eyes-out-with-a-fork weird. But they always leave you asking "WHY WOULD ANYBODY THINK THESE TWO BELONGED TOGETHER?!" But interestingly, some fandoms don't have genuine crack pairings — it's true that they end up with Foe Yay Shipping and weirdness, but none of their pairings seem to freak people out. This can be down to a small cast, or any pairing seeming plausible by now.

Reasons for writing crack pairing fan works varies. It might be in order to clean up romantic loose ends by bringing together characters left alone, or to erase the memory of a particularly squicky canon pairing. They might be the result of people genuinely searching for a good personality match, or drawing parallels between two characters for whatever reason. A good number are the results of freeform roleplaying. Perhaps they took it on as a challenge to prove they could make it work. Or maybe they did it on a dare. Most often, though, the insanity itself is its own justification, especially to poke fun at more hardcore fans. It can get worryingly serious though... like they actually believe it could happen...

Occasionally, when a fanfic writer gets hold of a crack pairing and makes it convincing enough, that ship gains a following and can even become very popular. It's even been known to influence The Powers That Be.

While crack pairings may show up in crack fics, the two are not necessarily related. A Crack Pairing could very well be treated in a dead serious and realistic way, just like a Crack Fic can be gen, or only about traditional pairings.

Note that when characters are given some kind of relationship, no matter how unhealthy, insane, or weird their relationship is, it's no longer a true crack pairing. Contrast with Ho Yay, Foe Yay Shipping, No Yay, May–December Romance, Old Man Marrying a Child, Interspecies Romance, Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?, Twincest, Brother–Sister Incest, and even Parental Incest for examples of ships which you may find weird but which are not crack pairings as long as they have basis in canon.

For an entire LJ community dedicated to particularly squicky crack pairings, behold VeryWrongSlash, which needs no further explanation.

If one wants to create their own Crack pairing (or just wants to see some pairings that may not yet have been added to this page), use the Brain-Hurting Pairer Generator.

See Crossover Ship for shipping characters who don't belong to the same verse. See Cargo Ship for shipping objects. Compare with Ships That Pass in the Night, which is closely related but isn't quite a subtrope, as it's not at all uncommon for ships that have little basis to be played seriously, due to fans filling in holes or reading into subtext to guess that they'd hit it off. Generally, a crack pairing is one that makes no sense even if you assume they do know each other.

Examples should be limited to specific stories, preferably with links, lest the page be overrun with every pairing that has ever crossed anybody's mind.

Warning! There is a strong possibility that you may feel disturbed when reading these examples. Have some Brain Bleach handy, just in case, and don't say we didn't warn you.


    open/close all folders 

  • There's Mac/PC (the Apple commercials) slash out there. It's John Hodgman and Justin Long having sex, except they have computer ports and plugs instead of human orifices.
    • Played for laughs here (scroll down).
  • Benetton "Unhate" ads
  • Mayhem of AllState and Progressive's Flo.

    Comic Books 
  • Three NSFW words: Goofus. Slash. Gallant. Note that as far as vague canon is concerned, they might as well be Parallel Universe versions of each other. Since they're in the same universe - consider Goofus Gallant's Evil Twin.
  • Doctor Doom / Squirrel Girl. Based on a story where she defeated him by mobbing him with her squirrels, ever since giving Doom pause when faced with her again and becoming an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in her presence.
  • Loki from the Thor comics/movie rapes and tortures Sam Winchester from Supernatural. There is an in-verse explanation for why Sam is there, but this is still completely cracktastic. The fact that it has good reviews and multiple chapters is even more disturbing.
  • In DC Nation, Word of God states the entire in-game universe came about due to a crack ship. The universe started as a varient strand of Hypertime (the old DC concept of a multi-verse) that kept attracting variences and it was easy for characters to find themselves in alternate realities. Starfire found a lover in one of these off-shoot realities and brought him home. The lucky gent is a version of Hugo Weaving who had been fated to die in a car accident, but instead ended up in the equivalent of multi-verse's train stop cafe. After he arrived, the universe threw up its proverbial hands trying to make this strand of reality fit with mainline DC, thus creating its own world. (It also makes all those comic book movies that much more amusing to the players.)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had a joke scene where Omega acted like he was practically falling in love with Blaze after he saw her using her fire powers to blow stuff up (which also acted as his Funny Moment). Ian Flynn said that this was just a joke and there wasen't any possible relationship there. Unfortunately for Flynn, the fans fell in love with it. For context, Omega (full name E-123 Omega) is one of Dr. Eggman's robots bent on revenge against the doc, and Blaze the Cat is a princess from a dimension on turmoil with no time for romance. Archie would later publish a Valentine's Day varient cover that depicted characters from the series, asking readers "Who do YOU ship?". A pre-drawn line already connects Omega to Blaze, much to her chagrin.
    • In an interview concerning the then-upcoming crossover between the Sonic comic and Archie's own Mega Man (Archie Comics) comic, Kotaku asked Flynn if there's "any animal/human kissing in the crossover". Flynn answered, "Yes. Hot Amy-on-Wily action." He, of course, admitted he was kidding.
  • In the Continuity Porn-laden Asterix and Obelix's Birthday, Justforkix (from Asterix and the Normans) and Influenza (from Asterix and Caesar's Gift) appear to be a couple. Both of them were One Shot Characters from totally unrelated stories in the comic's Subtle Continuity.
  • This cover for All-New X-Men #20 takes full advantage of Rule 34 and Rule 63 to make Wolverine/Cyclops fans happy.
  • The pairing of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers is a popular one among fans of yaoi, which often includes them as the adoptive parents of Peter Parker. Yes, we're serious.
    • They are actually married in Earth-3490 continuity where Tony was born as a woman (as Natasha Antonia "Toni" Stark). Due to this, there was no Civil War on that Earth.
    • Understandable when you consider the comics versions of Cap and Iron Man, who share considerable moments of Ho Yay together (they're even the page image for it). However, most depictions of this arrangement use the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Amazing Spider-Man Series incarnations, in which the first two are depicted as a pair of honest-to-goodness Headbutting Heroes, while the latter has basically been Exiled from Continuity.
  • Defied in W.I.T.C.H.: Taranee's parents Lionel and Theresa Cook are a lawyer (Lionel) and a judge (Theresa), but Lionel switched jobs and became a psychiatrist.
    • Rather popular among the fan is Will X Phobos. Especially cracky because Phobos has done anything in his power to earn Will's hates, to the point she nearly tortured him to death in response to his worst offense and later disintegrated his soul.
  • The Italian series Lupo Alberto, set in a World of Funny Animals, has one as the main pairing: Alberto, a (baby blue-furred) wolf, and Marta, a hen. Only made crackier by the fact Alberto does eat chicken: while he won't attack his girlfriend and her family, Marta once caught him carrying away her best friend (a rather fat chicken) with explicit and declared intent to eat her.
    • Another one is between Silvietta, a dunnock studying at college, and Enrico la Talpa, a mole who's married and old enough to be her father. This qualifies as crack, and not as something worse, because it's one-sided on Enrico's side (Silvietta barely tolerates him) and the result of a gag about the unfortunate Italian name of the dunnock species.note 
  • Jeff Parker's Thunderbolts run has lots of hints of Moonstone / Man-Thing. Note that the former is a human Manipulative Bastard while the latter is a swamp monster that will burn anything that feels too much fear near it. Man-Thing used to be human but that doesn't reduce the Squick factor much. The weirdest part is that it actually manages to come off as kind of sweet.
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe gives us the surprisingly popular Magicstone ship, which is to say, Scrooge's magical nemesis Magica De Spell and Donald's supernaturally lucky cousin Gladstone Gander. Fanfic of the two usually involves Magica kidnapping Gladstone in an attempt to weaponize his luck to get Scrooge's #1 Dime, but then they develop feelings for each other that they're both too caustic to act on.
  • IDW's Transformers comics seem to inspire a ton of these, not helped by the fact that the franchise in general has a long history of it. The most notable are probably Rodimus/Thunderclash (Rodimus hates Thunderclash in canon to the point of being happy when he seemed to die), Tarn/Windblade (they aren't even aware of each other's existence and are opposed on every possible level), and Tarn/Pharma (their only interaction was Tarn driving Pharma to insanity through blackmail and psychological torture). Also not helping matters is the fact that the comics feature an awful lot of canon Crack Pairings that could probably never happen in any other continuity (Onslaught/Blast-Off, Cyclonus/Tailgate, Sparkstalker/Lightbright, etc.), as well as a few canon pairings that would be Crack if not for the fact that the characters never really had established personalities and relationships before (Chromedome/Rewind, Needlenose/Horri-Bull, etc.), and thus there was nothing saying they couldn't be an item.
  • Spider-Man: Very early on in the comics, Aunt May ends up developing feelings for Doctor Octopus, which includes the infamous The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #130-131 where she almost marries him. At least one later comic suggested that the two even slept together.
  • Doom Patrol: The Brain and Monsure Mallah are one of the weirdest pairings ever. They are a Brain in a Jar and a super intelligent talking gorilla. Since the Brain used to be human, it's a case of bestiality. Of course, since the Brain lacks a true body, their relationship is physically unable to involve actual sex, thankfully.

    Fan Works 
  • "Animash" and "Non/Disney" videos, which attempt to edit together clips from various animated films into a coherent narrative, usually fall into this whenever romance is involved; if it's not an Official Couple, it's probably this. Permutations of the dogs from Balto and Lady and the Tramp and/or the lions from The Lion King, or any of their sequels, are particularly common. Or how about a love triangle between Ariel, her daughter, and Jim Hawkins, because Prince Eric is cheating on her with Odette?
  • Atonement has Madison Clements/Sundancer. While It Makes Sense in Context due to the alternate universe, both are relatively minor characters who never interact in canon.
  • The long-running Bruce Has a Problem round robin centers around Harley Quinn discovering Batman's secret identity... and falling in love with Bruce. Despite the unlikeliness of their romance, they do make it work; Bruce serves as a good example for Harley, and Harley's positive attitude rubs off on Bruce.
  • Treated with surprising seriousness in Ranma ½ and Touhou Project crossover Carried Off.
  • In A Dash of Logic, SpongeBob and Karen having a secret affair behind Plankton's back is a Running Gag across the fic, as a meta-joke about the formers' voice actors being married in real life.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness gives us several:
    • The first is Jamie and Patchouli. One's a deadbeat slacker who snarks at almost everything going on around him and brings nothing worthwhile to the table, while the other's a century-old, chronically ill youkai magician.
    • Patchouli's assistant Koakuma objected rather heavily to her boss getting involved with Jamie, but later—in a move that makes even less sense—gets distracted by the Jersey City junkman Goat, who doesn't have much of a life himself.
  • Parodied in the Fate/Gag Order strip titled The Argonautica: Good Ending. Scheherazade and Sei Shonagon display an alternative universe where "The Bro Code does not exist", presumably the only obstacle that prevented Jason from attempting to take a shortcut to ruling a kingdom by wooing Pollux. They seem Happily Married in this continuity, much to the horror of Medea and Castor who demand the storytellers cut the feed before the pair start getting lovey-dovey.
  • Flame's Shade pairs together Yang and Yatsuhashi, two characters who haven't even talked in canon. It also ships together Weiss and Pyrrha, which is less cracky but is still a stretch due to their limited interactions.
  • In Forest Of Despair, people actually do ship Mochi and Monokuma together. Which is weird since one is an actual rabbit and the other a killer stuffed animal.
  • A Healing Scoop of WeissCream is an AU of volume 4 where Neo teams up with Weiss. It's also a Neo/Weiss fic.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Pre-Crisis Supergirl hooks up with Dev-Em, a Legion of Super-Heroes character whom she never met in a canon story and whose number of Pre-Crisis appearances can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
  • I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC — plenty, but mainly Green Goblin/Harley Quinn.
    Green Goblin: I'm just a goblin, standing in front of a clown, asking her to love him. What's so complicated about that?
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Antipode pairs Aqua with Ringabel from Bravely Default. It also jokingly pairs Kristoff with Donald Duck, due to the Trolls mistaking the latter for a girl and setting up a wedding for the two.
  • Love is Dumb ships Meggy Spletzer with...herself. More specifically, a corrupted incarnation called War Meggy who took over her life out of jealousy. Then Shadow Meggy comes out to play...
  • Mass Effect: Synthesis features FemShep paired with Harbinger.
  • The MLP Loops: Considering the infinite varieties of "Groundhog Day" Loop the universe is going through, these are inevitable.
    • At one point Twilight wakes up married to Luna... who is a stallion. Like most variant loops, this kinda makes sense if you squint. Twilight's adoptive daughter Nyx (biological daughter in this variant) is a chibi version of Luna's Superpowered Evil Side, making her technically Luna's daughter too—though they normally treat each other as sisters.
    • In one "Daughters" loop (where Twilight is the mother of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who are all princesses), Twilight realizes that Discord is their father. And she really wishes that the loop memories were less detailed.
    • For real examples between loopers, Trixie and Chrysalis stand out. They met a grand total of once in the show, Chrysalis was a villain, and they didn't even really interact with each other. Here, after Chrysalis starts looping, Trixie offers her some comfort to get over an impossible crush on Shining Armor, and then thousands of years later they're still together.
    • For an even crazier example, we have Nyx (technically Princess Luna's Literal Split Personality and Twilight's adoptive daughter) and Primarch Leman Russ of the Space Wolves. The two end up getting married.
    • During the I Never game, it comes out that Fluttershy hooked up with Link when he briefly looped into Equestria.
    • Likewise during the I Never, Sweetie Bell reveals that she had sex with Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He wasn't evil in this loop because Sweetie had already redeemed his father, but still. Not to mention that he was technically her adopted brother.
  • New Island Life has a few ships presented in the Danganronpa Franchise outside the main story, such as Hajime/Hiyoko and Makoto/Mukuro. However, it also has a good amount of ships not in the source material, such as Nagito/Teruteru and Celeste/Chihiro.
  • The Pooh's Adventures series had given us several crack pairings, the most noticeable ship being Thomas the Tank Engine and Twilight Sparkle.
  • RWBY: The Pink Lemonade Compendium is a dating fic that pairs Yang/Nora, Ruby/Blake, and Weiss/Pyrrha, all of which are a pairing of characters that had very little screen time together.
  • The Savage Seas has Fishlegs and Elsa the author even name drops this trope.
    athingofvikings: Yes, Fishlegs/Elsa is a bit of a crack pairing, but I think they're cute and have some nerdy potential! ^_^
  • Silencio has this as a Running Gag that basically anyone that Taylor-as-Marceau interacts with in public will be shipped with her/him. While most of these are just misunderstandings, the official couples include Taylor/Amy (a Fan-Preferred Couple, but they don't interact much in canon and have incompatible orientations), Grue/Purity (not only do their powers oppose, but Purity is older than Grue and is a former member of a white supremacist organization, while Grue is black), and Cricket/Parian (Cricket is an Empire 88 cape, Parian is a civilian fashion designer whose only interaction with the Empire in the fic is beating a few capes up with a stuffed gorilla).
  • Sith Academy has several, with the most notable being Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mind you, for most of the series, this doesn't stop Obi-Wan from continuing his existing relationship with Qui-Gon Jinn.
  • The Succession series seems devoted to coming up with some unique Crack Ships for A Song of Ice and Fire in their own spin on the material.
    • First, in My Father's Son:
      • Jaime Lannister and Rhaella Targaryen. As an alternative to the Lannicest, Jaime being called away as a Kingsguard leads to him being more devoted to Rhaella in the separation from Cersei, and eventually growing into her unofficial paramour of all things.
      • Benjen Stark and Ashara Dayne were only capable of associating with each other through their families brushing paths. But here, with Ben in the kingsguard, they also become paramours.
      • Let's also not forget Benjen's brother Ned falling in love with and eventually marrying Cersei when in canon, they were enemies.
      • Special mention also goes to Dacey Mormont and Arthur Dayne, who never even interact in canon.
    • Second, in The Hedge Knight:
      • Asha Greyjoy/Aegon Targaryen. While Aegon is canonically a Launcher of a Thousand Ships, this is one of the lesser ships used since their plotlines are literally hundreds of miles apart from each other.
  • Ultimate Chat Fic Of Mutual Memeing! is apparently the first work on Archive of Our Own to be tagged "Togami Byakuya/Akamatsu Kaede."

    Film — Animated 
  • As noted under Fan Works, crossover fan vids are notorious for applying this trope to assorted characters from animated films.
  • Disney movies:
    • While this is often ignored, it is significant that Who Framed Roger Rabbit gave us a canon example with Roger / Jessica.
    • In The Lion King 1 ½, Timon canonically proposes to Shenzi in a last-ditch attempt to keep her distracted. She, like Pumbaa, Banzai and Ed, is utterly repulsed by the idea. However, it spawned no end of videos, fanfics and art that take the idea more seriously.
    • Ralph×Vanellope in Wreck-It Ralph simply because they are the two main characters. This is a bad case of pedophilia — Vanellope is a full nine-years-old. Most of said shippers try to justify this by giving Vanellope an "upgrade", making her look older and less jailbait-y.
    • Tinkerbell paired with Clopin's hand puppet.
    • Frozen fans have shipped both Elsa and Hans with the Duke of Weselton.
    • When designing Dr. Facilier for The Princess and the Frog, animator Bruce Smith went through the thought process of what the child of Captain Hook and 101 Dalmatians' Cruella De Vil would look like.
    • From Finding Nemo there's Nemo/Gill.
  • Corporal/Classified is probably the strangest shipping you will ever find in the 'Madagascar'' fandom. Which is even weirder when you realize it kinda works... arguably, of course. Especially considering Classified clinging onto Corporal as they're forced to go through Dave's death trap and their dynamic. note 
  • "Oncest" is perhaps the most infamous thing to come out of The Lorax, a pairing between the Once-Ler, the Villain Protagonist of the film's flashback portions, and... the Once-Ler again, after he went Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. More or less, it was the result of a character who had a major-league Estrogen Brigade immediately after the film's release, but also didn't have any good shipping options (and the fandom didn't care about any of the other characters in the film anyway), along with askblog culture being pretty significant at the time. Notably, it's not just a ship with a few followers, but a full-fledged One True Pairing, and probably the first thing anyone remembers about the film's fandom.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Bumblebee/Sam, which even has their own live journal community, as does Ironhide/Lennox, with Barricade/Sam and Optimus Prime/Sam also having a small following. No, it doesn't matter that the robots are several times their human partners size, and have a completely different reproduction process, fans of the ships have found ways around these pesky little details.
  • Many of the pairings on the Star Trek XI kink meme. Honorable mention include McCoy/Sarek, Amanda Grayson/Winona Kirk, Sarek/Winona Kirk, Gaila/Uhura, and Chekhov/Everyone. Not to mention Au!Kirk/Spock Prime.
  • David/Sam. Actually not a bad fic.
  • Anybody/Jason Voorhees. Anybody.
  • The Holiday had a canon example at least for actors with characters played by Jack Black and Kate Winslet involved romantically.
  • A common crack pairing in the Thor fandom is Loki/Darcy Lewis. Probably helps that they're both deadpan snarkers.
    • Steve Rogers/Darcy Lewis is inexplicably popular in fic as well, despite the fact that they've never shared a scene—or been in the same movie.note 
  • The movie 'A Warrior's Heart' may seem like this for Twilight fans as it pairs up the actors who play Alice and Emmett.
  • An in-universe example in the movie Entrapment. The main characters are played by Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. And obviously, they are the main couple.
  • The Dark Knight Rises has Bane/CIA - as in, Bane and the nameless CIA agent at the start of the movie. This mostly arose from /tv/'s obsession with the scene in question, to the point of making videos celebrating the two's love, and that the CIA agent is played by beloved TV star Aidan Gillen.
  • Alternity is an X-Men: Days of Future Past fic that admits up front that it's a crack fic (although it eases into a horror story once things get serious), and provides the crackiest crack pairing ever: Kitty Pryde/young Magneto. The really scary part is that it actually works.
  • Peter Jackson's film series based on The Hobbit has spawned the disturbingly popular ship "Smaugbo" (Bilbo x Smaug). It helps that their actors play the two male leads on Sherlock, who are commonly shipped together.
  • Sicario has Alejandro and Kate. They've even got a tag on Archive of our Own. It's more then likely Foe Yay Shipping, which to be fair they're not entirely wrong.
  • Jurassic World has Blue X Owen.
  • After the release of It (2017), people have taken to shipping that version of Pennywise with The Babadook. No, really.

  • Angela Nicely: In-Universe, in "Matchmaker!", Angela's friends find the idea of Miss Darling dating Mr. Grouch or Mr. Weakly nonsensical.
  • The Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu fandom has come up with some weird pairings.
    • Hua Cheng/He Xuan. They're the only two Ghost Kings who are on relatively good terms, and they've definitely interacted off-screen (proof: whatever He Xuan did to get into debt to Hua Cheng), but their personalities and goals are so different that it's hard to imagine them ever willingly spending time together.
    • Xie Lian/Bai Wuxiang. Always a Mind Game Ship and usually seen only in Dark Fics.
    • Hua Cheng/Yin Yu. Usually portrayed as Yin Yu having an unrequited crush on Hua Cheng.
    • He Xuan/Ming Yi (the real one). Rather disturbing, considering He Xuan kidnaps Ming Yi, replaces him, and eventually kills him.
    • He Xuan/Shi Wudu. Foe Yay Shipping of the most antagonistic sort, again usually seen only in Dark Fics.
    • Qi Rong/Lang Qianqiu. More Foe Yay Shipping, though fics usually take place post-canon and focus on them reluctantly bonding over raising Guzi.
  • The Harry Potter fandom is full of them. Pretty much every conceivable (and inconceivable) pairing has been done. Doesn't matter how biologically impossible, how minor the characters, or if they qualify as "characters" at all. If it exists, it will be shipped. Even Hagrid/Dobby makes comparative sense when compared with pairings such as Dobby/Giant Squid, Hogwarts/Shrieking Shack (yes, the actual buildings), or Snape and his own nose.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Thanks to the groundbreaking work of the stupendousPhobs, Melkor x Sauron (or, as it is otherwise known, Angbang) is now all the rage with Tolkien fanartists. And it is beautiful.
    • Treebeard/Bill the Pony. In horrific detail, at that.
    • Legolas/Treebeard. No, really.
    • Somewhere on a author has written two fics about a relationship between Faramir and Shagrat (an Uruk and captain of the guard of Cirith Ungol, the one who found Frodo in Shelob's lair). Actually, very well written.
    • Merry/Pippin/Treebeard and someone's horse/Treebeard.
    • A tongue-in-cheek theory cropped up in certain circles that the true identity of the Witch-King of Angmar was actually Tar-Míriel, the last Queen of Númenor. Not long after the theory was formed, people began shipping her with Éowyn.
    • Glorfindel/Erestor. Who's Erestor? He's an elf at the Council of Elrond, apparently the master of Elrond's house, who has about five lines in the whole book. His only contribution to the discussion is suggesting giving it to Tom Bombadil, which Gandalf and Glorfindel shoot down as a bad idea. However, between Erestor being an easy O.C. Stand-in (since all we know is that he's a fairly important elf), the fandom's love of elven nobles and courtly drama, and a desire to give an Ensemble Dark Horse a love interest that didn't get in the way of any other pairings, it became Glorfindel's default ship. This isn't a small ship, either; on Archive of Our Own, it's in fifth place for book canon fics, going above canon pairings like Éowyn/Faramir and Elrond/Celebrian, and even outclassing popular gay pairings with main characters and some level of canon support like Aragorn/Legolas, Aragorn/Boromir, or Merry/Pippin. Not bad for two characters so minor that they were Adapted Out of the movies.
  • Some Discworld fan has written Greebo/Rincewind slash. Fortunately with Greebo in human form. While it's only been done once, it keeps being brought up in discussions of Discworld fanfic.
    • A bet on whether it was possible to write Discworld slash resulted in a Death/Librarian pairing. And it was hilarious.
      • Similar circumstances resulted in a Luggage/Rincewind. And it was also hilarious.
    • Death/Vetinari. It's very Victorian and almost in-character. Adorable.
    • Vetinari/Susan. They've never actually met in the books, but it could work. Here's an example. Ignore the typo in the title, the fic's pretty good.
  • While the words "pairing" and "H. P. Lovecraft" might not sound like something that should ever be mentioned together, August Derleth most certainly did; he paired several Lovecraft's gods with each other and his own creations, creating a convoluted family tree. One particular example stands out: according to Derleth, Cthulhu is the spawn of Yog-Sothoth and Nub, one of Lovecraft's less-known gods. That's not particularly odd, if it weren't for the fact that Nub is a spawn of Shub Niggurath mentioned above. Which presumably makes Yog-Sothoth her father. Yes, you heard me, incestous Eldritch Abominations. You may want to grab the Brain Bleach, lest you Go Mad from the Revelation.
    • Bizarrely, this also makes Wilbur and his brother Cthulhu's uncles.
    • Clark Ashton Smith, one of Lovecraft's frequent correspondents and another of the original Cthulhu Mythos writers, also produced a "family tree of the gods" (which can be found here). Also, in Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror, Yog-Sothoth (an omnipresent superbeing which appears as a mass of spheres) has two children with a human woman. Squicky.
    • There is also a few fanfiction pairing Lovecraft and Cthulhu on Archive of Our Own. Be warned most of the content is Not Safe for Work.
  • Warrior Cats is a crack-spawning machine:
  • The Twilight Saga has a ton of these, including:
    • Bella/Tyler's Van
    • Bella/Carlisle
    • Jane/Seth
    • Bella/Alec
    • Bella/Paul
    • Paul/Seth
    • Emmett/Seth
    • Emmett/Jacob
  • Katniss/Haymitch has gained a fairly significant following in the Hunger Games fandom. Fan reaction seems to be split between finding it awesome or horrifying.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has a couple: Thalia/Nico (kind of impossible given she's an eternal maiden and he's gay.), Rachel/Nico and Leo/Lou Ellen.
  • The Young Wizards fandom has imagined Nita/Ed. No, really.note 
  • Les Misérables has multiple crack pairings for most of the characters who are younger than 30 years old by the end of the book, not even getting into the slash pairings among Les Amis del'ABC. The most common crack ship here is Enjolras/Eponine; never mind if Enjolras' only passion is his country, and Eponine is in love with someone else.
  • Gone with the Wind: Rhett and Melanie. It helps that Rhett genuinely likes, respects, and admires her throughout the book. Alexandra Ripley, who wrote the sequel Scarlett, seems to have sensed this as well—one of her key plots is Rhett marrying someone who is clearly Melanie's Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • The Wicked Years: Trusting In Faith is a serious Nessarose/Glinda oneshot that portrays them as Star-Crossed Lovers. In canon, Nessarose and Glinda are predominantly only friends through Nessa's sister Elphaba.
  • Maria Watches Over Us: One of the ships explored in Metamorphosis (EndOfAbraxas) is Sei with the bit character Alice.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: In Stoneybrook Revisited: A Baby-Sitters Club Fan Series, Kristy ended up marrying Shannon Kilbourne, a seldom-seen associate member of The Baby-Sitters Club.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Jon Connington and Brynden Tully, despite never having met (and probably never will). Known as Redfish.

  • Not Literally Productions' Filk Song "I Ship It" is a shipper's anthem. The song mentions crack ships—the singer knows her ships are cracky and doesn't care.
    You're on the canon ground, I'm up in crack ship space.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Territory Wars has many crack tag teams but also has a couple strictly romantic head scratchers, such as Tiger Mask and Victoria, which even the other wrestlers don't get.
  • Back in late 2000, there was a combined fansite for Molly Holly and The Undertaker titled "The Beauty and the Badass." Their paths never crossed in Canon.
  • There's a surprisingly strong Roman Reigns/Paige fandom out there, despite them having no significant interaction onscreen.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Basically encouraged in Exalted. One of the more prominent examples given is the epic romance of a sentient forest made of mirrors and a black hole shaped like a giant boar.
  • Forgotten Realms has a writer who ships Cyric with ANYONE and ANYTHING.
  • Magic: The Gathering ran an April Fools' Day joke involving this, pairing Liliana and Gideon Jura.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has an entire fandom based on Taldeer the Eldar and LIIVII the human cybernetic assassin. A self-acknowledged blasphemy to the setting of the series (not to mention half the pairing is an Original Character), yet a Guilty Pleasure to many. It's even gotten a Fandom Nod or two.
    • Apparently not completely blasphemy, as there are some old 2nd edition rule books describing a half-Eldar. Of course, 2nd edition has been almost entirely retconned by now...
    • The above could still never compare to the Macha/Emperor of Mankind ship that was spawned later, especially considering the whole thing is based on the Memetic Mutation that despite Macha's good looks she will never get laid, ever. It even spun out into the pairing of "Macha/a Callidus Assassin who screwed Macha while shapeshifted as the Emperor." Macha/Gabriel Angelos also picked up some steam, despite them being enemies turned uneasy and temporary allies.
    • In a similar vein to Love Can Bloom, there have been fans who ship Primarch Roboute Guilliman and Yvraine, the Herald of Ynnead (Eldar god of the dead). They've interacted a couple times, Yvraine healed Rouboute, and they're of different species and haven't attempted to kill each other; that's such a big departure from normal interspecies relations in 40k that it's basically enough for fans to declare them married.
  • This is practically the whole point of Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder. Heck, there's even a card depicting Iron Will and Crackle, two one-episode guest stars of non-pony species (one of whom was just an animation gag).

  • Eliza/Maria Reynolds from Hamilton has a small following, despite the fact that they have never met and the latter is the lover of the former's husband.
  • Wicked: Fiyero ends up paired with Glinda's friend Pfannee in The Eternity Effect.

    Web Animation 
  • Battle for Dream Island:
  • Homestar Runner has a huge, active shipping community despite being a cartoon with a somewhat small main cast and a running gag about having "only one girl". Alluded to canonically here, with the pair being Marzipan x The Cheat. In the SBemail "montage", Strong Bad has a romance with a wagon full of pancakes. Another SBemail, "record book," had a "Cutest Couple" record, which went to Bubs. Just Bubs.
  • RWBY: In the canon of RWBY, Taiyang Xiao Long is the single father of two of the protagonists, while Cinder Fall is the Big Bad of the first three volumes (and also develops a personal grudge on Taiyang's younger daughter after she scars her face with magic eyes). In the noncanon spinoff RWBY Chibi, they're matched up by a dating site... the strangeness of which is in fact commented on in universe.
    • RWBY fans will sometimes ship characters For the Lulz simply based on the fact that their voice actors are married in real life. The strangest of these is Taiyang, the aforementioned single father, with Coco, who is not only a lesbian, but goes to school with his daughters. The more common and less strange Ruby/Sun has an actual following beyond the lulz, however.

  • Someone actually wrote up a crack pairing generator on The Order of the Stick forums. Apparently d6 and d20 dice can be just as twisted as we can.
    • Vaarsuvius/Belkar (abbreviated Belvaar) seems to be gaining popularity ever since the Event...
    • Oneiroi Series, also.
  • The Aurora (2019) fandom has two of these that are extremely popular in their own circles: one is Collectolon (The Collector x Dr. Jolon), stemming from their similar mad scientist tendencies (Despite the fact that they have never canonically met). The other, Pompous Nitwits Squared, ships Erin Ruunaser with one of his irl kinnies. (Note that this ship has the approval of both said kinnie, who finds it amusing, and his boyfriend.)
  • There's a story on that's within 'The Dreamer fandom that ships Beatrice Whaley/Alexander Hamilton. It's actually very well written. Can be viewed here.
  • The sprite comic Akuma TH features several "official" in-universe pairings that would fall under this, but the most notable has got to be the pairing of Sonic the Hedgehog and Wendy Koopa.
  • Axe Cop and Abraham Lincoln. This one is actually canon.
  • Following Dora and Marten's breakup in Questionable Content, a vigorous thread on the QC forum is shipping him with everyone from Hannelore and Marigold to Amir and Yelling Bird.
  • Scandinavia and the World takes the nationshipping of Hetalia and ups the ante with Wales/New Zealand. It would be offensive if it wasn't so cute...
    • But it doesn't really belong here since it's actually Canon.
  • Homestuck exaggerates this: the odd pairings supported by canon are numerous, and the pairings contained in fanworks are even more so. Homestuck's shipping chaos even includes art drawn by the author himself depicting the pairing of Cal and Colonel Sassacre. (Better known as Sassacal.)
    • Many pairings that would have seemed like a Crack Pairing initially actually became canon (or at least had enough evidence that the story could clearly have been going that way at one point.) Examples include PM / Jack, Jack / Karkat, and Tezeri / Gamzee. Even Vriska / John—which was teased relentlessly and was sort-of canon for a while—would have seemed like a Crack Pairing when Vriska was first introduced, given that she was a mass-murdering backstabbing psychopath in another universe. Snowman / Spades Slick was canon, and her first introduction was her stabbing him in the eye. Although, a great majority of the ships listed here are actually based on hate (due to the romance system explained below); so violence is actually considered Ship Tease by the fandom.
    • Made even crazier by the fact that trolls have four different kinds of romance (explained here). This means you can pair one character off with multiple others and not have it be adultery, and that a very wide variety of things can become shipping fodder.
    • The trolls' dancestors (alternate-universe versions of their ancestors) have been encountered. Eridan/Cronus is one example that's canon-supported.
    • In canon, the aforementioned Colonel Sassacre was married to Betty Crocker, who in Homestuck is/was apparently the Troll Empress.
    • John and Gamzee. In one flash (which is mostly a humorous montage of random scenes in Homestuck, some old and some new), scribble versions of John and Gamzee kiss, and right after, a scene from a few acts prior is shown, with Jane making a weird face thinking "What the fuck?".
    • As one of the bonuses for the Homestuck Kickstarter, people who bought a certain reward tier were given two random embroidered patches associated with two random characters. According to the author of the comic, the pairing associated with the two random patches you receive "is your officially designated OTP". Naturally, this could result in the donor being locked into some pretty weird matchups like Jane/Eridan or Equius/Calliope, officially, forever.
    • Roxy/Dirk's Auto-Responder is actively referred to, by Dirk's Auto-Responder, as this.
      TT: Maybe we are perfect for each other. I, a street-smart, fast-talking application with a fuckzillion IQ trapped in a pair of triangular sunglasses that literally only the Japanese could consider to embody the Platonic ideal of "cool," and she, an oft-inebriated lonely hacker teen who just wants a boyfriend. I ran the numbers on this, trust me. It's a match made in goddamn crackpair heaven.
    • "Laundry". Bro/Redglare (Terezi's ancestor).
    • Eridan/Roxy is somewhat popular due to their common interest in wizards.
    • This ships John/Meenah. There's a Running Gag in-comic in which every time John meets Meenah she impales him on her trident.
    • Multiple people ended up creating either crack pairing generators or fics entirely dedicated to crack pairings, one per chapter.
  • In Problem Sleuth Weasel King + Madame Murel.
  • SMBC had a comic in which the Pope ships himself with Jesus.
  • Ménage à 3 has a cast mostly consisting of good-looking people, many of them bisexual, and Everybody Has Lots of Sex. However, it also has Eulice the hideous landlady (although she does suffer from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome), so "Eulice and <somebody else>" has become fans' standard joke response to any suggestions about possible pairings.
  • In the interactive webcomic Awful Hospital, this update resulted in a sudden flood of requests for the (human) protaganist to seduce an anthropomorphic, rotting hamburger creature.
  • Invoked in Suitor Armor. Protagonist Lucia develops romantic attraction to a suit of Animated Armor that is protecting her and seems to reciprocate her feelings. Other characters who perceive this find it too funny or strange to believe.

    Web Original 
  • Disney World of War has many crack ships, mainly because it is a massive crossover of the Disney Classics and Pixar. Some crack ships that are canon are Pangel (Patch from 101 Dalmatians and Angel from Lady and the Tramp 2), Scatani (Scamp from Lady and the Tramp 2 and Vitani from Lion King 2) and Berlielle (Berlioz from the Aristocats and Danielle from Lady and the Tramp 2).
    • The biggest crack ship, bordering on outright Squick, is Sarafina (Lion King)/ Reuben (Lilo and Stitch). There has been many debates on whether this is the work of a Troll or if Sarafina's player is just bonkers.
    • From The Runaway Guys' Mario Party 2 Let's Play, after Chuggaaconroy makes a pun involving jinxing things and the Pokémon Jynx, a remark from NintendoCapriSun caused ProtonJon to request fanart shipping Chugaa X Jynx. Chuggaa does something similar later though, after noticing the AI controlled Wario being paired up with Jon in minigames a lot, he requests Jon X Wario fanart.
    • When the Runaway Guys did a livestream of Mario Party 6 over on Jon's Twitch channel, Emile asked the others if they should "do Daisy on hard" in regards to who their AI opponent should be. The chat immediately latched onto this and started shipping Emile and Daisy together. This wasn't helped by Emile continuining to make Accidental Innuendos throughout the game, and eventually led to him choosing her as his playable character for Mario Party 5 & 6.
  • Despite the fact that she's a Psycho Lesbian and has made that fact very clear, ever since the crossover review of Heavy Metal, fandom is shipping Diamanda Hagan with either The Nostalgia Critic or Ask That Guy with the Glasses.
  • Cracked:
  • This cartoon has Lauren Faust marry a Stalker. It doesn't help it doesn't even acknowledge the existence of her ACTUAL husband.
  • Mervin, of Das Sporking, ships Snape and Sands purely under Rule of Funny, even writing a multi-fic epic on their adventures Sue-hunting with Mervin and Mrs. Hyde. She also ships Leah Clearwater and Castiel, though this is implied to take place out of the sporking 'verse. There's also a brief moment in one of the Twilight sporkings where Sands gropes Dean Winchester's ass and likes it quite a lot (Dean is squicked). Meanwhile, for the Fifty Shades of Grey series, Gehayi and Ket have fun pretending Grey and Taylor engage in "Catsuit Tuesdays".
  • In The Annotated Series, the riffers often pair up characters that they feel are suffering from Relationship Writing Fumble. The results range from kind of sensible to laughably insane:
    • Their most infamous and popular ship is easily King Hippo/Eggplant Wizard, based on the two being a Bumbling Henchmen Duo in Captain N: The Game Master. Worse yet, there's actually a stunning amount of evidence for it in canon.
    • When they riffed Darkstalkers, they shipped Henry (a 10-year old boy), Felicia (an adult catperson), and Morrigan (a succubus and one of the main villains) together as a parodic One True Threesome. This makes their other Darkstalkers ship (Pyron/the AI in Pyron's spaceship) look downright sane by comparison.
    • Their riff of Archie's Weird Mysteries has them shipping Betty and Veronica as a pair of closeted lesbians. This one's notable in that they shipped it largely out of spite; the riffers despised the infamous Betty/Veronica/Archie Love Triangle so much that they refused to accept Archie getting either of them.
  • Fans of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared seem to be fond of "Padlock", the ship between the notepad from the first song in the series and the clock from the second song in the series. Neither of the two seem to have met or interacted in canon; however, they were in the background together in the third song in one scene.

    Web Videos 


    Real Life 
  • This New Yorker cover ships Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at that point bitter rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. (The cover's joke is about a Clinton ad which implied that Obama would not be ready for a "3AM phone call", so the shipping may just be an incidental consequence of the joke requiring them to share a bed next to the same phone.)
  • Real Life subject: This hamster and snake, at the Tokyo zoo, giving Owen/Mzee a run for their money.
    • Just go on Youtube and look up "[insert animal name] [insert different animal name] sex" and see what pops up. It's mostly dog/cat sex, but rewards await the creative and depraved.
  • During the mid-1980s in Vermont, a wandering male moose met and fell in love with a female cow.
    • At least one editorial cartoonist used this image to represent the Reagan Administration cosying up with Iran in the Iran-Contra scandal.
  • Neil Gaiman apparently ships George W. Bush/Saddam Hussein.
    • A fanfic of this pairing (not written by Gaiman) once existed on Livejournal a while back.
    • The Pet Shop Boys song "I'm With Stupid" is a satire of the relationship between George Bush and Tony Blair, done as a gay love song.
    • Harry Turtledove's short story "Bedfellows" featured the same sex marriage of "W' (Bush) and "O" (Osama bin Laden) since each completed the other.
  • There is a rather large Livejournal community devoted to slashing Mike Carden (guitarist for the band The Academy Is...) and Kevin Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers), despite them being lesser known members of their bands, apparently having nothing in common, and most likely never having met. Oh, and Kevin's married. The pairing is popular enough that in Google's autofill, "Mike Carden Kevin Jonas" is currently the ninth suggestion you get for Mike's name (and at times has gone as high as #4).
  • Hockey player and tweeter Paul "BizNasty" Bissonnette ships himself with Pippa, Kate Middleton's younger sister. His comments regarding Ms. Middleton have led to the creation of a Twitter account dedicated to getting them together
  • Chris Colfer/Diet Coke is a canon example. The US Diet Coke twitter tweeted about him following them back. He compares their relationship to Thelma & Louise.
    • And now that Taylor Swift (who's known for breakup songs) has done a Diet Coke ad, her too.
  • It is thought that in 1766 a male wolf mated with a Pomeranian resulting in nine pups. There's no telling what those puppies ended up looking like.
    • Keep in mind that Pomeranians at that time period weren't the average 5 lb toy dogs we know of today. Before they were bred down to their current size in the late 1800s, Poms were more like 30 lb dogs, just a little bit smaller than their closest relative, the Keeshond. So a Pomeranian at that time breeding with a wolf would be similar to modern wolf/dog breeding pairs.
  • An American Idol fanfic once shipped season 10 Lauren Alaina with New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.
  • B.o.B.'s career contains a few musical crack pairings with feature artists you would not expect on a rapper's song. These include Hayley Williams, Rivers Cuomo, and Taylor Swift.
  • Masi Oka and a golden pagoda roof, after he bid it a fond farewell on Twitter.
  • MTV Brazil listed among the funniest moments of its history two odd pairings:Beavis And Butthead singing with Cher, and a talk show hosted by a punk musician receiving both Bozo and a Manchild comedian.
  • Petra, a black swan from Germany fell in love with a pedalo (well, it did look like a swan). Their relationship lasted for two years. She has her own fan club and her story was made into a few books, a song and a documentary, as well as being closely followed on shows like Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.

Alternative Title(s): Crack Ship