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Ghost Shipping

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Ghost Shipping is what happens when fans of a work Ship an active character with a canonically dead character. By dead, we mean really dead, not Only Mostly Dead or The Undead.

We do make some exceptions, of course. If the shipping is set before the character dies, it isn't an example. If the shipping is set after the character is raised in canon, it isn't an example. This trope only has examples for when fans have a character currently dead by canon shipped with an active character.


When this Audience Reaction gets put into fan works, a number of tropes can develop:

  • The Lost Lenore, as the living character does not accept the loss of their love as reason sufficient to end their relationship.
  • Schrödinger's Cast, as the fanfic began before the original work killed the character, and continues with an active (but dead in canon) character.
  • Resurrected Romance, as the dead character loves too much to leave, and finds a way back.
  • Necromantic, as the living character cannot allow their love to remain dead, and found a way to bring them back.

Similar to Boy Meets Ghoul, which covers canonically undead characters in a relationship with canonically living characters. Not to be confused with Ghost Ship; those are mysteriously abandoned vessels.



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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Robin: People kept shipping the very popular couple of Tim and Stephanie even after she was brutally murdered by Black Mask, partially because there was a lot of anger about the way she was killed off. Eventually she was retconned as having had her death faked by Dr. Thompkins for her protection and she and Tim make no secret they're still attracted to each other when she returns to Gotham. Convergence shows her and Tim finally getting back together.

     Film — Animation 

  • In Harry Potter, Harry gets shipped with Moaning Myrtle due to her flirting with him and later spying on him in the bath.
  • In Warrior Cats, the StarClan and the Dark Forest cats can still interact with the living, so many fans have made pairings based on this. Examples include Firestar/Spottedleaf, Ivypool/Hawkfrost, and Jayfeather/Brightspirit. And then there's Hollyleaf/Fallen Leaves, which is borderline canon, partially because Hollyleaf doesn't know that Fallen Leaves is actually dead.
  • In Dear Evan Hansen and the play it associated from, many in the fandom ship Evan and Connor despite the fact that Connor is dead. The fact that Connor's ghost saves Evan's life late in the novel certainly helps.

  • During some runs in NTWF Mafia, deaths and shipping go hand in hand between players. The first run has Meowington/Ariana and Robyn/Icon. The Aifam run had Kylie/Lucille and Prof. Bardsley/Diana Pallada.
  • In PJO Facebook Shenanigans, which is based on Percy Jackson and the Olympians, one pairing that formed was Hades/Maria.

    Video Games 
  • In the Dating Sim Kingdom Days, Rose, the protagonist, can be paired up with Daniel, a ghost.
  • Maria Robotnik has been dead for decades at the start of Sonic the Hedgehog but there is a strong shipper base for her and Shadow. This is despite the fact that canon essentially depicts Maria as Shadow's surrogate sister.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, one of the potential candidates is Nageki, a quiet dove who has died prior to the story. He inhabits the library as a ghost.
  • Akai Ito has two possible routes that qualify: Yumei or Nozomi. Nozomi becomes human again in the Happy Ending, though.

  • Homestuck: Almost any pairing with Aradia post mortem is this trope, with the canon example of Aradia/Equius.
    • There's also shipping living characters with those in the dreambubbles, the pseudo-afterlife filled with "dream ghosts."
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Any pairing involving Tuuri. The fact that the work gives every sign of involving a Crossover Cosmology of two mythologies in which Back from the Dead isn't completely unheared of doesn't help matters.

    Western Animation 


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