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Ship Tease / Live-Action TV

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"Did you just smell me?"
Will Graham to Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal

  • Tina Fey has said that her 30 Rock character will never hook up with Jack, but she seems to be going out of her way to imply that they might.
    • Particularly in "The Problem Solvers".
    • We even had an episode entitled "Mrs. Donaghy" in which Liz and Jack are Accidental Marriage'd. It's over by the end of the episode. But serious trope-age here.
  • Angel:
    • Our good friend Joss Whedon employed the crueler variety in the last season, when after three years' worth of teasing, Fred and Wesley finally hook up...only for Fred to be killed and replaced with a demonic entity in the very next episode. But this is Joss. Sex and relationships only lead to suffering.
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    • There was some definite ship tease between Spike and Illyria during the Hell part of After the Fall, but since the "Only Human" arc they have lessened.
    • Fred and Angel also had a little tease in "The Magic Bullet". They kiss to conceal their identities from Jasmine's spies. When they break apart, Fred asks "do you think they bought it?" and Angel replies "I did" but then quickly coughs and they separate. Earlier on, Fred developed a schoolgirl-like crush on Angel, but later got past it.
    • Angel and Cordelia from Season 2 onward, of course the relationship goes though hell with unholy intervention and the protagonist's own son sleeping with Cordy. Angel does get one final episode with Cordelia but then it turns out she's Dead All Along and was only there in spirit.
  • Arrow started teasing Felicity/Oliver pretty much immediately. Between her innuendo-laden speech, him comforting her after a particularly bad day, the fact that they're both drop dead gorgeous, and that Oliver tells Felicity he's in love with her at the end of season two, only for it to be revealed to be a trick to fool Deathstroke. This mostly picked up during the second season when the writers picked up how popular the pairing was, which lead to a Broken Base for those who didn't ship it and felt it was being pushed too much, and those who do ship it but feel the writers are relying too much on teasing it to keep the shippers watching. They were upgraded to canon in Season 3.
    • Oliver pretty much gets teased with every woman he's not related to (and even arguably them as well), and even the men as well.
  • Started early on The Big Bang Theory between Leonard and Penny and ran with it. It started with Leonard crushing hard on the oblivious Girl Next Door and most of the series has been about her figuring out her feelings for him in return. In the first season she first showed some interest in return by kissing him when drunk and he proved to be Above the Influence. Once his feelings were made clear in the first season finale it upgraded from mere Ship Tease to Unresolved Sexual Tension throughout the second season, and Penny started to fall for him in return was made obvious in the lead up to the second season finale. They get together in the third season opener.
    • Sheldon and Penny are blatantly teased in some episodes (mostly in ones where one or both sing Soft Kitty), despite Word of God (both the writers and the actors) saying the pairing will never happen. Sheldon's Distaff Counterpart Amy Farrah Fowler came in and after a season and a half of developing them as Just Friends they made a Relationship Upgrade. Very noticeable is that in the same episode there was a scene devoted between Sheldon and Penny that systematically breaks down all possibility that they would actually get together ("You're always calling me sweetie." "I call everyone sweetie." " tramp!").
    • Although there was a lot of teasing involving Howard and Raj being mistaken for (and acting like) a couple in the early seasons, it seemed to pick up quite a bit more after Howard became involved in a relationship with a woman.
  • Bones Season 3 is largely considered a tease for Booth/Brennan, well the whole show's purpose seems like a big tease for the OTP.
    • Bones/Angela, Booth/Angela, Bones/Zach, Zach/Jack(Hodgins), and Cam/Booth and Bones/Sully (even though most fans hated both official relationships, they had some shippers back in their day) have canon ship tease as well ("sweetie", Angela's near constant checking out/complimenting of Booth in the first few seasons, Zach looking very interested when told of Bones' grad advisor's relationship with her because she was "exceptional" and then saying something along the lines of "I'm exceptional too", and King of the Lab have all been cited as back up for their respective ships).
  • Boy Meets World had a bunch of this between Corey and Topanga in the first two seasons before they get together for the first time in the season 3 premiere. These included the kiss against the lockers from her debut appearance in early season 1, and the "You are you and I am I" speech from late season 2.
  • Part of the Early Installment Weirdness of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a heavy amount of Ship Tease for an eventual relationship between Detectives Boyle and Diaz in the first season. For numerous reasons — among them, the fact that Boyle's "Dogged Nice Guy dealing with All Love Is Unrequited" routine frequently came off as unintentionally stalkerish — the fanbase was largely not on board, however. To their credit, the writers eventually got the message, had Diaz bluntly (but not unkindly) point out to Boyle that nothing was going to happen between them, and Boyle eventually accepts this and moves on to other people. By the end of the season it's clear that the two were Better as Friends, and one scene even has Boyle apologise to Diaz for his weirdness earlier in the season.
  • Joss learned to do this on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Xander/Willow ship was hinted at from day one. But then in Season Two, Xander was paired up with Cordelia (taking everyone by surprise, but none more so than Xander and Cordelia), and Willow got together with Oz. The Xander/Willow ship seemed dead...only to rise again in Season 3, where Xander and Willow had to deal with a sudden mutual attraction that eventually destroyed the Xander/Cordelia relationship, and inflicted serious damage on the Willow/Oz one. Joss twisted the dagger with the very next episode, which depicted an Alternate Universe where Xander and Willow were vampires.
    • Shortly after that, he began teasing us with the prospect of pairing up Cordelia with new arrival Wesley. They shared a kiss in the season finale...which was so awkward that it obliterated half a season of mutual infatuation in a single moment.
    • And then Willow was made into a lesbian, thus negating any meaningful relationship with any male character. And then her girlfriend Tara got killed off, leading to Willow going evil and eventually trying to destroy the world — and who delivers the Cooldown Hug that eventually snaps her out of this? Xander.
    • In season 6, the episode "Tabula Rasa" goes crazy ship teasing Giles/Anya
    • In the season 6 episode "Hell's Bells", there's a single throwaway line from Buffy, where she rather intimately brushes imaginary lint off of Xander's tuxedo, and mutters, "You know I really think I missed my chance with you." When Xander, looking like he just got hit in the face with a shovel, asks her to repeat it, she responds "Nothing, it was nothing." But all those fans heard it loud and clear.
    • "Band Candy" ship teased Giles and Joyce, while simultaneously bringing the actual chances of the ship occurring down several notches.
    • The season 7 episode "Dirty Girls" teased at Faith and Spike. At the time, Joss was trying to get a Faith spinoff off the ground, and apparently intended to have Spike on it.
    • Every episode with Faith and Angel(us) in it teases us quite a lot. First, her coming on to him, and then him pretending to be on her side, and then her practically idolising Angel ("he's the only person who never gave up on me"). Meanwhile, Angelus intends to turn her, makes her a giant welcome sign, and saves her from the Beastmaster for no apparent reason.
    • For that matter, every episode with Faith and Buffy in the same scene feels like there's an attraction between the two characters, and a few episodes even suggest that the cause of some of Faith's later hostility towards Buffy was anger over the realization that no matter what she did, Buffy was never going to love her.
    • Giles and Ethan were written, acted and shown as unofficial lovers with enough Foe Yay between them that many fans didn't even realize at first that it was subtext. Whenever the two meet it's always about why Giles left Ethan, not why he doesn't mess around with dark magic anymore.
    • In the season 8 comics, issue 28, Buffy comes to the conclusion she may have romantic feelings for Xander, goes to tell him, but catches him kissing Dawn.
    • Speaking of the comics, season 10 seems to be teasing the ever popular Spuffy pairing. Whether this means the writers are planning on hooking them up for real or are just doing it to bring in more readers is anyone's guess. They hooked up, and stayed together for the rest of the season and the following one.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future had a Ship Tease going on between Jonathan Power and Jennifer Chase throughout the series, but the latter's death and the show's cancellation ended it just when it really started to develop.
  • Castle is one big, giant, delicious, awesome ship tease for Castle/Beckett.
  • Charmed (1998) had lots of Foe Yay between Prue and Cole and the episode "The Good, The Bad & The Cursed" gave them a bit of a tease (it probably helped that the actors dated on set). Cole also got teased with Paige as he kissed her while Phoebe was in her body and the episode "Sympathy For The Demon" teased them even further. According to Word of God, a Cole/Paige relationship was in the plans but Rose McGowan objected to it.
  • Chicago Fire teased the romantic pairing of Leslie Shay and Gabriela Dawson, the two paramedics, right from the get-go. It got to the point where the actresses, Lauren German and Monica Raymund, were Tumblr-infamous for sending ridiculously shippy tweets at each other and commenting on their sexual tension.
  • Community: All of the possible pairings between two members of the study group have at one time or another been teased. Gets pretty crazy when even Abed/Pierce is given scene time with a montage of private moments set to music.
  • Morgan and Garcia in Criminal Minds playfully flirt constantly.
  • CSI: Grissom and Catherine playfully flirt with each other and it never goes anywhere. To wit:
    Catherine to Grissom: (while helping the latter put on a tie) You need a woman.
    • Grissom, when Catherine returns from Miami in which she helped investigate a case there, "I missed your tush".
    • The "How can I help?" scene (see link for details).
    • There have also been hints towards possible Nick and Sara - Word of God states that Sara's phonecall at the end of "You've Got Male" was originally intended to be to Nick, and they have had moments of reciprocated flirting. Likewise, Catherine and Warrick, to the point where Catherine is upset to learn of Warrick's marriage and even outright comments on losing the dream.
    • Grissom and Heather could also fall under this as it's never outright confirmed that anything happened between them. Heavily implied, yes, but always in a way that, taking Grissom as being Grissom, could have a perfectly innocent explanation.
    • There were hints here and there for Greg and Sara as well, especially during her time mentoring him in the fifth season. A notable example comes from the episode "4x4":
      Greg: Sara, I just want you to know that when we were in the shower, I didn't see anything.
      Sara: Really? Gosh, I saw everything.
    • Grissom and Sara themselves in the first season.
      Sara: Do you want to sleep with me?
      Gil: ...Did you just say what I think you said?
      • Although that was a Rule of Drama moment, as Sara was setting him up for her rationale for taking their current case personally, that if they slept together, then he would know how serious her nightmares were regarding the victim.
  • Daredevil (2015): Matt and Karen sport lots of sexual tension from the get-go. Even Foggy can't help but notice it when they flirt in front of him.
  • In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Brea's flattered by Rek'yr's words and finds the bone necklace he gives her charming.
  • Anyone who watches Dengeki Sentai Changeman should know that episode 19 is a huge tease between Tsurugi Hiryuu and Sayaka Nagisa, starting from him being the only one to trust her after one failure nearly killed everyone, to Sayaka crying over Tsurugi looking like dying due to yet another error of her calculations, then topped off with the end of the episode where both of them are in the room kissing shaking hands with Sayaka being thankful for Tsurugi's continual trust on her.
  • Doctor Who:
    • First Doctor companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright are obviously very close but nothing ever explicitly comes from it, at least in the show itself, though the Expanded Universe suggests that they eventually got married, and this was finally confirmed in on-screen canon in the spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures in "Death of the Doctor"). Particularly painful teasing includes the scene in "The Romans" where Barbara checks out his Gorgeous Period Dress, talks about how splendid he looks, and then we get a scene of her doing his hair. There's also this from "The Keys of Marinus".
    • Steven gets two non-explicit Girls of the Week — one in the second half of "The Ark" and one in "The Savages" — whose relationships with him are handled in this way. He gets another one in "The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve", and the fact they spend several days together resulted in fan theories that he left her pregnant (she apparently had descendants with the same surname as her). There's also a lot between him and Dodo, such as how the citizens of "The Ark" tell legends about them being a "young couple", Dodo's extreme jealousy when Steven plays piano for an attractive female bar singer in "The Gunfighters", and the way Steven embraces her before leaving the TARDIS team in "The Savages".
    • Jamie and Victoria are practically made of this: He heads off to rescue her from the Daleks after just seeing her painting (technically her mother, but there's a Strong Family Resemblance) and may have been responsible for convincing her to ditch her Victorian dress for something more... modern. By "The Ice Warriors", she seems jealous of him eyeing up the girl technicians, and he responds by suggesting she try on one of their outfits; by "The Enemy of the World" everyone just assumes they're a couple and they don't seem in a hurry to correct them. When "Fury from the Deep" has him practically stricken on finding her apparently dead, then they share a tear-stricken farewell before spending one last night under the same roof before parting for good, we're pretty much in Did They or Didn't They? territory.
    • The Third Doctor and Liz, mostly by way of generous innuendo. He flirts with her on their first meeting and to get her to steal the TARDIS key from the Brigadier in "Spearhead from Space" (if she gets the TARDIS key for him he'll show her the TARDIS is "big enough"?), "The Silurians" opens with a sequence of him explaining to her that even though his car looks old it still has a lot of charm (while lying on the floor looking up her miniskirt), he strokes her hair while she's looking after him in "The Ambassadors of Death"... There could even have been payoff for this one as Liz was treated as his equal, but the character got unfortunately Put on a Bus to Hell at the end of the season.
    • The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane:
      • Even crosses over into Did They or Didn't They? in the Expanded Universe — the short story Crimson Dawn contains a short sequence of Leela showing off (and bragging about) her scars to the Doctor, who responds by baring his chest to her and blaming the non-existent damage on "Sarah Jane Smith — she broke both of my hearts".
      • In "The Ark in Space", Sarah Jane has been forcibly put into a coma state by an automated system on a Sleeper Ship, at a time when the Fourth Doctor was still gently figuring out his personality after his regeneration. When Harry insists Sarah is "of value", the Doctor agrees in language that Vira can more easily understand. Vira tells the Doctor "your comrade is a romantic". The Doctor makes a wistful, puzzled face and says, "perhaps we both are".
      • In "Terror of the Zygons", the Doctor and Sarah are Locked in a Freezer and to save Sarah's life, the Doctor mesmerises her into not needing to breathe by getting her to look into his eyes. The whole scene is shot rather suggestively, with the Doctor glistening with sweat, gently caressing her face in extreme closeup, and it ends with him throwing back his head and moaning.
      • In "Pyramids of Mars", Sutekh starts digging through the Doctor's mind and is apparently shocked by the extent of his feelings towards Sarah Jane.
      • "School Reunion" establishes that Sarah Jane was in love with the Doctor and it's strongly implied the feeling was mutual, in a scene where the Doctor openly discusses the heartbreak of Mayfly–December Romance with Rose.
    • The Expanded Universe likes to do this with the Fifth Doctor and Peri a lot, as the actors had a preposterous amount of on-screen UST for the two television stories they spent together, even though No Hugging, No Kissing was being enforced to very powerful levels at that point. Just one tiny example is in the Fifth Doctor & Peri story in Short Trips and Sidesteps, where the Fifth Doctor becomes extremely flustered by Peri wearing just a large Disneyland t-shirt as her nightclothes and nothing else, mumbles something about her outfit, and becomes distracted from flying the TARDIS.
    • The UNIT era contains rather a lot between the coworkers — Yates' crush on the Brigadier is hinted at in the Dance Party Ending of "The Dæmons", and Benton's interest in Jo is implied when he shirks off his post to come and talk to her in "Day of the Daleks". Yates and Jo are implicitly dating in the backstory to "The Curse of Peladon", justifying Jo's bizarre choice of outfit for the story (her date outfit), and Yates appears moody and jealous at Jo's wedding party in "The Green Death". None of it goes anywhere.
    • "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" contains an odd sequence where the Doctor sees Leela in a Victorian dress, is made speechless, looks her up and down appraisingly, and then tells her in a low, flirtatious voice that he'd be proud to take her to the theatre and that if she's good he'll buy her an orange. Leela responds with a thrilled grin, as if she's inwardly Squeeing over the Doctor taking an interest in her.
    • Russell T. Davies seems fond of writing kisses between the Doctor and his companion solely so they can be shown in trailers, with two season openers including this. Both kisses were for Applied Phlebotinum reasons; in season two another character had taken over Rose's body, and the kiss in season three was explained by the Doctor as a "genetic transfer" to help Martha (whom he had only just met) get the attention of the Judoon by showing non-human traces on their scanner.
    • Rose was the subject of relentless teasing with the Doctor, to the point that it seriously annoyed fans who preferred the original series' No Hugging, No Kissing policy. Even discounting all the myriad examples, her kisses with the Doctor in the season one finale (which again was for Phlebotinum reasons) and season four finale (actually with a human copy of the Doctor; long story) were the most dramatic and received the most attention out of all the others.
    • Speaking of kissing, Captain Jack Harkness has the distinction of being the first person in the new series to kiss the Doctor, and later appearances subtly and not-so-subtly hint that he's in love with him.
    • One-shot characters Sally Sparrow and Larry Nightingale from "Blink" have some Ship Tease moments. Like Sally being best friends with Larry's sister, Kathy. Or the two of them working together to figure out the Doctor's message about the Weeping Angels. And then there's Larry hugging Sally in a protective way when the TARDIS starts to leave without them during the episode's climax. And at the end, they're running a shop together, which Sally pointedly tells Larry that's all that's between them when he asks if Sally's confusion over the whole situation was getting in the way of "other things". But then, the Doctor comes back and clears up Sally's confusion, which obviously makes her happy as she holds Larry's hand and they walk back inside leaning against each other. But unfortunately, they haven't appeared since, so we don't know what happened to them.
    • Romana might have been invented solely to tease the audience. She was another Time Lord of comparable age, at the time Tom Baker was the youngest actor to have played the Doctor, they had brilliant on-screen chemistry (Baker even ended up marrying Lalla Ward, who played Romana II), but the writers just would not go the extra distance.
    • The Big Finish audio "The Boy That Time Forgot" does this for Adric/Nyssa. Hard. Nyssa confesses to Adric that she did love him once, and Adric is clearly in love with her to the point of insanity. The catch? Timey-wimey stuff has turned Adric into a mad, centuries-old man with a lust for revenge against the Doctor for leaving him for dead, not to mention having an entire civilization of giant genius insects at his beck and call. ...Yeah, it's pretty clear that They Won't.
    • The Doctor/The Master:
      • The season three finale was basically a relentless stream of Foe Yay teasing between the Doctor and the Master, ranging from the Master's orgasmic "I like it when you use my name" to the Doctor cradling the Master in his arms, sobbing, as he begs him not to die.
      • "The End of Time" took all that Ship Tease and just lit it on fire. "I wonder what I'd be without you." Awwww.
      • While definitely less blatant, Doctor/Master teasing is hardly a new phenomenon. "A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about", anyone?
      • Let's talk about Twelve and Missy, shall we? In her first appearance, she refers to him as her "boyfriend". The first thing she does on meeting him is to push him up against a wall and snog him senseless, and things only escalate from there...
    • The Eleventh Doctor and Amy was frequently teased, despite Amy's first episode ending on the night before her wedding. Before Rory became a companion too, Amy kissed the Doctor and tried to seduce him, and while the ship appeared to be "sunk" in "Amy's Choice", it was brought back to the surface when Rory died a few episodes later, only to be re-sunk when Rory came back to the life for the season finale. Even after Amy and Rory got married, there was still a ton of ship teasing, particularly in "A Good Man goes to War", where it was implied multiple times that Melody Pond was the daughter of the Doctor and Amy. She wasn't, of course, and much of the previous Ship Tease turned out to be just mistakes due to context. For example, Amy told the Doctor she was pregnant before Rory, implying that the baby might be the Doctor's. It's eventually explained that Amy knew it was Rory's, but the baby was conceived on the TARDIS, and Amy was worried what effect that would have.
    • Clara Oswald and the Doctor:
      • The pair have bucket-loads of Ship Tease from the very beginning. From accidental hugging to hand holding to the Doctor calling Clara "perfect" to a Cyber-converted Doctor confessing his love to her to the Doctor telling her to take her clothes off after a Suggestive Collision. Utterly sunk (at least, so it appeared at first...) when the Eleventh Doctor regenerated into a very alien, spidery old man who constantly insults her appearance (not that Eleven never did, usually in very obvious denial). That didn't stop Twelve managing to add his own piece of Ship Tease to the sunken Clara/Eleven ship; he remarked "I'm not your boyfriend" and implied that Eleven, not Clara, was the one who made that mistake.
      • The webisode "She Said, He Said", in which the Doctor and Clara examine their feelings for each other, seemed like confirmation that Clara was being set up as the first true love interest in the form of a companion (rather than a one-sided crush as with previous companions) with the Doctor going so far as to call her "My Clara" and "perfect for me in every way". Though fans will never know if this was true or if it was all just one long ship tease thanks to the reboot caused by Matt Smith's departure.
      • Although Twelve would be caught dead before you'd get a compliment or traditional flirt out of him, due to both lacking interpersonal skills and an aversion toward empty pleasantries of any sort, there have always been subtle indications that he might still harbor some of these feelings, having merely chosen not act on them out of the cynicism born from seeing many generations of humans live and die during his stay on Trenzalore, or a mistaken impression that she didn't want him anymore. He's always trying to show off to Clara, tends extremely competitive when anyone else does, sends many forlorn glances her way whenever he's in a distraught mood for any reason, is very blatantly flattered when he mistakenly assumed that Clara is dating an Eleven-lookalike, frequent states that that he needs her, at one point outright referred to one of their trips as a "date" once she was out of earshot, and then there's the incredibly UST-filled "Mummy on the Orient Express"... Doesn't help that the narrative draws parallels between their relationship, the romance between Robin Hood and Marian, the interspecies marriage between Vastra and Jenny, and Elizabeth and Darcy of Pride and Prejudice, or that the showrunner described a spectacular act of Undying Loyalty on his part as "He says 'I love you perfectly'" in a recent interview. While not necessarily indicative of anything romantic in and of themselves, their intense devotion to each other despite their frequent clashes, his habit of calling her "boss" or repeating her name many times over, and his teary-eyed reactions to both their temporary partings have certainly done nothing to deter the shippers.
      • The above applies to Series 8 (2014) only. Come Series 9, the series removed the Anchored Ship and established that the Doctor and Clara were indeed engaged in a form of romance — as confirmed by the Word of God triumverate of the showrunner, the lead actors (including Peter Capaldi, who had previously been adamant that nothing should exist between Clara and the Doctor suddenly doing a 180 and telling interviewers like Wil Wheaton that the Doctor and Clara were "crazy about each other") and directors. The show's established use of The "I Love You" Stigma required the writers to use euphemisms such as "I had a duty of care" to express the same meaning. The trilogy of episodes that ended the season chronicled the Doctor's 4.5-billion-year efforts to get Clara back after she is Killed Off for Real, leading to a uniquely SF Anchored Ship scenario.
    • The Thirteenth Doctor and new female companion Yaz have been teased frequently throughout Series 11. In the following season, while there are still some moments, events appeared to cause distance and friction between the two for a time, but they mended fences by the time of Revolution of the Daleks, an episode that has since increased the teasing tenfold. And now, with Ryan and Graham having left the show at the conclusion of that episode, Yaz is for the current moment the Doctor's only companion. Fanfic Fuel abounds.
  • Given that it was created by Joss Whedon, it was a given that Dollhouse would feature quite a bit of this. Probably the most notable example occurred between Topher and DeWitt in "Echoes", which had number of fans wanting them to drop everything and have sex right there. "Omega" even teases Topher/Echo.
    • This is made worse with the reveal that Adelle isn't above hiring Dolls for romantic assignments with herself, and is willing to look the other way when other Dollhouse employees do it too. This allows for an extraordinary amount of pairings to be explicitly shown onscreen without any baggage in future episodes.
    • The second season premiere ramps this up to a new level. In addition to the expected Ballard/Echo and Victor/Sierra, there's some gratuitous Whiskey/Echo and Ivy/Sierra, as well as a rather disturbing Topher/Claire scene.
    • Echo/Bennett and Caroline/Bennett are both heavily implied in different ways.
    • The sheer mass of awkward, adorable moments between Topher and Bennett threatened to shatter the world. One of the most awkward moments comes when Topher tries to use his Doll-stunning "disruptor" on Bennett, thinking she might be an Active. When she asks him why he thinks she would be one, he flubs out a response, and then she says that there's no way she's an Active, as Actives tend to be perfect and beautiful and....oh....
      • A later episode featured Topher and Bennett kissing, which had shippers exploding with glee right up until Saunders kills Bennett. Talk about your Moment Killer
  • Alex and Kuru from The Elephant Princess spend plenty of time hugging, grabbing each other's hands, and in one case, Alex kisses him on the cheek.
  • An early Farscape episode has D'Argo hallucinating that Zhaan is his long-dead wife, and making out with her, with Zhaan obliging to protect his fragile mental state. Lots of speculation followed that the writers were building to the two getting together, especially when the makeout session appeared in the opening credits for a while. Nothing ever happened.
    • Also, some of the very early episodes hint that Zhaan and Crichton would hook up, which was abandoned pretty quickly in favor of Crichton and Aeryn.
  • Firefly continually teases both Simon/Kaylee and Mal/Inara. The latter's biggest moment is definitely at the end of "Our Mrs. Reynolds".
    • The comic spin off Better Days contains outright indications of Simon/Inara, although her comment about him being both a friend and a doctor when Mal tries to berate her for servicing crew indicates that the Ship Tease is really a cover for for her secret Ill Girl status, something she would need a doctor for.
    • While River/Jayne shipping is controversial among fans, there is little denying they have several... suspect moments, such as the "Copper for a kiss?" line, or their fight in the Big Damn Movie involving Jayne wrapping his arms around River and her grabbing his crotch.
      • A small, brief scene in "The Shepherd's Tale", where Jayne talks to Book about things that will make sure he doesn't go to hell, and then gestures to River, saying he's taking care of her and affectionally calling her "jelly-brain," and she seems more amused by it than anything.
    • A conversation in "Ariel" featured warm golden lighting, and an extremely intimate shot of the two subjects sitting quite near to each other. It's Simon and River. "Safe" has River feeding him berries with the exact same candle-lit dinner atmosphere. This was probably done to highlight their platonic closeness, but taken out of context... (That's before considering when River, in a period of less-than-total-lucidity, asked Shepherd to marry the two of them.)
  • Frasier and Roz get this during a later episode, the scene card is titled 'Like Two Ships Sinking In The Night' Which becomes relevant after Kenny intrudes on them, making them realize it was all a mistake just before they made it.
  • Joey and Phoebe in Friends are teased a bit. In several instances, they favor each other over the other friends, and with the Monica/Chandler and Ross/Rachel deals, it makes sense for them to be together. At one point, Joey even proposes to Phoebe, but it turns out it's only because he thinks she's pregnant and doesn't want her to do it alone. She still accepts his proposal enthusiastically. Phoebe only said she was pregnant to cover for Rachel, who really was pregnant. When Joey finds this out, he proposes to Rachel instead, who rejects him. Phoebe says she will "take him back." The ship was well and truly sunk when Phoebe met and married Mike Hannigan. Him and Phoebe did have two passionate kisses across the series though. The first was when Phoebe was pretending to be her twin sister Ursulanote . The second was on Phoebe's birthday where she laments that she hasn't had the perfect kiss yet.
    Joey: You know, Monica and Chandler are married. Ross and Rachel are having a baby. Maybe you and I should do something.
    Phoebe: All in good time, my love. All in good time.
    • Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow were reportedly keen on the idea that Joey and Phoebe were having casual sex behind everyone's backs, but the writers vetoed the idea.
      • Producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman have said that they "always assumed Joey and Phoebe were having a secret affair". Which may count as Word of God.
    • The only time the writers didn't have Ross and Rachel in this trope is when they were actually dating, which was like a fifth of the series' run.
    • Chandler/Monica were teased mildly in early seasons, with Chandler describing her as the most beautiful woman he's ever known/favorite person, offering a FallbackChildrenPact, and spending two episodes trying to prove to Monica that he's good "boyfriend material". In season 5 they slept together, fell in love and ended up Happily Married.
    • A lot of pairings had this at some point, mostly Played for Laughs. It helps that all the six friends, except Phoebe and Monica, have kissed each other (although the kisses between Ross/Chandler, Rachel/Monica and Ross/Monica happened off screen and the Joey/Monica one was only a fictional kiss in an Alternate Reality Episode).
  • Early episodes of Fringe tease the fans insanely with the possibility of Peter/Olivia. Though it can be argued that they just have really really really good character chemistry whenever they're onscreen together.
    • The second season teases Astrid and Walter.
    • The out of left field ship tease of all ship teases happened in "Brown Betty." There is a scene with Astrid caring for a wound on Olivia's chest as Olivia describes the kind of man she is looking for. Obviously, the writers ship Oliva/Peter, but that doesn't mean that they don't mind playing with an out of continuity Astrid/Olivia moment.
    • And now they are obviously ship teasing Altlivia/Alt Lincoln Lee.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Arya/Gendry get a fair bit of teasing, despite their young ages, as they forge an incredibly close friendship, Arya checks him out when he's shirtless and even tells him that he could "be her family", although the wording didn't make it clear whether she had deeper feelings for him or just didn't want to lose her only friend. (Gendry returns that he can't because she'll always be "m'lady" with the obvious implication that their difference in status - the daughter of a lord vs. a blacksmiths apprentice - would make any future romantic relationship or close friendship impossible.)
    • Daenerys with Daario Naharis from the end of Season 3 to Season 6 to the point that they become lovers. Unfortunately for him though she is only interested in him for his body and the two eventually part ways by the end of Season 6. In the Season 7, there's quite a lot of chemistry between Jon Snow and Daenerys. They eventually fall in love and in the finale, they end up having sex.
    • Grey Worm with Missandei, as she starts to teach him the Common Tongue. They have The Big Damn Kiss in "Kill the Boy" after he is wounded by the Sons of the Harpy. Becomes a true relationship several seasons later.
  • A Running Gag for the Proessor in Season 2 of Gilligan's Island. He gets teased with Mary Anne in "Beauty Is As Beauty Does," gets way too into The Big Damn Kiss with Ginger when the castaways make a movie-message for help, gets an Accidental Engagement with wealthy visitor Erika Tiffany Smith, and even helps Mrs. Howell pull off an Operation: Jealousy.
  • As one of the most popular ships on Glee (even though it isn't canon), Faberry is ship-teased quite a bit.
    • Rachel: "Do you not understand what you mean to me?"
    • Rachel: "You're a very pretty girl Quinn, the prettiest girl I've ever met. But you're a lot more than that."
    • Rachel: "You don't think people whisper about me in the lunch room or draw pornographic pictures of me on the bathroom walls?" Quinn: "That was me, actually."
    • Santana: "Stop making out with Berry and get to the Spanish room, Quinn."
  • Good Omens (2019) took Aziraphale/Crowley, which had already been a Fan-Preferred Couple from the original book, and ran with it, adding several teasing scenes between them like a passerby mistaking Crowley pinning Aziraphale against a wall in anger as them having an "intimate moment", Crowley repeatedly saving Aziraphale from danger in flashback scenes to Aziraphale's obvious delight, and Uriel referring to Crowley as Aziraphale's "boyfriend" which Aziraphale doesn't outright deny.
  • Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle in Gotham, naturally. Interesting because Bruce has yet to meet Selina yet Selina always watches Bruce in the distance, including being the only other witness to the Waynes' murder.
    • They finally meet in Episode 9...and the Ship Tease goes up several notches.
  • In Greek, the main ship is Cappie/Casey. So in one promo when Cappie wants to talk about dating with Casey, squees are heard far and wide. Then the ep airs, and Cappie tells Casey he's dating her arch-rival (and ZBZ little) Rebecca. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The Guardian's first season, Lulu was torn between protagonist Nick Fallin and her fiancé, Brian. (Nick and the viewers knew Brian was a jerk, but Lulu didn't.) The preview for the finale showed Lulu telling Nick saying "We called it off...the wedding." Good news for shippers, right? Might have been, if the context in the actual episode hadn't been as follows:
    Lulu: ...So we called it off.
    Nick: I think that's good. That's good.
    Lulu: No. We called off the big wedding and... we went to Atlantic City and got married.
  • Some fans theorized that Peter Petrelli saving Claire in Heroes was set up so as to appear to be a potential ship by a particularly creative writer, but then she was revealed to be his niece. Though this revelation didn't stop some of the shippers...
    • Not did it stop the actors from dating for a while. But then, they presumably aren't uncle and niece.
    • Sylar and Mohinder have "trust issues".
  • "Don't Ever Change", the last pre-strike episode of House, seemed to be taking a nearly unholy glee in teasing as many shippers as possible. In one episode, they managed to tease 13/Cuddy, Wilson/Cuddy, House/Cuddy, House/13, 13/Cameron, and House/Wilson. There's really no explanation other than that the writers, faced with the strike, decided to go out having as much fun as possible.
    Wait a second, this isn't just about the sex. You like her personality. You like that she's conniving. You like that she has no regard for consequences. You like that she can humiliate someone if it serves—[his eyes widen, long pause] Oh my God! You're sleeping with me!
    • The writers have been doing this with House/Cuddy for ages. By season three it was pretty clear that he has strong feelings for her, but whenever they seem to bring it to a point where it could lead anywhere they drop it and ignore it for a few weeks, before starting it up again.
    • In season 6, the House/Wilson text has ceased to be anything even close to "sub," and entered a whole new realm of Ho Yay shipper baiting. While it's obviously there just for laughs, it's also clear that the writers are aware of the slasher-base, and have decided to take the "married couple routine" one step further. In one scene, Wilson publicly got down on his knees and proposed to House. It was completely part of a ruse and not real at all, but still, damn. Talk about a big shiny present for the House/Wilson shippers. Season 8 went even harder, with both of them making casual comments about fucking each other, and when Wilson gets cancer, House does the hugely selfless thing of realizing he can change and faking his death (which means no job and being alone or in jail for years after Wilson's death) to be with him in his last few months.
    • Before Wilson, before Cuddy, the writers began piling up so many House/Cameron moments that this entry would triple in length if we tried to list them all. In the first season alone, House: asks Cameron to a monster truck rally, the passes for which cost him one thousand dollars (and whereat, for only the second time in the series, he not only looks completely relaxed, but gives a genuine, wholehearted smile); looks devastated when she quits during the Vogler arc; asks her to come back after Vogler leaves; agrees to go on a date with her in order to get her to come back; goes out of his way to make that date as nice as possible, even taking advice from Wilson (and, when it inevitably goes south, makes it clear that he is pushing Cameron away because he feels as though he doesn't deserve her); mentions in the very first episode that he hired her because she was "extremely pretty" - and damaged, the very word he uses during their date to describe himself; and, most subtly and most significantly, makes it clear to a random clinic patient (and Wilson) that he does not anticipate sex at the end of that date, even though he'd usually be more than happy to make people believe something happened even when nothing did. To put it mildly, defending Cuddy's or Stacy's honor was never high on House's list - but the instant there's a possibility of a serious misunderstanding of Cameron, especially by a complete stranger, he makes the truth quite unambiguous. In season two, to take just one example, there's the red dress Cameron wears during the charity benefit, which makes House completely lose his train of thought even while trying to solve a mystery that had troubled him for twelve years. Season two is also the time when House opines that "There are two things people get stupid for: money and sex." Well, since he's made it plain that sex isn't on the table (wait, That Came Out Wrong) where Cameron is concerned, what could possibly make him stupid, even momentarily, for her? What indeed...
  • Cleverly used by the writers of How I Met Your Mother. Barney and Robin have had a huge fanbase since season one, and in the season three episode Sandcastles in the Sand Barney offers Robin comfort after a breakup and the two of them get cosy at the bar before Robin asks Barney to come back home with her. Cut to Robin's apartment where Barney asks if she's sure about this and she insists that it is, prompting him to ask "So should I just...put it in?" And it turns out he's talking about her second Robin Sparkles video. Cleverly done because they actually do hook up in that episode, but when it happens they don't build up to it, it just happens.
    • Lily and Barney have been teased on a recurring basis for a long time.
    • In fact, in Season 4, they re-tease Ted and Robin, ending in a "backup marriage" proposal. This is for a couple that the show already broke up.
  • iCarly has teased multiple ships.
    • Carly/Freddie have "iSpeed Date" and "iSaved Your Life" dedicated to it and constantly references to Freddie's crush on Carly.
    • The Sam/Freddie ship had the first Ship Tease with the episode "iKiss". It also had the Cliffhanger episode "iOMG" which lead into a 4 episode story arc where they eventually broke up but continued to get teased.
    • Sam/Spencer had Sam come right out and tell everyone she had a crush on Spencer. And Spencer revel in that several episodes later.
    • Carly/Sam are in a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship and Freddie/Spencer have a couple of moments as well.
    • In-universe, Carly had done some Ship Tease to Freddie, like asking Freddie if he wanted to taste her lip gloss, he closes his eyes.. she smooshes it onto her hand and rubs it in his face.
    • Sam provides an in-universe example in "iStart A Fan War": At one point, to Carly's and Freddie's chagrin, she tells their shippers, "It's true — Carly and Freddie are deeply in love" just so she can sit back and watch the Ship-to-Ship Combat with an amused smile, a popular motive ascribed to ship teasing writers.
    • Dan Schneider wrote iStart A Fan War and ended it with Carly delivering a blatant Author Tract against how much emphasis Shipping has in the fandom. After a storm of fan criticism he wrote a blog defending the episode and confirming the Author Tract. It also said that an upcoming episode had an unspecified something that would please people. Everyone assumed it would be ship-related, and thus was another blatant moment of Ship Tease right after denouncing the Shippers.
      • The unspecified something turned out to be a Cliffhanger episode "iOMG" where Sam kisses Freddie and looks like the start of a Sam/Freddie/Carly love triangle. iStart A Fan War: Don't watch for Shipping. iOMG: Here is EVERYTHING THE SHIPPERS HAVE EVER WANTED, and you've got 6 months to argue before the next episode airs to resolve it.
    • The show managed to keep both sides teased and hooked for five years and all the way until the final episode, and even with the last episode to come, both ships and the possibility that neither ship would happen were legitimate.
      • That final episode ended with a Last Minute Kiss between Carly and Freddie, initiated by Carly, and celebrated by Freddie. Despite this seemingly obvious They Do ending, the writers knew they had an upcoming Spin-Off, named Sam & Cat, involving the now third wheel, and thus decided to keep teasing Sam/Freddie shippers in the hope they would keep watching the new show in the hope that Freddie would come back to that show to sink Creddie and confirm Seddie. In one episode, Freddie did guest-star, and there were a few teases, but it still remained unresolved. And with the sudden cancellation of the series, it'll appear to stay that way forever.
  • Ted and Peggy in Just Cause. The writers stick them together for three episodes that make it look like they're starting a relationship, beginning with him teaching her how to rollerblade and ending with her inviting him to a Christmas party at her parents' house. It's later implied that they talk regularly, although not necessarily that they're dating, but they never interact on screen again for the rest of the series, before or after.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Den-O featured the time-traveling hero Ryotaro and his tsundere sidekick Hana. Over the course of the series, Ryotaro threw a lot of "my god, you're so sexy" looks at her, resulting in some pretty early shipping for the two. The finale revealing she was his niece from a destroyed future timeline sank the ship pretty fast, but to this day, people still wonder whether the show writers did that on purpose or whether the actor just couldn't stop himself from drooling over his fellow actress long enough to actually act.
    • The fact that Toei included Ship Teases like this in Kamen Rider Kabuto and practically every episode of Mahou Sentai Magiranger hints at the former though. Kamen Rider Double introduced Ship Tease between Wakana and Philip early on in the series, despite it being fairly obvious he would turn out to be her brother.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze started to have this for Ryusei and Tomoko during and after the Cygnus Zodiart arc. To teh point that he was the most upset that she has disappeared.
    • To be fair to Magiranger, everyone is related to begin with, so it's sort of unavoidable.
  • In the second half of the season 9 opener of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Detective Alex Eames is promoted to captain and given the painful responsibility of firing her longtime partner Bobby Goren. Goren takes it well, which only fuels Eames's tearfulness, and the exit interview concludes with the only hug shared by the partners, as well as a remarkably lengthy kiss to Eames's cheek. After Goren leaves the room, Eames resigns, and both characters bow gracefully out of the show. As the relationship has been fraught with Unresolved Sexual Tension for years, it's clear that this is set up for the benefit of the shippers.
    • The characters return for the tenth and final season, in which Bobby is required to attend weekly counseling sessions with a psychiatrist. Said psychiatrist gives a nod to the Ship Tease in one episode by asking Bobby if he's in love with Alex (he denies it, a little too vehemently). In the series finale, Alex comments to Bobby that everyone wants to believe they can find true love. Later, she picks him up from his psychiatrist's office, smiling at him in a way that seems to indicate she's realized her own feelings for him. They drive away - still partners, still unconfirmed.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • The second half of Alex Cabot's farewell episode throws a bone to the Alex Cabot/Olivia Benson shippers in almost every scene.
      "Stay with me sweetheart. Alex. Alex. Alex."
    • There's really no other excuse than this for the long, lingering looks, late-night drinks, subtle touches, and open concern shared between ADA Rafael Barba and Olivia Benson. Perhaps not incidentally, actors Raúl Esparza (Barba) and Mariska Hargitay (Benson) have openly admitted to shipping their characters with each other. Gets turned Up to Eleven in season 19, with Olivia going from calling him "Barba" to, of all things, "Rafa" — and then there's the scene in 19x09 in which he not only holds her tenderly, but strokes her hair... Season 19 is basically a Barson cornucopia.
  • Up until the last season, the creators of Life with Derek did this with Derek and Casey.
  • The constant Ship Teasing between Jack, Kate, and Sawyer fueled much of the first two seasons of Lost.
    • Starting in Season Three, you can add Juliet into the mix.
  • Maddigan's Quest gives us Timon and Garland, who spend the first few episodes irritating each other, the next half dancing round each other, and in the final episode, openly flirting which, considering the form Timon's in at the time, is a tiny bit disturbing before Timon is finally forced to return home (several hundred years into the future, with the implication that they'll never see each other again).
  • The Mandalorian:
    • In Chapter 4: "Sanctuary" Mando aka Din Djarin on the planet Sorgan becomes very close to a windowed mother Omera and his friend Dune suggests that he settle down with her. Omera even tries to remove his Cool Helmet at the end of the episode to see his face but Mando stops her saying "the helmet stays on".
    • In Chapter 6: "The Prisoner" there's Foe Yay going on between Mando and the Knife Nut Twi'lek lady Xi'an, it's strongly suggested they've had a relationship before and Mayfeld even asks if The Child is theirs. Subverted though as Xi'an betrays and tries to murder Mando who chucks her in a cell to rot.
    • In Chapters 7 and 8, Mando and Dune's friendship becomes much more intimate as she refuses to leave him when he's mortally wounded and even helps him walk when he recovers. It also helps they've been effective Battle Couple up to that point and she acts like a surrogate mother to his adoptive child.
  • In The Mentalist, there's Rigsby and Van Pelt, who seem to be the Official Couple, and do get together, with somewhat disastrous results. Then there's Lisbon and Bosco, which, while canon, is almost universally hated by the fans. The crowner is Lisbon and Jane, which has included some fairly un-platonic touching, an anguished declaration of caring, which was heartbreaking, at least two Undercover as Lovers gambits, and one slow dance. Yuh-huh. Slow dance. Sure. You're just co-workers. How on earth would anyone think otherwise?
  • Merlin (2008) does this for every combination imaginable. The 1st season had the creators teasing Arthur/his sister Morgana, Gwen/Merlin, Gwen/Arthur, and always, ALWAYS ship teases Arthur/Merlin. They've even ship teased Morgana/Uther.
    • Trailers for season 4 were largely centered on the famous Love Triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, with one scene depicting a Gwen/Lancelot kiss.
    • Morgana/Merlin was teased throughout season 2 but was decidedly sunk when Merlin was forced to poison her.
  • On Misfits, the b-plot of season 2 episode 3 (in which Nathan, under the influence of someone else's Love Potion-esque superpower, temporarily falls madly in love with Simon) was a clever way of lampshading the escalating levels of Ho Yay between the two characters, and appealing to the sizable number of fans who ship them. In short, it gave the YaoiFangirls what they wanted without de-railing the plot or characters, and gave everyone else the opportunity to laugh their asses off at Nathan's outlandish seduction technique (which involved him gyrating around to George Michael's Careless Whisper in a highly misguided attempt at being alluring) and poor Simon's abject terror.
  • Mr. Young: Adam and Echo. Constantly. A lot of the show is predicated on Adam trying hair-brain schemes to get Echo interested in him. There was a point in "Mr. Dog" when Adam's walking a seeing eye dog through the school and Echo comments on how cute he is. The dog, not Adam. Adam also nearly responds, but stops when that's clarified.
  • Mysterious Ways: Declan got plenty of Ship Tease with both his female sidekicks, but nothing ever came of it. It's heavily implied that both Peggy and Miranda have feelings for Declan, but it's unclear how he feels about them.
  • The Nanny:
    • There was a small amount of this between Fran and Niles, mostly in the early seasons. They semi-seriously flirt on occasion, in an early episode she one-ups the Headbutt Thermometer by checking his temperature by kissing his forehead, and he is shown to peek into her room to watch her changing. However, as Fran is in love with Maxwell and Niles is the world's biggest Shipper on Deck for them, nothing ever comes of it.
    • Also, there was carefully scattered hints that Niles and C.C. don't hate each other quite as much as they seem. It culminates with their wedding during the finale.
  • NCIS ship-teases Tony and Ziva at every opportunity, no doubt to capitalize on the characters' massive Unresolved Sexual Tension. As well as former canon pairing McGee and Abby.
  • NUMB3RS has David and Colby, especially in the last two seasons. The crowing moment is in "Friendly Fire", in which Nikki bets them that neither of them can get a date, and they win the bet by bringing each other.
  • Once Upon a Time has the episode "Tallahassee", which might as well be renamed "That one time Emma and Hook had crazy amounts of sexual tension."
  • Phil of the Future does this incessantly with Phil and Keely up until the very last possible moment, and it all serves to make The Big Damn Kiss that much more awesome when it finally happens.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse has Pee-wee Herman and Miss Yvonne. Teasing so much that in spite of some occasional kisses on the cheek from Yvonne to Herman, they only have one date, they play a married couple when they play house in "Ants in Your Pants", and Herman does not give a Love Confession.
  • Power Rangers has at least one tease per show. Actual couples are pretty rare (and, unfortunately, there's a No Hugging, No Kissing rule since after the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers era).
  • Queer as Folk is one big Stuart/Vince tease. They are obviously in love with each other, but what with Stuart's constant one-night-stands and Vince's reluctance to initiate anything, they remain in UST territory. They wind up together at the end of the series, but it is left ambiguous as to whether they are a romantic couple or not.
  • Red Dwarf: Rimmer and Lister kissing in "Blue".
    • The teasing for this pairing started as early as the second episode. "Two babies? How do I get two babies?" (looks at Rimmer's crotch)
  • Rizzoli & Isles might as well be titled "How Can We Make Jane and Maura Look Like An Old Married Couple This Time?". Literally every single episode has at least one adorable scene that would make just as much sense if they were Happily Married, it's confirmed on numerous occasions that theirs' is the most important relationship in each of their lives (indeed it's heavily implied this is the only close relationship that Maura has ever had), and they repeatedly go out of their way to protect each other even if it means going against a value they hold dear.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures teases in the direction of Rani and Clyde. In "The Vault of Secrets", they have the following conversation while holding hands:
    Clyde: Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference. Look, I know Sarah Jane doesn't believe in fate, but I reckon that Time and the Universe...They're not random. Everything's sort of tied together by these invisible strings. Like your mum joining BURPSS, or Ocean Waters having that disk thing.
    Rani: You mean if something's gonna happen, it's gonna happen? [They notice they're holding hands and let go.]
    • And in "The Empty Planet", Rani and Clyde are the only two ones left in the whole wide world. Clyde muses that perhaps, the one who stole away all humanity wanted the human race to start again; and as they're the only ones left, they've got the roles of Adam and Eve in that plan. Rani doesn't like the idea. At the end of the episode, when the human race is back again, they say that they'll never be alone - they've always got each other.
    • The last story, "The Man Who Never Was", is basically an hour of ship tease, as we first learn that Luke refers to them by their Shipping Portmanteau (a habit Sky seems to pick up) and then they have to pose as a married couple (a rather eye-opening thought when one considers the characters are only supposed to be 16 or 17).
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager has a huge following of Ricky/Amy, likely because they have a baby together. The writers picked up on it, and seem to adore teasing it/smashing it/teasing it again as much as they can. There have been quite a few previews with various characters saying "Do you still have feelings for Ricky?" to Amy or vice versa before fade to black. When the episode is actually shown, Ricky or Amy follows the question with a fierce NO!
    • Then there was the episode where Amy thought a guy she had gone on a date with hadn't called her back because she was a lousy kisser. Ricky volunteered to practice kissing with her, because they're friends and friends can do that apparently. They have a make-out session and squees were heard around the country. Then the very next episode the two of them insisted to everyone they hadn't felt anything from it. However, the smiles they exchanged with each other when they talked about it were enough to keep the hopes of the shippers alive.
    • There was also the episode of their son's first birthday party, where Amy ended up spending the night at Ricky's apartment. It's vague enough that she could have just spent the night....or she could have spent the night.
    • Eventually by the penultimate season of the show, they began to tease the prospect of Amy and Ben getting back together.
  • The Shake it Up episode "Add It Up" brings a ship tease for the Ty/Tinka pairing. However, it's never mentioned again.
  • Sherlock's Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Complete with multiple Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?, Mistaken for Gay and Like an Old Married Couple moments, and entirely too much flirting. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have to be having the shippers on.
    Watson: Good thing no one saw that: You, ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool... People might talk.
    Sherlock: People do little else.
    • And, of course, Sherlock and notorious Femme Fatale Irene Adler, complete with Gibberish of Love, Held Gazes and Irene's very unsubtle overtures. (Though nothing actually happens save for a kiss on the cheek, and Irene vanishes from Sherlock's life at the end of the episode, ostensibly forever.)
      Irene: I would have you right here, on this table, 'til you begged for mercy twice.
    • Theories of how Sherlock survived the Fall are shown as Fantasy Sequences in what is not so much Ship Teasing as Ship Trolling. Anderson's theory has him smash through a window, kiss Molly Hooper passionately, and vanish. A rival theory sits him giggling next to Moriarty - they stare into each other's eyes - they lean in... aaand Fade to Black. Pity.
  • Harry and Nikki in Silent Witness. One kiss in the tenth series and nothing other than cute hugs with hints of potential since. Nikki even comments on it.
  • Skins does this quite a bit - most notably in the third series with the Cook/JJ ship. Teases (usually one or more in each episode) include Cook putting his hand on JJ's knee less then five minutes into the first episode, hugging JJ, kissing JJ's cheek twice, licking JJ's cheek, touching JJ's crotch while talking about the time they went to a brothel together, clinging to JJ while dancing, tickling JJ, doing a strange victory dance which consisted of grinding against JJ's thigh and not much else, pulling down JJ's pants (not seen, but described by another character) and grabbing JJ's head, pulling it into his lap and playing at 'JJ is giving me a blowjob'.
    • And somewhere around the middle of Katie's S4 episode, Katie/Effy teasing - which had been around as a kind of background for a while - suddenly kicked into overdrive.
    • LilyKat (the Actor Shipping version of Naomily) know about the shipping tendencies and are more than willing to play along. Particularly with the Lily's Perfect Date interview.
    • Mini and Franky repeatedly since the first episode of series 5. They took the teasing and ran with it in Grace's episode, when they are told to kiss in rehearsal for a play. The series finale will determine whether this is going to move beyond teasing.
  • Smallville does this with everybody. In Season One, when Lana is dating Whitney, they tease Clark/Lana on a weekly basis, throwing in Clark/Chloe as another teased ship starting at the end of the same season. They also teased Clark and Lois (before they became the Official Couple), Pete and Chloe, Clark and Lex, and Tess with, well, everyone, from Clark to Oliver to Major Zod to (most recently) Emil. Lionel and Martha. Jimmy and Kara. Lana and Bizarro. Even Lois and Jimmy.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1. Word of God says that the writers originally did not intend to create such a massive Ship Tease between Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter, but when they realized the fans were picking up on the impressive on-screen chemistry between Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping, they changed their minds.
      • When they saw how much fun the fandom and writers were having with the Jack/Sam ship, the actors playing Daniel Jackson and Janet Fraser decided to throw in as much ship tease they could wherever they could get away with, resulting in some big body-language teases, such as holding hands and intense Held Gaze scenes. The actors admitted that their actions often confused the writing staff, since it wasn't scripted, but that the directors were willing to leave the ship tease in.
      • Later in SG-1, General Landry and Dr. Lam are introduced in the same episode, and have quite a few scenes which seem to imply without explicitly stating that they have a prior relationship. Eventually it's revealed that he's actually her father.
      • Supposedly, the Powers That Be planned to have a relationship between Dr. Lam and Colonel Mitchell, so they get a few teasing scenes near the beginning of season 9. Cam and Sam also get teased a fair bit, like when they're stuck in an alternate dimension together and when Sam gets injured during an Ori attack and Cam takes care of her.
    • Stargate Atlantis:
      • John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir. The actors reportedly played to it behind the writers' backs, who denied any such development in their characters' relationship. However this is a little hard to believe as - while the actors can account for their No Sense of Personal Space and Longing Looks - there are plenty of shippy moments in the script, including John being the only one able to reach Elizabeth when she was being mindraped]] (through breaking quarantine and grabbing her hand), the first season finale ending with John flying to his death and saying goodbye to Elizabeth alone, Elizabeth vehemently defending Sheppard against anyone who questions him, John going on a killing spree when a villain claimed to have killed Elizabeth, at least half the episodes ending with them standing together on 'their' balcony and even other characters dropping comments like "You two are pretty...close aren't you?"
      • Teyla gets teasing with both Sheppard and Ronon, at least in early seasons before Written-In Infirmity strikes her and sinks that ship. The last one for her and Sheppard is in the season 5 premiere where they seem to share a romantic dinner... only for Sheppard to realize that he is dreaming and the setting quickly turns into a nightmare about his past failures and to go off on a different track. She and Ronon get plenty of quiet moments until partway through Season 4 when they both get different love interests. By Season 5 Teyla' settled into platonic, Like Brother and Sister relationships with both men.
      • Rodney McKay, whilst experiencing a second childhood (basically fantastic Alzheimer's), is distressed and calls only for John Sheppard in "The Shrine", despite the fact that Jennifer Keller, the woman he supposedly loves, is sitting right in front of him.
    • On Stargate Universe, one of the Kino webisodes has a female soldier using the communication stones express an interest in Eli...while using Chloe's body. Just to make things worse, she is played by Chloe's actress (Elyse Levesque), while the normal convention has the character portrayed by whoever is using the body in question.
  • A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode in which Lwaxana Troi gets a psychic illness that makes her project her affection towards Odo onto others, exists almost solely for this: We have Sisko/Dax, Bashir/Kira, Bareil/Dax, Jake/Kira, and Quark/Keiko.
    • Even though it wasn't intentional on the part of the writers, the chemistry between Garak and Bashir was so incredible that many of their scenes took on this tone. When the writers realized this, they paired Garak off with Ziyal to shut down this possibility at least as far as canon was concerned, much to the disappointment of many fans who had hoped the writers might make the pairing official.
    • Dax and Bashir were also teased heavily, to an extent that was clearly intentional, as a potential ship in earlier seasons, only to be abandoned in favor of the Dax/Worf pairing. Gets a further boost after the fact when Ezri Dax tells Bashir that if Worf hadn't come around, "it would have been you".
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation seemed to ship Picard and Dr. Crusher, especially in the Psychic Link episode "Attached".
    Crusher: Why didn't you ever tell me you were in love with me?
    • Very notably in the episode "The Naked Now", where a virus of sorts makes everyone act as if they are drunk, and Crusher and Picard are very obviously attracted to each other.
    • The implied shipping is effectively delivered in "All Good Things", the last episode of the series. It's the future, and it's revealed that Picard and Crusher not only had a relationship, they eventually married. And then divorced.
    • This trope is huge in the first season, almost to the point that Wesley being revealed as Picard's son would not have been completely unbelievable. (It's especially blatant in the pilot, where Beverly seems to react oddly to a mention of Picard not having children and Picard seems very interested on learning Wesley is her son.) A lot of the momentum was lost, however, when Crusher was Put On A Shuttlecraft in the second season.
    • There was far more subtle ship tease between Tasha and Geordi. In "The Naked Now", when she was tasked to find Geordi (who is AWOL from sickbay), Tasha was clearly worried when she does find him. She sees that something is clearly upsetting him and wishes to talk to him about it later. It's evident that she isn't just saying this to get him to come back with her peacefully to sickbay. It's also telling that she didn't simply order her security men to go search for him. Nor did she bring security men with her to collect him.
      • In this scene, his gentle touching of Tasha's face (which she clearly doesn't mind), and his stated wish that he could see like everyone else foreshadows what he tells her in "Hide and Q".
      • In "Hide and Q", when Riker uses his new powers to give Geordi normal eyesight, the first thing Geordi does is turn to Tasha and say "You're as beautiful as I ever imagined". She smiles at him in response.
      • In "Skin of Evil", Tasha's farewell hologram thanks Geordi for helping her through times of despair "taking her hand and helping her see beyond the moment".
      • At the conclusion of "Yesterday's Enterprise" after the timeline is set back to normal, Guinan sits at Geordi's table in Ten Forward and asks him to tell her about Tasha Yar.
    • There's considerable teasing for Tasha/Data. In The Naked Now Tasha (affected by the drunk and silly retrovirus) gets rid of someone else she was making out with when she hears that Data is being sent to look for her. She dresses provocatively and comes on to him when he finds her, but she also tells him about her Dark and Troubled Past and asks him for "gentleness and love" before she drags him into bed. Picard's dialogue about resisting temptation at the end of the episode is played over a significant look between them, implying things aren't over.
      • Later after Tasha's death, Data keeps a small hologram of her in his quarters for the rest of his life.
      • Their rendezvous is revealed to have been of enormous significance to Data and that plays an important part in his fight to have his sentience recognized by Starfleet.
      • The ship is teased retroactively by the appearance of Tasha's sister and her relationship with Data.
  • The first couple of seasons of Star Trek: Voyager appeared to be building up to a relationship between Captain Janeway and her second-in-command Chakotay, only for nothing to happen. According to the Word of God the whole issue was 'resolved' in the end-of-season episode "Resolutions", yet such hints continued throughout the series until the Last Minute Hookup between Chakotay and Seven of Nine.
    • B'Elanna fantasises having sex with Chakotay, but this is never followed up with B'Elanna/Tom becoming the Official Couple. Likewise Tom and Kes are shown to be married in a alternate future. And an alien-possessed Kes taunts Tuvok about having a sexual attraction to her in "Warlord".
  • Joyce and Hopper throughout Stranger Things helped by the fact they were apparently very close in high school (often skipping class to smoke together) as well as in general being the only decent and efficient pair of adults in Hawkins. When Joyce's son Will disappears in Season 1, Hopper becomes the only one who believes her when she claims he's been taken and Hopper remains her moral support for rest of the series especially when her boyfriend Bob dies at the end of Season 2 and Hopper comforts her in the car park outside prom. In Season 3 Hopper and Joyce get a Relationship Upgrade towards the end realizing how they care about each other however since Joyce is apparently cursed when it comes to men, Hopper seemly dies in a Heroic Sacrifice when destroying the Russian's portal to Upside Down leaving Joyce heartbroken once again. Though thankfully she adopts Eleven (who Hopper was looking after) to honor him.
    • Billy and Karen in Season 2. It gets sunk in Season 3 as Karen stays loyal to her husband and Billy's feelings for her are mainly due to his Missing Mom.
    • It seems like Steve and Robin would be a wonderful couple throughout Season 3, then it's revealed Robin is actually a closet lesbian who hides her desires away because society in the 80s is bigoted as hell. Robin does still care deeply for Steve though just not in a sexual manner.
    • Eleven and Maxine sleep in the same bed together in Season 3, make of this what you will.
  • Supernatural
    • In "Appointment in Samarra", this happens:
      Balthalzar: Well, then go ask your boyfriend.
      Sam: Cas can't help me.
      • Don't forget in "The Song Remains the Same" when Castiel tells Anna: “You come near Sam Winchester and I'll kill you.”
    • The pairing Megstiel was largely ship teased since Castiel and Meg shared a steamy "pizza man" kiss in "Caged Heat" after Castiel watched porn, although Meg had shown a rather twisted interest as early as season 5.
      • The pairing was continuously ship teased into season 7 until it finally came to a head in "Goodbye Stranger" when Castiel admits to having a crush on her, and vice versa. Unfortunately, Meg dies, unbeknownst to Castiel.
    • Listing all the Destiel (Dean & Cas) moments would take too much room.
    • Also, Crowley and Dean/Sam/Cas.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has more than a few indications of this between John and Cameron, not the least of which is a scene at the end of "Vick's Chip" where John, leaning over Cameron while she is still deactivated, stops to affectionately stroke her hair.
    • There's also some Ship Teasing between Future!John Connor and Cameron, as well as some subtle indicators of Future!John and Allison. It does not help that Cameron and Allison look exactly alike and that Cameron can apparently become Allison in personality...
    • In "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today", John and Cameron are shown lying side by side in bed. She tells John, outright, that she knows that "being John Connor can be lonely," and she's extremely scantily clad (deliberately, she sheds her jacket before going to see John). Possibly this was meant to say something about John Connor's willpower.
    • Cameron is quite clearly upset (at least, as far as she is capable of being upset) when she discovers John kissed Riley in "Self Made Man".
    • The exclusive WonderCon trailer is packed with this. Among the highlights are John getting extremely mad that Sarah suggests Cameron doesn't "love" him, as well as a scene where John is repairing Cameron's arm, and she holds his hand while doing so. Then there's the ending of the trailer, which shows John lying on top of Cameron in bed.
    • Cameron's little rant in "Samson and Delilah", which John didn't exactly deny at the time. There's been surprisingly little fallout from that.
    • In this interview, Summer Glau confirms it: Cameron does love John. Which, as of the Season Two finale, is almost certainly requited.
    • There's a little bit of teasing with Derek and Cameron, such as the scene in "The Demon Hand" where he ends up staring at her for a prolonged time while she does a ballet dance, and in "To The Lighthouse," which has very suggestive shots of Derek shoving Cameron up against a wall in close proximity.
    • If you want to head into that territory, "Allision from Palmdale" has some teasing between Allison and Cameron.
  • The True Blood writers are infamous for freaking out their viewers with as many crack pairings and strange ship teases as possible. Bonus points if it's sex dreams induced by drinking vampire blood.
    • We have Bill/Sam (played Up to Eleven in season three) and Jason/Hoyt (dream sequence sex scene in season four) as the prime examples. But there's a lot more than that. Season two had heavy undertones for Sam/Maryann and season four gravitated towards Steve McNewlin/Jason in the season finale.
    • Eric/Lafayette too.
    • It reaches its zenith in season seven, wherein Jason has a blood-induced dream that not only has him and Eric having sex, but also adds to the fantasy that they are in some kind of tumultuous relationship!
  • Nickelodeon's True Jackson, VP teased the main ship True/Jimmy all throughout season one with no resolution or hookup until the next season.
  • The Vampire Diaries
    • Loads between Damon and Elena, but a particularly mean one happens in the first season finale when Damon, thinking he's talking to Elena, wonders when she started thinking he's worth saving. He then kisses her cheek and when he starts to pull away, the two kiss passionately, but are interrupted by Jenna. It's only when 'Elena' stabs John that we realize it wasn't Elena, but her doppelganger Katherine.
    • And the show teases Bonnie/Jeremy, until they get together for real, of all things she is surprised that he's all grown up, and he's fascinated by her magic.
    • Caroline and Tyler were teased a lot.
    • Caroline and Klaus also got their fair share of this trope.
  • Victoria is a very rare example of ship teasing using actual historical figures, specifically Queen Victoria and her first prime minister, Lord Melbourne (or "Lord M" as she called him). The series includes many shippy moments between the two, culminating in an attempted marriage proposal by Victoria to Lord M, which he stops. Historical sources are split as to how much of this is Truth in Television. But history aside, the first four episodes of the series are filled with shipping angst between the two.
  • The writers of Victorious latched onto the popular Jade/Tori pairing. One acting exercise has the two of them playing a married couple. Later, their acting teacher not only cast them as husband and wife in a play, he forced them to go on a date to help them portray the couple more convincingly. Existing couple Jade and Beck broke up which enabled more teasing of Jade/Tori and Beck/Tori, Robbie/Cat shippers have been strung along, Robbie/Trina, Trina/Beck have been teased as well. One episode even had the Crack Pairing of Andre/Jade be canon by Andre for Jade.
  • The writers of Weeds have been consciously torturing the Nancy/Andy shippers since at least season four, what with them often sleeping in the same bed, constantly invading each other's personal space for no reason at all, Andy being in love with her, fake-out make-outs and tons of other teasing scenes. And then, their actual hook-up in the final season was just heart-breaking.
  • The West Wing had seven years of Ship Tease for Josh/Donna. It also teased C.J./Danny for quite some time before they finally got serious in the final season, and did a bit of Sam/Ainsley teasing as well.
  • Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor Sr. were frequently teased during season 1. Perhaps owing to the 16 year age difference between Lyle Waggoner and Lynda Carter this was downplayed in seasons 2 and 3.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
    • The series repeatedly establishes on more occasions that can be counted that Xena and Gabrielle are each other's most important person, they owe each other their lives in more ways than one, they would die and go to Tartarus and fight all the monsters the universe can throw at them to protect each other, and they share a connection that literally transcends time and space. By the final seasons it seems the writers threw up their hands and go "Yeah, we know and you know they're in love, but we can't actually say it so we'll do everything we can otherwise."
    • In "A Comedy of Eros", Gabrielle is hit by Cupid's arrow, which causes her to fall in love with the next person she sees. She almost lays eyes on Xena but at the last minute, Joxer gets in between them. The sad fact is, Joxer didn't need Cupid's arrow to fall for her. He felt that way genuinely, so he is left in the lurch when she's "cured" and thinks there was nothing between them. There would be plenty of ship teases between Joxer and Gabrielle after that.
    • One semi-persistent tease was Xena and Ares.
  • The X-Files, despite having an onscreen chemistry that was practically explosive, the writers ignored the dramatic potential of a Mulder-Scully relationship until just prior to David Duchovny's departure (and, arguably, until long-time fans no longer really cared). The 2nd movie resorts to cheap Handwave and It's the Only Way plot twists to play this aspect of the series down.
    • Given that the pairing of Mulder and Scully as romantic partners was supposedly accidental, there is a surprising amount of sexual tension and ship-teasing the first and second seasons. Like the neck-inspection scene in "Ice", with sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.
    • In the pilot episode, Scully goes to Mulder's motel room in the middle of the night, wearing a robe and not much else, and asks him to look at some marks that have appeared on her back. Then they seemingly have a slumber party. And this isn't deliberate?!
    • Scully's sister goes to Mulder's darkened apartment in "One Breath" (when Scully is comatose in hospital) and has a nice and tense conversation with him. Unsurprisingly, the writers later admitted that this was remnants of a possible relationship that had been nixed.
      • For being the remnants of a Mulder/Melissa relationship, that scene oddly seems to cast Melissa as a Shipper on Deck for Mulder/Scully. After chewing him out for being negative about her new-age ideas, she asks him why it's "so much easier for you to run around trying to get even than just expressing to her how you feel?" and that even if it didn't bring her back, "at least she'll know...and so will you." Though Mulder takes this to mean telling Dana that he feels it isn't her time to die, the way Melissa says it implies something different.
    • Chris Carter has said a good deal of that tension was more or less a happy accident, that came about mostly because Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny just have a crazy amount of natural chemistry. The writers took that and ran with it like a football.
    • There's also a good case for some shipteasing between Mulder and Krycek, particularly the kiss in "The Red And The Black".


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