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My few-month-old idea of giving a go at fixing Fan-Preferred Couple is re-emerging. However, I’m aware it won’t be much use re-opening the discussion about Fan-Preferred Couple if it just ends up having the issues that led to the failure of the attempts to fix it from 2017 all over again. In hope of preventing this, I took the feedback that I could from the discussion in which I participated over 2018-2019 Christmas vacation and the threads from 2017. The more I look at them, the more I get the impression that Fan-Preferred Couple doesn’t actually have one, but three different issues, that are in a deadlock to each other, yet are maybe best dealt with as separately as possible.
Fan-Preferred Couple is supposed to be about cases where a fan pairing is more popular than the Official Couple formed by one member of the fan pairing and a third character. Because of both the title and the way the definition is written, some people have mistaken Fan-Preferred Couple for meaning “the fandom-wide favorite pairing”, with no regards to whether the pairing requires breaking up an Official Couple, or even becomes an Official Couple at some point. Because of this, it is generally agreed that both a rewrite of the definition and a cleanup are needed.
In addition to the general need for a better description, Fan-Preferred Couple has a couple of definition issues:
On the internet as a whole, OTP/One True Pairing is a Fan Speak term that means the favorite ship of an individual fan, or a small group of them at best. This earns it the objective right to have a page on the wiki defining it, but no examples. However, in practice, many use it as an entry for “fandom-wide favorite pairing”, regardless of whether or not it’s an Official Couple, or includes a character that is part of an Official Couple, on YMMV pages. In other words, it gets misused in ways similar to Fan-Preferred Couple.
My personal take of this is that any misuse cleanup of one of the two tropes will need to take the other into consideration. However, an eventual Fan-Preferred Couple cleanup is currently made difficult by the definition and description issues above, as it would be best done with a solid definition and a clear description.
One option for solving issues Number 1 and Number 2 would be making a new trope that would cover the “fandom-wide overall favorite pairing” situation. However, this seems to be a can of worms of its own.
First, there is the question of whether this is something tropeworthy. And each possible answer comes with a problem of its own:
Even if we find a way to make a not-too-problematic and tropeworthy version of the “fandom-wide overall favorite pairing” trope, there comes another issue. Should it be its own thing, or an expanded version of Fan-Preferred Couple? I think this question belongs here rather than in the Fan-Preferred Couple “core” definition and description issue, because it won’t actually need an answer if consensus ends up being that we don’t want to make “fandom-wide overall favorite pairing” a trope in the first place.
Does addressing things this way look like a good idea? Another non-resolution waiting to happen? Did my personal biases result in me missing anything that you think should be addressed if Fan-Preferred Couple gets discussed again? Or make me put too much emphasis on something that is actually a non-issue?
Edited by Nazetrime on Mar 15th 2019 at 8:06:45 PM
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How well does it match the trope?