Here’s the thing, while I am a fairly easy shipper, I don’t OTP hard all that often (I’m talking full on raving gibberish, feelings to the point where I lose all sense of reason, feelings hurricane OTP), but I feel like the last few years have been pretty bountiful on the OTP front and I found myself making an idle list that turned into a post (okay so what really happened is my husband was like ‘omg you always have those people from The 100 up on your screen, you’re obsessed’ and I was like ‘it’s totally for a reason, I’m uh…I’m writing a post about…uh, OTPs. This is research. I’m not obsessed’ and I definitely pulled it off especially the part where I casually rolled off the couch and crawled out of the room when he asked what the fuck kind of blog post research takes over a year).
Character and interpersonal dynamics have always been a huge part of what I read/watch for. Plot is awesome but all the plot in the world can’t save a thing for me if I don’t care who it’s happening to. I love when two people can come together and get past all the bullshit the world throws at them to form complex, emotional bonds with each other. How people fit the jagged pieces of themselves together into a cohesive whole, especially when it seems like said pieces shouldn’t fit, is my catnip. I get off on trust and communication and support and teaming up against the world. While I ship a lot of things, this list is my otp-est of otps, the ships that not only give me all the feelings but keep me up at night thinking about them and analyzing everything about them. This is normal shut up.
I’m not big on ship wars, I find them tedious and unnecessary and don’t see why people need to go out of their way to attack another ship and its fandom just because it’s not their own. That said, if you come into my space and try to talk shit about anyone on this list, you better be prepared to square up because I will fucking fight you.
ANYWAY, some of these are romantic, some of them are non-romantic (either because canon hasn’t gotten there YET or because I don’t even care if they make out as long as they keep doing exactly what they’re doing because it’s beautiful) (I mean obviously everything is better with making out but sometimes I can live without). So, without further ado, here are my top eleven OTPs in no particular order because please don’t make me rank things beyond top lots, it hurts my heart and my brain.
1. Aelin x Rowan from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass
art by taratjah
“To whatever end.”
Reading Heir of Fire was an emotional event for many reasons and one of them was my more or less immediate tumble headfirst into shipping the ever-loving shit out of these two. If I had to pick one thing that is my shipcrack it would be two people that understand each other on a level beyond words and that was very much in play here. Aelin was lost in her grief and Rowan not only understood that but he saw how to kick her ass into pulling herself back from that (so much more meaningful to me than him pulling her out himself). They’re a badass team of incredibly attractive people who support and trust each other and have each other’s backs no matter what (thereby hitting points 2, 3 and 4 on said shipcrack list) and I was totally gone for them from the beginning.
2. Blue x Gansey x Adam x Ronan x Noah from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
art by mizgillianberry
“But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”
As much as I love the individual pairings in The Raven Cycle series, what really gets me is the OT5 as a whole (whatever I can have a friend group on my list, I make the rules here). Found families are one of my favorite tropes ever and these friends are one of my absolute favorite examples of said trope. Each one of them would go to the ends of the Earth for each other whether or not they would ever admit that out loud and it gives me a lot of feelings thinking about it (especially in context of the tragedyfest that’s about to be The Raven King).
3. Han x Leia from Star Wars
“I love you.” “I know.”
I shipped Han x Leia before I knew what shipping was (yes i am hipstering at myself, what of it). My parents showed me the original Star Wars trilogy at a fairly young age (young enough that I can’t even remember watching them for the first time) and I grew up with HAN X LEIA = ULTIMATE ROMANCE tattooed on my brain. Snarky scoundrel type with a not-so-secret (though he’d like to think it’s secret) marshmallow center meets badass, uncompromising queen who pushes him to do better by simply expecting it? Sign me the fuck up. Some variation of this dynamic has been a key factor in basically every romance to ever give me feelings.
4. Jessica x Trish from Marvel’s Jessica Jones
“I’m still not the hero that you wanted me to be.”
“You’re exactly the hero I wanted you to be.”
Watch the first ep and tell me they aren’t acting like exes. Whatever. Oh look, another ship that loves, trusts and supports each other. That sees the best in each other and brings that out. If you somehow missed it, that is the theme here.
5. Winter x Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
art by lostie815
Winter and Scarlet aren’t even necessarily a romantic OTP for me (though obvs I would be super down if they made out). I absolutely love their dynamic over the course of Winter and of all ships in that shipapalooza of a series (and as much as I love both character’s canon ships), this pairing is the one that’s stayed with me the most since I finished.
6. Sherlock x John Watson from BBC’s Sherlock
“Listen, what I said before John, I meant it. I don’t have friends; I’ve just got one.”
This was the ship that knocked me back down into the fandom tumblr pit. Their dynamic is amazing and hilarious and beautiful and the part where Sherlock is physically incapable of having more than three feelings and loving John is always one of them and he would do anything for him including irrational things and/or keep his heart beating to make sure he’s safe (and prove something, tbf) and John has no idea is the kind of beautiful emotional torture true OTPs are born (and no I haven’t watched The Abominable Bride yet, I have heard mixed things and also am unsure watching a single ep will make the wait for series 4 any better in fact I think it may just make it worse).
7. Steve Rogers x Bucky Barnes from Marvel’s Captain America
(MCU not comics, I have yet to wade into the print Marvel Universe)
“I’m with you ’til the end of the line.”
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that Steve Rogers is bisexual and in love with Bucky Barnes on every level you can love another person and the same is true for Bucky and I will fucking fight anyone who says differently. Like seriously fight. I will throw the fuck down.
8. Froi x Quintana from the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
(There is a distressing lack of Froi/Quintana fan art and all of my favs are spoilery, so).
“I heard your song the moment we were born.”
Part of what gives me so many feelings about this OTP is each character’s individual arcs and how they got to each other and where they came from and who they became. They were both innocent people thrown into unimaginably horrifying upbringings and believed themselves to be unsalvageable monsters who deserved their lives and would never know anything else. And even when they found each other, the entire deck was still stacked against them and they both knew there was no chance they would ever be together and all of this is written by Melina Marchetta so naturally it’s maximum levels of haunting and desperate and tragic and I’ve given myself so many emotions, I need a minute.
9. Georgia x Shaun Mason from the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant.
(The Newsflesh fandom has a distressing lack of fanworks in general and you should all read it because it’s amazing and then get on that because I have needs)
“Somebody once asked me if I believed in God. It was probably the windup to some major proselytizing, but it’s a good question. Do I believe in God? That somebody made all this happen for a reason, that there’s something waiting for us after we die? That there’s a purpose to all this crap? I don’t know. I’d like to be able to say “Yes, of course” almost as much as I’d like to be able to say “Absolutely not,” but there’s evidence on both sides of the fence. Good people die for nothing, little kids go hungry, corrupt men hold positions of power, and horrible diseases go uncured. And I got Shaun, maybe the only person who could make it seem worthwhile to me. I got Shaun. So, is there a God? Sorry to dodge the question, but I just don’t know.”
Okay so if we’re going to be technical about it, yes you can call this incest (they’re adopted but I know that’s still crossing a line for many people for many legitimate reasons). HOWEVER, I would like to point out that a number of these OTPs are on this list for reasons that go beyond romantic and can/do exist separately than that and anyway okay maybe I romantically ship it too, it works for me in a non-squicky way for reasons I can’t get into without spoilers and no small amount of defensive hostility. BUT ANYWAY. The point being, Georgia and Shaun are OTP for pretty much every single reason I have OTPs. They’re an unbeatable team, on the same page in ways that other people can only dream of. They’re best friends and the most important thing in each other’s world. They balance each other and bring out the best in each other and are each other’s home. They’re both deadly and everyone assumes he’s the one to watch out for but Georgia’s the truly dangerous one. THEY COMMUNICATE FLAWLESSLY ON EVERY. SINGLE. THING IN THEIR LIVES. They’re everything and I love them.
10. Buffy x Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“You’re a hell of a woman.”
Alright, look, I am aware that Buffy and Spike are hella problematic. Like, ship-ruiningly problematic. So problematic I resort to words like hella which is problematic for me, personally. I 100% do not think that they are a positive example of a functioning relationship.
They’re also inconceivably epic and the first ship I ever OTPed with the full frenzy and incoherency to come with an OTP (which was SUPER FUN AND NOT AT ALL FRUSTRATING AND LONELY AF pre-social media and google having all the answers, moment of silence for all pre-internet fandoms) and I love them and I have/will cheerfully and then aggressively fight you about it. Arguably, Spike is the only person in Buffy’s shitty, lonely as fuck existence filled with unreasonably judgemental people to see her and accept her for exactly who she is. Plus the whole mortal enemies tortured romance thing thing really got to my teen self because I basically ate angst for breakfast.
11. Bellamy x Clarke from The 100
Leave me here to die, this ship is actively ruining my life. If you watch the show (and you should be because if not, what are you doing with your life), whether you’re into bellarke or brolarke, you can’t deny that Bellamy and Clarke have one of the most interesting and rich relationships of everyone on the show. They’ve gone from enemies to reluctant allies to friends that can have entire conversations through eye contact to, well, we’ll see. They’re the adopted murder king and queen of a band of feral space children, a co-leadership forged in blood and fire (descriptive credit to gillian who is also entirely responsible for the shipwreck that is basically all of me when it comes to this show and also the best) and it is everything I love and ship and I need it like oxygen and also you guys should watch The 100 it’s on the CW Thursdays at 9. (AND COMES BACK TONIGHT OMFGGGGGGGGGGGGG)
Don’t look at me
I didn’t ask to be like this
ANYWAY. There wasn’t much of a point to this little exercise besides making myself unreasonably emotional while typing it up (I mean…research. Science. Yes) but I guess my takeaway is that I’m drawn to relationships between wildly different powerful individuals who balance each other and, when together, will team up and take over the world around them and/or kick its ass.
How about you?
YASSS i am 100% behind every one of these ships (except Georgia x Shaun Mason bc I haven’t read Newsflesh yet). My other big one is Thea x Roy from Arrow, but he’s not even on the show anymore so I think those dreams are dead *sobs*. I’ve reluctantly moved on to Felicity x Barry (from Arrow/The Flash) but I don’t know if that will ever happen either.
WHEEEEE!!!! I haven’t watched Arrow so I can’t comment but I totally feel you re: Felicity x Barry, they’re super adorbs (tbh, I could ship Barry with a brick wall, that actor is soooooooo charismatic)
Never have I ever read a more accurate description of Bellarke in my life.
AHHH! Your ships are MY SHIPS. I really really wanted Jessica/Trish right throughout the show. But then, I wondered if I was being greedy for wanting all of the show’s primary female characters to be lesbians when we already get Awesome Hogarth? Don’t know, don’t care!
Love this post.
If desperately needing Jessica and Trish to be an official, current thing is greedy then to hell with it I’m greedy.
Whoo 😀 Awesome post Meg. <3 All the hugs for you. Thank you for sharing about characters that you ship together 😀 YESSS. I do love a few of these 😉 Bellamy and Clarke. <3 I ship them SO BADLY. Ahhhh. Cannot wait this new season 🙂 And yessss for The Raven Boys. <3 Sigh. I love those characters the very most. Their friendship is stunning 🙂 Adore reading about all your ships 😀
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Yesssssss, bellarke + TRC FTW!!!! <333
I’m kind of afraid to comment due to the fact that I haven’t seen the 100 yet. Don’t shoot me. Basically I’m woefully behind on some of these but ALL THE YES TO THE MASONS! It took me a while to realize that’s what they were while reading. But OMFG that first book broke me for them. And obviously Froi + Quintana 4eva. Another one with all my tears.
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ALL THE LOVE for the Masons. Yes. *fierce* Always and forever.
NEWSFLESH FANDOM UNITE
Hahahahahaha no worries (though seasons 1-2 are up on netflix should you have netflix/feel so inclined…..:D). THE MASONS GIVE ME MORE FEELINGS THAN I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH DITTO FROI AND QUINTANA. Basically I don’t think any other books have come remotely close to making me as emotional as those two series have.
Morgan @ Gone with the Words
I love this post sososososososososososososo much! I love the way you write Meg 😀 You’re right, I always ship and claim to have OTPs but true OTPs are rarer and it’s interesting to see what my brain has made important. And you KNOW how many ships we share! Omg. Your ship explanation is perfect too, sometimes I really want more of a friend ship as well as a ship ship. Characters and development make every story better, no matter how awesome the plot is. OT5 is the best example!! And the Lunar Chronicles, some of my favorite parts were when really different characters (ie Jacen and Cress) would interact with each other. But oh do I love Cress/Thorne and Jacen/Winter. I am super excited to reread ToG eventually to see if I board the Aelin/Rowan ship 100%. Han and Leiaaaaa I shipped it very much when I watched the trilogy again this year! Such banter. STEVE AND BUCKY STEVE AND BUCKY STEVE AND BUCKY. I love everythinggggggg about them, even before I dove deep into the Stucky ship, I loved their relationship. And I LOVE PEGGY TOO so bisexual Cap is very very very important to meeeee. God I love this sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that Steve Rogers is bisexual and in love with Bucky Barnes on every level you can love another person…” I think my other main OTP is Achilles and Patroclus, I really haven’t stopped thinking about them in so long. And Mycroft and Watts are up there. I thiiiink my first tv ship was Max and Liz from Roswell, omfg I was OBSESSED AND INVESTED. Ahhhh ships. Ships are so great.
“And the Lunar Chronicles, some of my favorite parts were when really different characters (ie Jacen and Cress) would interact with each other.” YES YES YES I love ensemble books/shows/series, ngl.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I ship Scarlet/Wolf and Jacin/Winter with the fire of a thousand suns. I just also have more feelings than I know what to do with about Scarlet/Winter? Idk, I’m not usually a multishipper so this has been a weird, conflicting experience for me.
Bisexual Steve Rogers is VERY important to me.
I KNEW YOU WOULD FEEL ME ON THIS LIST. Very much agree with your ships (although I think I only watched a season and a half of Roswell?) but def. yes to Wattscroft and Achilles x Patroclus
Beth @ Fuelled by Fiction
A lot of these are from things I’m not personally familiar with, but I am SO on board with 2 and 11 😀
Beth @ Fuelled by Fiction recently posted…Murder, Mystery, & a Secret Town in the Arctic │ The City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
YAAAYYYYYY 2 and 11 are very important to me. I mean, obvs all of them are but 2 AND 11
NOPE, I will forever ship Sherlock and Irene Adler haha. That being said, I will buy a pitchfork if Sherlock and Watson are ever separated again.
The Abominable Bride is a messy installment, but worth watching. (I have issues with their portrayal of feminism)
Fair, I totally see the appeal of Sherlock and Irene and was def into it for the episode but if we’re talking overarching series love affair, I’m Johnlock all day.
(I’ll watch TAB at some point but I’m not exactly feeling the need to rush out and do it, you know?)
Jolien @ The Fictional Reader
I love this post! I also love Steve & Bucky. And Bellamy and Clarke. I haven’t watched Jessica Jones though, I should really get to that!
Thank you!!!! Omg Steve and Bucky give me SO. MANY. FEELINGS. Ditto Bellarke, obvs, given my emotional coma-state by the time I finished adding all of those gifs.
I HIGHLY recommend Jessica Jones. It’s not a perfect show and it can get pretty dark and brutal but in many aspects it’s SOOOOO well done and I hugely enjoyed it.
I’m kind of biased but The Abominable Bride on my rumble opinion was great, it was amazing and everything I wanted and didn’t knew and def not enough to wait until season 4 but oh well, re-watches are here for that (tbh this shows is the one that I most re-watched, the two years wait between seasons makes the struggle so real).
MY FEELINGS TOWARDS THE SPIKE X BUFFY SHIP ARE SO CONFUSED. When I first watched this show I was 100% Angel + Buffy = eternal love 4 ever (I was a child shhhhh) but THEM I re-watched on 2014/2015 and OMG YES SPIKE LOVE OF MY LIFE BECAUSE SASSY EVIL VAMPIRE FOR THE WIN, but I just can’t get over that almost rape scene but them there is that beautiful ending of the series and OH MY GOD WHY IS EVERYTHING SO CONFUSING.
Bellarke is my ruin. Send Help.
BTW, is the Jessica Jones ship cannon/ bc if it’s I’m totally down for this series.
Ooooooh! This is awesome to hear! I am definitely going to check it out soonishly, I’m just not prioritizing it right now, you know? (omg i cannot tell you how many times i’ve rewatched series 3 but, hint, it’s a lot)
OMG I FEEL THE CONFLICTED SPIKE AND BUFFY FEELS SO HARD. I was def into Buffy x Angel when the show was airing (I’m old) but then The Prom ep happened and it def tarnished some of my bright shiny feelings towards the ship and Spike became a part of the group and they started hinting that maybe that would be a ship and I was done. I love him muchly (also, fun fact, I got to meet/chat with James Marsters at Cleveland Comic Con and he is SO. NICE. He’s so obviously genuinely happy that people care about his characters and was totally down to take a 5 minute break to discuss Spike in detail and how he went about the character with me and my mom, it was the BEST and then at his panel he gave a really lovely, thoughtful answer to my question about his take on Spuffy and how that all went down)
I am such an utter trainwreck over Bellarke I don’t have any help to send but know that you aren’t alone in the pit 😀
So, here’s the thing with Jessica Jones, technically no, Jessica x Trish is not canon HOWEVER it is also not not canon if that makes sense. Let’s just say in my mind the show has done nothing to make me think that ship is off the table in the future. Either way, it’s a really good show for the most part and I highly recommend it (though, disclaimer, it can be pretty brutal).
Anette @ Anette Reads
I’m not into Clarke/Bellamy at all (I’m so indifferent to Bellamy, I much prefer Lexa) but a big high five for Jessica/Trish, Steve/Bucky, and John/Sherlock. I still have yet to read most of the books on your list, whoops. Need to get on that.
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Tbh the idea of being indifferent to Bellamy is so foreign to me I can’t totally wrap my head around it (I am a massive sucker for redemption arcs and I think his was very well done due a lot to Bob’s incredible face acting skills) but cool, cool, you do you. I see the appeal of Lexa as a character, she’s def interesting and Alycia Debnam Carey is a fab actress (she clearly comes from the same facial acting school as Bob) and she and Eliza play off each other really well, buuuuuuuuuut. Idk, I don’t ship it (which hurts me because YAY FOR F/F BISEXUAL MC SHIPS ON NETWORK TV). The older I get, the more I need my ships to be on the same team I guess? And one of the defining things about Clarke x Lexa is that they can’t really ever be totally on the same team, hence a lot of the tension. While I get why people are into it in a third party sort of way, for me personally I just find that dynamic more and more exhausting the older I get.
HIGH FIVE SHARED OTPS!
Erin @ Paperbackstash
Spike and Buffy Forever <3
The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
[…] Meg is probably giving me dagger eyes right now, because you all know she is hardcore #Bellarke, but I do not ship Bellamy and Clarke. I don’t know, guys, I just don’t see it! I think […]
you are actively killing me steph
TV Review: The 100, Wanheda Part 2 | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
[…] guys. It’s time. I’m going to talk about the Bellamy and Clarke stuff. I’ve made absolutely no secret of my extreme, undying allegiance to team Bellarke and this episode was feelings fucking central […]
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[…] Cuddlebuggery will fight you over their OTP list. […]
Bellarke is everything! So glad to see it on your list, even though we all know it wouldn’t be an honest otp list for you without bellarke.
bellamy and clarke !!!!!!!!!!!! SO MUCH YES. Apparently they get together in the books so there is hope