Shipping Wiki


Tropes are re-occurring patterns in storytelling that are so typical they are known tools to creators and reviewers alike. Some tropes are archaic, misogynist, heteronormative patterns of storytelling that we can keep track of to criticise and help eradicate. Other tropes can be part of what makes storytelling so satisfying.

This is a guide to tropes related to relationships, mostly romantic, that can be added to the ship pages. To add a trope to a ship page, enter {{Wikia|allthetropes|<!-- trope title -->}} into the ship infobox section called tropes. Happy browsing!

NOTE! The links mainly send you to the trope central, All The Tropes.
Also there do exist strictly subjective tropes,
which are not featured here nor allowed on this wiki

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Aborted Declaration of Love
A planned declaration which the character ultimately decides against, in the work.
Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder
Accidental Hug
Accidental Kiss
Agents Dating
All Amazons Want Hercules
All Girls Want Bad Boys
All Guys Want Cheerleaders
Almost Kiss
Amazon Chaser
Amicable Exes
Anguished Declaration of Love
Anywhere but Their Lips
Aroused By Their Voice
Arranged Marriage
Awkward Kiss


Babies Ever After
Bad Date
Battle Couple
Badasses who fight together, stay together
Beach Kiss
Beast and Beauty
Because Destiny Says So
Choosing to believe something 'fated' is the inevitable truth
Beleaguered Childhood Friend
You help out an old friend who turns out to be guilty/not who they were
Belligerent Sexual Tension
They fight so much a possible romance is kept at bay
Beta Couple
Secondary couple to the primary couple of a story
Better as Friends
A couple decides their relationship is better off being platonic
Big Bad Friend
Your good friend turns out to be the Big Bad, but doesn't want to harm you
The Big Damn Kiss
Epic kissing scene
Birds of a Feather
Similar people in a relationship
Blind and the Beast
Blind Date
Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl


Cannot Spit It Out
Can't tell you how I really feel
Chastity Couple
Together, but not physically intimate
Childhood Friend Romance
We grew up together, but then we get older and we fall in love.
Childhood Marriage Promise
We're kids and they ask me to marry them and I promise that I will when we grow up
Chocolate of Romance
Citizenship Marriage
Closet Key
Maggie Sawyer was this for Alex Danvers
Coitus Ensues
Come Back to Bed, Honey
Common Law Marriage
They're "married", just not legally
Concert Kiss
Conflicting Loyalty
Choosing one over the other
Covered in Kisses


Dating Catwoman
A character is in a relationship with an antagonist/former antagonist
Dating What Daddy Hates
Declaration of Protection
When the hero's first priority at all times is the protection of 1 person
Derailing Love Interests
When a character suddenly becomes OOC in order for writers to break up their (potential) relationship, so their SO can be paired with someone else/someone else can seem like the only option in comparison, 'without backlash'
Devoted to You
One character is completely devoted to the other.
Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?
Divine Date
Dating a god or godlike being
Divorce is Temporary
Don't You Dare Pity Me!
Doppelganger Dating
Character is dating someone who looks a lot like another character.
Double Date
Drugged Lipstick
Dude, She's Like, in a Coma
Dying Declaration of Love


Enemies To Lovers
"Started from the bottom now we here"
Enemy Mine
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
Escape Call
Everyone Can See It


Fake-Out Make-Out
"They're coming this way, quick, kiss me so they won't suspect anything!"
Fake First Kiss
Fake Dating
Ferris Wheel Date Moment
Fighting Your Friend
An example
Fire-Forged Friends
We didn't like/know each other, then we went through hell and now we're close
First Girl Wins
The first love interest introduced in the work is the character's endgame
First Kiss
Foe Romance Subtext
In the work enemies have discussions/moments written as romantic ones would be, even though there is nothing romantic about the relationship in question
Foot Popping
Fourth Date Marriage
We only just met — let's get married!
A Friend in Need
Standing by a friend through adversity
Friendly Rivalry
Friends with Benefits


"Glad to Be Alive" Sex
Go Through Me
"If you want them, you have to go through me/us"
God Couple
God-like characters get together
Grand Romantic Gesture


Hair Contrast Duo
An example
Happily Married
Get married, and are happy together
Headbutting Heroes
An example
Held Gaze
Heroes Want Redheads
Both James and Harry Potter, with Lily Evans and Ginny Weasley, respectively
Heterosexual Life Partners
We're not in love, but we put each other before anyone/anything else. Eg. Stucky
High School Sweethearts
Hug and Comment
"Did you shower this month"


I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship
Either they're not interested or they're scared of losing the person altogether if they should break up
"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy
Because I can't be with them, I send them into someone else's arms
If It's You It's Okay
Normally attracted to one gender, but someone of the other gender is the exception.
Inconvenient Attraction
Interrupted Declaration of Love
I was just about to tell you how I feel and then a meteor hits earth!
Interspecies Romance
It's Not You, It's My Enemies
We can't be together because they would kill you, but you may not even know my secret identity
It Was a Gift


Just Friends
"Oh, no we're just friends"


Kiss of Life


Last Girl Wins
The character's endgame is the last love interest introduced
Last Kiss
Last-Minute Hookup
They finally got together! And then the story ended
Leaving You to Find Myself
Light Feminine and Dark Feminine
An example
Like an Old Married Couple
The Bickersons, who aren't in a relationship... yet
Lip-Lock Sun-Block
Kiss in front of a light source to amplify the mood
Living with the Villain
Or the villain's a colleague, classmate etc. — in close proximity, but you don't know their true identity
Lonely Together
Long-Distance Relationship
Longing Look
Lookalike Lovers
A romance where the characters look similar
The Lost Lenore
One of the character's was the love of another but died, and the other is still mourning them.
Love Across Battlelines
We are from opposite sides, but together, and have to deal with the outside world possibly not approving
Love at First Sight
Love Cannot Overcome
Something supernatural in your life is too much for your love
Love Potion
Love Redeems
Villain falls in love and turns good
Love Triangle
Love Will Lead You Back


Make-Out Kids
Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Someone comes into a character's life and lights it up with sparkly colours the character has never seen before!, but this new person lacks any substantial characterization
Married to the Job
Which leads to friction and sometimes break-ups/divorce
The Masochism Tango
The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life
The hero has to leave their dates/show up later or never, and can never provide a proper explanation because of their secret identity.
May-December Romance
Relationship where one is much older than the other
Mayfly-December Romance
An example
The Mistress
Mixtape of Love
My Sister Is Off-Limits
gender neutral


New Old Flame
Romance, where a new character shows up and is the hero's long lost love/old flame
Noble Male, Roguish Male
An example
Nobody Thinks It Will Work
Two different people together, [title] but they do. Eg. Dharma & Greg
Not a Date
Now or Never Kiss
We might die, so we share our first kiss
Not So Different
"We're not so different after all, you and I"


Odd Friendship
Harold & Maude
Off-Screen Breakup
Office Romance
Official Couple
When a relationship is made canon in the work.
On the Rebound
One Head Taller
The One That Got Away
One True Love
Works where it is expressly and continually stated that this is a character/characters' true love, destiny etc. Eg. Jafael
The Only One I Trust
Opposites Attract
Our Love Is Different
"They may have been a player, but what we have is different"
Outlaw Couple
Criminals in love


Pair the Smart Ones
The academics/genii/scientists/bookworms etc., eg. Science Boyfriends
Pair the Spares
Two characters respectively pursued two people who are now a couple. So, the two characters who didn't win their heart's desire, get together instead
Platonic Kissing
Please Don't Leave Me


Reckless Sidekick
The hero takes on a protégé/mentee, and gets exasperated when the sidekick doesn't exactly follow orders/wrecks missions.
Reformed but Rejected
"How do I know you're not still evil?!"
Relationship Revolving Door
We're in a relationship, now we're not, we're in a relationship, now we're not, we're in a relationship, now we're not etc.
Relationship-Salvaging Disaster
Replacement Love Interest
Returning the Wedding Ring
Rivalry as Courtship
Rivals Team Up
Romantic False Lead
A relationship which ends up being "just" an obstacle for the "official couple" to happen
Romantic Fusion
Ruling Couple
Rulers in a relationship (royalty etc.)


Screw Destiny
Despite a foretelling, a character makes a free will choice
Second Act Breakup
Second Love
A character gets over a death/break-up with their first love and finds love again
Secret Relationship
♫ Nobody knows it ♫
Sex Changes Everything
A Shared Suffering
The person who shares your experience, when nobody else can understand
She Is Not My Girlfriend
...but everyone thinks so
Sibling Triangle
Sickeningly Sweethearts
Star-Crossed Lovers
Sweetheart Sipping


Teacher-Student Romance
Teamwork Seduction
Temporary Break Up
They break up but get back together fairly quickly.
Third Option Love Interest
Resolution to a love triangle: a character begins a relationship with a third person
Token Love Interest
Token Romance
A romantic subplot that is shoehorned into the main plot
Tragic Keepsake
Triang Relations
Multiple varieties of intricate love dynamics between 3 or more people. Includes 13 common trope variations.
True Companions
More than friendship, they are like family
True Love Is Exceptional
People look for and date a certain 'type'/'ideal' and then end up with someone who's very different from that, which they didn't expect


Undercover As Lovers
Understanding Boyfriend
In spite of the gendered name, all significant others who accept and support their love's otherworldly nature/powers and superhero responsibilities
Underwater Kiss
Unholy Matrimony
Villains who are a team and in love
Unresolved Sexual Tension
Uptown Girl


Villainesses Want Heroes


Will They or Won't They?
Working with the Ex


You Are Not Alone
Making someone feel better
You Are Worth Hell
Can't save you, so am joining your fate
You Can't Fight Fate
Something prophesied comes true
You Never Did That for Me
An example
Young Love Versus Old Hate
Their older relatives feud, while they love/find a peaceful solution/advocate for peace
You're Not My Type


Zip Me Up
Ooh lala