Couples You 'Shipped Before You Knew What 'Shipping Was

Couples You 'Shipped Before You Knew What 'Shipping Was

NBC

One fun aspect of fandom culture entering into the mainstream conversation is that more people are likely to participate in 'shipping, the act of committing as a fan to a potential romantic relationship between two characters. What's better than turning fictional happy endings into a feud between you and your friends? However, audiences have been doing this long before we had a word for it. In fact, the 'ships you 'shipped before you knew what 'shipping was may be some of your most treasured.

We have television to thank for a lot of 'shipping history in fandom, actually. The concept of slash 'shipping started with Kirk and Spock in Star Trek, the original series. The term "shipper" was coined in the mid-90s with The X-Files and the (potential) relationship between Mulder and Scully. For that fandom, you were either pro-ship or anti-ship. The verb meant something a little different, mainly just being in favor of that specific relationship at all.

However, by my own experience and estimation, I think 'shipping blew up and became more recognizable in mainstream fandom about 10 years later. The verb as we know it today was added to Urban Dictionary in 2005, just after the time that fanfiction websites were gaining popularity.  Prior to that life-changing era, her are the relationships that we used to root for before it became a full time sport.

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