I don’t have a ship, I have a goddamn armada. I add ships to my fleet with nearly every bit of media I consume. Choosing a Top 5 was not easy. There are a lot of fictional relationships that tug at my heartstrings, couples whose lives and adventures I admire, love, and cherish deeply. For me, shipping is a fun, happy way to participate in fandom, especially for people who love a bit of romance. And sometimes it’s not even about straight out romance–relationships between fictional characters provide models and reflections of our own relationships, and bonds of friendship are equally as important. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are one of my favorite examples of this type of relationship (now, don’t get me wrong, I have a fic rec list a mile long and not too long ago they would be considered the OTP to end all OTPS). The following list is a rundown of the classics: the ships that have stayed with me the longest or made the biggest impact on how I think. The following list is also composed entirely of canon OTPs from books or TV shows. I didn’t manage to condense nearly well enough, so a distinction had to be made between my canon loves and the well-in-my-head-it’s-canon list. So, without further ado, my Valentine’s Day compilation of favorite canon ships to ship!
Fry and Leela
I knew Phillip J. Fry and Turanga Leela were going to be the death of me from episode one. The original ending after the series was canceled brought tears and a sense of overwhelming perfection. The true finale just sent me over the edge. These two dorks were meant to be together, forever and always.
Cecil and Carlos
Welcome to Night Vale is amazing in a thousand different ways, from it’s creepy setting to the reassuring messages that simultaneously comfort and terrify. The relationship between our beloved radio host and his scientist is perfectly realistic and exotically strange, a perfect recipe for all the OTP feels.
Priya and Anthony
There are some ships that aren’t always on the forefront of my brain, couples from a show that isn’t one of my go-to referents or victim to my all-out obsessive rants, but oh does this ship sail. This OTP burns quietly but exists with an all-consuming longing. The relationship between Priya, codename Sierra, and Anthony, codename Victor, resonates with a beautifully painful ache, devastating like the entirety of the show that is Dollhouse.
Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase
Ten years ago, I picked up a cool little book called “Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief”. Witty prose, Greek mythology, and a cast of entertaining and complex character made me an instant fan, which I have remained until the story of Percy Jackson and a crew of demigod children came to a close this past October. Percabeth is, thus, important to me on two levels–firstly, it’s a ship I’ve had for nearly ten years now. Secondly, if you need a relationship built on mutual trust and badassery, in which both characters exist on equal terms as equal people, look no further. Seaweed Brain and Wise Girl are it. They banter, argue, and annoy one another, all things which give the strong bond that forms between them an even more realistic feel.
Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope
RELATIONSHIP GOALS. Parks and Rec is perfect. Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope are perfect.
Nasir and Agron
Going into the Spartacus series, I had no idea that I would come out the other side thoroughly invested in so many of the characters. Or that I would find this dearth of positive things to say about a wildly inaccurate portrayal chock full of fake blood. And it was ridiculous, but this series also did a lot of things right. From empowered and badass female characters to proper representation across the board, the show played up attention-grabbing ploys with sex and blood but still managed to tell a pretty good story. The battle-wizened leader Agron and the feisty tiny Nasir were a pair of interesting characters, and watching them grow to care about each other and maintain a loving relationship while in the middle of rebellion was really wonderful. In a world where so many were torn apart by death, Nagron is my happy little bubble.
Please note that Sansa Stark and Sandor Clegane are only not on this list because they are technically not canon. The other 30 ships I listed down within five minutes of starting this article are also very dear to me. If you ever need someone to cry about ships with, I’m your lady!