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OTP (One True Poll)

* Check out the follow-up poll for this post. It's much more comprehensive. And longer (which means it's more fun).

I found this post (through metafandom, I believe) on OTPness to be interesting. Especially some of the ensuing discussion/disagreement. I was struck by what I saw as a huge definitional gap between some of the participants as to what having an OTP actually means, even though it's recognized that it literally stands for "One True Pairing". So, in my fashion, I decided to poll on it. :)

Whether you have an OTP or not, take the poll and choose which definition best fits your understanding of the term. Go!

How do you define OTP?

Recognizing only one pairing (One True Pairing) as valid in canon.
Having an exclusive preference for one particular pairing.


( 73 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 12th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
The first one doesn't really make sense to me for many canon, considering how characters often go through two or more relationships in the course of the series (especially in the Buffyverse). It also is odd to me, since it's not unusual for me to ship pairings that aren't canon and are extremely unlikely to ever get together in canon.

I assume you mean "exclusive preference" as "I only ship these two characters with each other" as opposed to "THIS IS THE ONLY THING I SHIP IN THE ENTIRE CANON". Because that's pretty rare for me.

I've seen people use OTP to mean that it's just their favourite pairing, not the only one they ship those characters in. I do that sometimes too, if asked about my OTP, since I have multi-shipping tendencies.
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
The first one doesn't really make sense to me for many canon, considering how characters often go through two or more relationships in the course of the series (especially in the Buffyverse).

Yeah, exactly. I read that option and went, "Whaaaa? How is that even possible in most fandoms?"

I've seen people use OTP to mean that it's just their favourite pairing, not the only one they ship those characters in.

I'd say this is closest to me, because I do like other pairings (as well as Spike and Buffy in other pairings), but Spuffy is by far the majority of what I read and write.
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jul. 12th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elisi - Jul. 13th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jul. 13th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I find it interesting that though for other people and for discussions, I define OTP as a preference, for myself, I define it as a chosen canon ship I want to see after it started/was hinted on screen. I'm multishipper :)
I call my OTPs Buffy/Spike, House/Cuddy, Doctor/River, Jack/Ianto and other stuff that was clearly shown (or heavily hinted) on screen. All other, non-canon pairings, I prefer to call 'my favorites', but not OTPs.
But when discussing ships in general, I will use OTP as a term for perosnal preference of a person who has only one pairing, regardless of whether it's canon or not.
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Obviously, the first poll option is dependent on a ship being canon, but the second isn't. And I've seen some people with non-canon OTPs. But I'm getting the feeling that what OTP means varies widely depending on who you talk to. :)
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I've always seen someone declaring a 'ship as OTP to mean it's their favorite. Another problem with the first poll option is than many people's OTPs are obviously not canon (though obviously non-canon pairings may be more common in anime fandoms than tv ones).
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Very true. :)
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
I have, like, three true pairings, but it's definitely the preference thing.

There are people who think the other way?

There are people in this world who have the raw nerve to think diffrently than ME?


This is almost as bad as that time I found out about the Sun.
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)

I think exactly like you. In fact, I am you. You're hungry. Get some food.
(no subject) - me_llamo_nic - Jul. 12th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jul. 12th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
You know, I think it's entirely possible to be okay with, or even to actively root for, a certain canon 'ship, while having a strong (or exclusive) preference for a completely different 'ship in fanon/fanfic. For example, I have a het 'ship that I really want to see in canon on Eureka, but I almost exclusively read/write a slash ship for the same show.

But there are people who will swear up and down that pairing A is the only possible canon pairing, and anyone who likes pairing B is delusional and stupid. And then folks who feel the same about pairing B will get just as pissy about pairing A.

Honestly, though, it's rare for me to have anything like an OTP, because I don't really buy the idea of soul mates, or that there's only one person out there who could make another happy. As much as I love Spike/Buffy, in the hands of a good writer, I could believe in Wes/Buffy, or Spike/Faith, or... Well. You get the picture.
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
For me, OTP is less about believing that two characters should only be with each other. It's more about just liking those characters together to such a ridiculous extent, you have to give them a special name. :)
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
I think I've only used the phrase OTP in an ironical fashion, usually preceded by "ZOMG!!!" and followed by "!!!1111!!ELEVENTY-ONE!!1!" and referring to phenomena such as the Clinton-Obama Caramell Dansen video.

Jul. 12th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
lol! Yeah, I've seen other people who only use it facetiously. :)
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
The second choice is the only one that makes the slightest bit of sense to me.

Except for Friday Night Lights. In that fandom, and that fandom alone, the first one makes sense to me because I would seriously go insane if Coach/Mrs. Coach weren't together.
Jul. 12th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - penny_lane_42 - Jul. 12th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jul. 12th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - penny_lane_42 - Jul. 12th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
I've heard people use it to describe a three-way, platonic friendship between characters, or a character who can be paired with more than one other character, e.g., Buffy/Angel/Spike as an OTP. Does that make any sense? Is it perhaps only people in my other fandom who use it that way?
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
I typically hear B/A/S referred to as an OT3, which is a variation on OTP. Though I haven't heard it used in reference to a platonic friendship. In my experience, it always has romantic/sexual connotations.
(no subject) - cybertoothtiger - Jul. 12th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - menomegirl - Jul. 14th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I've gone through and read the linked post and whoa. All of a sudden there's, like, anger that seems to come from nowhere. I'm thinking there must be some sort of history with those people.

Anyways, I literally haven't met anyone who I think believes that OTP means THE ONLY PAIRING ANYONE CAN BELIEVE IN EVER AND IF YOU DON'T YOU'RE WRONG WRONG WRONG. Like, who are these people? It may have originally meant that, but it definitely now means "preferred pairing." This is a whole lot of anger over semantics. And semantics absolutely can matter...but not when you're talking about fandom!

Gah. People are crazy. I quit.
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Heh. That post is something else, isn't it?

I have a feeling that a lot of hostility is coming from Old Who fans who abhorred the Doctor/Rose storyline and who are irked by fandom's vehemence about it. And...well, I sympathize cause I am one of those Old Who fans who gets *rollseyes* at Doctor/Rose. On the other hand, the original poster opened her post very reasonably and openly, so I didn't have a problem with it or the ensuing discussion over what constitutes an OTP. It's just when it degenerated into pretty blatant hostility that I proceeded to *headdesk*.

OTPedness is an interesting topic, though. :)
(no subject) - penny_lane_42 - Jul. 12th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gabrielleabelle - Jul. 12th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ruuger - Jul. 13th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zanthinegirl - Jul. 13th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
I always thought of OTP as the one pairing to rule them all, crossing fandom lines. Which is why I've never been able to decide which one of my potential OTPs is my actual OTP. The leader tends to favor whatever fandom I'm more involved in at the time.

I don't know how you could ever be a happy fan if you followed the "My OTP is the only option" train of thought, especially in the Buffyverse. Willow/Tara are one of my OTPs, but I happily ship Willow with Oz and Xander.

Jul. 12th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Huh. I have different OTPs depending on which fandom I'm looking at. Xena/Gabrielle, Buffy/Spike...okay, I don't have many OTPs. But those are my two. :)
(no subject) - ladycallie - Jul. 12th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
The only person who is qualified to pick option A is the creator and runner of the show in question. Anyone else espousing this opinion is talking out of an orifice not found above the shoulders.

I went for B. I may enjoy more than one or two ships but there is only *one* ship that I have stars in my eyes for, that I write for and gather pics and vids for. They are the *only* couple that occupies me when I'm sleeping, cooking, or showering. Or driving. The only one that reduces me to 12-year-old level squeeing. The only one I mean when I declare "I love my ship." To me, that's an OTP.
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
Exactly. There are many pairings I enjoy to some extent. But there's only one that I love.
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Good grief!
It's a preference. The first option is odd. I agree with samsom That sort of OTP gets written by people with names like Joss Whedon. All others can calm the eff down and go with choice B.

I read that linked post and was baffled. I'll leave them crazy Who people to their funny rants and stay over here with the folks who argue about important stuff, like what Buffy really smells like, and whether or not Spuffy did indeed destroy fandom. *smiles big*

ETA: *facepalm* Sorry for all the edits. Tequila, thou hast ruined me.

Edited at 2010-07-13 02:01 am (UTC)
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Good grief!
lol! I don't drink tequila anymore. I had a Tequila Shot Night years ago...it turned me off the stuff completely (6 tequila shots in half an hour? Not of the good).
Re: Good grief! - samsom - Jul. 12th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Good grief! - aerintine - Jul. 12th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
To me OTP just means the pairing I like best and prefer to write/read about. But I've certainly run across plenty of people who seemed to be all about option 1.
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
Word. It seems our corner of fandom is fairly unanimous on this one, though. I consider that a good. :)
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
I always thought OTP meant the ship that you preferred above all else. So you could have an ultimate OTP or a ship OTP. I read the link and I didn't really connect OTP with what was being discussed about the Who Fandom. That seemed more like a discussion about shipping and Who vs. OTP's.

Jul. 12th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
The comments on the linked post were odd. I think some other issues were being conflated in with it. The post seemed to be basically about mono-shippers vs multi-shippers, as connected to OTPedness. The comments went some other places.
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
OTP is always referred to as "my OTP is..."

It's ownership, and you can't own canon ;)
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
I own vamp!Willow. Really. ;)
(no subject) - ms_scarletibis - Jul. 12th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladyofthelog - Jul. 13th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
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