Partner Betrayal

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms:
Related: Partner Rape, Perceived Partner Betrayal
See Also: darkfic, angst
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Partner Betrayal is a label for fanfic in which one of a partnership, either a pairing or a working partnership in fandoms such as buddy cop shows, betrays the other. This can take the form of cheating, or the betrayer selling their partner out to their enemies, or otherwise abusing their trust. It is a common squick and thus is often included in the lists of required/recommended warnings on archives, communities and mailing lists, especially in OTP dominated fandoms.

Partner Betrayal may also come in the form of Episode Tag or Missing Scene fic. Fics that fix or otherwise explore/explain canon instances of partner betrayal are often a popular fic topic. Often, such canon incidents may be dismissed as being too OOC for fans to stomach and lead to a spate of denialfic, but some writers may prefer to soften the canon betrayal by giving the treacherous character more sympathetic or understandable motives, or in instances where the canon does not treat the betrayal as being as devastating as it ought to be, write fics that allow the characters to explore the emotional fallout "offscreen."

Canon Examples

  • Tony Stark/Iron Man's decision to back the widely vilified pro-superhero registration side in Civil War, while his best friend Steve Rogers/Captain America backed the underdog anti-registration side, is interpreted as this by fans and many official writers.
  • Hutch sleeping with Starsky's girlfriend Kira behind Starsky's back in the Starsky and Hutch episode "Starsky vs. Hutch."
  • Spike's attempted rape of Buffy in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode "Seeing Red."
  • For some fans, Sherlock Holmes faking his death for three years in the canon stories, as well as the show Sherlock, an act which caused Dr. Watson immense grief and guilt.

Fic Examples

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