Chara/Frisk

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Pairing
Pairing: Chara/Frisk
Alternative name(s): Charisk, Frischara
Gender category: Other (NB/NB)
Fandom: Undertale
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Popular (Western fandom only), rarepair (East Asian fandom)
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Chara/Frisk is an Undertale pairing involving Chara and Frisk.

Canon

Chara and Frisk are never portrayed interacting onscreen, but Chara is implied to be somehow attached to Frisk throughout the course of the game. They are even more vaguely implied to stay in the Underground when Frisk leaves in the True Pacifist ending, unless the player has previously completed the No Mercy route, after which Chara is shown to somehow trade places with Frisk at the very end of the True Pacifist route's credits.

Fandom

As a relationship that is never shown but still plausible, the concept of Chara and Frisk interacting enchanted Western fandom very rapidly after the game's release. As Chara and Frisk's individual characterization has a great deal of room for interpretation due to the nature of canon, this allows fans a high degree of freedom to imagine the pairing however they want. Chara is usually portrayed as possessing Frisk in Western fanwork, either as a ghost following after them or sharing their body, and they are generally portrayed as only able to directly communicate to Frisk.

Enemies to friends to lovers is an especially popular trope due to the prevalence of fanwork depicting them learning to work together over the course of the game. The two are generally portrayed as starting off in conflict, though the source of the conflict differs from person to person: Early fanwork usually depicts Chara as bloodthirsty and Frisk as pacifistic, and Frisk "taming" Chara; more recent fanwork, especially that produced by BNF truereset/whittler_of_words and their friends, portrays Frisk as violent instead. Chara's canon hatred of humans usually features in some fashion, either to exacerbate the conflict between the two or as a way for them to bond.

When the two are clearly portrayed with different designated sexes instead of keeping them ambiguous, there is a strong tendency for the more hostile of the two to be portrayed as DMAB and the more peaceful to be DFAB due to gender essentialism. (Yes, even when both are still portrayed as nonbinary.) This is especially prevalent in works portraying their relationship to be unhealthy; even in works where they are portrayed as having the same designated sex, if both characters are DMAB it is more likely for their relationship to be physically violent, and if both are DFAB there is usually a trend towards emotional abuse or manipulation.

As canon provides a conveniently blank canvas, there tends to be a great deal of mid-canon fanwork, although postcanon fics portraying them as still bodysharing or where Chara has been restored to their body (or given a new one) is plentiful too.

In addition, Chara/Frisk fanwork creators tend to portray Chara and Asriel as siblings to remove Asriel as a potential romantic rival to Frisk.

Fanwork where their relationship is or becomes sexual usually ages them up to older teenagers or adults. Fans who create this kind of fanwork are often attacked by anti-shippers because of purity wank.

While this is a relationship between two nonbinary characters, transphobic fans and fans who are ignorant about nonbinary identities treat Chara/Frisk as a het, slash, or femslash pairing. This type of treatment is also the norm in countries like Korea or Japan where Chara and Frisk's canon genders were lost in translation.

This pairing is, however, significantly less common in overseas fandom, especially in Japan, where the theory that Frisk is Chara's reanimated corpse is most popular.

Chara and Frisk are also popular as a gen relationship.

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fanart

Links