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Pairing: Dave Karofsky/Kurt Hummel
Alternative name(s): Karommel, Kave, The Pirate Ship
Gender category: slash
Fandom: Glee
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: popular, controversial
Archives: FF.Net, AO3, Fancy and The Fury
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Although a handful of Glee fans began to ship Kurt Hummel and Dave Karofsky before November of 2010, the vast majority of Kurtofsky shippers emerged after Glee episode 2x06, "Never Been Kissed," aired. In this episode of the show, viewers were made aware that Karofsky's incessant bullying of Kurt was due to his own self-loathing brand of homophobia. Because of the bullying, Kurtofsky remains one of the most controversial pairings on the show, despite what Kurtofsky shippers, especially, have seen as a Karofsky well on the road to redemption, later in the season. Season 3, especially, was frought with fannish tension, as rumours abounded whether Dave would return, in what context, and how the story line between Dave and Kurt would continue, at all.[citation needed]

Kurtofsky is notably received oddly in comparison to other fandoms and pairings -- see Draco/Harry for a similar dynamic:

I don’t know why Kurtofsky gets all the backlash it does. In other fandoms I’ve shipped pairings which involved character A trying to kill, almost killing, or killing (several times) character B. These pairings never get quite as much flack as Kurtofsky though. I understand that people have reasons against Kurtofsky and I get it people don’t ship it, but it is a bit jarring that I’ve received more hate for it than for more morally questionable pairings. [1]

New fans joined in November 2011, after 3x05, "The First Time" aired, where Kurt and Blaine had sex for the first time, but consistently, the Kurt and Dave scene was often talked about by TV analysis groups, such as Entertainment Weekly:

Viewers will also see the return of Kurt’s bully, Karofsky (Max Adler) in tonight’s episode. Surprisingly, Murphy says he gets a lot of comments, particularly from gay men, asking for a Kurt/Karofsky romance. Says Murphy, “We’re going to write something about it. I do think the reason why he attacked Kurt so viciously is he he had all these feelings that he didn’t know what to do with. I am interested in that, like what happens if he finally got to express that in the right way.”[2]

Fannish Progression

Several fanworks were produced after Aussiello leaked spoilers about Kurt and Dave's meeting in a gay bar. After the US airing of that scene, Shialdouche analysed the body language and emotional content of so-called "Gay Bar" scene on Tumblr.[3]

There was much squee after Chris Colfer spoke in an interview, and indicated the gay bar scene was his favorite scene in episode 3x05:

TVLINE: My favorite scene in the episode was the one between Kurt and Karofsky [Max Adler] at the gay bar.

Chris: That was absolutely my favorite scene as well.[4]

Notable Fanworks