|Synonyms:||Tinhat, Dark Larrie, truther|
|See also:||Larry Stylinson, Larry Is Real, Anti-Larrie, Big Larrie, Directioner|
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Fans who ship them together without necessarily thinking they are together in real life are often referred to as Larry Stylinson shippers. It can be a confusing distinction due to the number of fans considering themselves both, as well as conflation of the meanings of the terms, particularly outside the fandom.
sometimes i think about those non-1d mutuals we all know we have somehow because they’re the true mvps sticking to us while we scream about gay bears and fake babies and cryptic tweets posted on Tumblr on 12 Oct 2015 (Accessed 8 Sep 2019)
Who are Larries
Larry Stylinson fandom cannot be understood as just one thing; it is fragmented, ‘performed’ differently in various online spaces, and operates according to different (internal) politics even within the same spaces.
Not all fans who think that Larry Is Real adopt the term Larrie for themselves. This may be due to not wanting to be associated with the negative stigma surrounding the label, wanting to avoid attention of Anti-Larries (or Antis) or simply not identifying with the Larrie community.
The reluctance to use the word Larrie may have decreased over time and an increase in self-identified Larries possibly resulted in another phenomenon: self-policing over the term Larrie, often excluding fans who may think the theory is possible but not proven (Weak Larries) and as well as fans who think they were previously in a relationship but broke up (Houies).
The first to believe that Larry was real were among the earliest Directioners. As years passed and the band became immensely popular worldwide, Larry became more visible and more One Direction fans as well as outsiders were drawn to the theory.
Larries have been generally considered to be to be female teenagers, and many, possibly most, have been. But older fans have also been around since the beginning and, in 2014-2015, with the surge in public visibility of Larry Stylinson and what some suspected at the time was an imminent coming out, more older fans joined the fandom, including some who used experience from their careers (often in law or public relations) to contribute to theories and analysis.[note 1]
This presence of older fans, however, has often been erased in outsiders' discussions of Larry.[note 2] It's been suggested that this may sometimes be an intentional attempt to discredit the theory that Harry and Louis are together. In discussing Louis's PR team's response to fans' criticism of his promo, one Tumblr user echoed the frustrations of many Larries as well in writing:
When you see these people refer to or classify all of Louis’ fans as “lunatic” teenagers, “deluded fangirls”, or many of the other variations- what they are seeking to do is to delegitimize those fans, and therefore their knowledge and experience.
They are relying on systemic bias to discredit our opinions.
For example: “Jane, a marketing director, thinks SJPR is full of shit and bad at his job.” vs. “Jane, a crazy teenage girl, thinks Simon, an Adult Male, is bad at his job.”
It’s a lot easier to get away with shit if the only people calling you out publicly have already been disregarded. "I really love Simon Jones' assumption that all of Louis' fans are teenagers or uni students...", Archived version posted on Tumblr on 3 Jan 2018. (Accessed 11 Sep 2019)
Origin of the Term
Over time, the term Larrie was adopted to identify fans who believed Larry was real, though the boundaries can still be blurry, especially outside the fandom.
It is not clear when the term became popular. During a 2016 Tumblr discussion between Anti-Larries someone suggested that it started on 28 October 2014 after Harry made a jokey "larents" tweet in reply to someone's typo. A look at the Tumblr #larries tag confirms that the tag took off around that time, although someone was asking as early as September 23 whether Larrie was now the official term. Larries investigating this question also concluded that Larries adopted the term around September/October 2014, though it was suggested that anti-Larries used the term first.
Larries are often the first to acknowledge their own disbelief at coming to believe in what many consider a conspiracy theory.
Many Larries were Harry/Louis shippers first[note 3], but a number report that they were not introduced to Larry via shipping but by friends, YouTube videos or mainstream news coverage of Larry Stylinson. Some, but not all, of these Larries have become shippers as well.
I found them only a week ago. I knew of Harry before but I stumbled across a Larry video while watching videos of Harry performing. And holyyyyy shiiiiitt, I’ve never seen two people more incredible than him and Louis. So I fell into the Larry hole ObVIousLyy and I can truly never go back. one fan said, in reply to another Larrie origin story on 4 May 2019 (Accessed 9 Sep 2019)
A few fans have also claimed they were brought in by either seeing Harry and Louis together or hearing insider information.
View of Larries
Larries have historically been poorly received in the One Direction fandom, likely due to some engaging in what is often considered bad fan behavior. Common complaints have included their high public visibility breaking The Fourth Wall, social media harassment of band members' friends and families, continuing to discuss Larry theories after pushback from the band members, expressing what have been perceived by some as homophobic attitudes towards closeting, beards and stereotypically gay mannerisms, having a cult-like culture based on conspiracy theories, and engendering the public perception that all One Direction fans are crazy[note 4].
A number of fans have simply complained that Larries take up too much space, "making everything about Larry."
In addition, Larries have been often been poorly received within greater fan culture in general. Larry Stylinson arrived after the rise of bandom, RPF shipping and "tinhatting" in the 2000s, and, with its unprecedented public visibility, shoved stigmatized ways of performing fandom into the public eye.
One fandom studies scholar also wrote (note that the term "Larry shipper" here appears to refer to fans who believe that Larry is real):
Dare-Edwards (2014b) notes that there is little tolerance for Larry shippers, partly because “Larry supporters are discounting or questioning official PR-driven narratives about the boys’ relationship” (p. 6) and partly because some Larry shippers sent questions, sexually explicit theories, or fan art to the band, thus breaking the fourth wall, which deconstructs the boundaries between fans, creators, and the objects of fandom.
Conflicts between Larries and non-Larries are frequent instigators of One Direction Fandom Wars and bullying both by Larries and of Larries has been reported.
The large number of One Direction fans over the years who've believed that Larry Is Real means that there is significant diversity of behavior and beliefs. At the same time, a common assumption both inside and outside the fandom is that the few most publicly visible fans are representative of all Larries.[note 5]
Although Crazy About One Direction prefaces the section on Larry with the rejoinder that some fans have a “funny way” of expressing themselves, the girls interviewed actually presented a far more nuanced view of Larry than was subsequently suggested on social media sites. Discussions ranged from shipping the boys as a bromance versus a romance, demonstrating a complex understanding of different kinds of relationships, to Larry’s status as “part of the band,” there from the beginning and (arguably) encouraged by the band’s management. As Mark Simpson (2013) writes, “You could argue that the Larry shippers are only joining the dots that have already been drawn—very close together—by 1D’s management and the whole history of boy bands. As one girl put it, ‘I think the management secretly love Larry.’”
With the frequently contentious divide between Larries and non-Larries, many fan projects that may have been organized by or involved Larries have been criticized for having bias. This has extended to ones that explicitly state that they are not about Larry or shipping, including Rainbow Direction, Project No Control and some charity drives.
Larries as Tinhats
Types of Larries
Terms like Weak Larrie, Dark Larrie and Demon Larrie are often used humorously, though fans have reported being bullied for being Weak Larries and the term Dark Larrie in particular may not come without some sigma, as it is closely related to tinhat and Anti-Larries often use it pejoratively.
Dark Larrie is a term with multiple meanings. It may have started as a joke among Larries after someone sent a Tumblr ask calling Larries "Dark Larries." Initially it meant an evil Larrie (Dark Larrie as in Dark Lord or Dark Harry), but evolved to mean a secret Larrie. In this sense, Liam Payne, Nick Grimshaw, and others have been called Dark Larries.
Confused fans asking about the definition of the term have also been told that it means a hardcore Larrie interested in the minutiae of the conspiracy theories. While some consider "Dark Larrie" and "Larrie" to be synonyms, in general Larries themselves do not as there are Larries who do not believe in or are not interested in investigating the related conspiracy theories.
A Demon Larrie is an extreme Dark Larrie.
Calling Harry, Louis and their bandmates Dark Larries is a common meme.
A Chill Larrie is the opposite of a Dark Larrie, i.e. a Larrie who isn't hardcore obsessed or interested in conspiracy theories.
Some people, however, have expressed that there may not be a meaningful distinction between Chill Larries and Dark Larries. One fan remarked, "'I’m a chill larrie' is the 'not all men' of this fandom."
A Big Larrie is a Larrie blog with a lot of followers. See Big Larrie.
"Ex-Larrie" refers to a fan who once expressed belief that Larry was real but later changed their mind.
A prominent Big Larrie who became an ex-Larrie in 2015 explained:
Anonymous asked: how/when did you stop believing in larry? (sorry if you've answered this before)
In May I think? It was shortly after Elounor broke up but before anything major happened. And it wasn’t because of anything that had happened at that time, it was because I started talking to @glitterbootsandyellowshorts who was very patient about answering all my questions about “Larry proof” and showed me that there are other narratives that are plausible other than Larry.
Honestly as soon as I realised that, I was out of there. I spent a few days euphorically going through everything and re-evaluating it, and was very pleased to learn/realise that I didn’t have to believe in Larry, there were other very reasonable explanations and possibilities. Because honestly I was sick of being a Larrie, it was stressful and nothing ever went the way I wanted, and it was sad and frustrating and unpleasant.posted on Tumblr on 2 Oct 2016 (Accessed 9 Sep 2019)
Another said after leaving:
I think I've developed a phobia of the larry ship, I've been feeling so angry and betrayed and guilty and ashamed and disgusted by the shittiness I used to be part of as a larrie, that coming across larry stuff (footage, manips, fic, etc) now just infuriates the fuck out of me. Like, I wish larry had never interacted ever, that larry should never have existed.
Others have also asserted that the Larrie side of the fandom is like a cult:
I have been brainwashed for a long time and when you’re damaged like that, it’s hard to exist in a completely different part of the fandom other than the larrie side.... This is how badly i’ve been manipulated by the big larries. they are a cult.
A Houie (a later term derivative of the alternate smooshname "Houis") is a fan who believes Harry/Louis were in a relationship or had feelings for each other previously but aren't/don't anymore. Some believe this was due to self-closeting by Louis. The term and its definition appear to be used by Larries derogatorily more often than they are used as self-descriptors by "Houies".[note 8]
Notes and References
- The concept of older professionals numbering among Larries was met with derision by Harry's sister.
- The erasure of older fans also occurs in the overall One Direction fandom and bandom in general.
- A number of anti-Larries, echoing anti-tinhat sentiment originating years prior in other fandoms, have argued that Larries are simply shippers who wanted to believe their ship was real and couldn't tell fantasy and reality apart.
- Both other fans and the public have sometimes associated all Larries with believing the most outlandish-sounding conspiracy theories.
- For an example of this assumption that "problematic" Larries are a representative sample:
Larries are problematic and need to be stopped. I have a friend who recently left the Larrie fandom and she literally has to QUESTION HER SENSE OF REALITY when it comes to Harry and Louis because she had Larry Tunnel Vision for the longest time and lived in their little censored world of absolutes. It’s not okay for that part of the fandom to be able to do that to people. It’s awful that they can fuck with people’s minds like that.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH SUPPORTING HARRY AND LOUIS’ RELATIONSHIP.
I personally believe that Harry and Louis are in a real relationship. I support them fully, but I can’t support Larries who should know better than to act like they do."I love how there are girls taking signs that say" posted on Tumblr on 12 Jul 2015. (Accessed 7 Sep 2019)
One fan made a blog (Larries are Problematic Like Everyone Else) for the purpose of encouraging fans who believe in Larry not to becomes Larries.
The practice of generalizing the behavior of a few with the whole goes both ways. Some Larries may refer to all non-Larries as Antis and assert that all Antis engage in harassment.
- Rarely, some Larries will use the word "tinhat" self-deprecatingly when discussing theories they view as far-fetched. Others use it in order to differentiate themselves from the "crazy" tinhats. As one Tumblr user noted:
the definition of tinhatting gets confusing sometimes, because you get people like me who use it in a pretty self-aware way, to talk about the ways in which we discuss canon/speculate about people. The difference is that we know what we’re doing, and that we don’t actually know anything about the private lives of our ship. If you see someone talking about how they are tinhatting, it’s generally meant in this way.
The crazy tinhats are the ones who aren’t aware of what they’re doing, who do believe that they know FACTS and who don’t see how utterly invasive their behavior is. These are the ones who stalk all social media, who call around to people who have the same last names (there was a thing where some person who works at, I think, a different record label but has the last name Calder got bombarded by tinhat “detectives” trying to figure out if he was related to Eleanor.) That sort of behavior is really gross and wrong, and why a good number of us in this fandom really don’t like Larry shippers.reply to a post about the definition of tinhatting (Accessed 9 Sep 2019) Note: the reply to this post addresses the way shippers are conflated with tinhats]
- While there may not be consensus on the exact definition of Dark Larrie, it is generally not used among Larries to encompass Breaking the Fourth Wall to engage in harassment. This is often considered, including among many self-identified "Dark Larries", to be unacceptable fan behavior.
- Some have left the fandom completely while others continue to engage in Larry shipping. However, the distinction between so-called "Houies" and Larries is also not black and white. Throughout the years there have been a number of fans who identify as Larries say they are not sure if they have broken up or not. Some say they lean towards a break-up, some towards them still being together.
- Helena Louise Dare-Edwards (2014) ‘Shipping bullshit’: Twitter rumours, fan/celebrity interaction and questions of authenticity, Celebrity Studies, 5:4, 521-524, [https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2014.981370 DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2014.981370]
- tumblr reblog by andromedaharry, archived, 17 April 2016.
- are we officially called ‘larries’ now or, Archived version posted by isthatyoularry
- "I still love that they called us that and that we took what was meant to be a hateful term and turned it into something positive as a way to give back to charity." "Larries" has been a thing for a while, not since just last fall., Archived version, reblog by someonethatsfunny. Posted to tumblr 1 November 2015.
- "2017 larrie -- I actually first heard about them in 2012 from a friend" anonymous ask on Tumblr on 30 Jul 2017 (Accessed 9 Sep 2019)
- Jones, B. (2016). "I Will Throw You Off Your Ship and You Will Drown and Die": Death Threats, Intrafrandom Hate, and the Performance of Fangirling. In L. Bennett & P. Booth (Eds.), Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture (Ch 5, pp. 53-65). Bloomsbury Academic & Professional.
- cosenoditea.Fandom and ableist language, archived, posted to Tumblr March 4, 2015
- handslows. untitled tumblr post, Archived version, 12 July 2016.
- Buzzfeed - What Kind Of Larrie Are You?, Archived version (Quiz) (Accessed 9 Sep 2019)
- tumblr reblog by bakagamieru, Archived version, posted 16 August 2015.
- What's the difference between a dark larrie and a regular larrie, Archived version, reblog of an anonymous ask to hershelstagram by larrystylesvevo, posted 21 June 2015. The Tumblr post has 1936 notes as of 10 December 2015.
- Fired Up — what's a dark larrie?, Archived version, post by im-on-fire-now responding to an anonymous ask, 27 July 2015. The Tumblr post has 2 notes as of 10 December 2015.
- reblogged May 2, 2015. originally from clivecalderofficial (deleted)
- freddie-reign. dear big larries…, Archived version, posted to Tumblr 4 February 2016.
- Instead of having their big old larrie family comforting them, they get treated like trash, get called weak and are told they aren’t needed. So they go over to the “other side” and find the support they couldn’t find on this side. tumblr reblog by snoopdogglouis, Archived version, reblogged by thisisnotalarryblog 10 Feb 2016.
- Example of anonymous harassment posted to tumblr: "lol whatever, you whore. you can be a fucking bitter anti but don't you dare come crawling back to us when louis and harry come out. Wow, i actually had faith in you, you fake bitch. have fun being up antis' asses." anon ask sent to powerpuffharrie, Archived version, reblogged by realityoverconspiracy, 3 Apr 2016.
- anon ask sent to exlarriesupportgroup, posted to tumblr 17 Feb 2016.
- My Ex-Larrie Transition, Archived version, reblog of a Tumblr post from April 2016.
- exlarriesupportgroup on Tumblr
- reply to anonymous ask by pinkiezayn, Archived version, 6 December 2015.
- reply to anonymous ask by daggertattoos, Archived version, posted 2 December 2015.
- reply to anonymous ask by ferntattoos, Archived version, posted 10 November 2015.
- reply to anonymous ask by adifferentkindofson, Archived version, posted October 20, 2016
- reply to anonymous ask by summer5tars, Archived version, posted February 3, 2017