|Synonyms:||Tinhat, Dark Larrie, truther|
|See also:||Larry Stylinson, Larry Is Real, Anti-Larrie, Big Larrie, Directioner|
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Compared to other fandoms with "tinhat" ships, Larries make up an unprecedented proportion of the greater One Direction fandom, though they are often not well-received within it due to the negative attention they have attracted from other fandoms, mainstream media, and members of the band themselves.
Fans who ship Harry/Louis together without necessarily thinking they are together in real life are often referred to as Larry shippers. This 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.
Over time, many declinations of the term Larry have appeared to delineate between various factions of the group.
Who are Larries
In 2014, acafan H.L. Dare-Edwards wrote:
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 identifying with the Larrie community, not wanting to be associated with the negative views surrounding the name or wanting to avoid attention of fans who disliked Larry, among which Anti-Larries.
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. These included fans who claimed to have careers in law or public relations and contributed supposed "insider knowledge" to theories and analysis.
In a move typical of the way the outside world views fandom in general, the presence of older fans has often been erased in outsiders' discussions of Larry. The idea of older professionals numbering among Larries was met with derision by Harry's sister. Some Larries claim that may be a tactic 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 whether the term was coined by Larries themselves, or whether it was first used by people who did not believe in the theory and later "reclaimed" by Larries.
It existed as early as the summer of 2014:
Okay, I went back and checked my own usage. The word "larries" first appeared on my blog here - note my tags:
[soleilouis:] ngl it's so funny when Things happen and ~anti-h/l people are like OH GOD HERE WE GO THE LARRIES WILL MAKE THIS A THING!!! like pal I hate to break it to you but that's you acknowledging it as a weird thing lmao
#'the larries' omg can we start calling ourselves that it's kind of hilarious #7.13.14 #fandom psychology
And then in September/October 2014, we started using it broadly, talking about reclaiming it, joking about it left and right. And @1dfansgive started designing merch that included it.
One thing I’m not sure about, based on this, is whether soleilouis was actually the very first person to use the term, and then the antis picked it up as a mocking thing, or whether the antis were already using it and soleilouis’s post reflects that.
The #larries Tumblr tag turns up a fan asking, on September 23, 2014:
are we officially called 'larries' now or
#PEOPLE CALL US LARRIES #IT'S CUTE NAME TBH #MINE #LARRIES
On twitter several 1D fans commented on the recent adoption of the term larries in late September 2014, with varying opinions:
- "so now its not "larry shippers" it's "larries" ok"
- "ARE WE REALLY CALLED LARRIES? omg im so happy rn its like we finally became a fuCKING FANDOM! #larry #larries"
- "I preferred larry cult tbh it at least sounded kinda exclusive and exciting. Larries sounds like a symptom of laryngitis or the flu"
- "Wait do people really call us "larries" I feel honored"
During a 2016 Tumblr discussion between non-Larry fans, someone suggested that the term was popularized on 28 October 2014 after Harry made a tweet using the word "larents," in reply to someone's typo about their parents:
i’m just seeing this now but that’s definitely where larries came from. after this tweet everyone was like OMG HARRY AND LOUIS ARE LARENTS AND WE’RE THEIR LARRIES!!! i looked back on my old instagram and found a post where i had explained it because everyone was confused about the origins even then since harry’s tweet was a reply and not a lot of people paid huge attention to it. writing things that larry did with ls attached to the front of the word started in full force then too, like lairport and larriage. obviously a lot of those terms aren’t used much anymore but larries stuck around lol
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 1], 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
Within 1D Fandom
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.
Both other fans and the public have sometimes associated all Larries with believing the most outlandish-sounding conspiracy theories.
A number of fans have simply complained that Larries take up too much space, "making everything about Larry."
"Larries Ruined X"
Non-Larrie fans often complain that "Larries ruined" various aspects of the fandom. Examples of things they feel were tainted or ruined by Larries include:
- Harry and Louis' friendship/relationship (by making them self-conscious/putting them in an uncomfortable position/driving them apart)
- Rainbow flags (see also: Rainbow Direction#Controversy)
- Certain songs (such as "Home," "Little Things," "18" and more by One Direction, "Secret Love Song" by Little Mix, "Two Ghosts," "Golden" or "Sweet Creature" on Harry's solo album) by making them Larry evidence or saying that they were written about Larry.
Larries frequently repeat this phrase, either to refute it, or ironically when captioning what they see as Larry "proof."
In Wider Fandom
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 2]
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.
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 promoting Larry. This has extended to ones that claim they are not about Larry or shipping, but are organised in part by Larries, such as Rainbow Direction, Project No Control and other 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.
Louis and Harry will ALWAYS be the darkest Larries.
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 4]
A"'Bluegreener"' is a term often used to describe Larries who are disrespectful or who take things "too far". A bluegreener is likely to believe in things associated with Larry deemed untrue or unlikely by mainstream Larries. See also Blue and Green.
Notes and References
- 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.
- 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.
- 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]
- genuinelybelieve-blog, preserved in reblogs "Larries" has been a thing for a while, not since just last fall., Archived version, reblog by someonethatsfunny. Posted to tumblr 1 November 2015.
- are we officially called ‘larries’ now or, Archived version posted by isthatyoularry
- tweet by styleasthetic, Archived version, Sep 23, 2014
- tweet by jszebedy, Archived version, Sep 23, 2014
- tweet by SarahdeComines, Archived version, Sep 24, 2014
- tweet by BrightEyesLarry, Archived version, Sep 27, 2014
- tumblr reblog by andromedaharry, archived, 17 April 2016.
- "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)
- "Larries ruined" twitter search, returning dozens of recent entries as of Nov 2021, including both complaints and denials.
- #unpopularopinion whether people like to admit it or not, the larry shipping has ruined harry and louis' friendship" tweet by @1Dupdategirls, Oct 28, 2013
- i’m still sad that Larry shippers ruined Harry and Louis’ *3 sad emoji* tweet by @97MKVN, Dec 14, 2017
- "Do people not realise how damaging and disgusting it is to ship real people? Like Larry shippers literally ruined Harry and Louis’ friendship can you not see how harmful it is?" tweet by @idlyrosenthal, July 22, 2020
- "larries are the most disrespectful fandom. all types of larries are disrespectful. being a larry is the idea of shipping Louis Tomlinson & Harry Styles together. Two grown men who have said they’re not in a relationship and it makes them feel uncomfortable , seeing as they were such good friends. larries ruined their friendship." definition of "Larries" on UrbanDictionary.com by wokebitch123, Nov 9, 2020
- "They say it's not a "Larry" thing but a LGBTQ support....well in this fandom, Larries have ruined all rainbow support unfortunately" tweet by @twistedmcsista, July 30, 2017
- "I don’t feel safe when the pride flag is covered in writing/drawings/etc about larry and subsequently waved at/thrown at them. Even Liam chimed in on the flags, because he knows who brings them! And spoilers, it’s usually people who think that they’re Larry Heroes and want to save their celebrity idols from Evil Management. [... It’s just me [...] expressing sadness that a symbol of my community has been ruined for me in fandom because of larries."] Tumblr reply by outofcases, 2016 - 210 notes as of Nov 2021
- "I forgot this existed larries ruined this song" tweet by @zmjimin about "Home," Sept 16, 2018
- "i hate how larries have ruined "18" because holy fuck i love that song" tweet by @starcrossharry, March 25, 2020
- "i hate that larries ruined home that is such a good song" tweet by @missedcalls, Feb 15, 2021
- "I like grown and secret love song part 2 but larries ruined it" tweet by @winderfulpramore, Nov 11, 2015
- "Rachel has a personal connection to SLS and it’s disgusting how Larries ruined the song that meant so much to the female writer because she wrote the song based on a true personal story and for larries to defile it’s meaning by claiming Louis wrote it for Harry when it’s not" tweet by @purplemixprint, April 23, 2021 -- referring incidents where the Wikipedia page for the song credits were repeatedly edited to falsely add Louis as a songwriter
- Larries ruined the song with their theories...." tweet by @jadore_la_mer about "Two Ghosts", Nov 8, 2019
- "golden was my stan song until larries ruined it for me." tweet by @taylormilf, August 11, 2020
- 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.
- 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