One True Pairing
|See also:||OTC, Shipping, Multishipping|
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One True Pairing, or OTP, is a fan's favorite pairing in a given fandom. The term implies extreme devotion, and some fans have no interest in creating or consuming fanworks for anything but their OTP. However, other fans with OTPs are also interested in fanworks for other pairings or fanworks with no pairings at all (gen). OTP is pronounced "Oh Tee Pee."
The term and its derivatives are largely synonymous with shipping. For example, "I ship Harry/Hermione" can mean "My OTP is Harry/Hermione". However, some fans ship more than one pairing in a given fandom; these fans are called multishippers, and they may use the term OTP to identify their favorite pairing in that fandom.
Original Understanding of the Concept
Back in the days of Mono-Fandom fans, the term OTP meant the only pairing that the fan was interested in, period. There wasn't even a second fandom, let alone a second pairing within the fandom, that was included as part of the definition.
One of the first uses of the term was in 1984 from a summary from the publisher of zine Alternaties #2, "This zine has something for everybody...The stories are mostly Spock-centric, so if you love a certain Vulcan, this one's for you!...And boy, does he get around -- we have Kirk/Spock, Spock/McCoy, Spock/Chapel, Spock/and various others, including T'Pring...And of course, more Kirk/Spock, because we all know that's our one true pairing!!!...Variety is the spice of life -- and this zine is extremely spicy."
Another early mention was in 2002 in Discovered in a Letterbox #23 in which a fan commented on whether Daniel (in Stargate SG-1) could be slashed with anyone other than Jack: "... I guess that could be applied to any fandom and the idea of OTP (one true pairing)."
- 'It's Stars AND Stripes': Shipping Bisexual Characters in The Marvel Cinematic Universe; WebCite, In Media Res (2015)
- I found another OTP (One True Poll)!, a fan survey by gabrielleabelle