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."
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)."
As time went on and multishipping became more common, the term OTP and its derivatives became more synonymous with shipping, with some fans using OTP to refer to their favorite pairing in a particular fandom, rather than their favorite pairing full stop.
However, a September 2021 tweet by @DANILALONDERS that treated the terms "ship" and "OTP" as interchangeable received some pushback from fans.
@DANILALONDERSno more SHIPS we gotta bring back OTP
They mean different things…
Ship is any pairing you likeOTP is your favourite
@LiliLiliLilianBbut ships and otp are different thoo!! ships are just casual, like,, canoe or like,, you know,,, pirate ships. otp is like your mothership!! like the biggest ship in your whole armada!!
Decline in Use?
Fans have debated whether the term "OTP" has fallen out of use in recent years. Some believe that it has simply given way to the term "ship", while others insist that the term is still in active use.
Did people stop using OTP as a phrase??
Lmao i remember we used that word constantly in like 2013-2015 djskdjsk
I think we used shipping/to ship as a verb , while the noun was OTP (or simply "pairing") instead of ship
So like "I ship this pairing" or smthOn the russian-speaking side of the internet at least lmao
@tauntcorpits so weird that it just faded
the way that my bestfriend and i used OTP sinc like 8th grade to 10th grade, then out of nowhere using "ship" as a term from 11th grade to now.
- '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
- Tweet by @DANILALONDERS, posted September 30, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @RatNeon, posted October 2, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @fujowshe, posted October 3, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @laraisuncool, posted October 2, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @LiliLiliLilianB, posted October 1, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @DDTaylorificus, posted October 1, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @bubbleyoongz, posted October 1, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @Ivana2804, posted October 3, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @random_moomoo1, posted October 2, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @tauntcorp, posted October 1, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).
- Tweet by @LoversBf, posted October 3, 2021 (Accessed October 3, 2021).