Pairing Opposites

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Trope · Genre
Related: Big Guy, Little Guy
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Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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The pairing of opposites is canonically common in buddy shows. One character may be portrayed as a neat freak, while the other a slob, or one may be interested in the opera and the other in fishing. It can be an appealing way to create characters and explore the ways in which they conflict.

Many fanworks emphasize and explore these canon characteristics even further, sometimes to the point of over-exaggeration of what was portrayed in the source text. This may be due to a short-cut way of storytelling and/or way to differentiate between characters.

For example, while Starsky has a distinct East Coast accent, some fiction emphasizes it as being very different than Hutch's speech patterns, more so than the show ever did. And while Blair Sandburg canonically had an interest in some natural foods and Jim was a fan of Wonderburger, fiction often takes it to an extreme.

A fan in 2017 expressed their love of the Wintershock pairing: "Honestly? I’ve always been a big sucker for the dog/cat person trope. I just enjoy big grump meets small happy (or big happy meets small grump -same diff). Bucky in this scenario, in my headcanon of course, is the big grumpy cat person while Darcy is the smaller (Not little, never little) dog person. The dynamic is unbeatable and gives me the tingles in my stomach area." [1]

Can "Curly Touch Curly," Can "Bald Touch Bald"?

Perhaps created, and certainly popularized by Sandy Hereld, is the trope that physically similar characters cannot be paired.

  • "I know the Rule of Curl (Curly may not touch Curly) stands, but Sandy wants a Rule of Bald (Hair-Impaired may not touch Hair-Impaired). I protest! (Unless this keeps Frank away from Skinner…) And the bottom line is, as Nicole says, "They could have all met in Vietnam." [2]
  • "Can bald touch bald? Can Frank McPike (Wiseguy; FBI, Vietnam Vet, round glasses, highly controlled, intense, short and bald) get together with Walter Skinner (X-files: FBI, Vietnam Vet, round glasses, highly controlled, intense, tall and bald)?" [3]


  1. MCU Wintershock Author Spotlight on Lara
  2. from Rallying Call #17
  3. from Rallying Call #17