|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||Polyamory, Polyship, Polyfic, Multi|
|Related:||Threesome, GSF, Teamfic, Sedoretu, Triad Verse|
|See Also:||OT3, OT4, OT5|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The word poly is shortened from polyamory, which is a modern word that describes the practice of multiple simultaneous romantic or sexual relationships, generally with the consent of all parties involved. Polyships are often seen as distinct from het, femslash, and slash ships and are treated as a separate category.
Polyfic is fan fiction that depicts polyamorous relationships between characters. Polyfic is often related to teamfic, where all members of a canonical team may be written as romantically/sexually involved.
Most fans would consider conduit fic, love triangles or cheating fic to not be polyamory.  Stories that start out with a poly relationship and end in coupledom, or stories depicting a couple who occasionally have a casual relationship with a third might be considered polyamory, but fan opinion would be more varied.
An example of polyfic would be fan fiction about a relationship between Harry, Hermione and Ron from Harry Potter. That relationship could be a triad, which involves all three characters in a, usually equal, group. It could also be a vee or V, which might be Harry/Hermione & Harry/Ron, but not Ron/Hermione.
While threesome or poly stories can be found dating back to the 1980s in media fandom, most older stories were conduit fics or treated the idea of a threesome as a sexual kink. The stories were often PWPs. Once a Thief aired 10 years before Leverage, and while both shows have a similar structure of three young dynamic characters working together in a team setting, Leverage has a noticeable amount of poly-themed stories, vids, art and discussion while Once a Thief was almost exclusively slash. White Collar fans started talking about the poly potential of the show after only a few episodes had aired.
- Pirates of the Caribbean - Jack/Elizabeth/Will may be the most common, but there are other combinations.
- Rooster Teeth - In addition to multiple three and foursomes, AHOT6 (Achievement Hunter) and FHOT7 (Funhaus) are very common. However, due to the departure of Ray and the addition of Jeremy, the people included in the AHOT6 can vary. Spoole's departure, and the addition of Elyse, have brought similar uncertainty to the FHOT7. Many writers simply include everyone, making the poly groups even bigger. Since almost everyone at Rooster Teeth has great chemistry, almost anyone is shippable with anyone else.
- Siren (TV series) - Ryn/Ben/Maddie is both a popular and canonical OT3 polyship.
- White Collar - Peter/Elizabeth/Neal seems to be about as popular as Peter/Neal
Not poly dominant fandoms, but poly friendly:
- Ace Attorney - Phoenix/Maya/Edgeworth. Apollo/Juniper/Athena isn't as widely popular, but is well-liked among some fans.
- The Avengers (Comics) - Several configurations of poly ships are common.
- DC Comics - Bart/Kon/Tim, or Impulse/Superboy/Robin, is a common trio in Batverse fanfic. Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman is known as "Trinity." Superhero teams are often the subject of poly fic.
- DBSK - The members of this boyband are sometimes written as an OT5.
- Fire Emblem - Geoffrey/Elincia/Lucia and a number of threesomes involving twins Ephraim and Eirika. Hinata/Oboro/Takumi in Fates fandom is being embraced lately, and Niles/Leo/Odin is already quite popular.
- Harry Potter - Snape/Harry/Draco is popular enough to have a community, drapery_snarco, at both Livejournal and Insanejournal. Other fairly common poly arrangements include Harry/Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny/Draco, and Neville/Luna/Ginny.
- House, M.D. - Lisa Cuddy/Gregory House/James Wilson is the most popular grouping but others, both slash and mixed are often written.
- KPop - such as SHINee, EXO, and BTS where all 5 members are shipped as OT5
- Leverage - Alec Hardison/Parker/Eliot Spencer is a popular grouping both in fanworks and in discussions about the subtext in the show.
- Merlin - the OT4/5 relationship that included Arthur/Gwen/Merlin/Morgana and sometimes Lancelot
- MCU - a variety of OT3 and OT4 combinations, usually involving different members of the Avengers
- One Direction - One Direction has contains a multitude of OT3+ combinations, including Zarriall, Zaniam, Stylinshaw, Lilourry, and Zianourry. See List of One Direction Ship Names for more.
- One Piece - "Merryshipping" involves shipping the entire crew, sometimes sexually, sometimes not.
- Ouran High School Host Club - The members of the Host Club are paired in any and every combination from OT3 to OT7.
- Pundit RPF - Stephen Colbert/Anderson Cooper/Keith Olbermann/Jon Stewart and sometimes Rachel Maddow
- Sherlock -- Sherlock/John/Mary
- Stargate: Atlantis - OT4 in SGA fandom usually refers to Ronon Dex/Teyla Emmagan/Rodney McKay/John Sheppard, but is sometimes used for groupings with Aiden Ford instead of Ronon Dex. There are also a few works focusing on Jennifer Keller/Rodney McKay/John Sheppard, building on the canon ship of Jennifer/Rodney. John Sheppard/Rodney McKay/Carson Beckett was popular for a time for a time amongst slashers.
- Star Trek: Alternate Original Series - James Kirk/Spock/Nyota Uhura is the main poly grouping in the fandom building on the canon ship Spock/Uhura
- Star Trek: The Original Series - Kirk/Spock/McCoy
- Supernatural - Sam/Dean/Castiel and sometimes Sam/Dean/Castiel/Gabriel
- Top Gear - James May/Jeremy Clarkson/Richard Hammond
- Voltron: Legendary Defender - "Polydins" refers to shipping the paladins (main characters) in poly relationships
Fanworks With Poly Themes
- For a full list of poly and moresome fanfiction on Fanlore, see Category:Poly Fanfiction
- Between Friends, believed to be the first published Kirk/Spock/McCoy story, and therefore, probably the first threesome story, was printed in Obsc'zine 4 in 1980.
- Convergence-verse (click through to fiction, scroll down), dombillijah (Dominic Monaghan/Billy Boyd/Elijah Wood) threesome in Lord of the Rings RPF. Very explicit BDSM.
- Pretty Good Year by Mary Borsellino, a long and popular series of Frodo/Sam/Rosie stories in The Lord of the Rings fandom that inspired shared universe fanworks by other authors and artists.
- In the Wrong Story and sequels by Katie have been cited  as some of the earliest examples of Jack/Sam/Daniel in Stargate SG-1 fandom written as a functional long-term relationship.
- Veritaserum by Calliope is one of the earliest Harry/Ron/Hermione stories written in Harry Potter fandom.
- A Pirate's Life by Elspethdixon - early and influential fic in Pirates of the Caribbean fandom that helped establish many tropes in fiction about the Jack/Elizabeth/Will triad.
- Apple Candy and Imma Be - two vids made by the same vidder, talitha78, explore poly themes in two very different ways. One is a plot focused piece that uses the song and the canon, and adds to it, to create a plausible poly story. The second is a character study, at once a celebration of the characters' individuality, and also an examination of their team dynamic as revealed by the canon and flavoured by the song.
- Polyfic - for fanfiction
- Polyship - for all sorts of fanworks (defunct; archive link)
- Polyamory Big Bang - a poly-themed big bang
- OT3_100 - an OT3 drabble community
- DCX3 - DC Comics Threesomes
- Naruto_OT3 - Naruto
- merlin_ot4 - Merlin (Gwen/Merlin/Morgana/Arthur, though other foursomes and fivesomes are allowed)
- team_sga - Stargate Atlantis (both gen and poly Teyla/Ronon/Rodney/John, with optional Aidan)
- Trois Bang (lj community) - a KPop OT3 big bang, with rounds in 2010 and 2012
- Some Thoughts on Polyfic, Archived version by Melusina (2004)
- OT3s = 3 but also full of <3, Archived version by petra (2010)
- Love & Marriage, Archived version by melannen (2011)
- Polyamory article at Wikipedia
- Pinboard: Tag Bundle /Poly for kinkme_merlin, accessed Sept. 2, 2013.
- Azarsuerte: "I should probably give the remark some context: my fanfic output is overwhelmingly het. By which I mean 100+ stories compared to 16 m/m, 8 f/f and 3 poly." Posted Sept. 2, 2013, accessed same day.
- Poly Twificrecs (listed as "Polyamory" in the sidebar), accessed Sept. 2, 2013.
- Poly-Fic Rec List Mfirefly10: "As the subject suggests, this is that rec list of poly-fic I promised." Posted April 1, 2011. Accessed Sept. 2, 2013.
- Polyamorous Avengers "All Avengers ships of more than two people at a time are praised and readily available at this awesome resource." Accessed Sept. 2, 2013.
- Mod Post on Share and Share Alike What To Post...and What Not To Post, accessed April 1, 2010
- Polyamory Terms and Concepts, accessed April 2, 2010
- The Tags Page on whitecollarfic on November 30, 2010 shows 243 stories tagged Peter/Neal and 225 tagged Elizabeth/Peter/Neal
- You down with OT3? (Yeah, you know me!) by Tafkarfanfic, in the ship manifesto community on LiveJournal, accessed April 2, 2010