Ryan Bergara/Shane Madej

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Pairing: Ryan Bergara/Shane Madej
Alternative name(s): Shyan, Skeptic Believer
Gender category: Slash
Fandom: Buzzfeed Unsolved, Watcher Entertainment
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Common
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Ryan Bergara/Shane Madej is a real person pairing between Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej from Buzzfeed Unsolved.


Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej are the hosts of the popular webseries BuzzFeed Unsolved, a show in which a believer in the supernatural (Bergara) and a skeptic (Madej) discuss cold cases, argue over the existence of paranormal phenomena, and investigate supposedly haunted locations. In 2019, they and fellow ex-BuzzFeeder Steven Lim joined forces to start their own company, Watcher Entertainment, where the three of them produce content to this day. Ryan and Shane co-host several Watcher series together.

While the two strongly disagree on matters of the supernatural, Ryan and Shane are good friends, and this close canonical bond is the foundation upon which their fanon romantic relationship is built.

Ship History and Overview

The first known fic for this pairing (and the first fic for Unsolved in general) was posted on AO3 in April of 2017, and the fandom would slowly gain momentum over the course of the year. Popular tropes from the first two years of the ship's history include Shane comforting Ryan on location, Shane secretly being non-human (especially a demon), and Ryan having some sort of connection to a "Ricky Goldsworth" persona. Other BuzzFeeders often appear in supporting roles; the most common side pairing in Shyan works is Andrew Ilnyckyj/Steven Lim.

In 2018, the ship placed 91st on Tumblr Fandometrics' Top Ships[1].

As 2019 rolled around and seasons of Unsolved became fewer and farther between, there was some concern among fans that the show would soon end, and to some extent take the fandom with it. Those fears were firmly alleviated when Watcher was announced in December 2019, and the launch of the company brought a new wave of fans to the Shyan pairing.

New types of canon content being produced meant a shift in fan content. Demon!Shane content in particular has become less ubiquitous as of late (as Shane's status as the funny man to Ryan's straight man has been challenged by both men showing off their weird sides at Watcher), though the trope is far from dead. New fics often feature Steven Lim in a supporting (or in rarer cases, leading) role. He frequently acts as a straight man to the duo's antics, or as a matchmaker.

As of May 2021, there are currently over 3600 works on AO3 featuring the Ryan Bergara/Shane Madej pairing. It remains the Juggernaut pairing in the Unsolved and Watcher fandoms.


Common Tropes and Genres

  • Case Fic - works featuring Ryan and Shane investigating an unsolved case, often a supernatural one
  • Demon AU - works or headcanons featuring one of the boys, most of the time Shane, as a demon
  • Hurt/Comfort - esp. works where Shane calms down Ryan during or after a shoot