Pairing Opposites

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Trope · Genre
Related: Big Guy, Little Guy, Blond Shall Not Touch Blond, Nor Curly Touch Curly
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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 the Starsky & Hutch character, David Starsky, canonically has a East Coast accent, some fanfic emphasizes it as being very different than his partner, Kenneth Hutchinson's, speech patterns more so than the show ever did. And while the Sentinel character, Blair Sandburg, canonically had an interest in some natural foods and his partner, Jim Ellison, was a fan of Wonderburger, fanfic 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. See Blond Shall Not Touch Blond, Nor Curly Touch Curly.

  • "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)?" (April 1996) [2]
  • "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." (April 1996) [3]


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