Tobi x Deidara

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Pairing: Uchiha Obito x Deidara
Alternative name(s): Tobidei, Obidei, Madadei (obsolete), Deitobi, Deiobi, トビデイ, オビデイ, 토비데이, 오비데이, Тобидей, Oбидей, 带迪, 🍭💥, 🌀💣
Gender category: yaoi
Fandom: Naruto
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Rarepair
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Tobi x Deidara, also known as Obito x Deidara, is a slash pairing between the characters Uchiha Obito and Deidara from the anime and manga series Naruto. The pairing is often referred to as Tobidei, a combination of Obito's alias for his goofy fake persona and Deidara's name, or Obidei, which simply combines their names. Some fans also use T/Obidei, although this term is not always preferred due to issues with search engines and tag systems. The pairing was once known as Madadei, until Tobi was revealed not to be Uchiha Madara. This name nowadays refers to a different crackship. However, some old pre-2012 Tobidei fanworks may still be tagged as Madadei.

The dynamics of the Tobidei ship have changed over time as more information about Tobi was revealed in the canon storyline. As a result, the pairing's existence can be divided into three distinct periods.


Tobi was introduced in the manga in chapter #280: "Entrusted Feelings!"[1] in volume #31, which was released in Japan on October 31st 2005. In this chapter, Tobi expresses his intention to join the Akatsuki after taking Sasori's ring from his corpse, thus becoming Deidara's new partner.

"Behind the scenes" of the chapter 281 "Death by Asphyxiation" technique. By: Nallandasss (2020)

They first interact in chapter #281, titled "The Way to Sasuke!!" in volume #32. In this chapter, Tobi mistakenly believes that Deidara is dead after discovering his severed arm on the floor, but Deidara later appears and tells him to leave it alone.

The first fanfiction focused on Tobi and Deidara is called "Brat" and was published by the user Orm on September 22th 2006.

Initially, Deitobi was the most popular ship name for this pairing, perhaps due to Tobi's more easygoing and laidback personality, as well as the fact that he addressed Deidara as "senpai"[note 1] (impliyng that he acted as some sort of mentor). Early fanworks, ranging from 2006 until Deidara's death and Tobi revealing himself as Madara, usually focused on Deidara having to adapt to the antics of this new partnership with the Akatsuki rookie. There were also many slice-of-life one-shots where they cooked for each other, looked after each other, or painted each other's nails. Themes often included humor and fluff, with some angstier ones revolving around Sasori's loss and how Tobi helped Deidara move on.

Following Deidara's death in chapter #362 "The Ultimate Art!"[2] published in Japan on July 30th 2007, and Tobi revealing himself as Uchiha Madara in chapter #364 "The Target is...!"[3] on August 13th 2007 (volume #40) the dynamics of the couple in fan works takes a hundred and eighty degree turn.

Deidara starts to be portrayed as someone more submissive and meek, who is subdued with or against his will by Madara. The themes of the fanfics from this time period, spanning until Tobi reveals himself as Uchiha Obito, are darker. Madara, captivated by Deidara's beauty, often decides to claim him as his own. Possessing decades of experience in life and being one of the strongest shinobi in history, Deidara is relegated to being a mere object of Madara's desire without being able to do anything about it. Frequently, he grows to love Madara over time, or resigns himself to his fate and forces himself to return Madara's feelings. In some cases, Deidara has to cope with being in love with goofy Tobi after finding out that he doesn't exist and that it was Madara's persona all along.

In Tobi!Madara alternate universe modern settings, Madara is often depicted as a mature, successful man who is in love with Deidara, usually a college student or young artist.

Tobi was revealed as Uchiha Obito in chapter #599 "Uchiha Obito"[4] released in Japan on September 17th 2012 (volume #63).

After this reveal, the couple's popularity decreased. Many Tobidei fans did not like the revelation of Tobi as Obito and left the fandom. Some refused to accept the new canonical information and continued to write Tobi as Madara for a while longer.

Tobidei's popularity remained at an all-time low until the end of 2016. Around this time, new fans who had started watching the anime after it was announced as completed joined the Naruto fandom,. To these new fans, Tobi was never revealed as Madara. Tobidei's popularity resurfaced, and these new fans brought a completely new dynamic for the ship. In this new dynamic, the conflict centered on Deidara gradually discovering the secrets of the person behind the mask, and Obito learning how to care about another human being again as he develops Project Tsuki no Me.

To better measure the impact of this new influx of Obidei fans, from September 2012 to December 2016, there were only eight fanfics labeled as Deidara/Uchiha Obito on AO3. As of January 2022, that number had reached 401.

The creation of the Tobidei Week, which has been held every year since 2017, has also contributed to vastly increase the content available for this couple.

Obidei reached 500 fanfics on AO3 on August 2023.

Covid-19 Lockdowns and Tobidei Fandom

The older the fandom got, the smaller it got. Indeed, by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Naruto fandom had evolved the characteristics of a small, stable aging fandom. Most people had been around for years, everyone knew each other, and levels of toxicity had declined. Most existing Tobidei fandom concentrated on Tumblr and Twitter, where there was a notable reduction in the fandom drama and ship wars that had characterized the early years of Naruto Shippuden, i.e. 2008-2011. All this contributed to making the fandom a quiet place to stay.

The lockdowns of 2020 made people stay at home watching anime, including Naruto. At this time, the TobiDei Project was started by a group of Brazilian fans who wanted to increase the number of fics for this couple in the Portuguese language. As their goal is to produce 4000 Tobidei stories, the amount of content—whether fanart, fanfic, vids or memes—grew considerably in 2020. The massive influx of new fans brought back the drama of yesteryear, with the ship wars and the haters.

New fans concentrated on new spaces, such as TikTok, that established fans did not usually frequent. Nevertheless, the Twitter space radically changed. Browsing the tag in search of new content meant having to witness toxic arguments between new Brazilian fans and haters of Tobidei that buried everything else. Due to the similarity of the language, the drama spread to the Spanish-speaking community as well.

Two years after the start of the pandemic, those attitudes have been declining almost back to pre-covid19 levels, although they still continue on TikTok where younger fans are concentrated.

Sekki as Obidei kid

There is a filler character in Boruto who many shippers headcanon as Obito and Deidara's son. This is due to the fact that he is physically very similar to Deidara and comes from the hidden rock like him, while personality wise he is almost identical to Obito when he was a child (wanting to become Kage, orphan that lives with his grandma, slightly clumsy and helpful to elderly citizens). Some fans also add Yodo (another Boruto character) to the family but Sekki's usage in Obidei fanworks is more widespread. Fanworks involving Sekki range from cute family scenes to modern AUs, with some fans even incorporating Narutoverse elements to explain his existence.


Tobidei Keyring seen at Mercari

New lines of official Naruto merchandise are periodically released in Japan, often featuring the Akatsuki members, with Deidara and Tobi being included in the same series. These merchandise lines often include exclusive outfits that inspire fans to create fan art. Some fans even buy separate Deidara and Tobi figurines and create their own photoshoots of them interacting, often including a story or dialogue[5].

In March 2022, a collaboration between Naruto and Sanrio was released, pairing up Naruto characters with Sanrio characters. Deidara was paired up with Badtz-Maru but Tobi was notably absent from the collection. This inspired fans to create a series of fanart in which Tobi was depicted as sad, and Deidara, along with Badtz-Maru, tried to cheer him up.[6]

Additionally, there is fan merchandise available at anime conventions, particularly in Japan. The most common types of merchandise are pins and keyrings, and some fans even make their own plushies for personal use.[7]

Some Anecdotes

Naruto Live Spectacle: The Akatsuki Investigation

In 2017 the Naruto musical ran at many theathers across Japan. Fans soon noticed that Takayama Hiro, who played Tobi and Ryō Tsuji, who played Deidara, had several unscripted moments where they interacted with each other in character. At the end of one show, Kisame's actor even made them hold hands.[8] This caused a stir in the Tobidei fandom, which only grew when Hiro and Ryo continued to interact in character off-script during subsequent shows, mimicking the personalities and relationship of Tobi and Deidara in canon.[9]

Hiro also posted several pictures of himself and Ryo in their costumes, talking as if he were Tobi, on his Twitter account.[10] Days later, an attendee to one of the shows said on her Twitter that she saw the two actors cuddling in a corner during the Osaka show [11], starting a short-lived RPS trend which lasted until the shows ended and the crew disbanded.


Meobidei was a trend started on Tumblr by Redsikez and Lips of Frost in summer 2018 that consisted of drawing or imagining Tobidei as cats. Deidara was decided to be an orange tabby with a bald patch on one of his paws. Obito would be black and white, fur design imitating the scars on his body and a nicked ear.[12] Meobidei Day was marked as August 22. That year, Tobidei Week included "Lazy Sunday and Cats" as a prompt, which was a reference to the Meobidei trend.

Shampoo Bomba Incident

On May 15, 2021, a Twitter user with the handle Paperangel_xl posted a thread discussing what type of shampoo different Naruto characters might use. For Deidara, she suggested Shampoo Bomba, a reference to his explosive art. When the Salon Line community manager stumbled upon the post, they replied to it using the official account, which surprised everyone. Later in the conversation, another Twitter user suggested that Deidara would need an assistant to wash his hair and volunteered for the task. In response, the Salon Line community manager joked that Obito would not like that. [13] Screenshots of the conversation were shared by Obidei Headcanons, who then asked their followers to write a fanfiction where Obito washed Deidara's hair using Shampoo Bomba. The Salon Line account responded to the tweet, saying, "I want that fic for yesterday." [14] It is unclear whether anyone ever wrote that story.

Their relationship in Canon

The manga implies that Deidara and Tobi, despite not being partners and Tobi not being in the Akatsuki yet, had met before. They already knew each other's names, Deidara addresses him with a sense of familiarity and Tobi is happy when he finds out Deidara is alive. This first meeting resumes what the dynamics of their partnership is going to be like. Deidara would lose his patience at Tobi's goofy attitude, comically throwing bombs at him. On this first scene together, Deidara has no arms and proceeds to strangle him with his legs.

Tobi addresses Deidara in a polite way, calling him Deidara-san [15] before joining the organization and Deidara-senpai [16] after becoming his partner.

Deidara undergoes a change of attitude after becoming Tobi's partner, becoming somewhat more serious and focused than he used to be. With his former teammate Sasori, he had a teacher-student dynamic, and he was often portrayed as the more immature of the two, with a more laid-back attitude than Sasori.

Despite frequently having comical arguments, Deidara and Tobi were very attuned to each other in battle. They developed a joint attack named C2: Dragon, and Tobi seems to have a lot of information about Deidara's techniques. Tobi even knows how Deidara's secret technique, C4: Garuda, worked.

During the fight against Sasuke, Deidara shows a caring attitude toward Tobi. He tells him to move out of the way so he doesn't get hurt and even stops an attack when he notices Tobi is surrounded by his bombs. Once Deidara activates his ultimate technique, C0: Self-Destruction, and right before dying, he apologizes to Tobi for what he's about to do.

They briefly meet again when Deidara is brought back by the Edo Tensei technique. Despite his grudge against the Uchiha clan, Deidara doesn't react at all when he learns that Tobi is actually an Uchiha.

In the anime, they have a few more scenes together during the Three-Tails' Appearance arc. In Shippuden episode 99, Tobi and Deidara stop to eat some dango. Deidara tries to see Tobi's face while he's eating, but Tobi moves away and prevents him from peeking. After eating, Tobi accuses Deidara of plagiarism, angering him. In Shippuden episode 104, Deidara is still mad at him. Tobi begs for forgiveness and says that "he's a schoolgirl in love with his senpai".

There are a few Tobidei moments in the spinoff "Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth", in which they travel to Konoha and team up with Team Gai. Deidara smiles and his eyes sparkle when Tobi compliments him as an artist. On another scene, Tobi tells the story of an office worker named Tobiko, who is in love with her co-worker Darao-san. Tobiko looks exactly like Tobi in a brunette wig with a ponytail and black-rimmed glasses in front of her mask, while Darao-san looks exacly like Deidara. Tobiko keeps photos of Darao-san inside her desk's drawer.

Fandom and Themes

  • Humor: Initially, fans were attracted to the comical side of the ship in which Tobi pisses Deidara off and he ends up running away, chased by Deidara's bombs. Humor stopped being popular during Tobi!Madara era, but Obito's reveal made it resurface.
  • Before Madara's reveal, many fans supported the Tobito theory, creating stories where Tobi was actually Obito but he had amnesia after nearly dying on Kannabi bridge and couldn't remember who he was anymore. In other fics, Tobi was just goofy, happy-go-lucky Tobi and no one else. In both cases, Deidara ended up taking a liking to him and helping him regain his identity. The Tobito theory lost a lot of popularity after Madara's reveal, but some people were still convinced that Tobi was Obito. There are fics where Obito's body is possesed by Madara's soul, both sharing the same body and Deidara having to cope with that.
  • Darkfic: In the Tobi!Madara era, fanfics often emphasize the abrupt personality change that Tobi undergoes, going from being a ray of sunshine to that fearsome and ruthless legendary shinobi. Deidara usually hates this change, and despite complaining about how annoying Tobi was, he ends up missing him and regretting that Tobi's personality was just a character made up by such a cruel person. Most of the adult content with themes of dubious consent or non-consensual sex are almost exclusive from this era.
  • Yandere: Tobi!Madara is often portrayed as yandere, killing or torturing his love rivals and wanting Deidara just to himself. Many later Obidei fans expressed their opinion that the Deidara from this period is out of character, showing cutesy, timid and submissive traits that he never shows in the source material. There are many jokes about his personality being closer to Hinata Hyuuga than canon Deidara. Also exclusive of Tobi!Madara era.
  • Fluff is the most prominent theme among fanworks from after Obito's reveal.
  • Modern AU Most modern AUs are from after Obito's reveal, but there were some from Tobi!Madara era. The difference between one and the other is the unequal power in the dynamics is not as popular with Obito as it was in Tobi!Madara era.
  • Smut, there are a lot of PWP oneshots. In most of them Obito is the top and Deidara the bottom.
  • Canon divergence AU where Deidara doesn't die are also popular.
  • Identity Porn: In many fanworks, Obito starts falling for Deidara through the fake persona he himself created, while for Deidara is more of a mixture between curiosity and physical attraction. Deidara's initial reaction to Tobi's secrets is usually rage or dull disbelief. Obito's secrets are often presented in layers, from who he is, to his past actions, to his future plans, with Deidara learning to accept some of them, or making Obito realize how wrong he was. For Obito, falling for Deidara is the start of his dilemma about cancelling the Tsuki no Me project. When he finally gets to see his face, Deidara usually finds Obito's scars attractive or artistic. This trope can also lead to angst. Deidara holds a grudge against the Sharingan. He doesn't know that Tobi is an Uchiha. In fanworks, Deidara usually doesn't react well to this information.
  • Meet cute: This trope is especially popular in Modern AU.
  • Established relationship: Stories where Obito and Deidara are already dating or married started being popular after Obito's reveal.
  • Domesticity: In the last couple of years, family themed fics became trendier. A part of the Obidei fandom has adopted Sekki, a Boruto character, as Obidei kid. Original characters as Obidei children are also a popular choice among content creators.
  • Reincarnation: Stories where both Obito and Deidara reincarnate in a modern setting and meet again. They may remember each other, or have a strange sense of having met before.

Japanese Fandom

Unlike in the Western fandom, in Japan, the names Tobidei and Obidei are not synonyms or inerchangeable. Tobidei (トビデイ) refers to depictions of the ship with the Tobi persona (swirly orange mask always, goofy behaviour) and Obidei (オビデイ) depictions of the ship with Obito (mask off, war outfit, Deidara knows about Tobi's real identity).[17]

Western Fandom

In the West, Tobidei fandom is small but quite devoted. This post by Ethanol sums up the appeal that many people see to the ship:

As it's the last day of TobiDei Week I just want to talk about 1) why this ship works well 2) why it has continued to be more popular and fandom-cultivated than many other Naruto ships with the same amount of canon material 3) why I don't stop being invested in it.

1) Obito and Deidara are radically different from each other in a way that combines productively. Deidara is the prime example of somebody who lives in the present, which he makes a point of even in his explicitly stated artistic vision. Beauty is fleeting. Any permanence extended to the past or the future defies what he considers art. His demeanor, too, is reckless, nearly unhinged; he doesn't mind executing a suicidal technique because prolonging life is of no value to him. How he became this way remains a mystery in Naruto canon but perhaps this is indicative. The past doesn't concern (or affect) Deidara; his participation in Akatsuki, too, hinges on his own preoccupation with his art and getting back at the people who, in his opinion, belittled it.

Compare with Obito. A man stuck in his past after being literally and metaphorically crushed by it. Every moment of his life is spent on nostalgia for the past and preparation for a far-ahead future. He gives up on rebuilding and enjoying his current life and just wants to start a new, simulated one where he can be happy. The present is the least important because it only serves to lead to the desired Infinite Tsukiyomi.

The canon puts these two people together in a bizarre situation. Obito plays it off as a joke with the 'Tobi' thing; likely in order not to render Deidara hostile towards him. For a few weeks Obito partners up with someone who grants him a glimpse into a vivid life of focusing on a concept (instead of a person) and rolling with the flow, uncaring about the past. Obito might have made a comedy show out of it for himself, but this was everything he needed. Meanwhile Deidara is single-focused enough to not want to form lasting bonds with anyone. (We don't know about him having a family and Sasori's death didn't quite impact him.) This 19yo terrorist who could blow himself up and all he gets is prayers from mafia associates The only thing, the ONLY obstacle preventing these two characters from forming a sincere bond is Deidara's hatred for the sharingan. This adds drama (which I like) but it is tragic as well. People often say Tobi is similar/a parody of Obito's childhood personality so the fact that he and Deidara ended up somewhat getting along and cooperating was probably a feeling Obito hadn't experienced in a very long time. It's as though the whole thing would only need a tiny push to be a radically significant connection. It remains a huge unfulfilled potential.

Point 2) follows directly from 1). Figuring out what kind of push they would need and how canon could have gone differently (or which scenes are missing...) to make tobidei happen generates endless possibilities for fandom. It's a puzzle to crack what was going on between them.

3) If I'm cheesy you should laugh I like seeing someone as cynical, despairing and departed from reality as Obito getting snapped back to it by meeting someone as radically different from anyone he's ever known as Deidara. It's hopeful. [18]



Early Tobidei period

  • Brat by Orm, first Tobidei fic ever posted.
  • Sempai Sensei by Insidiae, example of Tobito Theory pre-Madara era plus Deidara as Namikaze Minato's natural child.
  • Crash by Sharingank, smutty oneshot that plays with the idea of Deidara finding someone more important to him than his art.
  • Magnus Opus by Hoshika Hitomi, angsty fics were rarer to find in this period. Here's one of them, published after Deidara's death in the manga but before Tobi revealed himself as Madara two chapters later.
  • Sculpting for Dummies by demonrubberducky, a tobidei classic. Longfic. First chapter published after Deidara's death but before Madara's reveal. It follows Tobito theory, and presents the headcanons that Obito had amnesia and Madara's spirit was possessing him.

Tobi!Madara period

  • Still Life of an Annihilation by ckret2, where Tobi wants Deidara for himself, even though he's not loved back. It presents Madara as a century old powerful shinobi that doesn't believe in reality, but that finds a temporary beacon of hope in Deidara.
  • Tired of Waiting by Dragonfire44, this one is an example of a shy, naïve and inexperienced Deidara in comparison to powerful, confident Madara that always gets what he wants no matter what. This depiction of the couple was common in the Tobi!Madara period.

Post Uchiha Obito reveal

  • Empty Canvas by Riemann_Integrable, where after dying, Deidara's spirit ends up in a strange place alone with Tobi. A WIP, but last chapter could be read as an open ending so, still recommended and an Obidei classic.
  • Fruit on the Vine by Lips of Frost, another WIP, but considered by many readers the best Obidei fic ever created and therefore making it an Obidei classic.
  • I Live for your Hatred by toxicwaste one of the oldest Obidei stories in AO3, and an example of Obito growing fond of Deidara and having feelings of guilt because everything Deidara knows about him is a lie.
  • Consequences by Lybra, it's a WIP and still ongoing. A slow burn revolving around war and mental health and how affected Obito the incursion of Deidara in his life.

Modern Setting AU

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  1. ^ Senpai means "senior" and kōhai 後輩 means "junior". Senpai refers to someone who is at a higher level, be it at school, work, a sports club, or a social organization.