After watching Spider-Man: The Animated Series in 1997, we decided Venom and Mary Jane Watson were actually a better couple than Mary Jane and Spider-Man, and we haven’t looked back since. In case you’re new to the Internet, pretty much every TV show, movie or otherwise fictional couple has a huge fan base swooning over their relationship. It might be a well-established couple or the characters might have met once to sign for a UPS package, it doesn’t matter. Someone is obsessed with them declaring their eternal love. This is a phenomenon known as shipping, and it is 75% of the reason anyone even knows about Twilight.
Maybe we just spent too much time on Tumblr over the last twelve months (we really, really did!), but 2012 seemed like a year where shipping was front and center. From New Girl to Sherlock, everywhere we looked shippers were building onto the fictional universes they loved, mostly with smooching. So we decided to pay homage to the most passionately shipped relationships of this year as part of our Best of 2012. Don’t see your favorite couple? We probably just didn’t know about them yet, so inform us in the comments! 2013 is almost upon us and we want to feel that Venom/Mary Jane feeling again!
1) Joanlock, Elementary
Vulture asked a very important question earlier this year, which was “Why can’t Sherlock and Watson get together?” The Sherlock and Watson to which they referred is Johnny Lee Miller‘s recovering drug-addict take on Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu‘s former doctor Dr. Joan Watson on CBS’ Elementary. It’s no surprised other fans have been asking that very same question since the show premiered September 27. The show’s creators have made it clear these two ain’t getting together soon (or possibly at all), so enjoy fantasizing about their simmering sexual tension, everyone!
2) Johnlock, Sherlock
In that same post, Vulture pointed out “[m]ost Holmes and Watsons should get together.” Clearly the fervent shipping around Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman‘s John Watson on the BBC’s Sherlock, a relationship that was all over the Interwebs this year under the moniker Johnlock, supports their argument.
3) Wincest and Destiel on Supernatural
Who knew a show about two brothers fighting supernatural monsters would spawn so much fan fantasies about passionate man-kisses? (Just kidding! It’s the Internet; everyone should have known.) Obviously the CW show has been on since 2005 (and fan shipping fervently since day one!), but 2012 was the year even us nonfans heard about Misha Collins and Jensen Ackles’ Destiel and Jared Padalecki and Ackles’ Wincest. Also, Wincest! We just can’t get over it! What the human mind creates, are we right?
4) Clintasha, The Avengers
This summer The Avengers spawned a plethora of shipping across the internet (Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, anyone? Iron Man and Captain America, also known on Tumblr as Superhusbands?), but the most popular seams to be Clintasha, a.k.a. the sweet, sweet union of Hawkeye a.k.a. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Black Window a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Considering what a nerd boss Avengers director Joss Whedon is, we wouldn’t be surprised if he incorporated some fan shipping into the sequel. Or maybe we just want to believe that to get our own hopes up. Either way…squee!
5) Nick & Jess, New Girl
Ness? Jick? Yeah, Ness is slightly better. The crush that started last year continued with every quiet moment shared by New Girl‘s Nick and Jess in 2012. We know it’s going to happen eventually, but we can’t help but heave a sigh of frustration every time they pair Zooey Deschanel or Jake Johnson with a new guest star. We’ll wait forever, you two.
6) Delena, Vampire Diaries
Unlike the other shipped couples on this list, The Vampire Diaries‘ Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) already have a tangled past. Considering they spent much of this year apart and the show’s executive producer Julie Plec had to, um, plead with rabid shippers to please calm down before someone gets hurt, however, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that Delena is one of this year’s best ships. This fall’s finale isn’t going to change any of it, either. Maybe next year, Stelena fans!
7) Sterek, Teen Wolf
Even your mom probably knows about Sterek, the beautiful romantic union between straight Teen Wolf characters Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien) and Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin). (And when we say “even,” we mean your mom is probably the most prolific Sterek shipper on the Internet. Hey, she has a life outside you, you know.) While Sterek has yet to manifest itself on the actual show, AfterElton.com kept the Sterek love alive through 2012. As a result, for one brief, shinning moment our very own Vh1 Tumblr was even shipped with the AfterElton Tumblr. Vhelton: has there ever been such a beautiful word? This shipping deep cut is for you, Tumblr peeps. Of course, if the fact MTV’s Teen Wolf fan fiction contest received over 10,000 entries in 10 days is any indication, 2012 might be the last year anyone ever furrowed their brow and asked, “Shipping? I usually go with FedEx.”