Supercarrier: fandom flagship. Everybody and their dog ships it. The fandom is glutted with artwork and fic. You cannot escape this ship.
Dreadnought: massively popular. Nearly everybody ships it. You can, with dedication, in theory, reach the end of the AO3 archive for the ship’s tag, but it’ll take a long time.
Cruiser: pretty popular ship. Not everyone ships it, but everyone knows about it. Has a good amount of fic/art, and probably multiple ask blogs.
Frigate: just plain popular. Feels like it could use more fanworks. New people to the fandom might not know about it, but they’ll stumble across it sooner rather than later.
Gunboat: bit of a rarepair. It might have an ask blog or two. A couple big name fans ship it. Probably only takes a few weeks to get through the entire AO3 backlog, and one new fic gets added during that time.
Tugboat: rarepair. Almost never seen except as a side pairing to a more popular ship. You can usually get through everything on AO3 in a matter of days. You’ve forgotten what it is to be picky about what you read.
Rowboat: less than a dozen people ship it. You all know each other. You exist in an endless cycle of the same five people desperately producing art and fic and one person who constantly contributes headcanons.
Canoe: you are one of maybe three people who ship it, and there’s a not-insignificant chance you’ve never encountered those other two hypothetical shippers. You spend your days paddling furiously in hopes of keeping the ship afloat, dreaming of the day you upgrade to a rowboat so you can finally rest.
Submarine: Quite a few people ship it, but nobody wants to admit to shipping it. Will randomly appear and throw the other ships into confusion.
Pontoon: that random crossover ship with that one black dress character/trope/fandom everyone will ship with everything else. Has the potential to turn into a massive party until someone gets sick and everyone goes home.
Pedalo: That iconic bizarre crackship whose proponents claim they’re only into it ironically, but secretly they’re all dead serious.
Barge: Not quite seaworthy, but buoyant in both the literal and figurative senses. Someone is always merrily drunktweeting about it at 11pm on Saturday night and then wistfully sobertweeting about it 4 hours later from their kitchen floor. The kind of ship that generates more playlists than fic. Artfully covered in trash and dirty laundry.
Raft: There’s two-to-four people who Ship It Hard and a few others who grab onto the side for safety when there’s drama on their usual flagship.
Barrel: There’s orphaned fic of it. There’s unsigned art of it. There’s headcanon asks on anon. Someone must ship it, but no one knows why or who they are. Your friend got a glimpse once before they ducked back down.
Pool Noodle: It’s just you, kicking your feet. You named the ship and wrote it on your noodle with a big sharpie. You tell people about it and are met with confused blinking. Most of the fics in the tag were either written by you or for you. You are caught between wanting to shout about how lovely life is on this floating scrap of whimsy and fearing that your noodle can’t bear much weight. Or worse, that someone will come over and dunk you, take your noodle and fwhap you on the head with it.
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