Ship Tease/Live Action TV

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  • Xena: Warrior Princess
    • In "A Comedy of Eros," Gabrielle is hit by Cupid's arrow, which causes her to fall in love with the next person she sees. She almost lays eyes on Xena but at the last minute, Joxer gets in between them. The sad fact is, Joxer didn't need Cupid's arrow to fall for her. He felt that way genuinely, so he is left in the lurch when she's "cured" and thinks there was nothing between them. There would be plenty of ship teases between Joxer and Gabrielle after that.
    • One semi-persistent tease was Xena and Ares.
  • After Paul Gross learned of Due South slash fanfiction, he started turning the Ho Yay between Ray K and Fraser Up to Eleven. They finish the series riding into the sunset together. Case closed.
  • In The Guardian's first season, Lulu was torn between protagonist Nick Fallin and her fiance, Brian. (Nick and the viewers knew Brian was a jerk, but Lulu didn't.) The preview for the finale showed Lulu telling Nick saying "We called it off...the wedding." Good news for shippers, right? Might have been, if the context in the actual episode hadn't been as follows:
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Lulu: ...So we called it off.\

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Nick: I think that's good. That's good. Lulu: No. We called off the big wedding and...we went to Atlantic City and got married.

  • Doctor Who writer Russell T. Davies seems fond of writing kisses between the Doctor and his companion solely so they can be shown in trailers. Both the last two season openers have done this. Both kisses were for Applied Phlebotinum reasons. In season two, another character had taken over Rose's body. The kiss in season three was explained by the Doctor as a "genetic transfer" to help Martha (whom he had only just met) get the attention of the Judoon by showing non-human traces on their scanner. The kiss in the season four trailer was inevitably something similar.
    • Similarly, the character of Romana was invented solely to tease the audience. She was another Time Lord of comparable age at the time Tom Baker was the youngest actor to have played the Doctor, they had brilliant on-screen chemistry (Baker even ended up marrying Lalla Ward, who played Romana II), but the writers just would not go the extra distance.
    • Let's not forget the kisses from the season one finale! Granted, Rose had absorbed the time vortex prior to hers, but Jack's was very likely thrown in just for the squee factor.
    • The season three finale surpassed all of these though with its truly epic Foe Yay teasing between the Doctor and the Master, ranging from the Master's orgasmic "I like it when you use my name" to the Doctor cradling the Master in his arms, sobbing, as he begs him not to die.
      • Then "The End of Time" took all that Ship Tease and just lit it on fire. "I don't know what I'd be without you." Awwww.
      • While definitely less blatant, Doctor/Master teasing is hardly a new phenomenon. "A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about", anyone?
    • River and the Eleventh Doctor flirt constantly and kiss four times (although only one of these was for purely romantic reasons, the others being an assassination attempt, rectifying the assassination attempt by healing the Doctor, and to restart time.
    • The Big Finish audio "The Boy That Time Forgot" does this for Adric/Nyssa. Hard. Nyssa confesses to Adric that she did love him once, and Adric is clearly in love with her to the point of insanity. The catch? Timey-wimey stuff has turned Adric into a mad, centuries-old man with a lust for revenge against the Doctor for leaving him for dead, not to mention having an entire civilization of giant genius insects at his beck and call. ...Yeah, it's pretty clear that They Won't.
    • The Sarah Jane Adventures seems to be getting a knack for this too, in the direction of Rani and Clyde. In The Vault of Secrets, they have the following conversation while holding hands:
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Clyde: Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference. Look, I know Sarah Jane doesn't believe in fate, but I reckon that Time and the Universe...They're not random. Everything's sort of tied together by these invisible strings. Like your mum joining BURPSS, or Ocean Waters having that disk thing.
Rani: You mean if something's gonna happen, it's gonna happen? [They notice they're holding hands and let go]

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      • And in The Empty Planet, Rani and Clyde are the only two ones left in the whole wide world. Clyde muses that perhaps, the one who stole away all humanity wanted the human race to start again; and as they're the only ones left, they've got the roles of Adam and Eve in that plan. Rani doesn't like the idea. At the end of the episode, when the human race is back again, they say that they'll never be alone - they've always got each other. As cute as it is, it's Ship Tease in its purest form.
      • The last story, The Man Who Never Was, is basically an hour of ship tease, as we first learn that Luke refers to them by their Shipping Portmanteau (a habit Sky seems to pick up) and then they have to pose as a married couple.
  • Some fans theorize that Peter Petrelli saving Claire in Heroes was set up so as to appear to be a ship in the making by a particularly creative writer, but then she was revealed to be his niece. Though this revelation hasn't stopped some of the shippers...
    • Or the actors, who have allegedly started dating. But then, they presumably aren't uncle and niece.
      • The latest season definitely seems to be trying to foster this ship. Don't worry about it; if you ignored ships between relatives in this show, you'd have nothing left.
    • Sylar and Mohinder have "trust issues."
  • The constant Ship Teasing between Jack, Kate, and Sawyer fueled much of the first two seasons of Lost.
    • Starting in Season Three, you can add Juliet into the mix.
  • Our good friend Joss Whedon employed the crueler variety in the last season of Angel, when after three years' worth of teasing, Fred and Wesley finally hook up...only for Fred to be killed and replaced with a demonic entity in the very next episode. But this is Joss. Sex and relationships only lead to suffering.
    • There was some definite ship tease between Spike and Illyria during the Hell part of After the Fall, but since the "Only Human" arc they have lessened.
  • He learned to do this on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Xander/Willow ship was hinted at from day one. But then in Season Two, Xander was paired up with Cordelia (taking everyone by surprise, but none more so than Xander and Cordelia), and Willow got together with Oz. The Xander/Willow ship seemed dead...only to rise again in Season 3, where Xander and Willow had to deal with a sudden mutual attraction that eventually destroyed the Xander/Cordelia relationship, and inflicted serious damage on the Willow/Oz one. Joss twisted the dagger with the very next episode, which depicted an Alternate Universe where Xander and Willow were together...as vampires.
    • Shortly after that, he began teasing us with the prospect of pairing up Cordelia with new arrival Wesley. They shared a kiss in the season finale...which was so awkward that it obliterated half a season of mutual infatuation in a single moment.
    • And then Willow was made into a lesbian, thus negating any meaningful relationship with any male character. And then her lesbian girlfriend Tara got killed off, leading to Willow going evil and eventually trying to destroy the world -- and who delivers the Cooldown Hug that eventually snaps her out of this? Xander.
    • In season 6, the episode "Tabula Rasa" goes crazy ship teasing Giles/Anya
    • "Band Candy" ship teased Giles and Joyce, while simultaneously bringing the actual chances of the ship occurring down several notches.
    • The season 7 episode "Dirty Girls" teased at Faith and Spike. At the time, Joss was trying to get a Faith spinoff off the ground, and apparently intended to have Spike on it.
    • In the season 8 comics, issue 28, Buffy comes to the conclusion she may have romantic feelings for Xander, goes to tell him, but catches him kissing Dawn.
    • Every episode with Faith and Angel(us) in it teases us quite a lot. First, her coming on to him, and then him pretending to be on her side, and then her practically idolising Angel "he's the only person who never gave up on me". Meanwhile, Angelus intends to turn her, makes her a giant welcome sign, and saves her from the Beastmaster for no apparent reason.
    • Giles and Ethan were written, acted and shown as unofficial lovers with enough Foe Yay between them that many fans didn't even realise at first that it was subtext. Whenever the two meet its always about why Giles left Ethan not why he doesn't mess around with dark magic anymore.
  • Done to a point that it started to get annoying in the first two seasons of The Big Bang Theory with Leonard and Penny. In the pilot she took a shower in their apartment causing Leonard to become even more flustered than before. Then in the season finale, Penny was drunk and kissed Leonard only for Leonard to be Above the Influence. Season 2 had them go on a date in the first episode, but he manages to screw that up. Then, in the Christmas episode, they both end up drunk and almost have sex. Only for him to screw it up again. The season 2 finale had Penny beginning to realize her feelings for him, but she Cannot Spit It Out and he leaves for 3 months on a research trip. Considering the Season 3 finale, it seems likely that it'll be teased in season 4.
    • Sheldon and Penny are blatantly teased in some episodes (mostly in ones where one or both sing Soft Kitty), despite Word of God (both the writers and the actors) saying the pairing will never happen.
    • Although there was a lot of teasing involving Howard and Raj being mistaken for (and acting like) a couple in the early seasons, it seemed to pick up quite a bit more after Howard became involved in a relationship with a woman.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future had a Ship Tease going on between Jonathan Power and Jennifer Chase throughout the series, but the latter's death and the show's cancellation ended it just when it really started to develop.
  • An early Farscape episode has D'Argo hallucinating that Zhaan is his long-dead wife, and making out with her, with Zhaan obliging to protect his fragile mental state. Lots of speculation followed that the writers were building to the two getting together, especially when the makeout session appeared in the opening credits for a while. Nothing ever happened.
    • Also, some of the very early episodes hint that Zhaan and Crichton would hook up, which was abandoned pretty quickly in favor of Crichton and Aeryn.
  • "Don't Ever Change", the last pre-strike episode of House, seemed to be taking a nearly unholy glee in teasing as many shippers as possible. In one episode, they managed to tease 13/Cuddy, Wilson/Cuddy, House/Cuddy, House/13, 13/Cameron, and House/Wilson. There's really no explanation other than that the writers, faced with the strike, decided to go out having as much fun as possible.
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Wait a second, this isn't just about the sex. You like her personality. You like that she's conniving. You like that she has no regard for consequences. You like that she can humiliate someone if it serves--[his eyes widen, long pause] Oh my God! You're sleeping with me!

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    • The writers have been doing this with House/Cuddy for ages. By season three it was pretty clear that he has strong feelings for her, but whenever they seem to bring it to a point where it could lead anywhere they drop it and ignore it for a few weeks, before starting it up again.
    • In season 6, the House/Wilson text has ceased to be anything even close to "sub", and entered a whole new realm of Ho Yay Shipper Baiting. While it's obviously there just for laughs, it's also clear that the writers are aware of the slasher-base, and have decided to take the "married couple routine" one step further. In one scene, Wilson publicly got down on his knees and proposed to House. It was completely part of a ruse and not real at all, but still, damn. Talk about a big shiny present for the House/Wilson shippers.
  • In Greek, the main ship is Cappie/Casey. So in one promo when Cappie wants to talk about dating with Casey, squees are heard far and wide. Then the ep airs, and Cappie tells Casey he's dating her arch-rival (and ZBZ little) Rebecca. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Shake It Up episode Add It Up brings a ship tease for the Ty/Tinka pairing. However, it's never mentioned again.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager has a huge following of Ricky/Amy, likely because they have a baby together. The writers picked up on it, and seem to adore teasing it/smashing it/teasing it again as much as they can. There have been quite a few previews with various characters saying "Do you still have feelings for Ricky?" to Amy or vice versa before fade to black. When the episode is actually shown, Ricky or Amy follows the question with a fierce NO!
    • Then there was the episode where Amy thought a guy she had gone on a date with hadn't called her back because she was a lousy kisser. Ricky volunteered to practice kissing with her, because they're friends and friends can do that apparently. They have a make-out session and squees were heard around the country. Then the very next episode the two of them insisted to everyone they hadn't felt anything from it. However, the smiles they exchanged with each other when they talked about it were enough to keep the hopes of the shippers alive.
    • There was also the episode of their son's first birthday party, where Amy ended up spending the night at Ricky's apartment. It's vague enough that she could have just spent the night....or she could have spent the night.
  • Justin and Alex in Wizards of Waverly Place. The movie is just one giant ship tease after another.
    • In a Season 3 episode, they pretend to be married.
    • Many seem to not care the situation in which Justin and Alex are situated and still believe they will probably kiss or get together at one point. There were so many questions from the fans, regarding their relationship, to the point where the creators of the show got used to them. In a live chat show, Word of God's reaction was something like this:
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Todd J. Greenwald: Oh my gosh, we got a Jalex question.

Fan: Are Justin and Alex going to end up together?

Todd J. Greenwald: (laughs) They are brother and sister, people.

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  • Kamen Rider Den-O featured the time-traveling hero Ryotaro and his Tsundere sidekick Hana. Over the course of the series, Ryotaro threw a lot of "my god, you're so sexy" looks at her, resulting in some pretty early shipping for the two. The finale revealing she was his niece from a destroyed future timeline sank the ship pretty fast, but to this day, people still wonder whether the show writers did that on purpose or whether the actor just couldn't stop himself from drooling over his fellow actress long enough to actually act.
    • The fact that Toei included Ship Teases like this in Kamen Rider Kabuto and practically every episode of Mahou Sentai Magiranger hints at the former though. Kamen Rider Double introduced Ship Tease between Wakana and Philip early on in the series, despite it being fairly obvious he would turn out to be her brother.
      • To be fair to Magiranger, everyone is related to begin with, so it's sort of unavoidable.
  • Anyone who watches Dengeki Sentai Changeman should know that episode 19 is a huge tease between Tsurugi Hiryuu and Sayaka Nagisa, starting from him being the only one to trust her after one failure nearly killed everyone, to Sayaka crying over Tsurugi looking like dying due to yet another error of her calculations, then topped off with the end of the episode where both of them are in the room kissing shaking hands with Sayaka being thankful for Tsurugi's continual trust on her.
    • Most Sentai series feature Ship Tease between the Red and Pink Rangers (or Red and White), whether or not they become an Official Couple. Satoru and Sakura (Go Go Sentai Boukenger), Takeru and Mako (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger), Riki and Haruna (Kousoku Sentai Turboranger) and Sasuke and Tsuruhime (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger) are all examples.
      • Shinkenger also hinted at the possibility of something developing between Chiaki and Kotoha. Sadly, nothing had come of it by the end of the series.
      • Boukenger appeared to have quite a bit of ship tease for Masumi and Natsuki, but Masumi's actor effectively sank the ship by stating in interviews that it was intended to be more like a parent/child relationship. Hasn't stopped the shippers though.
      • The Where Are They Now epilogue of Gosei Sentai Dairanger hints that Lin and Kou might have become a couple or married in the future. Fans are divided on this one since some shippers preferred the idea of Ryou/Lin, and Kou's age for most of the show (9-10 years old) would make a romance with Lin a reverse case of Wife Husbandry.
      • Engine Sentai Go-onger, which did not have a Pink or White Ranger, had ship tease between the Red and Silver Rangers, Sosuke and Miu, instead. Like with Chiaki and Kotoha above, nothing comes out of it.
  • Firefly continually teases both Simon/Kaylee and Mal/Inara. The latter's biggest moment is definitely at the end of "Our Mrs. Reynolds".
    • The comic spin off Better Days contains outright indications of Simon/Inara.
    • While River/Jayne shipping is something of a Base Breaker among fans, there is little denying they have several... suspect moments, such as the "Copper for a kiss?" line, or their fight in the Big Damn Movie involving Jayne wrapping his arms around River and her grabbing his crotch.
      • A small, brief scene in "The Shepherd's Tale", where Jayne talks to Book about things that will make sure he doesn't go to hell, and then gestures to River, saying he's taking care of her and affectionally calling her "jelly-brain," and she seems more amused by it than anything.
    • A conversation in "Ariel" featured warm golden lighting, and an extremely intimate shot of the two subjects sitting quite near to each other. It's Simon and River. "Safe" has River feeding him berries with the exact same candle-lit dinner atmosphere. This was probably done to highlight their platonic closeness, but taken out of context... (That's before considering when River, in a period of less-than-total-lucidity, asked Shepherd to marry the two of them.)
  • Smallville frequently did this with Clark and Chloe.
  • On Law and Order Special Victims Unit, the second half of Alex Cabot's farewell episode throws a bone to the Alex/Olivia shippers in almost every scene.
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"Stay with me sweetheart. Alex. Alex. Alex."

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  • Bones Season 3 is largely considered a tease for Booth/Brennan, well the whole show's purpose seems like a big tease for the OTP.
    • Bones/Angela, Booth/Angela, Bones/Zach, Zach/Jack(Hodgins), and Cam/Booth and Bones/Sully (even though most fans hated both official relationships, they had some shippers back in their day) have canon ship tease as well ("sweetie", Angela's near constant checking out/complimenting of Booth in the first few seasons, Zach looking very interested when told of Bones' grad advisor's relationship with her because she was "exceptional" and then saying something along the lines of "I'm exceptional too", and King of the Lab have all been cited as back up for their respective ships).
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles has more than a few indications of this between John and Cameron, not the least of which is a scene at the end of "Vick's Chip" where John, leaning over Cameron while she is still deactivated, stops to affectionately stroke her hair.
    • There's also some Ship Teasing between Future!John Connor and Cameron, as well as some subtle indicators of Future!John and Allison. It does not help that Cameron and Allison look exactly alike, and that Cameron can apparently become Allison in personality...
    • And in "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today", John and Cameron are shown lying side by side in bed. And she even tells John, outright, that she knows that "being John Connor can be lonely." If that is not a Ship Tease...
      • And she's extremely scantily clad (deliberately, she sheds her jacket before going to see John). Possibly this was meant to say something about John Connor's willpower...
    • Cameron is quite clearly upset (at least, as far as she is capable of being upset) when she discovers John kissed Riley in "Self Made Man."
    • The exclusive WonderCon trailer appears to be packed with this. Among the highlights are John getting extremely mad that Sarah suggests Cameron doesn't "love" him, as well as a scene where John is repairing Cameron's arm, and she holds his hand while doing so. And then there's the ending of the trailer, which shows John lying on top of Cameron in bed.
    • Cameron's little rant in "Samson and Delilah", which John didn't exactly deny at the time. There's been surprisingly little fallout from that.
    • There's also a little bit of teasing with Derek and Cameron, such as the scene in "The Demon Hand" where he ends up staring at her for a prolonged time while she does a ballet dance, and in "To The Lighthouse," which has very suggestive shots of Derek shoving Cameron up against a wall in close proximity.
    • If you want to head into that territory, "Allision from Palmdale" has some teasing between Allison and Cameron.
  • Early episodes of Fringe tease the fans insanely with the possibility of Peter/Olivia. Though it can be argued that they just have really really really good character chemistry whenever they're onscreen together.
    • The second season teases Astrid and Walter.
    • The out of left field ship tease of all ship teases happened in "Brown Betty." There is a scene with Astrid caring for a wound on Olivia's chest as Olivia describes the kind of man she is looking for. Obviously, the writers ship Oliva/Peter, but that doesn't mean that they don't mind playing with an out of continuity Astrid/Olivia moment.
    • And now they are obviously ship teasing Altlivia/Alt Lincoln Lee.
  • Pepper Dennis and Curtis Wilson on the tv show Pepper Dennis. It was mostly a tease for obvious reasons.
  • Queer as Folk is one big Stuart/Vince tease. They are obviously in love with each other, but what with Stuart's constant one-night-stands and Vince's reluctance to initiate anything, they remain in UST territory. They wind up together at the end of the series, but it is left ambiguous as to whether they are a romantic couple or not.
  • The first couple of seasons of Star Trek: Voyager appeared to be building up to a relationship between Captain Janeway and her second-in-command Chakotay, only for nothing to happen. According to the Word of God the whole issue was 'resolved' in the end-of-season episode "Resolutions", yet such hints continued throughout the series until the Last-Minute Hookup between Chakotay and Seven of Nine.
  • The X-Files, despite having an onscreen chemistry that was practically explosive, the writers ignored the dramatic potential of a Mulder-Scully relationship until just prior to David Duchovny's departure (and, arguably, until long-time fans no longer really cared). The 2nd movie resorts to cheap Hand Wave and It's the Only Way plot twists to play this aspect of the series down.
    • Given that the pairing of Mulder and Scully as romantic partners was supposedly accidental, there is a surprising amount of sexual tension and ship-teasing the first and second seasons. Like the neck-inspection scene in "Ice", with sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.
    • In the pilot episode, Scully goes to Mulder's motel room in the middle of the night, wearing a robe and not much else, and asks him to look at some marks that have appeared on her back. Then they seemingly have a slumber party. And this isn't deliberate?!
    • Scully's sister goes to Mulder's darkened apartment in "One Breath" (when Scully is comatose in hospital) and has a nice and tense conversation with him. Unsurprisingly, the writers later admitted that this was remnants of a possible relationship that had been nixed.
      • For being the remnants of a Mulder/Melissa relationship, that scene oddly seems to cast Melissa as a Shipper on Deck for Mulder/Scully. After chewing him out for being negative about her new-age ideas, she asks him why it's "so much easier for you to run around trying to get even than just expressing to her how you feel?" and that even if it didn't bring her back, "at least she'll know...and so will you." Though Mulder takes this to mean telling Dana that he feels it isn't her time to die, the way Melissa says it implies something different.
    • Chris Carter has said a good deal of that tension was more or less a happy accident, that came about mostly because Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny just have a crazy amount of natural chemistry. The writers took that and ran with it like a football.
    • There's also a good case for some shipteasing between Mulder and Krycek, particularly the kiss in "The Red And The Black"
  • NCIS ship-teases Tony and Ziva at every opportunity, no doubt to capitalize on the characters' massive Unresolved Sexual Tension.
    • As well as former canon pairing McGee and Abby.
  • John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir on Stargate Atlantis.
    • Rodney McKay, whilst experiencing a second childhood, is distressed and calls only for John Sheppard in the 'Stargate Atlantis' episode "The Shrine", despite the fact that Jennifer Keller, the woman he supposedly loves, is sitting right in front of him.
  • And before Atlantis, there was Stargate SG-1. Word of God says that the writers originally did not intend to create such a massive Ship Tease between Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter, but when they realized the fans were picking up on the impressive on-screen chemistry between Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping, they changed their minds.
    • Later in SG-1, General Landry and Dr. Lam are introduced in the same episode, and have quite a few scenes which seem to imply without explicitly stating that they have a prior relationship. Eventually it's revealed that he's actually her father.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation seemed to ship Picard and Dr. Crusher, especially in the Psychic Link episode "Attached".
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Crusher: Why didn't you ever tell me you were in love with me?

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    • Very notably in the episode "The Naked Now", where a virus of sorts makes everyone act as if they are drunk, and Crusher and Picard are very obviously attracted to each other.
    • The implied shipping is effectively delivered in "All Good Things", the last episode of the series. It's the future, and it's revealed that Picard and Crusher not only had a relationship, they eventually married. And then divorced.
    • This trope is huge in the first season, almost to the point that Wesley being revealed as Picard's son would not have been completely unbelievable. (It's especially blatant in the pilot, where Beverly seems to react oddly to a mention of Picard not having children and Picard seems very interested on learning Wesley is her son.) A lot of the momentum was lost, however, when Crusher was Put On A Shuttlecraft in the second season.
  • iCarly has teased multiple ships.
    • Carly/Freddie have iSpeed Date and iSaved Your Life dedicated to it.
    • The Sam/Freddie ship had the first Ship Tease with the episode iKiss and several big teases in other episodes.
    • Sam/Spencer had Sam come right out and tell everyone she had a crush on Spencer.
    • Carly/Sam are in a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship and Freddie/Spencer have a couple of moments as well.
    • In-universe, Carly had done some Ship Tease to Freddie, like asking Freddie if he wanted to taste her lip gloss, he closes his eyes.. she smooshes it onto her hand and rubs it in his face.
    • Dan Schneider wrote iStart A Fan War and ended it with Carly delivering a blatant Author Tract against how much emphasis Shipping has in the fandom. After a storm of fan criticism he wrote a blog defending the episode and confirming the Author Tract. It also said that an upcoming episode had an unspecified something that would please people. Everyone assumed it would be ship-related, and thus was another Ship Tease right after denouncing the Shippers.
    • Sam provides an in-universe example in that episode: At one point, to Carly's and Freddie's chagrin, she tells their shippers, "It's true -- Carly and Freddie are deeply in love" just so she can sit back and watch the Ship-to-Ship Combat with an amused smile...a popular motive ascribed to ship teasing writers.
      • The unspecified something turned out to be a Cliff Hanger where Sam kisses Freddie and looks like the start of a Sam/Freddie/Carly love triangle. iStart A Fan War: Don't watch for Shipping. iOMG: Here is EVERYTHING THE SHIPPERS HAVE EVER WANTED, and you've got 6 months to argue before the next episode airs to resolve it.
  • Nickelodeon's other teen show True Jackson, VP teased the main ship True/Jimmy all throughout season one with no resolution or hookup until the next season.
  • Given that it was created by Joss Whedon, it was a given that Dollhouse would feature quite a bit of this. Probably the most notable example occurred between Topher and DeWitt in "Echoes", which had number of fans wanting them to drop everything and have sex right there. "Omega" even teases Topher/Echo.
    • This is made worse with the reveal that Adelle isn't above hiring Dolls for romantic assignments with herself, and is willing to look the other way when other Dollhouse employees do it too. This allows for an extraordinary amount of pairings to be explicitly shown onscreen without any baggage in future episodes.
    • The second season premiere ramps this up to a new level. In addition to the expected Ballard/Echo and Victor/Sierra, there's some gratuitous Whiskey/Echo and Ivy/Sierra, as well as a rather disturbing Topher/Claire scene.
    • Echo/Bennett and Caroline/Bennett are both heavily implied in different ways.
    • The sheer mass of awkward, adorable moments between Topher and Bennett threatened to shatter the world. One of the most awkward moments comes when Topher tries to use his Doll-stunning "disruptor" on Bennett, thinking she might be an Active. When she asks him why he thinks she would be one, he flubs out a response, and then she says that there's no way she's an Active, as Actives tend to be perfect and beautiful and....oh....
      • A later episode featured Topher and Bennett kissing, which had shippers exploding with glee right up until Saunders kills Bennett. Talk about your Moment Killer...
  • Cleverly used by the writers of How I Met Your Mother. Barney and Robin have had a huge fanbase since season one, and in the season three episode Sandcastles in the Sand Barney offers Robin comfort after a breakup and the two of them get cosy at the bar before Robin asks Barney to come back home with her. Cut to Robin's apartment where Barney asks if she's sure about this and she insists that it is, prompting him to ask "So should I just...put it in?" And it turns out he's talking about her second Robin Sparkles video. Cleverly done because they actually do hook up in that episode, but when it happens they don't build up to it, it just happens.
    • Lily and Barney have been teased on a recurring basis for a long time.
    • In fact, in Season 4, they re-tease Ted and Robin, ending in a "backup marriage" proposal. This is for a couple that the show already broke up.
  • Castle is one big, giant, delicious, awesome ship tease for Castle/Beckett.
  • Tina Fey has said that her Thirty Rock character will never hook up with Jack, but she seems to be going out of her way to imply that they might.
    • Particularly in "The Problem Solvers."
    • We even had an episode entitled "Mrs. Donaghy" in which Liz and Jack are Accidental Marriage'd. It's done by the end of the episode. But serious trope-age here.
  • Skins does this quite a bit - most notably in the third series with the Cook/JJ ship. Teases (usually one or more in each episode) include Cook putting his hand on JJ's knee less then five minutes into the first episode, hugging JJ, kissing JJ's cheek twice, licking JJ's cheek, touching JJ's crotch while talking about the time they went to a brothel together, clinging to JJ while dancing, tickling JJ, doing a strange victory dance which consisted of grinding against JJ's thigh and not much else, pulling down JJ's pants (not seen, but described by another character) and grabbing JJ's head, pulling it into his lap and playing at 'JJ is giving me a blowjob'.
    • And somewhere around the middle of Katie's S4 episode, Katie/Effy teasing - which had been around as a kind of background for a while - suddenly kicked into overdrive.
    • LilyKat (the Actor Shipping version of Naomily) know about the shipping tendencies and are more than willing to play along. Particularly with the Lily's Perfect Date interview.
    • Mini and Franky repeatedly since the first episode of series 5. They took the teasing and ran with it in Grace's episode, when they are told to kiss in rehearsal for a play. The series finale will determine whether this is going to move beyond teasing.
  • In the second half of the season 9 opener of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Detective Alex Eames is promoted to captain and given the painful responsibility of firing her longtime partner Bobby Goren. Goren takes it well, which only fuels Eames's tearfulness, and the exit interview concludes with the only hug shared by the partners, as well as a remarkably lengthy kiss to Eames's cheek. After Goren leaves the room, Eames resigns, and both characters bow gracefully out of the show. As the relationship has been fraught with Unresolved Sexual Tension for years, it's clear that this is set up for the benefit of the shippers.
    • The characters return for the tenth and final season, in which Bobby is required to attend weekly counseling sessions with a psychiatrist. Said psychiatrist gives a nod to the Ship Tease in one episode by asking Bobby if he's in love with Alex (he denies it, a little too vehemently). In the series finale, Alex comments to Bobby that everyone wants to believe they can find true love. Later, she picks him up from his psychiatrist's office, smiling at him in a way that seems to indicate she's realized her own feelings for him. They drive away - still partners, still unconfirmed.
  • In The Mentalist, there's Rigsby and Van Pelt, who seem to be the Official Couple, and do get together, with somewhat disastrous results. Then there's Lisbon and Bosco, which, while canon, is almost universally hated by the fans. The crowner is Lisbon and Jane, which has included some fairly un-platonic touching, an anguished declaration of caring, which was heartbreaking, at least two Undercover As Lovers gambits, and one slow dance. Yuh-huh. Slow dance. Sure. You're just co-workers. How on earth would anyone think otherwise?
  • Up until the last season, the creators of Life with Derek did this with Derek and Casey.
  • Morgan and Garcia in Criminal Minds flirt constantly.
  • The West Wing had seven years of Ship Tease for Josh/Donna. It also teased C.J./Danny for quite some time before they finally got serious in the final season, and did a bit of Sam/Ainsley teasing as well.
  • On Stargate Universe, one of the Kino webisodes has a female soldier using the communication stones express an interest in Eli...while using Chloe's body. Just to make things worse, she is played by Chloe's actress (Elyse Levesque), while the normal convention has the character portrayed by whoever is using the body in question.
  • Rizzoli and Isles does this with the titular pair.
  • Merlin does this for every combination imaginable. 1st season had the creators teasing Arthur/his sister Morgana, Gwen/Merlin, Gwen/Arthur, and always, ALWAYS ship teases Arthur/Merlin. They've even ship teased Morgana/Uther.
  • Glee does this with every pairing you could conceive of -- and some you couldn't -- but fans are getting particularly invested in Kurt and his Sexy Mentor Blaine. Between the hand-holding, the casual touching, and the romantic duet, even NY Mag.com is saying "Make out, make out, make out already!"
  • Alex and Kuru from The Elephant Princess spend plenty of time hugging, grabbing each other's hands, and in one case, Alex kisses him on the cheek.
  • Harry and Nikki in Silent Witness.One kiss in the tenth series and nothing other than cute hugs with hints of potenial since. Nikki even comments on it.
  • On Misfits, the b-plot of season 2 episode 3 (in which Nathan, under the influence of someone else's Love Potion-esque superpower, temporarily falls madly in love with Simon) was a clever way of Lampshading the escalating levels of Ho Yay between the two characters, and appealing to the sizeable number of fans who ship them. In short, it gave the YaoiFangirls what they wanted without de-railing the plot or characters, and gave everyone else the opportunity to laugh their asses off at Nathan's outlandish seduction technique (which involved him gyrating around to George Michael's Careless Whisper in a highly misguided attempt at being alluring) and poor Simon's abject terror.
  • Red Dwarf: Rimmer and Lister kissing in "Blue".
    • The teasing for this pairing started as early as the second episode. "Two babies? How do I get two babies? (looks at Rimmer's crotch)."
  • Maddigan's Quest gives us Timon and Garland, who spend the first few episodes irritating each other, the next half dancing round each other, and in the final episode, openly flirting which, considering the form Timon's in at the time, is a tiny bit disturbing before Timon is finally forced to return home (several hundred years into the future, with the implication that they'll never see each other again).
  • A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode in which Lwaxana Troi gets a psychic illness that makes her project her affection towards Odo onto others, exists almost solely for this: We have Sisko/Dax, Bashir/Kira, Bareil/Dax, Jake/Kira, and Quark/Keiko.
  • All of the possible pairings between two members of the study group in Community have at one time or another been teased. Gets pretty crazy when even Abed/Pierce is given scene time with a montage of private moments set to music.
    • Jeff/Annie is at the start of Season Three, not even being teased. It's like a giant neon sign saying "these two will hook up some time this year". Geography Of Global Conflict has a big moment, but there was an earlier one where Jeff's dream sequence includes a line about finally sleeping with Annie.
  • Boy Meets World had a bunch of this between Corey and Topanga in the first two seasons before they get together for the first time in the season 3 premiere. These included the kiss against the lockers from her debut appearance in early season 1, and the "You are you and I am I" speech from late season 2.
  • Ted and Peggy in Just Cause. The writers stick them together for three episodes that make it look like they're starting a relationship, beginning with him teaching her how to rollerblade and ending with her inviting him to a Christmas party at her parents' house. It's later implied that they talk regularly, although not necessarily that they're dating, but they never interact on screen again for the rest of the series, before or after.
  • The writers of Weeds have been consciously torturing the Nancy/Andy shippers since at least season four, what with them often sleeping in the same bed, constantly invading each other's personal space for no reason at all, Andy being in love with her, fake-out make-outs and tons of other teasing scenes.
  • Trailers for the fourth series of Merlin are largely centered on the famous Love Triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, with one scene depicting a Gwen/Lancelot kiss. It's shown completely out of context, and is currently fuelling most of the fandom debate.
  • Supernatural
    • The most popular pairing in the fandom is Wincest between Sam and Dean. The writers know this and have tossed around both Ship Teasing and Ship Sinking with equal maliciousness. Zachariah states that the two are "psychotically, irrationally, erotically co-dependent on each other", one episode has the brothers going to Heaven and showing, that unlike the majority of people who each get their own little slice of Heaven, the brothers actually share one (another character explains that only happens with soul-mates), and Lisa, the girl who Dean eventually, finally, settles down to have a 'normal' life with comments on the relationship: "You two have the most unhealthy, tangled up, crazy thing that I've ever seen."
    • Archangel Michael's taunting Dean about his "precious little Sammy."
    • There are just as many (if not more!) teases for Dean and Castiel than there are for Wincest, given the innumerable times that Castiel has invaded Dean’s personal space (but almost never anyone else's) and the fact that he’s more likely to appear when Dean prays for him than if Sam does.
      • In “Point of No Return”
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Dean: Cas, not for nothing, but the last time someone looked at me like that...I got laid.

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      • In “The Third Man” Cas admits he likes Dean better than Sam:
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Sam: So what, you like him better, or something?
Castiel: Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn't going to mention it.

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      • One more in “My Heart Will Go On”
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Balthazar: Sorry, you have me confused with the other angel. You know, the one in the dirty trench coat who's in love with you.

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      • “Mommy Dearest”
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Dean: Why's it always got to be me that makes the call? It's not like Cas lives in my ass. Dude's busy...(Cas appears behind him) Dude get out of my ass!
Castiel: I wasn't in your...

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Watson: It's a good thing no one can see you.... ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk.

Sherlock: People do little else.

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  • The True Blood writers are infamous for freaking out their viewers with as many crack pairings and strange ship teases as possible. Bonus points if it's sex dreams induced by drinking vampire blood.
    • We have Bill/Sam (played Up to Eleven in season three) and Jason/Hoyt (dream sequence sex scene in season four) as the prime examples. But there's a lot more than that. Season two had heavy undertones for Sam/Maryann and season four gravitated towards Steve McNewlin/Jason in the season finale.