Archive FAQ > Wrangling Guidelines - Relationships

This refers to tags users may input into the RELATIONSHIP field during story creation. Use this in conjunction with the Character guidelines. For more general information, please see the Wrangling Intro page.

Base Rules

Standard Format: All character names in Relationship tags should be in the same form as names in the Character Guidelines. List characters in alphabetical order by FAMILYNAME (and then GIVENNAME if they share a FAMILYNAME)

Note: For Characters who have only a single name, use that name for alphabetizing purposes. For characters with multiple or multi-word GIVENNAMES but no FAMILYNAME, alphabetize by the first GIVENNAME.

Note: In cases such as East Asian language fandoms where FAMILYNAME comes before GIVENNAME, order characters alphabetically by FAMILYNAME as per normal.

Note: Add the canonical character tag(s) for all named characters to the relationship tag in the character fields.

Romantic and/or Sexual Relationships

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name 1/Canonical Character Name 2

CANONICAL: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
SYNONYM: John Sheppard/Rodney McKay, John/Rodney, McKay/Sheppard, McShep
CANONICAL: Dick Grayson/Koriand'r
CANONICAL: Melena Thropp/Turtle Heart
Note: "Turtle Heart" is the character's GIVENNAME in two words.
CANONICAL: Uchiha Sasuke/Uzumaki Naruto
SYNONYM: Naruto/Sasuke, SasuNaru, Uchiha Sasuke x Uzumaki Naruto
CANONICAL: Bakura Ryou/Harry Potter
Note: this pairing is alphabetized by FAMILYNAME for both characters - Bakura and Potter are the FAMILYNAMES.

Friendship, Family, and/or Platonic Relationships

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name 1 & Canonical Character Name 2

CANONICAL: Rodney McKay & John Sheppard
SYNONYMS: John Sheppard & Rodney McKay, McKay/Sheppard friendship, Sheppard and McKay friendship
CANONICAL: Dick Grayson & Koriand'r
CANONICAL: Melena Thropp & Turtle Heart
Note: "Turtle Heart" is the character's GIVENNAME in two words.
CANONICAL: Loki & Thor
SYNONYMS: Loki & Thor - Friendship, Loki/Thor as brother relationship, Thor & Loki (familial)

Pre & Post Relationship

Make tags such as "pre X/Y" and "post X/Y", "some X and Y" etc synonyms of the appropriate relationship tag.

CANONICAL: John Egbert/Karkat Vantas
SYNONYMS: Implied John/Karkat, one-sided Karkat Vantas/John Egbert, this is mostly johnkat even though it doesn't look that way yet, Karkat Vantas/John Egbert (eventually)

Disambiguation

Most Relationship canonicals do not need disambiguation, unless both character names are ambiguous. As long as one character is distinct, ambiguous characters do not need disambiguation. If both characters are ambiguous, a single disambiguation at the end of the relationship is all that is needed. For more information on single-name relationship tags, see the Guidelines for Ambiguous Metatags.

Crossover relationships may require disambiguation on one or both tags - attach the disambiguation to the specific character it modifies. See below.

CANONICAL: John Sheppard/Todd
SYNONYM: John Sheppard/Todd (Stargate Atlantis)
CANONICAL: Adina/Daisy (Sorority Boys)
SYNONYM: Adina (Sorority Boys)/Daisy (Sorority Boys)
CANONICAL: Loki (Marvel)/Erik (Phantom of the Opera)

Relationships Involving Different Versions Of Characters

These guidelines deal with relationships involving characters of the types covered in the Pseudonyms section of Character tags. This can include relationships between a character and their own alter ego. In general, make relationships following the standards established by the character canonicals: canonize relationships using versions with separate canonical character tags; synonymize relationships using versions with synonymed character tags. Relationships can be subtagged according to the subtagging established by the character tags. Wranglers are encouraged to use their judgement about the fandom to decide what is appropriate in the particular case.

The following examples show how different cases have been handled in various fandoms.

Mirror James T. Kirk/Mirror Spock
Canonical tag, subtag of James T. Kirk/Spock. Two canonical AU versions of characters.
Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne
Canonical, synonym: "Amanda Clarke | Emily Thorne/Emily Thorne | Amanda Clarke". Two characters who claim to be each other.
Olivia Dunham/Alternate Olivia Dunham
A character paired with her canonical AU self

Relationships involving Multiple Versions of a Single Character

Relationships with non-canonical duplicated characters with the exact same name (such as magic doubles or clones) can at the wrangler's discretion be either synned to the singular-name relationship tag, or else canonized separately, . If canonized, the canonical relationship should be subtagged under the relationship tag with a single version of the character (contrary to the standard rules for multiple-person relationships, which should not be subtagged.)

Example: The user-created tag "Nathan Summers/Wade Wilson/Nathan Summers" can EITHER be:

Synned to Nathan Summers/Wade Wilson
OR
Canonized as Nathan Summers/Nathan Summers/Wade Wilson and subtagged under Nathan Summers/Wade Wilson

Note: These rules do not apply to multiple versions of characters who have different character canonicals. For example, a relationship tag Peter Bishop/Olivia Dunham/Alternate Olivia Dunham should be treated as a standard multiple-person relationship tag and neither subtagged nor synned to Peter Bishop/Olivia Dunham.

Guideline updated 3 July 2013

Relationships Involving Character with Self

Character A/her(him)self and Character A/Character A type tags (whether clonecest, masturbation, or otherwise):

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name 1/Canonical Character Name 1

John Sheppard/John Sheppard

Crossovers

For Relationships which contain characters from more than one different fandom, make the relationship canonical following standard guidelines and add it to all fandoms relevant to the characters, so the wrangler of the other fandom may correct their char as needed. Where there is no wrangler for the other fandom(s), use your best investigation/judgment for the canonical relationship tag.

Relationships with Unnamed, Original, or Generic Characters

Add the canonical (named) character(s) to the relationship tag in the character fields. Do not add the "Original Character", "Undisclosed", "Other", or similar to the relationship tag as these then clutter up No Fandom. (Abbreviated "Original Male Character"-like tags belong to No Fandom; the fully spelled out form is the canonical form.)

For characters requiring disambiguation in relationships involving unnamed/generic characters, the disambiguation should immediately follow the character's name.

OC, OFC, OMC, Original Female Character, Other Male Character etc.

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name/Original (Female/Male) Character(s)

Attach to the fandom(s) of the canonical, named character(s) only.

Note: Unlike character tags, relationship tags using named OCs should be made synonyms of the appropriate generic canonicals.

Note: Wranglers can optionally make Canonical Character Name/Original Character and Canonical Character Name/Original Characters canonical subtags to separate the singular and plural versions, if they feel it is important to distinguish between them. In most cases it is unnecessary (as the plural version can indicate anything from a poly relationship with a couple specific OCs to a series of monogamous relationships with unnamed OCs anyway.)

Note: Canonical Char/OMC and Canonical Char/OFC tags should be made subtags of Canonical Char/OC, if the latter exists (Canonical Char/OC does not need to be made separately, if no users have tagged for such.)

CANONICAL METATAG: John Sheppard/Original Character(s)
SYNONYM: John Sheppard/Original Characters
CANONICAL SUBTAG: John Sheppard/Original Male Character(s)
SYNONYMS: John Sheppard/OMC, John Sheppard/OMCs, past John Sheppard/OMC
CANONICAL SUBTAG: John Sheppard/Original Female Character(s)
SYNONYMS: John Sheppard/Dr. Astra O'Neill (OFC), John Sheppard/OFC, John Sheppard/OFCs
CANONICAL: John Sheppard & Original Character(s)
CANONICAL: Prowl (Transformers)/Original Male Character(s)

Relationships between Named Original Characters

When all characters in a relationship are named original characters, treat as with OC character tags: leave unfilterable unless they pass Rule of 3, and put in either a specific fandom (for OCs clearly related to that fandom) or in Original Work (for OCs not obviously related to a fandom.)

Relationship tags with Original Characters with ambiguous names, such as Jessica/Amanda, should be put in No Fandom (and made into ambiguous metatags, if there are existing canonical relationships which may apply.)

Mystery (withheld) characters, ?, ??? etc.

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name/Undisclosed

CANONICAL: Friedrich Weimer/Undisclosed
CANONICAL: Undisclosed Relationship(s)

Everyone, Everybody, All, etc.

When a named character (or characters) is paired with a generic such as "all the cast", the tag can be canonized separately as follows:

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name/Everyone

CANONICAL: Éponine Thénardier/Everyone

This format should only be used for tags using "everyone", "everybody", or "all". For more general "Character Name/Various" relationships, see the section on "Other(s)".

Other, Others, non-canonical objects

Character/Other, Character/Various, etc, can be canonized as follows:

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name/Other(s)

CANONICAL: John Sheppard/Other(s)
SYNONYM: John Sheppard/Various
CANONICAL: Prowl (Transformers)/Other(s)

Character/non-canonical object or concept tags can at the wrangler's discretion be either left unfilterable in the character's fandom; or else synned to Character Name/Other(s). In either case, relationships with non-canonical objects can be canonized if they pass Rule of 3.

Generic (no named characters)

Relationships with no named characters should be synned to the appropriate No Fandom canonical. The most common of these are as follows:

CANONICAL: Original Character/Original Character
CANONICAL SUBTAGS: Original Female Character/Original Female Character, Original Female Character/Original Male Character, Original Male Character/Original Male Character
CANONICAL: Everyone/Everyone
CANONICAL: Various Relationships
CANONICAL: Ambiguous or Implied Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: Canon Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: No Romantic Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: Undisclosed Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: Other Relationship Tags to Be Added

Guideline updated 7 July 2013

Character/You

Canonical Character Name/You and Canonical Character Name/Reader are both acceptable canonical formats (where "you" is the second person pronoun), to be canonized as users create them. "Character/You" tags should not be synned to "Character/Reader", but "Character/Reader" tags can be either synned or subtagged to "Character/You".

If your fandom includes a character named "You", disambiguate or metatag as needed.

Guideline updated 29 May 2013

Character/Any

This refers to relationships where the identity of one participant is unidentified and somewhat irrelevant to the story. The guideline is still under consideration; if you as a user have any comments, please submit a Support ticket to let us know your thoughts! (Wrangling volunteers, as always, can send us their thoughts directly to the email list.)

Relationships involving More than Two Characters

Users can tag any number of individuals in a single relationship tag. Threesomes and moresomes follow all the rules listed for pairings. Alphabetize as you would for any other relationship tag.

Threesomes/moresomes are considered separate relationships from pairings, and should not be made subtags of or otherwise linked to the two-character relationship tags that contain members of the threesome/moresome. Linking them creates undesirable results with the tag filters.

Note: If necessary, to fit under the 100 character limit, use only given or only family names, whichever makes the most sense for the fandom.

CANONICAL: Hermione Granger/Harry Potter/Ron Weasley
CANONICAL: Ronon/Teyla/Rodney/John


Note: If there are too many names to easily fit in a tag, then the common fandom pairing name can be used instead - please disambiguate if it's OT7 or the like!


CANONICAL: OT5 (DBSK)

Non-English Language Canons

This section covers canons that were originally either partly or entirely in a language other than English. Follow the rest of the relationship guidelines except where they conflict with this section.

Original Names Match English Translation Names

In cases where the English translation uses the same names as the original (including cases where the only difference is the order of the names) use the original language character names in their original name order.

This also applies if there is no English translation.

Original Names are Different from English Translation Names

In cases where characters have different names in the English translation than in the original language, use the following format:

Standard Format: ORIGINAL NAME A/ORIGINAL NAME B | ENGLISH NAME A/ENGLISH NAME B

Note:Alphabetize each pairing separately by the names used in that translation. If some of the characters have translated names and some have their original names, put both pairings in the tag. (If the name orders of the originally-named characters are reversed in the translation, then use that reversed name order in the translated-name pairing.)

Jounouchi Katsuya/Mazaki Anzu | Tea Gardner/Joey Wheeler
Jounouchi Katsuya/Kaiba Seto | Seto Kaiba/Joey Wheeler

Multi-Language Canons

In cases where the canon was originally in more than one language, the following format may be used:

Standard Format: ORIGINAL LANGUAGE NAME A/ORIGINAL LANGUAGE NAME B | SECOND LANGUAGE NAME A/SECOND LANGUAGE NAME B

CANONICAL: Bob Andrews/Pete Crenshaw/Jupiter Jones | Bob Andrews/Justus Jonas/Peter Shaw
The Three Investigators series was originally in English, but the canon was continued in German. (It's not just popular in German translation--there is original canon in German.) It was decided that the canonicals should be in German and English.

Alphabetization

Alphabetize by FAMILYNAME regardless of whether the names are in FAMILYNAME GIVENNAME or GIVENNAME FAMILYNAME order.

Alphabetize the original language relationship name by the original language character names. Alphabetize the English translation relationship name by the English translation character names.

Note: This may mean that the characters are in different orders in the two versions of the relationship. This is fine.

Alphabetize by source canon language conventions. In English, "van So-and-So" names are alphabetized under 'v'. In Dutch, the "van" would be ignored.

Other Guideline Pages