Wrangling Guidelines > 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.

Page Under Construction: These guidelines are a living document with the primary purpose of helping wranglers do their job. They are always under revision; examples may not be currently canonical tags but should accurately represent the guidelines as written. Additionally, some parts may be outdated and no longer in use but not removed yet.

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

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

If a tag contains emojis, please follow the guidelines listed here.

Guideline updated 1 Jan 2019

Romantic and/or Sexual Relationships

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name 1/Canonical Character Name 2/Canonical Character Name 3 and so on, for all characters in the relationship

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: Aomine Daiki/Kuroko Tetsuya
SYNONYM: aokuro, Kuroko Tetsuya/Aomine Daiki, kuroko/aomine
CANONICAL: Bakura Ryou/Harry Potter
Note: this pairing is alphabetized by FAMILYNAME for both characters - Bakura and Potter are the FAMILYNAMES.
CANONICAL: Hermione Granger/Harry Potter/Ron Weasley
SYNONYM: Golden Trio - Relationship, RW/HP/HG, harry / herimone / ron

Guideline updated 22 Aug 2018

Friendship, Family, and/or Platonic Relationships

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name 1 & Canonical Character Name 2 & Canonical Character Name 3 and so on, for all characters in the relationship

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)
CANONICAL: Haruno Sakura & Uchiha Sasuke & Uzumaki Naruto
SYNONYM: Dai-nana-han | Team 7 (Friendship), Sakura & Naruto & Sasuke

Guideline updated 22 Aug 2018

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)


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 and from the same source, 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: Camilla (Fire Emblem)/Toujou Nozomi
Note: In this example of a crossover relationship, one character has a single name with disambiguation, and the other is from East Asian media, using the FAMILYNAME GIVENNAME order. Note the alphabetization!
CANONICAL: Erik (Phantom of the Opera)/Loki (Marvel)

Guideline updated 07 Aug 2018

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.
Eighth Doctor/Thirteenth Doctor
Characters who reincarnate anew throughout the series.
Olivia Dunham/Alternate Olivia Dunham
A character paired with her canonical AU self

Guideline updated 07 Aug 2018

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
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


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, and Other Generic Characters

Add the canonical (named) character(s) to the relationship tag in the character fields. Do not add the "Original Character", "Everyone", "Reader", "Undisclosed", "Other", "You" 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.

CANONICAL: Jiraiya (Naruto)/Other(s)

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 involving a canonical character and named OCs should be made synonyms of the appropriate canonical for that character and the generic OC.

Guideline updated 18 Nov 2022

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: Alphys (Undertale)/Original 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 left unfilterable. Don't make ambiguous metatags unless usage becomes ambiguous, per the Relationship Metatag guidelines. Ignore relationships with only Original Characters when checking for ambiguity.

Guideline updated 23 May 2018

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 "Relationships with Others and Non-Canonical Objects".

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: Minor and Background Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: No Romantic Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: Undisclosed Relationship(s)
CANONICAL: Other Relationship Tags to Be Added

Guideline updated 4 June 2017


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


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 with Others and Non-Canonical Objects

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

Standard Format: Canonical Character Name/Other(s)

CANONICAL: Cullen Rutherford/Other(s)
SYNONYM: Cullen Rutherford/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.

Guideline updated 22 August 2018

Relationships involving Many Characters and Groups

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.

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. If using given names, do not take family names into account when placing the tags in alphabetical order.

Note: Always use the name of a group for alphabetizing purposes, not 'ensemble'. Specific characters should alphabetise by FAMILYNAME as per normal.

CANONICAL: Aradia/Equius/Eridan/Feferi/Gamzee/Kanaya/Karkat/Nepeta/Sollux/Tavros/Terezi/Vriska
CANONICAL: Enoshima Junko/Ultimate Despair Member(s)
CANONICAL: Audrey & Cookie & Helga & Kida & Milo & Sweet & Vinny
CANONICAL: Class 77 & Hinata Hajime
CANONICAL: Overwatch Ensemble & Genji Shimada

Note: It is very rare, but occasionally happens, that there are too many names to easily fit into a tag. In these cases, the common fandom relationship name can be used instead, providing it is sufficiently non-ambiguous.

CANONICAL: Les Amis de l'ABC Friendship

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:


Note: Alphabetize by the name before the pipe.

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

Guideline updated 22 August 2018

Multi-Language Canons

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


CANONICAL: Bob Andrews/Pete Crenshaw | Peter Shaw/Jupiter Jones | Justus Jonas
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.

Guideline updated 22 August 2018


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

Alphabetize by the name before the pipe.

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

Guideline updated 15 November 2015

Other Guideline Pages