The 25 Most Fan Fic-ed Lesbian and Bisexual TV Couples of All Time

Every time we do a fundraiser we start feeling a little bit nostalgic around here because it never stops being surreal that y’all have kept us alive for over 12 years. 12 years! That’s a lot of time in the regular world but it’s multiple lifetimes in the internet world, where the only thing that ever really stays the same is that Facebook is the worrrsst. This year’s fall fundraiser is coming to a close — we only have a few thousand dollars left to raise! — so we’re looking ahead, of course, but also fondly remembering how far we’ve come. And really what better way to do that — for a publication that launched and is still carried on the back of Riese’s The L Word recaps — than to count down the most fan fic-ed lesbian + bisexual TV (and web series) couples of all time? Gay fan fiction is the internet at its very best!

If you haven’t yet given to our fundraiser, maybe consider a donation so we can keep giving these couples — and all the ones that will follow them — life in our recaps, reviews, Gay Emmys, year-end lists, interviews, and personal essays! Our TV Team works tirelessly to cover literally every gay thing we can. And either way, we’d love to hear your favorite memories of these babes in the comments!

For your records, there are 14 canon ships here, and 11 femslash ships, making 2021 the first year ever that there’s more canon couples represented in fan fiction’s top tier than non-canon couples.

This list was compiled with data from AO3, FF.net, and Tumblr.


25. Beauregard Lionett/Yasha, Critical Role

24. Allison Argent/Lydia Martin, Teen Wolf

23. Ivy/Harley, Harley Quinn

22. Cheryl Blossom/Toni Topaz, Riverdale

21. Peggy Carter/Angie Martinelli, Agent Carter

20. Lapis Lazuli/Peridot, Steven Universe

19. Thirteen/Yasmin Khan, Doctor Who

18. Eve Polastri/Villanelle, Killing Eve

17. Rachel Berry/Quinn Fabray, Glee

16. Sara Lance/Ava Sharpe, Legends of Tomorrow

15. Serena Campbell/Bernie Wolfe, Holby City

14. Asui Tsuyu/Uraraka Ochako, My Hero Academia

13. Santana Lopez/Brittany S. Pierce, Glee

12. Kara Danvers/Cat Grant, Supergirl

11. Root/Shaw, Person of Interest

10. Amity Blight/Luz Noceda, The Owl House

9. Jirou Kyouka/Yaoyorozu Momo, My Hero Academia

8. Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam, Homestuck

7. Laura Hollis/Carmilla Karnstein, Carmilla

6. Waverly Earp/Nicole Haught, Wynonna Earp

5. Korra/Asami Sato, Avatar: Legend of Korra

4. Adora/Catra, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

3. Clarke Griffin/Lexa, The 100

2. Regina Mills/Emma Swan, Once Upon a Time

1. Kara Danvers/Lena Luthor, Supergirl

Any of these couples surprise or delight you? Any fan fics to share with the class?


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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1449 articles for us.

77 Comments

  1. Surprised (but pleasantly so) to see some anime slash couples made it on to the list. I guess it’s no surprise that they are from My Hero Academia, given the huge global popularity of the show.

    [For those wondering, MHA has some trans representation but no canon sapphic rep that I know of.]

    • Sometimes even really popular romances that actually happen on a show don’t generate a lot of fanfiction. It really depends. There are only ten fanfics total about Hand aufs Herz on one of the sites they used to compile this list…

    • Nah. It’s more that most fanfictions were/are on blog pages/ independent websites/forums and just much more harder to account for.

      Same for South of Nowhere. For Xena & Gabrielle, Bering & Wells and Buffy ships and probably others.

  2. None of this _really_ surprises me because I have *cough* spent time browsing the f/f works with most kudos on AO3 but I am reminded of the time I told my sister-in-law that I stopped watching Once Upon A Time because of the queerbaiting and she had no idea what I was talking about and tried to tell me that it was “just me” who was so invested in the SwanQueen dynamic, so I pulled up AO3 and proved conclusively that it was not, in fact, just me.

    • I’m curious about research methodology.

      I do read Rizzles fanfic and the amount on AO3 is a lot smaller than the Supergirl Sawyer/Danvers fic on AO3. *

      Don’t know if that’s because there’s so much more Rizzles on FF.net never transferred to AO3 but it seems obviously in the early days of Rizzoli & Isles on FF.net the ‘ship check box search wasn’t available because early stories aren’t marked that way even though it’s honestly mostly Rizzles ship fanfic.

      * Sanvers results are skewed by them being barely there background in many a Kara/Lena or Kara/Cat story.

      • ohh, the tag thing would explain the lack of Xena/Gabrielle in addition to Rizzoli/Isles- almost every fic in either fandom is shipping, but nearly all of it would predate the ability to ship-tag.

  3. I’m actually not surprised to see who is at #1. But I’m surprised not to see the following ships that definitely had a lot of fanfics:-
    1. Rizzoli & Isles
    2. Bering & Wells <– this couple basically dominated their groups in all fanfic collection sites.
    3. Willow & Tara

  4. At first I was a bit surprised at how high Kara and Cat were on the list considering they had like, two seasons together, but then I realized that there’s probably a whole Mommi-centric AU out there where they have lots of adventures.
    I mean, their ship name could be Katra, which has a lot of crossover potential.

  5. Everyone who’s shocked older ships aren’t on here: 1. how many of the stories you’re thinking of are still online at all? 2. How many of them are up on multifandom sites like ff.n and ao3 that they used to make this list because you can’t easily compare fanfiction by volume otherwise?

  6. As a fanfic reader, I love seeing this list! My take-aways:

    – Happy to see Korra/Asami and Catra/Adora both in the top 5!

    – Thought Santana/Brittany would rank way higher on this list (only #13?!) – they have over 10k fics still up on FF.net alone!)… but I also know that thousands of fics have been removed from that site over the years.

    – Also was surprised not to see Buffy/Faith or Willow/Tara on here, but a lot of BtVS fics were probably hosted on dedicated sites.

    • I’m not as suprised on the HP stuff because most of the HP stuff at least on AO3 is complete trash (like there is so much Tom Riddle/Harry Potter fic there.. Like so much), and the femslash is like SO limited. I know, because I think I might have read all of it. I feel like most quality HP femslash stuff is on FF.net or on HP spesific website. Most quality HP fic really is.

        • The thing is the tag alone doesn’t give a good number. A significant part of the Alex/maggie tags are also a result of being background couple of Kara/Lena story. So those probably weren’t counted as Sanvers fanfiction.

          There’s a lot of sanvers, but maybe there wasn’t enough ?

          • They’re number 5 on Ao3’s list. It could be skewed due to them being in the background in fics but there’s still tons of people writing fics on them to this day. I don’t get how they came up with this list, they basically copied and pasted randomly from Ao3.

          • They’re number 5 on Ao3’s list. It could be skewed due to them being in the background in fics but there’s still tons of people writing fics on them to this day. I don’t get how they came up with this list, they basically copied and pasted randomly from Ao3.

  7. In a time of ancient dial up, HTML and raves…
    A land in turmoil cried out for a hero
    She was Xena, a huge lesbian forged in the heat of AOL
    The power…the passion… the subtext…
    Her fanfiction will change the lesbionic world.

    How did Xena get left out here? I’m about to stand up and have a Cathy Bates-Misery moment in the movie theater…

    These are missing:

    Xena & Gabrielle are number 1. PERIOD.

    Kathryn Janeway & Seven of Nine

    Buffy & Faith / Buffy & Willow / Willow & Tara

    I never watched Buffy so I’m not sure which ff pairing wins out over there, but even not having watched it I could see that it was an enormous fandom.

    Rizzoli & Isles – that show is proflific and I couldn’t even tell you what it’s about.

    Law & Order SVU

    These pairings had their own archives and often more than 1. Like a fanfiction.net JUST for Buffy. Just for Xena. Just for Seven etc.

    But I do get that it’s pulling data from only 3, albeit large archives. It would be difficult to count them on older archives, if they’re even still up. But I don’t think this should be called “All Time” more like “2021”. I am pleased though to see that Lena & Kara won so it’s not totally off. ;-) Also impressed Harley and Ivy made it onto the list. Must be because of their cartoon.

    • You know you left out a ship that’s in Ao3’s top 5 f/f ships right? What’s this website’s vendetta against them? Bias against them has happened multiple times. For a company that claims to be all about representation you sure love to ignore one.

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