Maaaaaaan, I went back fairly recently and actually watched the show again and THERE WAS SO MUCH SHIPPY GOODNESS I DID NOT REMEMBER as a wee mini Tari it was great.
Anyway, the first ship that I can consciously remember thinking, "They're a thing/they should be a thing." about was Sinbad/Maeve from a cheesy 90s Sword and Scorcery serial called Adventures of Sinbad.
They were real cute. Had a, "I'm so into you but I'm so gonna deny it with all my might." Tsundere type relationship, interspersed with moments of mutual comforting and concern for each other's wellfare. The kind of thing I would later really go for in my ships.
They were also hella canon. Everyone on the show could see it. People teased them mercilessly about it. They had a kiss! (One that sadly did not resolve the UST or led to them getting together officially but I'll take what I can get.)
They got dumped in the much-maligned second season, which retooled the show to be Darker, Edgier, and Sexier, and replaced Maeve with another love interest since the actress had to leave the show. I do... not have fond memories of Season Two. I think I deliberately avoided watching it, in fact, so I don't really have many memories at all.
But Season One is still pretty great.
2. Talk about three of the most important ships throughout your life.
The three most important ships to me are Aragorn/Arwen from the Lord of the Rings films, Robin/Starfire from Teen Titans, and Aang/Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Just... THESE SHIPS. Holy crap.
All of them were amazingly super formative of my likes and preferences when it comes to shipping and they're the ships that got me involved in fandom in the first place. Nearly everything I like about fictional couples can be traced back to one of them. They are the core of my shipper's heart, as it were.
Aragorn/Arwen, with its amazing Brooding Boy Gentle Girl dynamic that suckered me in like a pansy and instilled in me my love of Caring Supportive Maiden Love Interests and the Men Who Fight For Them.
Robin/Starfire, who solidified the above and added my thing for Badass Tag-Teaming Battle Couples, Gender Role Reversals, Mutual Care And Concern For Each Other's Wellfare, and Awkward Dorks Flailing At Their Feelings.
Aang/Katara, again solidifying the above while making me a huge fan of Cooldown Hugs, and The Power Of Love, the Protectoress/Chosen One dynamic, and being EPIC WITH A CAPITAL "E".
The vast majority of my ship preferences have these ships to blame. Later frequent preferences like my love of the Geek Boy/Stoic Girl dynamic would enter with Masahiro/Rina from Mermaid Melody and Motoki/Makoto from the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, and Shirou/Saber from Fate/Stay Night would start my thing for Love At First Sight, but the basic template was formed by Aragorn/Arwen, Robin/Starfire, and Aang/Katara.
(I would later geek out and flail about how EVERYTHING HAS COME FULL CIRCLE AGAIN when I fell for Kili/Tauriel from the Hobbit films for various rambly metaish reasons so you could consider them my unofficial fourth most important ship.)
3. What’s your current OTP?
The OTP that currently has the strongest hold over my heart and leaves me a flailing sobbing wreck whenever I see it is Kousei/Kaori, from Your Lie In April.
4. What’s your current NOTP?
There's actually kind of a laundry list of NOPE ships that remain pretty consistant across the board, lol.
Robin/Raven (Teen Titans), as always remaining a bland uninspiring flavorless ship with a glut of unpleasant shippers following after it.
Zuko/Katara (Avatar: The Last Airbender), still forever the top “Why the actual fresh hell were you so dumb and terrible, fandom?” of my experiences.
Hook/Emma (Once Upon A Time), which helped poison a show I loved so much that I ragequit and never looked back.
Gilgamesh/Saber (Fate/Stay Night), which I've talked about before and still cannot believe gets more attention and support than Shirou/Saber despite being a thousand times more gross.
Gray/Juvia (Fairy Tail), which is still stalled with zero relationship progress and no more moments that I actually like and which I'm tired of waiting to be taken seriously.
Dick/Babs (DC Comics), because in its modern incarnations the chemistry is boring as shit and the writers are also terrible about pushing it, bulldozing over Kory's character and Dick's feelings for her and his relationship with her and his Titan history in general.
Gale/Katniss (The Hunger Games), because the endgame to that love triangle was so transparently in favor of Peeta/Katniss it was ridiculous, Gale did not need to have a leg on that triangle, he is an unpleasant person not good for Katniss and I never bought his end of things or was fooled for a minute that he was a viable option and the distraction his romantic pursuit of Katniss offered was unwelcome and borderline Nice Guy creepy.
Bryce/Nicole (Flash Forward), because WHY DID THAT NEED TO HAPPEN YOU HAD A PERFECTLY GOOD WORKABLE LOVE STORY IN THE FORM OF BRYCE/KEIKO YOU DID NOT NEED LOVE TRIANGLE BULLSHIT AAAARRRGHGALGHALSFKHA.
5. Do you have any poly ships?
Nope. I am a boring monogamist what can I say? Lol.
6. How do you feel about love triangles?
Hate. HAAAAAAAAAATE. You could power an engine with my hate.
The vast majority of the time, I've felt, they are badly done. Either they make me completely not even care about the outcome or one leg is so obviously endgame it's ridiculous that there's even a competition. They are boring and unneccessary and a waste of drama and tension.
Also they intrinsitcally encourage shipping wars by their mere existance.
They've only rarely been done well and I'd rather see much much less of them in my life.
7. How do you feel about RPF?
Nghfl, I sorta get the appeal of seeing two people cutely interacting and thinking, "No offense, but y'all should totally date." but when it gets into making fanworks and basically treating actual human people like characters in your fandom it kinda crosses a line for me into a territory I am not entirely comfortable with.
I mean if the couple actually ARE in a relationship/married/together/whatever I think the occasional fanworks are okay. It's the speculating and prying and almost trying to control people's lives from a distance that I think is creepy.
With RPF that's mostly self-insert fantasy, okay, that's pretty common and harmless, but you really don't need to share it with the world. No one needs to hear fourteen-year-old's me's elaborate fantasies about how Elijah Wood and I would totally fall in love on this movie shoot. That's just... embarrassing.
8. Have you ever shipped yourself with a character?
*kicks loose pages of unpublished terrible Mary Sue Self-Insert fanfiction of me and Jim Hawkins/Luke Skywalker/Frodo Baggins into the corner*
What, no. Of course not. I have no idea what you're talking about.
9. Do you have many ships that never got together at all?
'Course that's mostly 'cause the list is long and covers a broad spectrum.
10. Do you ship any characters that have never met?
Several. Mainly in DCU fandom. Hey, if the fanart's cute and I think they'd have an interesting dynamic, you can practically get me to ship anything.
...Not really but still.
11. Talk about your favorite first kiss.
Yeah, I think my answer's definitely gonna be Sky/The Spirit Monk's first kiss in Jade Empire for all eternity for this kind of question.
Maaaaaaaaaan, I love this game and I loved romancing Sky. As soon as he appeared on the scene I was all over him, picking the flirtiest dialogue options, teasing him back and forth all the time... I was majorly gunning for the boy, is what I'm saying.
So their love confession and kiss right before the final battle, complete with beautiful scenery and epic sweeping music was amazing and wonderful and, as I seem to keep repeating no matter how many times I tell the story, so damn satisfying.
12. Have you ever been disappointed when your ship finally got together?
Nope. Even if the execution is terrible in getting them together, I never feel any guilt about my ship being together in and of itself. Not even Mako/Korra (Avatar: The Legend of Korra) could make me hate their love confession and kiss though they sure as hell tried hard.
I guess the closest that I've come to not liking my ship together is Charming/Snow from Once Upon A Time because they got back together in their cursed personalities first and before properly breaking up with Charming's former fiance turned wife in her cursed persona. So there ended up being some icky adultry infidelity dumbness and awful to get through.
...In hindsight I should have taken that as a warning sign.
13. Has a ship ever broken your heart?
HA HA HA HA *cries*
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE BOTTOMLESS DARK SPIRAL VORTEX OF FEELS THAT IS KILI/TAURIEL FROM THE HOBBIT MOVIES AND STOICK/VALKA FROM HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 AND MERLIN/FREYA FROM MERLIN AND KOUSEI/KAORI FROM YOUR LIE IN APRIL.
ACTUALLY LET ME NOT BECAUSE I WILL CRY.
Kili/Tauriel started out so wonderful and pure and sweet and innocent and he saw her in literal sparklevision and he breathed her name and waxed poetic about how, "She walks in starlight in another world." and even though I knew it was doomed from the beginning I still fell SO HARD and THE THIRD FILM DID NOT REMOTELY HELP IN ANY REGARD WITH THE "AMRALIME" AND THE CALLING EACH OTHER'S NAMES WORRIEDLY AND THEN HIM DYING TO SAVE HER AND HER HEARTBROKEN, "WHY DOES IT HURT SO MUCH?".
And then with Stoick/Valka, like, I wasn't even expecting to be COMPLETELY BLINDSIDED BY FEELS with them but then he just tossed away his helmet and looked at her so adoringly and whispered, "You're as beautiful as the day I lost you." and then there was married couple domestic blissfulness and they SANG A SONG and then the movie panicked and was like, "Oh no we can't have an intact family, QUICK KILL ONE OF THEM OFF." and-
You jerks. You heartless, heartless jerks, you didn't have to do that. *bawls*
And then Merlin/Freya was another doomed ship I knew was doomed but dammit they did it so well it still got to me.
DON'T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT KOUSEI/KAORI. JUST-JUST DON'T.
OH MY GOSH SHE LOVED HIM THE WHOLE TIME. FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. THAT WAS THE LIE IN APRIL. AND THEY BROUGHT COLOR BACK INTO EACH OTHER'S WORLDS AND INSPIRED EACH OTHER TO LIVE AGAIN AND SHE'S SLOWLY DYING THE WHOLE SHOW BUT SHE JUST WANTS TO MAKE SURE KOUSEI'S OKAY AND CAN STAND ON HIS OWN FEET AFTER SHE'S GONE, JUST LIKE HIS MOTHER DID WHEN SHE SUCCUMBED TO HER ILLNESS. AND HE NEVER KNEW SHE LOVED HIM BACK BEFORE SHE WAS GONE AND-
BLLLRRLBBJLKAJFASFFH nope sorry I can't write anymore there's something in my eye.
14. How do you feel about will they/won’t they?
Nghf, I don't like it. It's annoying and frustrating. I prefer for there to be as little of it as possible before they couple gets together so we can actually see them being a couple. A lot of fandoms never make it to that point and it's stupid and aggravating why are you all so afraid of stable happy couples being cute together writers?
In my book, there should be just enough teasing to make the audience really want it to happen, and then you should give them the payoff at an emotionally satisfying moment and let them enjoy it dammit.
15. Have you ever “shipped at first sight”?
First one was Keiichi/Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess), which had me from the opening theme like BAM with this bit where Belldandy descends lightly from the air into his arms. My brain was like, "THAT IS ADORABLE." and I fell in love like instantly.
And then in Aldnoah.Zero it hadn't even been like ten seconds into the episode and I saw Slaine and Asseylum interacting, recognized them from this adorable love song AMV I'd seen, felt my heart warming at their conversation and immediately began shipping it. We hadn't even learned their names yet for heaven's sake, self. What is wrong with you?
16. Talk about a ship you initially disliked.
Don/Robin, from Numb3rs. I had not remembered Robin being a viable love option previously and had really really loved Don and Liz, while they lasted. I was a bit hostile to Robin when she first reappeared back on the scene.
Numb3rs, however, had consistantly excellent writing and was able to win me over to the ship pretty quickly, by having Robin being awesome caring supportive badass girlfriend. I still prefer Don/Liz but I was happily able to settle for Don/Robin with no further qualms.
Also Sam/Carly from the live action Transformers movies. Again, had loved the previous Sam/Mikaela relationship and was all set up to be antagonistic towards the new love interest. Carly surprised me by having unexpected depths, for a Michael Bay love interest, and she and Sam were actually kind of precious. So my initial hate dissipated rather quickly.
And uh... Neal/Emma from Once Upon A Time. I wasn't fond of it when it first showed up but it soon became a vastly preferable option to the budding alternative. (See the question about NOTPs.)
17. Talk about a pairing you’ve stopped shipping romantically.
I stopped caring about the whole Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle on LOST loooooong before it ended lol.
Most recently I dropped Gray/Juvia from Fairy Tail because relationship progress kept stalling with them and it became clear they weren't going to have the type of couple dynamic that I liked and was hoping for from them.
18. Talk about a moment which made you question an entire ship.
With the aforementioned Gray/Juvia, the moment where he coldly rejected her and said he was going to be clearer about things he didn't like. A few chapters after he had saved her life by taking a bullet for her. In a better-written story this would normally be the point where maybe his feelings would start to shift, where he would start realizing he must care about her a lot more than he realizes, and he would need some distance to think things over and figure out his feelings. But that's not what we got. Instead, we got a blunt rejection and continued attitude of Do Not Want. And then much later more indecisive mush and Ship Tease that came too little too late and didn't mesh at all with the previous harsh rejection.
Does he like the girl or not? I don't even care anymore. Juvia can go be cute with Lyon inside my headcanon.
19. Have you ever shipped something despite yourself?
I am easy to please when it comes to ships. Thus I will occasionally find myself liking trash ships from trash fandoms because they're cute and I'm shallow.
Mako/Korra, for example. Legend of Korra did almost everything possible wrong when it came to them, starting the fourth episode of Season One onwards. AND YET, some battle tag-teaming and adorable hand-holding and cotton candy feeding were all it took to get me crawling back, bedraggled and soaked, onto the ship. And I've still got a soft spot for them, bless my awful shipper heart.
20. Talk about a ship you feel alone in shipping.
Speaking of Legend of Korra...
Where did all the Bolin/Asami shippers go? They just all sort of vanished partway through Season Two. I miss you guys come baaaaaaaack.
Also Ted/Babs (DC Comics). Like, no one ever even talks about them. What's up with that? Everyone too busy lusting over Dick Grayson? No love for two nerds who met via cyberspace?
21. Is there a ship you just don’t get, but have nothing against?
Most slash and femmeslash ships fall into this category. Ain't got nothing against most of them, am partial to a few, but... I'm painfully straight and relate much more to heterosexual couples.
Most crack and crossover pairings. Unless I'm really into them myself they just produce a vauge, "'kay." reaction.
Um... trying to think of a specific example here... Nothing's really coming to mind.
Oh! Red X/Raven and Speedy/Raven and Speedy/Starfire and Aqualad/Starfire from Teen Titans. Most Main Titan/Honorary Titan ships to be honest. Other than it annoying the crap out of me when Speedy/Starfire is used as a poor man's Robin/Starfire replacement or companion/spiteship for Robin/Raven, I really just have this mild, "But... why though?" kind of reaction to them.
22. Which of your ships have the best chemistry?
Dick/Kory (DC Comics). Aragorn/Arwen (Lord of the Rings). Charlie/Amita (Numb3rs).
From a purely subjective standard of course. :)
23. Which of your ships deserve better writing?
SO MANY. As I mentioned, I often find myself a fan of trash ships from trash fandoms.
Since it's the most recent sting of narrative betrayal I've suffered, I'll say Slaine/Asseylum. YOU HAD SUCH A PERFECTLY WORKABLE EPIC LOVE STORY IN THE MAKING THERE WHY DID YOU RUIN IT WITH COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY TRIANGLE BULLSHIT AAAAARRRRRRRGGGHHH.
24. Do you mostly ship canon pairings?
Yup. I'm easy to please and I like getting narrative payoff. What can I say?
25. Have you ever shipped a pairing before you even started watching the show/movie simply because of gifs and graphics or similar?
Me, re: Barry/Iris on the CW Flash show. Though from what I'm hearing about the story I might not wind up watching it at all, as it is sure to be mega frustrating for me, ship-wise.
Also sorta semi Ichigo/Orihime from Bleach. I'm not in fandom and I don't really plan to be but I kinda hope IchiHime works out, 'cause they're kinda cute and the wank would be glorious.
26. Have you noticed a pattern in your shipping? Is there a romantic dynamic you’re more drawn to?
Many patterns. Maaaaaany many patterns.
For starters, I really seem to have a thing for awkard nervous dorks who mutually care and worry about each other in Epic True Love. Basically two people who bumble and bluster around and about their feelings for each other but are nevertheless constantly supporting and encouraging each other and keeping each other safe and being super good friends and having faith and trust in each other, to the point where it gets pretty damn epic and "Hell yeah!" over the course of the narrative. (See: Robin/Starfire, Aang/Katara, Zuko/Mai, Lloyd/Colette, Peeta/Katniss, Shirou/Saber, Kirito/Asuna, Renton/Eureka, Superboy/Miss Martian, Cyrus/Alice, and many many more.)
I really enjoy the Brooding Boy Gentle Girl dynamic. (See: Aragorn/Arwen, Robin/Starfire, Jaune/Pyrrha, Zuko/Mai, Charlie/Amita, Batman/Wonder Woman and again many more.)
I super enjoy what I like to call the Geek Boy/Stoic Girl dynamic, with an enthusiastic adorable dorkwad boy who just adores his lady love interest and thinks she's the coolest and she's mainly just like, "Ur cute ILU." (See: Beast Boy/Raven, Nagisa/Hanon, Motoki/Makoto, Masahiro/Rina, Sokka/Suki, Sherlock/Joan, Bolin/Asami, Felix/Calhoun, Kid Flash/Artemis, Kili/Tauriel, AND ETC.)
I like Tsunderes in Love, usually overlayed with one or more of the previous dynamics as well. (See: Sinbad/Maeve, Mako/Korra, Damian/Mar'i, Beast Boy/Raven, Ron/Hermione, Tomoe/Nanami, Carth/Revan, Zelos/Sheena, Kid Flash/Artemis, and so on.)
Gender role reversals and Older Girl/Younger Boy will get to me pretty often. As will Battle Couples.
27. Is there a ship you’ve shipped for most of your life?
Believe it or not, NOT Sinbad/Maeve because there was a period in which I did not remember the show and thus did not remember shipping them.
However, Eric/Ariel (The Little Mermaid) has pretty much always been one of my ships ever since I was a wee mini Tari.
28. Does shipping come easily to you?
SO VERY EASILY.
29. Do you need to ship something to really enjoy a movie/book/tv show/comic?
I don't need to but it certainly makes things more fun.
30. Name a couple of fandoms in which you have no ships.
Blue Bloods, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Mass Effect, The Mentalist, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Person of Interest, Princess Jellyfish, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sailor Moon, Star Trek TOS, Star Trek: DS9, and ThatGuyWithTheGlasses/Channel Awesome.
31. Talk about one of your favorite headcanons for a ship you love.
Kirito and Asuna playfully insult and trash talk each other. They can get very creative sometimes. "Mr. Dragon Dung Dickface McGee" became one of Asuna's favorites, after hearing the story of how he met Liz.
32. Share five must-read fics.
33. Name your favorite fanartist(s).
Fateline-Alpha does some absolutely gorgeous and adorable Shirou/Saber fanart. She's great. Go give her compliments.
34. Share your favorite fanmix for your OTP.
I don't know if I even have enough in my "collection" to label a favorite. I think there are like, two or three?
35. Recommend 1-5 shipper blogs.
Ya-ssui does adorable RobStar fanart.
I don't actually follow a lot of shipper blogs, I just realized. Or at least the ones I do aren't super active. Shame.
36. Do you create fanmixes/gif sets/fanart/fic/fanvids and so on for you ships?
37. Do you have a favorite trope and/or AU for your OTP?
Pacific Rim Jaeger Pilots AU. :D
Magical Girlfriend AU.
"One party is kidnapped/hurt/in danger now you must LOSE YOUR SHIT and save them" trope.
"I have amnesia and don't remember anything except I think I love you" trope.
"Love at first sight" trope.
"Bodyguard crush" trope.
"We've been best friends forever but now I'm realizing I love you" trope.
"Wow he/she cleans up nicely wow wow wow" trope.
"THE POWER OF LOVE overcoming brainwashing/berserker rage/superpowered meltdown" trope. Cooldown hug or cooldown kiss optional.
"Died in your arms and now you're absolutely EMOTIONALLY WRECKED" trope.
Those are general ones. For ship-specific ones I have a couple too.
Robin/Starfire--For my OTP of OTPs I am ridiculously fond of the "Trapped together as Slade's apprentices" trope not to mention numerous different sci-fi-ish AUs like Underground Resistance In Galactic War, or Kidnapped Tamaranian Princess Fortuitously Sold To Good Spacefarers, or Conquered Earth Prisoner Falls In Love With Enemy Ruler. Things like that. Also weirdly fond of these two plotbunnies I have for a Fate/Stay Night AU and Hunger Games AU.
Zuko/Mai--Meeting Him Pre-"Crossroads" As The Blue Spirit AU.
Lloyd/Colette--Cruxis Member Lloyd Falls For Sacrifice Colette AU.
Shirou/Saber--Mages Cult Brings Saber Back And She Beelines For Shirou AU.
Kousei/Kaori--Kaori Lives AU.
Kili/Tauriel--Everyone Lives AU.
Kirito/Asuna--Fairy Dance Role Reversal AU. GIMME ALL THE FIC. GIMME. I NEED THIS LIKE BURNING.
38. Do you like and use ship names?
I don't mind 'em. If a fandom uses portmanteaus I generally will too. But I'm not picky.
39. Is there a fictional relationship you’d really want for yourself?
Who needs ficiton when I have the reality? Lol.
40. If you could change one thing about your OTP, what would that be?
Robin was emotionally constipated and kept shutting her out. He did seem to mostly get over that post-Tokyo but in the meantime BOY did it frustrate me.
Really, the two should've gotten together much much earlier.