Larry Stylinson: When Fandom Goes Too Far

Fantasizing about your favorite same sex band members falling in love with each other is all fun and games, that is until you refuse to believe they’re not actually together. The fans who shipped Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson together, aka Larry Stylinson really showed what toxic fandom really is.

Since the formation of One Direction, it was obvious to fans that Harry and Louis gravitated towards each other. And in the first year and a bit of One Direction, the boys played into their fondness of each other, especially Harry. But as they matured, and fans started taking their Larry Stylinson ship to conspiracy theory levels, Louis, who played more a background role in the band, was constantly hounded by the press about his and Harry’s relationship.

It’s been over a decade since the formation of One Direction and 5 years since the band went on hiatus, and Louis still can’t shake Harry Styles from his narrative. This week on the podcast we’re discussing why fans crave male on male affection so much, and how this hunger has led a subsection of One Direction fans down a toxic shipping rabbit hole otherwise known as Larry Stylinson.

Did you enjoy this episode? If so you might also like these past episodes of Name 3 Songs: Fanfiction But Make it Gay: From the Emo Scene to Larry Stylinson & Pete Wentz To Harry Styles: How Assumed Queerness Has Changed

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Sources for Larry Stylinson: When Fandom Goes Too Far

Why Does America Hate Cuddly Bromances? (The DailyBeast, Vlad Chituc, 2017)

The History and Nature of Man Friendships (Art of Manliness, Brett & Kate McKay, 2008)

One Direction fans have trouble separating their Larry Stylinson fantasy from Reality (Aja Romano, Daily Dot, 2012)

Larry Stylinson, the One Direction conspiracy theory that rules the internet, explained (VOX, Aja Romano, 2016)

Larry Stylinson Fanlore Wiki

A Brief History of Larry Stylinson (Paper, Brendan Davis, 2015)

What happened to Larry Stylinson? The One Direction bromance that collapsed under pressure (Heat World, Hannah Mellin, 2021)

Rainbow Bondaged Bair and Small Bondage Bair (Tumblr Post Explainer)

Louis Tomlinson is Going to be a Dad and the Larry Shippers are Freaking Out (MTV News, Madeline Roth, 2015)

Twitter is Sure the 1D Pregnancy News is Fake (Bustle, Leah Marilla Thomas, 2015)

There’s a Wild Conspiracy Theory That Louis Tomlinson’s Baby is Fake (Buzzfeed, Ellie Woodward, 2016

Larry Stylinson is a conspiracy hellhole involving two of music’s biggest stars (The Pitch, Maura Matvey, 2021)

Louis Tomlinson reveals pain of One Direction break but says ‘it’s what Harry wanted’ as he opens up about band’s future (The Sun, Dan Wootton, July 2017)

Louis Tomlinson on loss and love: ‘The dark side I’ve been through gives me strength’ (The Guardian, Emine Saner, September 2019)

“It’s affecting the way me and Harry are in public”: Louis Tomlinson pleads for the gay rumours to stop (The Mirror, Rachael Wheeler, 2012)

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