Beware of The Bear spoilers ahead! Fans of the TV show have been shipping characters Syd and Carmy all over social media. There are different opinions regarding this pairing and we get to them all below.
The fandom of FX’s The Bear have been shipping Sydney “Syd” Adamu and Carmen “Carmy” Brazzato, played by Ayo Adebiri and Jeremy Allen White respectively, since the beginning of the series. After the premiere of season 2 on June 22, #SydCarmy fans are further convinced that the couple is in a love story that’s just waiting to happen. #SydCarmy is the hashtag that ardent believers use when expressing their faith in the couple. Fans took to Twitter and TikTok to explain why this slow-burn romance is inevitable.
If you aren’t familiar with the term “shipping,” it’s used when fans romantically link two or more characters from their favorite fandoms. These “ships” are conceptualized by fans and can either be canon or live on in the lore created in the fandom spaces.
Fans that believe in the duo’s platonic relationship have also taken to the social media streets to defend their stances. There is plenty of discourse around these beloved characters, despite creator Christopher Storer, the show’s writers, and Adebiri and White themselves, denying any chance of the relationship turning romantic. The act of “shipping” continues whether the fans’ vision is seen or not seen by the creators. That’s the nature of it; But with social media making it possible for all sides of the discourse to be heard, fandoms are louder than ever before. Let’s delve into the discourse surrounding #SydCarmy and why it’s worth talking about.
Syd and Carmy are a Slow-Burn Romance
"@ilovemarvellll The writers don’t want them together but them editors sure as hell do🤭 #sydneyadamu #carmenberzatto #carmyberzatto #sydneyandcarmy #carmyandsydney #sydcarmy #thebear #thebearhulu #thebearseason2 #thebearfx ♬ original sound – Athena🙈"
Fans were shipping Syd and Carmy since season 1, but there are a few scenes in this current season that shippers view as defining moments that prove Syd and Carmy are going to be another slow-burn relationship on TV. Think Pam and Jim from The Office or Jess and Nick from New Girl. Most pieces of evidence #SydCarmy shippers give in favor of this blooming romance revolves around the looks Carmy gives to Syd when she’s not looking. Edebiri even recognizes the power of Jeremy Allen White’s eyes. In The Cut article “Ayo Edibiri Does Not Think The Bear is a Sexy Show,” The Cut asks her what she thinks about White “spawn[ing] lots of horny tweets.” She responds saying, “He’s got those blue eyes…People on the internet are into it, I’m happy for him and it’s good for us…”
In the second episode of season 2, “Pasta,” one of the scenes playing out through the episode is Carmy and Syd working on some recipes together in Carmy’s kitchen, while also having deeper conversations about their chef careers and aspirations. There are moments when Carmy looks at Syd when she is not looking. Carmy introduces the ASL sign for “I’m sorry” to Sydney, which he learned from two chefs he worked with in the past. It was introduced to Carmy as a quick, respectful way to deal with conflict in the kitchen. This new short form is used to table arguments in high-pressure moments between Syd and Carmy in the restaurant throughout the season. It doesn’t look like that sign was taught to anybody else in the kitchen. Coincidence?
In episode 3, Carmy suggests that he and Syd go out together to revive their tastebuds and try out some food at some restaurants in the city for inspiration. He was to meet with her an hour after their cooking session together, but his new love interest Claire took over his attention and he stood Syd up. He sends over a late text telling her he had to bail. This visibly bothers Syd but she continues to do the work without him. Syd sees Carmy that night at the restaurant. He opens the door for her, leads her inside and he places his hands on her back as he passes by her, a scene used in many #SydCarmy TikTok edits that piece together alleged romantic scenes. Sydney sees that walls have been knocked down due to mold and other construction blunders. Sydney expresses to Carmy that she didn’t appreciate him making this decision without her being notified first. At first, Carmy responds sarcastically and moves in closer to her, as if to intimidate her, and there is intense eye contact. This intimidation doesn’t work, she just responds with “exactly” and moves away to claim her space back. Carmy then seems to notice the seriousness of what Syd is saying and gets clarification on how they should communicate in the future. There is more intense eye contact and there is some tension there. Richie even notices this tension and lets out a middle school boy ooh when the conversation between Syd and Carmy ends.
In the second to last episode, episode 9 of season 2, two crucial events happened that are very important to #SydCarmy lore. These two events are happening before the friends and family opening that night. During the first event, Carmy towards the beginning of the episode is having a panic attack in the alley behind the restaurant. We see flashes of montages of his girlfriend Claire. He is thinking about her to try to calm himself down, but traumatic scenes regarding his family pop into his head, disrupting the Zen place he is trying to create for himself. He only starts to calm down when Syd pops into his head. He replays the first time they met and he seems to come out of his panicked state immediately. This leaves viewers to believe that Syd has a calming effect on Carmy, something images of Claire couldn’t give him.
Toward the end of the episode, Syd and Carmy fix a table together. An emotionally charged dialogue starts happening while they shift positions under the table while trying to secure it. The scene is immediately intimate. They are in close proximity to each other, having an emotional conversation. #SydCarmy shippers were wondering if a kiss was going to happen. The conversation starts with Carmy apologizing for dropping the ball several times. He says “You deserve my full focus… It’s not Claire’s fault.” When referring to “Claire’s fault” he is referring to Syd being upset when she heard that Carmy was discussing the menu with Claire. He also wasn’t present during some aspects of the restaurant process because his new relationship with Claire was distracting him.
"Sydney says, “I don’t want you to think I was, like, being jealous or, like, bitter or whatever because that’s, like, not the case at all…I was scared and it came out wrong.”“What are you scared of?” asked Carmy.“I’m scared I don’t have what it takes to not f*** this up…you could do this without me.”“I couldn’t do it without you.”“Yeah, you could.”“No,I couldn’t, I wouldn’t want to do it without you…you make me better at this.”“You make me better at this,” replies Syd."
The conversation ends with Carmy gifting Syd a new Chef uniform with her initials on it, which is a callback to Syd admiring Carmy’s chef coat from his career in New York at the beginning of the season. Although the conversation was strictly work-related, the chemistry between the two actors is undeniable, helping the shippers’ case for them being in love with each other.
Sydney and Carmey Are in a Platonic Relationship. The Bear is Not a Love Story.
"@upatnightagain They’re literally the same fucking person. #TheBear #ChefsKiss #SeasonTwo #SydCarmy #CarmyBerzatto #SydneyAdamu ♬ original sound – Up At Night Again"
While #SydCarmy shippers are posting edits of the couple all over social media, the anti-#SydCarmy fans are taking to the social media streets to defend the importance of platonic relationships between men and women. In Roxana Hadadi’s Vulture article, they defend their belief that a show about a workplace relationship is more interesting than a romantic relationship. A romantic relationship limits the possibility of what Syd and Carmy’s storylines can be. In a workplace dynamic there is competition, career and personal development, and exploring the power dynamic within the relationship. In Season 2 of The Bear, Carmy and Syd’s relationship turns from mentor and mentee to business partners. During the last episode of the season, Syd proves that she is fully capable of running a kitchen by herself and handling high stressed conflicts. It will be interesting to see how the two work together after Carmy failed to reach his expectations and support his team during their opening night.
In the same The Cut interview mentioned above, Adebiri explains why there isn’t and can’t be any romance between Syd and Carmy.
"“I don’t personally think there’s anything romantic there! I don’t the show is a sexual one. These people don’t have…very robust personal lives. They’re devoted to their jobs. If anything happened between Sydney and Carmy, nobody would be happy. It would be disappointing and jarring and weird. I don’t think people actually want that.”"
A common sentiment among fans that want the pair to stay platonic is that it’s best for the sake of each character’s mental health. Both of their personal happiness is wrapped into the success of the restaurant and that sentiment isn’t healthy. Carmy is still dealing with the death of his brother and the trauma revolving around his relationship with his family. He’s also very hard on himself, which comes from the tough, harsh training he received in New York. It took a while for Syd to share that her mom died to Carmy, which could mean she still needs to process her feelings about losing her mother at a young age. Both characters don’t deal with stress the best way as well, so yet another reason to keep the relationship platonic and go to therapy.
They are each other’s Soulmates; Platonic or Romantic
"@marmaryeesa2022 Also how thinking of Sydney calmed Carmy down 😫 #fyp #thebear #thebearfx #carmyberzatto #jeremyallenwhite #ayoedebiri #sydneyadamu #fxonhulu #platonicsoulmate #tedlasso #tedlassoseason3 #rebeccawelton #jasonsudeikis #hannahwaddingham ♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) [2018 Remaster] – Kate Bush"
This group of shippers is in the middle of this conversation. They see the chemistry between the two but are not totally set on the idea of Syd and Carmy being in a romantic relationship, so they ship them as soulmates. Platonic or romantic. Some people that view Syd and Carmy as soulmates now, didn’t see enough chemistry between the two in the first season. Scenes in season 2 may have convinced #SydCarmy platonic shippers a romantic development in Syd and Carmy’s relationship makes more sense than they thought.
Syd is the only person in the show Carmy is completely honest with. He is not the best communicator, but he tries to work on his communication with Sydney and he seems to really care when he fails her. Sydney also challenges Carmy to be better and to respect their working relationship. This observation has been made by #SydCarmy shippers as well, but this could also be the case for keeping them as platonic soulmates.
Another conversation that came up was the importance of viewing love as something beyond the romantic. The duo’s emotional yet loving conversation under the table doesn’t have to be a sign that the couple should make out already, it could just be a sign that they each found a supportive partner that cares about them very much and understands them. This should be seen as enough.
Are Anti-SydCarmy fans racist? Anti-Black?
"@nawjuhh #greenscreen And just to clarify, I dont even ship everything I included in this video and this is not an exhaustive list. If I included every single IR ship I saw get the same criticisms, we’d be here all day. I’m just saying you guys need to either be honest about why you’re uncomfortable or find a new playbook. #thebearfx #sydcarmy #samcedes #dacey #bamon #scira #samsteve #sambucky ♬ original sound – Nah•Juh"
Passionate fans of #SydCarmy believe that people who aren’t willing to view Syd and Carmy as a romantic couple is doing so because Syd is Black. There are a few TikTokers that have called out this pattern in several fandoms, where fans have a hard time shipping characters of color with white love interests. Specifically calling Black women too strong and independent to be with the desirable white character, but not having any problem shipping a white woman with the same character.
When fans create ships there is an understanding that the ships will most likely never become canon, so when there is a fan adamantly scoffing at the idea of Carmy and Syd having a relationship it seems deeper than just being passionate about seeing platonic relationships on screen. If you can’t imagine two friends like Syd and Carmy falling in love, when the friends-to-lovers trope is a real thing, there might be another ulterior motive. In 2023, people still have problems with interracial dating.
“Shipping” is more than just fans playing around with the possibilities of their favorite worlds, it’s also about actualizing the desires of the shippers themselves. When Black women shippers are hearing that a character that looks like them can’t be with a character that looks like Carmy, who in real life is Jeremy Allen White, an attractive actor that played a hot bad boy on Shameless for years, they could possibly be feeling that they can’t even access the ideal in their fantasies.
Another critique is that not many people are shipping Syd with Marcus, the passionate pastry chef that is inspired by Carmy and Syd’s work ethic. Marcus is also Black and has clearly displayed interest in Syd. When he was in Copenhagen sharpening his craft, him and Syd would FaceTime each other whenever they could. Pretty romantic. Marcus asked her out towards the end of the season, but Syd prevented the conversation from moving forward. Is it anti-black to not see Syd and Marcus’ relationship as ship worthy? Is an example of Black love not fascinating enough for fandom discourse? All are loaded questions that don’t have simple answers.
Why Does This Discourse Even Matter?
"@1his1ove sydcarmy yup!! #thebear #thebearedit #thebeartvshow #thebearfx #thebearedit #sydcarmy #sydcarmyedit #thebearfxedit #shameless #lipgallagher #jeremyallenwhiteedit #ayoedebiri #christopherstorer #jeremyallenwhite #ayoedebiriedit #fyp #fypシ #1his1ove ♬ original sound – belle"
“Shipping” isn’t a trivial hobby that media-obsessed people fill their time with. It’s a way fans can mold fictional worlds in a way they can’t mold reality. The Bear’s world can be dark and stressful, but it has a lot of elements that a lot of people might aspire to have in their own lives: being a chef, being a person with dreams, having a team you work with that shares your vision, newfound family that cares about your well-being, and maybe the possibility to fall in love with a chef that can make you a romantic dinner in his sleep.
The discourse on social media is filled with people advocating for a type of reality they might want for themselves. #SydCarmy shippers might want to fall in love with their business partner who gets them and anti #SydCarmy shippers might just want a safe, loving friendship with someone of the opposite sex. No matter what side of the conversation you’re on, you can respect the human need to want to get what you desire; And sometimes the closest thing you can get is your favorite TV characters fulfilling those desires for you.
What did you think about season 2 of The Bear? Do you ship Syd and Carmy? Let us know in the comments below!
The writers don’t want them together but them editors sure as hell do🤭 #sydneyadamu #carmenberzatto #carmyberzatto #sydneyandcarmy #carmyandsydney #sydcarmy #thebear #thebearhulu #thebearseason2 #thebearfx
Also how thinking of Sydney calmed Carmy down 😫 #fyp #thebear #thebearfx #carmyberzatto #jeremyallenwhite #ayoedebiri #sydneyadamu #fxonhulu #platonicsoulmate #tedlasso #tedlassoseason3 #rebeccawelton #jasonsudeikis #hannahwaddingham
#greenscreen And just to clarify, I dont even ship everything I included in this video and this is not an exhaustive list. If I included every single IR ship I saw get the same criticisms, we’d be here all day. I’m just saying you guys need to either be honest about why you’re uncomfortable or find a new playbook. #thebearfx #sydcarmy #samcedes #dacey #bamon #scira #samsteve #sambucky
sydcarmy yup!! #thebear #thebearedit #thebeartvshow #thebearfx #thebearedit #sydcarmy #sydcarmyedit #thebearfxedit #shameless #lipgallagher #jeremyallenwhiteedit #ayoedebiri #christopherstorer #jeremyallenwhite #ayoedebiriedit #fyp #fypシ #1his1ove