Created By: Earnest on June 24, 2011 Last Edited By: Earnest on June 30, 2011

Nocturnal Nasty

This creature hunts only at night.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Bored now. Daytime is the worst. Cooped up for hours. Can't hunt.
-- Vampire Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Wish"

This is for when a species of animal or monster, usually a Super-Persistent Predator or another highly dangerous beasty hunts and kills only at night. For whatever reason they don't go out during the day, at which time they tend to sleep or prowl their darkened Evil Lair.

It's not that they're Weakened by the Light (though that can be a prime cause for this trope), it may just be simple lifestyle, biology, or a tactical choice to hunt better. If the heroes are out hunting this Nocturnal Nasty and go Exploring the Evil Lair, then there's likely going to be a scene where they beat a hasty retreat into a sunny area where the creature dares not tread. If it's sunset, then the tension will ramp up as it slowly draws nearer to the heroes or closer to rousing.

See also Diurnal Nocturnal Animal and Nocturnal Mooks.


Examples:

Film
  • The creatures in Pitch Black are completly nocturnal, to the point that they won't enter lit areas.
  • Pumpkinhead is occasionally seen during the day, but never seems to actually do anything while the sun is up. For some reason, it always waits until night to start hunting and killing.
  • The Tooth Fairy from Darkness Falls.
  • ''Aliens'
    Newt: "They mostly come out at night. Mostly."

Literature
  • On Gor the wild sleen and the larl hunt at night. Domesticated sleen can be trained to hunt at any time. Larls can't be domesticated.

Video Games
  • Grues from Zork, which serve as a reason you can't explore dark areas and just guess where to go.

General
  • Vampires and werewolves used to fall under this trope, but more and more they are being portrayed in different ways and this isn't always the case anymore.
    • Many vampires live (well, exist anyway) by this trope. They can't go out in the daytime because they're Weakened by the Light to various degrees depending on the author. In many cases, being out in the sun will kill them.

Real Life
  • Truth in Television, of course (some theories regarding sleep claim that its main function is to force humans to find somewhere safe to rest at night to avoid them).

Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • June 25, 2011
    Bisected8
    • Truth In Television, of course (some theories regarding sleep claim that its main function is to force humans to find somewhere safe to rest at night to avoid them).
    • The creatures in Pitch Black are completly nocturnal, to the point that they won't enter lit areas.
    • Grues from Zork, which serve as a reason you can't explore dark areas and just guess where to go.
  • June 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    On Gor the wild sleen and the larl hunt at night. Domesticated sleen can be trained to hunt at any time. Larls can't be domesticated.
  • June 25, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    Many vampires live (well, exist anyway) by this trope. They can't go out in the daytime because they're Weakened By The Light to various degrees depending on the author. In many cases, being out in the sun will kill them.
  • June 25, 2011
    TBeholder
    Why not old good "The Children Of The Night" then?
  • June 25, 2011
    Gort
    "They mostly come out at night. Mostly" Couldn't resist.
  • June 25, 2011
    Earnest
    ^^ Better than the current title, but it might unintentionally pigeonhole it to vampires, at least that's who I've mostly heard the phrase applied to.

    ^ Aliens, right? ^_^
  • June 25, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    General
    • Vampires and werewolves used to fall under this trope, but more and more they are being portrayed in different ways and this isn't always the case anymore.
  • June 25, 2011
    LordCrayak
    Pumpkinhead is occasionally seen during the day, but never seems to actually do anything while the sun is up. For some reason, it always waits until night to start hunting and killing.

    The Tooth Fairy from Darkness Falls.
  • June 29, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    In the original Gamera vs. Gayos film Gayos was purely nocturnal as prolonged exposure to sunlight was fatal to it. In the 90's reboot this was altered to simply having light sensitive eyes -and by the end of the film it had evolved to overcome this weakness.
  • June 30, 2011
    Octagon8
    • Chaotic factions in Battle For Wesnoth fight better at night and worse at daytime and for this reason tend to show this behaviour. Special mention goes to the Undeads' Shadow/Nightgaunt, which is completely invisible at night.
  • June 30, 2011
    mooncake
    • Most of the hostile mobs in Minecraft spawn at night/in low light levels.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=6ba18hqlsywb16ninlq4z8vw