Nocturnal Nasty
This creature hunts only at night.


(permanent link) added: 2011-06-24 20:31:18 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2011-06-30 04:09:31)

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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).

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