Our Gremlins Are Different
Gremlins by any other name, or gremlins without a mechanical bent.
Tropeworthy? Needs Examples Description Needs Help Motion To Discard Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2013-05-11 12:34:28 sponsor: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-07-27 09:21:50)

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Gremlins tend to appear in just about nearly every form of media. However, sometimes, it appears that while gremlins do appear, they will sometimes act a lot different than how they traditionally act, or not actually be referred to as gremlins at all.

Compare/Contrast: Griping About Gremlins


Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura the escaped Clow cards go around causing gremlin-esque havoc until they are captured.
  • In Jinrui Wa Suita Itashimashita, Small, adorable little creatures that are called fairies that use their limitless magical powers perform gremlin-like hijinks, including a penchant for machinery, are the cause of the collapse of human civilization to a post-apocalyptic/pre-industrial level.

Film - Animated
  • Stitch from Lilo & Stitch. Although he's an alien genetic experiment / intergalactic criminal, he looks and acts like a gremlin. By extension, the pantheon of almost 700 individual bred-for-havoc creatures that appear in the television spin-off would also be gremlins.
  • Hexxus from FernGully is an oily cloud, so he doesn't look very gremlin-like, but he is able to possess heavy machinery and control it.
  • In Hotel Transylvania, there is a senior citizen gremlin with a walker, who spends the whole movie eating things that belong to others, and then quietly saying "I didn't do that." with an innocent sleepy eyed smile.

Film - Live-Action
  • The titular Gremlins from Gremlins are as we can expect (mischievous, mean, and prone to mechanical sabotage). However, what's different is that there is a premature state (known as a Mogwai) that's fuzzy and not malicious.

Literature
  • Pierre Dubois' La Grande Encyclopedie des lutins describes gremlins among all of the other fey, as spirits of technology. They are mostly benevolent (most of "human" inventions were actually gifts from gremlins) but can turn vicious if enraged. On the illustrations they're depicted as tiny, anthropomorphic wrenches wearing jeans and a safety helmet, but they can assume any form, including an oil slick, a patch of rust, or a computer virus. They also like popcorn and video games, which makes them true oddballs among the usually conservative and nature-loving fey.

Live-Action TV
  • Dead Like Me has creatures called Gravelings that cause fatal accidents by sabotaging machinery or setting up dangerous traps.

Tabletop Games
  • Gretchin/Grots from Warhammer 40K might be an example. They're the 40K equivalent of goblins, but they man the orks' enormous warmachines, often with nothing more than oilcans, rags and wrenches.

Western Animation
  • Mr. Bogus may be a gremlin, but while he may be rather clumsy, he is never actually shown as being intentionally troublesome, instead being depicted as a Nice Guy and a Butt Monkey.
  • In the Gargoyles episode "M.I.A", Elisa meets a cab driver who was around during the London Blitz. On seeing a war memorial incorporating images of two gargoyles (one a perfect image of her friend Goliath) she asks if there were any gargoyles around in WWII. The cabbie says "They tell stories of gremlins and the like..."

Needs More Examples
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