Created By: HalenJune 18, 2013 Last Edited By: GuilenOctober 5, 2013

Demon Classic

The stereotypical demon in Western works

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Like we have Wizard Classic for magic users, and other Archetypal Characters, there is this trope for demons.

While the term demon itself is applied as a catch-all word for magical and/or otherworldly beings and creatures hostile or at least distant to humans in works (especially in non-Western regions such as Japan, see Youkai), the image of the demon as it has evolved out of Western traditions and folklore, has a share of features:

  • Is ruled over by one notably powerful and/or influential being. Who chances are is a Satan analogue, if it isn't Old Scratch himself.
  • Chances are, will be Always Chaotic Evil, or at least hostile or distant to humans. If a single demon is portrayed more ​sympathetically, especially if the story is in a setting where demons are Fallen Angels or a fallen angel analogue, then chances are it will be a Ascended Demon situation.
  • Has horns, wings (that resembles a bat), a tail, is much larger than a human, or much smaller than a human. Or some combination of the previous.
  • Has a fork or trident.
  • Is red colored. See also Big Red Devil.
  • Hangs around in Fire and Brimstone Hell or somewhere that resembles it. If not, then chances are the demon will hang around in The Underworld.
  • Is a Fallen Angel. Alternatively is a ostracized member of a group of divine or otherwise otherworldly beings in the setting if there are no beings explicitly called angels.
  • Largely Male, if not exclusively so; If they aren't outright sexless, then chances are assorted demons will be male. Any non-males would be succubi or another one in the Horny Devils group.
  • Can be summoned and controlled; As seen in works like The Testament of Solomon, demons can summoned from someplace else and controlled by the summoner.
  • Association with forbidden and/or dangerous magic; While the Deal With The Devil might only occur with the devil himself (or an analogue of him), that's not to say that other demons can't have ties to Black Magic, the Dangerous Forbidden Technique, etc. In assorted works, demons can either show the learner how to do said magic, or can be used as a source for said magic.
    • And as a follow up to the above, chances are the more powerful of them will be seen making deals with mortals for power and fortune in exchange for their souls.

Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • June 18, 2013
    • Usually has waxy red skin.
  • June 18, 2013
    • The more intelligent or powerful of them are prone to making deals with mortals for power and fortune in exchange for their souls.
  • June 19, 2013
    How is this different from Big Red Devil?
  • June 19, 2013
    ^ the fact that's about the Mooks arther than Satan himself.

  • June 23, 2013
    Also generally have hooves, and specifically bat wings. See Big Red Devil -- Demon Classic looks like a Big Red Devil with bat wings. Actually, that trope already covers the appearnce angle of this, which would make this a subtrope?
  • July 6, 2013
    We have Our Demons Are Different, so we need some harder definition lines to make this a clear Sub Trope.
  • July 14, 2013
    I still don't understand how this is supposed to be different from Big Red Devil. As its description says, it's about characters/creatures that invoke the classic depiction of demons and devils.
  • July 17, 2013
    Yeah. This is just Big Red Devil.
  • July 20, 2013
    You can pothole Female Angel Male Demon from the "Mostly male" paragraph...
  • July 30, 2013
    I think the distinction between boss and minions is enough for a separate trope, personally.
  • October 5, 2013
    That distinction is not mentioned in big red devil though.

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