[[quoteright:350:[[GuildWars2 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WereBeasts_copy_copy_6135.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[BearsAreBadNews Werebears]], {{Werewolves}}, and [[FullBoarAction Wereboars]], [[Film/WizardOfOz oh my]]!]]

->'''I'm looking forward to two fantastic monthly events now. One of which turns me into a vicious monster and the other one into a were-cat".''
-->-- '''Katie [=McBride=]''', ''Webcomic/TheWotch''

Werebeasts are creatures that can [[{{Shapeshifting}} transform]] between a human (or at least humanoid) form and an animal or animal-like form. They are also known as "werecreatures" or "were-animals". The prefix "were" comes from the Old English word "wer", meaning "man". The technical term for this is ''therianthropy'', from the [[GratuitousGreek Greek words]] for "beast" and "man". The better known ''{{lycanthropy}}'' comes from the Greek words for "wolf" and "man", and should only be used for {{werewolves}}. Such creatures can be found [[TheOldestOnesInTheBook in the mythology of many cultures]], and the myths have inspired the frequent use of werecreatures in modern SpeculativeFiction, particularly {{Fantasy}} and {{Horror}}.

By far the most common form of werebeast depicted in fiction inspired by European folklore is the [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Werewolf]], but many stories use other animals as the basis of their werebeasts. Some of these are inspired by pre-existing mythologies and others are purely the invention of the authors. Other than wolves, potentially dangerous predatory mammals such as cats, panthers, lions and bears are the most frequently depicted werebeasts. However, many other types of creature has been used as the basis of a werebeast. Sometimes authors use normally harmless creatures as the basis of a werecreature for the sake of RuleOfCute or RuleOfFunny. Some works will even use extremely unconventional ideas such as were''cars''. It should also be noted that while werebeasts normally have humanoid shapes as their default form, sometimes a work will reverse the order and make a werebeast an animal that [[HumanityEnsues transforms into a human]]. The wolf version of this is sometimes called a "wolfwere".

Werebeasts often have variations and characteristics similar to those listed on the [[Analysis/OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Werewolf Analysis Page]]. For more information see TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therianthropy Therianthropy page]].

This page is the SuperTrope for all therianthropes. The preference for examples on this trope is for creatures explicity called "were", however very similar cases of human-animal transformation can also be listed, if the nature of the character or creature is strongly linked to a specific animal species. Creatures that can turn into any sort of creature or multiple types of creatures should not be listed here, but on the pages for VoluntaryShapeshifting or {{Animorphism}}.


[[folder: Related Tropes ]]

* This is a SubTrope to OurMonstersAreDifferent and {{Animorphism}}.
* WerebeastTropes lists tropes related to werebeasts, including werewolves.
* SkinWalker is a Native American multi-animal shape-shifter capable of taking other human forms.
* {{Youkai}} are Japanese supernatural creatures that are sometimes depicted as having features similar to werebeasts. Examples of these should be listed under that trope.
* See SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism for information on other tropes related to the combination of human and animal features and {{Shapeshifting}} for other tropes related to changing form.
!!Example subpages

* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/AnimeAndManga
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/{{Film}}
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/{{Literature}}
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/LiveActionTV
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/MythologyAndReligion
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/TabletopGames
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/VideoGames
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/{{Webcomics}}
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent/WesternAnimation

* DCComics supervillain and {{Batman}} enemy Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom) is a MadScientist who [[ProfessorGuineaPig experimented on himself]] with a [[LegoGenetics serum]] that causes him to [[InvoluntaryShapeshifting randomly transform]] into a monstrous were-bat. Sometimes his wife Francine is also infected with the serum.
* In ''Thrud The Barbarian'' there was a werehamster. As expected, he was quite monstrous.
* The Marvel Universe features a few:
** "The Cat" was once just a costumed heroine, but a ritual was performed on her, transforming her into the werecat Tigra, who would go on to join The Avengers. Her costume was later inherited by Hellcat of ComicBook/TheDefenders. There's a tug-of-war between her human and feline instincts and which has the upper hand tends to depend on the writer. One day she's able to fly interstellar spacecraft, the next she's chasing and eating mice and unable to speak (except in cat noises).
** Ursa Major is a Russian superhero ([[StevenUlyssesPerhero real name: Major Mikhail Ursus]]) able to turn into a humanoid bear.
** Catseye was a member of the Hellions and was meant as an EvilCounterpart to {{New Mutant|s}} Wolfsbane. She eventually evolved to a [[FriendlyRivalry Friendly Rival]] instead.
** Gator Grant, a [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Thing]] foe, can shift between a regular human form and the form of a humanoid alligator. At least once, his transformation was allowed to continue and he turned into regular alligator. It did not last.
* In Fred Perry's ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', one of the main characters is one of the last Werecheetahs. Other weres include Lions, Tigers, Rats, and of course Wolves. Each subspecies is able to shift between human, animal, and a "Wolf-Man" styled hybrid form. All of the weres retain their rationality in each of their forms, although they need to learn to control their instincts during childhood. Although the weres are separate species, they are capable of spreading thirianthropy to Humans as a disease; they were originally created by a wizard as {{Super Soldier}}s before said wizard was betrayed. They have a HealingFactor for everything except attacks by another were, silver, magic, and Dwarven Steel.
* ''TangentComics'' has Wildcat, a teenage girl who transforms into a feral werecat when her handler says the word "Shazam".
* In the FurryComic Red Shetland, Eon is one of these (technically) of the Animal-Into-Man variety. Or...Normal horse into bi-pedal walking/talking horse. It's a curse thing.
* ''Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose'' has a were-cat named Boo Cat in a sexual relationship with a Vampire named Liquorice Dust. At least 3 of the vampire's friends don't mind, and have joined in. However, the same issue had a werewolf who had very different ideas on inter-species romances. It also featured an Anvilicious speech, a Stripperiffic Little Red Riding Hood costume, and an example of why you shouldn't try to force your tongue down the throat of an angry were-creature.
** Also, compared to the werewolf, the only male werebeast in the series, all of the female were-cats are more [[CuteMonsterGirl human-like]].

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' spy/supernatural/political/general murderous mayhem thriller ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5952595/1/Why-and-were Why and Were]]'', the dynamic balance of the city of Ankh-Morpork is upset by new arrivals, diplomatic staff accredited to an Howondalandian Embassy. For a long time, [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Angua von Uberwald]] has considered her own kind to be the only were-creatures still living on the Disc. But new arrivals from Darkest Howondaland prove her to be utterly wrong. The axiom about two kinds of creatures fighting like cat and dog is proven to be literally correct when Werewolf meets Wereleopard for the first time. Ankh-Morpork is suddenly a far more interesting - and dangerous - place to live in.

* Flippy T. Fishead had a song about becoming a Were''cow''. There is another were''cow'' which he is engaged to (who is female when human, and whom he "turned"). The how-and-why of the male-to-female transformation is not addressed.
* The music video "Thriller" by Music/MichaelJackson has Michael turn into a werecat. He also changed to and from a panther in the hyperextended "Black or White" video.
* Similarly enough, the Bjork music video ''Hunter'' had her changing back and forth into a bear and back into herself. Although she seemed to be holding back her bear transformation.

* A werecat character, Toralei Stripe, was introduced in the ''Franchise/MonsterHigh'' doll collection.

* In NewVindicators, there are several Neo-Sapiens who have powers that turn them into a humanoid animal. This ranges from Otso, who turns into a man-bear (and in an alternate universe, turns into a man-narwhal), to Doug Droll, who turns into a man-quail, and many more.
* The ''WhateleyUniverse'' has several "weres" that draw from numerous different archetypes.
* The ''ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum'' have had a number of were-somethings, in include {{Werewolves}}, [[EverythingsBetterwithPenguins werepenguins]], weretigers, werehawks, and even a were-sea-anemone.
* ''Literature/AboveGround'' also features all kinds of werebeasts, although the predominant one remains werewolves. Whatever their animal type, their bite is not infectious: it is a trait inherited genetically. Furthermore, the weres are {{Voluntary Shapeshift|ing}}ers who learn how to control their change as they grow older. To be able to fully control the change back and forth is their passage into adulthood.
* [[http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/253/a/d/nsa_files__terrordactyl_by_shadow_aspect-d3jrbr5.png Adam Squall]], the AuthorAvatar in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' crossover fanfiction ''[[http://fav.me/d3jaeor Rise of the Galeforces]]'', is a were-''[[PteroSoarer Pteranodon]]''.
* Nathan, the Author Avatar in the Monster World series by [[http://monstermaster13.deviantart.com monstermaster13]] is a weregrinch.
* In the world of ''Literature/AStudyInMoonlight'', werebeasts are an exotic, and sometimes poorly understood, but well-known minority. The narrator is half werewolf, a minor character is a wererat, and werebears have been mentioned. Therianthropy can be infectious or inherited, therianthropes can only take mammalian forms, and they have to obey the conservation of mass.