When a {{Voluntary Shapeshift|ing}}er's alternate form is mistaken for ''another'' monster by humans.

The [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent lore behind werewolves is myopic at best]]. Some werewolves are {{Voluntary Shapeshift|ing}}ers, others are {{Curse}}d or [[ViralTransformation infected]] with InvoluntaryShapeshifting. Thus, it's easy to assume that if you see any character working and living a human life by day, but running through the woods and howling at the moon by night, then you should at least pack a SilverBullet in case you run into them during a full moon... right?

WRONG. They're not ''that'' kind of werewolf. The UniverseBible defines the rules and requirements for being a "werewolf," and this individual doesn't fit the description of the creatures that bible ascribes the terminology to. But at least they'll forgive you--they must deal with this confusion all the time. Depending on the individual's demeanor, some may even play off the confusion.

A subtrope of OurWerebeastsAreDifferent and NotUsingTheZWord, where multiple kinds of werewolves exist in a work but the word "werewolf" itself is only used in-universe to refer to one specific variety. Contrast NotAZombie (where a person [[GenreBlindness refuses to acknowledge]] the existence of zombies [[TooDumbToLive when confronted with one]]) and ActuallyNotAVampire (where a normal person is mistaken for a supernatural monster).

If someone has to actually keep ''saying'' that they're "Totally Not A Werewolf", [[TemptingFate beware]]: They may also be MostDefinitelyNotAVillain, and one should consult InsistentTerminology for more details.

Should the {{Voluntary Shapeshift|ing}}er be mistaken for the monster by other members of ''its own'' species, this may be due to the romantic phenomenon of AttractiveBentSpecies.

!!Examples of being mistaken for a werewolf:


* The Franchise/MarvelUniverse has the mutant Wolfsbane from ''Comicbook/NewMutants'', who had to be reassured she was not a werewolf, as they were considered to be demons where she was from and her wolf-like appearance caused her much self loathing.
* Franchise/SpiderMan. J. Jonah Jameson's son the astronaut John, is not a werewolf but has an alien weapon that makes him look like a wolfman. He is considered a godly savior by said aliens.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[Manga/RurouniKenshin Hiko]] in Creator/{{Vathara}}'s ''Walk Through the Valley'' was mistaken for a werewolf by a member of LaResistance working with him at night because that's when his KaleidoscopeEyes change from blue to [[GlowingEyesOfDoom amber]]. He also possessed AbsurdlySharpClaws, which he used to tear apart the people who'd conquered Kwannon and their {{Mind Control}}led collaborators, when he wasn't hacking them apart with a sword. Hiko wasn't a BalefulPolymorph or a {{Voluntary Shapeshift|ing}}er, though; instead, he underwent a {{Metamorphosis}} into one of the more human-looking {{Cat Boy}}s in fiction, leaving him with no tail or any visible changes to his ears. Oh, and werewolves were ''not'' said to be real in this universe.

* While the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' are [[VoluntaryShapeshifting Voluntary Shapeshifters]] thanks to alien technology, in ''Megamorphs #3'', they meet some German soldiers and can distinctly make out one calling Cassie a "werewolf."
** On another occasion, she morphs into a wolf at an amusement park and gets seen mid-transformation. Fortunately, she happened to be in the park's haunted house, so the people just assumed it was AllPartOfTheShow.
** There are also books at least three books where they go to other parts of the world (the Amazon, Inuit territory and the Australian desert) and get mistaken for the local legendary spirits.
* In The ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' Saga, Sam Uley and his pack are not werewolves; they are shape shifters who can only turn into wolves. A clue to this is that they shift voluntarily, while werewolves in the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' universe can only change on a full moon.
* Literature/MercyThompson is a ''walker'', not a werewolf. Even if she does hang around with them a lot.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has at least five completely different magical creatures that could be classified as "werewolves," not one of which works in horror movie fashion. Getting them mixed up can potentially be fatal. The trope is averted because they're all referred to as werewolves and there is no InsistentTerminology.
** The unstoppably destructive loup-garou, a person cursed to turn into a wolflike demon. If you don't have its one, specific weakness handy, run.
** ''Hexenwulfen'', people using an addictive ArtifactOfDoom to turn into a wolf. Merely human when separated from the artifact, but beware BadPowersBadPeople. Because of its druglike effects, even someone who starts out with the best of intentions [[TheDarkSide doesn't stay that way long]].
** Berserkers, people who can channel animal spirits but don't actually transform. BadassNormal and crazy, but basically human.
** Actual werewolves, magic-users who know only one single VoluntaryShapeshifting spell. More dangerous than a real wolf because they have a human's mind, but they don't have the self-control issues of the previous types.
** At least one [[spoiler:wolf who can turn into a ''human'' at will]].
* Wolf from the ''Wolf & Raven'' TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}} short stories was originally intended to be a werewolf, until the author was told that Weres in that Verse are animals who assume human form, not vice versa. The character was therefore re-written as a human physical adept with an intense -- [[JekyllAndHyde sometimes too intense]] -- spiritual bond to the Wolf totem.
* Literature/DivineBloodNovels: As one of the ridiculous questions she has to discuss with her opponent Eija Semezou is asked whether she prefers vampires or werewolves. She protests that the layman's terms are too vague for a response. Some of the local goths mistake Eija and Hel for various supernatural creatures. They're actually underestimating.
* In ''Wolf in Shadow'' Rhian can transform into a wolf and people assume that she is a werewolf. Actually, her ability comes from an ancient Celtic brooch which is infused with the power of the sorceress/goddess Morgan le Fay who was the queen of shapeshifters. A character more familiar with supernatural matters concludes that this more closely resembles demonic possession and derives from ancient elf/fae magic. Werewolves are said to exist in that universe but their characteristics are not discussed. Ironically, a Totally Not a Vampire character assumes that she is a powerful witch who found a way to use wiccan magic to shapeshift. Totally Not Vampires are referred to as "suckers". While they feed on life energy contained in human blood and are damaged by sunlight, they are quite different from stereotypical fictional vampires. The people who have to fight them use [[InsistentTerminology insist on the name "sucker"]] to remind everyone of the differences.
* Oddly inverted in ''Literature/AWolfInTheSoul''. Greg fits the standard werewolf tropes a lot more than do the species of werewolves described in the mythology, of which he is not a member.
* In Creator/BruceCoville short story "Little Monsters," the protagonist finds little statuettes of monsters that turn out to be real creatures TakenForGranite. The one that looks like a werewolf, however, is actually their pet dog. During the full moon, he turns into a vaguely humanoid "wolf-man" creature.
* Bligh from ''Literature/TheDogs'' objects to be called a werewolf, preferring to be thought of as a kind of "half-dog" (or "dawg," [[FunetikAksent as he says it]]. The other characters that are changed into this form, Andrew and Cody, acquiesce to the title. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d when Stephen, Andrew's brother, asks them if they changed because of a full moon. [[spoiler:(They didn't.)]]

* Happens all the time on ''Series/DoctorWho'', although it is possibly a subversion. The Doctor has admitted he makes up some of the technobabble because he doesn't want to say "It's magic" so a "Lupine Wavelength Hamaevoform" fits the NotUsingTheZWord aspect of this trope. Also, the various Vampires from ''Curse of Fenric'', ''Smith and Jones'', ''Vampires of Venice'', ''State of Decay'', etc.
* ''Series/TrueBlood'': [[spoiler:Sam]]'s not a werewolf, he's a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shifter]], thank you very much. Werewolves genuinely exist--and yes, [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent they're different]]. He's not a big fan of [[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent werecats]] either.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' introduced "skinwalkers", who can transform into wolves (or dogs, at least) and are distinct from the ''actual'' werewolves who do transform with the lunar cycle, but into humans with evil eyes and bad teeth. However, they do share a number of characteristics, including the ability to [[ViralTransformation infect people by biting them]], and an allergy to silver. Not very surprising, then, that the brothers thought they were hunting a werewolf when they started looking into the skinwalker.
* ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' has "Blutbaden" which are wolf-like Wesen; the term used to refer to creatures on the show.
* In ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'', Tyler notices Caroline's abnormal strength and speed and accuses her of being a werewolf like him. She laughs and reveals that she's a vampire instead.
* In ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'', the 'werewolf' is their mentor, a Wolf Style master, whose energy was out of balance due to an attempt to ''rip the wolf spirit out of him'' by the BigBad a few episodes prior. Once he gets better, he becomes a [[SixthRanger wolf-themed Ranger.]] (He wasn't the series' first "werewolf," but they were NotUsingTheZWord back in ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce''; Zen-Aku was called 'the wolf beast' until they knew his name.)
* The main character, Maddy, of ''Series/{{Wolfblood}}'' is very [[InsistentTerminology insistent]] that she, her family and Rhydian are not werewolves, they are [[NoExceptYes Wolfbloods]].

* ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'': Vampires, werewolves, Pooka changlings, and mages all had powers which could let them turn into wolves. So what happened if you put one of each on a stage to perform this trick in front of mortal witnesses? The vampire gets the expected mundane reaction, the werewolf drives witnesses into hallucinations and denial, the changeling leaves all but the least banal of viewers remembering it as a vague dream, and the mage explodes because the universe doesn't like people turning into wolves.
** ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' too. Changelings, Vampires, Prometheans, Sin-Eaters, and Mages can all access powers that allow them to turn into a wolf or other animal, in addition to the actual Werewolves.
** Don't forget ''Changing Breeds''; that book contained rules for werewolf-like transformations... including wolves.

* In ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'', the Beasts in Yharnam are often being mistaken with Werewolves thanks to their furs and wolf-like appearance. [[spoiler: They are, in truth, a hybrid species of various creatures infected by the blood of [[EldritchAbomination Great Ones]] distributed by the [[ReligionOfEvil Healing Church]], and some are BodyOfBodies artifically created by the [[{{Necromancer}} School Of Mensis]] for their rituals. They are more close to [[ZombieApocalypse zombies]] rather than Werewolves.]]
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', the War Wolves of the [[NoSwastikas Fifth Column and the Council]] were created through scientific means. They are immensely strong, and howl like wolves, but they aren't actually werewolves.
* When the 2005 trailer for ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' was released, fans and reviewers quickly attached a 'werewolf' label to the depiction of Link being transformed into a wolf. Nintendo did respond saying that only the 'wolf' part was accurate; Link's transformation was revealed to be a FisherKingdom effect caused when Link is exposed to the Twilight Realm.
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' has the gypsies, whom the superstitious townsfolk think are werewolves. Their leader laughs at the idea, saying "Cross my palm with silver; you'll not see me flinch!" The hero has some experience with this, having befriended a tribe of Leopardmen in [[VideoGame/QuestForGloryIII the previous game]].
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' with Worgen druids, who [[NotUsingTheZWord are actual Worgen]], but can shapeshift into other animal forms through druidic spells unrelated to their natural lycanthropic abilities.
* A dialogue option in ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' allows you to mistake Beckett for a Werewolf in your first face-to-face meeting. He finds it funny. [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything Unless you're a Gangrel]]; instead your character fanboys over his power and asks if he can teach you that discipline.

* ''Webcomic/{{Sorcery 101}}'' distinguishes werewolves from ''wolf-demons'', which are sort of the opposite: supernatural wolves that can assume a mostly-human form.
* ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'' has a rather long arc starting out with both the heroes and the villains chasing something that appears to be a werewolf. The heroes end up catching a three headed guardian of the underworld. The villains run into an EldritchAbomination the former was trying to hunt down. There wasn't a single werewolf involved in the story, unless we count one of the heroes.

* Techwolf of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse looks like a seven foot tall werewolf all the time. He's not. He's just under a curse. And Bloodwolf can transform into a werewolf shape because he's a mutant: he's an Avatar who has captured the spirit of the werewolf. However there are real werewolves out there. And Paige has been turned into a werecat. (Werecougar, specifically…) In fact, the werewolves are the local Native American tribe.

* Timberwolf from the ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' cartoon is one of these, especially when first captured. Lampshaded by Bouncing Boy:
--> -looks at some scratches on Lightning Lad from Timberwolf-
-->'''Bouncing Boy''': Hope you don't turn into one of those things.
* One Halloween episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' had a mysterious wolf-like animal roaming through the city every night, and Goliath is seen researching werewolves as a possible cause. It turns out it's actually Fox, whose [[UnholyMatrimony engagement present]] is an ArtifactOfDoom. Her fiance Xanatos has no fewer than ''four'' plans to get it off of her.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' had an episode where Ben was attacked by an alien matching the description of a local werewolf myth, and the previously unknown [[PowerCopying "collect DNA"]] function of his [[TransformationTrinket Omnitrix]] activated, slowly transforming him into a duplicate of it. The cast drew the obvious false conclusion.

!!Examples of being mistaken for other monsters:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/ShamanKing'' has Boris Tepes Dracula, a descendant of the original Dracula whose family use shaman powers to mimic vampires. Specifically he uses blood as a medium to channel bat spirits, forming a cloak which can split into bats. When he bites someone he absorbs more blood into the cloak while injecting some back in - since this blood is still under his control he can then use the victims as PeoplePuppets.
* Arystar Krory from ''Manga/DGrayMan'' is an Exorcist who unknowingly gained an [[EmpathicWeapon Innocence]] that takes the form of fangs and compels him to drain the blood of [[TheHeartless Akuma]]. Since most of the Akuma he attacked were in human form, he thought he had become a vampire who was killing helpless humans.
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', witches are humans with the power to change into animals. Blair is an animal with the power to change into a human. It actually makes a huge difference, as Maka and Soul just needed Soul to eat one witch's soul to become a Deathscythe, but eating Blair's soul instead made them lose all the progress they'd made so far.

* The Franchise/MarvelUniverse has [[OurVampiresAreDifferent plenty of vampires]]. ComicBook/{{Morbius}} differs from the rest by his scientific origin (combined with DNA of a vampire bat), and the fact that he is very much a living being. How much this trope applies varies [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on the writer]].
* In the Franchise/MarvelUniverse anyone with super powers is mistaken for a mutant until their origin is known to the public. (Mind you, people prone to fearing mutants for their powers ''aren't'' likely to be comforted by the fact that for you it was [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks mongoose blood]] instead of [[SuperpowerfulGenetics inborn]].)
* In one arc in ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'', the characters' {{Masquerade}} is threatened by a journalist who, being WrongGenreSavvy, assumes that their near-immortality means that they must be vampires.

* The ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' has were-''[[SpiderPeople spiders]]'', of all things, imitating [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] (helped by both being blood-drinkers).
** Similarly, [[RevenantZombie the Risen]] also pass themselves off as vampires.
* ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'':
** Amusingly enough, fangame ''TabletopGame/DragonTheEmbers'' has the Werewolves, of all people, being the one ''making'' this type of mistake. A frequent reason they end up fighting Dragons is because they mistake them either for spirit invaders or people possessed by them, [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken both things they fight on regular basis]].
** In other fangame ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful'', it's very common for [[TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil Hunters]] to mistake [[MagicalGirl Princesses]] for another kind of "[[TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening witch]]".
*** An example can also be found on the antagonist lists for Princesses. Among the differents Creatures of the Darkness the Hopeful fight, there are two kinds, the Mnemosyne[[note]]humans who lost their last shred of integrity while [[TheCorruption Darkened]] but didn't have their body warped enough to become mindless monsters[[/note]] and the Cataphractoi[[note]]sentient Darkspawns born from the death of someone who crossed the DespairEventHorizon[[/note]], who frequently mixed up because they are both [[HumanoidAbomination completely human-looking]] and capable of [[MonsterLord controlling lesser Darkspawns]]. Making such a mistake actually is quite dangerous, since a key difference between the two is that Mnemosyne are {{Squishy Wizard}}s, while Cataphractoi have a ''very'' powerful OneWingedAngel form.
* A werebat from ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'s Children of the Night: Werebeasts'' made a point of dressing and acting like a vampire to throw off potential monster-hunters.

* In ''VideoGame/ThreadsOfFate'', when Rue transforms himself into a [[TheGoomba harmless Pollywog]] to sneak up on some bandits, the girl he rescues assumes that the Pollywog is his true form, and it takes a while for Rue to correct this mistaken first impression.
* A frequent point of comedy (and irritation) for Lady Zozo in ''VideoGame/CodeOfPrincess'', who gets called a "zombie" by just about every bad guy she meets. She constantly has to remind them that she's {{not a zombie}}, but a {{necromancer}}.

* Inverted in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2002-03-16 Sarah]] (because of her own bitter experience) and Elliot assume that Grace's transformation is the result of some [[MadScientist Tedd]]'s [[TransformationRay experiments]]. [[ShapeshifterDefaultForm Oops]]... Later a straight variant, [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-05-21 when we learn why]] Susan [[http://www.egscomics.com/egsnp/?date=2009-10-29 despises]] "[[Literature/{{Twilight}} vampire romance]]":
--> '''Grace''': "What was it? The monster."
--> '''Susan''': "It used to be human. Some people use magic to try and achieve immortality by turning themselves into parasites. The immortals call them aberrations, and... ''[beat]'' You know what? Screw it, it was a vampire."
--> '''Grace''': "Really?!"
--> '''Sarah''': "A vampire?!"
--> '''Susan''': "''No, not really'', but it was a monster that used to be human, hypnotized young women and sucked blood out of their necks. It doesn't matter what I say, you two are going to hear 'vampire'."

* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Mabel is seen dating a guy who is believed to be a zombie. After her brother confronts them with his findings, the "zombie" turns out to be [[TotemPoleTrench five gnomes standing on each other's shoulders]].