Franchise / Monster High

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Welcome to Monster High, a Mattel franchise (launched in July 2010) centered around a high school for the teen descendants of classic cryptids from folklore, page, and film. The initial setup:

Kindhearted, clumsy 15 day old teenager Frankie Stein is just starting off at a new school and itching to fully experience life for the first time. She makes friends quickly - there's Draculaura, a chatty, friendly and slightly ditzy Granola Ghoul; Clawdeen Wolf, a neophyte fashion designer and fashionista; Lagoona Blue, a somewhat spacy but amiable champion swimmer; and Ghoulia Yelps, the smartest kid in school. There’s also Cleo de Nile, Rich Bitch and Royal Brat extraordinaire with Hidden Depths who rules the school's in-crowd with an iron fist, and her loving but long-suffering boyfriend Deuce Gorgon.

The dolls have been noted for their unique concept and high doll quality, including ball-jointed limbs, individual face molds and body sculpts for almost each of the characters — an impressive feat considering 50+ more of them have come along since the series' beginnings. (Create-A-Monster, Inner Monster, and a 17" tall customizable doll are examples of kits which allow for the more hands-on fans to create their own beastly besties.) A 4-book series of tie-in novels was written by The Clique writer Lisi Harrison, followed by the Ghoulfriends Forever series by Gitty Daneshvari, and two graphic novels written by Heather Nuhfer and illustrated by Josh Howard and Kellee Riley. The series' first Halloween special aired on Nickelodeon on October 31, 2010 and has been followed by others ever since. Currently the franchise is expanded upon via a series of CGI Direct-to-Video movies (excepting 13 Wishes, which had a brief theatrical run in 2013). A live action movie was initially confirmed for fall 2016 with The Duff director Ari Sandel before being removed from the slate indefinitely.

The doll releases follow a format. Usually, there are a couple of lines of variant outfits for established characters, a more uniquely themed line introducing a new character as its resident signature doll, and a wave of dolls based on the latest movie. Occasionally, dolls will be released alongside locational playsets.

A partnership with Lady Gaga has been announced, due to their shared emphasis on individuality and self-esteem, and Gaga's own monster themes made the pairing especially appropriate.

Special-specific tropes go to the respective pages in the recap section.


Freaky Fab Tropes:

  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: Sweet Screams is a twisted candy-themed nightmare induced by Draculaura sneaking some candy before bed. Turns out, the nightmare is simultaneous, and Frankie, Abbey, and Ghoulia are trapped in it with her.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Frankie gets in a love triangle with Jackson Jekyll and Holt Hyde, having no idea they're the same person, since they don't even know themselves. When it's revealed, they begin fighting over Frankie. Eventually she tells them she can't date either one till they work out their issues with each other. Neither element has been followed up on so far.
    • In the 2012 special Ghouls Rule it's said that long ago humans and monsters coexisted peacefully, with humans repaying monsters for assistance and protection. But that changed over time and now both groups despise and fear each other, with humans hunting for monsters at Halloween. After a series of events that almost included the death of a student, relations are restored and the special ends... that's all we've heard of human-monster relations since.
  • Accidental Athlete: Frankie in the webisode "Fear Squad."
  • Adorkable:
    • Ghoulia, Jackson, and Kjersti, and many others in their own ways.
    • Special mention goes to the mansters fangirling over Casta and the Spells after just hearing about her minutes before and providing the votes Monster High needed to bring her performance to their school.
  • Advertised Extra: Occasionally happens with the movie-introduced characters, who are sometimes sidelined next to the established main characters and play a smaller role in the plot.
  • Afraid of Blood: Draculaura, the vampire, has a tendency to faint even at the mere mention of blood.
  • All-Ghouls School: Except one Normienote .
  • All Part of the Show: In Boo York, Boo York, "Steal The Show" is a meta-themed ego number at the beginning, but then Luna and Catty come in to reclaim Catty's stolen voice and continue the song to call Toralei out. The audience doesn't know any better, and the conclusion gets resounding applause.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The official website has bios for all the characters and things like their favorite foods, colors, school subjects, and their flaws (which tend to be actual monster attributes rather than simple informed flaws). The dolls come with little diaries written by the characters themselves that talk about their daily lives. Even the licensed game has bits of continuity you won't get anywhere else!
    • This is even stronger in the case of Gilda Goldstag, whose only information is to be found online.
    • This is enforced post-reboot, as cut costs mean the reduced presence of diaries sold with the dolls.
  • Alpha Bitch: Cleo in Season 1. She then got some character development, and had to be replaced in her role as designated antagonist by catty Toralei in Season 2. She was at one point temporarily replaced by Cleo's older sister Nefera, who manages to outdo them both.
  • Alternate Continuity: The Lisi Harrison series of books, which has Frankie and the other Ghouls trying to blend in at an all-human school and has a human best friend, Melody. There is also some Product Placement. It's not very well-liked by the fandom, almost to the point of Fanon Discontinuity.
    • The half-hour special on Nickelodeon seems to be a different continuity from the webisodes, though the animation is exactly the same.
    • The Webisodes seem to mostly follow the diaries, but do differ at some points. At the very least, three different continuities.
    • The Latest book series "Ghoulfriends Forever" seems to be doing its best to unify itself with both the diaries and webisodes.
  • Always Identical Twins: A pair of werecatsnote , geniesnote , and hydrasnote .
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Within the main cast alone, Ghoulia is greyish-blue, Lagoona is aqua blue, Frankie is mint green (which looks a deeper shade of green in CG), and Draculaura looks really pale until you realize she's pink. In fact, the de Niles, the Wolf family, Deuce, and Jackson are pretty much the only characters to avert this.
  • Animated Adaptation: Despite there being webtoons based off of the dolls, fans have wondered when an animated series would happen. So far seeking out interest for the show is at hand.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The animation in the school fright song's music video (as well as in this commercial) is far more fluid and detailed than the animation in the web shorts.
    • The reboot's CGI animation is much cleaner and has fluid animation and expressive character models you'd expect to see from a big-budget studio film, which is a vast improvement over the clunky CGI translations of the physical dolls.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The webisodes have developed much better animation through the volumes, and character designs also get a bit of tweaking... perhaps most noticeably with Frankie come Volume 5, as she received a dramatic face model change.
    • The dolls themselves have become slightly more cartoonish and have more animated facial expressions after the reboot.
  • The Artifact: The original opening, "Fright Song," was this for a while due to sticking around so long. It initially named the first six characters to be merchandised, but by the time it was replaced, Deuce and Lagoona had smaller roles and Ghoulia and Abbey had functionally replaced them in the main cast, and the song referred to Cleo as "vile" even well after her redemption arc. The second opening, "We Are Monster High," didn't have this issue.
  • Art Shift: Starting with the 3rd special, all of them have been done in CGI thanks to Nerd Corps.
    • In Great Scarrier Reef, the flashback of Lagoona and Kala as children switches from CGI to Flash.
  • The Atoner: Draculaura's diary implies that she is one. When her dad tells her that he wishes she'd return to "proper" vampire ways, she writes that she is resolved to never go back to how she was before.
    • Strongly implied with Spectra Vondergeist.
  • Awesome, but Impractical - The girls' sports uniforms. For instance, Clawdeen's soccer uniform is pretty standard except for the high heeled shoes. Granted, their feet are shaped this way, but her shoes are open toed. The fearleading shoes make use of the high heeled foot by adding a lightning shaped high heel & Lagoona's platform surfing sandals also counts, though this is justified in her own diary with her saying that she regularly surfs in them.
  • Badass Boast: "Steal The Show" from "Boo York, Boo York" consists almost entirely of these.
  • Bad Bad Acting: After Nefera takes over the Fearleading Squad, Frankie comes up with a way to get her fellow cheerers back in the game. This involves Lagoona and Clawd publicly lamenting how bad Nefera's team is in totally horrid lies, with Clawd actually having to read off a script one with no inflection at all. It works.
    Draculaura: Clawd needs me!
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: A bizarre subversion in the webisodes. While most of the mansters play this straight, Gil has visible nipples.
  • Batman Gambit: Happens a few times.
    • After the Fearleading Squad has their routine stolen by Toralei and it's given to Smogsnorts, a rival school of vampires in "Road to the Monster Mashionals", Cleo remembers what Scary Murphy put them through and telling the girls "Follow my lead" and "Just believe" leads them into an improvised new routine based on the chores they had to do (doubles as Indy Ploy) that beats the Smogsnorts team, wins Scary Murphy's respect and the Spirit Staff—and foils Toralei's revenge.
    • "Nefera Again" has Clawdeen pick up with her hearing that Toralei notices Nefera wears the hottest fashions weeks before anyone else has them. This leads to the girls assembling an ensemble of Impossibly Tacky Clothes (from what might be the WTH, Costuming Department?) claiming they're the latest fashion trends—but she should know this as Nefera's a famous model, right? Nefera asks they be handed over to her—and with the new outfit becomes the laughing-stock of the Maul. (As a bonus, Toralei and her Girl Posse followed suit.)
    • In 13 Wishes, Frankie, Draculaura, and Ghoulia deliberately provoke Howleen into wish-banishing them so they can save Clawdeen who was trapped in Gigi's lantern.
  • Beach Line: 2011 line Gloom Beach, 2012 line Skull Shores, 2013 line Make A Splash, and 2015 line Ghouls' Getaway. As this is a kids' show, these lines aren't really fanservice-oriented like other examples of the trope but stick more to fashion exploration; this is most noticeable in Ghouls' Getaway, where Jinafire, Spectra, and Purrsephone forgo swimwear entirely for casual sundresses and elaborate island looks.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: at least three groups follow the trope.
    • Group 1: Frankie (brains) Clawdeen (brawn) and Draculaura (beauty)
    • Group 2: Cleo (beauty) Lagoona (brawn) and Ghoulia (brains)
    • Group 3: Abbey (brawn) Spectra (beauty) and Operetta (brains)
  • Bigger on the Inside: Gigi's lantern, which has a pocket dimension containing a small desert and a palace in it.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Catrine DeMew's profile is peppered with French words, and Robecca Steam's diary contains a dialog between Mr. and Mrs. Stein in their native German:
    I returned to hear Mrs. Stein ask Dr. Stein in their native German: "Werden wir jemals ein eigenes Kind haben?" note  to which he replied "Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist, das verspreche ich dir, werden wir es."note 
    • Casta Fierce's spell is spoken in Latin and directly foreshadows the mansters' transformation into "lovebugs".
  • Bland-Name Product: The series' omnipresent smartphone (the iCoffin) is the most far-reaching example, but many brands are given this treatment through horror-themed puns.
  • Blithe Spirit: In Ghouls Rule, Frankie displays her knack for diplomacy and helps bridge the gap between monsters and normies.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Lagoona, Clawdeen, and Operetta.
    • Also, Meowlody, Purrsephone, and Toralei.
    • Or Frankie (white hair), Clawdeen (auburn hair), and Draculaura (black hair).
    • Among the mansters: Manny, Clawd, and Heath.
  • Book on the Head: The vase variant was used on Operetta, in the episode where Cleo teaches her royal manners. Operetta improved over the course of one night, after several broken vases.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Gilda Goldstag (daughter of the Ceryneian Hind)'s pink mohawk.
  • Breather Episode: Volume 2's "Daydream of the Dead". Prior to this we get relationship troubles, Spectra making a nuisance of herself, and a cliffhanger with Cleo's sister. This episode is an advertisement for the MH booth at San Diego Comic-Con.
  • Brick Joke: In "I Casta Spell On You", the mansters are trying to distract Casta Fierce so she'll mess up her lyrics and turn them into animals. Manny wants to be a bug, Billy wants to be a snake, and Hoodude wants to be a "lovebug with a tiny top hat". Even though Casta's performance goes smoothly, she answers the mansters' request and transforms them...into little lovebugs with tiny top hats.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Zigzagged; while the characters all have the same body type, they still have different facial features and hairstyles, and several of them have body detailing to set them apart.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Lagoona has moral qualms about dissecting one of her amphibian bros but her favorite food is listed as sushi.
    • Word of God states that she is more closely related to amphibians than fish, which actually makes sense, considering that her crush, Gil, has to wear a water tank on his head, while she doesn't. Also, sushi refers to the rice with sugar-vinegar dressing on which the toppings, or with with the filling, is served. There are many sorts of non-seafood sushi.
  • Chained by Fashion: Every single ghost character includes chains or at least chain patterns in their outfits.
  • Classical Mythology: The source for several characters:
    • Deuce and Viperine Gorgon, son of Medusa and daughter of Stheno.
    • Iris Clops, daughter of the Cyclops.
    • Manny Taur, son of the Minotaur.
    • Wydowna Spider, daughter of Arachne.
    • Casta Fierce, daughter of Circe.
    • Gilda Goldstag, daughter of the Ceryneian Hind.
    • C.A. Cupid, daughter of Eros.
    • Avea Trotter, daughter of a harpy and a centaur.
    • Neighthan Rot, one of whose parents is a unicorn.
    • Posea Reef, daughter of Poseidon.
    • Peri and Pearl Serpentine, daughters of the Hydra.
  • Combat Stilettos: The fearleading squad wears 5-inch platform heels as a part of their uniform.
    • Wave 2 Clawdeen and Sweet 1600 Clawdeen wear shoes which could easily be used as weapons thanks to their heels being nothing but sharp spikes. Lampshaded in Clawdeen's second diary where an incident in the restroom- involving a broken heel, Clawdeen cutting herself while shaving (which had gotten on her hands and the broken heel), and Draculaura passing out from the blood- leaving the entire school thinking that Clawdeen had stabbed and killed Draculaura.
  • Composite Character: Frankie's parents, as far as characterization and backstory go. Her father is a combination of the doctor and the monster, and her mother is a combination of Elizabeth and the Bride. The diaries have mentioned that the book Frankenstein exists in the MH universe as an inaccurate biography (enough that Dr. Stein begins speaking Angrish when it is mentioned).
  • Cool Pet: All the characters had them, but later on, they stopped being included with new characters even if they were stated to have them.
  • Cool Shades: Deuce wears them at all times, but that’s so he doesn’t turn anyone into stone.
    • The Gloom Beach dolls each have customized one for their character, including Cleo's, which are made to look like mummy wrappings, and Frankie's, made to look like electric bolts.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Done frequently for themed lines.
    • The 13 Wishes line gives the main character genie-themed outfits which are given to them when they're banished to the lamp.
    • Because of the alien comet's arrival in the movie, the Boo York, Boo York dolls have crystalline accessories.
    • The Freak du Chic line is tied together by the same style of striped fabric appearing on each outfit.
    • The Great Scarrier Reef Down Under Ghouls have similar prints on their tops.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: In one episode, Cleo does this to Draculaura as a practical joke. It backfires as the horrible makeup job impressed Draculaura's crush.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Holt and Jackson are both played by Cindy Robinson; Ghoulia's voice is provided by Audu Paden, a male producer of the cartoon.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf, Abbey Bominable, Elissabat, Honey Swamp, Venus McFlytrap, Wydowna Spider, Viperine Gorgon, Lorna McNessie, and Batsy Claro.
  • Cute Monster Boy: So many of them.
  • Cute Monster Girl: SO many.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Most of the student body are pretty much of the same mindset as your average teenager, not really having an interest in the bloodthirsty ways of their respective lineages. That doesn't make this series a Sugar Bowl... we've got our share of nasty kids.
  • Dancing Theme: Initially "Fright Song", and now "We Are Monster High". Both count for serious Ear Worm.
  • Dance Party Ending: In many webisodes and specials. Most notably in the 2015 CG musical, Boo York, Boo York.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Cleo's major motif in the first season of the webisodes & first edition diary.
    • Cleo breaks down in tears in "Kind Campaign: The Shockumentary." She was in the Kind Campaign's booth the longest (she has the most issues to deal with) and cries when she comes out with mea culpa in heart.
    • Boo York, Boo York really goes into her character... and the machinations of her family that made her the way she is.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • Both Skull Shores and Signature Frankie have been made into greyscale dolls.
    • The Freak du Chic Clawdeen and Twyla dolls have desaturated colors and limited palettes to invoke this.
  • Denser and Wackier: Ever since 2013, the plots have moved into this territory. Webisodes are now mainly one-offs to introduce new toyline characters (even ones that purportedly come in arcs), CG specials pad out with comic relief in place of worldbuilding, and the subplot building up about monster-human relations has all but disappeared entirely. Among other things, perhaps this has to do with the drop in webisode viewership.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Done psychologically by Nefera in "Kind Campaign: The Shockumentary." Nefera's insulting behavior to Cleo sets in motion a series of events that causes fights to break out at Monster High. Ghoulia calls in the Kind Campaign for help before it gets out of control.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The 2012 movie "Ghouls Rule" involved some hysteria going on in both the monster and human races due to the Fantastic Racism that monsters are subjected to on Halloween. Holt was framed for trying to vandalize the human school because humans had previously vandalized there own school and mocked them for being monster; so a group of monsters wanted revenge and Holt just happened to be apart of it. Holt was caught with spray paint that was planted on him by a monster hunter. Human high-schoolers then started accusing people at a party of being monsters, and Holt was sentenced to the Trick-or-Treatment which was a machine similar to a hanging gallows. When the monster hunter finally confessed to framing Holt, the police officer refused to listen and wanted to continue with the Trick-or-Treatment. Oh, and this all took place in a town called "New Salem".
    • The movie 'Fright On' revolves around the tension between vampires and werewolves. Neither group is happy that vampire Draculaura and werewolf Clawd are dating each other and they even claim territories in the school and form 'empowerment groups'. An ex-monster hunter also spreads rumors about the two species, saying that werewolves have diseases and that the vampires' abilities mean they'll one day take over. Why does he do this? In his belief, so that monsters will be so busy fighting each other that they won't come after humans.
    • Clawdeen's and Ghoulia's first wave diaries depict an incident where Ghoulia is mistreated in a store because the employee doesn't speak Zombie and thinks zombies are lazy because they're slow and don't speak English. Consider how Mexican immigrants are treated in the US.
    • The webisode "Monster Morphoseas", Lagoona goes through a seasonal event that affects all ocean monsters once every 100 years. It makes her extremely prone to mood swings and she just wants to be left alone during this time and begs the other ghouls not to tell Gil because "He just wouldn't understand". Leading to the webisode ending on Gil misunderstanding while trying to help.
  • Drama Bomb: A couple.
    • Robecca Steam's basic diary details the story of a teenager being trapped underground for a century, waking up only on accident to find the world drastically changed and her father long missing.
    • Draculaura's collector edition diary gives us a small timeline of her young life. See her character page.
    • Freaky Fusion, containing the first straight up Disney Death in the series... that of Frankie Stein, who uses up her own life-force to save her friends from absorption.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The line was initially presented as featuring the children of famous movie monsters. It did not take long for the concept to move away from that- Frankie being the only one that did keep to this idea. Clawdeen is merely A werewolf and there are many of them. Ghoulia is a generic zombie with no real famous lineage stated. Lagoona is the offspring of a sea creature and a sea nymph, and Draculaura's father is actually an ancient Roman soldier who merely happens to be named Dracula(which would, at the very least, justify her being 1600 years old). As we find out in the diaries, Roman Dracula is actually her adoptive father who may have served in the army of Julius Caesar, and the more well-known Dracula was, in fact, the historical tyrant Vlad Tepes. The two apparently had a major conflict, the former not being too happy that a murderous tyrant was using his name).
  • '80s Hair: For the ghouls, and lots of it. Stay home, buzz-cuts. (Except for Venus.) The Electrified takes this Up to Eleven, with each character receiving a light voluminous frizz to their hair.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Played straight- "Fright On" had several Star-Spawn of Cthulhu living in the catacombs of Monster High, which weren't at all friendly to even the monsters they ran into.
    • In a bit of Fridge Brilliance, it means that Cthulhu's kids are technically at Monster High... even if not as students.
    • The bottomless school pool canonically has a Kraken, which attacks Lagoona and friends in the Great Scarrier Reef trailer.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Draculaura, Elissabat, C. A. Cupid, and Amanita Nightshade lean towards this style.
  • Enemy Mine: "Neferamore" has Nefera recruit Toralei and her cat-girls to replace Cleo and the other girls in the Fear Squad. Given Cleo and the girls gave both grief at times, it's no surprise. When Nefera cheats against Cleo in "Monster Mashionals" is the moment Toralei and her catgirls decide enough's enough — not to mention that they're ticked off that Nefera didn't believe in them — and help foil the cheating.
  • Everything's Better with Plushies: A few waves of them including the original ghouls, their pets, and others.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods:
    • The "Scared Silly" persona of one of the Inner Monsters has a tentacle motif.
    • Vandala Doubloons' pet is a cuttlefish.
    • Kala Mer'ri has the lower body of a squid, since she's the Kraken's daughter.
    • Draculaura's Great Scarrier Reef "fishification" gives her the lower body of a vampire squid.
  • Fantastic Racism: There are a few examples. In the main canon, there's an undercurrent of monster-to-human prejudice (and schools seem to be segregated), whereas in the book canon it's the other way around.
    • The movie 'Ghouls Rule' brings these elements to a head with the monsters facing off against the human populus of their hometown in a more direct way.
    • Vampires and werewolves don't like each other much, though Draculaura and Clawdeen are best friends, and neither do fresh water monsters and sea monsters, according to Gil's parents (though Lagoona thinks the whole thing's ridiculous). Van Hellscream says centaurs and minotaurs don't get along either. Some monsters are discriminated against by the wider monster community, such as zombies and trolls. According to a bonus story on the website, Monster High was the first school to let all types of monsters in, as opposed to the other schools we've seen that are all vampires, all werewolves, etc.
    • Van Hellscream is against the all-monster school, because he fears that the only reason humans are safe from monsters is because they are too busy fighting each other. If they were to get along they would start attacking the normies.
      • Actually, he's afraid if all types of monsters get along, then eventually monsters and normies would get along too and go to school together. The very idea sickens him.
    • Kala Mer'ri perceives an indirect case of this towards her. Since her father, the Kraken, is so reviled, she keeps her parentage secret and strives to prove herself with any means possible.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: While the characters themselves are no stranger, this is exemplified with the Monster High Minis, which give each character unique eye-reflection designs reflecting their theme.
  • Fiery Redhead: Operetta, daughter of The Phantom of the Opera, and Holt Hyde, whose head is literally fiery.
  • Fish People: Lagoona Blue, Gillington Webber, Sirena Von Boo, Lorna McNessie, and Finnegan Wake. Great Scarrier Reef adds Peri and Pearl Serpentine and Kala Mer'ri.
  • Flaming Hair: Holt Hyde and Heath Burns, which led some people to think they were one and the same when they're not.
  • Fog Feet: Djinni has this in shadow form, and a tornado-like variety features in one of the ensembles in the deluxe Inner Monster pack.
  • Foreshadowing The characters' interactions in the beginning of Freaky Fusion foreshadow which ghouls will be fused.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The six original ghouls; Frankie & Draculaura (sanguine), Clawdeen & Cleo (choleric), Ghoulia (melancholic), and Lagoona (phlegmatic).
    • The hybrid monsters from "Freaky Fusion"; Avea Trotter (choleric), Neighthan Rot (phlegmatic), Bonita Femur (melancholic), and Sirena von Boo (sanguine).
    • The main werecats of the cast; Toralei Stripe (choleric), Purrsephone (melancholic), Meowlody & Catty Noir (phlegmatic), and Catrine De Mew (sanguine).
    • The main water monsters of the cast; Lagoona Blue (phlegmatic), Gil Webber (melancholic), Lorna McNessie (sanguine), and Finnegan Wake (choleric).
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Cleo and Ghoulia get one in "Freaky Fridate" when Cleo accidentally touches one of her father's idols that Ghoulia's also holding. At the end, kissing their boyfriends has them returned to normal, but Deuce and Slow-Moe are swapped.
  • Freaky Is Cool: The other half of the premise, and manages to apply in-universe even to things the monsters themselves think are "freaky" (such as Draculaura's former crush Heath Burns heartily approving of her makeup after Cleo wrecks it: "You look horrible!" [beat] "... I like that in a girl."). A tagline of the doll line is even "Freaky just got fabulous!"
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: The characters of this school often sport fashions adorned with skulls, spikes, stitches, brains, slime and morbid accessories to match—yet most are some of the nicest kids you'll ever meet. Moanica D'Kay is a hard aversion of this trope, though.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Draculaura and Elissabat.
  • Frozen Face: Ghoulia in earlier materials, though she could occasionally force a rather pained-looking unsmile, a groan, or even, in the case of the webisode "Mad Science Fair", a truly epic Slasher Smile that only manages to dodge being terrifying by happening as she finally gets back at Cleo for using her. She's a lot more expressive these days.
  • Funny Background Event: In the webisode "Road to Monster Mashionals", while Clawdeen mentions "Scary Murphy and her dumb chores", we see a background student getting pulled into the water by giant tentacles in the background. This joke has now become a series tradition carrying over into the CGI specials. The two are even implied to be in a relationship now.
    • In the episode "Ghostly Gossip", at the beginning in a blink and you miss it moment, when the image is focused on Cleo you can see in the background a student being attacked by her locker with octopus-like tentacles.
  • Fun Size: The vinyl figure, Monster Minis and Mega Bloks lines follow this trend: they're of Monster High characters in noticeable smaller molds, with larger eyes and chunkier limbs. They're also very, very cute.
  • Furry Fandom: After counting all the werebeasts in the franchise, one can only wonder if Mattel is influenced by some kind of a furry lobby.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Ghoulia. Not only is she the smartest ghoul in the school, but she once invented a two story tall trash-to-fuel recycling machine as a Mad Science Fair project. And woke up an alien in a Sleeper Ship before said ship could crash into and destroy the world.
  • Gag A Day Webseries: Volume 1 and 3 of the webisodes.
  • Glamour Failure: Draculaura has no reflection and only her clothes (and sometimes her hair) show up in photos (unless they have a vampire detection filter). She's usually okay with it at this point, and claims that centuries of practice have given her the ability to apply her own makeup.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: An odd variation in "Here Comes Treble", with Jackson and Holt as Frankie's shoulder angels fighting for her.
  • Good Parents: Frankie's mom and dad. For a couple of mad scientists, they've got a remarkable knack for knowing what's best for their little girl and what makes her happy without spoiling her either. In fact, most of the MH parents are good, with the Webbers being a notable exception.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Cleo and Frankie accidentally break a statue together in "Totally Busted", and Cleo blames it entirely on Frankie. The headmistress is thrilled, because the statue had imprisoned the ghost of Professor Irene Maiden for years in a terrible And I Must Scream situation, and is incredibly grateful to Frankie for this service to the school, leaving Cleo to start to protest that she did it all herself instead.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Deuce, the rare male example, and his cousin Viperine. The Create-A-Monster gorgon also counts.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: In the webisode 'Dodgeskull', Ghoulia secures a series of outs after dropping the ball. This incident counts as this trope as the rules of dodgeball explicitly state that after a ball has touched the floor or a wall, hitting a person cannot be counted as an out.
  • The Grim Reaper: Haunted introduces River Styxx, his bubbly party-loving daughter, who likes to borrow his yacht for joyrides.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: A Lighter and Softer example: in the Scarnival doll set, Clawd runs a high striker game, and gets a hammer. Draculaura runs a balloon dart game, and thus gets darts.
  • Halloween Episode: Ghouls Rule! focuses on monster interacting with humans during the Halloween season.
  • Happily Adopted: Draculaura, Jane Boolittle, C.A. Cupid, and Gooliope Jellington.
  • Happily Married: Frankie's parents (Frankenstein's monster and his Bride, despite how the Bride reacted to the idea of even being his friend in her titular film).
  • Hartman Hips: Default body type for the ghouls, small shoulders with wide hips. This is especially noticeable with the new Great Scarrier Reef merfolk.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cleo started out as a hardcore snob/bully, but has progressed into a supportive friend (if not a bit self-centered), first truly noticeable in "Daydream of the Dead".
  • Hidden Depths / Defrosting Ice Queen: Cleo is a spoiled brat, but you would be too if you were entombed with your father who felt that royals were superior to everyone else for a few thousand years. Beyond just being an Alpha Bitch, though, she is best friends with Ghoulia and her diary, as well as the caption for her Dawn of the Dance pictures, show that she is opening up and starting to treat others better. Granted, not everyone, but some.
    • Ghoul's Rule highlighted this side, striking the right balance between popular Alpha Bitch & caring mummy.
    • Draculaura's second edition and collector's edition diary go into some of her Dark and Troubled Past- her father, rather than the Dracula we know, is an even older master vampire (Bram Stoker's villain was a less powerful upstart who used her father's name to impress and terrorize locals til he fell prey to Laser-Guided Karma). Dracula took in Draculaura's mother Camilla after Draculaura's father Gaius died in battle. See her character page for the rest.
  • Helping Hands: Frankie’s hands whenever they fall off.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Monster" is used to mean "person", "ghoul" means "girl", and "manster"="guy/man". Several other monster puns are used, though it's not always consistent, including cases of "ghoul" and "girl" being used in the same scene of a webisode.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Ghoulia can hack anything including multiple satellites at once in a few seconds with her laptop. Well, almost anything... she couldn't hack the gossip column to find out who was running it.
  • Hollywood Nerd: The Geek Shriek doll line is an example of this, but it's meant to inspire fans to not consider being geeky a boo-ring or bad thing.
    • Ghoulia is the series' foremost example; this is seen on the webisode Daydream of the Dead, where she laments not being able to go to Nekrocon, where she hoped to get the first issue of the zombie comic book Deadfast.
    • Jackson Jekyll is another example.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: The hybrids make for some interesting pairings: Centaur/Harpy, Mothman/Skeleton, Mermaid/Ghost and Zombie/Unicorn.
  • Hover Skates: Robecca Steam has a steampunk version.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Clawd and Draculaura. Later, Manny and Iris.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: When monsters and normies have to interact the villain is usually a normie whipping up fear and distrust toward monsters, although there are normies that stick up for the monsters.
    • The Ghoulfriends books plays with this with a monster conspiracy that encourage monsters to think all normies are evil. The protagonists must prove that the normies are innocent.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Character names and so much more. Any opportunity for a monster, fear or graveyard pun is exploited. To the extent that this is practically a World of Pun, but the Earth is still called Earth.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the movie 13 Wishes, Cleo exhibits this when she mocks Howleen for wishing herself more popular: "In my day you couldn't just wish yourself to be more popular. You had to earn it, by being born into an incredibly rich royal family."
  • I Am Spartacus: Near the end of Ghouls Rule!, where normies stand up to the police, identifying themselves as monsters to protect the main cast.
  • Idiot Ball: Passed around so much you'd think it was one of Monster High's official sports.
  • Idol Singer: Catty Noir, Casta Fierce, and Ari Hauntington.
  • The Igor: He's a gym teacher.
  • I Have to Go Iron My Dog: Meta-example. The line stopped including pets with the dolls, but still kept the "pet" category on the bio, leading to several creative excuses as to why the character has no pet.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Everyone during the Gloom Beach arc.
  • Informed Ability: Lagoona is describe as being a Tomboy among the group, however she is just as girly as the rest of her friends.
  • Interspecies Romance: Draculaura and Clawd, though with them it's the potential awkwardness of having been best friends since Clawd was a little kid that's played up. Lagoona and Gil's relationship, being a metaphor for anti-racial behavior, is a more prominent example.
    • Because the setting is a school that accepts all monsters, romance between two different species happens a lot. There's Cleo and Deuce, a mummy and a gorgon. Iris and Manny, a cyclops and minotaur. And Catty and Seth, a werecat and mummy.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: All Ghoulia can do is groan, but the other characters have no trouble understanding her.
    • For the most part. Occasionally a student in the school will be unable to understand "zombish".
    • Lampshaded in Freaky Fusion, where as Ghoulia and Viktor Frankenstein have an animated conversation in Technobabble, Toralei quips:
      Toralei: Okay, I can understand zombie, but I have no idea what those two are saying.
  • Invisibility: Friendly teacher Mr. Where looks like the classic bandage-wrapped Invisible Man, but he can make even those phase in and out of visibility.
    • Billy, being the son of the Invisible Man, has the ability to become invisible at will.
  • Iris Out: A few webisodes end this way.
  • Jaw Drop: Done literally by a background skeleton student in "Here Comes Treble", after witnessing Jackson's transformation into Holt.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Jackson and Holt, obviously. The gimmick of the Inner Monsters is to accessorize them according one of two (for the deluxe set, three) contrasting emotions.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Pretty much any character with multiple dolls applies.
  • Karma Houdini: The sheriff in "Ghouls Rule" gets absolutely NO punishment, despite being a Knight Templar Jerkass and perfectly willing to execute an innocent monster so he'll remain sheriff. Made even worse due to the fact the true culprit comes forth and confesses to him that she did it and framed the monsters, he flat out states he doesn't care and is going through with it anyway. We last see him dancing with everyone like nothing happened.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Clawdeen in Freaky Fusion, when the efforts to revive Frankie don't seem to be working.
    Clawdeen: Ghoulfriend, if you're taking your sweet time for dramatic effect... you're killing us over here.
  • Level Ate: The "Sweet Screams" line uses this as its aesthetic, and its backgrounds depict a candy-based nightmare version of the school.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Draculaura and Cleo, respectively.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: In the film "Ghouls Rule" some normies vandalize the monster school and nothing is done about that. Monsters are framed for vandalizing the normies' school in retaliation and the police arrest any monster on sight.
  • Losing Your Head: The Headmistress, being this world's version of the Headless Horseman.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Cleo de Nile, she was at her worst in volume 1 of the webisodes, but even then she would help our her friends. The doll's diaries often talk about how Cleo can be unbearable, but state that she is extremely generous to her friends. In Volume 2 of the webisodes, Cleo is much nicer to the ghouls, but still obsessed with being number one.
  • Magic Skirt: Many of the girls wear micro-miniskirts that barely reach upper thigh and yet never move or sway an inch.
  • Masquerade Ball: The Ghouls Rule! outfits and the "Dance the Fright Away" costumes from Welcome to Monster High.
  • Meaningful Name: All the characters' names have to do with what kind of monster they are.
  • Meganekko: Ghoulia.
  • Merchandise-Driven: A Mattel, Netflix, and App Store/Google Play store mainstay.
  • Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Parody: Done with Zombie Shake, with a zombie dance outbreak and the werecat twins' outfits referencing Jackson's.
  • Missing Mom: Many characters start off with a focus on only one parent, often the father, due to the famous monster angle of the series, but most get their other parent mentioned eventually.
    • Draculaura is the adoptive daughter of Dracula, but both her biological parents had perished long ago. Dracula remarries late in Generation One.
    • Lagoona is the daughter of Sea Monster, strongly implied to be the Gill-Man. Her mother was later revealed to be an ocean nymph with whom Lagoona has just as good as a relation as with her father. Only, ocean nymphs can't go far from their home, so while in the USA, only her dad can visit her.
    • Cleo and Nefera's mother is missing.
  • Monster Clown: Direct literality aside, Twyla's Freak du Chic outfit is a spooky Victorian-style clown costume with neck ruffles, pom-poms, and a harlequin pattern.
  • Monster Mash: All the main characters are offspring of famous monsters or mythological creatures.
  • Morality Pet: Ghoulia to Cleo as the two are "beast friends forever." They plan their schedules together, and she acts as Cleo's personal assistant. Cleo even gets her staff to help get a rare comic book for Ghoulia (though she gets the others not to let word of this leak as it might ruin her rep).
  • The Movie: A live-action movie musical was being directed by the men behind Hairspray and Chicago. It’s been described as "Beetlejuice meets Grease meets The Addams Family meets Edward Scissorhands." Stuck in Development Hell, until its cancellation. It will be released as "The Lost Movie" in storyboard form, with Draculaura and Clawdeen providing [[Series./Mystery Science Theater 3000 MST3K-style commentary]] over it.
  • Muggles: The natives of New Salem, and humans in general. Monsters refer to them as "normies" and fear them as much as the they are feared by them.
    • Also in Haunted, ghosts fear "solids", a category including monsters. The movie helps them get over that fear.
  • Multicolored Hair: The amount of characters that have averted this across all of their dolls can be counted on one hand.
  • Mummy: Cleo de Nile, who in her basic outfit only has bandages from her chest to her knees. Her footwear is styled as bandages too.
  • Mundane Utility: The ghouls take advantage of their different attributes for their acts in the Freak du Chic performance.
    • Frankie's detachable body parts make her the magician, easily able to do the "separation cabinet" trick.
    • Since she's a dragon, Jinafire is the circus fire-breather.
    • Toralei is a tightrope walker. Cats are good at balancing.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Lilith's reaction in Ghouls Rule to the news that the Trick-or-Treatment will be brought back.]] She clearly didn't expect things to go that far.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Cleo's pet is an Egyptian cobra, who she admits isn't that poisonous.
    • Deuce's pet is named Perseus. His mom isn't quite pleased.
    • Rochelle Goyle has a strong protective streak, and enlists into the school's hall monitor force. And because she's French, she's also the Freak du Chic mime.
    • Twyla's the stilt-walker in the aforementioned show. Being the daughter of the Boogeyman, it makes sense that she'd make herself look scary tall, and her vintage clown costume invokes coulrophobia, something many children have. She's also one of the shorter characters normally, so it serves as a way of turning the tables.
    • The core characters' Great Scarrier Reef monster mermaid transformations connect to the characters. Frankie is powered by electricity, so she becomes part electric eel, Draculaura becomes part vampire squid, Clawdeen is part wolffish, and Toralei, a tiger werecat, becomes part lionfish.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Frankie Stein at first, who in all continuities is only 15 days old when she starts at Monster High. In the updated website bio, she's lost count.
    • Afterwards, transfer students sometimes take this role.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: In "Scaris: City of Frights", the cast was given an incredibly hard math problem to do in class that no monster had ever done before. Jackson was ecstatic. In fact, he solved it, but the bell rang before he could show the teacher.
  • Never Say "Die": In "Ghouls Rule" Holt was sentenced to the Trick-or-Treatmentnote  and even without saying it was obvious what would happen to him—amped up by having it take place on a hill with a dead tree in a town called "New Salem".
  • Nice Shoes:
    • All the girls wear fancy shoes that have five inch heels. Even Ghoulia wears knee-high converse boots! This to the point to where the girls are rarely if ever seen out of those five inch heels. This includes at sleep overs and while on the beach.
    • The dolls have become known for their shoe designs, with Gooliope's skeletal carousel-horse heels and Elle Eeedee's futuristic boots being two examples.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Often, celebrity pastiches show up—resemblance to actual celebrity is optional.
  • No Flow in CGI: Goes with Uncanny Valley, but special mention goes to Clawdeen's hair, which has a tendency to look like polished mahogany boards.
  • Noodle People: Most of the females are extremely skinny. This is partially to cut costs on the dolls' clothes, and perhaps part of the creepy aesthetic. The males are more plausible, though, and the big-sister size and Kala are more curvy.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite the fact that they live in the MH equivalent of Australia, Kala, Peri, and Pearl have American accents, which contrasts to the Blue family and Posea, who have the appropriate Aussie accent.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Averted; Ghoulia and the other zombies at the school are openly referred to as such.
  • Off Model: Draculaura's height seems to vary in all the webisodes if you look closely. There are times where she's as tall as Cleo and Clawdeen, such as in "Clawditions", and times where she's much smaller than the others, such as in "Idol Threat".
  • Older Than They Look: A few of the characters fall into this, but out of the main girls, Draculaura is really 1,599 years old (but becomes 1,600 in the special Why Do Ghouls Fall In Love) and Cleo is 5,842 years old.
  • Only Known by Initials: C.A. Cupid uses this, as she and her classmates consider "Chariclo Arganthone Cupid" to be an Overly Long Name.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Ghoul Spirit reveals that "Slo Mo" is a nickname, and his real name is Sloman Mortavitch.
  • Oracular Head: Scary Murphy is a head in a crystal ball, with a witch's cloak forming her body.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious:
    • Abbey Bominable, daughter of the Yeti.
    • Marisol Coxi, daughter of the South American Bigfoot (maricoxi).
    • Lorna McNessie, daughter of the Loch Ness Monster.
    • Honey Swamp, daughter of the Honey Island Swamp Monster.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They can enter a building without being invited, sleep upside down, and are repulsed (not injured) by garlic. Also, they don't have to drink blood if they can afford numerous supplements. Draculaura's diaries states that when in sunlight she slathers herself in sunscreen "more like sun WALL with how thick the stuff is" and carries a parasol, which probably means that MH vampires are more susceptible to sunlight than humans—just not killed by it.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The werewolves of MH are never in human form, but always humanoid with wolfish traits (wolf ears, sharp teeth and claws, golden eyes, and excessive hair).
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Ghoulia can’t speak anything other than zombie (grunt and groan), yet happens to be the smartest student in school and prefers fast food over brains. Zombish is even a language in this universe and those who don't know it are seen as the odd ones.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Jinafire has seven brothers. She's also the only one of her siblings to not convincingly pass for human (though her brothers do have tails).
    • There's also Kjersti, youngest daughter after three bigger brothers.
  • People Puppets: Honey Swamp's Freak du Chic performance invokes this-she has an elaborate trapeze-like act, being connected to the ropes to resemble a marionette.
  • Perky Goth:
    • Draculaura dresses in lots of goth-y attire—like black fishnets and boots with lots of bat and fang themed accessories. She also loves the color pink, is cheerful almost to the point of being a Genki Girl, and enjoys writing stories about her friends.
    • River Styxx, daughter of the Grim Reaper, is a party-loving and pastel-wearing young teen who likes to take dad's yacht on joyrides.
    • Luna Mothews, a self-proclaimed "goth-moth", who's pretty colorful and flashy and aspires to be a theater star.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Ghoulia's right!" Pretty much every one of the main characters has said this at least once.
  • Pink Heroine: Generation one averts this by giving the lead to Frankie, but generation two (starting with the new wave of dolls and Welcome to Monster High) and the anime, Monster High Scary Girls, make Draculaura the protagonist instead specifically due to pink appeal.
  • Playing Cyrano: Draculaura, Frankie and Clawdeen to Ghoulia in one of the webisodes. The title is even "Cyrano De Ghoulia".
  • Pointy Ears: It's a school of monsters, so this is present in so many spades you'll need a hardware store.
  • The Power of Friendship: When Nefera gets ready to cheat against Cleo and the Fear Squad, Deuce motivates Cleo up to get back into the competition in "Monster Mashionals Part 2". He also mobilizes the other ghouls (who'd pledged to back the Fear Squad) to foil Nefera. Toralei and her own catgirls even help, disgusted that Nefera had that little faith in them to win this fairly.
  • Product Placement:
    • The Lisi Harrison series was rife with them.
    • One of the 2016 SDCC exclusives is a Ghostbuster Frankie, to promote the film coming out the same year.
  • Precision F-Strike: By this series' standards, anyway. Draculaura gets frustrated at her lack of reflection and says "Sometimes, being a vampire really sucks!"
  • Preemptive "Shut Up": In the webisode "Substitute Creature" Mr. Lou Zarr commands a two-headed student to stop talking even though neither of the student's heads has a mouth.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Bonita Femur, Luna Mothews, and the deluxe Inner Monster invoke this with their wings.
  • Punny Name / Theme Naming: Are you seeing a pattern here?
  • Rapunzel Hair: Clawdeen's hair is constantly growing and besides having to pluck stray hair several times a day she doesn't mind it, as it leads her to be more experimental with it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Headless Headmistress Bloodgood.
  • Remember the New Guy: Each new character's first doll gets a diary delivering information about themselves, and subsequently make multiple appearances in the animated material. This is averted with Gilda Goldstag, however, as her only release is in a five-pack, she doesn't get a diary, and has only made background appearances in the webisodes even after being made into a doll.
  • Retraux: Done with several dolls. Ghoulia, Operetta, and Scarah follow this consistently through their outfits.
  • The Rival:
    • It's initially made a big deal of that Clawdeen does not like Cleo De Nile & by extension, Deuce. At first when revealed in Ghoulia's diary that Cleo used to date Clawd, Clawdeen's brother. They broke up and Cleo started dating Deuce the next day. Seems reasonable at first, but Clawd's diary revealed that their break-up was actually mutual and was a long time coming. Cleo decided to be the one to seem harsh and Clawd, regrettably, let her take the fall. They got over it.
    • Moanica D'Kay is advertised as such to Draculaura in Welcome to Monster High.
  • Robot Girl: Robecca Steam is the old-timey variety and Elle Eedee represents the futuristic type.
  • The Roman Republic: Draculaura's collector's edition diary reveals that she was born a human in Rome, her biological father was a centurion killed in battle, and Dracula was once in a paranormal division of the Roman army.
  • Royal Brat: Cleo de Nile, and Nefera to an even worse extent.
  • Running Gag: Background characters getting pulled away by giant tentacles, especially a certain green nerd boy.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: In "New Ghoul @ School" Draculaura literally says "Siiigh..." while swooning over Justin Biter.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Lagoona faces her childhood bully in Great Scarrier Reef.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ms. Revenant, also known as the Red Lady, in Haunted.
  • Schrödinger's Cat: Alluded to in the end of "Desperate Hours", where Toralei and her fellow cat-girls are herded to a math camp in a bus. The stink balloon they wanted to loose on the seniors (and blame the main ghouls for) bounces toward them...and explodes, releasing the stench into the bus holding the cat-girls. They're not dead, but their yowling hints they are wishing this wasn't happening to them...
    • Taken literally with Invisi Billy's pet, which is a box that may or may not contain a cat.
  • Sense Freak: Pretty much everything is new to Frankie, and she wants to experience all of it.
  • The Shadow Knows: Look carefully at an illustration on Jackson's Gloom Beach box. You can see Holt Hyde's Flaming Hair.
    • In 13 Wishes, this is how shadow-sensitive Twyla starts realizing something isn't right: Howleen's 'friends' have no shadows.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: The ghouls regularly go on voyages away from school—sometimes explained by asking for permission or the school being in jeopardy—but for a series called Monster High, the titular place sometimes disappears for the majority of a movie.
  • Sigil Spam: Monster High's trademark skullette. It's this to the dolls' outfits, and in locations: even in places not tangentially related to the school it'll pop up.
    • To a lesser extent, coffins. Anything they can make coffin-shaped, they will.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids:
    • The Siren Create-a-Monster add-on pack. This is partially justfied, as an avian siren would be hard to distinguish from the Harpy pack.
    • Sirena von Boo subverts this. Her name is derived from the Italian word for mermaid, and she's only ever referred to as a ghostly mermaid.
  • Skunk Stripe: Frankie's hair is nothing but a mass of these. A few other dolls feature these, like the Fearfully Feisty and Fangtastic Love Inner Monster.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The vampire/werewolf enmity in Fright On!: the lycans bug the vamps for being prissy, and the vamps bug the lycans for being sloppy.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: An offscreen example, but in this universe, Medusa, her sisters, the Hydra, and the Minotaur weren't slain by heroes; they're parents.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Toralei (not Torelei; it comes from "tora" for "tiger"), Nefera (not Nefara; it comes from "Nefertiti", not "nefarious"), and Slo-Mo (not Slow-Moe, as his name is Sloman Mortavich.).
  • Stock Footage: Some of the webtoons reuse background footage of students walking by.
  • Stealth Pun: A World of Pun needs no excuse to be punny. Example: Lagoona has an Australian accent because she comes from the land down under. Underwater, that is.
  • Story Arc: A few of the webisodes come in these.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Heath started out as this for Holt, until both characters ended up in all continuities (neither replacing the other) and Heath underwent Cast Speciation to become more of a Butt Monkey.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Pretty much everybody has their own variation of it. To apply it to a whole line, nearly every Boo York, Boo York doll has crystalline comet-shard accessories and even shimmery skin and crystalline doll stands to tie in to the arrival of Astranova's comet.
  • The Stinger: At the end of Boo York, Astranova is seen communicating with Apple White and Raven Queen hinting the possibility of a crossover between Monster High and Ever After.
  • Taken for Granite: Deuce’s stare can only turn people into stone for about a day, then it wears off.
    • In "Hiss-Teria", Deuce's first pet was Smokey, a dragon. Sadly, he was the first thing a younger Deuce turned to stone accidentally (Smokey knocked off Deuce's glasses) where the stare hadn't worn off in a day. The only thing Deuce knows is that Smokey is to return to normal on the anniversary of when it happened, but doesn't know which one. This becomes a Tear Jerker for Frankie, Draculaura and Clawdeen (and maybe the closest thing the websodes came to having someone die).
  • Time Abyss: Draculaura's father. Draculaura says he is far, far older than he appears, and that he was already an ancient vampire "when togas were first becoming fashionable." A more recent diary confirms, according to translations of journals she wrote centuries ago, says that he served in the army of Julius Caesar.
  • Toilet Humor: In the book, although it's not as bad as other examples.
  • Token Human: Subverted by the "Inner Monster" dolls. While they initially seem to be normal, if oddly pigmented, human girl dolls, they have exposed brains under their wigs, translucent bodies containing skeletons with detachable innards, all sorts of purely inhuman and unsettling eyes, and monstrous back accessories ranging from wings to tentacles. Also, Jackson in-series.
  • Training from Hell: Abbey imposes this on the entire school in 13 Wishes when, having been made Student Disembodied President, she becomes acting principal when Headmistress Bloodgood has to go on a trip. Abbey takes her responsibilities very seriously and orders the whole school to operate the way that best suits her, cutting lunch hour to 25 minutes "for more study time" and having the cafeteria serve unidentifiable trays-ful of weird meat because she thinks it's healthier.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Clawdeen misses five days of school in Draculaura's second diary due to having to shave her head bald after a hairstyling accident and the ensuing depression that followed. Draculaura suggests she and Frankie shave their heads too in solidarity, until Frankie reminds her that Clawdeen's hair grows back in a matter of days, while it would take years for Draculaura and Frankie to get theirs back to their current length.
  • Two Beings, One Body: One of the main elements of Freaky Fusion. The ghouls go back in time 200 years to when Monster High was first built, but when they return to the present everyone except Frankie and Ghoulia have merged with someone else: Draculaura with Robecca, Lagoona with Jinafire, Clawdeen with Venus and Cleo with Toralei. They enlist the help of the new hybrid students to help them coordinate and cooperate.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Pretty much every pet looks like their owner in color scheme.
  • Universal Horror: The main ghouls are descendants of Universal's horror titans and since the CG specials are produced by Universal, we count.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Alluded to with Draculaura, who has acquired more than a few dresses and shoes over the past 1600 years she's been immortal. It's also alluded to that most of Clawdeen's clothes come from her (such as her Dawn of the Dance dress, as seen in "Fashion Emergency") and that her tastes have ranged over time from girly to punk to even chainmail.
    • Limited Wardrobe: On the other hand, they always seem to go to school in the same clothes. Even when the second half of Season 2 started up and you'd think that they'd want to advertise the School's Out line.
  • Undeathly Pallor: Naturally, the vampires have this, but in this universe, vampires are all some shade of pale pink!
  • Unusual Ears: Clawdeen and her siblings have wolf ears instead of regular ears, Draculaura has Pointy Ears and Lagoona actually has fins for ears. Then there's the werecat trio which is obviously justified Also, there's Venus with leaf-shaped ears, Rochelle and Garrott with ears resembling bat wings, and Jinafire with pointed ears. This is inverted by Skelita, River and Gil who lack ears entirely. This being a Ghoul School, attributes get freaky.
  • Vampire Vords: Draculaura can pronounce her Ws, at least, but she otherwise has a noticeable (and very cute) unspecifiable Eastern European accent. Also, Lord Stoker.
  • Vegan Vampire: Draculaura is one of the few genuine articles. She doesn't drink blood at all to the point she even faints at the mention of it, subsisting on fresh fruits and veggies and lots of iron supplements. Although in Boo York, Boo York, she lamented the Gala's dearth of crab rolls. Must've been a cheat day.
  • Very Special Episode: Aligned with the Kind Campaign.
    • The first, "Kind Campaign: The Shockumentary", focuses on how negative actions spread and how to stop them.
    • A second one working with WeStopHate.org deals with raising self-esteem in teenagers to keep them from putting others down.
  • Wax On, Wax Off / Chekhov's Skill: What Cleo realizes Scary Murphy was doing with the Fear Squad by putting them through harsher conditions than the other squads, including chores. Cleo gets the Fear Squad to follow her lead after their routine got sold out to Smogsnorts by Toralei. This allows for Cleo to make a new routine using the moves from their chores that beats Smogsnorts. This impresses Scary Murphy, and it wins the Fear Squad the Spirit Staff.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Clawdeen did not care for her friends and any of her family associating with each other romantically, so in Volume 2 she went to split up Draculaura and her brother Clawd by proving to them that they aren't right for each other. How does she do this? By dropping a giant steak in front of Draculaura to intentionally make her faint in front of carnivore Clawd, who hadn't known she was vegetarian, just to make a point to him. Quickly gathering that Clawdeen knew about her friend's intense aversion to meat, he immediately calls her out for it. Afterwards, Clawdeen apologizes for her actions and attitude the past several days, and this marked the start of her learning to live with her brother and friend as a couple. She's now cool with it.
  • World of Pun: Only in this doll franchise will you see cities like Monster Picchu, Boo York, and Barcelgroana. Or countries like Costa Shrieka, Fangladesh, and the Doominican Republic. And yet, Earth is still called Earth.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Substitute "creature" Lou Zarr's parents had to have seen that coming. Also, Hoodude.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Unnatural hair is not an exception at MH.
  • Younger Than They Look: Frankie, while possessing the knowledge and manner of a 15 year old girl, is at most only a couple years old. Hoodude is even younger, considering she made him.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: A majority of the problems that the ghouls have seem to be solved with the idea of throwing a party.
  • Wilhelm Scream: Used by a background student who slips into the swimming pool in the webisode "Frost Friends".
  • With Us or Against Us: In "Fright On", the factions of vampire and werewolf that briefly form in the school follow this policy.
  • Youkai: Kiyomi Haunterly, a Noppera-bō, is one.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Clawdeen's base outfit at grade B.
    • Draculaura's outfit in the Day at the Maul set definitely qualifies.
    • Kiyomi and Rochelle at grade E, in their base outfits.
    • Clawdia's red knee socks in her base outfit clock in at grade C.
    • Gory's black thigh-highs are a grade F.

-guitar riff-See more at MONSTERHIGH.COM.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/MonsterHigh