Welcome to Monster High, the wildly popular Mattel franchise (launched in July 2010) that centers around a high school for the kindlier descendants of classic creatures of folklore, page, and film. The setup: Kindhearted, clumsy teenager Frankie Stein is just starting off at a new school and itching to experience life for the first time. She makes friends quickly - there's Draculaura, a chatty Granola Girl; Clawdeen Wolf, a wannabe fashionista; Lagoona Blue, a somewhat spacy champion swimmer; and Ghoulia Yelps, the smartest kid in school. There’s also Cleo de Nile, Rich Bitch and Royal Brat extraordinaire, 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 and individual face molds for each of the characters — an impressive feat considering how many more of them have come along since inception. ("Create-A-Monster" kits are also available for building mix-and-match beasties literally limb by limb.) A 4-book series of novels was written by The Clique writer Lisi Harrison. An animated Halloween special aired on Nickelodeon on October 31, 2010 and was followed up with another for Halloween 2011. Currently the franchise is expanded upon via a series of CGI specials and Direct-to-Video movies (though one of the latter, 13 Wishes, had a brief theatrical run in 2013) and a new book series by Gitty Daneshvari.Ever After High is a spinoff focusing on fairy tale characters' descendants.
Season 2 of the webseries began building up an arc about how the hatred between saltwater and freshwater monsters was impacting Lagoona and Gill's relationship, culminating in a cliffhanger ending where Lagoona finds out Gill's parents have moved him to another school in order to guarantee he can't see her. Then...well, nothing happens. It's not even acknowledged again until the 2nd TV special, where Gill is inexplicably back at MH and Lagoona handwaves this away by saying his parents got over it offscreen.
It seems the writers have forgot they "resolved" this plotline, because Season 3 had a clipshow episode showing Gill fighting with his parents about Lagoona, despite the fact that according to the special they accepted his relationship with her. Otherwise, why would they let him come back to MH?
Frankie gets in a love triangle with Jackson Jekyl 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.
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 charactes themselves that talk about their daily lives. Even the licensed game has bits of continuity you won't get anywhere else!
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.
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 generally like a fair-skinned Caucasian until you realize she's pink.
The Wolf siblings (Clawdia, Clawd, Clawdeen, Howleen). We still have people asking "is it skin or fur?", even though it's been stated from the very beginning that Clawdeen is constantly shaving and depilating and that's her actual skin.
Robecca Steam as well. At first glance she appears to be black, until you realize she's a robot and her "skin" is actually riveted copper plates.
Art Evolution: Volume 2 of the webisodes has given the show a slightly new look.
Art Shift: Starting with the 3rd special, all of them are being done in CGI.
The Atoner: Draculaura's diary actually 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.
Awesome, but Impractical - The girls' sports uniforms, recently released for the dolls highlight, this aspect. 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.
The boys aren't immune either. Well, Deuce isn't, rather. His usually much darker lenses, the ones that prevent him from stoning people, are replaced with a much clearer green pair for his Casketball uniform. Granted, they look nicer on him, but would likely turn everyone into stone for the alloted 24 hours.
Maybe the shades don't have to be dark to prevent him stoning people. Perhaps all that is needed is a barrier.
Possibly confirmed by Viperine Gorgon in 'Frights, Camera, Action'. She wears clear yellow lenses, and being a gorgon can presumably ALSO stone people.
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 Claude publicly lamenting how bad Nefera's team is in totally horrid lies, with Claude actually having to read off a script one with no inflection at all. It works.
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 (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 What The Hell, 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.)
Beach Line: Gloom Beach. Oddly enough it isn't used as an excuse for fanservice, all the girls wear one piece bathing suits, with Draculaura's looking like one from the 1920's. Only Cleo wears a bikini.
And a second one, Skull Shores◊, was announced for 2012 and featured the majority of the girls in one pieces, with Lagoona in a Tankini, Frankie in a one piece with cutouts and Draculaura in a sailor inspired 20s swimsuit look.
Group 1: Frankie (brains) Clawdeen (brawn) and Draculaura (beauty)
Group 2: Cleo (beauty) Lagoona (brawn) and Ghoulia (brains)
Group 3: Abby (brawn) Spectra (beauty) and Operetta (brains)
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 Will we ever have our own child? to which he replied "Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist, das verspreche ich dir, werden wir es."note When the time has come, I promise you, we will
Bland-Name Product: Mr. Where talks about kids these days being plugged into their iCoffins all the time.
A major motif in the webisodes, mostly for clothing stores.
Blood Bath: Zigzagged. An accessory play set related to beautification for Draculaura, the vampire, includes a high backed, clawfooted tub; however, she is a literal Vegetarian Vampire and, therefore, bathes in protein and vitamin supplements, rather than blood.
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.
Breather Episode: 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.
Word of God states that she is more closely related to amphibians than fish, which actually makes sense, considering that her crush, Gill, 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.
Combat Stilettos: The cheerleading 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).
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. Though it may be subverted in characters who may have done some less than genial things, but soon decided against it.
Dance Party Ending: Happened twice, but for a good reason, so. Once in the first episode "The Jaundice Brothers" as well as the special.
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.
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 highschoolers 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'. One character 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 the character do this? 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.
Drama Bomb: It's still pretty light and soft, considering the characters are a line of children's fashion dolls, but Robecca Steam's diary is basically the story of a girl who misses her train home and then never sees her father again. It's implied he's still alive, but it's still pretty heavy stuff compared to the other diaries.
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: Of Frankie, Draculaura, Clawdeen, and their respective pets. There is a second wave out with plushes of Cleo, Deuce & Lagoona with their pets. Ghoulia, Spectra, and Abbey are slated to have plushies as well
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 Helscream 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 Helscream 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.
Flaming Hair: Holt Hyde and Heath Burns, which led some people to think they were one and the same when they're not.
Follow the Leader: With the line being a top seller, you bet there are imitations. MGA has expanded their Bratz line with Bratzillaz, the "cousins" of the Bratz who are witches. They're best to copy MH in presentation - a quick check of the Bratzillaz Youtube channel has webisodes and a live-action music video. Fandom Rivalry is strong here.
Novi Stars: MGA's line of dolls with an alien gimmick and Punny Names. They're also following the music video and webseries trend.
Playhut came out with Mystixx, which copy the look of the Monster High dolls (with some possible recasting of the Mattel molds) and features some possibly traced character art.
Midnight Magic, a line of multi-colored witch dolls found mostly at discount stores, and a slew of various bootlegs and copycats coming from China.
"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."). The tagline of the doll line is even "Freaky just got fabulous!"
Frozen Face: Ghoulia, though she can 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.
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.
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.
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. Season 2 has her use her computer and hacking abilities quite a bit.
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.
Gretzky Has the Ball: Many people point out that Goullia should not have won the Dodge Ball game. This is because anyone familiar with the game knows the rules explicitly state that a ball that has touch the floor or a wall then hits a person it cannot be counted as an out.
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: All of the girls have hips significantly wider than their shoulders, and relatively small breasts.
Heel-Face Turn: Cleo started out as a bit of a snob/bully, but has progressed into a supportive friend, especially in the Breather Episode about Ghoulia and Dead Fast.
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.
The special on TV highlighted this side, striking the right balance between popular Alpha Bitch & caring mummy.
Draculaura's most recent diary provides some tantalizing hints at quite the 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), who took in Draculaura (perhaps just Laura then) and her mother "when no one else would" over a thousand years ago.
Hollywood Hacking: Ghoulia can hack anything 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: Ghoulia, although we only know this because she wears horned glasses and the only girl in the main cast other than Lagoona to not wear a skirt. Even so, she's seen a just as normal as everyone else and is even a fan favorite.
She is actually quite nerdy; 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 has tones of this as well.
Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: The upcoming hybrids make for some interesting pairings: Centaur/Harpy, Mothman/Skeleton, Mermaid/Ghost and Zombie/Unicorn
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.
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."
Iris Out: The webtoon "The Good, the Bat and the Fabulous" ends off with one of these. Although it doesn't contain the sound of boooo-woop.
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.
Meaningful Name: All the characters' names have to do with what kind of monster they are.
Missing Mom: Many characters start of 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 started as the daughter of Dracula, but was then revealed to be her adoptive father while both her biological parents had perished long ago.
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 as of yet goes unmentioned.
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).
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.
Justin Biter in Nickelodeon's half-hour special. Oddly enough, he looks little like the original.
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.
Not Using the Z Word: Averted; Ghoulia and the other zombies at the school are openly referred to as such.
Official Couple: Cleo and Deuce throughout the entire series in every continuity. Everyone else's relationships fluctuate, and Draculaura especially seems prone to Degrassi Dating, though she's been with Clawd for some time now.
As revealed by various diaries, at one time, Cleo and Clawd were peer-pressured into dating, and though they became good friends, they never were an actual couple. Cleo eventually broke off the charade to be with Deuce.
The new re-release of C.A. Cupid's doll, which has a diary, reveals now that Cleo and Clawd only dated because Cupid shot both of them with her arrows... but they just weren't interested in each other that much despite the magic involved and it wore off quickly. Their split was mutual, though Clawd allowed Cleo to tell everyone that she'd dumped him "to save face".
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".
In "A Scare of a Dare" Frankie texts some boys "Party at my house, spread the word." Cleo laughs, disbelieving, and says that Frankie's parents will freak out when all those people show up at their house. "My house?" says a puzzled Frankie. "Cleo, it was your phone." Cleo grabs the phone, realizes Frankie was right—and Cleo's eyes go wide with dread as she goes, "Oh no."
"Freakout Friday" had a bigger one when Ghoulia, who Cleo gave the Amulet of Nuckennutten to, is gone. Since the amulet protected the wearer and those with her, Cleo thought Ghoulia would stay close to her, thus keeping Cleo safe. Realizing she's gone, Cleo realizes she's just as much a target as the others.
Older than They Look: Draculaura is really 1,599 years old (but becomes 1,600 in the webisode "Party Planners") and Cleo is 5,842 years old.
Our Vampires are Different: They can't enter a building without being invited, sleep upside down, aren't affected by sunlight, and are repulsed by garlic. Also, they don't have to drink blood.
Our Werewolves Are Different: Clawdeen goes into "werewolf mode" whenever a full moon's light (or anything resembling it, such as a spotlight) shines on her.
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. Zombie is even a language in this universe and those who don't know it are seen as the odd ones.
Perky Goth: Even though she’s the only main character to dress in (mostly) black, Draculaura loves the color pink, is cheerful almost to the point of being a Genki Girl, and enjoys writing stories about her friends.
Phrase Catcher: "Ghoulia's right!" Pretty much every one of the main characters has said this at least once.
Playing Cyrano: Draculaura, Frankie and Clawdeen to Ghoulia in one of the webtoons. The title is even "Cyrano De Ghoulia".
The Power of Friendship: When Nefera gets ready to cheat against Cleo and the Fear Squad, Deuce picks 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 book is rife with them, most which are going to be outdated within a year or so.
Preemptive "Shut Up": In the webisode "Substitute Creature" Mr. Lou Zarr commands a two-headed student to stop talking even though none of the student's heads has a mouth.
The Rival: It's 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.
The Roman Republic: The second wave diaries reveal that Draculaura was a human living in Rome, and Ghoul Spirit adds that her father (though we're not sure if it's her biological or adoptive father) was a centurion.
Royal Brat: Cleo de Nile. Egyptian heritage, folks!
Running Gag: Background characters getting pulled away by giant tentacles.
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.
Frankie's dad uses "Mary Shelley's ghost!" as an oath, and her mom is prone to "Karloff's crypt!" when most people would say "Good heavens!"
Ghoulia’s owl is named “Sir Hoots-A-Lot”.
Cleo invokes Egyptian deities ("Oh, my Ra!").
An obvious shout-out to Twilight pops up in "Shock and Awesome", complete with a reference to the Bishie Sparkle.
Lagoona, in arguing with her dad about going to school on land, even writes in her diary, "I know he's just worried about me but I told him that everybody is really scary sweet and they treat me like everybody else and it's not like I've got to give up my voice or something silly like that..."
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-Moe (not Slow-Moe, according to Ghoul Spirit).
Stock Footage: Some of the webtoons reuse background footage of students walking by.
Stealth Pun: Lagoona has an Australian accent because she comes from the land down under. Underwater, that is. In fact, the series lives on this in general.
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).
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 Mrs 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.
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.
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. Justified because, well...
Now there's Venus with leaf-shaped ears, Rochelle with ears on top of her head that look gargoyle-like, and Jinafire with pointed ears. This is inverted by Skelita and Gil who lacks ears entirely.
Vampire Vords: Draculaura can pronounce her Ws, at least, but she otherwise has a noticeable (and very cute) unspecifiable Eastern European accent.
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.
What the Hell, Hero?: Clawdeen does not care for her friends and any of her family associating with each other romantically, so she goes 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 didn't know she's 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 marks the start of her learning to live with her brother and friend as a couple.
Specifically, she's 15 days old at the start of her diary, which covers around a month and a half of time before school starts. When school in both the webisodes & TV special start, she's still only 15 days old. Huh?
There is an episode where they celebrate her "sweet sixteen... days", but then... wouldn't every day be her birthday?
World of Pun: The writers of the webisodes seem to enjoy sticking as many horror-related puns as possible in the scripts.
X Meets Y: At first glance it looks like Bratz meets Gravedale High, but when you read the character descriptions and watch the web shorts it's anything but. The girls focus on typical high school situations and helping each other, rather than just shopping and flirting. Even fashionista Clawdeen knows that she can't start her own fashion line without learning how to run a business. Not to mention the mystery that's slowly being revealed about Draculaura's past...
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ghoulia does, in various shades; Lagoona goes with aqua highlights in her otherwise blonde hair due to the chlorine of the swimming pool; Clawdeen's doll for the Dawn of the Dance line has mostly acid green hair. Spectra's hair is blue-violet.
Updated on the website: She's stopped keeping count.
Yuppie Couple: There are a few, notably the aforementioned mouthless two-headed student and a seemingly ordinary-looking redheaded girl with a ponytail sporting a visor. Heath Burns was a recurring extra before he was promoted to an actual cast member, and Scarah Screams (the white-eyed banshee girl in the sixties outfit) is set to follow him.
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", Clawd accused his friend Romulus of kidnapping Draculara. He tells him he had nothing to do with it, but tells him he must choose.
Zettai Ryouiki: Clawdeen, at grade B. Many background characters wear them at grade C and B as well.
Draculaura's outfit in the Day at the Maul set definitely qualifies.